Hear, Hear . . . X2

It’s Rey, hey.  How goes?  The Boss is still on stress-rest (can you spell w-u-s-s?).

JJ and Linda will be posting Saturday and Wednesday.  They’ve got good ones, inspired by mine on “favs” (when ya got it, ya got it).  But, for today, you’ve got a quick one from moi.  Consider it a reminder . . . a must do . . . ’cause you know me—Reynalda Fonne-Werde doesn’t give up easily.

As mentioned recently, The Connecticut Corpse Caper (the first in our Triple Threat Investigation Agency adventures) is available in an audiobook format through Audible … on Amazon and iTunes.  It’s narrated by Cindy Piller, who does an awesome job.

There are still some coupon codes to those who might be interested in downloading Caper (the code can only be used once via the acx-promo link).

Please message us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OahuPIs/) or comment by way of this blog (and please specify US or UK).

US:
https://www.audible.com/pd/B07XQ3TTFV/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-163671&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_163671_rh_us

UK:
https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/B07XKZKP77/?source_code=AUKFrDlWS02231890H6-BK-ACX0-163671&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_163671_rh_uk

We hope you’ll enjoy listening to what crazy—murderous—events at our aunt’s haunted Connecticut mansion encouraged us to become P.I.s.

Cheers!

And the Winner Is . . .

Me!  Hey-ho, it’s Rey.  The Boss needs some stress-rest (don’t ask) and told me to post (man, that gal can get pushy).

So-o, I had to think of something fast and fun.  Got it!  Sharing something personal about the three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  I’m a “sometimes part-time” actress, so why not pick a topic close to my acting heart?  Films!  I thought I’d have us share our fav movies of all time—starting with my BFF, Linda, then Cousin Jilly—known to most as JJ—and leaving the best for last.  Moi.

Linda

Every new film I see becomes my favorite, to be honest, but if I had to pick one (for now), it would be Manchester by the Sea—directed by Kenneth Lonergan and starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams (one of my favorite actresses), and Kyle Chandler.

The story hit home for me.  Basically, it’s about a man named Lee, a janitor, who ends up having to care for his teenage nephew, Patrick, after his brother dies.  Lee suffered the harrowing loss of his children through a house fire that resulted from a bout of drunkenness: his.  Needless to say, he and his wife divorce.  There are more family dramas, shown in flashbacks, that for some of us, hit close to home (pardon the pun). WPfilmimbdb2

There are trials and tribulations, bonding and un-bonding.  I could relate to the various issues on different levels, given my own family history.  It’s not necessarily a “comfortable” film to sit through, but it’s so well crafted, so riveting, I can’t help but believe it’s one of the best I’ve seen in a long, long while.

JJ

I love old B&W gangster and detective movies like White Heat and Maltese Falcon, and action flicks . . . but, oddly enough, my favorite movie these days, one I can see over and over again, is The Descendants

It’s set in Hawaii, my new home, and that’s pleasing in terms of backdrop/setting.  The unhurried, strolling pacing is quite appealing and you rather wish it would go on and on and on. The film is filled with emotion; you cry, laugh, sigh, and express anger and/or disbelief, given the situation. WPfilmIMDbDOTcom

Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, the story revolves around real-estate lawyer Matt King (George Clooney).  His mundane life is turned upside down when his wife ends up in a coma after being critically injured in a boating accident.  While dealing with her impending death, he must decide whether to sell the family’s vast land, which was handed down from Hawaiian royalty.  There’s also a wonderful, emotive re-bonding storyline with Matt and his two daughters.

I’ve seen it at least ten times and could easily see it another twenty—it’s that good.

Rey

Like JJ, I love old B&W films, though I’m more into dramas, those featuring Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis, and Marlene Dietrich.  They were gorgeous and awesome actresses.  If you’ve never seen Hayworth’s film noir Gilda, do it!

