The Evora Trilogy: The Secret Child

I love shining a light on regional designers, hotels, and authors – so *drum roll* here is a book by Kuwaiti Dana Al Jouder! She’s an artist, interior design aficionado, and she writes fantastical books – a true creative force to keep on your radar. Exclusively for Holidays in Heels, she presents in her own words her novel The Evora Trilogy: The Secret Child.

“We write continents apart; Nicole is in Los Angeles, and Dana is in Kuwait. Our story unifies African, Arab, Brazilian, and Portuguese folktales into one – the Evora trilogy.

Our story begins with a beckoning lure and the arrival of vast ships onto Evora’s shores. It all happens on the night of the pink moon, an event that marks the birth of Jací and the end of her kind.
Jací is the last of the Kaiawa, a tribe of dirtwalkers who have the gift to manipulate the earth beneath their feet. Her identity is kept secret by an adventurer-turned-hermit. Only he knows of her potential and the dangers of her enemies, the moonwalkers.

When Jací accidentally discovers her powers while visiting the royal palace, her world turns upside down. With the encouragement of Davi, the handsome bookkeeper, she sets out to learn about the barbaric massacre that killed her people. All the while, Captain Duarte is mysteriously connected to Davi and seeks to unearth an invaluable possession guarded by Jací’s family.

Jací is taken into a world she can no longer ignore and must find the courage to be the hero of her own destiny. This is the first book about Jací identifying her past, resisting the moonwalkers, and restoring balance to the land of Evora and to all who call it home.”

The book is available in bookstores in Kuwait and on Amazon:

Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
The rooms
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
Don’t miss
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450


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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

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