Friday, September 28, 2012

Blog Tour: Guest Post with Nikki Navarre + Giveaway(International)

Nikki's historical alter ego Laura visited us earlier this year and we've glad to have her back. Nikki is currently on tour for her latest release, THE RUSSIAN SEDUCTION. Here at Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance, we're fans of the undercover hotties especially if he's got piercing eyes of blue like Daniel Craig or knows how to rock a shoulder holster... *wiping drool off faces* We'll let Nikki share her favorite cinematic spies but before that, let's give her a warm welcome back.


Meet Nikki:
Nikki Navarre is the sinister twin of unsuspecting historical romance author Laura Navarre. In her other life, Nikki is a diplomat who’s lived in Russia and works on weapons of mass destruction issues. In the line of duty, she’s been trapped in an elevator in a nuclear power plant and has stalked the corridors of facilities churning out nerve agent and other apocalyptic weapons. In this capacity, she meets many of the world’s most dangerous men.

Inspired by the perilous realities of her real life, Nikki writes romantic suspense set in glamorous international locales and laced with political intrigue. Her literary credentials are suspiciously similar to those of her innocent twin. A member of Romance Writers of America’s Published Author Network (PAN), winner of the 2012 Pacific Northwest Writers Association award for romance and a 2009 Golden Heart finalist, she has won the Emily Award for Excellence, the First Coast

Romance Writers Beacon Award, the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award, the Golden Pen, Hearts through History’s Romance through the Ages, and other awards. Nikki holds an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine, an M.A. in National Security Policy from The George Washington University, and other alarming credentials. Based in Seattle with her screenwriter accomplice and two Siberian cats, she divides her time between her writing career and other adventures for U.S. government clients. Her notorious adventures in the world of diplomacy will get her in trouble one of these days.

The Russian Seduction (October 2012) may be the last mistake she ever makes.

Connect with Nikki: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter

Favorite Spies and Why We Love Those Guys

Daniel Craig seduced me into the spy business. Until his icy blond James Bond strode across the silver screen in his Armani tux, I was perfectly content writing historical romance under another name. But after five years as a diplomat in Russia, where I specialized in weapons of mass destruction, coupled with an early showing of Casino Royale that I caught in Bratislava, I was pretty well convinced I needed to write some sleek, sexy romantic suspense, spiced with state secrets, champagne and international intrigue. What started as a fun diversion from my dark Tudor romances turned into The Russian Seduction, the story of a renegade Russian submarine captain and a rising-star American diplomat, and the first book in my Foreign Affairs series for River Valley Publishing.

In the edgy, cosmopolitan world of modern-day Moscow, both Captain Victor Kostenko and Political Counselor Alexis Castle are convinced—with good reason—that the other is an intelligence agent with a hidden agenda. The fate of two nations rests on Alexis’s ability to establish a dialogue with the renegade captain. But given the risk that Victor is under orders to compromise her—not to mention the virtual certainty that they’re under surveillance—the sizzling chemistry between them is an itch she can’t afford to scratch.

Here are five cinematic spies who inspired The Russian Seduction:

