Welcome to my tour stop for Silenced in the Surf by Kate Dyer-Seeley! This is book three in the Pacific Northwest Mystery series and released March 29th, 2016.
The tour runs April 4-15 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
Silenced in the Surf is, quite possible, my favorite of Kate Dyer-Seeley’s Pacific Northwest series to date. Meg Reed, our heroine, jumps right into action while covering a windsurfing competition for the magazine she writes for. She’s eager to head to the Hood River, hoping the proximity of water might cool the heat wave Portland’s been having. But, in true Meg fashion, she doesn’t escape the heat, she finds herself having jumped from the frying pan into the fire.
Before the competition starts, Meg is invited to try windsurfing with the other “top tier” members of the press and the competition’s organizer. During the course of her lesson, she is separated from the group and drifts into rough waters, only to bump into the board and body of one of the event’s most decorated competitors. Unfortunately, the talented surfer is in no position to help Meg. What was supposed to be an on-location assignment turns into yet another murder investigation for Meg. She’s surrounded by best friend Jill and potential boyfriend Matt, along with her grandmother and her grandmother’s boyfriend, who just happens to be the sheriff, and her attractive boss, Greg. Everyone urges, well, actually orders Meg to stay out of the investigation, but she can’t help herself. What she ends up discovering is a true lesson in not judging books – or people – by their covers.
Silenced in the Surf is a smart, fun, engaging mystery. Kate Dyer-Seeley writes with a practiced ease, all the while turning up the tension – in both the mystery and the romance departments! Woven into each individual book in the Pacific Northwest series, is a larger story: just what happened to Meg’s father? What is simply an accident? Each book delivers tantalizing tidbits of information as Meg and Matt try to piece together information, follow murky leads, and figure out the truth of the matter. The fact that this over-arching mystery is so skillfully incorporated in a way that doesn’t feel overly drawn out or confusing, but also allows the characters to live, learn, and grow around it, makes my admiration for this series – and this author – grow even more.
Read an Excerpt from Silenced in the Surf
Gam patted the empty towel. “Have a minute to chat, or do you need to get back to work?”
I plopped on the towel. “I always have time to chat with you, Gam.”
“They are something, aren’t they? I can’t seem to tear my eyes away.” Gam pointed to the surfers performing gravity-defying stunts on the river. “And they’re so easy on the eyes.” Gam winked.
“Gam! They’re all like my age.”
“I know, darling, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a nice young body every now and then.”
My mouth hung open. “You go, Gam!”
Her face lit up. “Ha!”
We watched the windsurfers skim the surf in silence for a moment, then Gam’s tone turned serious. Without making eye contact, she asked, “Is there something more than the death this morning that’s bothering you, Margaret?”
Her ability to read my emotions never ceased to amaze me.
She offered me the oil. I countered with a bottle of sunscreen. “I did NOT inherit your skin, Gam.”
“True. You’re like your father in so many ways.” She twisted the cap on the oil and stuck it back in her bag. “Does this have anything to do with him by chance?”
“Sort of. Yeah, I guess so.”
“Care to elaborate?” Gam removed an amethyst pendant from her neck and placed it in my hand. “Why don’t you hold this while we talk? I’ll hold the space for you to stay open to whatever message the Universe wants you to receive.”
In Gam speak, “holding the space” meant that she’d call in her spiritual guides. Her body shifted slightly as she closed her eyes. I felt an immediate sense of calm wash over me. She spiraled as if the wind were rocking her from side to side. The crowded beach and background chatter became consumed by Gam’s serene energy. It was almost like she was sending energy waves and creating a protective bubble around us. The hot wind felt almost cool on my face, as I allowed myself to relax and savor the feeling.
After a few minutes she dusted her hands and opened her eyes. “Is that better?”
“Wow. Yeah. That’s so nice. Thank you.”
“They’re telling me to remind you to keep breathing. It’ll help you ground.” She modeled this by placing her hand just below her navel—or as she calls it, her solar plexus—and breathing in through her nose. I did the same.
“Now imagine a beautiful red cord wrapping around your stomach and going all the way into the earth. That’s your grounding cord. It will keep you tethered and help remind you to stay present in this moment.”
Gam’s personal philosophy is to be present in the moment. She makes it sound so easy, but I’ve found it’s often profoundly difficult. As she likes to say, “It’s simple, but it isn’t easy. There’s a difference.”
Gam appeared to be satisfied with my ability to center. “Good on you, Margaret! Do you feel more centered?”
I did. I told Gam as much and then the words poured out of me. Everything that had been weighing on me from Justin’s death, to Matt and Greg, to whatever was going on with Pops’ death. I couldn’t hold it in.
Gam sat and listened. I thought about the contrast between us—with her dark, olive skin and hair, and my ruby-red cheeks and fair hair. No one would think we were related.
Twice she closed her eyes and sent me energy as I spoke. When I finished with my purge she clasped my hands in hers. “You’ve been holding a lot in. Let’s do a little exercise to release all that negative energy, what do you say?”
I agreed. She started chanting. I became immediately aware that we were on a public beach as throaty vowel sounds escaped her lungs and reverberated to me. For a moment I felt my body tense. What would people around us think? Then as her voice got stronger and stronger the sound enveloped me. It felt like my body detached and everything evaporated around me. I was cradled in the most beautiful white light. Was I having an out-of-body experience? I’d heard people talk about them before—Gam included—but I’d never come close to that myself.
As quickly as the feeling caught me, it disappeared. My focus returned to the beach, the noise of children splashing in the waves, announcements for competitors to get to their starting stations and the oppressive heat.
I threw my hands onto the towel to try to get my bearings. “What just happened?”
Gam gave me an expectant look. “Did you feel it?”
“Yeah.” I breathed out hard to try to center myself again. “I definitely felt something.”
“Wahoo! It’s a new practice I’ve been working on. You’re my first guinea pig.”
“Well, I think it works.”
“Did you love it?”
“Uh, I’m not exactly sure.”
Gam squeezed the amethyst in my hand. “That’s okay. We went way up on that one, take some time to come back down.”
Covering a windsurfing competition should have been a breeze for reporter Meg Reed, but with a killer in the curl, she’s headed for rough waters…
Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge is the windsurfing capital of the world, and Meg is stoked to cover the King of the Hook event for Portland’s Northwest Extreme magazine. Before the competition gets under way, Meg has a chance to try some windsurfing on her own. But when the current sweeps her downriver, she spots a body snagged on the rocks. The dead man is Justin Cruise, aka Cruise Control, a celebrity windsurfer and not exactly a nice guy. It’s soon clear his death was no accident, and Cruise had no shortage of enemies. As Meg dives right in to discover who wiped out the windsurfer, she’ll need to keep her balance–or she too may get blown away.
“A fun, terrific adventure.” —Suspense Magazine
Includes Adventure Guides!
About the Author:
Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing. The first book in the series, Scene of the Climb, features the rugged landscapes of the Columbia River Gorge and a young journalist who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme.
Her work has appeared in a variety of regional and international publications including: The Columbian, The Vancouver Voice, Seattle Backpacker, Portland Family Magazine, and Climbing Magazine.
Kate lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.