Unabashed Shameless Promotion . . . for Me and My Pal

Yes, another post related to shameless promotion—but it’s not all about me today.  While an interview re yours truly appeared on Julia Sutton’s blog recently (see link below), I’m actually posting about Julia, a lovely woman who has graciously interviewed a number of authors.

WPjulias2AJulia, for those not familiar with her, hails from Wolverhampton in central England, and is an author of contemporary romance and picture books for kids.  She’s penned The School of Dreams series: Book 1 – The School of Dreams, Book 2 – Visions of the Heart, Book 3 – Student Affairs.  Book 4 is in progress.

On a personal note, Julia is happily married with two children and is the proud owner of a Border Collie and two chinchillas.  An avid reader, she also enjoys drawing, cooking, walking, watching films, and drinking lots of tea.  Interests also include animal welfare, looking after the environment, and being kind to people.  How awesome is that?

I’m sure she’d love you to visit.  Please connect with her at:

Facebook Author Page:  www.facebook.com/booksbyjulia1972

Twitter:  Julia Sutton Books @booksbyjulia72

Instagram:  Julia Sutton Books

WordPress:  juliasuttonauthorblog.wordpress.com

. . . And, if you’re interested in seeing my interview, please go to:

https://juliasuttonauthorblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/24/author-interview-with-tyler-collins

 

Have at It!

These days, it’s certainly not difficult to become unmotivated or uncommitted re writing/blogging.  When in lock-down, inspiration can seem limited and the routine . . . well, routine.  I know I’m finding it tough to stay focused or come up with ideas; I’d rather be a couch potato and suck back a big bag of salt-and-vinegar chips.  Fortunately, or unfortunately—that perspective thingy—work and mom-care obligations won’t allow for that.  So, what better a topic for today than staying inspired.  Let’s have at it!

These are suggestions you’ve undoubtedly heard/read before, but it never hurts to review.

Try to stick to your usual practice.  If you always write in the morning, keep at it.  Maybe you don’t do it as long, but you do it.  If you post twice a week, you continue, even if the content is but a few sentences.  Write what’s on your mind, what you’re feeling. Do a vid, post a pic.  Share.

Some say vary the routine so things don’t become mundane or stale.  If you’re someone who can stick to commitments, then yes, give it a try.  Myself?  If I don’t do something at a certain time—“I can do XYZ at three instead”—it’s pretty much a done deal that it won’t happen.  I am a creature of habit and must honor that.  But what works for me may not work for you.

This might be a perfect time to redesign your blog and organize files.  Nothing better ‘n neatness, I say.  After that, heck, what’s wrong with working on a closet or two?  Drawers?  Cupboards?  Have at them, too.

Take breaks—go for a jog or stroll, ride a bike, walk the dog, cat or hamster.  A change of scenery (other than the view of your laden dining-room table or desk) is always a good thing.  And, for the interim, remember your social distancing.

Consider goals.  What do you want to see happen or do a couple of months from now?  A year from now?  If you had goals before, are they still the same?  Do some soul-searching.  List those things you want to engage in and/or have happen.

What about taking an on-line course to enhance your writing and blogging skills?  Or maybe learning something new, something you’d never have considered before?  If I had the time, I’d go for learning Japanese (an aim of mine for some time).  The sky’s the limit.  You could even work on obtaining certification in some area.  An exciting possibility, isn’t it?

Most importantly perhaps, stay connected with your writing/blogging communities.  Get involved in virtual chats and emails.  Find writing and blogging buddies, if you haven’t already.  Tweet.  Visit FB, Instagram, and all the other social networking sites too numerous to list.  Fine out what other folks are doing and saying.  Hook up with others for inspiration and interaction.

And, if you’re going through a bit of a bad or non-inspired spell, step back . . . take a look at all you’ve done and accomplished.  You’ve worked hard.  You’ve stuck to it through thick and thin.  That’s awesome!

