Ad Libbing

Happy Saturday . . . given I post very early, I always have posts/info prepared in advance . . . and was hoping to provide the interview I’d mentioned this past Wednesday.  I don’t see it, however.  That’s okay.  Stuff happens.

So-o, given Shameless Saturday Self-Promotion has become a bit of a “thing” for many of us writers and bloggers, I’m simply going to ask / beg / implore / beseech / cry <LOL> that you [perhaps] give one of my books a read? A review would be most welcome, too—bad or good.  I’m a writer.  I can take it <fingers crossed behind back>.

From the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio—JJ, Rey, and Linda—and myself, have a marvelous weekend.

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And . . . Happy Remembrance Day / Happy Veterans Day.  Let’s never forget!

Spoo-ooky Stuff

Wa-ha-ha-ha . . . hey, it’s Rey!  The Boss has decided to crawl under the fuzzy covers and close her eyes to the world this weekend, so I’m taking over.  Actually, she’d asked Linda to, but she’s in training for some triathlon thingy.  Whatever.

With Halloween five headstone paces away, I thought it’d be cool to provide our take on favorite horror movies—ones we think are the scariest ever.  I tried to get The Boss to provide hers—no easy feat, let me tell ya—but she grumbled something about posting hers on Wednesday as she’s chomping Candy Corn and sucking Molasses Kisses.

To make it more interesting, I thought I’d have us, the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gumshoes, share the scariest in childhood, teenhood, and adulthood—huh?  Oh, Cousin Jilly says “teenhood” isn’t a real word.  Whatever.

Let’s start with the three that scared—still do—my BFF.

Linda:

As a childThe Shining (directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd).

How ghostly, ghastly can it get but to have a family of three reside in an immense, isolated hotel for a long frosty winter, where startling things happen and ominous people start appearing?  What if a little boy “sees” things that make you want to clamp shut your eyes . . . but not too much?

As a teenAlien (directed by Ridley Scott, starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt and John Hurt).

The first of the franchise, for me, was the most unnerving, but I rather enjoyed them all.  I recall sitting low in my seat with a pillow pushed against my face, peering over the tassels, unable to turn away.  I was riveted and scared <bleepless>.  Basic premise: a spacecraft receives a distress call and the rest . . . is thoroughly, wonderfully, on-the-edge distressing.

As an adult: The Fog (directed by John Carpenter, starring Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Janet Leigh). WPhallIMDbDOTcomTheFog

I only saw this 1980 film about five years ago; we were having a retro film night, yes, on Halloween.  You know, I found it marvelously creepy.  Mysterious, spine-tingling events transpire one night in a small town, 100 years to the day a ship mysteriously sank in nearby waters.  A spooky, dense fog sweeps into town before something chilling happens, sending icy shivers up your tense spine.

JJ:

As a childPhantasm  (directed by Don Coscarelli, starring Michael Baldwin, Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister, and Bill Thornbury). WPhallIMDbDOTcomPhantasm

I saw it as a child with some cousins one summer at Uncle Charly’s cottage.  It was late.  The adults were sitting outside by a campfire, and we kids were seated in front of an old TV, watching the VHS (we opted for Phantasm over Roller Boogie).  I recall the mortician character vividly; his name should have been Sinister.  The basic plot line: folks of a small town (of course) start dying under odd circumstances.  Mike, the main character, gets help from his older brother and a local ice-cream guy; they attempt to kill the Tall Man while staying clear of his “helpers” and these wicked silver balls.  It definitely set a few hairs on end, let me tell you.

As a teenJu-on: The Grudge (Japanese version directed by Takashi Shimizu, starring Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, and Takashi Matsuyama); the American version with Sarah Michelle Gellar was pretty decent.

The latest owners of a house are consumed by a curse, which was created when a man murdered his wife and pet cat a few years previous.  Weird—as in spine-chilling frightening—things happen with horror-able outcomes.

As an adultShaun of the Dead (directed by Edgar Wright, starring Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, and Lucy Davis). 

