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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 16 March 2021 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – SALKEHATCHIE SECRET by C.  HOPE CLARK

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TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – SALKEHATCHIE SECRET by C.  HOPE CLARK

 

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THE BLURB

A dead federal agent and Lowcountry secrets stir up a hornet’s nest. . .
A Carolina Slade and Callie Morgan crossover!
(A stand-alone mystery)

Carolina Slade’s long awaited engagement is put on hold as Senior Special Agent Wayne Largo leads the manhunt for his missing partner—a naïve fresh recruit, who may have jumped the gun on an investigation from Slade’s case load. When the agent is found dead next door to the jurisdiction of friend and Edisto Beach Police Chief Callie Morgan, Slade calls in a favor to add support for Wayne’s investigation. Soon the two women are hip-deep in the secrets, black water swampland, and farms of the Salkehatchie region.

And anyone attempting to uncover those secrets gambles with their life.



THE AUTHOR

91eEetHZV8L._SY600_Hope Clark thrives on mystery and writes from Lake Murray and Edisto Beach in her beloved South Carolina, alongside her federal agent husband she met on a bribery investigation. Bourbon in hand, water on the horizon, she spins tales of serious, hard-nosed female sleuths.

Hope also motivates writers to step up to their careers and is founder of FundsforWriters.com , awarded 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest Magazine each year for over a decade. Her weekly publications reach 35,000+ readers.


Visit her at:
www.chopeclark.com

www.facebook.com/chopeclark

www.bookbub.com/authors/c-hope-clark

www.goodreads.com/hopeclark

 

 

MY REVIEW

I’ve already come to know and love Police Chief Callie Morgan. In Salkehatchie Secret I’m getting to know Carolina Slade. I love the friendship the two have developed—and I love the two series crossover.

This story, though! Seriously, y’all!!

Newbie Jasmine rubbed me wrong—too sure of herself and cocky. Honestly, I began to wonder if she was investigating or involved…

St. Clair Simmons was a piece of work, and like Jasmine, I couldn’t decide how much he was guilty of…

There’s a regular line-up of suspects and red herrings, and besides the one [SPOILER] that I figured out (and I wasn’t sure so sure of that) identifying the killer—indeed, determining if it was actually murder—was a nearly impossible task.

This reader may have developed a small reader-crush on Special Agent Wayne Largo. His attention to and patience with Slade is hard to come by. And his proposal was heart melting. That the two of them worked the case together threw some serious hurdles in their investigative path, and put their relationship in the hot seat.

And Slade. I admire her determination and dedication, to her job and to the people in her life. I met her briefly in Dying on Edisto, when she first met Callie. I like the way she works and look forward to catching up on all the books in the Carolina Slade series.

Ms. Clark tugs and pulls at her characters, bringing out (beating) both the worst and best in them. She has twisted this story with every page all the way to the totally unexpected ending!

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide4FOUR FEATHERS

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Salkehatchie Secret, C. Hope Clark, The Carolina Slade Mysteries

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 7 July 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – MURDER ON EDISTO by C. HOPE CLARK

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TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – MURDER ON EDISTO by C. HOPE CLARK

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THE BLURB

A big city detective. A lowcountry murder.

Peace, safety, a place to grieve and heal. After her husband is murdered by the Russian mob, Boston detective Callie Jean Morgan comes home to her family’s cottage in South Carolina. There, she can keep their teenage son, Jeb, away from further threats.

But the day they arrive in Edisto Beach, Callie finds her childhood mentor and elderly neighbor murdered. Taunted by the killer, who repeatedly violates her home and threatens others in the community, Callie finds her new sanctuary has become her old nightmare. Despite warnings from the town’s handsome police chief, Callie plunges back into detective work, pursuing a sinister stranger who may have ties to her past. He’s turning a quiet paradise into a paranoid patch of sand where nobody’s safe. She’ll do whatever it takes to stop him.

THE AUTHOR

51513565_10161380467195593_5519430045086515200_nHope Clark is the award-winning author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series, also set in her home state of South Carolina. In her previous life, she performed administrative investigations for the federal government and married an agent she met on a bribery investigation. She can be found either on the banks of Lake Murray or Edisto Beach with one or two dachshunds in her lap. Clark is also editor of the award-winning fundsforwriters.com. Find out more about her at chopeclark.com

 

MY REVIEW

NOTE: For my followers who read only clean Christian fiction, there are several instances of swear language, and one scene in particular that gets pretty steamy. 

Having started reading this series with Book #3 or 4, it’s fun to go back and see how it all started. I mean, I knew Callie had issues, but to witness how they started—I just wanna give her a great big HUG! I felt for Callie, with attacks—and not just physical—coming from every side, even within her own mind as memories torment.

NOTE: The books in this series are stand-alone, but I appreciate getting to know Callie and her cohorts better.