My favorite film . . . James Bond . . . all.  I just love the action and locations, the over-the-top plots, not to mention the hunky guys who play the lead role.  I’m not gonna reveal my preferred JB actor (I’ll keep ya guessing), but every one who ever played the British Secret Service agent brought his own charming spin to the character. WPfilmClipartPandaDOTcom 

You know, maybe the movies subconsciously planted an idea in my head about becoming a private investigator.  I always loved acting, but when we solved the “case” in The Connecticut Corpse Caper, the exciting world of private-eyeing (kinda like secret-service work on a less dramatic level) seemed the right way to go.

Can I share a secret?  I wouldn’t mind being a Bond girl. 

So, that’s my Saturday post.  Nothing “cerebral”, as Linda would word it.  Reynalda Fonne-Werde, at your service.  Have an amazing weekend everyone.

Here an Ear, There an Ear

As mentioned a couple of days ago, The Connecticut Corpse Caper (the first in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series) is available as an audiobook  through Audible … on Amazon and iTunes.

Hats off to Cindy Piller, the narrator.  She has a pleasing/pleasant voice and I’m ever so pleased that the book sounds so pleasurable.  <LOL>

Silly early-morning humor aside, I’d like to offer 25 coupon codes to those who might be interested in downloading Caper.  The code can only be used once via the acx-promo link.  If interested, and I humbly hope you are, please message me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OahuPIs/) or comment by way of this blog; please specify US or UK.

US:
https://www.audible.com/pd/B07XQ3TTFV/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-163671&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_163671_rh_us

UK:
https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/B07XKZKP77/?source_code=AUKFrDlWS02231890H6-BK-ACX0-163671&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_163671_rh_uk

The sleuthing gals—JJ, Rey, and Linda—hope you’ll enjoy listening to how they got “inspired” to become private eyes in Hawaii.

Aloha.

WPprivateeye

I’m All Ears

The Connecticut Corpse Caper is currently being made into an audiobook.  How exciting is that?  Can’t wait to hear it.  Of course, given I can’t find the time to promote myself and the Triple Threat Investigation Agency ebooks and hardcover books, I’m not sure how I’ll manage to market this one.  But where there’s hope, there’s … hope.

Audiobooks were up an impressive 20% across the publishing realm in 2017, while print books were up by a mere 1.5% and ebooks <gulp> were down by 5.4%.  In fact, audiobook sales in the U.S. in the last two years have amounted to $2.1 billion (per Scribd data).  Not too shabby.

Here are a few more not-too-shabby facts based on a survey done by the research firm Management Practice.  These can be found in an interesting July 2019 article—“Audio Publishers Association Survey: Nearly $1 Billion in 2018 US Sales”—by Porter Anderson (Editor-in-Chief at Publishing Perspectives and Co-owner/Director at The Hot Sheet). WPearsPorterAnderson

·       Publisher receipts in 2018 totaled almost 1 billion dollars, up 24.5 percent from 2017

·       Unit sales were up 27.3 percent over 2017

·       Audiobook listening is on the rise, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital’s The Infinite Dial 2019, which shows 50 percent of Americans age 12 and older have listened to an audiobook, up from 44 percent in 2018

·       Audiobook titles published in 2018 totaled 44,685  (an increase of 5.8 percent over 2017)

·       The ages of listeners: 55 percent of all audiobook listeners are under the age of 45, and 51 percent of frequent listeners are aged 18 to 44 years

·       Time for listening: 56 percent of audiobook listeners say that they are making “new” time to listen to audiobooks, and subsequently consuming more books

·       Where they listen: 74 percent of audiobook consumers listen in their car, up from 69 percent in 2018; the home is the second-most popularly cited spot at 68 percent, down from 71 percent in 2018, and this coincides with increased adoption of in-dash car players

·       Smart speakers provide growth opportunities as penetration among audiobook consumers is nearing twice the US average—42 percent of audiobook listeners age 18 and older own a smart speaker

·       Podcasts: More than half (55 percent) of audiobook listeners tell researchers for the survey that they’ve also listened to a podcast in the last month, continuing a strong historical association between podcast listeners and audiobook listeners

·       The most popular genres sold in 2018 in audio were general fiction; mysteries and thrillers/suspense; and science-fiction/fantasy

I used to listen to audiobooks back in the 80s (yeah, dating myself, huge sigh) when they weren’t popular. In fact, they were pretty limited then, but they did exist.  Didn’t catch on very much though, probably because the quality—unlike today—wasn’t there.  Still, I rather enjoyed driving through the countryside, listening to Sherlock Holmes.

