Lost Beneath The Tide by Zara West

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Lost Beneath The Tide by Zara West

Cat Silva loves grilled salmon as much as the next person. But the quirky marine biologist doesn’t like how fish farming pollutes the ocean. So, leaving the big city and her overbearing momma behind, she heads off to Tide Harbor, Nova Scotia, to prove her point.

Single dad, Alex Harris, is in line for the lucrative head manager position at Cowling Fish Farms. As sole support for his five-year-old daughter, Alex’s promotion can come none too soon. Determined to show his boss he can handle the job, Alex sets out to investigate reports of a scuba diver hanging around the fish pens, never expecting to find a pink-haired, irresistible woman.

But when his boss orders him to derail Cat’s investigation and a killer unexpectedly attacks, Alex must choose between financial security or saving the woman he and his daughter have come to love.

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Lost Beneath The Tide by Zara West

Excerpt from Lost Beneath The Tide by Zara West

Alex peered out over his daughter’s head. The seal or whatever it was, dipped and splashed toward the shore. Now that was rare. Sea mammals usually moved sleekly through the water. A bad feeling washed over him. “Can I use the binoculars for a minute, sweetheart? Not sure that’s a seal.”

Ellie passed them up, and he studied the creature as it neared the far end of the crumbling pier. For a moment, it sank below the surface, then popped up again. With a twist, a black-suited scuba diver hitched up onto the dock and sat with his feet hanging over the side.

Silhouetted by the setting sun, the diver removed his facemask, tore off his hood, and shook out his hair. Long, wavy strands of hair glowed pink in the sunset.

Alex focused in. The swimmer was all feminine curves. Not a he. A she.

For a second, he was stunned. Then he gave himself a shake. What was a strange scuba diver doing nosing around the fish pens, especially after that out-of-town student had been found dead out there? It didn’t matter it was a woman, a gorgeous one, at that.

Whoever the diver was, she’d better have a good explanation, or she would be in deep trouble. Nobody was going to mess with Thomas Cowling’s fish pens and steal his promotion away.

Meet The Author Of The Tide Harbor Suspense Series

Lost Beneath The Tide by Zara West

Award-winning author Zara West loves all things mysterious, adventurous, and heart-stopping as long as they lead to true love. Born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Zara West spends winters in New York where the streets hum with life, summers in the Maritimes where the sea meets the shore, and the rest of the year anywhere inspiration for tales of mystery, adventure, and romance is plentiful.

In a life full of misadventures, she has had sunstroke on the top of a Greek mountain, been partially trampled by a herd of four hundred sheep, and while she has never been kidnapped, she has been marooned on an uninhabited island in the middle of the Canadian wilderness for longer than she wants to remember. When not chasing after Greek shepherds or strolling along sand beaches searching for sea glass, Zara tends her organic herb garden, collects hats and cats, and whips up ethnic dishes for friends and family.

A multi-published author who loves mentoring writers, Zara has published the award-winning romantic thriller series The Skin Quartet and the Tide Harbor Suspense series. She is also the author of the Write for Success craft series.

Zara blogs about romance at Zara West Romance, about writing at Zara West’s Journal and teaches numerous online writing courses.

Interview with Zara West

Q: Why do you write romantic suspense?

ZW: Of all the genres of books I love to read for pleasure, I enjoy romantic suspense the most. While romance novels dig deep into the relationship between the love interests and the flaws and misconceptions that keep them apart, romantic suspense throws in more obstacles for them to overcome before they can find love. These obstacles can range from a deadly mystery to solve to being in the crosshairs of a killer. For me, this added challenge creates a fast-paced, page-turning story full of conflict and tension where you never know what is going to happen next.

As much as I enjoy reading romantic suspense, I love writing it even more. I have tremendous fun inventing unexpected villains, and then throwing my characters into their clutches. In the Tide Harbor Suspense series, that usually means into sinking boats amid turbulent seas.

Q: What made you choose Nova Scotia as your setting for your Tide Harbor Suspense series?

ZW: As a writer, I like to draw on my personal experience. I set my first romantic suspense series, The Skin Quartet, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where I grew up. Living in Nova Scotia has inspired me to set my new series in small town coastal Nova Scotia.

My husband’s family has spent summers in the province for decades and has many ties to the people there, going back to his grandparents. When I retired, we bought a cottage on the Atlantic shore and we spend as many months there as possible. It is a beautiful place with blue skies, turquoise water, and sweeping hills of pine forests, or equally stunning pea-soup fog and the echoes of lapping waves, and mournful fog horns.

Q: What is the heat level of your new series?

ZW: Each of the books in the Tide Harbor series takes place over only a few days. Lost Beneath the Tide, for example, encompasses seven days, during which the main characters, Cat Silva and Alex Harris, are fighting for their lives. So, while the attraction between my romantic couple is hot, I felt it was more realistic to limit the burgeoning romance to swoon-worthy kisses with them marrying in an epilogue that takes place sometime later.

Q: Who is your favorite character(s)?

ZW: Cat Silva, the heroine of Lost Beneath the Tide, was an exciting character to create. She is a marine biologist who has fought hard to earn her place as a woman in the field, and who’s self-perception is colored by overcoming having a cleft palate as a child. In addition, she is kind and brave and wonderful with the five-year-old Ellie, who struggles with the death of her mother.

A New York City girl, Cat is a “fish out of water” in small town Tide Harbor where everyone knows each other, and everyone knows what you are doing. It doesn’t help that she has flamingo pink hair to match her all-pink outfits and wears tee shirts that feature hilarious sayings about fish, fishing, and fishermen. I had fun finding actual tees with the slogans described in the novel, so that every tee she wears in the story can be purchased from a number of online stores. Unfortunately, very few come in pink.

Q: How did you choose the environmental issues featured in your series?

ZW: Nova Scotia is a peninsular. Nowhere in the province is far from the sea. For this reason, I focus on environmental issues that affect those who live by and earn their living from the ocean. Book 1 Concealed by the Tide, addresses the production of electricity using the tides and the fear that putting untried machines on the ocean floor will affect the fish and lobsters that local fishermen depend on. My new release, Book 2, Lost Beneath the Tide, investigates the controversy of commercial salmon farming, and the pollution caused by the current method of using open-pens along the coastline with a side-take on the problem of fishing debris.

Q: What will the next book in the series be about?

ZW: Adrift on the Tide, Book 3 in the series is based on a true story about the thief of a tractor trailer containing a million dollars’ worth of live lobsters. The hero of the story is a reclusive woodsman who holds the world championship for logrolling, and who was in charge of the shipping terminal when the truck was stolen. Ridiculed in the press, he sets out determined to find the truck, accompanied by an undercover environmentalist, whose secret goal is to free the lobsters. Like the other books in the series, there will be plenty of conflict, tension, and suspense as these two unlikely companions fight falling in love as they follow a trail of dead bodies to the thieves’ lair.

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