by Kathleen Costa
This week we have a triple header from Kathi Daley-a review and giveaway of her book Secrets by the Sea, a mini interview with Kathi, and a fun guest post by her about enjoying the world around us. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either a print or kindle copy of Secrets by the Sea, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Secrets by the Sea: A Haunting by the Sea by Kathi Daley
Review by Kathleen Costa
A Haunting by the Sea is one of Kathi Daley’s most recent series. The first book Homecoming by the Sea, released in April 2018, reprises the characters from her Seacliff High series. Under the name of Alyson Prescott, Amanda Parker and her mom had spent two years in the Witness Protection Program after she had witnessed the murder of her friend. However, life in Cutter’s Cove, Oregon, had taken a strange turn when she discovered she could see ghosts. She learned that her ability, although eerie and sometimes perilous, had been helpful in facilitating the departed to move on. Finally circumstances had allowed her to exit the WPP and return to her old life in New York. But ten years later, after attending college and building a successful career, Amanda has been experiencing some disturbing dreams, and then she learns about a friend’s murder. Unsolved? No way. She decides to take time off from work and return to Cutter’s Cove, but waiting for her are some very interesting events and people…
Secret by the Sea earns 5/5 Dreams and Secrets Revealed…Fun!
“Some secrets are meant to be shared, others are better off forgotten.”
After her success solving her friend’s death, Amanda has decided to remain in Cutter’s Cove for the remainder of her six-week vacation hoping that she can actually have a vacation sans any ghosts, disturbances, or investigations. However, that is not to be when a dream—foggy, tiring climb, a grave with a handmade wooden cross—brings to her attention a young girl who went missing sixteen years ago. To the original investigating detective Naomi’s disappearance seemed suspicious with several scenarios and one very obvious suspect, but there was no evidence, no crime scene, no body. Retracing some of the detective’s steps and interviewing key persons along with exploring the area to find the setting displayed in the dream, it is clear that this investigation is not going to be easy.
Kathi Daley does well incorporating the paranormal or supernatural in a way that it all seems real. I enjoy a little “ghost” or “ESP” in my cozy, but with Kathi Daley, it’s never juvenile hocus-pocus. It is an entertaining way to offer information, evidence, and maybe inject some fun or poignancy into her story. She also does well including every day experiences, life events, and personal interactions that engage the reader beyond the “cozy murder” theme. These events facilitate character development and make Kathi Daley’s characters well-defined and relatable. Add a clever mystery, detailed investigation often with the approval of law enforcement, and a satisfying conclusion, and you have another hit from Kathi Daley. You can start with “Secrets by the Sea” without difficulty, but “Homecoming by the Sea” is an absolute must!
ALERT! Although it has concluded, I highly recommend checking out the seven-book Seacliff High series. Cozy fans will be pleasantly surprised. It is still available on Amazon: Seacliff High by Kathi Daley.
Let’s Have a Chat With Kathi Daley
I was one of the fans sorry to see the end of Kathi Daley’s Seacliff High series. Although they were in high school, and the stories did refer to studying for tests, football games, and typical high school angst, they were mature enough that their age was easy to overlook. When I learned Kathi was reimagining the series, I am so delighted. But how did this all come about was a question I was lucky to get answered.
How did this new series come about?
Kathi: After a couple of years of trying to get my Seacliff High series off the ground, I finally decided that it just wasn’t pulling in the sales of my other series in spite of my best efforts to get people to try it, so I decided to end it. Of course the minute I finally did announce I was ending it, the fans of the series began emailing me in droves begging me not to. The problem I had decided, was not with the basic plot or characters, but with the fact that a lot of people were simply unwilling to try a series where the main characters were in high school. After spending quite a bit of time mulling it over, I decided to try a spinoff series with the same setting and characters, but to have it take place ten years later. I hoped this would appease the fans who loved the Seacliff series and bring in some new readers who were not into the whole teen thing.
What do you hope to do in the future with Amanda/Alyson…No spoilers?
Kathi: LOL. I have no idea. The Amanda/Alyson thing was a fluke. It all started with a cover. My cover designer and I were working on the cover for book one, and while I liked it, I felt it needed something. She came across this image of the ghost and added it to the house on the hill which we both felt added pop to the cover. While I loved the teenage ghost on the cover, the victim in the story was an elderly male, so it didn’t really fit. My cover designer said she’d look for a male ghost, and I was like “no, don’t do that. I’ll write the teenage ghost into the story.” For that reason and that reason alone, the concept of an Alyson/Amanda split was born. Since the idea was to simply justify the ghost on the cover of book one, I originally planned to slap them back together by the end of book one. But then I decided that it really made more sense for them to merge only after Amanda had definitely made the decision to stay, which she did in book two. While I don’t think it is practical to have Alyson running around on the outside indefinitely, I find that I have grown to really love her character. I had her come back briefly at the end of book 2 but I honestly have no idea what I will do with the situation in book 3.
Anything you’d like to share about the “gears” you switch when writing about Amanda/Alyson as opposed to the other characters?
Kathi: Gears? I have gears? Oh, Kathleen, you give me too much credit. Switching gears feels intentional. I just write.
What might the third book be? Any clues about titles? Too soon…
Kathi: The third book will come out in October – I didn’t have a title or a plot until a couple of days ago when a graphic I liked for the cover gave me an idea for the plot. Basically the story will center around a ghost with amnesia who can’t move on until she figures out who she was in life and what happened to her. The gang will decide to help her answer these questions and will start off by looking for her body since she can’t remember where she left it. I think the title will be Vanished by the Sea? Maybe Missing by the Sea? I’m not sure yet, but I’ll know by the time this publishes.
It’s All About the Dots
by Kathi Daley
As a busy author, it is incredibly easy to become so wrapped up in what you are doing that you forget to take time out for life. Real life. Not the imaginary world where I honestly spend most of my time, but this world where, if I take the time, I find nature in all its glory. Living in Lake Tahoe most definitely has its perks, but the availability of the lake, beach, forest, and wildlife means nothing if you never leave your office.
A few years ago, my husband Ken and I came up with a way to remind ourselves to get outside while the weather was good and have some fun. What we basically did is borrow an element from our childhoods and developed a star chart, only our chart has dots and not stars.
On or around May 15 Ken will print off a new chart. It has items on in such as dinner at the beach, wakeboarding on the lake, bicycling, kayaking, hiking, and even watching the sunset with a bottle of wine. We put the chart on our refrigerator, and every time we do one of the activities listed on the chart, we give ourselves a dot next to that activity. I guess we have around 10 activities listed. Some we do every week, others maybe only a few times over the summer. The point of the chart is to provide a visual reminder of how well we are sticking to our commitment to get outside and enjoy this beautiful place we are lucky enough to live.
It might seem ridiculous to have to track fun in order to do it, but I guess that for many of us this is the reality we live in. This idea might not be for everyone, but for us this seems to work since we are both type “A” personalities and don’t want to spend the summer looking at an empty chart. A lot of our friends have started their own charts measuring activities that are important to them, and now that the idea has caught on, we have a chart for winter as well.
To enter to win either a print or kindle copy of Secrets by the Sea, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “secrets,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 28, 2018. U.S. residents only for the print copy. If entering via email please include your mailing address (which will only be used to ship the book to you if you win), and if via comment please include your email address. PLEASE STATE IN ENTRY WHETHER YOU WANT PRINT OR KINDLE. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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