Saturday, August 17, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Miranda’s Mate By Ann Gimpel INTERVIEW

Miranda’s Mate
By Ann Gimpel

Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
ISBN: 978-1-62210-021-7
Release Date: 8/5/13
Length: 50,000 words
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Work for The Company is nothing if not covert. Miranda’s life is on the line. Will Garen risk exposure to save her?

As an agent for an international security firm, Miranda has her hands full. Between secretly lusting after her boss, Garen, and making sure the dirty little secret about her double life as a wolf shifter remains hidden, she’s still a virgin at nearly thirty.
Sent to eliminate the head of a human trafficking organization in Amsterdam, she barely escapes with her life. Injured, frightened, and under attack the second her private jet lands in the U.S., she doesn't know where to turn.
Garen’s been watching Miranda just as surreptitiously as she’s been eyeing him. Unfortunately, the fact that she works for him is a showstopper. Plus, Garen has a few secrets of his own that have kept him single. He’s frantic once he discovers his oldest friend is besotted with Miranda, too. When she insists on heading up a covert operation, he’s worried sick, but can’t come up with a plausible reason to stop her.
Miranda’s life is on the line. Will Garen risk exposure to save her?
First, thanks so much for hosting me and for your interest in Miranda’s Mate! It’s a pleasure to be here today.

It is my pleasure Ann, would you mind sharing with us a little about yourself?

I’m a psychologist and also a mountaineer. Those were my first loves. I still remember sitting with the University of Washington catalog describing majors (keep in mind, this was well before “creative” majors came into being) open on my lap. It was the eve of my junior year and I had to declare a major. I just kept coming back to psychology. Despite dire predictions from my parents that I’d be destitute, I’ve never regretted my choice. I feel the same way about the mountains. Ever since my first overnight backpacking trip at summer camp when I was just a kid, I’ve always loved the remoteness and being “out there” having to rely on my own resources.

Tell us, have you always wanted to be an author?

It would be lovely to say “yes,” but the truth is just the opposite. I’ve always written something, but usually it was reports, grant proposals, and client case notes. That changed at the tail end of 2008 when I came back from a trip to the mountains with a story running around in my head. That had happened before, but this time I did something about it. I sat down at the keyboard and gave my muse free rein. I’m glad I followed my instincts because I love my “second” career.

Can you share with us your typical writing day?  Is there anything you have to have while writing?

I don’t have a typical writing day. When I’m working on something new, I aim for 3000-3500 words/day which is one chapter. That chapter can happen at 6 a.m. or 6 p.m. depending on how the rest of my day has gone. I write full time now, so I have a lot of latitude in terms of how I structure my day. The only thing I need while I’m writing is silence. I can’t write if someone is talking to me, or if there’s noise playing in the background.

What would you say is the most challenging or rewarding part of writing?

Aw, the very best part are the emails and messages I get from fans telling me how much they loved something I’ve written. The most challenging part is marketing since nothing else I’ve done in my life quite prepared me for the “fish bowl” aspect of social media.

How did you come with the idea for this story?

That’s a surprisingly difficult question. I have no idea where my muse comes up with these things. All I know is that Miranda came to me a while back. I’ve written a couple of published standalone short stories about The Company, one of which featured Miranda and another one of her lycan sisters. I like the concept of shape shifting women who work in international espionage, but then I like writing kickass heroines!

Can you share with us your current work in progress?

I just started on book two in the Wolf Clan Shifter series. That’s my 1936 semi-historical, paranormal shifter ménage series.
Perhaps more pertinently, Wolf Born will be out on 9/2. That’s book two in the Underground Heat Series, a futuristic science-fictiony romance. This is the blurb:
In a futuristic California that’s almost out of resources, Max leads a double life. A Russian wolf-shifter, he heads up the State of California as its governor—and the shifter underground. He took on the governorship to help his people. Threatened with genocide, many shifters have gone into hiding. Some blame Max and the underground for their plight, rather than the governmental edict that’s meant death for so many.
Audrey works for Max. Unlike most humans with low levels of shifter blood who bless their lucky stars they avoided the purge, she wants to be a shifter. If she could find a way to finesse it, she’d quit her job in a heartbeat and go to work helping the shifter underground. The only sticking point is Max. She’s been half in love with him forever.
Against a dog-eat-dog political backdrop where no one knows who their allies are, Max and Audrey spar with one another. Max fears she’s part of the group trying to kill him. Audrey has no idea about Max’s double identity and worries she won’t be able to walk away from their fiery attraction to help the underground.
After a second attempt on his life, Max faces critical choices. Should he follow his head or his heart?

