Aloooooooo-haaaaaaaaaaaaa

If you’ve ever come our way and partaken of a tourist venture, you’ll often engage in a robust round of “alooooooooooooooooooooo-haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”.  It’s cute and kind of funny the first couple of times.  Local people, however, will advise against saying this lovely word that way.

JJ, Rey and Linda, the trio at the Triple Threat Investigation Agency, suggested I post about aloha, which can mean “hello” or “good-bye”.  Did you know that it also refers to love and regard?  And you can use it in conjunction with other words to extend different greetings.  You can’t do that with “hello” or “hi”.

Let’s break it down.

Aloha = “the presence of breath” or “the breath of life”. 

Alo = presence (front and face)

Ha = breath

When you visit the Islands, you’ll hear it repeatedly.  But it’s not just a word, it’s a way of life . . . energy, spirit.  In fact, perhaps you’ve heard “the Aloha Spirit”?

It’s about sharing and respecting, keeping faith and presenting kindness.  In fact, in the earlier Hawaiian years, it meant “God in us”.  It’s the harmonization of our hearts and minds; our thoughts and feelings/emotions must be good, positive.  You can find reference to this in Chapter 5 of Hawai’i Revised Statutes.

Maui elder/linguist Pilahi Paki claimed aloha was more than a definition, it was a legacy, and presented aloha as an acronym:

Akahai, meaning kindness, to be expressed with tenderness;
Lōkahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
ʻOluʻolu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
Haʻahaʻa, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
Ahonui, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.”

Rather cool, to say the least and something, a code of ethics if you like, we all could—and should—embrace.

May you be blessed this week . . . and may you bless others.  Aloha, my friends.

Reveling in Reading

This blog often touches upon writing and editing, but never really upon reading. It’s about time, wouldn’t you say?

I loved reading once upon a time, everything and anything.  As a kid, every second Friday, I’d stagger home, supporting a dozen books in my arms.  Nowadays, I rarely have the opportunity (time, energy, ability) to do so unless I’m reviewing a book or editing it.  How I miss the thrill of turning pages and losing myself.

Still, it’s important.  Reading is a great escape to other places, times, situations and scenarios, which can help us feel better by lessening depression, stress, anxiety.  It’s also been said to help reduce chances of developing Alzheimer’s (something that frightens me vastly, I freely confess, but maybe that’s for another post).  To put it simply, reading is brain food.  It feeds the brain, stimulates it . . . causes the cogs to twirl and whirl.

As you read, perhaps you identify with a character or relate to his/her situation.  What transpires may help define things for you, maybe even offer a solution.  Or possibly that character, the locale, action, simply transport you to another country or county, planet or dimension.  And all is good because for a wee while, everyday life is, well, not everyday.

Reading can prove an effort with all the distractions and demands we experience these days but doing so is a great way to [learn to] focus, thus not being distracted or prone to give in to another demand.  The best way to enjoy a book and not be sidetracked: find a comfortable place that’s free of computers, TVs, and phones.  In fact, if they are nearby, turn them off!  Settle in and give that book the attention it deserves.

To engage in a book is entertaining and/or engaging.  If it’s nonfiction, you’re acquiring knowledge; maybe you’ll use it, maybe you won’t.  Reading allows you to learn, even if it’s fiction and even if it’s a minor detail, something trifling.  Nothing wrong with adding a bit of trivia to the encyclopedia tucked in our head … and nothing wrong with augmenting our vocabulary, either.

For us bloggers and authors, reading enables us to get a feel for other writers’ styles, to discover what works and why, and to ultimately improve our own blogging and writing.  We can even read about how to do that, if we’re so inclined.  The book world is our oyster.

And, if you’re anything like me, someone who has trouble sleeping, it’s said that reading at bedtime actually enables you to sleep better if you make it part of your nighttime routine.

And what about reading print versus digital?  It’s said we should engage in both, although print has more benefits (particularly at bedtime, as just mentioned).

There are studies, too, that suggest people who read regularly live longer.  Can’t say I really care one way or the other, but interesting nevertheless.

My posts are never meant to be overly detailed (I like to avoid the snoozzzzzzze factor), but are intended to tickle your curiosity and, hopefully, inspire you to find out more.  So I leave you with this.  Revel in a good read—often.  You define “good”.  Read what you like, floats your boat, intrigues and entertains you, and let it take you as far as you want to go.

I Wanna !!!

Rey provided a great idea for a post today when she started hopping up and down, blustering how “I wanna catch the sales at the Center!” (she does so love those shoes and bags).

