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The Fairy in a Tale

Fairies seem to be quite popular in fiction (I’ve seen several in the last while, particularly in manuscripts I’m editing).  The ones I’ve “encountered” are usually small, cute, have magical powers, but can sometimes be tricksters (they’re cute but not necessarily sweet).

That got me to thinking where “fairytale” originates from.  The general dictionary consensus is that a fairytale is a children’s story about magical and imaginary beings and lands.

The genre originates courtesy of different spoken stories passed down through various European cultures. Per Wikipedia: “the genre was first marked out by writers of the Renaissance, such as Giovanni Francesco Straparola and Giambattista Basile, and stabilized through the works of later collectors such as Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm.”

Not sure about the other names, but I’m familiar with the Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm and Jacob.  They sported several hats but were perhaps best known for their stories (folk tales), first published in 1812.  Thought I’d throw that in there.

I digress, something I do well.  In today’s fiction market, what makes a fairytale a fairytale?  They’re set in the past is one of the criteria.  I’d disagree with that; they can certainly be set in modern times but contain components of that mythical/mystical/magical world that differentiates it from the world as we know it.  I’d concur that there’s that once-upon-a-time element, suggesting that the story transpired in another realm (a make-believe one).

Common features of the fairy’s fantasy world—forests seem to be particularly popular—include castles and palaces, villages and rural areas, rivers and streams.  Royalty often resides in one form or another.  There are bad sorts to challenge the good ones.  Additionally, there’s a lesson and/or moral to be found.  And, for sure, you have to have a happy ending (or should).

HcXSThe purpose of this post was to enlighten myself infinitesimally, an amount as miniscule as a flitting fairy.

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The Kid in Me & You

Who doesn’t love a good children’s book?  There’s always a little bit of a kid still in us, no matter what our age. But perhaps you’re considering writing a children’s book?  If so, do it!

Figure out what type you’d like to write: early reader, picture book, chapter book, middle grade, YA, etc.  Challenge yourself.  Have fun.  Write to your heart’s content . . . or until the imagination drowses . . . then pick up again the next day.

Before you submit your completed work to a publisher or editor, confirm that it’s professional quality.  This means, yes, you’ll have to edit it.

While you want to be aware of how you express yourself on paper / on the screen for a younger audience, most of the basic editing “rules” still apply.

Have a dynamic opening—you want to catch your readers immediately (reel them in from the get-go).

Remember the opening of Charlotte’s Web?  Young Fern asks why her father has an ax.  Mrs. Arable says he is going to the barn to do away with the runt of a pig litter.  The little girl immediately races out to stop her father.  I don’t know about you, but I was sucked in right away (in fact, I didn’t put that book down until I finished it, a sobbing, blubbering mess).

Ensure that the plot/storyline are entertaining; young(er) readers get bored with bad, silly, or boring plots just as easily as older ones do.

Offer an intriguing (entertaining) main character and ensure the other ones are strong/personable/memorable.

“I am Sam”.  Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs & Ham was a favorite.  Simple.  Fun.  Entertaining.  But, then, so were most of his books—all with memorable and fun characters.

If your main character is searching for something, or perhaps themselves, or may think aloud a lot, talk to themselves, or have things to share, consider adding a “buddy” that he/she can bounce ideas off of or enjoy adventures with.  There are many friendships to list from childhood, but think of Charlotte and Wilbur, Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Bently and Daisy, Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, and Roo, Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat.

Make certain dialogue serves a purpose and isn’t repetitive.

Show, don’t tell; ensure action and dialogue make the story come alive.  Keep the “he said” “she said” to a minimum.

Avoid using the same words too frequently, and don’t be overly descriptive or detailed.  Maintain your young readers’ attention.

Provide appropriate transitions when moving to a new scene or chapter.

Be clear.  Keep the flow and action consistent and logical.  The story and action have to make sense (even if in a fairy/fantasy world).  Provide reasons for actions/reactions.  If Mr. Moose and Mr. Caribou have to fly to Alaska on a magical sled, ensure the reader knows why—even if they’re doing it for a lark.

Keep the writing tight and pace steady/smooth.

There you have them, a few suggestions.  Editing your own work, as many will attest, is not always easy or enjoyable (the moans and groans can prove plentiful, so can the caffeine breaks).  Think of editing as a challenge.  Pull on your editor’s hat and have at it.  You can do it . . . and you may even have fun.

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Baring the Ol’ Soul

Emotions are a very real, raw thing, and can be difficult to capture in fiction if not presented correctly or well.  Making them public in nonfiction may prove equally difficult, not only because of how they are described, but because they come from the soul, the heart . . . from experiences that are taxing, trying, empowering, lifting, or bittersweet.  Imaginary or real (dramatized or recounted), they often prove poignant. 

Editing nonfiction accounts of challenging times in people’s lives—memoirs, personal accounts—is tricky at times.  Do you edit with the fiction hat on . . .  and propose the following, without applying the “editing pen”?  Do you offer the same advice you would to a fiction writer?

    • Show, don’t tell.
    • Avoid using the same words too frequently.
    • Be mindful of dialogue and dialogue tags; don’t restate or offer the obvious.
    • Steer clear of repeating an event, action, or conversation.
    • Dodge overused/reiterated devices and approaches that lend themselves to flatness.

The nonfiction hat, particularly when dealing with emotional/heartbreaking topics, wants to be softer, less analytical.  As such, you may be tempted to:

    • keep the simplicity/intensity, even the repetitiveness, that’s being revealed (because, again, it comes from the soul, the heart)
    • preserve—as is—something that is being shared and bared.

Then, the juggling hat appears.  Maybe you determine that the best editing tactic is to allow the narrative to unfold exactly as the writer—soul-barer—intended.  If someone has disclosed some highly subjective if not private moments, is it fair to alter what is visceral, intense, and so very personal?  No, probably not . . . but it wouldn’t hurt to tighten here and there, staying true to the writer’s intention(s) and mode of expression. 

It’s a tough call sometimes.  And editing instinct has to play a part, too.  Get a feel . . . for what feels right.

For someone planning to pen a personal tale, before beginning, give some thought to the following:

    • write [reveal] vital, relevant events
    • don’t communicate every detail
    • share with all senses—allow readers to feel, smell, see, hear, touch (like fiction, pull them in; let them understand the situation from a “sensory” POV)
    • ensure readers get to know you or the person you’re writing about (the quest, struggle/situation, outcome)
    • be honest
    • use dialogue here and there and make it compelling, not of the “he said, she said” variety.

1abckindpngsatSharing a personal tale can prove purging, which is great (I have some of that to do), but it can also be enlightening, instructional, supportive/helpful, encouraging, for readers who have undergone similar situations . . . or those that want to learn about, and from, them.

Consider the goal for sharing [publishing] the intimate account—aim for it—and write [honestly and honorably] from the soul and heart.

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SuspenseFULL

There’s nothing better than a riveting suspense novel, one that is full of excitement, thrills, tension, edginess . . . one that keeps the reader glued to the pages, wanting to find out what transpires . . . yet not really wanting the story to end . . . because it’s that good.  (I’m reading one now; hence the compulsion to post about it.)

So, you’d like to write one and are wondering what helps make a suspense story good?  Don’t reveal all.  You want to grab a reader’s interest/curiosity from the get-go and that is done not just with the story or plot, but through the characters.  There’s a problem or challenge, maybe a few, a mission or quest, maybe a few, that the protagonist (and/or main characters) has to pursue, and solve or resolve.

The protagonist, like the main characters, should have issues and/or a complicated past.  Something drives him or her.  Or maybe something makes him or her want to avoid the world.  What incidents/events have molded the protagonist?

Teasing the reader here and there can add to the suspense.  Perhaps Jim’s private-eye partner, Ralph, has been severely beaten.  Jim is supposed to meet him at ten, and is waiting, eager to hear what information Ralph has received that will help them solve a puzzler of a case.  The reader is aware of what has happened to Ralph; Jim is not.  Tension builds . . . particularly if the thugs who’d done the dastardly deed have discussed meeting Jim at the rendezvous spot with the intention of “taking care” of him, too.

Perhaps certain characters are bleak or somber, mysterious or treacherous, deranged or self-centered; this makes them dangerous, intriguingly so.  Revealing snippets of what makes them tick—or doesn’t—will keep the reader wanting to learn more.  Will the somber and deranged Mr. Darke succeed in his desire to bring down a former ally?  Can Ms. Perile convince her employer that a coworker is the saboteur and, subsequently, the reason the company lost a major account?

The reader should know more than the protagonist.  Not everything, but more.  Anxiety and hope want us to continue reading—and spur the protagonist.  At the same time, the reader wants to be solving the mystery/dilemma with him or her.  And there’s certain dread when the reader, like the protagonist, comes face to face with evil or terror, be it in the form of a serial killer, a maleficent boss, wicked wife, or pugnacious partner . . . or ghastly past.

Throw in surprises/shocks.  Have something happen that comes from left field—something no one, character(s) and reader(s) alike, ever expected.  Maybe someone unpredictably dies or proves to be a completely different person (be it via a personality change, revelation re background, or switch in intentions).  As with mysteries, suspense novels should throw out a red herring or two, offer clues and/or foreshadowing, elements that create excitement, anticipation, and tension.  The reader is dying to know what’s what.

Create suspense early and sustain it throughout the story.  In each chapter, you want to have a question or two that remains unanswered; this will prompt the reader to continue to search for the answer(s).  Perhaps reveal something startling or unforeseen in the last paragraph.  Determine what works best, given the plot and characters, and have at it.

Additional storylines can be added—lesser ones.  Perhaps you’d like to share action/dialogue between two villains or secondary characters; make certain it’s tight, of value-add, and interesting.  Flashbacks can also help but keep them manageable and to a minimum.

Finally, before “the end” arrives, ensure all loose ends are tied up, because you truly want to avoid reader head-scratching.

Now,  a great [suspenseFULL] read is beckoning my return.

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Jewel in a Journal

Hey, it’s Rey, with my first post of 2022.  The Boss’ blog—when it’s not featuring me and Linda and JJ, and our Triple Threat Investigation Agency—tends to deal with editing and writing from a published perspective.  That got me to thinking about sharing something not related to the world of publishing, something I started last year: journaling.  It can prove a real jewel.

For those not in the know, journaling is, basically, jotting down your thoughts, emotions/moods, and memories.  It’s a way to purge—what’s eating at you, what makes you sad or angry or happy.  Record problems and issues (when you revisit them later, you may find solutions or see that they weren’t as intense or bad as they seemed at the time).

I’ve heard it said that it’s beneficial, not only to watch yourself develop/grow, but in that it can enhance how you work and act; it allows you to think, contemplate, mull over, and process and, thereby, deal with stresses, traumas, and challenging situations.  It’s a little too cerebral for me, but maybe we can have Linda post about that at a future date.

Journaling can be comforting.  I know when I’ve had a bad froth-at-the-mouth day and I sit down to write what’s p’o’d me, I actually feel calmer once I’ve let it all out.  Now, I may still want to yell at the person who’s annoyed me, or kick the door shut, or scream, but not nearly to the same degree.  And, with time (a few minutes, a few hours) I’ve shut off those non-productive emotions like I’ve shut my journal for the day.

