Hi peeps! We have Quinn Anderson visiting today with her new release Action, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
Pete Griflow is the last person anyone would suspect of being a porn star. He’s quiet, gawky, and can’t even talk to guys without turning red. But on camera, he’s a different person. In the porn world, he’s Jaden Prime, a coquettish power bottom who’s been tantalizing fans for over a year now.
Pete is in a rut, though, and he knows it. And what’s worse, his boss knows it. If he can’t reignite his passion for the biz, he’s going to have trouble paying his none-too-cheap college tuition.
When Pete is given the opportunity to star in a huge summer production, sparks fly between him and his costar, Kyle Darko. Kyle is Pete’s opposite: he’s daring, achingly sexy, and in love with the sex industry. Their chemistry is palpable on and off screen, but dating on a porn set is tricky. Even pros struggle to separate fantasy from reality, especially with a script dictating their seduction. But what’s building between them can’t be ignored, and it’s so much more than getting some “action.”
Hello, everyone! This is Quinn Anderson, author of the Murmur Inc. series, and I’m here to share some inside information about Action, coming out June 5th. Stay tuned to get an inside look at what filming porn is really like, hear fun facts about this novel, and find out what’s next for the Murmur Inc. series. Leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card!
Pete drew a shuddering breath and moaned. “Oh God, that feels so good.” He arched his back, biting his lip in what he hoped was an enticing way.
“You feel good,” grunted the man above him. Antoine. Or at least that was his stage name. He was hovering over Pete, naked except for his underwear. A thin sheen of sweat glistened on his skin. He’d inserted one of his legs between Pete’s, spreading his thighs.
Pete’s gaze dipped once down his toned body before he looked squarely at him. “I want you so badly.”
Antoine skimmed his lips along Pete’s jaw. “I can’t wait to fuck you.”
“Cut!” snapped a voice to their left.
The production team groaned in unison. The light shining in Pete’s face lowered, allowing him to see beyond it for the first time in twenty minutes. Not that it did him much good. The set was doused in murky shadow. A handful of amorphous figures scurried to adjust the equipment dotting the periphery.
Pete propped himself up on an elbow, making the faux leather sofa he was reclining on squeak, and sought out a familiar silhouette. “What is it this time, Colette?”
“It’s not you, Jaden,” Colette reassured. “Your costar keeps ruining my shots.”
Just then, the light tech adjusted the umbrella lamp back toward them. Pete blinked red spots out of his eyes and squinted in Colette’s general direction. Though he couldn’t see her face, he was willing to bet she was wearing her trademark scowl.
“Hey,” Antoine protested, twisting his body toward her. “I didn’t do anything wrong.” When he shifted, he unwittingly jammed his elbow into Pete’s solar plexus.
Pete—or Jaden, as he was known on screen—winced but didn’t complain. This was far from the most uncomfortable he’d been during a scene. In fact, between the hot lights and Antoine’s considerable weight crushing him, he was grateful to still have feeling in his limbs. He wiggled his toes just to be sure.
“Oh really?” Colette said sourly. “Because I could have sworn you were whispering sweet nothings to Jaden just then.”
“Uh, yeah, I was.” Antoine’s full lips tilted down. “You told us to talk dirty to each other.”
“The key word there is talk, not whisper. You have to speak loudly enough for the mics to pick up what you’re saying.” She pointed to one of the fuzzy boom microphones hanging over their heads. “Every time you speak against his skin like that—hot as it looks on film—we can’t see your pretty face anymore, and more importantly, we can’t hear you. The sexiest dirty talk in the world is worthless if our viewers don’t know what the hell you’re saying.”
“Oh. Whoops.” Antoine grimaced.
Colette pinched the bridge of her nose. “Look, kid, I get that you’re new, but I need your learning curve to be less of a gentle merge and more of a tire-squealing Tokyo Drift.”
“Okay,” he agreed, nodding. “I think I can do that.”
“Can you? I’m beginning to have doubts. Your call time was eight this morning. What time is it now?”
His face blanked. He scrambled for his phone, which he’d tucked between the couch cushions the moment he’d gotten on set. Every time they had a break, he dove straight for it, leaving Pete to either watch him text or find ways to occupy himself. Pete had already had six cigarettes this morning as a result.
Antoine clicked a side button, and the screen came to life. “It’s a little after eleven.”
“Which means . . . it’s almost lunchtime?”
A world-weary sigh sounded from the darkness. If Pete were a more poetic person, it might have given him some existential anguish.
