Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Terry Shames Charts Perilous Waters

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I'm so thrilled to be hosting my good pal Terry Shames! You will know Terry from her wonderful Samuel Craddock series, set in small town central Texas, but today she has something completely different for us--the start of a brand new series, set in the Bahamas. Here's Terry to tell you all about Jessie Madison and PERILOUS WATERS.


TERRY SHAMES: I’m so thrilled to be here on Jungle Red Writers to talk about my new book. Thank you to Deborah Crombie and the “reds” for having me. Here’s some background about the new thriller.

Many years ago my husband arranged to do a sabbatical in Perth, Australia for two months. It sounded idyllic. We were avid windsurfers, and the windsurfing on the Swan River on the west coast was supposed to be great. But since we were going to Australia, we also decided to explore the Great Barrier Reef—as divers. We took a PADI diving course, passed it and were certified, and off we went!


Terry and the Black Pearl

We traveled to Heron Island to do our diving. They made it easy. They had child care, and my son seemed to love it, so all was good. Until we got to the boat. We had been told we’d do an easy 30-50 foot dive. Even that sounded a little daunting for me—I’m not the world’s bravest person. But when we arrived at the boat the dive master told us the waters were too turbulent in shallow water, so they were taking us to a reef wall where we’d be doing a 60’ dive. And, by the way, under the 60’ where we’d hover, there was a 1,000-foot drop-off.

I’m terrified of heights and it sounded like my worst nightmare, but I was talked into going ahead with it. All I remember of the dive is keeping my eyes on flippers of the person in front of me, terrified that somehow I’d get lost. Of course I knew that was impossible. You either went one way on the wall, or the other, but either way you were with other people. But fear knows no logic. I was nauseous the whole time in the roiling waters and when we got into the boat, I threw up.

That night I vowed that I’d never again go diving. And I never have. My sister loves diving and told me I should go back and try again. And several other friends told me their first dives were awful and then it got better, and that I should persevere. Nope. I have a low panic threshold.

Why am telling you this? Because, dear readers, with that background it seems nuts that I decided to write a series about an intrepid diver, Jessie Madison. But there are two reasons that it makes sense. One, I love the water, and I took up snorkeling big time. I can spend hours gazing into the water watching fish and the beautiful vegetation. On top of the water! I’m not afraid to snorkel around sharks and along reefs. But…no diving! The second reason is more pragmatic. I figured that writing about a diver who gets into trouble underwater is perfect for me, because I can easily describe the terror of Jessie Madison being in that alien underwater environment and fearing for her life. I’ve been there! Okay, I might have been over-dramatic, but for me it was all too real.

I hope you love reading about Jessie’s debut adventure in the Bahamas. An adventure that is based on a real adventure I had in the Bahamas on an island very much like the one Jessie finds herself stranded on. The island even had a little river running through it. And we were on a catamaran anchored there—just like Island Ice. But my adventure was a lot tamer than Jessie’s!

So, JR readers, are you water babies? Divers? Have you had any scary adventures in the water? Are you adventuresome or, like me, do you have a low panic threshold? Tell me your stories! Who knows, one may end up in Jessie’s next adventure.

DEBS: This is such fun for me because Terry and I have had a good few brainstorming sessions about this book over the last few years, and I love seeing how it's morphed into the beginning of a fabulous new series. Here's more about PERILOUS WATERS--

Jessie Madison has been in the Bahamas working as a diver instructor, taking time to recover from her disappointment at being dismissed from FBI training. Ready to go back and face the reality of finding a new career, Jessie decides on one last “goodbye to the islands” midnight sail with a friend.

The whim turns disastrous when three men board the boat, and demand that they turn over valuable cargo. They comply, but the men chain them and throw them overboard. Jessie escapes, but her friend drowns. Rigging a damaged windsurfer, Jessie manages to paddle between islands to safety.

She’s determined to bring the attackers to justice. But who are they? And can she trust Nick Garnier, the man who says he wants to help her? He insists that she is in danger and has to leave the island, but she refuses. Her troubles are compounded when two men from her past show up to extract revenge for her part in their brother’s death. Then she and Nick are captured …and things go from bad to worse.



DEBS: And more about Terry and terrific buzz for this book!

Terry Shames writes the popular, award-winning Samuel Craddock series, set in the fictional town of Jarrett Creek, Texas and featuring chief of police Samuel Craddock.

