Undercover American operative Rodger Ramsey never expected to find a runaway bride in the magnificent Salar de Uyuni. Assigned to Bolivia to investigate Communist activities, he just wrapped up his two-year mission in 1963 and followed his heart to the salt flats one last time.
Sparks flew and attraction sizzled. The lost, stubborn woman kicked his protective instincts into overdrive. Rodger took her home with him, determined to help her before he returned to the States, and Leonora flourished under his guidance. Their hearts intertwined. He wanted her, needed her, but could he truly love a woman who believed she jumped two hundred years in time?
Will they find a way to stay together, despite the obstacles between them, or will Leonora survive in this strange new world alone? . . .
This week, Wild Women Authors welcomes Amber Daulton, author of Timeless Beginnings, a fascinating time travel romance set in the turbulence of Bolivia in the 1960's. First up is Rodger Ramsey.
Where are you from? I’m from Seattle, Washington but I moved to Washington D.C. after college. I took a job with the CIA and I created an elaborate lie to tell my family. I still feel guilty about that but I’ll do whatever I can to protect them.
Tell us a bit about Timeless Beginnings. I left the States about two years ago for an undercover assignment in Bolivia to investigate Communist activities. I took a cover job as an engineer for an oil company and made friends with a few criminals. My first-line supervisor scrapped the mission and told me to head home after I showed too much for sympathy and understanding for the plight of the labor workers in the country. Then I met Leonora and all my well-laid plans fell to dust.
What did you think the first time you saw her? This woman needed help. I mean, why would someone wear a vintage fluffy pink wedding dress in the middle of the Salar de Uyuni, a vast salt flat in Bolivia? She ran like a scared little rabbit and actually smacked me in the face when I tried to help her.
What was your second thought? That I didn’t need this crap. I’m supposed to fly back to the States in a few weeks and now I have this strange British woman to take care of. She insists she’s from the 1700s for crying out loud. What am I going to do with her? Needless to say, it’s not how I planned to spend the rest of my assignment. But hey, what did I know? Leonora’s the best thing to ever happen to me.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? That’s a tricky question. My heart seemed to jump from my chest the first time I saw her. I needed her, wanted her, and she intrigued me on an unimaginable level. Yeah, I guess I did fall head over heels for her pretty damn fast but I fought the attraction for as long as I could.
What do you like most about Leonora? Her courage. The trauma she experienced before we met could’ve shattered a weaker person. A forced marriage, time travel through a mystical portal, the frigid cold of the salt flats and the fear she felt as she wandered around all alone at night. I want to pull her into my arms just thinking about it but she’s a strong woman. I respect her with every ounce of my being.
How would you describe her? Beautiful, inside and out. I don’t mean to be so blatant, but her sexy British accent coils heat in my veins. Her quirky sense of humor gets me every time and her sultry green eyes drop me to my knees. She’s the ultimate temptation. Sweet, spicy and innocence all rolled into one.
How would Leonora describe you? I think she’d say I’m the love of her life. In fact, I know she will. She’ll also say I’m stubborn, charming and too smart for my own good. It’s all true and I’m sure she’d love to give you a few examples of my pigheadedness. I’m definitely happy I left her at home today to do this interview with you.
What made you choose the CIA as a career? I have a Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering and a second one in Foreign Languages. I could’ve done anything with those degrees but I joined the agency to see the world and to make a difference for my country and our allies. It’s the early 1960s, after all. The Cold War looms, the USA is slowly freeing itself from McCarthyism and there’s trouble all around the globe.
What is your biggest fear? Before I met Leonora, my biggest fear was losing my job because my political beliefs didn’t fall in line with my superiors. With Leonora in my life, I’m worried I’ll lose her forever if she finds a way home to 1725. We still don’t know the specifics of how she time traveled and ended up in 1963 but we do know the ‘why’ of it. There’s an old legend that states if a person stumbles upon a dormant time portal and that person’s soul mate is in another century, the portal will open and he or she will travel anywhere in the world, in any time, to find the soul mate. Leonora found me, we fulfilled our soul mate destiny, but I’m still worried she’ll disappear someday and I’ll never see her again.
