Message From The Author

Diana Palmer

Book Title: LORD OF THE DESERT
Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Author's Message

Romance's Princess Diana

by Tara Gelsomino

With more than 110 books and short stories to her credit, its no wonder author Diana Palmer has amassed a truly royal following. Series romance fans everywhere have had her name at the top of their automatic-buy lists since her romance debut in 1979. With the launch of her Long, Tall Texans series in 1988, which now boasts more than 21 installments, Diana quickly became a reader favorite and has since been fueling fans fantasies with new series, like her sexy Soldiers of Fortune mercenary stories and captivating contemporary titles from MIRA.

Though many authors might resort to recycling plots or storylines, each romance from Diana is different. How does she manage to keep her writing so fresh throughout the years? Every book I write always feels like the first book I've ever done, she explains. I love this job so much, maybe that has something to do with it.

Not only are her plots original, but over the years, Diana has also tried her hand at different genres, including sci-fiction and a Silhouette inspirational! It was a wonderful challenge because there couldn't be any racy scenes! But my favorite type of book is still romance. We live in a world that doesnt often offer happy endings. I can get reality on the six oclock news. When I read, I want to be uplifted, not depressed.

Her newest MIRA romance, LORD OF THE DESERT, is actually a spin-off from her first single title, Once Upon a Time, and features one of her most-requested characters, whofittingly enoughis royalty himself, a sheik. I had a soft spot for Philippe Sabon, and SOOOO many letters from readers who also wanted his story. It was a fiesta to write; I had a ball!

Bad boy-turned-hero Phillippe meets Texan Gretchen Brannon in Morocco where she is vacationing with her best friend Maggie Barton (from Mercenarys Woman), who is unexpectedly called away from her new job as Phillippes social secretary. Naturally , Gretchen must pitch in and sparks are soon flying with Phillippe, one of Dianas patented sexy and stubborn alpha males. He certainly has the arrogance for it! Hes European as much as hes royalty, and he has a rather chequered background. But shes not your average pliable type, and she runs rampant in the palace changing things that are unfair and making friendsa real Texas heroine!

Of course, Diana did her own conquering of a sexy hero, her husband James. A strong woman doesnt want a man who can be cowed, and I speak from personal experience. I married an alpha-male. Theyre terrific to live with, very gentle and tolerant, and fierce when they need to be. But a man like that would walk all over a woman who didnt stand up to him. In 28 years of marriage, my husband never lifted a hand to me, but hes been quite ready to lift a hand to any man who threatened me or our son. I love him with all my heart; hes every hero Ive ever written about.

James also served as inspiration for Diana to return to college at age 45. Everybody I met at conferences who wrote historical romancehad degrees. I felt very uncomfortable with just my high school education. My husband had just left his job to return to college at age 48, and I thought, if he can, I can. So, inspired by him, I did! After graduating with honors in 1995 and she inspired MIRA to create the Diana Palmer Continuing Education Scholarship of a $1500 award to students 21 or older. I went back to college at the age of 44, because I could never afford it until then. I really love MIRA for doing this.

While researching LORD OF THE DESERT, Diana got some hands-on education at a place she now dubs the most romantic in the world. I spent a week in Morocco that I will never forget. It ranks as one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. We get a lot of information about other countries if one of our citizens or politicians is killed there, but we dont
get much information about other cultures any other way. I learned that mainstream Muslim people are just like us in many ways: theyre very tolerant, they enjoy learning about other cultures, they arent violent, and they are extremely intelligent. The waiters in our hotel spoke seven languages fluently. There I was with my English and Spanish and my very bad French, feeling illiterate. It was really a learning experience, which I hope comes across in the book.

The most unique part of her trip? Riding a camel! And not with any sissy saddle and stirrups, either. There was no saddle, no stirrups, a tiny little braided rope to hold onto, and those things are TALL! she laughs.

Speaking of Tall, Dianas already hard at work on new novels about Texans (not part of her Long, Tall series, although she pledges to continue it until I die. Or until Silhouette fires me.), including another spinoff, THE TEXAS RANGER, about Gretchens brother. Shell also have the second and final novels in her new mercenary series coming, THE WINTER SOLDIER (Jan. 2001) featuring Cy Parks, and THE LAST MERCENARY (TBA) featuring Micah Steele.

My readers are the greatest people on earth. They have kept me going when I was ready to quit. It just doesnt get any better than having a few wonderful, loyal people think you can write, after the critics tell the whole world that you cant.

To enter a contest to win an autographed copy of LORD OF THE DESERT, readers can visit www.dianapalmer.com.


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