Sample Sunday Chapter 1 Excerpt of Asylum Harbor

This is a new, sneak peek of the revised, Asylum Harbor which will be the next book released in the Rachel Scott series. Tentative release date is May 1st.

The story starts out with Amber Knowles, who is the teenage daughter of prominent Florida Governor Rick Knowles, describing her first night on the SeaStar cruise ship.  She is with her friends to celebrate their high school graduation. After feeling ill, she is escorted back to her cabin by a VIP host she met earlier that night.

Excerpt of Chapter 1

The night sky takes my breath away. The effect of  hundreds of stars combined with the thousands of twinkling lights from the cruise ship reminds me of Christmas time. 

I pull my long blonde hair into a ponytail and slid off my pink flip flops taking a big breath of the salty air.

A gust of wind out of nowhere picks up my flip flop and tosses it over the railing. I grab the railing and look over just in time to see the shoe get swallowed up in the foamy wake.

I start to wonder what happened to Josh. He should have been back by now. It is then I hear the sliding glass door open behind me. I turned around and saw Josh standing there.

“Hey there. I thought you forgot me,” I say. He has a strange look on his face. “What’s wrong?”

Then someone gives Josh a hard push onto the balcony.

I stare at the strange man in shock. He had a gun pointed to Josh’s head.  

“What are you doing? Are you crazy?” I start screaming at this stranger.

“Move it,” The man says pushing Josh further out onto the balcony.

“Leave her alone. She doesn’t know anything.” Josh finally says.

“What is going on?” I ask again. “Josh, who is this?” This is like a bad scene playing out in a movie.

“Come on Amber. Join the party.” The man motions to me with the gun.

It takes me a second to realize what the man said. How does he know my name?

I press my back into the balcony railing. There is no way I am going anywhere with this lunatic. Apparently he has the wrong room or something!

“Leave her out of this. She doesn’t know anything.” Josh pleads.

“Not my problem. No witnesses.” The man raises the gun and points it towards me.  

Now I really start to panic. It is silly now to think this, but I can’t help but wish my dad would have sent security with me. I turn around and can see what looks like the lights of a coastline. We must be near our next stop in the Bahamas. If I jump, I may have a chance to make it to shore. My hands are shaking as I climb the railing and throw my leg over the side. Contemplating, I look down at the ten story drop into the swirling water below. 

“Look we can work this out. I will tell you what you want to know if you just let her go inside.” Josh tells the man.

“Don’t think so Josh.” The holds the gun steady at me.

“Amber, what are you doing?” Josh asks me as I sit on the railing leaning my body toward the water.

I feel the icy finger of fear grip my heart as I look into the water again. A loud pop rings out through the night as I vanish into darkness.


About Traci Hohenstein

Full time writer, beachbum, and mom to 3 terrific kids.
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