Belle Ami stopped by to share intimate details about her life and her latest books. Take it away!
Thank you, Nancy, for hosting me today on Where Happy Ever After Takes the Road Less Traveled. I’m delighted to share with your readers my series Tip of the Spear. Escape and Vengeance, my fifth and sixth published novels, which abound with thrills, political intrigue, and romance.
I quote The Romance Reviews 5-Star review of Escape “This story is suspenseful, it's smart, it's sexy, it's a page-turner that you will be loathed to put down.”
The 5-Star review for Vengeance from The Romance Reviews continues the praise. “VENGEANCE is an intriguing second book in the series, especially for me. Intriguing because there aren't a lot of books that follow a couple after their HEA, and rarer for me, because I don't think I've ever read one. In this, VENGEANCE was a pleasant surprise, because the intrigue plot was compelling in that I couldn't put the book down, and the romance was satisfying. This book makes you believe in true love.”
I’m currently working on the third book which is titled Ransom where my hero and uber-Mossad spy, Cyrus Hassani, will once again fight the forces of evil with his wife Layla by his side.
Book Blurb from Vengeance
Vengeance is a sexy thriller teeming with romantic suspense. A well-researched tale, scary in its possibility, packed with excitement, it will leave you breathlessly turning pages. Layla Wallace Hassani is living her dream, curating a major art exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. She has it all, a fabulous career, the perfect marriage and the perfect child. She’s madly in love with her husband Cyrus Hassani, a Mossad agent, and lives in Tel Aviv with their four-year-old daughter Cerise. Her life takes a disastrous turn when she’s kidnapped by Iranian terrorists during the bombing of a restaurant in Manhattan. Chained to a bed at a remote location, Layla is a pawn in a deadly game. She’s the bait to lure Cyrus to his death.
Driven by vengeance and a love that knows no bounds, Cyrus will do anything to rescue his wife and stop the terrorist’s plot to blow up a nuclear facility. Teaming up with the FBI he’s the only man capable of stopping a bombing that would result in the deaths of millions of people. Filled with vengeance, stopping the terrorists is his goal, but saving Layla is his mission.
Layla knows her Superman, Cyrus, is coming to save her. She also knows, unbeknownst to him, that by doing so it will mean the death of their child. Caught in a mousetrap, she struggles to find a way out of her deadly situation and to fend off the sexual advances of the kidnapper terrorist who’s fallen for her.
Layla must make a choice, save her child or sacrifice herself and her marriage. The clock is ticking.
Excerpt: Chapter 3 from Vengeance
Tel Aviv, Israel
New York time 10 p.m. September 11th
Cyrus’ cell phone rang, waking him from a dream of making love to his wife. He glanced at the clock—five a.m. Not good.
His throat was glued shut. He squeezed out, “Yes?”
“Cyrus, I’m sorry to call with such devastating news.”
It was Rafi, the director of Mossad’s Americas’ desk. A chill crept up Cyrus’ spine.
“I just got a call from New York. There’s been an attack.” Rafi’s voice came tense and strained…the act of speech seemed to produce immeasurable pain.
Cyrus’ heart pounded as if a regiment of infantry stampeded on his chest. His voice barely above a whisper. “What happened?”
“A bomb exploded in a restaurant…near the Museum of Modern Art. Probably a hundred or more people have been killed. Avi Zaken was there. We assume he’s dead.”
“Oh, my God, they got the consul general. Layla’s going to be devastated. She’s very fond of Avi.”
“About Layla.” Rafi’s voice softened. “Her name is on his calendar. His dinner appointment. I’m so sorry, Cyrus.”
Cyrus’ blood froze, and his heart refused to beat. It took every ounce of his strength to hold it together. He held the phone in a death grip. “How do we know she was in the restaurant? Have you checked with her security detail? Maybe there’s been a mistake.”
“Layla released them earlier in the day—”
“Why would she?” He closed his eyes. “Shit. Shit. Shit, that sounds like Layla.” He fought to steady his voice. “Anything else?”
“The FBI’s tracking down museum security to see who saw her leave. I can’t tell you for certain if she was in the restaurant, but in all likelihood, she was there. God…” Rafi’s voice cracked. “This is such a fucking disaster. I hate to be the bearer of such news.”
“This can’t be right?”
“Cyrus, it’s all over the news. The FBI’s calling it terrorism. We’ve already requested inclusion in the case. The prime minister’s up in arms. He’s adamant this attack will not go unanswered. He’s called for an emergency meeting at the Office, but given the circumstances…if you feel you can’t—”
Cyrus interrupted him. He struggled to control the scream climbing up his throat. I need to keep it together. “No, I’ll be there as soon as I can. What about Aleck, Layla’s father, has anyone notified him? I can’t—I mean—I don’t think I could handle talking to him right now.”
“Dodi’s calling him.”
The prime minister. Good. “I’m on my way.” He hung up and stared at his cell phone, feeling the walls close in around him. Layla. Dead. Layla. Dead. Layla. Dead. The words burned into his brain like a firestorm leaving nothing but ashes. Impossible. No warning. No premonition. Nothing but emptiness. Shouldn’t I have felt something?
“Noooo!” He roared with grief. He howled, keening like a wild beast. Everything of beauty in the world dead or dying.
Layla. Dead. And it was his fault. He should have kept her from going. I’m the target. It’s me they want. Oh, dear God, what have I done? Why didn’t you take me?
There was no way he could live without her. He wanted to kill someone—something—anything that might stop the pain. He thought about the Jericho pistol in his drawer. He wanted to hold the shiny, black, instrument of death to the head of her killers. He wanted to pull the trigger. He wanted to see blood gush, brains splatter—he wanted revenge.
BUY LINKS for VENGEANCE:
BUY LINKS FOR ESCAPE:
More About the Author
Tema Merback writing as Belle Ami believes “Dreams do come true”. As a mother and wife, she dedicated herself to her family and loved every minute of it. One day, like Sleeping Beauty, she awoke to find gourmet cooking and b
eing a classical pianist wasn’t enough, she needed to reinvent herself. So, she brushed away the cobwebs and locked herself in a room and spent a year writing a historical novel which, low and behold, was a Finalist for a national book award. Her first author incarnation was born.
When she read Fifty Shades of Grey, her world tilted. Like a laser beam focusing on a target, she had found her passion: Sexy, steamy, romantic suspense. Hence came a second incarnation and a fitting nom de plume, Belle Ami. A quote that Belle considers her mantra is by Wilferd Peterson, “Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.”
She is a Kathryn McBride scholar of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She lives in California with her husband, two children, three dogs, and horse.
She is the author of The Only One series, The One (#1), and The One & More (#2). Her third in the series titled One More Time is Not Enough, was published July 13th, 2016. She was honored to be included in the RWA LARA Christmas Anthology Holiday Ever After featuring her short story The Christmas Encounter. Her next series entitled The Tip of the Spear begins with Escape, published January 10, 2017. The sequel to Escape, entitled Vengeance was published September 12, 2017, and she’s currently writing the third in the series titled Ransom. Connect with her here: