Love and Danger at the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu
Priceless artifacts are disappearing from the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu in Turkey, and the site director has vanished. Called in to solve the mystery, archaeologist Renaud Townsend is hindered by both his inability to speak the language and the knowledge that the local police are corrupt. His attraction to translator Anne Pierson is immediate, although he is troubled by her refusal to talk about the past and her fear of public scandal. But when murder enters the picture, both Anne and Renaud realize that the risk of falling in love is not the only danger.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Many years ago, I lived in Turkey and like Anne, my heroine in The Turkish Affair, I worked as a translator and tour guide. I also spent some time on archaeological sites with archaeologists. The life I was living there was so different from what I had previously known — I had never before been confronted by artifact theft, corrupt police, an unstable political situation, and danger — and I knew one day I would write about my experiences. Since I love reading mysteries — especially mysteries with no overt violence, and no car chases — and I also love writing contemporary romance, I decided to put all these elements together in this new romantic suspense.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Once, I was on a long-distance bus in Turkey. At one point, the bus pulled off the main road, and down onto a rutted lane leading into an archaeological site. While we waited for a few passengers to board, I caught sight of a man ambling in the direction of a tumble of ruined pillars. He was lean and supple, and the bright sun caught the golden blaze of his hair. Who was he? An archaeologist? I would never find out. The doors of the bus closed and, with a puff of noxious smoke, we began roaring back toward the main road. That blond man’s image remained with me over all these years; he was slated to become the hero of The Turkish Affair, archaeologist Renaud Townsend.
As for my heroine, Anne, although she is a translator and guide like I was, the similarity ends there. I was never a television journalist, and I never became involved in a scandal. However, some of Anne's experiences are drawn from my own in Turkey — conflicts with the police and the indentification of smuggled coins. However, I have never been as heroic as Anne is, and I have never been called upon to solve a mystery.
As for the yellow dog… well, he is true to life.
A delicious breeze tickled the air, and the little boat rocked gently. A fine line appeared between Renaud’s brows, and his blue eyes were, once again, serious. “I need your help.”
Anne stared. “My help? With what? Translating?”
“No. With something else. I have to find out who is behind the thefts at Karakuyu.”
The feeling of dread returned, but she forced herself to sound casual. “How could I possibly help you with that?”
“I don’t know.” He sighed. “I just don’t want to feel that I’m alone in this.”
What could she say to that? Tell him she was the last person he should team up with? That long ago, she’d escaped arrest by the skin of her teeth? If she did so, this splendid moment would be over. The silver-foil glimmer of romance would be tarnished forever. He’d row back to shore, drive back to Gülkale, get rid of her as quickly as possible.
“Anne?” He reached out to caress her bare arm. “Come back from wherever you are.”
“You know nothing about me,” she said jaggedly.
“Nothing,” he agreed.
She swallowed. “I could be involved in the thefts for all you know. Why ask for my help? Why choose me?”
He smiled faintly. “A good question. I suppose, quite simply, I need—or want—to trust you.”
She felt utterly miserable. Why was life always like this? Wanting someone and not being able to have them? Wanting trust, but seeing it snatched away before it came close?
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