Hi Susan and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, HIRED BY THE UNEXPECTED BILLIONAIRE!
To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about this book?:
This is the third book in the Missing Manhattan Heirs series. (All books are standalone!) HIRED BY THE UNEXPECTED BILLIONAIRE is the story of the third and final heir and he is not at all happy to discover he’s not only adopted but an heir to a fortune. Some parts of his story are difficult…Why didn’t his parents tell him he was adopted? Other parts are fun…Imagine being able to go where you want and do whatever you want! It’s mindblowing. Now imagine discovering you’re also the father of a child you were never told about and Danny’s life really has been tossed upside down. Throw in a gorgeous nanny with a secret past and you have one heck of a story. LOL
Please share your favorite lines or quote(s) from this book:
This is a book about secrets…so for me the opening lines were the best.
A secret was a funny thing. A person could totally forget the worst part of her past, build a new life and be perfectly content, only to have fear turn her blood to ice water when a memory bursts in her brain.
What inspired this book?
First, I think we all wonder what we’d do if we suddenly inherited billions of dollars. LOL I know I do! Second, though, the secrets of this book intrigued me. We all handle secrets differently. Some of us ignore them. Some secrets haunt us. Danny is dealing with his. Marnie, the heroine, is haunted by hers.
How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?
The characters ALWAYS surprise me. LOL I have a process of writing a few pages of the book, then writing a few pages of the synopsis. By the time I get to the end of the third chapter, I usually have the entire synopsis written and know the characters fairly well. I have to see them in action, in the story, before I can get to know them.
What was your favorite scene to write?
There’s a scene when Marnie returns home after having left because of a fight with Danny. She gets off the penthouse elevator and her eyes meet Danny’s and they simply run to each other to kiss. They aren’t broken when they are together. The feeling is so overwhelming, they can’t resist it.
What was the most difficult scene to write?
It was extremely difficult to write the scenes where Danny begins to forgive people. His parents aren’t asking him to forgive something small. They hid who he was from him. His entire identity is rocked when he learns he’s adopted. Scenes with his biological father are also tense. I didn’t want him to come across as an angry man because everybody was doing the best they could…Still…the things his parents withheld were life changing. These were not secrets he’d get over lightly.
Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?
Lots of it was a departure. Marnie’s internal struggle is something I was familiar with. The question becomes…How much of myself, my own struggle do I share? In the end, I put a lot of my own feelings about secrets and pain on those pages.
But…I think I could do that because the story is about healing, recovering from pain, so it’s more upbeat and positive.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
That secrets hurt people…so talk about things. Share.
In this story, neither Danny nor Marnie could share until they found each other…the right person, the person who understood. I think the book showcases the importance of love and trust. What better message?
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
I was part of a Christmas continuity…Christmas at Harrington Park Hotel, with Liz Fielding and Kandy Shepard. It’s wonderful! My books releases 12 01 20. But right now I’m working on a three-book series about three guys who sell their huge conglomerate and suddenly find themselves with nothing to do. LOL The first hero, Trace Jackson, buys a vineyard so he can greet tourists and enjoy wine tasting with them…and find the peace, happiness that’s always eluded him…only to end up smack dab in the middle of a family feud. If he wants peace and to enjoy his new vineyard, he knows he’s going to have to fix this fight. But Trace has his own demons he’s dealing with…a good reason he’s looking for peace and quiet. Would the feisty woman locking horns with her dad be the woman who can help him face his past and have the happy future he’s always longed for?
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: With Covid causing problems and safe distances a good idea, I’ve decided to give away 3 $15 Amazon gift cards. @ $3.99 a piece with $15, you can purchase all three of the Missing Manhattan Heirs ebooks! 🙂
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Marnie and Danny accidentally set up the perfect life with each other. He has a penthouse and a son. She knows how to love and care for a child…and a puppy. As big and goofy as he is Oswald seems to make their house a home. Do you have a dog…or a cat (I have a cat LOL) who seemed to make your family complete?