What I can also confirm is that journaling works—you really do feel good once you’ve laid it all out on paper or screen.  It’s kind of like having a silent psychotherapist; you reveal all, no holds barred, and you don’t receive advice you feel is useless or know you can’t follow.  Re-reading journal notes can be eye-opening, sometimes jolting, sometimes soothing . . . and sometimes kind of like an epiphany (my new word of the year).

Think of it as a record of you.  Even though I’ve only been doing it a short while, I like that, years from now, I will have accounts of who I was, what I was going through, and how I dealt with or resolved problems.  Will I laugh?  Cry?  Groan?  Roll my eyes?  Maybe all, he-he.

Not sure you can do it?  Feeling intimidated?  You can do it.  Remember, you don’t have to write a full page.  You don’t even have to jot down full sentences.  Write one line or use point-form (words that describe that day, that moment).  Swear if you like.  It’s your personal journal and you can say whatever you want.

Don’t be intimidated by the thought or commitment.  Just grab a notebook and pen or sit at the computer.  Give it two minutes, if that’s all you can commit to.  You don’t need to do it at the same time each day, but I find, for myself, that sitting down at night, an hour or so before bed, works for me.  Maybe you’d like to do it while having a morning coffee.  Whatever works . . . works.

Should you share?  A good question and I can’t answer that.  I’d prefer to keep my journal private, but who knows?  Maybe one day I’ll feel that others can benefit from my experiences and solutions.

You won’t know how helpful or cleansing it can be until you try it.  So, if you haven’t tried journaling, I simply say . . . give it a go!

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Another Year Arriveth

As the 31st approaches, there’s a certain energy in the air.  It’s different from that experienced the week prior, but it’s definitely there, electric, tangible.  There’s hope . . . optimism . . . faith that things will be better. 

And the beauty of a new year waiting around the corner is that anything is possible.  The pandemic will finally disappear.  World peace will prove achievable.  Despots and tyrants will see the light.  Wars and violence are things of the past.  Lessons are learned and applied.  Prejudices and biases are forgotten.  Inequality and intolerance no longer exist.  Hardships and burdens will vanish.

Here’s to a new year that is forgiving and bountiful, filled with days that hold promise and potential.

Happy 2022 everyone!

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Resolution / Revolution

T’is that time of year where we offer up resolutions to the spirit[s] of New Year.  Some we may keep, others we’ll discard and forget . . . until New Year arrives again.

In essence, we rather resolve to revolt—to embrace something we wholeheartedly believe is in our best interest, only to reject it when we grow weary of persistently [trying to] hold onto it.

You know, the definitions of resolution and revolution hold some similarities:

resolution = perseverance  /  purpose  /  resolve /  determination  / tenacity

revolution = transformation  /  alteration  /  reform  /  change  /  conversion

In fact, a revolution can be described as “a sudden or momentous change in a situation”.

But I digress.  <he-he-he>  It seemed fitting, at year’s end, to list resolutions with the [great] hope of sticking to them.  So-o, let’s see if these are doable (they seem simple enough):

♦  lessen depression/stress/resentment (and accept the current situation as it is)    ♦  clasp patience (and hold on tightly)    ♦  write another book (time is not my friend at present, but I’ll extend a hand in greeting)    ♦  get out more—literally    ♦  lose five pounds (guess I’ll have to knock off those gosh-darn-nummy UK snowballs)    ♦  take an on-line course or two (got to / want to keep learning)    ♦  clean clutter (and move out those damnable dust bunnies)    ♦  start my life finally (God/karma/deity willing, of course).

They sound easy-peasy enough.  Let’s check a couple of months from now.  <he-he-he>  As Rey might say, “Never take something too seriously; life’s way too short.”  How true, how true.

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Cul-de-Sacs & Detours

Similar title to previous post.  But different route.

I rather liked the last post, but apparently it went down about as well as a toppled wheelbarrow filled with wet gravel.  So, I yanked it from public view and kept it for myself.  One day, I will revisit it and laugh, cry, groan and/or moan.

To be honest, I had originally thought of cul-de-sacs and detours in terms of my writing but became sidetracked and focused on that which should remain private.  Enough baring the soul, which served a purpose once upon a time; now, it’s a true “the end”.

As a writer (and editor), I’ve traveled many roads . . . such as the small path I first stepped on at the age of twelve, when I realized I so enjoyed writing and wanted to pursue that as a vocation.  But I remained in a cul-de-sac for several years because I simply couldn’t view the avenue that would lead me onward . . .  to that desired profession.

I ambled down different paths—went to film school and even worked in the industry for a wee while, until the music world opened up.  Those were exciting times.  But even better?  I even had the opportunity to write some promo pieces and that desire to become a writer reemerged in a major [driven] way.

Part-time courses proved fun.  Writing associations and groups were enlightening.  Taking pen to paper was enthralling.  I was on my way to hammering down Writer Highway #33.

Oddly, the access roads on which agents and publishers resided led nowhere; they didn’t seem excited about the manuscripts I so gleefully and proudly submitted.  Why?!  I had marvelous stories to tell, my-oh-my yes.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the perspective), the required skillset [talent] hadn’t really developed—something to do with not seeing the forest for the trees.

Yours truly took a detour or three—kept writing, but not learning.  I think it’s a writer’s thing, probably best known as “ego”, where we don’t/won’t listen to constructive criticism, and continue going (plodding along) and ignoring the signs.

I never gave up, though, even when I received countless rejections and one [very] cruel response from a publisher.  I inflated the vastly deflated self-esteem and plowed down a congested artery, knowing it would be difficult to navigate.  Somehow, some way, however, that ultimate destination would be reached.

Several years later, after paying many tolls, [finally] learning means and methods, and taking the [very] long way around, I arrived at that longed-for journey’s end: becoming published.  A dream come true.  Yes, it doesn’t pay much, and maybe the fame (or notoriety? LOL) isn’t there, but it’s all good.  Very good indeed.  <pat on back>

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Coco’s Nuts, Day Five, Another High-Five . . .

. . . to the 99-cent promo.  For one more day, you can get Coco’s Nuts for under a dollar.

Nuts is the third mystery in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series and the second official case for budding private eyes JJ, Rey, and Linda to solve.

All the trio has to do is prove that socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer didn’t kill her boss or best friend—regardless of what the evidence suggests.  As  they navigate the dark world of debt collectors (folks who will do anything to get their gambling “clients” to pay up), a few more bodies fall.

The list of suspects is long and the task of locating the real killer is a daunting if not dangerous one.

Maybe you’d like to find out how they do?  Please check out the P.I.s at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368

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Coco’s Nuts, Day Four, Just Two More

That’s it . . . just two more days to get Coco’s Nuts for 99 cents.

Coco’s Nuts is the third mystery in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series.  The three novice private eyes—JJ, Rey, and Linda—are out to prove that socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer didn’t murder her boss, the infamous Jimmy Picolo, or her best friend, fellow trucker, Eb Stretta, or . . .

As the body count increases, so does the list of suspects and odd if not dangerous characters.  But nothing will deter the persevering P.I.s from finding the culprit (and successfully solving their case).

“It seems a pretty sure thing that Coco’s chatting it up with Jimmy, Razor, and Stretta.”

“What makes you so sure?” I asked offhandedly.

“That was Denton. He and Jimmy Junior and Coco are close friends — have been since grade school, softball, and summer camp,” he elucidated. “Neither has heard from Coco like in two weeks.”

“Were they supposed to?” Linda asked.

“Coco has never missed Denton’s birthday, but he did this time.”

“Not a good sign, is it?” Rey asked with a crinkled brow. “Maybe strange little Coco met up with our gun-happy dude?”

Kent glowered and gulped back wine like a barfly trying to forget yesterday’s hangover.

“Should we add that to the tasks list?” Rey jested. “Find strange little colleague?”

Kent regarded us eagerly.

“We could look, if you like, but that’s a lot of turf to cover.” I wasn’t prepared to tell him the truth about Coco at the moment; revealing the truth would be the same as taking out a front page ad in the Honolulu Star Advertiser. Gerald Ives would not be pleased to have been one of the last to know.

He released a lengthy exhalation. “I’ll make a few calls and find out who saw him where and when. We can map a timeframe and take it from there.” He rose and grabbed the bottle of wine.

“Maybe you should start with his landlord,” Linda suggested, holding out her glass for him to top up.

Kent shrugged. “Coco once told me he never mingled with neighbors or the landlord. He had a run-in with Mr. Spamball about his pet rat, Willard. I doubt you’d get much help.”

“Spamball? Rat?” Rey asked, bemused. She found rodents as appealing and useful as reality shows featuring has-beens.

“The fat dude has skin the color of Spam,” Kent explained.

Rey’s expression wavered between distaste and disgust. “What happened to the rat?”

“Winkee, Mrs. Thomasino’s cat, happened. She was a retired meter maid, originally from Pasadena, who lived in the apartment above Coco.” He looked woeful. “When they found Willard, there was nothing left but a tail.”

We all looked woeful as we pushed away pizza and focused on wine.

If you’d like to see how they deal with threats and perils, please check them out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368

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Coco’s Nuts, Day Two, Woo-Hoo

It’s promo day #2 for Coco’s Nuts—available for just 99 cents.

Coco’s Nuts is the second paying case our Triple Threat Investigation Agency undertakes.  As [still] rookie private eyes—Rey, and Linda and JJ (me)—search for evidence that demonstrates socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer did not shoot her boss, Jimmy Picolo (an entrepreneur with “questionable ties”, who had an enemy or ten).

We’re certain Buddy has been set up.  But how to prove it when all the proof proves otherwise?  It’s a challenging case that keeps us on our toes and takes us into some curious and dangerous (if not deadly) realms—like debt-collector territory, where they “collect” any way they deem fit.

Here’s an excerpt:

A fine mist enveloped me like steam-room vapor, but a dark sky suggested dense rain would soon return. It was gusty, too, as if we were experiencing the tail end of a tropical storm. As I waited for Ric to finish addressing an assistant, I slipped off the PVC rain jacket hood and rearranged a bulky nylon water-resistant drawstring bag so it wasn’t pulling my left shoulder.

“If you find something of note in my brother’s North Shore refuge, I want to know about it.” A threat lingered beneath Ric’s honeyed words

Standing at the designated intersection, I scanned puddle-heavy streets. Kent, driving a Cherokee-red Mustang, should be pulling into view any moment. He’d dropped by Fugger’s to pick up a spare key for the North Shore retreat. The chauffeur hadn’t been keen on passing it on when initially approached, but Ric’s okay ensured the key was ours for the day.

“Did you hear?”

“I heard,” I replied curtly.

“Are you going to call me when you’re done, hon?”

“I’ll call, but what are you expecting us to find?”

“Remnants of Coco Peterson maybe.”

“Remnants?” I asked, keeping my tone neutral. “As in . . . ?”

“Jewelry maybe. A tattoo maybe.”

Again, mention of both. By the way, do you know if there’s any truth to the rumor that Coco’s sucking up the big one? Kent’s question tumbled around my head like dice in a crap game.

“Is he dead?” I demanded. “Did you or your brother kill him?”

