Yes, I know that's me, but since I'm off for a fun weekend away from home (read away from the internet as well) I left the guest spot empty. Then I decided the blog looked so lonely.
Teun's desperate to speak to you anyway!
I know what you look like Teun (isn't he a lovely man?) but for the readers describe yourself using only 6 words.
Tenacious, dedicated, hardworking, loyal, focused, motivated
I'm hearing Keira Drummond might also call you a pain in the ass?
Probably. She thinks I'm too negative and to distrusting.
Where are you from?
I was born in Rochester, Minnesota, but brought up in California - so people tend to think I’m Californian since I’ve picked up a bit of an accent from living in Sonoma.
Is that where you live now?
Hah! More like out of a suitcase! I've an apartment in San Francisco, my base city, but I travel to my Boston and London labs fairly regularly. That means I’m not in the apartment all that often. I stay in hotels everywhere else. And right now, apart from staying one overnight at my uncle's house in Rochester, Minnesota, I've been in hotels for weeks.
What’s your main occupation just now?
It should be running my three laboratories - I’m an industrial chemist, and my labs do a variety of experimental testing and routine checks - though recently I’ve been trekking around the world with a fantastic woman called Keira Drummond in search of my family’s treasures. We’re on a treasure hunt to find the Tiru Salana jewels before the hired thugs, who’ve been tailing us, get them first. I told you already that I'm tenacious? Now that I've started, I want the quest to be over and all the missing items found. I'm also a bit preoccupied just now with working out who in my new found third cousins are trustworthy. Right now I'm a Doubting Thomas and don't think much of any of them. The bast**** (sorry!) are hiding too many secrets. I'm not stopping till I solve all these puzzles.
What makes you happy?
It used to be the thrill of getting my laboratories set up and running smoothly, but now I’d just be happy to be anywhere so long as Keira's by my side. I’ve just discovered what it’s like to have one woman who matches me perfectly!
I think she matches you very well, Teun!
You've been granted a whole week where you can choose every single thing you want to do. What would that be?
This would be assuming the Tiru Salana hunt is over, since there’s going to be no leisure till that happens?
Well, I’d like Keira to introduce me to all the fantastic European cities that she’s already been to. She’s a fabulous tourist guide and speaks so many European languages. She’s just blown me away with her competence! I’d wine and dine her in all the venues she can’t afford to go to normally, and sometimes we’d just hang out *wink* You don't need those details here...
What’s your favourite reading material?
I guess I'm a bit of a nerd. I read Scientific American, National Geographic – magazines like that. I don’t get around to much in the way of fiction, but if I do read any it’s generally science fiction.
You’re going to begin a new hobby. What would it be?
That would definitely be to learn to speak Dutch. My grandparents were Dutch though I never learned any of their language. Now, having met my new European cousins, I think I owe it to my ancestors to learn Dutch, and maybe some German as well.
Who, or what, is the love of your life?
Last week I would have had trouble answering that question, but today it’s without a doubt Keira Drummond. I love everything about her- even her sometimes too trusting optimism...though actually she reads people better than I do!
What is your biggest goal for 2013?
Make that plural! I’ve lots of goals. Get the treasure hunt over; keep Keira safe from the lunatics who are harming my family to the point that someone has already died; and marry Keira as soon as possible.
I haven’t asked her yet, so I guess that’s another goal.
Thanks for answering my questions, Teun. Good luck with that quest for the Tiru Salana Jewels and with your plans for Keira.
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.”
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