Instead of always saying what we don’t wanna—uh, want to—do, which is totally negative (never mind a colossal waste of effort and time), how about focusing on what we want to do?

Let’s start off with yours truly . . .

I want to:

♥  blog and write and edit full-time

♥  be mom-care free (after 20+ years, I now readily and openly confess this)

♥  live in Hawaii (at least a few months a year)

♥  spend [a lot of] time at a spa

♥  take daily walks (for miles and miles, with nothing necessitating me to race home and complete another errand or task)

♥  have friends (caregiving can prove quite solitary)

♥  find tranquility and find myself (I’ve lost “me”)

♥  have a life.

Curious about the Triple Threat Investigation private eyes, I asked them to provide three of their “wannas” . . .

JJ:

♥  travel around the South Pacific for a few months

♥  spend time getting to re-know my mother and nephew

♥  take courses (learn everything and anything).

Linda:

♥  get a degree in law and/or journalism (just for the fun of it)

♥  become a rad surfer

♥ love life.

Rey:

♥  expand the agency (I’d like to see us on Maui and Big Island)

♥  get involved more community theater and TV (I love doing commercials)

♥  see our new house and pool are totally renovated—with an agency office.

Fascinating, isn’t it, how we all have such vast desires and fancies?  They may—or may not—change with time.  But the important thing?  To have them.

Keep wanna-ing . . . and believing.

Fried at Five on Friday

. . . otherwise known as being overcome by overwhelming circumstances.  People (demanding parents and partners, hellish colleagues and bosses, “well-meaning” friends) and/or events (jobs, caregiving, chores, commitments, expectations) can take their toll.  There are off days, challenging ones, frustrating ones, go-away! ones.  <LOL>  Par for the course.  It’s call l-i-f-e.

Being overwhelmed [overcome] does not mean:

♠ jumping up and down and ripping your hair out at the roots (this does not make for a very pretty fashion statement)

♠ hitting your head against a concrete wall (it hurts!)

♠ sucking back Canadian maple donuts (though they do hit that sweet spot so nicely) or treat(s) of choice

♠ chugging chardonnay (relaxes/numbs for a while but, ooooooh, the aftermath)

♠ screaming, cursing, swearing (though that does feel <bleeping> great)

♠ giving up (quitting or refusing to do something is okay for a day or two, but not the long run).

How about something more constructive?

♥ refocusing (tell yourself you got what it takes—you’re your own favorite—resilient—warrior)

♥ maintaining the faith (re-finding/redefining it, whatever faith may mean to you)

♥ believing in hope, dreams, and possibilities

♥ dancing / singing / listening to music

♥ exercising / walking / biking . . . swimming / surfing

♥watching fun (amusing) shows or inspirational programs

♥ reading something light/funny (comics work)

♥ breathing deeply—a lot!

No one said every day would be easy—and some may find many aren’t—but, again, that’s l-i-f-e.  But those type of days don’t have to be [that] overwhelming.  Face them straight on.  Laugh at them.  Do not let them take control.  You . . . are . . . a . . . trooper . . .  a . . . fighter.

You . . . got . . . this!

Primo Promo

As you’ve noticed, there have been a few promotional posts about books being avail for 99 cents.  A great, appealing price indeed.

But is it so great to [constantly] promote?  It can’t hurt.  If you’re not with a publisher who sets the promo dates, that’s okay.  Do it on your own.

Why would you do it?  To . . .

♦  launch your new book (this will generate interest and spark sales)  ♦  increase sales (dropping the price of your book for a wee while can boost numbers and this looks good on you)  ♦  entice book “sales” shoppers (lots of folks love the bargain price tag of 99 cents).

There are free sites to promote your book, but you’ll pay fees for others (some are quite affordable).  I won’t list them here but suggest you Google when you’re ready.  This way you’ll find the most current sites.

It’s recommended that before you do any sort of promoting you have some good reviews on your side.  That makes sense.  Potential buyers might be more inclined to purchase your book if others have provided accolades.

Have a good synopsis (blurb) handy—you’ll need it for the promotion.  Make sure there are no typos, which goes without saying.

Let’s see.  Ah yes.  Make certain your book is live . . . available.  Ensure that retailers have the same price and promo dates (we don’t want to create any confusion now, do we?).

And it goes without saying . . . promote the <bleep> out of your, uh, promotion.  Tell friends, family, neighbors.  Communicate the great news—stupendous price—on social media and via writing/author communities (everywhere and anywhere you can think of).

Happy promoting (and selling)!

No Buts about It

Coco’s Nuts, the second Triple Threat Investigation Agency case, is available for 99 cents today—the last promo day.

