Toni Collins…One of My Alter Egos

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything under my “Toni Collins” pseudonym, so I was pleasantly surprised to not only see some of these romantic comedies not only turning up on Amazon, but with some great reviews!

Here’s one for Immoral Support:

5.0 out of 5 stars
Extra! An Impossible to Put Down Romance!, March 31, 2010
By
This review is from: Immoral Support (Silhoutte Desire, No 686) (Paperback)

Kathleen Wilder is a reporter for the small St. Louis Daily Mirror. She’s a hard working career gal, who can take care of herself. She likes her job, her life and the direction her career is moving. However, she has a nemesis who works for the city’s number one newspaper, who keeps scooping her and gloating about it. A Pulitzer Prize winning reporter named Mel Riggs. She can’t stand him, at least that’s what see tells anybody who will listen. And they just nod their heads, because they know Mel is her ex-husband and that she’d do anything to one up him.

Mel Riggs won’t admit he’s still carrying a torch for Kathy. But the truth is, he is. They’d been married for two years, but that was ten years ago. The marriage didn’t work, because he’d been too competitive with his wife and he resented the fact that she was working in the same field as he was. He didn’t at first, but it got him, her being so good. His male ego couldn’t take it.

Now Kathy has a contract to do a book on a criminal case. She calls Mel to gloat and he promptly accepts a deal with the prosecuting attorney to do a book with him. No way will he let Kathy succeed at anything, unless he does it better.

Ms. Collins has written a witty story that I couldn’t put down. She has delivered two wonderful characters who go head to head again and again, before they ultimately realize that maybe they were just meant for each other after all. Of course, it took a plane ride in a lightning storm to finally give Mel the courage to talk to Kathy as an equal. I just loved this story and I think you will too.

Something Old…

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 
WHAT A SWEET STORY!!, August 31, 2000
By
Carolyn Christy “Caro” (Fairhaven, Ma. United States) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This review is from: Something Old (Silhouette Romance, No. 941) (Paperback)

I was surfing through the out of print books and came across a gem of a book! SOMETHING OLD by Toni Collins, is a wonderful, funny story. Gabby Thorne is twenty nine years old and dispairs of finding love. Oh, she has had her share of crushes but has never been “in love”. She wants to be committed body and soul to someone. Enter Adrian Lacross. He is the new owner and publisher of the International Intruder and is also, her boss. But Adrian Lacross is no normal man. He is a vampire. In the twelveth century he was a prince who had willingly given up any and all ties to the mortal world in his quest for immortality. Now centuries later, he finally realizes the terrible price has been forced to pay. He has been alone for endless centuries. So very alone until he sees Gabby. There is something about her that enchants him. That draws him. . . But Gabby is no ordinary woman. Her Grandfather is a vampire hunter who has hunted Adrian in the past. He has raised his grandchildren with the belief that there are vampires walking the night. Gabby notices right away how different her boss is. For one, no one has seen him or even his picture before. One fateful night Gabby stays late at work and discovers, to her shock, that the glass covering his desk reflects no image. Gabby confronts Adrian and discovers his dark secret. He is a vampire! Even knowing that he is one of the undead, she begins to fall in love with his warmth and gentleness. He in return, falls deeply in love. All the while knowing that their worlds are so very far apart . . . How can they possibly have any relationship with him a vampire and her a mortal? Will her Grandfather give his consent or will he do everything in his power to destroy their love? Toss in an evil villain, an overprotective Grandpa along with a sweet love story and you have a gem of a book. SOMETHING OLD made me laugh and filled me with a warmth that lasted the entire day. What a sweet story!!!!!

and  Miracle Dad!

5.0 out of 5 stars 
INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, June 24, 1998
This review is from: Miracle Dad (Celebration 1000!, Fabulous Fathers) (Silhouette Romance #1008) (Paperback)

Derek Wolfe was too young to die. The true pain is not Derek’s, though. His children, Patrick and Alexandra, are the ones really hurting. They are in a foster home, temporary at best. So Derek demands to return to Earth, but doesn’t consider the consequences. His children don’t recognize him, and their foster mother, Evelyn Sloan, thinks he is engaged to her! Now he has to become a father to Patrick and Alexandra again, but he can only do that by marrying Evelyn. Derek’s problems pretending to be someone he isn’t causes some humor. This book has a great cast of supporting characters: Michael, Derek’s boss with a bad sense of humor; Sharon, Evelyn’s cynical sister, and many others. I would recommend this book to anyone. Really. I’m 14, and I enjoyed it.

