Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Guest Blogger Roz Lee - Interview With Celeste Hamilton

Authors are often asked to talk about themselves, and we do quite often. We know our readers like to hear about us, but sometimes the same old stories get old, kind of like having to hear about Uncle Bruce’s hernia surgery – again. So, I thought it might be fun to let you get to know one of my characters, after all, I did create this person in my head. Some people get locked up in padded rooms for that type of behavior, but lucky me, I get paid for being a few degrees off plumb!

Let me introduce you to FBI Special Agent, Celeste Hamilton. While she’s getting ready, I’ll tell you a bit about her. Her father is a United States Ambassador, retired now. Her mother, Giselle, is French. Celeste’s parents traveled extensively when she was a child, and they took her with them whenever they could. She is gifted with a talent for languages, and is fluent in more than you can count on your fingers. Celeste was recruited out of college by the CIA as a linguist and cultural expert. It wasn’t long before the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) stole her away. That’s where she met Sean Callihan who has a background in Army intelligence, and Drew Whitcomb, a Navy SEAL.

Roz – Good morning, Agent Hamilton. Thanks for taking time out from your vacation on the Lothario to answer a few questions for my readers.

Celeste – Please, call me Celeste. And, I should point out that I’m not on vacation. I won’t go into why I’m on a Caribbean Cruise, but let me assure you, this is a business trip.

Roz – Anything we should be concerned about?

Celeste – I’m not entirely sure, but right now, I have other things on my mind too.

Roz – Would those things be your former DIA partners, Sean and Drew?

Celeste – Yes. I wasn’t expecting them to be here. I can tell you, it was a shock.

Roz – What happened between the three of you? Why did you leave the DIA?

Celeste - *fidgets, looks down at her nervous hands*

Roz – Take your time. I can see you’re upset.

Celeste - *with tears in her eyes* I can’t tell you what started all this – that’s classified, but Sean and I…we were together for several years. I was his sub. I loved him, and he loved me, but things went wrong on one of our missions, and we…we thought we were going to die.

Roz - *hands Celeste a tissue* It’s okay to be emotional. I can see what happened must have hurt you, tremendously.

Celeste – We were only together that one time – the three of us, I mean. We wouldn’t have done it – Sean never would have allowed it if he hadn’t been sure we were already dead – so to speak.

Roz – So, what happened?

Celeste – We were rescued. That’s what happened. Things weren’t the same between me and Sean after that. Sean knew Drew loved me, and that I loved Drew, and he said I had to choose. *sobs into a soaked tissue* I couldn’t choose. I loved them both!

Roz – What did you do?

Celeste – I ran. I packed a bag and left. I didn’t say goodbye. I just left. That was five years ago.

Roz - And now, you’re all on the Lothario together?

Celeste - *hiccups* Yes, and they want me to choose between them. They say I owe them a decision.

Roz – What are you going to do?

Celeste – I don’t know! *sobs* Nothing has changed. I still love both of them!

Roz - *puts a comforting arm around her* Now, now. I’m sure everything will work out fine. Have a little faith in me, okay? I’m pretty good at this happily-ever-after stuff.

Celeste – Thanks! I’ll try not to worry. I appreciate you listening to me. I’ve got to go now – Sean is waiting for me. Today is his day.

Roz – His day?

Celeste – Uh huh. Sean and Drew are taking turns spending time with me – so I can get to know them again before I have to decide which one I want.

Roz – Sounds like a reasonable plan. Let me see what I can do. Run along now. You wouldn’t want to keep a hunk like Sean waiting!

LOVE ME TWICE is the third book in the Lothario Series, and is available from Red Sage Publishing – www.eredsage.com

