Welcome everyone! Today I have the honor of interview Shandra Miller, author of Lethal Obsession. So please welcome her & stay for a chilling excerpt!
*Warning, this book is for 18+ Mature audiences Only! *
1. Let’s start out easy. Tell us a little bit about your book.
I think the best way for me to answer this is to give you a peek at the synopsis.
Angela Martin is chief detective for the Moose Creek, N.C., police department, when a possible murder call comes in. At the scene she finds the body of a woman, hanging from hands bound overhead, eyes blindfolded, mouth gagged. Red whip marks crisscross the woman’s buttocks, the back of her legs. She recognizes the scene, knows exactly what happened to the woman before she died, because Det. Angela Martin was bound and blindfolded, gagged and whipped exactly as this woman had been. By a man she met on line.
A master whose power over her is so strong she’s willing to risk everything – her career, even her life – to be with him again.
LETHAL OBSESSION is a novel of desire and domination, suspicion and fear, and the mysterious way those emotions mingle into an inescapable pull, one that might cost Angela her life.
2. What inspired you to write this story?
That’s hard to say. Sometimes I just start thinking along story idea lines, asking “what if.” For LETHAL OBSESSION, I started thinking about people meeting online, in chat rooms, through Craigslist. We all know of people who hook up this way, get together in a hotel room – sometimes for a one-time meeting, other times in ways that lead to longer-term relationships.
So I wondered what might happen if a woman, a police detective, met a man online, they developed a friendship, a trust, and they began sharing fantasies that turned to bondage. Then they decided to get together to play out some of their fantasies. What happens if, afterward, she is called to the scene of a murder, a woman who had been bound and assaulted, in much the same way the stranger had toyed with the detective?
What would she do? What if she was head-over-heels in lust with the guy, if he had awakened some passion inside her she never knew existed? Yet, the clues point to him as a murderer. How would that play out?
Thinking like that, I just kept writing, putting in new twists.
3. What is the main lesson that your book is trying to teach?
I’m not so much trying to teach a lesson as just tell a story to entertain. I suppose if there’s a lesson it’s that even in erotic and BDSM fiction, there should be a story, a strong plotline and believable characters, not just a bunch of sex scenes strung together. That’s one of the things I wanted to accomplish here, was to put together a story that was erotic, that relied heavily on BDSM, but wasn’t the 50,000th rehash of 50 Shades.
I’d like to think I’ve been successful in that regard – thus far I’ve gotten several 5-star reviews, and they all say that very thing – an erotica story with a real, honest-to-god plot that’s not solely dependent upon sex scenes – though there are plenty of, as one reviewer said, “hawt sex scenes.”
4. Moving on to your writing career, how long have you been writing? Did you always dream to become an author?
I left home at age 16, bounced around for a few years, worked as a carnie in the south, even worked on a small traveling circus. I don’t know that I’ve had a writing career, but I spent a lot of my down time playing with stories, figuring out things, I suppose making up my own little worlds and putting them down in words. I’ve actually only been writing on a computer for three years. Prior to that it was all longhand.
Finally I suppose I grew up, settled down (a little) in a small North Carolina town, I work in an insurance office and I write a little more formally now. I’ve published a few shorts over the several months, and LETHAL OBSESSION is my first novel.
For many of those first years when I was writing, it was just for myself, working through issues. I guess over the past two years I’ve begun to think more along the lines of being an author.
5. I’m always curious whether or not authors read the same types of books that they write.So tell us, what book genres do you love to read? To write?
I read a lot of horror, some erotica and romance, a fair bit of detective noir-type stories. I read a lot of nonfiction – history and science particularly. Those subjects fascinate me.
As for writing, thus far I’ve mostly written erotica, a little horror, and with LETHAL OBSESSION I’ve begun to include some thriller/suspense elements.
6. What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m rereading Now and Then by the late Robert Parker.
7. Have any particular authorsinspired you to write? If so, can you name one and what you like about their style?
That’s a hard one. I’ve read a lot of different authors, and I try to take something from everything I read. I suppose Robert Parker has inspired me a great deal by the way he writes – funny, sparse language, and ability to tell much with few words, and a great story teller.
Another writer I really enjoy is Douglas Clegg, a horror writer. He’s probably one of the best-selling, yet least-known writers in that genre. If I had to recommend a novel or two for someone trying to learn about him, and about how to write, it would be Nightmare House or The Hour Before Dark. He tells great stories, and his prose is almost lyrical. Sometimes I find myself stopping and rereading a passage simply because it was written so beautifully.
I’m a bit of a fan of Patricia Cornwell, and I’ve enjoyed some Stephen King along the way.
8. Do you have any upcoming projects?
I’m pretty hot and heavy into trying to market LETHAL OBSESSION , and that’s become much more time-consuming than I had anticipated. So I’m not doing as much writing as I’d like. I am in the midst of putting together a sequel to LETHAL OBSESSION, which I hope to have out this summer. I’ve also got another novel, as yet unnamed, based on a few media accounts of cases where a couple has kidnapped and held a woman to be their sexual slave. Only my novel will come with a pretty significant twist.Lethal Obsession
Thanks so much for stopping by Shandra!! I really enjoyed our interview! Now for more about her book Lethal Obsession & stay tuned for an excerpt below!!
by Shandra Miller
Publisher: Purple Pleasure Publishing (February 27, 2013)
Length: 128 pages
Angela Martin is like everyone else. She wants acceptance. Love. Passion.