WP1mot123RFdotCOMNever give up.  Keep hope and faith strong.

Have at it—it’s all for you.  It’s all for us.  We are in this together.

What’s Up, Buttercup?

We are—so up and so ready to face another day.  Hey, it’s Rey!

The three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency are still lanai lounging and solving the odd case via the Internet and phone.  A new way to private-eyeing.  Whatever works, right?

HA-HA-HA-HA should be available by end of July (our boss is doing her best to get our latest case recorded as quickly as possible).  It’s an exciting—if not testing and trying—one that involves a stalker and serial killer (we do seem to attract those like bears to honey—must be some invisible invitation tattooed on our foreheads).

As I’m reclining on the chaise longue, watching the kids play in the grass, and Linda and JJ are grilling veggies and fish, I thought I’d share another excerpt with you.

“Any witnesses or sightings re the murders or murderer?” Rey asked, studying a large thick slab of cheese-heavy garlic bread as if it might grow teeth and bite back.

Which prompted a smirk from Sallo.  Snorting, he said, “It ain’t gonna chomp back.”

Appearing doubtful, she took a tiny bite, chewed, and nodded.  “Damn.  It’s good.  Real garlicky.”

“Told you so,” he simpered, digging into the chili.

Linda and I followed suit.  Sallo would share information when he was ready and not a blink before. 

Half-a-bowl later, he motioned Clem for another beer and sat back.  “Jo Belcastro saw a black van around 7:30 the night you found the bodies.  He was jogging along Date, near Laau, heading nowhere in particular.  He noticed it because it was standing alone, real close to that house that burned down last month.  As a landscaper, he tends to notice things that don’t fit well, but he didn’t think about it again until he settled in with the news last night after his jog.”

“He called the police simply because he remembered a van parked near beside a burned-out house?” Linda asked, skeptical. 

“He heard of the murders—who hasn’t?—but he wasn’t really following the news.  Too many landscaping projects.”  With a smirk, he started on the garlic bread and we returned to our chili. 

A couple minutes later, he was ready to pick up where he’d left off.  “When he caught up on them last night—and saw the request for people to come forward if they’d seen anything out of the ordinary—he remembered the van and decided to call.”

“What could he tell you about it?” I asked. 

He frowned.  “Not a helluva lot.  Black.  No lettering.  Basic windows.  Didn’t catch the license plate.  Only noticed it because it was the only vehicle there—in the shadows, slightly off the street, near that house some ass had set a torch to.”

“That sucks,” Rey said.

“Yeah.  But there’s something positive.  Belcastro tripped and another guy and his dog, who weren’t that far away, went to his rescue.  Belcastro was okay.  Just a skinned knee and bruised ego.  They chatted briefly.  Belcastro patted the dog and asked his name and all that, and then they parted ways.”

The three of us leaned in close—grateful we’d all sucked back garlic—anticipating something more useful was about to be imparted.  “When Belcastro called to tell us about it, he mentioned Barty the Springer Spaniel.  Seems Barty’s a favorite in the area, so it wasn’t hard to track down his owner.”

Linda gave a thumb’s up.

“Barty’s owner, Murphy Geist, saw the same van that night.  Considering he wasn’t far behind Belcasto, how could he not?  Anyway, just after the two parted ways, owner and pooch continued their nightly stroll.  After circling around, maybe ten or twelve minutes later, Barty began acting a touch weird—straining at the leash, making whiney doggy sounds.”

“And Geist didn’t think to see what might be bothering Barty?” I asked, astonished.

“He’d been mugged a couple of times and figured it might be some thug lurking in the shrubbery with bad deeds on his mind.  He decided it was a good time to head home and head home fast.”

“And?” I prompted.

His expression bordered on smug.  “He sighted a guy in the van.”

I’m gonna leave ya hangin’ there.  He, he.

We are doing our utmost to stay well and safe.  I hope you are, too.  Take care everyone!

