By Joanne Rock
Tomorrow is a reissue day for me and I’m excited about it. Readers haven’t been able to pick up my 2006 book THE PLEASURE TRIP since its print release almost a decade ago and Harlequin is issuing a digital edition on July 20th. It’s a good book, first of all. But I’ll tell you about the story in minute. First I want to share my journey to write this one.
It’s odd how a writer’s mind works. I think I came up with the notion of two sister heroines who were cabaret girls first. I’d thought about setting the book in Las Vegas—a perfect showgirl kind of town—but my editor at the time wasn’t a fan of the city. So where else could I set a story with risqué dancers in a competitive show? A cruise ship quickly came to mind.
Not that I’d ever been on a cruise at the time. I saw the opportunity for my soon-to-be-book to provide me with a fun new life experience. “Honey?” I called to my husband. “I need you to take me on a cruise.”
If I’d wanted designer clothes, he might have balked. But my husband loves to travel and he was checking flights and ship itineraries within minutes. We decided to go alone for our first time since our kids were still young. It would be a belated honeymoon for us since we hadn’t taken one at the time of our wedding.
How could it not be romantic? It was an overdue honeymoon and I also happened to be writing a romance novel about it. Trip was perfect. The first many cruises since then, though all the rest have been with our sons and usually with several other members of our extended family. Once we travelled with thirteen of us!
But the first trip stands out in my mind. We rented mopeds and cruised to less-visited beaches. We drank just enough tequila to fall asleep in the sand and wake up lightly tanned. We took ballroom dancing lessons and stepped on each other’s toes. And, happily, I came up with lots of scene ideas for my book in progress, THE PLEASURE TRIP. If you’d like to read my chronicle of how the book was born, check out “From Inception to Publication: The Pleasure Trip.”
She may be on a cruise liner, but lately, Rita Frazer’s life looks more like a shabby dinghy. Working as a seamstress on a ship called the Venus, Rita hasn’t been feeling very goddesslike. More like a Swamp-Thing with red hair and a mouthful of pins. When the ship hosts a fashion show, Rita figures she finally has a chance at being a designer—until she finds herself on the runway, instead of her designs.
But Rita’s found her muse. And he’s watching the fashion show. Harrison Masters is capable of making any woman drop sails, anchor and most of her clothes. And he might be successful with Rita, but she panics when her sister disappears. Now Rita’s little dinghy—which was ready for an upgrade to full-on Love Boat only moments ago—is starting to leak. Bail water…or bail out?
***Have you ever taken a cruise? A honeymoon trip? Share with me on the boards today and I’ve got a fun treat for one random poster! Win your pick of a sweet or spicy prize – you can choose either Karen Rock’s most recent Harlequin Heartwarming, RAISING THE STAKES, or Catherine Mann’s Harlequin Desire, PURSUED BY THE RICH RANCHER! I love both these books- and the talented ladies who wrote them. It’s a win either way.