Good day, book people. I’m currently in Charlotte, North Carolina finishing up my participation at a Migraine Retreat (yes, it’s a thing and the closest I’ve come to a “vacation” in close to 12 years other than day trips). As I bid a fond farewell to all of my new acquaintances and fellow migraineurs, I’m preparing for the short drive back to West Virginia. Before I jump in my car and head north, I’m excited to welcome back, Davin Goodwin, author of Paradise Cove. Mr. Goodwin will be sharing with us an adventurous tale from one of his vacation trips to Bonaire. I hope you’ll find it intriguing. Don’t forget to add Paradise Cove to your TBR list! Thank you, Mr. Goodwin, for returning and sharing with us today. I can’t wait to learn what happened on your trip.
My wife, Leslie (aka Double L, short for Lovely Leslie), and I had just finished a scuba dive at a location called The Rock, our two-week vacation on the beautiful island of Bonaire half over. We stood waist-deep in the sea a few yards from shore as Leslie gently untangled hair from the buckles of her face mask, eventually sliding it up and over her head.
Wide-eyed and wearing a grin that’d make the Cheshire Cat envious, she said, “How cool was that?”
I nodded. “Nice job.”
The “cool” event had happened about twenty minutes ago in twenty feet of depth during the second portion of our dive. We were slowly swimming back to the takeout point when I spied a hawksbill turtle resting on the bottom in a bundle of soft corals. Double L floated above it, taking a few pictures, and then slid in front of the turtle, inches above the bottom, for two more.
Before taking her last photo, she tilted sideways, and stared at the base of the soft coral. The turtle seemed to be struggling. She waved me over and pointed at two of the turtle’s legs; one front and one rear. The front one was wrapped in the soft coral and the rear one was wedged in a rock.
The turtle was stuck, unable to free itself.
At that moment, I couldn’t remember what I had read regarding a turtle’s ability to hold its breath. Just like humans, it probably ranged a little depending on the individual animal. But also, just like humans, I knew it wasn’t indefinite.
The little dude was between the proverbial rock and hard place. He was going to drown.
To be honest, I was a little torn. It seemed nature had put this turtle in a predicament, and I considered letting nature take its course. Kind of like the Prime Directive in Star Trek; don’t interfere and change the outcome. Numerous other reef inhabitants would feast for days on his dead carcass. Isn’t that the way nature worked? Keeping everything in balance? If we saved this turtle, would we inadvertently throw the reef out of balance?
To coin a phrase, I was paralyzed with analysis. I decided to take the coward’s way out and wait a few more moments to see if the turtle freed itself. If not, I’d rethink.
What would Captain Kirk do?
While Star Trek scenarios ricocheted off the inside of my skull, Leslie summoned her Stephanie Plum call-to-action attitude and reached over, gently moving the branch of soft coral that snagged the turtle’s leg. And that’s all it took. The little guy sprung loose and bolted skyward. Les and I hovered above the coral and watched as it floated on the surface with its neck outstretched. After a few moments, I gave Double L an underwater high-five and we continued on our way.
Now, standing in the shallows after our dive, I figured Mother Nature owed us one. Or maybe the other way around. I’m not sure; I’m not good with Mother Nature.
“I think you deserve a burger and fries for lunch,” I said to Les.
Another high-five. “Absolutely,” she said.
# # #
A few days later, we stood at the tailgate of our four-door truck rental. We stacked our dive gear in the bed, having just finished another dive at The Rock. One more day and our vacation would come to an end.
“You want one?” Les asked. She held up an unopened Amstel Bright, condensation running down the side of the bottle onto her fingers.
“You brought beer?” I asked, which she obviously had, the question somehow seeming pointless.
We didn’t usually bring beer with us on our dive excursions fearing they’d be stolen out of the truck. Les, in all her wisdom, stashed a few inside the bag we had filled with water bottles and snacks.
Our diving for the day complete, I said, “Sure.” Then added, “You remember an opener?”
She didn’t answer, instead producing an opener from the back seat and making an exaggerated display of opening a bottle and handing it to me. Never doubt Double L!
We drank the beers while getting out of our wetsuits. Sitting on the truck tailgate, we griped to each other about tomorrow being our last day on the island. How can two weeks go by so fast?
Before getting in the truck and heading back to the resort, Les popped open two more “road pops” for the drive. Glad I brought her along.
About a mile up the road we noticed some police—or Politie in Papiamento, the native language of Bonaire—doing a random traffic stop. We’d seen several of these over the course of our stay, and word on the street was that the Police were cracking down on illegal motorists and vehicles, being more aggressive toward drunk drivers and open seals in vehicles.
