Shandra Miller Visits with Her New Book, Helpless

Helpless Cover

I’m delighted to welcome Shandra Miller back today. We’re doing something a little different so as well as a hot excerpt from Lethal Obsession, the first in the trilogy, we’ve also got an interview with Angela Martin, Shandra’s heroine.

Please welcome Shandra and Angela :): 

Angela Martin is a detective in the Moose Creek, N.C., police department, the first woman law enforcement officer in the small-town department and the only woman to obtain such a high position in any of the small, rural police departments in the foothills of North Carolina.

She’s worked hard to reach that position, always felt she had to be a little bit better, work a little harder, than other officers because she had to prove herself. She’s been totally devoted to her career, and it’s paid off with promotions and commendations and, more importantly, universal respect among her peers.

She’s also the main character in the novels Lethal Obsession and Helpless (to be released Aug. 15). If you’re interested, she’s tall (5’10”), blondish, but plain and unassuming. As she says in the novel, she “carries a little extra weight.” During some rather heated Internet messaging exchanges she goes by the name “Not Barbie.”

She’s graciously consented to spending a little time with us.


Detective Martin, we’re delighted to have you today. I hope you don’t mind, but we’re going to dispense with the niceties and jump right in.

Question: There’s a scene in Lethal Obsession, where you are meeting a man in a hotel room and he ties you up. You don’t know him, you’ve never done this before, what was it like when he put those ropes on you, when you felt them tighten for the first time?

Angela: Scary. And thrilling. As you said, I had never done anything like that. Ever. Never even thought of it until we started chatting a bit online. I felt so vulnerable to start with, exposing myself like that – in some ways, just being nude in front of a stranger is the scariest part. I’m not exactly a model, and I was afraid he’d reject me. But then, when I felt that rope tightening around my wrists, and he pulled it hard and tied it off, then stretched my arms overhead and tied them to something, I couldn’t see because I was blindfolded – I was thinking “my god, what have I done.” I was trembling.

Question: So you really didn’t know the guy?

Angela: No. That’s dumb, I know. As a cop, of all people, I should know better. But…there are circumstances in my life, things going on that drove me to make some unwise choices, I suppose. In this case, I wanted to know what this would be like, to be bound and helpless. It’s hard to be more vulnerable than you are in that situation with a stranger.

Question: What did he do?

Angela: (laughs). I’m sorry, I’m not going to tell, other than to say he drove me absolutely out of my head. By the time we were finished, I had done things I never dreamed of. It was scary the whole time, scary and arousing and…oh my, is it hot in here?

Question: (laughs) It is suddenly feeling a little warm. Didn’t your friend use a little ice on you to keep you cool?

Answer: Oh my god, I can’t believe you brought that up. Yes, he was very creative.

Question: I’m sorry to turn this to a sour note, but I recently read a second book, HELPLESS, which I think is the sequel to LETHAL OBSESSION. In that one we find you in a hotel, again, with another man. Things were a little different this time, weren’t that?

Angela: (Looking down for a few seconds, before returning her gaze to the interviewer). Yes.

Question: The situation is similar. You let him bind you, pretty much do whatever he wanted with you, and it’s clear there’s a high level of sexual arousal on your part, but it seems more torturous than pleasurable.

Angela: You’re right, there was a great deal of arousal involved. Matt, I don’t know what to say about him. He knew exactly what to do, how to control my body. No matter how much pain was involved, he understood how to make it sensual, how to drive me beyond any sort of limit I’d ever known.

Question: But it didn’t seem all pleasurable. Not to give anything away, but it seems you guys were flirting with some danger there. Didn’t you almost die?

Angela: That’s a bit of an exaggeration, and it wasn’t Matt’s fault. I…I made some demands of him, forced him to do some things, put us in a bad situation.

Question: Why? It seems your experiences with BDSM went from light, playful sensuality to some semi-dangerous, dark experience, yet you continued going back.

Angela: (Sighs). My psychologist tells me it’s because of guilt. Not what you saw in LETHAL OBSESSION, but what happened in HELPLESS. I was exploring a side of me I never knew existed. It was wonderful, and then…well, my psychologist says I’ve gone further because of guilt, as a way to punish myself.

Question: Punish?

Angela: For what happened. In LETHAL OBSESSION. I don’t really want to talk about that right now.

Question: Okay, let’s move back to Matt and what happens to you in HELPLESS. We pick up the story six months after the bondage killer last struck.