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Erk. The list is long. In the romance genre, I like Gabaldon, Carey, Moning, Roberts/Robb.

Do you feel that any of your favorite authors have inspired your writing style?

To some extent, but when I pleasure read, I’m not hunting for tips on character and plot development.

Open your book to a random page and please reads us a few lines.
…Miranda’s eyes flew open when the cockpit door of the private jet crashed against the wall. Garen looked ready to kill something. He swept by her and went into the head.
Holy Christ! Wonder what went wrong between him and Lars?
She rubbed the bridge of her nose between thumb and index fingers and stared out the window. They’d been chasing dusk across the country. It was still light enough to see mountains below. Must be the Rockies. Great. Means we’re not too far from home. She sat up in her seat and rotated first one shoulder and then the other. God, but her ribs ached. She supposed the bruising had continued to spread. It did that until all the subterranean blood vessels managed to seal themselves. Maybe going to ground for a while wasn’t all that bad an idea. She could spend time in her wolf form, which would speed the healing process. It would also put some distance between herself and the disapproval in Garen’s blue eyes.
Maybe I don’t even have a future with The Company. He’s probably fired agents for botched jobs before… Her heart ached for far more than the possible loss of her job. If Garen fired her, she’d never see him again. Don’t be a fool, she told herself. He scarcely even knows I’m alive—except for right now when he sees me as a gross inconvenience.

What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?

Erk! I am so far behind it’s not even funny. I read every JD Robb as soon as I can get my hands on it. And I’m awaiting Gabaldon’s newest, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.

Have you ever used anyone from your real life encounters in any of your books?

Of course, but not in any way that they’d be recognizable. Actually, my psychology background and training has been invaluable creating believable characters.

What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself while you were writing?

Maybe that I can actually create a career out of it. At the front end, I didn’t think it was possible. This is an uber-competitive field.
…Garen threw caution to the winds. He clicked off his headset and tossed it into the next seat. His cock pressed mercilessly against the front of his pants; he could barely breathe he wanted Miranda so much. His wolf was nigh onto uncontrollable. It howled and snarled deep inside him. Garen forced it back. The last thing he needed was for fur or claws to sprout and ruin everything.

