I’m proud to announce the release of Sea Scope, my standalone psychological thriller. This book, quite different from my cozies and yet still containing a couple of cozy elements such as cats and an inn, also has other unique features. It’s the first book of mine to contain photographs and illustrations along with facts about lighthouses and lighthouse lore. In addition, it alternates back and forth in time in various chapters; and, while told in first-person by Sarah, the protagonist in the current time, it’s told by other characters in third-person in the past.
Sarah Collins needs an escape. Mourning her brother’s death and the impending breakup of her marriage, she accepts an invitation to return to her childhood home in South Carolina, where her family operated an inn.
She hasn’t been back to Sea Scope for twenty years; not since she and her brother Glen discovered a body by the nearby lighthouse. She never understood why her parents left Sea Scope so suddenly, or the reasons behind her father’s suicide.
After Sarah returns to the inn, she faces long-buried memories, text messages and strange clues. Something is not right in Sea Scope.
Reunited with people from her past, she tries to figure out what’s going on in her childhood home. As the past and present collide, she must face truths about her family, and what happened that summer day by the lighthouse. But will she survive to tell the tale?
When we crossed the bridge to Bretton Island, Carolyn exclaimed, “I wish my first view of Cape Bretton wasn’t in the pouring rain. It still looks lovely. I can see the lighthouse in the distance.”
I’d noticed it, too, but tried to ignore the emotions that welled up in me at its sight. We followed the one-lane road to Sea Scope next to dripping Spanish moss. The road wasn’t well lit, and I had to concentrate to find the turns that led to the inn relying on my memory more than the address I’d plugged into the car’s GPS which was often inaccurate.
“It’s coming up,” I notified Carolyn as we took another twisting turn, the wipers furiously swishing against the windshield in a futile attempt to keep it clear of the downpour.
“Thank God,” she said. “Be careful, Sarah. I can hardly see the road.”
The tires felt like they were rolling in mud as I accelerated so the car could crest the hill up to the inn. I finally came to a stop a few feet from Sea Scope’s door next to two cars, one I recognized as my aunt’s Honda. I wondered who the green Camry belonged to.
“This is it,” I told Carolyn who was already gathering her purse and overnight bag. “I think we can make it inside without using an umbrella if we run for cover under the porch.”
Carolyn looked ahead at the house. It was not as large as I remembered, but things always appear bigger to children. I could tell, even in the dark, that it needed upkeep. The bushes out front were overgrown and, although I couldn’t see the back garden, I assumed it also needed tending.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” Carolyn said with her hand on the car door. “I love these types of Victorian sea homes. It looks like the houses I saw when I visited Cape May years ago. The view of the water and lighthouse must be amazing in good weather. I can’t wait to see the inside.”
“I’m glad you approve. It looks a little unkempt to me and not as large as I remember, but it still exudes that Southern charm of which my aunt and father were always so proud. C’mon, let’s make a run for it. It looks like one of the other guests is already here. No need to drag along our suitcases. The overnight bags we used in the motel should be fine. We can get the other stuff tomorrow.”
Carolyn nodded, throwing open the passenger door to the onslaught of rain. I ran up the porch steps behind her. When I got there, I tapped the anchor doorknocker even though I saw there was now also a bell.
“Welcome to Sea Scope,” I said, taking a deep breath as I waited for an answer.
Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the four books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, and Love on the Rocks. Debbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, and the standalone mystery, Reason to Die. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and three cats, Stripey, Harry, and Hermione.
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