“You’re the detective, hon. You tell me. Check in around nine tonight — hold that thought. I’ll check in.” Ricardo Mako Picolo disconnected.

I stared at the cell phone, not sure whether to curse or laugh at the man’s audacity. And just because he’d previously mentioned an incentive, who’d decided I was on the Picolo payroll?

A horn that belonged on a freight train and not a classic car sounded. Kent Winche waved cheerfully from the driver’s seat of a very bright, highly polished 1965 Mustang Convertible.

“Very nice,” I commented nonchalantly upon opening the passenger door.

He winked. “It’s got character . . . like me.”

“You, Mr. Winche, are a character.” With a droll smile, I slipped onto the leather seat.

If you’d like to learn how we fit the [many] pieces of this crazy puzzle together, please check us out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368

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The Two-Parter Continued: The Still Inexhaustible Robin Murphy

1robinm (1)The previous post focused on Robin Murphy’s critically acclaimed books—and she has penned many, from a paranormal mystery series to chick-lit and nonfiction.  This one centers on her informative [impressive] website/blog.  Her site is what I’d love mine to be: instructive, well written, and smartly designed.

“Where our experience makes your journey easier . . . keep on writing.”

Robin’s absolutely correct about there being countless books, posts, and articles telling us how to market books.  I myself have read many and, for the most part, find that they can impart some tidbits of useful information.  She’s also spot-on when she says, “you need to choose which is best for you and what you feel comfortable doing.”

Not everyone has the time to spend countless hours marketing, networking, and/or promoting.  And while we should be exceptionally careful (wary) about putting out money to do any of these, if the company is legit, then financial expenditures (b-u-d-g-e-t) may also be something to take into account.  Determine what you’re capable of accomplishing . . . and go for it.

The purpose of this post is not to repeat what Robin asserts and presents info-wise, but to have you to visit her comprehensive site.  Check out the fabulous advice/guidance this bestselling author has to offer.  You’ll find writing links, marketing tools and tours, podcast interviews, and even book covers for sale.

1rookie2abc

“Writing is my passion and I have met so many amazing people that have helped me along the way.  I want to share what I’ve learned in the best possible way of instruction that I can.  I hope I can achieve that here and I wish you luck.”

As an aspiring writer (or even a published one), you might want to read Robin’s edifying book, the “practical, hands-on and user-friendly” A Complete “How To” Guide for Rookie Writers.

To learn more about Robin, please check her out at:

http://rookiewriterssolutions.net/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/rookiewriterssolutions/

https://twitter.com/authorrmmurphy

https://www.amazon.com/Robin-Murphy/e/B007TO7NEQ%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/robin-murphy/38/213/338

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Forever Poi, Oh Boy!

Today marks the first day of the 99-cent promo for Forever Poi.

Forever Poi, the fourth mystery in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, has private eyes JJ, Rey, and Linda out to discover the answer to a perplexing question: who torched two Chinatown art galleries and left two charred bodies in the rubble?

Are the arsonist and killer the same person?  The trio believes so.  JJ (Jill Jocasta Fonne), her melodramatic cousin Rey (Reynalda Fonne-Werde), and Rey’s best friend, Linda Royale, deal with a plethora of possible culprits.  The day before the fire, Carlos Kawena, one of the arson victims, had a nasty break-up with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.  There were financial issues, too.  Could James-Henri have done the dastardly deed to collect insurance and be rid of his lover?  What about the second victim, Mary-Louise Crabtree, a former queenpin?  Given her sketchy past, might a former foe have finally sought vengeance?  If so, was Carlos merely collateral damage?

When the trio is hired by insurance adjuster Xavier Shillingford to assist in the investigation, it soon becomes evident that professional arsonists did not set the fires.  As they immerse themselves in the challenging case, a host of curious [and sometimes creepy] characters materializes.

If you’d like to see how they fare, please check them out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Forever-Poi-Tyler-Colins/dp/1079716483

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A Two-Parter: The Inexhaustible Robin Murphy

Given they’re two different components, I thought I’d first focus on the books and  second on Robin Murphy, her website and offerings.  A lovely Maryland-based lady who wears many hats, Robin constantly contributes, in one way or another, to the literary world.

1robinmAnd just who is Robin Murphy, for those not in the know?  Besides having served in the administrative and graphic design areas for several years, she’s a speaker, writer, and the sole proprietor of Rookie Writers Solutions.

Robin is an Amazon blockbusting author of a paranormal mystery series—thanks to her fascination with the paranormal, murder mysteries, and ghost investigations—featuring Marie Bartek and the SIPS Team.  The first, Sullivan’s Secret, was an Amazon bestseller, while the subsequent [highly recommended] books have received notable critical acclaim.

  • Sullivan’s Secret (2011)
  • Secret of the Big Easy (2012)
  • Federal City’s Secret (2013)
  • Secret of Coffin Island (2015)
  • Savannah’s Secret (2017)

1books

Point and Shoot for Your Life, was a one-off, or non-series, book.  Viewed on NBC, ABC and FOX, it was voted one of “The 50 Best Indie Books of 2016”.  Another intriguing/entertaining read, it revolves around down-on-her-luck photographer Hannah Mills, who is out of work and about to get evicted.  A relative wills her a rare Navajo blanket worth a million dollars, but before Hannah can auction the blanket, human traffickers kidnap her niece—and the blanket is the ransom.

There’s nonfiction as well: The Complete How-To Guide for Rookie Writers.  It has been described as “a very practical, hands-on and user-friendly book to enable a rookie writer to learn how to get their newly created work produced and available to readers”.  Sounds like a worthwhile read for any writer!

One last fascinating FYI: our prolific writer was also named one of the “50 Great Writers You Should be Reading in 2011”.

More in part two of . . . The Two-Parter.

In the meanwhile, please feel free to check out Robin here:

https://www.facebook.com/rookiewriterssolutions/

https://twitter.com/authorrmmurphy

https://www.amazon.com/Robin-Murphy/e/B007TO7NEQ%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/robin-murphy/38/213/338

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Blankety-Blank

This is post some may consider blankety-blank.  But this brain is blank re a post topic of worth/note, so blankety-blank to that.

kindpng2111A-ha.  <Light bulb turns on as it hovers above dormant brain.>

COVID-19 and the variants are blankety-blanks.

A toxic relationship is blankety-blank.

Selfish / self-centered / self-absorbed people are blankety-blanks.

A constant complainer is a blankety-blank.

People who won’t see the whole picture are blankety-blank.

Tyrants and bullies are blankety-blanks.

A list of blankety-blanks that can go on for pages and pages is blankety blank.

Life, if one may call it that in relation to yours truly, is [still] blankety-blank . . . but here’s hoping that the distant dim light somewhere at the end of that long winding tunnel will soon be blankety-blank visible.  (Yeah, a pity party is pretty blankety-blank too, LOL, but I had to put it out there, so blankety-blank to me  too.)

It’s a blankety-blank shame when you give something your all, and nothing happens . . . but that does not mean to give up.  Just give over.  And blankety-blank (!), start again.  You can blankety-blank do it (and so can I).  Keep the faith.

Hmmm.  Maybe the old (emphasis on “old”) gray matter isn’t as blank as initially thought.  Yeah, okay . . . maybe that light bulb was a teeny one, but it sure wasn’t a malfunctioning one.

Have a blankety-blank great day (that, my friends, is said with humor and meant with love).

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Snow Day, Play Day

And, hey, it’s Rey.  The Boss is off, enjoying a snow day, play day.  Well, not really, but she’s taking the day off.

Living on Oahu these days, we don’t see snow except on TV or media.  To experience it, we’d have to fly to Big Island or the Mainland.  Do we miss it?  JJ does; she likes to skate and toboggan and stroll through the soft white fluff.  Linda says she can take it or leave it.  Me?  I can do without it—except maybe around the holidays.  There’s something about a fire, woolly socks and flannel PJs . . . and snowflakes drifting past uncurtained windows.

So, that leaves me to post.  Well, JJ and I flipped a coin and I won . . . or lost . . . or whatever.  And I don’t have a clue as to what to write about—except, well, maybe snow.

Yes, Hawaii does get it.  Surprised?  He-he.  So was I.  I only found out once we’d moved here.  It snows every year, in fact, but only on the peaks of three volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on Big Island, and Haleakala on Maui.  It’s not usually that much and it doesn’t stick around very long, but it’s there. Oh, there’s also been the odd snowstorm and blizzard.  Yeah, really!

What’s more, hurricane-strength winds blow fairly regularly on Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, which results in snowbanks and ice formations.  Last year, the latter saw nearly 3’ of it, creating deep snow drifts.  The white stuff has also been documented as having fallen on the peaks of Molokai and been photographed on another Big Island volcano—a dormant one—Hualalai.

And, not to forget our new home: in 1953, snow pellets descended on Oahu during a series of thunderstorms.  Can you spell brrrrrrrrr?

giphyWinter weather ain’t as rare an event in Paradise as ya think.  On that note, think I’ll grab me a cup of hot cocoa—heavy on the ‘mallows!

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Fantastic Followers, Fabulous Friends

Not a rambling post per se, simply an observant [self-indulgent] one … leaning toward followers and friends.

I know my blog has [very] limited likes and [very] few followers (mostly friends).  <LOL>  That’s okay.  It’s not as if I post anything enlightening or eye-opening.  And, in truth, the blog itself is rather blah.  It’s not “pretty” like others.  Not fetching.  Not much of anything, really.  But it’s mine.  And, given what my personal life entails (or doesn’t), I take pride in what I’ve accomplished thus far. 

I follow a number of blogs.  When I like something, I can read the post via email or visit the blog.  When there, I see some have no likes at all except mine, or maybe a small handful.  I can relate, being in the same boat.  Do I feel bad for the blogger?  No, just a little sad.  They’ve put their hearts and souls into something and have received next to no accolades. I suppose that annoying saying is, alas, appropriate here: it is what it is.

On the flip side, other bloggers receive an abundance of compliments/likes and I must confess I am a bit envious (but far from jealous).  Kudos.  And, undoubtedly, well deserved.  I suppose blog likes, followers and friends, are much like life: unpredictable (which can prove exciting) and sometimes unfair (which just plain sucks). 

Merely a meager observation.  And a heartfelt thank-you to fantastic followers and fabulous friends; I love that you care.

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And a Five . . .

Welcome to Day {Final} Five of the 99-cent promo for Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie?.  It’s the Triple Threat Investigation Agency’s first official case . . . and JJ, Rey, and Linda couldn’t be more ecstatic.  Here’s an opportunity to prove they made the right choice moving to Oahu and becoming professional private eyes. 

All they have to do is prove that a pretty, young trophy wife is cheating on her elderly, millionaire hubby.  Easy peasy . . . not.  She’s found floating in the waters of a secluded beach—and it’s not because she’s enjoying a relaxing swim.  

A lot of people didn’t much care for Carmi; she’d ruffled a lot of feathers over the years.  Determining who the killer is proves to be a challenging task.  But the trio has the patience and perseverance to determine who he/she is. 

Much like the number of suspects, clues abound—as do gang members, drug dealers, and tense/dangerous moments.