These books are not yet available as ebooks, but they soon will be.

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Excerpt: CHASING THE WIND





Connor:


I was on my laptop, ordering equipment for the lab, when Lynne came in with a small cardboard box with holes poked in the lid. “What have you there?” I asked, nodding toward the box, hoping it was not a snake. I’d always had a bit of a fear of them, though I was not quick to admit to that.


She sat down next to me. “My patient.” She lifted the lid so that I could see what was inside. Huddled in one corner of the box was a tiny bird with one wing askew. “He’s injured his wing,” she explained.


I looked up at her. “What are you going to do, put a splint on it?” I asked, amused.


“Hardly. I just have to keep him quiet and make sure he gets enough nourishment until he heals. Then I send him on his way.”


“And how will you know when he’s well enough to be set free?” I asked.


“I won’t. But he will.” She placed the box on the table in front of me.


I studied the tiny creature for a long moment. It brought back a sudden rush of memories from the distant past, of all the injured creatures my mum and I tended when I was a wee lad. “They’re God’s creatures, just as we are,” she would tell me. “We are responsible for them. We must take care of them. We have been given stewardship over all the creatures of the earth.”


“Then why do we eat them, Mummy?” I asked. It didn’t make sense.


She smiled patiently. “We’re allowed to kill only for food,” she explained. “One day you will understand. But you—you have a gift, and a responsibility to use that gift to make this world a better place.”


“What gift, Mummy?” I wanted to know.


“You’re a healer,” she told me, extending her hand to me. She was holding a bird that had crashed into our kitchen window. It looked to be near death.


“He’s dying,” I remembered saying. The pitiful creature was barely breathing. My heart broke for it.


She shook her head. “He’s hurt, but he’s still alive. You can heal him.”


“But how?” I didn’t understand. “What can I do?”


“Touch him. Stroke him,” she instructed.


I did as she said. I always obeyed my mum without question. I stroked the bird’s tiny body with my fingers, and almost immediately, its wings started to flutter. Mum released her hold on it, and it flew away as if it had never been injured.


“If I can heal animals and birds, Mummy, why can I not heal you?” I asked.


She looked surprised. “Why would I need healing?” she asked.


“You’re hurting,” I observed solemnly. “I can see it in your eyes.”


She hesitated. “There are different kinds of hurting,” she tried to explain. “Some hurts only God himself can heal.”


“Why doesn’t he, then?” I challenged.


“In his time, he will,” she assured me. “There are things we must accept without question.” She hugged me tightly.


But there were things I had never been able to accept….


***


I was up early the next morning, working on my laptop again. Almost as an afterthought, I decided to check on the bird. I lifted the lid on the box slowly, trying not to startle it or allow it to escape. Not that it could, weak as it was.


It wasn’t moving. It lay on one side, its tiny legs stiff. It was dead, or so I thought. I decided to dispose of it, but when I reached down to pick it up, it jerked as if startled and hopped to its feet, its feathers ruffled. It looked up at me, as surprised as I was.


“Little bugger,” I growled. “You sure as hell looked dead.”


“That’s odd,” Lynne said, coming up behind me.


“What?” I asked, still baffled by what had just happened.


“The bird,” she said. “Last night, he wasn’t doing very well. I was starting to think he might not make it.”


“They may look fragile, but the little bastards are actually quite resilient,” I said with an offhanded shrug.


“I think he wants to go home,” Lynne said, observing the bird for a long moment. It looked up at her expectantly. She took the box and went over to the door. I followed, watching as she opened the door, then lifted the lid from the box. The bird didn’t move. It seemed to be waiting for instructions.


“Well, what are you waiting for?” I asked. “You’ve worn out your welcome. Go!”


The bird took off, flying confidently westward until they could no longer see it. I put an arm around Lynne. She didn’t push me away.


She turned to look at me. “Did you ever have a pet as a child?” she asked.


I thought about it. “When I was very young, I had many pets. All of them temporary,” I said. “Hungry strays, injured creatures. Mum had a soft heart.”


“I think I would have liked her,” Lynne said.


“My mum used to say animals had the ability to see evil. She said they could predict the weather, foresee disasters and see demon spirits.”


“They can,” Lynne said quietly.


“Any stray that came to our door was fed what crumbs we could manage, no matter how little we had,” I remembered. “The lost tend to stick together, it would seem.”