The latest, Guilt Strikes at Granger’s Store, was named one of Library Journal’s top mysteries of 2023. Perilous Waters, the first in her new Jessie Madison thriller series, comes out April 2, 2024. Booklist says, “The perfect escapist caper . . . The action is fast and furious, in this entertaining, keep-‘em-guessing read featuring a feisty, likable heroine.” For more, see Terryshames.com.

62 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Terry, on your new series . . . Jessie Madison's adventures are sure to be captivating; I'm looking forward to meeting her.
    Am I a water baby? Absolutely not. No diving, no swimming, no beaches, no pools . . . I’m perfectly happy to read about all that water “fun” but, otherwise, no thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My parents started taking me to swim when I was six months old, so I think it's ingrained in me.

      Delete
  2. Congrats on the new series!

    I love the water, but I'm not as brave as I would like to be. I'd probably have a reaction like yours in that situation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations, Terry! What a great new venture, and a perfect way to leverage your past experience into the character of your protag!

    I would not be a good candidate for diving. At. All. I get a little panicky just swimming in a calm lake by the time I get any distance from shore, and that's with my face only in the water an inch every few strokes. I love playing in the water and floating in gentle ocean waves, but no depths, thank you (says a person who is currently on a boat with 1200 passengers about to embark on the next leg of our cruise around southern Japan...).

    ReplyDelete
  4. One of my favorite mystery authors! I'm a Samuel Craddock fan, but this new series sounds splendid. No diving for me, thanks. The closest I got to diving was riding tame waves at Lake Tahoe when I was a kid, and never far from shore. That was fun, but more than enough water adventure. I'm a land lubber. Best of luck with the new book and the new series. I hope this doesn't mean we've seen the end of Craddock.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for being a fan of Samuel. I hope you love this, too.

      Delete
  5. Jay here.

    Terry, congratulations on the new book / new series.

    Growing up I loved going to the beach or swimming in pools. I'm awful if I'm on top of the water (there's not enough Dramamine for me to be on a boat), but in the water I was like a fish.

    Scary adventures in the water? Well, no real Jacques Cousteau type of adventures but the time at the beach where I almost drowned definitely qualifies as scary.

    It's not related to that little "adventure", but I've only been to the beach once in the last 30 years. I just don't have the interest.

    That doesn't take away from my love of reading mysteries that involve the water though so I'm adding this PERILOUS WATERS to my read list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to get seasick when I snorkeled, but eventually got over that. We live by the beach in California. My husband loves it. I can take it of leave it. So much sand!

      Delete
  6. TERRY: Nope, I am not good in the water at all. Having high myopia most of my life meant I could not see much without my glasses, so I didn't.

    But I am fine with virtually experiencing Jessie's terror in your new book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really stinks not to be able to see without glasses when it comes to water fun, Grace! Story of my life.

      Delete
  7. Terry, congratulations on your new series. It sounds like you get Jessie into tons of trouble, but it is going to be a series, so we'll have to read to see how you get her out of it. I think it'll be terrifying. Thriller?

    I was an avid swimmer as a kid. Our family has a cottage on a small lake. We rowed and paddled and sailed all.over it. Good times.

    Your diving experience does sound scary. It is too bad that there wasn't something a bit tamer for your first dive. Putting that fear to use now by giving it to Jessie, I have to read it!

    I have always had a healthy regard for the ocean and its creatures. I have snorkeled several times and each time have fought my fear and panic to do it. It was easier when I swam more often but if the opportunitycame up, I'd do it again..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am curious too, I would classify this book as a thriller?

      Delete
  8. Terry, congratulations on the new book! I remember reading your first Samuel Craddock mystery an thinking to myself "Can't wait for the next book!" Still feel that way about your writing, so looking forward to reading this one.

    Definitely not a water baby here. I enjoy being in a pool as long as my feet can find the bottom and my head stays above water. Love the sounds of waves striking the shore--and will happily wade along a lake or ocean beach.

    ReplyDelete
  9. congratulations Terry on the new series! I went diving twice in shallow waters holding hands with our guide Alejandro:). I am not brave enough to do it again!

    ReplyDelete
  10. The book sounds FABULOUS, Terry! Congratulations.

    I totally understand your fear. I nearly drowned when I was little and the sense of terror has kept me from learning to swim all these years. Don't try to talk me into trying again. Nope. Not gonna happen. And I did use that fear in a scene I wrote in Death By Equine. Anyone who has read it, knows the scene of which I speak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would never tell anyone they to "try again" where water is concerned. I had a cousin that I tried to teach to swim. I started with floating. She would lie perfectly flat--and slowly sink. She wasn't afraid, she just wasn't good in the water. Maybe she needed a better teacher!

      Delete
    2. I am curious do you ever go out in a boat? If so, please learn enough to be confident in the water should the boat capsize.
      There are so many wonderful places that can only be reached or experienced with water as your vehicle.

      Delete
  11. Congratulations, Terry! I earned my PADI certification when I was in St. Croix. As part of the Advanced certificate, I completed a night dive and a deep dive to 100' on what they call The Wall. Nothing like having a wall of plate coral next to your left, nothing in front, nothing behind, knowing the next ground is 500' below you and the next thing off to your right is Africa to put your existence in perspective (by the way, I loved doing it).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think as long as they kept me at 40 feet or less, I could do it. But I have no trust after that experience in Australia.

      Delete
  12. Congratulations on your new series, Terry. It will be as close as I'll ever get to diving! I could barely manage the snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef the one time I travelled in Australia...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Debs and Terry! I love the Craddock books, and I know I'll like this new series, Terry--congratulations! I'm a good swimmer, which I had to be growing up in San Juan and going swimming in the ocean at least once a week, and I started snorkeling as a kid in the Caribbean and still love it. BUT scuba diving scares me, so I've never done it. The experience you describe of having to do something much more challenging than you were prepared for would have terrified me, Terry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I was terrified! Enough for both of us. I remember one of the happiest days of my life was the day after I decided I wasn't going diving again. The day seemed so beautiful!

      Delete
  14. Congratulations, Terry! I'm looking forward to reading all about Jessie and her underwater adventures. I love being ON the water, that is in any boat or other floating craft. Not being a strong swimmer, I think staying on top would be best for me. I'd love to be there and watch it all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love being on the water, that is on top of the water. But I get seasick in a boat. Finally found a drug that works, but until then being in a boat was awful.

      Delete
  15. Congratulations Terry! Poor Jessie--what an exciting peek at your new series!
    I've never wanted to dive (too much Sea Hunt and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as a child?) but have loved the water since I learned to swim at age 8.

    My big adventure came when my sister, her boyfriend and I owned a sailboat for a few years back in the '80s We had bought it in the Seattle area and then moved it to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. We went up a few times a year to sail. At the time I could (and was forced to) work a lot of overtime and we could accrue an unlimited amount of comp time, so I was able to go on a couple of long vacations. After a couple of years we decided to move our boat, CompaƱera, to Portland, where we live. We spent more than a week sailing in the Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland and then stopped in Victoria to check the boat out one more time and buy supplies before venturing into the ocean. It was amazing to be out in the open sea. We could see the tips of the Olympic Mountains poking up through the clouds, but other than that there was only ocean. Four of us were on board, and the most experienced sailor was my sister's boyfriend, Doug. Doug and our friend Diane both got sick out on the open ocean. My sister and I had iron stomachs, so we stayed up all night sailing and doing the watches for all of us while Doug and Diane tried to sleep below. The wind was good and we were moving along briskly. This was before GPS, so we used a radio direction finder, and dead reckoning and hoped we were still on course. As dawn came, we were in a thick fog with lazy swells of ocean all around us. Margaret and I thought we should be at the mouth of the Columbia, where we needed to turn inland. She went and woke Doug and made him get up and do some reckoning. Right about then, we spotted a green buoy and then a tugboat heading in. We followed the tugboat across the bar to Astoria and arrived safe and sound and glad to be on land. For a non-adventurer like me, it was a big deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in awe of you doing this with no GPS. Fog is terrifying when you're trying to find a harbor. And the fact that you and your sister were able to do the sailing while the more experienced sailor was out of commission is awesome!

      Delete
  16. TERRY: Welcome to Jungle Reds. And congratulations on your debut novel.

    Water baby? Definitely. Started swimming at the age of 5 and loved swimming so much that when I was in high school, I joined a city swimming team (my school had No swim team due to budget cuts - only school sports teams were boys' football and basketball teams).

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hank Phillippi RyanApril 2, 2024 at 10:56 AM

    Terri, this sounds absolutely terrific! As for diving… We went to Turks and Caicos because we all thought snorkeling would be fantastic. Everyone loved it except for me. I was absolutely terrified the entire time. I kept saying to myself: look at the fish! It’s beautiful! This is gorgeous!
    And my brain kept answering: get me out of here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guess what? I hated snorkeling until I went with my intrepid friend Carol. She said my mask was not right for me and that's why I couldn't see and didn't enjoy it. She took me to a huge store in Nassau and the fabulous saleswoman told me I needed a child's mask because I have small face. Who knew? It was a miracle. Plus, my friend stayed with me every single second until I started to feel more confident. My reward? I once was snorkeling without my friends (lots of people around, but still) and ran into an endangered turtle who swam with me for 45 minutes. It was pure bliss.

      Delete
  18. Hank Phillippi RyanApril 2, 2024 at 10:56 AM

    Terry. Silly dictation. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Terry, I have never wanted to dive. Vertigo issues with Meniere's Disease made the idea of pressure on my ears very unappealing. I did snorkle off a boat in deep water in Mexico, however, and I was absolutely terrified. It was very rough, and my husband, who was a very experienced snorkler, just off and left my daughter and me. It was one of my least fun experiences ever, and I was seasick on the boat as well. Ugh. But I absolutely adored snorkling off the beach in shallow water, and would do that again in a heartbeat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's awful when you get abandoned. See my reply to Hank, above. And also awful when you get seasick. I hate that. Happily, there's a drug that works that you can't get in the US. Or at least isn't prescribed for seasickness. It changed my life.

      Delete
  20. A new Terry Shames series is great news, and I've been wanting to read this one. Still hoping for more Samuel Craddock, too. Wishing you good luck, Terry.

    I'm a poor, insecure swimmer, probably related to extremely bad eyesight growing up. I never felt confident that I could spot the right direction to get back to shore without my 20/1100 prescription glasses. By the time I got LASIK I had too many bad habits ingrained. So when my sister-in-law invited me to go to the Galapagos with her it did not occur to me we would be spending time on a boat. In the ocean. And taken on snorkeling excursions every day. Did I mention I also didn't know I would get seasick?

    But it worked out, and I had such fun. The steward gave me a magic pill for the seasickness, and our guide handed me a life vest to wear while we were on the water. Voila! A perfect solution, and the key to one of the best experiences of my life, swimming with Galapagos penguins. Unforgettable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband is a PADI-certified diver, and a fair swimmer. He spent three summers in Alaska filming for National Geographic's Discovery series, and one summer he was in the water for a couple weeks to film the salmon. How is it that married couples can be so different in their pursuits?

      Delete
    2. That's wonderful. You were brave enough to do it, and it got you a good time!

      Delete
    3. Yes, thank you. But I completely understand why you were so freaked out at the Reef. That sense of nothingness and depth is terrifying.

      Delete
  21. I was diving certified as a teen and enjoyed diving (in fairly shallow waters!) and snorkeling off Hawai'i and the Yucatan. I especially cherished it because I am a total water person, but - and this is embarrassing - I have never been able to go underwater with my eyes open. It just bugs me too much! So it's lovely to be able to see everything.

    Nowadays, I like the idea because I imagine how wonderful my creaking joints would feel if I were suspended a few yards beneath the surface...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia, I always wear small goggles, even when swimming because I don't like opening my eyes underwater without them.

      Delete
  22. I love the ocean and the beach, but when it comes to swimming I prefer a pool where there isn't anything lurking beneath the surface to scare me. The lady who cuts my hair and her husband are divers. I love their vacation videos. My daughter enjoyed snorkeling in Maui; she was mad when beach patrol made her get out because tiger sharks had attacked some paddle boards and then the stretch of beach at her resort was closed for two days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes! I wouldn't want to swim with tiger sharks.

      Delete
  23. I loved reading about your diving (mis)adventure... andthe new book sounds great. Congratulations! I've never dived but snorkeled many times and loved it. I prefer being able to walk out into the water from a sandy beach but there are only so many places where you can do that. Best for us was in Bonaire. Remembering my first spotlight parrot fish...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallie, one of my favorite snorkeling memories was a swarm of thousands (literally) of blue tang fish coming out of a blue hole. It was magic!

      Delete
  24. From dry, dusty Texas to a sparkling blue sea! What a pivot you've made while still writing Samuel. Congratulations! I love snorkeling in safe places but diving is way beyond my taste for adventure and your experience is confirmation of my fear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you and I can stay aboard and sip a cold drink while we watch while everyone else puts on all that heavy dive equipment!

      Delete
  25. Hi Terry. I am so looking forward to reading this. I'm a diver - certified in 1971 - and one of my series, The Hayden Kent Mysteries, is set in the Florida Keys and features a scuba diving heroine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, we have to compare notes. In the next book, Jessie comes part of the FBI dive team. Who even knew there was such a thing! When I read about it, that's when I knew what direction Jessie's career would take.

      Delete
  26. My husband loves snorkeling. Me, not so much. I had a leaky mask the last time I tried and I couldn't adjust it while trying to stay afloat. When we were in Tobago we snorkeled. I just about jumped out of my skin when I saw the tip of a spear gun cross my path. The entire gun and the swimmer followed. I don't know what he thought he was doing in shallow water like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes. That's the thing. No matter how beautiful it is, it's an alien environment and all our sense are more alert to something out of the ordinary.

      Delete
  27. My husband and I tried snuba in St. Johns. It's like scuba, but you don't dive very deep and have a certified person with you monitoring the air tanks which float on the surface above you. That was our way of seeing if we thought scuba diving was for us.
    We got certified and went with several friends for our one and only dive at Epcot. Disney really knows how to treat you like royalty. We dove with giant turtles and various fish, waved at people who were in the restaurant and viewing areas. It was such a rush!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting concept. I love snorkeling, so that's probably it for me, but if Snuba had been around I might have tried it.

      Delete
  28. Congratulations, Terry! I love the cover - what a perfect beach read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the cover, too. When my editor sent it to me I was so excited!

      Delete
  29. From Celia: Congratulations on your new series, sounds just my sort of story and here is my tale.
    I am with you 100# on scuba avoidance Terry. We took our daughter to Turks and Caicos as a graduation gift. She wanted to scuba and I did too. So we hooked up with a local dive master who gave us the elementary lessons in the shallows and said we could go diver a little deeper. I was excited as I love the water, really love the sea and had always wanted to learn. So our we go in the dive boat got kitted up, got instructed not to stray but stay with our instructor and down th rope we went. Once I got down about twenty feet I found myself panicking. Olivia was way below me off swimming with the fish and having a great time. The instructor signaled me to get going but I couldn't . Looking up and seeing the waves over my head and the sky beyond gave me a real feel of claustrophobia and up I went. So there's my sad tale but my daughter got certified and took several trips. Now my grandson is trying scuba too and of course he loves it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it odd that we can get claustrophobic in all the wide-open water? But it's real!

      Delete
  30. Terry I'll read anything you write - Deborah promoted your Samuel Craddock series & I couldn't read it fast enough

    Looking forward to the new one, hoping you still feel there's more to tell about Samuel Craddock

    And I'm totally with you ... water, sailing, snorkeling yes .. SCUBA hard no

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love hearing that you are on Samuel's team. For sure there's more to come. I'm noddling over that right now. But I'm also on to the next Jessie Madison. The two are so different!

      Delete
  31. I grew up loving to swim, in pools. I eventually moved to San Diego (for school, but stayed). I rarely get to the beach and when I do, I don’t get in the water. I loved going in the ocean on visits to Hawaii, but here the water seems too cold.

    We went snorkeling in an ocean preserve on the Big Island when our son was in kindergarten. At one point my husband swam over to tell me he was going to take our son in to shore. I practically begged him to take me, too. So the poor man held onto each of us until we got to the sand. I didn’t like not being able to put my feet down. So no diving for me, thank you!

    Congratulations on your new book which I am adding to my TBR pile right now! — Pat S

    ReplyDelete
  32. Your husband sounds like a good guy!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yay, my copy of Perilous Waters arrived!! What a gorgeous cover--the photos don't do it justice. And I love that it's dedicated to Susan Shea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan doesn't know that! She was away and I haven't sent her copy. :)

      Delete
  34. When I was young I was absolutely a water baby. I remember swimming far out beyond the pier in Huntington Beach--no fear, no worries. My grandmother would stand on the shore, always calling to us to come in closer, be careful, watch out. When our grandfather went out with us she would urge him to round us up, not to let us be so daring. We thought she was a real drag. A few years went by and I returned to the water as an adult. By then I had lost a small nephew to drowning, and had just grown more cautious in general. I could not believe how dangerous the ocean seemed to me. I tried to ride a boogie board and felt like it was out of control. I decided to body surf and thought I was going to get slammed into the ocean floor. I was so scared! I could never have swam beyond the pier on that visit--or any subsequent visit. I had turned into one of those ladies who walks at the water's edge, tosses the ball for her dog, then reads on the sand. I had become my grandmother. A former water baby, scanning the waves for danger, or people in distress. Which doesn't mean I won't devour your new book, which sounds thrilling!! etalmage@earthlink.net

    ReplyDelete