Lost Brothers

This time last year, I was releasing my HENDERSON sisters trilogy … a story of family, love, betrayal and hope set against the background of rural Australia and the festivity of Christmas. I adored writingscreen-shot-2016-10-26-at-1-02-28-am these sisters’ stories for
so many reasons. I’m one of three sisters, myself, and put so much of our dynamic into these girls’ lives. I loved writing their banter -the way they would fire rapid emails around the globe like a spiderweb connecting them even through different time-zones and at great distance.

The middle book of the trilogy, THE SHEIKH’S CONVENIENT MISTRESS, is one of my all time favourites. I’m going to paste the prologue below to show you why, but suffice it to say, there were two sexy alpha heroes in this book; only one of them got their Happily Ever After.
I’ve had A LOT of emails about the ‘other brother’, Ra’if. He was such a troubled, conflicted character, but so full of kindness and strength in the toughest of circumstances and it seems I’m not alone in having been wanting a happy ending for him. It’s been an entirely different experience for mscreen-shot-2016-10-26-at-1-00-40-ame to write a story based on a single character. Usually, I get an idea for a couple or a problem, and I build a book around that. But Ra’if was his own idea. His own story, and I have spent a long time imagining the kind of heroine who would challenge him and strengthen him, who would offer him that piece of the puzzle that he so badly needed.

Ra’if will be floating onto an e-book shelf soon – and I hope you love his story as much as you did Zamir’s. I know I have adored getting to know him better and can’t wait to share him!

Happy reading, CC.

PS Opening chapter of THE SHEIKH’S CONVENIENT MISTRESS following now..

 

PROLOGUE

Twenty three years earlier

 “Don’t cry, Zamir.” She crouched down, her body slim, her hair plaited into a perfect style that wrapped around her head. “Please don’t cry, darling one. I’ll be back soon.”

The four year old boy with his spectacular complexion and enormous amber eyes did his best to stave off any more tears. “But you are always going, mama.”

“I know,” she smiled wistfully and took one of his hands in hers. With her other, she reached behind him, to the far more stoic and seemingly unaffected Ra’if. Only two years older, he was cut from an entirely different cloth to his brother. Where Zamir felt all things deeply, Ra’if had always possessed an ability to hold a tight reign over his emotions.

“Why must you?” Zamir muttered, using her grip to lift her arm around his waist so that he could sidle close to her. She smelled like jasmine and magnolia.

“Because it is my job.”

His jutted lip was petulance itself. “You don’t have a job. You are the Queen.”

Cait swallowed her smile. “True, but I have duties I must carry out. There are thousands of people waiting for me in Pilati,” she explained quietly, referring to the capital city of Dashan.

“You’ll come back tonight?”

“Yes, I’ll come back tonight.” She joined the two brothers’ hands together and smiled to encompass them both. “Ra’if will keep you company until then. I promise to come and give you a goodnight kiss as soon as I am back.”

Zamir sniffled miserably. “I don’t want you to go.”

“Zami,” she laughed indulgently, standing and ruffling his thick black hair. “You always say that.”

“And you always go,” he countered.

“Yes. But I always come home again.”

She could have had no idea, of course, that this would be the one and only time when she wouldn’t.

That her beautiful boys, watching her walk elegantly down the long marbled corridor of the Central Palace, would never see her again.

If she had, she would have stayed longer. She would have hugged Zamir and Ra’if so tight, and listened to the beatings of their hearts.

Instead, she left; not to Pilati, in the end, but to her destiny and her death.

Zamir and Ra’if and would never be the same again.

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Date Night – ugh.

Not really! It’s my favourite night of the week.

You know, since I started writing in earnest, things have been busy for my husband and me. Nights we used to spend binge-watching Star Trek or 24 or back to back LOTR films (where did those nine hours go?) are now more commonly spent with me writing, and him working, as his own career demands have simultaneously exploded.

This is all really great, but with two small children who don’t sleep well (why? Comfortable bed, softly-lit room, bedtimes stories and busy days?) we find that we are part-couple, part business partners, navigating the pressures of family life as a CEO and MD might a major corporation.

After fourteen years together, it would be easy to let this go and write it down to ‘where we’re at’. But I love my husband, and I adore him and I really, really like him, too. And I miss him! Being so busy, sometimes feeling like ships in the night, has made me crave his company.

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Here we are, hanging out near Buckingham Palace, when small people were not even glints in our eyes.

Enter: Date Night.

We are blessed with a truly, insanely amazing nanny who helps us with our little guys (especially our daughter who is not yet school age), and once a week, we have her for ‘date night’, so that we can actually sit across from each other and talk without the incessant interruptions that are part and parcel of raising intelligent, interested children.

And sometimes, like tonight, (at the risk of sounding ungrateful) I don’t especially relish the thought of date night. Because I’m tired, and it’s hot, and I would rather just get those kids in bed and lol on the sofa with a glass of wine and my too-stretchy yoga pants, asking my husband to fetch me peeled grapes or whatever takes my fancy. But for us, it’s been so important to just make the effort to go out! Pre-kids, when we lived in the UK and frequently travelled to Europe, this was our mainstay. Work hard, play hard. And once a week, for approximately ninety minutes, we get to pretend that we’re those people again.

And I love it, even when I think I won’t.

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This is how we roll now: four deep. Our little peeps – demanding but delightful. 

Oh! Here comes my husband — it’s time to put away the computer and laugh with my favourite guy in the world. Have a great evening. 😂❤️

Presents.

My love for romance began young.

As a child, I read Archie comics. Not for Jughead’s hijinx, but for the Betty/Veronica/Archie love triangle. I used to adore it when Betty got one over snooty Veronica. I moved onto Babysitters Clubs and Sweet Valley Highs, but by the time I was twelve, I was hooked on Harlequin.

The first M&B I remember reading was THE SHEIKH’S REVENGE by Emma Darcy. I googled it just now, and see it’s Harlequin Presents #1604. Which is somewhat fitting, because Harlequin Presents has just extended an offer to me to join their hallowed halls; their wonderful stable. I am beyond thrilled.

So I have this tradition I haven’t yet shared … Whenever something wonderful happens, my husband and I pop a bottle of champagne. Yes. We always have champagne on hand. For really special events, I tag the bottle and put it on my celebratory sill… My grand plan, one day, is to have a wall of my office lined with champagne-bottle-sized pigeon holes, so that I can stare at a wall of happiness.

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My first #1 in the Amazon romance erotica charts earned a bottle, so too my first top #1in the iTunes romance charts (#2 in the store overall – pinch me!). There have been so many incredible moments in this wonderful writing life, so far …

**BUT**

Tonight, I added ‘Harlequin Deal’ to my tags, and though it is but one bottle, it has the value of a dozen. I am so happy. So ridiculously beaming… From those first pages of that first Emma Darcy, I have longed, desired, needed, wanted to write words that were worthy of filling the covers of these beautiful books.  I offer my thanks to all of you who have been with me from the start. I live to write romance – I believe love makes the world go ’round. I can’t wait to share this next phase with you. Huge love, CC.x