A Harem, A Prince, A True Life Story

The Next Family

By: Brandy Black

Since the LA Times Festival of Books on Saturday my daughter has been humming Justin Roberts and I have been curled up in bed at every possible free moment reading a much-awaited book.  For months I have been anticipating the release of “Some Girls: My Life In A Harem” by Jillian Lauren.  When I walked away from the booth, I realized how much I coveted those 339 pages as I held the book close to my heart and had an extra spring in my step.  Giddy and quickly racing back to the kiddy concert where my family and friends waited it occurred to me that there was an inscription inside the beautiful black and gold cover.  I stopped amid the crowd of people, flipped to the title page and anxiously read…

To Brandy-

Looking forward to your story next…

Much love,

Jillian Lauren (well actually a very beautifully scribbled autograph)

My heart stopped and melted as I stood still on the thoroughfare.  I know Jillian, and have for a while now.  I met her when she read for a show that I co-produce; it was a brief encounter, but by chance we bumped into each other again and the timing was just that I needed an adoptive parents blogger for The Next Family and she and her husband had recently adopted her son Tariku.  It has all been very serendipitous how we’ve ended up indirectly in each other’s lives but for her to write 6 little words that both inspired and floored me in a 1-minute encounter all while answering questions from passers-by affirms the genuine elegance and grace that I knew she had.  She is a true writer with the gift of summing a million beautiful thoughts into one powerful sentence.  I have watched her do it blog after blog and spent many teary nights in awe of her talent.  It was an honor and humbling to read what she wrote given the adoration I have for her writing. Susan later said “I bet she doesn’t realize how much you’d take that to heart.” I can hardly imagine writing my own story while reading hers but suffice it to say, Susan knows me well.

Let me get to her delicious book. She had me at the prologue which I don’t want to ruin, because if you pick it up and read it –knowing that that forward is much like the experience you will get when you read her book –you will buy it and read it and covet it like me.  If the story of an 18 year-old girl traveling to Borneo and ending up in a harem of the prince of Brunei, son of the Sultan of Brunei, doesn’t entice you then perhaps her fantastic writing will.  The book was released this week.

More details on jillianlauren.com

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