Tag: Against the Sun

Favorite Places in the Sun by Kat Martin

Since my latest book, AGAINST THE SUN, big Jake Cantrell and Sage Dumont’s story, deals
with a visit to Texas by a Saudi Arabian sheik and his family, I thought it might be fun to talk
about favorite places in the sun.

With temperatures that reach higher than 120 degrees, Saudi Arabia would definitely not be one of them!

Personally, I hate hot weather.  Among my personal
favorite places, would be the ski slopes of Aspen
on a sunny day, or up on the top of the hill at Mammoth Mountain in California. Yummy days of cold and sunshine and crystal clear blue skies.

We usually travel in the spring.  A favorite sunny day happened to me in Rome in April a few years ago, when we stood in the warm rays next to the beautiful Trevi Fountain.  And of course you can’t beat
walking in the sun on the Left Bank in Paris.

Closer to home, Montana has some great sunny days.  Today I’m working in my office, looking at the lush green pastures outside my windows toward the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
Big sky country is a major winner when the sun is shining and the clear blue sky seems to go on forever.

A day on the ocean off the coast of Santa  Barbara is hard to beat when the sun is shining.  Sailboat or powerboat, just being out on the water makes me feel completely carefree.

In AGAINST THE SUN, the sheik, his daughter A’lia and his son Roshan aren’t bothered by the brutal Houston heat.  And Sage is more concerned about learning the protocols she must know in order to negotiate the three hundred million dollar deal that will make or break her career.  Customs like not showing the bottom of her foot, which is considered an insult, or making the okay sign, which would be giving them the evil eye.

AGAINST THE SUN was one of the most difficult books I’ve ever tackled because of the research involved in getting the customs, the clothing, the attitudes of the Saudi visitors correct.  I hope you’ll try AGAINST THE SUN and that you enjoy it.

I’d love to hear some of your favorite places in the sun and why you love them? I’m giving away a copy of AGAINST THE SUN to one lucky commentor today!

Warm wishes for a great summer, Kat

BOOK SUMMARY

It’s not in bodyguard Jake Cantrell’s job description to share his suspicions with his assignments. Beautiful executive Sage Dumont may be in charge, but Jake’s not on her payroll. As a former special forces marine, Jake trusts his gut, and it’s telling him that there’s something off about a shipment arriving at Marine Drilling International. His instinct is aroused…in more ways than one.

 A savvy  businesswoman, Sage knows better than to take some hired gun’s “hunch” as gospel. And yet she is learning not to underestimate the man her grandfather hired to protect her. Determined to prove Jake wrong, Sage does some digging of her own and turns up deadly details she was never meant to see.

Drawn into a terrifying web of lies and  deceit—and into feelings they can’t afford to explore—what Jake and Sage uncover may be frighteningly worse than  they ever imagined.

Here’s an excerpt from AGAINST THE SUN:

Walking out of the elevator across the shiny black granite floor, Jake Cantrell made his
way to the receptionist desk on the tenth floor of Marine Drilling International.  The waiting area was done in black leather sofas and chairs, the receptionist desk dark walnut and chrome, nothing but the best for the Dumonts, the family who owned the company.

A good-looking woman, late twenties, wavy, shoulder-length mink-brown hair, busily searched the drawers and cabinets behind the desk, bending over in a tailored pencil shirt, providing him with a perfect view of a very shapely ass.

He almost smiled.  Even the help was first class.

She jerked upright at his approach, noticing him for the first time, and her face colored, a pretty face, remarkable really, with amazing golden brown eyes.  Those eyes looked him up and down, which took a while, being six-five, two-hundred thirty-five pounds.

“May I help you?” she asked.

He gave her a smile.  “I’m Jake Cantrell.  I’ve got an appointment at ten with Ian Dumont.”

She frowned.  “He didn’t mention it.  He’s getting ready for a meeting.  You might have to wait a while.”

“Not a problem.  In the meantime, I could sure use a cup of coffee.”

Amusement tipped her mouth up, a tiny dimple appearing next to plump, rose-colored lips. “I’ll see what I can do.”  But she didn’t make a move, just turned to the woman hurrying toward her across the waiting room.

