Guys, I’m thrilled to feature Harlequin Presents author Rachael Thomas back on my blog today! Want to learn a few behind-the-scenes bits on her latest Presents novel? Read on. And just for your reading pleasure I’ve added an excerpt from The Sheikh’s Last Mistress compliments of the lovely author! So enjoy!
1) Rachael, I want to know and I’m sure everyone else would want to know some behind the scenes details of your current book – The Sheikh’s Last Mistress. So to start off today’s interview my question to you is this: What had been the working title of your current release?
Hi Amanda and thanks for having me here today. The Sheikh’s Last Mistress was originally written in 2013 and became the last of my rejections before I was published. I’d titled the story A Deal with the Desert Devil and loved the characters so much I just had to rewrite it.
2) Glad to have you here again Rachael! What inspired you to write this story?
I usually see a scene of the story when I first get the idea and in this case, I saw a Sheikh dealing with the guilt of a tragedy he blamed himself for. The heroine was in his kingdom to help him with a troubled horse and the story just grew from there.
3) Describe your book in one sentence.
A story of forbidden love triumphing.
4) How long did it take for you to write the first draft of this book?
First time around about a year, second time around about four months.
5) Which celebrities would you choose to play the lead roles of your characters?
On Pinterest I’ve used Raquel Alessi and Omar Borkan Al Gala as inspiration.
6) What is the working title of your next book?
I don’t title my books as Harlequin come up with much better ones than me. I simply use the hero and heroine’s name.
7) What words of advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Never, ever give up on your dream and keep writing. The Sheikh’s Last Mistress is proof of that!
Excerpt – The Sheikh’s Last Mistress
Her gorgeous brown eyes, so full of emotion, sparked with fury as she glared back at him. Her lips were parted and he remembered how she’d kissed him as passion had engulfed her. She was beautiful, tantalising and almost everything he needed in a woman—but it could never be. He would be a fool to consider continuing with such a union. How could he when he’d forced Tabinah into an arranged marriage, making her so unhappy she’d fled the palace under the cover of darkness?
‘We’ve had every night for the last two weeks, Zafir. Each and every one of them was more than “one night.” It’s time to move on with our own paths in life—different paths which should never have crossed.’
She stood firm and rigid. Was she so immune to him, so closed to the pain of saying goodbye that she could stand there like a regal princess who’d been trained since childhood to be so aloof? Such natural poise and decorum proved she could be a suitable bride.
Where had that thought come from? He’d never considered Destiny as anything other than a lover, even though she’d been a virgin. They were of different worlds, different cultures and beliefs, brought together only by their common interest in horses.
Zafir looked at her again, as if seeing her with new eyes. Sunlight streamed in around her from the archways and beyond her lay the desert and, dressed as she was, in clothing of his country, she looked as if she belonged, as if she’d been created especially for the role. Especially for him.
But being his wife was a role. The woman he married would need to be strong of mind and wilful in spirit. She would need to be someone the women of his country could look up to but at the same time she had to be prepared to be one of them. More importantly, she would need to provide him with healthy male heirs to continue his family’s rule and enable him to fulfil the promise he’d made to his dying father.
Fury boiled up. How could he consider marriage for his own selfish reasons when he’d denied Tabinah exactly that?
‘You shouldn’t have dismissed him.’ Destiny’s sharp words snapped him back from the brink of thoughts of what could never be. When he looked at her everything in her stance seemed to confirm not only that she could be all the things he needed but that she was, as if fate was pulling them ever closer.
‘You are right.’ He turned and marched to the ornate arched window which looked out over the desert, the vastness as empty as his life now seemed, knowing Destiny would no longer be in it. But she was right. She had a life in England and he had duty to his family name, his country.
He refocused his thoughts. ‘I should not have sent him away. It was remiss of me.’
As he turned to face her once more, he thought he saw disappointment on her face. He watched as she swallowed, and remembered kissing her neck, tasting the pale creamy skin as she’d lain beneath him, totally consumed by desire.
He shouldn’t be having such thoughts. Passion and desire had never played a serious part in his life. Never had he been able to live far from the shadow cast by
the role he’d been born into and yet, somehow, something was changing, shifting like the desert sands, making him long for something different, challenging the duty and honour which drove him.
Promoted to Princess!
Destiny Richards knows she is playing with fire when she accepts charismatic Sheikh Zafir Al Asmari’s job offer, but it seems like a fair price to pay to start her life over again. Until the temperature reaches the boiling point and Destiny finds herself spending one out-of-this-world night with the sheikh!
When powerful Zafir seduces English rose Destiny, he never anticipates she’ll hold the title of his Last Mistress. But their scorching affair has shocking repercussions. Now, before their nine months are up, Zafir must convince Destiny to make their arrangement more permanent!
Read Reader Reviews
Rachael has always loved reading romance and is thrilled to now be a Presents author. She lives and works on a farm in Wales, a far cry from the glamour of a Presents story, but that makes slipping into her characters’ world all the more appealing. When she isn’t writing or working on the farm, Rachael enjoys photography and visiting historic castles and grand houses.