“Still Waters Run Deep”
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Title: Asylum Harbor
Series Name: The Salty Dog Series, Book One
SubGenre(s): Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: Spicy (PG-13)
Page Count: 198
Word Count: 45,430
Welcome to my beach, Isla. We’re so glad to meet you. Grab a cold drink and have a seat.
Hi Sandra! Thanks so much for letting me drop by today. I love Life’s A Beach, so I’m really excited to be here. I’ll have a sweet iced tea, please! J
I love the cover of your book. I’ve always said The Wild Rose Press has fantastic artists. How did you find your way into the Wild Rose Press garden?
I feel so fortunate to be part of this amazing team. I had heard so many good things about The Wild Rose Press over the past few years, so when I felt “Asylum Harbor” was as good as I could get it, they were the first and only ones I sent it to. I had an incredible editor who pushed me to make the story better and, I think, in the long run, a better writer. The cover artists are wonderful and my fellow “Roses” have been supportive as well.
I’m sure everyone is curious about you. One thing we always like to know – what is your writing space like? Do you have a home office, travel around the house with your laptop, or spend time in public places?
Oh my goodness! I have a desk that’s cluttered with pens, candy wrappers and an assortment of colored paper clips, that I never sit down to write at. (Daryl, our cat, uses the desk chair as a place to take his afternoon nap.) My laptop usually follows me into the living room or on the front porch but doesn’t venture out the house much. The first draft of the stories I write are handwritten so the notebook I use stays with me when I’m out and about. You never know when you’re going to have a free moment. A lot of “Asylum Harbor” was written in my car while waiting in the carpool lane at my daughter’s school. I’d get there an hour early to beat traffic and to write.
What are the favorite tools of your trade? Do you prefer a desktop, laptop, or pen and paper?
I’m a hoarder of pens, paper, post-it notes, you name it. I know I don’t need to buy anymore, but I’m compelled to at least look down the aisles when I go to the store. But give me a pad of paper and a pencil and we’re good to go.
Do you have anything special close by; music, a pet, a lucky charm?
I’m obsessed with music but I can’t have it playing when I’m writing—the quieter the better or I’ll get distracted. Pets are a completely different story. We have three cats: Tori, Daryl and Loki. Loki is the one who likes to curl up on my lap when I’m working while Daryl likes to get behind the laptop and watch what I’m doing. Since Tori is the oldest, and the self-proclaimed Queen Bee, she tries to sit on the laptop while I’m typing.
Let’s have a look at your blub ~
Trouble is the last thing Devon Brown needs when she leaves the painful memories of her past behind and heads to Shell Island. As the Salty Dog’s new bartender, she finds herself drawn to Kerr, the Shell Island harbormaster. But finding her happily-ever-after is difficult when dealing with an obnoxious bootlegger who supplies the bar with illegal liquor and a jealous coworker.
A standoffish loner with damaged emotions, Kerr avoids relationships like the plague. Things change when Devon catches his eye. As a simple flirtation grows serious, the coworker and bootlegger quickly become obstacles to any future Kerr and Devon may have together. As the situation worsens, Devon realizes that even the still waters of Asylum Harbor are no refuge during a storm.
It sounds like your hero and heroine both have an intriguing past. What three words would you use to describe Devon?
Now, give us three words for Kerr.
What were their first impressions of each other?
They are pretty dismissive of each other. Devon and Kerr meet briefly on the ferry headed to Shell Island. She’s already uncomfortable being on the open water so when she bumps into him and he’s rude to her, she’s hoping she doesn’t have to deal with him again. He’s thinking she’s just another out of place visitor to the island.
I think we sound take a peek at an excerpt ~
“You already got dibs on this one Kerr?”
Porter shot an evil glare at the opposite end of the bar and looked back toward her. “I’ll see you tonight.” He flicked his tongue. “After work.” He raised his glass in a mock toast and chugged it in one gulp.
