Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Romantic #Suspense: DIVING INTO DANGER, Quest for Treasure, Book 1 by Elaine Meece

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Quest for Treasure, Book 1


Gold holds no pleasure in dead hands. Henry Jennings, privateer.

Danica Jennings inherits her father’s marine salvage company, and once she returns to Key West learns her aunt sold a treasure map from his office. Since her marine biologist position doesn’t start until fall, she decides to run the business but soon discovers her father was being blackmailed and contemplates whether his death was murder.

When Cameron Williston, III, shows up wanting to rent a salvage boat, she realizes he’s the rich jerk from Boca Raton, who wouldn’t sell the map back. But the young marine archaeologist comes up short when he goes after the treasure.

Danica has the pirate, Henry Jennings’ journal that is the key to understanding the map. They form a partnership to find the Angelica’s treasure. He wants recognition while she’s after wealth. But despite all their differences and trying to keep a business relationship, sensual sparks fly between them.

Some sharks walk on two legs and carry guns. With several attempts on their lives, Danica and Cameron realize they aren’t the only ones searching for the treasure.


Quest for Treasure, Book 1


Cameron had just enough time to make it to the salvage office before it closed. He entered the office, pushed his polarized sunglasses upon his head, and walked up to a counter, resting his arms on it. Not seeing anyone, he hit the small bell, dinging it three times in a row. He thought of the character Sheldon Cooper tapping the door three times, so he hit the bell again, ringing it five or six times straight.

A gorgeous blonde, wearing a tank top and very short blue jean shorts, walked out of an office. “Welcome to the Conch Republic. What can I do for you?”

Her question caused a lewd image to pop in his mind. He pushed the thought away and cleared his throat. “I’m Cameron Williston. I need to speak with Danny about renting a boat.”

“I can help you with that.”

He glanced toward the office, then to the warehouse in back of her. “He might be better at determining which boat I need.”

She frowned as if offended by his comment. “Danny is unavailable. I know our boats well. What do you need it for?”

“I’m an underwater archaeologist. I’m here to do research on my book for the university. I hope to find a cannon or some long lost artifact to write about.”

“What about treasure?” she asked, mischief dancing in her eyes.

He choked but regained his composure not wanting to give away the true nature of his mission. “Most of the gold ships crashed farther north of here. I doubt there’s anything of value this far south.”

“Mel Fisher found the Atocha nearby. If you need some guidance, the souvenir shops over at Mallory Square sell fake treasure maps. You might get lucky.”

He chuckled as if he found her comment amusing. “I need a hydraulic pulley system and winch. I’ll need an area I can set up as a lab. I might be out two or three days at a time, so I’d like one with quarters below deck.”

“Do you have a C-card?”

“Yes.” He removed his card. PADI-MSD. “I been diving since I was twenty. I have an advanced open water certification and rescue diving.”

She smirked. “I guess you’re a cross between Aquaman and Indiana Jones.”

“Maybe Indiana Jones, but definitely not Aquaman,” he replied, trying not to let her see just how much she agitated him.

“How many in your crew and who’s your captain?”

“It’s just me.”

She laughed. “Any master diver would know you don’t dive alone or leave a boat unmanned. On top of that the Keys are difficult to navigate. You’ll be in deep water one minute and shallow the next. It’s easy to run aground.”

“I have nautical charts.”

“Big whoop. I’m not sure what type of boats you’ve handled, but my boats require a crew. I can give you a list of skilled and dependable men. That means they won’t stab you while your back is turned.”

“I appreciate your offer, but I’ve handled several large vessels.”

“Such as?” Her eyes narrowed into a squint as if she didn’t believe him.

“Is a hundred and thirty-six-foot Horizon yacht large enough for you?”

“Were you the captain?”

“No. He let me take the controls.”

“That makes you no more of a captain than Captain Crunch.” She laughed at her own remark, making him dislike her more. She grew serious and pinned a harsh look on him. “There’s a big difference in a luxury yacht and a working salvage boat. You need a crew.”

“I’ve obtained a Florida boating Safety Education ID. I have a license. What if I put a deposit down large enough to cover the cost of the boat if I wreck it? Then when I return the boat, I get it back.”

“It’s not just my boat I have to think of. I have to consider the damage you could do to the environment.” Her clear blue eyes revealed the calculations transpiring in her mind. “I have a thirty-five-foot boat, with everything you’ll need. She’s worth around sixty-thousand.”

Cameron’s stomach flipped. He hadn’t expected it to be so much. It’d be a serious hit to his bank accounts. He considered borrowing against his retirement fund. “After I put down the sixty-thousand, how much to rent it? I need it for the summer.”

“Ten thousand up front.”

“That’s a lot.” After a quick calculation, he realized he’d barely have enough to pay his bills. “Can you give me a discount in the name of science?”

She shrugged as if it didn’t matter to her whether he rented it or not. “Good luck finding someone who’ll let you take their boat out without a crew.”

