Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Pepper O'Malley Chronicles Part 5: How safe is your hotel room?

What does a spy do?
Pepper O'Malley, the heroine in "Naked Sushi," my October 2013 Cosmo Red-Hot Read from Harlequin, finds out when she's up to her eyeballs in corporate espionage in a hotel...all I can tell you is that it's sexy and fun.

A lot of spying goes on in hotels, which made me wonder, with the RWA Conference in Atlanta coming up in two weeks, how safe is your room?
Here are my “Hotel Security Spy Tips” to help you secure your hotel room on your next trip: 

1.)  Forget getting a room on the ground floor no matter how close it is to the hotel Starbucks. Being on the ground level (or “earth” floor in European hotels) makes it easier for someone to enter your room through a door or window.     

2.)  Drooling over the hunky guy in the next room from your balcony? Imagining him jumping over his balcony into yours and sweeping you into his arms? This fantasy could be your undoing if the wrong person does the jumping. Never share a balcony with another room or book a room with a balcony that can be easily accessed from the one next door.

3.)  Never give out your room number no matter how good-looking that guy is you met in the bar. Meet him in a public  place. Obvious, I know, but it bears repeating.  

4.)  Don’t forget “sound masking” if you suspect someone may be eavesdropping or you think your room is bugged. Turn on the TV or radio or run the shower. Also, if the TV is facing your bed (which most do), be aware you could be starring on your own TV reality show: there could be a concealed hidden microphone or an embedded pinhole video cam in the TV. If you suspect this might be a “hidden extra” in your hotel room, unplug the TV. 

5.)  Cover the peephole. Voyeurs as well as spies can see you in the buff when you don’t know it by using an optical viewer that reverses the image. If you don’t have a piece of tape, dark-colored eyelash glue will block their view. It dries quickly and peels off easily.

You never know what extras your room may include. Find out what I found in my bathroom at the Hotel Saturnia in Venice, Italy.


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