“It means,” groused Colette, “that between sound checks, lighting checks, and the actual filming, we’ve been at this for over three hours. And you know what we’ve got to show for it? Jack with a side of shit. Unless of course you think our subscribers are going to pay to watch two shirtless dudes make out for ten minutes. Because for that, they could just as easily turn on HBO.”
The shadowy figure that was Colette shifted, her arms moving like she was massaging her temples. “I know I told you not to be shy with the foreplay, but for fuck’s sake, get to it. We still have a whole anal scene to go.”
Pete wanted to put a pillow over his head and block them all out. He hated it when Colette was pissed off, even if it wasn’t directed at him. He had to admit, though, she was right. Antoine kept screwing up every time they got remotely close to the “big moment.” Pete was surprised his costar had managed to stay hard this whole time, considering how little they’d done. He’d have to ask him afterwards how he did it. Probably Viagra or TriMix or one of the other classics.
Colette’s voice broke Pete from his thoughts. “We’re going to take a break. When we come back, Antoine, you’re going to get your shit together and perform like you mean it. Are we clear?”
Antoine nodded, but his eyes had already strayed to his phone.
Colette muttered something under her breath and then directed her attention at Pete. “A word, Jaden?”
It sounded like a question, but her tone said otherwise.
He began the process of extracting himself from beneath Antoine, which was easier said than done. Partially because Pete was all limbs and partially because Antoine wasn’t much help. He rolled onto his side but otherwise didn’t move, fingers flying over the screen of his phone.
“New boyfriend?” Pete asked as he extricated himself.
Antoine smiled without looking up. “Girlfriend, yeah. How’d you guess?”
“I was glued to my phone just like that not too long ago. Didn’t end well, though. Here’s hoping you and your girl have better luck.”
When he was free, he stepped carefully over the cords crisscrossing the floor, bypassed the large, imposing cameras, and edged up to Colette. All he had on was a thin pair of boxers, but he wasn’t hard, and the crew members were too occupied with their equipment to bother with him. He’d worn less in front of bigger crowds. Considering his profession, it wasn’t like he could afford to be modest anyway.
Colette’s attention was fixed on a nearby review screen, on which the camera feed was playing in real time. Even just fiddling with his phone, Antoine looked good. Fit. Muscular. Pete made a mental note to do some weightlifting the next time he was at the gym. He cleared his throat in case she hadn’t heard him approach. “What’s up?”
“Where’s your head at?” Colette asked without preamble.
He folded his arms across his chest. “What do you mean? Was I not good?” He gave her a surreptitious once-over, trying to gauge if he was in for a scolding. He didn’t know much about his boss, except that she’d been in the biz for decades, and she suffered exactly zero fools.
She was dressed casually in jeans and a pink sweater, and she’d twisted her blonde hair up into a cute, messy bun. Wearing street clothes was always a good idea at Murmur Inc. They had no dress code to speak of, and anyone who spent time on a porn set ran the risk of . . . Well, the term splash zone came to mind. Her demeanor matched her relaxed attire, thankfully. Maybe he’d be spared.
Colette answered, “You were fine. In fact, I’d almost call you convincing.”
She considered him. He fought a strong desire to shield himself with his hands. “When I said you weren’t the issue, I was being generous. I’ve worked with you long enough to know when you’re not giving it your all.”
Damn. He’d thought he’d put on a pretty good show. “What do you mean? I moaned in all the right places, and—”
“Is it your costar?” she interrupted. “Not doing it for you?”
He glanced at Antoine. He was shorter than Pete but cut like marble, with gorgeous bone structure and legs that declared a love of jogging.
“No, he’s attractive. I think we can both agree on that. I’m just used to a little more . . . professional courtesy.”
“Ah, so he’s not flirting with you? I noticed you two weren’t talking much. That’s never a good sign.”
“Pretty much, yeah. I mean, it’s not like it’s a requirement, but having sex with a complete stranger is easier if they at least pretend to like you. Helps to grease the wheels, so to speak.”
Colette nodded. “I get it. I remember that from back in my day. So, is that all it is? You two don’t have chemistry?”
“That must be it.” Pete pretended to survey the set, hoping she’d lose interest.
It didn’t work. “You know, this isn’t exactly a new occurrence. You’re normally one of my better actors, but you’ve seemed distracted in the past few films I’ve cast you in. Even when you hit it off with your costars, the energy is never quite right. Is there something else going on?”
“No.” Pete unfolded his arms, hoping to look less defensive, but that left him with nothing to do with his hands. His fingers itched for a cigarette. He prayed he didn’t look as maladroit as he felt. “What could be going on?”
