You never get over your first love… how about your first murder?

When a man is murdered in her bookstore the night before her grand opening, island newcomer, Delilah Duffy, makes a name for herself… as prime suspect. And, why not? The evidence points to her, and she’s a stranger in town with a mysterious past. Her arrival in Tipee Island just days before was marred with controversy. A disturbing act of vandalism sends a clear message – everyone wants to see her fail, even members of her own family. If Delilah Duffy hopes to create a life on the island she loved as a child, she must navigate through a vicious family feud, shoddy police work and the mistakes of her past. Will Delilah uncover the truth before her past and her precarious present destroy her? 

If you’re looking for a story world where characters are wholesome, church-going folks with mediocre sins and the biggest conflicts to speak of are misunderstandings, then Sea-Devil isn’t for you. I’ve read books like this… books that are safe and tidy and forgettable. 

Real people are messy, contradictory, ironic. The ones who sing the loudest in the pew can be the darkest in their souls. The ones sleeping near dumpsters can be the most generous with their hearts and impressive with their minds. And Delilah, like the bookstore she’s

Dive into Sea-Devil

You'll laugh, maybe learn something new...

The female octopus only mates once in her life, and that's because the one time kills her.  After a single romatic interlude, she spends a month fasting while taking care of her unhatched eggs.  But, it's not starvation that gets her in the end.  Her body is genetically programmed to kick the bucket after her eggs hatch.  She is simply done.

 

A positive person might look upon this scientific fact as rather romantic.  Having lived life and then enjoyed what had to have been a beautiful encounter, the femail knows that nothing could come close to surpassing it, so she dies.

 

I am not a positive person.

 

The female octopus probably waits until the absolute last moment of her precious life to give in to that genetic need to reproduce, and in the end is so disappointed with the whole thing that she dies out of despair.

 

Disappointment and dating go together.

You'll fall in love...

It would have been enough that he had these piercing, soulful eyes that made me feel naked.  But, to combine those eyes with a strong face, the kind you couldn't possibly get tired of staring at, beautiful blond hair that made me want to run my fingers through it, and soft lips that curved into the kindest of smiles...Well, it hardly seemed like God was playing fair.

You'll get lost in the mystery...

I feel like… I already know you- he had said. Images of his body lying on the floor flashed through my mind like I was watching a bad movie. I shut my eyes, tightly. I felt a little like I was in a half-brain sleep, fluctuating between the dreamworld and the real one. The blood smell filled my nose, and I cringed.

 

...the word ‘murderer’ ran through my head like a bad song. I had to prove it wasn’t me if I ever expected to make a life here, and at the same time, I wondered if that’s what I really wanted. Could it already be too late? And who was I to figure out anything so complicated as a murder? I pushed the accelerator down further.

I got out of the Jeep and reached in to get the vest.  In doing so, I dropped my hanky.  I bent down to get it, mentally kicking myself for being so careless, and that's when someone whacked me over the head, hard.  My vision blurred.  My legs gave way.  Darkness took over...

 

...My heartbeat quickened and my whole body trembled.  That's when the cold darkness introduced me to a painful reality.

 

I cried out.  I wasn't going to make it.

You'll tingle with suspense...
You'll appreciate your family...

"She's going to open for business while the good folk of Tipee are at church?"  Aunt Clara asked.  "After all that's happened, I'd think you'd do everything you can to restore your reputation.  Not make it worse.  People think you're building-stealing, filthy-mouthed, murdering floosy.  This won't help."

 

"People are sayin' you're like the devil," Aunt Charlotte said softly.

 

"I heard someone say she's the bride of Satan," Aunt Candy contributed.

 

"Girls!" Grandma Betty chastised.

“Everyone must think I’m a lunatic.” 

 

“Ah, that wasn’t so bad,” he replied. “One time, Mrs. Kenning brought in a garden gnome in a cat carrier. Brought it all the way up to the front of the church and set that ridiculous thing down right below the Baptismal cross.” 

 

I cast him an odd expression, and broke out in a curious smile. “Why?” He shrugged. “It was trying to steal her soul.”

 

He said it so plainly and normally that I couldn’t help but to laugh.”

You'll shake your head...
You'll be inspired...

“Get ready,” he’d warned me, backing further away. I got into paddle position, as he’d shown me several times on the beach, and the wave came. I kicked up, balancing carefully, and for a sum total of about three seconds, I did it. I surfed. And then, I fell. The water wrapped me up, and in it I did a forward roll or two before I caught my bearings, and Sam’s arm reaching in to pull me out. When I surfaced, I was laughing. 

 

“That was really good,” he’d said, smiling. “It was like flying,” I’d told him. 

 

Something about my life shifted that day. The sharp sting of the near-drowning became dulled by Sam’s smile and the joy of being with him. Nightmares kept plaguing me, but having one good memory of water almost balanced the other out. Almost.

You'll dream about the past...

“Nothing’s easy,” he whispered. “The things in life that are worth fighting for… well, there’s always a fight, isn’t there? And this… this thing you do to me… seems like there’d have to be an epic war to earn it. Good thing we’re both fighters.”

You'll consider the future...

“So far, I'd been the sand.  Now, I was ready to be the lightning."

You'll build your faith...

“We all screw up, Delilah. It sucks, but it gets better. If that hadn’t happened, I’d probably still be there… and that would have been an even bigger mistake. There were a lot of things about my life that I needed to change. God took what I’d done, my mistakes, and used them to give me nudges about my life.” 

 

“Nudges?” 

 

“Yeah, nudges. I needed them,” he sighed. “Mistakes can lead to blessings eventually.”

trying to reopen, is a beautiful mess. But, if you’re hoping for a good read, a cozy beach mystery with interesting characters who do good and bad things… then give Sea-Devil a try. Here are some other reasons to check it out...