Hello, book people. I hope everyone is doing well and surviving this quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. I pray you’re all safe at home with your loved ones and have everything you need. I’m pleased to welcome a new author today to TBDR. Davin Goodwin is an avid diver and his debut book, appropriately named, Diver’s Paradise, was just released. Mr. Goodwin will be talking about some of his diving experiences. Thank you, Mr. Goodwin, for taking the time to stop by today and sharing with us, and I’ll now turn the blog over to you.
My wife, Leslie (also known as Double L – Lovely Leslie), and I have accumulated more than eight hundred scuba dives on the island of Bonaire. It’s our home away from home, having made thirty trips over the past twenty-one years. Bonaire is known for its pristine near-shore reef system and easy shore diving, the opportunity to don gear and walk into the water from many vantage points along the coast. Most other dive destinations require boarding a boat and motoring to a dive site, possibly several miles out to sea. This is one of the reason’s Bonaire’s moniker is Diver’s Paradise.
After one recent dive, Double L and I removed our fins, standing in the shallows of Pink Beach, a popular dive site on the southern end of the island. The high afternoon sun reflecting off the calm waters caused us to squint as we began to gingerly sidestep our way over the small rocks and coral rubble, making our way back to shore. The dive had been excellent—as they always were—both of us impressed with the amount of soft corals on the southern dive sites.
“What was that fish I pointed out to you?” I asked. “The long silver one.”
“That was a tilefish,” Leslie said.
“Oh? I’ve never seen one before.”
Mid-step, Double L stopped, shooting me with a stare as if I’d just sprouted a dorsal fin. “They are all over the place. You’ve seen hundreds of them.”
I shrugged. “I don’t think so.”
She tilted her head to one side allowing some seawater to drain from her ear. “Yes, you have. But I’ll admit this was the biggest one I’ve ever seen.”
“Did you see the way it was looking at me? It seemed to swim up close, then kind of laugh at me before swimming away.” Leslie remained quiet, just staring at me through her mask lens. “Seriously. I think he was taunting me.”
We took a few more steps before reaching the shore.
“It probably knows what happened at Karpata,” I said. “Word has spread through the fish community.”
“Yeah, that’s right, honey,” Leslie said. She made a distinct point in rolling her eyes. “All the fish on Bonaire have heard about The Karpata Incident. You’re famous.”
Famous? I thought. Maybe so, but not in the way I had ever dreamed. What happened at Karpata, a dive site on the northern end of the island, a few days ago has come to be known as The Karpata Incident between Double L and me. The only other witness was our friend, John “Smack” Anderson, but he wouldn’t talk. At least not now. Earlier, I’d bought his silence with a grilled cheese sandwich, some leftover French fries, and a cold beer.
For the sake of full disclosure, I’ll expound on what happened. Dr. Phil isn’t available, so I hope by telling the story, I’ll reap some level of therapeutic benefit.
Without the possibility of a drum roll, let me explain The Karpata Incident.
Over the years, I’ve done 800+ scuba dives on Bonaire. Some of my other dives include excursions on Lake Superior when fellow divers were hurling breakfast over the side of the boat. I’ve dove The Price Wilhelm, a shipwreck sitting on the bottom of Lake Michigan in 100 feet of water, typically with low visibility, strong currents, and very cold water. And I’ve dove the Karpata dive site as the sea crashed against the shore, waves tall and powerful enough to knock divers on their keisters.
Beyond a doubt, Karpata is one of my favorite and most dived sites, having logged more than 70 dives there. The reef starts a few yards from shore and at a depth of less than fifteen feet. The undersea wall stretches to depths in the hundreds of feet and is covered with hard and soft corals, along with hundreds of species of aquatic creatures.
The water conditions at Karpata have never intimidated me. Regardless of the conditions at Karpata—waves crashing against the shore or the surface as smooth as glass—I’ve always made the dive. And it’s always been worth the effort.
Until a few days ago.
Until The Karpata Incident.
In hindsight, conditions weren’t that bad. After helping Double L into the water, she gave me the “okay” sign and swam out to the reef drop off, a mere twenty yards from shore. Smack did the same. Other divers along the shore entered the water and seemed fine.
But me? I can’t explain it.
In an unusual display of clumsiness, I tripped twice while donning my fins. Then, while swimming out to the reef, my left fin came unstrapped and started to float away. I scrambled to find it and strap it back on my foot.
Breathing heavy, I swam the short distance to the reef. My lungs felt as though they were about to punch through my rib cage, my breaths deep and quick.
I recognized the indicators of hyperventilating. Slow down, I said to myself. Steady breathes. Exhale fully. I knew the actions required to get my breathing under control, but, for some reason, they weren’t working. Not that day. I had sucked nearly twenty-five percent of my tank air and hadn’t even begun a decent.
These problems were all workable and easily overcome. But not this dive. At least not for me. I felt I had no control of my situation. And I didn’t like how that felt…..
So, I aborted the dive.
I didn’t panic. I didn’t scramble to the shore or start flipping off my mask or looking for help. I just signaled to Les and Smack that I was done, and I swam to shore.