If you’re interested in learning how JJ, Rey, and Linda fare, please check out Hula at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Hula-Hattie-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEEBNOS

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And a Four . . .

It’s JJ today, hey!  Welcome to Day Four of the 99-cent promo for Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie?.  It’s our first official—paying—case.  We’ve recently opened the Triple Threat Investigation Agency and Rey, Linda, and I are out to prove we made a wise decision about becoming professional P.I.s.

We’re hired by WP Howell, an elderly millionaire to discover what Carmie, his young and very pretty wife, is up to.  He’s thinking “affair”, which will make a divorce that much easier.

“But there’s more, my dear. It’s not that I simply want to prove she’s an adulteress . . . but . . . it’s possible she may actually have something on me. As such, I’d like to ensure we keep each other’s dirty little secrets.”

“What is it she may have on you?”

There was a hint of annoyance in the smirk. “Let’s see what you and your associates uncover.”

“If anything” hung at the end of the flat comment. Fair enough. Time—and detecting ability—would tell. “If all we discover is that she’s having an affair with the pool boy, it will help your divorce outcome. If there’s nothing else to be discovered, then . . .”

“You’re suggesting you’re not up for the task?” Another smirk.

“You yourself said ‘may’. It’s quite conceivable there’s nothing to find,” I declared, refusing to be intimidated.

“Let’s say it is more than ‘may’.”

He was testing me. Fine. “Then, we will uncover it.” I sounded and appeared ten times more confident than I felt. But I was good at researching and ad-libbing, so why not apply on-camera skills to something that went beyond weather reports and community events? I leaned back and mirrored his smug smile. “You do realize that your wife could get very p’o’d if and when something comes to light? The phrase ‘payback time’ comes to mind.”

With an expression devoid of emotion, he tilted his head to one side and then the other. “That’s entirely possible. If you find out the ‘may’ concerning me, so be it. I’ll laud your talents to everyone I know. If and when you find something on my wife, yes, it will definitely get her ‘p’o’d’ as you eloquently worded it. But it will also be enough to maintain her silence.”

I regarded him closely. “Why do I have the impression you know what it is and the last few minutes of conversation have merely been . . . an evaluation of some sort?”

“All right Jill, yes, I do have an idea, but I don’t know for a fact.” The smile was droll. “Let’s call this little one-on-one a getting-to-know-each-other moment.”

I bowed and brandished an arm like a page might before his king.

William laughed heartily while I merely watched and waited to see what else, if anything, would be revealed. “You’ll start Monday. I’ll pay six-hundred dollars a day, plus expenses. You have ten days. Take photos, as you see necessary. Send a findings report at the end of each day. If all proves acceptable, I’ll pay a two-thousand-dollar bonus at the end of the assignment. Should you discover the ‘may’, I’ll pay an extra ten-thousand each and you’ll forget about whatever you’ve unearthed once you’ve delivered.”

“That seems satisfactory,” I managed to say without having my eyeballs pop out of their sockets. “And all the éclairs and tea cakes we can eat?” I added in jest, feeling a need for lightheartedness.

“I’ll have Sonie pack a box.” He rose.

The meeting had officially ended.

Before we can find out what Carmie is involved in, she’s found murdered—floating in the sapphire waters of the Pacific.  There is a long list of possible killers (she’d annoyed a few folks over the years).  Add gang members and drug dealers to said list and you have one heckuva challenge!

You can check us out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Hula-Hattie-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEEBNOS

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And a Two . . .

Not an original title, but I never claimed to be a writer/blogger.  Hey, it’s Rey today (gawd, I love that—illiteration I think Lindy-Loo calls it).  Huh?  Ah, okay – alliteration.  So-o, it’s Day Two of the 99-cent promos for Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie and, yeah, it’s a bargain.  And a great stocking-stuffer, hint-hint.

JJ, Linda and I are hired to find out what a millionaire’s young wife is up to—as in, maybe she’s having an affair?  It’s our first official case and we’re aiming to please!  Unfortunately, we’ve barely begun when young wife is found dead.  Floating in the Pacific.  And not by accident.

As we’re trying to figure out who her killer is—from a long list of possible perps—we go head-to-head with gang members and drug dealers.  This case proves to be one crazy, thrilling rollercoaster ride.

Here’s a “tidbit”, as told by Cousin Jilly…

I shrugged. “She has money—lots of it—courtesy of hubby. She’s too health conscious to be into drugs, at least to ingest. Her body would be a temple and all that. Moreover, drug suppliers tend to lean toward the seedy, at least the small players do, and I can’t see her associating with low-lifes. As for big drug-dealing guys and gals, no, I don’t see it.”

“But you had a gut feeling about the shop and it wasn’t because you had a hunch she got a good deal on hand cream and mac nuts. It appears to have paid off.” Linda slipped on her sandals, stood, and stretched. “What do you think this is all about, Jill—I mean, JJ?”

“She’s into something illegal, or at least suspect. We have to go with that because William so much as said that when he asked we find something on her,” I replied.

“And he knows exactly what it is,” Linda proposed. “Those bags could well be that ‘something’. You were brilliant to trick Salv into giving us the ‘same’.”

“Brilliant, maybe,” I said wryly, “but successful remains to be seen.”

Rey put on her slides. “The closed sign just went on. Let’s mosey on over to the entrance.”

“Would you take a couple of photos when Salv exits?” I asked Linda.

“Pics of a guy with bags coming up,” she said cheerily, pulling out a Sony digital camera from a small Hawaiian print knapsack, one of three purchased during a recent shopping excursion. “I’ll hang back a bit.” She glided toward a plumeria tree twenty feet from the main shop door.

A young couple carrying a couple of store bags stepped from the entrance, bid Salv good-night, and strolled to a Toyota Tercel rental. He waved, stepped back in and locked the door, then disappeared, likely to set an alarm and depart from the rear.

Rey and I moved forward and leaned into a waist-high railing that ran along the portico and was comprised of curved black balusters and light oak. The apparent aim was to provide a homey feel, but missed the mark.

“Waiting for me?” Salv gave a quick smile as he stepped from behind.

We jumped, having expected him to appear from the other side.

He chuckled and held up a big Sweet Paradise bag. “As requested. Who’s paying?”

“Carmie Howell had two bags, smart boy,” Rey said flatly.

“Why waste an extra? These babies are expensive.” He offered a toothy smile. Strange, but under the diffused lighting, he appeared to possess fangs. Before I could peer more closely, he closed his mouth.

I flipped my hair in a lame attempt to appear nonchalant. “Is it the same amount for the same stuff?”

He looked me up and down, and then did the same with Rey. “You’re not in the same league as Carmie Howell,” came the casual observation.

Rey squared her shoulders and eyed him up and down in return. “We didn’t luck in with the millionaire crowd, smart boy. So f’g what?”

“Keep trying. You may not have the years anymore,” he smirked, “but the looks are still there.”

Care to find out how we do, nudge, nudge?  Please go to:

https://www.amazon.ca/Hula-Hattie-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEEBNOS

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And a One . . .

It’s Day One of the 99-cent promo for Can you Hula like Hilo Hattie (a bargain, as Rey likes to say).

Hula, the second book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, has our amateur sleuths—JJ, Rey, and Linda—donning official private-eye hats on the beautiful island of Oahu.  The new agency is open for business!

Their first client is wealthy WP Howell, a septuagenarian who wants the trio to discover what his pretty, young wife, Carmie, is up to.  Millions—and a much-desired divorce—rest on it.

What seems fairly straightforward quickly evolves into fairly complicated . . . when Carmie’s battered body is found in the sapphire waters of the Pacific.  It soon becomes evident that Carmie was not the only one with a secret, nor the only one to die an untimely death.  Who among a cast of curious, unconventional characters is tenacious (or crazy) enough to eliminate all living liabilities?  JJ, Rey and Linda determine to find out.

Perhaps you’d like to find out how these aspiring P.I.s fare?  Please check them out at . . .

https://www.amazon.ca/Hula-Hattie-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEEBNOS

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To Err is . . .

. . . human.  Sure, of course it is.  But to err as a writer is not a good thing.

As an editor, I make mistakes; I may miss the odd typo or don’t see for looking <slap on wrist>.  That’s human, but not professional.  Nor is it professional for a writer to make errors.  Yes, there may be an editor to catch things, and that’s fine . . . to a point.  I believe, from both the writing and editing perspectives, that it’s important—as I’ve often stated—to  demonstrate competence.

So, why don’t we review those things that writers, perhaps more specifically new ones, make.  Here is some food for thought . . .

Say, as that new writer, you’ve determined what you want to write, how you’re going to present it, and that you’ve perhaps even completed it.  Are you going to send it off—to an agent or publisher?  Perhaps.  But maybe you’d like to review it first (emphasis on the maybe, as in “yes”)?  First drafts should not be final drafts.

Have you checked out the genre your book embraces?  There are certain practices that should be followed; readers of given genres have certain expectations.  A great way to see what’s what: read, read, read (learn, learn, learn) as many books as you can in your given/preferred genre.

Does the story/book start with a strong opening—one that attracts the reader (wants him/her to continue reading)?  If not, consider how you might make it more tantalizing/gripping/intriguing.

On a similar note, does that opening provide too much background or history from the get-go?  If it does, again, consider how you might make it, yes, more tantalizing/gripping/intriguing.

Are you telling as opposed to showing?  Sounding like a colleague spewing facts and figures at a never-ending meeting?  Mix in dialogue and action with the details and descriptions.  Add friction and tension.  Speaking of telling, what about the voice, the narrative?  Does it flow naturally or sound forced/stilted?  Is it repetitive?  Don’t repeat details or have characters recounting events and the like over and over . . . and over and over . . . and over again.

And what about your plot (storyline)?  Is it strong?  Does it keep the reader interested?  Are there any holes (errors) in it?  Does the action flow (is there logical progression)?  Are loose ends tied up?

What about typos and grammatical inconsistencies and punctuation errors?  Getting feedback is a good thing.  Ask friends and folks to read/review your book.  If you can, hire an editor, but if you can’t, there are a lot of wonderful writers’ groups to be found on social media; ask if someone would be interested in helping a fellow writer.

If you’re submitting to an agent and publisher, learn what the submission requirements are . . . and make certain, when you submit, your query is professionally presented.

That’s it, that’s all.  For now.  <LOL>  Happy writing . . . and editing.

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Ring Ting Tingle, Sleigh Bells Jingle

A little early for the holidays?  Nawww.  We blink; they’re here.

I’m happy to share the news that James J. Cudney is releasing the eighth book in the Braxton Campus mystery series—Sleigh Bell Tower—December 20, 2021.  And there’s a blog tour from December 11th through the 20th.  Exciting news indeed.

I’ve enjoyed the series, featuring amateur sleuth Kellen Ayrwick, a thirty-something single father and professor at Braxton University.  Included in the cast of characters: a precocious daughter (Emma), feisty grandmother (Nana D), love interest (April), and intriguing (quirky) assortment of townsfolk.

