Sometimes Fate Has A Plan + Giveaway!
by Dani Collins, author of The Dani Collins Erotic Romance Collection
I spent a lot of years trying different genres on my way to making my First Sale to Harlequin Presents. Along the way, I tried erotica, completing a manuscript for one about fifteen years ago. I only wrote that single one before some other shiny new genre caught my eye, but I submitted it and even had a contract offer at one point, but it wasn’t my ideal publisher. I wasn’t sure I wanted to ‘be’ an erotica writer. I only had the one book and even though I had an idea for a second, it wasn’t my passion the way straight up romance was.
So I shelved it and focused on romance. After I sold to Presents in 2012, right as erotic romance was skyrocketing with wild popularity, I wondered if I should dust off that old manuscript and see if it could find a home. My editor at Mills & Boon in London wanted to read it and she forwarded it to the very new digital first imprint, Harlequin E, starting up out of the Toronto offices. That was last January.
This is where I started to see that fate actually had a plan for me. Harlequin E didn’t exist when I wrote that first manuscript and they’ve turned out to be the dream publisher for it. They loved it and offered me a two-book contract. Good thing I had an idea for a companion novel!
Here’s another thing. One of the reasons I wasn’t ready to ‘be’ an erotic writer fifteen years ago was the very young age of my kids. If I’d accepted that first contract, I would have written under a different name. Today I’m proud to see my name on these titles and excited that my Presents readers can easily find two stories that are the same but different to my Presents books. Same rich, alpha heroes, same cheeky, inexperienced heroines, same passionate love scenes that just happen to go a little (a lot!) further than my Presents.
Speaking of Presents, my August book, The Ultimate Seduction, ties in really nicely with the release of my erotic romances. You see, that first erotic story, now called Mastering Her Role, has a hero with an alter-ego. The second book, Playing The Master, has a heroine with a secret identity. Those were both conceived of two decades ago and edited by a different team at Harlequin.
Meanwhile, my editor in London wound up offering me a very cool opportunity last year, asking me to write a story in a mini-series where the characters attend masquerade balls. That turned into The Ultimate Seduction and wound up scheduled to release at the same time (August) as my erotic romances.
As the pieces all fell into place, I saw a unique opportunity for a contest to promote all of them. Don’t we all love it when a plan comes together?
And isn’t it comforting to know that if you’re going through adversity right now, it might be because the better option, the circumstances that will really make you happy, just need time to fall into place?
Do you have any experiences that frustrated you, but looking back you can see turned out for the best? I’ll send a digital copy of my erotic romance collection to one lucky commenter.
Giveaway! Answer the above question to win a digital copy of THE DANI COLLINS EROTIC ROMANCE COLLECTION. The giveaway will end on July 27th, 11:59 ET and a winner will be selected by random draw on July 28th. Open to residents of the US and Canada, excluding Quebec. For full official rules, click here.
Update This contest is now closed.
Two lessons of disguise, erotic pleasure, and liberation from renowned author Dani Collins.
Arianne has it bad for her friend and neighbour, Jason. Unfortunately, rumour has it that Jason has a kinky side, and Arianne’s inner freak is still hiding in the closet. So Arianne asks Jason to introduce her to his friend Dominic—a sexually dominant instructor in the ways of pleasure. And so Arianne begins her lessons of sexuality, lust, and being thoroughly and deliciously ravished. But behind his mask, Dominic seems awfully familiar…
Playing The Master
In a week, timid Ann Parker will belong to the coldly handsome Porter Navarro—a marriage arranged by her vicious stepfather. But when she’s secretly made over and presented to Porter as “Violet,” she is initiated into his world of dark, exquisite delights. One where he is master. But it’s only as Violet that Ann tastes true freedom. And her liberation will cost not only her sensual teacher, but the man she’s grown to love…
EXCERPT – Mastering Her Role:
On the telephone he had sounded like Jason with a British accent. More or less.
The relationship between the two men was something of a mystery. She’d pressed Celine after the woman said with haughty amusement, I thought he would have introduced you to Dominic by now. But she’d only received a smirk in response.
