Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Guest post by Nikki Navarre + Giveaway

Today I am happy welcome back to Ex Libris Laura Navarre's "sinister writing twin" Nikki Navarre, who is on a worldwide trour celebrating the release of The Russian Seduction, the first book in her new Foreign Affairs romantic supense series: think action combined with romance, Bond with a HEA (happily ever after)! So please ghive Nikki a warm welcome and read on, you could even win a copy of The Russian Seduction!

Casino Royale with a Happy Ending: James Bond and The Russian Seduction
by Nikki Navarre

Thanks so much for hosting me today at Ex Libris! I’m particularly excited about blogging for you, because your smart, sophisticated, international vibe perfectly suits my debut romantic suspense, The Russian Seduction. I sometimes describe the book as Casino Royale with a happy ending, and here’s a perfect opportunity to talk about why I say that.

Let me start with a confession: Daniel Craig seduced me into the spy business. Until his icy blond James Bond strode across the silver screen in his Armani tux, I was perfectly content writing historical romance under another name. But after five years as a diplomat in Russia, where I specialized in weapons of mass destruction, coupled with an early showing of Casino Royale that I caught in Bratislava, I was pretty well convinced I needed to write some sleek, sexy romantic suspense, spiced with state secrets, champagne and international intrigue. What started as a fun diversion from my dark Tudor romances turned into The Russian Seduction, the story of a renegade Russian submarine captain and a rising-star American diplomat, and the first book in my Foreign Affairs series for Affluent Press.

In the edgy, cosmopolitan world of modern-day Moscow, both Captain Victor Kostenko and Political Counselor Alexis Castle are convinced—with good reason—that the other is an intelligence agent with a hidden agenda. The fate of two nations rests on Alexis’s ability to establish a dialogue with the renegade captain. But given the risk that Victor is under orders to compromise her—not to mention the virtual certainty that they’re under surveillance—the sizzling chemistry between them is an itch she can’t afford to scratch.

I wrote Victor with Daniel Craig’s Bond in mind. His Bond is an icy, sometimes brutal, seemingly emotionless killer. Similarly, when Alexis meets Victor, “tremors of unease rippled through her at his nearness: an aggressive global power that was her country’s greatest rival, and he was breathing down her neck. A sleepless eye that watched in the deep, a cunning predator with infinite patience—and now he’d fixed his sights on her.” I wanted readers to feel the same frisson of excitement and danger from Victor that Daniel Craig conveys so effortlessly in the film.

Despite his ruthlessness and emotional detachment, James Bond’s intense but doomed love affair with ally-turned-adversary Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) also reveals emotional vulnerability. Vesper tells him, “You think of women as disposable treasures.” Bond makes a point of telling Vesper he prefers married women because the arrangement avoids emotional entanglement. Yet despite his checkered history, Bond falls in love with Vesper—counter to his inclinations, and completely outside his comfort zone. He reveals his love and vulnerability when he tells her, “I have no armor left. You’ve stripped it from me. Whatever I am, I’m yours. Is that enough for you?”

I gave Victor similar moments of vulnerability and exposure in The Russian Seduction, although it’s a side of him only Alexis gets to see. Victor reveals his attraction early, and the fact that Alexis unsettles him, when he asks, “Should I consider it mere coincidence that the government of the United States appointed you to become my counterpart: the woman they calculated I’d be least able to resist?” Later, by the time he knows he’s fallen for her—hard—this uber-confident, ex-Olympic athlete and adrenaline junkie is reduced to tongue-tied frustration. “Alexis, I can’t—I don’t want—damn it, I don’t know how to think about the future without you in it. I told you I’m a disaster at this. Do I have to spell it out?”

After the stunt he’s pulled, Alexis is more than happy to let Victor sweat a bit before she opens the door to their happily-ever-after.

St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow
Of course, the two don’t reach this point without plenty of thrills, chills, chases and escapes, in true 007 fashion. While the car chase in Casino Royale takes place at Miami Airport, Victor and Alexis burn rubber to escape their pursuers on the crowded streets of downtown Moscow in The Russian Seduction. In place of Bond’s hair-raising pursuit of an athletic, nearly airborne bomb maker through the hazards of an African construction site, Victor and Alexis leap from a speeding train to escape on foot through the Siberian tundra. The couple’s final confrontation with the villain takes place not in a Montenegrin casino, like Bond’s confrontation with poker genius Le Chiffre, but in a posh St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) nightclub where—despite the metal detector on the door—half the guests are armed.

I hope I’ve given you a bit of entertainment to savor over your vodka martini (shaken, not stirred). If you remember nothing else, my name is Navarre. Nikki Navarre.

I’d love to hear from you! You can check out an excerpt from The Russian Seduction HERE.

The Russian Seduction by Nikki Navarre

Book #1 in the Foreign Affairs series

State secrets have never been this sexy.

Victor Kostenko was the golden boy of the Russian Navy, a submarine captain with a maverick image, until he lost his command for an act of treason he didn’t commit. Arrogant, aggressive, and super-smart, the captain pairs his daunting reputation with an appetite for adventure. And he’s never met a rule he won’t break. Now it’s rumored he’ll do anything to get back in his government’s good graces.

Political Counselor Alexis Castle is one of the highest-ranked diplomats at the U.S. Embassy, a rising star who yearns to live up to her father’s legacy as a legendary ambassador. Brilliant and driven, she’s always played by the rules. She’ll torpedo her career for sure if she falls for one of the world’s most dangerous men – a bad-boy Russian sub captain who breaks every rule in the book.

When a hard-line Russian leader invades a country the U.S. promised to protect, war can only be avoided by a risky undercover liaison between one man who has everything to gain…and a woman who has everything to lose.


Subject: Nikki Navarre
Assignment: Double Agent
Cover: Diplomat. Playgirl. Author of The Russian Seduction.

Nikki Navarre is the sinister twin of unsuspecting historical romance author Laura Navarre. In her other life, Nikki is a diplomat who’s lived in Russia and works on weapons of mass destruction issues. In the line of duty, she’s been trapped in an elevator in a nuclear power plant and has stalked the corridors of facilities churning out nerve agent and other apocalyptic weapons. In this capacity, she meets many of the world’s most dangerous men.

Inspired by the perilous realities of her real life, Nikki writes romantic suspense set in glamorous international locales and laced with political intrigue.

Based in Seattle with her screenwriter accomplice and two Siberian cats, she divides her time between her writing career and other adventures for U.S. government clients. Her notorious adventures in the world of diplomacy will get her in trouble one of these days.

The Russian Seduction (October 2012) may be the last mistake she ever makes.

Nikki’s Coordinates:


One lucky commenter will win an ebook copy of The Russian Seduction by Nikki Navarre!

Just leave a comment regarding Nikki's post or tell us: why do you like to watch Bond movies? Which one is your favourite?

The more tour stops you comment on, the greater your chances of winning! Follow the tour HERE.

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 12 October 2012!

Good luck!

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