Archives for category: sheikh

stack of pebbles and mini blackboard with text  hello augustI’m a bit late with my August blog, but the month has  been both stressful and exciting.

First, though, I need to give you a catch up on July.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following me anywhere, I’ve been waiting for my house sale/purchase to be finalised so that I can move to West Sussex to be near my daughter and her family.

While I was in Denver, I had a call from my lawyer asking if I was prepared to complete the contracts on 31st July. Gulp. There was a flurry of calls to the removal people to see if they could manage dates around then and I flew back home on the Monday and moved on the Friday.

There has been a slight issue over a bed and while I’ve been working at the flat, I’ve been sleeping at my daughter’s house. Finally, today,  23 August, I have made up the temporary bed loaned to me by the company who failed to deliver, and have moved in!

Back to Denver.

77971387-RWA+2018+-+2584The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess didn’t win a Rita, but I had no expectations – I was just thrilled my lovely sheikh had finalled, and I was able to fly to the US and have the best time meeting old friends, meeting old internet friends face-to-face, and making a lot of new friends. And I have another Rita finalist certificate to add the seven others that I really need to frame and put up on my office wall. Maybe. I have a lot of pictures that would look far prettier.

Harlequin PartyThe Romance Writers of America conference is an amazing event. So many wonderful writers, great workshops, breakfast with friends, lunches with editors and fabulous parties!

It took me a week to recover from two nine-hour flights, jetlag, the altitude and the kind of late nights I am not used to as well as dealing with the stress of moving – and leaving behind my lovely neighbours – in the hottest August I can ever remember.

The End Of Story Flat IllustrationI’d like to tell you that I’m sitting back and taking it easy after all that, but time and a deadline wait for no man. I’m just putting the final revisions to my new book, The Billionaire’s Convenient Bride. I don’t have a date yet, but I believe it will be out next summer.

I don’t often put together a play list for my books, but this one has been a bit special so here is some of the music and words I’ve been listening to as I wrote the ending, a couple of which actually appear in the book.

Jonas Kaufmann – You Are My Heart’s Delight

Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major

How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning read by Sian Phillips

The Rose by Bette Midler

Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”

And just because whenever I go to Youtube I listen to the amazing voice of Philippe Jaroussky, here’s Ombra mai fu by Handel

That’s it for now, but next month I’ll tell you about my next project, a quartet I’m writing with a fabulous group of authors and I’ll have a spiffy giveaway to celebrate a huge milestone in my writing life.

Enjoy the rest of August and happy reading!

 

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Jbigstock--190113193uly is going to be crazy. so before I forget, some of my books are free at Smashwords this month so help yourself!

So, here’s my month.

First I have a book to deliver by the 31st. I’m half way through at the moment so doing pretty well but I’m not a fast writer so it’s a bit of hairy deadline. And talking of hairy, some of you may have seen the fun I had on Facebook this past week, looking for a rescue dog for my hero Kam Faulkner.

36783686_1037233633109831_5464184138456104960_nI had dozens of suggestions, lots of lovely pictures of FB followers’ dogs, but author Terri Nixon found this lovely guy and I knew he was the one the minute I set eyes on him (just like my ero). He’s a lurcher, a bit like the dog my hero had a boy,. He has a wonderful nature, is good with kids, intelligent, fast and (the one failing of this cross breed) lethal to cats. My heroine is allergic to cats so that’s okay. Probably.

Henry and Kam bonded with that first look, but as my hero is about to find out, his new best friend has one, rather serious, failing. You’ll have to read the book to find out what that is!

So that’s work sorted for this month.

bigstock--222367099Play is pretty serious, too. I’m off to Denver for the  Romance Writers of America conference.

I haven’t been to RWA for a few years but this year, as I may have mentioned :), my Harlequin Romance, The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess, has been nominated for a Rita, the romance authors’ Oscar.

Rita

This is one I was awarded earlier.

I’m flying out on Monday. It’s nine and a bit hours in the air, time to get some words down. Once I arrive, I  will be instantly launched into a round of  fun  hard work.

Breakfast with my loopies – the writing sisters of my soul. Lunches with editors, authors and publishers. Afternoon tea at Browns Hotel with the lovely crowd from Tule.

There will be receptions, the Harlequin book signings, meeting the bloggers, hopefully managing to catch up with a few workshops, and the big keynote lunch. There will also be the Rita awards ceremony, on Thursday 19th July between 7-9pm  which you can watch live online on the RWA website

If you’re in the area on Saturday, 21st July, you can catch up with me (and hundreds of other authors) in the Plaza Ballroom of the Sheraton Downtown hotel, where we will all be signing our books to raise money to help adult literacy.

30515834_1897498730284318_1788496988476538880_n

I am going to need a week to get over this trip, but I have that book to deliver and, I will also – hopefully – be moving house around then. July is going to be crazy but August looks like being just as interesting!

Stay posted. 🙂

Stress level critical…

20180423_121300The stress levels over the move are going through the roof. My own contracts are signed on both sale and purchase but my buyers have been using the same reason for three weeks as to why nothing i happening on their side.

I’m told “it takes time” and “nothing happens quickly in the west country”.

I’m attempting (with not much success) to remain zen and concentrate on the colours for the new apartment. I think I’ve settled on heartwood and almost oyster for the bedroom. Almost.

Interior decorating…

20180423_115633I have chosen the material for the curtains for the living room – slightly limited colourwise by the sofa and armchairs, but the dark blue is a perfect match and I do love those seed heads.

