Today Cara Mia Delgatto is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Sand Trapped, the latest novel in the Cara Mia Delgatto mystery series.
Welcome, Cara. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series?
–This particular novel is Sand Trapped: Book #6 in the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series. While doing a favor for a neighbor, I agreed to participate in a guest-member golf tournament. My friend and I were ahead until we found a dead body in the sand trap at Hole #6. That brought the contest to a close with a bang, the slamming of a casket lid.
If so, please tell us about the series too.
—Sand Trapped is part of a series named after me: The Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series. I’m a huge believer in second chances for people and for things. That’s one reason that I bought The Treasure Chest, a building in Stuart, Florida, slated to be torn down (Tear Down & Die: Book #1). I worked my butt off to turn it into a retail shop featuring upcycled, recycled, and repurposed goods with a beachy theme. Unfortunately, one of my biggest public relations triumphs was spoiled when a pushy reporter disappeared, only to be found dead in a car behind my store (Kicked to the Curb: Book #2). But I got over that, and my clientele continues to grow. Although the store takes up most of my time, I love walking on the beach. One morning I found a nearly drowned undocumented immigrant (All Washed Up: Book #3). Unfortunately a lot of desperate people hop on boats and cross the ocean to get to the Treasure Coast of Florida. They don’t realize that the coral reef right off the shore has caused many shipwrecks, scattering gold and gems up and down the coastline (Cast Away: Book #4). Although the beautiful ocean view is a major reason for living here in Florida, many retirees come here for the lovely weather (Ruff Justice: Book #5). And of course, our state is known as the Golf Capital of the World (Sand Trapped: Book #6).
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
–I definitely speak up now and again. Joanna can’t do it all. Besides, I have a fiery temper, and she doesn’t. It would never occur to her to get angry with people like I do on occasion. She’s much too nice.
How did you evolve as the main character?
–I was a secondary character in another series, the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series. Back then, I worked in my family’s restaurant. But after my parents died within six months of each other and my son went off to college, I struck out on my own. I was taking a road trip to University of Miami, planning to show up for Parents’ Weekend, when my car started making strange noises. I stopped at my grandfather’s gas station to have him look at the Toyota. Then, on impulse, I bought a building scheduled to be torn down. The rest is my history!
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
–I get by with a lot of help from my friends. First I added Skye Blue, a creative genius, as an employee. She has a checkered past after being married to an abusive man. Skye also has a heart of gold. She offered me a place to stay when I first moved to Florida. Then I hired MJ Austin, an expert in all things Old Florida. MJ’s been married five times. Six if you count twice to the same man. Last to come onboard was Honora McAfee, a miniaturist my grandfather’s age. Honora knows everyone and everything about our area.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
–I’m falling in love with a man who disappears now and again, and won’t talk about why. My head says, “This is not a good thing, and you’re going to get hurt.” My heart says, “I’ve waited for a long time to find someone like this guy. I’m not going to give him up easily.”
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
My readers say—
“(Sand Trapped is…) A fine page-turner of a Florida cozy story, with plenty of local color and lovely descriptions of some of the state’s flora and fauna.”
“If you haven’t met the employees of Cara Mia’s upcycle store, Treasure Chest, you have a wonderful experience ahead of you.”
“I love the way Ms. Slan winds together several stories into one book.”
“What a fun book!”
“Cara’s thought process is refreshing, and the plots are captivating.”
“Cara is so alive I can see her.”
“The mystery was intriguing, and my love of creativity, beach combing, and cooking was stimulated.”
Thank you for answering my questions, Cara, and good luck to you and your author, Joanna Campbell Slan, with Sand Trapped, the latest book in the Cara Mia Delgatto mystery series.
The novel is available online at Amazon
About Joanna Campbell Slan: Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.
Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul).
Currently, she writes five fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Sherlock Holmes Fantasy Thrillers (late 1800s, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s books), and the Zen Cozy Mystery Series (launch 2021).
A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.
In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida.