Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Undeceived by Karen M. Cox ♥ Book Tour & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Romantic Suspense)



During the last gasp of the Cold War, Elizabeth Bennet, a young, forthright counterintelligence officer, embarks on an exciting assignment that would make her late father, a fallen CIA officer, proud. She transfers to Europe to investigate the legendary and elusive William Darcy, an officer in line for the coveted Soviet station chief position who’s suspected of being a double agent.

William Darcy appears to lead a charmed existence, but now he finds himself fighting for his career and against his growing feelings for the young woman he doesn’t know is watching his every move.

Elizabeth wants to throw the book at him, but the facts don’t match her preconceptions. Is Darcy being set up? Are there darker forces at work? Or is William Darcy a skilled double agent after all? Nothing is as it seems, however, and the closer Elizabeth gets to the truth about Darcy, the more she spirals into danger.

Undeceived, the new novel by award-winning author, Karen M. Cox, is part romance, part spy game suspense—inviting readers to uncover the villain in this variation on Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s classic tale.



Undeceived was a research-intensive project. I took some artistic license along the way, but I wanted to know as much as I could about the book’s locales. I became very immersed in formation about the CIA. So, I rounded up some of the factoids I learned about this agency, and put them into a format I use for posting about various topics on my blog. The feature is called “The 5 Best…” and below I’ve listed “The 5 Best...”
Things I Learned about the CIA while writing Undeceived:

1. The Memorial Wall, located in the lobby of the original CIA headquarters building has 113 stars. The Book of Honor lists 80 of those 113 who died in the service of their country. The other 33 names are still secret, and are represented in the Book of Honor by a star.

2. The forerunner of the CIA was the Office of Strategic Services, which was disbanded after World War II ended. (If you watched Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman in the 1970s, you’ll remember the OSS!)

3. You must be a US citizen to work for the CIA. And having a tattoo will not keep you from being employed there (yes, that information is on the CIA website.)

4. Current and former employees of the CIA who signed a secrecy agreement must have any written material they intend to publish vetted by the CIA’s Publications Review Board first.

5. In the mid 70s, George Herbert Walker Bush, future President of the United States, was the head of the CIA.
Source: www.cia.gov

Anything surprise you?


The book is a variation on the classic novel, and although readers don’t have to read Pride and Prejudice to follow Undeceived, fans of Jane Austen’s most famous book might get a little kick out of the similarities they find when they compare it to the original.

For example…

Did you ever wonder how a modern version of the infamous Meryton Assembly insult might go? Here’s one possibility from Chapter 1 of Undeceived:



The Farm, CIA training facility
January 1982

“Three weeks, three blasted weeks, and I’m finally through with this place.”
“I know exactly what you mean.” Elizabeth’s classmate, Kitty, inspected her fingernails. “The only good parts of these last few weeks are all the yummy veterans doing the lectures.”
Elizabeth shook her head, smiling. “Is that all you think about?”
“Well, duh. That guy who was here last Thursday was totally hot.”
“The inks expert? George?”
“Girl, I’d blot his ink any time.”
Elizabeth laughed. “Yeah, he was cute.”
“Speaking of totally hot. Check out the guy standing in the doorway. If George was a looker, this guy’s off the charts.”
“Mmm.” Elizabeth looked up, and she was compelled to stare, as if drawn by a magnet. Kitty’s observation was right on the money.
He was tall and handsome, with a noble profile. Dark wavy hair. Broad shoulders. Elizabeth could barely see his hazel eyes from her seat in the front row. Too bad. She had a thing for blue eyes. He was good-looking, even without the baby-blues. But it wasn’t only the outer trimmings that captured her notice. It was the intensity in the eyes. The intelligence. The hint of ruthless cynicism around his mouth. Yes, he was definitely a damned fine man to look at.
“Hey, wait a minute. I know who that is.” Elizabeth noticed the unsettled titter that swept the classroom as he stood arguing with their instructor in urgent whispers. “It’s Darcy.” The murmur in the crowd confirmed the name.
“Who?”
“William Darcy. He’s a big shot in clandestine operations—a well-known field officer. He has this ridiculous nickname, the London Fog, but he’s supposedly the real deal—received the Distinguished Intelligence Cross and everything. I thought he was overseas somewhere. There’s a rumor he’s after the COS position in Moscow.”
“He’s going to be the chief of station in the USSR?” Kitty breathed out. “Wow.”
“That’s the rumor.”
He glanced her way at that moment and caught the two women gaping at him, but instead of winking at them like George, the inks expert from last Thursday, he narrowed his eyes and motioned for the instructor to join him out in the hall.
Intrigued, Elizabeth stepped out of the classroom and over to the water fountain. The two men had their backs to her several feet away, giving her free rein to eavesdrop. Darcy’s voice proceeded to get louder until she could hear him over the splash of water.
“What the hell is this?”
“Guest lecture, Darcy. Interrogation techniques.”
“Like I’ve got nothing better to do than babysit a bunch of snot-nosed trainees.”
“You agreed to do the lecture.”
“I was told to do the lecture.”
“It won’t hurt you, and it’s good motivation for the newcomers to have a seasoned officer talk about his experiences.”
Darcy snorted and jerked his thumb toward the classroom door. “Like those two girls in the front row? If they’re the best the CIA can recruit these days, no wonder everything’s going to hell.”
Elizabeth almost choked on her water.
The instructor’s annoyance flared. “Quit bellyaching and do your damned job! And stop standing around like you’ve got a stick rammed up your ass.”
Elizabeth scurried back inside to her seat and told Kitty the whole exchange.
“Forget what I said earlier.” Kitty leaned over and whispered in Elizabeth’s ear. “What an asshole!”
“Too right.” Elizabeth was a pretty good judge of character, even at first glance. She liked to think it was a gift she had inherited from her father.
“Kitty, my friend, I have learned that there are some fatal flaws that even extreme hotness can’t erase.”
“Amen, sister.”
Darcy gave a fifteen-minute lecture on basic interrogation techniques used in Eastern Europe, fundamentals that they’d learned months ago. Obviously he underestimated either the class’s level of knowledge or their intelligence. He took exactly three questions from the group and gave them terse, supercilious answers. Then he looked at his watch and abruptly stopped the question and answer session. They watched him strut out the door, back ramrod straight, without another word or a single glance behind him.
Elizabeth filed the incident under Officers to Avoid in the Future. She already had some idea what type of colleague she preferred, and Mr. Darcy had come down on the “no, thanks” side of that equation.
***
What do you think? Will Elizabeth change her mind about the London Fog?









Karen M Cox writes novels accented with romance and history. All three of her published novels: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, and At the Edge of the Sea, have garnered awards from the independent publishing industry, taking top honors three out of the five times they were recognized. Last year, she also participated in Meryton Press’s inaugural anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, with her short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015.” Her fourth full-length novel, Undeceived: Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game, will be released in early 2016.

Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a slightly nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before moving to her family’s home state of Kentucky when she was almost twelve. She lives in a small, quiet Kentucky town with her husband and children, and works as a pediatric speech pathologist. She spends her off hours reading, writing, and being a wife and mom—and spoiling her new granddaughter.



       


Win an eCopy of Undeceived (4 winners)!

2/1: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club
2/2: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…
2/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaways
2/4: Author Interview & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
2/6: Guest Post at My Love for Jane Austen
2/8: Character Interview & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton
2/9: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
2/10: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
2/11: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
2/12: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
2/13: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm
2/14: Excerpt & Giveaway at Just Jane 1813
2/15: Review at Diary of an Eccentric





@MerytonPress @KarenMCox1932 @J_Leatherberry http://goo.gl/uPe683 pic.twitter.com/tDwpNtI88U

13 comments :

  1. Interesting "fun facts"-- thanks for posting!

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  2. Karen, terrific excerpt. Great way of recreating "the insult". I am dancing on my toes in anticipation of reading your sure-to-be-excellent book!

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  3. Sounds like a fascinating book.

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  4. Thanks for your comments and interest in "Undeceived"! I hope you enjoy the story :)

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  5. Thanks for sharing! Poor Darcy will never live down that insult!! But I bet Austen would be laughing all the way...

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    1. Indeed! I can't wait to hear how you liked it. Karen was clever indeed how she used some of P&P iconic moments but made them work to tell her own tale in this setting.

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  6. I just love this concept for a story. Congratulations!

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  7. I just love this concept for a story. Congratulations!

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  8. Of course she'll reconsider the London Fog! Can't wait to read this novel!

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  9. Oh my goodness! So if that's the 'Meryton Assembly', it's going to be fascinatiing to see what comes of the 'Hunsford proposal'. And I love 'The 5 Best' facts listed. The whole book sounds so intriguing.

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  10. Sounds like a very interesting story! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  11. Thanks for Sharing with us the excerpt.

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