When Bell Towers decides to build a new boutique hotel in Wharton County, Braxton establishes a hospitality program as part of the university expansion. Despite the Ingram and Lynch family ties to prominent citizens, a dispute over the proposed landsite pits citizens against one another. One takes matters into their own hands and slays the hotel magnate during a campus holiday party. As the list of suspects increases, long-lost family members are anxious to keep their secrets from being revealed, complicating Sheriff Montague’s ability to determine the murderer’s true motive. Even Kellan is forced to cast doubt on his friends and colleagues when it becomes obvious someone he knows committed the ultimate crime.

Just hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing
Ring ting tingle-ing too
Come on, it’s lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you   (Leroy Anderson)

Kellan and April celebrate their first Christmas and Hanukkah together, exchanging gifts based on the classic Twelve Days of Christmas song. While they trim the tree, light the menorah, and experience all the traditional holiday festivities with the kids, Nana D delivers her sarcastic brand of humor and endlessly tortures the town. Among Eleanor’s surprise news, Augie’s new girlfriend, and Myriam’s hilarious demands, Kellan’s dealing with unexpected holiday drama. The poor guy simply wants to spend the merry season with his family before he’s forced to trek to Scotland to fulfill his promise to the late Constance Garibaldi.

And what about our prolific author and fine friend, Jay?  As well as being the aforementioned author, he’s a blogger, reader and reviewer, genealogist and researcher, and thinker.  He’s also a pretty amazing person.

1jayPlease check him out at:

https://jamesjcudney.com/

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=james+j+cudney&i=digital-text&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56803291-sleigh-bell-tower#_=_

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Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha . . . Splittin’ my Sides, Laughing

With happiness ‘cause HA-HA-HA-HA, the fifth mystery in our Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, is available for next to nada . . . only 99 cents!

Hey, it’s Rey.  Although it’s not an official paying case, we’re out to nab the serial killer who’s terrorizing the island … and wanting us to play his game, by his rules.  GrimReaperPeeper, or GRP as we call him, seems to have an obsession with us.  He won’t leave us alone—which is kinda good, given we have to find and stop him!

Unfortunately, GRP’s victims are found all too regularly.  Given he leaves handcrafted black roses with his tortured victims, he’s dubbed the Rose-Pin Killer. And when a plane flies overhead at one of the crime scenes—with a banner reading “HA-HA-HA-HA”—he’s soon referred to as the Ha-Ha Killer (much to his displeasure).

As we try to figure out who he is and why he leaves roses with victims found along streams and waterways, we take on a couple of cases.  Gorgeous Caprize Marquessa de Sade is sure she is being stalked.  And another woman, super rich Hardena Antigua, is certain her young husband is seeing someone on the side.

The give it our best to catch this mysterious man; he’s crafty and cunning, but we’re patient and persevering.  And we have some help—from our new friend and neighbor, Sach Martin Morin, a personal fitness trainer who’s keen on becoming a part-time assistant P.I.

Meanwhile, Adwin, JJ’s former beau (he was with us during The Connecticut Corpse Caper) and her “sometimes boyfriend”, Cash, show up.  And it seems both are interested in my cous.  Which leads to a bit of tension, to say the least.

Wanna find out how we do?  Please check us out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Tyler-Colins/dp/B094SZRSVN

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21 Reasons for . . . Being Me?

Hey, it’s Rey!  Man, did I have a hard time figuring out what my reasons would be related to—and if they’d be good/positive ones or be excuses for something.  Like, should I post about me being happy to be me?  My life as an actress?  Being asked to do something I don’t want to?

You should see my notes.  If you could read—what Lindy-Loo sneeringly calls “akin to chicken scratches”—you’d find five pages of points.  A “mish-mash” Cousin Jilly calls them.  And a pffllllllllllt to you both, ladies.

So-o, I opted for 21 reasons why I like being a P.I. and having founded the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  Okay, okay—having co-founded the agency.

    1. I like the excitement and thrills that come with solving a case.
    2. Putting together the pieces of a puzzle—that case—gets the ol’ gray matter movin’.
    3. We’re good at what we do, so we can take pride in that, and that makes for a bleepin’ solid reason for being a P.I.
    4. And speaking of pride, I’m proud of the reputation we’re building as a bona fide, budding agency.
    5. It’s great to help people.
    6. It’s even grander to assist in easing a person’s burdens (yeah, Linda helped me reword the original one: “it’s cool to end people’s problems”).
    7. I like the “power”.
    8. I like the variety; no case is ever the same.
    9. It’s a blast trying to outmaneuver a bad guy/gal.
    10. The networking part is fun; building relationships is super cool.
    11. It’s fantastic to make new friends.
    12. Meeting people in different professions is awesome.
    13. Learning new things related to those different professions is also awesome.
    14. Growing as a P.I. and person is worth a few pats on the back.
    15. B&Eing is something I’m good at and I enjoy (it’s fun, even if my cousin and BFF would disagree, big time).
    16. My mom can’t criticize me—too much—for not having a “real” job.
    17. It’s cool (and self-satisfying) to tell people—especially those family folks who always looked down their nose at me for being a B-actress—that I’m a successful private investigator.
    18. Even if salary is based on the completion of a case, I (we) earn pretty decent money . . . which helps with those sales I do so love (can’t resist those bags, shoes, and earrings).
    19. I love the flexibility; it’s not working 9-to-5 in an office environment (I’d so not do well at that).
    20. While we do “report” to our client, there’s no boss.
    21. I like the unpredictability; it’s exciting and keeps me on my toes.

Yeah, life as a P.I. is really good.

Here’s to a great weekend.  Enjoy!

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The Flopping Bouncing Blank-Minded Bed-Time Blogger

It’s Saturday and the post of the day just wasn’t coming; the funny thing is, it did, during the night.  Then . . . blankness.

Did yours truly get up at any time between flopping and bouncing for hours on end, to write down that notion?  Did yours truly remember in the a.m.?  Of course not.  It was . . . sheer blankness.

What I do remember:

♦ flopping from one side of the queen-size bed to the other like a water-filled balloon being propelled from one side of the room to the other

♦ flipping like a flapjack (and rather craving a plate with blueberry preserves)

♦ bouncing like a bunny from the headrest to the footboard, and

♦ contemplating worthy post ideas to, uh, post.

Could have gone with a review.  Read two great manuscripts recently, but neither are officially published, so that wouldn’t have been fair to the authors.

Might have gone with some editing/proofing tips.  Yawn.  Literally (and frequently).

Didn’t think about featuring an author . . . until now.

Didn’t want to have the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals post on my behalf—they’re busy on the Murphie the missing (birdnapped) mynah bird case.

I don’t normally leave things until the last minute (but there are circumstances that make it difficult to follow the Girl Guide motto of “be prepared” . . . especially, well in advance).

So, there you have it . . . a post about . . . producing a post . . .

Hmm.  Now I have flapjacks on the brain.  Guess I’ll just have to make some, won’t I (elsewise that craving’s going to hang around, unlike that middle-of-the-night post notion)?

Enjoy your weekend!

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Ninety-Nine Sounds Pretty Fine

Hi, it’s Linda posting today (Rey’s on an audition and JJ’s volunteering at the animal shelter).

For 99 cents, you can get a copy of Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie?, our first official (as in “paying”) case.

We’re hired to discover what the pretty, young wife of an elderly millionaire is up to—is she having an affair or into something nefarious?  Just as we settle into our new P.I. roles, we find the wife murdered–floating in the beautiful, sapphire waters of a secluded Oahu beach.

There are a sundry of suspects . . . but some of them soon become casualties themselves.  We’ve dealt with murderers in past, thanks to a wacky week in Connecticut at JJ’s weird aunt’s haunted mansion, so we’re not [that] surprised at some of the things we hear or encounter.  It’s one zany roller-coaster ride (as Rey called it), and what a thrilling one!

Here’s a chance for us to prove we made a sage decision in opening the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  Perhaps you’d like to find out how we do?  Please check us out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Can-Hula-like-Hilo-Hattie/dp/1074454073

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HA-HA-HA-HA . . . The First (Awesome) Review

Thank you, Jay . . . for this awesome review!

Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha by Tyler Colins

Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha is the fifth book in the Triple Threat Mysteries written by Tyler Colins. I’ve previously read the first four books, and this one is probably my favorite so far. Not quite a suspense thriller nor a cozy, it falls somewhere in the middle of the mystery genre, offering a truly quirky and eclectic cast of primary characters, and an even more diverse set of supporting ones. Between the nicknames and the murder scenes, it’s hard not to bust out laughing… but it’s also providing some pretty dark stuff about a serial killer who loves his/her black roses. The first name: Grim Reaper Peeper, or GRP for short. Run for your lives folks, this one’s out for blood.

It was quite funny, and seeing the games being played with the three lovable private eyes by this intensely weird killer made the words in the book leap off the pages. There were at least 10 unique attempts to lure the detective team into a trap, and they fell for some… yet there were so many murders happening, it became the kinda situation where I just said, “oh, another dead body.” But it works, because you’re not meant to choose between a list of suspects in this book. It’s all about the humor and the chase between the good and the bad. Who will win out?

Colins is a highly descriptive writer. Everything is meticulously covered in a way that keeps your memory sharp on who each character is, or what each location is, all about. Sometimes I get lost in the details and forget the plot point we’re trying to uncover, but in the end, it’s a relaxing and humorous approach to the traditional mystery novel. If only these amazing women, who work in Hawaii I might add, had real life counterparts. They’re even more special than Charlie’s Angels, and that’s going back a few decades in popular culture.

Hoping there will be more in the future. With the covers, we’re getting all the spectrums on the color wheel… and soon, we need to get something in all black or all white (covers, I am referring to), meaning it’s time for them to go retro. Wouldn’t that be fun?!? Either path, I’m looking forward to the potential for book six. Give this series a chance, please.

If you’re not familiar with Jay and his books (he’s written some great ones) and blog/website, please check him out here:

 https://thisismytruthnow.com/author/jamesjcudney4/

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Brain Drain . . . ?

Hey, it’s Rey.  The Boss has left us high and dry this week.  So, it’s on us to put together a post.

I can’t think of a thing.  You guys?

It’s JJ, hey.  He-he.  Can’t think of anything terribly exciting . . . you, Linda?

Given this isn’t a wine-review blog, I’d have to say no.  I’ve got brain fatigue this week.

More like brain drain.  It’s Rey again, hey.  We-ell, that puts us in a bit of a bind.  I say, let’s give a quick synopsis of our five cases—

Four.

Don’t be picky, Lindy-Loo.  Connecticut wasn’t an official case, but it did give us the idea to become private eyes.

You decided that.

Funny, you two . . . not.  I simply put the idea out there.  And you two agreed.

Not initially.

Did too, Cousin Jilly!  Did too!

LOL.  Okay, did too . . . but not really.  Anyway, Cousin Reynalda, honeybun, why don’t you give our friends a quick rundown of our five “cases”?

Love to!

The Connecticut Corpse Caper

This has the three of us gathering for a week-long stay at wacky Aunt Mat’s haunted mansion (guess where it’s located?).  There’s a sizable inheritance to be collected by those who manage to stay to the end.  Those that decide to leave early—maybe not by choice—must give up their share.  Bodies start to drop and the suspect list grows.  Add to that a resident ghost, dark and dank passageways, and weird sounds behind walls, and you’ve got one heckuva mystery.

