I’m generally distrustful of media types, Dru, but word has it you’re one of the good ones – yes, I asked around – so thank you for inviting me to chat. You probably want to talk about seeing me on the news in that ridiculous video at the chapel or how Corolla was overrun by the FBI or maybe about those rumors that the wild horses and I played key roles in a recent murder case or two. Let me simply say that Corolla is a charming seaside village that just happened to have a little trouble recently and I officially had nothing to do with any of it…well, except that was me on the news riding piggyback on Crazy Charlie in the church. I have to admit, that one is a little tough to explain.
I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Colleen McCabe and I’m the Fire Chief in Corolla, North Carolina. Yes, that’s right. I’m a woman fire chief. Some of my guys had a tough time when I first came on board but now we’re like family and I trust them with my life. My favorite colleague is Jimmy Bartlett, my veteran captain. He’s like a brother which means we know how to tease one another unmercifully. As much as I love the guys, it will be nice to have some women – and a woman’s bathroom – at the firehouse soon. My job at the station keeps me busy and no matter what you hear I don’t butt my nose into police business. You can ask the sheriff. Wait, on second thought, don’t.
Corolla is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We’re famous for our wild Spanish mustangs, Whalehead Club, Currituck Lighthouse, and idyllic beaches. If you’ve never visited, you really should come. I’ll even get the guys to take you out in the engine.
We’re a small community so at some point you’ll run into Myrtle Crepe, my cantankerous former third grade teacher, and her best friend Nellie Byrd. They oversee the Lighthouse Wild Horse Preservation Society with Myrtle’s pudgy forty-year-old son, Little Bobby. Just warning you, Myrtle can be a royal pain. I try to avoid running into her as much as possible. Nellie’s a sweet woman though and, well, Bobby, I can’t help feeling sorry for him.
If you rent a house when you visit, chances are it was built by Antonio “Pinky” Salvatore. Some think Pinky is a gangster but I haven’t seen any evidence to support that. Pinky often burns debris just to get me to come to his construction trailer and flirt which makes my best friend, Bill Dorman, jealous. Bill is the Currituck County Sheriff and not a bad looking guy if I do say so myself. We’ve worked on a number of cases together but on occasion he accuses me of intruding on his investigations which really ticks me off. Between you and me, sometimes Bill needs my help. Bill and I share a genuine affection for one another. Maybe someday we’ll be more than friends…but don’t print that. That’s strictly off the record.
My day begins with an early morning run with Sparky, my Border collie and constant companion. He’s a good dog but can get into mischief if he gets bored…and he hates getting a bath. I also have a cranky Siamese cat named Smokey that has an annoying habit of sleeping on the dining room table. I enjoy jogging in the morning before the rest of the world is up. It’s wonderfully peaceful and I usually see a deer or chipmunk or, on rare occasions, a bald eagle.
After a jog, breakfast, and a few chores I head to the station. A day at the firehouse varies depending on the season. Winter is quiet and sometimes a little dull but the tranquility reminds me of the Corolla of my childhood and it’s beautiful when it snows on the beach. The spring and fall are my favorite times of the year. There aren’t as many tourists but the place is still bustling with wine and art festivals and other activities. The busiest time of the year, the season I dread, is summer. Fireworks, partying vacationers, ocean riptides, you name it…summer brings them all and all make me nervous. This summer has been particularly demanding with the house explosion and all the murders but I promise you it’s perfectly safe to visit. Really.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press, I have one (1) copy of FOAL PLAY to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends June 16; US entries only.
Meet the author
Kathryn O’Sullivan is winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition, a playwright and creator/writer of the Western web series THURSTON (www.thurston-series.com), and a theatre professor at Northern Virginia Community College. She lives in Virginia with her husband, an award-winning director and cinematographer, and their rascally rescue cat, Oscar. She is currently working on Role Play, the second book in the “Colleen McCabe” series. To learn more and watch the trailer for FOAL PLAY, please visit her website at www.kathrynosullivan.com and find her on Facebook.