Hello. I am Dr. Riley Cooper. Riley. It is a sincere pleasure to meet you. I teach Archaeology and Mediterranean History & Trade at Boston College. I live in a house I inherited from my maternal grandmother, and where I grew up from the age of fourteen. My parents, professional photographers, were killed in a plane crash in the Sahara desert. Sometimes they seem so close to me I swear I can smell my father’s woodsy aftershave, or my mother’s delicate blend of Dove, bath powder and Joy parfum.
On my last day with Mom & Dad, we ate breakfast before sunrise. They had hired a plane. They were going to shoot aerials of The Valley of Kings. I was feeding baby goats behind our rented home when the caretaker’s wife came in, whooshed me to my room and allowed me only one small bag of clothes. I was put on a plane to Boston, and was simply told my parents were dead. It’s been twenty-four years, and I am still in a state of numbed acceptance.
I was told to keep my grief to myself. Grandmother had no use for a cry-baby. I did what I was told. I always do what I am told. Grandmother was no-nonsense.
With two deaths so close together (my grandfather had died only months before my mother) she become stern. Not a soft edge anywhere. I was in the throes of adolescence and that was a recipe for disaster. I struggled with the adjustment. I did my best to win her over. I just couldn’t manage it. She was rigid and controlling. There were no spontaneous trips, no carefree afternoons doing next-to-nothing. I became obsessive-compulsive, and while people who know me find it humorous, I find it annoying and a gigantic pain in the ass. There are many times when I hate myself because I can’t be any other way. Things have to be a certain way or I can’t even think. It is crippling at times, especially if I am interacting with other people who just regard me as a carnival act.
Trying to work and socialize and move through the world of the normal person is extremely exhausting to me, and I hide it as best I can. But people close to me know how I am and for the most part they are understanding.
Swimming was my one solace. I had always been a strong, skilled swimmer, and my grandmother, in her one act of kindness, allowed me to join a swim team. I made friends easily, and I was at an age where friends were critical. I couldn’t talk to my grandmother about anything except social obligations, etiquette, and proper, lady-like pursuits such as playing classical piano or working on fund raisers for every charity known to man.
I had no interest in playing piano under a spotlight at the Met. That was my grandmother’s vision. She was not pleased I chose archaeology for my life’s work.
I taught at Arizona State until Grandmother died. Returning to Boston, I reunited with Dr. Peter MacAbee, my Doctorate adviser from Arizona, who was now as Boston College. He offered me a professorship and I jumped. I have been here ten years. I was about to become as Interim Dean, but now I am packing my bags for Italy!
I am joining with UnderWaterSeaAdventures – UWSA – as their Team Archaeologist for Expedition Indigo. We have located a shipwreck off the coast of Sorrento, close to Capri. After reading through some pages of an old journal, I am convinced that the Indigo was carrying trunks of personal as well as state belongings of Charlemagne, First Holy Roman Emperor.
The lead Dive Master, Stefano Abruzzi, and I have grown very close. I can’t wait to see him again. He’s Italian, gorgeous, charming, he makes me feel like I am the only woman in the universe. I think I have found the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. We are going to have a blast working together.
I have never dived in the deep ocean before. The Big Blue. I’ve never lived on a research vessel. That is, not for months at a time. And it won’t all be smooth sailing. We’re going to have some trouble from an unsavory character named is François Gustain. He’s really bad news.
I hope you follow along as we head to Italy and excavate the Indigo from the depths of the sea. I hope I make it interesting for you. Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how you are and if you have any questions about our expedition. I’d love to hear from you!
You can read more about Riley in Expedition Indigo, the first book in the new “Riley Cooper” mystery series, published by Fiery Seas Publishing.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on August 21 for the chance to win a copy of EXPEDITION INDIGO. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, unless specified.
Meet the author
Stacy’s passion for adventure has taken her to five continents to explore over fifty countries. Stacy also plays guitar and sings, when she isn’t traveling around the world in search of new locales and new stories.
Stacy served on the Board of Trustees of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, the Pacific Northwest Mystery Writers of America chapter, and currently serves as Vice President of the Southeast Mystery Writers of America (SEMWA) chapter. She is represented by Jill Marr of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She lives in Georgia with her husband and a very large house cat named Valentino.
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