Posted in Review Thursday

Book Review Thursday: Death by Blue Water by Kait Carson

It’s Book Review Thursday. Come back each week to get a peek inside what authors I love and what storylines inspire me. 

DBBW coverIt’s a beautiful day to go diving, and Hayden Kent is at her favorite spot, the shipwreck of the Humboldt. Unfortunately, her pleasant outing is ruined when she discovers a dead body in the wreckage, and it isn’t one of the original crew members.

When the authorities show up, they don’t believe her story. They believe she is ‘narked’, a slang term for a condition that can cause divers to act irrationally. It doesn’t help that she also suffers from blinding migraines that cause her to black out. But once she and one of the Coast Guard divers, Paul Muller, dive down to the wreck, he sees the body for himself and realizes she’s right. During their ascent back to the surface, her regulator fails, and Paul saves her life. It seems the hoses on both of her regulators are defective.

She is asked to come down to the police station the next day to answer some questions, and takes her boss, lawyer Grant Huffman, with her. But their questioning makes her uncomfortable, and she walks away believing she is their number one suspect.

The reason she had gone on that dive was because of a bad break up with her boyfriend, Kevin Anderson. She was supposed to meet his brother, Richard, to give him Kevin’s things from her house, but a migraine caused her to cancel. When she woke up Saturday morning, she wasn’t at her house, but at a marina in a wet bathing suit, and no memory of how or why she was there. Then comes the news that the dead body was Richard Anderson, and witnesses claim to have seen her at the marina with him Friday night.

Desperate to clear her name, Hayden starts investigating the case, and she learns things about her ex-boyfriend she never knew. Her relationship with him was based on dozens of lies, and she’s not sure why he would lie to her. After someone breaks into her car one afternoon, she has a heated confrontation at her house with Kevin, who accuses her of killing his brother. (Methinks he doth protest too much!)

Hayden discovers a connection between the dead man and one of the officers investigating the case: he’s her brother-in-law. Two days before he was killed, his wife, Elena, had taken out a restraining order on him. There are recorded incidents of domestic abuse, and she admits to being on the boat with him Friday night. They had a fight; he hit her, even though she’s pregnant, and knocked her out. This makes her a viable suspect in her husband’s death, even more so than Hayden, but she not totally off the hook yet.

During another dive with her friend, Mallory, her air tanks fail. They discover that someone intentionally tampered with them, and since her name is on the side of the tanks, it is safe to say this is no accident. Then someone breaks into her house, knock her out and steal a charm bracelet she found during one of her dives.

Someone is trying to stop her from finding the truth, but Hayden is in too deep to stop. With the killer closing in on her, can she figure things out before someone cuts off her air supply permanently?

I found this book very interesting, because I know absolutely nothing about diving (you won’t find me near a body of water larger than my garden tub). The technical jargon didn’t go flying over my head, but I didn’t feel like I was being talked down to, either. It was presented in a very matter-of-fact way, like Hayden was teaching new students all about diving. The vulnerability of Hayden because of the migraines that cause blackouts added a different layer and dimension to her character that you don’t see very often. This was an intricately woven plot, with plenty of suspects (I guessed the wrong person!), and plenty of bad guys to hate. I loved it, and I cannot wait for Hayden’s next adventure. Well done, Kait, well done! Bravo!!! But I’m still not getting anywhere near the ocean…

Death by Blue Water is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.

Posted in Promote an Author

Promote an Author Tuesday: Kait Carson

It’s Promote an Author Tuesday! Today, I want you to meet Kait Carson, author of The Catherine Swope Mysteries and The Hayden Kent Mysteries.

Death by Blue Water 

DBBW coverParalegal Hayden Kent knows first-hand that life in the Florida Keys can change from perfect to perilous in a heartbeat. When she discovers a man’s body tangled in an anchor line at 120’ beneath the sea, she thinks she is witness to a tragic accident. The body lies in the wheelhouse of the wreck of the Humboldt, Hayden’s favorite scuba diving site.

The authorities are quick to point out that Hayden found the body while violating the first rule of diving. Never dive alone. Left without witnesses, she becomes the prime suspect when the man’s identity is revealed as Richard Anderson, the brother of the man who recently jilted her. A man she agreed to meet for the first time the night he died. He was coming to her house to pick up her ex’s dive gear and to sell her his boat. A boat that disappeared the same night as Richard.

