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Scott Ward
Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Eckerd College
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St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Deadly Sweet

Deadly SweetEddie Priest, lawyer turned boat salesman, was up on the bow doing something with a wrench. Corey liked his calm, handsome face. It was cool under the big tin roof of the marina and the moving air carried the smell of salt and gasoline and mildewed canvas. She liked it. She thought about stepping on a boat and just sailing away. Away from all the trouble she'd found....

When Corey Darrow's body was dragged from the canal where she had drowned in her truck, her hand was still clutching a cocked .357 Magnum. She had come to Eddie for help, a black Irish beauty who was being harassed for raising the ecological flag in the rich dark ooze of Okee Country -- land of sugar cane, migrant workers, neo-colonialists, and rattle snakes as big around as your thigh. A botanist had disappeared after making inquiries at her Water Management office. Corey asked too many questions of the wrong people, the menacing phone calls began, and she suspected that she was being followed. Running on regret for not being a serious threat, Eddie Priest drove to Okee City to check out how she had died.

He was drowning Wild Turkey in the Cane Cutter Bar when Corey's double walked in -- Sawnie Darrow, a senior aide to the governor. She had the same million-dollar voice as her sister and a dangerous taste for the truth. She didn't care about Eddie's wife, searching for her center in California, or his vaunted football fame. She wanted him to find out if her sister was murdered. This time Eddie couldn't say no....

His first stop was Harry W. Feather, whose big white Caddy, Buck knife, and slimy silk shirts propped up his fantasy of Tribal Warrior Prince. Fascinated by decay, sex, and clinical horrors, Harry was an elemental predator who saw meddling humans as a species of prey...Tow-truck operator Boner Harkness thought getting shot by a corpse's gun was bad enough. He didn't know what bad was...Lofton Coltis, a Harvard man with deep roots in his forebears' soil, savored the hot Gulf winds that blew ten miles over his sugar cane land before reaching his house. A two-hundred-octane Anglo supremacist, Coltis's will was law...Clinton Reynolds, Corey's boss, had warned her to shut up, but nothing could silence his dark ravings, caused by an untraced toxin...Moira Big Breath, one of the Indigenous Peoples and a Barnard graduate, was nursing a Florida panther back to health with roadkill and special loving care. A fearless political activist, Moira wanted the two-fisted White Man off her ancestor's lands...

With the help of insurance investigator Raymer Harney, Eddie was heading into a tangle of vested interests, furtive passions, greed, and unleashed mania that could trap the most ingenious hunter. The truth about Corey's death -- and the dirty secrets behind it -- might be rotting under a rock too deadly to kick over.

"Deadly Sweet captures the weird
steamy essence of Florida without
wasting a single sunset."

--Carl Hiaasen

Copyright Sterling Watson


Artistic Achievement Scholarships are available to creative writers. Interested students should follow the Creative Writing Award Submission Guidelines Located on the Financial Aid Home Page under Scholarships and Artistic Achievement Awards and mail all pertinent materials prior to the application deadline.

Writers in Paradise

Writers in Paradise

Located on the beautiful waterfront campus of Eckerd College, this writers' conference features professional writers at the top of their form spending time with motivated and talented participants who seek an intimate, unhurried climate for learning . . . in paradise.