Arianne wondered how much he’d be like Jason as she stood outside the hotel-room door. Until Jason had yanked her into his arms and spoken so explicitly, she’d only suspected what kind of man lurked beneath his quiet exterior. The idea of giving herself over to someone like that made her breath stutter, urging her to back out of this crazy stunt and retreat down the hall.
It didn’t matter how desperately she wanted Jason. He was a man who enjoyed highly sophisticated sex play. She’d never reach his level. This was—
The door opened.
The man who filled the open frame wore black from silk shirt to snug leather pants tucked into tall, well-worn boots that reminded her of Jason’s. She couldn’t be sure of his identity by looking at his hands or face. He wore leather gloves and a silky kerchief thing, cut with eyeholes. It hid the upper half of his face and hair, like a pirate.
Below the mask was a blond goatee. Jason’s hair was dark as a raven’s wing. This man was about as tall as Jason, but Jason had green eyes, while the ones staring at her were brown.
Stop comparing him to Jason, she scolded herself. He looked like the kind of man who wouldn’t put up with that sort of divided attention.
“Too timid to knock? Come in,” he said in that subtle accent, so crisp with authority. He braced the door with a straight elbow, remaining in the space so she would have to duck beneath his arm and brush his body to get by.
Her purse felt slippery in her grip, and she was pretty sure she was going to faint.
When she hesitated, he said, “Would it help to know I don’t intend to touch you? You wanted to meet me, so we’ll talk.”
She managed to swallow and nod then pressed through the tiny opening, feeling the brush of soft silk against her bare shoulder. She hadn’t known what to wear and had settled on this lacy sundress. It was too virginal, she realized. It screamed of inexperience. Timid. Newbie.
But she was here now, looking around the elegant suite. This was a chic boutique hotel, and he’d booked them into one of the best rooms, a suite on an upper floor. It had a lounge area, a small bar and a door to the left that would be the bathroom. The bed sat on a platform three stairs up, next to the hollow of a three-sided window alcove. Across the foot of the ornate king-size bed draped a fringed, peacock-blue sheet. A footstool, also ornately carved and upholstered in red velvet, stood beside the bed next to a discreet black suitcase.
Wondering what the case might contain made her abdomen tense. She jerked her gaze to the drawn sheers over the window that allowed some of the afternoon sun to penetrate, bringing a glow to the polished wood detailing above the empty fireplace. The room was comfortably warm. The air-conditioning, off. No hum. No music, either, just silence as he waited behind her.
She knew she ought to turn to face him, but it was easier to continue studying the room. In one corner stood a screen, black, with an inlay of tile chips. Perhaps it belonged to him, since mosaic nudes in Kama Sutra poses decorated it. Something red hung over the top of it. The rest of the furniture appeared to be hotel issue. Lovely, but not provocative—not like that screen or the suitcase.
“I said I wouldn’t touch you but I have a custom, Arianne. People who play sexual games need signals between them to express readiness to begin and closure at the end. It builds trust. You will kiss me now and again when you leave.”
Was he kidding?
She pivoted slowly, trying to find something reassuring in the cut of his jawline, but he was pure wickedness, lounging so negligently beside the door. She didn’t think she could do it and wound up shaking her head at him.
“I was under the impression you wanted to reset the boundaries you’ve placed on your sexuality. Have you changed your mind?”
About Dani Collins:
Dani’s first Harlequin Presents, Proof Of Their Sin, won the 2013 Reviewer’s Choice from Romantic Times Book Reviews for Best First In Series. This summer she has five books from Harlequin, starting with this June book, An Heir To Bind Them. In August, watch for The Ultimate Seduction, the second book in the Harlequin Presents 21st Century Gentlemen’s Club mini-series. Also in August, she debuts in erotic romance with HarlequinE. Look for The Dani Collins Erotic Romance Collection containing two titles: Playing The Master and Mastering Her Role. She also has an online novella with The Chatsfield series, The Secret In Room 823.
Enter Dani Collins’ Masked Desires Contest for a chance to express your secret desires from behind a masquerade mask.
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