Personally, I love reading print books, holding them in my hand, flipping pages, earmarking them (I know, I know, slap on wrist).  But I could get used to the audio version.  Given I’m/we’re always running somewhere and doing something, it makes total sense to be listening while running and doing!

So, did you hear about . . . ?

New Look . . . New Book?

It’s been a wee bit of a wait—but we all know how very good I am at standing by—and the first cover of my first Triple Threat Investigation Agency books has received a new cover!  How exciting is that?

dance dancing GIF by The .GIFYS

I’m a little sad to see the gals go, but—per feedback—they truly did have to.  As pretty as they are, they’re too doll-like to be appealing to the potential reader. WPCaper1

And speaking of the gals . . . JJ’s fine with the new cover, though she’d liked to have seen the mansion a bit more “creepy” looking.  Linda loves it; the colors, font/title are strong and have “oomph”.  Rey’s happy as a mussel swimming in saffron-wine broth.

When the three subsequent covers arrive, a face-lift for The Triple Threat Investigation Agency Facebook page (and this blog) won’t be far off . . . and that, my dear friends, is a promise!  So, please—hold me to it!!

WPCorpseCaper1

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 . . . .

Sprees

. . . not of the shopping sort—though I love those—but the crime sort.  Hey, it’s Rey here.  With Linda.  The Boss is getting over a nasty cold and asked one of us to pen the post.  JJ’s off for the weekend on some sort of business course, so the two of us are partnering up and shooting the sh—

Linda:  Breeze!

Rey:  Whatever.  I’ve got some emails and texts here with the snail mail.  A few folks have asked about our last four cases—okay three, ‘cause The Connecticut Corpse Caper wasn’t really a case, but our first non-pro detecting venture.  They were multiple-murder-spree cases, ones where the killers were either uber-focused on not being caught or making serious money the easy way.  If someone got in their way or proved of some financial advantage, they got offed.

Linda:  You may also want to mention that they favored “crazy”, too. 

Rey:  Crazy?  They were out-and-out nutbars!  Remember the Gruesome Twosome in Can you Hula Like Hilo Hattie?

 Linda:  Or the other equally Gruesome Twosome in Coco’s Nuts! 

Rey:  We’ve met a few Gruesome Twosomes in our private eye adventures, haven’t we?

Linda:  That we have.  They were certainly challenging if not creepy.

Rey:  And fascinating.

Linda:  People do tend to have a fascination for bizarre or eerie killers.

Rey:  Like serial killers.

Linda:  Which, technically, we haven’t really dealt with.

Rey:  Sure we have.

Linda:  But that didn’t really come out until after the fact.

Rey:  True enough, but I think we’re divesting.

Linda:  You mean digressing?

Rey:  Whatever.  Do we want to talk about our cases?

Linda:  Serial killers make a good topic, given it’s Halloween next week.  You know, how we have a fascination with them, how they—and we, in turn—lean toward the macabre and the morbid and the scaryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

Rey:  Ha-ha, ha-ha.

Linda:  That’s the Triple Threat Investigation Agency’s next case.

Rey:  One I’m looking forward to.  But back to serial killers, why do you think we like them so much?

Linda:  Curiosity to start; they’re intriguing.  We wonder how they’ve been able to get away with multiple murders for so long, what motivates them to do such dastardly deeds, why they choose certain victims over others.  They’re so extreme in what they do, we can’t help but be drawn.  Constant news coverage—which is often provocative if not enticing—becomes riveting.

Rey:  The strange thing is, some of them seemed—and seem—so normal.

Linda:  Another reason we’re captivated . . . in that aforementioned macabre, morbid way.

Rey:  I’m not sure I’d like to meet a real one. 

Linda:  And I’m not so sure they’re all that different from the killers we’ve met solving cases.

Rey:  Or the suspects we’ve encountered, come to think about it.  Some have been real—as Great-Cousin Clara might have said—wing-dings.

Linda:  Like the person we’re pursuing in HA-HA-HA-HA.

Rey:  Yikes.  Can you spell s-p-o-o-k-y?

Linda:  Many ways.  But before we prattle on forever—

Rey:  Prattle!?  We’re posting!

Linda:  You say poh-tay-tow, I say poe-taw-toh—

Rey:  Yeah, yeah.  . . . Hey, lookie here!  Gail’s email says Nordstrum’s having a sale!  Catcha later!

Linda:  Uh . . . well, it appears my BFF has caught the $ale$ bug.  So much for posting.  Have a great weekend everyone and to quote Rey: catcha later.

WPcrazyuse

The Quintessential Query

Ever think about trying the traditional publisher route?  I did, many years ago, before e-books became popular.  It was hard to break into the publishing world back then, given the limited number of books that were printed, never mind nowadays.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

I’m thinking of giving it another try; hence, this post.  If you’re considering it, go for it, and don’t be discouraged or overwhelmed if there are no responses or—drat it all—rejection letters arrive.  They’re a blow to the ego, to say the least.  But take solace in the fact that this has happened to the best.  Many of the greats received rejections: DH Lawrence, Herman Melville, Stephen King, Tim Burton, Ayn Rand, to name but a few.  So, again, don’t be discouraged.  Make Perseverance and Patience your middle names.

A polished, winning query letter takes time and effort: think of it as a sales pitch or a promotional tool.  You’re selling you.  Entice the publisher—to want to read the entire letter and the manuscript.

Do that due diligence.  Determine which publishers you want to approach.  Make certain they represent the genre you’re writing.  Also confirm that they’re bona-fide publishers.  You shouldn’t be paying them to get published, right?  Right.

Grab the publisher’s attention immediately.  Ensure the salutation incorporates his/her name.  If you’ve published before, state this right away.  If not, then—if doable—mention that you’ve met him/her before or that someone’s referred you.  And, if neither of these are possible, then pitch your pitch.  Always include the genre, word count, and target audience. WPbutton2

When pitching your pitch, describe what makes your book unique.  Remember: there are hundreds of writers out there sending similar queries, so you need to stand out.

Give a quick rundown re the plot, main characters, and conflict/tension.  Provide a super-condensed summary (as in one paragraph).  Have a more detailed synopsis on hand, too; you may need it later.

Do you have writing credentials, awards, or reviews?  Provide them.  Or maybe you’re a blogger?  Note this.  What about a huge social media base?  By all means, mention it.

Some quick general tips re your letter:

  • personalize (it shouldn’t sound like a form letter)
  • keep it fairly short, maybe 400 words or so (four to five paragraphs)
  • make sure it adheres to the publisher’s submission guidelines (some may also request a promo plan or an in-depth synopsis)
  • ensure the letter looks neat (the font isn’t fancy or overly small, the wording isn’t excessive/redundant, and there’s ample white-space).

Lastly, proofread and revise as necessary.

Always bear in mind, there’s tons of information on the Internet; use it to your advantage.

As an FYI, here’s a query letter for “Caper”, written before I went for another major rewrite or decided to try e-booking (hey, a new verb).  Is it the quintessential query letter?  Probably not, but as Rey might say: it ain’t bad.

WPquerylettercaper

Dear XXXXXX,

 Welcome to a Wacky Week at the Mysterious Moone Mansion

A reputedly haunted mansion in Connecticut marks the setting for a week-long collect-your-inheritance gathering of weird and wired guests.  The events, comic and dark, are told through the eyes of Jill Jocasta Fonne, a Wilmington-based weather announcer.

“The Connecticut Corpse Caper”, approximately 84,500 words, is an ode to the B&W mysteries of the 30s and 40s.  Murder and mayhem and madcap moments reign as seven people of different backgrounds spend a week in the Moone mansion to receive a share of the inheritance per eccentric Mathilda Moone’s will stipulation.  Two-hundred thousand dollars will be awarded to each person.  If someone leaves, for whatever reason, his or her share will be divided among those remaining.

