I’m so excited to welcome author Nina Croft to the blog today, to talk about her newest book from Entangled Edge, The Descartes Legacy. Read on to see what she has to say, enjoy an excerpt from her novel, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 gift card.
The Descartes Legacy
An interview with author Nina Croft:
Tell us more about your book—take us beyond the official “book blurb”.
The Descartes Legacy is essentially a thriller, with a lot of action and a lot of suspense. It also has a romance at its heart and just a hint of science fiction.
It came about after my husband asked me (rather bravely) – why didn’t I write a good book? It turned out that his idea of ‘good’ was no romance, no vampires, and no aliens (all my favorite things). I tried and I managed the no vampires, but the rest…
The book follows the story of Luke and Jenna whose very different worlds collide when Jenna’s father is killed in an accident and she starts looking into the past.
Luke has spent the last ten years investigating a corrupt and secretive organization, the Conclave, which has infiltrated all the world’s power bases. He knows they are about to launch a huge terrorist attack and that somehow, Jenna is involved.
How and why is unclear, and their only clue is the code name Descartes.
Sounds like quite a read! Shame about the lack of vampires, though….
Give us more info about your main characters—who are they?
Luke Grafton is a man looking for revenge, but also for justice. Through no actions of his own, his family became involved with the Conclave. Luke escaped an assassination attempt, but his wife and baby daughter were killed. He took up a new identity and he’s been hunting the Conclave ever since. Now for the first time, he’s close.
Jenna has lived all her life with the knowledge that she has an incurable disease. While she appears perfect on the outside, she feels irrevocably flawed on the inside. Then her father dies, and the world as she knows it unravels. What becomes quickly clear is that she is somehow tied to the Conclave, but neither she nor Luke can work out the connection. And until they do her life is in danger.
What scene in your book was the most fun to write, and why?
I think maybe the love scene after Luke rescues Jenna from the bad guys and she’s just found out some disturbing facts about her past. It starts out as a means of helping her forget, but turns into so much more…
Spoiler alert: Nina gives us this scene below! Keep reading…
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve been writing seriously for about eight years now, but I actually started long before that when I was working as a volunteer, with my husband, in Africa. We were located in a remote village on the banks of Lake Kariba, in Zambia. We had no electricity, no TV and n0 internet and very limited access to books (this was way before Kindles). I actually started writing out of desperation when I ran out of things to read—I’ve always been a voracious reader and these were dire circumstances.
The book I wrote then became my very first rejection, many years later.
Desperate times…but what a great story!
What do you like best about being a writer?
Making up stories
What is the most challenging part of being a writer?
Deciding which of those stories to write next
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
I’m currently working on the first draft of a contemporary romance for Entangled Publishing’s Brazen line. It will be number 3 in my Babysitting a Billionaire series about female bodyguards and the men they protect.
But I have a whole load of books coming out over the next year, a mix of contemporary, paranormal and sci-fi. Some of the most exciting for me are the next few books in my Blood Hunter series – Sci-fi romance with a paranormal twist (think vampires in space.) Books 3, 4 and 5 will be releasing over the next few months.
Wow, you’ve been busy! That’s quite a list!
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
So many. Probably the first book that really stands out in my memory was the Lord of the Rings, which really showed me how huge a book can be—it has everything, romance, fantasy, adventure… One day, I’d love to write a big, sprawling fantasy trilogy.
Romance wise – I loved those historical romances of the Eighties, the ones that always had a half-dressed woman swooning in a man’s (preferably a pirate’s) arms, on the cover. Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss spring to mind—they probably gave me my love of romance and adventure (and I still love a good pirate story).
What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading my way through the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris (again) I’m on book 6 right now and loving them.
Please share a favorite scene from your book with our readers.
This is the beginning of the love scene from The Descartes Legacy that I mentioned above:
Jenna stepped backwards and sank into the chair behind her. “Are you saying I don’t exist? That he wasn’t my father?” She searched Luke’s face for the truth.
He shook his head. “That’s what we originally thought, but we ran both your photographs through facial recognition software. There’s no doubt John Creighton is a close relative.”
“So where did I come from? Why is there no record of my birth?”
“We don’t know, but we’re researching it. We’re also looking into what your father was working on with Merrick. We’re pretty sure the company was a cover for the Conclave, but we still don’t know what sort of research they were doing.”
The information was going around and around in her head. A sudden jab of pain stabbed at her temple. Jenna pressed a finger against the point, but the pain only intensified. She rose shakily to her feet. “I think I need to lie down. I don’t feel so good.”
Luke reached out a hand but it dropped back down to his side before he touched her. “Jenna, none of this has any bearing on who you are.”
“Yes it does. It has every bearing.”
Without waiting for him to say anything further, she turned and left the room.
