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A Caribbean cruise is the perfect setting for a dream wedding for Faith and Ted, but it doesn’t take long for that dream to capsize. Ted’s daughter hates Faith. Everyone seems to love Ted’s ex-wife. And the banned father of the groom, John Roget, requests Faith’s assistance in bringing down a jewel theft ring masterminded by his ex-wife.
Faith agrees to help, but the romantic week turns disastrous as a wedding is interrupted, suspicious deaths point to murders, and Ted’s daughter schemes to reunite her parents. Instead of diamonds being a girl’s best friend, Faith finds they’re cruising toward Davy Jones’ Locker.
Creating a Cruise
By Christina Freeburn
There have been many things I’ve research and even done to make sure I had details right for a book. Many times I’ve enjoyed trying a new scrapbooking tool or a new (or new to me technique) to ensure I describe Faith doing it properly, and even once I scraplifted a design from Faith to make sure it would be pleasing to the eye. I’d do anything (well just about there are some things in a murder mystery we only write about (like the murder parts) to make sure I’m getting the details right.
With Masked to Death, I faced a new challenge—creating a cruise. I had been on three cruises before and knew the types of activities on board, the embarking and debarking process, plus experienced the madness of the daily special sales. I had printed out a few cruise ship layouts so I could pick the style of ship best suited for my purposes and have it handy for reference. I picked the length of the cruise, 10 days as I wanted Faith going out of the Baltimore port, used the port stops I had recently went on, made out a cruise calendar to mark down the major events and to keep the timeline on track and started outlining.
It wasn’t long into my process of outlining the major scenes when I reached my first hurdle. The ten-day cruise would put the book at around 100,000 words or I’d have to skip some days thereby having Faith doing nothing at the time. Both of those options were a no. So, I returned to my cruise and shorten the length of the cruise and also now had the ship departing from Port Canaveral. I had tried to make Baltimore work but I couldn’t with the port stops I needed made.
I eliminated a stop, flipped the ports around and doubled check to make sure a cruise ship could potentially make those stops in that order. After a few hours of research (some of it was spent checking the price of cruises to see if one could fit into our budget), I had everything finalized and went back to writing out some scenes and working on the outline. Everything was going smooth until I (fortunately) decided to double check if an excursion was available on St. Thomas. No, it wasn’t. Good thing I listened to the little voice in my head saying confirm.
It was back to tweaking the itinerary. I checked the excursions available at the other port of call and discovered I could have a pivotal scene take place there. Flipping the port stops didn’t look like it would work so I moved the scene to the following port and then rearranged some other elements, added in another scene, and the story was once again flowing and back on its charted course. I never imagined it would be so hard to create a fictional cruise.
About The Author
The Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series brings together Christina Freeburn’s love of mysteries, scrapbooking, and West Virginia. When not writing or reading, she can be found in her scrapbook room or at a crop. Alas, none of the real-life crops have had a sexy male prosecutor or a handsome police officer attending.
Christina served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and also worked as a paralegal, librarian, and church secretary. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, a dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines.
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