Diana Miller’s DANGEROUS AFFAIRS Gets Rachel in Hot Water

I’m a bath person. I love that first moment of sinking into a tub—the slow immersion in a bath just a hint too hot and then riding the temperature down to perfect. This is how I felt as I sank into DANGEROUS AFFAIRS by Diana Miller. This book seduced me with liquid warmth, but it didn’t disappoint with water that cooled too fast. Every time I thought the romantic tension might ease, Diana deftly tossed in a new obstacle. And whenever it seemed events in the story could spiral out of control—possibly overheating—again, Diana’s firm grasp of craft guided the story and maintained tension, conflict, and suspense at the perfect temperature.

It’s been a while since a book immersed me so perfectly, so I’m thrilled to share it with our readers. In honor of this, today I’m creating my own personal rating system and giving DANGEROUS AFFAIRS highest marks: five bathtubs.

With great excitement I welcome Diana Miller to Kiss and Thrill!

DM: I’m thrilled to be here! And as another bath person, I can’t think of a greater honor than getting a five bathtub review! Thanks so much.

RG: Have you ever written fan fiction, and if so, what work was it based on?  If you haven’t, what would you be tempted to write fan fiction about?

DM: I’ve never written fan fiction, but I’ve always wanted to write a romantic suspense novel featuring Nancy Drew. Growing up I was obsessed with those books (actually I wanted to be her).

In my book Nancy would be in her early thirties. She broke up with long-time boyfriend (and college football star) Ned Nickerson a dozen years ago, when she discovered he cheated on her with a dippy cheerleader. He claimed he did it because was feeling unappreciated and needed someone who focused more on him than on mysteries and also wasn’t so blasted self-sufficient. Knowing he could lose Nancy, however, made Ned realize how much he loved her. He apologized and even resorted to groveling, but Nancy refused to forgive him, and their romance fizzled.

Shortly thereafter Nancy’s BFF Bess got a job, got married, and had twins. Her other BFF George either decided to become a doctor or came out as a lesbian and left River Falls to marry the girl of her dreams in Massachusetts. Nancy realized that life as a socialite, even one who spent some of her free time helping people by solving mysteries, wasn’t really fulfilling. So, following in her father’s footsteps, she decided to go to school and become a lawyer. She took over her dad’s practice in River Heights and now solves legal puzzles, which isn’t quite as exciting as solving mysteries, but is a whole lot safer.

Then out of the blue, someone tries to kill Nancy. She, her dad, and the local cops assume it must be one of the hundreds of villains Nancy helped put away during her stint as a girl detective. However, they have no idea which villain since dozens of them have finished their sentences and been released from jail. Enter former boyfriend Ned Nickerson, who’s involved either because he’s now an FBI agent or because he’s a former Navy SEAL turned PI who for some reason Nancy’s father hired to protect her. Ned now has to deal with a more mature Nancy who he finds hotter than ever, but who’s even more self-sufficient and doesn’t want his help or protection—and who still hasn’t forgiven him for cheating on her!

RG: This sounds fantastic—certain to be a five bathtubs book! Let me know if you need a beta reader. 😀

Next question: Facebook or Twitter?

DM: Facebook. No contest. Facebook is simple to use and easy to read. I love seeing all my friends’ family and vacation photos and funny posts (and Mary Strand’s weekly Hugh Jackman photos make Mondays more bearable).

Twitter, on the other hand, freaks me out. Partly it’s because I haven’t taken the time to figure it out, so it seems really complicated to me. But my biggest issue with it—and the reason I haven’t bothered figuring it out–is that tweets have to be short and concise. I used to be a lawyer and expounded for a living. I have trouble keeping a query letter to one page or limiting a synopsis to five pages. How am I supposed to say anything worthwhile in under 140 characters?

RG: LOL—I’m just the opposite. Facebook terrifies me. I think I’m the last person left who doesn’t have a FB page, but I love Twitter.

Okay, What is the strangest weapon you’ve used to kill off a character, either on or off-scene?

