Thursday, November 29, 2012

On Conversations: Excerpt from BEARING ALL by #author Tiffinie Helmer #amreading



Love the holidays!  And I love romance, mystery and intrigue during the holidays. This book by Tiffinie Helmer, Bearing All seems to have it all!  So sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Lisa ~

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Bearing All (Wild Men of Alaska Series) will be FREE on November 29th – December 3rd.

Author Bio:

Tiffinie Helmer is an award-winning author who is always up for a gripping adventure. Raised in Alaska, she was dragged “Outside” by her husband, but escapes the lower forty-eight to spend her summers commercial fishing on the Bering Sea.

A wife and mother of four, Tiffinie divides her time between enjoying her family, throwing her acclaimed pottery, and writing of flawed characters in unique and severe situations.

Book Blurb:

All he wants for Christmas is her…
                                      
Former Russian spy, Sergei Lavinsky, code name The Bear, is hibernating on the edge of Alaska.  He lures the woman he loves to the Edge of Reason Lodge, hoping enough time has passed that her heart has softened and her knives have dulled.

All she wants is revenge…
                                
Kate “No Mercy” Mercer is a CIA Agent sent to assassinate him.  Again.  This time she intends to succeed without ending up in his bed.  She has a dozen reasons to kill him, and one of them is personal.

They’ll be completely unwrapped before the holiday is over…

Excerpt:

Chapter One

            She’d been sent to kill him, and this time she wasn’t going to fail.
            Donned in head-to-toe white winter gear, blending seamlessly with her surroundings, Kate “No Mercy” Mercer lay on her stomach in the snow and viewed the terrain through white binoculars.  She’d been casing the area for days, freezing her ass off. 
The Edge of Reason Lodge came by its name naturally.  Built on the edge of the Kenai Peninsula in Kachemak Bay, Alaska, the lodge perched on an imposing mountain with a jagged ice-encrusted beach at its feet.  The deep, frigid waters of the finger fjord split off from the bay with no outlet, creating a natural defense for the lodge against invasion.  There would be no surprise attacks as the only way in was by boat or float plane.  He’d see her coming.  Which is why Kate had chosen to drop in behind Sadie Mountain and trek in from there.  A person would have to be crazy to attempt it.  Luckily she was way past crazy. 
She’d served in Afghanistan and had thought nothing of conquering the Kenai Mountains.  She should have thought again.  Hiking the glacier-pocked, steep terrain mid-winter had been a bitch.  All of it added more motivation to take down Sergei Lavinsky, code name The Bear. 
Kate had to give it to Sergei, the man was pretty damn smart for holing up here in the middle of nowhere. 
But she’d still found him. 
It appeared all of the lodge’s occupants were gone presumably for the holiday.  Probably somewhere warmer would be her vote. 
Leaving Sergei alone.  
All she needed to do now was wait for the perfect opening to move in.  It was the day before Christmas Eve.  By tomorrow night she planned to be somewhere more hospitable herself.
The temperature dropped fast as the winter solstice sun slid behind the snow-laden peaks.  The view was breathtaking, that is if she could tear her eyes away from Sergei, who was currently chopping wood, wearing snug jeans, snow boots, and only a half-buttoned flannel shirt.  His sable-black hair swung around his shoulders with each powerful plunge of the ax into the logs.  She didn’t know why he was chopping wood when there were rows and rows of ready firewood alongside the lodge under the cover of a lean-to.  It was almost as if he were teasing her, though she knew there was no way he was aware of her presence.  This was the closest she’d dared venture toward the lodge, keeping to the tree line high above the large log structure.
            Through the binoculars, she could clearly see the black stubble peppering his chin and tried to suppress the shiver as she remembered how it felt to have that rasp of beard against her bare skin.  She adjusted her position slightly where she lay prone in the snow above him. 
She’d planned well, done her homework.  Waiting until she knew the lodge would be closed for the season and the owners scheduled to be away, vacationing for Christmas.  Only Sergei was left as caretaker.  She didn’t understand how a man with his skill set was content to play guide, fisherman, and handyman of a rustic lodge in Alaska.  Living here, she got.  He was, after all, Russian, and Alaska was as close as he could get to Mother Russia in topography after his defection.
Defecting or not, he still had to die.
A final swing and he sunk the ax in the stump he’d been chopping against.  Good, she needed that ax out of his hands before she made her move.  He stretched his arms over his head, fingers linked as he arched from side-to-side.  She tried not to appreciate the breadth of his shoulders as the muscles bunched under the red and black flannel of his shirt.  His tanned forearms, revealed by rolled up sleeves, were bigger than her biceps, and sprinkled with dark hair and heavily roped with veins.  The cold didn’t seem to faze him at all. 
He turned and glanced her direction.  Hawk-like eyes, arched with heavy brows, swooped over her where she hunkered down in the snow.  She held caught her breath and held still.  His eyes continued to sweep the landscape, not settling on anything in particular.  Seeming at ease, he bent and loaded his arms with firewood from the large pile at his feet.  
Time to make her move.
She couldn’t shoot him from here.  It was too far away for accuracy.  Besides, this was a personal kill.  He needed to know who had taken him down, and she needed to look into his eyes and watch the life drain out of them.  She stamped down that little part of her that bemoaned the thought of this big, magnificent man no longer walking the earth.  That weak part of her had ended up in his bed when she’d been sent to neutralize him the first time.  And if she hadn’t, Perry would still be alive.
Stowing away her binoculars, she slowly rose to her feet and crouched toward deeper shadows within the spruce trees.  Silently, she crept down the mountainside.
Gloves off and zipped in her coat pockets, she unclipped her 9mm from its holster and clamped it with both hands, ignoring the sweat coating her palms. 
Sergei returned to load his arms again, and Kate remained under the heavy snow-covered branches of a spruce.  He never looked her direction.  No more than a hundred yards from him, she waited as he overloaded his arms, stacking the firewood up to his chin.  He gave her his back and headed toward the woodpile.  She inched closer, stopping when he paused, and cocked his head as though he heard something.  She waited until he resumed his trek and then snuck up behind him. 
She raised her gun.
“Hello, Kate,” Sergei said, not bothering to turn around and face her.


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