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Krystina Cole was a girl on a mission. She had big dreams and aspirations, none of which included a man by her side. She knew better than that – at least until she met Alexander Stone, the New York billionaire real estate tycoon. She saw the way that he looked at her, and the dark promises in his eyes. She was curious about his world and all that it entailed. But the shadows of her past haunted her, making her afraid to explore possibilities that she could never before have imagined…
Alexander Stone was a man who knew how to get what he wanted. He understood the value of finesse, and the importance of patience and diligence to achieve the desired result. He was successful and wealthy, relying on his naturally sharp instincts to guide him through life. But a chance run in with Krystina Cole quickly turned his world upside down. Her quick wit and firecracker attitude was the complete opposite of what he wanted in a woman, and his instincts failed him at every turn…
However, both Krystina and Alexander are clinging to the secrets in their past, and neither of them are willing to compromise. Krystina’s hardened heart makes emotional surrender a hard limit. But for Alexander, revealing his past could have devastating results.
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Inside Dakota Willink’s Heart of Stone…
After unwrapping the cellophane from the platter, I moved over to the minibar to choose a bottle of white from the wine cooler. I perused the selections, trying to decide what would pair best with the cheeses.
Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay? Both will go nicely, but which would she prefer?
I glanced over at Krystina, intending to ask her if she had a particular wine preference. However, she had a look about her that made me pause, and I didn’t want to interrupt the picture that she painted before me.
She was running one delicate hand over the wooden top of my dining room table. She wore a soft smile on her lips, appreciating the craftsmanship of the design. She looked beautiful sitting there, feet up on the chair, seeming completely at ease. And in that moment, I realized that she had never before looked quite like that in my presence. She had never appeared so completely relaxed.
I stood there studying every beautiful line of her captivating face. Seeing her that way, it was almost hard to believe she was capable of so many smart remarks and witty comebacks. Perhaps her sharp tongue and contentious behavior was a defense mechanism, one that she relied on when she was uncomfortable. If that were truly the case, then I would need to take corrective actions to remedy that problem. I had to calm her, or else I’d never get through the weeks ahead.
Since when do I think long term about these things?
The idea was novel for me and I was stunned to discover that I liked the idea of her being here more regularly. In my space. With me. It was a distressing sort of feeling.
This can all go to shit at a moments notice. Take it one step at a time.
A change of tactics was needed, for Krystina’s sake as well as my own. My normal methods of operation would have to be thrown out the window. Attempting to take control by laying down the law would only backfire, so I began to construct a new plan – one that would make Krystina feel more at ease. Once she was relaxed, I would begin to work on her trust by giving her what she’s been asking for.
Krystina would have no doubts about what I wanted from her after tonight. She would know exactly who and what I was. She would either run, or she would stay. If she stayed, then that’s when the true test would come into play – tonight I would discover if Krystina could put away that independent mind of hers long enough to pass her first lesson in submission.
Finally feeling like I had somewhat of a solution to Krystina’s argumentative nature, I turned my attention back to the wine selection. Smiling to myself, I settled on a bottle of Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling.
Sweet. Like her.
I grabbed two crystal wine goblets and went back to the dining room, focused on the mission ahead. I could only hope that Krystina would keep herself open to what I had in mind.
About the Author:
Dakota Willink is a self employed writer and editor, and the author of Heart of Stone, a contemporary romance novel.
She has always had a passion for reading and writing. From the time she was an adolescent, she enjoyed curling up with a good paperback, reading genres that ranged from thriller and fantasy, to mystery and romance. She always dreamed of one day writing her own book, but had put her aspirations on hold to focus on her family and a career that would pay the bills.
Although she earned a degree in business and had built a solid reputation in retail sales, her heart continued to be with fictional characters – whether they belonged to a favorite author or if they were just stories that she made up in her own head.