We hadn’t been pulled over at the previous road checks, the Politie just waving us past. Probably something to do with us driving a rental vehicle (with AB CarRental all over it) and not wanting to harass tourists. We felt confident that we’d again get a pass.
But why take chances?
“Hide this,” I said to Double L, handing her my bottle.
“What am I supposed to do with them?” she asked.
“I don’t know. If we’re stopped, someone will come up to my window, so just hide them beside your leg the best you can.”
Les tucked the bottles between her leg and the door and covered them with her arm. I still wasn’t worried, figuring we’d be waved through.
To my surprise, an officer walked into the street and waved me to the shoulder. Uh oh, I thought.
Tall, fortyish, and in obviously good physical condition, he walked over to the driver’s side window, leaned down, and said, “Driver license, please.” His voice exuded authority and it seemed the other officers, all younger, awaited his direction and guidance. The name tag pinned to his chartreuse green safety vest read Officer Ruud. I wasn’t sure exactly how to pronounce his name, but I hoped his demeanor didn’t match the obvious pronunciation.
I dug into a pocket and produced my driver’s license. He looked it over, then looked at me.
After a short stare down, he motioned his head towards Les. “And, Mr. Goodwin,” he said, “who is the lady?” Leslie tightened. I sensed it more than I felt it and placed a hand on her forearm.
“She’s my wife, Leslie Goodwin.”
Officer Ruud looked at Leslie, then at me. “She is Double L?” he asked.
I held back a smile. “Sometimes, yes.”
He looked at Les. When he spoke, his voice was much softer, almost childlike. “You saved the turtle.” It was a statement not a question.
My smile slipped out and worked itself across my face. I found myself also looking at Les.
She nodded and simply said, “Yes.”
Officer Ruud nodded. Still looking at Les, he said, “You can pass.” He stood, barked something in Papiamento to the other officers, who all jumped to the side of the pavement. He waved us through and made a point of saying to Les, “Have a nice day. And thank you,” as we pulled forward, past the waving Politie officers.
Down the road, Double L handed me my beer. We clanked bottles and had a good laugh.
“Thanks Mother Nature,” she said. ♦
by Davin Goodwin
April 1-30, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
Every day is paradise on Bonaire—until something unexpected washes ashore
On the laid-back island of Bonaire, every day is paradise until a seaweed-entangled human leg washes ashore. Combing the beach, retired cop Roscoe Conklin examines the scene and quickly determines that the leg belongs to the nephew of a close friend.
The island police launch an investigation, but with little evidence and no suspects, their progress comes to a frustrating halt. Then, thanks to a unique barter with the lead detective, Conklin finds himself in possession of the case file. He can now aggressively probe for his own answers.
Sifting through the scant clues, eager to bring the killer to justice, Conklin struggles to maintain forward momentum. He has all the pieces. He can feel it. But he’d better get them snapped together soon.
Otherwise, the body count will continue to rise.
Praise for Paradise Cove:
“An intriguingly gruesome beginning, sexy location, and a supremely satisfying ending. Paradise Cove is a terrific read.” —Marc Cameron, New York Times best-selling author
“Paradise Cove is a wonderful thriller with a great story . . . what makes it special are the perfect descriptions of Bonaire and life on the island.” —Nicholas Harvey, author of the AJ Bailey Adventure Series
“Grab a beer and revisit Bonaire with Roscoe Conklin as your guide in Paradise Cove. A rich cast of characters and an intriguing plot guarantee an exciting trip you’ll long remember.” –Shawn Wilson, author of Relentless
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: April 5th 2022
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN13: 9781608094851 (hardcover)
ISNB: 9781608094868 (ebook)
ASIN: B091FZVTRS (Kindle edition)
Series: Roscoe Conklin Mystery #2 | The novels in the Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order.
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Barnes and Noble | B&N Nook Book | BookDepository.com | Bookshop.org | eBooks.com | !ndigo | Kobo eBook | Goodreads
Davin Goodwin is a graduate of Arkansas State University and works in the technology industry. He’s been a small business owner, a real estate investor, an aerial photographer and flight instructor, a semi-professional banjo player, and a scuba diver, often seen on the island of Bonaire. Paradise Cove is the second novel in his Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series and he intends to continue writing the Roscoe Conklin series set on Bonaire. Goodwin lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife, Leslie.
Catch Up With Davin Goodwin:
BookBub – @dgoodwin7757
Instagram – @davin_goodwin_author
Facebook – @authordavingoodwin
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