today I have the second book from a Series I love (here you can find more about the first book in the series, and you can read Dani’s interview). I’m from northern Italy, which means winter sports are something I truly like. With ice skating being my favorite, I grew up skiing. This is only part of the reason I love this Series, though. The other big is because it’s well written and just good.
The second story of the Blue Spruce Lodge Series is From The Top by Dani Collins was published a few days ago.
Their hot New Year’s Eve wasn’t supposed to have consequences…
Fiercely independent after a difficult childhood, Ilke Lunquist devotes herself to one thing: skiing. She’s on the cusp of gold when an unexpected pregnancy throws her future into chaos.
Nathaniel Hart takes on the daunting project of restoring Whiskey Jack Ski Resort to be close to his young son, but with one failed marriage behind him, he avoids serious relationships.
They might be virtual strangers with only a baby in common, but Nate is determined to be part of his child’s life. Ilke didn’t become a champion by backing down from a challenge, especially not one where her child’s happiness and her own heart are on the line. When tragedy strikes, heartbreak draws them closer together. Nate discovers he’s more than ready for a bigger family and maybe, just maybe, Ilke will find the home that has eluded her all her life.
Dani came by to tell me more about not only this story, but the Series. Both the books in Blue Spruce Lodge Series have an athlete as protagonist, so I asked Dani why, and what does sport mean to her. Here’s her answer.
It’s true, Rolf, the hero in Book One, On The Edge, and Ilke, the heroine in Book Two, From The Top, are both professional alpine skiers. In fact, Book Three will feature Rolf’s brother, Trigg, who is a gold-medal snowboarder.
When I first conceived of this series, I didn’t know I would have all these snow sport athlete. I wanted a setting where I could mix some of my Harlequin Presents high fantasy elements like tycoons and luxury touches with more down to earth characters like the ones in my Love In Montana series. My daughter suggested a ski lodge and my imagination ran with it.
Soon I had Blue Spruce Lodge needing renovation several years after an avalanche wiped out the adjacent ski hill. Once I put the lodge on a ski hill, I needed skiers.
As it turns out, being a gold-medal athlete worked beautifully for the characters and conflicts. For Rolf, he’s a single-minded perfectionist (plus very athletic and sexy.) Putting himself first to the point of selfishness helped him win gold, but it won’t win Glory’s heart. He has to learn to compromise.
In Ilke’s case, I really felt for her. She has devoted herself to the sport she loves. She winds up failing on a grand scale, then discovers she pregnant and has to completely re-evaluate her life. It took me a long time to publish, so I know how it feels to keep trying though obstacles that feel insurmountable, and hating the idea of quitting when you’ve invested so much time and effort. Nate turns out to be the perfect support for her because he’s a problem-solver with a stubborn streak.
As for what sport means to me, I swam on a team in high school, but
I prefer solitary pursuits over team sports or anything too competitive. I like to walk and I lift weights at the gym. We took golf lessons at one point and I could see us doing more of that.
Thanks for hosting me today!
You’re very welcome! And guys, remember that this is a Tour, so you can find out more about the story or Dani by following every date of it. You can find the schedule here (http://xpressobooktours.com/2017/12/12/tour-sign-up-from-the-top-by-dani-collins/)