Holiday Spotlight: Life in the Danger Zone
Welcome to a special holiday spotlight post featuring Life in the Danger Zone by Patricia B. Tighe, published by Swoon Romance! This series looks like so much fun and I am so excited to share it with you. Read on to learn more about the book and find out how Patricia celebrates the holidays!
Sixteen-year- old Rose Mulligan’s plan for the summer cruise with her grandparents is simple—read mysteries in the sunshine and see historical sites. It doesn’t include joining a young people’s tour group or crushing on a boy whose flirting runs hot and cold. And it definitely doesn’t include being accused of theft.
Sam Briggs also has a plan for the trip—hang out with his uncle and cousins, and avoid thinking about his stupid parents. But when family members pair-up with strangers, Sam is left wanting to hit something. The only bright spot is shy, constantly blushing Rose, a girl he really needs to avoid. She’s too nice for a meaningless hookup. Then why can’t he stop thinking about her?
Determined to clear her name, Rose decides to find out who the real thief is. It quickly becomes clear that everyone has secrets. Dangerous secrets. But by the time Sam starts helping with the investigation, Rose is wishing she could forget the whole thing and just focus on his intense gaze and lopsided smile. There are only a few days left on the trip after all, and they’ll never see each other again once it’s over. Right?
But it’s too late. Danger has a way of finding you, whether it’s disguised as a cunning thief or a swoony boy.
Right. Time for a little investigating. I waited until Jacques slipped around the corner of the building with the public restrooms. Then, without looking back, I followed. First by heading for a trash can to throw away the remains of my ice-cream cone, and then by wandering his same path. I reached the corner of the building and eased around it. He was just up ahead, turning a corner to the left of a souvenir stand. My heart now pounding in my throat, I hurried to the corner and just saw the flash of his blue T-shirt as he entered a different building.
I approached slowly. Letters had fallen off the first word above the door, leaving only an “ra” and then “Bar.” It was a bar? All this skulking around for a bar? Okay, then. Could I do this? I needed to go in. Otherwise, what was the point of following him?
I wiped my palms on my shorts. I could do this. It would definitely make the cut for Lindsey’s challenge. Be impulsive. And a little bit dangerous. Right. I didn’t know what the laws were here about sixteen-year-olds in bars, but I was about to find out. I took a fortifying breath and walked in.
Dim, gray light filled the room. I hesitated. A TV high on the wall in one corner showed a soccer game in play, but none of the four people seated at tables were watching it. Another six people sat at the actual bar, chatting with each other and the bartender, a mid-thirtyish guy with a beard. Down at the other end stood Jacques, holding a bottle of what was probably beer, deep in conversation with a man I couldn’t see very well. And other than a brief glance from those closest to the door, nobody paid any attention to me. Except the bartender, who had come out from behind the bar and was headed my way. Crap. What was I going to say?
He stopped in front of me and shook his head. “No toilet,” he said with a heavy accent.
Okay, those were not the words I expected to hear, so for two full seconds, I said nothing. Just stared with my mouth hanging open. Then I tried to smile. “No, a drink. I want a drink.”
He scowled and loomed over me. “Toilet, customers only.” He waved an arm behind him.
I stepped back but pointed at myself. “Customer.”
He set his hands on his hips, a slow smile making him a lot less threatening. “No. Too young.” He lifted his chin toward the door. “Go.”
This was clearly not working. Not only was I not believably of drinking age, we were starting to attract attention. Of the worst kind—Jacques.
Tighe Holiday Traditions
I live in Procrastination City, which can make the holiday season a tad stressful. What? You mean I need to decorate a tree, put up outdoor lights, buy people presents, and work on my next book? Yeah, that’s gonna happen. 😉
I have to admit, though, that despite the stress, I really love the holidays. Christmas music. The smell of hot cider on the stove. Lighting the Advent Wreath. Eating homemade Christmas cookies.
In my family, we have Christmas traditions that are common and some that aren’t. We enjoy driving around to look at the Christmas lights and going to church on Christmas Eve. And after church, when my children were little, we would have a birthday cake for Jesus.
There have been a couple of years where we’ve gone on ocean cruises with the extended family during the holidays. Cruise ships are decorated to the hilt, and depending on when you go, there are Hanukkah festivities, visits with Santa, holiday-themed shows, Christmas carolers, and crafts for children. One cruise line even has a balloon drop to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
What has any of this to do with my new novel, Life in the Danger Zone? Well, it was one of those extended family cruises—during the summer, not the holidays—that became the setting of the book. We left from Venice and cruised the Adriatic Sea, making various stops along the way in Croatia. I didn’t have any trouble on the trip, but my characters, Rose and Sam, sure do. But they also get to experience a shipboard New Year’s Eve tradition—a kiss late at night under a blanket of stars.
Do you have any favorite holiday traditions?