Thank you, Wendy, for having me back on Minding Spot with my new adult comedy, The Cruise – All That Glitters. The story is a satire on romance, laced with an edge of sharp humor, and told from the perspective of Dean, an overly-confident, self-assured bachelor in search of a romantic encounter with the perfect woman . . .
While I was considering the concept of this novella, I knew I wanted to do something different. I decided to forgo the traditional boy-meets-girl fairytale in favor of a parody aimed at an intelligent audience who would enjoy an irreverent look at the realities of contemporary romance through the eyes of a cocksure male with just one thing on his mind.
And yes, I’ll be the first to admit it—my man Dean is a piece of work—a thirty-something guy who single-handedly turns the word “adult” into an oxymoron. With his brain still in the formative stages, he lives life with abandon, often exchanging tact and propriety for reckless impulse, expressing his own brazen opinions and attitudes as he travels headfirst down the slippery slope of life and love.
One reader has commented that The Cruise gives equal time to the opposition, exposing what everyone is thinking about but would never dream of saying out loud. If I could offer one caution, it would be to avoid the mistake of dismissing the authenticity of Dean’s actions. While the characters and some (but not all!) of the situations are fictional, they were inspired by people I’ve met in the travel industry, aboard cruise ships, and unfortunately, on more than a few first dates.
So, without apology, meet Dean—a thirty-something bachelor with a full head of hair and a bursting libido, as he heads to sea on a cruise ship vacation, hoping to find a bevy of beautiful women to have his way with.
In the following excerpt, Dean is on his first cruise, prowling the ship in search of hot, sexy women—just like the ones he saw on the travel brochure. But he becomes quickly disillusioned as he finds himself surrounded by a desperate collection of middle-class America:
Here’s an excerpt:
I would start my search at the pool. There should be lots of hard-bodies around the pool.
Open to the sky, the Lido deck contained two identically-sized swimming pools and an equal number of hot tubs. At one end, a raised platform served as a stage for entertainment, with a large portion of open space reserved for those who wanted to dance.
As I passed through the doors leading to the outside, I was immediately assaulted by an ear-splitting barrage that sounded remarkably similar to a half dozen metal pots being repeatedly slammed against a car bumper. I hesitated, concerned I might have accidentally stumbled into an area of the boat undergoing emergency maintenance. Suddenly, two women grabbed my arms and began pulling me toward the dance floor where a gyrating mass of hand-waving, butt-swaying, older-than-middle-aged tourist-types were moving with a rhythm as brutally awkward as the horrific pounding that had obviously driven them insane.
I shook my head and pointed in the opposite direction. But they refused to release me, and in seconds, I found myself trapped in a never-ending cycle of three steps forward and two steps back.
I’ve never claimed to be any kind of a dancer. And I’m even worse when surrounded by those demonstrating lesser—if that’s possible—hoofing competence.
“Pick up your feet, honey.”
“Loosen up, just go with it!”
“Watch and follow me.”
Their encouragement reminded me of the time I tried to coax a frightened turtle from its shell.
I sensed the imminent threat to my self-esteem. What if a bevy of beautiful women were standing a few feet away, witnessing my feeble attempts to duplicate the freakish behavior of people old enough to be my grandparents? As I tried to calculate worst-case damage to my masculinity, I was struck by the overwhelming smell—a mixture of cheap wine, coconut oil, and sweat.
I held my breath and lunged for the bar. I made it on the second try. The outer perimeter of the group proved to be no less dangerous than the virulent interior. Bounced from both sides by two chalky-white beer bellies and stepped on by a varicose-veined grandmother, I cowered close to the slab of polished mahogany, knowing there was nothing I could do but watch the mirror-reflected images of Jim Beam, Canadian Club, and Absolute vibrate in blurring sync to the finest music ever made by three Jamaican nationals banging the living hell out of a couple of fifty gallon drums.
I jumped back in, risking it all with the next sidestepping opportunity. I’m sure some of them thought I was rejoining the group, confirming their approval with nodding heads and offers to share their mimosas and Bloody Mary’s. But with desperation prevailing over decorum, I moved from one hand to the next, loudly announcing that I had to pee, pointing to my crotch for emphasis. In less than a minute, I was free.
Not wanting to risk another encounter with the geriatric Mod Squad, I quickly climbed the stairs to the observation level, grabbed a piece of rail and held on, needing a moment to get my bearings.
Below me, row after row of reclining loungers circled the perimeter of both pools, forming the elongated double bull’s eye aerial shot I’d seen in the travel booklet. Most of the chairs were already occupied. Even the wading areas were lined with people sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, dangling their feet in the water. A girl in her mid-teens was cautiously re-adjusting her towel, determined to prevent a flash of yet-to-develop breasts as she unhooked her top. Directly in front of her, two boys were tossing a Frisbee back and forth, trying unsuccessfully to get her attention.
Children were everywhere, chasing each other, screaming at the wind, and cannonballing into the hot tubs.
God, I thought, it just doesn’t get any better than this.
It’s love on the high seas for Dean, a thirty-something bachelor taking his first cruise, hoping for a shipboard romance. On the prowl for the elusive hard-body, he quickly becomes disillusioned, wondering if his expectation of a boatload of beautiful sea nymphs is something found only in travel brochures.
Until he meets Angel.
She is the girl of his dreams, brought to life as a bewitching goddess, ready to engage in every sensual delight. Quickly lured into submission by Angel’s seductive charms, Dean is ready to surrender his heart and soul to this provocative beauty.
Until he meets Marcie . . .
(FYI – The story contains some mature language and situations and is best suited for an adult reader)
Author Bio: Jaye Frances is the author of The Kure, a paranormal-occult romance novel, The Possibilities of Amy, a coming-of-age story of high school romance, and The Cruise-All That Glitters, a humorous adult satire about a single guy hoping to have a romantic encounter at sea. Her upcoming work, scheduled for a Summer 2012 release, is titled The Beach, a sci-fi fantasy about a man who is given the opportunity to receive his ultimate wish and lives to regret it. She is also a featured columnist for the NUSA SUN magazine. Born in the Midwest, Jaye readily admits that her life’s destination has been the result of an open mind and a curiosity about all things irreverent. When she’s not consumed by her writing, Jaye enjoys cooking, traveling to all places tropical and “beachy” and taking pictures—lots of pictures—many of which find their way to her website. Jaye lives on the central gulf coast of Florida, sharing her home with one husband, six computers, four cameras, and several hundred pairs of shoes. For more information, visit Jaye’s website at www.jayefrances.com, or Jaye’s Blog at http://blog.jayefrances.com
Jaye on Goodreads
Jaye on Goodreads
Jaye on Facebook
The Cruise – All That Glitters is available now
in kindle eBook from Amazon for only $. 99
You can also download the book to your cloud reader, computer, Smartphone, and tablet with one of Amazon’s FREE reading apps. Here’s the link:
One lucky reader will win a Kindle Version of The Cruise - All That Glitters!
*Contest ends on 8/7