Guest Erica Ruth Neubauer plus #giveaway

Edith/Maddie with our last historical mystery author this month. Erica Ruth Neubauer is a fabulous writer and brings us stories about her 1920s traveling heroine, Jane Wunderley.

Check out Erica Ruth’s latest, Danger on the Atlantic – and the fun research she did for the book! I love these books, and I know you will, too. Be sure you read down for a giveaway.

Here’s the blurb. Atlantic Ocean, 1926: Voyaging from Southampton to New York, self-reliant American widow Jane Wunderly is determined to prove herself a worthy investigator on the stately ship—even awkwardly going undercover as the fashionable wife of her magnetic partner, Mr. Redvers. Few details are known about the rumored German spy the duo have been tasked with identifying among fellow passengers, but new troubles unfold once wealthy newlywed Vanessa FitzSimmons announces the sudden disappearance of her husband at sea . . .
Miles Van de Meter, the man Vanessa rushed to marry in Monte Carlo, has allegedly vanished into thin air along with his luggage. Redvers guesses the shifty heiress may be weaving tall tales for fun between flutes of champagne, yet Jane isn’t convinced—not after the stunning murder of a trusted acquaintance sends them into uncharted waters. Facing two dangerous mysteries and a boat load of suspects, Jane must navigate a claustrophobic quest for answers before the culprits can slip from her grasp on land . . . or, worse, ensure she and Redvers never reach their destination.

Taking a transatlantic cruise in the 1920’s sounds as though it was awfully glamorous—it was the golden age of cruising after all. So it was a bit of a no-brainer when I was looking for a setting for my third book DANGER ON THE ATLANTIC (coming out tomorrow!) to set it on one of the enormous ships. Of course, in order to get a feel for what it was like, I needed to take a cruise across the North Atlantic myself, and I was lucky to get one in right before the global pandemic kicked off.

I’d never taken a proper cruise before. The closest I’d come was doing a Nile River cruise while doing research for my first book, but getting on the Queen Mary II was not at all the same thing, both in scale and experience. My cruise down the Nile was warm and there was a lot of soaking in the sun. Let me tell you what there’s not on the North Atlantic in November—sun. Using any of the pools was out, and even spending time on our balcony wasn’t much fun—it was wet and slippery from the grey skies overhead.

I don’t suffer from motion sickness, but during our first night we hit some rough water.

By morning the bobbing up and down of that giant ship had my stomach feeling quite disagreeable about the trip, although once I had a ginger beer in the lounge and spent some time watching the horizon, I felt much better.

But there were plenty of positives. The food was fantastic. We only tried the buffet option one time (and I ate entirely too much gourmet cheese that night) and used the dining room for the rest of our meals where the options and presentation couldn’t be beat. Every meal was an absolute delight, as was much of the entertainment we enjoyed on board. There was a 1940’s dance with big band music, live performances of both singers and music as well as a movie theater where I caught up on some movies I’d been meaning to see. You could take yoga classes or fencing lessons—there seemed to be something for everyone.

All in all, it was a fun and informative trip—I was able to get a real taste of what conditions on a large ship would have been like for Jane, although I think her cruise would have been much more glamourous than mine. I’m very fortunate that I’ve so far been able to research the exciting things I have my protagonist do—and you can bet I’m already planning the next!

Readers: Have you ever taken a cruise? What are your favorite ways to travel? I’ll give away a copy of Danger on the Atlantic (as soon as my box of books arrives) to one commenter.

Erica Ruth Neubauer is the Agatha Award-winning author of the Jane Wunderly Mysteries, as well as an Anthony Award and Lefty Award finalist. She spent eleven years in the military, nearly two as a Maryland police officer, and one as a high school English teacher, before finding her way as a writer. She has been a reviewer of mysteries and crime fiction for publications such as Publishers Weekly and Mystery Scene Magazine for several years, and she’s a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Erica Ruth lives in Milwaukee, WI. Visit her at Erica Ruth Neubauer.

72 Thoughts

  1. I’ve been on a cruise. I prefer to travel via plane so I can get to my destination quickly.

  2. I’ve been on 7 cruises and am going on a Hawaiian cruise in Sept. We love them as there is so much to do and you get to visit several different locales and you only have pack/unpack once, You can go to the piano bar in the evening have a few drinks and don’t have to worry about driving home. In First Class back in early 1900’s I imagine from what I’ve read and seen in the movies was very grand. Thank you for this chance at your giveaway! pgenest57 at aol dot com

    1. That is such a good point about only having to unpack once! And a Hawaiian cruise sounds lovely–enjoy!

  3. Hi and welcome! Beautiful pictures! I have never been on a cruise, would love to take one! I’m hoping my husband and I will take one on an anniversary. Love the book cover, so pretty. Thank you so much for the chance!

    1. Forgot to add that I like to travel by vehicle because I like to see the pretty scenery while we travel!!

    2. Forgot to add that I like to travel by vehicle because I like to see the pretty scenery while we travel!

    3. Thank you so much! I think they did a great job with this cover. I like a roadtrip by car too. 🙂

  4. I have not taken a cruise although from my brother’s experience it sounds like an amusement park on water. Living along the shores of Lake Erie provides me with the opportunity to experience being near water and that is all I need. Thank you for the opportunity to enter your giveaway.

