The Second has been Beckoned

The second day of the free Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie promotion has arrived—beckoned like a mound of banana-mango shave ice on a 90-degree day.

Hula marks our first official—paying—case as private investigators.  My best friend, Rey, and her cousin, JJ, have been hired to find out what a millionaire’s pretty, young wife is up to.  Unfortunately, before we discover what that is, she’s found swimming in the ocean . . . face down.

Our case takes us to a variety of places, some dingy, some dangerous.  We meet gang members, drug dealers, and a druggie (who we attempt to get back on the straight and narrow).  JJ also meets a dark and handsome stranger who fixates on her.

A few bodies cross our paths, too, and we scramble to piece together a rather bizarre puzzle.  It’s a wild ride, as Rey just said (with a slap to the back and a theatrical  wink), or madcap as JJ just threw out (with a thumb’s up).  <LOL>

Maybe you’d like to check out how our professional sleuthing skills develop?  What have you got to lose?  Not one penny . . . because it’s free.

Aloha Sunday.

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

The “H” Word

One more “personal” post – one that seemed an appropriate accompaniment and finale—to the previous two.

My mom’s newly diagnosed dementia (the “d” word) has added to the anxiety factor, this I’ve readily admitted.  That it appears to be spiraling isn’t helping, alas.  Support (the “s” word) is forthcoming, but not to the degree I want or require.  Nevertheless, it’s a start.  A baby step or two . . . those I used to write about. 

Today’s “h” word . .

h-o-p-e

On a self-centered “me” level, I hope that I am free of mom-care soon; after so many years, exhaustion and depression aside, I do believe I am entitled to have a life of my own.  Moreover, it’s better she be in long-term care; they can provide around the clock assistance and at a level so much more superior and professional to mine.

On an all-encompassing level, I hope that the world returns to relative normalcy sooner than later (world peace, and all that, would be welcome, too, but I won’t push it).  It’s hard to believe that COVID-19 has been around so very long and, now, its variants have entered the scene.  Several months ago, we’d hoped for a vaccine; they now exist.  Let’s further hope that the vaccine(s) are available [more] quickly, that they work well, and that the virus(es) are eventually eradicated.

HOPE = WISH = DREAM = OPTIMISM = FAITH

Hope keeps us going.  It enables us to: 

♦  have dreams and pursue them  ♦ believe anything is possible   ♦  keep going (despite odds and challenges)  ♦  stand tall and strong, and  ♦  maintain faith.

WPhope2There are different ways to boost hope.  I do it through writing/blogging (this post “voices” my hope and inspires me to persevere).   Having someone to talk (vent) helps.  Sometimes, music can do the trick; a certain song will bring a smile to these usually taut lips and, suddenly, there is a glow, a soft amber light, at the end of that very long, proverbial tunnel.  For others, a book or movie/show may do it, too.  So could prayer, dancing, walking, singing . . . it’s merely a matter of finding what inspires your hope.

With that, I’ll leave you with a simple yet compelling quote (one I’m particularly fond of) from anti-apartheid and human rights activist, cleric and theologian, Desmond Tutu . . .

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

2 for 2021

The last 2 weeks of 2020 were nightmarish, for reasons best not shared.  But here’s to dropping negativity and aiming for—and embracing—positivity.

Day 2 of 2021, a brand spanking new year, has  started calmly . . . with resolutions made . . . and now to be kept.

The private eyes at the Triple Threat Investigation Agency shared theirs not long ago, as have I.  We’ll endeavor to see they don’t fall to the wayside.

And while we’re on the topic of a new year, here’s to:

blogging and writing regularly    meeting fellow bloggers and writers and making new friends    augmenting our crafts    keeping promises    moving onwards and upwards    helping / teaching others, and    believing anything is possible.

Life sends many challenges our way (and some seem beyond taxing) but, ultimately, we do overcome them.  Know that any trials and tests you encounter can be surmounted, no matter how overwhelming they may seem at the time.  You can and will conquer them; they will not conquer you!

Let’s keep the faith.  Always.

