I've just had an email from my editor to tell me that 100 Arabian Nights has hit The Booksellers "Heatseekers" Chart. Hot books, selling fast...
How exciting is that!
To celebrate, here's another little excerpt...
FAYAD looked up as his aide approached him. ‘The princess is waiting,’ he said.
He’d given no instructions that she was to be given that title, but everyone knew who she was and it seemed that her transformation from Violet Hamilton to Princess Violet al Sayyid had already begun.
He still did not know what he was going to say to her, only that he must somehow prepare her for his grandfather’s expectations. Reassure her that she was, totally, in control of her own destiny. But as the door to the hareem majlis was opened to his knock he saw her standing in the centre of the room, waiting for him, and words became an irrelevance.
He could not have spoken, even if he’d wanted to.
Grave, beautiful, untouchable.
As distant from the girl who’d opened the door to him that morning, hair an enticingly damp tangle of curls, legs and feet bare, wearing nothing but a faded pink bathrobe, as the moon was from the stars.
Mistaking his silence for disapproval, she said, ‘This was Leila’s idea.’ A tiny gesture took in her clothes, some rich creation that would have his sisters drooling with envy.
‘Leila will be rewarded,’ he said.
‘Oh. I wasn’t sure. I thought it seemed a little … excessive but…’
But everything is strange.’
Her silence, her stillness were answer enough.
‘You are wondering, now you’ve had time to think, whether you have made a mistake.’ And this time heat rushed to her cheeks. Not that cool, then.
‘You have the khanjar,’ she said. ‘And now you have me. If this was a movie I would probably be screaming at the heroine not to be so dumb.’
‘Believe me, I appreciate the trust you have shown. Your generosity. You could so easily have told me to … how do you say it? Get lost? Sold the khanjar to the highest bidder.’
She could have no idea how high the bidding would have gone.
‘No. That would have been wrong. And I’m here to protect Sarah. Her family. The innocent people who get hurt when powerful people clash.’
‘Not even a little bit for yourself? Are you not curious about your family? About where you come from?’
‘I could have gone to the library,’ she said, continuing to regard him with those extraordinary eyes. Then, ‘Your only concern was to get me away from the house. Anyone else would have called the police, but you didn’t want them involved, did you?’
Politics are not the concern of the police, princess.’
‘Don’t call me that. I’m not a princess. I’m just Violet Hamilton.’
‘And you’re angry with me. You find yourself being torn from everything you know and you’re just a little frightened.’
‘Of course I’m frightened!’ she said. ‘It’s been a hell of a day…’
Without thinking, he reached out and took her hand in what he’d intended as no more than a gesture of simple reassurance, but he continued to hold it, long after it became much more.
Beneath his, her hand was small, but not soft. There was nothing soft about her. He had her history and he knew she had given up her education to care for her grandmother, not for expectation of reward, but out of love.
She was a woman whose value was far above rubies. Far beyond him…
‘Are you afraid now? Truly?’
‘Should I be?’
‘What does your heart tell you?’
Still no news of a US or Australia release date, but the book can be bought from the Mills & Boon website (July Special Release), or The Book Depository (who do not charge postage even for international sales). I put a link on the sidebar but it refuses to work for me for some reason. They are, however, a legitimate and well regarded company.