In the heart of the jungle lies more than just the hint of death.
Leading a scientific excursion into the Borneo rain forest is a life long dream for entomologist, Garrett Cole. But when her guide turns up dead and headless, her abilities are tested. As the dense foliage pushes her team further from the river, they are lost. Every shimmer of sound is a threat, and when a blonde haired, half-naked giant emerges from nowhere, she wants to run. But there are no options – she needs help.
Raised in the lush cradle of the Borneo jungle, Aidan is as unconventional as the fact that he has no last name. While the city is home, he returns to the jungle for peace and solitude. As a PI, how can he ignore the mystery this group and their dead guide poses? Leading them in a convoluted trek in a bid for answers he soon finds himself in a clash of wills with their alluring leader and answers that slide dangerously close to the tribe he loves.
In the jungle’s torrid heat they find unexpected solace in each others arms. But faced with death and betrayal, in a battle of wits that puts lives on the edge, can anyone be trusted?
Aidan moved vines back, exposing his face. They only had to look in his direction.
He was so close he could have reached out and touched her. She was delicate, out of place here in the midst of this wilderness. Her skin, even beneath the sweat and exertion-stained flush, was fair. She wasn’t built to be here, she was too slight to survive, too weak, too . . .
She glanced up. A frown immediately seared her face.
“Who the hell are you?” she snarled.
He bit back a smile. She should have screamed. She hadn’t. All tiny limbs and fragile beauty, and yet she attacked first.
He let his gaze rove over the group, refusing to be corralled by her attack.
One of the men looked panicked, the others seriously stressed. He shifted his spear to his other hand and waited, taking the warrior advantage of time and observation. The silent often learned much about their enemy.
“Put that down.” She gestured to his spear.
His fingers loosened for a millisecond before gripping the spear tighter. Was she out of her mind? Green, innocent, and totally forest-illiterate, but she was feisty.
Feisty? She was seething, hot, absolutely pissed—about what, he wasn’t sure. Her anger didn’t make much sense. Nothing about this afternoon made much sense.
Topic: How I was inspired to write Fatal Intent
A trip to Borneo inspired me to write Fatal Intent. I suppose I always knew a story would come out of the trip but when I got on that plane I didn’t have a word written, not a vague plot or even a half-cut synopsis. Fatal Intent was literally born on one moment on that trip. You know those moments, when as cliché as it sounds, you can’t believe what you’re seeing. It was really a moment of shock and disbelief – a moment when I said this is how the story begins. And of course, the rest of it fell in from there. It might be an odd place to write an outline but it was written one night in Borneo as the geckos began their night time scuttle.
I can’t imagine writing Fatal Intent without having been to Borneo for being there gave me a sense of the jungle. While I’d been to the cloud forests of Costa Rica and tramped through a rain forest or two, I wasn’t prepared for the noise in Borneo’s jungle. The insects were loud, they sawed and screeched and shrilled like creatures many times their size. And sometimes, too – they were silent. At those times the whole jungle seemed to pant quietly, as humidity and tension climbed. It was as if everything waited for what might happen next, what predator would emerge, what threat they must dodge. I remember how the grass whipped into the shape of an S as one of the many large lizards slipped through an area, and how the foliage was thick, and the humidity felt slick against your skin. Hot, damp and humid and there we were wearing long pants that were tucked into our socks on treks to keep out the leeches! Yes, there were a lot of bugs in Borneo and most of them were oversized. Thank goodness, not the leeches.
Fatal Intent was inspired by a day trek down river to see one of the local longhouses. It was early in the afternoon when I was taken into a place in time where only imagination can go, the beginning of Fatal Intent and the discovery of the headless guide that begins the story.
I remember standing at the foot of those rickety wooden stairs that led to the longhouse, the sun beating down and the jungle alive with a cacophony of sound and the roar of the river only a few feet away, and then heading upward and trying not to think of how old that worn, steep staircase was or how frail the railing might be. And when I reached the top there was the longhouse. It looked rather like a retro motel, an age beaten unpainted length of building with individual entrances butted one up against the other and stretching in both directions. There were at least twenty families in that longhouse that was fronted by an age-grayed wooden verandah with woven reed mats drying rice in the sun and old women looking at us with a combination of curiosity and disdain. And as we followed our guide, he was quick to point out the human skull that dangled from the rafters in the common area. A human skull – over a hundred years old and all that remained of their headhunting tradition, or so he said. It was all rather grisly and fascinating in a macabre sort of way. Maybe it was just a good story for the tourists but it definitely was the catalyst of a story – Fatal Intent.
At each stop, Ryshia will award one commenter an ebook copy of From the Dust, a historical romance set in Depression Era Saskatchewan. The grand prize for the tour will be an autographed copy of From the Dust, a book unique bookmark, and a Region 1 DVD of East of Borneo, a 1931 B&W movie.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
About the author
About the author
Ryshia Kennie is the author of two published romances. From the Dust, is a romance set during the Great Depression. Her second book, Ring of Desire, was set against a backdrop of magic and mystery, in medieval England. An award winning author, her recent novels now focus on suspense and women’s fiction – always with a hint or even a dollop, of romance. The Canadian prairies are home where she lives with her husband and one opinionated Irish Terrier.
Visit her website at http://www.ryshiakennie.com.
Author blog: ryshia.blogspot.com
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Author at Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/1400598.Ryshia_Kennie