Rewriting Dinner

Rey likes to post when The Boss isn’t available, but she’s [happily] on volunteer duty this weekend.  Linda’s flying to the Mainland for three days “just because” (she’s been wanting a break for a while now, so let her have some fun).  As such, you’ve got me: JJ.

Rey’s right.  It’s not always that easy coming up with an idea for a post.  I really had to wrack my brain and then—hurrah!—it came.

If we—Rey, Linda, and myself—could invite three authors to dinner, who would we invite?  Here you have it, beginning with campy Cousin Reynalda.  1WPauthorsAffinityMagazineDOTUS

Rey:  I’m not much of a reader, as you may know, but of the few books I’ve read, these three authors would be very welcome at my dinner table:

Nora Roberts:  Who doesn’t enjoy a good romance?  I like how she began—homebound with the kids during a blizzard.  She just started writing a story and, yup, a star was born—well, not right away.  There were rejections.  I applaud the perseverance.  As a former (now occasional) actress, I know all about rejection.  It’s tough.  But it makes you strong.  And determined.

Danielle Steele:  Her characters are memorable; you get pulled into the storylines, struggles and traumas.  She’s sold 650 million books worldwide, which is impressive, but I really admire that she founded, and governs, two worthy foundations.  The Nick Traina Foundation (in honor of her son) funds organizations involved in mental illness, child abuse, and suicide prevention.  A second foundation, helps the homeless.  How awesome is that?

Janet Evanovich:  She’s what I’d love to be if I were an author: talented, creative, and productive.  Not only does she write various mystery series—regularly—she pens romances, too (in fact, that’s where she originally started).  The actress in me would love to get firsthand advice on character and story development.

Linda While I enjoy contemporary fiction, I tend to lean more toward the classics.  

Jules Gabriel Verne:  Multi-talented as a novelist, poet and playwright, Verne was also one of the first sci-fi writers . . . as well as the father of steampunk.  His personal life was equally fascinating (do check him out).  My favorite book would have to be The Mysterious Island.  I saw the movie a few times when I was a kid and it captivated my interest and imagination.  No question, Verne would be a intriguing gent to break bread with.

Jane Austen:  She seemed an iron-willed, dynamic woman, one not opposed to speaking her mind re British aristocracy—or, perhaps I should say, remarking upon it through compelling characters.  It’s unfortunate there’s so little information about her and that only a few of her letters still exist (I understand she had quite the “acid” tongue).

Agatha Christie:  Who doesn’t love a good mystery?  And this woman penned some of the best!  I’m not sure who I liked more: Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple.  Who wouldn’t want to share a sherry over syllabub with the “Queen of Crime”?

JJ:  Like Linda, I’m more inclined to stick to the classics or “masters”.

Wm Shakespeare:  The Bard caught my attention in high school, when we had to memorize soliloquies from Hamlet.  I’ve been hooked since and every now and again, I make sure to pick up some sonnets or a play, or whatever tickles my “Shakespearean” fancy.  His life and that period in history are enthralling; I have no doubt he’d be a captivating individual to chat with over ale and mutton.

Ernest Hemingway:  His life, travels, journalism, and Red Cross adventures make for riveting tales.  Although his writing leans toward sparse, it’s as descriptive as it can get—when you read a Hemingway book, you’re effectively transported in time and place. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald:  I suppose I’m drawn to globetrotting Fitzgerald because of the years during which he wrote—the earlier 20th-century, the Jazz Age.  Romantic times.  Scary times.  . . . Tragic times.  And here’s a bit of trivia I only recently learned: he was named after another famous American, a distant cousin who wrote The Star-Spangled Banner.

And who might you invite . . . ?

The Overflowing Bucket

Hey-ho, it’s Rey, leading off the weekend post.  The Boss asked if I’d take over.  Sure!  Love to!  . . . Thinking of a topic, though, hasn’t been easy.  I’m not up for providing writing or editing advice (and Linda’d be the first to claim I suck at that).

