Today, we have Anne on talking about her new release and the steps she took to get this wonderful read together!
Welcome to Eye Candy, the East Side’s hottest nightclub where the bartenders are hot, the cocktails are fancy, and danger lurks just under the surface…
DC: What kind and how did you conduct research for this book?
ANNE: I did a little of research for UNDER THE SURFACE. I've worked in the restaurant industry but the specifics of Eve Webber's chosen profession - running a nightclub and tending bar - were new to me. I've written cop heroes before, so that part didn't require as much research. The hero's brother, Luke, is paralyzed, so I researched spinal cord injuries, too.
DC: Any funny moments that came up during the writing of this story you want to share?
ANNE: I learned only after I'd finished the book that the night club I based Eye Candy on was actually a gay bar featuring leather clad bartenders. Also, Caleb Webber, the heroine's smart-mouth brother, was tons of fun to write. I ended up cutting several of his best scenes. ;)
DC: HAHA! If you could meet any character from this story, who would it be and why?
ANNE: I'd want to meet Eve. She's so determined to follow her dreams and make her life meaningful at the same time. I love her passion.
DC: What drove you to writing?
ANNE: Drove me to writing is probably the most apt way to put it...I worked in corporate America for a decade. Ten years in a variety of cube farms would either drive me into the loony bin or into writing. I picked writing.
DC: Chocolate or vanilla? :)
Chocolate. Unless it's really good vanilla, and has chocolate sauce on top.
DC: Can you share an excerpt with us?
One of the most basic components of police work was learning to control a situation. A good undercover cop adjusted his personality and attitude to manage the situation according to his objectives. Matt was as good as they came, and that bluff should have worked.
Except Eve Webber raised the stakes without blinking an eye, and suddenly white-hot, explicit images of exactly how they’d finish what she’d started flashed in his brain . . . the skirt that barely covered her upper thighs, her desk, and that sleek mass of black hair she kept tugging free from the glossy color on her mouth. Heat flashed through him, the sensation shockingly intense.
Your job is to keep her alive, not get her into bed.
Eve emerged from her office around seven, iPhone in hand, and once she started working the room the vibe punched up several notches. Watching her smile and talk to the customers triggered something he couldn’t put his finger on.
During a brief lull, he turned to Tom, the steroid-buffed player working the station next to his. “She looks familiar.”
Tom hit the button on the blender to mix a raspberry daiquiri. “She won the newspaper’s sexiest female bartender contest two years running before she switched over to events management at the Met.” “Fucking moron” was implied at the end of that sentence.
A niggling memory surfaced of the newspaper’s Arts and Culture section getting passed around before the shift briefing a couple of years ago, right before he made the leap to detective and started working long-term undercover assignments. The article’s text meandered alongside a full-length picture of Eve, hair tumbled into her face, hands braced on the bar behind her, wearing a white blouse unbuttoned deep in her cleavage, a tight, short black skirt, black stockings, and heels. Her slim legs were crossed at the ankle, and the angle of the shot made them seemed endless. He should have been focused on the briefing, but he’d given the photo a good thorough look before handing it to his partner, who’d looked even longer.
The provocative shot actually masked what won Eve the contest. In person she radiated vitality, a sheer visceral force that drew light, glances, attention. Even more surprising was the way she didn’t hoard the energy but rather turned it back on whomever she was talking to. Like that person was the only person in the room. Like she heard what they were saying, and maybe even what they weren’t saying.
Life flowed into this woman. She amplified it and sent it back out into the world, and he couldn’t stop watching her.
She checked in with her bouncer, the size of the Hulk, with gang ink disappearing into the sleeves of his T-shirt.
“That’s not an off-duty cop,” he said.
“Friend of the family,” Tom replied over the music. “Someone her dad knew.”
“Bars this busy usually hire the pros,” Matt said as he pulled out a fresh rack of glasses.
“You know what those assholes charge? They’re fucking expensive,” Tom said as he handed the drink across the bar. “And they’re nosy. Hot Stuff doesn’t like strangers in her business.”
Matt would bet his Jeep that Eve wouldn’t like being called Hot Stuff, but if Tom hadn’t figured that out, Matt wasn’t about to enlighten him. He watched as she cleared a couple of abandoned glasses off the bar in front of him and handed them to a passing busboy, then came around the corner of the bar, trailing her fingers along the polished wood. He handed the drink to a customer and gave her his full attention.
“How are you doing?” she asked, scanning his station.
“You tell me,” he replied, and if he got a little closer than necessary to hear what she was saying over the thumping dance music, well, he was just doing his job. Given the heat in the bar, he expected perfume, something musky and sexy. Instead the faintest scent of mint and rosemary drifted into the air between them when she tucked her hair behind her ears.
“I’m satisfied,” she said, not backing away. “The job’s yours if you want it.”
She was less than a breath away from him. A shift of his weight and a deep inhale, and they’d be breathing together like they were naked and horizontal. The heat sizzled and popped between them and it didn’t take training in body language to read the signals. Eve Webber wanted him.
Chad Henderson. His undercover identity, the man he was pretending to be. Not him.
No matter who he was today, neither he nor Chad could have her. He was supposed to keep her safe, make sure she didn’t change her mind about working with the department, monitor any appearances Murphy made in Eye Candy.
He wanted her.
“I want the job,” he said, not bothering to hide what he really meant.
She looked at him through the layered, sweeping fall of hair he wanted to brush back so he could see her eyes, her mouth. “Hang around after close. I’ll give you the paperwork to fill out and bring back with you tomorrow.”
He leaned in, as if he needed to speak with her, employee to employer, but didn’t want to shout over the music. “See you later, boss,” he rasped.