Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The clock is ticking - Vengeance (Tip of the Spear #2) by Belle Ami

Caught in a mousetrap, she struggles to find a way out of her deadly situation 
Layla must make a choice, save her child or sacrifice herself and her marriage. The clock is ticking.


Published: September 12th, 2017

A Mossad agent will do anything to rescue his kidnapped wife and to stop a terrorist plot to blow up a nuclear facility.

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 in love with her.

Layla must make a choice, save her child or sacrifice herself and her marriage. The clock is ticking.


1. How did you choose the name of the series – Tip of the Spear – and what significance does it have? 
I’m going to give you Wikipedia’s definition of the Hebrew word Kidon. “Kidon כידון‎‎, bayonet or "tip of the spear") Kidon is the name of a department within Israel’s Mossad that is allegedly responsible for the execution of opponents? Kidon is suspected of being behind a number of successful assassination campaigns, such as the Operation Wrath of God campaign. The Kidon also took part in Operation Orchard in 2007 which was an operation that blew up a nuclear reactor in Syria; this was a Mossad collaboration that also involved 69 Squadron and Savaret Matkal. Given the secret nature of the unit, there is almost no reliable information available.” (I love this last line. It is an author’s dream to imagine the possibilities of such a covert organization). Cyrus in Escape (Tip of the Spear Book 1) is a covert agent in Iran, a mole, and works for Kidon. In Vengeance, he is no longer working as a Kidon assassin. He’s working in intel as an analyst for Mossad, but Kidon factors into Vengeance and will factor in future books in the series. 

2. Vengeance is published only eight months after Escape. What is its story? What are the risk and the challenges of having a kidnapping in each book? 
This was something I gave a great deal of thought to before plotting Vengeance. In Escape Layla is kidnapped in Dubai and taken to Evin Prison, but she is not the target, her boyfriend is and it’s for ransom. She’s in the wrong place at the wrong time, and becomes collateral damage. Because of extenuating circumstances, the Iranian’s come to believe she could become a valuable tool to be used against the Americans. Cyrus is ordered to get her out of Evin and turn her against America. The order from Eagle2 (Oghab2), Iran’s super-secret intel organization that threatens Israel’s safety. Because of the danger, Mossad orders Cyrus to blow his cover as a mole to save Layla and get her out of Iran, failing that he’s ordered to kill her. The result is an exciting adventure of their escape from Iran and the possibility that they can surmount the obstacles and find true love. 

In Vengeance Layla is the target of a terrorist event. She’s dining in a restaurant in New York when she’s drugged, kidnapped, and the restaurant is blown up killing a hundred plus people. She’s the bait to lure her husband, Cyrus, out of Israel. Cyrus is on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s most wanted kill list. Iran wants vengeance against a traitor and spy that did monumental damage to their nation. Cyrus pairs up with the FBI. He’ll do whatever it takes to rescue Layla and stop the terrorists from blowing up their next target and killing millions. 

3. You are a classical pianist and, therefore in accordance with a general preconception, you should be a – or very close of a – nerd. What’s a nerd know about passion and about “Sexy, steamy, romantic suspense?” 
This is a funny question and made me laugh. Like most artists, musicians are very passionate people. 

Many classical composers wrote music that is erotic, sensual, and clearly about sex. Ravel’s Bolero is a fourteen to seventeen-minute sexual tour de force, depending on how long the man can last. Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon depicts a faun playing his flute and getting aroused by dancing nymphs and masturbating. Franz Liszt’s Liebestraum is considered a metaphor for what the French call “la petite mort”, “a small death”, translation an orgasm. The overture of Strauss’ Rosenkavalier is an explicit encounter of a young man and an older woman. The curtain rises to find the two in bed lying in post coital bliss. Wagner wrote so much sexual music that I could write a book on it. I quote Sam Abler, a classical music blogger, “Wagner wrote music about sexual desire and fulfillment in an amount and manner that marks him as the supreme musical eroticist of all time.” 

When I play the piano, I feel the erotic sensual nature of the music, just as when I write a sexy scene I live the moment as if it’s happening to me. But, to clarify one thing, I am not a nerd and have never been one. 

4. Layla seems to be the main character, but having in view the subject, Cyrus should have a big role in events too. How did you balance the action and romance and how did you build the suspense? 
Layla and Cyrus share equal billing, they are equal stars. One of the reasons I decided to try my hand at romantic thriller is I have an inane sense of timing and pacing, a gift. In Vengeance I shift back and forth from what’s happening to Layla to what’s happening to Cyrus. The reader is caught between wondering what will happen to the characters and what will happen if the terrorist plot succeeds. I don’t want to give too much away but there is sexual tension coming from another source. Layla is in danger in more ways than one, not to mention my FBI duo Cass Saladino and David Weiss who are working the case and are secret lovers. 

5. How far are Layla and Cyrus from your “perfect” woman and man? But from the perfect mother and father? 
Neither Layla or Cyrus are perfect, they are flawed just like all of us. Cyrus is stubborn, moody, authoritarian, and quite sure of his sexual appeal. He can be jealous and insecure at times. Compared to Cyrus, Layla is an innocent, not worldly, sheltered, and spoiled. She is a hothead, stubborn, and tends to flare up and blow like a firecracker. 

On the other hand, Cyrus is loyal, brave, brilliant, and did I mention gorgeous. He believes in justice and is willing to give his life for it. He’s Layla’s superman, and has been from the start. As far as I’m concerned, he’s dang near perfect. 

When the book opens Layla is in a struggle to balance career and family. Cyrus and Cerise are the most important people in her life, but she, like many women, wants to do it all. She’s fiery and beautiful, madly in love with her husband and devoted to her child. Both she and Cyrus are adoring parents who would do anything for their child. 

6. Your Goodreads description says that Fifty Shades of Grey had a certain impact on you. Please, give us some details about what it’s your opinion about this book and about what it represents for you? 
I’ve been asked this before, because everyone poo-poos Fifty Shades of Grey. When a book sells over seventy million books there’s a curiosity about it. I’d just written and self-published my first book, which was an historical, memoir, novel based on my mother’s survival of the Holocaust. It took two years, intense research, and was a very difficult project emotionally. I wanted to write another book, but I wanted to do something light, entertaining, and fun. I read Fifty Shades and was sucked in by the characters and the flashiness of the story. Yes, I knew it was poorly written, cliché, trite, but I still couldn’t put it down. There was something hypnotic about the story. 

I thought to myself, I can do this and I’ll have a great time doing it. What happened was I immediately got bored with the all sex thing. Instead, I created my first series The Only One, which includes The One, The One & More, and One More Time is Not Enough, and filled the pages of this three-book series with suspense, murder, kidnapping, a betrayal, a cover up, and yes, sex. 

About the author:
Belle Ami writes romantic/suspense/thrillers with a teaspoon of sex. Escape (Tip of the Spear Book 1) is up for a RONE Award in 2018. Her latest is entitled Vengeance (Tip of the Spear Book 2) published by Hartwood Publishing. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, a horse named Cindy Crawford, and her brilliant Chihuahua, Giorgio Armani.

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Stephanie LaPlante said...

Sounds very interesting.

Debra Holloway said...

I would like to ask how hard books are to market with so many out there?