To learn more about Roz Lee – visit her website – www.rozlee.net

Excerpt from LOVE ME TWICE –

“You and your associate can relax and enjoy your vacation, courtesy of Uncle Sam. Drew and I will take care of this.”
At the sound of Sean’s voice, she turned to face him. She knew as soon as he said he was in charge that he meant it literally.
“What exactly do you mean by that? If you think I’m going to buy into the theme of this ship while you do your spook thing, you have another think coming.” She wasn’t ready to relinquish her duties to a couple of former spooks, even if they were more than that to her.
Sean’s eyes darted to Drew again, and then came to rest on her. Premonition tingled along her nape and shivered down her spine. They were up to something, and she’d bet her best vibrator, the lifelike one that reminded her of Sean, that she wasn’t going to like it.
She was right.
“You owe us a decision.”
Just like that, the conversation shifted from business to personal.
“You just heard my decision.” She made one last attempt to grab the wheel and regain control before the mutiny was successful.
“Don’t act as if you don’t understand, Celeste. The business decision has been made. Drew is in charge of security. The decision we want is a personal one.”
Querido Dios. Her heart lurched and sank to her toes like an anchor. Five years ago, he’d asked for a decision, the same one she was sure he was going to demand now. She made the only decision possible then, she’d run away. Apparently, all she’d done was postpone the inevitable.
“You can’t be serious.” The words were barely a whisper.
“He is.” Drew’s soft voice came from a spot not a foot behind her. He’d moved without her noticing. Both of them were capable of moving like ghosts, hardly disturbing the air around them. For a spy it was a good trait, but in a civilian, it was unnerving.
“Don’t get in a snit. You don’t have to decide today.” Sean said it as if it was perfectly logical, when they all knew there was nothing logical about this.
“Well, that’s good.” Stall. Her mind whirled with possible escape scenarios. Short of jumping ship though, she couldn’t come up with a single one.
“You ran away five years ago so you wouldn’t have to decide between us. The way we figure it, you have a whole week, well six days if you don’t count the day we dock. We’re reasonable men. We know you need current information in order to make a decision, so this is what we’re going to do.”
Celeste folded her arms across her chest and locked her knees. As long as the ship didn’t make any sudden moves, she might remain upright. Sean’s face gave away none of the emotion she knew lurked beneath the surface. She’d hurt him when she left without explanation. He didn’t have to tell her that.
“You get to spend two days with each of us, alternating. We’ll toss a coin to see who goes first. That’s only fair, don’t you think?”
She couldn’t think. Too much information. Too many feelings. Too many memories. Too many needs. She hovered on the edge of something. Something dangerous…and seductive.
“Good, you agree.”
“Wait!” She found her voice, and a small portion of her brain began to function. “That’s only four days. What about the other two days?” She couldn’t believe she asked that when she should have been raging at the two of them for their macho, high-handed, lunatic plan.
“The fifth day is shore day. We’ll spend it together, the three of us.”
Her mind and body flashed to another time they’d spent together. They’d believed it was the end, but it had turned out only to be the beginning, of the end. The end had been a long time coming, but she could see it clearly now, six days away.
“On the sixth day, we expect you to choose. Neither one of us is willing to let you walk out of our lives again.”
Her knees shook, and her hands were clammy. “What if I don’t want either one of you? It’s been five years. Maybe my feelings have changed.” Like hell, they have.
“They haven’t.” Drew’s breath fanned across her nape. When had he gotten that close? Damn. This wasn’t good. Not good at all.
“You want one of us, or both, right now.” Sean had always been observant, and blunt. “I can see it in your eyes.” He inhaled deeply. “Your body betrays you.”
“Let’s flip a coin and see who gets her first.” Drew stepped between her and Sean. He pulled a coin from his pocket and turned it so she could see it had two distinct sides. Neither one of them were cheaters. Small consolation.
“Heads, I get her. Tails, you do.”
Sean nodded his agreement. Drew flipped the coin in the air and caught it as it spun downward on its invisible axis.
Celeste watched in fascinated horror as the two men she loved flipped a coin for her as if she was a carnival prize. Drew’s hand closed over the coin, and she jumped as he slapped it on the back of his outstretched arm. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. One by one, Drew peeled his fingers away. Then he lifted his hand to reveal the coin, gleaming silver against his sun-bronzed skin. Sean sat forward, and Drew leaned toward him.
Drew scowled.
Sean grinned.
It took less than a few seconds, but it seemed her life passed before her eyes. God help her. They were right. She did want this.
“You’re mine tonight.” Sean stood for the first time since she’d arrived. Her feet were braced against the pitch and roll of the ship, but they should have moved when she told them too. Instead, she remained rooted to the spot as Sean closed the distance between them.
Her eyes locked on his chest as he loomed over her. In her peripheral vision, she saw Drew take a step back, but he didn’t leave.
One strong hand closed over her shoulder. The other fisted under her chin and forced her face up to his. She stared, wide-eyed as Sean lowered his lips to hers.


Kelly Jamieson said...

Welcome to the Naughty Nine, Roz! I gotta say, you had me at Caribbean! And oh yeah, two men.
And Celeste is a fascinating heroine. Thanks!

Jen B. said...

Poor Celeste. Having to choose between two hot me. It makes me so sad. I am looking forward to reading this series. I have it on my wish list. Darn it, now I am humming the Love Boat theme song again!

Roz Lee said...

Thanks for the warm welcome Kelly! Honestly, who doesn't want to be on a Caribbean cruise with two fabulous men? LOL

Roz Lee said...

Hi Jen! No need to be sad for poor Celeste. I can tell you, without giving anything away, that she finds her happily ever after. But who will she choose, or will she choose at all?

Meg Benjamin said...

Hi Roz and welcome. That's a really great cover too!

Roz Lee said...

Hi Meg! Thanks for having me over to visit today, and yeah I have to agree, that's a great cover! LOL

Beverly Diehl said...

What a fun heroine, and adventure. Two sexy guys and the Caribbean - a woman could get back calluses in such a sitch.

flchen1 said...

Fun interview and great excerpt--thanks, Roz!