Shades of Pink Charity Anthology
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 22 authors have allied for 1 cause: fundraising for research. Their gift to everyone who makes a donation? A romance anthology (ebook) titled Shades of Pink (volume 2), totaling almost 150.000 words / about 400 pages as a PDF.
During all of October, we’ll post teasers for the stories, interviews of the authors and blog posts. Find them all on Kallysten’s blog, along with a FAQ, and of course the link where you can donate and help this worthy cause.
Shades of Pink Interview: Deelylah Mullin, author of The Wordsmith
Today, Deelylah interviews Danielle and Karl Thomas, from The Wordsmith. She met the couple at a local coffee shop in the middle of the afternoon. On a weekday. It was dead, and the baristas were leaning against the far counter, playing Candy Crush or something.
Deelylah: Hey, you two! (sits down in the leather armchair opposite Danielle and Karl) So nice to see you again. What’s going on in the Thomas world?
Karl: (surreptitiously trails his long fingers across Danielle’s thigh) We just got back from San Francisco. Business stuff. (glances at Danielle) Fortunately, my lovely wife accompanied me…
Danielle: (interrupting) Since my twenty-five year class reunion, I always travel with you, darling. (her mouth tilts into a lopsided grin) I can work anywhere, and hotel writing is always a treat.
Deelylah: Readers haven’t seen your home. Can you describe it for us?
Danielle: (smiling broadly) Our humble cabin in the woods? Sure. I’ll take a stab at doing it justice.
We live on the outskirts of an unincorporated village in Michigan. The driveway to our home is just under a quarter mile. We bought the place from an older couple, and it was perfectly maintained.
Karl: Babe, I don’t think they want to hear about the brick-colored stain on the cedar siding. (rubs Danielle’s shoulder)
Danielle: (blushing) Oh. Of course not. (clears throat) I adore our home. It’s the perfect size for us. There’s three bedrooms, two full and a half bath. Kitchen opens into a great room. We’ve got a small, black wrought-iron table with a glass top and four matching chairs. The cushions are deep red, and my favorite color. (glances at Karl) There’s several items in my wardrobe that perfectly match those cushions. (Karl grins knowingly, and chuckles softly)
Deelylah: Geesh, Danielle. Get on with it. Tell us about the view and the master bedroom.
Karl: (laughing) Dee, you know you’re talking to an author that writes about the little details as though they’re the most important facts in the world, right? (leans over and whispers something in Danielle’s ear)
Danielle: We have a black wrought-iron, four-poster bed. Crème sheers are draped around the top and float down the posts. The bed sits directly opposite a bay window overlooking the English garden I tinker around in all summer. The walls are the most pale blue I could find, and the trim is walnut-stained oak. The walk-in closet has a false wall opposite the doorway. That’s where the toys are kept. (blushes, glances at Karl)
Karl: The house has a few, um, bonuses. The attic is set up as a playroom. It was dry walled when we bought the place, but the hydraulic hinges on the drop-down stairway were broken. (glances around before leaning forward, whispering) Let me tell ya, my mind was on overdrive imagining the different things we could put up there. Away from (he uses air quotes) normal guests.
Danielle: (sitting up a little straighter) Before you ask, no. I don’t write about scenes we’ve done. I may be the submissive in the bedroom, but Karl discusses everything with me. Toy purchases especially. (blushes again) I mean, if something is going to be a hard limit, why waste the money, right?
Deelylah: (coughs, surprised) Danielle, you never cease to amaze me. I never expected you to openly discuss BDSM in the middle of a coffee shop. (sips coffee, clears throat) But, if you’re chatty, tell me why you guys decided to have a Dom/sub relationship.
Karl: That’s easy. We never decided. It just sort-of happened. (glances at Danielle) I think Dani micromanages everything. The yard, the house, her editors, her agent, her publisher… the list goes on. (grasps Danielle’s hand and gives it a gentle squeeze) I think she just needed a break from being in-charge.
Danielle: (nodding emphatically) That’s exactly it. I simply needed to relax. Enjoy the experience. (glances nervously at Karl) We’d been together about four years before we experimented with it. And, I must say, our sex life has been (blushes) beyond fabulous since.
Karl: (pulling Danielle closer) It was awesome before. Now? Mind-blowing.
Deelylah: Hey now. Ever hear about TMI? (all three laugh) Really, there’s nothing normal about the two of you, is there? Danielle, you’re a New York Times bestselling author. Karl, you run a multi-billion dollar corporation. You live in a modest, remote home. No flashy cars. What’s the deal?
