As from 7 June 2012 – my 56th birthday – my debut romantic novel Casablanca, My Heart is available on Kindle and as a paperback. Published by That Right Publishing. Thank you so much, Tim Roux, for this exquisite birthday present.
I’d be delighted if you read my book and left a review. Stars and likes and interviews are also always a writer’s delight.
Two 5-star reviews already. This is what the readers say:
And then you go ‘Aha’!
‘Casablanca, My Heart’ starts out quite old-fashioned with a famous Romance writer taking a cruise in the Mediterranean and listening to some self-obsessed boring old fart lecturing her on her achievements.
Then there is a rumour of an Arab prince being on board and he turns out to be a big fan fn the Romance writer.
When they dock in Casablanca, things get, well, steamy.
OK, well why not?
But then something really interesting happens – the story starts wrapping around itself, building on the scene from all angles to explain what is really happening and what the motivations of the players really are.
A very superior Romantic read.
And the very first reviewer wrote:
A beautiful romance, a stunning debut novel
This is an unusual romantic novel, and I was mesmerised by it from the very first page.
Heather Simpson is a successful romantic novelist whose first love and marriage to the famous artist Luuk Routers has come to a tragic end after an unavoidable car accident for which Heather wrongly takes the blame. To protect her identity she assumes the pseudonym Femmy Lovecraft for her novels, at the same time continuing to nurse her beloved Luuk who remains in a coma. Persuaded by her friend Rita to give herself a break from this sadness and follow her dream to visit Casablanca to do research for her new novel, she embarks on a cruise which calls at Casablanca. But just before the ship docks she is confronted on deck by a handsome stranger who mysteriously knows her true identity.
From this moment on her life changes dramatically. Although at first shunning the attentions of the stranger, annoyed and puzzled that he should know her true identity, she nevertheless finds herself overcome with lust for this handsome half French, half Moroccan man of royal blood. But his passionate seduction of her is short-lived. Overcome with guilt, Heather flees back to the ship that afternoon, vowing never to see Ghalib Tourniquet again.
Told first from Heather’s point of view, and then from Ghalib Tourniquet with his fascinating blend of two cultures, the two voices complement each other in a most intriguing way. Warren has the enviable ability of being able to place herself in the head of each of her main characters, giving the prose an immediacy and a directness which is both vibrant and cinematic and made me feel I was right there watching the characters and living every moment of the action, the emotion and the heartache.
This debut novelist has a keen eye for detail; her prose is enriched by her fresh observation of things one often overlooks, and I found myself re-reading some of her passages for the sheer joy of the sound of them.
The characterisation is deep and revealing, especially of the main characters, whose lives the author explores far beyond the boundaries of the plot, which I will not reveal any further, but which will leave you on the edge of your seat as you follow the intricacies of their lives and bite your nails wondering whether Heather and Ghalib will ever get together again.
Elegant, lovely reading
It’s hard to believe that this is Ms. Warren’s debut novel. This book is, in short, a stunning work of literary fiction. The prose is graceful, elegant, and the reader can feel the love and care the author took in writing. Every sentence is a delight, every paragraph a feast for the senses. Ms. Warren is a skillful writer who paints vivid pictures with words, and the reader can quite easily see the world that she describes. I got chills in several places, such as the scene the morning of Luc’s funeral. Ms. Warren’s characters are realistic and deep. Heather’s character is heartbreakingly lovely and wounded, and the growth she undergoes is admirable. The Persian Prince, Ghalib, is no less realistic and I think it was very important to show his past during the second half of the book. It sets up the hows and the whys very nicely. Even the secondary characters have been thought-out and all contain very human flaws and admirable traits. This book serves to show that fate has a large part in our lives. Accidents happen, bad things happen, but every experience we have is a small part of a bigger purpose. Heather and her prince found their purposes through strife and heartache. It’s an excellent debut novel, expertly written and a true joy to read. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a wonderfully crafted love story that is elegant, smart and just plain brilliant.