A Star to Steer Her By
Beth Anne Miller
Published by: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.
But I will take this journey.
Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.
I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.
Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can’t be together.
When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.
He held my hand as we glided slowly around the reef. The euphoria I felt at actually getting under the water faded as I squinted into the distant blue haze, on constant lookout for…anything that might be lurking out there. It was utterly silent, except for the Darth Vader-like sound of our breathing. That was one of the things I’d always loved best about scuba diving, the silence of it. For a short time, I could leave behind the noise of the world above and get lost in the alien world beneath the sea. I’d missed it so much.
My fear began to slip away. The reef was a huge mass of life and motion. Tiny yellow fish nibbled on purple sponges, vividly colored parrotfish pecked at coral with their sharp beaks, blue-and-yellow angelfish swam lazily between sea fans. None of them seemed disturbed by our presence. They just went about their business.
I’d almost forgotten Tristan was there until he tapped my arm and pointed to a big hole in the coral, where a slimy green head emerged on a sinuous neck. It was a moray eel. It stared at us, its mouth opening and closing to reveal glimpses of curved, needle-thin teeth. Novice divers tended to be afraid of them because their teeth looked wicked sharp. But I’d been around them enough to know that they opened and closed their mouths to breathe, not to be aggressive (usually), and I watched it for a moment, unafraid.
We continued exploring, my eyes remembering how to see beyond the camouflage to find the animal. A crusty “rock” sitting on the bottom was a scorpionfish. A mound of sand turned out to be a flounder. I still searched the blue waters around us, but less frequently than before. I even let go of Tristan’s hand.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of silver. My heart started to pound. Take it easy, it’s probably a barracuda.
No, it wasn’t. Barracuda usually just hovered motionless in the water, seemingly menacing with their protruding teeth, but generally harmless to humans. This was moving quickly. And it was big. Where’d it go? I spun around.
There it was again, lurking just at the edge of my vision. Oh God, not again! Hiss-whoosh, hiss-whoosh. My breath came faster and faster.
My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. I soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led me to a college semester aboard a schooner. I returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug I couldn’t quite shake.
In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I explored with my first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into my new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, 2017). A native New Yorker, I work in the publishing industry and am always looking ahead to my next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship. You can find me on the web at http://www.bethannemiller.com