Thursday, March 17

Great Escapes Guest Post: Death by Sunken Treasure by Kait Carson (@kaitcarson)

Death by Sunken Treasure

Hayden Kent Mystery, #2

Kait Carson

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: March 22, 2016
Number of pages: 272
Cover Artist: Stephanie Chontos

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo

When Hayden Kent’s mentor and friend discovers her son Mike’s dead body, dressed in full scuba attire, washed up on Pigeon Key, she needs Hayden. Her paralegal and dive skills may help unravel the tragedy of Mike’s last days. He’d recently discovered a sunken Spanish galleon and rumors that he hit the mother lode ran through the Keys like wildfire.

Hayden’s dive on the treasure site uncovers gold, and clues that Mike’s death was something far more sinister than an accident. When two different wills, both signed the day Mike died, are delivered to the courthouse, the suspect list grows, as do the threats against her. The danger escalates as she tries to save herself, discover the motive, and find the killer.
Guest Post: 
Adopt Don’t Shop

Thank you for having me Judy. I see from your site that you are a bookworm. I can’t think of a better hobby. Those of us who are bookworms (and I count myself among them) will never be bored. We have too many places to go and people to meet.

I’m often asked where my ideas come from. Who or what is my particular muse. For me, that’s an easy answer. I have six of them. Cats, that is, all rescues, each a unique individual. They are as much a part of my life as breathing. I can’t imagine writing without one or the other of them curled up behind me on my desk chair, trying to catch the mouse as I move it over the pad, or just head butting me when I write a particularly good sentence or chapter. They always seem to know.

Two of my cats, Starlight, who has now left me for the Rainbow Bridge, and Hutch are characters in my books. Hutch actually inspired the seminal germ of the Hayden Kent series. He’s a major part of the backstory.

Someone abandoned Starlight when she was about six months old. I heard a car door slam in front of my house. When I went to the door and saw a little silver tabby head looking at me surrounded by a ruff of lirope. I coaxed her out and discovered she was polydactyl. This little girl had thumbs, and she knew how to use them. She would grasp things, door handles in particular, and pull them, using her sixth toe as a thumb. We were together for nineteen years. My longest relationship, sorry hubby.

Starlight was the inspiration for Paddy Whack in the Catherine Swope series. When I created Catherine, I knew she was a former police officer, had left the force because of a righteous, but unpopular shooting, and had a German shepherd, also a former police officer, named Bullet. As I got deeper into the story, I realized that Catherine had never come to terms with the events in her life. She was hurting, and now she was wrongly accused of a murder as a result of her own weaknesses. Catherine was not in a good place. She needed more than a buddy, which she has in Nancy, she needed a gentle companion. She needed a cat.

In my experience, cats are female in nature. They listen and soothe. Dogs are male. They listen and try to fix the damage (all while looking for a treat). I looked up from the keyboard to try to work out the problem and found myself looking directly into Starlight’s amber eyes. Starlight was the answer. Calm, loving, independent, but always willing to listen, she became Paddy Whack, and Catherine had the companion she needed.

Things were a little different with Hutch. We call Hutch the Miami Sewer Cat. Never heard of the breed? It’s not too well known, thankfully. Just before the arrival of a tropical storm, sewer workers clean the grates to the sewer system hoping to lessen flooding. It’s a plan that never works. This time though the workers heard mewling from inside the drain. They called an animal rescuer and when they lifted the grate, they found three tiny kittens, eyes not yet open, in the sewer pipe. My vet took them in, and when he was old enough, the brown tabby with four white feet and a white tuxedo chest became my Hutch. He’s next to my chair looking at me right now.

Hutch is no Starlight. He’s all action and all dog. DOG. Yes, dog. He fetches, comes when he’s called, and sleeps on his back with his feet in the air. He is also strongly opinionated about what is right and wrong—for him. He’s not shy about sharing his opinion. How did he get involved with Hayden? 

For a long time now, I’ve had a story kicking around in my head. It’s got a title, Woman in the Box, and it’s got a scene, that’s it. One scene. The basis of the story is a true-life incident in which police discovered the body of a woman in a suitcase alongside a roadway. Gruesome stuff. The story has always called to me as a standalone novel. That’s how I met Hayden Kent. In my story, she discovers the body. She’d driving down the Florida Turnpike in Miami-Dade County and she spots a tiny brown tabby kitten sitting next to a packing crate in the median. To rescue the kitten, she pulls over to the side of the road. He doesn’t want to leave the box and go with her. When she gets closer, she smells the unmistakable scent of decomposition and calls the police. While waiting for the arrival of the officers, she coaxes the kitten into her truck. There you have it. My one scene.

The kitten has a longer storyline. He grows up with Hayden who names him Tiger Cat. Like Hutch, Tiger Cat is opinionated, knows what he wants and has figured out how to wrap Hayden around his paw. Tiger’s personality existed in my mind as a character before Hayden, and her personality, in the early books, plays off his. When I get stuck on a scene in the Hayden Kent books, I turn to Tiger Cat, figure out what he is doing and then I know exactly what Hayden will do next. She and Tiger are a team.

It’s easy to see that my muses inspire and support my writing. Each of two cats is actively involved in my stories and vignettes of our lives together give rise to scenes in each of the series books. Without Hutch and Starlight there might have been no Hayden and Catherine. I may have rescued these cats, but they have saved me in multiple ways.

Adopt don’t shop. Let your heart listen to the stories.

Do you have critters that have stolen your heart?

As a thank you for commenting, one commentator will win an e-copy of both of the Hayden Kent books, Death by Blue Water and Death by Sunken Treasure. Good luck!

Please make sure to fill out the Giveaway Tools: 
1. This is cross posted on Booklikes 
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Author Bio:
Kait Carson spent a lifetime living and working in the tropical paradise of south Florida. She opted for a day job as a paralegal practicing in the world of high-end estates and probate litigation. Legal pads give way to a keyboard in the evening and Kait spins tales of murder and mayhem set in the steamy Florida heat. Like her protagonist, Hayden Kent, Kait is an accomplished SCUBA diver. She lives with her husband, six rescue cats and three tropical birds at an airpark in Florida. Not too far from the water.

To connect with the author online:

Website | MYSTERISTAS | Writers Who Kill | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. I love dogs, but am unable to have one at this time. However, the apartment across the way has a faun English bulldog resident. Jasmine is such a delight. I peek out to see her watching all the activity outside, barking at the kids, and now that I call her by her name, she's friendly and "smiles" when I walk by. Oh, would it be feasible to have a dog...

  2. Hi Kathleen, I hear you. Pets make such a difference in our lives. It sounds like Jasmine is a wonderful surrogate pet. Maybe her owner would let you be an honorary "aunt."

  3. All but one of the cats my husband and I have had over our 44 years together have been rescues. We gave in and bought a red Abyssinian. He is a real looker. Our matriarch dies this year and she was a polydactyl, "Hemingway" cat.
    Libby Dodd

  4. Oh, Libby, I am so sorry. I lost my matriarch last year, on New Year's Day. She was just shy of 20 and polydactyl too. I'll tell you, she ruled with an iron paw. Abyssinian's have great personalities and they are drop dead gorgeous. I bet your's is movie star! Congratulations on 44 years. That's quite an accomplishment.

  5. My first pet was a beagle and cocker mix named Willie. She was a wonderful friend and companion.

  6. Dog named max when I was a teenager.

  7. I do have a cat named peaches that stole her way into our home.


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