In 2013, Dakota gathered enough courage to turn her dreams into a reality. In between playing chauffeur to two very busy children and working her job during the day, Dakota began to put words on paper. Eventually, she began to describe her life as a book. Everything she saw or heard throughout the day, intertwined with her imagination for the creation of future writings. By 2014, with the support of her husband and two children, she gave up the security of a steady paycheck and began working on her first novel full time.
Dakota Willink is a lover of music, and appreciates the power and stimulating effect it can have on the brain. She often uses lyrics and melodies to help her through bouts of writers block. At the end of her novel, you can find an authors note that recognizes and thanks the artists that gave her inspiration.
Dakota resides in the Western New York area, where she enjoys spending time with family, her two Labrador Retrievers, and her spoiled rotten cat. During the summer months, she can often be found on a boat, soaking up the sun on the Great Lakes with her family.
Heart of Stone is available in paperback and for Kindle eReaders.
Official Website: www.dakotawillink.com
Follow Dakota Willink on Twitter @DakotaWillink https://twitter.com/DakotaWillink or you can like her page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DakotaWillink
Interview with Author Dakota Willink:
When did you start to have a love for books?
I was in the sixth grade. My school had a reading contest. I was very competitive and determined to win. I don’t recall what the prize was, but I do remember reading about 20 Sweet Valley High books in the span of one week. After that, I was hooked on reading just about anything.
What was your favorite book as a child? As a teenager?
When I was younger, I loved the Sweet Valley High books and anything Nancy Drew. As a teenager, it was Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
What was that turning point that changed you from a reader to a writer?
I’ve always had a passion writing – I can’t remember a time when I didn’t actually. I dreamed of one day writing my own book, but life and responsibilities had a way of getting in the way. Then one day, I met someone from my hometown that had written a novel and self published. For me, she was inspiring and showed me that anything was possible if you put your mind to it. So I said to myself, I’m going to do this. I pulled out my laptop and started typing the first thing that came to mind.
Inspiration can often be found in the oddest people, places, and even situations. In the past, what has inspired you?
I’m a lover of music, and appreciate the power and stimulating effect it can have on the brain. I often use lyrics and melodies to help me through bouts of writers block. At the end of my novel, you can find an authors note that recognizes and thanks the artists that gave me inspiration.
What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?
I’m going to have to say Heart of Stone, because it’s the only book I’ve completed to date.
What about your favorite character or characters? Which characters from your books do you think readers will really feel a connection to?
I think my readers will connect the most to Krystina Cole.
So far, what has been your greatest moment in your writing career?
If you asked me that a month ago, I would have said publishing for the first time. But now I’d have to say that the greatest moment was discovering how great the Indie community of authors are. Everyone is so willing to help each other out. It made me feel good to know that I wasn’t alone, and inspired me to help other writers.
What can readers expect from you next?
Stepping Stone, which is book 2 in the Stone Series.
Nobody knows your books better than you! In your opinion, readers of what genres will enjoy your books the most?
Readers of contemporary romance and light erotica would enjoy my book the most.
Now that we’ve talked about the books, let’s get to know you as the author! What are your favorite books now as an adult? Television shows? Movies?
I have a long list of favorite books…I loved The King’s Mistress by Emma Campion. The Outlander books are amongst my favorites too. I just recently finished the Game of Thrones series – excellent reads. And of course, who doesn’t love Harry Potter?
As for T.V. Shows – I’m a big fan of Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and The Blacklist – I DVR all of them so I never miss an episode.
Movies I don’t even have to think about – I’ve been a Star Wars junkie my whole life.
If you could meet one author–from any time era–who would it be and what would you talk about?
J.K Rowling – I’d love to pick her brain and find out how she came up with such a fantastic story. She truly is a gifted individual.
How would you describe your life in ten words or under?
Busy mother of two teenagers, my husband, my writing.
What is your favorite place to visit?
Italy…I fell in love with the country 7 years ago. I hope to retire there one day.
What words do you live by?
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Review the books that you read – as an honest review is the best gift you can give to an author.
Thanks for the awesome interview, Dakota!