Today I’d like to introduce Nick Seven, a former CIA agent who lives in Key Largo, Florida. Nick is the hero of a new romantic thriller by award-winning author Tim Smith, “Memories Die Last,” available through Extasy Books. Nick, you spent a dozen years in the CIA and were pretty much the go-to guy when it came to tracking down terrorists. Why did you suddenly decide to leave five years ago?
(Laughs). Nice try, but you’ll have to read the book to find out. Is that the best you’ve got? Whenever I interrogated someone they felt it for days afterward.
Your adventures are now limited to The Florida Keys, aren’t they? How did you end up there?
When I quit the CIA, I couldn’t decide where I wanted to settle. I could’ve gone to Italy, Germany, Bermuda, Rio, you name it, but I’d been to The Keys and something about the laid-back atmosphere hooked me and reeled me in. Besides, I’ve always loved fresh seafood and the sunsets are to die for.
What do you do in Key Largo?
I own a bar and restaurant on the Gulf of Mexico side of the island. I needed something to do, and this seemed like the logical move.
Inquiring minds have to ask about Felicia, the beauty from Barbados you’re partnered with in this adventure. You two are reunited when the CIA drafts you back into action, but we can tell there’s a mutual attraction. Anything you can add?
Felicia was a member of my team when I worked in England six years ago. There were sparks from the start but I didn’t do anything about it at the time. When the suits in The Agency conned me into coming back for one last case, there she was.
To put it bluntly, Felicia is sex on two feet – bronzed skin, long woven hair, sensual eyes, the cutest West Indies accent and a body a supermodel would kill for. She also has a right cross that’ll bring a wrestler to his knees. We just picked up where we should’ve started a few years earlier. Good things come to those who wait, right?
One reviewer said “Nick Seven is the kind of guy your mother wouldn’t let you play with.” Is that an accurate assessment?
That probably explains why I had such a lonely childhood. I suppose some of my rougher edges turn off a few people, but when they take the time to know me I’m really a pussycat. I just don’t show it very well or very often.
What do you like to do when you aren’t solving cases and outwitting devious criminal minds?
First of all, I don’t go looking for trouble but it seems to find me. It’s the damnedest thing, too because all I want to do is live in my personal corner of paradise. I like gambling, boating and fine Scotch. To me a great evening is one spent on the outdoor deck of my club, listening to some good jazz and watching the sunset over The Gulf. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Do you ever miss the globetrotting you had to do when you were a spy?
Not really. There are places I wouldn’t mind visiting again for pleasure, but I’m not in any rush.
Sounds like you’ve really adopted The Keys lifestyle.
I’m pretty laid back. One of the things I like about living here is that no one really cares who you are or what you did before you got here. I think that’s why there are so many former Federal agents in The Keys. It’s very anonymous.
Does that mean there are skeletons rattling around in your closet?
Look, Pally, we all have things we’d like to keep buried. What if I turned that question around and asked if you had something you’d rather the world not find out?
Okay, point taken. Let’s get back to Felicia.
My favorite subject. When we first began working together, I wasn’t overly enthused about her joining my team. Even though she was a former Marine and about as hard as they come, she had no field experience. She proved me wrong very quickly, though and removed any doubts I may have had. (Looks at his watch.) Are we about done? I have a sunset to catch and a bottle of Grouse with my name on it.
Just one more question. What does the future hold for you and Felicia?
Probably more adventures, whether we want them or not. I’m just trying to live life on my own terms, but this Tim Smith guy won’t let me do that. What did I ever do to him? As for Felicia, I get the impression that if I don’t stay out of trouble, she’ll pack her bags and haul ass back to Barbados.
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“Memories Die Last” blurb:
What happens when your life is turned inside out by something from your past that won’t leave you alone? Former CIA operative Nick Seven finds out when his peaceful life in The Florida Keys is disrupted by the surprise appearance of an old nemesis he thought was buried alongside the painful memory of a personal tragedy. He reluctantly gets back into the spy game to settle an old score and is pleasantly surprised to find himself paired with beautiful Felicia Hagens, a former co-worker from Barbados. Together they uncover a complex maze of intrigue, espionage and high-level government corruption. The assignment gets more complicated when they realize they have unrequited feelings for each other. Can Nick finally hit the elusive target and reclaim his personal corner of paradise? Will Felicia decide to stay with the rugged former spy she’s always had a secret thing for?
Tim Smith is an award-winning author whose books range from romantic adventure to contemporary erotic romance. He is also a freelance photographer. More info about his books and photography can be found at his website, www.timsmithauthor.com.