Saturday, May 3, 2008

In the Spotlight Jennifer Mueller

Just released Ancient Walls by Jennifer Mueller
Maya Montgomery just wants a vacation with her son, that's it, but with her ex giving her trouble to the point of needing a restraining order, even relaxing involves a fight. At least until everyone in the hotel is kept inside with days of rain. After the way her ex has been all it will take is someone being nice to her and Carson is nothing but nice. Nice to look at, nice to talk to, nice to go to bed with.
For once in her life, things are looking up, until her son is kidnapped and the note orders her to find a hidden treasure. Treasure not everyone is even convinced exists and her son's life depends on it. So much for a peaceful vacation.

Ancient Walls Excerpt

Genoveva brought a good strong glass of port, a 1983, she said as the bath finished filling.

"Could you take Zach a snack in the library? He didn't seem to eat too much breakfast. Too much treasure on the brain."

"Of course."

"And maybe Carson a glass of this, it's wonderful. He'll need it to keep sane searching in the library."

"Of course."

Sinking into the tub after the room was empty was heaven. God, when was the last time she'd had a chance just to soak. The huge claw foot tub wasn't even in their room, many had only showers, but when Maya asked, nothing was too good for her and they started filling the tub in the best suite in the castle. Just because it had been built in the 1300s didn't mean it hadn't been remodeled; the bathroom was painted a rustic shade of terra cotta that shone even if it still rained outside. The bedrooms were all whitewashed, though, with the typical dark Mediterranean wood beams and leaded windows. Her own room she liked more than the light airy one whose tub she stole. Smaller, with indirect sun, it was easy to imagine living there in the past, a low beamed ceiling hardly gave the tall bed enough clearance. Considering it was a huge canopied thing, not surprising. The ancient stone floor covered in local rugs. Seeing a picture of that room was how they had decided on that castle out of so many, Zach thought it looked like the days of old. That kid of hers was a fanatic; only eight, he was the one to drag her to the Renaissance festival. Twice already. Knights his favorite, it was no wonder he knew about the book in the rooms telling the history of the castle and obviously the Knights of St. John, she'd never looked that close. Weren't they the ones with the hospitals?? Maya laughed to herself, she'd have to ask one of the staff where to find that book Zach said he saw, he would never let her live it down if she had forgotten.

"Mom! Mom! We found it," Zach cried, running into the room.

Maya hid a groan, the water hadn't even started to cool yet. "How'd you do that so fast?"

"I saw the Maltese cross like on the guy's robe on a pedestal in the library. The case held a set of books. Volume 5 is empty but one line on the first page."

"Zach, let your mom be," Carson was saying from the other room. The door opened quickly, and just as quick, he pulled it back closed. "Sorry I didn't know that was the bathroom."

"Did you eat yet, Zach?"

"There's a treasure and you're . . ."

"Treasure later, I asked Genoveva to get you a snack. Treasure hunters need a full stomach to keep going. We'll figure out the next clue after you eat."

Zach let out a groan but ran off. The door stood open; he was so anxious to get on with his search. Maya stared at Carson looking through the doorway. He was at such an angle only her head was visible, he wasn't gaping like some teenage boy getting a glimpse at his first porn.

"Sorry it didn't take longer."

"Like everything else in my life, the good things don't last." Maya's heart jumped to her throat as she watched him walk closer. The click of the door locking echoed in the tile bathroom.

"Then you've never met anyone that does the good things right." He whispered so close she could feel the heat coming from him. So close his lips touched hers. As delicious as they looked, they felt even better. His hand moved around holding her from sliding away in the tub.

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