Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Guest post by Dani Collins, author of An Heir To Bind Them and a giveaway too!

I have Dani Collins guest posting for me today! 

After a brilliant debut in the UK with No Longer Forbidden, a Mills & Boon Modern Book Of The Month January 2013, Dani’s first Harlequin Presents, Proof Of Their Sin, won this year’s Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times Book Reviews for Best First In Series. While her focus is Harlequin Presents, Dani also writes romantic comedy, medieval fantasy, and coming August of 2014 from HarlequinE, erotic romance. Whatever the genre, she always delivers sexy alpha heroes, witty, spirited heroines, complex emotions and loads of passion.

Celebrate Dani’s hot summer reads with Dani Collins’ Masked Desires Contest. Enter for a chance to express your secret desires from behind a masquerade mask.

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Four Books? That’s Crazy! – by Dani Collins

Since I’m visiting Crazy Four Books, I thought I’d talk about how my current release, An Heir To Bind Them, accidentally wound up as Book Three in a four book saga.

I was humming along, writing what would become my first sale, No Longer Forbidden? I hit a scene where my hero, Nic, mentioned he had a half-sister. ‘And two half-brothers, if you’re taking a tally,’ he added.

Both I and my heroine sat back in surprise. I carried on with the story, but these half-siblings stayed on my mind. Being removed from his family had caused Nic to become withdrawn and hardened. How had these other children been affected?

I eventually discovered that his sister, Adara, who was the next oldest, had been very close to Nic. He was the product of their mother’s affair and once her husband found out, he kicked out poor Nic and refused to hear his name spoken. Adara waited until her father died to look up her big brother. That action became the opening of More Than A Convenient Marriage?

And toward the end of that book, when Adara has thrown her husband Gideon out for keeping a secret from her—because secrets had destroyed her childhood—her brother Theo walks in and delivers a few hard truths.

My daughter, bless her, read that scene and said, “I think I’m in love with Theo.” (I sent her a signed book at university soon as I received my author copies.)

I fell in love with Theo too, as I wrote his story. He took the brunt of his father’s anger and blamed Nic for the wrath they suffered. Theo had to protect his sister and his younger brother, Demitri, a vulnerable baby at the time while Theo was still a child himself. Their mother was no help, drunk and passed out in her bedroom for the rest of her miserable life.

Even when he was grown, Theo maintained the role of protector, sticking with the family hotel business in the mind-numbing role of accountant because he couldn’t bring himself to abandon his sister when she was so invested in running it.

Then their father dies and Adara seeks out Nic. Through her, Theo learns his brother got a raw deal too, basically abandoned at a boarding school. This shakes Theo out of the blame game. Nic didn’t have any more choice than he did, he realizes, and he doesn’t know how to cope with having no one to hate.

Into his confusion walks the one woman who gets under his skin: Jaya. She’s quiet spoken and earnest and he once saw her be so tender with a child, it threatened to melt the titanium shell around his heart. Jaya tells him she’s leaving her position with the hotel chain and he literally holds onto her for one more night. They come together in a single sexy night meant to take his mind off his family angst, but instead starts him down the road to becoming a father—something he’s never aspired to be.

An Heir To Bind Them is Theo’s story of recovery from a terrible upbringing, but Jaya is his inspiration, rising above her own very difficult circumstances to inspire him to be a better man than he is.

And it’s the third act in a story arc of reuniting the siblings. It opens with Adara’s attempt to bring them all together, but an emergency forces Theo to take temporary care of his niece and nephew. Later, the brothers and sisters are invited to his wedding, but quite frankly, the newlyweds have better things to do than visit with their a long-lost brother. *wink*

So the reunion remains unachieved and is already a driving force in the final book (still untitled and only partially written.) Demitri, the quintessential brat of a youngest child, has his own baggage which makes him highly resistant to playing happy families with his siblings and their ~repressed shudder~ babies.

There you have it: One smart-alec remark from my heroine and a truthful revelation from my hero turned into a four book series. Crazy, huh?

Do you like to read series? What do you like about them? Do you prefer they have a storyline that arcs across the series? Or are you fine with the characters simply all being connected in some way?

Please share your thoughts and I’ll draw from the comments for one signed copy of An Heir To Bind Them.

Thank you Dani for being generous and for creating a really great post for me. :D ~ Brenda


Off the boss's payroll…and into his bed

Jaya. Her name reverberates around Theo Makricosta's head in time to the whirring blades of his private helicopter. He must find her; only Jaya can help with the care of his infant niece and nephew…. It's not because he hasn't stopped thinking about the single night of mind-blowing passion he shared with the exotic beauty.

