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When Hayden Kent’s mentor and friend discovers her son Mike’s dead body, dressed in full scuba attire, washed up on Pigeon Key, she needs Hayden. Her paralegal and dive skills may help unravel the tragedy of Mike’s last days. He’d recently discovered a sunken Spanish galleon and rumors that he hit the mother lode ran through the Keys like wildfire.
Hayden’s dive on the treasure site uncovers gold, and clues that Mike’s death was something far more sinister than an accident. When two different wills, both signed the day Mike died, are delivered to the courthouse, the suspect list grows, as do the threats against her. The danger escalates as she tries to save herself, discover the motive, and find the killer.
Guest Post by Kait Carson
I’ve never found a body underwater, or treasure for that matter. Not unless you count all the quarters. For some reason people lose quarters at sea. I can’t imagine what they’re doing with them, but I bet I’ve found $20 underwater. All in quarters. Someday, I’ll have to go out on one of those commercial fishing boats. Maybe it’s a tradition, catch a fish, toss in a quarter. Loss a fish, toss in a quarter. Now that’s more likely. Problem is I wouldn’t last on a fishing boat. I’d catch sight of a pretty reef below and splash! I’d be in the water and heading for the bottom.
Like my protagonist, I’m a SCUBA diver. Neither one of us can imagine life on land without the beauty of the deep. She’s the one who finds the bodies and the treasure. Maybe I should plan a couple of dives with her. For treasure. Not for bodies. Nothing wrong with a doubloon or two in the jewelry box.
There’s more treasure under the water than gold and silver (although finding some of that would be fun). The biggest treasure of the sea is the breathtaking beauty. Swimming with the fishes in my world is a good thing, and one I’m passionate about. I used to say that I made a bad trade when I swapped gills for lungs at birth. Then I discovered humans don’t have gills at any time in their development. So much for that little bit of trivia from my personal garden of misinformation! Still, you get the idea, and you have to admit, it sounds good.
When the warm water closes over my head and I follow the anchor line to the bottom, I’m at home. It doesn’t matter if I’m in a crowd of fifty divers or with only my favorite dive buddy. I’m more alive than at any other time. The soft kiss of the sea eases any tension. The in and out sound of my own breathing fades into the background and little things fill my vision. Cushion starfish often line a sandy bottom, looking more cartoon than real. Schools of fish, my favorite are the silversides. They form a shiny curtain under the sea and undulate as if controlled by a single puppeteer. Startle them and the entire school will flit off as if it were one fish.
Forests of staghorn coral create surreal structure. Perfect domes of brain coral sprout colorful Christmas tree worms that disappear in a puff of coral dust when the diver gets too close. Pillar coral stands tall and yellow nearly shoulder to shoulder. It’s here that the stingrays often hide. Covering their wings with sand and showing only two humps of eyes. Conchs pod their way across the bottom and Florida lobster wave antenna looking for all the world like they are playing out the King of the World scene from Titanic.
This is my world, and Hayden’s. And it’s at risk. Seventy-one percent of the world’s surface is ocean. That’s huge. Yet UNESCO estimates that eighty percent of marine pollution comes from land-based sources, this is runoff, sewage, just plain dumping and the ever-ubiquitous plastic. Plastic is estimated to be responsible for the death of one million seabirds and one hundred thousand marine mammals per year. The effects of pollution on the reef are clear. The reef is bleaching, the water often has a murky quality, coral are dying, fish populations are failing, some from overfishing, some from habitat change, some from a myriad of fishy illnesses that have become more common as the ecosystem weakens. We may never be able to undo all of the damage done, but if we act responsibly, we can lessen the new damage. It’s our responsibility, and it should be our joy.
So, here’s a secret for Island Confidential…the next body buried might just be the deep blue sea.
Thank you for having me. It’s been fun to be here and to share a little bit about my book and about Hayden and my passion for a healthy ocean.
Do you dive? Sail? Or is a nice hot bath the closest you get to open-water adventure? Enter to win an autographed copy of Death by Sunken Treasure by leaving a comment on this post.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kait Carson spent a lifetime living and working in the tropical paradise of south Florida. She opted for a day job as a paralegal practicing in the world of high-end estates and probate litigation. Legal pads give way to a keyboard in the evening and Kait spins tales of murder and mayhem set in the steamy Florida heat. Like her protagonist, Hayden Kent, Kait is an accomplished SCUBA diver. She lives with her husband, six rescue cats and three tropical birds at an airpark in Florida. Not too far from the water.
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