Today Avery Beck is up with her debut book, Sexy by Design. Be sure to check it out on the Coming Soon page on the Samhain website!
1. How did you get started with your writing?
After my first son was born, I realized I’d already graduated college,
bought a house, gotten married, had a baby…and I was all of 24. I’d left
my office job to stay home with my son, and with all those milestones
behind me, I was suddenly in the great position of being able to sit down
and say, “Okay–you’re done with that stuff and the rest of your life is
wide open. What do you wanna do?”
I’ve always been a writer but I had never attempted anything novel-length until that year. I love to study the dynamics of relationships (and hand out happy endings!), so romance novels were a natural choice for me.
2. What/who is your biggest muse?
It’s a complex combination of high ambitions and gorgeous, bare-chested men.
3. Is there a character in one of your books you connect with the most?
I haven’t sold the book yet, so I can’t say exactly who it is…but she’s
a heroine who believes very strongly in doing what you love and not having any regrets, because you don’t get a second chance at life.
4. What do you like to do in your free time other than write?
Exercise, shop, reorganize/redecorate the house, drive with the music
turned up loud and no particular destination, surf online, learn something new, spend time with hubby or friends, spend time outside on a nice day.
5. What are some of your favorite books? Any genre or author.
Category romances that are high on heat and low on drama, or nonfiction
books that teach me a new skill (see “learn something new” above, lol). I
don’t have favorite authors, I just like a good story.
6. Where is your writing sanctuary?
Usually on my bed with a cup of coffee and my iPod, or if I have serious
work to do, the dining room table, where no family members, scattered
toys, or internet access will distract me.
7. How did you celebrate “selling” your first book?
I’m pretty sure I bought myself something full of sugar and didn’t cook
dinner for a couple of nights!
8. What is your favorite thing about Samhain?
Quick response times, great book covers, good business practices, quality authors…
9. Is there something you would like to see more of in RomanceLandia?
Does “respect” count?
10. Tell us about your editor.
She has fabulous taste!
“Do you have the page done for the Bath Buddy yet?”
“Not quite. I plan to have it ready by the end of the day.” She hoped her face didn’t give away the fact that she had written only eight words.
“Please do. The page has to be up tomorrow morning for this month’s promotion, or else I’d give you another day. I know the schedule’s been tight. I don’t suppose there’s any way you can stay late?”
“Paula, of course I can, but I really think I’ll finish it by—”
“Oh, good, because I’m going to have to pass these on to you.” She dropped the papers onto Bree’s desk with a thud. “There’s a meeting in ten minutes I cannot miss, and I have a feeling it will go well into the afternoon and I have to pick up my little brother from the airport and I don’t know how I’ll fit in…”
As Paula chattered on, Bree’s focus shifted to the invoices that loomed in front of her, casting a shadow over the ever more intriguing Bath Buddy. On slow days she had no problem helping Paula with overflowing workloads, but she was pushing her deadline already. That pile looked like a half-day’s worth of work. If she took it on, she would never finish the web page in time for its unveiling in the morning.
“Actually I—wait a minute. I pass by the airport on my way home. I can get your brother if you need to stay here.”
Please say yes. She didn’t exactly live next door to the airport, but she would much rather drive a few minutes out of her way to pick up the kid than risk missing the most important deadline of the month.
The six-month contract she’d signed with the company would end in three short weeks unless Paula agreed to make her a permanent hire. Every move Bree made was probably being scrutinized, and she would do whatever it took to keep her position. She loved this job and the way it defined her new, adventurous persona. For the first time in her life, she was happy, and she had no intention of going back to the way things used to be.
Paula chewed on a pen. “You know, that’s not a bad idea. I can handle this paperwork after my meeting if I don’t have to leave.”
“It’s no problem at all. What time does the flight come in?”
“I’ll get you a copy of the itinerary. I always meet him at the coffee shop on the first floor. He’s a real tall guy, dark hair…” She picked up the invoices and lugged them out the door, still mumbling.
Laughing quietly at Paula’s endless supply of energy, Bree turned back to the computer. You’ll Be Breathless When You Dive In With The Bath Buddy AquaPleaser.
Jessica would love it. A regular customer of Paula’s Pleasure House—or PPH as it was known among the employees—she had been the one to notice the open webmaster position and suggest that Bree put her business degree to more exotic use.
“Oh—Jess!” Recalling their plans for the evening, she grabbed the phone and punched in her friend’s work number.
“Smith, Kody, Silverman and Blanch, this is Jessica Winter speaking.”
“You’re like a terrible porn movie. Paralegal by day, harlot by night.”
“Girl, you’re not kidding!” Jess giggled, abandoning her professional demeanor at the sound of Bree’s voice. “But hey, my dates thoroughly enjoy it when I play the naughty legal secretary. Many thanks to you.”
