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Rachel Bailey, RETURN OF THE SECRET HEIR and a Giveaway!

Today we have Harlequin Desire author Rachel Bailey with us and she's also got a book for you! 

But before we give over to her...a reminder! My Blog's sidebars on both sides have links to follow KATE WALKER and CHRISTINA HOLLIS blog tours for MEGA GIVEAWAYS! Follow and Comment for giveaways and to go in the Grand Prize Draw!

So over to Rachel now....

What Did You Want To Be When You Grew Up?

I always find it interesting to know what people wanted to be when they were young and what they ended up doing for a living. And, to me, it’s equally fascinating to find out the same for characters.
For example, the heroine in my October release, Return of the Secret Heir, Pia Baxter, wanted to be a fashion designer when she was a teenager, but she eventually caved into expectations and became a lawyer. In the process, she also repressed the creative, free-spirited part of herself.
At one point in the book, the hero, JT, realises that Pia hasn’t totally eradicated her creativity – she makes hats for herself. She sees it as a ‘practical solution to a problem’ since she has a hard head to fit, but JT sees through that and understands it better than she does herself. He even buys her some supplies:

Her violet eyes glistened. "That was thoughtful. Thank you." She peeped into the second bag. "You came home early just for this?"
"Pretty much." He walked in and slipped his arms from his jacket.
At one end of the dining table Pia had legal documents in piles and at the other end was a pea green creation with a wide brim. Seemingly unable to help herself, she was drawing a roll of snowy white ribbon from the bag he'd brought and was holding it against the hat.
"The woman in the shop said it was a versatile ribbon," he offered. He'd been unsure how versatile ribbon could be, but he'd taken her word for it.
"It's double-faced satin. There are a few things I could do with it." She looped it around a few fingers and it became a flower which she held against the hat again, judging its effect. She'd always been able to do that—transform rudimentary materials into a work of art. Dresses, jewelry, shawls, whatever she tried.
Among her family of hard, dull stones, she'd been a polished ruby, bright and dazzling. And the pull of that luminescence had been stronger than a siren's call for a hard-edged boy from the wrong side of the tracks.
"Why did you give up dreams of fashion design, Pia?" he asked, moving behind her.
She turned, her startled eyes meeting his, and he glimpsed endless depths of sadness. His chest constricted at being confronted by that bleakness in eyes he'd seen shine with passion and joy.
Then she blinked it away and methodically packed the ribbon into the bag it'd come in. "I grew up."

And the hero, JT Hartley thought he’d become a mechanic - when he was a teenager he built his own motorbike from scrap parts, but he ended up making millions in property development. When he was young, his mother had regularly moved him from town to town and he never really felt he had roots. So, even though he didn’t really choose this path on purpose, he’s created a way to make sure he always has lots and lots of properties. Stability and security.
When Pia asks him why he’s challenging the will of Warner Bramson, the man JT believes was his biological father, JT gives some insights into how he ended up on this career path:
"Assuming Warner was your father," she said carefully, and he almost smiled at her attempt to stay in her impartial role, "it's impossible to justify that all the time your mother was struggling, your father was a billionaire."
He'd spent several weeks being consumed by anger over that exact point. His mother had worked a succession of menial jobs to pay the rent, to ensure he had clothes to wear to school, never having new things herself, never feeling safe. All while Warner Bramson's wife and his long-term mistress lived the high life, not needing to work, yet having jewels, the latest fashions, luxuries beyond belief. The injustice of it ate into his gut.
He set his shoulders. "That's why I have to challenge. For her."
"But you're doing well now? Surely she's stable?"
It'd been soon after Pia had abandoned him that he and his mother's boss had bought a rundown house together—because he was in real estate, Old Jack had been the eyes and the money, and JT had been the brawn and the spare time. He'd fixed up the place under Old Jack's directions and they'd given it to his mother.
He'd always suspected Old Jack was sweet on his mother, but being an employee, she'd been off limits.
Then they'd bought another run-down house and sold the finished product, then another. They'd avoided the real estate crash through Old Jack's foresight and continued. He'd ended up in property development more by a random chain of events than design, but it was a good career built on solid, secure investments.
His mother now lived in the most expensive house he could talk her into, and had a regular monthly income that saw her well taken care of.
But that wasn't the point.
"This isn't about the money," he said, wanting Pia to understand this point if nothing else. "The injustice of her life needs to be redressed. She lost so much for me to have life, the least I can do is see her receive what she deserves." She needed to be acknowledged by the family whose patriarch had dismissed her like a dirty rag.

