Peeves & Pleasures

You’ve got JJ posting today.  As you know, The Boss is on stress-rest (she’s not looking too good, poor thing).

Yes, I confess, Rey’s post re “favs” got me thinking . . . why not share things we dislike and like, our current pet peeves and pleasures?  It was a great exercise; it had us thinking (focusing) really hard.

Here you have them, my friends, the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio’s bugbears and blisses . . .

Peeves

JJ:

♦  bombastic, verbose persons who love the sound of their own voices . . . blab a lot, but say little     ♦  people (businesses) so desirous of profit and power that critical concerns—like climate change—are scoffed at and shelved    ♦  abusers of all kinds

Rey:

♦  whiners and wieners . . . folks who fret and complain, but won’t do anything to change their circumstances    ♦  people who don’t/won’t listen, be it friends or family, politicians or superstars    ♦  creamed corn—someone served it the other day and, gawd, I nearly gagged (my mom and aunts had a thing for it, so it was always at family dinners)

Linda:

♦  fakers and liars—I’ve no patience for phony people in any shape, size, or form    ♦  fake news when it truly is fake news, as propagated by those who like to spin real news for their own benefit  <LOL>   ♦  garbage here, there and everywhere; is it really that difficult to place it in a bin?

Pleasures

JJ:

♦  volunteering time and/or money—what a truly gratifying pleasure    ♦  Hawaii . . . it’s in my heart and soul    ♦  animals/pets . . . and their wonderful (!) unconditional love

Rey:

♦  acting . . . still keen on it (but being a private eye is better)    ♦  catching the bad guy, speaking of being a P.I.—there’s nothing like helping put a criminal behind bars    ♦  pizza . . . still love it and there’s no better way to end a trying day than with a [huge] slice of heaven

Linda:

♦  relaxing and spa retreats are definite [hedonistic] pleasures    ♦  hiking and walking, and being active (fitness and health are everything)    ♦  reading, writing, and blogging

What about yours?  Ever give thought to what floats your boat . . . and sinks it?

From the gals at the TTIA, have an amazing weekend!

Aloha! WPpp4

Hear, Hear . . . X2

It’s Rey, hey.  How goes?  The Boss is still on stress-rest (can you spell w-u-s-s?).

JJ and Linda will be posting Saturday and Wednesday.  They’ve got good ones, inspired by mine on “favs” (when ya got it, ya got it).  But, for today, you’ve got a quick one from moi.  Consider it a reminder . . . a must do . . . ’cause you know me—Reynalda Fonne-Werde doesn’t give up easily.

As mentioned recently, The Connecticut Corpse Caper (the first in our Triple Threat Investigation Agency adventures) is available in an audiobook format through Audible … on Amazon and iTunes.  It’s narrated by Cindy Piller, who does an awesome job.

There are still some coupon codes to those who might be interested in downloading Caper (the code can only be used once via the acx-promo link).

Please message us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OahuPIs/) or comment by way of this blog (and please specify US or UK).

US:
https://www.audible.com/pd/B07XQ3TTFV/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-163671&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_163671_rh_us

UK:
https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/B07XKZKP77/?source_code=AUKFrDlWS02231890H6-BK-ACX0-163671&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_163671_rh_uk

We hope you’ll enjoy listening to what crazy—murderous—events at our aunt’s haunted Connecticut mansion encouraged us to become P.I.s.

Cheers!

Thank You to Jay

I want to extend my most appreciative thanks to Jay (James J. Cudney IV) for the wonderful review of Forever Poi.

https://thisismytruthnow.com/2019/09/21/book-review-forever-poi-by-tyler-colins/

Fellow blogger and writer Jay is a force to be reckoned with.  He’s everything I’d like to be as a blogger and writer: proficient, focused, supportive … a consummate professional.  If you’ve not yet checked out his fantastic blog (as I continually say, I’m totally envious) and fabulous books, like the Braxton Campus mystery series, please do!

https://jamesjcudney.com/

Jay2A

♦ ♦ ♦

Book Review: Forever Poi by Tyler Colins

by James J. Cudney IV

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Forever Poi by Tyler Colins
Forever Poi, the 4th book in the Triple Threat Mysteries series by Tyler Colins, was published in July 2019. I’ve previously read the first three and was psyched to devour the latest one this month. Three smart and sassy female detectives run the Triple Threat Investigations agency in Hawaii, but the series started out in Connecticut and moved its way westward. What an exotic and thrilling location to set a murder mystery series… Ms. Colins has imbued the characters and setting with something exciting, vibrant, and unique. I’ve seen tremendous growth over the course of the four books, and the private detectives are learning on the job as quickly as they possibly can.

