Paradise Down: The #LeiCrimeKW blog tour

A new crop of Lei Crime Kindle World books are coming your way through June, culminating in a big Facebook party on June 27. Paradise Down is D.B. McNicol’s first Lei Crime novella.

By D.B. McNicol

Paradise Down by D.B. NcNicol

Paradise Down by D.B. NcNicol

“What a great day. Thanks for being a such great guide, Jared. Diving Hawaii was even better than we expected. We will be calling you tomorrow to book again before we head home.”

Jared waved the clients off and walked up to the shop, thinking this was the strangest vacation he’d ever had. He was glad he’d taken two weeks or he would have had to desert Lucia before she was squared away.

Lucia. She is so sweet and so cute. He then recounted the reasons he wasn’t interested in her. One, she’s too young. Two, I have to go back to Maui and she will go to the university in Honolulu. Three, no responsibilities! Oh, and four, she’s like my kid sister.

He laughed at himself. At least he was here to help her now. He dropped his gear by the front door and enjoyed the sound of the chimes as he stepped inside. The first thing he saw was a big brown dog in front of him, growling. The second thing he saw was everything had been trashed. Someone had vandalized the shop. His head spun around, searching. “Lucia? Where are you? Damn it! Answer me!”

The dog stopped growling and whimpered. “What’s up, pup? Do you know where she is?” He took a step forward, watching for any signs of aggression from the dog. Nothing. He took another step, and another and then he saw her, laying unconscious on the floor.

“Shit! Lucia, it’s me. Jared.” He felt for a pulse and noticed the blood pooling under her head. “Hang on, help is coming.” He ran to the front porch, pulled his cell out of his dry bag and dialed 9-1-1.

“We need an ambulance and police to Dave’s Deep Dive, Anini Beach. The shop was vandalized and the owner is unconscious and bleeding from the head. This is Jared Stevens from the Maui Fire Department. I’m going to try to stop the bleeding. My cell will be beside me.” He clicked off, pulled his first aid kit out of his bag and went back inside.

The dog had lain down beside Lucia, head between its paws, but still watching every move Jared made. “It’s okay. Help is coming.” He found the source of the blood and used gauze pads for compression. The pup whimpered again. “It’s okay. Head wounds always bleed a lot. I’m more worried about a concussion.” He kept talking to Lucia and the dog, straining to hear sirens in the distance. “They’ll be here soon. It won’t be long now, just hang on.”

The front door opened and he shouted out. “Back here. In the back.”

A female voice responded. “Oh my! What happened? Is she dead? I think I feel faint.”

Jared shouted, “Don’t you dare. Please go back outside and wait for the ambulance and police. They should be here any minute.”

“Oh.” With that, she tottered back outside.

Jared looked at the dog. “Well, that was a big help, wasn’t it.” All he got in return was a whimper.

Sitting on the floor beside Lucia, Jared reflected on the damage around him. Who could have done this? And why? It made no sense. First her brother disappears and now this.

The dog perked up and gave a bark. “What, do you hear something.” Another bark and then Jared heard the sirens. “It’s about time.”

About Paradise Down

Aloha Nicholás!  But will this be a hello or a goodbye?

When Lucia Santerez returns home to Hawaii to help her brother Nicholás with his new dive shop, she learns Nicholás has disappeared–and someone doesn’t want him found.

Enlisting the aid of hunky vacationing firefighter, Jared Stevens, gets them the wrong kind of attention. They discover what lies under the water off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Kaua`i could make you rich or get you killed.

You can find Paradise Down exclusively on Amazon, as part of the Lei Crime Kindle World.

There are a lot more new Lei Crime Kindle World releases this month, and it’s all building up to a huge party on Facebook on June 27 with hundreds of dollars in prizes.


About the author

I think I was destined to be a writer – in the 4th grade I took my toy typewriter and painstakingly typed out the neighborhood news, one copy at a time, and sold it to the neighbors for ten cents each. But as often happens, life intervenes and writing took a back seat to spending 30+ years in the IT industry.

