I am super thrilled to welcome Rebecca here today. Her book How to Moon a Cat was my pick for Best Cozy of 2011. Her new series, Mystery In The Islands, is quite different from the Cats and Curios Mysteries. I am excited that she is here to tell us how the new series new series came to “fruition.”
I first traveled to St. John in September, 2007. A good friend of mine planned to get married on the beach, so several of us decided to fly down for the ceremony. I had never been to the Caribbean, and this seemed like the perfect excuse to check it out.
Of course, I had a fabulous time. I fell in love with the beaches, the water, and the jaw-dropping landscape. But the end of that journey came far too soon. I knew there was much more there for me to explore.
As soon as I got home, I booked a return ticket. A few weeks later, I boarded a plane for my first official island research trip.
It was during that second visit that I met many of the people who inspired the fictional characters in Adrift on St. John (Mystery in the Islands)
There was the crazy-eyed hippie with a beat up guitar case who slid into the bench seat behind me on a stormy ferry ride from Charlotte Amalie to Cruz Bay. The scrawny little man chatted at me the entire way across the Pillsbury Sound. He had been coming down to St. John for the last twenty years, and each time, he assured me, he stayed at the Maho Bay Eco Resort – in his favorite cabin that he fondly called the “Teepee Tent.”
Then there was the group of ex-pats I met outside a local bar at a table positioned uncomfortably close to a large refuse bin. On the day I joined them, the Dumpster table crowd included a chubby Puerto Rican sous chef, a frizzy-haired deckhand from one of the local dive shops, and a short muscular contractor whose wife had left him several years earlier after a failed migration from Minnesota to St. Croix. The conversation soon drifted to the sad fate of Kaka, a previous resident of the sous chef’s and deck hand’s moldy basement apartment.
The most significant inspiration, however, occurred late one night while riding into town on the back bed of a truck taxi. A housemaid from the resort sat a few feet away, complaining bitterly about the water taxi she would soon be boarding for her trip home to St. Thomas. Something had come up at the resort, and she’d had to work past the departure time of the last regular ferry out of Cruz Bay.
I can still remember her indignant, heavily accented voice, lamenting the consequences of her late night shift.
“What-ter taxi…what-ter taxi…ohhh, no…
Eye doon nut lyke thuh what-ter taxi…
Beeg sheep go down slowe…
Small sheep go down fest….
Eye wurk und Eye wurk,
But steel Eye’ve gut to tek thuh what-ter taxi…
Ack, Eye doon nut lyke the what-ter taxi…”
Water taxi…water taxi…oh, no…
I do not like the water taxi…
Big ship go down slow…
Small ship go down fast…
I work and I work,
But still I’ve got to take the water taxi…
Ack, I do not like the water taxi…
It was then that I knew I had to write a book based on these experiences. It’s taken several years to come to fruition, but I hope you enjoy sharing my journey Adrift on St. John (Mystery in the Islands).
About This Author
Rebecca M. Hale is the NY Times bestselling author of How to Wash a Cat. The series, starring Rebecca’s cats Rupert and Isabella, takes place at an antique shop in San Francisco’s historic Jackson Square. While fictional, each book features a different aspect of California history — from the Gold Rush (How to Wash a Cat), to the San Francisco exploits of Mark Twain (Nine Lives Last Forever), to the Bear Flag Revolt (How to Moon a Cat). The fourth book in the series, How to Tail a Cat, is due out September, 2012.
Rebecca just released a new Mystery in the Islands series, set in the US Virgin Islands, which starts with Adrift on St. John. The second book in the series, AFOOT ON ST. CROIX, is scheduled for 2013 release
Adrift on St. John
(Mystery in the Islands)
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Pen Hoffstra made a huge decision four years ago to escape the rat race and relocate to paradise. She quickly realized the idea of a tropical paradise is really just an illusion.
When a young woman, Hannah Sheridan, a new resident of St. John, disappears and a water taxi mysteriously sinks off the island, she is not surprised that all is not what it seems. Hannah had an uncanny resemblance to the Amina Slave Princess from the 1733 Slave Revolt on St. John. The ghost of the princess is said to haunt the island. The residents of St. John start to believe she is the reason for the sinking of the taxi and Hannah’s disappearance.
Only one person really knows the truth, the whole truth, and it is definitely not what anyone suspects.
This story is another Rebecca M. Hale story that it is steeped in history but it takes a little different turn. It is a very complicated mystery full of deception, denial, and some delightful duplicity. The author takes us on a wild spin around this small island where everyone seems to have a secret and nothing is really as it appears.
The setting seems so ideal but while this may be a great place to visit I can see why it may not be the best place to live. Everything is quite pricey, the population is only a few thousand and area is really small, just 19 square miles. However it is a magical place for an obscure mystery. A mystery where no one really knows anybody, where sometimes the price for living in paradise is just too great.
This is perfect story to escape into, escape to the paradise of St. John, just beware just when you think you have everything figured out, you don’t. Enjoy!!
p.s. You are going to love Fred!!!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
2 copies of this wonderful book to giveaway,
but thanks to the generosity of Rebecca I have some awesome swag to giveaway.
In addition to the book, two winners will receive
matted photo from Rebecca’s research trip to St. John!
Three additional people will win 2 matted photos
and 5 more will receive a set of picture postcards.
These picture are amazing!!!
U.S. & Canadian Residents
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Rebecca for 5 Bonus Entries.
Tell your friends and family about this book!
If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End March 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”