Today, I’m focusing on Forever Poi, where the ladies discover two bodies who’d been killed in an art gallery fire. The police bring Triple Threat in for assistance, quickly determining the inferno was intentionally set and the victims were definitely murdered. Unfortunately, JJ and her cousins had recently met at least one of the two lost souls, which makes the investigation all that much more difficult. The hunt for the killer or killers has the ladies traipsing all over the continental US, with a particularly memorable stop in Chicago.

Ms. Colins’ story contains a large number of complex characters, all with hilarious and interesting names. One if even called Crispy, and yes, that’s a connection with the fire. The three detectives are methodical in the search for all the clues and hidden secrets about the two men who owned the gallery and the seemingly disconnected woman Lolita who died in the blaze. We also learn about a death that occurred before the book started, but it might not be connected. Kudos to the author for layering in the details for readers to try to solve the crime themselves.

A few fun things to note, as these are the points that always make Ms. Colins’ books stand out: (a) the catch phrase ‘Hey-ho,’ (b) finding out the true meaning of ‘Forever Poi,’ which isn’t what you think, (c) someone else besides me says ‘Toodles,’ and (d) that totally unexpected scene when Cash (Richie J) returns to visit JJ. At first, I was freaked out, then I realized what was going on, but afterward, it started heating up again. I won’t spoil the surprise for those who’ve read previous books, but it’s an amusing one. The series is edgy but not over-the-top. Appropriate uses of ‘F Off’ and references to ‘Nudie Art’ make the characters and plot seem quite real.

When the key suspect in the crimes is presumed dead midway into the story, you’re left with a ‘now what’ll happen?’ moment. Then, the ladies find themselves trapped with the potential for a bomb to explode. It got pretty close in the end… but they always get their killer, don’t they? This was a great entry in the series, and I’m excited by the news at the end about the next book in 2020. It’ll be on my reading list. I hope it’s on yours too.

And the Winner Is . . .

Me!  Hey-ho, it’s Rey.  The Boss needs some stress-rest (don’t ask) and told me to post (man, that gal can get pushy).

So-o, I had to think of something fast and fun.  Got it!  Sharing something personal about the three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  I’m a “sometimes part-time” actress, so why not pick a topic close to my acting heart?  Films!  I thought I’d have us share our fav movies of all time—starting with my BFF, Linda, then Cousin Jilly—known to most as JJ—and leaving the best for last.  Moi.

Linda

Every new film I see becomes my favorite, to be honest, but if I had to pick one (for now), it would be Manchester by the Sea—directed by Kenneth Lonergan and starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams (one of my favorite actresses), and Kyle Chandler.

The story hit home for me.  Basically, it’s about a man named Lee, a janitor, who ends up having to care for his teenage nephew, Patrick, after his brother dies.  Lee suffered the harrowing loss of his children through a house fire that resulted from a bout of drunkenness: his.  Needless to say, he and his wife divorce.  There are more family dramas, shown in flashbacks, that for some of us, hit close to home (pardon the pun). WPfilmimbdb2

There are trials and tribulations, bonding and un-bonding.  I could relate to the various issues on different levels, given my own family history.  It’s not necessarily a “comfortable” film to sit through, but it’s so well crafted, so riveting, I can’t help but believe it’s one of the best I’ve seen in a long, long while.

JJ

I love old B&W gangster and detective movies like White Heat and Maltese Falcon, and action flicks . . . but, oddly enough, my favorite movie these days, one I can see over and over again, is The Descendants

It’s set in Hawaii, my new home, and that’s pleasing in terms of backdrop/setting.  The unhurried, strolling pacing is quite appealing and you rather wish it would go on and on and on. The film is filled with emotion; you cry, laugh, sigh, and express anger and/or disbelief, given the situation. WPfilmIMDbDOTcom

Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, the story revolves around real-estate lawyer Matt King (George Clooney).  His mundane life is turned upside down when his wife ends up in a coma after being critically injured in a boating accident.  While dealing with her impending death, he must decide whether to sell the family’s vast land, which was handed down from Hawaiian royalty.  There’s also a wonderful, emotive re-bonding storyline with Matt and his two daughters.

I’ve seen it at least ten times and could easily see it another twenty—it’s that good.

Rey

Like JJ, I love old B&W films, though I’m more into dramas, those featuring Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis, and Marlene Dietrich.  They were gorgeous and awesome actresses.  If you’ve never seen Hayworth’s film noir Gilda, do it!

My favorite film . . . James Bond . . . all.  I just love the action and locations, the over-the-top plots, not to mention the hunky guys who play the lead role.  I’m not gonna reveal my preferred JB actor (I’ll keep ya guessing), but every one who ever played the British Secret Service agent brought his own charming spin to the character. WPfilmClipartPandaDOTcom 

You know, maybe the movies subconsciously planted an idea in my head about becoming a private investigator.  I always loved acting, but when we solved the “case” in The Connecticut Corpse Caper, the exciting world of private-eyeing (kinda like secret-service work on a less dramatic level) seemed the right way to go.

