Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lashell Collins

Interview with Lashell Collins

Please join me in welcoming Lashell Collins to Cloey's Book Reviews and Other Stuff today and enjoy learning more about Lashell and Pierced By Danger.

Cloey: When did you become interested in writing?

Lashell: I've always been interested in writing, and I've written little short stories and things over the years but, I never really took it seriously until just a few years ago, when a series of things happened. First, I lost someone special to me and started writing a story about it in my grief; just something that I never intended to show anyone. But it helped me. I found it very cathartic. And then, as my 40th birthday was approaching, a friend of mine said that I needed to do something scary and life-affirming to celebrate. Well, she meant something like sky diving or bungie jumping or some other death-defying feat but, I thought writing a story with the intention of one day offering it to the world sounded much scarier than any extreme sport. So, I started visiting a fan fiction website and began posting a little story on there, just to get some feedback and see what others thought of my writing. And the encouragement I found there is what actually gave me the courage and the push that I needed to start writing seriously.

Cloey: What inspired you to write Pierced By Danger?

Lashell: A conversation with my husband, believe it or not. I was sitting in a restaurant with my husband one night and I was telling him about my decision to pursue this writing thing seriously, and I started telling him about a story idea I had. In most of the romance novels I had been reading at that time, typically the hero was always this very wealthy, captain of industry and he meets this young woman and sweeps her off her feet. But I've always been fascinated by the other dynamic. What would happen if a very proud, very macho, working-class man fell in love with an extremely wealthy young woman? How would that play out?

Cloey: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Lashell: Hmm. Honestly, it's just a sweet, romantic love story and I never intended for there to be a message or a deeper meaning hidden inside. Unless it's the message that domestic violence is not just a crime against the person being abused. It's also a crime against the children who are forced to witness that abuse. And it can affect those children in very profound ways. Not all of them are strong enough in character to overcome that situation and break the cycle of abuse.

Cloey: Who was your favorite character and who was your least favorite character to develop and why?

Lashell: Well, my favorite character to develop was Joshua and he came the easiest. And I'm not really sure why that is but, he just came alive for me with very little effort. I felt like I really knew him and I knew how he would respond in any situation. In fact, at the risk of sounding crazy, there was a scene that I very much wanted to include in the book but, I just couldn't bring myself to do it because I knew how Joshua would have reacted – and by extension, how Samantha would have reacted – and I didn't want to go there.

My least favorite character to develop was probably Lois Colby, Samantha and Lucas' mother. And I say that simply because she's just so unpleasant most of the time. We don't see much of her in book one but, in books two and three we get to experience more of her.

Cloey: What did you enjoy most about writing Pierced By Danger?

Lashell: What I enjoyed most was the mystery and excitement of letting the book reveal itself to me. I really do feel like I didn't create these characters, they introduced themselves to me and told me their stories and I just wrote them down. It was such great fun and I hope to have that experience again and again with whatever stories come next.

Cloey: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing the story to life?

Lashell: I think the biggest challenge for me was probably geographical. I live in Ohio, but I wanted to set my story somewhere else. Somewhere I've never been but have always wanted to visit. Well, I've been all over the Midwestern United States and some of the South. So that left the New England area or the West. So, I went with Seattle because it's a city I've always wanted to see. But describing locations when you've never been there is a challenge so, research became my best friend.

Cloey: What are you working on now?

Lashell: Right now, I'm very anxious to release book two of this series. The title of it is Pierced By Love and I'm hoping for a release of it at the end of April and then book three at the end of May. But I've actually just started working on a new project that doesn't involve Joshua and Samantha in any way. It's a story that I've been thinking about for a long time now involving a double love triangle … of sorts!

Cloey: What do you like to read in your free time?

Lashell: Romance! I am a true romance junkie; as long as there's a hot guy and a great storyline, I'm happy. I enjoy varying degrees of heat but, I prefer the ones on the spicy side.

Cloey: Share with us something about yourself that we wouldn't see in your bio or on any other blogs (this can be anything from the type of music you like, your favorite color, or even your favorite meal - share whatever you want your fans to know about you)

Lashell: One of my favorite things to do is ride on the back of my husband's Harley-Davidson Wide Glide.

Cloey: Thank you so much for hanging out with us today and sharing Pierced By Danger. The book sounds awesome!

“Please help yourself to seconds,” I say. “Would you like another beer?”

He hesitates a beat and then answers, “Sure.”

Happily, I stand and go over to retrieve another Corona from the fridge. Without asking this time, I cut him another small wedge of lime as he opens the bottle. Our fingers touch as I hand him the slice of lime and I feel that same jolt of electricity I felt when he touched my hand at the hospital. I gasp softly and his eyes seem to lock onto mine. We are frozen for what feels like several minutes, but I know in reality it's only a few fleeting seconds. I look away nervously.

“That's some view,” he says after a few moments.

I look up and he is gazing out the balcony doors at the setting sun and the Olympic Mountains. “Would you like to sit outside for a while?” I ask. He shrugs in response and I gather up my bottle of Izze and head over to the balcony doors as he follows.

“It's a nice night,” I say as we walk out onto the balcony and over to the railing. I perch my drink on the railing and he is quiet as he stands next to me and takes a swig of his beer. I feel another frisson of electricity run throughout my entire body at his proximity. He sets his beer on the railing next to my juice and we stand and take in the view for several minutes, neither of us saying a word and I am suddenly extremely nervous. It's as if I can feel the anxiety rolling off of him in waves and it's making me tense. “I always marvel at this view,” I say quietly. Nervously. “I've painted it a few times. It really is quite lovely.”