“I’ll take it.”

She appeared pleased with herself, doing a half gloating smile before regaining a serious expression. “You need to find a friend to be your dive buddy. If you don’t have anyone, you can hire someone to dive with you.”

“My equipment is new. The water is calm. Does the boat come with an emergency EPIRB system?”

“Yes. That might save you, but it might not. There are modern day pirates just waiting for a rich, pretty boy like you to drop anchor. There are rough men who’d cut your throat at the drop of a hat.” She glanced at his rings. “You’d better let Sherrie keep those in the safe.”

“I’m perfectly capable of defending myself.”

Something small and hairy leapt on the counter, scaring the bejesus out of him. Cameron jumped and his heart pounded. “What the hell?”

Danica laughed. “That’s Mr. Jingles, my monkey.” She smiled. “If you’re scared of him, wait until some big, ugly brute has a knife at your throat. And whether you live or die depends on how fast you can get that watch and those rings off.”

Despite her being gorgeous, he didn’t like her. “The watch and rings were my father’s. I’m a professor. It’s taking most of my savings to rent your damn boat.”

“That’s a lot of expense for book research. You must expect it to be a U.S. TODAY’S bestseller. I don’t know if you’ve done the math, but I don’t think your book will sell enough to cover even fuel cost.”

Cameron frowned, disliking her even more. “Tax write-off.”

About Author Elaine Meece

Elaine Meece was a previous PAN member of Romance Writers of America. Now she belongs to Writing in the Bluff and Malice of Memphis. a crime writer/mystery group. She has 19 titles. Fifteen are romantic suspense. She has a three book comedy series, Love Shack, Sugar Shack, and Let’s Shack Up. She co-authored In the Shadow of the Sun, a historical based on a true story, with her husband.

She has been a finalist and won RWA chapter contests for best romantic suspense including Launching a Star contest. Also for Love Shack, she was a finalist in the Launching a Star contest.

Elaine is married to Geoffrey Meece, who is also a writer.

In their free time, they love to go inner tubing or white water rafting.


Links to Elaine’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/45GUsAT

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3KX0XWP

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Elaine-Meece/author/B008C38P86?ref=ap_rdr&isDramIntegrated=true&shoppingPortalEnabled=true


Special Giveaway: Elaine  will gift a print copy (US Only) of DIVING INTO DANGER to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Good luck!

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Elaine, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!



20 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Romantic #Suspense: DIVING INTO DANGER, Quest for Treasure, Book 1 by Elaine Meece”

  1. Good morning, Elaine, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I love your cover. For some reason, blue always catches my eye. Add the ocean and treasurer and it’s evocative. The couple are attractive, too.

    Really enjoyed the excerpt. These two are going to be butting heads while trying to unravel the suspense elements of your story. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

    1. I enjoyed writing it. My husband and I took scuba lessons here in town, then tried it out in St. Thomas. I wanted the feel of diving. After one experience, I deciding to leave the diving to my characters.

      1. I’m with you, Elaine. I tried snorkeling when my husband and I were in Maui and it was fun, but I decided rather quickly that scuba diving was probably more than I could handle. I didn’t like all of that stuff covering my nose and face. LOL

        1. I couldn’t stop throwing up from sea sickness. The fish really liked it. Hope no one is eating. I used that experience in the book.

  2. Elaine Meece is an excellent storyteller, and this series held my attention through all three books. I was truly sad to come to the end of the third book. Each book can stand alone, but you won’t want to miss following the storyline and character development through the series! For a vacation read or just a reprieve from a hot summer afternoon, I recommend the Quest for Treasure series.

    1. Thank you. I’ve never claimed to be the most brilliant writer. I’m not all flowery or take strolls down the Yellow Brick Road. I do tell a good story. So glad you liked the series. I think Mr. Jingles stole everyone’s heart.

    1. Jaylee,
      I’m with you. Not only do I like to write adventure/ suspense, I like to read it. I started reading the sweet romances and after a while there were no surprises. My books read fast because I cut out excess jabber. I like I keep my readers guessing. These books provide suspense but also romance, action, and some humor.

    1. Great. In this book, I don’t give away who the bad person is until near the end. It will keep you reading.

  3. I absolutely adore all of Elaine’s books! I have fingers crossed she goes back and writes more in the comedy series.

    1. Thanks, Shannon. Yes, the writing bug has been nipping at me to write. I’d like to start by finishing the comedy series. There is a stand-alone suspense whispering in my ears, “Write me.”

  4. Sounds like Mr. Jingles may have a significant role in the story! Thanks for the excerpt and the giveaway.

    1. He actually does. In one of the early promotions, I gave away Spider Monkeys stuffed animals with a jingle bell around it’s neck. Seriously, these monkeys are smart and able to do amazing things. So, he was very useful. Yes, and he stole the lamplight from my characters.

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