Hidden Beneath Release, a New Map and a #giveaway

by Barb, taking time out from book jail in Maine

Hidden Beneath, the eleventh book in my Maine Clambake Mystery series, releases today. It feels like it’s been a long time coming, but it’s actually almost exactly a year since the last book in the series, Muddled Through, was published. And only six months since the last novella, “Perked Up,” in Irish Coffee Murder came out.

To celebrate, I’m giving away paperback copies of Hidden Beneath to two lucky commenters below.

A New Map

Regular readers of the blog and the series will be familiar with the map of Busman’s Harbor, Maine that I had made for the release of Shucked Apart. My goal at the time was to capture the intricate world I’d created through nine novels.

Click on the image to see a larger version on my website

My motivation to create the new map was just the opposite. Instead of a sprawling world that threatened to get out of my control, I was dealing with a limited geography that was critical to the story. As I wrote Hidden Beneath, I had such a hard time visualizing my characters movements through this terrain that I had to rely on my hand-drawn map a great deal. Unlike Busman’s Harbor, which is deeply familiar to me at this point, Chipmunk Island, the site of the new novel, was terra incognito. I was making it up as I went along.

Chipmunk Island appears on the map of Busman’s Harbor and in several of the earlier books in the series, mostly as the Snowden Family Clambake tour boat, the Jacquie II, takes customers out to Morrow Island to enjoy their clambake meals. In other words, in passing. Up until this book, I had only the vaguest notion of who lived on the island, and aside from the shape that contributes its name, knew next to nothing about the physical island either. Hidden Beneath fills those spaces.

Click on the map to see a larger image on my website

As with the previous map, I worked with artist Rhys Davies. I drew a (terrible) draft of the map and researched the houses. That process was made much easier this time, because a) I hadn’t described the houses in multiple books prior to looking for physical examples, and b) Kensington did such a terrific rendering of the victim’s house for the cover that I had my starting point. Rhys did everything else. We went back and forth a few times, but we’re veterans of working together now. I highly recommend him should you ever need a map.

A new book and a new map. Feels like a day for celebration!

Readers: Do you like maps in books? Do you find them helpful or distracting? Comment below or just say “hi” for a chance to win one of two copies of Hidden Beneath.

128 Thoughts

  1. i’m not particularly fond of maps but do like and find useful the character lists.
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  2. Hi Barbara, My husband and I went on the clambake last week to celebrate our 50th. The meal was as good as portrayed in your books. Can’t wait to read your newest release.

  3. Maps do not matter to me. In most cases, as I read a book, I have it pictured in my head. Happy book birthday. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

  4. I just finished “Perked Up” and really loved it. I’m looking forward to Hidden Beneath!

  5. I love maps. I like to see where everything is and then I can picture where the characters are and what’s happening where.

    1. It does help with visualizing what is going on, especially in certain sorts of books. I thought Hidden Beneath was one of those.

  6. I love having a map in the book, it helps me visualize the town as characters move around. I am also on Team Character List.

  7. I think that maps enhance and deepen the reader’s experience with the book and the author’s story. It’s a visual snapshot that provides perspective and context to the place, time and author’s narrative. It orientates us to the story. I personally am excited when I see that an author has taken the time and effort to include one, and love to pour over them before I read and look back at it often while reading.

  8. I find maps in books are very helpful to relate to events taking place in the story.

  9. Congrats on the book! I love maps and especially in the books I read.

  10. I love the maps – easier to visualize the town. I love this series! My family was fortunate and had relatives living on the Maine coast. I have many happy memories of the area.

  11. I live in Maine! Just finished Hidden Beneath, loved it! Would love the new map! I have the first nap! ❤️

  12. Way back in junior high I wanted to be a writer and I remember making a map for some town I created. Unfortunately, most of my “books” were never finished! Thus, I ended up being an English major and having the dream job of working in my town library! So, yes, I think maps are great in books – they help the reader visualize the world the author has created and make that world more real to the reader. Really looking forward to this book! My hold is ready at the library – yay! I’m curious – we are headed up to Maine for vacation in August – Boothbay Harbor to Bar Harbor and back to York. Is Chipmunk Island based on Squirrel Island?

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