Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress and occasionally con author buddies into doing the same.
News from the Hein house is rather exciting this week. No, it’s not about Eddie and the Show Queen. I’ve started a new book. Hurrah!
It’s only early days so I don’t have a lot to reveal, only that it has a meet-cute that was an absolute hoot to write. I love it when a heroine leaves a hero completely discombobulated. It’s adorable.
Now to our teaser. The other day I noticed that Dan Brown’s Inferno was on sale in the Kobo store and asked Jim if he wanted it. Having enjoyed The Da Vinci Code book and the other Robert Langdon films, and being on the hunt for a new read, he said yes. Then he spotted the Robert Langdon series bundle of Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol and Inferno and decided to grab that instead. Now he’s gobbling them all down and having a blast, and making me hanker to read them as well (like half the planet, I read The Da Vinci Code when it came out and really liked it).
Which got me thinking about my own mystery-thriller-romance, The French Prize. I love this book. Writing it was the best fun. Setting it in and around Aix-en-Provence allowed me to wallow in memory of our time living there, while developing Raimund and Olivia’s characters gave me great pleasure. I love strong, silent heroes who look all calm on the outside but are tied in knots on the inside as they grapple with their attraction to an equally strong and clever heroine.
But the bit that gave me the most fun was the mystery of La Tasse, the simple (and fictional) cup at the heart of The French Prize that holds the secret to the location of the legendary sword Durandal. There’s something appealing about the idea that something as simple as a pottery cup could lead to an extraordinary artefact. I mean, anyone might stumble across it.
There’s no stumbling with Olivia though. She’s dreamed of La Tasse since childhood and is determined not only to find it but to uncover its secrets.
Here’s a snippet from the opening chapter where Olivia realises she might not get her way.
‘I need to get this back to the university so I can start the restoration,’ she said, shutting the case lid, snapping the clips and securing the box with a chain of cable ties.
Raimund’s eyes flicked over hers and then away towards the tree line. He raised his hand and dug his fingertips into a point above his left eye. A curious gesture he made often, as if he suffered from a persistent and localised headache. ‘No. I have already made arrangements for the restoration.’
A hornet’s nest of alarm buzzed Olivia’s insides. They’d already discussed the restoration, speculated on the equipment required, the experts they’d need to consult, and not once had he disputed that the task would be hers. And she’d worked too damned hard and dreamed too long to have La Tasse taken away now.
She narrowed her eyes, her tone icy as she articulated every word, determined to show she wouldn’t be denied her goal, that she could be as obstinate as him. ‘I’m the best person for the job. As you well know.’
Ah, stubbornness meets stubbornness. That’s always fun. Find out whether Olivia wins her battle with Raimund by grabbing your copy of The French Prize today.
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