Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Guest post by Susanna Carr + Giveaway

Today I would like to broaden your reading horizons and at the same time have someone share their dream and story with you. Please give a warm welcome to Susanna Carr, who is celebrating the release of her latest novel and her first Harlequin Presents book: The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar, which is a dream come true. Read on and share one of your dreams to win! 

Do you have a dream that seems too far out of reach? I have several! A few years ago I wrote down a list of things I wanted to accomplish in my life. One item on that list was to write a Harlequin Presents. I knew it was unlikely to reach that goal--I had received rejections from them for over two decades!--but I had to go for it. If I didn't, I would regret letting the opportunity pass me by.

It wasn't easy. There were starts and stops. Months of struggling. Lots of self-doubt. I had to put one story aside because it wasn't working and then came up with a new story. The editors liked The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar, but it required rewrites and revisions. At one point I was talking to my twin sister and said this goal was too hard. She responded with, "You've wanted to write a Presents since you were a teenager. You don't end a quest because it's too hard. This is when you dig deep."

I kept chipping away at the manuscript but I wondered if I was wasting my time. Finally, a week after my forty-second birthday, I got a call from the Presents editor who wanted to buy my book. It was the best belated birthday gift ever! I happy danced all day. A couple of months later I was having a drink with my agent. She told me how much she admired my perseverance.

And I realized that if there is one thing I have in common with the heroines in my stories, it's having perseverance. When faced with insurmountable obstacles, perseverance is your super power and you will create your luck. John D. Rockefeller once said, "I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes everything, even nature."

There are a few other qualities that I share with the heroine in The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar. Zoe likes to dream big. She keeps quiet about her dream because it's the only way she can protect it. In this story, Zoe wants to become a doctor and she knows it's almost impossible. Almost. She doesn't have the freedom to pursue an education and she has no support, so she creates her opportunities. She risks it all to get the life she wanted, even marrying a sheikh known as "The Beast."

Fortunately I didn't have to go that far in reaching my dream.

Oh, and that story I had to put aside because it wasn't working? I rewrote it. I'm glad I did because it is my second Harlequin Presents and will be published January 2013.

What's on your dream list? Do you want to run a marathon? Buy a house? Get a tattoo?

Find out more about Susanna and her books at her website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads.

Jeweled veil weighing heavily on her head, Zoe Martin waits for her sheikh husband-to-be. The shame of her adoptive family, orphan Zoe has endured six years of being kept as a slave—now she's been sold into marriage…to a man known as The Beast!

Being discarded to the sheikh has one bonus—this could mean freedom! Zoe must play along with the three-day—and three-night—ceremony, but she isn't expecting the blazing attraction from just one stolen glance at playboy sheikh Nadir...


Susanna has generously offered a $10 USD Amazon Gift Card to a lucky commenter!

All you need to do is leave a comment answering Susanna's question: What's on your dream list? Do you want to run a marathon? Buy a house? Get a tattoo? and you're entered!

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 14 August 2012!

Good luck!

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