Aqua Alaskan Nights
written by Amanda S. Jones
published by Blue Moon Publishers
About the book: After losing her job, Hayley struggles to make ends meet and allows her career status to define her. She finds inspiration in successful photographer Trevor Tott, but their professional aspirations clash when she experiences his questionable ethics along with unwanted advances from her overbearing boss. With the help of the ship’s crew, stunning Alaskan backdrops and a leap of faith, they might find business can be mixed with pleasure.
With cameos from favourite Aqua characters Harry and Casey, Amanda Jones weaves a plot that keeps the pages turning.
Love happens on The Aqua…
Have you jumped in yet? The Aqua series is the ongoing story of the cruise ship Aqua, where crew members such as Chef Amber and Captain Hallmann appear frequently, and other favourites, such as Harry and Casey, make cameo appearances. With each book in the series, the familiar characters and their stories grow and weave cleverly together. You’ll meet Hayley and Trevor again in books for the upcoming Alaskan and Caribbean series as well. Read along the entire series to get to know and understand the cruise ship, its passengers and regular crew members.
HAYLEY’S PONYTAIL bobbed from side to side as she walked toward the bow. Trevor watched her kneel next to her backpack and remove a filter. Even though she was tiny, her fiery curls gave her away from across the boat.
She rested her elbows on the railing and took a photo, then checked it in the viewfinder. A smile spread across her face and she turned to him with a thumbs-up. She walked further down the deck and took more pictures.
He knew the pressure of getting a good photo and could sense it a mile away. Besides, he had watched her for a while that afternoon. She seemed to be a perfectionist, muttering to herself and criticizing each shot she took. In time, she had stressed herself so much that it seemed nothing was working.
And then, the iceberg drifted by and she lowered her camera in awe. He heard her talk to it as if it were a human, and then she murmured over and over, “Stay strong,” and, as she did, her shoulders dropped. Trevor edged closer to her, drawn to the exclamation and the wonder in her expressions. She wasn’t the only one susceptible to the iceberg – the lower deck was crowded the moment the iceberg calved with a loud boom, and when he looked down all he witnessed was a maze of hands pointing, and then the gasps and shouts. But among that chaos there was a sense of peace with this woman, as if she had stepped into a bubble of calm. She said, “Stay strong” one more time and at that moment, he felt a warmth spread through the palm of his hand. The unthinkable had happened to Trevor. The entire time the iceberg had drifted by, he hadn’t taken one photo. Not one.
It seemed she had come to the realization at the same moment and fumbled with her camera. He focused his zoom lens and took a few photos, then turned back to her. It was then that he mentioned the tripod, and in doing so, seemed to pop her out of the magical bubble she was in. It didn’t surprise him when she got defensive – perfectionists always did.
Trevor looked back toward the woman who now leaned her chin on the far railing, watching. He zipped up his bag and jotted down a note, then speared it on the hook of her tripod’s center post. It read: “Play with the camera this afternoon. I’ll see you around. -T”
He hadn’t signed his name – he wanted to leave her with an air of mystery.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.You will feel like you’ve been on a trip to Alaska!
What is the inspiration behind the Aqua series? I love the idea of a series where we get to know characters intimately over a number of books. I thought it would be fascinating to follow characters as they explore their own lives and the Mediterranean via travel. The Aqua series is the ongoing story of the cruise ship Aqua, where crew members such as Chef Amber and Captain Hallmann appear frequently, and other favourite passengers make cameo appearances. With each book in the series, the familiar characters and their stories grow and weave together more and more. Each story in the series stands on its own, but the more you read along the entire series, the more you get to know and understand the cruise ship, its passengers and regular crew members.
This format is partly because I fell in love with some of my characters and didn’t want to see them go, so in having the staff return in each series, I can continue to share their ongoing story. That’s where the cruise ship setting works so well as the staff are on the boat, even as it travels to new destinations. In this latest book, I’ve even had two of the favourite characters from my first book, Venetian Nights, return for a cameo appearance. And you’ll meet the characters from this fourth book in the series, Hayley and Trevor, in all upcoming books for the Alaskan and Caribbean series as well. And there are so many romantic destinations coming up that the cruise ship will be travelling to. And the food, oh God the food! I wanted to create a series that covered my love of travel and love of food. I’m fascinated by the power food holds over all of our senses. I want readers to be hungry for love and for food, and to realize how the two go so well together, after reading the book.
Why did you did you decide to write Aqua Alaskan Nights? It was a natural extension from the Aqua series. I decided Alaska would be the next destination because it holds a wildness and raw beauty, and is also a popular cruise destination. The destinations play a key component in the series – the destination, and the cruise ship itself, is like a character in my mind. The first book in the series was inspired by a romantic trip to Venice so the Mediterranean was the focus in my first two books. I wanted to take readers to a destination that was very different.
As far as the story itself, holding onto your own self worth is a key theme that often emerges. The first book in my series was important to me because it reflected a woman’s life as she faced the looming question of a mastectomy. With the rising rates of breast cancer and the serious implications women (and their supporting loved ones) face, I wanted to show women that they still are beautiful and can find love despite what is waiting for them. Each book has a different scenario. In Alaskan Nights, Hayley has just lost her job, and while struggling to make ends meet, she allows her career status to define her. She finds inspiration in a successful photographer, Trevor Tott, but their professional aspirations clash when she experiences his questionable ethics along with unwanted advances from her overbearing boss. With the help of the ship’s crew, stunning Alaskan backdrops and a leap of faith, she touches upon her own self worth, and, finds business can be mixed with pleasure 😉
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? I’m continuing to write the Aqua series – there’s another book coming out for the Alaskan cruise and then there is an upcoming new cruise destination: the Caribbean. Aqua – Caribbean Nights will be out during the winter, for a tropical escape while many readers are steeped in snow!
As far as future projects, I do have another romance series in the works. It’s not travel based but has a strong place setting. I’m excited to start writing is as it’s very different from this current series, but I know I’ll keep returning to the Aqua and writing more stories for the series as I’m really enjoying it.
Why do you enjoy reading and writing? Reading places me in another person’s life and often in another country. I feel like I’ve lived more! And writing does the same thing for me. I’ve travelled to all of the places I write about, and it’s my way of sharing the experience of this place with my readers.
What is your favorite genre to read? I love to read romance but also fantasy – it’s a great escape. At the same time, I love memoirs, mysteries and historical fiction. I just love reading in general 🙂
Who is your favorite author? I have many but I love Jodi Picoult.
In your opinion, what is one book that everyone should read? Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t know it would be romance but I loved reading from an early age on and used to tell stories to my dolls.
Tell us three things about yourself that cannot be found on the internet … at least not found easily.
- I write in the morning.
- I get excited about colours and layout, as you can tell from my Pinterest board 🙂
- I don’t drink coffee, even though I’m up very early in the morning!
About the author: Romance author, Amanda S. Jones, loves travel, chocolate and red wine. You’ll find all of these elements in the books she writes! Her first romance series, “Aqua” takes place on the cruise ship, Aqua, a slow-burning pleasure dome of food and attraction that spurs the reader’s imagination. Each book has exotic locations, sumptuous foods, seduction, enticement and true love, so open the pages and step aboard to see what’s in store for characters with the help of the ship’s crew, a romantic destination and a leap of faith.
If you’re interested in updates on Amanda and her book series, sign up for the Aqua Club newsletter on her website!