Alo-Ha-Waiiiiiii Once Again

Hey, it’s Rey!  So, per my Hawaii post suggestion, Linda took it one step further: the three of us had to feature our favorite Hawaiian author or Hawaiian-themed story.  I’m not a reader, but given The Boss’ love of Nancy Drew, I grabbed The Secret of the Golden Pavilion (I do so like an “easy” read).

This is the 36th book in the series, penned by Carolyne Keene (the pseudonym of many authors) back in 1959.  The mystery finds Nancy and her housekeeper, Hannah, and her pals, George and Bess (and beaus Ned, Dave, and Burt) on our beautiful Islands, formerly known as The Sandwich Islands, by the way (I do pick up facts now and then, he-he).

The case involves an old golden pavilion—no surprise there, he-he.  Someone has been hacking the floor.  Maybe in search of something?  Mr. Sakamaki, Carson Drew’s client, provides the pretty sleuth with two mysterious symbols, possible clues to solving his mystery . . . one of two, actually.  Two claimants, a brother and sister, have suddenly appeared in connection with settling Mr. Sakamaki’s estate, known as Kaluakua, which he inherited from his granddad.  Hmmm.  Are they the real deal?

In addition to learning about the history of the Islands and indulging in a luau and visiting cultural locations/places.  There’s never a dull moment, either . . .

Nancy turned on the television set and tuned it to the proper channel.  The telecast had barely started when the announcer electrified the Drews with a news bulletin which he said had just been received by the station.

“Word has come,” he began, “of a plane in trouble over the Pacific.  It is one which was chartered by a group of students from Emerson College.”

“Oh, Dad!” Nancy cried out fearfully.  “That’s the plane that Ned and Dave and Burt are on!”

Ooooh, will they crash?  You’ll just have to read the book to find out, won’t you?

Aloha everyone!  And Happy Holidays!

Day Four, Only Two More

Hey, it’s Rey and I have an amazing guest post-er for Day Four of the Coco’s Nuts 99-cent promotion—Buddy Feuer, our pleased-as-punch client.  Take it away, Bud!

Thanks Rey.  I’ve never posted before.  Too busy helping run a Maui-based distribution company these days.  I still drive a truck now and again (like it too much to stop completely).

I hired the three private investigators when the police thought I’d killed my boss, Jimmy Picolo (who had some dubious dealings outside of his many successful businesses).  If that wasn’t enough, my best friend was killed a few days later.  And guess who they wanted to blame for that, too? 

Rey, Linda and JJ went up and beyond, I thought.  They talked to all sorts of dicey, dangerous individuals—a few who’d have liked to take them out, I’m sure.  They asked a lot of questions and wouldn’t give up searching for clues and evidence.

Coco, by the way, was a coworker who disappeared in and around the time Jimmy was shot.  He leaned toward weird and a lot of people didn’t particularly like him, myself included.   

“I’ll get back to Coco, Mr. Lookeeng Goo-ood, in a few.”

“Mr. Lookeeng Goo-ood?” Linda chuckled.

I grinned and rolled my eyes.  “Coco believed he was—is—the reincarnation of Freddie Prinze of Chico and the Man fame.  At thirty-five, given the math, this is highly unlikely, but who knows how this ‘rebirth’ thing works.  Moreover, Coco wasn’t—uh—isn’t even remotely Latin.  He’s a Hawaiian-Irish mix, courtesy of Makani Kalama and Druson Patrick Peterson, with taro-colored hair and freckled skin an odd shade of sand-beach brown.”  I sipped some of Linda’s delicious lavender-lemon iced tea.  “Jimmy Junior is—”

“No you don’t,” Rey cut in, pointing her fork and the chunk of cake it loosely held fell onto her lap, but she didn’t seem to notice.  “You can’t move on to the kid until you finish with this peculiar Coco dude.”

Linda and JJ concurred.  Coco Peterson definitely had their curiosities piqued.

