Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome back the fabulous Brien Michaels to the blog. Brien is here for the second part of his three-book blog tour for his Sexy College Studs series, this time to talk to us more about his book Not Like the Movies. He has also brought a great giveaway. So please join me in giving Brien a big welcome!
Hello again, Jay. We must keep meeting like this. 🙂 Thanks so much for having me on again. Love ya lots. And to everyone else: welcome to the second portion of my Sexy College Studs promotional tour. Last time I was here, I interviewed my character Zac and talked a little about As Long As You’re Mine, the first book in the SCS series. Today, we’re gonna talk about Not Like the Movies and doing something that almost got me crucified.
With Not Like the Movies, I did a few things I’d never done before. The first of which was base a character heavily off someone I know in my life. It was entirely unintentional and I didn’t realize it until the book was in edits and I was reading through it. The second was sell it on proposal. It was the first book a publisher ever brought without it being finished. The third was completely change the ending during the course of edits. Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn’t changed so much as chopped off. I do still love the original ending, though, and I may put it out there some day. The fourth, and perhaps most important, was unintentionally create a villain.
Usually, when I write horror and paranormal, I have a very clearly established bad guy and he/they are just evil enough to end the entire world (which, 90% of the time is exactly what they’re trying to do). When I write contemporary, though, my conflicts are very much internal. I just feel like Big Bads are better suited to darker worlds. Not that our world doesn’t have enough evil of its own–it totally does–that evil just (in my opinion) doesn’t belong in contemporary romance. It should be about the characters and their journey to fall in love with each other. Especially when writing new adult. They’ve got enough other issues to be getting on with.
But then I started writing the Sexy College Studs series. It’s a series about college guys working a phone sex line to earn some extra cash. Now, of course, anyone who’s seen When A Stranger Calls or read any of The Baby-sitter books by R.L. Stine know that answering the phone can be dangerous. Even moreso when it could literally be anyone on the other line. I explored that to a certain extent in As Long as You’re Mine with a guy my hero, Zac, talked to who wanted Zac to fist himself. With both fists. But when it came to Not Like the Movies, it was time to step it up a notch. I feel like Chris isn’t the type of guy to let your run of the mill weirdo caller get to him, so I had to take it a step further.
And so the Caller was born.
The Caller was originally planned as a minor character in Not Like the Movies. Shim was only supposed to appear in one scene in that book just enough to creep Chris the fuck out and then the rest of the storyline was planned to be tackled in book 3. But my editor wasn’t going for that. She wanted me to cut the character altogether because the scene seemed too random and she was worried that readers wouldn’t connect with it. But I fought for shim, because I really wanted to explore the psychological aspect of sometimes being too afraid to do your job. So she suggested expanding the storyline and including the Caller in more of the story. So it kind of became this force that I hadn’t intended. There was always supposed to be this sense of fear because, literally, the first time this person calls Chris, it’s from a blocked number and they’re just being creepy in general and right before they hang up the phone they ask “How do you feel about snuff?”
But the more I wrote about shim, the more intrigued I became. The whole character took on a life of its own and became more of a stalker than a creep. And it didn’t help that, around the time I was writing the book, I was getting into the television show Pretty Little Liars, which is all about someone stalking this group of four girls, threatening them with their worst fears. So the Caller took on a very “A” like personality, and by the time I finished the editing process, I was as terrified of this person as my characters were.
Readers were pretty torn on the whole Caller thing. Many of them liked it because it’s something they weren’t expecting. Others, though, wanted me crucified because the identity wasn’t revealed at the end. But to them I say: just because it was the end of the story, doesn’t mean it was the end of that storyline. The Caller is back and badder than ever in book 3, titled Call Me, Maybe. And if all goes according to plan, it’s coming in May from Loose Id. So for those who’ve already read Not Like the Movies, just bear with me a little longer. The identity is coming. By the end of book 3, you will know exactly who the Caller is and why they did the things they do. For those who’ve yet to discover they Sexy College Studs series…you have a much shorter wait than those who’ve been reading it since the beginning. I hope to see all of you again soon.
I’ll leave you with this tease: While I won’t confirm whether the Caller is male or female–wouldn’t be the first time a voice changer was used in these books–, I will say that it is someone who appears (however briefly) in book 1, 2, or 3. It won’t be just some random that you don’t meet until the reveal.
