Hiya guys! We have Quinn Anderson popping in today with the tour for her new release All of the Above, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
All of the Above
Brendon isn’t in a rut, per se—he just always seems to be in-between things. Jobs. Degrees. Boyfriends. He never finishes what he starts. The perfect path is out there somewhere, and if he can just figure out what it is, he’s certain everything else will fall into place.
The last thing he expects is to meet his soul mate in the pages of a magazine quiz. “Who Is Your Perfect Man?” by Matthew Kingston seems like a road map to his future husband: the author himself. Brendon may not have his life figured out, but if Matt is as romantic as his quiz, Brendon can check “true love” off his to-do list.
When Brendon fakes a meet-cute between them, Matt proves to be as wonderful as he hoped. The more Brendon gets to know him, the harder he falls. But Brendon has a confession to make: how can he explain to Matt that he arranged their “fated” meeting? Brendon can’t tell if he’s found his soul mate, heartache, or all of the above.
Thanks for joining me on my blog tour. I’m Quinn Anderson, author of the Murmur Inc. series, and I’m here to share some inside information about All of the Above, coming out November 20th. Stay tuned to hear fun facts about this novel, learn where I get my ideas from, and find out more about the characters. Leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card!
Someone walked up behind him in the mirror. He spun around on autopilot. “How can I help you?” He blinked. “Oh. Hey, Areesh.”
“Try not to sound so disappointed.” Areesh held his muscular arms out as if to invite a hug. “Happy to see me?”
Areesh was the tall, dark, and handsome to Brendon’s pale and pastel. Brendon spent a good portion of every workday trying to convince Areesh to let him play with his silky black hair, but Areesh never allowed it, the tease. He owned an endless supply of V-neck shirts that he used to display his broad shoulders and thick chest hair. It was a look that would make most of the bears Brendon knew chuck in the flannel towel.
But even with all that going on, Areesh was somehow straight as a wicket. It was a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare.
Brendon put his phone down. “What can I do for you?”
Areesh gave him a sour look. “Don’t use your retail voice on me. It’s creepy.”
“Sorry.” Brendon cleared his throat. “I’ve been working for too long. It crawls under your skin.”
“Don’t I know it. But I brought you something that should brighten up your day.” Areesh had a canvas tote bag slung over one shoulder. He held it out to Brendon.
Brendon took it, wobbling beneath the weight, and set it on the ground. “What’s this?”
“Open it and see.”
Brendon reached in and pulled out a handful of magazines. Their glossy covers gleamed. “Oh, Cosmo! Where did you get these?”
“Sasha cleaned out our closet yesterday and found them. She wanted them to go to someone who would appreciate them. Naturally I thought of you.”
“Tell wifey I said merci.” Brendon rifled through the bag. “Vogue. People. All the greatest hits. I am definitely ready to read a hundred tips on how to have my best sex yet.”
Areesh shook his head. “Shameless. Anyway, you can thank her yourself. You work tomorrow, right?”
“Yup. And the day after that, and the day after that. And every day until my cute butt is outta cosmetology school and set up in some fab salon somewhere.”
“It’s nice to have goals.” Areesh looked past him. “And customers. Show time, tiger.”
Brendon dutifully turned away, but he whispered, “You sound like a fifties stage manager,” before greeting the two women who had approached his kiosk. They were his usual fare: early twenties, giggly, with Frappuccinos in their hands and their hair in messy buns. Brendon made best friends with a dozen of them a day, and he honestly loved it. They always preened over his hair and complimented his shoes. And they told the best stories while he was fixing them up. Nothing like a little gossip to help the long hours pass.
He gave both of them the complimentary flat-ironing, talking up their hair the whole time. He never lied to his customers. They all had something that set them apart, be it beautiful natural waves, thickness, color, whatever.
In this case, one of them had some serious bleach damage but shine that just wouldn’t stop. He recommended a ceramic-plated iron to her, and to his delight, she bought one. Her friend went with a leave-in conditioner and a calming serum he swore by. A hundred and eighty dollars later, they waltzed off a bit more glamorous, and Brendon packed an extra nine dollars onto his paycheck. It wasn’t much, but bonuses were bonuses.
After they left, he sank back into beige-tinged boredom. He wasn’t a pushy salesperson—he’d sooner wear Crocs than hound people to let him do their hair—which meant he ended up having a lot of downtime. If he were smart, he’d pull out one of his textbooks and study for his esthiology class. But even skin care couldn’t rouse his interest this close to the end of the work day.
Instead, he dug into Areesh’s tote bag and grabbed a magazine at random. Extra. He’d never heard of it before. He flipped it open and shuffled through the pages. The first few columns featured the usual: fashion, healthy living, and what famous face was wearing what unpronounceable brand. There was even an article about the latest trends that he perused with a grain of salt. Whoever thought pigtails were coming back was dead wrong. It had taken Britney Spears herself to make him like them once.
About a quarter of the way in, it occurred to him that the magazine was a little . . . off. The articles were all what he expected, and the layout looked typical, but something was missing. The pages weren’t as glossy, and the color quality was low. He didn’t think much of it until he glanced at the advertisements: they were for local companies. Hell, he’d been to a few of these bars.
Curious, he flipped to the back cover and read the label. Sure enough, Extra was local. Weird. He couldn’t imagine why someone would try to launch a fashion magazine out of this little swath of Nowheresville, Ohio. They’d have an easier time selling tractors and corn products.