I recall seeing this one years after it was released in theaters.  It’s actually a British horror comedy and it works well as both.  This absurdly, wickedly funny film made me laugh—a lot.  Yes, a zombie apocalypse can be hysterical.

Mine—as in Rey:

As a childChildren of the Corn (directed by Fritz Kiersch, starring Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton).

Based on a Stephen King story, it’s set in a rural part of Nebraska where there are, yup, a lot of cornfields.  The story: a couple enter a small town—surprise, surprise—where only children seem to live.  Before you know it, they’re running for their lives, attempting to escape . . .  these children of the corn.  Corny sounding?  Yeah, but worth the watch!

As a teenSuspiria (directed by Dario Argento, starring Jessica Harper).  WPHallIMDbDOTcomSuspiria

This was actually a 70s flick, but I didn’t see it until I was 14 and <bleep> did it totally creep me out!  This gal travels to Germany to attend ballet school.  Sounds pretty awesome, right?  No-o.  She ends up getting there late, a stormy night, no less.  She finally gets into the school, but bizarre—as in nasty-scary—things start happening.  This is one dark “witching” horror movie.  Put it on your can’t-wait-to-be-scared list!

As an adult:  I think the B movies I acted in are pretty scary and worth being on a Halloween movie list, but JJ and Linda pooh-poohed that, so-o—because I like campy, fun, freaky films—I’m going to go with The Evil Dead (directed by Fede Alvarez, starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, and Jessica Lucas).

Gotta love the story—five folks head up to a remote rundown cabin where they come across something called the Book of the Dead, which results in them accidentally summoning demons who live in the nearby woods.  It’s got the right amount of fear-filled, shriek-dense fright.

Ba-ha-ha . . . Happy Halloween from the gals at the Triple Threat Investigation Agency!  May you have lots of fiendishly frightening fun!

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Goodreads . . . Good Times . . . Good Friends

One of the best ways to get your books noticed is to have them on a Goodreads list (of which there are a few).

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The rules, I understand, are as follows:

♦  You cannot add or vote for your own book (makes sense). Someone else has to add it for you.    ♦  You must list the book you’re voting for on one of your shelves (“Read” or “Want to Read”).    ♦  You can vote for multiple books, as well as prioritize them.

I’ve come across many writers requesting votes for their masterworks so that they may move higher in ranking.  I get that and am more than happy to help by offering a vote or two or twenty.

Confession: me, myself and I have never done that (we’re challenged when it comes to self-promotion, but have always really wanted to give it a go).  WPgoodreads3

A dear blogger-writer friend, Jina S Bazzar added Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie—the 2nd in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series—on the Detective List.  How cool and sweet is that?  Thank you, Jina!

Journeys, a Facebook writing community, has “Shameless Saturday Promotion”  . . . I’m borrowing the idea and shamelessly promoting myself on this fine October Saturday.  Won’t you please vote for Hula by going to Goodreads?  I’m # 493.

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/322.Detective_Fiction?page=7

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And please check out what Jina’s doing on her blog:

https://authorsinspirations.wordpress.com/

She’s also the author of Heir of Ashes and Heir of Doom, which feature the feisty Roxanne Fosch, a young fee hybrid who escaped a government research facility after spending nine years as a captive.  I won’t reveal more.  You’ll have to read the exciting books to see what transpires!

Revile or Revere?

Hi, Linda here.  It’s my turn to take over for the Boss, who’s still on stress-rest (poor thing).  Given my colleagues’ recent topics—Rey’s favorite films and JJ’s personal peeves and pleasures—I opted to go with favored perp, villain or suspect, someone met during our four major cases that we hold/held a certain fondness or admiration for.  (The Boss liked the idea and thought she would feature “fav” fiction/film baddies later.)

JJ

I rather liked Buddy Feuer (Coco’s Nuts).  Vassar-educated Buddy had beauty, brains, and boldness (and was cooler than an English cuke). She was so easy to like and admire.  And what you see/saw, wasn’t necessarily what you get/got, either.  <nudge, nudge, wink, wink>

She came from money, but due to circumstances beyond her control, like her father shooting a metal projectile into his thieving accountant’s fleshy forehead, there was no inheritance to be had.  Did that depress her?  No.  She learned how to drive a truck and worked for one of the biggest firms on the Islands. 