A late in life lover of adventure, I learned to ride a motorcycle at age 55, traveled the US solo on my Harley-Davidson at age 58 (42 states and 27k miles), selling my home and everything I owned to become a full-time RVer. I eventually met my current husband, also widowed, a full-time RVer and Harley rider. Fate!

We traveled the US for several years before putting it in storage and moving to Cuenca, Ecuador for two years. What at adventure! Now we are back and continue to travel in our 41′ fifth wheel toy hauler trailer.

I continue to travel and write, savoring every moment of every day!

Visit Donna’s

And follow her on Twitter @dbmcnicol.

The Road to San Pancho: The #LeiCrimeKW blog tour

A new crop of Lei Crime Kindle World books are coming your way through June, culminating in a big Facebook party on June 27. The Road to San Panco is Lynda Filler’s first Lei Crime novella; she has also written three novels in the JET Kindle World.

By Lynda Filler

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.35.08 PM


His taste in music was like his taste in women: eclectic.

Jared cranked the tunes on his custom sound system. A CD of his all-time favorites played over and over again. Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, Bruce, Tina Turner, and yeah, he’d admit it, Donna Summers.

If you want to hang out, you’ve gotta take her out, cocaine

If you want to get down, get down on the ground, cocaine.

If you got bad news, you want to kick them blues, cocaine

When your day is done and you want to run, cocaine.

If your thing is gone, and you want to ride on, cocaine

Don’t forget this fact; you can’t get it back, cocaine.

   J.J. Cale; Eric Clapton (cover)

He’d made good time since leaving Cali. He liked to ride easy. After all he wasn’t on anyone’s clock. Months to ride, surf to find. He had some buddies in Yuma so he took the long route towards Mexico. Everything he read said stay away from certain parts of Mexico. Stay on the main highway like #8 towards Yuma. Cartel activity, kidnapping and extortion; these were dangerous times. He figured even though it was getting dark he could risk another 75 miles to Yuma.

He had a love affair with his VW Bus. When he came to think of it, she was the only woman he was ever loyal to. He’d reconditioned her perfectly. Even the custom paint job, desert sand top half and pale cactus green bottom, totally laid back sixties feel. Not that he was in love with that era or any era. The American Dream was an American nightmare as far as he was concerned. 

He needed this trip to wipe his mother from his mind. He couldn’t save her from herself. And she’d been dragging him down with her. She was lost in an alcoholic haze and he had to move on. His father died when he was fourteen and she was already alcohol dependent but she’d gone further down that road to total oblivion. He’d tried to get her into rehab but there was no way. When his dad was alive, he had one parent he could count on. Now he had none. Fourteen years since dad passed, he needed to move on.

His brother Michael had left years ago and was making a life for himself in Hawaii. Good for him. Maybe one day Jared would join him. But now was not that time.

He yawned. Fatigue was setting in. His eyes wandered off the white line to a dying flare on the gravel. Two vehicles were pulled over to the side. He could make out a small child or woman faced by two hulking brutes. Was that a gun she was holding? 

Jared slammed his foot down. His bus screeched to a stop.

About The Road to San Pancho

Hot on the heels of JET: Ultimatum, a fast-paced thriller suspense novella on Amazon Kindle Worlds, author Lynda Filler introduces The Road to San Pancho, a Lei Crime Kindle World novella.

In the author’s tradition, this engaging novel takes the reader on a compelling journey through the eyes and heart of young Peace, a tiny but feisty, red-haired college grad with alluring chocolate brown eyes.

Ruggedly handsome, ripped and sun-bronzed Jared Stevens, a firefighter on vacation with surf board in tow, happens upon Peace along the interstate, pulled over with apparent car troubles and being accosted by two drunk and disorderly roadies looking for more than just a good time.

Teary-eyed and heart torn, Peace steps away from life in coastal California on a dangerous quest that takes her down ominous highways to the eventual coastal splendor of San Pancho, Mexico. Suffering the heartache of the recent passing of her beloved mother, Peace is determined to find the father she never knew.

Together with her newfound friend Jared, who she would affectionately nickname “Rock,” their travels take them deep into the breathtaking, rugged beauty of mountainous, lush coastal Mexico with its radical tumbling surf, perfect for their passion of surfing the waves. Peace begins to experience life and new discoveries she never would have imagined possible.

