Hi Laura and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Wrong Number!
To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about this book?:
Lonely after moving to a new area for a new job as a cupcake baker, Avery receives a NSFW wrong number GIF and strikes up a conversation with her texter. She revels in flirting with a stranger, not realizing she’s talking to her new boss’s son, aka the man she’s started dating.
Please share your favorite lines or quote(s) from this book:
There are so many lines I absolutely love in Wrong Number. The banter between Avery and Jake is so much fun and here’s an example of that.
Me: Technically, I got your number by magic.
Wrong Number: Magic?
Me: Cosmic interference?
Wrong Number: Stubby fingers and a bad memory?
Me: Hey now.
What inspired this book?
This book features a dick GIF sent to a wrong number. The idea first sprouted when someone on twitter decided to at me a full body nude selfie. Not a fun experience that unfortunately so many of us have had. BUT, it got me thinking, wondering how something like this could be a positive experience, rather than a negative experience, and thus Wrong Number was born!
How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?
Avery is a baker. She’s hard of hearing like I am, and loves baking, believing she wants to open a bakery of her own one day. Jake is a hairdresser and I loved writing a hero in a non-typical career. He also has a limp due to injuries sustained in a fire, and while I don’t have firsthand experience with this like I do with Avery’s hearing loss, I enjoy writing disabled characters who find love and happiness. As for getting to know them: I’m very much a writer who gets to know her characters as I write my first drafts. They slowly come out of their shells and tell me who they are, so by the time the draft is finished, I can go back and strengthen the beginning parts of the novel.
What was your favorite scene to write?
My favorite scene to write was the reveal scene. Avery and Jake first meet by anonymous text, then in real life. It takes them awhile to realize their connection and it was so fun to finally get to that moment!
The back door required a good push, and soon the fresh air greeted me. I turned when my purse threatened to get caught, and when I resumed my forward trajectory I crashed into a hard body. Again.
I looked up at Jake. “We’ve got to stop meeting like this.”
Only he had swapped expressions with his mother.
“Is something wrong?”
He took a step back and ran a hand through his hair. Unlike every other time he’d done that, the ends now stuck up in odd angles rather than fell in perfect waves. “I entered your number into my phone.”
He met my eyes. “I already have your number.”
“How?” Did Hannah swipe it from my file and enter it?
A nervous laugh worked out of him and his cheeks turned pink.
“Why don’t I show you?” His hands flew over his phone, eyes boring into mine. He checked once then was back on me when my phone buzzed.
Dick Guy: This is Jake.
What was the most difficult scene to write?
Wrong Number has some fun, steamy scenes. A few of which required me to juggle embarrassment with the steam. Challenging but fun! In this scene Avery and Jake are in the bakery at night, alone, and are having a little fun when a customer walks in. Avery is hidden behind the display cases during this exchange.
“The cupcakes,” Jake said, “are made right here. We have a smaller selection at night, but you can preorder for special occasions.”
A female voice joined his. “How about fillings? Does your baker do cream fillings?”
Jake’s cheeks heated and his eyes met mine. If the woman had entered two minutes later, there definitely would have been a cream filling.
Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?
This story is very much my style. I volley back and forth between first and third person, but Wrong Number was one of those stories that poured out of me.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
I want my readers to have a fun time! Avery and Jake are a blast. I also want to help spread awareness about disabilities. Both Avery and Jake have disabilities and us disabled people deserve our love stories as well.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
I’m currently writing something very different for me! I have no idea where this story will go, or if it will ever see the light of day. The story has not been easy to get onto the page (can probably blame the pandemic more than the story!) and is currently straddling genre lines. Next to publish is an enemies to lovers romance that should be out later on this year.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: An ebook copy of Wrong Number & 3 Tule ebooks
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Since Avery is a cupcake baker, what’s your favorite cupcake combination?
Excerpt from Wrong Number:
It started with a dick pic. A cartoon GIF to be exact, which made things even more odd than if it had been real and walking around on its balls. As a general rule, obscene cartoons from random phone numbers weren’t the most welcome occurrence. And yet insomnia had me wide awake—and curious—because this unsolicited penis GIF made my sleepless night much more interesting.
