Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cold Blood, Hot Sea with Charlene D'Avanzo

Please help me welcome Charlene D'Avanzo to the Killer Hobbies blog today!  Charlene writes a mystery series starring a marine biologist with a love of seakayaking.  Charlene, please tell us why seakayaking plays such a prominent role in  your mysteries.

Seakayaking has been my passion for thirty-odd years. Now it’s at the heart of my Maine Oceanography Mystery Series.

I call the series “Environmental Mysteries” because the natural world is a character in itself and each story has an environmental underpinning. In COLD BLOOD, HOT SEA—published on June 7th—climate change doubters are the bad guys. The amateur sleuth, Mara Tusconi, is an oceanographer hounded by powerful people with a lot to loose by what Mara and her colleagues are finding out about warming of Maine’s coastal waters.
Sea kayaking plays a major role in the story. In her quest for the killer of another scientist, Mara uses her kayak to take water samples in Maine’s icy April seawaters at night. When she’s discovered, there’s a motorboat-sea kayak chase (you’ll have to read the book to find out how she escapes!). Toward the end of the book, the villain tries to kill Mara by abandoning her a mile off the coast along with her sea kayak—but without a wetsuit—so that it looks like she died in a foolish accident.

In COLD BLOOD, HOT SEA I try to immerse readers in the beauty of the Maine coast, and sea kayaking helps me do that. Here’s an example of what I mean. In this scene Mara kayaks to an island with Ted, the story’s love-interest:
On the way out, we relished being in our two little boats on the ocean. The water sparkled as we slid through a calm sea with a light following wind. We talked some but mostly enjoyed the silence—the only sound the swish-swish of our paddles through the water. At one point, a harbor seal popped out of the water right next to our boats and scared the living daylights out of us.
My publisher is Torrey House Press, whose motto is “conservation through literature”. Book number two (working title Shadow Spirit of the Sea), takes Mara and her friends to Haida Gwaii, a national park and archipelago of islands fifty miles off British Columbia. The stunning temperate rainforest, dangerous Pacific Ocean, and Haida people’s historical and mythical presence make for excellent mystery writers’ fodder. The story begins as Mara is swept towards the cold, deep Pacific in her run-away kayak.

Marine ecologist and award-winning environmental educator Charlene D'Avanzo studied the New England coast for over thirty years. Her Mara Tusconi Mystery Series takes readers into the stunning beauty of Maine's sea waters and grave threats facing them. An avid sea kayaker, D'Avanzo lives in Yarmouth, Maine.  She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime New England, SIC Guppies, Mystery Writers of America (MWA), and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. In 2015 she was awarded MWA's McCloy scholarship for new writers.

1 comment:

Linda O. Johnston said...

Welcome to Killer Hobbies, Charlene. What a wonderful, exciting, inspirational theme for a mystery series! I look forward to reading it.