“I’m so sorry I’m late, Ms. Dumont,” the woman said.  “Thank you for covering for me.”

Sonofabitch, a Dumont, Jake thought.  Asking her to fetch him a cup of coffee was probably
not the best idea he’d ever had.

“It’s not a problem, Marie.”  She tipped her head toward Jake.  “Mr. Cantrell is here to see Ian.  I have to go into the meeting.  Could you get him a cup of coffee while he waits?”

Jake felt the slight rebuke in the glance she cast his way.  Clearly, she wasn’t used to fetching a man much of anything.

“Of course,” Marie said.  The Dumont woman headed for the tall walnut door leading into Ian Dumont’s imperial domain, her strides long and purposeful, as if she had someplace important to go.  He liked a woman who didn’t dawdle.  And besides the great ass, she had a pair of legs that wouldn’t quit.

He watched her disappear behind the door, wondering what role she played in the Dumont empire, then turned his attention to the receptionist.

Marie was smiling.  “Mr. Cantrell, Mr. Dumont mentioned that you would be coming in. I believe he wants to see you as soon as you arrive.”

“Thank you, Marie.”

“I’ll bring coffee into the meeting.”  The woman blushed as he walked away.  It was his size mostly, he figured, that made women take a second look.  He was used to it by now.

He shoved open the office door and stepped inside, found only two people in the room–the woman he had subtly insulted and a silver-haired gentleman in his late seventies, slightly stooped but still impressive, undoubtedly Ian Dumont, CEO of the company.

“Mr. Cantrell, I assume,” the man said.  “Our mutual friend, Trace Rawlins, had nothing but good things to say when he recommended you for this job.  Please do join us.”

The Dumont woman was staring, one of her dark eyebrows elevated in question.  He noticed she was wearing a flashy diamond engagement ring.  Since he felt a jolt of heat whenever he looked at her, it was probably good she was out of his reach.

Ian Dumont reached out to shake his hand.  A strong, solid handshake that set the tone for the discussion ahead.  “Why don’t we all sit down?” Ian suggested.

They spaced themselves at the near end of the conference table, which sat in the middle of a room done in the same walnut and chrome as the waiting area.

Ian fixed his attention on Jake.  “I asked you here to discuss providing security for one of our people during an upcoming business negotiation.”

“S.E. Dumont, you said when we spoke on the phone.”

“That is correct.”

“Wait a minute,” the dark-haired woman interrupted, her gaze sliding toward Jake. “Ian, you aren’t thinking–”

“Mr. Cantrell, I’d like you to meet my granddaughter, Sage Elizabeth Dumont.”

The room fell silent.  Sonofabitch.  She was his assignment?

“I don’t need a bodyguard, Ian.”

The old man turned toward her, a determined glint in a pair of eyes that looked strikingly similar to the flashing gold-ringed brown ones belonging to his granddaughter.

“Mr. Cantrell has experience in Middle Eastern protocol as well as a background in personal security.  Isn’t that correct, Mr. Cantrell?”

“Over the years, I’ve done a lot of corporate protection work, both in South America and the Middle East.  I worked in Saudi for three years after I got out of the Marines.  So yes, I know the protocols.”

“This is simply not necessary,” Sage said.

Both men ignored her.  “I understand you were in Special Forces.  You served in Iraq, I believe.”

“That’s right.”

“Sage is Vice President of Acquisitions and Distribution for Marine Drilling. Currently she is involved in a transaction that may reach the three hundred million mark.  A deal being negotiated with Sheik Khalid Al Kahzaz of Saudi Arabia.  The sheik and his family are due to arrive in just a few  days.”

“I see,” Jake said noncommittally.  Protecting a corporate exec was one thing. Protecting a spoiled young socialite who got her job because she was a member of the Dumont family was something altogether different.

“With your experience,” Ian continued, “I’m hoping you will be able to guide my granddaughter through this visit with our Saudi friends, and should trouble arise in the city, also keep her safe.”

“That’s what I get paid for.”

Sage shifted in her chair, irritation clear in her face.  “We need to discuss this in private, Ian.”

