Whirlwind Romance

A rush of emotion dropped a veil over all but the tiny world of the two people in seats 11A and 11B, in a jet plane floating somewhere over the Atlantic, in a still moment in time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mai Tais and Mayhem--Florida Intrigue and Romance

I’d like to talk about my new romantic suspense/murder mystery MaiTais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine. 

In it, our heroine Tessa Diamond volunteers at Mote Marine, which is where she meets Cameron Mason and the adventure begins. Cameron has just been hired to help lobby for the Sturgeon Commercial Demonstration Program. He and Tessa visit the aquaculture facility run by Mote for breeding sturgeon, financed by the sale of caviar.
 
She learns that sturgeon in North America date back sixty million years, and in Asia two hundred million years. During that time they have remained relatively unchanged, giving rise to their ? as living fossils.  Sturgeon live in lakes and rivers, and can reach 1200 pounds and 12 feet long—the Asian species grow even larger.

She also learns what tiger eyes can do to her.

I Heart Publishing, 12/7/2015
Contemporary romantic suspense, M/F, 2 flames, Mystery
eBook 68,840 words; print 208 pp.

Blurb:
When Tessa Diamond rescued a baby pufferfish from a hungry gull, her good deed led her into a shady world of smuggling, Russian gangsters, and coded messages, confronting murder, attempted ravishment, parrots, sea turtles and sturgeon, only to encounter blossoming romances at every turn, including one of her own.


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Excerpt (G): We Meet Cameron

“Excuse me, do you work here?”
Tessa jumped. “What the—”
A man stood next to her. His trim body and broad shoulders encased in a finely-made dark suit hinted at strength. He wore a nametag, but the writing was too small for her to decipher without getting up close and personal with his chest. Once her eyes traveled up to his face, though, she wanted to. Very badly. Talk about hot.
He reminded her of a dream she’d had a few weeks earlier, in which a stranger held her in his arms and crooned a love song. Here in the flesh was her stranger. Dark blond hair feathered with gold, the mysterious tawny eyes of a stalking tiger, gently tanned skin drawn taut over the arched cheekbones, a nose…well, the nose could use some work. It tilted at an odd angle, presumably due to a collision with a blunt instrument sometime in the past. Tessa found it endearing.
“I repeat, do you work here?”
“I…uh…no. I don’t.” She indicated the nametag. “Do you?”
“Technically yes, only not in this building. I’m hoping you can tell me which door I use to get out. I mean, now that the aquarium’s closed.”
“It is? Oh damn.” She checked her watch. Ten minutes after five. “I guess we’d both better leave.”
Together they made a circuit of the doors, finding them all locked. Finally, the door to the gift shop gave to the combined pressure of four hands. Feeling like mischievous children, they crept past the ancient man counting money from the cash register. At the main entrance, her companion grinned at her. “Shall we make a break for it?”
Tessa smiled back and legged it out to the parking lot. She was rooting around in her bag for her keys when he caught up with her. “Hey, I didn’t catch your name.”
“Well, catch your breath first.” She waited, thinking he didn’t seem in very good shape despite his physique. Good. Otherwise he might have been too perfect. She didn’t want any complications in her life right now.
“Sorry,” he puffed. “I guess I haven’t entirely recovered from that bout with pneumonia.”
Damn.
“So, are you going to tell me your name? After all, we’re partners in crime now.”
“Tessa Diamond. And you are?”
“Cameron Mason. At your service.”
“Nice meeting you.” Tessa turned to her car. He cupped her elbow with a big, warm hand.
“Say, Ms. Diamond, can I interest you in a drink?”
“I don’t think...”
“You see, I was supposed to meet with the Lab director at five and he called in sick. Since I live up in Bradenton I really don’t want to schlep all the way back during rush hour. It would be nice to while away some time.” His lips curled in a tentative smile and she knew she’d have to give in. “You’d be doing me a favor. How does Tommy Bahama sound?”
Tessa gazed deep into eyes in which greens and browns intermingled in a steamy rainforest of color. She woke up with a start when he touched her elbow again. “Miss Diamond?”
“Uh, sure. That would be fine.” Can you act any lamer, Tessa? But those eyes…
“My car or yours?”
“Er, why don’t I follow you?” She should at least make an attempt at keeping her distance. Anything to get away from that scent of his, a combination of dark rum and cinnamon. Very…tasty.
“Okay. I’m the tropical blue hybrid over there. The one sporting the I Love Caviar bumper sticker.”
“And I’m…” she stopped.
“The red Porsche. I know.”
Shut up, Tessa.


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