We have a feast today, people!
The kind of cover I love; a good story with a Viking-like hero which is going straight into my Kindle; the author stopping by for an interview; and the author giving us fun facts about the book. With quite a lot to do today, I want to start by knowing Dani Collins a bit better.
Hi Dani, and thank you for being with me today. How did you get the idea for On The Edge?
I had a hero walk into my imagination—more of an attitude, really. I didn’t know he was an Alpine champion, just that he was high-octane and kind of a dick. Rolf is very single-minded and ultra-confident. He’s not mean, he’s just self-sufficient, doesn’t waste words, and doesn’t suffer fools (of which his brother arguably is.)
I was brainstorming with my daughter about it and she suggested a ski lodge. About that time, we were re-doing our will and I was working on setting up the kids to administer my literary estate. That got me thinking that Glory, the heroine, could be managing her deceased mother’s backlist. Then I thought, What if she wants to write, too, but she’s afraid of being in her mom’s shadow?
Have you ever worked on more than one book at a time?
Funny you should ask! On The Edge turned into what my husband refers to as ‘A book within a book.’ Once I decided Glory would be a romance writer, I started writing her book in real time while writing the rest of the story. Each time she sat down to write, I wrote the next scene of her book.
What do you listen to while you write?
My kids would say my favorite soundtrack is snow falling. That’s kind of true, although rain on the roof is actually my favorite. A fly buzzing or the neighbor’s music playing in summer makes me grind my teeth.
Having said that, I find music very inspiring for characters and plot points. I have a firm idea about a future character based on Fun’s Carry On (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7yCLn-O-Y0)
And George Ezra’s Don’t Matter Now (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM5mM-QDg24)
Why did you decide to write romance?
I started reading romance in high school and knew right away that I wanted to do it for a job. It took twenty-five years (true story) but I got The Call in 2012 and I’ve sold forty books since then. (Many of them the rejected manuscripts still sitting on my hard drive.)
I love the hopefulness of romance. In all those years of rejection, one thing that helped me keep going was the plucky heroines who keep after their dreams in romance. I believed in happy endings and I got mine.
What else do you write?
I’ve written twenty-five books for Harlequin Presents and On The Edge is number eight for Tule’s Montana Born. I also have some erotic romance, romantic comedy and even an epic medieval fantasy. I tried a lot of things before settling into the lanes of Presents and Montana.
You can find all my books, and read the first two chapters of most of them, on my website here: http://danicollins.com/books/
Thank you for your words, Dani. Sure are inspiring, and give us hope through rejections.
Now, here’s the story.
On the Edge by Dani Collins (Blue Spruce Lodge, #1), published today, is an Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rolf envisions this mountain as a world-class resort for elite athletes and other jet setters. As a downhill champion and owner of a world-renowned sports equipment empire, he knows what it takes to get what he wants. Nothing will stop him, especially not a hotheaded wallflower who turns the ice in his veins to lava.
Bonus Story! This book contains Glory’s novella Blessed Winter, a no-room-at-the-inn Christmas romance.
Five Fast and Fun Facts about On The Edge
- The working title for On The Edge was Uphill Battles.
- Glory is a romance author, like me! Also like me: she’s sarcastic, an introvert, and swears a lot.
- Glory writes a no-room-at-the-inn Christmas romance called Blessed Winter. You read it as you read On The Edge. My husband calls it ‘a book within a book.’
- Murphy, the dog that Rolf’s brother brings to the lodge and leaves with him (against Rolf’s will!) is real. My brother-in-law rescued him two years ago.
- The name Blue Spruce Lodge is in memory of my grandmother. She loved Blue Spruce trees. (And romance novels, as do I!)
EXCERPT (Warning – language)
Glory doesn’t want to help her father renovate Blue Spruce Lodge. She wants to write romance. She’s doing it on the sly, using Rolf as inspiration for her hero. Rolf is a gold-medal, alpine champion, a tycoon who a world-renowned sporting goods conglomerate, and the owner of Whiskey Jack Resort, which he is bringing back to life as a training facility for elite athletes. He’s the full, romance-hero package right down to the chartered helicopter.
