Summing Up the Synopsis

Exciting times.  Or taxing?  <LOL>  Because of the move to New Chapter, Creativia requested its authors submit new synopses for their books.  The result: a community chat about the appropriate length and requirements of a synopsis.  Ta-da!  Topic for today: synopsis refresher pointers.

What do you add?  What do you remove when all the adding’s been done?  Is the synopsis dynamic?  Does it capture all the important components?

You’ve completed your manuscript; now you have to sum up the story.  Ugh.  No fun, you’re thinking.  It’s not that bad, really.  Just commit some time, roll up those sleeves, and grab a cup (or three) of joe.

Start by determining the key/pivotal actions—feats, accomplishments, battles, trials—that your main protagonist embraces and endures.  You may want to write a short paragraph for each chapter.  And, yes, it’s quite all right to include the ending in a synopsis; you are, in essence, “selling” your book, be it to a publisher or agent.

Ensure that you provide enough backdrop in the beginning to paint a visual picture.  Where does the story take place?  Who is the protagonist?  What is the major trial he or she is facing?

Once you have all those paragraphs written, flesh out the synopsis so it flows like a serene stream and not a torrential flood (you can delete later).  Write it in third-person present tense (regardless of how the book itself is written—such as first person, present tense).

What’s important for the reader to know?  Have you provided critical components?  What’s the plot about?  Who is the main character?  What makes him or her tick?  What event(s) play a crucial part in developing and challenging him or her?  How are major issues resolved?

Once it’s all on paper/screen, start editing.  Keep the nitty-gritty and delete the redundant.  Publishers and agents vary on the length of the synopses they want.  Have a one- or two-pager at the ready, but keep a multi-page one handy too (you truly never know).

Here’s a revamped synopsis for the first book featuring the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals, before they were official P.I.s.

The Connecticut Corpse Caper chronicles the antics of several inheritance recipients, as witnessed by weather announcer Jill Jocasta Fonne.  The madcap mystery begins when she arrives one November afternoon at her deceased aunt’s eerie (reputedly haunted) Connecticut mansion, primed for a week-long stay.  Two-hundred thousand dollars will be awarded to each person upon staying the course.  Should someone leave, regardless of reason, his or her share will be divided among those remaining.

Each friend and relative of the deceased and eccentric Mathilda Reine Moone (Aunt Mat) seems as odd as the next to Jill, save for her pastry-chef boyfriend, Adwin Byron Timmins, and her high-strung cousin, Reynalda (Rey) Fonne-Werde.  Simple and wholesome Linda Royale, a screenwriting assistant and B-movie actress Rey’s best friend, seems equally innocuous.

London barrister Jensen Q. Moone and Manhattan lawyer Thomas Saturne are somber middle-aged gents.  While the former resembles Dr. Abraham Van Helsing (sucking on prunes), the latter bears a resemblance to Tinky Winky, the purple Teletubby.  Neither cares much for the other.  Sophisticated May-Lee Sonit is owner of an antique shop called The Pied Piper and Aunt Mat’s good friend; the two women shared a love of wine and theater, opera and classical concerts.  There is a wacky brother-sister team: Percival Sayers is a writer of obscure poetry and landscaping and gardening articles, Prunella an avid bird lover and adventurer.  Unconventional servants—a portly chef, spindly maid, and grave butler—have been part of the household for years. 

All have a secret, as the three women (Jill, Rey and Linda) discover when they step out of their everyday professions and take on roles as amateur sleuths.  Others soon join in the sleuthing and the bumbling, stumbling—and mayhem—not long after the family lawyer passes in the drawing room.  Perhaps Saturne was heavy and out-of-shape, but he never appeared that unhealthy.  

Enter Sheriff Lewis and Deputy Gwynne; exit same, with body, into a misty and frigid night.  Enter and exit Lewis and Gwynne several more times as the body count mounts . . . until there is no option but to remain.

The trio’s Internet detecting reveals much: the history of the antebellum property and previous misfortunate (cursed?) owners, a liaison between Prunella and Thomas, and a sketchy bio of Fred the Ghost (as opposed to Fred the Cat, Aunt Mat’s fat feline).

When eccentric and not-so-deceased Aunt Mat dramatically announces a return from the dead, everyone is thrown into a tizzy.  The dither intensifies when the grande dame explains that the demise had been faked in hopes of ensnaring the person(s) responsible for monetary and in-house thefts.

As an ice storm approaches, legal sorts fall mysteriously ill.  Tensions mount, fingers point accusingly, and tongues flap crossly.  The determined, investigative threesome discover that not only hidden rooms and passageways conceal deep, dark secrets. WPCaperSyn

The Connecticut Corpse Caper is the perfect escape for those who love old B&W whodunit mysteries set in creepy oversize mansions filled with quirky guests, secreted passageways, and disappearing and reappearing corpses.