Can You Hula Like Hula Hattie?

The three of us have moved to Oahu and opened the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  Our first paying case has us trying to discover the “secret” of the young and pretty wife of an elderly millionaire.  Sadly, she dies before we get too far.  Several persons seem to have wanted her dead so we have our hands full figuring out who the murderer is.  As luck would have it, a few more bodies turn up—and the perp list grows.

Coco’s Nuts

Buddy Feuer’s a gorgeous former socialite turned truck driver who’s been set up to take the fall for two murders.  We don’t believe she’s guilty, no matter what the police believe and the evidence suggests.  There’s one oddball character, Coco Petersen, who appears to be the key to solving this puzzler, but he’s disappeared.  We have our P.I. work cut out for us!

Forever Poi

Who torched two Chinatown art galleries and left two charred bodies in the rubble?  That’s what we have to figure out.  Are the arsonist and killer the same person?  We think so and there is no end of possible perps.  The day before the fire, Carlos Kawena, one of the arson victims, had an “ugly break-up” with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.  There were financial issues, too.  Could James-Henri have done the dastardly deed to collect insurance and be rid of his lover?  What about the second victim, Mary-Louise Crabtree, a former queenpin?  Given her sketchy past, might some former foe have murdered her?  If so, was Carlos merely collateral damage?  It’s a head-scratcher . . . but we do so love those.

HA-HA-HA-HA (or Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha if you’re on Amazon)

This case finds us on a serial killer’s “buddy” list.  When he’s not taunting us, he’s challenging us to “play the game”—by his rules.  The GrimReaperPeeper, as he introduced himself not long after we solved the art-gallery case, proves to be as intelligent as he is devious and dangerous.  GRP, as we prefer to call him, leaves a lot of calling cards . . . and victims.  DNA and fingerprints are never found; the guy’s good, unfortunately.  But we’re not bad, either.  <wink, wink>

So, maybe not that much of a brain drain.  Maybe we’ve been relaxin’ a bit too much on the beach of late.  <he-he>

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Fa-La-La…La!

Just singing for joy – because you have one more day to get HA-HA-HA-HA, our fourth official case for only 99 cents!  Hey, it’s Rey on the fifth and final promo day.

Like Frankie once sang, I’m gonna “start spreading the news” about our exciting (kinda crazy) case that has a serial killer, GRP (The GrimReaperPeeper), scaring the <bleep> out of Oahu.  He’s leaving tortured victims alongside waterways—with a black rose, no less.

GRP wants JJ, Linda and me to play his game, by his rules. But he keeps changing them!  While we’re trying to figure out who he is (and, hopefully, stop him), we take on a couple of cases: seeing if a hubby is having “fun” on the side and if a young woman is truly being stalked.

Meanwhile, Adwin—Cousin JJ’s old “beau”—is back on the scene.  He’s interested in getting back together, but I don’t think her “sometimes boyfriend”, Cash, is too keen on seeing that happen.

Our killer—our shadow—proves to be pretty clever, even charming.  He keeps us on our toes, researching similar crimes and locating potential suspects (those that might fit the profile) . . . and attempting to stay one step ahead of him  It’s probably our most perplexing case yet . . . and certainly our most dangerous.

If you’d like to learn how we do, please check us out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Tyler-Colins/dp/B094SZRSVN

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Day 3 and Filled with Glee (Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha)

It’s the third day of the HA-HA-HA-HA 99-cent promo, an awesome price that may prompt a smile or chuckle.

HA-HA-HA-HA is the fifth book and fourth official case of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  This time, a rather ingenious serial killer known as The GrimReaperPeeper has challenged the three pretty private eyes—JJ, Rey, and Linda—to “play the game”.  Unfortunately, it’s by his rules, and he likes to change them as the mood strikes.

He’s already got the island of Oahu in panic mode; everyone is wondering (worrying) who’ll be the next tortured victim to be found alongside a waterway, sporting a black rose?

The gals are determined to discover who he is, but he’s proving clever and cunning.  DNA and evidence are never found.  Nor is he, despite his brazen visits, taunts and repartee.

Who’s going to prove the winner?  The creepy yet charming killer or the dogged and determined private eyes?

If you’d like to see how the private investigators fare, please check them out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Tyler-Colins/dp/B094SZRSVN

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ROTFL . . .

. . . on the second day of the HA-HA-HA-HA 99-cent promo.  For less than a dollar, you can get a copy of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency’s fourth professional case.  Now, that’s worth some mirth.

A serial killer, The GrimReaperPeeper, has challenged JJ, Rey, and Linda to “play the game” … by his rules.  They have little option but to partake.  But who will prove the winner?  The clever and cunning killer or the persevering and persistent private eyes?

If you’d like to see how the trio fare, please check out:

https://www.amazon.ca/Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Tyler-Colins/dp/B094SZRSVN

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HA-HA-HA-HA . . . the Joke’s On . . .

 . . . no one.   He-he.  Hey, it’s Rey!

And JJ, hey-ho (gotcha, Cous)!

You’ve got Lindy-Loo, too!

It’s the first official day of the first HA-HA-HA-HA promo.  We’re very excited.  For a mere 99 cents, you can get a copy of our fifth book and fourth case. 

For those not in the know, we’re private eyes from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  It’s been fairly successful since we launched it on fabulous Oahu (a move we’ve never regretted). 

A serial killer, who calls himself The GrimReaperPeeper—we refer to him as GRP for short—has taken a intensely serious interest in us . . . so much so, he’s challenged us to “play the game”, by his ever changing rules. 

Our newfound friend likes to leave his victims near waterways, with black roses no less.  Why?  Do these people have something in common?  What?  And what’s the reason re leaving clues and messages?  Simply to taunt?  Does he want to be caught?  Or is he merely showing us how brilliant he is?  He’s certainly not stupid; he knows not to leave DNA at the scenes.

Confounded but [always] determined, we endeavor to discover who he might be and how we might stop him.  Not an easy feat, given the lack of constructive evidence and cast of oddball characters.  While we’re at it, we have a couple of other cases to solve: ascertaining whether a handsome hubby has a roving eye and figuring out who is stalking a young, beautiful woman.  As clues are uncovered, so are coincidences.  Could it be that these two cases are somehow connected?  

A worrisome question on all three of our minds: who’s going to prove the winner in this deadly game of taunts and perplexities?  GRP is clever and cunning . . . but we’re persevering and persistent.

Maybe you’d like to check us out?  We’d love it [truly] if you did.  And we’d really [!!] love it if you’d consider providing a review.

https://www.amazon.ca/Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Tyler-Colins/dp/B094SZRSVN

Aloha!

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One More Rah-Rah . . . HA-HA-HA-HA

Hey, it’s Rey today.  The Boss has a number of meetings/calls going on this week related to her personal life.  Linda’s doing volunteer work and JJ’s having lunch with an old high-school friend who flew in for a week with her new hubby.  So-o, that leaves me to post. 

I’m just gonna keep it short and sweet . . . and remind you that our fourth official case HA-HA-HA-HA (the fifth book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series) is now avail. 

Although it’s not an official [as in paying] case, a serial killer who calls himself GrimReaperPeeper (we call him GRP), has decided he wants us to play his game—by his rules.  But the game keeps changing!  How’s a P.I. (or three) gonna cope?

He keeps JJ, Linda and me on our toes, to be sure, as we try to discover just who this crazy, calculating dude is.  And why does he leave black roses pinned to his tortured victims, who are always found along streams and waterways. 

A couple of other cases come our way: find out who is stalking our pretty client and if hunky hubby is having an affair or five.  Then another curious thing happens—it seems that there may be links between these two cases and the killing sprees.

Here’s an excerpt, as told courtesy of my cousin, JJ.

“Nice flowers,” Rey commented, peering over my shoulder at the gold-flecked carton that had just arrived at the agency. 

It was a few minutes before noon and Linda had joined Mink for a casual lunch in the doggy-wear designer’s office.  I’d declined as I’d already picked up shrimp wonton mein at a noodle house not far down the street and Rey had passed with a monotone “not hungry”.  Whether that was because she wasn’t a fan of Mink or the fact her BFF and Mink were becoming good pals remained to be seen.

She dropped onto the rattan sofa beside me with a thud.

“Hey, we can’t afford to replace broken furniture,” I chided.

“You going to open that?”  She poked the carton with a long apple-red fingernail.

“My, my, my.  Aren’t we curious?”

“We are.  Now, open it!”

Chuckling, I untied the satin ribbon.  Inside, wrapped in lightweight tissue were twelve long-stem crimson roses.

“Nice.”  Her tone was flat, her gaze narrowed.  “What about the card?”

I passed it.  “You do the honors.”

She unsealed the small gilt-edged envelope like a pro.  “Lovely flowers for lovely ladies.”  She turned it over and shrugged.  “Looks like you have—hold on, it says ‘ladies’.  But the delivery was to you.”

“Looks like we have a secret admirer.”

She frowned.  “They’re roses.”

“But they’re not black,” I said with a tight smile.

Her frown deepened.  “You think they might be from GRP?”

“It’s possible, but I’d expect him to enclose a taunting or sinister message.  And the flowers would be black, or close to.”  I shrugged.  “These could be from a former client or a mischievous friend.”

“Our friends don’t have money to blow on high-end roses,” she stated, eyeing them circumspectly.  “Maybe a client.”

I stood.  “May as well put them in a vase.”

“We don’t have one.”

“Then I’ll run down to the little trading shop next door and buy one.  They’re too pretty to let wither.”

“Take ‘em home.”  She smiled faintly.  “The place could use some color.”

“They still need water until we leave.”

She shrugged and started to remove them from the box—and shrieked.  “Shit!  I forgot about thorns.”

But it wasn’t a thorn that was sticking from a bleeding finger when she held it up—but a mini razor blade for a snap-blade knife.

She looked at me crossly.  “You were sayin’ something about friends?”

You can check us out here . . . and we would so love it (!!!) if you’d consider doing a review, should you decide to check us out, of course.

https://www.amazon.ca/Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Triple-Threat-Mysteries-Book/dp/1006971653

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HA-HA-HA-HA . . . The Laugh’s on Me

The fifth book, HA-HA-HA-HA, in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency is officially available—someone posted me to say they’d bought a copy!  <LOL>  How out of it can one be?! The private eyes—JJ, Rey, and Linda—are enthralled.  And I’m both embarrassed and excited (embarrassed because I should be on top of it, and networking/promoting, but excited because, hey, it’s out!!!!). 

Hooo

HA-HA-HA-HA finds the trio on a serial killer’s buddy list.  When he’s not taunting them, he’s challenging them to “play the game”—by his rules. 

The GrimReaperPeeper, as he introduced himself in a teasing text at the end of Forever Poi, proves to be as intelligent as he is devious and dangerous.  GRP, as they prefer to call him, leaves calling cards—on windows, with a boy on the beach, in a neighbor’s foyer.  And, unfortunately for our private eyes—but fortunately for him—DNA and fingerprints are never found.  They add clever and cunning to the description list.