He’s also a bit of a dick. Glory is determined to be nice to him, however. It’s kind of her job, working for her father in the lodge. But she’s having a bad day when Rolf asks her to make him a coffee. He’s aware that she’s been watching him a little too closely. He thinks she’s coming on to him and decides to make some things clear:
~ * ~
Rolf looked into the top of his mug. The foam heart made his own shrink and harden.
These flirty touches of hers, accompanied by hopeful smiles and eagerness to please, were piling up and setting off alarm bells. He was the full package. He knew that. She was hardly the first woman to eye up his looks, standing, and fortune, then make a play for a piece of it. He had an ex-wife who had taken a piece.
Maybe he owned a little responsibility for the way she was leaning in. He had cast one or two glances that she might have construed as interest. That was his dick doing his thinking and he needed to yank a halt on that as much as her. It was time to make clear that coffee art, and pillow chocolates, and inspiring quotes on the bottom of emails, didn’t affect him.
Drawing a breath, he went straight to the heart—pun intended—of the matter.
“I don’t know what you think might happen between us, but it won’t.”
She jolted like she’d caught a spark of static electricity. Her hand paused where she was writing something on a clipboard and she lifted her strawberry-blonde lashes, taken aback.
“I beg your pardon?” Her voice was so thin he barely heard it.
He bit back a sigh and licked his lips. “You seem to be making an effort to catch my attention.” He nodded at the foam heart. “I just want to be up front, so there aren’t any misunderstandings. I’m not interested.”
Maybe that was harsh, but he wasn’t someone who danced around, avoiding the hard jobs.
Her eyes widened even more, growing wounded and embarrassed. Pink bled into her face so deep, her freckles disappeared. Her bottom lip started to quiver before she bit down on it. Her brow pleated and her eyes began to gloss.
He set his back teeth, not having planned to make explanations, but maybe he needed to dial this back a notch. “We work together—”
“No, we don’t! You treat me like I work for you.”
He cocked a brow at that. Well, yeah. He was paying for a room and all.
“I’m trying to be nice.” Temper was gathering around her like storm clouds, making her voice grow loud and strident. “Not that you would know what that looks like. You think I’m coming on to you? You can’t even change your own toilet roll! You don’t get Valentines for that, you asshat. Making hearts with foam is so basic, it means I’m not even trying. But if you don’t like the way I’ve made your coffee, fine.”
She grabbed his mug and threw it into the bar sink where it bounced out and clattered to the floor, sending coffee exploding all over the walls, counter, and floor.
Adrenaline shot through him in reaction to the violence, sending a jolt of aggression into him that pushed him onto his toes, determined to grab control of a situation that was in full tailspin.
“Get a grip. This is a work environment.”
“This—” her hand flung above her head to indicate the lodge “—is a prison sentence. In Siberia. One where Herr Rolf rules. Do you know I’m supposed to be in Paris with my mom? Instead, I’m stuck here with a prick who goes out of his way to make me feel shitty about myself. Not interested? Fuck you, Rolf. Fuck you and your brother’s dog, too.”
She spat the words. Her whole body shook and her eyes showed white around fiery green centers.
“Are you done?” he bit out, dousing her tantrum with the unmoved ice in his veins.
“Great. Can I get coffee?”
“Help yourself.” Except she didn’t say ‘help.’ It sounded a lot more like ‘Gofuckyourself.’
She walked out, and he heard Devon say, “You tell him, girl.”
“Oh, now you want to act like we’re friends? Screw you, Devon.”
“Hey!” Devon said, but Glory’s footsteps clomped away.
Rolf became aware of the fact that music had been turned down in the kitchen. Everyone in the vicinity had gone quiet to listen.
He walked around the bar, dropped a towel on the spill, rinsed his cup, and helped himself to a regular coffee from the brew of the day. He walked back to his office through the kitchen, telling the kid in the dish pit to clean up behind the bar. Safety first.
Then he closed the door to his office with a firm hand and sat down to work, telling himself he had accomplished what he meant to. Maybe it hadn’t been elegant, but it was done. All was right with his world.
The coffee gave him gut rot.
- $15 iTunes Gift Card
- Print copies of Scorch (Firefighters of Montana), The Sheikh’s Sinful Seduction, and A Debt Paid in Passion,
- Pen and sticky note pad