Curious, out-of-the-norm characters in “Caper” contribute to the humor and absurdity.  It also has an ending that could lend itself to a sequel (and does—I’m in the midst of outlining one).

The audience?  Readers who enjoy the antics of Stephanie Plum and Kinsey Malone, those who like fun protagonists and a bit of dark or campy humor.

In terms of my background, I work as a freelance editor and writer.  In addition to writing weekly posts for my blog (www.XXXXXX) I have started working on a script version of “The Connecticut Corpse Caper”.  As an FYI, in addition to a varied and extensive writing-editing background, I also spent several years as a technical-writing trainer in the aerospace realm.

Recognizing how many queries you receive daily, Mr./Ms. XXXXXX, I’d like to thank you for your time and consideration.  Per your guidelines, attached are the first three chapters and a one-page synopsis.

Sincerely yours,

XXXXXXX

How it All [Kinda] Began

Forever Poi, the fourth in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, has taken much [much!] longer than anticipated.  But there were extenuating circumstances truly not in my control, so I’ll just count my blessings and offer gratitude to the Great Power that is that it’s nearly there.  Hurrah!!!!!

FPWed1

I went for another final edit (#23), but glad I did—found a couple of “flaws”.  You read and review, scrutinize and consider, yet you still don’t necessarily always catch those wily little buggers  As writers, we often see what we think is there and sometimes what’s not there.  This is a good reason to have someone else take a gander—new [fresh] eyes, that sort of thing.

I thought I’d go back and share when JJ, Rey and Linda seriously [or not] discussed the possibility of becoming Hawaiian private eyes.

And speaking of time, it was hard to believe that the Connecticut Caper—as Rey laughingly called it—had happened nearly a month ago. Yet in some ways, it felt like a year. The entire episode seemed dreamlike and distant.

I dropped onto the only piece of furniture I’d purchased for the Brentwood apartment so far: a beautiful two-piece leather sleeper sectional sofa that set me back a lot more than budgeted for. But it would serve as a perfect focus piece and last for years, and I wasn’t planning on being that extravagant with anything else. It rested to the side of a large deep-set fixed window with solid panel shutters. Sitting here, I could gaze four stories below onto a lush courtyard with two burbling fountains.

Christmas was around the corner and it felt strange to not have my nephew Quincy racing around, trying new seasonal recipes, or sticking Quincy-would-like gift suggestions in obvious places. The first week of December, Mom usually had the B&B decorated with lights, holly and ivy, and a couple of tinsel-trimmed Christmas trees. A stunning silver menorah rested on the dining room sidebar for Jewish friends and guests.

I’d made a move to California. Sold all belongings, put the Wilmington condo up for sale, packed clothes, and wondered what I’d gotten myself into besides a three-day weather-forecasting job at a local community television station. I’d have to find other work, of course, if we didn’t make money serving as professional sleuths (which I had doubts about), but it was a start. Rey was planning on getting the detective agency going in the next month or so.

Yes, that was correct: detective agency. Back at the Moone manse, as the three of us were packing and making promises to stay in touch, Rey had revealed a plan that she’d been considering since May-Lee had been wheeled away: opening a private investigation agency in California. To make her happy and keep me sane for the remainder of the brief stay, I’d said I’d consider the wild notion that seemed as probable as a Minnesota drought in January. But somewhere and somehow over the weeks, I’d decided maybe it wasn’t that wild after all.

Even Linda had gotten caught up in Rey’s enthusiasm. I wasn’t quite sure how to inform them about California’s strict licensure. They’d be devastated to learn they weren’t going to be private investigators any time soon. Among other things, we’d need a combination of education in police science, criminal law or justice, experience equaling three years or 6,000 hours, and to pass a criminal history background check. Oh yes, we’d also have to receive a qualifying score on a two-hour written exam. It was surprising that Rey hadn’t yet discovered that; or maybe she had and had simply refused to accept facts. In any event, at present, in addition to scouting offices, my cousin had signed up for a business course. Kudos to eager and determined Cousin Reynalda.