She’s still making a good living at it and I have no doubt that she’ll go places—and not just on eighteen wheels. 

Rey

I have to go with WP Howell, a wealthy gent who hired us for the Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? case, our first professional one.  The guy wanted us to find dirt on his young pretty wife, Carmie.

Howell was a multi-millionaire and philanderer, among other things, and was distinguished on so many levels.  He had this welcoming smile and was in great shape for someone in his 70s.  He had this amazing head of white bushy hair (kind of like the Man from Glad back when) and these sand-brown, dime-round eyes that were really intense.  His smile and laugh were pretty powerful, too. 

Howell had strength and doggedness that came from having and making money in droves.  You couldn’t help but be in awe of someone like that.

Linda

I’m partial to Coco “Mr. Lookeeng Goo-ood” Peterson from Coco’s Nuts, a fellow trucker associate of Buddy’s.  This guy seemed to have chance/luck perpetually on his side, maybe because he was best friends with a mobster’s son.  According to Buddy, he had a gap the width of the Suez Canal between his two huge front teeth, bile-green eyes, and so loved flicking his tongue like a gecko on amphetamines.  Apparently, Coco believed he was super cute and sexy when he did that. 

Odd looks and mannerisms aside, motor-mouthed Coco sounded like he could be a committed chum or a piercing thorn in your side, depending on whether he liked you.  He came across as so intriguingly weird, the three of us wished we could have met him; the I’m-so-hot-I-sizzle personality would have made for a very entertaining get-together. 

What about you?  Who’s your favorite villain (or near-villain)?

Oh, as an FYI, I think Rey meant philanthropist and not philanderer (Howell did like women, but he wasn’t a womanizer).  <LOL>

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Peeves & Pleasures

You’ve got JJ posting today.  As you know, The Boss is on stress-rest (she’s not looking too good, poor thing).

Yes, I confess, Rey’s post re “favs” got me thinking . . . why not share things we dislike and like, our current pet peeves and pleasures?  It was a great exercise; it had us thinking (focusing) really hard.

Here you have them, my friends, the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio’s bugbears and blisses . . .

Peeves

JJ:

♦  bombastic, verbose persons who love the sound of their own voices . . . blab a lot, but say little     ♦  people (businesses) so desirous of profit and power that critical concerns—like climate change—are scoffed at and shelved    ♦  abusers of all kinds

Rey:

♦  whiners and wieners . . . folks who fret and complain, but won’t do anything to change their circumstances    ♦  people who don’t/won’t listen, be it friends or family, politicians or superstars    ♦  creamed corn—someone served it the other day and, gawd, I nearly gagged (my mom and aunts had a thing for it, so it was always at family dinners)

Linda:

♦  fakers and liars—I’ve no patience for phony people in any shape, size, or form    ♦  fake news when it truly is fake news, as propagated by those who like to spin real news for their own benefit  <LOL>   ♦  garbage here, there and everywhere; is it really that difficult to place it in a bin?

Pleasures

JJ:

♦  volunteering time and/or money—what a truly gratifying pleasure    ♦  Hawaii . . . it’s in my heart and soul    ♦  animals/pets . . . and their wonderful (!) unconditional love

Rey:

♦  acting . . . still keen on it (but being a private eye is better)    ♦  catching the bad guy, speaking of being a P.I.—there’s nothing like helping put a criminal behind bars    ♦  pizza . . . still love it and there’s no better way to end a trying day than with a [huge] slice of heaven

Linda:

♦  relaxing and spa retreats are definite [hedonistic] pleasures    ♦  hiking and walking, and being active (fitness and health are everything)    ♦  reading, writing, and blogging

What about yours?  Ever give thought to what floats your boat . . . and sinks it?

From the gals at the TTIA, have an amazing weekend!

Aloha! WPpp4

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!

