More About the Author
C. Hope Clark is founder of FundsforWriters.com , a writer's resource awarded 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer's Digest Magazine each year for over a decade. Her weekly publications reach 35,000 readers. She works from her study overlooking Lake Murray in beautiful central South Carolina.
Hope comes alive at conferences across the country, from Mississippi to Oklahoma, from Pennsylvania to Florida, South Carolina to Iowa. She motivates and educates writers to step up, take charge, and create their careers. Her latest FFW release often discussed at conferences is The Shy Writer Reborn: An Introverted Writer's Wake-up Call.
Hope, however, is most excited in her mystery fiction. She's the author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series, the first release entitled Lowcountry Bribe, by Bell Bridge Books, Memphis, TN. Released February 2012. Tidewater Murder, book two, released in April 2013. With an agriculture degree from Clemson University and a two-decade history of working with US Dept of Agriculture, Hope can walk the walk of protagonist, Carolina Slade, who reviewers are falling in love with per the long list of five-star reviews at Amazon.
Threats, a missing boss, a very dead co-worker, a high-level investigation and a sinister hog farmer: Lowcountry Ag Department manager Carolina Slade is a bean-counting civil servant in hot water.
Carolina Slade is a by-the-book county manager for the Department of Agriculture a civil servant who coordinates federal loans for farmers in the coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina. When one of her clients, a hog farmer named Jessie Rawlings, offers her a bribe, Slade reports Jessie to her superiors. She's besieged by Resident Agent-In-Charge Wayne Largo from the Feds IG Office in Atlanta. He and his partner arrive to investigate Slade's accusations, and, if possible, catch Jessie in the act of handing over money.
However, the IG isn't telling Slade everything. The agents are also investigating the disappearance of Slade's boss the year before in connection to possible land fraud. And when the sting on Jessie goes bad, the case is put on hold and Wayne is called back to Atlanta, leaving Slade to fear not only for her life and job, but for her children's safety.
Jesse drew me by my stretched sleeve to the truck bed, my face barely a foot from the nearest body. "There's ten thousand dollars in it for you," he whispered, draping his arm around my shoulders. "If you find a way to get me the Williams farm. We can iron out the details later . . . in private." He winked and clicked his tongue. "If you know what I mean."
Panic coursed through me at the altered state. Like hearing that your churchgoing mother liked bourbon straight and sex on top.
He'd offered me a bribe.
My signature line read Carolina Slade Bridges, County Manager, United States Department of Agriculture. I made government loans on behalf of the American taxpayer to the rural residents of Charleston County, South Carolina. Problem was, I spent more time trying to get the money back. Poverty made repayment difficult. My job made for stories the average urban dweller would never comprehend.
Charleston County contains the stylish historic city, which everyone associates with culture, Southern charm, and plantation blue bloods living in antebellum splendor overlooking The Battery. No one envisions small-time farmers scrambling to make a living on Rhett Butler's stomping ground, but the string of islands along the coastline offered them a reasonable subsistence with the support of federal monies. I admired their pride and tried to ignore their plight, so I could sleep at night.
Slade was my maiden name going back to my great grandmother from Mississippi. Only my Momma and Daddy called me Carolina and nobody who knew me used my married name, Bridges. I loved my heritage, but I didn't love my husband. Slade was the best title for all concerned.