With: Jennifer Hayward
Ideas for books come from everywhere. A particularly juicy story in the daily newspaper, a funny anecdote from a dinner party or a real-life tail from your own life. But a favourite of mine is television. Who doesn’t get inspired by a magnetic episode of Scandal with its brilliant cast of characters or a nail biting week of Homeland with its frantic twists and turns?
I believe real life can be far more fascinating than fiction and in the case of my new release, The Magnate’s Manifesto, this was definitely true. One night I was watching a reality show about a stripper who was having her breasts enhanced for her job as a dancer in Las Vegas. She had done so well dancing she had accumulated a portfolio of Las Vegas real estate. I had no idea dancing could be so lucrative! As with all such fascinating occupations, I wondered how a person becomes a dancer? Where does she come from? What would lead a woman to a life on the stage where she gets up every night and bares her body and perhaps a bit of her soul to the men who come to see her?
I was inspired. I had to write about a dancer. But I’ve never personally been on a stage so I had to find a stripper who could transport me into that edgy world. When I found her she was amazing. She not only worked in Vegas, she now runs her own stripping school with a business edge. She was utterly compelling. And my heroine, Bailey, was born.
Bailey comes from a small town in Florida, where her mother was a hairdresser, her father an unemployed, alcoholic former football hero who never recovered from not being drafted by a college team. Bailey survives in her miserable existence where the family barely makes ends meet until a chance encounter with a dancer on a Tampa street introduces her to her way out. She discovers she has a talent for dancing and it gives her the one thing she wants—out of her miserable existence.
She moves to Vegas with the promise to herself she will dance only long enough to put herself through school and then she’s out. She shuts herself off emotionally, gets on that stage every night and does what she needs to do to make her dream come true. It’s not pretty, but I believe Bailey is the most courageous heroine I’ve ever written.
An MBA and a lifetime later, Bailey is working as a top marketing executive in Silicon Valley, her alter ego, dancer Kate Delaney who made quite a name for herself in Vegas, firmly put to rest. Until her boss, Jared Stone, writes an explosive manifesto about women meant only for his closest wingmen that gets leaked on the internet. When Jared is forced to promote her to satisfy the maelstrom his manifesto has created after ignoring her for years, Bailey once again chooses to be a survivor rather than a victim and takes the job. She embarks on her quest to prove herself to her new boss, but her dark past rears its ugly head to threaten everything she’s worked for. And suddenly being in the limelight again seems like a very bad idea.
I hope if you get a chance to read the story you’ll think Bailey is as courageous as I do and enjoy her journey toward true love and acceptance.
I’ll leave you with an excerpt, one of my favourite scenes from the book, where Jared finds out about Bailey’s past:
She pushed a hand against his chest and stood back, her chin lifting to a defiant angle. “What’s the big deal?”
His eyes rounded. “You’re a twenty-seven year-old, former stripper, virgin?”
Her face went even hotter. “Are you going to tag that description on every time you talk about me now, because I’m afraid that doesn’t work for me.”
He closed his eyes and raked his hair back from his face. “I don’t understand how this could happen.”
Her mouth flattened. “Simple. I haven’t gotten into bed with a man. Not that you’d understand anything about that. Half the women in the Valley are walking around with your cute little diamond charm bracelets on as if they were the Medal of Honor.”
He let out a harsh breath and opened his eyes. “It was the combination of your age and background, Bailey. You haven’t exactly been living in a nunnery.”
She put her hands on her hips and stared at him. “What were you hoping? That I’d have all sorts of tricks up my sleeve, living the life?”
His gaze narrowed. “I wasn’t actually thinking, Bailey. As you can imagine after what just happened.”
Jennifer Hayward’s The Magnate’s Manifesto is available now.
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JENNIFER HAYWARD has been a fan of romance since filching her sister's novels to escape her teenaged angst.
Her career in journalism and PR, including years of working alongside powerful, charismatic CEOs and traveling the world, has provided perfect fodder for the fast-paced, sexy stories she likes to write, always with a touch of humour.
A native of Canada's East coast, Jennifer lives in Toronto with her Viking husband and young Viking-in-training. Her book club of 10 yrs helps her keep the world right side up.
THE MAGNATE'S MANIFESTO
BILLIONAIRE PLAYBOY IGNITES INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT WITH HIS MANIFESTO ON WOMEN
Jared Stone: Visionary, rebel, the tech world's golden boy…and now the most hated man on the planet!
Bailey St. James: Survivor, powerful female executive, the only woman who refuses to bow down to Jared Stone…and the only woman who can save him?
When Jared's manifesto makes him public enemy #1 the only way out is to make Bailey an offer she can't refuse—a very public promotion to VP! Now, with a major deal on the line and tensions rising, can it be long before Jared and Bailey move from spreadsheets to bed sheets?