Book Spotlight: All of the Above by Quinn Anderson

All of the Above
by Quinn Anderson
Release Date: November 20, 2017

About All of the Above
Brendon isn’t in a rut, per se—he just always seems to be in-between things. Jobs. Degrees. Boyfriends. He never finishes what he starts. The perfect path is out there somewhere, and if he can just figure out what it is, he’s certain everything else will fall into place.

The last thing he expects is to meet his soul mate in the pages of a magazine quiz. “Who Is Your Perfect Man?” by Matthew Kingston seems like a road map to his future husband: the author himself. Brendon may not have his life figured out, but if Matt is as romantic as his quiz, Brendon can check “true love” off his to-do list.

When Brendon fakes a meet-cute between them, Matt proves to be as wonderful as he hoped. The more Brendon gets to know him, the harder he falls. But Brendon has a confession to make: how can he explain to Matt that he arranged their “fated” meeting? Brendon can’t tell if he’s found his soul mate, heartache, or all of the above.


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An Excerpt from All of the Above
Curious, he flipped to the back cover and read the label. Sure enough, Extra was local. Weird. He couldn’t imagine why someone would try to launch a fashion magazine out of this little swath of Nowheresville, Ohio. They’d have an easier time selling tractors and corn products.

They were doing a decent job of it, though. Extra’s content was solid. Brendon read an article about boyfriend jeans that made him seriously reconsider his marriage to high-waisted. He found himself flipping page after page and even taking snapshots to post on Facebook.

By the time he reached the last few pages, there was only half an hour left until the mall closed. That was the kind of time-wasting magic he needed in his life. Normally, he would start counting the register around now, but instead he turned to the very last page, looking for subscription options.

Instead, he found a quiz.

Who Is Your Perfect Man? the title asked in bold, black letters. Brendon groaned aloud. He used to be addicted to online quizzes. They were all over social media, and . . . well, he had a lot of downtime. But one day he’d caught himself trying to figure out what flavor of pie he was, and he’d quit cold turkey.

He was about to close the back cover when the first question caught his eye.

If forced to choose between sex and food, which would you pick?

Brendon huffed a laugh. He wasn’t ashamed to admit he’d put real thought into that one before. He liked sex plenty, but food was a special pleasure for him. He was known for saving up for weeks so he could treat himself to nice dinners. Cheesecake and sex were basically the same thing, as far as he was concerned.

He scanned the answers, just for fun.

A) Food! Can’t survive without it.

B) Sex. I might only live for three months, but I’ll be smiling in the end.

C) Sex, but it would have to be really good sex.

Pretty standard stuff. Brendon’s fingers were already poised to flip the page. When he got to the last option, however, his heart stopped.

D) Definitely food. Cheesecake is just as good as sex.

Huh. That was almost exactly how he felt. Most people he knew would choose food, but not for the same reason.

The coincidence was odd enough to bring him back to reality. He scanned his surroundings. The crowd was thinning by the second as the mall got ready to close for the night. If he were smart, he would get ready too, so he could book it as soon as the doors shut.

He debated with himself. It was unlikely he’d get another customer now, but not impossible. Every once in a while, he got a last-minute request for a free hair straightening, usually from someone who was about to hit the clubs for the night. Even if they didn’t seem like they were going to buy, he’d have to help them. Surely he couldn’t cash out and lock up until he was certain no one else needed him?

Brendon had never felt quite so dedicated to his job. He folded the magazine open to the quiz and settled on the kiosk’s stool.

He selected a pink pen from the assortment of cheap ones they kept scattered in the supply drawer, circled D beneath the first question, and moved on to the next one.

Where would your perfect man take you on your first date?

Well, so far the questions weren’t scoring any originality points. He knew how most people answered this: dinner and a movie. But in Brendon’s opinion, neither was an option. First dates were supposed to be memorable. A good story to tell the kids one day. He’d die if he had to sit his adopted children down and say, Kids, on our first date, your father took me to Red Lobster, and then we saw the latest movie adaptation of whatever YA novel was big at the time! No, thank you.

Leary, he scanned his options.

A) He’d take me to a bookstore! We’d buy each other copies of our favorite books. Then we could talk about them on our next date. The Dragonscale bookstore on Eighth and Manor Drive is perfect for first dates.

Brendon’s eyebrows shot up. That was actually a damn cute idea. And he knew that bookstore. He got his textbooks there. The in-line advertisement was a little weird, but the magazine probably needed all the revenue it could get.