It’s Linda on the North Shore, taking a break from surfing (there are some rad barrels out there).

To pique your curiosity/interest, we’ve been hired to prove Buddy Feuer is innocent of two murders—that of her infamous boss, Jimmy Picolo, and her best friend, Eb Stretta.  Someone did a great job incriminating her and we have to determine who that is—and there are a number of individuals who could be responsible.  It could be Jimmy’s brother looking to expand his own business by acquiring his brother’s.  Or maybe it’s Jimmy’s gambling daughter who owes major dollars to Vegas folks.  What about Jimmy Junior?  Is he hoping to take over his father’s enterprises?  Then there are those “dubious” characters Jimmy’s been known to associate with.  The list goes on . . . and on.

We do stumble across a few more bodies—and dodge a bomb or two—in our search for the truth, never mind that we irk a few people who don’t like to be irked.

Maybe you’d like to check out how we utilize—and expand—our detecting skills?  Please check us out at: https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368.

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Four-Ever Nuts

. . . about Coco’s Nuts.  Hey, it’s Rey (Linda was supposed to post today, but she decided surfing on the North Shore would be more fun).

Have you picked up our second case yet?  If not, it’s Day Four of the 99-cent promo—that’s less than a buck, friends.

In a nutshell, here’s what happens.  The three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency attempt to learn who set up our client, Buddy Feuer, to take the rap for two murders—that of her dodgy but rich boss, Jimmy Picolo, and that of trucker pal Eb Stretta.

We happen to stumble over another body or three as we try to figure out who’s who and what’s what—never mind that we meet all sorts of curious (dangerous) people along the way.  JJ’s cocky “boyfriend” shows up again and there’s a cute guy who works for Picolo that catches my eye . . . but nothing (and no one) is quite what it (or he/she) seems to be, if you catch my drift.

To read about this peculiar—but super thrilling—case, please check us out at: https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368.

 NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Coco’s Nuts plus You and Me Equals Three

I’m afraid I couldn’t think of anything terribly cute or charming re titles today.  <LOL>  Hi.  It’s JJ.

Today marks Day 3 of the 99-cent Coco’s Nuts promotion.  The second official case of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency has us hopping around Oahu and then some.  Exciting and perplexing, we discover that a number of individuals could be a mass murderer . . . including one nutty fellow named Coco Peterson.  He’s missing but seems to play a major part in mystery: who set up our client, Buddy Feuer, to take the rap for two murders?

Maybe this excerpt might prompt you to want to check us out . . .

“Of course Buddy Feuer didn’t do it.  Who told you she did?” I demanded, already knowing who had tattled to Ricardo Mako Picolo.  It could only have been one person: Kent “The Source” Winche. 

“Winche,” the health-food freak confirmed, munching noisily, probably a mung-bean, pea-sprout muffin, his favorite according to an article I’d read earlier.  “Actually, he said she was a person of interest . . . or did he say suspect?  Whatever.  He doesn’t believe she did it.”

I paced my kitchen like a tin duck target at a fair ground concession booth.  Every time I passed the counter, I poked a trio of bananas perched in a white wicker basket. 

It was hard to say why Jimmy Picolo’s slick (as in oil-spill, slippery-slimy) brother proved annoying.  Maybe it was the self-satisfied, perpetually tanned face I’d viewed in photos.  He sported a nose too perfect to have been born with.  Evidently, he and his niece shared the same cosmetic surgeon.  He was as handsome as his brother, but more a combination of Bobby Darren of T.J. Hooker fame and Ryo Ishibashi as Detective Toshihuru Kuroda in Suicide Club.  Asian-cast root-beer brown eyes seemed to challenge; they, like the thin lips pulled into a smug smile, expressed a sense of superiority.  As it had in interviews, the man’s mega ego blazed like a Times Square billboard. 

“Thank heavens for the pretty boy’s support,” I responded wryly.

“He’s a big fan of Buddy’s.”  Munch, munch.  Crunch, crunch.  Must be macadamias in that muffin, too.  “Winche’ll give his eye teeth—letteralmente—to reinforce that she didn’t do it.  He claims she could never kill anyone in a million years.  She’s too cute.”

Too cute? 

“He’s got a real thing for her.  Anyway, with you helping, she shouldn’t worry herself none.”  I could hear the simper.  “I heard you girls did a solid job working the Howell case.”

“Really?”  I was nonplussed. 

“When I got your message, I had you checked out.  I do that with everyone whose call I’m thinking of returning.” 

When I didn’t respond, he chuckled and slurped.  Was he also indulging in one of his famous wheatgrass-beetroot smoothies?  “I got a proposition.  You interested?”

