The premise for HOOKED came easy. I was told, write what you know. Fishing has been a part of my life, well...for most of it. Growing up, my summers were spent commercial fishing either on Kodiak Island or in South Naknek, Alaska. There was a time I hated any mention of fish camp. It's fishy, wet, cold, isolated, and wild. As a child it was wondrous, as a teenager, hell. But as an adult, I fell in love with the adventure.
Therefore, it was natural for me to set a romantic suspense with fishing as the backdrop. What better conflict than to have a hero who was an Alaska State Trooper and a hell-bent on trouble drift boat captain as my heroine. Talk about sparks. Commercial fishing in Bristol Bay is like no other enterprise in the world. It's referred to combat fishing and that is a very adapt description. It's dangerous, deadly, and exciting as all get out.
There are two types of gill net fishing, drift and set. Usually the fishermen fish only one type of gear. My family set netted...until 2005. Then we threw in with drifters and did both types of fishing. As you can imagine, this caused some contention between the drifters and set netters. Tempers fly easily between fishermen...and people die.
Now, you're probably wondering how in the world could fishing be romantic? Suspenseful thriller, easy, but romance? You'll have to trust me. The romance between Garrett and Sonya rocks the boat.
Here is a scene one the first day of fishing and the first time Garrett demands to board Sonya's boat.
The juggling of constantly moving her boat, watching out for the other boats, and gauging the strong tide flooding the river took every bit of Sonya’s attention. She barely had any left to keep an eye out for the troopers.
They were everywhere, like gnats.
Planes and helicopters flew above. The Calypso, and high performance RHIBs—rigid-hulled inflatable boats, or what Sonya referred to as sharks—patrolled the water. Planters were stationed on shore. All were outfitted with high powered cameras and binoculars, watching and waiting for the slightest mistake.
Garrett was out there somewhere.
Sonya locked the door on that thought and mentally tossed the key overboard. She had enough to concentrate on. She didn’t need another distraction, and Garrett had already distracted her too much. It seemed in her experience that most fishermen were written up by the troopers for a loss of concentration. Something got away from them. There were the few cutthroats looking for any opportunity to bend the law to their advantage. After all, fishing was all about advantage. The best vantage point, the best fishing hole, the best boat, and the best crew.
“Heads up,” Gramps said. “We have fish cops twenty feet off the stern.”
Sonya glanced behind them. Sure enough there was the Calypso, a former drift boat the state used to “blend in” with the other fishermen. Any fisherman with any fish sense knew the Calypso for what she was.
A spy vessel.
“Looks like they want to board us,” Gramps said.
Peter pointed at the Calypso. “Do you see that?”
“Yes.” She nodded. They hadn’t done anything. Hell, they didn’t even have their net in the water. She glanced at the instrument panel and noticed the time. They didn’t have time for this. “Wes, Peter, prepare to get the net in the water.”
The Calypso angled alongside them. She heard Garrett’s voice clearly as he yelled from the deck of the trooper’s boat. “Double Dippin’, prepare to be boarded.”
Damn it all to hell. If this had something to do with last night, Garrett was out of line. With no choice, Sonya did as the law ordered. A rope flew over the side of her boat and Wes caught it, securing the boats together. Garrett leaped over, looking lethal in his dark blue uniform, trooper hat, and sunglasses. He glanced around the deck, nodded toward Wes and Peter, then zeroed in on her up in the pilot house.
"I need to talk to you."
Oh no, he did not. "I’m busy here. You realize that we’re about to drop our net."
He whipped off his sunglasses, his piercing eyes hard as ice. "Not before we speak. Don’t make me give you a safety inspection."
Double hell! He could hold them up indefinitely if she didn’t cooperate. "Gramps, hold her steady."
"Give him hell, Sonya. We need to get fishing."
"Plan to." Sonya slid down the rail of the stairs and stomped her way on deck toward Garrett. "What do you want?"
"You have a problem onboard."
"Yeah, I’m looking at it."
So let the questions and comments begin.