VINTAGE JANE: Desert Romances and Exotic Desserts

Long before I ever sold to Harlequin, I was an avid reader of Harlequin romances.  I grew up reading Harlequins, although when I first discovered them I was thirteen and living in Europe and they were called Mills & Boon romances.  My favorite stories were always with foreign settings, the more exotic the better.

Today I write for Harlequin and my favorite settings are still exotic.  I’ve lived all over the world, and traveled extensively, but still have several places I’m dying to visit.  Those places include the Middle East and its magical desert kingdoms of Egypt, Morocco, and Dubai.   In some of my books I’ve made up my own desert kingdoms (i.e. Baraka instead of Morocco), while in others I’ve explored the fascinating history and culture of real countries like Egypt (King of the Desert, Captive Bride) and Dubai (The Sheikh’s Chosen Queen ).   Though very different, the historical and natural wonders of Egypt and the modern, man-made luxury of Dubai both translate beautifully to the world of the romance novel, giving my Harlequin Presents a classic, sensual setting for love, conflict, seduction, and passion.

If you love to travel, or just enjoy being an armchair traveler, check out my Travel Spotlights on Egypt and Dubai for some of the attractions and sights not to be missed, along with some amazing recipes (like fragrant, flaky Egyptian Bread & Butter Pudding and M’hanncha , an indulgent Middle Eastern dessert) to give you a state of these far off kingdoms.

I hope you’ll enjoy the recipes and do let me know if you try them yourself!  In the meantime, I’m sharing my love of sheikh stories by giving away to one reader a signed copy of The Sheikh’s Chosen Queen and King of the Desert, Captive Bride.  I’ll draw the winner’s name from those that comment.  Contest closes Saturday night midnight and winner’s name will be announced Sunday morning.   If you’ve never read one of my Harlequin Presents, here’s your chance!

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