“Yes. It is.” His voice is soft and husky, and it sounds as though he's struggling with himself. And when I glance up at him, he is staring at me intently. He's not looking at the view at all. Oh my. And before I know what's happening, he reaches out and weaves a hand through my hair, palming the back of my head, and gently pulling me towards him as he leans down to kiss me.

His lips touch mine forcefully and I moan, giving his tongue all the invitation it needs. He kisses me slowly, his tongue stroking mine in a hot, passionate, erotic slow dance, as if he's tasting me. Savoring me. Timidly, my tongue begins to move, exploring and caressing his. I feel his other hand fisting in my hair and then it slowly travels down my body, pulling me close to him as he continues to hold my head in place with the other. My hands reach up and into his soft, wavy hair and he groans in response as his hand finds my backside and lightly squeezes. I moan into his mouth once more and he pulls away looking deep into my eyes. We are both breathless and he takes a step back, releasing me and running a hand through his own hair as he looks away.

“Shit,” he mutters to himself. He sounds aggravated. I say nothing as I try desperately to gather my scattered wits about me. He looks back at me and his eyes seem to be filled with some inner turmoil. “I'm sorry, Samantha,” he says gruffly. “That was … way out of line. I shouldn't have kissed you.”

What? No! “I didn't think it was out of line,” I say, still breathless. “Please, don't apologize.”

He looks at me and I can still see he's fighting some sort of internal battle. “It was out of line, Samantha,” he insists. “And it can't happen again.” He sounds as if he's trying to convince himself, not me.

“I don't understand,” I say softly. “Why not?”

“Because of the job,” he almost yells, looking at me as if I don't understand two plus two. “You are the victim in a case I'm investigating,” he continues. “It is wrong on so many levels.”

“Oh.” My voice is small and uncertain. And suddenly, I feel like a silly little girl. I wrap my arms around myself protectively.

He sighs heavily and runs both his hands through his hair again. Then he takes a step closer to me and says, “Samantha, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to raise my voice at you. I am just … angry and frustrated at myself. I should never have let this happen. I shouldn't have come here tonight.”

“I'm glad you came by tonight,” I say honestly. “I'm not sorry we kissed.”

“Samantha,” he says, looking at me forlornly as he leans back against the railing of the balcony. Then he says nothing as he reaches out and caresses my face, running his thumb over my bottom lip. “It was some kiss,” he whispers, as if to himself, his eyes never leaving my mouth. He straightens suddenly and says, “I should go.” 

“Okay,” I say softly and turn to lead him back into the apartment. I watch in silence as he dons his sexy, black leather jacket.

“Thank you for sharing your dinner with me,” he says, a sad smile playing at the corners of his beautiful, sculptured mouth.

“Anytime,” I respond quietly. Sadly. And suddenly, I can't stop myself. I have to know something. “Josh?” I ask as he heads for the door.


I hesitate slightly, unsure if I want to know the answer … or if he'll even answer me honestly. “If this investigation didn't exist … or if it were over …,” he doesn't give me a chance to get it out before he interrupts me.

“In a heartbeat, Samantha!” His voice is earnest as his piercing blue eyes bore into mine. “If this investigation were over …,” he pauses a moment and swallows. “This evening would be ending very differently.” He turns then and opens the door. “Come. Lock this behind me,” he gently commands.

I move silently toward the door, coming to a stop directly in front of him.

“Goodnight, Samantha,” he whispers. To my surprise, he bends and lightly kisses my forehead.

“Goodnight, Josh.”

He leaves, closing the door behind him and I take a few deep breaths. “Lock it,” he says forcefully from the other side. I smile at his unexpected words but say nothing. I reach up and lock the door with a flourish. “Good girl,” he says. And as I stand on my tip toes to look out the peep hole, I see him smile slightly and walk away … just as Madonna begins to sing of forbidden love on my iPod.

Pierced By Danger 
Pierced Trilogy, book 1
Lashell Collins

Genre: Erotic Romance


Cover Artist: Rob Hood, www.graphicsplusmore.com


Book Description:

When stunningly beautiful drilling heiress, Samantha Colby is mugged one night, her misfortune leads to an encounter with the handsome and mysterious Detective Joshua Pierce. The reluctant celebutante is immediately taken by his rugged good looks, his take-charge attitude and his quiet concern for her safety. Unable to stop the disturbing thoughts suddenly running through his mind at the sight of her, Detective Pierce finds himself strangely captivated by her beauty, her innocence and her charm.

Inexplicably drawn to one another and unable to fight it, the pair embark on a passionate physical affair. But despite the safety and love Samantha feels when she's with him, she soon discovers that the good detective is a tormented man, haunted by ghosts and memories that he can't forget. But when it becomes clear that Samantha's mugging was only the beginning of her trouble, can Pierce find a way to quiet the demons that threaten to consume him in order to keep her safe, or will he allow his tortured past to destroy them both?

With heavy doses of romance, eroticism and heart, the Pierced Trilogy is a sweet tale of finding love, overcoming your past, and learning to hope for the future.

About the Author
Lashell Collins was born and raised in a small Ohio town. And although her midwestern upbringing gave her a very practical outlook on life, it didn’t stop her from daydreaming about romance and love and all the special little things that make life magical.

Lashell has always loved to write and often dreamed about pursuing her passion, but like so many of us, she allowed life and circumstances to lead her down a very different path for a long time. An avid lover of both animals and flowers, Lashell has spent the last twenty years working in Veterinary Clinics and Garden Centers before finally finding the courage to take writing seriously.

She lives in Ohio with her husband and their two four-legged children, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Ben and an American Bobtail cat called Spike. She is a hopeless romantic, a huge music fan, loves to laugh and loves a happy ending.





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