So, tell me, what did you want to be when you grew up? And what did you end up being? Which job do you think suits / would have suited you better?

I’ll give away a copy of the first book about these brothers, At The Billionaire’s Beck & Call? to one commenter.


Rachel Bailey developed a serious book addiction at a young age (via Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck) and has never recovered. Just how she likes it. She went on to gain degrees in psychology and social work but is now living her dream—writing romance for a living.

She lives on a piece of paradise on Australia’s east coast with her hero and four dogs, and loves to sit with a dog or two, overlooking the trees and read books from her ever-growing to-be-read pile.

Book Blurb:

He's returned for a fortune and is confronted by memories. Though tycoon JT Hartley is a success in his own right, he's set on claiming his share of his late father's legacy. But first he has to get past the estate executor - none other than Pia Baxter, a woman he's never forgotten.

Theirs had been a fast-and-furious union that ended all too suddenly. And though desire still courses between them, JT knows starting anything with Pia again is just asking for trouble. His future is set in stone. But even the best-laid plans are no match for true passion.

Contact links:

Website              Facebook              Twitter

Buy links:

Harlequin                Barnes & Noble      

Book Depository           Amazon


  1. Oh gosh, now I'm really interested in this story! I'd love to see what happens between Pia and JT.
    I've always wanted to be a writer, and I'm still writing!

  2. Hi Deniz!

    Thanks for coming along to read this!

  3. Deniz, so pleased you found JT and Pia interesting. :)

    Very cool that you've always wanted to be a writer and are still writing. Keep going - never give it up!

  4. Hi Rachel,

    So glad you're here! Please come-on over to

    to see how I had to resist reading Return of the Secret Heir!

  5. I just read your post, Riya, and loved it! Hope you enjoy Million-Dollar Amnesia Scandal and Return of the Secret Heir when you get to them. :)

  6. Hi Nas! Hi Rachel! This looks intriguing. Love the cover too. Makes me want to read it. Lovely interview. Like Deniz, I always wanted to be a writer, but I had other careers as well (such as an English/History teacher) which have only helped my writing.



  7. Denise, I love that cover too - the Desire art dept are fabulous!

    How cool that you wanted to be a writer and your day job/s have helped that. As I said to Deniz, never give up!

  8. I wanted to be a pianist, an actress and an artist. Now I'm a writer. Ha.
    Your book sounds like a great read.

  9. Lynda, I wanted to be a pianist too! Sadly I'm dreadful at playing the piano, but that's the great thing about being a writer... JT's half brother, Seth, has his story in Million-Dollar Amnesia Scandal, and his heroine is a jazz pianist and singer. I lived vicariously through April for the whole book. ;)

  10. How fascinating, Rachel, that you used the angle of what your heroine and hero wanted to be when they grew up vs. the careers they wound up having in an attempt to cope with the issues in their past. Luckily the two saw past the career facades into one another's souls.

  11. Michelle, that's totally it: "Luckily the two saw past the career facades into one another's souls." I love it when people 'get' it. =)

    This book definitely started with the characters first and the plot developed from where they ended up as adults and what they needed to happen. Thanks for dropping by!

  12. It's amazing where you end up in life. I wanted to be a vet and keep on writing and ended up being a retail business owner and writer. Now I'm going where I never thought I would - in 2012 I'm going for a Ba. in Criminology. Go figure!

  13. Natasha, I wanted to be a vet at school too! And a Ba in Criminology? Fascinating!! Best of luck with it!

  14. Hi Rachel, I enjoyed your post. I wanted to be a vet when I was younger until I discovered that there could be blood involved. I changed my mind pretty quickly!

  15. Hi Nas & Rachel,

    Thank you for a lovely read. I've added the whole series to my order list and can't wait to read them.