    1. That’s fair! And how wonderful to be on the shores of Lake Erie! I live pretty close to Lake Michigan, and I love being able to walk to the lake.

  5. I have not ever gone on a cruise, but I read about the Queen Elizabeth II in Susan Branch’s book A Fine Romance: Falling in love with the English Countryside. She talks in her book about the ocean voyage and the two months she and her husband spent touring the English countryside. A few years back my husband bought a canoe and we have enjoyed paddling on our local rivers in Wenonah, our canoe. Best of luck with your book and how great it is that you can have an adventure and then send your book character, Jane Wunderley, on her own journey.

    1. Paddling around in a canoe sounds lovely though! And thank you so much!

  6. No, I’ve never taken a cruise, but I’d like to one day. Air travel is so much more convenient for travel, but I like to travel by train & want to take a cross country train ride one of these days. I love your series and look forward to reading the new book, what fun you have doing research cruising the Nile & North Atlantic!

    1. Thank you so much Judith! I am very fortunate–the research is very fun. And I agree, train travel is fun. Cross-country would be amazing.

  7. Thank you Wickeds for introducing me to another wonderful author. “Danger on the Atlantic” sounds like a fabulous book and one I’d love to dive in reading. Love that era as it gives me a glimpse of a time before me that my parents and grandparents lived.

    Never taken a cruise and not sure it would be for me. The activities and food would be fun, but the motion sickness would dim the delight for sure. As for me, I’d rather travel by car where I can control what to see, when to stop and be open to sudden changes in plans if we see something of interest down a side road. After being on time restrictions most of our lives, being retired means we can adjust our plans and length of travel time according to whims and desires. Love it!

    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to win a copy of “Danger on the Atlantic”. Shared and would love to be the fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. I agree, Kay! I like driving so I can see more and follow my whims. And thanks so much for sharing!

  8. The Hubby and I have talked about taking a cruise – but then the pandemic hit and we haven’t mustered the enthusiasm for it again. But a cruise on the Queen Mary sounds so elegant. Did you have to “dress for dinner” when you ate in the dining room?

    Congratulations on the book! I must get caught up on the series.

    1. Thanks so much! And yes! We did dress for dinner. Mostly business casual or cocktail wear, but I believe there were two evenings where it was evening gowns. It was a lot of fun.

  9. No, I haven’t but it sounds amazing!! We travel by car or truck with our camper, I like to see all the sights along the way. I’m reading Steve Higgs Patricia Fisher mysteries and she’s on a fabulous cruise, but her trip is turning out quite deadly for some passengers!

    1. I haven’t read that series, but I’ll have to check it out!

  10. You had me at the cover! It’s magnificent. Congratulations on your upcoming release.

    I have done scuba liveaboards but those are nothing like what I imagine cruising in the QEII to be. My favorite way to travel is train. There is so much to see, and a good engineer/conductor makes sure to point it all out. I think cruising would be a close second.

    1. Thank you so much! I’ve been very fortunate with my covers–my publisher really does a great job. And scuba live-aboards sound exciting! I would love to try a smaller boat like that.

  11. Congratulations on another book! I went on one of those Alaskan Cruises a long time ago maybe 2020. It was so much fun! The food was the best I ever had.

    1. Thanks so much Violet! I’d love to do an Alaskan cruise–I’ve heard good things.

  12. My husband surprised me on our 25th Anniversary with an Alaskan cruise. It was my first but hopefully not last way to travel. It was by far the best holiday experience that I have had. I have celiac disease and usually have huge concerns with the food. I could not have been in better hands. The choices were amazing and the quality fantastic. Best of luck with your new book.

    1. Thank you so much Sandra! I’m not surprised you were in good hands–the food really is amazing on those. I’d like to do an Alaskan cruise someday, they sound incredible. Good job to your husband!

  13. Congratulations on the new book! I never wanted to cruise but my family dragged me kicking and screaming (with every sea sickness cure known to band from wrist bands to patches. I only used the bands once and chewed on some ginger gum.) I LOVED it. I love the days at sea the most. Who knew?!

    1. Thank you Sherry! Ha! That’s awesome. I’m so glad you ended up loving it .

  14. I’ve never been on a cruise. I like car trips so we can stop wherever and whenever we want. But I have done some fun bus tours.

    1. I”m also a fan of being able to stop where I want and see things!

  15. Welcome today. Oh I bet you had a grand time. I have toured the Queen Mary twice. But no never been on a cruise. My husband and I are planning this for a couple of years from now. Mostly we have traveled to vacations by car. And we have seen some beautiful places. We would also like to try a train vacation.

