Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Life As A Spy

By: "Double Agent" Nikki Navarre

Congratulations to "Kai", the winner in Nikki's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Dressed to the hilt in a designer cocktail gown with a vodka martini in one manicured hand, I was hobnobbing at a friend’s Hollywood wedding reception the first time I heard the astonishing allegation. 

“Oh, my dear! Tell me, do you work for the CIA?” the bride’s mother exclaimed, swooping down on me.  Several guests turned to survey me with interest.

I was caught flat-footed, not having realized my friends, family, neighbors and casual acquaintances harbor this collective misperception about my “day job.”  Only gradually have I become aware that everyone around me—from my parents to my devoted husband to the kids in his creative writing class—believes I lead a secret life of intrigue and high adventure.

Full disclosure:  In my other life, I’m a former diplomat who worked in Russia on weapons of mass destruction issues (really).  Although I still consult for government clients (not including the CIA), I’ve largely left that world for a new set of adventures as a romance author.  

So it may be true that I live my life under three names:  the legal name I use in my government life, the pseudonym under which I write Tudor paranormal romance for a major press, and my Nikki identity as diplomat, playgirl, secret weapon and author of The Russian Seduction—which could be the last mistake I ever make.  But I strongly deny these allegations of a lurid career in espionage.  Really! 

  Still, no one seems to believe me.


The Russian Seduction
Published by Affluent Press

Victor Kostenko was the golden boy of the Russian Navy, a submarine captain with a maverick image, until he lost his command for an act of treason he didn’t commit.  Now it’s rumored he’ll do anything to get back in his government’s good graces. 

Rising-star American diplomat Alexis Castle always plays by the rules.  She’ll torpedo her career for sure if she falls for a bad-boy Russian who breaks every rule in the book.
When a hard-line Russian leader invades a country the U.S. has promised to protect, war can only be avoided by one man who has everything to gain…and a woman who has everything to lose.

In this teaser from The Russian Seduction, my debut romantic suspense release set in the glittering cosmopolitan world of modern-day Russia, Victor and Alexis have just made contact in a private box at the Bolshoi Ballet.  It’s an unconventional locale for political negotiation, set up by Victor, that has Alexis pretty unsettled.  Her career rests on establishing a dialogue with the renegade captain, but each of them suspects the other of being an intelligence agent with a hidden agenda.  Given the risk that Victor is under orders to compromise her—not to mention the virtual certainty that they’re under surveillance—the sizzling chemistry between them is an itch she can’t afford to scratch. 

Excerpt

“According to your dossier,” Alexis said huskily, “you’re an adventure junkie.  You’ve never met a risk you won’t take.  Isn’t that right, captain?”     

“While you’re a model diplomat whose conduct in country is invariably flawless,” Victor breathed.  “However, I find continuing to address you as ‘Counselor’ while I’m inhaling your fragrance is something of a stretch, even for a man of my considerable talents.  Alexis…may I call you this?”

“Do you really think I’m such an easy mark?” she countered softly, far too conscious of his breath teasing her skin.  “This is about retaliation, isn’t it?  A little diplomatic ‘tit-for-tat’ for the stunt we just pulled on you.”

“Don’t you think that would be a bit obvious, even for my government?  You would be the very last woman I’d target, for precisely that reason,” he said calmly.  “And you can believe I’m the last man they’d use.  I’m in disgrace, or hadn’t you noticed?”

“Then why am I here?” she whispered.  

Though she had to admit his arguments made a certain degree of sense.  Russian ops usually were quite a bit more subtle.  They were experts at the art of deception.  Besides, Victor Kostenko didn’t strike her as the kind of guy who’d perform sexually on demand, for the Motherland or anyone else. 

“If you require a justification you can cable back to Washington, tell them tonight was about dialogue.”  His warm breath on her neck receded as he straightened.  “Opening a back channel for communication between our countries, yes?  If we…enjoy one another’s company in the process, this is not a crime.” 

Tell that to her boss, who’d just been booted out.  Or to his, who’d just been fired.

Sure and strong, his hands closed over her shoulders.  “The performance is ending, Alexis.  I’m going to take you someplace else now.”

“You know we can’t do that,” she said sharply, alarm flashing through her.  “Besides, there’s really no point prolonging this appointment.  I believe we’ve each accomplished our meeting objectives.”

“Speak for yourself,” he murmured, accent thickening.

Giveaway Alert!
For a chance to win a free copy of The Russian Seduction in print or ebook, submit a comment below.  


Nikki on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Nikki_Navarre 
Purchase The Russian Seduction on Amazon 

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 3rd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

20 comments:

  1. Really enjoyed your post and glimpse at The Russian Seduction. Congrats on your book. It's one I will be looking for.
    grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thanks so much, Brenda! I've had a blast writing and talking about The Russian Seduction.

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  2. This books sounds so good and your life sounds like it would never be dull. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. I love learning about new authors on this website!

    amy at remus dot net

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    1. Thank you, Amy! My life has been a wild ride, but it's never been boring. It's been fun setting a story in the world I lived for five years during my diplomatic postings in Russia.

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  3. Enjoyed the post; good blurb and excerpt. I would imagine that you have lots of material to drawn upon from your career as a diplomat. Congratulations on the release of your debut romantic suspense!! Thanks for the chance to win The Russian Seduction.
    k(dot)cherub2011(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Good luck, Karen! I love being able to share The Russian Seduction with new readers. :)

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  4. This sounds interesting.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  5. Congratulations on your release, Nikki! Can't imagine what it feels like to be torn between love of country and love for someone considered to be the enemy.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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    1. Yes, I know! Seems like the devil of a conflict. When I was single and living in Moscow, I dated a few Russian guys and could put myself in Alexis's shoes!

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  6. Being European, I love seeing books set in the mother continent, so I'll be sure to pick this up! (Haven't been to Russia yet-- one day, I hope!). I had loads of children-of-diplomats expat friends growing up, so it'll be fun to read about what they surely wished their parents' postings had been like :)

    stalkers00(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much, Cris! I love stories set in European locales. The sequel to this one, The Russian Temptation, is set in Russia and the Amalfi Coast of Italy. :)

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  7. Congrats to Nikki on the new release! Sounds intriguing! Bet it's fun that everyone thinks you're a spy :)

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. It depends. :) I've realized over time that the best response is just to laugh and change the subject, because anything I say to the contrary just seems to make people more convinced that I'm hiding something. If I were, though, shouldn't I be better at it?

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  8. I hope you played it up for all it's worth. What fun!! I'd never make a spy. Not one for killer heels you see.

    I'd love to read THE RUSSIAN SEDUCTION thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  9. What a fun post! I wish your story as a spy is longer :D
    I love Russian heroes since I had read Secret Fire by Johanna Lindsey years ago.

    pinglecoon at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for letting me know about Secret Fire, Izz! I'm always looking for books with Russian heroes. Kathleen Woodiwiss wrote one years ago, I think, with a Russian heroine. And Jane Feather wrote To Pleasure a Wicked Prince, a Regency-set historical with a Russian prince for a hero.

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  10. Barbara Cartland did mentioned in her book A Ghost in Monte Carlo that a Russian are passionate people and will act on their passion for love and for their country.

    kmccandle(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Kai, you're absolutely right. The Russians I've known are incredibly passionate, intense, strong-willed people with an extraordinary capacity for endurance. Couldn't think of a better choice for my submarine captain hero Victor!

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  11. OK "Secret Agent Girl"...I can't wait to read this. I have never read any of your books but can't wait! Thanks for the chance. I would love to win a NOOK copy...lsscarchuk@att.net

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    1. Good luck! I wish I could give copies to everyone. :)

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