Diamond Tiger

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Erin Shane Windsor is left a legendary diamond mine in western Australia by a great-uncle she never even knew she had. But the old man took the secret of the mine's location to his grave. All he left behind were cryptic clues written in verse—and some very dangerous enemies who'd like nothing better than to claim the mine themselves. To help her, Erin hires Cole Blackburn, a geologist with a mysterious past who has his own reasons for wanting to find the treasure. From glamorous San Francisco and London to the ...
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1996 Mass Market Paperback Good Possible defects such as light shelving wear may exist. May have minor creasing, writing, stickers and/or residue. COAS Books, A Bookstore for ... Everyone. Buy with confidence-Satisfaction Guaranteed! Read more Show Less

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Overview

Erin Shane Windsor is left a legendary diamond mine in western Australia by a great-uncle she never even knew she had. But the old man took the secret of the mine's location to his grave. All he left behind were cryptic clues written in verse—and some very dangerous enemies who'd like nothing better than to claim the mine themselves. To help her, Erin hires Cole Blackburn, a geologist with a mysterious past who has his own reasons for wanting to find the treasure. From glamorous San Francisco and London to the hauntingly beautiful Australian outback, this sensational romantic thriller takes you on an unforgettable roller-coaster ride.

Author Biography:

Elizabeth Lowell is the author of numerous historical and contemporary novels, many of which have been New York Times bestsellers, including four masterful works of romantic suspense featuring the Donovan family. Ms. Lowell lives in Anacortes, Washington, with her husband with whom she writes mystery novels under a pseudonym.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061040795
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.77 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Lowell
Elizabeth Lowell
Elizabeth Lowell has written a variety of genres under a variety of names, some with her husband Evan Maxwell and some on her own. But it is her romance novels -- starring the romantic, swashbuckling Donovan family -- that have been her biggest solo success.

Biography

Extensive and versatile, Elizabeth Lowell's résumé of titles (in almost every genre) is as long as the list of her various pen names. She's written science fiction, mystery and romance. She's also penned historical fiction and collaborated on a movie novelization. So prolific is Lowell that she and her husband, Evan Maxwell, have had to create a whole raft of pseudonyms for her books.

Her earliest work, from the 1970s, is science fiction and is written under her actual name, Ann Maxwell. The romances she and her husband began writing together in the early '90s are under the same name, because their publisher wanted a female author’s name on the cover. Their Southern California mystery series featuring the divorced lovers Fiddler and Fiora are written under A. E. Maxwell (Ann and Evan), while their joint novelization of the 1992 Val Kilmer movie Thunderheart is under the name Lowell Charters (his middle name and her maiden name.)

Her biggest solo success, the romance novels that have taken her repeatedly to The New York Times bestseller list, are credited to Elizabeth Lowell -- a combination of the couple’s middle names.

Lowell’s romances are noted for their sass and, of course, their sex. But her characterizations, particularly, draw high marks. "Elizabeth Lowell's talent is enormous," wrote The Romance Reader in its review of 1984's Forget Me Not. "She has made a well-deserved name for herself by crafting likable, plucky heroines and enigmatic but intelligent heroes." And, in 1996 the Chicago Tribune wrote, "The protagonist she has chosen for her hardcover debut, Winter Fire could give a Navy SEAL lessons in survival."

Lowell embarked on a popular series in 1997 with the publication of Amber Beach, which introduced readers to the Donovan family, titans in the menacing world of precious gemstones who must dodge murderers, thieves, and power-hungry governments to protect their business. Of the first in the series, Kirkus Reviews wrote, "A romance that offers all the sexual tension, adventure and squishy clichés that fans of the genre could possibly want."

When Lowell was getting started as sci-fi writer Ann Maxwell, she was writing on legal pads while caring for her two young children. Evan was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, covering international crime. In the early 1980s, after he had already collaborated on three mystery novels with Lowell, Maxwell decided to quit daily journalism and write fiction full-time.

The couple has since become a cottage industry of genre fiction operating out of their Seattle-area home. They collaborate on some projects, go solo on others. Lowell has described a seven-day-a week work packed with deadlines, an organized effort that starts out with book outlines that typically take about a month to draft as well as character sketches. Then the writing begins.

"My fiction deals with problems of strength rather than problems of weakness," she told Contemporary Authors. There is no appeal or purpose for me in reading -- or writing -- fiction that portrays incessant, excruciating, and pointless pain in the lives of characters."

Good To Know

Readers are surprised to find out that the books Lowell writes with her husband are true collaborations. "In fact, a lot of people, once they know, say, 'Oh, I know who did this in the book, and I know who did this,' and they're almost invariably wrong," she told the Los Angeles Times.

Two of the most intriguing time periods for Lowell are medieval England and the post-Civil War period in the American West. "In both cases it was a time of expanded possibilities for individuals, regardless of birth or heritage, to create a better life and, ultimately, a better world, from chaos," she told Contemporary Authors.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Ann Maxwell; A .E. Maxwell; Annalise Sun; Lowell Charters
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 5, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      B. A., University of California, 1966

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



"Two people died getting this to me."