To make matters worse, Hayden suffers from blackouts induced by migraine headaches. She has no memory of the night of Richard’s death. All she remembers is going to bed. And waking up in the Faulkner Marina where witnesses claim Richard spent part of his last night fueling his boat. As the evidence mounts, Hayden joins forces with an unlikely ally, Officer Janice Kirby. Together the two women follow the clues that uncover criminal activities at the highest levels and put Hayden’s life in jeopardy while she fights to stay free.

About Kait Carson

I led a charmed life, an excellent thing for a writer in the making. Nine years younger than my only brother, I followed closely in his footsteps, all the while learning to observe while remaining invisible. A tomboy and a risk taker by nature, no dare went unchallenged.

I learned to read at the age of two. Had to, my father wouldn’t read me Prince Valiant in the Sunday comics. My two favorite books are still Dr. Seuss’s A Fly Went By and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Dr. Seuss was the first book I remember reading, and the Alcott introduced me to Jo March, and exclamation points. Both changed my life.

At the age of four, I left my heart in Miami. Promised myself I’d go to the University of Miami and kept my promise. During high school and much of college, I kept writing, journaling experiences as diverse as was jumping out of airplanes (perfectly good ones, I’m told) and diving from boats (also perfectly good – so they say).

A trip to the airport often resulted in boarding the first plane that announced last call, no matter the destination. I pulled beers in a pub in Britain’s Lake District and cooked on a freighter in the Caribbean. The journals grew to contain color-coded sections for character studies of the people I met, details of the places I saw and vignettes of scenes, both real and imaginary.

My working life proved just as varied. A seasonal job selling fine china and glassware in the Washington, DC area soon morphed into a move to New York City and a job with a high-end Italian gold jewelry import company. The call of the tropics brought me back to Miami and a job working for one of Miami’s most colorful characters as he and his Dallas Cowboy owning partner developed a national restaurant chain. A stint with the fledgling Miami City Ballet provided more grist for the journals. That led to years working with estate planning law firms and lessons learned in the front lines of litigation. I wrote five novels during this time honing voice and characterization, learning scene and setting. The books, some masterpieces of head hopping, live under my bed. I love them all.

A few years ago, I met someone very special. Someone able to help me funnel all that risk taking energy into more creative channels. Together we fly (these days I stay in the airplane, he’s the pilot, I navigate), boat and dive. We also ski, snowmobile and generally enjoy a sporting life. I also took stock of my vast store of life experience, and began writing the stories of the people who have been living in my head since I first met Jo March. I’ve learned to ration the exclamation points. That, they tell me, is a good thing! ?

Questions with the Author

Is there a book you wish you had written? (Someone used “Harry Potter” as an example)

Hard one. So many books I wish I had written. I would have to say Dominick Dunne’s The Two Mrs. Greenvilles.  There is something about that book that calls to me, and the writing is stellar.

What is your favorite story about your childhood that the family tells over and over?

I was the family wild child. Always a daredevil.  If there was a way to get something done, I would do it.  There are two stories that my family tell. The first, I was probably five or six. We lived in what were called garden apartments. Ours was on the second floor. I was sent to my room for some long-forgotten infraction, but my friends had arranged a day at the playground. They came to call for me. My mother told them I was grounded. They came around and called up to my window and I decided – I was going. So I jumped. Out the second story window. I remember a hard landing, but I was unhurt. My parents were amazed and annoyed in equal parts when I knocked on the front door to be let in.  The second story had to do with the water. We were at the Jersey shore. My Dad couldn’t swim.  I was nine at the time. We were knocked over by a wave and sucked out by the undertow. I grabbed my Dad and swam him back to where he could stand. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t very far, but my Dad made it sound like it was miles. I always was a water baby.

What’s on your bucket list?

Oh, I want to ski Colorado – I just learned to ski a few years ago and so far, my skiing has been all at Sugarloaf in Maine. I’d love to figure out a way to fly in the Concorde. I always wanted to do that, but I think that ship has sailed. Drive an open wheel race car. Dive on the USS Quincy. My uncle died on that ship in WWII. And dive Palau. I’ve never dove in the Pacific. It’s definitely a bucket list item.

Where would Carol go on vacation?

Hayden is such a dive bum.  She’d head to Saba in the Caribbean in a heartbeat. And I’d be right alongside.

What is the one thing you can’t live without? That one must have item?

My iPhone.  It’s the modern equivalent of the Swiss Army Knife. I’m embarrassed to admit, I’m addicted to mine!

Connect with Kait Carson

Author photos 009 (1)Twitter: @kaitcarson

Facebook: Kait Carson Author Page

Website: http://www.kaitcarson.com/

Purchase Kait’s latest release, Death by Blue Water, on Amazon.