She made her way back up to the bedroom and lay down on the bed, her eyes screwed up tight. Rolling onto her side, she hugged her knees to her chest.
What was happening to her?
Inside she was changing. But into what?
Who was she? She flexed her fingers, feeling the strength. What was she?
She burrowed her face in the softness of the pillow.
She hadn’t heard the door open.
Luke stood just inside the room, hands shoved in his pockets. “Are you okay?”
“I honestly don’t know. I don’t know what’s happening to me.”
“You need to forget for a while.”
She gave a small rueful smile. “Forgetting would be good.”
He took a few steps closer so that he was standing beside the bed, looking down at her through half-closed eyes. Something hot awoke deep inside her, uncoiling in her belly and clenching the muscles tight.
He held her gaze as his hands went to the buttons of his shirt. “I can make you forget.”
She nodded once, and he stripped off the shirt and tossed it on the floor. The telltale bulge of his erection pushed at his fly, and her fingers itched with the need to reach out and touch him. Instead, she curled them into fists at her side and watched as he unbuckled his belt and lowered the zip.
Phew! That was quite a scene…thanks so much, Nina, and thank you for being with us today!
Keep reading for another excerpt, and your chance to win!
Lucas Grafton has spent the last ten years hunting the Conclave, a secret organization who took everything from him: his wife, his child, his very identity. Now he has a lead—an imminent terrorist attack on London—code-named Descartes.
Born with a genetic illness, Jenna Young has always known she was different. But the unexpected death of her father catapults her into a world of murder and terrorism she never expected. In order to stay alive, she must solve a twenty-five year old mystery—and her only ally a hard bitter man in search or retribution, her only clue the Descartes Highlands, an area on the near side of the moon.
Luke’s need for revenge collides with Jenna’s hunt for the past, and together they must stand against the Conclave. All the while uncovering the truth behind Jenna’s illness, a truth that will make Jenna question her very humanity.
“Jenna, there’s someone to see you.”
Her first thought was the police, and David’s memory flooded over her again, followed swiftly by a dull ache in her chest.
But for some reason, the stranger who stood in the doorway didn’t make her think “police.” He was tall, at least six three, with a lean body beneath black pants and a black shirt open at the throat. His face was pale, his hair short and black.
When he saw she’d noticed him, he stepped into the room and came toward her, moving with the grace of an athlete, each step controlled, giving Jenna the impression of leashed power.
Halting in front of her, he held out his hand. This close, Jenna could see his eyes were a beautiful hazel, green-brown flecked with gold. As she slid her palm against his, a frisson ran through her arm, along her nerves, settling low in her belly. She glanced at him sharply, but if he felt anything, he wasn’t giving it away. She pulled her hand free and edged back.
“How can I help you?” she asked.
He studied her, head tilted to one side. “My name is Luke Grafton. I’m David’s cousin.”
Shock locked her muscles. “I don’t understand. Have you heard—” She broke off as he nodded, his expression somber. “I’m sorry. I didn’t even know David had a cousin.”
“We were close when we were younger, but we’d lost touch over the last few years.” He glanced around the lab, his eyebrows rising as he took in the half-formed skeleton on the table beside her. “Is there somewhere we can talk?”
“Of course.” Visitors were often uncomfortable around her work, though she had the impression very little would bother this man. “We can go to my office.”
She led him out of the lab and along the corridor to her tiny cubicle, leaving the door open behind them. With this man beside her, she realized how minute the space really was. He was big, not only tall, but also broad at the shoulders, and she couldn’t help but be conscious of his closeness. Her body felt twitchy, on edge, and the strangeness of the emotions disconcerted her.
She shook off the feeling as she cleared a box of bones from one of the two chairs. Skirting the desk, she sank into her own seat and indicated the one she had cleared. He sat on the too small chair, his long legs stretched out in front of him, arms folded across his chest, studying her intently, as though he could pierce her mind. Find her secrets.
Almost squirming under the concentrated stare, she picked up a pencil from the desk, twiddled it between her finger and thumb, then put it down again and focused somewhere over his left shoulder. “I’m sorry about David. He was a good friend, but I’m not sure how I can help you.”
“David called me last night.”
Her gaze flashed to his face. “He did?”
“I hadn’t heard from him in a while—I was surprised. He told me he thought he was being followed. He was frightened.”
“Oh.” A tremor of unease skittered down her spine. She frowned as she thought about his words. “Why did he go to you and not the police?”
“I run a security firm, and he asked me to investigate something for him. I also provide protection for prominent people.”
“You mean like bodyguards?”
“David wanted you to provide him with a bodyguard?”
“Not exactly. He wanted me to provide you with a bodyguard.”
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Anytime, anyplace, anyone…love finds a way.
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