Shadow Cay is an action/adventure/thriller set in a pristine tropical island paradise. When a ferry capsizes, sixty two people drown and one woman survives but that day her innocence is left underwater with the other passengers. Little does she realize that this is only the beginning of the dangers that lie ahead if she is to make it out of that paradise alive. Click here to visit Shadow Cay on Amazon
CAPTURING THE SUN AND THE SIN By Leona DeRosa Bodie
Although I’m proud my debut thriller SHADOW CAY is the recipient of four literary awards, what’s just as intriguing is what inspired me to capture the sun, sin and suspense of Miami and the Southern Bahamas. Why those two locations? The simple answer is complicated.
I love the Bahamas and have spent lots of time sailing there. On a three-month adventure in our 33-foot Morgan Out Island sailboat, my husband Walt and I cruised 1,700 miles. Deep in the heart of the Southern Bahamas, surrounded by crystalline water, unspoiled white beaches and surreal sunsets, I wrote Shadow Cay. Although we explored many remote, uninhabited islands, the show stopper was Normans Cay. My research into its history led me to flash back two decades: A dramatic flying adventure, international intrigue, a forced crash landing, a brush with death and a tropical island paradise with a seedy secret.
I guarantee the Southern Exumas is the best place to write, with wonderful views and no interruptions. The ambiance of the place touched me but it was not the sole influence that drove me. Years ago my mother told me I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. Yes, I was going to write this novel.
Determined to tell this tale that resonated in my head for fifteen years, the synopsis swirled in my brain: When your next heartbeat might kill you, you live a life on the edge and that is exactly where Peter Duncan and Madeleine Nesbitt live. From the Bahamas to Florida, their story is captivating, their bravery unique, their story full of twists and turns.
Some kernels of our personal story affected the telling of the narrative as well. Once my husband, then an instrumentation and quality control scientist, and I relocated from suburban New Jersey to Florida, visions of Miami danced in our heads. We pictured a full moon over a beautiful city skyline, sailing on Biscayne Bay, a tropical paradise of palm trees and sugary white beaches, home to hundreds of multi-national corporate headquarters, a gateway to the Caribbean.
We soon bought a sailboat. Walt was working as was I, with a baby on the way. My short stories continued to be published in small presses until a wonderful letter arrived, announcing I’d broken into the big time. Finally, I was paid to write articles for “Cruising World,” a national magazine for those who enjoy sailing coastal waters, lakes and oceans.
While my love and I were living our dreams on January 26, strolling through the picturesque streets of South Beach, Canadian Ralph Passero was gunned down in his car during a robbery attempt near Sunny Isles. He had been scouting locations to open a restaurant and was accosted by robbers who shot him as he fled, forcing him to crash his car into a utility pole.
Four days later, Venezuelan diplomat Jesus Alberto Delgado was murdered while walking around the Brickell area during yet another botched robbery. A series of crimes like this caused Canadian and German papers to scream with headlines like “Tourists easy prey in Miami,” and “Tourists sitting ducks for criminals. A rash of tourist killings followed. Worldwide travel advisories had come to our little section of paradise.
Miami in the 90’s was the Bogata (Columbia) of North America. The 1980’s didn’t do much to help our cause either with the McDuffie riots and the Mariel Boatlift. When Castro opened his prisons and sent hardened criminals to the U.S., Miami‘s crime rate dramatically increased. At the time, 85% of the crimes were linked to Marielitos. By the 90’s, the American Murder capital was home to many random drug shootings.
Could we in some way, however small, do something about it? Yes, definitely yes. Ultimately, my husband worked for the Miami-Dade Police Department as a forensic expert and I worked for WPLG/TV-10, an ABC affiliate owned and operated by The Washington Post. We made a great tag team then and still do. He wanted to solve crimes and worked on 30,000 cases in 21 years. Today I write about making criminals pay and how “good guys” leading ordinary lives do make a difference.
Leona Bodie is currently Vice President and serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Writers Association, a statewide, nonprofit organization of 1,200 members. Her career took her from high school English teacher to a biotechnology executive and president of the Greater Miami Society of Human Resource Management before she shifted to writing books. She’s the author of the digital short “Cocooned in Darkness,” the upcoming book FEAR THE WHISPERS, and her debut thriller SHADOW CAY, is the recipient of four literary awards. For more details about Leona Bodie and her books, please visit: www.leonabodie.com