Hi Rachel, thanks for having me here today.
It's great to welcome you! I am looking forward to learning more about you and your books - loving the covers! Let's get started with the questions…
1) What kind of music do you like?
My family mocks me because I like acoustic, folky stuff, often not even in English. One of my absolute faves is Ces Soirees La (Oh What A Night, in French by Yannick. Just makes me laugh every time.)
Having said that, my daughter forces enough modern pop on me I can stand it. I don’t care for heavy metal at all and I never listen to music while I write. I’m a sounds of silence girl in my fortress of literature.
2) Describe your dream home…
Honestly, my own home is my dream home. It’s not fancy, just a three bedroom up, kitchen dining, living and family rooms downstairs. I wouldn’t mind more windows on the south side. It gets a bit gloomy in the middle of winter with no sunlight coming in, but otherwise I love it. However, it is thirty years old and we are now looking at necessary updates. So my dream home is this one with new flooring, renovated bathrooms and a fresh look in the kitchen. Also, the deck could use some TLC. If the neighbors could see their way clear (pun intended) to letting us knock down a few trees and better our view of the lake, we’d be golden. We’ll get there.
3) Favorite literary hero & heroine?
Samuel from The Shadow And The Star, Laura Kinsale.
4) What are you reading now?
Oh, I just finished Make Believe Wedding by Sarah Mayberry. It was so sweet!
5) What did you do on your last birthday?
My husband took me out to dinner to a new restaurant in town. Greek, our favorite!
6) What comes first, plot or characters?
Characters. Occasionally I’ve been given a premise by my editor, but definitely I need a solid idea of the characters and their backstory before I can proceed with writing. I need to understand their wants and motives to make the plot move.
7) Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
I don’t believe in it. Show up and you can make words happen. If you’re having trouble doing that, go back to the beginning of the story and figure out where you went left instead of right. Fix it and the story will flow again.
8) Do you ever want to be someone else? Who?
My husband and I just had this discussion, kind of. We were talking about the premise of Gone Girl and he asked me if I ever wanted to start over somewhere else and I said, “I pretend I’m someone else every day.” Writing lets me try any career, any personality trait, go anywhere, be anything. I’m the luckiest person I know.
9) Tell us about your latest book?
Subject: Contractual Offer
You will find $100,000 in your charity's account today, provided I find you in my bed tonight.
Aleksy Dmitriev is after the ultimate revenge. Yet his plan backfires when he discovers that his new mistress, Clair Daniels, is a virgin who could not have been her former employer's lover.
Revenge may be out the window, but that won't stop Aleksy from enjoying the perks of his purchase…. But Clair is destined to be more than just this Russian's acquisition!
He knew what he was doing to her. A smug gleam lit his narrowed eyes as his gaze dropped to her lips. He started to lower his head.
Jerking hers back, she gasped, “I haven’t agreed.” But did she really want to step onto the street at midnight with her meager possessions and become one of the homeless? Her few shallow friendships were all with people she worked with. They wouldn’t take her in for fear of losing their jobs. She didn’t have a cushion of savings, just a credit card she couldn’t pay off if she didn’t have an income.
The direness of her situation began to hit home. At least this afternoon she’d been sure she could find some kind of menial work, but not now. Any character reference out of the firm after today would be career-stoppingly negative. Flicking a look from his set jaw to his penetrating eyes, she whispered, “You’re a real piece of work, you know that?”
“I lost my redeeming qualities years ago,” he agreed, something dark flickering in his gaze. “Which means there’s no appealing to my better nature. Make this easy on both of us and give in, Clair.”
She was tempted to. She didn’t have anything to lose and no one to answer to while he was dangling—what? A night? A reprieve at any rate, one that advertised a fringe benefit of physical satiation she had never expected to want. The emptiness of a one-night stand was, well, empty enough to make her ache, but she wasn’t in the market for a real relationship, so…
“Why extend your takeover to include me?” she asked in a voice more husky than the disparagement she was aiming for. “Didn’t you get enough out of scooping up the firm from a dead man?”
“He was still alive when I started proceedings and no, I didn’t get anything near what I wanted. Don’t make out like you’re some kind of prey just because you’re used to being the predator. You get to keep the money,” he taunted softly.
“No matter what?” The jerky toss of her head was supposed to convey brash confidence. The question was real, though. She couldn’t help being seduced by the prospect of running the foundation her way, without needing approval on every detail. Without having to reveal that each of those details touched her personally and that was why she was fighting so hard for them. “I’m not into anything kinky,” she warned. “If you’re looking for someone to spank you, move along to the next girl in the secretarial pool.”
“I’m not the submissive in any relationship,” he assured her dryly. “I like straight sex and lots of it. I don’t hurt women, ever, if that’s what you’re dancing around asking. I might play with dominating one, controlling her…” He flexed his hands on her elbows, making her breasts press into his chest.
Excitement returned with a spear of pleasure straight into her loins. She gasped.
“If she likes it,” he murmured.
She struggled, but he held fast and to her chagrin the short tussle only caused her heated desire to kindle into a shivery anticipation. His vital strength was incredibly sexy and she must have had a kinky strand after all if she responded to having pleasure forced upon her. No guilt, she supposed.
“Too bad the money hasn’t cleared,” she said with breathless regret. “Go back to your own suite. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” After she’d had time to talk herself out of the rash agreement she was considering.
He slowly let his hands release her, his fingertips oh so slightly brushing the sides of her breasts, making need pierce her belly and leaving her shuddering with longing.
“So you can disappear with my money? I don’t think so. Van Eych might have been teased into giving without return, but I don’t tolerate cheats or thieves. Fetch your passport and we’ll take whatever you’ve left in that case. I have properties around the world. Lady’s choice where we go, but by the time we land, you’ll have your money and then—” He skimmed a proprietorial glance over her. “I’ll have you.”
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10) What’s next for you?
My latest book is The Russian’s Acquisition, which came out November first, but I had two novellas with Montana Born in September and October, so it’s been a very busy Fall for me.
The first two, Hometown Hero and Blame The Mistletoe, are small town rancher stories set in Marietta Montana. The Russian’s Acquisition is a Harlequin Presents with all the passion and glamour you’d expect in the series. It takes place in London, Paris, Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Hometown Hero stars a major league baseball player, Blame The Mistletoe is (obviously) a Christmas book and The Russian’s Acquisition is a purchased mistress for revenge.
I’m finishing my third Montana Born story, linked to the other two. Then I have a Harlequin Presents to write by the end of December. I was working on the proposal earlier today and it’ll be a revenge story too. In March, I have a very fun story coming out with Presents. It’s called The Sheikh’s Sinful Seduction. It’s part of their Seven Sexy Sins series and I got lust. So that one’s pretty hot. Then I’m very excited that the fourth book in my Makricosta Dynasty series was recently accepted. Look for Seduced Into The Greek’s World in June 2015.
I’d love to offer a signed copy of The Russian’s Acquisition to one lucky commenter. Please tell me about some of your favorite genres or tropes. Do you prefer small town or exotic settings? Do you lean toward passionate or sweet romances?
Award winning author Dani Collins writes Harlequin Presents, romantic comedy, medieval fantasy, erotic romance, and lately, even small-town rancher novellas. Whatever the genre, Dani always delivers sexy alpha heroes, witty, spirited heroines, complex emotions and loads of passion.
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