Excerpt from Hired by the Unexpected Billionaire:
In seconds, Danny Manelli’s private elevator arrived at his office. Before the door opened, Marnie composed herself, prayed to relax and pasted a smile on her face.
The panels slowly slid apart and the office beyond, though decorated with shiny oak furniture, was empty, except for a puppy standing on the chair, his front paws on the desk, his head down as if he were reading the document in front of him.
“Well, Mr. Manelli. You’re certainly not what I expected.”
“What were you expecting?”
The masculine voice from the left made her jump. She pressed her hand to her chest, not knowing whether to die of embarrassment or laugh because she’d been caught talking to a dog.
She chose dignity and turned, offering her hand. “Mr. Manelli?”
But when she raised her gaze to meet his, her heart stuttered. Tall and slim, with perfectly cut short black hair and piercing dark eyes, he was polished but also sexy and male. She could picture him in a bedroom lit only by a few white candles, pouring wine into expensive flutes, turning love making into an art.
She blinked. Where the heck had that come from?
“Yes. I’m Danny Manelli. And you must be Marnie Olsen, my two o’clock nanny interview.”
He shook her hand once, a crisp movement, before he released her and walked to his desk. He picked up the puppy. “Oswald, we’ve talked about this. Your Bachelor’s degree isn’t enough. You have to go to law school and pass the bar before you can edit documents.”
His sense of humor surprised her. The puppy wiggled around in his arms until his pink tongue could reach Danny Manelli’s face. Then he licked his cleanshaven chin. His tail wagged. His fat tummy jiggled with the frenetic movement. He didn’t seem to know what to do with his big paws.
Marnie put her fingers to her lips to hold back a laugh. They were quite a pair. The gorgeous executive and the wiggly puppy. Except—
Oswald? She frowned. He definitely had the dog’s name wrong.
“That dog’s not an Oswald.”
Danny Manelli looked at her as if she’d stolen his last cookie. “Excuse me?”
“He’s a Wiggles,” she said, walking over to pet the puppy. His ears perked up. His tail wagged wildly. His oversize paws hung over Danny’s forearms. Considering their size, Oswald/Wiggles had to be a yellow Lab.
“You’re a Wiggles, aren’t you, sweetie?” She took the furry ball of energy from his owner and the dog rewarded her with what felt like eighty rapid-fire chin licks. “Oh, and I see someone hasn’t gone to obedience school.”
“I had a dog as a child. He never went to obedience school.”
“Where’d you live?”
She winced. “Small-town living is very different than Park Avenue. You’ll be taking Wiggles for walks with your little boy. He’s going to see other dogs. Run into people he doesn’t know. As playful as he is,” she said, as the dog enthusiastically squirmed in her arms, “he’s going make contact and when he does, it might not always end well.”
“I thought you were a nanny.”
“Not a dog expert.”
His cool voice sent fear shivering through her again. Danny Manelli was offering three times her usual fee for this job and she needed the money. She also liked the idea that this assignment could turn permanent. She didn’t want to lose it over a throw-away comment.
“Lots of the people I worked for were dog owners. That’s why I’m familiar with the system.”
“Then maybe you should train him?”
The fear rose again. She hated that she was so uncomfortable around new people. She could blame Jason Martin. Let her dread take over and apologetically stumble her way through the interview—
Instead, she forgot all that, raised her chin and looked Danny Manelli in the eye. This was her dream assignment. After a few months of probation, she could have full-time employment. It could mean working with the same child the whole way through his teen years, getting to know him and his family, while making enough money to set some aside. She refused to let it slip through her fingers.
“That’s a job for a pro.”
“You’re telling me I need to hire someone?”
“Or enroll him in a school. There are some excellent choices. I can get you a list.”
“I guess I’ll have to take you up on that.”
