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HERON’S COVE by CARLA NEGGERS
When you and the people you love become a target…who can you trust? Who do you dare to trust? That’s the question at the heart of HERON’S COVE, my new Sharpe & Donovan novel. FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan meet in SAINT’S GATE (out now in paperback!) when a nun is murdered at an isolated convent on the Maine coast. Emma and Colin grew up a few miles away but worlds apart. He’s from a struggling fishing village and a family of lobstermen and cops. She’s from a postcard-pretty village and a family of renowned art detectives. And she’s a former novice with the Sisters of the Joyful Heart.
At the start of HERON’S COVE, Colin is on a deep-cover mission and hasn’t been heard from in too long. Emma, his three brothers and his friend Finian Bracken, an Irish priest and whiskey expert, are worried. The Donovans and Father Bracken know next to nothing about what Colin’s up to. Emma knows only a little more. Then she gets a call from a man, a Russian security expert, from her past: “Your man is in danger.”
From that point on, Emma realizes that her world as a Sharpe and Colin’s world as an undercover agent are about to collide, but it’s all so much more complicated even than she realizes.
As a writer, I can’t always pinpoint the inspiration for a novel. It might be a question, a scene, a snippet of dialogue, an image, a premise or a character—a hero, a heroine, a victim, a villain. With SAINT’S GATE, I could “see” Emma approaching the convent gate in the Maine fog. I didn’t know much about her yet. It’s almost as if she emerged from the fog. I could see Colin…rugged, intuitive, distrustful…deliberately stranding his lobster boat on the rocky coastline to get to her.
With HERON’S COVE, I had the basic question of trust and danger, but I could also “see” Tatiana Pavlova, a Russian-born jewelry designer based in London. Quirky and talented, Tatiana warns Emma that a missing collection of Russian jewelry and objets has resurfaced and is about to arrive in Heron’s Cove, only to be stolen again. Emma knows that Tatiana’s warning and her tip about Colin can’t be a coincidence. But what could a prized collection have to do with the arms traffickers Colin is chasing?
When Colin arrives back home after escaping certain death, he thinks his nightmare is over…but he soon finds out it isn’t. It’s only just begun.
I hope you enjoy HERON’S COVE and, if you haven’t read it yet, SAINT’S GATE! I’ve been “pinning” like mad, so if you’d like to check out photos of Maine, Ireland, fabulous jewelry and such, pop over to Pinterest and look me up. And join me on Facebook and Twitter. I love to stay in touch with readers.
KNOWS MORE THAN LOVE COMES FROM RUSSIA
A Sharpe & Donovan Novel
Two FBI agents—one a deep-cover operative and the other an art-crimes specialist—race to uncover the connection between an illegal arms operation and a priceless collection of Russian jewelry in HERON’S COVE (Harlequin MIRA, August 2012, $24.95 U.S./$27.95 CAN.), the electric new novel from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Carla Neggers.
FBI special agent Emma Sharpe is uneasy when the Nightingale, the luxury yacht owned by Russian billionaire Dmitri Rusakov, docks in Heron’s Cove just as her new love, FBI undercover agent Colin Donovan, returns to Maine after nearly being killed by Russian arms traffickers. The oil-and-gas tycoon claims he is in Heron’s Cove to recover a collection of Russian Art Nouveau jewelry and decorative arts that was stolen from him four years ago. At the time, Emma, then working for her grandfather, a renowned art detective, was convinced that Rusakov’s ex-wife, Renee, had made off with the collection. Rusakov didn’t believe it.
So when Renee’s daughter, Natalie, comes into possession of the collection after her mother’s death and reaches out to Rusakov in attempt to make things right, he agrees to meet her in Heron’s Cove. But Rusakov isn’t the only Russian in town. Tatiana Pavlova, a mysterious young Russian jewelry designer keeping a close eye on the activities on the Nightingale, confides in Emma that she suspects someone is planning to steal the collection yet again.
