Agent Cate Creighton is in love. Unfortunately, as the Agency honeypot, she is knee-deep in an assignment that tests the bounds of her new relationship. It seems eight socialites have gone missing, all wealthy twenty-somethings with influential parents. No one seems to care until a former vice president’s daughter disappears. When the vice-president shares a tale of false arrest, a broken promise of deportation, an illegal diversion into a private prison, and an alleged trip to an unwater habitat called Martimus, Cate and her colleagues must find a way to follow the same path. In other words, they must enter the right prison, meet the right fixer, wind up on Martimus, and hopefully return in one piece. And it looks like Cate is the perfect bait. That doesn’t sit well with Cate’s lover, former U.S. Navy Seal Warren Hazelton. He intends to protect her until death ‘til do they part.
Fortunately, another possibility appears, in the form of an MISix agent who has interfered in one too many Agency operations. Tillie Henderson owes them and they are all too willing to serve her up on a plate. It’s race against time as the Agency attempts to lure their adversary out of hiding and into their somewhat ambiguous trap. Maybe then Cate can finally focus on love.
Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.
Socialites are disappearing and everything points to Martimus, an undersea habitat that employs prison labor.
What surprised you the most while writing this book?
I was most surprised about the reliance on private prisons, not only by the U.S., but other countries as well. For the most part, they receive very little governmental oversight, allowing for all sorts of irregularities and abuse.
Why did you pick the setting you used for your book?
I have always been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures that hover at its bottom. It was a natural fit for this story. It’s a great place for people to disappear!
What is the sexiest trait of your hero(s)?
The lead character, Cate Creighton, is the Agency honeypot. However, she’s also a very lethal covert agent. I think her intelligence is her sexiest trait.
What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?
When justice is achieved and their journey ends.
Tropes get a bad name, but they’re often the biggest draw for readers. What tropes do you love to write and read?
Truthfully, I am not a fan of tropes. I think some authors rely too heavily on them. It makes them lazy. That said, the innocent woman falling in love with the bad boy billionaire is hard to resist.
What are your favorite genres/sub-genres to write in? Are there any you love to read but cannot write in?
My preference is romantic suspense, because I love puzzles. One area I enjoy is SciFi, but I don’t have the background or knowledge to write it.
Which do you love to write best: dialogue, setting, action, love scenes, or other?
I love to write dialogue. So much can be revealed in what people say.
Which do you hate to write: dialogue, setting, action, love scenes, or other?
I love writing. Period. I enjoy every aspect of the process.
Excerpt from Martimus
Tom cocked an eyebrow. “Warren, you’re a former Navy Seal. Isn’t there some sort of limit on the amount of time you can spend under the sea before it starts to seriously impair your health?”
Warren frowned. “Usually two weeks. After that, the lack of exposure to the sun and the constant high pressure oxygenated environment would begin to take a toll. There’s also a psychological impact. Think sensory deprivation. Your senses are out of whack because you’ve been dumped into a soundproof sponge. There is no normal sensory stimulation. No sunlight, no sound… Even taste and smell become compromised. Coming back to the real world would be an adjustment.”
“Could they be treating the inmates like guinea pigs?” Hope asked. “Testing their limits? Tracking actual survival rates?”
Warren sighed. “Possibly. It’s not like they have to answer to anyone. They are located in international waters. No country in particular has legal oversight. I imagine they could be doing anything they want without recourse. Unfortunately, when the prospect of a reduced sentence is dangled in front of some people, they grab it, damn the consequences. If one or two inmates suffer some sort of harm or die along the way, they chalk it up to collateral damage.”
“And who’s going to know?” Cate shook her head. “Someone dies, they probably flush them down a chute into the deep sea and they become shark chum. No evidence left behind.”
Hope cringed. “God, that’s kind of evil. But that still doesn’t answer our original question. Where the hell is Fuzzy? Has he already served out his sentence? Has he been released, and if he has, where the hell is he? He’s the one we need to find. He could have a lot of the answers.”
“That lack of governmental oversight is troubling,” Tom said. “If Cassie McIntyre is down there, I can’t believe the CIA isn’t all over it. At least, our government should be doing a welfare check through the Red Cross or something.”
Warren grimaced. “Unless no one knows she is down there. Think about it. They are on the bottom of the ocean, more than two miles under the sea. It’s not like you can just go down there and knock on the door. Any regular monitoring would be impossible.”
Cate nodded. “And we haven’t been able to confirm that she embarked on the same path as Fuzzy. All we’ve got are suspicions. Right now, she’s missing. We need to sit down with her family and get more information. And we need to find other prisoners who contracted with Martimus.
“Otherwise, we’ve got nothing.”
Seelie Kay is a nom de plume for a writer, editor, and author with more than 30 years of experience in law, journalism, marketing, and public relations. When she writes about love and lust in the legal world, something kinky is bound to happen! In possession of a wicked pen and an overly inquisitive mind, Ms. Kay is the author of multiple works of fiction, including the Kinky Briefs series, the Feisty Lawyers series, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The White House Wedding, and The President’s Daughter.
When not spinning her kinky tales, Ms. Kay ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. She resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.
Ms. Kay is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!