“Yeah. Too bad I don’t get to benefit from all the orders I’ve placed here.” To take advantage of her twenty percent discount, Bree purchased Jessica’s items on her credit card in return for cash upon delivery.
“That’s your own fault. There’s a plethora of men at Barry’s just waiting to get into your pants.”
She shivered at the memory of the night her ex-boyfriend’s betrayal had driven her into the bed of a complete stranger—and she’d been clueless as to what to do with him. “I don’t care. We all know how well that turned out last time.”
“Phooey on last time. Give it another chance.”
“No way. I’m just calling to see if we can push our workout time back. I need to run an errand for my boss.”
“Fine, change the subject,” Jessica huffed. “What time do you want to meet?”
“Great. See you at the gym.”
“Bye, Jess.” She hung up quickly to avoid another discussion about the so-called joys of picking up anonymous guys in bars. Jessica relentlessly tried to push her back into the dating game, and Bree couldn’t make her understand that she didn’t want to play.
She ran her finger across the glass of her dog’s picture frame. “I’m afraid it’s going to be you and me for a while, Ginger.”
She and Ginger had lived alone since the day a positive pregnancy test appeared in the bathroom trash. Given the three years she had shared with Jeff and the ring she’d anticipated every Christmas—and every Valentine’s Day, and each birthday—the sight would have made her feel warm and fuzzy if she hadn’t been on the Pill, and her period to boot.
Her gut still clenched at the thought that he had invited another woman to their apartment on his lunch hour to take a pregnancy test. Luckily, she’d gotten home from work before him and found the evidence—along with pieces of the new mommy’s lingerie when she’d gone through his side of the closet and thrown everything out of it. When Jeff had come in and sputtered that he bought those items as a surprise for her, she’d pointed out that a B-cup bra wouldn’t cover one of her breasts, and after three years he should have known that.
“Here you go!” Paula made another hectic entrance into her office, handing off the flight information and thanking her profusely. “I have to run, my meeting’s starting. Now, Evan’s sweet but a bit of a smart ass. Don’t let him give you any trouble. And just e-mail me the link to the web page when it’s finished. You’re a darling!”
Bree chugged the last of her diet soda and listened to Paula’s stilettos click across the lobby on their way to the conference room. Considering the older woman’s personality, it didn’t surprise her that the younger Willett had a bit of spunk as well. Surely he couldn’t irritate her too much during a twenty-minute drive.
According to the itinerary, she needed to get going in a couple of hours unless she wanted to leave Paula’s kin stranded, which wouldn’t make a great impression. She tossed her empty drink bottle into the waste can and tapped furiously on the keys.
Feeling Dirty? The Latest Innovation From Paula’s Pleasure House Promises Hours Of Naughty, Clean Fun. Get Wet Today!
Evan took a sip from his Styrofoam cup, vaguely aware of a burning sensation on his tongue. His whole body could have been on fire and he doubted he would notice. He’d fixed all his senses on a woman who stood near the ice cream freezer, staring out into the throngs of people who passed back and forth across the airport corridor.
Her hair was three different shades of brunette, a sleek bob that showed off graceful shoulders and a neck made for kissing. He couldn’t see her face, but her backside provided a view so magnificent a man should have been charged by the minute just to look at it. He could easily imagine lowering the zipper that traced her spine and slipping off that deliciously tight dress…
Oh, yeah. If he didn’t already have plans to visit Paula tonight, he’d put the moves on this woman. He needed a release, preferably the sexual kind. His head still throbbed from the shrieks of the child sitting behind him on the plane, a sound he had added to his long list of reasons for seeking permanent bachelorhood. Now he ached for some very grown-up attention.
A second sip of coffee nearly melted his lips. He cursed and jerked away from the cup, then put it on the table with a sigh. After two weeks away on business and almost no sleep, was a good caffeine fix so much to ask?
Thankfully, he had just one day left at this wretched consulting job. He’d spent half his life edging toward the top rung of the corporate ladder, and finally, just weeks away from his self-imposed deadline, Paula had offered him the perfect opportunity. But as usual, she was late picking him up, so he had a few more minutes to admire the delectable assets of the mystery woman.
At least, until she turned around and caught him watching her. His leisurely gaze morphed into a full-blown stare. She looked incredibly familiar. Where had he seen her before? Her features twisted in what appeared to be an effort to retrieve him from her memory as well.
She squinted, then took a step back. Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped to form a horrified “O”. That face…
They had met at Barry’s Lounge. A long time ago, probably several months back. It was her. It had to be. No one else had ever looked at him with an expression of such panic—and in the bedroom, no less. It hadn’t exactly boosted his ego to sleep with a woman and have her answer his efforts with a covert escape. He’d never forget stepping out of the shower and finding her gone, then peering out the window in time to see her jump into her car and speed away. He’d been confused. Hurt. Pissed off.
And his long-awaited chance to chew her out had just arrived.