My theme for the month of March is “SPRING BREAK.” This week I’m featuring a Christian romantic suspense novel, The Glass Bottom Boat, which is set in Jamaica. You can take a break from whatever is going on in your life and travel to Jamaica between the pages of this book.
The Inspiration behind the Book:
“The inspiration for The Glass Bottom Boat was sparked way back in 2013, when my family vacationed in Jamaica for Spring Break. Even though I have rather a fear of drowning, the resort glass bottom boat piqued my curiosity and we planned a trip for our very last day. Unfortunately, when our last vacation day dawned, a storm swept through the area and no boats were allowed on the ocean. We missed our one chance. I was bitterly disappointed! And then my vivid imagination went into overdrive as I considered various scenarios out on the ocean on such a boat, and exactly how scary it could be for someone afraid of drowning. The rest, well—you can read about it all in the book! Suffice to say The Glass Bottom Boat is a page-turner melding elements of romance, faith, and nail-biting suspense in a tropical setting…”
About the book:
Surrounded by the romantic paradise of her sister’s destination wedding in Jamaica, Madison Grey realizes she must overcome her paralyzing fear of the ocean—and her broken heart— to start living again. Luke Alexander, the groom’s brother, is a missionary who has come to terms with a life of singleness—until he meets Madison.
During the wedding, their personal connection intensifies when a stalker stirs up haunting memories of her gold-digging ex-fiancé. After Madison mysteriously disappears and the newlyweds receive a ransom note, Luke dives into action to find her. Will he save Madison in time or will she be forced to suffer her worst nightmare… in the depths of a glass bottom boat?
Excerpt taken from CHAPTER ELEVEN:
Madison looked along the stretch of beach ahead—it was deserted. Wasn’t the security guy supposed to be around? Of course, he couldn’t be everywhere at the same time, but her skin prickled. Another movement, and she whipped her head back to the dock. Maybe it was a bird. Or maybe she was going crazy.
She slowed her steps. Time to turn back. For the thousandth time, I wish I could be courageous.
She caught her breath and took one more look around in case the security guard appeared. Maybe that would help her heart rate return to normal. Jogging in place, she faced the ocean, shielded her eyes, and tried to make out whether there was anyone or anything at the end of the dock. Only the one boat was moored, but it didn’t look like anybody was out there. Unless someone was inside the boat, of course. It was difficult to tell. She removed one earbud in case there were voices…
A heavy hand on her bare shoulder spun her around. Madison gasped. She was face to face with him. In her next breath, the man held her in a rough embrace.
“What’s going on?” Her voice was shrill, fearful. “Who are you and what do you want?”
Where had he come from? The palm trees? Madison tried to wriggle out of his strong arms as panic pulsated in her chest.
“I want you.” The stranger growled and turned her toward the ocean.
It was him, the blond man who had followed her the past weekend. Same black clothing, shock of blond hair, shades. And he was pure muscle. She struggled again to get free, ripping the remaining earbud from her ear. He pressed her hands alongside her body and tipped her off balance, and she watched her silver iPod and her sunglasses hit the sand.
An ugly tattoo of a dragon danced before her eyes, writhing while the man’s arm flexed around her waist. Madison screamed, but his meaty hand stifled it. In one fluid motion, her legs went from under her, and she was being carried to the dock. In a mad scramble, she flailed her legs and twisted her head around to slam it into the guy’s face. He grunted when his mirrored shades flew off. Icy blue eyes stared back at her, haunting and evil.
He studied her intently for a heartbeat, their noses almost touching. The strong scent of expensive cologne stung her nostrils and he squeezed her even tighter. Blue Eyes marched on, and through her tears, she saw their destination and somehow found the energy to thrash in his arms one more time.
Where was everyone? Why couldn’t anybody see what was happening? Was she being kidnapped?
She glanced back in the direction of the deserted beach. Not a soul walked along this stretch. Why had she chanced running this morning? And why hadn’t she turned back when she first felt anxious? Was that God nudging her? Foolish girl.
Madison bared her teeth and bit into the fleshy part of Blue Eyes’s palm. He didn’t even flinch but clamped his hand even tighter. She fought the growing nausea in the pit of her stomach. Another man wearing sunglasses and a hoodie appeared as they neared the end of the dock. Two against one would be no match. Madison used every last ounce of energy she could muster to kick and elbow her kidnapper. But he was too strong, and he leered as she fought back. It was hopeless. The other man took something from his hoodie pocket. With a flourish, he brandished a yellow cloth, and as Blue Eyes pulled his hand away, the cloth was pressed across her nose and mouth.
“No.” She screamed into the fabric. The suffocating smell of antiseptic and alcohol consumed her senses. Thoughts of Chloe in her wedding dress, her parents in their backyard, her students at school, and then Luke by the bonfire swirled lazily in the corners of her mind. Focus, Madison. Focus. She tried to turn her face away from the cloth, but the other man’s firm hands grasped the back of her head in a vise grip. She could see a blurring image of hoodie guy as he stood over her and watched for several seconds, his head cocked like he was memorizing her.
And the last thing she spotted before the haziness turned black was the glass bottom boat.
About the author:
A published Christian author, Laura writes heartwarming encouragement for your soul. She has three Christian romantic suspense novels published as well as a Christian teen fiction trilogy, marriage book, middle-grade novel, several anthology books, devotionals, articles, and stories in magazines and online.
Laura is a chocoholic mom of three, married to her high school sweetheart—originally from the UK, they live in Kelowna, British Columbia as audacious empty-nesters.
Author media links:
FACEBOOK PAGE: @LauraThomasAuthor