Karl: Another easy one. We do some charity work. Danielle gives a percentage of each sale to a charity that works with kids that have nowhere to go. She’s working with our lawyer to set up a scholarship for children that have been in foster care. She’s planning to allow them a living stipend and several benefits that aren’t normally part of scholarships.
Danielle: I just wanted to help. So many of them have struggled in life at such a young age. They need decent technology, a safe place to live, and a mentor that won’t judge where they came from. I’m hoping to award one four-year scholarship each year.
Karl: We still haven’t worked out all the details, but the concept is moving along. We also participate every year in a local Habitat for Humanity. We anonymously sponsor meals for the weekend in addition to working on the renovations.
Deelylah: That’s admirable. I’m sure those kids will be thankful for your generosity. (stands) Unfortunately, I have to go. The whole parent-of-a-teen thing. (Danielle and Karl stand, they hug Deelylah)
Karl: We’ll have to do this again soon. Bring the hubby and we’ll have dinner.
Danielle: Oh, yes! That would be fabulous. We know this little restaurant that has the BEST spinach alfredo.
Deelylah: Sounds great. You two have a wonderful afternoon (digs keys out of bag, juggling coffee and cell phone, checks time). Lovely. I’ll be late. Nothing new (waves as walking out the door).
When the demons of the past and the pleasures of the present collide, Danielle Rollins is firmly caught between her two realities. Toss in a hot foreign bartender, a creative Dominant husband, and pink latex? A world of uncertainty, unerring trust, and most of all, love between a husband and wife conquer all.
“Dani!” Karl called from down the concourse. I turned toward him, and my feet moved of their own volition, propelling me toward my husband.
We met near the main entrance to the room where my twenty-five year class reunion was being held. Karl pulled me into his arm, burying his face in my hair. “You smoked.” He chuckled, before easing back and kissing me passionately. “You’re drinking gimlets, too. How many?”
“I’m on my first. Second. Second gimlet, first with a decent vodka.” A smile spread across my face. “I missed you. Do you need to freshen up? The bag you asked me to pack is in the room.”
“I’m fine. We’re not staying forever, right?” he stroked his thumb over my lower lip and down my neck.
“Probably not. I just have to shock about one-hundred and ten people.”
“They have no clue, do they? Poor bastards. That’ll teach ‘em to be mean.”
I just shook my head. Karl Rollins was my biggest champion. My rock. The one person in this crazy world that truly knew me. He knew my hopes, dreams, doubts, and fears. He could also soothe every raw nerve in my body. I wasn’t sure how he did it, but he managed.
He picked up the black leather messenger bag I hadn’t seen him drop at his side, and wrapped his arm around my waist. “I’m ready for a drink, babe. The drive from Metro was hell.”
Michael turned from the person he’d finished serving and looked directly into my eyes. “This must be your husband,” he turned to Karl and very directly said, “You are a very fortunate man. Danielle is beautiful, and if she’d given me any indication she was interested, she could have had me,” he tipped his head and smirked, “Could still have me, if she chose to.”
Karl’s hand ran from my nape slowly down my back and caressed my hip possessively. “If she chose to have you, it would be me that would request your presence,” Karl winked as he playfully smacked my bottom.
Michael’s jaw dropped, but then his eyes met mine with an intensity that hadn’t been there before, when I was a mere conquest. His gaze returned to Karl, “I can appreciate your direct approach, sir. I’ll be here until the end of the night, making drinks.” Michael slid another gimlet my way. “And what can I get for you, sir?”
“Can I get a scotch on the rocks?”
“Certainly.” Michael quickly filled a glass with ice, then poured the amber liquid over the symmetrical cubes. He handed the glass to Michael, along with a folded cocktail napkin.
Karl pocketed the napkin, which contained Michael’s phone number, and we meandered toward our table. This time, we were stopped several times. I introduced my husband to every group we encountered. It wasn’t until the third time we were stopped by a clique of my former classmates that anyone had figured it out. Or had the balls to speak up.
Melissa Simms – at least that was her maiden name – blurt out, “Are you Danielle Rollins? The romance author?”
Guilty as charged.
Author Bio: Deelylah Mullin
Deelylah Mullin lives in Michigan with her wonderful husband, a household with six progeny in various stages of growing up, and three crazy cats. As an English teacher, she enjoys sharing her love of the written word with at-risk youth. When not writing, editing for fabulous authors, or reading, she enjoys drawing and painting, as well as music in all forms. You can find Deelylah tweeting @vampbard, or online at http://www.deelylah.com .