My description of Coco was quite extraordinary, but very real.  Hooded bile-green eyes ogled anyone remotely female.  Apparently, when you looked into those gawking, goggling eyes you could almost feel those unusually short stumpy fingers of his clutching you with libidinous zeal.  And that tongue—he flicked it as if he were a gecko on amphetamines.  It was all the more gross because he had a gap the width of the Suez Canal between two big front teeth.  But Coco truly believed he was cute and sexy when he did that tongue thingy.

I have to laugh as I recall that afternoon when I’d first sat down with the three P.I.s  What a wise decision I’d made in hiring them.

Coco’s Nuts was a great case, according to Rey—it enabled them to develop private-eye skills, allowed her to adopt an adorable bunny named Bonzo, and got them some steady cases, even if they were wayward-hubby and missing-poodle ones.

You can check out Coco’s Nuts at:

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

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

Day Two – And How are You?

Hey-ho, it’s Rey, welcoming you to Day Two of the 99-cent Coco’s Nuts promo.

Our second successful (paying) case was as exciting as it was demanding and dangerous.

Our quest: find out who has set up our client, Buddy Feuer, to take the rap for two murders, that of her boss, the infamous Jimmy Picolo, and her best friend, Jeb Stretta.  Nutty Coco, Buddy’s coworker, becomes an important part of the quest when he goes AWOL—he proves to be a major piece of the puzzle.

We get pretty good at dodging danger as we attempt to figure out what’s what and who’s who.  As we do, we meet a few limb-breakers and mob types, and avoid (barely) detonating bombs.  You know, despite the danger, it was kinda fun, except maybe the times we nearly ended up victims ourselves.

Maybe you’d like to check out our crazy adventures for the awesome price of 99 cents?  You can find Coco’s Nuts at:

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

Back tomorrow (hopefully with a guest post-er)!

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

T’is the Season – Sorta

Hey, it’s Rey!  How’s everyone doin?!

T’is the season to be thankful and Thanksgiving gave us reason to be just that . . . and got me all revved up for Black Friday.  Mannnnnnn, did I have a great time with all those sales!  (Yeah, okay, so I’ll spend a few months—all right, years—paying it all off, but it was funnnnnnn.)

Given the boss is in a slump at the moment (the poor dear wonders if she’ll ever have control of her own life), we elected to take over today’s post.  Okay, I did.  JJ’s still got a Thanksgiving pumpkin-pie hangover and Linda’s slumped on the lanai, wishing she’d not shoved down that fourth mushroom-heavy tofu burger.

Today, I’m just touching upon things to be grateful for, now and to come:

friends and family    first responders and those who so unselfishly think of and put others first    compassionate souls   easy-going colleagues  kind words  smiles and chuckles  bellyache laughter  unconditional love (like those our pets give, in spades)  supportive professionals  starry nights and sunny days    sunsets and sunrises  colorful flowers  stunning nature  pumpkin pie with real whipped cream (I just heard a shriek from JJ, he-he)  pepperoni-less pizza (!)  hopes and dreams and wishes    worry-less times  pleasant/pleasing music and enjoyable dance tunes    fantastic films  great stories  enlightening posts  beautiful poetry  and super-duper sales!

It’s been a crazy year so far, to say the least, and maybe it’ll only get crazier.  But here’s to staying strong and safe, keeping the faith, and believing next year is going to be a [much] smoooooooooooooth(er) one.

Have an awesome weekend.  The Boss should be back Wednesday, in better spirits (I’ve got her making a list, he-he).

God bless.

Ta-Da – the Long-Awaited Short Story by Reynalda Fonne-Werde

Last time, I provided some simple guidelines for writing a short story (it’s Linda again, in case you missed the previous post).  Today, you have the first short—maybe only (he,he)—story by my best friend and fellow private eye, Rey.  Initially, JJ had wanted to sit it out, but has now decided she’ll jump on board by editing Rey’s short story in the next post—what works, what doesn’t, and why.  My BFF’s not looking forward to that, as an FYI, which may result in a follow-up post about how to edit from a writer’s perspective.  <LMAO>

So, here you have it, Rey’s short, entitled Full Moon over Plymouth.

Gisele Cooper stood ramrod straight as she steadily held the Luger and tracked Marshall Willis, the serial killer who had terrorized the New England coast for eight months now.