    Growing up, all I wanted to be was one of Charlie's Angels or one of the Avengers. But real life intervened and I ended up more like Knightrider working with cars. Sadly no David Hasselhoff or Kitt in sight ...

  16. Shelley, looks like there are three of us who wanted to be vets! Maybe there's a correlation between wanna-be vets and writers? Glad you became a writer though. :)

  17. Juanita, that is the coolest dream job I've heard in ages! Shame there aren't that many openings for more Charlie's Angels...

  18. I think it's funnny what our parents want us to be. My mother wanted to be a pianist. But when she bought an organ, I had to take the lessons. Well, one lesson. I sucked.
    I wish I had listened to my heart earlier and started writing long before I did. But, better late the never!
    Rachel, I *love* this book. Got four and a half stars from Romantic Times, didn't it? Smart people =)

  19. Robyn, yes! I've seen so many people who had lessons in what their parents wanted to learn. My eldest sister had ballet lessons because my mother wasn't allowed to when she was a kid. Sister desperately wanted to have horse riding lessons. She now has her own horse though. :)

    Thanks for the kind words about the book. Those 4.5 stars were a fabulous surprise!

  20. Fabulous interview Rachel.
    Am looking forward to reading JT and Pia's story. When I was young I wanted to be a professional equestrian and ride my horse in the Olympics :)Never quite made it. I also wanted to be a writer - so one out of two ain't bad :)
    Great post.

  21. Hi Rachel,
    Congrats on the latest release!
    I was the typical change my mind but some things I did want to be was hairdresser, beautician, actress, spaceship pilot, full time reader, and also be like those who were older than me that seemed so elegant. LOL!

    What I ended up being was a librarian, so not too far of the books, though I worked in specialist company and government libraries. So no fiction for me. But my creativity kept bugging me and so writer and now designer are part of what I do.

    Great post, Nas!

  22. Helen, I can *so* see you as an Olympic equestrian competitor! You need to write a book with a heroine who does that. =)

  23. Helen, that's quite a list! Being a librarian is something I still think about with dreamy eyes. In fact, I have a heroine in an unpublished manuscript who works in a library... might have to look at that one again. :)

  24. Rach I totally LOVED those little scenes from your book! You've so clearly shown their personality and a good piece of their dreams =)

    You know I never really knew what I wanted to be! It drove me crazy that all my friends had wonderful goals while I scratched my head, vacillating from one job idea to another. But I HAD always been a book worm, so it was probably a natural progression to writer. (mind you I did see a careers counselor who dismissed my writing idea)

  25. Hi Nas, Hi Rachel.
    Your excerpts are well written and wrap the reader up in this world you've created for your characters. As for me, I am an artist. However my family is very scientific, nursing and other such things. They too dictated a different path for me. But now, I am a writer. Yeah!

  26. Sounds like a great story, Rachel! Nas does know how to pick 'em. ;-)

  27. That's what I call a picturesque cover. I like the way Rachel uses what they do to show where her characters came from and who they are in the present day.

  28. It sounds like a perfect book for reading before going to bed :)

  29. Mel, sounds to me like you had the perfect grounding to be a writer. :)

    And I'm blowing raspberries to the careers counselor who dismissed your idea of being a writer. You've clearly shown her to be wrong!

  30. Nancy, isn't it funny how some families have lots of people who are similar then one who stands out?

    My mother is an artist and she's done a little (unpublished) writing - I always find her descriptive passages fascinating. She sees the world with an artist's eye and will describe things in a way that would never occur to me. I bet your writing is as fascinating!

  31. Aw, thanks, LP! Glad you dropped by. :)

  32. Hi, JL. I love that cover too! When my editor first sent it to me, I couldn't stop grinning. And I've seen a sneak peek at my Feb '12 cover and I love it even more! I've been very blessed by the cover fairies. :)

  33. Olga, I love reading before bed! Or in bed. Ever since I started reading books by myself as a child, I've read a few pages before sleep each night. Where would we be without books?

  34. Return of the Secret Heir looks like a great escape. It's something I'd take on vacation with me.

    It was great to get know Rachel and her writing.