Nobody tells a story like C. Hope Clark! Taut story, crisp writing, in-your-face dialogue! And real, believable characters. And the tension she builds from the first page had my heart racing!

In a new place where there are more unknown than familiar faces, Callie teeters between civilian life—foreign to her—and taking this crime spree head on. Especially since it seems aimed at her.

As she ticks through possible suspects—and no one is exempt, it seems—the clues get stranger and stranger.

Ms. Clark builds the suspense with each page, holding my attention in a tight grip to the unexpected twist at the end.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide5ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

This book was given to me as a gift. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Murder on Edisto, C. Hope Clark, Edisto Island Mysteries

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BLOGWORDS – Saturday 3 August 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-SATURDAY – BOOK REVIEW – ECHOES OF EDISTO by C. HOPE CLARK

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – ECHOES OF EDISTO by C. HOPE CLARK

 

 

THE BLURB

Murder came in with the tide . . .

Edisto Island is a paradise where people escape from the mainstream world. Yet for newly sworn-in Edisto Police Chief Callie Jean Morgan, the trouble has just begun . . .

When a rookie officer drowns in a freak crash in the marsh, Callie’s instincts tell her it wasn’t an accident. As suspects and clues mount, Callie’s outlandish mother complicates the investigation, and Callie’s long-time friendship with Officer Mike Seabrook takes a turn toward something new–but is shadowed by the unsolved mystery of his wife’s death. Everyone’s past rises to the surface, entangling with death that cuts to the bone.

The roar of the surf made Callie’s steps soundless, her thoughts louder. Two and a half weeks on the job, and she’d lost an officer. Edisto hadn’t sacrificed an officer in its entire history, and the first female chief had to be the one to break the record.

THE AUTHOR

 

Hope Clark is founder of FundsforWriters.com , a writer’s resource awarded 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest Magazine each year for over a decade. Her weekly publications reach 40,000 readers. She works from her study overlooking Lake Murray in beautiful central South Carolina.

Hope comes alive at conferences across the country, from Mississippi to Oklahoma, from Pennsylvania to Florida, South Carolina to Iowa. She motivates and educates writers to step up, take charge, and create their careers. Her latest FFW release often discussed at conferences is The Shy Writer Reborn: An Introverted Writer’s Wake-up Call.

Hope, however, is most excited in her mystery fiction. She’s the author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series, published by Bell Bridge Books, Memphis, TN. With an agriculture degree from Clemson University and a two-decade history of working with US Dept of Agriculture, Hope can walk the walk of protagonist Carolina Slade who reviewers are falling in love with per the long list of five-star reviews at Amazon.

However, Hope branched out with The Edisto Island Mysteries in 2014 with Murder on Edisto, Edisto Jinx in 2015, and Echoes of Edisto in summer 2016. Her writing voice now well seasoned, she dives into a coastal world with Callie Jean Morgan, who finds that the beach isn’t all that relaxing. The series is set on Edisto Beach, South Carolina, Hope’s second home.

 

MY REVIEW

Highly recommend this book, this series. What I don’t recommend—reading them in reverse order! LOL

This book jerks the reader in and doesn’t let go! A tragedy in the first pages, this story keeps building, twist after unexpected twist to the last page.

Callie Morgan has become a favorite character, clawing her way through personal tragedy—tragedies—and tumult. And she rises above every time. This reviewer is all too familiar with Callie’s urge to give up—and her drive to keep going.

If I had a list of handsome hunky characters I’d like to step off the page, Mike Seabrook would be one. His commanding stature and his gentle manner wins every time.

The dynamic between Callie and Mike, the tension in this story, the setting—I could almost smell the briny marsh as I read. All too typical stereotyping, a control freak mother, and a quirky neighbor make this story real and genuine.

 

NOTE: To my readers who are off put by cuss words, there is some vulgar language in this book, and one particularly steamy scene.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 


Sarah lived. Francis died. And somebody had to be disappointed at that freakish turn of events, because she suspected it was meant to be the other way around. Crime was for people who lived across the big bridge on the mainland. But whether the natives liked it or not, the brake lines were cut on Edisto. She didn’t want to go down that path, but one of them might be a frustrated, unfulfilled killer.

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Saturday, #TRD, Book Review, Echoes of Edisto, C. Hope Clark

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 26 March 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – DYING ON EDISTO by C. HOPE CLARK

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – DYING ON EDISTO by C. HOPE CLARK

                                                                             

THE BLURB:

One death. Two detectives. And unexpected backup.
A Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade crossover! (A standalone mystery)

When a renowned—and now dead—travel blogger washes ashore on the banks of Indigo Plantation, Police Chief Callie Morgan of Edisto Beach agrees to head the investigation as a favor to the county sheriff, whose reasons are as questionable as the death itself.