Although it’s not an official [paying] case, GRP’s obsession with them yanks them into the chaos and holds them there.  As they attempt to figure out who he is and why he leaves black roses with his tortured victims (always found along streams and waterways), they accept a couple of other cases.  It soon seems evident that there may be a link or two between these cases and the killings; they simply have to figure it out.

Perhaps you’d like to discover how the pretty gals from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency do, going head-to-head with a crafty serial killer and dealing with his bizarre fixation with them . . .

https://www.amazon.ca/Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Triple-Threat-Mysteries-Book/dp/1006971653

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Another B-Day Cometh/Goeth

Hey, it’s Rey!

And you’ve also got JJ, having a great day!

You’ve got me, Linda, too, scooby-doo-oo!

Scooby-doo-oo?  Like what the <bleep>?

Listen, Rey, I can be cute, too.

That’s not cute, Lindy-Loo, it’s just peee-u.

Ha-ha.  You’re so not funny.

Uh-huh.  As the narrator of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, maybe I should take over, ladies. You two can continue that petty arguing outside—hey, don’t you dare, Cousin Reynalda!  Not one word.

Good, now that she’s buttoned those lips and is [begrudgingly] following her BFF into the yard, I just wanted to give a head’s up that there’s no post of note today.  The Boss has the day off—we gave it to her.  Birthdays come but once a year.

c73f0c0fa8f35c9fe580a4b5b9f2a8baShe doesn’t care much; as she said, “b-days cometh and goeth”. 

Still, it’s a special day, one where you can be a kid again if you so choose, eat [and/or drink] as much as you want, enjoy the day that’s just for you

Have at it, Boss!

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Short & Sweet Today

Hey, it’s Rey!  Hope you’re havin’ a fabulous Saturday.  The three of us are, he-he.

We were fooling around with the new FB pic—to include our latest Triple Threat Investigation Agency case, HA-HA-HA-HA.

Another drum roll, pul-leeze ……..

21-210856_drum-png-free-download-drum-roll-image-with

And another ta-da!

20161001_103547aaaaa

Whadya think?  Nice, huh, huh, huh?

Catchya later!

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Taaa-Daaaaaaaaa!!

Hey, it’s Rey!  And, for once, I don’t have much to say . . .

. . . except that . . .

The Boss is excited—and the three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency (JJ, Linda and l’il lovely me) are stoked—the cover of HA-HA-HA-HA, our most recent [super exciting] case is ready!  Can you spell w-o-o-h-o-o? 

The Boss, at first glance, thought it was a bit too green.  Linda wondered if maybe the rose should have been blacker and JJ was thinking a roulette might have worked, too.  Me, I’d have liked it to have a bit more pop but, you know, it’s pretty consistent with the others, so . . . drum roll puh-leeze . . .

drumroll

. . . taaa-daaaaaaaaa!

HHHH1a (1)

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HA-HA-HA-HA-ing . . .

A little laughter and a little/quick update.

I signed the Next Chapter contract re HA-HA-HA-HA (the fifth book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series), so now it’s a matter of waiting for it to receive a cover and be put on Amazon, etc. (Hopefully, those last few pages of research stuck at the end of the manuscript I submitted, mentioned in a recent post, will not be there, LOL.)

A little more laughter.  I’ll really have to focus on marketing.  Which means some serious reviewing of promotion principles.  And applying.

Wish me luck (coz, as Rey might say, I sure as bleep’ll need it).  <He-he>

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Do as I Say . . . Not as I Do . . . Ple-ease (!)

A quick post today.  As you may know if you read my FB posts, I finally submitted HA-HA-HA-HA (the fifth book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series) to Next Chapter. 

Was I proud?  Happy?  Relieved?  As Rey might say, you betcha!

Lo and behold, I went to cut and paste the epilogue of the next (sixth) book into a new Word document and what did I find?!  That I’d left 10 pages of research notes and the like at the end.  Groannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

<bleep>  I could have sworn I’d deleted those.  Where the <bleep, bleep> did those suckers come from!?  Great editor/proofer, huh?  I couldn’t catch a major faux pas in my own book.  I’m not sure whether to laugh hysterically or weep profusely. 

I’m slapping myself mentally for having been so dim-witted.  Like really? 

And that leads me to the message of this post.  Proof and edit before you submit something—again and again.  It will save in the embarrassment department, unless you’re thick-skinned, of course, and could care less.  I, however, do care . . . very much.

Be as professional as you can be, and take pride in that professionalism.  Do as I say, not as I do.  Groannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

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Hopping Happy

It’s Rey, hey!

And JJ, hey-hey.

Hey, that’s my word.

You have exclusive rights to it, Rey?  He-ey, it’s Linda.  We’re giving our Boss the day off.  None of us could agree (quelle surprise) as to what we should post about so, given it’s Easter weekend, we thought we’d simply share what we’re up to.  Nothing informative or educational or enlightening.

WPfreepickDOTesYesterday, Cousin Jilly (JJ, as you know her), Lindy-Loo, my best friend (for the time being), and I had a super quiet Friday.  JJ grilled fish, ahi to be exact, Linda prepared roasted potatoes with dill and crunchy green beans, and I made two salads—Thai and Greek.  They were particularly tasty, I might add.  Dee-lish, in fact.

WPall-free-downloadDOTcomThat’s my humble Cousin Reynalda for you.  Today, the three of us are coloring eggs . . . a new one for us.  My cous got the idea from a Food Network show she got caught up in, and Linda thought it might be great fun to do.  I’m not sure about it being “great”, but it’ll certainly be enjoyable (if not messy).

WPpublicdomainpicturesDOTnetRey’s heading to the mall to buy chocolate bunnies and stuff.  Given she’s the queen of sales, bar none, JJ and I are sure she’ll bring home some fabulous finds.  I just hope she doesn’t go overboard; those sales are also her weakness (as her monthly credit-card statements will attest to). 

Tomorrow, we’ll have an Easter barbecue with a few neighbors, then head to the North Shore around six.  A fellow P.I. is throwing a luau.  We are so in for that.

And there you have it: an effortless Easter weekend post.

May Mr. Bunny bring you lots of treats.

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Hau’oli Lā Pakoa!

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The Pleasure of Perfection

Hey, it’s Rey.  The title’s courtesy of Lindy-Loo, but the post is all mine.

The Boss actually gave me the idea—the inspiration—from something she said the other day.  She’d finished editing “HA-HA-HA-HA”, turned off the laptop, and murmured “perfect”.  Not that she thinks it’s actually flawless or spot-on or anything like that.  Perfect because she’s given it her all and—yeah, although she knows she could edit it another five times—it’s time to say and embrace “The End”.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be thoroughly skilled, or defect-less (my word), or “excellent” but remember this: perfect isn’t about being that, it’s about being good enough in your eyes.  Aim to be the best you can be; there’s nothing wrong with that—in fact, it’s something we should all do—just don’t expect to be p-e-r-f-e-c-t.  That will never happen—as perfectionists (or high achievers, as they’re sometimes called) can confirm—because there’ll always be something that could use tweaking.

There’s nothing wrong with setting high goals, either; just don’t obsess about it.  Take me.  I was a B-actress.  I’d have loved to be an A-list one.  I’m talented, but I also know exactly how talented I am—i.e. I acknowledge my limitations and accept them.  Yes, I can work on them (and I have, and I do), but I’ll never be a Meryl Streep or Julianne Moore, and I am fine with that.  I . . . am . . . good . . . enough.  I take pleasure in being as perfect as I can be.

There are some fields/areas that do need 100% perfectionism—like medical and engineering (anything where being off even a teeny-weeny bit could be deadly or dangerous), but I don’t have the perfect (he-he) background to provide insight on them.  And I suspect that’d be a major snooze-fest if I did.  I’m simply l’il ol’ Rey, a pretty decent private eye, who’s posting about giving something/yourself your all and recognizing how far you can/will go to achieve that.

“Practice makes perfect” is a valid saying.  The more you do something, the better you are at it.  The Boss will readily admit she was a lousy (!) writer when she first started out a few decades ago.  She kept applying herself, though . . . kept learning . . . kept practicing.  Still does.  Now, she believes she’s a good (not great) writer—she knows her limitations.  She’ll never be a James Joyce or Margaret Atwood.  She’s not perfect but she is good [enough] in her eyes.  And that’s okay . . . because she’ll still endeavor to do it better the next time around.

I’m going to end this perfect little post; it’s as perfect as I can make it, given my limited writing background.  But I’ve come a long way—just look at my first post.  I won’t say we [all] develop/grow, because I’ve met some people that truly “never learn”.  I think that’s because they think they’re perfect as they are.  Well, bully for them—and, boy, do I have news for them (he-he).

On that note, I hope you have a perfectly lovely Wednesday and week.

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Becoming Bulletproof – Part 2

Per the previous post, I wanted to share a [sort of] review of a book—Becoming Bulletproof by Evy Poumpouras—one I’d label both enlightening and engaging.

As mentioned, it was given to me by a friend who understands what “space/place” I’m in these days and thought it might serve of value.  It has, as it’s certainly giving me food for thought.

Besides giving us a bit of background as to how she became a Secret Service Agent, and what that entailed, Evy provides guidance on how to “protect yourself / read people / influence situations / live fearlessly / become bulletproof” (per the back of the book jacket).  Sounds good—is good.

Divided into three sections/parts, we have “Protection”, “Reading People”, and “Influence”.

There are, for example, three types of fear: flight, fight, freeze.  I tend to embrace fight mode, though on the odd occasion, I might freeze.  Speaking of fight, you’ll find information on how to learn to fight; i.e. know your limitations, have a plan, maintain a reality check.

What else might you learn?  How to better secure your life.  “Whether at home, online, or out in public, you’ll have the strategies you need to keep your property, possessions, and information safe.”  Who doesn’t want to know how to do that?

I particularly liked Part Two, with chapters on how to read people, via diagrams as well as descriptions, and how to determine what people are truly saying, via verbal red flags.

As well as being enlightening and engaging, Becoming Bulletproof is a good, solid, straightforward read.  Need I say more?

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Becoming Bulletproof – Part 1

I’m reading a great book right now (one I’m not editing)—Becoming Bulletproof by Evy Poumpouras.

The intention was to do a review, but as I was strolling along pre-dawn streets this morning, it came to me to do a two-parter.  One: how the book came into my possession.  Two: the review itself.

This year has been one of sharing, of communicating things about my personal situation, and what a challenge life has become over the years.  I never had the inclination to be transparent [that much] in past, but somehow, these days, this year, it seems a cathartic thing to do.

I’ve been sad/depressed off and on for a long time; sometimes, I can handle it, sometimes I slip deep within and/or spit razorblades.  Lately, it’s been the latter.  I’ve walked away from people (the very, very few friends I have, all three of them).

One friend, however, was sweet enough to give me a feel-better bag filled with lovely pick-you-up pressies.  Scented candles (I couldn’t peel my nose from those heady fragrances).  Sweet treats (how nummy).  A soft blanket (so ni-ice at night).  And the book . . . Becoming Bulletproof (Life Lessons from a Secret Service Agent).  Thank you, Krystyna.

“The one person you should be able to fully rely upon to save you is you.  You are the hero you’ve been waiting for . . .” is how the back jacket reads.  Love it.  Ultimately, it’s true; the only person(s) we can rely on are ourselves.

