This week’s Sample Sunday gives you a sneak peek into my next Rachel Scott series – Asylum Harbor. And since Asylum Harbor is set in the Bahamas – I’m including a yummy tropical cocktail recipe, Bahama Mama. Enjoy!
1/2 fluid ounce rum
1/2 fluid ounce coconut-flavored rum
1/2 fluid ounce grenadine syrup
1 fluid ounce orange juice
1 fluid ounce pineapple juice
1 cup crushed ice
Combine regular rum, rum with coconut flavoring, grenadine, orange juice, pineapple juice and crushed ice in an electric blender. Blend until the drink’s consistency is slushy.
CHAPTER ONE – ASYLUM HARBOR
Rachel sat in vanity room makeup chair trying to enjoy being pampered. This wasn’t her first time in front of a camera, but the butterflies still fluttered in her stomach every time she thought about millions of people watching her on TV.
In just a few minutes she would be on set at the Today Show to do an interview with Ann Curry. Her company, Florida Omni Search, had found a missing boy scout in the Florida Everglades last weekend. It was a national news story and she was thrilled to be a part of a successful recovery.
After what felt like an hour under the unnecessarily intense care of the hair and makeup crew, she looked into the mirror. It amazed her how these people made her look ten years younger and ten times prettier by just adding some heavy makeup and styling her long unruly auburn hair.
Kristy, one of the production assistants came to escort her to the set. “You look great,” Kristy said as they turned the corner into the studio.
“Thanks, I’m a little nervous.”
The Today Show studio looked much larger on TV. There was a news desk on one side of the small stage and a seating area on the other side – booms, wiring, curtains, and unused props took up much of the other space. Directly in front of her the crew was putting together the kitchen for the cooking segment which always aired last.
Ann Curry walked onto the set and introduced herself. She went on to explain how the interview would begin and which cameras she should look into and when. She fought the butterflies off and tried to remember Ann’s flurry of instructions.
The lights dimmed and Kristy made the countdown to going live. The production assistant’s bony finger pointed at them with conviction.
“Good Morning, we are back with a special guest. Rachel Scott from Florida Omni Search is with us today. Rachel played an instrumental role in locating missing boy scout, Casey Daniels, this past week. Rachel, tell us a little about how you got involved with search and rescue.”
Rachel took a deep breath and smiled into the camera. “The organization was started after my daughter, Mallory, disappeared several years ago.” She paused for a second. This was always the hardest part. Mallory was only three years old when she vanished and even though it had been five years ago, Rachel still felt a lump in her throat every time she thought about her precious little girl.
“I became frustrated with the lack of progress the local law enforcement was making. There are hundreds of people reported missing every day and not enough manpower to help with those cases.”
“What does FloridaOmni Search do for families of missing loved ones?” Ann inquired.
“We are a non-profit private search firm that has over twelve hundred volunteers from all professions including people who are trained in forensics. We have more resources and equipment than most law enforcement agencies. That is why they routinely call us when there is a difficult missing person case.”
“So last Saturday you received a request from Palm Beach Sheriff’s office to help locate Casey.” Ann said. “How did you go about finding him?”
“After consulting Casey’s troop leader we narrowed down our search grid and started from his last known position. After an exhaustive fourteen hours we finally found Casey about seven miles from their campsite.”
“What was his condition when you found him?” Ann inquired.
“He was a little dehydrated and scratched up but otherwise in good shape. It was a successful recovery and a happy ending.”
“That’s great to hear. We are all grateful for what you and everyone at Florida Omni Search do for missing persons and their families. Thank you for sharing your story with us.”
“Thanks for having me,” Rachel replied.
Ann looked into the camera. “When we come back, we will talk to Casey and his mom from the hospital in Palm Beach County.”
After the interview was over, Rachel graciously thanked the cast and crew and was driven back to the hotel. She reached in her bag and pulled out her cell phone. There were several missed calls and a voice mail message. She listened to the message which was from Drake Townsend who worked for the FBI. They had worked on numerous missing persons cases together.
“Hi Drake, its Rachel”.
“Hey Rach. Thanks for calling me back so quickly. We had a case come up that I hoped you could help with. A girl was reported missing last night in the Bahamas.”
“What happened?” Rachel asked.
“She was on a cruise to the Bahamas and the crew officials think she may have fallen overboard.”
The town car had pulled up to the hotel and she handed the driver a generous tip. “That is awful. Is the Coast Guard searching now?”
“Yes, they have had a cutter and a seaplane out since early this morning. They haven’t found anything yet.”
Rachel walked into the hotel’s grand lobby and sat down on a sofa. “I was just headed to Tampa for the week. I haven’t seen my parent’s in awhile. But I can send our Miami crew down there to help with the search.”
“We really need you Rachel. As a matter of fact, you have been personally requested.” Drake said. “The missing girl is Amber Knowles.”
The name resonated in her brain. Amber Knowles. “The name sounds familiar…” Rachel started to say.
“Yes, it should. She is the daughter of John Knowles. The governor of Florida,” Drake said.
READ THE FIRST RACHEL SCOTT SERIES NOVEL – BURN OUT