Friday, August 23, 2019

Cruising the Caribbean


What a fun topic this month. We’re asked to post an excerpt from one of our books dealing with travel and or vacation. Thanks, Rhobin.
I’ve chosen one of my back-list books, A Cruise to Remember. and it's still available on Amazon and Kobo. Since I write romantic suspense, I usually have murder and mystery in my books. So, even though my excerpt is based on a cruise through the Caribbean, it has t include mystery and suspense. It was a fun book to write and I wrote it just after we had taken a cruise through the Caribbean.
Short Blurb for A Cruise to Remember
Amnesia, a cruise ship, a jewel theft ring and attempted murder combine to make it a cruise to remember. Hallie Donald has been in an accident and has amnesia. She’s traveling on the cruise as a companion. And someone is trying to kill her.
She doesn’t remember anything but someone   Interpol agent Eric Norby searches for jewel thieves on a Caribbean cruise, but his main suspect is the woman he loves.

Excerpt from A Cruise to Remember
“Did we have a date, Dr. Peterson?” Hallie asked.
“No and call me Eric. I saw what he was doing. You didn’t appear to be enjoying it. My God, woman, don’t you have any idea how to handle a situation like that? And how the hell did you get yourself into that position in the first place? I didn’t take you for a stupid person.”
“I’m not stupid,” Hallie sniffed. “But you’re right. I feel pretty dumb right now. I don’t know how I got myself into that situation. Jack out maneuvered me. It didn’t matter what I did, he wouldn’t give up.”
Hallie trembled as they walked away. She couldn’t forget how Jack had treated her.
“I suggest you stay away from him in the future. I might not be around to save you next time. Are you sure you’re all right?” Eric stopped and looked down at her.
“Yes, I think so. Don’t worry. I don’t plan to let him anywhere near me again.”
“Good.”
“I kicked and scratched and even yelled at him to leave me alone. Nothing worked and no one paid any attention when I yelled. I-I think he was going to try and make love to me right here on the deck. Thank you for rescuing me.”
Out of the corner of her eye Hallie caught a glimpse of a tall attractive redhead watching them. The woman shot Hallie an angry look before she turned and stomped toward the bar.
“You looked terrified. I couldn’t believe you’d let him grope you like that.” Eric snapped.
“I couldn’t stop him. I did punch him. I even managed to draw blood at one point,” she said.
“You need to learn to throw a better punch than that if you want to do any damage.”
“Maybe you could teach me?”
Eric shook his head, “I don’t get it. I could see you had no idea how to handle him--so Eric to the rescue. By the way, he wanted sex, he didn’t want to make love to you, trust me. There is definitely a difference. Don’t you remember anything about relationships? Or appropriate behavior between men and women?”
“Nope.”
“You can’t remember anything about how you reacted in the past?”
“How could I? I don’t remember my past. How would I know how I reacted? And maybe no one has ever tried to rape me before. I don’t know. Give me a break. I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
“Good. I hope so. You have no knowledge at all about what happens on a date?”
“No, not really; conversation, eating, doing some kind of activity I guess. I’m going to have to learn that process all over again, except, it’s going to be harder because when you’re an adult you’re supposed to know what it’s all about. People expect that you know the games and the rules. Jack certainly thought I did. I feel like a child trying to play grown up games.”
“I guess I am going to have to give you lessons.” Eric warmed her with his smile. “Can I buy you a drink?”
“You don’t have to. I’m fine now. Were you with someone when you noticed my difficulty?”
“Why?”
“Because I saw a lady standing a few feet from you when we walked away from Jack. She looked really mad, and I think those were daggers she shot in my direction.”
“The redhead?”
“That’s the one.”
“I was sort of with her. She cornered me on deck. I offered to buy her a drink. That’s all. I think she read more into it than I meant. So, in a way, maybe you saved me, too.”
“Somehow, I doubt that. She had a great figure.”
“I’d hardly noticed.”
“Right.”
   “You’re still shaking. Come on over here where it’s quiet.” Eric found a sheltered corner, away from most of the passengers. “Sit down, doctors’ orders. I’ll be right back with two drinks. You could use something to relax you. They have special sail-away drinks. You okay with that you?”
   He slipped his uniform jacket off and draped it around her shoulders, over her shawl.
   “Sounds great, but it’s not necessary.” She felt warmer in the jacket and his musky male scent enveloped her. It was pleasant and sexual. She knew didn’t react to all men’s scent this way. She looked up and noticed his lip curled slightly as he smiled.
   “Yeah, it is. Keep the jacket on to help warm you up. I’ll be right back.”
   Hallie sat on the edge of the chair. She forced herself to take deep, calming breaths. She relaxed slightly and leaned back. Eric’s jacket slipped from her shoulders to the deck. She bent to pick it up when she felt rather than heard a buzzing sound, something like a mosquito, past her left ear.
   Strange.
   She sat back up and twisted around to adjust Eric’s jacket. There was a hole in the back of the deck chair.
   Funny, I don’t remember it being there before I picked up the jacket.
   She ran her finger over the hole.
   “Here we go.” Eric carried a couple of tall, red, orange and yellowed colored drinks topped off with parasols.
   “What were you doing?” he asked.
   “I’m not sure. There was a funny sound, like a mosquito, and I think this hole just appeared.”
   “What the hell...?” Eric placed the drinks onto a nearby table. He ran his finger over the hole.
   “It’s a bloody bullet hole.”
   “A what? You’re kidding?”
   “No, I’m not. Where were you when it happened?” Eric looked at the hole. He squinted back in the direction it would have come from.
   “I guess that’s when I bent down to pick up your jacket.”
   “My God, you could have been killed.” Eric pulled Hallie into his arms and squeezed her against his chest. “You’re sure you’re all right?”
   “I think so. I mean, I wasn’t hit or anything. I can’t figure out what’s happening. This has to be one of the worst nights of my life.”

I’m off to read where my fellow authors have traveled.

8 comments:

  1. Loved the description - like a kid playing grown up - to explain what she was feeling trying to find her way through amnesia.

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  2. Great excerpt--drama, suspense, and intrigue all wrapped together in a few paragraphs.

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  3. Three sources of major tension in a short passage! Well done.

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  4. The whole scene ratchets up at a good pace and the cherry is the bullet.

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