Review: James J. Cudney IV & Frozen Stiff Drink

Frozen Stiff Drink marks Book #6 in James J. Cudney’s Braxton Campus Mysteries—a series I (and many others) are quite fond of.

Before providing a taste of this delightful whodunit page-turner, I feel compelled to compliment Jay on his progression as an author.  His writing style—first-rate to begin with—keeps improving with every book.  The wry humor is wonderful.  Descriptions/details are enough not to overwhelm (or bore) and enable readers to vividly visualize persons and places.  And the repartee between characters is also deserving of praise.

In Frozen, Kellan Ayrwick, the protagonist, deals with a newcomer on the security scene, an arrogant fellow—the not-yet-ex of April, the woman he’s dating—named “Fox” (and he certainly seems as wily as one).  Meanwhile, the not-too-well-liked Hiram Grey is murdered.  Once again, there’s an assortment of suspects and, to complicate things, Grey’s murder is but the first.  Hampton, Kellan’s brother, falls under suspicion when his father-in-law (and founder of the firm where he works) also enters the realm of the deceased.  The intriguing plot has numerous [fun] twists and turns that has us surmising throughout.

Oh, let’s not forget our favorite granny, the sometimes biting but lovable Nana D, who also happens to be mayor of Wharton County.  She goes missing during a fierce snowstorm and Kellan, understandably frantic, attempts to find her.  Does he?  You’ll have to pick up Frozen Stiff Drink to find out.

Kellan’s adorable eight-year-old daughter, Emma, and his ward, Ulan, travel to Disney Land with Kellan’s parents.  Enter ex-wife Francesca, a woman with ties to the mob (you’ll have to read the other Braxton Campus mysteries to learn more), wants her daughter back.  So not good.

If you’ve been following the series, you’ll find several familiar characters—some likable, some not.  Hey, that’s life.  And if you’ve not yet had an opportunity to read any of Jay’s books, I recommend starting from the beginning, because it’s always nice to see how characters, and writers, develop.

The entertaining, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat Frozen Stiff Drink deserves a five out of five.  Park up your feet, grab a beverage of choice (a glass of a lush, full-bodied rioja would be an ideal choice), sit back . . . and savor!

Rating: savesavesavesavesave

For those who don’t yet know Jay, he is a truly amazing and industrious soul (who also happens to be an awesome, supportive person).  With a technology and business ops background under his belt, Jay not only serves as author, but blogger, reader and reviewer, and genealogist and researcher.  Impressive, to say the least.

Please check him out at:

https://jamesjcudney.com/

WPJayblogbooks1

Finished at Five

Day #5 marks the last day of the discount promotion for Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie.  The price is an affordable 99 cents.

Hula has Rey, JJ, and me [Linda] pursuing our first official Triple Threat Investigation Agency case, which is to discover what the young [pretty, sexy] wife of an old coot—er, elderly millionaire—is up to.  Before we can, however, she’s found floating in the sapphire waters of a deserted Oahu beach.  Now, we have to figure out who the killer is . . .  a challenge, to say the least, because a few more bodies fall to the wayside.

Here’s another excerpt:

“It’s still hard to believe she’s dead,” Linda murmured.

“No more shopping at Prada or Coach,” Rey said softly.

“No more sunset cruises or galas,” I affirmed quietly.

“There’ll be nothing but blackness,” Linda said. “We all have beliefs about post-death. I wonder what Carmie’s are—were.”

“Hopefully, something pleasant and picturesque.” With a sad smile, I started the ignition.

Rey hooked Linda’s headrest and leaned forward. “Do you think Mr. Gruesome did this?”

I pulled onto the Kalanianaole Highway, also known as Route 72. “Mr. Gruesome doesn’t have the stamina or strength to pursue her to the cove, much less kill her. He doesn’t have the muscle, either. Carmie would have slapped him silly.”