“You tell me. Something with school? Or your mom?” She looked at him sidelong. “Maybe you’ve got a new boyfriend on your mind?”
At that, Pete burst out laughing.
Colette glowered. “Laugh all you want, but I’ve lost some of my best actors to love. It happens.”
Pete wheezed. “Not to me. See, to have a boyfriend, I’d have to actually speak to a man without falling all over myself.”
“You manage pretty well when you’re on camera.”
“That’s different. That’s Jaden talking.”
Colette made a rude noise. “I don’t have time to play counselor. I have a lot of bland footage to painstakingly edit until it looks like you and lover boy over there are doing more than flopping halfheartedly against each other. But, for the record, dating is seldom easy for people like us, introverted or not.”
Pete couldn’t help but quip, “‘Us’? You haven’t starred in a film in, what? Two decades?”
“I don’t mean porn stars, Jaden.” She swept her hand around the room in a broad gesture. “I mean the men, women, and variations thereupon of the adult entertainment industry. You think anyone at Murmur Inc. has an easy time with relationships? News flash: dating involves getting to know one another, and eventually people ask what you do for a living. Just picture it. ‘Hi, I’m Joe, and I spend my days having phone sex with strangers.’ Or better yet, ‘My name’s Kim, and I masturbate in front of a webcam for money.’ That tends to cut first dates short.”
“Well, you don’t have to worry about me. My complete lack of allure has ensured I’m not going to steal someone’s heart anytime soon.”
Colette looked beseechingly heavenward. “Like I would let you star in so many of my films if you weren’t attractive. You may not have the same appeal as Antoine the Chiseled, but lots of people are into the baby-faced, big-eyed twink thing you have going on. Plus, you’re tall.”
“Wow,” Pete deadpanned. “That’s exactly what a man likes to hear. I may not be built or conventionally attractive, but at least most porn sites have a category devoted to me.”
“Last I checked, that was a good thing in this industry. But whatever. Wallow in insecurity if you want.” She pulled a phone out of her pocket and checked it. “Take fifteen, and then we’ll try again. Hydrate, do some stretching, and above all else, work out whatever it is that keeps pulling you from the moment. People don’t want to watch you think. They want to watch you get off.”
Pete shifted from foot to foot. He wondered how many years he’d have to work in the sex industry before the frankness stop fazing him. “Yes, boss.”
“Good. See you in fifteen.” With that, she strode off, her black pumps clicking on the tile. When she reached the door, she threw it open, revealing a scene that was almost shockingly incongruous with the studio.
The hustle and bustle of Murmur Inc. lay beyond the door. The soundproof filming booths made it easy to forget there was a whole office waiting outside. And, at any given time, it was packed with people engaged in a variety of tasks, from phone sex to actual office work.
Colette’s exit drew the attention of a few nearby employees, but none of them took notice of Pete. A half-naked man wasn’t exactly an unusual sight around these parts. Even if it were, the door slammed shut again too quickly for them to register his lackluster presence.
Pete hunted around for his clothes, intent on having his umpteenth cigarette. His pants were strewn on the floor where Antoine had unceremoniously tossed them. He yanked them on and stuck his hands in the front pocket. When his fingers closed around a crumpled pack of cigarettes, he breathed a sigh of relief. Next he located his shirt and the long-sleeved flannel he’d thrown over it. His shoes and socks were a bit more difficult, but he managed to tug them on without tumbling over.
“I’m going for a cig,” he announced to no one in particular.
None of the crew members looked up from what they were doing, and Antoine seemed even more disinterested in him than before, if that were possible. It wasn’t personal, he reminded himself, but it still stung. He slipped out the door before his sense of rejection could reach critical mass.
The office looked like any other: there were cubicles, harried interns buzzing around, and even a break room featuring free, mediocre coffee. What set it apart, however, was the line of soundproof booths running along the wall. The tinted glass was impossible to see through, but a few of the red Live lights were on—including the one next to the booth Pete had just vacated.
The way he heard it, Murmur Inc. had once been a recording studio, but it had gone out of business sometime between eight-tracks and CDs. Once Colette scooped it up, however, she’d transformed it into one of Los Angeles’s top adult entertainment companies. It had started out just filming porn, but with the advent of the internet, evolution had been obligatory. Now, it dabbled in a bit of everything.
Pete headed for the exit on the left, dodging scantily clad nurses and men in bondage gear as he went. He slipped through a double door and into a poorly lit staircase. Two flights of stairs later, he hit the outside air, and crisp sunlight left him blinking for the third time in the past ten minutes. It was a clear day, and freezing, but he took a deep, savoring breath.