DM: I’m pretty boring when it comes to killing people—I’m not good at writing violence (I’m one of those people who closes her eyes and plugs her ears during violent movie scenes). Although I have been trying to work out the logistics of stabbing someone with an icicle, one the murderer either knocks off a roof just as the victim passes under it or actually uses like a sword. I’m talking about one of those big, heavy icicles with lethal points. Those things are scary and look like they could easily drill through someone’s skull or chest. And if I set that book in Minnesota (as I did DANGEROUS AFFAIRS), the villain certainly wouldn’t have trouble finding one. Unfortunately, we have five months of winter–and even more unfortunately, it’s going to start any day!

RG: Your heroine in DANGEROUS AFFAIRS is a soap opera actress. I loved the fact that while the TV genre got a little well-deserved ribbing, it was still treated with respect. As someone who spent my adolescence addicted to soaps, I appreciated the balance. I don’t watch soaps any more—I don’t have the time!—but I know if I allowed myself to turn on the TV during the day I’d quickly get hooked again. So my question for you—and for our readers—is have you ever been hooked on a soap, and if so which one(s)? Is it a habit you’ve broken or an indulgence you still enjoy?

DM: I’ve been hooked on DAYS OF OUR LIVES and GENERAL HOSPITAL since I was in junior high. Back before VCR’s, I lived for school vacation days so I could catch up on them, and I have to confess to skipping class with friends a couple times to watch a favorite hero/heroine’s wedding. Like you, I don’t have time to watch much anymore. But I still read their fan sites every week so I can keep up with what’s going on!

Okay readers, now it’s your turn to confess: have you ever been a fan of a soap opera? Today Diana is giving one lucky commenter a $25 Amazon gift card!

~ ~ ~


When soap opera star Abby Langford leaves Los Angeles for her Minnesota hometown, she’s hoping to give her nine-year-old daughter the peaceful childhood she never knew. But instead of tranquility, Abby finds an old knife hidden behind a wall of her new house. Then the nightmares start: a blood-soaked victim and a killer’s arm slicing through the air, again and again.
Abby wonders if she’s having the nervous breakdown the tabloids claim she already had, especially when sexy, skeptical police chief Josh Kincaid questions her story. When menacing hate mail arrives, Josh’s professional concern for Abby soon evolves into an intense attraction, and the feeling is mutual. But as Abby’s visions grow more graphic and gripping, so does her fear.

Somewhere in the shadows of Abby’s memory lies the key to a very present danger. But she’ll have to stay alive long enough to find it…

About Rachel Grant

Archaeologist Rachel Grant writes romantic suspense where archaeology, politics, and war collide.

Posted on November 13, 2012, in Author Interview, book recommendations, Rachel Grant and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 65 Comments.

  1. When I was in college all the girls on my floor would gather together to watch All My Children and General Hospital if we didn’t have a class.

  2. This was a great interview. Not only do I want to read the book, but I want to hang out with you both! I loved Days of Our Lives. We used to discuss each episode like we actually knew those people.

  3. Maureen and I must have gone to the same college 😉 We all gathered in the common room to watch General Hospital at 4 pm–this was usually a co-ed activity.

    Rachel and Diana, I love the new rating system! Can’t wait to read DANGEROUS AFFAIRS! Congrats on your debut release. And please write that Nancy Drew fan fiction…

    • Isn’t the Nancy Drew fanfic plot great? I really want to read that book.

    • Thanks go entirely to Rachel for the new rating system. She’s way more creative than I am! And with regard to GH, I can’t believe Robin’s old enough to be a doctor! Or that I’m old enough to remember when she was the adorable little kid on GH!

      • Robin is a doctor now?? Is she still played by the same actress? If so, she might be the only child to be allowed to grow up in real time on a soap.

        I always was amused by the fact that a child would leave for summer vacation and return 5 years older.

