Whirlpool

( 100 )

Overview

When an exquisitely crafted, authentic imperial Faberge egg mysteriously shows up at Laurel Swann's home studio, she knows it can only be from one person—her father, who has drifted in and out of her life for as long as she can remember. But this time Jamie Swann leaves her something too many people will kill for.

Out of her league and desperate, Laurel is forced to accept help from the very man who is trying to ensnare her father in his own web of double crosses. Cruz Rowan can...

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Whirlpool

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Overview

When an exquisitely crafted, authentic imperial Faberge egg mysteriously shows up at Laurel Swann's home studio, she knows it can only be from one person—her father, who has drifted in and out of her life for as long as she can remember. But this time Jamie Swann leaves her something too many people will kill for.

Out of her league and desperate, Laurel is forced to accept help from the very man who is trying to ensnare her father in his own web of double crosses. Cruz Rowan can help her stay alive, but will he do the same for her father?

Elizabeth Lowell, writing as Ann Maxwell, deftly combines the nonstop action of a spy thriller with the heart-pounding excitement of true love and adventure.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060511135
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 262,668
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Lowell

Elizabeth Lowell's acclaimed suspense novels include the New York Times bestsellers Death Echo, Blue Smoke and Murder, Innocent as Sin, The Wrong Hostage, Always Time to Die, The Color of Death, Die in Plain Sight, Running Scared, and Moving Target, as well as four books featuring the Donovan family: Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. Lowell has more than thirty million books in print. She lives in Nevada with her husband, with whom she writes mystery novels under a pseudonym.

Las aclamadas novelas de suspenso de la autora Elizabeth Lowell incluyen varios bestsellers en la New York Times. Lowell ha vendido más de treinta millones de ejemplares. Vive con su esposo en Seattle, Washington y Sedona, Arizona, con quien escribe novelas de misterio bajo un seudónimo.

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

Whirlpool

Chapter One

Laurel Swann touched the gleaming pebble, with the tip of her index finger. The stone was as smooth and cool as the ocean. She wished that all of life were half as pleasing to her senses.

But it wasn't. Even the agate reminded her of past unhappiness and present uncertainty; there was a single band of pale amber in the stone that was the exact color of her father's eyes, and her own. Seeing the color made her wonder where Jamie Swann was, if he was well or sick, thin or well fed, free or captive in some country whose name changed with every headline.

"Don't think about it," Laurel told herself, speaking aloud in the manner of someone who spends much of the time alone. "There's nothing you can do. He's old enough to know better. Hell, he's old enough to retire, get a cat, and write his memoirs."

The thought of it made Laurel smile. Like her dead mother, Laurel couldn't stop caring about the man whose cheerful grin and guarded eyes had shaped her life.Still smiling, Laurel picked up the agate and turned it slowly. Light from the north window of her weathered A-frame cottage spilled over her workbench, making the stone glow as if it held all the sunshine it had gathered during countless years of being tumbled by surf on a California beach.

As a professional jewelry designer, Laurel had much more valuable stones—diamonds and opals, rubies and sapphires and citrine—in the safe in her workshop. But she still took real pleasure in finding a clear agate on the beach in front of her house.

To Laurel, a good beach agate was a small gift from God, a memento of the forces that shaped the earth, themingling of enduring rock and restless ocean.

The stone on Laurel's palm was a good agate. Looking into its clear depths was like looking through a window into another world. The agate's radiant golden amber color gave way to a lightly marbled transparence at one end. The stone was flecked with dark inclusions, tiny bits of the agate's history preserved in a crystalline frame.

The flaws made the stone more interesting to Laurel than mere perfection would have been. Turning the pebble slowly in the light, she automatically began creating a design in her mind, a simple, flowing framework of gold that would show off the agate to its best advantage. Stones were as unique and individual as people; a setting could enhance the natural beauty of a stone or all but destroy it.

For Laurel, that was the endless fascination of making jewelry. Each design was her own answer to the silent challenge of the stones that she create a frame for them which was as unusual and enduring as their beauty.

The rattle of a truck turning into Laurel's steep driveway broke her concentration. Frowning, she set aside the agate and looked out the ground floor window of her small house. A delivery van was idling just outside. The driver had thoughtfully driven down to the garage, savingLaurel a trip upstairs to the street level. Even so, she wasn't happy to see the truck.

