Pleasing the camera’s eye is just one of the things Aussie ex-surf champ-turned-model, Scott Chevalier, is good at. And after introducing him in last week’s Sneak Peek at my upcoming mystery, Killer Climate (due out 6th December), we see him doing just that in today’s extract from the book.
As you may recall, Scott is the host of a new TV show called The Campervan Bushman, and in this excerpt from chapter one, the film crew are shooting some of his spear-fishing action on location at the beautiful (and fictitious) Bambury Bay on the north-east coast of England.
But, as you’ll see, it’s not long before things go haywire on set!
Before we dive into our Sneak Peek (pardon the pun!), here’s the blurb, so you can get an overview of the book…
Book 1 in the Campervan Bushman Mystery Series
A Mystery with an Edge of Humour,
A Sense of Adventure and
A Hint of Romance
Ex-surf champ and model, Scott Chevalier, isn’t just a pretty face!
With an enviable campervan-surfie lifestyle, and a handful of impressive bush skills learnt from his grandfather, producer Frank Buckler sees great potential in the young Aussie and hires him to host a British TV show called The Campervan Bushman.
Unfortunately, things don’t start out too well when Scott arrives on location in England. One minute, he has to contend with the freezing North Sea, and the next, he’s in danger of being reported for popping off the local wildlife.
When things hit rock bottom and the director dies, no one suspects it could be anything but an accident – at least not to start with. But as the evidence begins to mount, Scott realises that the cold English climate isn’t the only killer around.
KILLER CLIMATE is written in the ‘cosy’ mystery style, with an edge of humour, a sense of adventure, and a hint of romance – a story not to be missed!
* * * *
CHAPTER 1 Extract
His bronzed, muscular torso arose from the ocean shallows like a Greek god, his sun-bleached, shoulder-length hair spraying salty foam over his naked back as he flung his head back and held a wriggling fish aloft on his spear-gun.
Red, the cameraman, gazed eagerly through the lens, zooming in on Scott Chevalier’s form as he stood now in the shimmering surf, glistening wet beads clinging to his radiant skin. This is going to look sooo good in slow motion with music laid over it, he thought, a smile playing on the side of his mouth.
It was their third day of shooting the new Campervan Bushman TV show, and finally they’d been blessed – they had the perfect weather and now Red had captured the perfect shot – thanks to the absence of that annoying nutter that had been harassing them and jumping into the background of every shot. Pesky local.
His thoughts were pulled up short by the director. “Cut!” Sally shouted from behind. Red sighed inwardly and braced himself, convinced she was just about to nit-pick about the shot. It wouldn’t be the first time – not the first time at all. She could be quite the perfectionist at times, he thought.
“Cut! Cut!” she continued to cry, even though he’d already stopped filming. He turned round, not wanting to face her, and saw just what he expected: she did not look pleased. But then he realised she wasn’t looking at him at all. She was looking over his shoulder. He followed her gaze, now seeing what had got her heckles up. That annoying nutter was back again – and was about to walk into camera view. Red tutted as he walked their way with his vicious-looking dog.
Sally gritted her jaw, her fingers tightening on her clipboard as she put her fists on her hips, ready to do battle. This was the last straw. The stupid twit had been a pest from the day they arrived, complaining, making threats and deliberately ruining shots by walking on set.
Sally wasn’t in the habit of suffering fools gladly, and with the time he was forcing them to waste doing retakes, her patience had worn about as thin as tissue paper. And it was clear from their earlier run-ins with the man that he wasn’t going to deal with them in a peaceable way.
As he approached her, the man’s slavering Alsatian tugged hard on the leash. Red gave him a wide berth. Not only did he have a morbid fear of dogs, but when Sally lost her temper – look out! And now it looked like the two battlers were going for another head-to-head on set.
“And just what the hell do you think you’re doing this time? Surely you can see we’re filming?” she said, her green eyes flashing with fury.
“As I said before – it’s a free country. And I’ll walk my dog wherever I please.” Sally looked him up and down. Despite the warm weather, the man was dressed in a beige jacket, trousers, brown gloves and a cap. His tone was authoritative, as though he were ordering servants to clean up his mess. Probably even got his dog to pick up his own. Unfortunately for the film crew, there was no way they could stop the snide old duffer from being a total nuisance.