  4. Welcome, Diana, and congratulations on the coveted 5 Bathtub review (Rachel, your creativity rocks!)

    Yes, I also would gather in the freshman common room every afternoon to watch General Hospital (old age alert: during the super hot Luke and Laura era. What astonished me was that half the audience glued to the program were guys! And they weren’t embarrassed about their fascination either.

    Love the Nancy Drew fan fiction you’ve thought up, Diana.

    • Thanks, Sarah!

      My brother (a year older than me) “didn’t watch soaps” but most days after school, he’d hang out in the kitchen with me and have a snack–for an hour–while I watched.

    • Speaking of Luke and Laura, do you remember when Luke discovered Laura wasn’t really dead (after Genie Francis left for a while, then came back)? OMG–that was one of the best scenes ever! And you’re right that as many guys seemed to watch as girls (although some of my male friends claimed they just did it because it was a good way to meet women. Right!)

      With regard to Nancy Drew, I really wish the copyright would expire so I could write the book and maybe get paid for it. But since those books are written by so many people, that’s never going to happen (although maybe I can get a gig as the next Carolyn Keene!)

  5. Congratulations to my Golden Heart sister!!!! I’m so proud of you Diana! The book is fabulous and Rachel’s new ranking system is spot on.

    Please do that Nancy Drew! It’s been ages since there’s been a decent one! I’m a former Days of Our Lives gal myself. Isn’t it funny how, if you tune in today, the plots and characters are still pretty much in the same places. LOL. Remember how Dr. Aletha had her real live twin sister on the show?

    Sending you big hugs!

    • Diana, I wanted to mention in my intro that this Diana is our GH sister from the 2011 contest, but there wasn’t room. So glad you mentioned it.

      Diana Miller is the 7th 2011GH finalist. The other six finalists: Diana Belchase, Gwen Hernandez, Krista Hall, Sharon Wray, Sarah Andre, and me! Some think this would have put the 7 of us in competition, but but nothing could be further from the truth. We became friends, cheerleaders, critique partners, and blog-mates.

      The only time we compete – fighting over who we get to host. I called dibs on Diana Miller as soon as she sold. I won that round!

    • Thanks so much for your nice comments! I appreciate so much all the support and encouragement I got from all my 2011 GH RS sisters, especially when I was about to give up. I’m so glad I didn’t! You guys all helped keep me going and I owe you all big time.

  6. My grandmother came to live with us when she retired (many years ago) and she was a soap opera freak. The daytime one she got me hooked on was Days of our Lives. But she also got me hooked on the nighttime ones – Dallas and Knots Landing and Dynasty 🙂

    btw – I loved romantic suspense and this book sounds great!!

  7. Diana, thank you so much for joining us today! I look forward to talking soaps with you!

    My soap opera obsessions:

    I started watching All My Children at age 6. Yes, 6. 🙂 My older sisters watched the show and naturally, I wanted to be cool like them. I started watching General Hospital during the Luke and Laura era – I think I was ten or so? My sisters’ influence again. A few years after that I got hooked on One Life to Live–so all ABC soaps for me. The only one I could catch every day after school was GH, the other shows had to wait until holidays and vacations.

    In college everyone I knew watched Days of our Lives – I was the lone ABC soap watcher and would have to fight my roommates for the TV.

    • Thanks for the interview. I love the bathtubs and the terrific questions! And I can’t tell you how much fun it was to expound on my Nancy Drew fantasy!

      As I said, I was into DOOL, but had a lot of friends who were All My Kids fans. Actually Abby, the soap opera star heroine of DANGEROUS AFFAIRS was loosely based on Susan Lucci (although Abby won a few more daytime Emmys than Susan did. I think Susan needed almost 20 nominations before she finally won one).

      And as to your earlier comment about Dr. Robin Scorpio–you’re right that she’s one of the few kids who grew up in anything close to real time. But I think that’s because she left the show for a few years and actually grew up off-screen.

      Again, thanks for the terrific interview. And reliving my past soap opera obsessions with everyone is so much fun!

