by Madelle Morgan
Romancing the Genres is hosting a Facebook Party on December 15. Here's the link to the event.
In North America the party starts at 7 p.m. Eastern (EST). That's 4 p.m. Pacific (PST).
I'm excited! This will be my first ever Facebook event. My time slot is 8:30 p.m. EST (5:30 PST).
I understand giveaways are the norm. Oooooh, gifts. Well, it is the season!
I've been waiting for a special occasion to give away a pretty set of faux "diamond" jewelry in honor of my debut romantic suspense Diamond Hunter.
Set at a diamond mine in Canada's isolated sub-Arctic, here's the scene in which headstrong geologist Petra Paris reveals to the undercover cop masquerading as her boyfriend that she's being set up by diamond smugglers.
“Good morning, honey.”
Petra lurched as Seth’s arm swung casually across her shoulders. She’d been too preoccupied with the search to hear his approach along the corridor. Defenses at low ebb, her eyes unaccountably welled with tears.
“You feeling okay?” He attempted to search the face she angled away from him.
“It’s been a long night.”
“What are these yahoos doing?” He frowned at the chaos generated by the diamond mine’s security guards over the previous twenty minutes.
“Searching for diamonds,” she choked, wishing for once that their relationship was real and she had the right to turn into Seth’s arms for a bolstering hug.
As if reading her mind, he pulled her to the other side of the corridor, still in plain sight of the guards, and drew her close to growl under his breath. “Tell me what’s going on.”
“Seth, I’m being set up.” She unwrapped her arms, slid them around his waist and nestled her head into the curve of his shoulder, the better to whisper into his ear, she told herself. Part of the act. “I found three rough diamonds in the coffee tin last night.”
“Where are they?” His arms tightened, pinning her close enough to feel the accelerated heartbeat beneath his navy blue T-shirt.
“Carter got rid of them.” She winced, appalled a fellow geologist had been so cavalier about valuable stones belonging to his employer.
“Lucky break you discovered them before someone alerted security.” His tone roughened. “Any unauthorized visitors yesterday?”
“Seth, this office is Grand Central Station. Anyone could walk in here.”
The shorter, swarthy guard approached. “What are you two doing out there?”
“Spending some time with my girl, sir,” Seth replied. He cupped the back of her head and brushed his mouth over hers.
She leaned into the kiss, starved for the comfort he offered unaware, glad down to her toes for the opportunity to experience one of Seth’s marvelous kisses. But as his lips captured hers she remembered Kate and pulled away. Seth dragged his mouth across her cheek, rubbed one hand the length of her spine, tangled the other in her hair, caressing, keeping up the pretense.
The guard backed off. “Take five minutes, then I want you in this office.”
“We’re on camera,” she breathed.
“Let’s give them a show.” He nibbled his way toward her earlobe.
As private time to talk, this would have to do. Under the circumstances, she played along, tipping her head to give him better access to her neck. Exquisite tingles rippled down stress-taut nerves. She breathed deep, tried to focus. “As a suspect, Scott won’t allow me to view yesterday’s digital video recording. Can you get access to them?”
“Not without blowing my cover.” Seth quickly sifted through his options. The last thing an undercover cop wanted was to attract attention to himself. By hooking onto Petra, he’d unwittingly stumbled into an entirely different drama. Or perhaps the smugglers had a reason to prevent her from completing her job. Either way, Petra’s situation put him in the spotlight instead of in the background, and he didn’t like it one bit.
Well, he amended, he enjoyed the interaction with this beautiful woman. She trembled in his arms, uncharacteristically compliant. He attuned his senses to her shallow breathing, the fingers digging into his waist, and tension radiating from neck muscles under the soft, soap-fragrant skin beneath his lips.
In short hours word of the early morning search would have spread to the entire camp. He had no business staying on undercover. Procedures dictated he call in for a replacement.
Yet he couldn’t bring himself to abandon Petra to these vultures. Experience taught him that as the perps became more desperate, the danger to those in their way escalated.
“You need to leave this place. Get out fast. Fly to Yellowknife with me this morning.”
“No.” She tilted her heart-shaped face up to him, a stubborn frown marring her clear brow. “I need the cores.”
“Listen, woman.” He wanted to shake sense into her. Instead he crooked his arm to swing her away and down such that his back blocked them from the camera’s view. Mouth grazing her ear, he spoke quickly. “You’re in danger. These guys won’t stop at trying to frame you. They want you gone, one way or another.”
She squirmed, supremely irritated at being rendered off balance. “I can take care of myself.”
He ground his teeth and clutched her firmly against his chest. “I can’t protect you,” he explained with a patience he didn’t feel. “My cover, as you know, is a pilot for Northern Lights Air—a real job. My boss has me booked on three flights today, bringing me back to camp by dinner, if I’m lucky. I have to leave.”
“I never asked you to protect me. You’re using me to get access to the employees here, remember?” she hissed.
“Are the cores worth your life?”
“You’re overreacting. Let me go.” She twisted forcefully from one side to the other until he relented and released her, cursing softly.
“Why are the cores so damn important?”
She cast him defiance spiced with determination. “That’s my business. You attend to yours, and leave me to mine.”
Before Seth could invent a suitable rejoinder to such a hell-bent-for trouble attitude, more trouble erupted behind them.
I hope to connect with you on December 15 on Facebook!
Madelle writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels set in wild, beautiful Canada.
Diamond Hunter is available in ebook format on Amazon and Kobo for $0.99 USD and £0.99 GBP.