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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Blog Tour: Excerpt of Thief's Mark by Carla Neggers

We are so excited to be a part of a 2-part tour for the release of best selling author Carla Neggers’ latest, Thief’s Mark!


Follow along the excerpt tour beginning in August, with long excerpts in consecutive order at each tour stop, followed by a review tour beginning on 8/29, release day!

Author: Carla Neggers
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Date of publication: August 29, 2017

As a young boy, Oliver York witnessed the murder of his wealthy parents in their London apartment. The killers kidnapped him and held him in an isolated Scottish ruin, but he escaped, thwarting their plans for ransom. Now, after thirty years on the run, one of the two men Oliver identified as his tormentors may have surfaced.

Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan are enjoying the final day of their Irish honeymoon when a break-in at the home of Emma’s grandfather, private art detective Wendell Sharpe, points to Oliver. The Sharpes have a complicated relationship with the likable, reclusive Englishman, an expert in Celtic mythology and international art thief who taunted Wendell for years. Emma and Colin postpone meetings in London with their elite FBI team and head straight to Oliver. But when they arrive at York’s country home, a man is dead and Oliver has vanished.

As the danger mounts, new questions arise about Oliver’s account of his boyhood trauma. Do Emma and Colin dare trust him? With the trail leading beyond Oliver’s small village to Ireland, Scotland and their own turf in the United States, the stakes are high, and Emma and Colin must unravel the decades-old tangle of secrets and lies before a killer strikes again.

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Excerpt from Thief's Mark:

How far would Oliver get in his Rolls-Royce? It wasn’t an inconspicuous vehicle.
Henrietta shook off the intrusive thought but she couldn’t ignore a tug of emotion. She’d felt it before—this unexpected, unwilling attraction to Oliver. They’d known each other since childhood and she hadn’t felt anything remotely romantic toward him until Christmas. She’d tried to blame winter for her sudden, uncomfortable feelings—the short days, the gray, the damp—and when that hadn’t worked, she’d tried to blame grief and nostalgia given Posey's recent death. She’d looked Oliver up in London after the new year and joined him for a drink at Claridge’s, his favorite spot, thinking that would do the trick. He’d be back to being the Oliver who'd always been there—dashing, good-looking, solitary, a man coping with unspeakable tragedy, but not anyone she could imagine sleeping with.
But that hadn’t happened.
Henrietta wasn’t sure what to call how she felt. She’d been out of touch with anything resembling a romantic life or romantic feelings for so long, how was she supposed to know? She wasn’t in love with him, she kept telling herself. Oliver was irresistibly fascinating, with his knowledge of mythology, folklore and legends, and his unusual lifestyle. Given his expertise in karate and tai chi, he was fit and capable.
Sexy, in fact. That was the truth of it.
Maybe what she felt was simple lust. Maybe she just wanted to sleep with him and once she did, that'd be that.
“The man’s a bloody thief,” she said aloud, getting the teapot off an open shelf. It was hers, although Posey had left a half-dozen teapots. She needed a few things of her own in her new life.
In a way, learning Oliver was a serial art thief had somehow permitted her to indulge in these fantasies about him. His eccentricities and solitary ways kept people at bay. They didn’t ask questions about the true nature of his hobbies and travels.
Henrietta envisioned him slipping past security guards, disabling alarms, carrying off valuable works of art without breaking into a nervous sweat. Each of his heists had required detailed planning and careful execution. The man was brazen, brilliant, wily.
She sniffed. “He’s still a thief.”
One of his covers was his occasional work as a film-and-television mythology consultant, under his assumed identity of frumpy Oliver Fairbairn. He’d fly off to Hollywood and chat with writers, producers, actors.
Not an easy man to figure out, her one-time childhood playmate.
Henrietta couldn’t let her fascination with him lead her astray, but perhaps it was too late and it already had. She’d just come upon a dead body at his door, hadn’t she?
Her unsettling attraction to him wasn’t the only factor in her departure from MI5, but coupled with recent frustrations on the job, it had helped her to understand that twelve years in domestic intelligence had been enough. She wanted more from her life, or at least something else, even if she wasn't sure what that was. Right now she needed to get a grip on herself. Oliver York was a thief, if a charming and sexy thief, who’d shown no interest in her whatever beyond their childhood bond, and he'd just taken off from the scene of a suspected homicide.
Any thought of a relationship with him was delusional.
For all his quirks and misdeeds, however, Henrietta couldn’t see Oliver as a murderer.
She rummaged in a near-empty bag for two slices of bread. Tea and a cheese-and-pickle sandwich weren’t a pint but they were what she needed right now. She’d reorganized the kitchen a few weeks ago to suit her. Slowly but surely, she was making the house her own. It needed remodeling but that would come in due course. She’d been focused on establishing her garden-design business.
She was slathering on Branston pickles when her phone vibrated on the table. She swooped it up and sighed when she saw it was Martin Hambly. She’d wanted it to be…who? Oliver? MI5? It didn’t bear considering.
She answered. “Hello, Martin,” she said.
“How are you doing?”
It wasn’t why he’d called. She could hear it in his voice. “I’m fine, thank you.”
“Good.”
She frowned, on her feet, silent phone at her ear. “Has something happened?” she asked finally.
“No, no—sorry. I’m distracted. Two FBI agents are on the way. The police want us to talk to them.”
Now this was interesting. “Are these Oliver’s FBI-agent friends?”
“Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan, yes, but ‘friends’ is perhaps too strong. I didn’t realize you knew about them.”
“Everyone in the village knows about them, Martin.”
“I see.” He sounded resolved to the fact, if not pleased. “They might be able to help us find Oliver. They arrived at Heathrow this morning.”
“Excellent. I can show them our vintage flowerpot.”
“Henrietta?”
“Sorry. No problem. I’ll have a bite and be along.”
“Thank you. I’ll let them know when they arrive.”
She rang off, finding herself torn between wanting to meddle in the death investigation and wanting to grab sheers and prune something—anything—in Aunt Posey’s garden.
Classic fight-or-flight.
She finished making her lunch and took it outside to the terrace. She settled at a metal table and chairs. They’d been Posey’s. Henrietta hadn’t had a garden in London. There were cushions, but she was always forgetting to take them in when it rained, or out when it didn’t rain. The seat wasn’t as cold as it had been that morning, when she’d had breakfast outdoors, before leaving for the York farm.
She tried to focus on a clump of cheerful Shasta daisies. Posey had been a master gardener and might have raised her eyebrows at Henrietta calling herself a garden designer. On her many visits since childhood, she’d soaked up her great-aunt’s gardening wisdom and expertise. On all matters, not just her house, Posey had preferred to consider only her own opinions. She’d inherited enough money from her parents to get by if she lived frugally—which came naturally to her—and had supplemented her income with the occasional magazine and newspaper article on gardening. As opinionated as she was, Posey had been relatively open-minded when it came to gardening. She had a simple philosophy: “Plant what you like where it will grow.” Everything else, she said, would follow and sort itself.
Henrietta ate her sandwich, hardly noticing its taste. Her plans for the day had been thoroughly messed up. She was in no hurry to meet with the FBI agents. Would they know she was ex-MI5? She was certain Martin suspected that she’d been sent by MI5, perhaps, to keep an eye on Oliver. The truth was considerably more complicated.
Well, not that much more complicated. She’d quit MI5 in March, moved to the Cotswolds and put out her shingle as a garden designer. Half her former colleagues believed she’d been sacked, but it wasn’t true, at least technically. One day she’d realized she’d had her fill and put in her papers. The “one day” had followed a bad run-in with a senior intelligence officer and a seriously inexplicable longing to call Oliver and talk to him about it. She’d realized she needed to move on.


