Skip to main content

Lady Wynwood #7 early release Kickstarter

I worked on my first Kickstarter and it got approved! It’s for the Special Edition Hardcover of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer and the release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. I contacted my graphic designer about the Special Edition Hardcover of vol. 1: Archer—it’s going to be SO beautiful! The Kickstarter focuses on the Special Edition Hardcover, but it’ll also include vol. 7: Spinster so that it’ll sort of be like a launch day for vol. 7, too. A third special thing that’ll be in the Kickstarter is Special Edition Paperbacks of all the books in the series. They won’t be available in stores, just in the Kickstarter (and later, from my website, and also in my Patreon book box tiers if I decide to do them). The Kickstarter is not live yet, but you can follow it to be alerted when it has launched. (You may need to create a free Kickstarter account.) Follow Camy’s Kickstarter

Excerpt - Into the Deep by Virginia Smith

Into the Deep
By
Virginia Smith


When Ben Dearinger got hold of a flash drive carrying deadly secrets, the scuba diver did the only thing he could. He buried it—fathoms deep. Now a drug cartel wants the evidence back, and they're willing to threaten Ben's ex-girlfriend Nikki Hoffman to get it. Although Nikki caused him no end of heartache, forgetting her has been impossible, and Ben would risk anything to protect her. But what will he do when he discovers her secret—that he's the father of her child?"

Excerpt of chapter one:

March 22
Key West, Florida

Double rows of razor-sharp teeth gleamed wickedly beneath a dead black eye. Nikki Hoffman could almost feel the chilly waters around her, the current pushing her toward powerful jaws.…

"You wanna get up close and personal with a shark?"

Startled, Nikki tore her attention from the collage of photos tacked to a bulletin board and whirled around. A swimsuit-clad surfer dude, tanned and bare chested, had appeared from a back room of the small shop she'd just entered, apparently alerted to her presence by the jangle of bells on the front door. He flashed a blinding white grin that contained more teeth than the sharks in the underwater pictures she'd been studying.

"For a hundred bucks, I can teach you how to scuba dive and take you to a wreck where the sharks hang out." The grin became a leer. "Private lesson. You'd get my personal attention."

Nikki suppressed a shudder. Sharks gave her the creeps. Especially the ones with two legs and an agenda that had nothing to do with salt water. She'd met plenty like this guy when she had lived in Cozumel.

With an effort, she pushed the thought from her mind. She'd made a promise to herself to look forward during this vacation, not backward. That was one promise she intended to keep.

"Thanks, but I gave up diving a couple of years ago." She unzipped the fanny pack that undoubtedly marked her as the tourist she was and fished through the contents. "I have a coupon here for a free sailing excursion."

"Free?" The guy's shoulders heaved with a laugh. "I don't think so. The bosses don't give anything away for free."

"This is Key West Water Adventures, isn't it?" Nikki glanced around the shop, looking for a sign. "This coupon is for a free excursion of my choice, up to a $100 value."

She pulled out the coupon and placed it on the counter. He examined it without picking it up.

Now that she looked at it again, this coupon didn't resemble the others in the welcome packet she'd received when she checked in to the time-share condo a few hours ago. It was just a black-and-white sheet of paper that might have been printed on a laser printer. But the logo at the top was identical to the one that adorned the sign hanging above the store's front door.

"Yeah, that's us, but I've never—" His gaze fixed on something over Nikki's shoulder and the confusion cleared from his face. "There's the boss now. You can ask him."

Nikki turned and looked through the window. The shop lay midway down an L-shaped pier that stretched like a wooden finger into the bay. Beyond it, the mouth of the bay opened out into the blue Atlantic. Sunlight sparkled off the water's surface, momentarily blinding her. She blinked and caught sight of a boat moving slowly toward the end of the pier. A flag on top waved in the breeze, red with a white diagonal slash. The sight of the rippling silk sent a surprising wave of longing through her, so strong it halted her breath for a few heartbeats. A scuba flag.

Those days are long gone. And he's gone with them.

Swallowing back the surge of emotion, she snatched the coupon off the counter. "Thanks, I will."

Outside, the humid heat slapped at her with an open palm. The breeze carried a distinctive odor, a blend of salt and fish as familiar to Nikki as the smell of cookies baking in her mother's kitchen in Portland. She paused outside the shop and filled her lungs with the scent of the ocean. Many of the slips on the dock were empty, the boat owners probably enjoying this beautiful Friday afternoon. The wooden pier creaked as the remaining boats bobbed gently in the water, rocked by the gentle motion of this inlet. The scuba boat glided to a halt some distance away. She lowered the sunglasses from their resting place on top of her head and made her way toward the pier's end.

