A year ago she lost everything.
Now she wants revenge…
Accused of stealing artifacts from a five-hundred-year-old shipwreck, underwater archaeologist Erica Kesling is determined to clear her name. She’s concealed her past and taken a job certain to give her access to the buyer of the missing antiquities. She’s finally closing in on her goal when she’s distracted by a sexy, charismatic intern who makes her want something other than revenge.
But Lee Scott is no intern. He’s looking for the lead conspirator in an international artifact smuggling scheme, and Erica is his prime suspect. He’ll do whatever it takes to win her trust and get her to reveal her secrets, even seduce her.
As Erica and Lee struggle to conceal their real agendas, the one thing they can’t hide is the attraction that burns hot between them. When Erica’s quest puts her life in jeopardy, Lee must choose between old loyalties and a woman he never expected to fall for.
“Full of secrets, deadly intrigue and steamy romance. A MUST read!”– New York Times bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton
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If you’ve read Concrete Evidence, did you wonder how Erica was able to escape Jake’s boat in Mexico? Or how Lee reacted when JT first told him about his new internship? Here’s your chance to find out.
Originally, these were the first two chapters of the book, following the prologue, but I deleted them because, well, it was like having three prologues–far too much set up before the story began. Chapter One ended up being cut in half and included as a flashback (Chapter Six in the final version), and Chapter Two (Lee’s scene) was simply deleted. Lee delivers one of my favorite lines in the cut scene. I loved the line so much I adapted it and fit it in elsewhere, but I think it’s much funnier in this version.
Real Life in the Story Background
The looting of artifacts and destruction of archaeological sites has been a big problem in Iraq and is an important storyline in Concrete Evidence.
In the summer of 2007 the Department of Defense issued another deck of playing cards to the troops, this one designed to raise the awareness of our military service men and women to the issues of cultural heritage preservation and the international laws which protect antiquities.
For example, the seven of clubs, which shows a picture of Ctesiphon Arch in Iraq says: “This site has survived seventeen centuries. Will it and others survive you?”
The Archeological Institute of America also published an article about this deck in 2007.
The Department of Defense created the Legacy Program website to educate soldiers on their responsibilities when they are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Real Life Backstory Connections
Another storyline in Concrete Evidence was the U.S. Government’s practice of forcing Native American children to attend boarding schools starting in the 1870s. The purpose of these schools was to “Kill the Indian…and save the man” (Col. Richard Pratt, 1892). Intent on assimilating Native Americans, children were forcibly removed from their homes (sometimes by armed police) and sent to live in these off-reservation boarding schools.
Class of younger boys in uniform at the Albuquerque Indian School. (Photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration)
NPR aired this story on American Indian Boarding schools in 2008.
The Real Thermo-Con House
The real Thermo-Con House is located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. These images were taken by a friend.