COMING IN JUNE 2017!
Title of Book: Adrift on Edisto
By: C. Hope Clark
Book Excerpt: Blood rushed in Callie’s ears. With an embarrassed board frozen before her, stunned citizens behind her, Callie stiffened in defense. “Excuse me?” She crushed the papers in her hand, but she wasn’t sure she had the strength for Brice’s challenge, or the focus to handle it properly. Not without getting fired on the spot . . . or being arrested for murder.
And God knows there’d been enough murder on the island.
She’d been exonerated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division in the shootout. But that fact paled in the shadow of Mike Seabrook’s death. The community had adored him. And he’d been the man she’d professed to love just twenty-four hours before he succumbed to a bullet and a knife on a muddy, desolate, rained-out road.
The room had gone silent. Silent! How many people still held her accountable?
Did they expect her to brawl, retaliate? Surely they sensed she couldn’t take a single breath without the memory.
Or was this a test as to what she could handle?
Then, wearing her more formal black yoga pants, Sophie Bianchi leaped from her seat, jeweled hands on tiny hips, her black pixie hair shaking with rage and a hundred-dollar highlight job. “Well, I’ll sure as hell say something if none of you will. What’s wrong with you people? And Brice, you’re a gold-plated jackass and do not represent the voices of everyone here, regardless how big and bad you think you are! Don’t you remember the price this woman has paid for us?”
“How about the price we’ve paid?” he yelled.
One councilman gave a soft, “Yeah.” The councilwoman nodded, then seemed to catch herself when Sophie gave her a glare.
Callie was mortified. Were they doing this now? Judging her abilities to remain chief? Formally, they couldn’t with the issue not being on the agenda, but the mention this month meant a formal discussion the next.
Her phone vibrated in her pocket. As Sophie continued dressing down the council, Brice’s gaze hard, heavy-lidded, and challenging, Callie peered at Jeb’s caller ID. No message and no urgency. She refused it and turned her focus back to Sophie. Jeb had probably forgotten her town council meeting obligation.
“This woman,” and the yoga mistress gripped Callie’s hand, “has saved this beach more times that you’ve pee’d in the ocean, you pompous dolt.”
Snickers rolled around the room. Brice’s cheeks reddened.
A text came through Callie’s phone. 911, Mom. Call me.
Callie spun her back to the council and strode to the back of the room, redialing his number. He picked up on one ring.
“What’s wrong? Where are you?” she whispered, a hand covering her other ear to hear better. Jeb had never cried wolf in his life. She glanced over at the government-issue wall clock. Quarter to eight.
“Chief Morgan,” Brice said into a microphone the small room really didn’t need.
She held up a stiff arm, finger pointed indicating one moment.
“We’re kayaking up Bay Creek,” Jeb said, his voice quivering. “Oh my gosh, Mom. We were coming back and . . .” His words turned softer, his mouth away from the phone. “It’s all right. Mom will take care of it.”
“She’s on the damn phone, Brice,” Sophie scolded. “Probably an emergency. It’s what you hired her to do.”
Callie pressed her ear harder to hear better with the other. Was that Sprite crying? Instinctively, Callie glanced at Sprite’s mother. Sophie was still giving what-for to Brice.
“Jeb?” Callie spun back, head tucked down. “Is Sprite okay?”
Panic still laced his tone. “She’s fine. And I’m fine, but this floating body hung up in the grass isn’t.”
Author Bio: Married to a federal agent she met during a bribery investigation, C. Hope Clark can’t read, write, or watch too many mysteries. And she’s penned seven of them, in two series. The Carolina Slade Mysteries and The Edisto Island Mysteries have won several awards and continue to draw attention to her rural, coastal home state. In love with water and South Carolina, she throws her characters in the thick of it, seasoned with some serious bodies. When she’s not plotting murder, Hope is editor of FundsforWriters.com, a resource for writers chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past 16 years. www.chopeclark.com / www.fundsforwriters.com
Where to purchase the book: The book comes out in June, so there are no links.
Hope’s author page and Author Central page at Amazon.