Last year I received an invitation from three authors I know and whose books I love – Donna Alward, Nina Singh and Barbara Wallace – to complete the quartet to write a mini series called “Bucket List Brides”.
Four young women, attending a charity auction, bid on an adventure. What happened to them after that was entirely up to each author.
The auction was to take place at the Merchant Resort, a fabulous hotel resort complex on Nantucket Island.
I needed a suitably gorgeous resort location, a beach and the kind of cottage that an islander family could have lived in forever. It was time for a little online research. I disappeared down the Pinterest rabbit hole for more time than was strictly necessary and followed #nantucketisland on Instagram. But that wasn’t the beginning of the story. This is the beach – with the necessary sunset – where it all began.
This is play time. The best part of writing – apart from the moment you sit back and know the book is finished – and a visit to that island location is now very high on my own bucket list!
The next decision was where in the world I would take my heroine. I did consider the desert, an encounter with a sheikh. Obviously that would be enormous fun, but I already had my hero. (I refer you back to that beach at sunset!)
Kit Merchant – the world’s most successful (and sexiest) ocean racer – should have been in the southern ocean, putting his new yacht through its paces, training his crew for the biggest race in the yachting calendar. Instead, he was right there in Nantucket – the very last person that Eve Bliss expected to see, or wanted to meet.
So, no sheikh this time, but this guy…
Donna had taken her heroine to the west coast of Canada, Nina and Barbara had Europe pretty much sewn up, with Venice and the south of France, so I returned to Africa.
I’ve lived there, know the scent of hot earth, the buzz of the insects, the jewelled flash of the birds. The Nymba Safari Lodge had been built in the place where Eve had lived as a child.
Eve had left for school in England, expecting to return, at Christmas.
It had never happened and this trip would give her a chance to come to terms with what had happened. Closure.
Be careful what you wish for. If Kit’s appearance at the Merchant Resort auction had been unexpected, coming face to face with him in the African bush shook her world and forced her to finally face up to the moment she had been dreading.
What’s on your bucket list?
What’s on your bucket list? Where in the world do you long to go?
What is your dream trip?
A Secret, a Safari, a Second Chance is published in print and digital editions on the following dates –
9 August – United Kingdom
19 August – Australia
1 September – United States
Amazon, AppleBooks, Kobo and Barnes and Noble.
Read an excerpt here
It sounds wonderful, Liz!
Thanks so much, Jan. Writing the book brought back some lovely memories.
As a “bred” African, I can wholly empathise with this location. Safari parks are magical and just the place for romance. Sadly, I never encountered a Kit. Mind you, I wasn’t really old enough when we did those trips as a family.
I did have a memorable moment with a game ranger, Elizabeth, and I also met my husband in Africa – our first date was a day trip to the Victoria Falls – so I do have a very romantic attachment to the continent!
Sounds like a mystery to me…!
I’d love to have made it a mystery, Lesley. Not sure my mind works in the right way.