Her muscles relaxed. Her breathing returned to normal. For a few seconds, neither spoke. Danny Manelli studied her face as if trying to determine her honesty. Or maybe because nobody had ever told him what to do. Whatever his reason, she stood still under his scrutiny. If he assessed character from a person’s face, she would give him time to realize she might be nervous, but she was honest.
Danny reached for the puppy and she handed him over. “Please sit.” He pointed to the seat across from his desk. “Excuse my lack of focus. The past few months my life sort of imploded.”
“Discovering you’re the parent of a two-year-old would be difficult.”
“It’s more than that.” He put the pup on a small dog bed at his feet and gave him a chew toy. “And if you’re going to work for me you need to know.”
“I was recently told I was adopted.”
“I now have a biological father who wants to be in my life, as well as adoptive parents who raised me, who deserve the place my biological father is usurping.”
“You don’t know the half of it.” He shook his head. “My biological father is Mark Hinton.”
Her mouth fell open. “Mark Hinton? The guy who faked his death?”
“He claims he didn’t. That his boat had stalled, and he got himself to safety and never saw the news or went on the internet for the months he was gone.”
“Oh, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He’s a lot like a tornado. When he comes in, he crashes into everything. And he brings an entourage of bodyguards. Everyone in the family has them now. Nosey and ridiculous as he is, he dug into my personal life, found my son and decided that was reason enough to upend the lives of at least eight people.”
Marnie sat back, not knowing what to say. As someone who had worked in other people’s homes, seen other people’s problems up close and personal without ever getting involved, she would normally answer with something neutral and benign. But this was an interview and, undoubtedly, he wanted her reaction to what he’d said about his father, the infamous Mark Hinton.
But for the life of her, she couldn’t think of an appropriate response. Her mom was an alcoholic, her dad a real estate mogul accustomed to everyone doing his bidding. When living with her mom had become embarrassing, he’d packed up himself and her brother and gone. He’d wanted Marnie to come with them, but she’d stayed, one more day, unable to leave her unconscious mom for fear she’d die. The next morning when her mom had awakened, still not quite sober, she couldn’t raise her husband – who wasn’t answering her calls – and she’d shattered into a million tiny pieces. She’d found an AA meeting and she’d been sober since.
Yet her dad hadn’t come home. He’d also refused to see Marnie or let Marnie see her little brother. He called her a defector.
She cleared her throat. “I know a bit about parental drama.”
“This isn’t drama. This is a man who comes in and takes over people’s lives. You’ll be dealing with him.”
She chuckled. “I’ll be fine. Without breaking confidences, I can tell you I’ve handled a few difficult grandparents. Plus, one of the big perks of being a nanny is that I can always take the child and retreat to the nursery. It’s a subtle but effective way of showing an adult like a grandparent that if he missteps he loses time with the child he came to see.”
Danny smiled – his first real smile since she’d entered the room – and it transformed his face, melting the severe lines in his forehead and around his mouth. “That’s perfect.”
Her heart flipped over in her chest. Attraction rippled through her, surprising her. Though she’d dated on and off in the six years she’d been at university, it had been a long, long time since she’d had an instinctive reaction like this. Part lust. Part longing.
Longing for something she couldn’t have.
No. Something she wouldn’t risk. Not when financial security was at stake.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
He could be her future…
…if she can escape her past.
Danny Manelli’s world turns upside down when he discovers he’s the heir of a scandal-plagued billionaire—and that he has a son of his own! Danny needs a nanny fast! And Marnie Olsen is perfect—she soothes little Jax and calms Danny’s soul! The more they share, the closer they get—until a secret from Marnie’s past threatens to destroy everything…
Meet the Author:
Susan Meier spent most of her twenties thinking she was a job-hopper – until she began to write and realised everything that had come before was only research! One of eleven children, with twenty-four nieces and nephews and three kids of her own, Susan lives in Western Pennsylvania with her wonderful husband, Mike, her children, and two over-fed, well-cuddled cats, Sophie and Fluffy. You can visit Susan’s website at www.susanmeier.com