The old man smiled indulgently.  “We can do that, of course, but the result will be the same.  You’re representing Marine Drilling International.  You will be prominently engaged in entertaining the sheik, his daughter and son, and the rest of his party.  Currently, there is a great deal of unrest in the Middle
East.  Last night there was an incident right here in the city.  Mr. Cantrell can handle whatever problem might come up.”  He rose from his chair, and Jake and Sage stood up, too.

Ian turned to Jake.  “When can you start?”

Part of him wanted to refuse the assignment.  He didn’t want to deal with a bossy, cantankerous female.  The other part was looking for something interesting to do after weeks of mostly sitting behind a desk.  “If we only have a short time until they arrive,” he found himself saying, “we had start today.”

Sage’s spine went a little straighter.  She fixed her gaze on Jake.  Even with her ultra high heels she had to look up at him, which he could tell she didn’t like.

“Fine,” she said.  “I’ll see you in my office in half an hour.  Does that work for you?”

“I’ll be there.”

As soon as the door swooshed closed behind her, Jake heard Ian chuckle.  “I knew she was going to pitch an all-out fit about this, but I want her safe.  She means everything to me, Mr. Cantrell.”

“It’s just Jake.  And you can count on me to take care of her–whether she likes it or not.”

Ian Dumont just smiled.

AGAINST THE SUN debuted at #17 on the New York Times Bestsellers list, and was a Romantic Times “top pick”! Here’s how to order.

ORDER LINKS

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/against-the-sun-kat-martin/1107460610

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Against-Sun-Raines-Wind-Canyon/dp/0778313506/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336166766&sr=8-1

Indiebound:
http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778313502

 

 

 

Welcome Guest Blogger . . . Kat Martin!

Research … a real job but oh so important!

Sometimes what you think is going to be a great idea for a book turns into a great big UGH!  That’s what happens when the research takes on a life of its own and you have a whole lot more work to do than you had planned.  Not that it isn’t usually interesting.

AGAINST THE SUN, the sixth book in my AGAINST series, deals with a visit toTexasby a Saudi Arabian sheik and his family.  The sheik is there to negotiate a three hundred million dollar oil-well equipment sale with one of Marine Drilling International’s vice presidents, Sage Dumont.

That’s hero, big Jake Cantrell, first appeared in AGAINST THE LAW.  At six-foot-five, two-hundred-forty pounds, tough and smart, I knew the minute he walked onto the page that Jake would make a great hero. 

He also appeared in AGAINST THE NIGHT when Johnnie Riggs and Amy Brewer’s adventure took them to the jungles ofBelize.  In AGAINST THE SUN, Jake is hired to act as Sage’s bodyguard during the Saudis’ visit.  Being a Special Forces Marine who’s done corporate protection work in theMiddle East, Jake can also teach her the protocols she will need to know in order to make the deal.

That’s where the research came in.  Fortunately, I have a close friend who’s an internationally famous bounty hunter.  He’s also done a great deal of work as a bodyguard and even teaches classes on the subject inFlorida, now that he’s retired.  When Bob Burton was inSanta Barbaralast year, I was able him to corner him for lunch.  That’s when he mentioned the protocols that a businessman had to learn in order to negotiate a deal with the Saudis. 

Romantic Times Book Review Top Pick. 4 1/2 stars!

Customs like sitting with your legs crossed and showing someone the bottom of your foot, which is considered a grave insult.  Or making a circle with your fingers for the okay sign.  To a Saudi Arabian, that is considered giving someone the evil eye.

From that moment on, I knew I had my work cut out for me.  The research involved in getting the customs, clothing, and attitudes of the Saudi visitors correct made AGAINST THE SUN one of the most difficult books I’ve ever written.  And also one of the most interesting. 

On top of the research, there was the problem of dealing with women’s rights inSaudi Arabiawithout offending anyone. 

In the end, I think Sage and Jake are two of my strongest, most heroic characters.  I hope readers with think their love story is equally strong.   

I hope you’ll look for AGAINST THE SUN and the rest of the books in my AGAINST series, and that you enjoy them all. 

Very best wishes, Kat