At that moment, Scott came up from behind. “Everything all right here, Sally? You want me to escort this gentleman off the set?”
But before she could reply, the man was already talking. “I can escort myself home, thank you very much. And, don’t you worry, I’ve already made a formal complaint about you people.”
“Oh, you have, have you? And on what grounds?” Sally continued to glare.
“Endangering the local wildlife for one thing. That fish he’s got there isn’t the only animal he’s put an end to while he’s been here,” the man carped, pointing at the fish that Scott was now holding in his hand, along with his flippers and spear-gun.
Scott frowned awkwardly at Sally, recalling the previous day. After the man had disturbed the crew’s morning shoot, they’d decided to take a break on the beach, in the hope that he’d give up and go home. While Scott was eating a snack, a seagull had swooped speedily down at him, beak aimed like a lance, hoping to spear a morsel of food. But Scott’s reflexes were keen, and he’d swiftly pulled out his catapult, sending the bird straight to seagull heaven.
As far as Scott was concerned, it was all done in the name of self-preservation – of a kind, anyway. Although Sally had had something to say on the matter. They were a protected species, after all – even if most people considered them to be a pest with a higher annoyability factor than the man with the dog. Unfortunately, it looked like the crafty old bugger had been hovering round in the dunes, just waiting for them to cock up. What was he? Some kind of professional heckler?
Scott dropped the flippers and fish on the sand. “Well,” he said, holding the harpoon ambiguously now, “if you don’t scoot, that fish might not be the only ‘wild’ life I’ll test this spear-gun on today.”
“Are you threatening me?” the man said indignantly. He straightened himself, trying to front up to Scott. His dog was growling even more now, but even with the mutt in tow, Scott could sense a certain shakiness behind his bravado.
“Come on, Lassie,” he grunted, tugging at the dog’s leash. “Make no mistake,” he added as he made to leave, “I’ll be reporting this incident to the police.”
[END OF SNEAK PEEK]
Killer Climate launches
Sunday 6th December
… so if you can’t wait till then to read more, you can pick up Part One of the book as a FREE PDF download – no need to sign up to anything. It’s available for a limited period only prior to launch. Just click to visit the Campervan Bushman page of my website and scroll down for the download link.
SPECIAL PREORDER OFFER!
I wanted to do something special for my more enthusiastic readers, so if you preorder KILLER CLIMATE (links are on the website or in Part One) you’ll not only get it at a discount, but you’ll also be getting a SPECIAL, AUTHOR-SIGNED copy of the book. Note that this will be removed right after the book’s launch!
If you’d like to read Scott’s backstory and find out what drove him to become The Campervan Bushman in the first place, you can download WIPE OUT, the series prequel, for FREE when you sign up to my New Releases mailing list. Just click here or on the link below to get started.
By the way, rest assured, when you sign up, you WON’T get flooded with emails, your details are kept confidential, and you can unsubscribe EASILY at any time. What you will get is news on my upcoming book releases, subscriber-only discounts & giveaways, and any other cool stuff that might be on offer.
FAUX REVIEWS by PSEUDO-CELEBRITIES
Finally, here are just a few of my infamous ‘faux reviews’ of the spurious kind for KILLER CLIMATE…
Having been stirred into buying an RV motorhome after reading Alannah’s Campervan Capers books, I decided to give this little fiction story a whirl. Well, hey, not only has she succeeded in inspiring me big time once again on the campervan front, but this mystery is just bursting with the kinds of adventures we should – quite frankly – be featuring in my Mission Improbable movies!
Scott might come across as a surf bum, but those of us who know him take our bush hats off to him. He can teach ya a thing or two about flavourin’ up a crocodile steak, I can tell ya… Although, of course, crocs are a protected species nowadays, so I don’t go hunting for them any more… Honest!
Crocodile Dundee (‘Mick’ to his mates)
You’ll find more ‘rave reviews’ like that at the end of KILLER CLIMATE.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s Sneak Peek and that it’s fired you up to dive into the deeper mystery to follow, along with Scott & the crew.
Here’s looking forward to seeing you at the launch next Sunday, 6th December!