In this book, Jamie's past is suddenly brought into sharp focus as a collection of art works created by her late father are discovered. It's been twenty-five years since his death, yet his popularity has never waned. With this story, I'm planning on reuniting some old lovers, working in some intrigue with a dash of danger and enough confusion to keep everyone guessing. And just in case you're curious, Malone and Jamie's relationship continues to bloom, with plenty of action to keep the romance alive.
Here's an excerpt for you to check out. I'd appreciate any comments you'd like to share. In this scene, Jamie Malone and Ian are opening the first crate in the warehouse where the artwork has been discovered.
They eased the crate to the ground. Malone took the hammer and a small crowbar. Carefully he inserted the edge of the bar along the lid. He smacked it a couple of times with the hammer. Nails groaned at his effort. I watched him circle the box, working the edge of the crowbar in and loosening the lid from the sides. Ian took the other bar from me and moved behind Malone, prying up the sections. In less than a minute the lid was free. They stepped back so we could all see it.
“Do you want to do the honors, Jamie?”
I shook my head. My nerves were so bad I’d probably drop the lid on my foot. “Let Ian do it. He found the crate.”
The kid glowed with delight. He started to reach for the lid.
Both guys looked stunned. “Change your mind?”
“No, Eric, but I want to capture this on video. We’re going to record each crate being opened. I want to be consistent. I want to do it right.”
With their help it only took a few minutes to set up the tripod and the video camera. Once we were filming, I read off the crate’s code, indicated the date and time and who was present. Ian moved forward and lifted the lid carefully. Angling the camera, I could see that the contents were wrapped in burlap. Malone and Ian reached into the box and lifted out the sculpture. They set it in the center of the worktable. Malone pulled a knife from his pocket and gently cut through the coarse fabric. Once a rip was made, they pulled it apart. Malone tenderly lifted the sculpture off the table while Ian removed the burlap. I think my heart stopped. I know my breath did.
“It’s amazing,” Ian said. “This is so cool.”
“It’s just like the sketch in the file.” Malone said.
I stopped the video. Unhooking it from the tripod, I passed it to Ian. “Do a slow pan, top to bottom, then move around and capture it from every side. I’m going to take some shots with the other camera.”
Ian nodded and quickly accepted his new assignment. Malone was staring at the piece. Then he set the hammer on its head and leaned the handle against the sculpture.
“What are you doing, Eric?”
He shook his head. “Wrong again, Jamie. I’m just giving it a sense of scale. With the hammer in the picture, you can tell roughly how big it is.”
“We should measure it,” I said, stepping past him to take a couple of photos. “Do you have a tape in the toolbox?”
“No, but I’ve got a couple at home. We can bring one tomorrow and get the dimensions. Maybe we should weigh it too.”
I glanced at him, eyebrows raised. Malone innocently raised his hands but there was no hiding the smirk on his face. Like many women, I refuse to have a bathroom scale in the house. If I really want to know if I’ve gained any weight, there is a scale at the gym. Or I can use the one at Vince’s office.
“I am not buying a scale.”
“You don’t have to. There’s an industrial one back in the corner of the storeroom, beneath the windows. Peter must have used it for the occasional shipment.”
Ignoring the slight flush of heat on my face, I moved around the table and shot more pictures. Ian completed his circuit and returned the camera to the tripod.