Hi peeps! We have Quinn Anderson visiting today with her new release New Heights, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
After attending a friend’s wedding in New York, James Thompson is eager to go home, even though no one will be waiting for him at the gate. He has no expectations for his trip back to Charleston other than long lines, security, and bad airplane food. But when an annoying—albeit hot—stranger cuts him in line, James is determined not to be a pushover for once.
For Mika “It’s Mee-kuh, not Micah” Bailey, today’s just another day of boring work travel. That is, until his flight gets delayed, and some irritating (but handsome) guy keeps hogging all the good power outlets. Which means war. In the middle of an airport. In New York. What could go wrong?
Eventually, they declare a truce, and as they get to know each other, their attraction overwhelms them both. Terrified of what he’s feeling, Mika suggests a no-strings hookup, but serial-monogamist James wants more. If they don’t fight for what’s right in front of them, their romance might be canceled before it ever takes off.
Thanks for joining me on my book tour! I’m Quinn Anderson, author of the Murmur Inc. Series and On Solid Ground. I’m here to share some inside information about New Heights, coming out March 12th, including fun facts and more. Leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card!
Mika slid into a cab an hour and a half before his plane was due to leave and threw his bag onto the seat next to him. “MacArthur Airport.”
The cab driver squinted at him in the greasy rearview mirror. “Gonna have to take the expressway to get there.”
“Do whatever you gotta do. I’m in no rush.”
They pulled away from the curb and joined the ant-like lines of cars crawling between rows of skyscrapers. Mika didn’t look up. Seemed like every other month his job was shipping him off to New York to attend this conference or that training. The shiny buildings and bridges had stopped impressing him long ago.
“So, you in town for business or pleasure?” the driver asked.
Mika had pushed his sunglasses onto his head, but at that, he swiped them onto the bridge of his nose. Hopefully that would let the driver know small talk wasn’t necessary.
Of course, the driver’s brown eyes found his bright-hazel ones in the rearview mirror with unnerving accuracy, even through the sunglasses. “When’s your plane leave?”
Why do I always get stuck with chatty cabbies?
Mika yawned, tilting his head back until his dark hair fell away from his face. “Three.”
“And you’re only leaving now? You realize there’s gonna be traffic, right? It’s probably gonna start pouring any second too.”
“Yeah, but don’t worry about it. It’ll be fine.” If I miss my flight, I’ll hop on the next one. Big deal. So long as I’m back by Monday, no one at the office will care.
Although his mother might skin him. He’d been living on his own ever since he’d turned eighteen, and yet she always seemed to know when he’d done something irresponsible. He dug his phone out of his jeans and glanced at it. Sure enough, he had a text.
Did you make it to the airport okay?
Damn. He sure as shit couldn’t lie to her no matter how old he got. Sliding his phone back into his pocket, he made a mental note to reply to her after he’d arrived.
The driver whistled and turned his focus to the road. “You shouldn’t cut it so close.”
Mika bit back a sarcastic comment about not needing another parent, thanks, and replied, “For real, don’t worry about it.”
“So long as you don’t get mad at me if you’re late.”
“Trust me, I won’t.” With that, Mika folded his arms behind his head and stared up at the dingy car roof, effectively ending the discussion.
Despite what he’d said, the driver seemed to do everything in his power to get Mika to the airport in record time. Mika paid the man, gave him a serious tip—because that was cool of him, even if Mika didn’t care—and sauntered into the airport with his duffel bag slung over his shoulder.
No matter where he traveled, there were certain things all airports had in common. They all smelled vaguely like cleaning supplies and diesel. They all had the same ugly carpet and beige tile that might’ve been white before a thousand feet had trodden it. And they all had a way of making you feel invisible and yet painfully aware of yourself.
Mika caught his reflection in a dozen of those mirrored security things before he so much as got to the ticketing area. His dark hair was messier than usual: his just-rolled-out-of-bed look was completely authentic, as were his rumpled clothes. He was wearing a nice black shirt and jeans, but they were the same ones he’d worn to a nine-hour advertising seminar the day before. Good thing he had nowhere to go but back home to Charleston.
He waltzed up to his airline’s ticketing counter without ado. After years of traveling, he’d learned when the slow times began for most airports. Right now, the 1 p.m. rush had lulled, which meant he got up to the counter within minutes. A quick glance down toward security yielded more good news: the lines were deserted.
The ticket lady smiled as he approached. “Good afternoon, sir. How can I help you?”
“I need my boarding pass, thanks.” He handed over his ID.
The woman glanced at it. “Thank you for flying with us, Micah.”
“It’s Mika. Mee-kuh. Not Micah.” One of these days, someone was going to get his name right the first time, and Mika was going to keel over and die of shock. Or marry the person.
The lady squinted at his ID as if the letters might have changed. “Are you sure? It looks like it’d be pronounced My-kuh.”
“Yes, I know how my own name is pronounced. Thank you for your concern.” Man, he was tired of hearing that. Odd-name problems. Maybe next she’d ask him if his mom was on drugs when she’d named him. Mika would never understand how people thought that was an acceptable thing to ask, and yet he heard it once a week.
