Helen Johnson's life abruptly ends when her youngest son enters college and her husband leaves her for another woman. As her rage and heartbreak diminish, she forms a new vision of life based on her Greek heritage, her artistic skill, and money from the sale of her house. Reclaiming her maiden name, Eleni Pappas, she enrolls in a course for archaeological illustration in Athens, Greece. There she embarks on the research vessel Ariadne with another student, Chris Clayton, and their professor, Basilis Stephanopoulis, to search for artifacts off the coast of Crete. They meet Agamemnon Karris and his Scandinavian tourists aboard the Klytemnestra, and Raymond and Lotte Palmer aboard the luxury schooner Volos. Unknowingly, they become entangled with the forces of international art pirates, Interpol agents and the Greek Coastal Patrol when they start research on the site where a pre-classic maiden has lain beneath the ocean sands for centuries. Dangerous situations occur and Eleni finds herself hostage in the center of action among art pirates, Interpol agents, and dangerous men. She makes her share of mistakes and discoveries before finding the one who will be by her side as she builds her new life in Greece.