When death turns to murder and a watchdog from the county makes her investigation difficult, Callie reluctantly turns to Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo, vacationing agents with the Department of Agriculture. Because poison is growing on this plantation, and someone knows how to use it well.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Hope Clark is founder of FundsforWriters.com , a writer’s resource awarded 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest Magazine each year for over a decade. Her weekly publications reach 40,000 readers. She works from her study overlooking Lake Murray in beautiful central South Carolina.

Hope comes alive at conferences across the country, from Mississippi to Oklahoma, from Pennsylvania to Florida, South Carolina to Iowa. She motivates and educates writers to step up, take charge, and create their careers. Her latest FFW release often discussed at conferences is The Shy Writer Reborn: An Introverted Writer’s Wake-up Call.

Hope, however, is most excited in her mystery fiction. She’s the author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series, published by Bell Bridge Books, Memphis, TN. With an agriculture degree from Clemson University and a two-decade history of working with US Dept of Agriculture, Hope can walk the walk of protagonist Carolina Slade who reviewers are falling in love with per the long list of five-star reviews at Amazon.

However, Hope branched out with The Edisto Island Mysteries in 2014 with Murder on Edisto, Edisto Jinx in 2015, and Echoes of Edisto in summer 2016. Her writing voice now well seasoned, she dives into a coastal world with Callie Jean Morgan, who finds that the beach isn’t all that relaxing. The series is set on Edisto Beach, South Carolina, Hope’s second home.

 

MY REVIEW:

I am now officially a fan of Chief Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade, and will be reading as many of Ms. Clark’s books as I can.

As an author, I enjoyed the merging of two different series. As a reader, I enjoyed the two main characters getting acquainted. How they both sized the other up—and had definite opinions on the other one.

 

The story was edgy and delicious, and Ms. Clark certainly kept this reader turning pages. I wilted in the humidity that steamed off the pages. While not actually Edisto, I live in the state and have been to the coast, and Ms. Clark’s story brought it all vividly to life.

I wanted to throttle a certain Charleston detective for his Neanderthal mentality. Or seeming Neanderthal mentality. I didn’t trust “Sweet,” though I didn’t truly suspect him of murder. Security Guard Marion seemed worthless in his position, and the pirate, Drummond, was as annoying as the gnats on the beach.

 

So many suspected, each of them with legitimate motive for doing the guy in. And only Chief Morgan was true to the case, even in the face of blatant opposition. Her courage and integrity was not only admirable, but authentic, and I was glad to see her and Slade finally come to terms and work together to solve the case.

 

One tiny clue tipped this reader to the murderer—but even so, too many people had reason to want the guy gone, and I had to read to the end to see who actually did the deed.

 

NOTE: To my readers who are off put by cuss words, there is some vulgar language in this book.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Dying on Edisto, C. Hope Clark

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BLOGWORDS – Monday 25 March 2019 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – C. HOPE CLARK

 

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – C. HOPE CLARK

 

 

How Much Author Research Can a Reader Handle?

 

Mystery is the one genre that pits author against reader. The reader picks up the story accepting the author’s dare, with the author swearing the reader will not predict the ending before it’s properly revealed. It’s as old as Edgar Allan Poe and classical as Sherlock Holmes.

One would expect an intense amount of research required to create realistic red herrings and proper forensics, but the magic is not in the details of the science and facts. It’s in the reactions of the characters and escalated suspense achieved as a result of those details. . . something most readers don’t realize.

 

What is Too Many Details?

 

Andrew Horowitz’s 2018 runaway bestseller Magpie Murders is a ridiculously detailed mystery within a mystery, and a double whodunnit you won’t see coming. A tale with meticulous, exhaustive examination of every character both in the story and the mystery manuscript contained within the story. One needs a map and spreadsheet to keep up with names, places, dates, times, and relationships, and the absorption of it all will have you stopping every couple of chapters to ponder and take a breather. There’s always the fear that the book is running away from you.

Brilliant in the end . . . but a longer than normal read because of the intricacies. Intricacies the reader won’t necessarily take away with them after the read. They’ll simply be amazed at whodunnit.

Yet a tremendous amount of effort goes into those insipid details, because there will be one reader who will write the author back, having highlighted the mistake on page 182 about how fingerprints were taken or a gun was loaded. The knife was too close to the edge of the plate to be clearly seen, or the boat could not have sunk that fast due to the construction of the interior hull.

Authors break a lot of sweat in this sort of research for fear of individuals who seek mistakes. It comes with the territory, remember? The author daring the reader? That reader expects the facts to be legit, the events clearly revealed, no mistakes, and no faking the clues.

 

Keep Up the Pace

 

On the other hand, regardless what they say, readers hate being entrenched in too much detail. Four pages of analysis stops the story’s pace and makes a mind wander off. Frankly, after the story is over, the reader can’t exactly recall what those details were that tripped up the bad guy and raised the brow of the sleuth. Admittedly or not, they were into the story for the intensity, passion, and reactions of the beings in play with each other rather than the factuality.