The lights dimmed for Victoria’s dance of the night. Devon watched Kerr, who was usually headed for the exit by now, and breathed a sigh of relief when he remained glued to his seat with his back to the stage. He wasn’t staying for Victoria’s peep show. There must have been something about this Porter character that got under his skin in a bad way.
Devon was eager for the quick break. She hustled to the back as the chords to “Simply Irresistible” began to pelt over the speakers and ran some cold water over her forearm. A red welt was beginning to show where Porter had held onto it. She hoped he would be gone by the time she got back.
Making it out before mid-song, Devon rounded the bar when someone snagged her wrist and thrust her hard against the bar, knocking the wind out of her. She could smell Porter’s alcohol-laced breath as his weight pinned her under him. One of his grubby hands shot under her shirt while the other wrestled with the button on her pants. “Let’s give them a real show.”
She struggled to reach the Equalizer, but it remained hidden, out of her grasp. Devon hoisted her knee toward his crotch, but Porter lost his balance and fell backward before she could make contact.
Kerr towered over him. “Get your hands off her.”
It sounds like the Salty Dog is a pretty rough place. Sense the series is named after it; I assume it will be a regular watering hole for your readers. Perhaps you should prepare us by telling us a little about it and how the idea for the place came to you.
Ha, ha! Not that I frequent seedy bars, but the Salty Dog—the way it’s described—is a mix of a couple of places and believe it or not, both are family restaurants. (There is a stage in one restaurant, but, I promise, no stripper pole.) The Salty Dog is the only bar on Shell Island. It’s a place where the locals can get a drink, get a little rowdy and the waitresses provide live entertainment. So, as long as we keep visiting Shell Island, the Salty Dog will be there.
I first came up with the idea of the story while on a trip to Shell Island. The island does exist, but it’s uninhabited. Visitors make trips there during low tide to collect sand dollars. I knew right off that Devon was going to be a bartender and could picture this bar in the middle of nowhere. The hardest part was the title. It was the last thing I came up with after the book was completely finished.
And now that we know Asylum Harbor is the first book of a series, can you give us a hint about how many stories you expect the series to be?
Right now, “Asylum Harbor” is the first book of three. I’m working on the second one with the idea for the third. I have titles for both of them so I’m already a step ahead. There could be a fourth with one of the other characters in the forefront.
Will we meet the characters for the next book in Asylum Harbor? And, will Devon and Kerr show up in book two?
Devon and Kerr will be back in the second book along with the others. I really love these two so I’m not ready to let them go yet. There’s still plenty of havoc to cause. J
Before you leave, we’d like to know more about you ~
Isla Grey is from Central Virginia and still lives in the same small town she grew up in. She developed a love of writing at an early age and over the years has tried her hand at penning poetry (some good, some not so good), screenwriting, newspaper articles and historical stories. She’s “old school” when it comes to writing and is a hoarder of more pens, post-it notes and writing journals than she’ll ever need. Isla likes to write different types of stories from romance to mystery and anything in between and loves a “happy for now but there could be some bad things coming” feel. When Isla’s not writing, she spends her time being called “Mom, Mama, Mommy” (well, you get the picture) by her daughter who is forever active, even in her sleep. She considers herself an unofficial “cat whisperer” and is a pet human to a plethora of cats that have taken up residence at her home over the years. Isla also enjoys reading a good biography or ghost story, traveling even though “there’s no place like home”, good music played loud and walking.
Isla loves movies and is the movie mistakes editor at Bellaonline.com where she talks about…well…movies.
You can connect Isla at:
Thanks so much for joining us on the beach today, Isla. Asylum Harbor sounds like a great the-kids-are-back-to-school book. Good luck with it and the stories to follow.
Thank you so much for letting me visit the beach today! I’ve had a great time and hope everyone enjoys “Asylum Harbor”.
Question for our visitors ~
Have you ever encountered someone in your workplace that made you uncomfortable? Tell us about it. If not, comment anyway. We’d love to know you were here.