They were doing a decent job of it, though. Extra’s content was solid. Brendon read an article about boyfriend jeans that made him seriously reconsider his marriage to high-waisted. He found himself flipping page after page and even taking snapshots to post on Facebook.
By the time he reached the last few pages, there was only half an hour left until the mall closed. That was the kind of time-wasting magic he needed in his life. Normally, he would start counting the register around now, but instead he turned to the very last page, looking for subscription options.
Instead, he found a quiz.
Who Is Your Perfect Man? the title asked in bold, black letters. Brendon groaned aloud. He used to be addicted to online quizzes. They were all over social media, and . . . well, he had a lot of downtime. But one day he’d caught himself trying to figure out what flavor of pie he was, and he’d quit cold turkey.
He was about to close the back cover when the first question caught his eye.
If forced to choose between sex and food, which would you pick?
Brendon huffed a laugh. He wasn’t ashamed to admit he’d put real thought into that one before. He liked sex plenty, but food was a special pleasure for him. He was known for saving up for weeks so he could treat himself to nice dinners. Cheesecake and sex were basically the same thing, as far as he was concerned.
He scanned the answers, just for fun.
A) Food! Can’t survive without it.
B) Sex. I might only live for three months, but I’ll be smiling in the end.
C) Sex, but it would have to be really good sex.
Pretty standard stuff. Brendon’s fingers were already poised to flip the page. When he got to the last option, however, his heart stopped.
D) Definitely food. Cheesecake is just as good as sex.
Huh. That was almost exactly how he felt. Most people he knew would choose food, but not for the same reason.
The coincidence was odd enough to bring him back to reality. He scanned his surroundings. The crowd was thinning by the second as the mall got ready to close for the night. If he were smart, he would get ready too, so he could book it as soon as the doors shut.
He debated with himself. It was unlikely he’d get another customer now, but not impossible. Every once in a while, he got a last-minute request for a free hair straightening, usually from someone who was about to hit the clubs for the night. Even if they didn’t seem like they were going to buy, he’d have to help them. Surely he couldn’t cash out and lock up until he was certain no one else needed him?
Brendon had never felt quite so dedicated to his job. He folded the magazine open to the quiz and settled on the kiosk’s stool.
He selected a pink pen from the assortment of cheap ones they kept scattered in the supply drawer, circled D beneath the first question, and moved on to the next one.
Where would your perfect man take you on your first date?
Well, so far the questions weren’t scoring any originality points. He knew how most people answered this: dinner and a movie. But in Brendon’s opinion, neither was an option. First dates were supposed to be memorable. A good story to tell the kids one day. He’d die if he had to sit his adopted children down and say, Kids, on our first date, your father took me to Red Lobster, and then we saw the latest movie adaptation of whatever YA novel was big at the time! No, thank you.
Leary, he scanned his options.
A) He’d take me to a bookstore! We’d buy each other copies of our favorite books. Then we could talk about them on our next date. The Dragonscale bookstore on Eighth and Manor Drive is perfect for first dates.
Brendon’s eyebrows shot up. That was actually a damn cute idea. And he knew that bookstore. He got his textbooks there. The in-line advertisement was a little weird, but the magazine probably needed all the revenue it could get.
B) We’d hit up a farmers’ market, buy the ingredients for a recipe neither of us have tried before, and then cook it together. If it goes well, we’ll both have learned something. If it doesn’t, we can laugh about it as we break out the delivery menus.
That was also a cute idea. He devoured the last two options:
C) Buy some disposable cameras and take a stroll downtown. Take photos of everything: the people, the stores, the lights, and of course, each other. Maybe our first kiss could get caught on film!
D) Pick something off your bucket list and do it together. It can be something as small as taking a pottery class or as big as sky diving! When we look back, we’ll always remember that we took that step together.
Brendon stared into space, mind whirring. He would happily go on all four of those dates. In fact, he wanted to. None of the men he’d gone out with in the past had displayed the creativity that this magazine had in just one question. Whoever had written this was very, very good.
He dithered between options A and C before finally choosing C. The concept of immortalizing his first kiss with his future husband was too cute to resist.
Brendon moved to the next question, now fully invested in this quiz.
Read more at: https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/all-of-the-above (just click the excerpt tab)
Quinn Anderson is an alumna of the University of Dublin in Ireland and has a master’s degree in psychology. She wrote her dissertation on sexuality in popular literature and continues to explore evolving themes in erotica in her professional life.
A nerd extraordinaire, she was raised on an unhealthy diet of video games, anime, pop culture, and comics from infancy. Her girlfriend swears her sense of humor is just one big Joss Whedon reference. She stays true to her nerd roots in writing and in life, and frequently draws inspiration from her many fandoms, which include Yuri on Ice, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Buffy, and more. Growing up, while most of her friends were fighting evil by moonlight, Anderson was kamehameha-ing her way through all the shounen anime she could get her hands on. You will often find her interacting with fellow fans online and offline via conventions and Tumblr, and she is happy to talk about anything from nerd life to writing tips. She has attended conventions on three separate continents and now considers herself a career geek. She advises anyone who attends pop culture events in the UK to watch out for Weeping Angels, as they are everywhere. If you’re at an event, and you see a 6’2” redhead wandering around with a vague look on her face, that’s probably her.
Her favorite authors include J.K. Rowling, Gail Carson Levine, Libba Bray, and Tamora Pierce. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling, cooking, spending too much time on the internet, playing fetch with her cat, screwing the rules, watching Markiplier play games she’s too scared to play herself, and catching ’em all.
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