It was a cool early November evening and the pretty private eye was pumped.  She’d catch “Wicked Willis” if it was the last thing she’d do.  He’d dodged the cops, media, fellow private investigators, and her.  Enough was enough.

Willis, an average-looking guy of average height and average build, had bayoneted twelve men—that they knew of.  And they’d not have know it was Willis if there hadn’t been a witness. 

Amos, a frisky Staffordshire Bull Terrier, had been at the last killing and had managed to take a bite out of the murderer’s arm as he plunged the knife, which was fitted into the end of an old musket.  Lucky Amos got away fast—with the weapon, no less!  Amos’ owner called the police and the rest, as the saying went, was history.

At thirty-four, Gisele didn’t have many years of experience.  Just four.  But she had instinct and chutzpah and knew how to swing a mean left hook and wield a weapon. 

She’d gotten involved with this case—if she could call it that—when Harvey, a detective she sometimes dated, was assigned as the lead investigator.  After dinner and drinks, and nookie, he’d share updates, knowing she’d not divulge anything she’d heard.

So, here she was, trailing a nutbar after following a tip that Willis was living in a two-room shack somewhere along the Eel River.  She’d missed him by seconds.  The hot coffee mug and bitten egg sandwich told her that.  And the partially open rear door said he’d left that way.  So did the footprints in the soft drizzle-dense soil, visible courtesy of the camping lamp on a cheap plastic stand alongside the door.

“You’re not escaping me, my not-so-dear friend,” she murmured into the breezeless night.

There was a mini flashlight in her leather bomber jacket pocket, but she had no intention of letting him, or anyone else, view her from afar.

Willis hadn’t been on anyone’s radar.  The average man of twenty-four had been an average student and held an average job since finishing high school.  Nothing in his past screamed “serial-killer material”.  But once Amos had provided “evidence” and they’d narrowed down the possibilities, they’d zeroed in on Marshall Willis.

Gisele tossed her long blonde waves and surveyed the length of the sparkling river.  The stars and a full moon danced upon it.  Pretty, she thought, worth visiting one day under different circumstances.  Maybe with Harvey?

She stopped.  Had she noticed movement among the dense foliage?  No, it was a feral cat, that was all.  She laughed anxiously as she watched it scamper from view.

That cost her.  Almost.  A swisssshhhhhhh from behind prompted her to duck and whirl.  The bayonet sliced the air instead of her.

“Damn, I missed.  Too bad,” Willis chortled.  “But I won’t this time.”

Without thought, Gisele swung up and out, and caught him under the chin with the Luger.  The she swung again and caught him on the temple.  Before he could react or retreat, she had him on his belly and handcuffed.

“Gotcha.”

As if conveying approval, mockingbirds sang in unison.  Gisele bowed in acknowledgement and hauled Willis to his average-sized feet.

I was kind of surprised.  I didn’t think Rey had that much imagination in her, but then, she was—still is, sometimes—a B-movie actress.  I give her an A+ for effort.  Let’s see what JJ says when she pulls on her editor’s cap.

Blog-Loving

Several posts on this site have been about blogging—starting one, maintaining one, promoting one.  Then the odd one has been about the plans to enhance my own blog and develop services, which hasn’t yet happened due to personal life challenges.  Today, I thought I’d just write about the self-satisfaction of being a blogger.

Your website is where you submit and disclose things/information that are important to you.  You express—share—ideas, thoughts, emotions, worries, beliefs.  Your blog makes a statement . . . it conveys your identity.  Content aside, informational or entertaining, there’s a certain sharing of self; your material and voice are reflections of you. In essence, you’re putting a wee bit of yourself into every post. 

But there’s nothing better than the sheer pleasure—pride—that comes with a completed [scheduled] post.  And whether you’re edifying or inspiring/motivating readers and followers, or attracting individuals who share your interests, you’re drawing similar-minded people together.