When the boat had been secured, two couples climbed onto the dock lugging scuba equipment and beach towels. They laughed and chattered as they shouldered bulky bags and headed in her direction. Music blasted from speakers on the boat. Jimmy Buffett, appropriately enough.

"Good dive?" she asked when they approached.

"Great dive," answered one guy with a wide grin. "We saw an eight-foot moray eel."

The girl walking beside him shoved his shoulder. "What a fish story. It was not eight feet long. But what about that school of yellow-striped fish? Does anybody know what kind they were?"

Then they were past, their voices carrying to Nikki as she neared the boat. The two men inside had their backs to her as they tidied up the deck. One picked up a weight belt and ducked into the cabin as the song ended. A few seconds later, Jimmy began singing about grapefruit and Juicy Fruit.

The second guy straightened and caught sight of her. "Hey, how's it going?"

"Fine." She spared him a smile. "Are you the owner?"

"I'm one of them." He shielded his eyes with a hand. "What can I do for you?"

Nikki extended the coupon toward him. "I dropped by to make a reservation for a sailing excursion with this coupon, but the guy in the shop didn't seem to know anything about it."

He glanced at it. "You're staying at the Pelican Resort, right?"

"That's right."

He unhooked a dive tank from its holder, nodding as he spoke. "Someone called and bought a gift certificate over the phone yesterday and had us deliver it to the Pelican. My partner took the call and told me about it. We don't sell many gift certificates."

Allison. A smile stole across Nikki's lips at the thought of her generous friend. As if letting Nikki use her family's time-share at no charge wasn't a generous enough birthday present.

The second man emerged from the cabin carrying a pair of fins. Nikki caught a glimpse of his profile as he crossed the deck in two long strides, then bent to store them beneath the bench.

"That must have been my friend," Nikki told the first man. "So, when can I—"

Shock snatched the rest of her question out of her mouth. For a second that lasted a lifetime, her world skidded to a halt.

She knew that profile.

Ben? Here?

Panic slammed her in the stomach, robbing her breath. A single, frenzied thought pulsed in her brain and catapulted her feet into action.

I can't let him see me.

She whirled and ran.



Even before his mind could fully register her presence, Ben jerked upright, his body reacting to the oh-so-familiar timbre of her voice.

Nikki.

It had been over two years, but he would recognize the woman running down the dock even if it had been forty. Her long legs, the familiar curve where her shoulders met her slender neck, even the way she ran with her hands pumping at her sides.

He dropped the fins, leaped from the boat to the dock and sprinted after her.

"Nikki, stop!"

She kept running. Ben kicked up his speed, ignoring the startled looks he collected from two men cleaning the morning's catch on the dock beside their boat. Pain raked his bare feet as they pounded the rough wood. She reached the edge of the pier and hesitated before turning toward town. Just a moment's hesitation, but it was enough. Ben overtook her before she'd gone five steps in that direction.

"Hold up a minute, will you?" He grabbed her arm and jerked them both to a stop, then stood panting and looking down into her face.

She'd changed. The smile lines at the corners of her mouth had deepened, and he saw the beginning of creases at the edges of the eyes she kept averted from him. She was a few pounds heavier, but the extra weight only softened the sharp angles he remembered. In Mexico, he'd fallen in love with a carefree girl, but the girl had grown up. Matured. She was a woman now.

A beautiful woman.

Her shoulders drooped with a nearly imperceptible sigh, and she raised her eyes to meet his. "Hello, Ben."

"Hello?" He vented a sudden surge of anger with a bitter laugh. "That's all you have to say after two-and-a-half years?"

A pause, and then her lips tightened. "I could say let go of me, instead." Her voice snapped with the spunk he remembered so well.

She jerked her arm away, and he realized he'd been gripping her so hard his fingers left red splotches. He started to apologize, but couldn't force the words out. If anybody owed anyone an apology here, it wasn't him. She'd packed up and left Cozumel while he was out on a dive. He had come home in the evening to find her clothes gone, the apartment somehow hollow and empty even though all the furniture remained. Her note gave no explanation, just two words—Goodbye. Nikki.

He tried to shove his hands in his pockets, realized he was wearing swim trunks, and folded them across his chest instead. "What are you doing in Key West, Nikki?"

Her eyes darted around as though searching for an appropriate answer. Then she lifted her shoulders in a slight shrug. "I'm on vacation. Just got in a couple of hours ago. I'm, uh, sorry for running like that. It was a shock. I wasn't expecting to see anyone I know." The brief smile she turned on him didn't reach her eyes. The polite smile of a stranger. She gestured toward his shirt, which bore the logo for Key West Water Adventures. "So, you live here now?"

The disappointment that surged through him at her impersonal conversation surprised him. So that's the way she was going to play out this awkward meeting. Polite. A chance encounter between two former friends.

Okay. Fine with him.

"Yeah, I moved here a few months ago."