“Agreed.” Linda’s brow furrowed. “There’s always a chance she did in fact fall down a precipice. We’re talking terrain full of perilous cliffs, not walls of sea anemones. Tumbling down rocks would result in numerous abrasions and broken bones, and a pretzel landing.”

“I don’t buy the falling for one second. Those marks on her neck looked like they came from forceful fingers,” Rey declared.

“I wonder if William’s been informed.” Linda winced as brilliant white lightning streaked overhead.

I drove into a parking spot by Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts. “Let’s find out.” Grabbing my bag from under the seat, I pulled out my phone.

Aloha Sunday everyone – take care!

 

 

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

 

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

 

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B01KHOZAL2?_encoding=UTF8&node=618073011&offset=0&pageSize=12&searchAlias=stripbooks&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&page=1&langFilter=default#formatSelectorHeader

Four You

It’s Day #4 of the discount promotion for Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie.  The price?  A mere 99 cents.

Hula has Rey, JJ, and me accepting our first official Triple Threat Investigation Agency case: to learn what the young wife of an elderly millionaire is up to.  Before we can do so, however, she’s found floating along the shores of a deserted Oahu beach.  There is an interesting (if not sordid) collection of characters (also known as suspects).

Here’s a little taste . . .

Rey and I twirled like plastic pinwheels propelled by a brisk gust. Twenty feet away stood Marvyn Flagg, a .40 Smith & Wesson in a shaky hand the pale color of a fish belly. The photo IDs made him look ten years older and stout, but in reality he was barely twenty with a slim ferret face. Cheap baggy jeans, an oversize plaid shirt, and bargain-store black basketball shoes enveloped the small frame like a shorn parachute a woodland sapling.

“Careful,” Rey warned, crossing lean arms. “You may accidentally shoot someone—like yourself.”

“What’re you doing here?” The meek voice held the force of a sparrow’s chirrup. The low-capacity weapon rose higher, but didn’t seem any steadier.

“We’re checking out how people from different walks of life live,” I responded, appearing as blasé as I sounded. I settled on a sofa arm. “What brings you here?”

“This is my place. That means I can shoot trespassers.” Like his hand and gaze, the tone was far from composed. He motioned the floor. “Are you looking for something in particular?”

Rey flourished an arm like a hostess beckoning guests. “Simply looking.”

He held out his other hand. “Maybe you better pass any weapons you have.”

“Come get them, honey-pie,” she challenged with a seductive voice and air, an index finger beckoning him forward. All that was missing was a tight sequined nightgown and she’d have had Ginger Grant from Gilligan’s Island down pat.

Marvyn, or whatever his real name was, eyed us apprehensively. Extending both palms, I offered a casual smile. “It’s your move.”

“I could shoot you both,” he advised, not sounding any more convincing than he appeared.

I hope you find Hula as exciting as we did.

Stay well everyone!

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

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B01KHOZAL2?_encoding=UTF8&node=618073011&offset=0&pageSize=12&searchAlias=stripbooks&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&page=1&langFilter=default#formatSelectorHeader

Tripling the Light Fantastic

Day #3 of the discount promotion for Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie has the three of us P.I.s tripping the light fantastic (something we, alas, don’t indulge in often).

Hula features Rey, JJ, and me embarking on our first official Triple Threat Investigation Agency case.

The assignment is to discover the “secret” of an elderly millionaire’s young wife, which seems fairly clear-cut.  Follow Carmie, the young wife, and ascertain what this pretty woman is up to.  Maybe she’s meeting a lover.  Maybe she has something underhanded in mind (hubby is super rich, after all).  Unfortunately, we find her floating close to the shores of a deserted Oahu beach.  An assortment of curious suspects has our work cut out for us.  As we track down clues, we unearth a few secrets, not all belonging to the unfortunate, deceased Carmie.

