One of the main reasons I love to write is also the same reason I love to read. I adore being able to travel to distant lands, meet intriguing people and explore other cultures. I’m a poor chick from the south side of Chicago so my wallet doesn’t exactly run to exotic destination fare, if you know what I mean. Even when it is, I’m hard pressed to travel because I don’t always have enough vacation time. So I travel when I write and read. In my mind’s eye, I’ve been to Paris, Lisbon, Tokyo, Shanghai, Dubai, Sydney and Easter Island, along with many, many other places including far off planets. Researching a destination and world-building fills a need inside me to know and explore all these myriad realms.
In my latest, Byzantine Provocateur, I journey to Istanbul, an ancient city that was once the center of commerce between Europe and Asia as it straddles both continents. It is a place renowned for friendly people, coffee, carpets and one of the world’s oldest bazaars. I have always wanted to visit Istanbul, seeing the pictures of the Aya Sofia and the Galata Tower in my social studies book fascinated me. Later on, I read about whirling dervishes, the Spice Market and the Pera Palace hotel where Agatha Christie used to stay and I fell more in love with the city. I dreamed of maybe traveling here and finding a spellbinding romance. How could I not write about it, use it as a backdrop for one of my own tales?
My character, Thalia, gets the chance of a lifetime when she reconnects with a college friend who invites her to visit her home in this amazing city. I am so excited to be able to bring you this story. It is a tale of my heart to be sure.
What about you? Are there places you love to travel to while reading? A favorite destination you love to share using your words?
Amber Quill Press/Amber Heat
An ancient city sparks forbidden desire…
Thalia Burton arrives in Istanbul to relax and enjoy the company of her old friend. Hoping to forget the boring rut her life had become, she never imagines one meeting with Fadi's brother re-igniting the dim flame of passion inside her. Captivated by the heat in his golden eyes, Thalia finds herself tempted beyond reason...
Murat Bahar had only intended to meet Thalia as a courtesy to his family. One look at the lovely American incinerates his intentions. She is an exquisite morsel he longs to taste, a taboo treat enthralling him like a siren of myth. Perhaps just one night…
Once is not enough. Thalia and Murat embark on a fiery, secret affair that could burn them both, costing them friends and family.
Thalia and Murat are getting together for the very first time…
He caressed her in slow circles, kneading and rubbing her from breasts to belly. She quivered from the heat of his hand through the cotton of her shirt. Her breath hitched as he inched lower and lower. Palming her through her cargo pants, he massaged, squeezing and pressing until she thought she’d die.
Pliant and wanton, she dropped her head to his shoulder, undulating, pushing into his touch. Her blood sizzled, every cell in her body clamoring for him to be inside her and he hadn’t even started to remove her clothes. She whimpered, digging her nails into his forearm.
His lips curved in a smile against her neck. “Please…what?”
She inhaled sharply as he flicked open the button of her trousers.
“This?” He nipped her earlobe. “Or this?” Oh-so-slowly, he eased down her zipper, then teased a finger along the top of her panties.
She dragged in a breath. “I…I…”
Back and forth, he rubbed, skimming the top of her mound. She sagged against him, knees bent, thighs parting to give him better access.
Continuing to tease her, he reached up with his other hand up to cup her breast, rolling her nipple between thumb and forefinger. A wave of desire slammed through her and she cried out as he worked the hardened nub through the barrier of fabric.
Her vision clouded. “Murat!”
“Shh. This is only the beginning. We have plenty of time to play.”
She shuddered in frustration, wanting nothing more than to be flat on her back with him sliding inside her, bringing her to a volcanic climax. Something she hadn’t gotten from a lover in a long time. On the ragged edge, she tried to maneuver out of his embrace, take control.
He scraped his teeth over the nape of her neck and smacked her rear.
“Hayir, no,” he rasped.
Clamping his hands to her hips, Murat walked her to the bed, the hard promise of his erection burning into her lower back. He ripped the duvet from the bed, scattering pillows, then pushed her onto the mattress.
Thalia sat stunned as Murat knelt between her thighs. What is he doing?
“The first time with a new lover should be a symphony of bliss, a journey to be savored.”
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