The other day I thought of something to add to my bucket list.  That got me to thinking—hey!—why not share what’s on mine?  I mentioned my great idea to Linda and she suggested I feature hers and JJ’s, too.  Sure!  Sounds like a perfect plan and post.

So, here you have it, the experiences and accomplishments the three of us at the Triple Threat Investigation Agency hope to realize before we shake this mortal coil.  Given we had enough items to fill three posts (not kidding), they’ve been limited to 10 each, in no particular order. WPbuckettrio

Me—Rey:

  1. Appear (as a main character) in a Broadway play.
  2. Record an album.
  3. Spend a week in Paris (and buy at least two designer outfits).
  4. Buy designer wear when it’s not on sale.
  5. Experience Mardi Gras (by taking part on a parade float).
  6. Be rid of debt.
  7. Learn to hula.
  8. Learn to cook fancy food.
  9. Do a cleanse.
  10. Eat healthy for a month.

Linda:

  1. Parasail.
  2. Swim with dolphins.
  3. Hike all the trails on all the Hawaiian Islands.
  4. Run in a marathon . . . and then do a triathlon.
  5. Write a thriller.
  6. Visit Iceland and spend time at a wellness center.
  7. Spear a fish and prepare it.
  8. Try unusual foods—in the country of origin.
  9. Count my blessings every day.
  10. Have high tea with royalty.

JJ:

  1. Experience a hurricane first-hand (in honor of my sister).
  2. Learn to scuba dive (not because I love the water, but to master my fear/dislike of it).
  3. Ride a horse on Kauai.
  4. Take art classes.
  5. Spend a summer driving around Europe, going wherever the wind blows.
  6. Spend a week with an Amish or Mennonite family.
  7. Earn a black belt.
  8. Have a weekly community show (I miss being on-air).
  9. Learn to barbecue (so I don’t burn off anymore eyebrows).
  10. Have a vegetable and herb garden.

There you have it.  They sound doable, but I’m not so sure about the 200 other items we have on the ol’ list—that’s 200 each, by the by.  <LMAO>

 

Grace & Gratitude

This past Sunday, James J Cudney IV (Jay) reviewed Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie, the second in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency mystery series.

As writers/bloggers, there are times when we wonder whether we should continue writing; it can prove a thankless (sale-less) profession, one gratifying only to ourselves.  So when someone writes a wonderful review of your book, the feeling is amaz-zing.  Yes, indeedy-do, it is all worth it.

I’ve been a follower of Jay’s for over a year now.  He’s a prolific and gifted blogger, author, and reviewer, and . . . I’ll state this again (and again) . . . a kind and encouraging person.

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Please visit his awesome site to see what he’s up to.  You may also be interested in reading his entertaining Braxton Campus mystery series or other fiction works.

https://thisismytruthnow.com/

Thanks again Jay!

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Book Review: Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie by Tyler Colins

POSTED ON FEBRUARY 23, 2019

Can you Hula Like Hilo Hattie? by Tyler Colins

Last year, I read the first book, The Connecticut Corpse Caper, in the Triple Threat Mystery series by Tyler Colins. Her second book, Can You Hula Luke Hilo Hattie?, is even better. Colins is one talented author who can weave a complex plot and help readers fully visualize a setting.

In this caper, our three heroines have formed a private eye agency in Hawaii. They’d solved the murders in the first book as regular citizens, so why not make it a full-time job? It was too much work in California or Connecticut to get their licenses, so Hawaii became the new home. Great idea! Fun backdrop. Hilarious characters. First, they need to bring home a runaway, hooked-on-ice teen. Second, they need to prove a man’s wife is cheating. Unfortunately, it isn’t your typical case, and when the wife turns up dead, the mystery is gonna be way more complex than our heroines thought.

