We have the privilege of having a DEA agent with us today. And ladies, don’t swoon over his Venezuelan accent. ;) Augustino Konstantine has been a Drug Enforcement Agent for six years specializing in the Central American countries.
Interviewer: Augustino, tell us how you came to be in the DEA.
Tino: Please, call me Tino. I joined the DEA after mi abuela died. She made me promise not to go after the man responsible for my parents’ and younger brother’s death. But once she was gone, I vowed to avenge my family.
Interviewer: How did your family die?
Tino: Their airplane was shot down over a drug lord’s airstrip, I made a vow to find him and make him pay.
Interviewer: How did someone born in Venezuela become a DEA agent?
Tino: My father brought my family to the United States when I was eight to avoid incarceration by Chavez. The first thing my father, who was a professor in our country, made the whole family become citizens of the U.S. It was easy to get in the DEA having a South American background and being a U.S. citizen for twelve years.
Interviewer: Where was your latest assignment?
Tino: I was tracking jaguars in the Petén Jungle of Guatemala and taking some jobs as a guide to get into the jungle and find the drug routes.
Interviewer: Was this a routine assignment?
Tino(staring through me and smiling) It started the same as others until I misjudged the person I was to take into an archeological dig. She turned out to be nothing I imagined and everything I want.
Interviewer: What do you mean by that?
Tino(chuckling): I thought I was to take an old, British, female anthropologist to the dig. She turned out to be, young, headstrong, very American, and intelligent. (Tino’s smile turns down and his eyes scowl) She was lured to the jungle to be killed for another’s gain. But she was strong and discovered the scheme. (He shakes his head) She is stronger than many give her credit for.
Interviewer: That sounds dangerous! Is your work like that all the time?
Tino: Sí, and for that reason, I must stay away from mi pichon until I have exacted my revenge. I do not want her to be hurt from my actions.
Interviewer: Whew! This conversation has gotten serious. Is there something you can tell us to lighten the mood?
Tino: Sí! I will not forget the first night Ezzabella spent in the jungle. She went for a walk and I found her clinging to a copal tree thinking a jaguar was after her when a howler monkey gave his nightly howl. She was clinging to the tree, her bottom within reach of a leaping jaguar. For boasting of her book smarts she still needs to use her intelligence to puzzle out common sense. I believe the author is giving a peek into this event below in the excerpt.
Interviewer: We’ll look forward to reading that. What do you do to unwind and relax?
Tino: I have not relaxed since my family was taken from me. But as a child, I enjoyed reading/learning and hiking.
Interviewer: Thank you for being with us today. I wish you success in your work so you live to have a life with your special lady.
Tino: Gracias, I plan to do just that.
Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.
DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.
Isabella climbed out of the boat, keeping as much distance between her and Tino as possible. He’d humiliated her, and she couldn’t get away from him. They were stuck together tonight and all of tomorrow until he delivered her to the dig. His taunting her with a kiss and then drawing away as if she were some vile creature hurt as deeply as the things Darrell Rutley had said to her face in grad school.
She walked into the forest, hunting for a place to have a few moments to herself.
“Do not go far,” Tino called in his seductive Latin accent.
She cursed her reaction to his voice, raised a hand acknowledging his order, and tromped deeper into the trees. The murmur of the river faded away in the steady drone of mosquitoes. She slapped at the leaves on the plants and wandered deeper. Rustling in the underbrush shot her heart into her throat. Jaguars were nocturnal weren’t they? A small, furry, pig-like animal trotted across her path, followed by five smaller versions.
She giggled at her jumpy nerves and the animals’ comical parade as she watched the last one disappear through the greenery. The waning light enlarged the shadows. Reluctance played war with her logical self. She should return to the boat before darkness descended and she couldn’t find her way back. But her pride, something she usually didn’t consider, wouldn’t let her face Tino.
It was stupid to believe he wanted to kiss her. Tino was handsome, virile, and so unlike any of the men she’d met during her college days or professionally. Exactly the type who toy with women like me. His chivalry and her attraction to him made her feel attractive, something she rarely experienced. But the way he brushed her off after he’d initiated the kiss... He’d only proved he could kiss her and not that he wanted her. She mentally slapped herself at her stupidity and virginal cravings.
The walk hadn’t settled her anger. Reliving the event only escalated her rage.
How could one be a genius yet stupid about life lessons?
She pulled out what she now considered her knife and hacked at the plants along the way. With each swing she lopped off something of Tino’s. Blue penetrating eyes. Devastating smile. A hand, so good at soothing her. The other hand. Her smile grew, and her frustration turned to the healthy exhaustion of an extensive taekwondo class.
Isabella wiped a sleeve across her sweaty brow and heaved a sigh of contentment. The vigorous exercise worked wonders on her disposition.
A fierce roar vibrated through the trees.
This is post is part of a two week blog tour. I love to give and you could be the winner! I will be giving away a $5 egift card to a commenter at each blog stop and will give a bag full of goodies to the person who follows me to the most blogs and a gift to the host who gets the most commenters. You can find the blog tour hosts at my blog: http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com or my website: http://www.patyjager.net
Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
Her contemporary Western, Perfectly Good Nanny won the 2008 Eppie for Best Contemporary Romance, Spirit of the Mountain, a historical paranormal set among the Nez Perce, garnered 1st place in the paranormal category of the Lories Best Published Book Contest, and Spirit of the Lake, the second book of the spirit trilogy, was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.