As a writer, I’m always looking for new story ideas. For most writers, past experiences can be a very big help. Have you ever survived a dangerous situation? How did you do it?
When I was first learning to snow ski, I got caught on top of Stowe Mountain, Vermont in a blizzard, after the lifts had closed. It’s a huge ski area. It was my first day on skis and somehow I got separated from my friends and wound up on a black diamond run. Of course I started falling, and falling, and falling. Throwing myself down in the snow was the only way I knew how to stop!
By the time I got half way down, it was pitch black and freezing cold. I tried taking off my skis and walking, but the snow was deep and it was even harder that trying to ski. The clothes I had on weren’t nearly thick enough for a New England winter and I was afraid hypothermia would set in. I knew I was in big trouble.
Maybe the reason I started writing Romantic Suspense had something to do with that day. Just when I was ready to give up, just sit down in the snow and wait for whatever was going to happen, a guy came skiing down the hill out of nowhere.
Instead of skiing on by, he swished to a stop right next to me. He must have realized I was in trouble and if I didn’t get down the mountain, I could die in the subzero weather that night. The guy–my hero–helped me get up and start “skiing” back down the hill. He showed me how to snow plow, helped me make the necessary turns, and never left me, no matter how many times I fell.
It took hours to get off that mountain. We wound up in an empty parking lot, where fortunately his car was parked, and he drove me back to the main lodge, which was snowed in by that time. I never saw him again, but I’ve never forgotten him. There is a chance he might have saved my life that night.
So I guess there really are heroes out in the real world. Chase Garrett, the hero in THE CONSPIRACY, is that kind of man.
The oldest of the three wealthy Garrett brothers, Chase, a private detective, owns Maximum Security, a highly successful Dallas security firm.
In THE CONSPIRACY, Harper Winston’s brother has disappeared. Desperate to find him, Harper is forced turn to Chase, once her brother’s best friend. But dealing with the Winston crime family won’t be easy. With time running out, Chase must find a way to keep Harper safe…and both of them alive.
I hope you’ll watch for THE CONSPIRACY and that you enjoy it. Till next time, all best and happy reading,
The Conspiracy, by Kat Martin
EXCERPT 5 of 5
As the land cruiser rolled along the highway, Harper tried to relax, but worry nagged her. She didn’t like the big, dark-haired man with the obsidian eyes and scarred face. With his hard features and powerful, muscular body, Killian Dawson made her more than a little uneasy.
Even his name set her on edge. Killian. Kil, he called himself. She wondered if he spelled it with two LLs.
She couldn’t imagine how a man who hadn’t cut his hair in months, hadn’t shaved in days, could possibly be handsome, but somehow he was. She thought that a man who exuded that kind of masculinity wouldn’t have any trouble attracting women, though his crude brand of sexuality didn’t appeal to her and only made her dislike him more.
It didn’t matter what she thought of him. They needed his help to find Michael, and Dawson clearly knew what he was doing. She would follow his orders, do whatever she had to.
Besides, she was armed and so was Chase. In a different but equally masculine way, Chase was Dawson’s equal. He was smart, his body hard, all lean-muscled power and strength. She could count on Chase to protect her, believed that in every cell of her body.
Maybe it was because she was Michael’s sister, or that she was a woman, but she didn’t think so. Something was happening between them. She had begun to see it in Chase’s eyes whenever he looked at her and thought she wouldn’t see.
Something hot and sexual was happening that neither of them wanted–Harper revised the thought–or at least something Chase didn’t want. Harper was growing more and more certain having sex with Chase Garrett was exactly what she wanted.
Whatever the truth, at least for now both of them were doing their best to ignore it. They were there to save Michael and Pia. That was all that mattered.
An hour and a half after they left Santa Marta following the GPS coordinates Tabitha Love had given to Chase, Kil Dawson pulled the Land Cruiser off the Mingueo-Santa Marta highway onto a two-lane road headed directly toward the ocean. The road quickly narrowed to a single dirt track, and a few miles later, the sea appeared in front of them, an endless expanse of blue.
The road turned slightly south and ran along the edge of a cove. A ways farther on, a few weary structures appeared ahead of them, a gas station with only a single pump, and what passed for a restaurant with rooms above. A permanent VACANT sign swung in the breeze on a pole outside the entrance. Next to it, the door to the Las Palmaras Cantina stood open.
The village was mostly deserted, just a kid on a ratty, bicycle and a couple of older women in ankle-length, gathered skirts walking along the dirt street. A mongrel black and white dogged sniffed a trash can in the ally beside the restaurant looking for something to eat.
It was the sleek white sailboat bobbing at a long wooden dock on the west side of the cove that captured Harper’s attention. Her mouth went dry as she recognized her brother’s beautiful yacht, BUZZ Word.
“There it is!” She pointed excitedly over Chase’s shoulder. “Michael’s boat. That’s it!”
Dawson pulled the vehicle off the main road onto an even narrower dirt track that wound into deep green foliage. Reaching beneath his seat, he dragged out a pair of binoculars and began to scan the dock, the village, and the area around it for what seemed the longest time.
“Looks deserted,” he finally said. “No way to know for sure till we check it out.”
Harper’s gaze remained on the boat, her heart throbbing. They’d found the yacht, but what had happened to Michael and Pia? She didn’t see anyone aboard the vessel. Had they been murdered for the money the valuable yacht would bring? She shoved the grim thought out of her head. Her brother was alive somewhere and being held for ransom. Chase had said it was still a possibility.
Putting the cruiser into four-wheel drive, Dawson drove farther down the muddy trail until they were completely hidden from view. The engine went dead and Dawson stepped out of the vehicle. At the same time, so did Chase.
Silently, the men walked to the rear of the cruiser and opened the tailgate to the cargo area. They both started unzipping gear bags and pulling out clothes and equipment.
When the men began to peel off their shirts and jeans, Harper looked away. By the time she looked back, both men were dressed, both wearing camo pants and T-shirts. The olive drab Tee that Chase had put on outlined the muscles across his chest and abdomen and stretched around his amazing biceps. He’d strapped one of Dawson’s long-bladed knives to his thigh and a second pistol hung from a belt around his waist.
He looked like a man she had never seen before. Tall, hard-edged, hard-bodied, and determined. He hadn’t shaved since they’d left Aruba and the dark gold beard along his jaw now joined the rough stubble on his cheeks, making him appear rugged and dangerous. He looked like a man who could handle whatever he faced, exactly the right man for the job ahead of him.
It was exactly the wrong time for her to feel a shot of lust.
Kil Dawson closed the back of the cruiser while Chase walked around and opened the rear passenger door. “You need to stay here,” he said. “You’ve got a gun. If you get in trouble, fire off a shot. We won’t be far away.”
Kat Martin Bio
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Her last novel, BEYOND CONTROL, hit both big lists … NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST as well as the USA TODAY BEST-SELLING BOOKS LIST. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.