dying-for-a-diamondMy name is Sierra Sullivan and I’m the cruise director on the Celebration, a 2200 passenger ship sailing the Caribbean. It’s a great job most of the time. Mingling with passengers, visiting tropical islands, giving dance lessons, and hosting bingo are all part of my daily activities.

Unfortunately, on this voyage, so is murder.

I ran into my cousin, Laurel McKay, and her husband, Tom Hunter, who are on their honeymoon. Laurel’s family is known to be a bit on the zany side. For example, they all thought it was a good idea to surprise Laurel and Tom on their honeymoon.

Honeymoon for eight! That’s a recipe for homicide right there.

Back when I used to babysit Laurel, she always seemed to be a magnet for mischief. According to her husband, she’s become a magnet for murder.

I can’t complain since I’m going to need Laurel and Tom’s help on this trip. You’ve all heard that familiar saying, “no good deed goes unpunished?” Well, it certainly applies to me. I had offered to help Evelyn Peabody, one of the cruise line’s Platinum members. The huge diamond ring she purchased in Grand Turk needed to be resized, but she didn’t have time to wait. When I offered to deliver the ring and her other purchases directly to her stateroom, she couldn’t have been happier.

A few hours later, I discovered that an unhappy Evelyn Peabody could be more forceful and more threatening than a category four hurricane. Not only did she accuse me of stealing her diamond ring, she insisted the captain lock me up in the brig.

I was innocent, of course. But there was one teensy weensy problem. While I was playing emcee in the theater, the cruise security staff decided to go through my stateroom.

Guess whose beach bag contained one of the missing jewels?

It’s hard to believe my situation could get any worse but then a murder occurred, and I landed at the top of the suspect list!

Thank goodness, I have Laurel and her husband on my side. Tom is a former homicide detective and Laurel’s hobby is solving mysteries. Although her investigative technique appears to be more Inspector Clouseau than Miss Marple.

I don’t care how Laurel stumbles about solving these mysteries. I just hope she can do it before the cruise ends, or my career, and my freedom, could end as well.

After all, one of these days, I’d kind of like to star in a series of my own!


You can read more about Sierra and her adventures in Dying for a Diamond, the sixth book in the “Laurel McKay” humorous mystery series.

Warm breezes, tropical seas, a handsome new husband? What more could a girl dream of?

When newlyweds Laurel McKay and Tom Hunter embark on their honeymoon cruise, they look forward to sunny days exploring the Caribbean islands and intimate evenings together. Their dream quickly goes “poof,” when Laurel’s family decides to tag along and their romantic duet turns into a party of eight.

The first night on the ship, Laurel witnesses someone “going overboard.” But no one is reported missing, and the chief of security gives Laurel’s sighting the same credibility as an alien landing.

After a series of diamond thefts, Laurel discovers that suspicious shipmates are as plentiful as calories on this cruise. When a murder occurs, and a family member becomes the top suspect, Laurel is determined to unmask the killer before her dream honeymoon becomes a nautical nightmare.

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About the author
Cindy Sample is the national bestselling author of the Laurel McKay humorous romantic mystery series. She is a four-time LEFTY Award Finalist for best humorous mystery. Her experiences with on-line dating sites fueled the concept for Dying For A Date.

Dying For A Dance, winner of the 2011 Northern California Publishers & Authors award for fiction, is based on her experiences in the glamorous world of competitive ballroom dancing. Who knew dancing could be so deadly?

Dying For A Daiquiri, a 2014 Silver Falchion Award finalist for best traditional mystery, moves the action to the Big Island of Hawaii. Dying For A Dude, a 2015 Next Generation Indie Award Finalist in both humor and mystery brings the action back to the California Gold Country. Get ready to hang on to your saddle because the West just got wilder!

Dying For A Donut, is set in the Apple Hill area, home to more than fifty apple farms and bakeries. Talk about dangerous research! Then on to the 2017 release of Dying For A Diamond. Laurel wanted to take another vacation (Or maybe Cindy did) so the gang sets off on a Caribbean cruise. A killer cruise!

Cindy is a past president of the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime and has served on the boards of the Sacramento Opera and the YWCA. She has two wonderful adult children who live too far away.

Visit Cindy on her website at cindysamplebooks.com, on Facebook and on @cindysample1.

All comments are welcomed.

Dying For A Diamond is available at online booksellers.

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