“If it will clear our client’s name, of course,” I responded casually.  Poke, poke.  The bananas were beginning to look as if they’d encountered a frenzied chimp.

“Here’s what we’re going to do.”

We’re? 

“We’re going to find the prick that killed my brother.  The why would be a bonus, but the who is the important answer.”

I dropped onto counter stool and rested my chin on the granite counter.  “What’s in it for you, Mr. Picolo?”  Poke, poke.  Oh-oh.  The bananas lay on the polished hardwood floor like washed-up marine creatures.  Button ambled over, pawed them, sniffed, and flopped onto the floor with a loud sigh.

“Like I said, knowing who killed my brother.  The other guy who got rubbed out I could care less about . . . but his family would like to know, I’m sure.  Anyway, I’ll add some incentives.”

“Incentives?” I asked, puzzled.

Ricardo’s laughter was reminiscent of microwaved popcorn: staccato, abrupt.  Heh-heh.  Heh-heh-heh.  “Yeah, incentives.  First one: twenty-five K.”

Nice incentive.  “Second?”

“Coco Peterson’s tattoo and jewelry.  It wouldn’t do for the cops to find them, would it?”

“What the frig?” flew out of my mouth like a horse embarking on a steeplechase before I could contain it.

 “There are a lot of different fingerprints in and around Coco’s stuff.  Possibly Buddy’s, too.” 

What was he talking about?  “I’ll bite.  Why wouldn’t it do for the police to find the tattoo and jewelry?”

“Well, let me think on it.”  He paused for dramatic effect.  Or perhaps to consider his smoothie.  Ricardo Picolo, unlike his brother, did not speak with a quasi-Australian accent, but he did have a habit of over-pronouncing certain words.  “Well”, for example, sounded like a deep-South twang: “wee-eellll”. 

“Mr. Razor may be inclined to talk,” he continued, sounding uncharacteristically flustered, maybe at having found the great cosmos in the foamy drink or a belly-up bug.

I sniffed.  “I understand the man has no tongue.”

I could be inclined to talk.”

If you’re interested, please go to: https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368.

Aloha!

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

 

Coco’s Nuts X2

It’s the second day of the 99-cent Coco’s Nuts promotion.  Hey, it’s Rey; howya doin’?

Coco’s Nuts is the Triple Threat Investigation Agency’s second official case.  We have to  prove our client, former-socialite-Vassar-grad-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer, has been framed for two murders.  She had no motive to kill her boss, infamous entrepreneur Jimmy Picolo, and she certainly didn’t shoot her best friend, Eb Stretta.

In spite of what the evidence shows, our private-eye instincts tell us it’s fabricated (my new word).  Coco Peterson, a real nutty Picolo employee, has been missing since the murders went down and he seems to be a chief player in this super weird, challenging conundrum (love that word, another new one).

As we try to find the killer—and there are lots of possible perps—bombs and felons flow like lava from Kilauea when its cutting loose. 

To find out how we solve this thrilling case, please go to: https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368.

 NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

One Down, One to Go

It’s the fifth and last day of the 99-cent Forever Poi promotion . . . and the first day of the 99-cent Coco’s Nuts promotion.  Hey, it’s not Rey, but JJ.

Forever Poi is our third case, which has us discovering who burned down a couple of Chinatown art galleries and left behind two bodies.  There are several suspects.  A day before the fire, Carlos Kawena, one of the gallery owners and an arson victim, broke up with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.  Might James-Henri have set the blaze to collect insurance and be forever free of his lover?  And how does the second victim, Mary-Louise Crabtree, a former queenpin, fit into the picture?  Cholla Poniard, James-Henri’s sister, is involved in the art world.  Pretty and dangerous, she’s a force to be reckoned with, as is her dauntless lover.

If you’d like to learn how we solve this crazy, complicated case, please check us out at:

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

Coco’s Nuts is the Triple Threat Investigation Agency’s second official case.  We have a tough mission: prove our client, former-socialite-Vassar-grad-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer, isn’t responsible for two murders.  She had no motive to kill her boss, infamous entrepreneur Jimmy Picolo, nor did she murder her best friend, Eb Stretta.

Despite what the police believe and the evidence suggests, we’re convinced that Buddy has been set up.  And nutty Coco Peterson, a Picolo employee who has been MIA since the murders went down, appears to be a central piece in this perplexing puzzler.

As we endeavor to uncover a killer amid yet another cast of curious and unconventional characters, exploding bombs and unhappy criminal types suggest we’ve ruffled feathers by asking too many questions.

To read about this exciting and challenging case, please go to:

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

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.