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Silhouette Desire, April 2007

I love reading stories with independent, feisty heroines. So it's no surprise that when Rebecca Grainger sprang to life, it was clear quite early on that she was going to be a strong-minded heroine. So different from the kind of woman that my hero Damon Asteriades intends marrying that he calls her a 'Black Widow'. But being feisty and independent doesn't stop Rebecca from having chinks in her armour-and the hero is her biggest weakness. Damon is a rich, gorgeous Greek guy used to having his every demand met. So naturally fireworks were sure to happen!

Now chocolate is one of my biggest weaknesses, so I made Rebecca the owner of a chocolate boutique, stocked with shelves like this:



While writing the book, I had to research chocolate and visited chocolatiers to tantalize myself and get a real 'feel' for the industry. Some facts I uncovered:
  • According to Wikipedia, 'the word "chocolate" comes from the Nahuatl words Xocol meaning "bitter" and Atl meaning "water".'
  • Cocoa beans were used as a unit of calculation and payment from before AD 1000 by the inhabitants of Central America. 400 cocoa beans equaled one zonti and 8000 beans equalled a Xiquipilli.
  • When we think of chocolate today, we think of solid bars. Yet for most of its history chocolate has been produced as a drink.
  • In addition to sugar and fat, chocolate also contains small amounts of the stimulants theobromine and caffeine, as well as serotonin and phenylethylmine, the 'love chemicals'. While not proved to be an aphrodisiac, giving a loved one chocolate is definitely a good move!
During the course of the story my characters spend a day out at Goat Island, not far north of Auckland, one of my favourite places in the world. The strip of sandy beach which you can only just see on the bottom right of the picture is where they build sandcastles. Being a marine reservation, fishing is prohibited and the blue mau-mau fish are tame and swim between your legs in the water.

goat island

Thanks for visiting...and don't forget to return to read about Rico and Danielle's backstory in RICH MAN'S REVENGE, a June 2007 release from Silhouette Desire.