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SAVASANA AT SEA: A Fresh, Fun, Not-Quite-Cozy Mystery
The First Nautical Namaste Mystery blends yoga & cruise ship life
By: Fearless Ink
Smart. Intelligent. Sexy. Yoga Instructor Sophie Batchelder's wonderful life gets turned upside down when she's fired from her job and dumped by her fiancé in the same day. Grabbing the opportunity to assist the yoga instructor on a cruise ship headed for the Bahamas for ten days, she discovers her predecessor's body, and the rumors that she's taking over in that predecessor's blackmail operation put her own life in danger. She must use intelligence, humor, and intuition to clear her name and save her own life.
Along the way, she's swept up in the frenetic, stressful, life that happens beyond the "employees only" door of a cruise ship, and finds romantic possibilities and disappointments. Can she live a yogic path and survive cruise ship life? Which of the sexy new men in her life should she trust -- Sebastian Anger, the engineer, who has secrets, but who makes her heart flutter with either pleasure or rage? Andrew, the nurse who goes out of his way to be friendly to her, no matter what the rumors? Or Detective Duncan Cooke, with the limp, the bedroom eyes, and the five o'clock shadow? Or Dhruv, the head of the Charisma's security, who might have his own agenda to protect the ship at all costs?
Author Ava Dunne worked in the office of a cruise ship in San Francisco in the 1980s and she interviewed over 160 ex-cruise-ship employees in the course of her research. A mystery lover, she was unhappy with the flaky, unflattering portraits of yoga practitioners in the fiction she read.
"The yoga instructors I know are grounded, smart, funny, compassionate people," she says. "Not flaky. Not weird. Not unreliable. And people who practice yoga come from all walks of life. Yoga has exploded over the past years, participation increasing over 30%, with over 20 million people involved in regular practice. In spite of recent scandals on major cruise lines, the cruise industry rakes in over $37 BILLION in the US economy alone, offering over 314,000 jobs. A cruise ship has an element of locked room mystery to it, so many people on a floating resort, yet modern amenities and port calls keep it fresh."
"I wanted more flexibility than a hard-and-fast cozy formula gave me," Dunne continues. "Which is why it's not quite a cozy. There are cozy elements in the book, but there are times when I choose to break that formula to serve story and characters."
Each book in the series will feature a different route taken by the fictional Diamond Line's Charisma. Savasana at Sea travels from New York through the Bahamas and Florida over ten days. The second book in the series, Davy Jones Dharma (releasing November 2018), takes a route through Bermuda. Future books will travel through Alaska, the Mediterranean, and Scandinavia, among other locations.
"Cruise ships are floating resorts, populated by interesting people from all over the world. It's a mix and sometimes a clash of cultures and beliefs, all confined on this space in the middle of the ocean. The possibilities are endless!" Dunne enthuses. The book features a large, international, ensemble cast supporting Sophie's adventures, comprised of both passengers and the ship's crew.
The book's back matter also contains travel tips and links to further information on real locations within the books. The series website can be found at http://nauticalnamaste.devonellingtonwork.com.
Dunne's other work includes short fiction, including "Just Jump in and Fly", a comic fantasy romance set around the winter holidays, and the short Twinkle Tavern mysteries set in fictional Twinkle, Vermont, which debuted with "Plot Bunnies" set at Easter.
Savasana at Sea releases digitally on November 15, 2017. Buy links are available at the Nautical Namaste website: http://www.nauticalnamaste.devonellingtonwork.com/
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