Earlier in the month I spent a long weekend in Kent on a writer’s retreat with friends. We all worked incredibly hard and I managed to get the book I started back in August up and running again, with actual words written.

Work and play…

20180412_162254I went from Kent to spend a week with my daughter and her family.. She takes the view that because my new apartment has a catflap it would be rude not to get a cat. Meanwhile I played with hers.

I have two trips planned between now and then; Center Parc with the grandchildren in June just for fun and, because The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess has been nominated for a Rita, I’ll be flying to Denver for the Romance Writers of America conference in July  Oh, and, with any luck, throw a move into that mix and with the book due on my editor’s desk at the end of July you’ll see that I need to focus.

Meanwhile the boxes are piling up as I pack away stuff I won’t see for a couple of months and I’ve been downsizing my clutter with the help of eBay and the local charity shops,

Reading…

51rny9pcQ+L._SY346_I’ve been trying the odd audiobook and started with  The Chilbury Ladies Choir which is set in a wartime English village. I know the clipped 1940s English accents are authentic, but I found them a little distracting and just a bit overdone, but loved the story. I also listened to the latest Ellie Griffiths, Ruth Galloway Mystery, The Dark Angel. U really love this series but found I was not as engaged by the audio book as I was reading. I became too easily distracted, and once or twice I feel asleep! I also read Teri Wilson’s The Princess Problem, published by Cherish in the UK, which had everything you’d want from a romance.

Finally, just a reminder that Jessica Hart’s The Baronet’s Wedding Engagement is still #free to download. It’s part of the #royalweddinginvitation series written by Sophie Weston, Jessica, myself and Anne McAllister for Tule.

Royal Wedding Invitations

 

 

 

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February sees the publication of my latest Harlequin Romance, The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess – and here’s the fabulous cover!

the-sheikhs-convenient-princess

Here’s a sneak peak…

Qa’lat al Mina’a, perched high on its rocky promontory, shimmered like a mirage in the soft pink haze of the setting sun.

Far below, beyond a perfect curve of white sand, a dhow was drifting slowly along the coast under a dark red sail and for a brief moment Ruby felt as if she might have been transported back to some Arabian Nights fantasy, flying in on a magic carpet rather than a gleaming black helicopter.

The illusion was swiftly shattered as they circled to land.

The fortress might appear, at first glance, to be a picturesque ruin, a reminder of a bygone age but behind the mass of purple bougainvillaea billowing against its walls was a satellite dish, antennae — all the trappings of the communications age powered by an impressive range of solar panels facing south where the jebel fell away to the desert.

And the tower did not stand alone. Below it Ruby glimpsed courtyards, arches, gardens surrounding an extensive complex that spread down to the shore where a very twenty-first century gunmetal grey military style launch was sheltered in a harbour hewn from the rock. And they were descending to a purpose built helipad. This was not some romantically crumbling stronghold out of a fantasy; the exterior might be battered by weather and time but it contained the headquarters of a very modern man.

As they touched down, a middle-aged man in a grey robe and skullcap approached the helicopter at a crouching run. He opened the door, glanced at her with astonishment and then shouted something she couldn’t hear to the pilot.

He returned a don’t-ask-me shrug from his seat. Sensing a problem, Ruby didn’t wait but unclipped her safety belt, swung open the door and jumped down.

As-salaam ‘aleykum. Ismee, Ruby Dance,’ she said, raising her voice above the noise of the engine. ‘Sheikh Ibrahim is expecting me.’

She didn’t wait for a response but shouldered the neat satchel that contained everything she needed for work, nodded her thanks to the pilot and leaving the man to follow with her wheelie she crossed to steps that led down to the shelter of the courtyard below.

The air coming off the sea was soft and moist — bliss after hours cooped up in the dry air of even the most luxurious private jet — while below her were tantalising glimpses of terraces cut into the hill, each shaded by ancient walls and vine covered pergolas. There was a glint of water running through rills and at her feet, clove-scented dianthus and thyme billowed over onto the steps.

It was beautiful, exotic, unexpected. Not so far from the fantasy after all.

Behind her the pilot, keen to get home was already winding up the engine and she lifted her head to watch it take off, bracing herself against buffeting from the down force of the blades. As it wheeled away back towards the capital of Ras al Kawi leaving her cut off from the outside world she half lifted a hand as if to snatch it back.

Madaam…’

Despite her confident assertion that she was expected it was clear that her arrival had come as a surprise but before she could respond to the agitated man who was following her down the steps a disembodied voice rang out from below, calling out something she did not understand.

Before she could move, think, the owner of the voice was at the foot of the steps, looking up at her and she forgot to breath.

Sheikh Ibrahim al-Ansari was no longer the golden prince, heir to the throne of Umm al Basr, society magazine cover favourite; a carefree young man with nothing on his mind but celebrating his sporting triumphs in some fashionable nightclub.

Disgraced, disinherited and exiled from his father’s court when his arrest for a naked romp in a London fountain had made front page news, his face was harder, the bones more defined, the natural lines cut a little deeper. And not just lines. Running through the edge of his left brow, slicing through his cheekbone before disappearing into a short-clipped beard was a thin scar — the kind left by the slash of a razor sharp knife — and dragging at the corner of his eye, his lip so that his face was not quite in balance. The effect was brutal, chilling, mesmerizing.

The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess is available for pre-order in paper or as an ebook now at Amazon!