Colins has created a bevy of intense and charming characters. I love ‘Cash’ who seems like a very cool dreamboat. Each time I got to know a new character, they end up getting killed off! Maybe it won’t happen this time…. but like in her first book, the body count keeps rising. It’s a fun way to keep readers on our toes. My favorite aspect of the author’s writing style is her descriptions, whether of people or settings. It’s way more than you’d normally see in a book, but it fits very well. I have a beautifully clear picture of who’s talking or moving about the book. I find myself drawn to the action, too, but it’s a very complex plot to keep focused on.

I also see strength in transitions between scenes. It’s rarely over-simplified or brash. It ends in the right place, and I roll into the next scene without worrying what happened in between. I also find the dialog to be rather strong… quick puns, not wordy, direct but full of imagery and thought. I can’t wait to see what third adventure the ladies find themselves embroiled in… no matter what the plot is, I’m sure it will create loads of fun and memories. Great job, Ms. Colins!

 

Winning / Selling Slogans

Slogan = Motto = Catchphrase = Tagline

Tinkering with the old Triple Threat Investigation Agency logo got me checking out logo-oriented sites.  I found one where you enter words and pick symbols, and—voilà—it speedily designs a few . . . at a cost, of course.

I haven’t attained the right mix/look yet, so no purchase has been made.  Not sure if that will happen, either.  For now, I’m going to continue playing around to see if I can create my own eye-catching and memorable logo.

While on said site, it requested I enter a slogan.  . . . A slogan?  A phrase that expresses the objective(s) or essence of a business.  A marketing—selling—component.  <bleep>  Why didn’t I think of that?!  <LOL>

Regardless of the business, a straightforward (clear) slogan has to capture the mission, commitment/guarantee, and brand.  It should be appealing and unforgettable, and short and sweet (five words tops, it’s been said).  Easy-peasy?  Hell no.

More searching ensued and I came across a blurb about “slogan generators”.  There are a few free ones.  Tried a couple.  Oof.  Maybe one has to go with a paid service, because the free ones weren’t offering anything remotely good (to be fair and kind, I won’t provide names).

Dick, shamus, gumshoe were synonyms for private investigator back when.  I have to admit, I kind of like them (but then I love those old B&W movies with the cheesy dialog).  Do they resonate with today’s readers?  Probably not, but—to use JJ’s favorite phrase—never say never.

Here are some.  Please, do feel free to provide input; I’d very much welcome it.

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Not bad, not great, but a decent start.  . . . Better pull on the ol’ creativity cap and think some more.

Resolutions, Pledges, and Promises

Call them what you will—most of us make them at the start of a New Year.  And then many of us sweep them under a mat before the end of a New Year we’d hoped would be different, better, calmer, different.

It’s Linda, authoring the first official post of 2019 for The Boss, who’s managed to catch someone’s nasty cough and cold.  T’is the season!

It seemed fitting to reflect on something we focus on once the spectacular, celebratory fireworks show has ended.  We’ve all made resolutions at one time or another—those qualities, habits and manners that need improving (as we perceive).  In terms of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio, we haven’t made them in years, but I asked Rey and JJ, as well as The Boss, to each provide three resolutions they’d like to adopt for 2019.  My BFF only agreed when I offered to provide mine as well, so here we go:

Rey:

♦   Resist learning and open my mind more.  ♦   Be less melodramatic or devil-may-care (Linda suggested that one).  ♦   Expand the agency.

JJ:

♦   Become a better marksperson.  ♦   Be less “waffley” when it comes to boyfriends/lovers.  ♦   Learn to surf (because I so hate the water).

Me:

♦   Become skilled at a martial art.  ♦   Do more volunteering.  ♦   Eat healthier again (private eyeing often means eating/snacking on the run, which results in grabbing/scarfing fast food).

The Boss:

♦   Not allow negativity/depression to re-gain the upper hand.  ♦   Re-embrace faith and hope.  ♦   Learn, learn . . . and learn some more (so that blogging and all the technical knowledge that it requires no longer daunts).