Drug pushers, informants, and gang members . . . and a few more corpses . . .  are just some of the people we contend with in the search for Carmie’s killer.  Becoming private investigators is one thing, being successful ones another.  Maybe you’d like to find out just how well we fare . . . ?

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

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B01KHOZAL2?_encoding=UTF8&node=618073011&offset=0&pageSize=12&searchAlias=stripbooks&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&page=1&langFilter=default#formatSelectorHeader

Stay safe and be well.

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores. FREE promotions are active in all Amazon marketplaces.

Two for Five

It’s Linda on Day #2 of the discount promotion for Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie (Rey’s posting on Day #5 about The Connecticut Corpse Caper).

Hula features the three of us—Rey, JJ, and myself—taking on our first official Triple Threat Investigation Agency case.

 Our assignment: discover the “secret” of an elderly millionaire’s young wife.  It seems fairly straightforward.  All we need to do is keep an eye on Carmie, the young wife, until we learn what she’s up to.  Unfortunately, a few days later, her body is found floating in the beautiful sapphire waters of a deserted Oahu beach.  The three of us strive to find the killer from a score of suspects and discover a few secrets—all not belonging to poor, dead Carmie.  Speaking of dead, a few more bodies fall as we attempt to bring closure to the case.

As if deceit and murder aren’t enough, we contend with drug pushers, informants, and gang members.  Most of them are not nice people and they don’t like having three newbie private eyes sticking their cute little noses into their ugly substantial business.

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

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B01KHOZAL2?_encoding=UTF8&node=618073011&offset=0&pageSize=12&searchAlias=stripbooks&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&page=1&langFilter=default#formatSelectorHeader

Continue to stay safe and well.

High-Fiving the Fifth

. . . and final day of The Connecticut Corpse Caper promotion.

Today, you have Rey again!

Caper, featuring my cousin JJ, my BFF Linda, and yours truly, was our first unofficial case (before we set up The Triple Threat Investigation Agency).  It launched our exciting, professional P.I. careers.

Friends and family members gather at Aunt Mat’s haunted mansion to collect a share of her not-too-shabby inheritance.  We have to remain a week to collect our share, but if anyone leaves early, his/her share is added to the pot.  We’re only there a few hours when one member of the group dies of unnatural causes.  Bodies soon start piling up.  While these murders are taking place, some pretty strange goings-on take place, like ghostly visits and ghoulish pranks.  The three of us put our heads together, search for clues, and succeed in solving the challenging/baffling case.

Promotion price?  F-R-E-E  (love it)

Promotion dates:  May 10 – May 14 2020

Stay well and be safe!

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores. FREE promotions are active in all Amazon marketplaces.

Double Duty

It’s Linda on post patrol today as well as Rey (maybe you saw her earlier post re The Connecticut Corpse Caper), so we’re pulling double duty.  Today marks the first day for the free/discount promotion re Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie featuring the three of us—Rey, JJ, and myself—pursuing our first official Triple Threat Investigation Agency case.

 Our first professional, paying assignment is to discover the secret of an elderly millionaire’s young wife.  Perhaps she’s having an affair?  Perhaps it’s something more diabolical.

It seems clear-cut: follow said young wife until we find what she’s up to.  What we soon find, though, is her body floating in the beautiful sapphire waters of a deserted beach.  The three of us endeavor to uncover the killer amid a cast of curious characters and do discover a sordid/illicit secret or three—not necessarily belonging to the deceased wife.  And while uncovering those secrets, we happen upon a few bodies.

On the road to piecing together the puzzle, we take a few detours—to the dodgy domains of drug pushers, informants, and gangs.  These folks are serious game plays . . . and play for serious keeps.

Amazon links include:

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

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B01KHOZAL2?_encoding=UTF8&node=618073011&offset=0&pageSize=12&searchAlias=stripbooks&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&page=1&langFilter=default#formatSelectorHeader

Aloha Wednesday.  Be well.

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores. FREE promotions are active in all Amazon marketplaces.