About the author:

Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels, including her popular Sharpe and Donovan and Swift River Valley series. Her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in over 35 countries. A frequent traveler to Ireland, Carla lives with her family in New England. To learn more and to sign up for her newsletter, visit CarlaNeggers.com.
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Connect with Carla
EXCERPT TOUR for Thief’s Mark:
Monday, August 7th: Lovely Reads
Tuesday, August 8: Stuck in Books
Wednesday, August 9th: The Sassy Bookster
Thursday, August 10th: Books a la Mode
Friday, August 11th: Mama Reads
Monday, August 14th: Books and Spoons
Tuesday, August 15th: A Dream Within a Dream
Friday, August 18th: The Book Diva’s Reads
Monday, August 21st: A Holland Reads
Tuesday, August 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, August 23rd: Romancing the Readers
Thursday, August 24th: The Lit Bitch
Friday, August 25th: Mama Vicky Says
TBD: Book Nerd

REVIEW TOUR for Thief’s Mark:
Tuesday, August 29th: Clues and Reviews
Wednesday, August 30th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Thursday, August 31st: Reading Reality
Friday, September 1st: Rainy Day Reviews
Tuesday, September 5th: Jathan & Heather
Wednesday, September 6th: Deborah Blanchard
Thursday, September 7th: Staircase Wit
Friday, September 8th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Monday, September 11th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Tuesday, September 12th: Run Wright
Wednesday, September 13th: A Holland Reads
Thursday, September 14th: Novel Gossip
Friday, September 15th: Read ‘Till Dawn
Monday, September 18th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, September 19th: Buried Under Books
Wednesday, September 20th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, September 21st: Ms. Nose in a Book
Friday, September 22nd: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, September 25th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, September 26th: Mystery Suspense Reviews
Wednesday, September 27th: Book Nerd
Thursday, September 28th: What I’m Reading

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for featuring this excerpt for the tour!