B) We’d hit up a farmers’ market, buy the ingredients for a recipe neither of us have tried before, and then cook it together. If it goes well, we’ll both have learned something. If it doesn’t, we can laugh about it as we break out the delivery menus.

That was also a cute idea. He devoured the last two options:

C) Buy some disposable cameras and take a stroll downtown. Take photos of everything: the people, the stores, the lights, and of course, each other. Maybe our first kiss could get caught on film!

D) Pick something off your bucket list and do it together. It can be something as small as taking a pottery class or as big as sky diving! When we look back, we’ll always remember that we took that step together.

Brendon stared into space, mind whirring. He would happily go on all four of those dates. In fact, he wanted to. None of the men he’d gone out with in the past had displayed the creativity that this magazine had in just one question. Whoever had written this was very, very good.

He dithered between options A and C before finally choosing C. The concept of immortalizing his first kiss with his future husband was too cute to resist.

Brendon moved to the next question, now fully invested in this quiz.

What’s your favorite movie?

He wondered how the author would handle this one. Usually the answers were a collection of blockbuster hits, vague genres, and “anything starring insert popular celebrity here.” Option one seemed to confirm his theory:

A) Anything directed by J.J. Abrams! Am I blinded by love or lens flares? Don’t know, but there’s a Star War going on for my heart, and he Treked right into it.

Wow. Brendon pursed his lips. That was terrible. But funny in a corny way, he supposed. And hey, he worked at Hairway to Heaven, so he couldn’t judge.

He read the next option and nearly choked on the breath he’d just taken.

B) The Ramen Girl starring Brittany Murphy. “Stop thinking about words! Use your heart!”

Brendon blinked three times in rapid succession. What the fuck? He didn’t know anyone else who’d even seen that film, let alone would dub it their all-time favorite. Quizzes like this usually listed popular movies to appeal to a wide audience. It was shocking to see an Indie film mentioned by name, let alone Brendon’s favorite film.

Goose bumps crawled up his arm. He didn’t even read the rest of the options. He circled B and jumped to the next question.

How do you want to be proposed to?

A) At a family gathering. Mom and I can start making wedding plans right away, and I can show off my bling to my unmarried cousins.

Well, that one definitely wasn’t Brendon’s choice. He didn’t have any close family, let alone cousins to be passive-aggressive toward. His parents had moved to Florida after he’d turned eighteen, and hadn’t taken him with them. He was pretty sure they’d sent him a birthday card back in May. Too bad he’d been born in April.

B) Somewhere public, like at a baseball stadium or at a concert. I want all eyes on me when he gets down on one knee!

Anyone who’d met Brendon’s manicured self would assume he’d pick that, but surprisingly, Brendon hated public proposals. Way too much pressure. And instead of thinking about what was happening, he’d probably panic and forget to answer. Plus, it was kind of shitty to spring a question that important on someone in front of an audience.

C) I’m a traditionalist. I want a ring at the bottom of a champagne glass.

Blah. Definite pass. Way too cliché, and knowing Brendon’s luck, he’d swallow it. So far this round had left him underwhelmed. Maybe he’d given this quiz too much credit. He glanced at the last possibility, not expecting much.

D) Wine. Soft music. Candles everywhere. No one around but me and my perfect man. He cooks dinner, and after reminiscing about all the good times we’ve had, he’ll ask the big question. But wait. He doesn’t have a ring! Is the proposal ruined? No, because he hands me a blank check and drops me off at Tiffany’s.

Brendon snorted. Okay, that was hilarious, and the best proposal idea he’d ever heard. He circled it.

His initial spark of curiosity about the author had grown to a roaring flame. He checked beneath the title of the quiz. With any luck, it wasn’t an uncredited intern or a pseudonym. In a tiny font, he located the words written by Matthew Kingston.

A guy wrote this? Brendon hated to stereotype, but he’d been expecting a woman. Was this Kingston guy gay or just really devoted to his work? Brendon supposed he could be a romantic. Those still existed in this modern age.

The next question piqued Brendon’s interest if only because this was a local magazine.

Where in the city would you most like to spend your time?

If Kingston was smart, he’d keep the answers general, so they could apply to wherever the reader was. But as Brendon had learned from the movie question, this quiz wasn’t afraid to get specific.

He read the options quickly, and the very first one both solved the mystery and made his heart thud in his chest.