Luckily for them both, the ticketing lady didn’t comment. She plugged his information into the computer, and her face fell a moment later. “Sir, this flight was set to leave at three.”
Mika pushed his sunglasses back onto his head and eyed the vacant security line. It had a single X-ray machine manned by an elderly security guard who looked like Father Time himself. Mika glanced back at the lady and raised an eyebrow. “Think I won’t make it?”
She sighed, hit a few keys on the touchscreen, and printed out a boarding pass. “Please note that the airline recommends passengers arrive two hours before boarding.”
“Yeah, I’ll bet they do.” So we have time to mill around your overpriced gift shops and eat your crappy food. I know the drill. Mika took his pass and his ID, shoving both into his back pocket. “Thanks.”
He left before she could say anything else, moseyed his way through security—he had to insist his name was Mee-kuh twice more—and was on the other side in five minutes flat. Once there, he followed the blue signs to gate three and found it with two whole minutes to spare.
Admittedly, had this been JFK, he would have been screwed, but there was a reason why Mika always picked this airport. MacArthur was so small, half the gates were spitting distance from the drop-off area.
It consisted of two wings on opposite ends of the building: departures and arrivals. They were identical, except the people who were departing looked crabby, whereas the new arrivals seemed excited, or happy to be home. Little shops were interspersed around the gates, along with rows of seats, big windows that gave views of the hangars outside, and a bar in the center of it all.
When Mika approached gate three, he expected to see a line of people waiting to board—chumps who’d been there for two hours when they could have breezed right up like him—but it wasn’t there. Everyone was sitting in the columns of connected metal chairs with familiar bored looks on their faces.
Mika glanced at an electronic board marked Departures and groaned. Their flight had been delayed until four. “Damn. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have rushed all the way here.”
Fuck me. Now what?
He loved getting to travel for his job—see the world, and all that—but airports had become one of his least-favorite places on Earth. Like the DMV or hospital waiting rooms. They had identical shitty shops and identical shitty souvenirs and identical shitty people who managed to make Mika’s bad attitude look downright pleasant.
It didn’t help that all the traveling gave him little time to spend with his family, and he didn’t want to think about his love life.
Don’t kid yourself. There’s nothing to think about.
Derailing that depressing train of thought, he pulled his phone out of his pocket. It was at fifteen percent. Damn. He should have charged it at the hotel, but he’d thought he was going to have to turn it off on the plane regardless. He had a wall charger in his bag, but of course, all the nearby outlets were being used by the very people he’d called chumps for arriving on time.
Karma’s a bitch.
Rotating in place, he scouted the area until he spotted a complimentary charging station one gate over. God bless technology. Naturally, all the cords were currently being used. Mika wandered over and hovered nearby, jiggling his leg.
No one so much as glanced at him, but standing to his left was a guy who looked about his age. Only he was blond, tan, and tall. Pretty much Mika’s opposite.
Mika briefly considered asking if he was waiting for a charger, but it wasn’t as if there was a line. Plus, Mika knew himself. He was just looking for an excuse to talk to the guy because he was hot, in a Colgate commercial sort of way. There were zero benefits to meeting people in airports. Mika had learned that a long time ago.
Besides, the walking toothpaste ad was staring off to the right, out the windows. He might not be waiting at all, and if he really wanted it, he’d pay attention.
When a woman got up and drifted away, Mika only hesitated for a second before he took her seat. He had his phone out and jacked in before anyone else had even looked up from their various devices. Except for the Colgate guy.
“Excuse me.” Colgate flashed a smile befitting the moniker Mika had assigned to him. “I’m so sorry, but I was waiting in line.”
Mika reached for his bag and pulled out a big pair of red noise-canceling headphones. “Oh, were you? I didn’t see a line. Sorry about that.” He meant it, though that was the extent of his contrition.
“It was a short line. I was the only person in it.” When Mika made no move to get up, the guy’s brilliant smile vanished beneath a full, bitable pout. It almost made Mika reconsider brushing him off. Almost.
“Whoops. Sorry again.” Mika placed the headphones around his neck and started digging through his pockets. “I don’t know what to tell you.” His hand closed around his MP3 player.
Colgate looked incredulous. “So . . . you’re not going to let me use the charger?”
“Sure I am.” Mika plugged in his headphones. “Soon as I’m finished. Won’t be more than thirty minutes.”
“But my phone’s nearly dead. I’ve been waiting here for hours, and my flight got delayed.”
Are we on the same flight? Mika discarded that question. It didn’t matter.
“Seriously? I got here a couple of minutes ago. Pro tip: only suckers show up hours in advance. Now you know for next time.” Mika slid his headphones onto his ears and cranked up the music. Colgate said something else, but Mika cupped a hand around his ears and shrugged. Sorry, bro. Can’t hear you.
The shocked look on Colgate’s face was something else. If he was that surprised by someone being rude to him, this must’ve been his first trip to New York. Eventually, he gave up and took a seat, though he glared at Mika nonstop. Mika gave him a cheerful wave before flicking his sunglasses back over his eyes.
A voice in his head nagged him. If you’re rude to every hot guy you see, you’re gonna be single forever. Mika leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes. Four more hours, and he’d be home. If he didn’t die of boredom.
Nothing good ever happened in airports.
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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