Avalon, South Carolina

Women can get you in a lot of trouble.

OK, maybe I shouldn’t have gone home with the boss’s daughter. But seven weeks of journalist purgatory is totally overreacting. So when the wealthy Ms. Adeline Foster offered me a job to find out what happened to her father—who’s been missing for six years—I figured, what the hell, it’s gotta be better than the high school sports desk.

Women can get you in a lot of trouble. When will I ever learn?

My search led me straight to this tiny, mysterious islet that doesn’t show up on the charts, and the fog is so thick you’ll miss it unless you know right where it is. But it’s real, all right. George Foster painted it and named his painting Avalon. He also painted the golden-haired woman who is haunting my dreams.  The raw power of the island calls to me. And it calls to Chai Fox, the self-proclaimed witch who tries to capture the island’s essence in the ancient, carnal, time-honored ways.

Women can get you in a lot of trouble. I can’t get that through my head.

Trouble is, I’m much more attracted to Sabrina, the sassy waitress with the fastest wit in back-water South Carolina. Except she has this abusive, stalker-ish boyfriend that she can’t seem to get rid of. So I’m taking her along when Ms. Foster and I go out to Avalon on Beltane, the night the boundary between our world and the Otherworld is the weakest. Maybe we’ll meet the golden-haired woman in person. We might even find out what happened to George Foster. But whatever else we find, on Beltane the fertility of the land is renewed with uninhibited sex.

My name’s Rick Whittaker. Wish me luck since I’m gonna need it—’cause women can get you in a lot of trouble.

Avalon, South Carolina is a humorous detective story, and perhaps a bit of a love story. But it’s so much more. Because the mystery can’t be solved by ordinary means, since it involves far away legendary places. Not to mention events that took place 1500 years ago, but are still reaching out to touch our world.

from the Author: this novel takes place in a small town in the area where I grew up, the South Carolina low country. If you’ve never been there, you are missing an experience. Spanish moss hangs from the low, spreading branches of the live oaks. The pace of life is slow, with the bounty and beauty of the salt water estuaries, creeks, and marsh flats calling.

When I was a boy, not yet a teenager, we used to take our old wooden bateau, row a mile across the salt water May River over to one of the many islands there, and spend the day exploring. Pretending to be pirates or frontiersmen, building small fires to roast oysters or mussels, building great fortresses on the sandy beaches. I’m certain that the mysterious islands of Avalon, South Carolina grew from those many glorious, make-believe days of my boyhood.

Book categories: Rusty's Books