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All these are certainly achievable.  The big question, though, with any resolutions/pledges/promises is: just how much effort will be invested to make them actually happen?   <LOL>   Time will tell, dear friends, time will definitely tell.

Have an awesome 2019, everyone—may your dreams and desires come to fruition this year.  God bless.

Hump Day

Silly name, Hump Day.  Get it.  Still silly.

So the tour’s over . . . and I’ve no more daily tour-update posts.  Back to the regular routine of posting Wednesdays and weekends.

Two takeaways: find a new cover designer to give the Triple Threat Investigation Agency books a new [appealing] look and not call Cash “Aloha Shirt Man”.  <LOL>  Okay, okay, there were a few more takeaways and I’m most grateful for them.  Thank you again, everyone.

On that note, I bid you a lovely Hump Day.  May it be a pleasant and positive one!

Aloha!

Hula for Present Blog Post

 

 

Thank you !!!

Yesterday was the last day of the Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? book-blog tour (although it was a “didn’t happen”, but that’s fine).  What fun . . . and eye-opening.  I have some “must-dos” for January.  <LOL>

Thank you to all those amazing bloggers and reviewers who had the gals from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio (JJ, Rey, and Linda) and me drop by –  and a huge hug of gratitude to Jina S. Bazzar, who organized everything!

Thank you, thank you, thank you !!!

Day 16 (Dec 16): https://swiftcoffee.blog

Yesterday, Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? (the second Triple Threat Investigation Agency series featuring private eyes JJ, Rey and Linda) was featured on Dora’s comfy-cozy blog, https://swiftcoffee.blog.

This fairly new-to-the-scenes doctor (as in recently graduated) loves books—and often reviews them with a hot drink in hand.  “A coffee always gives an excuse to make myself a little time to write a quick review about the book I’ve recently read.  I like the idea that my readers could have the same experience reading them!”

A self- professed literary omnivore, Dora reads [reviews] all types of books as long as the quality is there; the only ones she doesn’t touch are children’s books and audiobooks.  There’s also a neat rating system; you’ll have to visit her blog, though, to find out more.

(. . . Another wholehearted thank-you to Dora for the wonderful review and upfront feedback.)

Day 15 (Dec 15): www.edenisebillups.com

Yesterday, Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? (the second Triple Threat Investigation Agency series featuring private eyes JJ, Rey and Linda) was showcased on E. Denise Billups’ awesome blog, www.edenisebillups.com.

Denise is a dancer, writer, and blogger (among other things), who believes: “Knowledge is a powerful thing, and I’ve always believed sharing might improve someone else’s life”.  I really like that.  We need more sharing in the world—teaching, guiding, supporting one another.

She’s into vegan living (hurrah!) and reviewing books, as well as writing her own.  I had the pleasure of reviewing Kalorama Road not that long ago.  This contemporary, paranormal suspense novel it will keep you riveted.

I urge you to check out her awesome blog at www.edenisebillups.com.

Day 14 (Dec 14): www.misshoneybug.wordpress.com

Yesterday, Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? (the second Triple Threat Investigation Agency series featuring private eyes JJ, Rey and Linda) was highlighted on Alicia’s cute blog, www.misshoneybug.wordpress.com.  How can you not smile when you’re told: “So far, my posts are freshly baked with love on the same day they go out”.

She readily admits that, being new to blogging, she finds it bit intimidating.  I get that—I still do.  Alicia also advises that while she reads for entertainment purposes, she also does so to expand her mind.  I like that, just as I like the fact that she’s “open to new ideas and new writers and most definitely not wedded to any particular genre or range of authors”.  You have to admire that candor, just as you do this: “I believe books are like people, you wouldn’t like someone calling you a 1-star person right? unless it is on your forehead and the teacher gave it to you.”   <LOL>

One last thing—because you really should visit her blog—is that Alicia’s into handcrafts and making art, as well.  Drop by soon!