Message From The Author

Author's Message

Looking back on the writing of Princess, I recall feeling like an Olympic high diver, and a newcomer to the team at that.
After the great response I received from readers to my debut novel last summer, The Pirate Prince, I was faced with the question of what to do for my second book. Should I choose an easy dive, I wondered, one I was fairly sure I could perform smoothly? Or do I keep pushing myself on to even bigger challenges? In typical Foley fashion, I opted for the literary equivalent (in my opinion, anyway)
of the death-defying, triple back-flip, corkscrew dive into a pool of alligators.

I dont mind telling you that PRINCESS was a darned hard book to write. But that makes me all the more proud to see it hit the shelves this month.

At the heart of the story is Darius Santiago, an intense, moody outsider-hero who loves and protects a world of beauty and light that he cannot enter he is afraid to leave the
shadows, emotionally-speaking.

Taken in as a street-toughened boy by King Lazar and Queen Allegra (from the The Pirate Prince), Darius has devoted himself to guarding the royal family of the Italian island kingdom, Ascencion. A spy-master capable of unflinching ruthlessness, Darius is King Lazars most trusted agent. The one person who had the ability to reach this dark, untouchable man, however, is the Kings only daughter, the whimsical and radiant Princess Serafina.

She has simply adored Darius all her life, but when Napoleon threatens Ascencion, she is promised in a political marriage to a Russian prince. Under orders to protect Serafina until her wedding from the French agents who seek
to abduct her, Darius keeps up his stony facade, feeling that to surrender to his need for her love would be dishonorable, a betrayal of his king. But when he takes her into hiding to an idyllic country villa, temptation becomes too strong and they are swept up in their forbidden love

He did not know how
long they went on like that, holding and touching, exchanging soft kisses like
two innocent children, rapt with discovery. Certainly it was not the way he conducted his usual seductions.

This was nothing like that. His soul was on fire. With her, he was as raw and heated and uncertain as the virgin in his arms.

Dusk deepened in the woods. Their movements released the earthy scents
of the dried leaves and the soft, velvety moss that was their bed. Night birds sang lonely melodies of love.

He became intensely aware of her hands sliding over his body, exploring his back, his sides, his hips. Somehow she had untied his cravat without his noticing. She caressed his neck, hooking her finger through the silver chain bearing the medal she had given him. Kissing the crook of her neck, he felt her hips lift beneath him in fiery instinct.

Lust slammed through his body.
His pulse was wild, and he could feel her heartbeat pounding inside her body. She ran her fingers through his hair. He dragged his eyes open and looked at her, panting slightly.

She was breathless, her lips slightly parted. Her violet eyes were glazed with wonder as she discovered her desire, feverish with need that mirrored his own. She tilted her head back, staring at him hotly, as if he were already sheathed deeply inside her.

He slid his fingers through her hair, cradling her head in his hand. He wet his lips, swallowed hard, hesitating, afraid of he-knew-not-what.

So afraid.

Serafina, he said in a trembling whisper.

Yes, Darius, yes. She slipped her arms around his neck and pulled him down to her.

The future, the world beyond the
forest dissolved along with his resistance. Years of resistance, futile from the start. He belonged to this girl, body and soul, and he knew it.

With relief so exquisite he could have wept, he smoothly lowered his head and kissed her lips.

Though PRINCESS is a sequel to
The Pirate Prince, it can also be read as
a stand-alone novel. Right now, I am hard at work finishing up the third book in the Ascencion trilogy. Youll get to meet my next hero within the pages of Princess. He is Serafinas brother, the rich, wayward golden boy and heir to the kingdom, Prince Rafael di Fiore. Get ready, ladies, for Prince Rafe the Rake in PRINCE CHARMING, coming in early 2000!

Thats all I can say for now, but be warned, he is one sexy royal devil!

Gaelen Foley holds a degree in
literature and a minor in philosophy. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her new husband, Eric, and two spoiled bichon frises. Visit her webpage at www.gaelenfoley.com. She loves to hear from readers via e-mail at gaelenf@aol.com or c/o Ballantine, 201 E. 50th Street, New York, NY 10022.


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