He scanned the parking lot, surprised to find it devoid of people. Pretty much everyone at Murmur Inc. smoked. He couldn’t say if it was the sex part or the office part that did it. Both seemed equally likely. When he wanted a moment to himself, it was difficult to find. It seemed luck was on his side today.
He stuck a cigarette between his lips and lit it with a cheap, plastic lighter. He sucked down a lungful of smoke. Eyes closed, he luxuriated in the sweet, satisfying nicotine. He exhaled, took another puff, and hugged himself for warmth. LA had mild winters, but his skinny frame provided no insulation. The wind cut through him like he was made of tissue paper.
Still, the cold helped to clear his head. Colette was right. He wasn’t in it today, and that needed to change yesterday. She hadn’t harped on him about it yet—not really, anyway—but if his work continued to slip, she wouldn’t hesitate. Desperate young actors were a dime a dozen. If she wanted to replace him, all she had to do was take a stroll down Hollywood Boulevard with a sign that read, No Experience Necessary.
Pete couldn’t risk burning a bridge with one of the biggest porn producers on the West Coast. Whatever mental block he was undergoing, he needed to take a wrecking ball to it.
At least he knew what his problem was. Well, sort of. The immediate issue was he kept getting sucked into his own head. There were so many little things to worry about in front of the camera. Was he making a weird face? Was his hair messed up? Were his abs flexed? Were his limbs in the way? He could go on.
The idea that porn was considered “easy money” made him want to laugh and cry at the same time. In reality, it was ten percent sex and ninety percent stamina. A twelve-minute clip took hours to film. It was grueling, even for a seasoned actor like him.
But that wasn’t all that was holding him back. He’d never admit it out loud—Colette would fire him on the spot—but in truth, his job just didn’t excite him anymore. The idea seemed strange, even to him. What could possibly be a bigger rush than life as a porn star? That was what Pete had thought when he’d first started. He’d hoped porn would get him out of his shell, make him more adventurous . . . Maybe even get people to notice him.
And in the beginning, it had.
He came alive in front of the camera. He said and did things he never would in real life. Now, however, it was a year later, and he wasn’t the new kid on the block anymore. A fresh batch of porn stars was always right around the corner: new faces willing to do more for less. Every day, Pete found himself less and less motivated. The regular sex was still nice, but gone was the shivery, almost guilty thrill he’d felt the day he’d stepped foot on his first set.
In short, he was restless.
It wasn’t like he’d planned on doing this forever. Few people did. He knew some women who joked about making grandma porn someday, but they were the exception, not the rule. Porn wasn’t most people’s end game.
Regardless of Pete’s future plans, he needed to get it together, or Colette would decide it was time for him to retire whether he was ready or not. He couldn’t let that happen. Tuition wasn’t cheap, and he had no intention of graduating with back-breaking debt like his classmates.
He took one more drag before tapping his cigarette out and tossing it in a nearby trash can. Then he squared his shoulders and whispered, “‘Once more unto the breach.’”
Back inside, he stopped at a water fountain and gulped down a few much-needed mouthfuls before heading back into Booth Eight. Everyone was more or less where he’d left them, though Colette had returned. She was fiddling with one of the cameras, minutely adjusting a series of switches. She looked up when he approached. “Ah, Jaden. Right on time. Strip down to your skivvies, and be snappy about it. We need to get going.”
Pete rushed to comply, shedding his clothes in half the time it had taken to put them on.
“All right,” she said when he was once more standing in his underwear. “I want you two to really go at it. Show me some passion. Antoine, you need a minute?” She waved vaguely at his crotch.
Antoine fondled his considerable erection through his boxers and then gave her a thumbs-up. “I’m good.”
Pete stared despite himself. He really needed to find out what Antoine used. As something of a professional bottom, Pete was seldom required to be hard, but still. It might come in handy.
“Jaden, you ready?”
He nodded and slid onto the couch. “Yeah.”
Read more at: https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/action (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. She stays true to her nerd roots in writing and in life and frequently draws inspiration from her many fandoms, which include Sherlock, Harry Potter, Supernatural, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Buffy, Marvel, and more. 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.
Her favorite television show is Avatar: the Last Airbender, her favorite film is Tangled, and her favorite book is Ella Enchanted. She can often be spotted at conventions, comic shops, and midnight book releases. 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, screwing the rules, finding the Master Sword, guided falling, consulting for the NYPD, guarding the galaxy, boldly going, and catching ’em all.
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