A) A little Spanish restaurant in the heart of the city. It has a second-floor balcony most people don’t know about. The regulars are allowed to slip out the window and enjoy their wine on the private terrace, which is draped in string lights and boasts a beautiful view of the city. And the food is just as amazing.

Though no name was mentioned, Brendon was certain he knew exactly which restaurant Matthew Kingston was talking about. It was Brendon’s favorite: Café Luis. It had fandango lessons on Thursdays, and their house wine was imported from their winery in Spain. And just like the quiz had said, they had a little balcony that was reserved for special occasions.

Brendon had been out there a handful of times. It wasn’t big enough for more than two people at once, so he’d never spent long out there, but it was easily his favorite place. Once, he’d sat on the ledge and swung a leg over, drinking wine while he watched the stars poke through the darkening sky. Up there, his uncertainties melted away, and life slotted into place.

Whenever he had extra money lying around, he went straight for Café Luis, and right now, he would bet his paycheck that was the restaurant the author had described. It was too much of a coincidence.

Actually, a lot of the answers had been huge coincidence. What were the odds that they both loved the same mom-and-pop Spanish food? And The Ramen Girl? And the Dragonscale bookstore? And everything else?

Who was this guy?

Brendon hurried through the rest of the quiz, which went on to list his favorite band, concert venue, and describe his ideal lazy Sunday morning right down to how he liked his eggs.

By the end of it, conspiracy theories were germinating in his head. Did the author know him? Had Matthew Kingston—whom he was now calling Matt in his head, as if they were old friends—written this quiz for him?

But that was ridiculous. How could anyone predict he’d read this magazine? That Areesh would clean out Sasha’s closet and give this to him? There was no way, but it was hard to believe it was a fluke too.

Brendon shook his head and checked the time just to have something to distract himself with: 8:51 p.m. He had some wiggle room, but he should really start packing up if he wanted to get home and cook dinner before it got too late.

He was burning with curiosity, though. Maybe the quiz results could tell him something. If there was a sliver of a chance, he had to take it.

He tallied up his points and found a key that directed him to the different types of perfect men. The results were silly: the Hopeless Romantic, the Bad Boy, the Sensitive Soul, and so on. Their descriptions weren’t much better. Your perfect man is sweet and caring and probably has a dog. He could be a teacher or a sexy firefighter! Brendon prayed his perfect man was a little more original.

His points took him to the Artistic Amor: Your perfect man is creative and fun-loving. Forget about typical dates and traditional romance. He’s got a head full of ways to woo, and he wants to use them on you! If you’re up for a little adventure, you and your Perfect Man will paint the town, sometimes literally. He probably works in a field that requires thinking outside the box, like advertising, graphic design, or even acting. Or maybe he writes romantic quizzes for a small, local magazine! Who knows? Whatever he does, his most important job is loving you, or it will be, when you two finally meet.

A new possibility occurred to Brendon. It was true that there was no way Matt could have written this quiz for him, but that didn’t mean fate wasn’t still at work. After reading that description, he was convinced Matt had put a lot of himself into this quiz, and since his choices lined up with Brendon’s, there was only one explanation.

He and Matthew Kingston were soul mates.


A Note from Quinn Anderson
Thanks for joining me on my blog tour. I’m Quinn Anderson, author of the Murmur Inc. series, and I’m here to share some inside information about All of the Above, coming out November 20th. Stay tuned to hear fun facts about this novel, learn where I get my ideas from, and find out more about the characters. Leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card!


About Quinn Anderson
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. Her girlfriend swears her sense of humor is just one big Joss Whedon reference. She stays true to her nerd roots in writing and in life, and frequently draws inspiration from her many fandoms, which include Yuri on Ice, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Buffy, and more. Growing up, while most of her friends were fighting evil by moonlight, Anderson was kamehameha-ing her way through all the shounen anime she could get her hands on. 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. 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, playing fetch with her cat, screwing the rules, watching Markiplier play games she’s too scared to play herself, and catching ’em all.

Connect with Quinn


Giveaway
To celebrate the release of All of the Above, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 25, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info! 

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Comments

  1. Congrats on your new book release! It sounds like a fantastic read.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

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  2. Thanks for the review!
    jlshannon74 at gmail.com

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Congrats, Quinn, and thanks for the excerpt. This sounds great. I'm in mood for something witty, and the story and characters are really appealing. -
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

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