"Still diving, I see." Was that a reference to their last argument, the one about settling down and becoming responsible? Though the afternoon air was warm, it seemed to Ben he was caught in a bubble of frigid air, one that surrounded him and this stranger he once knew so well.

He flipped his hands out, palms up. "Of course. You know me. I can't give it up."

She tilted her head and the sun glinted off her sunglasses. "I didn't think you'd ever leave Mexico."

A shudder threatened at the memory of his last fearful days in Cozumel. Ben pushed it away and awarded Nikki a tight smile. He certainly wasn't going into his reasons for leaving. Not here. Not with her.

"The pay's better here," he said briefly, then changed the subject. "What about you? Where do you live now?"

"I moved back home to Oregon." Her gaze drifted sideways, as though planning her escape route. "I work for a finance company there."

"Sounds interesting." Actually, it sounded unutterably boring and normal. But that's what she said she wanted over two years ago during that last, heated argument. A normal life. He caught a flash of gold from a cross hanging around her neck. So, she hadn't gotten over her religious phase yet. He hesitated before asking the question that had plagued him periodically over the years. "Are you married? Have kids?"

She wrapped her arms around her middle, a clear signal that the question was unwelcome. The muscles in her slender throat moved as she swallowed. "I'm not married, no."

The wave of triumph that surged through him took him by surprise. She hadn't found everything she'd been looking for when she left, then. His heart suddenly and inexplicably lighter, Ben combed a hand through his hair. "Look, I've got to get back and help unload the boat. But how about if I take you to dinner?"

For a minute he thought she would agree. She hesitated, her lips parting. Then she closed them again and shook her head. "I, uh, have plans."

"Lunch, then. I'll get someone to cover the morning dive." He cocked his head and pasted on the smile that used to melt her resolve. "It'll give us a chance to catch up. I want to know what's happening in your life."

For a moment, something darkened her eyes, like a shadow of the feelings they'd once shared. But in the next instant, a door slammed shut in her face. The polite stranger's smile returned.

"Thanks, but I don't think that's a good idea." She took a backward step. "It was good to see you, though, Ben. Goodbye."

He was still trying to come up with some way to counter her obvious dismissal when she turned and walked away. Quickly, as though she couldn't wait to get away from him.

At least she'd said goodbye in person this time.



Nikki's back burned. She could feel his eyes on her as she hurried away. The clip-clop of her sandals changed tone as she stepped off the wooden dock and onto the street. She didn't dare glance backward, but her ears strained to hear footsteps coming after her. Would he follow?

Please, God, don't let him follow me.

Pain throbbed in her chest, a dull ache that she'd thought was long gone. Just like she thought her feelings for Ben had finally faded. Oh, she'd never forget him, that was a given. How could she, when his face loomed in her mind every day? But she'd really thought she'd gotten over her feelings for him. Or at least, wrapped them up and stored them in the deep recesses of her heart, where they couldn't hurt her anymore. One look at him, and she knew she'd been lying to herself.

Which made it even more important that she get away from him. Her heart was no longer her own. It belonged to Joshua now.

And she would never tell Ben about the son he didn't know existed.

Print book:
Barnes and Noble
Amazon
Christianbook.com
Books a Million

Ebook:
Nookbook
Kindle

Comments

Popular Posts

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by Feminitz.com . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And

Sneak peek: Camy’s Kickstarter Pledge Levels

I’m working hard to create exciting pledge levels for my upcoming Kickstarter! Don’t know what Kickstarter is? Check out this blog post about my Kickstarter. I posted a description of the Pledge Levels (and pictures) on Patreon. Click here to check out the Kickstarter Pledge Levels! You can Follow my Kickstarter to be notified when it’s launched, and I’ll also announce in my newsletter when it’s live. Follow Camy’s Kickstarter here

Sneak peek: Camy’s Kickstarter rewards

This Kickstarter is going to be awesome! I’ve been planning rewards that’ll knock your socks off! Don’t know what Kickstarter is? Check out this blog post about my Kickstarter. I posted a description of the rewards (and pictures) on Patreon. Click here to check out the Kickstarter rewards! You can Follow my Kickstarter to be notified when it’s launched, and I’ll also announce in my newsletter when it’s live. Follow Camy’s Kickstarter here

