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These Ghosts Need His Help

Randy Overbeck
Randy Overbeck Author Interview

Scarlet at Crystal River follows a man trying to lead a normal life but sees things others can’t image and he’s drawn into an enigmatic mystery only he has the ability to solve. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

When I visited this stretch along the Gulf Coast, I was fascinated with the beauty of the area—emerald and crystal blue waters, forests and swamps, and incredible wildlife like the manatees. As I traveled the region, I was also distressed by the conditions I witnessed of the migrant workers, many of them immigrants, who worked the fields of produce nearby, in central Florida. So I decided to use the contrast of the two images as a foundation for my story.

Darrell has an interesting ability that seems grounded while still being other-worldly. How did you balance his ability so it seemed as believable as possible?

Darrell comes to realize that his ability as a sensitive is no more incredible, or even unbelievable, than another’s innate talent as an artist or one’s endowed athletic ability. Though he’s not totally comfortable with his ability to communicate with those on the other side—this path has led to danger and even tragedy before—he realizes he possesses this sense because these ghosts need his help. His personality, as a teacher and a coach, will not let him turn his back on those in need, especially children.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Although the novels in the Haunted Shore Mysteries are captivating whodunits with a touch of the paranormal and plenty of romance, I’m also aiming for my writing to illuminate some important issues. In SCARLET, I address the touchy—and widely misunderstood—situation of illegal migrant workers and their role in our culture. Hopefully, readers will get a little insight into this complex situation through the characters and circumstances in my fiction. Things are not always as they seem.

When and where will this book be available?

The publisher has set a launch date for SCARLET AT CRYSTAL RIVER for September 13. The novel will soon be available in both print and e-versions for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-million and Apple books as well as great bookstores everywhere.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

All Darrell Henshaw wanted was to enjoy his honeymoon with his beautiful wife, Erin, in the charming town of Crystal River on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida. But his carefully laid plans go sideways when they discover a hidden painting of two young Latino children, which turns out to be haunted. Is Darrell willing to derail their entire honeymoon in this perfect, quiet corner of the world to unravel the mystery of the children’s deaths?

Scarlet at Crystal River

Darrell and his bride, Erin, are setting out on their honeymoon in Florida and enjoying the lavish home Erin’s boss has offered. Darrell, the history teacher, is curious about the house’s past. But Darrell, the man with a gift he doesn’t necessarily want, is much more concerned about ghosts. He has started his honeymoon off with a warning–there will be two visitors. Darrell is now watching and waiting–worrying is second nature for him, and he would do anything to not have his precious time with Erin spoiled. It doesn’t take long before Darrell experiences the first sign of many that this trip will be anything but quiet and serene.

Scarlet at Crystal River, by Randy Overbeck, follows the journey of Darrell Henshaw as he begins his new life with his true love, Erin. Darrell’s incredible sensitivity to spirits puts their relationship to the test. Always willing to help out and carrying a tremendous amount of guilt from his past, Darrell finds it nearly impossible not to follow up on Natalia’s warning about “two visitors.” When Darrell spots two children and then turns to see they have vanished, he knows it has begun.

I have been following Darrell Henshaw’s adventures for a while now. This is the third book I have read by Randy Overbeck, and I count Darrell and Erin as two of my favorite literary characters. Overbeck has mastered the art of character development, and has again handed readers a main character they will embrace from page one. Darrell is real. He is genuine. And he is, in many ways, the perfect underdog. He sees things he doesn’t want to see and knows things others can’t imagine. As powerful as that gift could make him, Darrell remains humble and uses his gift for good.

Suspense is another of Overbeck’s strong suits. From the first sighting of the two mysterious children, Darrell’s subsequent visions build one upon the other with his anxiety and obsessive compulsive tendencies ramping up. Readers will feel their own anxiety grow alongside Darrell’s. Overbeck is a master at building tension–this is easily a one-sitting read. Readers will become immediately invested in seeing Darrell succeed in solving the mystery surrounding the ghosts in his present while he battles those from his past.

Scarlet at Crystal River is the third book about Darrell and Erin, it is easily a stand-alone read. Overbeck provides plenty of background at the outset, and readers will not feel lost. There is a hint of romance to all of Overbeck’s books, but it is done in an incredibly tasteful manner. Scarlet at Crystal River is a suspenseful paranormal novel with compelling characters and an enigmatic mystery that drives the story to a riveting conclusion.

Pages: 343 | ISBN-10: 1509237879

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