The book revolves around how to deal with and overcome fear.  I’m all for that; who doesn’t want to take charge of her/his life?

My fear?  There’s really only one: never being free of mom-care.  I’ve devoted most of my life to taking care of a woman who could care less what the toll is on me, nor is she thankful for the multitude of things I do every day.  That’s okay.  Some people simply can’t say thank-you.  And I don’t criticize or condemn her for that; that’s just who she is.

I’m often feeling like one of the walking dead because I am exhausted beyond exhausted.  And hope and faith are merely memories.  But real [uninterrupted] sleep will come one day.  Maybe not tomorrow or next month.  But it will come.  Hope may return and I hope (he-he) it does.  Faith I’m not so sure about, but maybe I take the Wayne Dyer approach to life.  Faith is found in many forms and it doesn’t have to be “religious”.

I must learn to go with the flow better than I have been doing.  Pull up the socks.  Keep a stiff upper lip.  Let things happen/unfold.  Allow the cards to fall where they may.  How are those for overused—but appropriate—sayings?

wpbookI must also apply what I’ve learned from the book.  It’s merely a matter of putting advice into practice . . . and practice does make perfect (one last familiar saying, he-he).

And, with time, yours truly will become bulletproof.

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Four . . . Only Two More

. . . days to get Coco’s Nuts for only 99 cents!

It’s JJ today.  Linda’s doing volunteer work at the shelter and Rey’s off on a theater audition, and our Boss is running amok (don’t ask).

The three of us, aspiring P.I.s from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency, undertake our second major assignment: proving our client, once-socialite-Vassar-grad-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer, isn’t responsible for two murders.  Despite what the folks in blue maintain, she [really] had no motive to kill her boss, infamous entrepreneur Jimmy Picolo.  Nor did she murder her best friend, Eb Stretta, a fellow trucker and Picolo employee.

Yes, the evidence points to Buddy being the murderer, but we’re convinced that Buddy has been set up.  Nutty Coco Peterson, another Picolo employee, has been MIA since the murders went down, and appears to be a central piece in this perplexing puzzler.  But where is the little sh-uh-prat?

As we endeavor to uncover a killer amid another cast of curious and unconventional characters, we find ourselves in some dangerous situations—exploding bombs, for example, suggest we’ve ruffled a few feathers by asking too many questions.  Hopefully, we’ll obtain some legitimate answers before anything significant blows up . . . like us!

Coco's Nuts11111Maybe you’d like to accompany us on this challenging and thrilling ride?  If so, please check us out at: https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368

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Three … Almost Free

You have Linda today and I’m here to remind you about the 99-cent Coco’s Nuts promo.  It’s Day Three, two more to go.

Coco’s Nuts is the third mystery in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series and it has the three of us newbie private investigators—JJ, Rey, and myself—pursuing our second official assignment: proving socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer didn’t shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur Jimmy Picolo.

Instead of revealing too much, maybe I can pique your interest by providing an excerpt.

As beautiful as a Bamboo Orchid and as cool as an English cucumber, Buddy Feuer seemed neither fazed nor anxious, given the grave predicament. Tall and willowy, the thirty-four-year-old former society woman turned truck driver was easy on the eyes no matter what your predilection. A “looker” or “dish” she might have been called back in the days of gin rickeys, trilbys, and gumshoes. Some females truly lucked out in the comeliness lottery, as unconventional, chinchilla-faced Aunt Rowena Jaye was often heard to utter about a relation or friend (with a wistful, wishful sigh).

Buddy had contacted the Triple Threat Private Investigation Agency after researching our involvement — and success — with the handling of the “Gruesome Twosome Case” (as we’d jokingly dubbed our first P.I. job) and the ensuing arrest of our client, William Pierponce Howell. The now-deceased WP Howell had been as wealthy as he’d been eccentric (a tactful way of saying f’g zany) and the murder of his young, pretty wife was not the only crime he’d been guilty of. HPD’s Detective Gerald “Ald” Ives had been gracious enough during a media interview to credit the agency with providing “some valid crime-stopping information”, which had led to the apprehension of the millionaire and his equally culpable (f’g zany) partner. The truth was we’d done considerably more, but we were cool with letting HPD take credit.

Our latest assignment was fairly clear-cut: prove Buddy hadn’t murdered renowned entrepreneur Jimmy Silone Picolo III.

Jimmy Man-I’m-Fabulously-Rich Picolo was second-generation owner of a hapu’upu’u pickling factory called Braddah Jimmy’s Pickled Aquatic Delights (who’d have guessed preserved fish cheeks and eyes could be such popular delicacies). In addition, the shrewd man owned JSP Capital-Credit Corporation and Balz to the Walz Incorporated, a demolition-construction company that knocked down buildings as rapidly as it put them up. There were also pet projects here and there, little businesses he absorbed or annihilated.

Slim and trim and relatively short, Jimmy was a cross between Dean Martin and Sal Mineo in their heydays. Over the years, the attractive man had rubbed a few people the wrong way. You see, equally successful had been his loansharking and racketeering — excuse me, alleged loansharking and racketeering.

Unlike Jimmy Silone Picolo II, who’d been indicted on racketeering and murder in the 70s, “III” had never been convicted of anything. Equally charmed and charming, he’d navigated the tranquil waters of life and business with a multi-thousand-dollar smile and a playful monarch-like wave . . . of the middle finger. The odd time the folks in blue had become involved, paperwork transformed into ashes and lawsuits dropped like smoldering charcoal briquettes. Witnesses developed curious cases of amnesia or hopped continent-bound jets faster than Hollywood celebrities changed partners.

Picolo had been found in an alley in the business district, not far from his opulent Bishop Street office. The capital-credit company took up half the fourth floor while the main office occupied the entire top floor. Lavishly decorated with marble, crystal, and 14-K gold, it even held an interior waterfall rumored to stream champagne instead of water. How decadent was that? No longer a concern, however: expanding that firm fiscal foothold and/or working long hours while sitting in a gold-trimmed leather barrister chair before said waterfall. The quinquagenarian’s face had greeted a brick wall several times before three bullets created cranial air vents. Had he survived, attractive would certainly no longer have described Jimmy Silone Picolo III.

If you’d like to learn how we tackle this challenging and goosebump-exciting (Rey demanded I throw that “adjective” in) case . . . or would like to leave a review (we would be greatly appreciative if you did), please check us out at . . . https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368

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Forever Poi, Not bein’ Coy

Hey, it’s Rey again.  Lindy-Loo’s “too busy” to post today.  Whatever.

He-he.  I’m never one to be/play coy, as you who know l’il ol’ me are totally aware of  . . . so-o, here you go . . .

You can get Forever Poi for a bargain at 99 cents!

Forever Poi is our third official (and paying) case, which has MIA Linda, Cousin JJ, and me determining who set fire to two upscale Chinatown art galleries and left two bodies in the ruins.  One was the co-owner.  It’s possible his partner may have wanted to collect the insurance money.  The other: a former queenpin whose past may have caught up with her.

Here’s a tidbit, as told by Cousin Jilly (JJ):

Ald adjusted the volume. “Two galleries are pretty close to being cinders, specifically the ones belonging to Carlos Kawena and James-Henri Ossature. Weren’t you supposed to be here for Carlos’ 6-tu-8 do?”

“I had to be somewhere. But I had drinks with Carlos last night to celebrate his forty-sixth and he provided a sneak-peak of the exhibit.” Xavier’s voice had taken on a serious, business-like tone. “What happened? Is he okay?”

“We found a body that wasn’t recognizable. All I know at this stage is that it’s pretty certain the fire was no accident. The only thing I can confirm is the little intimate soirée ended at eight on the nose. He’d planned to leave the gallery no later than 8:20 to be at a snooty function at nine. The fire was called in at 8:35 p.m.”

“Did he show up at that affair?”

“He didn’t tell me much about it. And I haven’t been able to reach James-Henri.”

Rey, Linda and I gazed solemnly at one another.

“Where can I meet you?”

“I’m at the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.” Ald snickered and rolled intense Maya-blue eyes. He’d always found the name of the agency comical, but hadn’t mentioned that until a few weeks ago. In truth, I’d never liked it much either, but my theatrical over-the-top cousin, also a part-time actress (commercials primarily these days), had insisted upon it. Arguing with her was rarely worth the effort, so the Triple Threat Investigation Agency it was.

“Be there as quick as I can.”

“We need serious caffeine, A, not the watered-down crap I see sitting in a pot across this office.”

“You got it.”

Ald replaced the mobile and exhaled at length. Facial lines were beginning to deepen and a thick, notched scar along the right temple was pulsing, sure signs he was growing both fatigued and irritated.

“A?” Linda asked, getting up and stretching.

“A for adjuster,” he replied with a pert smile. “That’s what he does for a living.”

“Does that mean we call you D for dick?” Rey asked breezily.

If you’d like to check out our challenging if not crazy (body-heavy) case, you can do so here: https://www.amazon.ca/Forever-Poi-Tyler-Colins/dp/1079716483

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Forever Poi – What a Joy . . .

. . . to get an ebook for a measly 99 cents!

Hey, it’s Rey today (Linda was reviewing a few wines last night and hasn’t climbed out of bed yet).

Forever Poi, our third official—professional—case, has Hungover Linda, Cousin Jilly (also known as JJ), and me trying to find out who set fire to two up-and-coming art galleries . . . and left two bodies in the ashes.  One was co-owner and it appears his partner in business and love might have wanted to collect on the insurance (evidently, it’s happened before).  The other was a former queenpin who seems to have turned over a new leaf; maybe someone didn’t want her to?

As we determine who’s done what, a few bodies show up (they have a habit of doing that around us), and our case proves anything but straightforward or simple.  That’s okay; we’re up for the challenge.  But it’s one heckuva roller-coaster ride!

Maybe you’d like to check us out?  You can find Forever Poi here: https://www.amazon.ca/Forever-Poi-Tyler-Colins/dp/1079716483

. . . And, if you’re so inclined, maybe you could please leave a review?  We’d love it if you would.  Aloha, dear friends.

Twenty-Two, How’d You Do?

Happy 2022 . . .  a new year, new dreams and wishes and hopes.  Here’s to them coming true.

It was difficult deciding what the first post of the year should touch on.  Should it be informative?  Entertaining?  Silly?  Serious?

Then, a thought hit: why not “pen” something different, something rarely done?  Like a poem.

Welcome to twenty, twenty-two

How do you do?

I’m not a poet, as you’ll soon see

But what would life be

Without a challenge or three?

Here’s hoping this year brings a reprieve

Re issues and tidings we’ll likely receive.

May our circumstances improve

That we find a new cheery groove

And once again forward we move.

Farewell to the old, the sad and the bad

Let us embrace joy and be so very glad.

Allow the pandemic to finally leave us be

So our lives are filled with total glee

And we’re all once again so very free.

Well, that was kind of fun.  Yes, as the gals from the Triple Threat Investigation snorted and chortled, and declared, “Don’t leave your day job!!”  (He-he, I believe I’ll heed their advice.)

Happy 2022!

Avisha Rasminda

Hi, I'm Avisha Rasminda. Twenty years old.

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