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Even after such recognition I had difficulty pronouncing my name and the word “writer” in one sentence. First person who did it, Stephen, oddly enough, was my match.com date. At dinner I was explaining what I liked to do and showed to him a chapter of this book on my iPhone—he taught creative writing at our local university. He read it and said, “Well, you are a writer”. Though it wasn’t a successful dating experience, I would like to thank him for saying out loud what I have always felt.

I would like to thank my “fan” club which consists of my closest friends—Larissa, Sandy, Dale, Peter, Tim, Kendra, Irina, Natasha, Marty. They read my book and remained my friends. They supported and encouraged me.

I used some information available on the Internet. If I have offended any professional in any field that my characters belong to, please forgive me. This is a work of fiction, after all. Mistakes, I am sure, will surface from time to time, even after consultations with experts.

My sincerest “thank you” goes to all my readers. All my work is done for you. I hope I haven’t disappointed you.


Dedicated to men and women in uniform.

Chapter One

The sun was slowly rising. It was red at the beginning, and as it was getting more visible, the colors were changing: orange, copper, gold… The sunrise had a magic power to it. It seemed the sea was giving birth to the sun. And finally, with a last push—the sun was above the horizon. The huge cannon spit it out and the new day had officially begun. The Mediterranean Sea was calm and very blue. Another beautiful day in paradise.

She was gorgeous—a Paradise Cruise Liner, white, sparkling clean, almost silently sailing towards the new day. The passengers were still sleeping. After a long night of entertainment they were tired. Only the tireless crew was performing the usual routine duties.

There is nothing better than a Sunday morning. But for cruise life every morning is a Sunday morning. That’s why when people were questioned about events, only few were able to actually say what day of the week it was.

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