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There’s nothing like a relaxing cruise to reinvigorate tired bones…soak up the sun, lots of drinks with those little umbrellas, a little body-guarding. What could go wrong?

That is, until Al Shabaab decides a hundred American women would be worth a C130 full of gold. From the sea to the Sahara, from a cruise to a crusade, Mike Reardon should have known he’d end up downrange in the sights of bloodthirsty suicidal terrorists. And it’s not bad enough they’ve taken his new friends, but they’ve ripped away the young singing sensation he’s being paid to guard and his new girl—now it’s personal.

From London to Lisbon to the Mediterranean it’s smooth sailing, but Algeria and Libya is another thing altogether. While the White House and State Department negotiate, Reardon retaliates. Lead flies, and Mike vows to come back with the women, or not at all.

L. J. Martin sat down with The Big Thrill to talk a bit about his prolific career and the tenth book in the Repairman Series, THE BLUE PEARL:

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Too many to mention. But Ian Fleming, Alistair Maclean and Wilber Smith come to mind.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

How many large ships are actually bombs on the water, dual powered by diesel and highly explosive LPG.

Without spoilers, are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?

Love the thriller genre, why upend it?

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

We took the cruise and visited most of the places the novel is based upon. Tough work but someone had to do it.

In this day of terrorists, are cruise ships vulnerable?

I found the security to be fair, but of course no transportation companies or facilities are perfect. Many ocean-going ships, including cruise ships, are dual fueled, as is the fictional Blue Pearl. The ship we enjoyed, which will remain unnamed, was not, but having many thousands of cubic feet of LPG onboard added to the suspense in a way I couldn’t exclude.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Entertainment, page-turning compelling reading.


L. J. Martin is the author of 55 novels and non-fiction works. The Blue Pearl is the 10th in The Repairman series. He lives in Montana and winters in Arizona with his wife, New York Times bestselling romantic suspense author Kat Martin.

To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.


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