I’ve finished my giant Ocean Effect rewrite to add suspense and ensure Every. Word. Works. While my editor reviews it, I’m sharing the first page with you.
There are some things you just can’t control when you live and work aboard a 260-foot private superyacht. Like being summoned near midnight to make coffee for the captain. But I was the chef, on call 24/7. Not an ideal job, but it kept me out of the public eye – and out of jail.
On my way to the galley I traced the teak spiral stair case railing, varnished to a high shine that cost more than my yearly salary to maintain. Built for people with names like Astor, I couldn’t let myself go too gaga over the Kathleen’s luxury. I was just glad land was far behind us after picking up the yacht owner’s son, Jonathan, and his friends in Newport. I could stop looking over my shoulder, keep my fear in check. Fear of being back there after more than a year on the run, fear of being connected to my old life as Penelope McKenna, assistant DA.
I was just stubborn enough to stay the course, eyes on my goal. That stubbornness had gotten me into trouble as a kid, but was my saving grace as an adult. Give me a goal and I'm laser-focused. Like life at sea: a steep learning curve but so worth it to get away. So yeah, I’d take orders. I’d get the captain his coffee at midnight. Gladly.
I opened the large walk-in freezer door for the special coffee beans I kept just for Cap. As my eyes adjusted to the flickering fluorescent light, I saw a large heap on the floor against the far wall. I never put anything on the floor – who’d been in my galley? I stepped in but my brain wouldn’t process what it saw. A man! What?Laying on his side with his back to me, the galley’s super-sharp ice pick buried up to its handle in his back. A small circular blood stain on his untucked white oxford shirt added an unfortunate bulls-eye.
I swallowed hard and looked away. Any sense of control I had disintegrated. Flee. Now. The same impulse I’d had a year ago; it was automatic. But there was nowhere to flee to. We were more than 350 miles offshore. No land – or law – in sight.