Jaya Powers couldn't refuse her gorgeous millionaire Greek boss when she worked for him, and she can't refuse him now! Only this time she has a secret. Their night together had consequences that will change Theo's perfectly ordered existence forever!


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“There’s not a woman in the world with enough training to fix me. Don’t try.” Another warning, his tone a little cooler.

She shook her head. This was about fixing herself, not him. “I just keep thinking that if I leave without kissing you, I’ll always wonder what it would have been like.”

That sounded too ingenuous, too needy, but his quietly loaded, “Yeah,” seemed to put them on the same page, which was remarkable. He stared at her mouth and hot tingles made her lips feel plump. She tried to lick the sensation away.

His breath rushed out in a ragged exhale. He loomed closer, so tall and broad, blocking out her vision, nearly overwhelming her. But when his fingers lightly caressed her jaw and his mouth came down, she was paralyzed with anticipation.

There’d been a few kisses in her life, none very memorable, but when his mouth settled on hers, unhurried and hot, she knew she’d remember this for the rest of her life.

The smooth texture of his lips sealed to hers. He didn’t force her mouth open. She softened and welcomed his confident possession, weakening despite the nervous flutters accosting her. He rocked the fit, deepening the kiss so she opened her mouth wider, bathed in delicious waves of heat. Their lips dampened and slid erotically. His tongue was almost there, then not, then—

He licked into her mouth and she moaned, lashed with exquisite delight. This was the kind of kiss she’d only read about and now she knew there was a reason they called it a soul kiss. Her hand went to his shoulder for balance. She lifted on her toes, wanting more pressure, more of him settling into her inner being.

With a groan he slid his arm around her and pulled her tight against him, softly crushing her mouth while digging his fingers into her bound hair. It was good, so good. She reached her arms around his neck, loving how it felt to be kissed and held so tightly against his hard chest and—

He was hard everywhere.

Like hitting a wall, she pushed back, perturbed by how intensely she had been responding and the dicey situation she’d put herself in.

He didn’t let her go right away, kind of steadied her first while staggering one step himself, then he ran a hand through his hair and swore under his breath. “Hellfire, Jaya. I suspected it’d be good, but I didn’t know it’d be that good. Are you sure you don’t want to spend the night?”

I haven't read anything of Dani's, YET. :-( But this sounds right up my alley, so it won't be long until I do!

Don't forget to enter the Comment Incentive Giveaway. It is a great chance to win a book you'd like to have! The link can be found at the top of the page.


  1. I love series and when there is a red line thatcroos all the books it's a special savour but it's even better when each book in itself feel complete. yes there is stilll some element we can discover or want more but the main story of each book works as stand alone and all together each book create or answer a bigger story that's what i prefer.

    when a series is built of several books, with character linked to each other but no main arc, that can be also really interesting if the books can be read out of order

    what i don't like is series with books holding big cliffhangers-_-, finding all teh book in order can already be difficilt sometimes so cliffhangers are simply pure torture

    thank you a lot for the opportunity to win your book! and for shraing how those characters came to be it's always really instructive, thanks


  2. This sounds like a really great series! I love the family dynamic that spans all the books. I love reading series that connect. I do like when a book can be a stand-alone too though. I like that its enough of a connection between them to intrigue you into more of the series but not enough that if you pick up book 3 your completely lost since you haven't read the first 2.
    Thanks so much for guest posting!

  3. Hi Isabelle & Amber,

    Isabelle, I know what you mean about cliffhangers! I also have a pet peeve about a series like Outlander, where the first book ended perfectly. Then another one came along to tell you that no, they didn't really live happily ever after, they were tortured through several more thousand pages. Argh!

    Amber, thanks! At least in this case, you can get the first two as a 2in1 - ;)

    1. LOL That is a really nice plus! and I'm with you and Isabelle on cliffy's. They drive me insane! I get the draw of wanting a reader to pick up the next book but I want a book to be a complete story. Not leave me hanging.

  4. I do like series from an author because of the connection to the community or family depending on the series. Sometimes I like a connecting story arc and sometimes just a slight connection depending on the story and my reading mood at the time.

    I currently have a reading series of about 41 books (includes online reads) which I have about 30 of them, mostly eBook form, they are connected by family and community (The books are by Cathy Gillen Thacker -- about 8 series connected in someway)


    1. Hm.. sounds intriguing. I'll have to check them out! Thanks Amanda! :)

  5. Holy, Amanda! I'm in awe of the author, frankly, for keeping track of such a complex society. Very cool.