More on Saturday . . . .

Making Merry, er, Merrie

Hey, it’s Rey!  The Boss is taking the weekend off, so I’m doing the post, which I’m super stoked about.  Considering I’m not a fiction writer (and let’s not talk editor), I thought I’d post about something that recently took place here on the Islands, something JJ, Linda and I finally got a chance to attend and not just for one day, but four . . .

. . . the Merrie Monarch FestivalWPhula1kahikoStarAdvertiser

It seemed fitting to share this huge, decades-old hula event, which includes the Miss Aloha Hula competition, Hula Kahiko contest, Hula ‘Auana, and awards.

History’s always a “nice to have”, so here are a few fascinating facts:

◊  Polynesians, who’d originally colonized the Hawaiian Islands, developed the hula.

◊  Missionaries phased out this beautiful dance back when, but—fortunately—it was revived decades later, during the reign of King David La’amea Kalākaua.  He once claimed that “hula is the heartbeat of the Hawaiian”.  A patron of the arts, the king was showy and extravagant, as well as playful.  Small wonder he was known as the “Merrie Monarch”—and that’s why the Festival is called what it is.  Love it! WP1kingdavidsoravijDOTcom

◊  In Hawaii of old, written language didn’t exist, so hula and associated chants enabled Hawaiians to connect to the land and gods.  In Hawaii of today, hula is not only still a way to connect, it’s a way of life.

◊  Hula kahiko is traditional hula, complemented with a double-gourd drum or pahu drum, and chants.  Hula ‘auana is modern hula, developed with Mainland/western interaction.

◊  During the early 60s, Big Island was looking for a way to boost the economy.  After exploring ideas/options, a committee came up with the first Merrie Monarch Festival.  In the early 70s, it changed objectives and focus to what, basically, it evolved into today: hula dancing, Hawaiian artistry, and embracing Hawaiian culture and its people.  It grew in popularity (majorly) and in 2013 the Festival celebrated 50 years of success.

“The Merrie Monarch Festival is a non-profit organization that honors the legacy of King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of our traditions, native language and arts.  . . . Our week-long festival features an internationally acclaimed hula competition, an invitational Hawaiian arts fair, hula shows, and a grand parade through Hilo town.” 

I thought the Merrie Monarch site summed it up nicely.  (Hilo’s on Big Island, by the way.  I think I’ll post about it next time around.  I’m happy and excited—and pretty proud—to share my thoughts about Hawaii.  It’s an awesome place to live.)

<LOL>  I wasn’t planning on providing so much background (Linda would be proud).

The Miss Aloha Hula competition was amazing.  We were riveted.  All 13 competitors were beautiful and talented (I have to confess, I was a bit envious).  Taizha Keakealani Hughes-Kaluhiokalani took the title . . . and then also won the Hawaii language award.  How awesome is that? WPauna1BigIslandNow2

The hula Kahiko and hula ‘Auana contests were both a pleasure to watch—the dancing was divine and the costumes were stunning.  The wahini (women) were lovely and the kāne (men) drop-dead-whew! gorgeous.

Even got in some shopping—T-shirts, sweatshirts, and bags.  Those four days were totally nui.  If you get a chance to attend the Festival, please do . . . and make merrie!

What’s THE Story?

What’s THE Story?

Hey, it’s Rey, the last and best <LOL> in the story posts.  There are so many, it was tough to determine which to share.

Following the template created by the gals before me—specifically The Boss, Linda, and JJ—away we go!

∞ Personal

A two-parter.

The first is about the prickly relationship between my mother and me.  She didn’t much care for me becoming an actress, something I knew I’d be come hell or high water when I was nine years old.  When I left home at 19 to pursue that dream, it created an even bigger rift.  In truth, though, we’ve never been close.  Her thoughts about life and the cosmos and all that were a bit odd (okay, if I’m going to be totally honest, they were downright loopy).  Since I’ve become a P.I. the two of us have made an effort to forget the past and accept each other for who and what we are. WPReyprickly

Is it working?  Yeah, kinda.  Time will tell.  So while the final “Mom & Me” chapter has an outline, a full draft still needs to be written.  It’s all good.

Linda, JJ and I are in the same boat re lack of relationships.  Considering I’ve been married three times, I’m not that keen on commitment.  And given that most of the guys I’ve dated have been major duds, yeah, so not keen.  Confession: I like flirting.  It’s fun!  Sure, I wouldn’t mind having someone to date on a semi-steady—but not serious—basis.  I like eyeing gorgeous guys, being in their company, having them feed my ego.  That’s fun, too!