Thank You to Jay

I want to extend my most appreciative thanks to Jay (James J. Cudney IV) for the wonderful review of Forever Poi.

https://thisismytruthnow.com/2019/09/21/book-review-forever-poi-by-tyler-colins/

Fellow blogger and writer Jay is a force to be reckoned with.  He’s everything I’d like to be as a blogger and writer: proficient, focused, supportive … a consummate professional.  If you’ve not yet checked out his fantastic blog (as I continually say, I’m totally envious) and fabulous books, like the Braxton Campus mystery series, please do!

https://jamesjcudney.com/

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♦ ♦ ♦

Book Review: Forever Poi by Tyler Colins

by James J. Cudney IV

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Forever Poi by Tyler Colins
Forever Poi, the 4th book in the Triple Threat Mysteries series by Tyler Colins, was published in July 2019. I’ve previously read the first three and was psyched to devour the latest one this month. Three smart and sassy female detectives run the Triple Threat Investigations agency in Hawaii, but the series started out in Connecticut and moved its way westward. What an exotic and thrilling location to set a murder mystery series… Ms. Colins has imbued the characters and setting with something exciting, vibrant, and unique. I’ve seen tremendous growth over the course of the four books, and the private detectives are learning on the job as quickly as they possibly can.

Today, I’m focusing on Forever Poi, where the ladies discover two bodies who’d been killed in an art gallery fire. The police bring Triple Threat in for assistance, quickly determining the inferno was intentionally set and the victims were definitely murdered. Unfortunately, JJ and her cousins had recently met at least one of the two lost souls, which makes the investigation all that much more difficult. The hunt for the killer or killers has the ladies traipsing all over the continental US, with a particularly memorable stop in Chicago.

Ms. Colins’ story contains a large number of complex characters, all with hilarious and interesting names. One if even called Crispy, and yes, that’s a connection with the fire. The three detectives are methodical in the search for all the clues and hidden secrets about the two men who owned the gallery and the seemingly disconnected woman Lolita who died in the blaze. We also learn about a death that occurred before the book started, but it might not be connected. Kudos to the author for layering in the details for readers to try to solve the crime themselves.

A few fun things to note, as these are the points that always make Ms. Colins’ books stand out: (a) the catch phrase ‘Hey-ho,’ (b) finding out the true meaning of ‘Forever Poi,’ which isn’t what you think, (c) someone else besides me says ‘Toodles,’ and (d) that totally unexpected scene when Cash (Richie J) returns to visit JJ. At first, I was freaked out, then I realized what was going on, but afterward, it started heating up again. I won’t spoil the surprise for those who’ve read previous books, but it’s an amusing one. The series is edgy but not over-the-top. Appropriate uses of ‘F Off’ and references to ‘Nudie Art’ make the characters and plot seem quite real.

When the key suspect in the crimes is presumed dead midway into the story, you’re left with a ‘now what’ll happen?’ moment. Then, the ladies find themselves trapped with the potential for a bomb to explode. It got pretty close in the end… but they always get their killer, don’t they? This was a great entry in the series, and I’m excited by the news at the end about the next book in 2020. It’ll be on my reading list. I hope it’s on yours too.

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.

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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 . . . ?

Forever Poi Promo Post

A quick shameless self-promotion post – nothing new if you’ve seen my recent Facebook posts – but worth mentioning (again) from this humble author’s perspective.

Forever Poi, the fourth in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, is available for .99 through September 9th on Amazon, thanks to a New Chapter promotion. This case has private eyes JJ, Rey, and Linda solving a double-arson and murder—specifically, who torched two Oahu Chinatown art galleries and left two charred bodies in the rubble?  The trio encounters a sundry of suspects, each possessing a viable motive for having done so—insurance collection, unwanted lover, dicey past, sour grapes …?

The gals would love for you to accompany them as they track leads and clues, encounter strange and suspicious persons, and become embroiled in one of their most puzzling cases yet. WPpromo3

On a different note, I want to extend heartfelt gratitude to those who’ve provided me with much needed [I’m so lost] and much appreciated [I’d be lost without you] support and advice.  Jay, Jina, and Sean—thank you, thank you, thank you!