Shannon here: Sara L. Jameson won a publishing contract from the first annual Scrivenings Press Get Pubbed Contest for Cruise to Death. Today, she’s sharing her inspiration for her debut Romantic Suspense. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: June 12th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Sara:
The story was inspired by a Moselle/Rhine riverboat cruise my parents treated our family to in 2007 or thereabouts. The book replicates our cruise stops. While on the trip, it occurred to me this was a ripe setting for a romantic suspense novel about potential terrorist activities on riverboat cruises and their ports of call.
The heroine, Riley Williams, was inspired by a friend’s four-year-old granddaughter. I used to wonder what that spunky, fearless, vivacious child would grow up to be like. Clearly a beauty with a saucy grin, even at the age of four. I decided to honor her by naming the protagonist in Cruise to Death after her.
Riley’s career as a young American singer, in European concert and opera houses, was drawn from my own life decades ago. Including her nightmare experiences with dance. As budding artists, we were assured if 5% of all our auditions yielded a contract, our career was advancing well. However, those lean weeks between gigs were fertile soil for learning to trust God as my provider. I can truthfully say He never let me down. He always provided a gig in the nick of time.
While that life lesson could easily have been what Riley learns about herself during the cruise, events in the story force her to deal with other issues: is she living the life God called her to live? Have the vows and promises she’s made been His will for her? Is her refusal to let the love of a godly man into her life God’s plan for her?
A true romantic at heart, Texas-born Jacob Coulter works in Brussels, Belgium as an anti-terrorist intel analyst for Interpol. A trait Jacob and I share is a passion for injustices to be righted.
After terrorists murder his best friend, an undercover agent for Interpol, Jacob is reluctant to pursue a serious relationship with a woman. Like his friend, he’s fearful he’d leave her a widow and a single mom. And Riley, with her quirky but courageous and compassionate nature, is off-the-charts different from any woman he’s known. Besides, her relationship with her former boyfriend makes her the No. 1 suspect among possible terrorists onboard. That, coupled with Jacob’s unhealed wounds from his past, have left him reluctant to trust again.
Like other European river-boat cruise routes, a Rhine/Moselle cruise oozes with romantic settings. Hillsides dotted with castles and terraced vineyards, medieval villages with night-lit Gothic church spires, fabulous meals onboard, and a relaxed pace are all ingredients for a romantic vacation. Or a memorable way to celebrate a wedding anniversary.
And a lovely place for Riley and Jacob to meet and fall in love.
About Sara: Sara L. Jameson makes her home in the desert southwest. When she isn’t working on a new novel, she enjoys swimming, cooking, reading, and gardening. She writes romantic suspense and historical suspense with a romantic thread, often set just prior to or during WWII.
About the book – Cruise to Death:
Winner of the 2020 Scrivenings Press Get Pubbed Contest!
When opera singer Riley Williams agrees to sub as a musical-theater performer on a luxury Rhine/Moselle River boat cruise, she gets more than she bargained for. Not only does she have to come up with 250 Broadway songs, she must dance with the male passengers. Dance—the subject she nearly failed in her conservatory courses, and the cause of her recent flop in an opera house. To make matters worse, she overhears two terrorists at a café in Antwerp, Belgium, discussing the transfer of deadly Agent X to the highest bioterrorist bidders.
Interpol Agent Jacob Coulter, an anti-terrorism desk analyst in Brussels, Belgium, insists on serving as an undercover agent after his best friend Noel is murdered by terrorists from the cell he infiltrated in Brussels. Shortly before Noel dies, he manages to tell Jacob snippets of the terrorists’ plans. Plans that seem to involve the same river boat cruise Riley is on.
When Interpol learns of Riley’s encounter with terrorists at the café, Jacob’s supervisor insists he work with her to identify the terrorists and retrieve Agent X. But their relationship is fraught with distrust because of Riley’s suspicious past and a romantic attraction neither of them wants.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Question for Readers: Have you ever been on a cruise? If so, where did you go? If not, would you like to go on a cruise? If not, why? If so, where?
Come back June 4th for Leeann Betts!