I put down my phone and glanced around my sparse apartment living room, in need of a distraction. The beat-up wood floor had a polished shine to it, in contrast with the dirty and dinged boxes. They lined the far wall, balanced like the final Tetris round moments before the end. The opposite wall held the dismantled boxes, waiting for me to discover what, if any, recycling options this place had. But the thought of unpacking another one made me twitch. Insomnia would be so much better if it came with superhero cleaning skills. No, scratch that, superheroes made messes. Not once had I seen the Caped Crusaders replace broken glass and rebuild flattened skyscrapers.
I’d have to come up with another superpower to equate to my insomnia. A year of sleepless nights, and all I had to show for it were a few new recipes and a mourner’s heart.
I tapped my phone, my screen coming to life with the image of a fancy chocolate, caramel cupcake and the time: two a.m. I’d been at this for hours, anxiety having a few choice words about my move. I should be tired. I should tackle the next box. Or get my butt to bed.
My bottom lip found its way between my teeth, and it had nothing to do with the cupcake. It had to do with certain other things on my phone, inappropriate ones that looked a hell of a lot better than unpacking. You’re tired, whispered the angel on my shoulder. The most fun you’ve had in a year has been food related, screamed the devil.
Before the angel had a chance to protest, my thumbs had not only located the text but also started a response.
Me: Do you normally send dick GIFs to strangers?
Through my blinds, the streetlight created shadows on the neighboring building. No more trees and clear skies, not since I moved to Massachusetts from Upstate New York for a new job. The move was purely career-related, even if the last fun thing I’d done involved a Bar Mitzvah and a guy who was more of a dick than the anonymous texter. Career or not, perhaps a little fun would be a good thing. Only my phone stayed quiet. Damn, I scared him off. Wouldn’t be the first time.
The Tetris wall called my name. I could probably get the box closest to the window without causing a topple effect my downstairs neighbors would surely hate me for. As I set the phone on a box designated for the kitchen, it vibrated out of my hand, shifting on the cardboard, causing me to jump and clutch my racing heart.
I opened the text before I took my next breath.
Dick Guy: Holy shit! I’m so sorry. That was supposed to go to my buddy.
Me: Do you normally send dick GIFs to your friends?
Dick Guy: When they’re being dicks themselves? Yeah.
I laughed and shifted to the couch, snuggling into the corner to curl up with my phone and avoid the cookbooks stacked at the other end. Much better than unpacking.
Me: But only GIFs? Don’t guys always compare their manhood?
Dick Guy: Compare my manhood to a GIF?
Me: Well, I highly doubt your dick is going to get up and walk down the street.
Dick Guy: This has to be the strangest random conversation I’ve ever stumbled into, but my guy can hold his own.
Me: Oh really?
I bit my lip. I had no idea why I baited this stranger; blame the insomnia or the total lack of anything intriguing going on in my life. This conversation with a stranger was much better than having people constantly check on me, expecting me still to be dressed all in black.
Dick Guy: Are you asking for the real thing?
I squirmed into the couch, body waking up from a long-dormant slumber. This wasn’t me. I wasn’t this person. But this guy had no clue who or where I was, and I kinda liked that anonymous fun.
I had no clue who had taken over my texting thumbs, but she was a hell of a lot more bold than regular me.
Dick Guy: I’m not going to find this splattered all over the internet with comments about how the GIF was better?
Me: Is the GIF better?
Dick Guy: You tell me.
An image started to download on my phone, and I squealed and turned it over. Holy crap. He really sent it. I mean, it could have been another GIF, but even if it wasn’t, I asked for it. Not so unsolicited now.
My cheeks heated. It had been so long, since Erik passed away. Before, if I wanted to be honest, Erik wouldn’t have sent exposed private parts over the phone, ease of being hacked and all that. But Erik wasn’t here, not anymore. I was here. Alone.
I turned over my phone. Not a GIF. Not a bad-looking penis, either. Subdued, but I wondered what it would take to get it to a livelier state. Somehow, and I’d blame the late night in a heartbeat, it turned me on. I wanted to see him hard.
But I wasn’t about to let this sender know that.
Me: Are you looking for a rating? I can rate you, but I’m not so sure you’ll approve.
