Books,  Celebrate Lit

The Tempering Agent by Victoria Pitts Caine


About the Book


Book Title: The Tempering Agent

Author: Victoria Pitts Caine

Release Date: February 14, 2014

Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself thrown back into the murder investigation of her fiancé, Trey Whittington. While she was a suspect three years ago, she’s now working with the police to find the murderer, Egyptian artifact trafficker, Zarka El-Din. During a sting operation in Siwa, she and Agent Donnie Barnes are drawn to each other but Priscilla, overcome by personal ghosts from her past, decides a relationship isn’t possible. Priscilla realizes she’s the bait in the ruse and uncovers others involved with El-Din. Will she and Donnie reconcile and unravel the reason behind Trey’s death before El-Din kills her, too?

My Thoughts

I gave The Tempering Agent 3 stars (very reluctantly).  I was intrigued by it, because I thought the primary story would be a mystery. I was challenging myself, because I generally am not that interested in archeology, so decided to challenge myself with a bit of something I’m not drawn to.

First, what I liked. The discussion of grief recovery was very good.  Priscilla (the leading lady) has not recovered from the murder of her fiancé in during a dig, 3 years earlier, she kept working and ignored the pain.  She has to confront this.  It was interesting to learn about some Egyptian history and mythology and the references to various gems and precious metals at the beginning of each chapter was different and nice.  And the mystery portion kind of helped keep me interested.

But …. And I hate the “but”, none of these things were enough to help me really enjoy the story.  I feel like there was a lot of interesting potential in the story, but much of the story was relegated to Priscilla and Agent Donnie Barnes, mentally obsessing over their feelings (or lack thereof) for each other.  And yes, unfortunately, there were a lot of references to electricity and currents and all that cheesy romance talk that I dislike, that propels me right out of the story.  I really wish the “crime story” was more developed and more in the forefront along with Priscilla’s journey out of her grief, which actually seemed to resolve much too quickly, considering it had been festering for 3 years.

When Priscilla needed protection, she ended up temporarily living with Agent Barnes, at the beginning of their romance.  Nothing unseemly happened, but still, since this is written in the Christian genre, it’s not a good precedent to depict that being an OK thing for romantically involved people.  It would have been better, to invite the family that they were friends with to join them, as chaperones, and to avoid the appearance of evil.  Also, the family needed to hide as well, it would have been a good choice to bring them into the “safe house”.

DISCLAIMER:  I received this book as a gift.  No compensation was received.  The opinions I express are provided without obligation.

Click HERE to purchase a copy.


About the Author


Victoria Pitts Caine is a native Californian and lives in the central portion of the state. Her varied interests include genealogy and exotic gemstone collecting both of which she’s incorporated into her novels.

The author has received recognition in both fiction and nonfiction from: Enduring Romance top 10 picks for 2008, William Saroyan Writing Conference, Byline Magazine, Writer’s Journal Magazine, Holt International Children’s Services Magazine, and The Southern California Genealogical Society. Her first novel was published in 2007 followed by two more as well as novellas and short stories in anthologies.

Victoria is a former staff technician in air pollution control. She is the mother of two daughters. Now retired from the work force, Victoria and her husband enjoy travel, cooking, and are self-appointed “foodies”.

Guest post from Vicki Caine

Since childhood, I have been interested in genealogy and ancient Egypt. Two of my prior novels, Alvarado Gold and Cairo, let me follow my fantasies into those two areas. Donnie the hero in The Tempering Agent is also in the other two books, and it was his turn to find his own romance. When archaeologist Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself drawn back into the murder investigation of her fiancé and the missing breast plate of the high priest, Agent Donnie Barnes, is just the man to help her out, even if she doesn’t think so.

Traveling along with Priscilla and Donnie, I discovered some interesting facts about ancient Egypt, from the ruins in the Siwa Desert to the mystery of the Valley of the Kings. The genealogy factor in my novels is Donnie is loosely based on my cousin. Alvarado Gold tells the story of my family while Cairo and The Tempering Agent fueled my inquisitiveness about Egypt.

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To celebrate her tour, Victoria is giving away

Grand prize: Murano type heart necklace with lampwork bracelet and $25.00 Amazon gift certificate

1st Place: Green and white lampwork pendant and earrings

2nd Place: Set of three lampwork earrings

3rd place: Set of three holiday themed earrings

4th place: One ten $10 Amazon gift card

5th place: One ten $10 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

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