Thursday, June 11, 2015

She Rides with Genghis Khan by Pamela Boles Eglinski Excerpt

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Catalina Syrah and Nicholas Bonhomme are back in action. She Rides with Genghis Khan mixes fact with fiction, building layer upon layer of nail-biting suspense as a modern day caravan winds its way along the ancient Silk Road. Treasured documents and secret histories guide them deep into the heart of Mongolia where they seek the burial site of Genghis Khan--one time ruler of the known world and presumed guardian of the all-powerful Buddha Jewel.

Chapter 1
Central Intelligence Agency
Year: 2002

They called and asked if she wanted to be a spy. “Why not?” she replied, assuming her two year old application had finally made it to the top of the pile.

Twelve hours later Catalina Syrah was in Langley, Virginia, sitting at a conference table with a dozen other recruits. A former Army sergeant stood at the head of the table. He leaned over, hands spread flat, palms down, sizing them up as he worked his way through the CIA training manual. The man had a voice like an RPG on a winter’s night.

First assignment is a three-day survival exercise. We call it an exercise, but it’s really a test. You screw this up and you’re outa the program. Even the desk jockeys have to pass this.”

The sergeant smirked.

And you,” he said, pointing at Catalina, “you need to be ugly, mean, and smart to survive in the CIA. From your looks, you aren’t any of those. Want to quit now or wait until you’re running around in the woods with eight big fat oozing blisters on our feet, a dozen bug bites that itch like fucking hell, scrapes on your face and arms, and you’re so hungry you could eat poison-ivy berries? Beauty queen,” he growled, kicking the leg of her chair. “I’ll bet you a hundred bucks you’re gonna wash out. Whatdaya say?”

She didn’t say a word, just took a hundred-dollar bill out of her pack and slapped it on the table.

Eyes wide, the recruits stared at her, then at the sergeant, then back at her again.

What’s it about men? If you’re ugly, they make fun of you, and if you’re halfway good-looking they think you’re a bozo. Some men are born assholes.

The next morning four teams, with three recruits in each, were blindfolded and deposited somewhere in the Virginia woods. Their assignment: rendezvous at the Washington Monument at eight o’clock Tuesday morning. They had no food, water, cell phones, tents, or other kind of equipment. All they had were the clothes on their backs and the shoes on their feet.

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