A day in the life of Cruise Director Sierra Sullivan by Cindy Sample

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.

13 responses to “A day in the life of Cruise Director Sierra Sullivan by Cindy Sample

  1. Barbara Hackel

    I have read other books by this author, but never from this series. After your blog today, Dru Ann, I will have to correct that oversight! Thanks for the post!
    🙂

  2. Sounds like another fun series to me.

  3. I have read every book of this series and they are wonderful! Each book gets a little bit better, which doesn’t seem possible given how good they are. Ms. Sample writes the funniest and most suspenseful chase scenes I’ve ever read. Each book reads like a standalone, but give yourself a treat and read the whole series. Dying for a Diamond, as the rest of the series, is a pure delight.

  4. Is Laurel McKay Cindy Sample’s alter ego? Maybe, but I can’t see Cindy getting involved in as many crazy murders as Laurel does! Although, there’s Tom Hunter…! This sounds like a terrific addition to Cindy’s tales of Lauren’s misadventures, all great, funny reads! Grab it and let her take you on a scenic cruise!

  5. I loved the interview, and like others on here, I’m putting it higher on my TBR list. I have it downloaded on my Kindle but I’ve been reading a couple of others for review. You’re next, Cindy! It’s time for some light-hearted fun 🙂 All the best with sales, sugar! Lo

  6. Sounds like a fun read. And the best way for me to go on a cruise. I’ve loved Laurel’s other adventures and can’t wait to read this one.

  7. Kathleen L. Asay

    You captured the gist and the zest that is a Cindy Sample book. Love these books. And if I ever found myself on a cruise ship with a murderer, I hope there’d be a Laurel McKay on board, too.

  8. Jacqueline Seewald

    Entertaining and clever blog, Cindy. Nothing like a cruise with a murder mystery thrown in!

  9. This series sounds like so much fun!

  10. Laurel is such a fun friend to hang out with and I’m thrilled to get to do it again in Dying to a Diamond.

  11. Thanks for a nice post. And the heads up. They look like great reads Books are on my TBR Thanks Dru

  12. Thanks so much for hosting Sierra and the gang, Dru Ann. I love this blog.