Meet Author Barbara McMahon
Source: McMahon's website
As so often happens, the quiet, subdued pace of my childhood left me yearning for new places and adventures as I finished my high school years. Hm, let's see, how far away from home can I get on the excuse it's to go to one of the best universities in the nation? How about Berkeley and the University of California? Yes, that ought to do it--very daring.
Talk about culture shock! The university was urbane, sophisticated, and in the midst of social and political upheaval like the world had never seen over the Free Speech Movement. It was an exciting time, but it was also like being on another planet. I know the folks back home watched the news diligently every night to see if their darling, shy Barbara was somewhere out there in the crowd and the teargas, wearing khakis and waving her fist in the air. That wasn't my style, but all of a sudden, I was quite the independent woman.
And, I was just across the Bay from that dream of a city, San Francisco. The quaint ethnic neighborhoods and towering skyscrapers of "the City" had a real effect on me. They made me want to see the whole world! I had dreams of joining the Foreign Service, of becoming a full-fledged diplomat in service to my country.
But in the meantime, what better way for a travel-hungry young college grad to put some miles under her belt than to become an international flight attendant? Now, I had a smorgasbord of wondrous places and experiences set before me--even though some were a bit of a blur because of the jetlag. I developed an affection and an appreciation for places very different from my own. At the same time, I came to understand how much in common we as human beings have, no matter what exotic locale we might call home.
My flying days came to an end when I fell head-over-heels in love and decided the best place to practice my diplomatic skills for the time being was with my new husband and our growing family. But it wasn't easy to settle myself into a nine-to-five day job. I've always been something of a daydreamer, and with all those marvelous places in the world tucked away in my heart, the stresses and restrictions of the work-a-day routine sent my thoughts wandering well beyond my office window at the most inopportune times.
While I could no longer jump on a plane for my Great Escapes, there was an alternative. I began to write. Soon, it became a joyful obsession, and, while the usual demands of family and finances kept me tied to the corporate grindstone, slowly but surely, the books began to take shape. Much to my delight, the books started to sell, dozens of titles to Harlequin Mills and Boon, a dozen more to Silhouette and even a couple to HardShell Word Factory! My latest venture carries me into the world of Harlequin SuperRomance books.
By the time my youngest graduated, an idea had started to take shape for my dear husband and me. I was ready to devote all my time to writing. We were both ready to leave the bustle and stresses of big city urban life, but we didn't want to stray too far from our children and the lives they had created for themselves. We came up with a perfect compromise.
Both of us had always been drawn to California's rugged and pristine Sierra Nevada Gold Rush Country, a few hours' drive from San Francisco. Of course, these days, the picturesque boom towns host visitors from all over the world, but the relaxed pace, the tall, fragrant pines and the glorious mountain air make for a little piece of heaven for my writer's soul. The move was one of the best decisions we ever made.
I still travel to various writer's conferences and signings. Getting to know readers in the process enriches my life in countless ways. My fans are the best!
I also visit family all over the country, particularly since I've developed a curiosity about my family's geneology.
Now and then, the wanderlust still comes over me and I picture myself living a life of cultured leisure in a cozy cottage in the English countryside. So, I sit down at the computer and take myself there for an hour or two, or to the pristine beaches of Hawaii, or even a quick trip Down Under.
But for now, the breathtaking and historic California mountains are very much home.
About Rescued by the Sheikh (Desert Brides)
Riding into the sunset with a sheikh!
When photographer Lisa Sullinger injures herself while exploring alone in the harsh desert of Moquansaid, she thinks it's pretty bad luck. Then a sandstorm strikes!
Handsome, enigmatic Sheikh Tuareg al Shaldor shelters Lisa in his desert tent before whisking her to his stunning, palatial home.
Lisa can't help but fall for Tuareg--but she knows he has built barriers around his shattered heart. Can Lisa dare to dream she might be the one to bring light--and love--back into the brooding sheikh's world?
To win a copy, take a look at this blog and comment on which book you would choose to read. Post a comment and please leave your email address. Winner will be announced January 24th.