  35. Hi Rachel and Nas... I wanted to be a rockstar when I was growing up... sadly at 36 I STILL want to be a rockstar :)))

  36. Medeia, yes! A vacation isn't quite a vacation without books to read, is it? I'm always so careful to plan for the books as well as the destination. :)

  37. Tash, no point dreaming if you don't dream big! :)

  38. Hi Nas, Hi Rachel! (waving)

    Rachel, I went through a stage where I wanted to be a horse! LOL! Thank goodness I didn't get my wish!

    Then I wanted to be a veterinarian, which is sort of a logical progression... sort of! After that I moved on to becoming a medical scientist so a scientific bent.

    So writing fiction is a definite detour for me - and a fascinating one! Though I still get to use that background knowledge on the page, don't I!

    Good luck with JT and Pia - it's a fabulous story!


  39. Sharon, you wanted to be a horse? You are an interesting and unusual woman, Ms Archer. ;)

    And yes, that background knowledge is very useful for the page - including on the pages of my Feb '12 release where I needed some expert medical assistance!

  40. Isn't it funny to see how things turn out? Although I did want to be a teacher and writer, and I turned out to be... a teacher and writer, with a few detours along the way!

  41. Talli, it is funny, isn't it? And sometimes looking back, those detours turn out to be really important to the final destination!

  42. I wanted to be a writer, and I'm on my way! One thing I didn't dream of was being a mediator (I hadn't even heard of the word), but that's what I do for my day job, and I love it!

  43. Amie, how cool that you're a mediator! Those skills and the ability to understand both sides of the story must be invaluable in your writing. Best of luck with the writing!

  44. Rachel, what you wrote in your response further bears out Kate Walker's advice in her 12-point guide to writing--characters, conflict and emotions first, then let that plot flow naturally as a result. :)

  45. I wanted to be a teacher when I was young, but ended up an engineer and now a writer. I never though about it before, but it is interesting to find out what people wanted to be when they were young.

  46. Michelle, each book has worked a little differently for me, but, yeah, that's a great plan!

  47. Hi Susan! An engineer and a writer? You're really giving both sides of your brain a workout. :) And re: wanting to be a teacher - now you can write a teacher character, so it's a win-win!

  48. Nas and Rachel, What a wonderful life, living in such a beauty spot and writing. If we don't always end up where we thought we should be, it's got to be where we were meant to be. Best wishes on your writing career.


  49. Manzanita, I think you've put that beautifully:

    "If we don't always end up where we thought we should be, it's got to be where we were meant to be."

    Thanks for dropping by!

  50. Sounds great! I've always wanted to be a doctor, but now I'm an author and that's okay with me.

    I have awarded you the One Lovely Blog Award. Stop by and pick it up :)

  51. Hi Donna,

    I'll be sure to drp by and pick the award! Thanks for awarding me!

    Thank you to all my lovely friends for coming along and meeting Rachel Bailey. Let's see who Rachel declares the winner!

  52. Hi Rachel,
    Sorry I'm late for your wonderful blog. LOVE the sound of your next book - I am a HUGE fan :) Great cover too. SO sensual even though it's out in the open.

    Thanks for having Rachel as your special guest, Nas, and congrats on the award!! You deserve it for all your hard work.

  53. Donna, there are some similarities in wanting to be a doctor and wanting to be an author - both get to 'fix' people. I love giving my characters happy endings!

    Very cool about Nas getting the blog award - she deserves it!

  54. Hi Serena! Thanks for the sweet words. =)
    I think I've said a few times already, but I love that cover too. They have Pia's lovely red hair, the blue dress she wore to the gardens, and the hat beside her knees is important to the story too. Their attention to detail was fabulous.

  55. And my random pick winner is...


    L'Aussie, drop me an email: rachel (at) rachelbailey (dot) com with your postal address and I'll pop a book in the mail for you. :)

  56. Hey Rachel and Nas! That's awesome. Little 'ole me wins a great book! Thank you, thank you, thank you!


    I'll send you my address.

  57. Congratulations to L'Aussie Denise and Thank You to all my lovely friends and fellow bloggers for coming along!

    Thank you to Rachel Bailey for taking time out from her busy schedule and being with us here and for the giveaway!