"Damn," Laurel muttered. "What's this? I'm not expecting any new orders. I'm not expecting any back, either, but that doesn't mean I won't get some."

Laurel headed from her workroom and opened the small door that connected to the garage. The living area of the house was overhead, on the same level as the street. It was an odd, cramped arrangement common to Cambria houses that had begun life as weekend cabins and been transformed into full-time residences when land prices soared.

Outside, the driver hopped down from the van and headed toward the open garage door. He had a clipboard gripped in his right hand. Under his left arm he carried a rectangular box. The box was big enough to be awkward, but it wasn't particularly heavy.

"Hi, Tom," Laurel said as he approached.

"Hello, Miss Swann."

Though Tom tried to be casual, he spent too long looking at Laurel. He started at her cap of shiny black hair, took in the loose man's shirt she wore knotted to one side, and lingered on the jeans, whose snug fit was the result of countless washings.

Though Laurel had spent no time trying to catch a man's eye, there was an essential sensual femininity to her that was more alluring than the overproduced blondes that California turned out with numbing regularity.

"Is it your birthday?" Tom asked.

"Nope."

"This week, maybe ?

"Nope."

Though Laurel smiled pleasantly enough, she didn't say anything more.

Tom sighed, accepting that this contact was going to be like all the rest. Business, plain and simple. He began flipping through papers, finding the one for Laurel Swann to sign.

Laurel waited with outward patience. She sensed that Tom, like other men whose lives crossed hers, wanted to progress from a professional contact to a personal one. She was so accustomed to keeping men well beyond arm's length that she hardly noticed any longer that she was doing it.

Watching her parents cope with love, anger, regret, rage, despair, and finally divorce had taught Laurel that diamonds might be forever, but a relationship wasn't.

And if it wasn't forever, it wasn't worth the pain.

"Well," Tom said, "this must be your lucky day. Some body's sending you a big present."

Laurel made a sound that could have meant anything. Like most jewelry makers, she shipped her work materials without fanfare. She hid gold and even parcels of precious stones in plain sight beneath plain brown wrapping paper and ordinary packing tape.

But she had just gotten a shipment of gold from her Armenian metals broker on Hill Street in Los Angeles. She was expecting nothing of interest at the moment.

"Here you go," Tom said.

Laurel took the box in both hands. Ten pounds. Perhaps more. Certainly not much less.

"Need any help?" Tom asked.

"No, thanks. I handle heavier stuff all the time."

Whirlpool. Copyright © by Elizabeth Lowell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 100 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 101 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Read

    Whirlpool mixes suspense, mystery, and romance with a little intrigue and deceit. Elizabeth Lowell is a great writer and this book is no exception. The plot is multi-faceted and held my interest throughout. I found some parts a little too longwinded and descriptive for my taste in suspense. At times, it was a like taking the scenic route home. But overall this is a very enjoyable read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    Good Book

    I very much enjoy reading Elizabeth Lowell's books this one as much as any others

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008

    A beautiful adventure worth experiencing

    I really enjoyed this book. The playful bantering between the two main charachters will keep you addicted to this book. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who loves romance.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Ally to britt

    Dont steal .y workers thy uldnt leave me ghost rider ur dj spread the word its at club reslt one

    1 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    &starf&starf&starf&star&star

    &starf&starf&starf&star&star

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    Map

    First result- mainpool/chat.<p>
    Result four- bios.<p>
    Rest of results. Anything.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    War torn

    Ymca res 1

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Nikki

    Um...hi?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

    Kas to tucker

    U here?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    Laaaaa

    &#club&club

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    To Blake

    Hey.. i quit im sorry... tell david i like him n that m 14 :) life is life. With a sprinkle of ficion. ~the fox

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Angel

    Wow, your diffrent. Nt alot of guys r like that

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Jordan to Angel

    I don't have you numbered. To me, you all are number 1.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Ree...

    *walks in then back out*ugh. ;'/

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Jasmine

    She grabs her special goggles and swam to the top.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    Xan

    Sure......see you there

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Kosher

    Gtgbbn

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Shi

    Jacob r u there

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Loved it.

    I wish there were more of them in this series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Jake

    Walks in.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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