Angela: Five months. Remember, I was his last victim. It was five months after he had me.

Question: Sorry, five months later. You seem to be struggling to regroup, get your life back. It seems you’re doing all the right things – seeing a psychologist, working with the police chief to get your job back. Yet, you continue those hotel room meetings, putting yourself in danger.

Angela: It’s hard to explain. When he strips me bare, wraps those ropes around me and tightens – at that point I really don’t much care what happens to me. This is hard to explain, but the feeling of absolute helplessness, that someone can control my body, it is arousing, but also … this is hard to explain, but it makes me feel worthless. After what I did, sometimes I think that might be an appropriate description.

Question: About the bondage killer. In LETHAL OBSESSION, we find him killing woman he’s had in various bondage settings, very similar to ones you had experienced. Surely, that had to be scary for you. Did you ever wonder if the man you were meeting, was he named Tanner? The man was the bondage killer?

Angela: Of course, that was my first suspicion. When I talked with him online, he seemed so gentle, so warm, but in person…I did fear he was the killer.

Question: Yet, you returned. Again and again.

Angela: Once you’ve been in that situation, with someone so…I’ll say adept at what he does, there’s a pull to return.

Question: That craving never left you, apparently. In HELPLESS, you seem to continue wanting more, even as it’s clear the killer is still on the loose and becoming active again. Even as your career is in jeopardy, you continue.

Angela: In the end, there was a lot more at stake than my career.

Question: Yet you will go back?

Angela: (Nodding). At this point I have no choice. If I don’t, others may die.


To find out what happens to Detective Martin, how her mystery stranger turns her life upside down, and how it all ends for the two of them, download a copy of LETHAL OBSESSION and its sequel, HELPLESS (available Aug. 15), both by Shandra Miller.

Helpless is available at:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

For more information about Shandra Miller and her work, or to get download links when HELPLESS is release, check out her blog at


Here’s a quick peek at that first meeting between Detective Martin and her stranger from LETHAL OBSESSION:

I am going to die.

Because I’m stupid.

That was the final lucid thought Angela was able to form before emotion replaced rational thinking. His hands – gentle yet deliberate in the way they had already worked the rest of her clothing from her body – unfastened first one strap that hung over her shoulders, then the other, and Angela felt her face flush as the chemise fell, leaving her nude.

She heard a whimper as the hot sting of leather kissed her buttocks, then the whimper grew to a muffled cry with the second and third strike, and Angela realized it was her own voice she was hearing, what little voice she could form through the gag.

Her body trembled at a fourth and fifth strike. Fear and adrenaline coursed through her body, and Angela moaned. Embarrassment competed with fear, embarrassment at being naked and vulnerable, and at the realization her body was responding to his actions, that she could no longer control herself, with each lash from the belt arousal grew; fear as the realization dawned on her, not rationally but in some deep, visceral way, that she was helpless and alone, at the mercy of a stranger who clearly had painful intentions for her.

Then it all went away, replaced by the hard sensation of ice, first against her right nipple, then her left. Angela cried out at the cold, her body jerking, but the sound was muffled, and she moved little, with her arms stretched overhead, wrists bound, snuggly held in place by…by what she wasn’t sure, with her vision nothing more than blackness behind a blindfold.

She turned her body away from the cold as much as she could, and Angela felt another sharp sting of leather across her buttocks.

“You will stand still.”

The voice, little more than a whisper, was firm and even. No anger, no frustration, just a simple command.

Again the ice, but Angela held her footing, though her body trembled in spite of her attempt at remaining perfectly still. The cold pressed against her, hard, and then she felt the ice slipping around the nipple, making larger and larger circles outward, spiraling across her breasts.

As suddenly as the ice had come, it was gone. In its place she felt his lips…kissing her right nipple, gently at first, ever so softly. A mix of sensations rolled through her body – the air against her left nipple, still wet from the ice, almost stinging cold, while his kisses brought warmth to her right nipple. Despite the embarrassment, the fear, Angela felt herself growing wetter than she could ever remember as his hands caressed her hips. She moaned, instinctively arched her hips forward and felt teeth clamp down on her nipple. Not hard enough to be a bite, but with enough force to hurt.

She whimpered and, again acting on instinct, tried pulling away, which served to elicit even more pain before he released her nipple.

“You are not very compliant,” he said. As before his voice was little more than a whisper, followed by the sound of leather slicing through the air and the sensation of it slapping hard across her butt, wrapping around her body, the tip of the belt kissing her, there, with pain….