  8. Great interview, Rachel. I love the bathtub rating system!

    The book sounds great, Diana, and I totally think you should write that Nancy Drew. You’ve clearly given it some thought. 😉

    I watched soap operas during the summer in junior high and high school when I wasn’t reading. I loved Santa Barbara (Robin Wright-not-yet-Penn), and As The World Turns (Meg Ryan and A Martinez). I slowly got hooked into a few others (I remember Kelly Ripa in there somewhere) like Guiding Light and Young and the Restless, but I haven’t watched them in decades.

    It’s funny to see the soap magazines at the checkout counter and it’s the same love triangles. Nothing changes. Even Victor Newman (Y&R) looks the same! 😉

    • LOL Gwen – a few weeks ago I turned on the TV in the afternoon to watch watch election coverage, and ABC was on, and it was a soap I watched 20 years ago – and yes, the same actors were there. I was a little stunned, but I know I shouldn’t have been.

      My favorite character on General Hospital for a while when I was in middle school was Jackie Templeton – I was devastated when they broke her and Robert up and made her evil. The actress was Demi Moore and I would scour fan magazines for info on her, because I wanted to be her. She didn’t get much press back then. 🙂

  9. Great interview, Rachel. Diana, I can’t wait to read your book. I have an unpubbed book about a soap star going back home, and the hero is Josh Kincaid. Is that wild or what? Our stories are totally different. I’m also with you about FB, Diana. Twitter is just a bunch of hashtags, not much substance.
    I remember in college passing by some folks eating in the cafeteria. I thought, Oh, my gosh. Those poor folks. Later I realized they were talking about soap characters as if they were real. It was funny.
    My favorit was As the World Turns, and as I type the words, the theme music plays in my head.
    As for Nancy Drew, love what you want to do there. Hope that works out, I’d be first in line to purchase. Good luck with sales.

    • Thanks for commenting, Marsha! How funny the similarities between your book and Dangerous Affairs! I had that happen with a friend once: both books had treasure hunters (with the same name) diving on sunken Manila Galleons. Hers was the hero, mine was the villain. But like you said – totally different story.

      LOL on overhearing a soap conversation and thinking they were talking about real people!

    • Thanks for stopping by. How funny that our characters are so similar! One of my friends just published a book with a character whose last name is Langford ( also Abby’s last name in DANGEROUS AFFAIRS), which we thought was also a weird coincidence. I guess it means that saying about great minds thinking alike is true!

      I appreciate the support on Twitter–I’ve got a couple friends on a mission from God to convince me it’s the best, so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to hold out!

  10. I can’t say I’ve personally ever followed a soap opera… but my mum is a big fan of General Hospital, so whenever I got home from school and she was watching it [or now when I visit for the holidays], I’d get sucked into watching it as well. How weird would it be to live in Port Charles, where everyone has essentially shagged everyone else– multiple times? 😛

    The younger sister was a fan of Passions, but I’ve never seen that one!

  11. Cris, thanks for stopping by and reading the interview. I love your comment about Port Charles! My daughter and her friend were big Passions fans–I think she was in junior high then. I think witches were involved, but I might be wrong since I never watched it. Or maybe I’m thinking of another soap, since I can’t imagine no one has ever included the witches angle!

  12. Diana, thank you so much for joining us, and congratulations on what sounds like a fabulous story! With a 5 bathtub seal of approval from Rachel, I’m on my way to download now!

    I’m glad others have admitted to being old enough to have been hooked on Luke and Laura. Me too! I’m wiping away tears of nostalgia for Scotty, and Erica Kane, and people remember Rick Springfield? Le sigh…..

    • LOL – you mean Dr. Noah Drake? 😀 Yes, I can’t remember the names of people I graduated high school with, but I remember the names of characters on soap operas.

      • Dr. Noah Drake. OMG, I haven’t thought about Rick Springfield in that capacity for years, although I remember him every time the oldies station plays Jessie’s Girl. And remember John Stamos as Blackie Parrish (is that the right name?) And then he ends up as a hot dentist on Glee!

