The Healer

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After escaping Shote oppression, the Kerf people only want peace, but unrest brews as Shotes expand into their hard-won territory. Vaun, a Kerf General, is patrolling the border lands when he saves a Kerf captive about to be raped—then discovers she’s not Kerf at all.

Athadia is Alvian, one of the mysterious healers driven out of Kerfdom by Vaun’s ancestors. Vaun’s first touch tells her he’s a Latent, not as strong as a full-blooded Alvian, but a possible mate. If she could bring herself to lie with any man, especially a superstitious Kerf, she could fulfill her vows and save her dwindling race.

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Tell me about your parents. You share your father with your brother the king, yes? But your mother?

- Athadia, The Healer

Note From Dani

I started The Healer when my children were quite small. I was frustrated by how little I was managing to write as I worked part-time, ran my daughter to school and soccer and my son to preschool and swimming lessons. I decided I had to go old-school, scribbling in a notebook.

One evening, Vaun leapt off a cliff and into my imagination. At first I wasn’t sure if he was a Scottish Highlander or something else. While he fought to free Athadia from her captors, Athadia started healing anyone who touched her. I realized I had more than a historical romance on my hands.

I scribbled scenes into that notebook for about a year. In that time, I had some interest in Hustled To The Altar and we moved not just houses but towns. The Healer got pushed aside many times, but the first fall in our new home I decided to finish it for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

First, I spent October doing 30 Days Of World Building, exercises by Stephanie Bryant. I drew a map that eventually turned into this. Then I wrote like the wind and finished the first draft somewhere around a hundred and twenty thousand words. What a feeling!

I had an agent at the time. She read it, offered some feedback, I rewrote, added all that hotsy-totsy stuff with the villain and villainess. Other stuff came up in our lives, some really difficult, and The Healer got pushed onto the back burner again.

In late 2011, about the time I was seeing interest from Mills and Boon in London, I saw that a friend was writing for a company called Champagne Books. I asked her about them, sent a query, got a request and it was sitting with their editors when I sold to Mills and Boon. Champagne offered me a contract five weeks later.

I love, love, love this book. It’s an epic story so I’m not surprised it was an epic journey to reach publication. I want the whole world to read it and love it, but I know it calls to a special type of reader, one who wants to settle in for the long haul. If you like historical romance, if you like intrigue and double-crosses and grand tales, give The Healer a try. Athadia will make you cry and Vaun will steal your heart.

Oh, and it was a 2013 Epic eBook Awards finalist.

Shared Whispers isn’t linked to The Healer, but my short story contribution to that anthology has the same tone.

Book Resources

Kerfdom Color

Kerfdom Black And White

Reading Guide

Character Guide

Mentions In Blog Posts

About Dani Collins

Dani Collins grew up in Maple Ridge, a suburb of Vancouver, when it was still a small town. With a father and both grandfathers switching up between logging and fishing, she grew into a quintessential BC girl: green, natural, and impervious to rain. Despite a lot of canning and hanging of laundry in her childhood, Dani has a habit of leaping into the unknown, which she credits to her ancestor, Samuel Robertson, a boatwright from Scotland who pioneered Maple Ridge and traded furs to the Hudson’s Bay Company in Fort Langley. Given this adventurer’s blood, she’s always been drawn to stories about people braving life in faraway lands.

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