Today Feb 3 Cruise Quarters - A novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships will be free at Amazon.com. It is the # 1 cruise ship and the #1 casino novel at the Kindle store. It was chosen as 'Read of the Week' at Tripatini.com.
The Review Girl blog raves, "Cruise Quarters is an amazing travel novel which is as much about romance as it is about travel (the novel is based on their real-life love story)."
Please help Cara and Ray celebrate the anniversary of the day they met by downloading a copy. They hope you have as much fun reading it as they did writing it.
Product Description by Cara Bertoia
Cruise Quarters is a fun, fast paced tale of working in the casino aboard a Regal Cruises cruise-ship. It is based on a true story and was written by authors who have decades of experience working on luxury cruise ships and in casinos across the globe. The crew of the Regal Star resemble a mini United Nations, hiring people from all over the world. But unlike the UN, Regal Cruise's employees present a united front above decks as they attend to their passenger's every needs. Sarah Seldon is a croupier on the luxury liner. After many unhappy endings, and burnt out on shipboard romance, she is determined to forget about men and concentrate on becoming a casino manager. On land women face a dearth of GOOD men but on a ship giving up men would take willpower. The mostly male crew exist to serve her every need. Handsome Italian waiters bring her food, the Filipino steward cleans her room, English officers play poker with her and the Welsh plumber fixes her sink. She leads a cushy life, sleeping 'til noon , eating gourmet food, and the topper - she gets to wake up in beautiful new place everyday. All because she works in a casino, a place so bad it has SIN in the middle. Book a cruise and travel with Sarah and the crew as they work, play, feast, and fall in and out of love, all while the ship sails around the globe, stopping at exotic ports of call. Along the way, from Venice to Barcelona sight-see in the Med, shop in St. Martin , take an eco-cruise down the Amazon, and feast in Glasgow . Let the crew tell you their own stories as they sit in the hallway in the wee hours of the morning. While the ship travels to new destinations, tired and tipsy they share tales of love and betrayal. Excerpt from Chapter One: When people sat down at Sarah Seldon’s blackjack game, they always wanted to talk about The Book. “Should I double down? Should I hit? Dealer, I know you’re a gambler; you could let me win if you wanted to. What does the book say?” She had never read this book, this mythical Bible for gamblers. The truth is there are 2256 books, each teaching its own foolproof winning system. But Sarah had been in the casino business long enough to think with a gambler’s mind. Gamblers knew they could follow all the rules of basic strategy, utilize money management and still lose if they weren’t dealt the right cards. The allure and curse of gambling was that there were no sure things. In the end it all came down to luck; gamblers prayed that Lady Luck would show up and that she would stick around for awhile. On that particular day, Sarah perched on a chair to get a better view through her salt-stained porthole onto the dock, filled with people busying themselves with the activities necessary to supply a huge cruise ship. Port activities in Hong Kong demonstrated a model of modern efficiency. Even though the ship had been docked for under an hour, already the crew had begun to perform the necessary safety checks. At the same time operators steered forklifts, moving wooden pallets filled with provisions into the hold. Like a patient hooked up to life support, long, fat hoses attached to the side of the ship fed water and gas into tanks, providing nutrients for the upcoming voyage. You can find out more about Cara and Ray at Author Central and please check out their blog: casinosandcruiseships.blogspot.com
Growing up in a straight laced Southern family, I was always fascinated with casinos. In my twenties on a summer hiatus from teaching in North Carolina , I drove to California and became a dealer at Caesars in Lake Tahoe . My mother highly disapproved of my working in a casino, "a place so bad it has 'sin' in the middle." Eventually, I succumbed to pressure from the family and returned east to take a high-tech job in Boston . I also began working on my MFA in writing at Emerson. I wanted to write the first realistic novel about casino life from the perspective of an experienced table games dealer. I am always amazed that normal and sometimes quite intelligent players become absolutely clueless in the casino. They repeat superstitious nonsense and no amount of logic can change their position. On a whim I submitted an article to The Boston Tab, about trying to find a rent control apartment. To my amazement they published it and I even received my first piece of fan mail. Spurred on by that success, the next week, after a few glasses of wine at lunch, I called the editor of the Brighton Allston Journal and told him I should write a humor column. While in Boston I was offered the opportunity to join Princess Cruises as a croupier. Jumping at the chance, I spent the next five years circling the globe. Sometimes life exceeds your dreams. I was awed by the wonders of Venice, the fjords of Norway, and the Northern Lights in Leningrad but on the downside I also watched glaciers melt at an alarming rate in Alaska, snorkeled to coral reefs killed by pollution in the Caribbean, and witnessed the devastation as the Amazon burned. It was the best education I could ever have had. Taking advantage of every opportunity to be a tour guide, I soaked in as much history as I could. I returned from ships with a very special souvenir, my husband Ray. Besides being a handsome Glaswegian, he is my co-author. We also produced a movie on walking the 500-mile "Camino De Santiago," in Spain . The Desert Woman and the Desert Sun both featured stories about our walk. When we were researching the Camino we could never find a good practical guide on the terrain and the trail, the things a person would experience every day, although there was plenty on the architecture and history. So seeing a need we made a movie of our journey. It is a thrill to come home and find orders from such diverse countries as Japan and Denmark . The address for our movie is: www.caminovideo.com
Amazon links to Cruise Quarters:
United States: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004NIFUUU