  13. Rachel, I love your five bathtub review! Diana, thanks for being here today. Loved your Nancy Drew impromptu fan-fic story. I was a Hardy Boys fan instead of Nancy Drew. I was in love with the smartest nerdiest one and have no memory of his name now. As for your icicle dilemma, I’m pretty sure you could stab someone in the eye and kill them. Gross but effective. And I freely admit I was a General Hospital fan in the days of Luke and Laura!

    • I never read Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, but I watched the TV shows. Parker Stevenson was my first crush. My sisters all loved Shaun Cassidy and of course, we listened to his record non-stop.

  14. Thanks for the advice about the icicle! I never thought of the eye thing, but you’re right. It would probably work. (And BTW, I wasn’t exaggerating about Minnesota’s megastop winter. It already snowed here yesterday and shows no signs of melting any time soon. Why do I live here?)

    I never read the Hardy Boys, but I was in love with Parker Stephenson and Shawn Cassidy on the TV series!

  15. So happy to see another GH sister here! I was also a huge fan of General Hospital, but besides Luke and Laura I loved Frisco and Felicia. I can’t wait to read your new release–I’m sure it’s wonderful! Especially since it received 5 bathtubs. That’s quite a recommendation!

    • Thanks. And thanks to yet another 2011 GH romantic suspense sister! (My non-pen name is Donna Meier, in case you haven’t figured it out). As I said before, I really appreciate all your support and encouragement when I was trying to figure out whether I really wanted to keep writing!

  16. If my count is correct, I think 8 of the 9 K&T ladies have chimed in – and every one of us watched soaps at one point or another. I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me, since we all write romantic suspense and RS is what soaps do best!

    I love that we learn a lot about each other through the blog. Makes me wonder what the next common denominator will be…

  17. Yes, I was a huge fan of The Young and The Restless back when Shemar Moore was Malcolm!

  18. Omg, need you ask! I started watching soaps when ALL MY CHILDREN began, hooked from the beginning and cried when it went off the air. I used to schedule my classes around GENERAL HOSPITAL. It’s the only one left now but it’s lost my attention, I’m afraid. Loved this interview and have just added a new book to my ever growing TBR List. : )

  19. I can’t wait to get my copy-I knew it was on the way. Congrats!

  20. Loved the book! As a closet soap fan for years(GH and AMC, were my favorites), it was great to have them be part of a novel. Espescially as soaps are all but a thing of the past, replaced by reality tv.

    • I’m glad you loved the book. And you’re right about reality TV sucking the life out of soaps. I can’t believe they actually cancelled AMC. Even though I was a Days of our Lives fan, it just isn’t right that Erica’s gone!

  21. Brandie Nickerson

    When I was a kid, my aunt made us take a nap at 11am because the Young and the Restless was on. I watched a little when I got older, but soaps were too addictive. Congratulations!

  22. When I was younger I watched Days of our Lives with my grandmother when I was there with her for the summer. I would return to watch it every summer and it always amazed me how quickly you could get caught up with everything that happened and be a fan again.

    I haven’t watched in years though. Maybe… 🙂

    • Leela, I know what you mean… you turn on the TV and expect to be lost by the ongoing storyline, but there is something in the construction that makes it easy to pick up the threads.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  23. Hi! 🙂 Yep – ages ago I had watched Another World for a couple years, then it got cancelled… and I switched to Guiding Light because an actor from AW went there… and then years later that got cancelled… pooh. But haven’t been watching any others since then.


    • PS – from AW, loved Grant Harrison, but it was David Andrew MacDonald (think he played a guy named David too or something, forget now) that I followed to GL… loved Edmund and Richard, Phillip Spaulding and Jeffrey O’Neill. 🙂


      • I always thought that being a soap star would be a great job. The women had gorgeous hair and makeup, fabulous clothes and shoes, and were surrounded by (and got to make out with) hot guys! How can you beat that?Unfortunately I have no acting ability. But by having a soap star as my heroine, I could live vicariously through her!

  24. My cousin used to make me watch all the ABC soaps with her. I even vaguely remember “Loving.”

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