I think, though, that the relationship I really need to develop is the one with me.  I have a lot of growing and learning to do (as Linda has said on more than one occasion), and I’m kinda looking forward to that.  So the “Rey & Co.” chapter, at this time, is only a list of points and to-dos.  I’m guessing it won’t be completed for years to come and that’s all good, too.

Professional

Another two-parter.

I was a B-actress for years, as you know, and still do some acting, mostly in commercials and, now and again, community theater.  Love being in front of the camera too much to stop doing it completely.  It’s the ham in me (as Linda has also said on more than one occasion).

Do I see myself returning to it full-time?  Maybe, when I’m older—as in retirement older.  So the final “Rey the Artiste” chapter won’t be available for a few decades.

Then, of course, there’s the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  I enjoy being a P.I.  Love it, love it, love it!  I even get to act now and again when we’re trying to get info outta someone or snoop around a business or company without attracting attention.  It’s challenging and dangerous, for sure, but it’s also rewarding, and I’m not just talking financially—it’s very satisfying helping people in need.

The last chapter of “Private-Eye Rey” will have to wait to be completed.  There are a lot of scenes still to happen.  Love it, love it, love it!

Lucky

Took me a while to find the right adjective.  Life hasn’t always been smooth.  I’ve struggled to eat and pay rent.  I didn’t (don’t) always get along with people.  But I’ve been lucky to do what I’ve wanted to (dreamed of), meet some fantastic folks, live and work on the beautiful island of Oahu, and grow as a person.  I’d never admit that last one to Linda, but I truly believe I’m developing and changing.  I haven’t been much of a reader or learner, but I make an effort—nix that.  I don’t try: I do.  May not always be successful, but that’s not important.  It’s what’s accomplished, even if only to declare, “I did that”.  <LMAO>  That sounds more like something Linda or JJ might say. WPReystoryUSE

Yeah, I’m very lucky and I’m gonna keep counting my blessings.

What’s Her Story?

It’s JJ on story post patrol today, with my cousin Rey taking up the rear.  As she’s been [not too humbly] saying: the best is yet to come.  Uh, yea-ah.  Oops, that just netted me “the look”.  <ROTFL>

In keeping with the personal, professional, and <insert adjective of choice> story model, allow me to share mine.

♠ Personal

Which one re personal, though?  The one about the father I never knew?  That the family is exceptionally eccentric . . . to a fault?  How Rey and I rarely got along when we were young?  That in my early teens I fantasized about marrying royalty?

Mom would never talk about “Dad”.  I don’t even know his name.  Some detective, huh?  <LOL>  I should put the ol’ P.I. skills to the test and find out who he is/was.  But then . . . do I really want to know?

Just looking at the Fonne family names tells you how unconventional we are.  Blame that on the grandfolks, Elmer Finkston and Jocasta Genvieve Fonne.  Grandfather was VP of a company specializing in joke novelties and fun gizmos, and Grandmother possessed a hysterically funny streak that could humble (and crumble) any stand-up comic.

That Rey and I get along so well now is amazing.  When we’d not attempted to shove each other into a bog or pond during summer holidays, we’d endeavored to bury each other’s faces in the dirt—for no other reason than we couldn’t stand each other.  She thought me pitiful Pollyanna; I thought her woeful wannabe.  One time, we were so engrossed in smacking each other silly, we nearly trashed the summer cabin we’d been banned to for the day (courtesy of a rambunctious food fight we’d initiated at a family picnic).  Uncle Charly lost a toupee (an ugly thing that looked like uncooked ramen noodles) and Uncle Flex no longer possessed that furry eyebrow (the two had melded into one long fox-moth caterpillar).  They were so not happy. WPJJstoryUSE2

I will [hesitantly] confess that I’d had my heart set on wedding into a certain royal family.  Unfortunately, they weren’t of the same mind, not having had the pleasure of meeting yours truly and determining that I’d be the “perfect girl” for their prince.  (I must also confess that I am somewhat envious of Meghan, lucky <bleep>.)

The final chapter is undecided.  In truth, there are several to be written . . . every one in its own sweet time.

♠ Professional

My foray into weather reporting had never been intentional.  I’d studied film for two years, then decided I didn’t care dealing with mega egos.  Environmental studies seemed a better option—and more respectful.  I could and would save the world, protect endangered species, and contribute to the termination of global warming.  When I got goosed by a crazed Canadian goose and gnawed by a disgruntled goat, I realized wildlife was better left to those with the calling.  A local cable station admin job rescued me from additional wildlife mis-adventures and, eventually, I became a meteorologist.

While I love being a private eye, I do miss weather reporting.  I suppose I had/had Rey’s acting ambition, because I thoroughly enjoyed being on camera.  I also, however, liked researching community events and local news, and putting together informative specials.  It wasn’t unlike being a P.I. now that I consider it—i.e. researching and assembling facts, and providing findings.

