I love to travel.
I started one week this year in Iceland and ended it Hawaii—which might be the coolest thing I’ve ever done, if a little hard to pack appropriately.
I love plotting new adventures and daydreaming about bucket list trips I’d like to take. I do it all the time—but you can’t spend your entire life on far-flung vacations looking at glorious landscapes. Believe me, I’ve tried.
My husband and I are both creative professionals (he draws comic books while I write Presents, among other things). This means that even with the best intentions, we often find ourselves working pretty much nonstop, seven days a week. That makes it hard to plan grand adventures, much less go on them. So recently we’ve decided to focus more on small ones.
Today, for example, is a quiet Sunday morning. We got up early and grabbed a coffee in town, then spent a little time exploring. The pretty valley in Oregon where we live is right on the cusp of fall, and there was that bite in the air and a hint of red in the leaves as we poked around the hills. The fields are all gold and the mountains look navy in the distance. It’s beautiful—and it’s right here in our backyard!
Exploring doesn’t have to a long haul flight and a dramatic trek up the side of the Remarkables in New Zealand (though that would be a lot of fun—I should probably look into that!).
It can be the long drive home. The dinner with a view. The quiet walk around your own sleepy town early in the morning. The trick is looking at everything that you usually miss with a traveler’s eyes, not a resident’s. The more you treat your every day life like a holiday, the more it begins to feel like one. And who doesn't want to be on holiday? Especially if you can be back at your desk in a couple of hours, refreshed and restored.
One of the many things I love about writing for Presents is that it allows me to indulge my travel bug all the time as I research all the glittering locales that might make excellent settings for my stories. When I came up with Amaya, the heroine of my latest book, Traded to the Desert Sheikh, she was a secondary character in her brother’s book (Protecting the Desert Heir, June 2015). All I knew about her was that she’d bolted after her betrothal ceremony with a warrior king in the neighboring sheikhdom, and that she’d managed to evade capture for six months as she traveled around the world.
I had a grand old time imagining exactly where in the world Amaya might have gone to keep herself out of her fiancé’s clutches for so long. That was a lot of fun. Of course, what was even more fun was what happened when he finally tracked her down in a remote Canadian lake town and hauled her back to the desert to do her duty and become his queen. As sheikhs are wont to do.
But travel is part of who Amaya is. (I can relate!) She had a largely vagabond youth with a restless, reckless mother and the places she felt safest were few and far between. What does a woman who only knows what it is to run do when she finds herself caught by a man who might as well be a mountain, so fused is he to a single place?
I hope you’ll read to find out.
Are you addicted to travelling? Do you like exploring places through the books you read? Join the discussion with Cailtin in the comments!
Cailtin's travel bug heroine, Amaya, can be found in Traded to the Desert Sheikh, out now:
In the desert, Sheikh Kavian’s word is law. So the defiance of his promised queen, Amaya, who flees after their betrothal ceremony, is intolerable! Kavian’salready tasted her sweetness—perhaps his reluctant bride-to-be needs reminding of the pleasure he can give…
Once Amaya is back in his kingdom, Kavian commands her total sensual surrender in the secluded harem baths. Amaya fears such all-consuming lust makes her weak, but she’s proven she can match his desire. Kavian needs a queen who can endure everything about him—can Amaya face his dark past and embrace her desert destiny?