A Contemporary, Comic, Romantic, Not-Quite-Cozy Series

Smart. Intelligent. Sexy. Funny. Compassionate. Ex-event planner/current yoga instructor Sophie Batchelder is all these things and doesn’t realize it, especially after her studio abruptly fires her and her fiancé dumps her for her nemesis. Accepting a job on a cruise ship when their yoga instructor dies during the cruise, Sophie embarks on a new chapter of self-discovery in every way, encompassing comedy, romance, and mystery. Discovering that her predecessor’s death was murder and not an accident sets her off to find out why.

The series of contemporary mysteries salutes the cozy while breaking ever-tightening formula, and takes Sophie around the world on the Diamond Charisma, a luxury cruise ship. Her relationship with ex-cop Sebastian Anger, now one of the ship’s engineers after his own life crisis, grows, along with friendships and rivalries among the different factions. Names, eyes, and living the path of yoga are important to Sophie, and, therefore, constantly challenged. Plot-wise, each book stands alone, while the emotional arcs of their relationship and character growth evolves from book-to-book.

The ship’s multi-cultural ensemble of entertainers, restaurant personnel, hostesses, dancers, crew, staff, ship’s officers, a tarot reader, an illusionist, and recurring characters of a pair of top-of-the-line, fun-loving jewel thieves Stella and Bartholomew, will also evolve over the books, along with a changing cast of passengers. The short time frames and intense proximity provided by the ship provide a perfect platform for conflict and intrigue. The mix of personnel on a typical cruise ship, the hierarchy, the politics, and the bizarre passenger demands provide endless opportunities for both conflict and comedy.

The ship’s route will change from book to book (similar to a luxury cruise line using two ships on a multitude of international routes). There’s potential to take Sophie off the ships at some point (since workers are required to take breaks every ten months), and have her adventures continue in locales such as a ski lodge, a spa, a yoga retreat, her grandmother’s Florida retirement community, a film set, or even an extended port stay. Historical and other interesting trivia and sensory details pertinent to exotic locales meld to plot and stories, adding local flavors to delight travelers both seasoned and armchair. Optional back matter will include travel tips, site suggestions, and fun facts/local legends when real locations are used in the book.

For readers who  enjoy the mysteries by Joelle Charbonnaeu, Annette Blair, Heather Blake, or Juliet Blackwell, with a touch of Candace Havens. The setting, characters, situations, and immediacy of the story to the passengers’ experience make this an entirely unique concept.

Book 1 -- Savasana at Sea