The professional story also has a few chapters still to be developed.  Although Rey, Linda and I often discuss our future as private investigators—expanding the Triple Threat Investigation Agency and all that—who knows how I’ll feel a decade from now?  Presently, though, I’m happy to go with the flow; the stream is winding yet smooth.

♠ Satisfying

My adjective/word of choice.  Satisfying because everything is proving gratifying and fulfilling.  Agency work is fairly regular.  The new house is filled upcoming projects, which will require new skills, so learning adventures are on the horizon.  Satisfying because all seems fairly untroubled.  Maybe my love life isn’t happening but, as a result, there are no squabbles or tension to contend with.  There have been no life-changing disagreements with my coworkers, simply the silly little ones everyone experiences off and on.  Life on this lovely Hawaiian island is truly very satisfying.

Who could ask or wish for more? WPJJstoryUSE

What’s My Story?

The three of us pulled straws and I’m the first to post.  It’s Linda, the smart athletic one from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.   Oh-oh, got “the look” from Rey.  <LMAO>

The plan for this post: follow The Boss’ template and run with it.

Personal ♥

My life didn’t much begin until I was married—too young—to Chiffre Royale, a sax player who doubled as a heroin addict.  Bad times.  Good times.  He was a sweet guy when he wasn’t hurting.  And a damn talented musician.  Chiffre died way too soon.  It wasn’t long after his passing that I became a screenwriting assistant and, subsequently, met Rey.  That’s when life—my story—truly began. Linda2

Recently, I started communicating with my sister and brother.  We’d never been close and never much cared, but we’re endeavoring to stay in touch and get-together regularly.  I’ve acquired “family”.  It feels . . . nice.  Like I have roots.  Who knows how things will ultimately transpire but, for now, we’ll simply go with the flow (an overused but legitimate expression).

The final chapter of my personal story is still unfolding.  There’s so much to do and learn on an individual, private level.  How exciting!

Professional

I’ve always enjoyed writing and learning.  That’s why I became a scriptwriting assistant—to develop a skill and acquire knowledge through research and experience.

I take courses whenever possible.  Besides being fun, blogging is a great teaching tool—for me and through me.  It’s an awesome feeling to pass along helpful information or prompt a smile.

I’m definitely growing as a person and evolving as a private eye.  The professional path is a lengthy, winding one and I’m looking forward to every step.  This, too, is exciting!

Excited

Definitely—and obviously—the word of choice.  I’m thrilled about what’s happening in my life and what’s to come.

How can I not be?  I live in Hawaii, thoroughly enjoy being a Triple Threat Investigation Agency P.I., have learned to surf, and am constantly acquiring knowledge (Rey claims my head’s filled with a <bleep> load of trivia).  But first and foremost maybe, I’ve started taking so much better care of myself.

My trilogy of stories are simple and plain.  I suspect Rey’s are going to prove outstanding (she can be quite melodramatic, as we all know) and JJ’s will certainly prove interesting.  And that’s the exciting <giggle> thing about stories: there’s always a beginning, a middle, and an end . . . and they can constantly  be rewritten. WPLindastoryClipartsZone

On that note, my humble self will mosey along and contemplate all the positive—exciting—things in the making.

Ready to rock’n’roll with Forever Poi

Like, how many months have I been trying to get “Forever Poi” packaged/done?   Seems like many.  But it’s all good now—Creativia, “a community-driven, next-generation hybrid publisher”, has accepted me to their author roster.  There’s a lot to organize and do, but it’s all good.  One task at a time.

The front and back covers you see above will likely not be the ones used by Creativia; they’re ones my long-time designer and formatter created.  They’re much in keeping with the previous covers, though the trio do look a bit different.  Cosmetic surgery perhaps?  <LOL>

In the event you’re looking for a publisher, here are some facts about Creativia (pulled from their site):

♦   Besides their partner network, they use marketing channels: Amazon Marketing Services, Bookbub Ads, Facebook Ads, Google Ads.

♦   They cover: proofreading, cover design, eBook and paperbook layout design, worldwide publishing, marketing, sales and royalty payment.

♦   Achievements include: #1 bestsellers in major Amazon categories, book translations into nine languages, and features in high-profile newsletters.

As a fellow Creativia author advised, it’s all about what you’re willing to put into it.  As an writer, you must invest time and effort/energy.  More simply said: reap and ye shall sow.  Given my due diligence and the feedback I’ve received, I’m happy [and excited] to have signed on.

Yes, I’m feeling good about this new phase of my writing life.  As Rey’d say: keep ya posted! thumbs up

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.

WPhulareview3

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!

WPhulareview4

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.

wpslogancc

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