Thursday, March 31, 2011

Character Profile from Jaguar Sees: The Lacquer Box by Ann Simon

Meet the American expatriate woman in Moscow trying to stop nuclear arms smugglers with help from a shamanic spirit animal.
That's the unique premise of Ann Simon's supernatural thriller Jaguar Sees: The Lacquer Box.
Claire Milton is an energetic, sassy expat wife living in Moscow. She enjoys all the American women’s activities: stitching, charity work, shopping. It’s shopping that leads to the trouble. She buys a souvenir lacquer box with an unusual design painted on it and is immediately accosted and chased by threatening men. Quick thinking and fast feet allow her to evade verbal and physical threats, but the puzzle remains. Why are these men after her? Curiosity and chance lead her to discover that the design on the box carries the key to a tactical nuclear weapons smuggling ring.

Claire is determined to stop the smugglers, but she has little at her command other than courage, little-practiced Tai Kwan Do skills and one more, unusual resource. After a Shamanic medication to regain calm, she is amazed that her spirit animal, a jaguar, seems to live. In fact, Jaguar appears to her right in the city of Moscow and, acting almost as her intuition, helps her out of tight corners. Without Jaguar, Claire could never solve the smuggling mystery, but dare she believe Jaguar is real? And, if so, is Jaguar’s help enough?

From the book: This is an action thriller, and Claire does more than says. I think some of these passages will give you a taste of the story.

“Once again she had the impression that Jaguar was with her. She felt, like a second set of muscles, Jaguar’s pacing reproachfully. When she thought about it, she could feel something different, as if there were an electrical charge to the air around where Jaguar might be if Jaguar, well, if Jaguar actually existed. She felt an urge to flee. “

“You broke his leg?” Jack was incredulous. Although Claire told him the entire tale about Scrounge Man’s attempted theft, this was the part he fixated on.

“Well, I didn’t have a doctor examine it, but I’m pretty sure I did.”

“But, Claire,”

“He pulled knife on me! I got mad.”

She rubbed the fingers on her left hand which had fallen asleep; it felt like little shocks ran up her fingers and the warmth of an electric light radiated under her palm. Then her wrist tilted as if of its own accord. She looked down.

Shining golden eyes looked up. Her breath stalled in her lungs. Jaguar’s broad nose pushed warm against her hand.

She shoved the bag further back with her heel, trying to compress it against the van wall and leaned forward in what she hoped could be taken for a desire to be helpful. She couldn’t think of one thing to say that wouldn’t damn them all.

Jaguar Sees: The Lacquer Box by Ann Simon is available at the Amazon Kindle store for Kindles, Windows 7 phones, i-pads and other i-products, and computers. The Kindle app is currently free.

Also read Simon's blog Ann's Annotations

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