How do you relax? The best way I relax is to not think about my biggest fear. I like to read old books, lose myself in the analyst work I sometimes do for the CIA and spend time with Leonora. We want children so we spend a lot of time ‘relaxing’ in bed.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I really like hard boiled detective Phillip Marlowe from The Big Sleep, both in the book and in the movie. Raymond Chandler’s detail to description in the book really paints the picture in my head and who doesn’t love Humphrey Bogart. He’s my favorite actor, by the way. You just can’t go wrong with a good ‘whodunit’.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My father always told me to trust my gut instinct. I never would’ve met Leonora had I not woke up early one morning and took a drive to the salt flats. Anxiety pulled me from my bed and, though I couldn’t explain it at the time, I now know my instinct told me to find Leonora.
Rodger, thank you so much for spending time with us. Now we'd like to talk with Amber for a moment.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? With movies, I love sappy romances, sci/fi, action and suspenseful thrillers alike. With books, I mostly stick with romances of various sub-genres. I’m always interested in different vibes, twists and ways to tell a story. You never know where and when inspiration might strike.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I didn’t incorporate any grand event from my private life into the book but I learned a lot of interesting facts as I researched American ideals and life in Bolivia in the ‘50s and ‘60s. My political opinions do resemble Rodger’s, however, and I’m sure the rightist circles in the 1960s US government would’ve looked down on us to say the least.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Books to Go Now opened its doors for submissions in 2010 and I joined them in early 2013 after a fellow author recommended the company. Timeless Beginnings is my seventh publication with them.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m in the process of editing the fourth book in my Arresting Onyx series. The sexy, dirty-talking contemporary romance series will span five books with a stand alone HEA for each rough-and-tumble hero and their spunky heroines. The first book is out on call and I hope to have it picked up soon.
What's up next for you? After I write the fifth book in my Arresting Onyx series, I plan to edit a set of vampire novels currently unpublished. My poor vampires need a grueling overhaul but I’m looking forward to the task ahead.
Amber brought an excerpt from Timeless Beginnings--and here it is:
“I’ll do or say whatever you wish, illegal or not.” Leonora steeled her spine as the words tore up her throat. “I thought you trusted me. What can I do to earn it?”
Rodger ate up the distance between them with three long strides and shackled her wrist in his large hand like a manacle. She stumbled toward him. Tension permeated the air around him in waves of red-hot heat.
“Have you heard of the CIA, Leonora? The Central Intelligence Agency?”
“No, I have no idea what that is.”
“What can you tell me about the communist activities and alliances in this country?”
“Nothing. I don’t know. What kind of questions are these? What are you talking about?”
His head tilted to one side and his lips thinned. Rodger stared at her with a long, hard gaze even as she squirmed, the steel in her spine gone. Stress lined his face and the tendon in his neck throbbed against his skin like a tic. Minutes passed, or maybe just seconds, and air whizzed out through his nostrils. The anger in his face seemed to drain and he somehow looked older.
“How can this be? You told me the truth about everything.” He stepped back and stroked his fingers up her arm. “Though you squirmed under my gaze, you did so after you answered me and only because I intimidated you. You didn’t once respond with a typical facial or verbal nuance to indicate you lied. I feel the truth of your words in my gut and in my soul.”
“I haven’t once lied to you.”
“I just—I don’t understand. This is so unbelievable. I wish you could provide me with some kind of undeniable proof you’re from the past.”
“As do I, Rodger.”
“If we do this, you’ll stay with me until I decide otherwise. I’ll protect you. I’ll kiss you and touch you. You should know that right away. I respect you, Leonora, but I’m not a strong enough man to deny my desire for you indefinitely. I won’t bear my frustration and keep my distance anymore. Do you understand what I mean? I need to lay with you, again and again, with no regrets. Do you accept those terms?”
Rich honey poured into his every word, every syllable, and wrapped around her like a sweet promise. Blood thundered in Leonora’s ears and her lungs expanded with air to the point they might burst. The longing in his eyes scorched her.
Caught like a fly in a spider’s web, she nodded, her voice gone.
“Tell me, dearest. I need to hear the words.”
“Yes. Yes, I accept.”
To learn more about Amber Daulton and the stories she creates, go to:
Blogsite – http://amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com/
Facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1
To purchase Timeless Beginnings, go to:
Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124169996?ean=9781535362054