Can I share a secret?  I wouldn’t mind being a Bond girl. 

So, that’s my Saturday post.  Nothing “cerebral”, as Linda would word it.  Reynalda Fonne-Werde, at your service.  Have an amazing weekend everyone.

You Say Ego, I Say Ergo

You know that “C” word that makes us cringe?  Yeah, that’s the one: criticism.  <shudder> We writers don’t do well with it; it’s a smack to the ego and, therefore, it hurts.

Some take it in stride, others puff up and get their noses out of joint (and refuse to listen).  We simply don’t want to have our work—our babies, imagination, creativity—commented upon.

As a writer, I can wholeheartedly attest to this, having been there many a time.  When I first started submitting to agents and publishers many years ago, rejection after rejection flowed in.  The odd unfeeling person offered harsh, unpleasant criticism … and it hurt [big-time] … and I didn’t believe it.  How could someone criticize my work (talent)?

<ROTFL>  A few were harsh, yes, but others were constructive.  And you know?  They were also right.  When I un-dusted those bottom-of-the-drawer manuscripts years later, I so understood what my “criticizers” were referring to.  At the time, nope, I was right; they were wrong and how dare they!  Truly, if I’d listened then, I’d have improved much sooner.  That’s okay though.  Lesson(s) most definitely learned.

The truth is, when we start writing, we do have much to learn.  We have to develop, and this only happens with time.  Reality check: talent/skill isn’t there the moment we first pick up a pen, er, hit the keyboard.  We can delude ourselves into believing we’re the next Hemingway, King, or Tolstoy and that’s fine for confidence boosting, not so fine for professional development.

Now, there’s bad criticism, someone blowing off steam or being cruel for the sake of it, and there’s good [constructive/helpful] criticism—someone serving to enlighten and “improve”.

If you want to be a serious long-term writer, seek criticism: join a writing community, take a workshop or seminar or three, belong to reading groups.  You need to hear it and, more importantly, you need to get used to it.  It will help you progress.

Recognize that views vary, particularly from your own.  With time, like ducks, we can let criticism roll off our backs like water.  It’s not as difficult to receive (though it may still make us cringe a little) and we begin to understand which comments we can use to our advantage.

As an FYI, when you receive a critique you disapprove of (hate, dispute), don’t argue or respond in the negative.  If you have a hankering to reply, walk away, return, and then simply thank the person for his/her input or review.

Yes, the ego can be a fragile thing.  But if you’re going to put your work out there, you have to cope with the “c” word.  So ….

♥  Take a few deep breaths and turn away.  Have a cappuccino, glass of wine, croissant, whatever brings you joy (solace).  Go back later—with an open mind. WPcritLongfordpcDOTcom

♥  Determine if there’s some truth there.  Take it with a grain of salt … and have at it.

♥  Remember that writing is subjective.  What you love, a person may hate.  Everyone has an opinion; none are the same.  So when you receive a negative feedback, acknowledge it.  Different strokes for different folks: a valid cliché.

If you’ve been crushed by criticism, realize it’s merely that: a person’s subjective analysis.  Take from it what you can, and move on.  Understand that it doesn’t make you a bad writer—you truly do have marvelous tales to tell and share—you simply need to improve here and there.  If we didn’t continually develop, we’d stagnate, never learn or grow.  I’m not sure that’s a good thing, do you?

Here an Ear, There an Ear

As mentioned a couple of days ago, The Connecticut Corpse Caper (the first in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series) is available as an audiobook  through Audible … on Amazon and iTunes.

Hats off to Cindy Piller, the narrator.  She has a pleasing/pleasant voice and I’m ever so pleased that the book sounds so pleasurable.  <LOL>

Silly early-morning humor aside, I’d like to offer 25 coupon codes to those who might be interested in downloading Caper.  The code can only be used once via the acx-promo link.  If interested, and I humbly hope you are, please message me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OahuPIs/) or comment by way of this blog; please specify US or UK.

US:
https://www.audible.com/pd/B07XQ3TTFV/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-163671&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_163671_rh_us

UK:
https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/B07XKZKP77/?source_code=AUKFrDlWS02231890H6-BK-ACX0-163671&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_163671_rh_uk

The sleuthing gals—JJ, Rey, and Linda—hope you’ll enjoy listening to how they got “inspired” to become private eyes in Hawaii.

Aloha.