1. James Bond in Casino Royale. This movie was thoroughly brilliant, not only because it rejuvenated the Bond brand, but also because it reinvented Bond himself. I grew up with Roger Moore’s dandified, almost effeminate Bond. Daniel Craig recreated Bond as an icy, sometimes brutal, seemingly emotionless killer whose rough edges are very much on display. Yet his intense but doomed love affair with ally-turned-adversary Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) also reveals emotional vulnerability. Vesper tells him, “You think of women as disposable treasures.” Bond makes a point of telling Vesper he prefers married women, clearly because the arrangement avoids emotional entanglement. Yet despite his checkered history, Bond falls in love with Vesper—counter to his inclinations, and completely outside his comfort zone. He reveals his love and vulnerability to Vesper when he tells her, “I have no armor left. You’ve stripped it from me. Whatever I am, I’m yours. Is that enough for you?” I gave Victor a similar moment of vulnerability and exposure in The Russian Seduction.
Photo credit:
2. Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity. Damon’s amnesiac CIA assassin grabbed my heart because of the juxtaposition between his frightening efficiency as a killer and his lonely struggle to remember who and what he is. Bourne’s painful isolation and the desperation of his existential quest give him both a fascinating complexity and a larger-than-life purpose we can all relate to—the need to discover ourselves. My heroine Alexis, the daughter of a legendary ambassador, suffers similar doubts about the solitary and confining career path she has chosen.
Photo credit: The Bourne Wikia
3. Val Kilmer as Simon Templar in The Saint. This mid-90s spy film introduces us to Simon, an orphaned boy who is inadvertently responsible for the death of his childhood sweetheart. Stripped even of his name in his strict Catholic orphanage, Templar grows into a master disguise artist and spy for hire. As he freely admits, no one has a clue who he is—least of all himself. It takes falling in love with eccentric but an innocent physics professor to strip Simon of his defenses and bring him in from the cold. I wanted to recreate that shining moment of salvation through the redemptive power of love in The Russian Seduction.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
4. Rene Russo as undercover stolen art investigator Catherine Banning in The Thomas Crowne Affair. Sophisticated, wealthy and enigmatic Banning waltzes into this sexy romantic suspense on a mission to track down a multimillion-dollar Monet stolen in broad daylight from the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan. The investigator quickly intuits the painting was lifted by billionaire playboy and CEO Thomas Crowne (Pierce Brosnan), a man whose ennui and lack of purpose have led him into dangerously illegal territory. The beautiful Banning earned her privileges the hard way, bootstrapping herself from a hardscrabble redneck upbringing into a glamorous European lifestyle—a combination that makes her irresistible to Crowne. The sexy, sophisticated catch-me-if-you-can romance between these two elegant, remote, complicated people was a direct inspiration for The Russian Seduction.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
5. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as Mr. and Mrs. Smith. They may or may not be your favorite Hollywood couple, but who could resist the fun, edgy chemistry between these two rival spies or the sparks that fly when this struggling husband and wife discover each has been ordered to target the other? The movie is sleek, sexy and smart, yet doesn’t take itself too seriously—exactly the vibe I wanted for The Russian Seduction.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
If you too enjoy cinematic spies, champagne and seduction, please drop me a line and let me know your favorites! You can peek at an excerpt from The Russian Seduction .


Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 280 pages
Publisher: Affluent Press (October 1, 2012)

State secrets have never been this sexy.

Victor Kostenko was the golden boy of the Russian Navy, a submarine captain with a maverick image, until he lost his command for an act of treason he didn’t commit. Arrogant, aggressive, and super-smart, the captain pairs his daunting reputation with an appetite for adventure. And he’s never met a rule he won’t break. Now it’s rumored he’ll do anything to get back in his government’s good graces.

Political Counselor Alexis Castle is one of the highest-ranked diplomats at the U.S. Embassy, a rising star who yearns to live up to her father’s legacy as a legendary ambassador. Brilliant and driven, she’s always played by the rules. She’ll torpedo her career for sure if she falls for one of the world’s most dangerous men – a bad-boy Russian sub captain who breaks every rule in the book.

When a hard-line Russian leader invades a country the U.S. promised to protect, war can only be avoided by a risky undercover liaison between one man who has everything to gain…and a woman who has everything to lose.
Get Your Own Copy: Amazon | Kindle | All Romance
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt

Nikki is giving away an ebook copy of THE RUSSIAN SEDUCTION via All Romance (you must have an ARe account to receive the book) to one(1) lucky reader. The giveaway is international. Here's how to enter:
  • Leave a comment about your favorite Hollywood spies.
  • Fill out the rafflecopter form below. You must leave a comment. All other entries are optional.
  • Follow Nikki's tour HERE for more chances to win THE RUSSIAN SEDUCTION.
Nikki is also hosting a Twitter Party on 10/3 ...
Info can be found at:

A huge thank you to Nikki for sharing her latest release and donating the giveaway prize. Also, thanks to LitConnect for forwarding correspondence.

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