Interrogation of Suspected Double Agent: Nikki Navarre
Posted by Jamie Michele Oct 22 2012, 12:01 am in espionage, laura navarre, moscow, nikki navarre, romantic suspense, Ruby Release, russia, sexy
Q&A with Ruby Sister in Disguise Nikki Navarre
Interrogated by: Jamie Michele
SUBJECT: Nikki Navarre
ASSIGNMENT: Double Agent
COVER: Diplomat. Playgirl. Author of The Russian Seduction.
Nikki Navarre is the diabolical twin of unsuspecting historical romance author and Ruby Sis Laura Navarre. Her literary credentials are suspiciously similar to those of her innocent sister. Nikki’s notorious adventures in the world of diplomacy will get her in trouble one of these days.
The Russian Seduction may be the last mistake she ever makes.
THE RUSSIAN SEDUCTION
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. Now it’s rumored he’ll do anything to get back in his government’s good graces.
Rising-star American diplomat Alexis Castle always plays by the rules. She’ll torpedo her career for sure if she falls for a bad-boy Russian who breaks every rule in the book.
When a hardline Russian leader invades a country the U.S. has promised to protect, war can only be avoided by one man who has everything to gain…and a woman who has everything to lose.
Is the life of a diplomat really as glamorous as it sounds? (I know that lately, it certainly seems very rough and dangerous indeed.)
Like any career, diplomacy has both perks and not-so-nice drawbacks. Diplomatic security has been front and center since the tragedy in Libya where the Ambassador and several others lost their lives. So personal security in some of the places we need to travel is definitely among the risks. Diplomacy works best when you build close face-to-face relationships with your counterparts, as my diplomat-heroine Alexis needs to do in The Russian Seduction. That can be difficult when you’re traveling in an armored convoy with a bodyguard looming over you—situations I’ve faced in past assignments. On a few rare occasions, I’ve definitely felt my life was in danger, but smart precautions plus commitment to the work pull you through.
On the plus side, there’s all that international travel! I definitely enjoy flying around the world on a moment’s notice, experiencing the exotic local cuisine and culture, meeting incredibly fascinating and brilliant people, and sometimes participating in exciting events like a historic signing ceremony between two presidents for a new arms control treaty.
As a woman, do you find it difficult to get respect from your male Russian counterparts?
It’s definitely something I think about. Russian culture is very patriarchal, particularly in the fields of diplomacy and national security. The guys across the negotiating table (and often on my side too) are usually old white guys. I’m a young blonde woman with no military rank or scientific degree. When I was promoted into a senior diplomatic position at my last post, a senior official advised me always to project gravitas, even to appear “dour” because that works best in this environment. I do wear dark, conservative suits and a businesslike demeanor in that environment.
But what really works for me is that I over-prepare for every meeting. Like Alexis in The Russian Seduction, I’m often the person at the table who knows the most about an issue. I agree with that old adage about a woman having to work twice as hard to be thought half as good. Understanding the culture and being a Russian speaker are also helpful. For me, this strategy has paid off, and gaining the respect of my male colleagues hasn’t been a big issue.
Have you ever met a man like Victor Kostenko? He felt so larger-than-life, and yet so real!
Gosh, he felt pretty real to me too! I WISH I’d met a man like Victor—a renegade Russian submarine captain with ice-blue eyes and an appetite for adventure, who’s never met a rule he won’t break. Actually, if I had, I’d be in as much trouble as Alexis—a model diplomat whose conduct in country is invariably flawless, fighting to keep her distance from one of her country’s greatest rivals. But Victor is determined to get much closer. And what the captain wants, the captain gets…
The scenario of the novel—that Russia would take threatening military action against Ukraine in advance of a pivotal election—seemed so real. Was that based on an actual event?
In THE RUSSIAN SEDUCTION, the Russian military steamrolls into neighboring Ukraine under the pretext of a military exercise. In truth, it’s the prelude to invading a country the U.S. has sworn to protect. While these events are fiction, they could very easily have happened. The two countries have weathered some bumpy relations since the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine became independent—sometimes TOO independent for Russia’s taste. As a high-ranking Russian naval officer with a Ukrainian father, Victor definitely feels the heat when tensions between the two countries ratchet up.
What’s next for Nikki Navarre? I loved the teaser for the next book in your Foreign Affairs series, and can’t wait to pre-order it. When does it release? And tell me there will be a third book!
Thanks for asking, Jamie! The Russian Seduction was my launch book in the Foreign Affairs series, which features international intrigue, glamorous diplomats and the sexy spies who set out to compromise them. Next up is The Russian Temptation, about an American chemical weapons expert and the elegant Russian hit man who’s hired to kill her. It’s very similar in feel to Anne Stuart’s Black Ice series and your own An Affair of Vengeance as well. We’re aiming for release in summer 2013. And I do have an idea in mind for Book 3!
Find Nikki Navarre online: website / twitter / facebook / goodreads
Buy The Russian Seduction: amazon / kobo / B&N / allromance / sony
Fire away! Our interrogation subject is in-country today and available for further questioning. Any queries for our resident Ruby diplomat?
If not, she has questions for YOU: How do you feel about Russian and other unconventional heroes? Are you more or less likely to read a romance with a Russian hero? Before opening the book, what would you expect to find in a Russian hero?
Jamie Michele’s romantic-thriller debut, An Affair of Vengeance, releases on November 6, 2012.