For five years she’s lived with the pain of knowing her husband cheats on her. She’s dealt with the heart-rending rejection by rebuilding her life around her work, becoming the first woman detective in the history of the Moose Creek, N.C., police department.
Then she stumbles upon him. A man who reawakens desire, who makes her feel more alive than she believed possible by pulling her into a world of bondage and dominance, devotion and trust taken to a new level, fear mingling with desire, a craving stronger than any drug.
Soon women start turning up dead in Moose Creek, bound and tortured, tied in ways that Angela finds startling familiar. Angela’s heart tells her that her newfound love cannot be the killer, her detective instincts tell her otherwise, and her obsession with this new lifestyle draws her back to him, even at the risk of her life.
LETHAL OBSESSION is a tale of sex and bondage, love and fear, desire and suspicion, with an ending that will leave you breathless, craving more.
LETHAL OBSESSION is available for purchase during March for an introductory offer of $2.99.
Kobo: Available Soon
Apple: Available Soon
LETHAL OBSESSION, an excerpt
It was late Friday afternoon when Angela walked into the chief's office. Two days had passed since the second victim was found, since Angela had blacked out and fallen onto the body. For those two days Angela had been off the case, on mandatory sick leave until Chief Suggs was satisfied she was fit for duty. He had arranged for a full physical the day after her blackout, and called her in this afternoon to discuss the findings.
Or so she thought.
"Chief," she said as she stepped through the open doorway.
"Close the door Angela."
Fear welled in the pit of her stomach. This can't be good. She did as he asked, then took a seat when he motioned her toward a chair. The chief leaned over his desk, pulled a paper from a file folder and looked at it. From the back Angela could tell it was a picture of some sort.
"Buddy of mine at the state lab called me a little while ago," he said.
"He find something important?" Angela fought to keep her voice steady.
"You tell me." He put the photograph on the desktop and pushed it toward Angela. She didn't pick it up -- even viewing the photograph upside down, she knew what it was at first glance -- a still shot taken from a surveillance camera. A picture of Angela, slipping from a hotel room, the time stamp showing she exited the second-floor room on the back side of the Moose Creek Motor Inn at the same time her colleagues were surveying the latest murder scene- on the first floor of the front side of the same hotel. Angela's body turned cold, her skin clammy. Her mind was blank.
"Can you explain this?"
Angela opened her mouth. Nothing came out. Her heart hammered inside her chest, and she focused on that, on slowing her pulse. Her mind refused to address the photo. They sat in silence for several minutes.
"Detective, I'm going to need an explanation."
Angela slumped in her chair. "I...I don't know what to say."
"Start with telling me why you were caught on this footage, what you were doing there when that woman was killed, and most importantly why I didn't learn about this from you?"
"Chief, I..." Her mind went blank... Angela stood and paced the office. "Chief, I screwed up. I didn't compromise the case. What I did there ..." her voice faltered. She knew what happened to her very well could relate to the investigation. "... had nothing to do with the case."
“Everyone in that hotel has to be questioned, checked, and double-checked. Angela, I don’t want to pry, but we need to interview the guy you were with.”
Angela’s stomach tightened. She felt as if she would throw up.
“He’s not a suspect,” she said, voice little more than a whisper.
“He was with me when the call came, you don’t need to talk with him.”
“Coroner puts the time of death between ten that morning and noon. The call came in at twelve-eighteen; the first officers were on the scene at twelve twenty-four. I know you were here until eleven forty-five. That leaves a couple of hours where your…friend…is unaccounted for.”
I was with a killer.
The thought rammed through Angela so hard she almost gasped. She felt dizzy.
She shook her head.
“Detective, that’s not a request. I am ordering you to divulge his identity.”
Angela bowed her head, gaze on the floor. The room was beginning to spin, and Angela thought for a moment that was appropriate, given that her life was about to spin out of control.
“Detective, I don’t really want to get into any details here, nothing more than the case requires. And I’ll keep as much out of the public arena as possible, but you have to explain what’s going on. You didn’t know the guy?”
She closed her eyes, leaned back until her head rested on the wall behind the chair. “She opened her eyes, stared directly at the chief. “I met him online.”
“I need to know who this guy is.”
“I don’t know.”
“Describe him for me. We’ll use that to find him.”
Angela leaned over, propped her elbows on her thighs and buried her face in her hands. “I don’t know what he looks like.”
She heard a heavy sigh.
“Chief, I…we…I had an itch to experiment…I was blindfolded the whole time.”
“Jesus Christ,” the chief said, his voice cracking as he did. “Next thing you’re going to tell me is he had you trussed up like a damn turkey.”
Angela looked up from her hands.
“God damn,” the chief whispered….
About Shandra Miller
Shandra is a mid-western gal who left home at 16 and never looked back. Eventually she made her way to Florida, worked for three years as a carnie and another three with a circus -- yes, a real, live, honest-to-god circus. Traveled all through the South and Mid-Atlantic, town to town, on the road eight months at a time.
Now she’s a small-town office girl, filing papers, answering the phone. She doesn’t own a cell phone or a TV, she takes long walks at night, lies in the grass in the day time and watches the clouds go by, and she writes erotica. Blazing hot erotica. And mystery stories dripping with lust, sex and suspense.
You can also join her March Lethal Obsession blog tour at https://www.facebook.com/events/160648374086892/ -- There you’ll find contests and giveaways, and a chance at winning a $20 Amazon gift card and an e-copy of all of her published fiction!