They want adrenaline, not a lesson in forensics. But they want to feel smart, too.

That’s why there’s an art to the mystery and the research going into it. Simple, yet crisply wise is the point. It’s easy to overdo the clues and spoil the cleanness of a well-oiled tale.

Think Silence of the Lambs. We didn’t get involved in the facts of skinning an overweight people to make a woman suit.  We just wanted the EWWW factor.

 

Plant Just Enough

 

Readers crave a book that trots briskly, dropping just enough clues and elements to make them feel intelligent and able to keep up with the detective or private investigator. Too much detail about automobile mechanics, thunderstorm formation, toxic formulas, or shoe sizes has the potential to frustrate even the most keen of mystery readers.

The vial contains poison. Do we need to understand it’s composition’s breakdown when exposed to air, or just know it dissolves lungs? An author doesn’t want Do we need to know that? to flit unexpected and unwelcome through their reader’s mind, because that pause. . . that stepping away from the page. . . is enough to interrupt the storytelling and lessen their opinion of you, the storyteller.

Writing the perfect mystery still pits the reader against the author, but it’s the shrewd author who enables the reader to believe he was keeping up all along. . . and understood all those clues. All it takes is planting enough information to sound smart without coming off scientific, enough facts to raise that adrenaline and excite, not educate for a final exam. After all, again, the reader needs to think he was right there with the protagonist. . . not stumbling ten yards behind.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C. Hope Clark’s latest release is Dying on Edisto, where her research took her into the art of growing indigo, and the ability to identify poison. The fifth book in the Edisto Island Mysteries, the book is a crossover between this series and her Carolina Slade Mysteries, and the two protagonists finally meet and solve a case together in the jungle Lowcountry of coastal South Carolina. Hope is also founder of FundsforWriters.com, a newsletter that reaches 35,000 readers and earned Writer’s Digest’s choice in its 101 Best Websites for Writers. www.chopeclark.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, C. Hope Clark

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 19 February 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – EDISTO STRANGER by C. HOPE CLARK

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – EDISTO STRANGER by C. HOPE CLARK

 

 

THE BLURB:

A cold case heats up . . .

A dead man in Big Bay Creek, spring break, and a rogue FBI agent would be enough to drive Chief Callie Jean Morgan to drink . . . if she hadn’t already quietly crawled inside a bottle of gin to drown her sorrows over a life ripped apart by too many losses.

When her investigation into the stranger’s death heats up an unsolved abduction case, Callie finds herself pitted against the town council, her son, the agent, and even the raucous college kids enjoying idyllic Edisto Beach.

Amidst it all, Callie must find a way to reconcile her grief and her precious taste for gin before anyone else is killed.

 

THE AUTHOR:

C. Hope Clark is founder of FundsforWriters.com , a writer’s resource awarded 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest Magazine each year for over a decade. Her weekly publications reach 40,000 readers. She works from her study overlooking Lake Murray in beautiful central South Carolina.

Hope comes alive at conferences across the country, from Mississippi to Oklahoma, from Pennsylvania to Florida, South Carolina to Iowa. She motivates and educates writers to step up, take charge, and create their careers. Her latest FFW release often discussed at conferences is The Shy Writer Reborn: An Introverted Writer’s Wake-up Call.

Hope, however, is most excited in her mystery fiction. She’s the author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series, published by Bell Bridge Books, Memphis, TN. With an agriculture degree from Clemson University and a two-decade history of working with US Dept of Agriculture, Hope can walk the walk of protagonist Carolina Slade who reviewers are falling in love with per the long list of five-star reviews at Amazon.

However, Hope branched out with The Edisto Island Mysteries in 2014 with Murder on Edisto, Edisto Jinx in 2015, and Echoes of Edisto in summer 2016. Her writing voice now well seasoned, she dives into a coastal world with Callie Jean Morgan, who finds that the beach isn’t all that relaxing. The series is set on Edisto Beach, South Carolina, Hope’s second home.

 

MY REVIEW:

And now I must go back and read the first books in this series!!! So intense! So gripping!!

Ms. Clark poses lovely brief descriptive passages interspersed among concise and efficient writing that move this story at lightning speed. The depth of Callie Morgan’s personal issues rams head-on with her professional life. With lines gray and blurring, Callie doggedly struggles to survive.

This reviewer is a peace maker, and I seriously wanted to throttle both Callie and Special Agent Knox Kendrick for their incessant bickering. But as they doggedly follow leads and fight their own internal demons, the clues mount and bring them to a most unexpected end.

 

NOTE: To my readers who are off put by cuss words, there is some vulgar language in this book.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Edisto Stranger, C. Hope Clark, Edisto Island Mystery

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