    1. I think a train vacation would be fun! I’ve never done one of those.

  16. Love looking at the ocean–from land–so no cruises for me, but this is definitely on my TBR list.

  17. Love cruising. My latest adventure was on Scenic Cruises on the Mekong river…Cambodia and Vietnam. A most memorable experience I would recommend to anyone of any age. We had a couple in their late 80’s, and they participated in just about everything… they were a delight! Thank you for a chance to win one of your most intriguing “Danger on the Atlantic”. Just love that you experienced your research 🙂 Luis at ole dot travel

    1. Oh, that sounds wonderful! I would love to see Vietnam and Cambodia!

  18. Never taken a cruise but always wanted to. My favorite way to travel is by car. I think it’s because of all the crashes on planes and although I think taking a cruise would be fun, I just can’t imagine being packed on a ship like sardines.
    Your book sounds like a great read. Would love to read and review this book and all your other books in print format.
    Hope I Win

  19. Welcome back to the Wickeds, Erica! I have been on one cruise, 2019, Athens to Rome. My husband and I loved it and vowed to go again–and then covid. We’re hoping to sail from Dublin to Edinburgh this summer. Fingers crossed.

    1. Thanks so much Barb! And I agree with Edith–that sounds AMAZING.

  20. Love the research story! Just finished Wedgefield and cannot wait to read Atlantic!
    I have never cruised, unsure if I want to(have experienced queasy tummy on a sail boat on Lake Michigan). Write faster please!!!!!

  21. I have never been on a cruise however, I spent a great deal of time on U.S. Navy ships (I cannot image its remotely comparable). Looking forward to this book!

    1. Well, now I want to try a Navy ship to compare! 🙂 And thanks so much!

  22. I’m so glad that you were able to take a cruise as research so that I can read about Jane’s cruise and experience it vicariously! I tend to get seasick even on short boat rides.

    1. Thanks so much Miriam! And I hear that–my dad was the same way. Just setting foot on a boat was enough to upset his stomach.

  23. I’ve only take one cruise. Ironically enough, it was before I took a job on at a cruise company. I really would like to get a second one – this time with my brand.

    No need to enter the giveaway since my review of this book went live today. Such fun!

  24. I’ve never been on a cruise and have no desire to go on one. The thought of being trapped on a tin can in the middle of ocean over miles of deep water, with 6000 other people gives me nightmares. But I love to travel by plane, train and car. I love visiting anywhere, enjoying the scenery and learned about the world.

    However, I do love reading about ocean travel and I would love to add your book to my TBR pile!

    1. So funny, Ginny – I feel the same way, but we’re obviously in the minority! I remember Hallie Ephron talking about she and her husband taking a small Alaskan cruise with a focus on birding. Now THAT I could manage.

    2. Very understandable! I think after the first three days I was ready to be back on land, but that wasn’t really an option.

  25. I am so glad that I finally opened my email today and visited The Wickeds! Your books sound absolutely delightful and I am grabbing the first two right now on Kindle. A series set in the 1920’s is going to be a welcome addition to my TBR pile. The research voyage across the Atlantic must have been terrific. I had been on a cruise through the Greek Islands with my step mother and step sister the summer I first met them, and we did have lots of fun. I do recall one awful stormy night when even sitting on the floor didn’t make the room stand still. LOL My husband and I have taken 3 cruises with the same company, smaller ships, very good food, gorgeous cabins. We will go again if we can. I’d love for him to see the Greek Islands.

    1. Thank you so much Judy! A cruise through the Greek Islands sounds AMAZING! I would love to do that.

  26. I have been on a Mississippi River cruise on the Delta Queen years ago. It was a lot of fun and I liked that it was a small group of people and we visited historic Plantation homes. It was one of my favorite vacations. I’m looking forward to reading “Danger On The Atlantic” and the rest of the series. I really enjoy reading about this era and this series sounds fascinating.

  27. I enjoy traveling by car and being able to stop and explore when something is of interest. My favorite cruise was the Alaskan cruise.

    1. I agree Mary! I love a road trip and being able to stop when I see something interesting.

  28. I’ve only been on one cruise so far and it was disappointing. We did not know beforehand that our ship was being retired and ours was the last cruise on it. Ship was lacking a lot and entertainment was terrible. I prefer to fly or drive to my destination and explore the areas

    1. What a bummer Phyllis! I’m so sorry that happened to you. And I agree–I prefer to drive or fly. I like to be able to stop and look at things.

  29. Welcome to the blog! I’ve taken river cruises, including one down the Nile, but never across the ocean. Much as it intrigues me, your description also paints a realistic picture. Though what wonderful research. Congratulations on the new book!

  30. What a tough bunch of careers!

    I have never been on a cruise of any kind. There are all sorts I wouldn’t mind–maybe cruising on a barge in France would be nice!

  31. I love cruising. I find it relaxing and there are so many things to do onboard and off.

  32. I’ve never been on a cruise but would love to. My favorite way to travel is by train, it’s so much fun. I wish I could travel by train everywhere. And I really enjoy your books, hope the series continues for a long while.

  33. I’ve been on two cruises.
    I don’t gamble and I’m not big on eating all day and night. Not a fan.

  34. I have never taken a cruise. I do not travel outside of the area due to being disabled. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

  35. I have never taken a cruise but would like to. I love to travel by car keeping our own time table .Otherwise train travel is comfortable and you can see the country with less stress.

  36. Yes I have taken several cruises. They are not my favorite way to travel. Prefer traveling by plane.

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