He could smell Miranda’s lust with his enhanced senses. She was so aroused, she was on the verge of coming. Strands of dark hair curled around her face. Her face was splotchy with excitement. Her blue eyes glowed warmly. Years of repressed desire slashed through him. He moved to the seat next to her and slid a hand between her legs. She moaned and pressed into him.
Possessiveness sounded an exultant note behind his breastbone. She wasn’t going to fight him. She wanted him just as much as he wanted her. He lowered his head and covered her mouth with his. She opened hers and sucked hungrily on his tongue. His cock throbbed. She wasn’t the only one on the edge of coming.
He felt her fingers on the fastenings of his pants, and then her hands closed around his shaft. He wanted to do everything to her. Kiss her, lick her, suckle her incredible breasts, and run his mouth down her body to settle on her clit. All those things would have to wait. What mattered now was getting inside her. He yanked her headset off and reached for her pants, delighted to find they had an elastic waistband.
The logical part of his brain was nearly obliterated with passion, but it reminded him she needed at least one leg free of her pants, which meant one shoe off. Reluctantly, he broke away from their embrace and pried her fingers off his cock.
“What?” Her voice was muzzy with need. “You started this. Come back here, goddammit.”
He laughed. God, but it felt good to laugh and hold Miranda in his arms. “Patience, darling. I just need to get one of your pant legs out of the way. Then you can straddle me.”
Between the two of them, they managed to unlace a boot and jimmy one of her legs out of her pants. He folded the chairs’ armrests out of the way, settled his hands on her hips, and helped her kneel above him. When she lowered herself so the heat of her surrounded him, he gasped. Sensation so intense it set every nerve on fire lanced through him. Her muscles clenched around his cock and held on. Hard nipples pressed against his chest. He thrust upward and his balls tightened.
“Sorry, darling. I’m not going to last long.” He moved a hand between them and rubbed her swollen clit.
Her muscles milked him. Her teeth sank into his shoulder. He could tell from her rhythmic movements and the tension in her nub she was coming. Garen let himself go. He’d imagined coming inside Miranda forever, and now it was finally happening. He growled low in the back of his throat as his semen arced into her.
He moved his hands to the sides of her face and kissed her long and deep. She turned her head, captured the fingers that had just been rubbing her, and licked them clean. It was so erotic, his cock throbbed where it was still buried deep in her pussy.
She wriggled out of his grasp, reached for the napkin wrapped around the beer bottle, and stuffed it between her legs before she pulled her underwear and pants back into place. Her face was a gorgeous, rosy hue. He started to tell her how lovely she was when she said, “Sorry. I’m sorry about that. Didn’t mean to. You’re my boss. I understand what we did was wrong. Don’t worry, I won’t let my, uh, my, well, whatever it was, get out of control again. I’m going into the head to clean up. We should probably have used a condom. I have an IUD, but still—”
“Whoa.” He held up a hand. Garen was having a hard time with the transition from a sexual high to a we-shouldn’t-have-done-this conversation. “I enjoyed making love with you, Miranda. You’re an amazing—”
She shook her head. “No. It was a mistake. It won’t happen again. I promise. You caught me at a weak moment.” She pushed past him and headed for the rear of the aircraft.
Garen shoved his still half-hard cock back into his pants and zipped up. A leaden deadness settled around his heart. She may have had sex with him, but Miranda didn’t care about him. The post-coital conversation he’d thought they’d have was considerably different. He bit down hard on his disappointment. Better if he went back to the cockpit. That way she wouldn’t have to look at him when she came back from the john.
What could they possibly have to say to one another beyond him apologizing for being swept off his feet by her lithe body and firm curves? No way could he tell her he truly cared about her. Not in light of the revulsion he’d seen mirrored in her face as she stammered through her regrets. She was obviously appalled by what she considered a weakness.
Garen picked up his headset and settled it into place before walking into the cockpit. He wasn’t certain just what he’d say to Lars. No way he’d be able to hide the lingering scent of sex. He latched the door and sat heavily. For a time neither of them said anything. Garen almost started to believe he could escape a conversation he’d assumed would be inevitable.
“I do not like to pry, but I could smell sex even through door.” Lars glanced at Garen with a knowing grin on his face. “How was she?”
Garen gritted his teeth. “Hot, passionate, delectable.” He inhaled, the air almost painful in his lungs. “But she doesn’t care about me. Said I caught her at a weak moment. Apologized all over the place and said it would never happen again.”
“Hmph. Well, it would be untrue if I said I were sorry.” Lars flicked the front of his pants. “Imagining the two of you fucking got me going. I will need to take care of myself before I escort the fair fraulein anywhere.” A hesitation. “I do not suppose there is any possibility the three of us could—”
“No.” Something about the vehemence in Garen’s tone earned him a penetrating look from Lars.
“Your airplane, my friend. I will be back.”
“Miranda couldn’t wait to get away from me. She might not be done in the head.”
“If she is not, I will wait. Unless you wish to watch me.”
“In a pig’s eye. Go.” Garen waved both hands at Lars. “It’s a good thing we’re friends. My tolerance for perverts is pretty limited.”
“You know you love me.” Lars blew a kiss and exited the cockpit.

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers her solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for hosting me, Bridgette. Miranda and Garen are thrilled to be here! One of the best parts about these blog tours is all the incredible new blogs I find out about. You can bet I'll be checking in on yours often.