Colin Donovan is more concerned with Rusakov’s possible connection to the Russian arms trafficking ring he’s been chasing. Colin suspects Rusakov’s arrival in Heron’s Cove has less to do with a missing art collection and more to do with his fugitive gunrunners. His would-be killers still believe Colin has possession of an arsenal and Rusakov certainly has the means to purchase and transport the weapons. These are desperate men who will stop at nothing to secure their transaction and silence Colin. And that makes anyone close to him a target.
Just as worrisome is Emma’s close relationship with Rusakov and his obviously connected righthand man, Ivan Alexander. How much does she know that she refuses to share with Colin? And worse, what might she have disclosed to them? It’s a dangerous game and Colin can’t be sure if the woman he loves is playing both sides….
New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers is always planning her next adventure – whether in life or for one of her novels. An accomplished wordsmith, she enjoys nothing more than taking her readers on an exciting – and often spine-tingling – journey into new and unexpected experiences. Today, she can claim more than 60 novels published around the world, with translations in 24 languages.
Carla starts most days just before the sun is up, stepping outside her home in the Vermont mountains for a brisk hike. She draws the fresh air into her lungs and lets her mind wander as she thinks about her latest work-in-progress. Once settled into her office overlooking the woods behind her house, she turns her attention to the richly textured, deeply atmospheric stories her readers have come to love.
She takes the craft of creating the world that surrounds the characters in each of her books seriously. Her novels have taken her on a number of adventures of her own, including to the top of the northeast’s highest peaks, onto a shooting range with a police academy instructor and into an ancient Irish stone circle at midnight as she scouts out locations and seeks the authenticity that imbues her writing.
Carla didn’t have to look far for the inspiration for her latest novel, SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER. While the town and characters in the book are fictional, the Swift River Valley, where Carla grew up, is not. It’s a beautiful place in western Massachusetts, home to the pristine Quabbin Reservoir, created in the 1930s when four entire towns were wiped off the map through eminent domain. Everything—people, houses, cemeteries, even the trees—had to go. The valley was then dammed and flooded to provide pure drinking water for metropolitan Boston.
It’s against this rich backdrop that SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER takes place. Graphic designer Olivia Frost has returned to her hometown for a complete change from her busy life in Boston. As she is renovating a historic house, transforming it into the B&B she’s always dreamed of owning, she meets Dylan McCaffrey. Dylan has come to her small town to investigate an inheritance, discovered after the death of his father – one he never expected. Together, Olivia and Dylan uncover long-buried secrets that changed the lives of people near and dear to them.
Carla’s family moved to small-town Massachusetts to start a new life shortly before she was born. The daughter of a Dutch merchant marine who fought on Allied ships during World War II and a Florida homemaker-turned-teacher, Carla learned industry from her parents. They settled in an eighteenth-century carriage house on 90 acres, where Carla and her six brothers and sisters helped with the renovations. She established her enduring work ethic – as well as her ability to daydream and conjure a good story that will intrigue her readers.
“As it turns out, our old house barely escaped demolition for Quabbin,” Carla said. “One of my favorite breaks as a kid was to climb a tree with a pad and pen and spin stories. I’d look out toward the Quabbin wilderness and wonder what life was like there before the reservoir. I think that fueled the sense of adventure and the strong sense of place in my writing.”
Carla sold her first novels and became a founding member of the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America in her twenties. A distinguished member of the writing community, she has served as president of Novelists, Inc., and vice president of International Thriller Writers, and she serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education Writing certificate programs. Carla was awarded an RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award and three times has been a finalist for a RITA, romance publishing’s “Oscar.”
“Maybe it’s because I started writing in a tree, but I’ve never been one to chain myself to a desk,” Carla said. “I love to travel, and I’ve written parts of recent books in an Irish cottage, a London hotel room and by a Coronado Island pool.”
Closer to home, she has a particular soft spot for Boston, where she attended Boston University and lived as a newlywed. A member of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Carla is also a Boston Red Sox and Bruins fan and follows the “Bean Pot” hockey tournament every year.
These days, Carla and her husband, Joe, live in Vermont, where they renovated their mountain house not far from picturesque Quechee Gorge. They are the parents of two grown children, a daughter who is a college history professor, and a son who has just entered a graduate program in emergent media. Their greatest joy: Leo, the world’s smartest grandchild.
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