The drive back from Connecticut had afforded Adwin and I time to talk about life, goals and objectives, feelings and family. By the time we’d reached Wilmington, we’d decided that moving in together was probably not a great thing. We truly weren’t that compatible or in sync, and that was fine we both acknowledged. I loved Adwin, and he loved me, but in the grand scheme of things we weren’t really a romantic couple or marriage material; we were more of a buddy-bud duo. We’d remain in touch and he’d visit California, and I’d see him—and Fred—whenever I returned to North Carolina. We’d take the odd vacation together. Pledges were made and, with a bit of luck, they’d be kept.

I stretched bare legs onto the sofa, and sipped mango nectar from a bottle via a straw. It was thick and sweet and perfect for the sunny weather outside, and seemed to work well with little, decadent mouthfuls of a Red Velvet cupcake I was enjoying. I’d been off sweets since Connecticut—hadn’t wanted to see another cookie to save my life, but this morning, after a three-mile power walk, I’d dropped by Suzee-Sooz’s Cupcake Houz and bought the sinfully delicious treat that was nearly the size of a soccer ball. (Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.)

“Hey you.” The door opened with a bang.

“Hey yourself and watch it. I don’t want to buy a new door, thank you,” I groused, watching Rey all but dance into the small L-shaped living room, Linda in tow.

Both were dressed in the same Chip & Pepper jeans and similar Aloha shirts. While Linda sported colorful Converse runners, Rey wore strappy sandals. I half expected them to have the same polish on their toes and fingers. Maybe they’d both been deprived of high school friendships and were making up for missed girly-girl BFF moments.

I looked back at the shirts. Hawaiian wasn’t Rey or Linda’s usual taste. Oh-oh.

“What’s up ladies?” I asked suspiciously, putting my drink aside but keeping the cupcake on my lap. I suspected I’d be needing sugar-enhanced comfort momentarily.

Linda closed the door and followed Rey. They leaned into the kitchen counter comprised of pretty pale blue and dusty rose ceramic tiles. I liked the cozy, bright kitchen, but why did I suddenly suspect I’d not be enjoying it for long?

Rey moved into melodramatic mode. “The licensing requirements to become private eyes in California are tough.”

“We’d don’t have the qualifications or background,” Linda affirmed.

Oddly, neither looked deflated or upset. I smiled dryly and said nothing.

“I know, you’re thinking that our detecting days are over before they’ve even begun.”

Not really, but I eyed Rey expectantly.

“They’re not!” she announced gleefully, hanging an arm around her friend’s shoulders. “Guess what?”

“I couldn’t even begin to,” I responded wryly, gazing from one to the other.

Rey grinned. “We’re going to become…”

“Hawaiian P.I.s!” Linda finished with a jubilant grin.

“Pack your bags, Jilly!”

The Red Velvet cupcake caught Rey in the middle of the forehead.

An index finger sporting neon blue polish removed some of the frosting clinging to her brow. She licked it and smiled. “Delicious. Mahalo.”

Should all go well, Forever Poi will be available around the beginning of August.

Aloha, my friends.

 

Thank You, Jay!

I’d like to once again thank author (Watching Glass Shatter, Father Figure) and blogger James J. Cudney—Jay—for the review of The Connecticut Corpse Caper.  The first in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, it was originally written as a stand-alone cozy.  But the gals—JJ, Rey, and Linda—decided they wanted P.I. careers (in Hawaii, no less) and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Please check out This is My Truth Now, his awesome blog.  You’ll find insightful posts, book reviews, personal adventures and bucket lists, among other things.  And if you’re looking for some good reads, I wholeheartedly suggest Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure.  You won’t be disappointed.

As stated in my FB post, he’s personable and sweet, and incredibly approachable.  I’m very thankful our paths crossed.

https://thisismytruthnow.com/2018/06/16/book-review-the-connecticut-corpse-caper-by-tyler-colins/#like-29614

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