Monday, September 30, 2013

Murder on the Beach

When we moved to Georgia, I kept hearing about the great beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast, but I didn’t get too excited because I wasn’t much of a beach girl—probably because I’d grown up in one of the highest and driest parts of Texas. I usually picked the mountains over the beach for a vacation. The few times I’d been to the beach had involved murky water and crowds packed so tightly on the sand that I felt more like a sardine than a sunbather, but despite my lack of enthusiasm we eventually planned a trip to Destin, Florida. 

It was amazing.

The pure white sand contrasted sharply with the turquoise-tinted water that stretched to the horizon. Up close, as the waves broke on the sand, the water was amazingly clear. I looked at my husband and said, “I’m ruined forever. This is what a beach should be like.” 

I loved that beach and thought it would be a great setting for a book, so when I sat down to plot the next Ellie book, I decided Ellie and her family needed to go on a beach vacation to Sandy Beach, my fictionalized version of Destin. 

Of course, it’s a mystery and Ellie doesn’t get to spend nearly as much time on the beach as I did—she’s busy hunting for a killer, but I did get to describe the beautiful beaches, the posh hotels, and the kitschy souvenirs. We also had a real-life shark sighting on the beach, and I knew that had to go in the book, too.

Except for the shark part and the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast, everything else in the story is made-up—the murder, the paparazzi-stalking media who descend on the town, and the race to unmask a killer.

It’s one of my favorite things about writing—setting stories in places I’ve lived and visited. So far, in the Ellie books, I’ve written about the Inland Northwest (Washington state), Georgia, Washington D.C., and now Florida. My other book series, On the Run, features international destinations like London, Venice, Paris, Pompeii, and Capri. I’ve really enjoyed writing about each of these places.

Do you have a favorite setting/locale you like to read about?


P.S. I have a Rafflecopter giveaway set up to celebrate the release of Milkshakes, Mermaids, and Murder. :)

Sara writes the Ellie Avery mystery series and the On The Run suspense series. 
Photo by L. Rosett 

 Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, "satisfying," "well-executed," and "sparkling."

Sara loves all things bookish, considers dark chocolate a daily requirement, and is on a quest for the best bruschetta. Connect with her at You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or Goodreads.


  1. I love books that take me away to another place! And I also love reading books that take place where I live. Escapism is one of the best parts of reading. Can't wait to check out your latest.

  2. Happy Release Day, Sara! It looks great! As far as other locales go, I'm pretty eclectic but I do love writing/reading about Victorian England. Of course it's not somewhere I can travel too which is just as well since I'm a huge fan of good indoor plumbing.

    1. I love historicals, too, especially mysteries. :)

  3. Great post, Sara. I'll take anything associated with a white sandy beach! It looks fabulous! I hope you sell a bazillion copies!!

  4. Congrats on your release!!! My favorite beach read's are ones that involve romance... such as Her Perfect Getaway (Bridesmaids in Paradise #1) .

  5. We were stationed at Fort Walton Beach so I can't wait to read this! It is a stunning beach!

  6. Hi Sherry! Fort Walton Beach sounds like a great assignment. We went to the beach there, too. Loved it!

  7. Truly truly truly! ANY Sara Rosett book is my favorite beach read. My favorite vacation read. My favorite staycation read

  8. I don't have a favorite beach read because I don't go to the beach.The last time I went to a beach was with small children and you can't sit and read while you are suppose to be watching after children. I prefer mountains to beaches. JFWisherd(at)aol(dot)com

  9. My favorite beach read this summer was by Maya Banks-Echoes At Dawn it was one of a series she has. I really don't like to take books to the beach-they get greasy from the suntan lotion and gritty from the sand. However, I just had to read that one. was really a good book.