The other great thing about blogging is development, professional and personal.  The more you write, the more skilled you become.  (I’m constantly reviewing my writing and, sometimes, I’ll even re-check definitions, spelling, grammar and punctuation rules—and lo and behold, I’ve found that I’ve flubbed up.)  And whether you’re providing professional or business information, or providing guidance, chances are you’re researching; as such, more development, more growth.  A very good thing indeed.

As you progress and post, you learn who you are, what your true voice is.  I tend to have a fairly flat voice, I believe, but when I write as Rey (one of the three private eyes from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency), I have an opportunity to be more “free”, because that’s who she is—a gal who doesn’t necessarily follow the rules and norms.  It’s fun taking on a role/persona and saying to <bleep> with the rules.

What’s also fun?  When you can look back three, five, ten years and re-read your posts.  Maybe you’ll cringe.  Maybe you’ll laugh.  Maybe you’ll pat yourself on the back and smile.  I, myself, wish I’d never deleted my Typepad blog.  Even if I only had one follower, I had some great posts (this I proudly state).  Alas, I’ll never be able to access them.  But such is life.

Lastly, you learn a few things about the technical and social sides.  If I’d never become a blogger, I’d have remained uninformed of so many things; I believe I’d rather have stagnated.  Fortunately, that didn’t happen.  Some things I’d taught myself, some I’d learned from others.  And while I will readily admit I could certainly acquire more knowledge, this is not the time [for me] to do so.

All this to say that I love being a blogger.  If you haven’t yet given blogging a try, do.  It’s an enriching experience.  And while it’s nice to make sales and have 10K followers—in my dreams, LOL—it’s great to commit to personal and professional growth.

Blog, if only for yourself. 

What’s in a Whisper?

A lot.

For some time, I’ve been wanting to read and review Owen Clough’s first book, Whispers of the Past.  Finally, thankfully, the opportunity presented itself.  And what a treat.  Like the title, the turned pages whispered a fascinating tale.

Set in New Zealand, Whispers incorporates historical fiction, time travel, a little fantasy and a lot of adventure with stupendous results.  The exciting story begins with three young mates—Bob (Brill), Shane (Grunt), and Samuel (Sam)—engaging in a “tramp” into Tongariro National Park to cull feral pigs, not the easiest [or most pleasant] of tasks.

An odd bout of weather propels the trio to the Waikato War of 1863, including the Battle of Rangiriri, a major engagement in the invasion of Waikato.  Skirmishes occur, as do trials and tribulations, which add to the action and emotion.  Along the path to finding a way back . . . without altering history . . . the threesome encounter intriguing individuals, some who turn out to be ancestors.

The narration sounds everyday, natural with local vernacular, which makes for a fairly smooth read.  The characters are strong, believable, and very likable.  Physical descriptions and historical details enhance the read even more.  Owen has a knack for providing particulars—with enthralling twists and turns—that make you want to continue flipping pages: you just have to know what happens next.  And while you’re following the exciting adventures of Brill, Grunt and Sam, you learn a few things about New Zealand and the Māori.

The New Zealand War, by the by, was a succession of armed struggles that occurred from 1845 through 1872; on one side were the Colonial government and the allied Māori, and on the other side were the Māori and Māori-allied settlers.  And for those unfamiliar with the Māori, they’re indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand who arrived from eastern Polynesia in several waves of waka (a Māori canoe made of tree trunk) voyages in the early 14th century.

Entertainment and knowledge do make for great bedfellows.

I’d love to tell you that all ends well for Brill, Grunt and Sam, that they get back to present day . . . but I can’t.  You’ll have to read this engaging book to find out.

The editor in me can only give this a 4.5 due to typos and punctuation flaws.  Without those, it’s an easy 5 out of 5.

savesavesavesavesave

And what about the author, Owen Clough?  His bio lists him as a keen genealogist, motor caravanner, and rugby fanatic with a love of history.   You can check him out at: https://www.owencloughbooks.com.

WPowen3booksHaving always wondered what it would be like to live back in the turbulent times of New Zealand’s history, Owen wrote Whispers of the Past with this in mind. The second book is Shadows of the Mind . . . the third, Clearing of the Mist.

Kia ora (be safe).