Dick Guy: I thought we were comparing it to the GIF?
Me: Less cartoony, so there’s a plus. But it’s not going to walk across the room, is it?
Dick Guy: You have me laughing at my own dick. Thanks.
Me: Then my job here is done. If it makes you feel any better, breasts can’t walk across the room either.
Dick Guy: You sure about that?
Me: I’d like to see you prove me wrong.
Dick Guy: Hang on.
My phone was silent, and I began to ponder how the hell I had ended up in this odd conversation, when it chimed again.
Dick Guy: Okay, no walking, just a lot of bouncing.
Me: They do bounce. That’s nature.
Dick Guy: Like this?
A GIF loaded, a cartoon character raising her shirt, bare breasts bouncing down, and my core clenched. It wasn’t goofy like that original GIF, and it made me want to be the one raising my shirt.
Me: Not quite like that.
Dick Guy: Oh really?
Dammit, he threw my words back at me. And they tempted. Something about the late night, the restlessness, the lack of easily meeting new people caused me to be bold. I raised my shirt and took a picture of one breast. The flash distorted the image, making it grainy and less real, which was the only reason I sent it.
And promptly had a mini panic attack. I sent a picture of my breast to an absolute stranger. This guy could work with my father for all I knew or be a teenager. Before the panic could explode in my veins, my phone chirped.
Dick Guy: Nice. Not bouncing and yet my night is now complete. This mistake might be the best one in my entire life.
Me: Because I sent you a pic of a breast?
Dick Guy: A beautiful, lickable breast.
I shuddered and pressed my thighs together, finding it nearly impossible that random texting guy managed to turn me on. I wondered if his dick was no longer limp and nearly asked for another view.
Me: Just think, I’ve got two of those.
Dick Guy: Believe me, I am.
Another shudder shocked through me, nerve endings sparking to life without a single touch. I missed this. This feeling, the excitement. This should have been creepy. Stalker going to break into the house creepy. But I felt the false sense of safety from interacting with a stranger. The thrill of it, and thrills had been seriously lacking in my life up until now. My focus for the last two years rarely strayed from my dreams—this move one giant leap closer. Though I couldn’t think of those plans, not now.
I wanted to know if he was hard.
Dick Guy: Thank you for turning my night around.
Dick Guy: Careful, I might take you up on that.
I put my phone on my heart and breathed in deep. A silly smile had to be on my face, but no one would see it. No one I knew lived nearby. The sobering thought knocked the last energy from my system. I picked myself up and stepped over random boxes, making it to the bedroom. Somehow, I fell asleep, wondering what that lickable dick looked like at full mast.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
A stranger’s NSFW text wasn’t part of her plan…
Avery Bloom has her entire life mapped out…until a stranger mistakenly texts her a dick GIF that changes everything. When insomnia has her wide awake before starting a new job, his text is a welcome distraction. Soon Avery’s dirty texting a stranger, and reveling in the freedom of being someone other than her usually-reserved self—someone who doesn’t have a hearing loss and isn’t trying to fulfill a dream that isn’t hers.
Jake Ruben never intended for that particular image to end up in a stranger’s messages, but he’s not complaining. His textmate is sexy and fun and—unlike anyone in his real life—knows nothing of the burns that limit his mobility. The new pastry chef at his mother’s Jewish bakery does, and she’s as tempting as her cupcakes. Soon he’s texting less and seeing Avery more.
But when Jake learns Avery is his texting pal, the revelation shocks them both. Will they have a chance for love without a screen to hide behind?
Meet the Author:
After spending her childhood coming up with new episodes to her favorite sitcoms instead of sleeping, Laura Brown decided to try her hand at writing and never looked back. A hopeless romantic, she married her high school sweetheart, though they didn’t even go to the same high school! They live in Massachusetts with two cats with cerebellar hypoplasia, and an energetic kid who keeps them on their toes.
Laura’s been hard of hearing her entire life but didn’t start learning ASL until college, when her disability morphed from an inconvenience to a positive part of her identity. It’s important to her to create strong, competent characters with hearing loss, as she didn’t have that growing up. At home the closed captioning is always on, lights flash with the doorbell, and hearing aids are sometimes optional.
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