I was finished.
After 800+ dives, and for the first time in my life, I had aborted a dive.
The Karpata Incident was now part of my legacy……
Others have gone through a similar situation, so I know a lot of folks can relate. And it just goes to show… regardless of age, experience level, number of dives, or levels of certification, when it comes to scuba, we’re all students.
All the time.
But now my world is upside down. For years, I was the person my group looked to for all the answers. The one with all the answers; the Sensei; the Master Jedi.
Not any more.
The hard part will be getting back on the horse that threw me. I need to go back to Karpata and make the dive. But the image of me aborting is planted in my brain. A dark picture burned into my neurons. Bad thoughts that I need to overcome.
But I will. I know it.
Karpata is a horse I will ride again.
But for now, I’ll put the Incident in the back, cloudy recesses of my mind, filed away in some dusty area where it can’t harm me. For the time being, I’ll concentrate on more delightful thoughts.
But I’ll be facing Karpata again. And I will overcome.
Cause Leslie wouldn’t have it any other way.
on Tour April 6 – May 8, 2020
After 25 years on the job, Detective Roscoe Conklin trades his badge for a pair of shorts and sandals and moves to Bonaire, a small island nestled in the southern Caribbean. But the warm water, palm trees, and sunsets are derailed when his long-time police-buddy friend back home, is murdered.
Conklin dusts off a few markers and calls his old department, trolling for information. It’s slow going. No surprise, there. After all, it’s an active investigation, and his compadres back home aren’t saying a damn thing.
He’s 2,000 miles away, living in paradise. Does he really think he can help? They suggest he go to the beach and catch some rays.
For Conklin, it’s not that simple. Outside looking in? Not him. Never has been. Never will be.
When a suspicious mishap lands his significant other, Arabella, in the hospital, the island police conduct, at best, a sluggish investigation, stonewalling progress. Conklin questions the evidence and challenges the department’s methods. Something isn’t right.
Arabella wasn’t the intended target.
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 1608093832 (ISBN13: 9781608093830)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
My family members have always been epic storytellers. I regularly wrote short stories in high school and college and, later in life, freelanced several articles for trade and industry publications. For years, the idea of writing a novel bounced around in the back of my mind, but never found its way out of the darkness.
My wife, Leslie (Double L), and I have visited the island of Bonaire nearly 30 times over the past 20 years, many of those trips for extended periods. The island is a perfect setting for the style of novel I wanted to write. Yes, the book would be a murder mystery, but I needed a laid-back, slightly exotic setting. And I wanted the book to partially center around scuba diving, an activity Les and I enjoy together as often as possible.
During the Spring of 2010, with mild coaxing from friends and family, the concept of Diver’s Paradise came to fruition. However, after close to a year of writing, I gave up, not touching the story for almost six years. In the Spring of 2017, I pulled out the tattered manuscript, rewrote and edited till blue in the face, then endured daily heart palpitations, waiting for submission responses from agents and publishers.
Nine months after my first submission, and after agonizing through a boatload of rejections, Oceanview Publishing—to my good luck—offered a contract. I would be a published author.
Diver’s Paradise launched on April 7, 2020 in Hard Cover and eBook, followed later in paperback.
I enjoy being outdoors when the weather is nice. I don’t particularly like snow and cold weather, which can be problematic dwelling in the frigid, midwestern state of Wisconsin.
Exercise is a passion of mine, although I don’t do it as intensely as in past years. Running, biking, and swimming are my favorites. As of several years ago, golf and I decided that we can no longer be friends.
Through high school and college, I played violin in the orchestras and community ensembles. Much to the chagrin of those close to me, around the age of sixteen I was struck with an uncontrollable desire to play the 5-string banjo. And play I did.
Hours and hours a day.
In 1992, the band I played with at the time, traveled to Ukraine and performed in the International Kiev Music Festival. I’ve also performed on radio, TV, and recorded on several albums.
I’m 58 years old and live in Madison, WI. Originally from Rockford, IL, I went to college at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR, graduating with a degree in Computer Science. I’m married and have one daughter and one stepson, both grown.
Professionally, I have roughly 30 years’ experience in the technology industry and currently manage a group of software developers for a local, mid-sized company. In the past, I’ve owned several small businesses, worked as an aerial photographer, a semi-professional banjo player, a flight instructor, and a real estate investor.
Future Plans: Continue the Roscoe Conklin series, hopefully, for a long time.
Catch Up With Davin Goodwin On:
BookBub – @dgoodwin7757
Facebook – @authordavingoodwin
Instagram – davin_goodwin_author
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This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Davin Goodwin. There will be 6 winners. Two (2) winners will each win (1) Amazon.com Gift Card; two (2) winners will each win one PRINT copy of Diver’s Paradise by Davin Goodwin (US addresses only), and two (2) winners will each receive one EBOOK copy of Diver’s Paradise by Davin Goodwin. The giveaway begins on April 6, 2020, and runs through May 9, 2020. Void where prohibited.
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