It's already an exciting and very busy week, since my mini launch tour for my next release – Topaz Eyes - has already started, even though the official launch is in three days, on the 7th December.
Click the tab on the bar above this main blog post to access the special page for finding out where I'll be found each day between 3rd and 17th December on the tour. Each post will be different but will be relevant to Topaz Eyes in some way or another. (Blog Tour *Dates* for Topaz Eyes)
Find out where you need to be, and what you need to do, to win a *GIVEAWAY* e-copy of Topaz Eyes, and also how to win my extra special prizes.
Topaz Eyes is a contemporary novel from Crooked Cat Publishing. I wanted to write something a little different from my previous work, though it's no great surprise that there is a complicated ancestral tree involved - I just had to get that history bit in somewhere! And, of course, I was also able to sneak in some fantastic places for Keira Drummond to visit while she embarks on what is more of a dangerous mystery than I've written before. Yet, I'm still a sucker for a happy ending so romance is on the cards, too.
Keira Drummond is a girl who finds she can’t say no… but what does that lead her into?
First impressions of Teun Zeger were good, she was asked? Not likely!
Keira finds herself embroiled in a family mystery, even though it’s not actually her own family. She’s drawn into an extremely hazardous search for a set of priceless Mughal jewels that haven’t been seen since 1910. Eventually, after much trauma and some disastrous consequences, the collection is gathered and mounted in an exhibition.
For today’s blog Keira's being interviewed by a society journalist who is squirreling out details about Keira’s first involvement with Teun Zeger, the information given for an expose article in a prestigious magazine. This doesn’t actually happen in the novel but you’ll get the drift…
Journalist: (peering at Keira from behind thick glasses, voice quite peremptory) Where did you first meet Teun Zeger?
Keira: It seems so long ago, but my first sight of Teun was while I was having a coffee on a street near the old bridge. If you’ve never been to Heidelberg you might not know it, but the Alte Brucke is a very touristy spot that’s usually heaving with people. The photo below might not show that - it must have been taken at dawn or something, but it is a truly lovely place.
|image use from www.123rf.com|
J: (nods head enthusiastically) Got that, thanks. I’ve seen a photo of Teun Zeger. He’s a great looking guy, but how did you meet up if the place was so crowded?
K: (laughing hard) His German accent was so bad it made me smile. The thought of him struggling with the language is making me laugh even now.
J: (looks intrigued) Are you saying he just initiated a conversation with you on a busy street.
K: (shakes head) Not exactly. He asked to sit at my table. I couldn’t refuse since it was the only vacant seat in the vicinity.
J: (nods and types furiously on netbook keyboard) And I suppose the rest is history. Love at first glance kind of thing? No ups or downs?
|image use from www.123rf.com|
K: (rueful sighs) It might have been love at first glance, but it wasn’t at second and third glances.
J: (looks up, quite surprised) But you’ve been with the guy for ages now. What happened to dispel the initial rosy glow?
K: (fiddles with her fingers then looks directly at reporter as though a decision has just been made; the intention to reveal everything) Trust. It all boiled down to trust. I was bowled over by his looks right away, but after only a few minutes I changed my mind about his intentions. I thought he was stalking me.
J: (suppresses an excited grin but fails) A stalker? Now that’s a lot more meat for me to write about. Tell me all.
K: (shakes head) It turned out Teun wasn’t my stalker.
J: (typing very fast, looking up encouragingly every few seconds) I’ve got that. Now keep talking, this is getting more interesting. There’s nothing in the archives about you being attacked or anything, so what happened with this stalker?
K: (looks into the distance) Oh, he was eventually picked up by the police.
J: (disappointment clear in tone) So there was no daring rescue by Teun Zeger?
K: (small satisfied smile and head shakes) Not with my European stalker.
J: (a bit agitated now due to renewed excitement) Are you saying you had two guys stalking you- one in Europe, and one in the US that Teun tackled on your behalf?
K: (smiles and nods, a laugh of remembrance and delight) Sort of.
J: (grins back) You can give me the juicy punching details later, but I want to know about this trust thing, first.
K: (leans towards J) It was simple really. It took quite a while for me to trust Teun’s motives. I didn’t know if he was doing something shady when he wouldn’t level with me. (smiles) Though, that wasn’t so bad since he didn’t trust me either. (laughs now related to other remembered feelings, eyes glowing with humour) Then again, neither did his third cousins trust each other.
J: (eyes widen, licking of lips indication of the success of the interview) Big mess all round? And lots of hidden secrets?
K: (enigmatic smiles now) Oh yes, but that’s what mysteries are about…
I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Keira. Read Topaz Eyes to find out more about her hunky hero-Teun Zeger- and the deadly mystery she was involved in.
A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.
Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.
Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota? Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?
As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?
Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love.
“Would you ditch the mystery, Jensen, and just enlighten me as to what you think I have that interests you? And tell me why you couldn’t have asked for it in the letter you sent to me? I came here of my own free will – granted – but I’m not hanging around any longer if you’re going to drag this out, for I’m damned sure I’ve no idea what you’re referring to.”
Jensen’s reply lacked emotion, his face a blank screen, his gaze focused on Teun as Keira regarded the by-play.
“Teun. It may come as a surprise to you, but you actually know more about this invitation than Keira. At least you knew from my letter I had something of family interest you might be glad to take back to the USA with you. Keira had no such suggestion made to her.”
Tension rose in the room, which didn’t only radiate from Teun.
Keira sat uneasy, also unwilling to be in the dark any longer. “Would you please explain why you think I may have something you want, Herr Amsel?” She found herself reluctant to use his first name, considering the antagonism now mounting.
“All in good time, Keira. And please call me Jensen. I don’t set out to be anyone’s enemy. I believe each of you can provide access to items belonging to the collection. All the pieces are likely to vary in monetary value but, viewed as a complete entity, it will make an impressive display. It’s a historic set… and unique.”
Topaz Eyes will be available in print and e-book formats from the 7th December from www.crookedcatbooks.com and amazon.com and amazon.co.uk
View my Youtube book trailer video for Topaz Eyes: