Thank you Kryssie for hosting me on your blog today!
My romance, The Turkish Affair, is also a mystery and there’s certainly menace, but it’s psychological. There has been a murder, but it happens off stage, without graphic description, car chases, or screaming sirens. My setting is exotic—the archaeological site of Karakuyu in an unstable part of Turkey—so we can’t really feel too comfortable. And we can’t count on the police either, for corruption is rampant in this part of the world.
Most of the incidents described in my mystery, The Turkish Affair, really did happen. Like my heroine, I also worked as a tour guide and translator in Turkey.
I was once rescued from a very dangerous situation by a brave rebellious young woman name Leyla — you can read about her
in The Turkish Affair. I also met corrupt and violent police officers like Bulduk.
I once accompanied archaeologists down to the coast when they were summoned by the police to identify stolen coins. This incident — and what they did about it — is also described in The Turkish Affair.
One day, while on a bus and passing through an archaeological site in Turkey, I briefly caught sight of a lean and elegant man heading toward a jumble of smashed pillars. Caught in a blaze of sunlight, his golden hair gleamed. Who was he? An archaeologist? He became the inspiration for my hero, Renaud Townsend, in The Turkish Affair.
I’m envious of my heroine Anne. I wish I could step into her shoes and live the adventures she did in this book. I wouldn’t mind linking up with my hero, Renaud Townsend, either.
A delicious breeze tickled the air, and the little boat rocked gently. A fine line appeared between Renaud’s brows, and his blue eyes were, once again, serious. “I need your help.”
Anne stared. “My help? With what? Translating?”
“No. With something else. I have to find out who is behind the thefts at Karakuyu.”
The feeling of dread returned, but she forced herself to sound casual. “How could I possibly help you with that?”
“I don’t know.” He sighed. “I just don’t want to feel that I’m alone in this.”
What could she say to that? Tell him she was the last person he should team up with? That long ago, she’d escaped arrest by the skin of her teeth? If she did so, this splendid moment would be over. The silver-foil glimmer of romance would be tarnished forever. He’d row back to shore, drive back to Gülkale, get rid of her as quickly as possible.
“Anne?” He reached out to caress her bare arm. “Come back from wherever you are.”
“You know nothing about me,” she said jaggedly.
“Nothing,” he agreed.
She swallowed. “I could be involved in the thefts for all you know. Why ask for my help? Why choose me?”
He smiled faintly. “A good question. I suppose, quite simply, I need—or want—to trust you.”
She felt utterly miserable. Why was life always like this? Wanting someone and not being able to have them? Wanting trust, but seeing it snatched away before it came close?
Writer, photographer, social critical artist, musician, and occasional actress, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave-dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.