And here’s the Caller’s first appearance in the Sexy College Studs universe:
Fucking shit, what was that?
Chris sat up in bed, inspecting the darkness of the room. He looked at Jay’s bed, but Jay was out cold.
“What the fuck?” Chris scrubbed a hand over his face. He threw the blanket off and swung his feet over the edge of the bed. His hard-on jutted defiantly away from his body. Bottom lip quivering, he tucked himself back into his underwear, threw on a pair of shorts, and darted down the hall to the bathroom.
He splashed a handful of water in his face and stared at himself in the mirror. That dream had been dark, twisted in ways he’d never imagined. He could still feel Jay’s lips wrapped around him.
“No,” he growled, grabbing the edges of the sink and shaking his head. “I am not going there.”
But his brain apparently had different ideas, because he could suddenly see Jay on his knees, sucking the hell out of his cock. Bent over, taking everything Chris could give him.
Chris’s dick ached for release, but he refused to give in. He’d never beat off to the thought of a guy before, and he damn sure wasn’t about to start now. The melodious jingle of his work phone bounced off the tiles, and he eyed his pocket suspiciously. He didn’t remember grabbing it before he left the room. Sighing, he did a quick sweep of the bathroom to make sure he was alone before hitting the Talk button.
“Hello?” He’d been doing this almost nine months, and it still amazed him how quickly his voice deepened whenever he answered the phone—like he was slipping into character. He should be an actor.
Chris didn’t recognize the voice, so he checked the caller ID. Blocked number. Blocked numbers didn’t get answered. It was his own policy, but the company didn’t seem to mind. He couldn’t trust people who didn’t have the balls to display the number they called from. He should’ve checked the screen first thing. “Yeah, it’s Duke. Who’s this?”
“I’ll ask the questions.” No playfulness in the stranger’s tone, no light, no nothing. Chris resisted the urge to hang up on him; it was too early for this shit.
He racked his brains, trying to place the voice with someone he’d talked to before. Nothing.
He couldn’t remember ever calling this guy, so it didn’t make sense that whoever it was would be able to call in. Any client who wanted to talk to him had to go through the company Web site the first time. They inputted their information, and Chris would get notified and make the call. Customers were never able to make the first call. “How’d you get my number?”
“You don’t listen very well, do you?”
Chris checked the screen. Forty-three seconds. If the dude was going to be an asshole, Chris didn’t have a problem charging. “Sorry.”
Neither of them said anything for a long minute. “What are you into?” the stranger asked.
Chris bit his tongue to avoid responding with another question. “I’ll do almost anything you want, but I draw the line at illegal.”
“What’s illegal to you?”
Chris rolled his eyes. “The same things that aren’t legal anywhere else. Rape, stuff with kids, parent-child shit. And I’m not pretending I’m an animal either.”
“Wow. You have a lot of stipulations for someone who gets paid for sex.”
“Yeah, well, most hookers do. We’ve all got our taboos.”
A chuckle, then, “Where do you stand on snuff?”
“What the fuck are you—” The line clicked off in Chris’s ear.
Skin crawling, he checked the room one more time. He’d gotten his share of creepy callers over the months, but that was downright freaky. Even the guy’s voice sounded empty. The entire way back to his room, he felt eyes on him, like someone was hiding just out of sight, watching him.
Brien Michaels was born at an early age. In the time that he is not writing, he enjoys reading, eating, and terrorizing young wood nymphs. After an altercation with a person in a mask, he fled to the hills and now lives in seclusion with the voices in his head. He currently writes dark fiction, erotic fiction, and dark erotic fiction for the creatures that have moved in under his bed.
Find me online:
Not Like the Movies buy links:
- Direct from Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/sexy-college-studs-2-not-like-the-movies.html
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Like–Movies–Sexy–College–Studs–ebook/dp/B00AT38WGM/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0XCY3MPKVHTWZ0BZVFZJ
- Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not–like–the–movies–brien–michaels/1114148938?ean=9781623001025
- All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-notlikethemovies-1031999-145.html
Brien is giving away a copy of As Long As You’re Mine, the first book in the Sexy College Studs series. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, March 25th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
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- Void where prohibited by law.