My readers know I’m a travel junkie. It’s my parents fault. They loved to travel and they would take us, their four kids, on as many adventures as they could. Thanks to my parents influence, I knew when I was in high school that I wanted to be a writer, and a traveler. I couldn’t imagine being tied to a desk job without any freedom. Fortunately, one of my first jobs out of college was working for a small regional airline (later bought by American Airlines) and my job was to sell these commuter planes, introducing them to travel agents and the public in the San Joaquin Valley. Metroliners were small, narrow, just 19 seats with no flight attendant or bathroom. I was 23 and loved the challenge and adventure. It was all exciting to me: having an office in the Fresno airport, daily hopping on and off planes, climbing into rental cars at sweltering airports, and driving all over the big valley to talk to travel agents and corporate agents about flying, and seats, and even lost luggage.
Even after I gave up working in travel for teaching and writing full-time, I continued to hunger for travel opportunities. Every year I try to go somewhere new and so Ty and I have made late Sept/early October ‘our’ travel time since his busy summer season is over and the kids are back in school and we can pretend we’re celebrating our anniversary when in reality, we’re just looking for a good time.
Travel is a guilty pleasure, though, as I miss the kids and feel as if I should be writing, not playing, but I also love these Fall getaways as I get to have Ty to myself, and I love what a great travel companion he is. He’s up for anything…well, almost anything. He doesn’t like big cities and isn’t into traffic and noise, but he loves out of the way spots, small towns, as well as mountains, deserts, islands, and the sea.
This past September we went to one of the places I’ve long wanted to go, which is Morocco–particularly as Morocco has inspired a dozen different sheikh stories for Harlequin Presents including this month’s release, His Defiant Desert Queen–and so using our anniversary as an excuse to jet to Morocco, we spent three nights in Marakkesh and then another three nights in the Atlas mountains at Sir Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot in a little village called Asni inhabited by Berbers in the foothills of the mountains. The Kasbah, once a private desert palace, has been turned into a small, luxurious hotel with very special touches, including an authentic Berber dinner one night, while another evening we watched the classic film, Casablanca, on Berber blankets on the Kasbah lawn.
The black and white film was projected onto a screen in front of the swimming pool, and it was such a beautiful warm night, with countless stars twinkling overhead and a warm desert wind rippling the movie screen. It was an incredible experience to be able to watch Casablanca beneath the stars with Ty at my side, all while I was writing a story that also took place during WWII during the day in the Kasbah’s library.
While I wrote during the mornings, Ty would hike, and then in the afternoon we’d swim, and play ping pong (I was the clear ping pong champion. I had no idea I was so good!) and then dress for dinner up on the rooftop with its stunning views of the Atlas mountains.
Morocco was everything I’d hoped it would be, and if you haven’t yet read my new desert romance, His Defiant Desert Queen, the latest book in my Copeland mini-series do pick up your copy now before its gone from stores. It is also available for your e-reader, and I’ve a good excerpt on my website too if you’d like to read more.
I will not marry you. I will not!
When Sheikh Mikael catches notorious model Jemma Copeland flaunting Saidia’s laws—and her body—in his desert, he knows one thing: revenge against his family’s destruction is within his reach! To achieve it he makes Jemma an offer: imprisonment or marriage.
With her life shattered by the scandal that rocked her family, Jemma needed that modeling job. She didn’t know that she was breaking the law! But Mikael’s outrageous proposal pushes her beyond shock…to utter fury. If he expects her to be a meek, pliable bride, this arrogant sheikh has another think coming!
I’ve a special Morocco giveaway to celebrate my new release. Tell me about what you’re reading now, and/or how you’ve been these past few weeks. I know I haven’t been very good at keeping up my blog. I apologize. I promise to be better this Spring!
His Defiant Desert Queen giveaway closes Friday March 27th with the winner announced Saturday the 28th.
Have a wonderful week and do be sure to bring me up to speed. I’ve missed being in touch with you!