Southern hospitality can kill you....
There's no escaping the sweltering heat when White House correspondent Laurel Stewart arrives in Somersett, South Carolina, and discovers that her best friend -- the vice president's protocol advisor -- has disappeared. As frustrated as she is by Detective Joe Gannon's skepticism regarding her suspicions, Laurel finds his smooth-talking southern ways and brazen bedroom eyes disturbingly, dangerously, seductive.
With the homicide rate escalating as fast as the mercury, the last thing Joe needs is a stubborn, argumentative reporter -- particularly not an outsider from Washington, D.C., who triggers a sexual jolt at every encounter -- spinning her crazy conspiracy theories. But while he may not entirely believe Laurel Stewart, Joe can't stop himself from wanting her. Thrown together by necessity, drawn together by passion, Laurel and Joe follow a twisted trail into the darkest corners of the sultry, moss-draped city to uncover a secret someone is willing to kill to keep.
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October 31, 2004
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Excerpt from Out of the Storm by JoAnn Ross
Camp David, Catoctin
"What are we doing here?" Laurel Stewart asked the man sitting next to her in the sanctuary of the presidential retreat's Evergreen Chapel.
"Praying for peace?" Max Kelly, a reporter from the Boston Globe, suggested.
"Granted, it's an admirable goal, but given that the Weather Service has declared this the hottest summer on record, what made the White House decide that August would be a good time to hold another round of Middle East Road to Peace meetings? Couldn't the State Department find a road map that leads to Maine?"
She slapped at yet another mosquito that had sneaked in through the window screen. "And how come they all invited us here to participate?"
She had to raise her voice to be heard over the huge pipe organ's rendition of "The Song of Peace." According to her program, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin had sung the song with over a hundred thousand people at a peace rally in Tel Aviv minutes before his assassination.
"This from the reporter who's always bitching that we don't get enough access when the president hides out at Camp David?"
"Like you think anyone's going to nail down a scoop here today," Laurel scoffed. Her dark auburn hair, styled in a sleek, no-nonsense cut that ended at her earlobes, hinted at a redhead's temper she usually kept tightly controlled. Her eyes were a cool, intelligent green in a pale complexion, her nose was straight, her mouth generous, and her chin as stubborn as she herself was. "We're being herded around the place like a bunch of senior citizens on an If-It's-Wednesday-This-Must-Be-Camp-David bus tour from hell."
"Hey, it's not every day you can watch two world leaders knocking down ten pins in the Nixon bowling alley."
"Bowling for Peace," she muttered. "Now, that's going to catch on. I'm still trying to find out if those were new shoes they gave the prime minister, but no one's talking."
"Go get 'em, Lois Lane. That story's bound to get you a banner headline."