WPprivateeye

I’m All Ears

The Connecticut Corpse Caper is currently being made into an audiobook.  How exciting is that?  Can’t wait to hear it.  Of course, given I can’t find the time to promote myself and the Triple Threat Investigation Agency ebooks and hardcover books, I’m not sure how I’ll manage to market this one.  But where there’s hope, there’s … hope.

Audiobooks were up an impressive 20% across the publishing realm in 2017, while print books were up by a mere 1.5% and ebooks <gulp> were down by 5.4%.  In fact, audiobook sales in the U.S. in the last two years have amounted to $2.1 billion (per Scribd data).  Not too shabby.

Here are a few more not-too-shabby facts based on a survey done by the research firm Management Practice.  These can be found in an interesting July 2019 article—“Audio Publishers Association Survey: Nearly $1 Billion in 2018 US Sales”—by Porter Anderson (Editor-in-Chief at Publishing Perspectives and Co-owner/Director at The Hot Sheet). WPearsPorterAnderson

·       Publisher receipts in 2018 totaled almost 1 billion dollars, up 24.5 percent from 2017

·       Unit sales were up 27.3 percent over 2017

·       Audiobook listening is on the rise, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital’s The Infinite Dial 2019, which shows 50 percent of Americans age 12 and older have listened to an audiobook, up from 44 percent in 2018

·       Audiobook titles published in 2018 totaled 44,685  (an increase of 5.8 percent over 2017)

·       The ages of listeners: 55 percent of all audiobook listeners are under the age of 45, and 51 percent of frequent listeners are aged 18 to 44 years

·       Time for listening: 56 percent of audiobook listeners say that they are making “new” time to listen to audiobooks, and subsequently consuming more books

·       Where they listen: 74 percent of audiobook consumers listen in their car, up from 69 percent in 2018; the home is the second-most popularly cited spot at 68 percent, down from 71 percent in 2018, and this coincides with increased adoption of in-dash car players

·       Smart speakers provide growth opportunities as penetration among audiobook consumers is nearing twice the US average—42 percent of audiobook listeners age 18 and older own a smart speaker

·       Podcasts: More than half (55 percent) of audiobook listeners tell researchers for the survey that they’ve also listened to a podcast in the last month, continuing a strong historical association between podcast listeners and audiobook listeners

·       The most popular genres sold in 2018 in audio were general fiction; mysteries and thrillers/suspense; and science-fiction/fantasy

I used to listen to audiobooks back in the 80s (yeah, dating myself, huge sigh) when they weren’t popular. In fact, they were pretty limited then, but they did exist.  Didn’t catch on very much though, probably because the quality—unlike today—wasn’t there.  Still, I rather enjoyed driving through the countryside, listening to Sherlock Holmes.

Personally, I love reading print books, holding them in my hand, flipping pages, earmarking them (I know, I know, slap on wrist).  But I could get used to the audio version.  Given I’m/we’re always running somewhere and doing something, it makes total sense to be listening while running and doing!

So, did you hear about . . . ?

Forever Poi Promo Post

A quick shameless self-promotion post – nothing new if you’ve seen my recent Facebook posts – but worth mentioning (again) from this humble author’s perspective.

Forever Poi, the fourth in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, is available for .99 through September 9th on Amazon, thanks to a New Chapter promotion. This case has private eyes JJ, Rey, and Linda solving a double-arson and murder—specifically, who torched two Oahu Chinatown art galleries and left two charred bodies in the rubble?  The trio encounters a sundry of suspects, each possessing a viable motive for having done so—insurance collection, unwanted lover, dicey past, sour grapes …?

The gals would love for you to accompany them as they track leads and clues, encounter strange and suspicious persons, and become embroiled in one of their most puzzling cases yet. WPpromo3

On a different note, I want to extend heartfelt gratitude to those who’ve provided me with much needed [I’m so lost] and much appreciated [I’d be lost without you] support and advice.  Jay, Jina, and Sean—thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

Forever … Floundering?

As you know, when it comes to self-promotion, I suck.  Big time.  As I’ve mentioned more than once, time just ain’t my friend.  <LOL>

That said, Next Chapter (formerly Creativia) has me scheduled for a promotion (.99 for Forever Poi on Amazon) starting September 5th.  That’s so exciting!

Consequently, I’m keeping this week’s Wednesday post short so I can scramble to learn/do as much as possible … which will be quite comical to see (of this I have no doubt).

Before I dash, I want to extend a huge thank you to Jina S. Bazzar, fellow blogger and author of Heir of Ashes (and other great books).  She’s always so very helpful and supportive. WPFPoi3 

 

Thank you, Jina!  And thank you, Next Chapter!

(I’ll get my act together, of this you can be sure.  It may not be tomorrow, but it will happen.)

WPFPoi2