Cole Blackburn looked at the small worn velvet bag. "Was it worth it?"

"You tell me," Chen Wing said.

With a swift motion Wing emptied the contents of the bag onto the ebony surface of his desk. Light rippled and shifted as nine translucent stones tumbled over one another with tiny crystalline sounds. The first impression was of large, very roughly made marbles that had been chipped and pitted by use. Nine of the thirteen stones were colorless. Three were pink. One was the intense green of a deep river pool.

Instantly Cole's hand closed over the green marble, which was as big as the tip of his thumb. The stone was surprisingly heavy for its size. He rubbed it between his fingers. The surface had an almost slippery feel, as though it had been burnished with precious oils. He turned the stone until he found a flat, cleanly chipped face, which he bathed with his breath. No moisture collected on the smooth plane.

Cole felt a sharp stab of excitement. Without a word he walked to a liquor cart that stood against a wall. He picked up a heavy leaded crystal glass and glanced at Wing, who nodded. Cole brought the green stone down the side of the glass in a single swift stroke.

The stone scratched the glass easily and deeply. The stone itself was unmarked. At random Cole picked up other stones from the desk and drew them down the crystal surface. New scratches formed. The stones themselves remained untouched. He pulled a well-worn jeweler's loupe from his pocket, angled the desk light to his satisfaction, picked up the deep green stone, and examined it.

The sensationwas like falling into a pool of intense emerald light. Yet this was not an emerald. Even uncut and unpolished, the stone held and dispersed light in a way that only a diamond could. It shimmered between his fingers with each tiny movement of his hand. Light flowed and glanced among the irregularities in the stone's surface and gathered in its luminous depths. There were no fractures and only two very minute flaws, both irrelevant to the diamond's value, for they lay just below the surface, where they would be cut and polished out of existence.

Cole looked at several more stones before he put his loupe back in his pocket and said, "White paper."

Wing opened a desk drawer, extracted a pure white sheet of Pacific Traders Ltd. letterhead, and slid it across the desk. Cole pulled a small chamois bag from his pocket and removed a rough diamond that he knew to be of perfect color.

Though uncut and unpolished, the stone from Cole's pocket had an angular octahedral shape. It looked almost unnatural next to the worn, irregular stones from Wing's bag. Cole spaced the diamonds across the surface of the paper. One of the stones changed color subtly, becoming more coral than pink. The other pinks deepened to a lovely clear rose. Most of the white stones took on a blue sheen that exactly matched Cole's diamond. One or two showed a very faint yellow cast to their white, a color shift that only an expert eye would have detected or cared about.

And the green stone burned more vividly still, an emerald flame against snow.

Cole lowered the loupe and studied the green diamond with both eyes again. It still glimmered with an internal fire that was both hot and cold. Years before, in Tunisia, he had seen a stone that was nearly the equal of this one. The smuggler who owned the rough claimed it had come from Venezuela, a claim that Cole doubted. But before he could raise enough cash to buy the truth, someone had sealed the smuggler's lips by cutting his throat.

The smuggler's death hadn't shocked Cole. Random deaths, convenient or capricious, were common in the diamond fields and gemstone black markets of the world. When it came to diamonds a man's life was valuable only to himself, and his death could easily profit any number of people.

What surprised Cole was that these diamonds had cost only two lives. He had never seen a handful of diamonds to equal the ones resting on the white paper, drawing their color from the peculiar circumstances of their birth rather than from their surroundings.

Cole picked up his own exemplar diamond, put it away, and examined the dark velvet bag that lay collapsed across the desk's ebony surface. The velvet was old, so old that the passage of time and the hard sur faces of the diamonds inside had worn the cloth to near-silk thinness in places. The velvet did not care; it was dead.

But the stones were not dead, not in the same way. They shimmered as though gorged with light and time and man's insatiable hunger for that which is rare.

"What do you want from me?" Cole asked, watching the diamonds with brooding gray eyes.

For a moment Wing thought the question was directed at the stones. He had known Cole for many years, yet the Hong Kong businessman did not claim to understand or predict the next turning of the American prospector's complex mind.

"Are they diamonds?" Wing asked softly.

"Yes."

"No chance of deception?"

Cole shrugged. The motion made light move over him. Raw black silk gleamed in his sport coat. His hair was the exact color and luster of the silk. His skin had been weathered in the wild places of the world. Fine lines radiated out from his eyes, legacy of a life spent of squinting into the light of a desert sun or the flare of a miner's lamp. Above his left temple a scattering of silver showed in his thick hair. He looked older than his thirty-four years. By every measure that mattered, he was.

"There's always a chance of deception," Cole said. "But if these were made by a man, he'll be the ruin of every miner and diamond mine in the world."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2001

    A so-so book

    this is the first anne maxwell book i've ever read and it was quite disappointing...the second half of the book was complete nonsense and didn't even relate much to the story (it talks about how erin becomes jealous over cole's ex and how they fight and blah blah)...the ending was quite rushed...with an incomplete feeling...what saved this book from getting one star was the first half which was quite good...overall a readable book...

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