Grace Livingston Hill romances free on Google Books

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci

ACFW booksigning at the Mall of America

Captain's Log, Stardate 09.04.2008 What: ACFW booksigning Who: 127 Christian novelists Where: Best Buy and Sears Rotundas and connecting hallway, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN When: Saturday, September 20, 2008, 1-3 p.m. Why: To meet your favorite authors! I’ll be participating in a massive Christian author booksigning at the Mall of America in Minnesota! You can buy copies of my books there or you can bring your copies for me to sign. I’ll also have a special surprise for the people who come to get their books signed, while supplies last! Here are the other authors signing with me: Mall of America Booksigners Tamera Alexander Jennifer AlLee A.K. Arenz Diane Ashley Karen Ball Janet Lee Barton James Scott Bell Joseph Bentz Terri Blackstock Robin Caroll Patricia PacJac Carroll Jeanie Smith Cash Eleanor Clark Debra Clopton Gloria Clover Brandilyn Collins Mary Connealy Lyn Cote Kathryn Cushman Margaret Daley KM Daughters Susan Page Davis Mary Davis Janet Dean Megan DiMaria Brandt Do

Lady Wynwood #7 early release Kickstarter

I worked on my first Kickstarter and it got approved! It’s for the Special Edition Hardcover of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer and the release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. I contacted my graphic designer about the Special Edition Hardcover of vol. 1: Archer—it’s going to be SO beautiful! The Kickstarter focuses on the Special Edition Hardcover, but it’ll also include vol. 7: Spinster so that it’ll sort of be like a launch day for vol. 7, too. A third special thing that’ll be in the Kickstarter is Special Edition Paperbacks of all the books in the series. They won’t be available in stores, just in the Kickstarter (and later, from my website, and also in my Patreon book box tiers if I decide to do them). The Kickstarter is not live yet, but you can follow it to be alerted when it has launched. (You may need to create a free Kickstarter account.) Follow Camy’s Kickstarter

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

「戌年」連載小説 第11章

キャミー・タング著「戌年」連載小説 プロのドッグトレーナーであるマリ・ムトウは、厄年を迎えている。 犬小屋と訓練所の改築をしながら、いつも不服そうにしている家族と同居することになった。母と姉に言わせれば、犬の毛とよだれかけにまみれる仕事は、家族にとって恥ずべきものだという。彼女は元カレを説得し、数ヶ月間犬を預かってもらうことにした。しかし、彼の兄は、数週間前に彼女が誤って車に追突した、怒り狂ったセキュリティ専門家であることが判明する。 アシュウィン・ケイトウは十分な問題を抱えている。叔母が玄関先に現れ、同居を希望している。彼は彼女にすべてを借りているので、断ることができません。母親が家を出て行った後、ネルおばさんはアシュウィンと弟を引き取り、愛のあるキリスト教の家庭で育てた。しかも、弟のダスティもアパートを追い出され、居場所を求めている。しかし、彼は犬を飼っている。そして、その犬の飼い主は誰だと思いますか? しかし、旧友でオアフ島のノースショアでデイスパを経営する私立探偵のエディサ・ゲレロから依頼を受ける。マリの施設で奇妙な破壊行為があり、3年前に失踪したエディサの妹の財布を発見する。エディサはマリが危険な目に遭っているのではと心配する。警備の専門家であるアシュウィンがすでにマリを知っていることを知ったエディサは、忙しい若い女性を密かに監視することを彼に依頼する。 アシュウィンは、活発でのんびりとしたドッグトレーナーに不本意ながら惹かれていく。彼女は、幸せそうな母親を思い出させる。その母親の裏切りによって、彼は人と距離を置くようになったのだ。マリは、アシュウィンの冷たい外見を見抜き、彼が家族に忠実な男であることを認める。彼は、彼女のキャリア選択を批判するだけの母親や姉とは違う。 マリのバラバラな家庭とアシュウィンのバラバラな家庭の中で、過去を隠そうとする人たちから、彼らの周りに危険が迫ってくるようになる。彼らは、影で動く秘密に光を当てることができるのか? 過去に発表されたパートへのリンクはこちら。 *** 第11章 - タビー猫、黒猫、灰色と茶色の縞猫 彼女の母親は何かを摂取したに違いない。何を摂取したかはわからないが、代謝が急激に上がり、まるで神経質なリスのようになった。マリには、過去数日間に母親が家全体を掃除させた理由

Finished THE LONE RICE BALL!

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Sorry for not blogging yesterday, but I was celebrating! I finished the third book in my Sushi Series, The Lone Rice Ball , in the wee hours on Monday morning and so I took off Tuesday to rest. (By “rest,” I mean I slept a lot and overate at dinner, which was my husband’s smoked pork shoulder. Yum!) I also just got my developmental edits for Only Uni from my editor on Monday, and they’re due at the end of the month. From what I’ve heard from my friend Robin Caroll, she only has two weeks for her line edits, also. This is my second round of edits. My first was my macro edits, which I got on March 13th, and sent back to my macro editor (Rachelle Gardner) on April 20th. We did one more set of minor tweaking before she sent it to my senior editor on May 15th. This set of edits is my developmental edit—also called a line edit—sent to me by my developmental editor, Becky Shingledecker. (She does figure skating in her spare time! Isn’t that just way cool?) After t