Today, it is my pleasure to welcome H. Terrell Griffin, author of Blood Island: A Matt Royal Mystery, as a guest blogger as part of a book tour coordinated by Lance with Hidden Staircase Mystery Books.
I have the great good fortune to spend much of my time on Longboat Key, an island off the west coast of Florida, south of Tampa Bay. The key is small, about ten miles long and a quarter-mile wide. It is peopled with some of the most fascinating characters I have ever met; a mélange of retirees, working people, waiters and waitresses, and fully employed folks who are lawyers, physicians, stock brokers, business executives, salespeople, and assorted others who travel daily to the mainland for work.
Longboat Key is a veritable cornucopia of bartenders of every stripe, men and women, gays and straights, young and old, Florida natives and refugees form colder climes, black and white and Hispanic and Caribbean, and even a Canadian. These are the keepers of the island secrets, the ones who know the people who come to live or visit in our paradise; the ones who know who is real and who isn’t.
There are a lot of stories on the island, some real, some made up, and some that fall in between. People come to Longboat to start over. Many were successful in their earlier lives and retired to the quiet and sun and sea that is our key. Others, not successful or worse, came to the key and reinvented themselves and their past. One does not scratch too far below the surface of our residents for fear that one will find a lie, or a truth that would be better hidden to us all.
The key is a boiling pot of fodder for the writer. He hears the stories as he visits the bars that make the island human, that bring together the disparate characters who make it home or who visit regularly. He takes mental notes and turns the reality, or what passes for reality to the teller of the story, into fiction. He peoples his books with the characters that he meets daily on this vulnerable and small spit of sand that rests uneasily on the shores of a great sea that sometimes brings hurricanes that ravage the people and the land.
The key is a place with little crime, so the writer has to invent it, move some of the mainland crime to the island, bring in bad guys who are, in reality, not tolerated on our island. The key is the setting of my books, my home and the place I love best in the world. I hope I do it justice in my scribbling. I invite you to join me there, in reality or in my books. I think you’ll fall in love with it, too.
About the Author
H. Terrell Griffin is the author of Blood Island, the third mystery in the Matt Royal series.
Born in Waycross, Georgia, H. Terrell Griffin moved to Sanford, Florida, at the age of twelve. Upon graduation from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After three years of active duty, he began his studies at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where he earned degrees in history and law.
A board-certified trial lawyer, Griffin practiced law in Orlando for 38 years. In addition to Blood Island, Griffin is the author of Murder Key and Longboat Blues.
He and his wife Jean divide their time between Longboat Key and Maitland, Florida. His website is HTerrellGriffin.com.
Blood Island: A Matt Royal Mystery
What’s happening on this island will make your blood run cold. Matt Royal never has to look far for excitement. Excitement–and sometimes trouble–has a way of finding him first. But for this fun-loving lawyer turned beach bum, things are about to get serious. Dead serious.
When his ex-wife asks for help in tracking down her stepdaughter, last seen in Matt’s hometown of Longboat Key, Matt agrees to do a little searching.
But what looks like the case of one missing girl turns out to be something much bigger–and much more dangerous.
Enlisting the aid of his buddies Jock Algren and Logan Hamilton, Matt launches a full-speed-ahead search that leads from Longboat Key to Key West to an ominous strip of land called Blood Island.
But this is no island paradise. Blood Island is home base to a cult of religious zealots. And they’re making devastating plans that could change the world forever.
Bullets fly, and as the clock ticks down, it will be up to Matt to make sure that what happens on Blood Island stays on Blood Island.
Enter to Win a Copy of Blood Island, Signed by the Author
H. Terrell Griffin is giving away a signed copy of his book, Blood Island, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to Terry’s book tour page, http://h-terrell-griffin.omnimystery.com/, and enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 7226, for your chance to win.
Entries from this blog site will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow. No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on Terry’s book tour page next week.
For more entries, go to each of the blogs participating in the tour and enter again using the PIN from their sites! You can get up to 10 entries!! Good luck!!
H. Terrell Griffin's Book Tour Schedule
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
• In Reference to Murder: Author Interview
• Jenn's Bookshelf: Book Review
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
• Reader's Respite: Book Review
• Lesa's Book Critiques: Author Guest Post
Thursday, December 04, 2008
• The Friendly Book Nook: Author Guest Post
Friday, December 05, 2008
• Murder by 4: Author Interview
• Mystery Reader Discussion: Book Review
• Wendi's Book Corner: Author Guest Post
Saturday, December 06, 2008
• Allie's Musings: Author Interview
• Bookish Ruth: Book Review