Could her Mexican father possibly be found in this place of seeming paradise yet teaming with the omnipresent dark elements of drug cartels, corruption and murder? She finds solace in the stroking of a green-eyed dolphin pendant hanging on a necklace her mother had worn a lifetime long. Tearful memories drive her determination to press on. What perils await them on The Road to San Pancho? What purpose brought her and Jared together on the open highway to a Mexican border beyond the distant, sun-drenched horizon before them?

Find it exclusively on Amazon.

About the author

“The author’s style is reminiscent of Clive Cussler, Lee Childs or Baldacci.”— N. Huff

Lynda Filler makes her home in sultry Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and writes both poetry and fiction. She’s been accused of writing autobiographical stories, but so far no can get her to admit it! She’s been writing her whole life but only started publishing with the encouragement of NYT/USA Best Selling author Russell Blake of the popular JET series. When she is not in Mexico, she travels to the Pacific Northwest or Paris, France to visit her children. She loves to hear from her fans on FaceBook where you can find book news, crazy fun quotes, and photographs of both Mexico and Lynda’s travels.

Find her books on Amazon:

You can find Lynda Filler on Twitter @LyndaMFiller and Facebook.


Stealing Honolulu: The #LeiCrimeKW blog tour

A new crop of Lei Crime Kindle World books are coming your way through June, culminating in a big Facebook party on June 27. Stealing Honolulu is Terry Ambrose’s second Lei Crime novella.


When the goal is to steal millions, all obstacles must be removed. 

Marty Fitch is settling into life in Honolulu. He and his cousin Pono Kaihale are getting along well, Marty has a new girlfriend, and it looks like he might even have a big case to investigate for his video blog thanks to his best friend Jake. 

When Jake dies in a freak accident, Marty feels responsible. He can’t let go of the investigation. He can’t apologize enough to Jake’s widow. And he can’t escape the feeling Jake’s accident may not have been an accident at all. 

Marty buries himself in his work to clear his conscience. His investigation takes him into the dangerous world of ATM theft, where millions of dollars are at stake and the dark web rules. It’s a place where anonymity is king, and the pawns find their lives worthless. 

With bodies piling up behind him, his identity exposed, and a killer out to get him, Marty has only one move left. Even he’s not sure if he will he be fast enough.

You can find Stealing Honolulu exclusively on Amazon, as part of the Lei Crime Kindle World.

There are a lot more new Lei Crime Kindle World releases this month, and it’s all building up to a huge party on Facebook on June 27 with hundreds of dollars in prizes.


About the author

Terry Ambrose started out skip tracing and collecting money from deadbeats and quickly learned that liars come from all walks of life. He never actually stole a car, but sometimes hired big guys with tow trucks and a penchant for working in the dark to “help” when negotiations failed.

A resident of Southern California, he loves spending time in Hawaii, especially on the Garden Island of Kauai, where he invents lies for others to read. His years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons, such as:

Always keep your car in the garage.

Visit Terry’s


Treachery Makes it Tense: The #LeiCrimeKW blog tour

A new crop of Lei Crime Kindle World books are coming your way through June, culminating in a big Facebook party on June 27. Treachery Makes it Tense is Julie C. Gilbert’s fifth Lei Crime novella, and the fourth in her Shadow Council series featuring FBI Special Agent Marcella Scott.SC 4 TMIT

A taste:

She took his phone to read the message.

Shooting in JJ’s office. KUP

“What’s ‘KUP’? Who are JJ and D. Sims? And how does D. Sims know this information before everybody else?” Marcella knew if she thought about it, she could come up with the answers, but firing questions at Matt seemed easier.

“KUP is Keep You Posted in texting speech,” Matt reported. “Sims is one of the new tech guys I’ve been working with to upgrade the gadgetry around here.”

“Since when?” Marcella inquired.

“Since yesterday,” Matt replied. “That’s the case I caught a few days ago while you were in all those Gavriel briefing sessions. Just met the Sims kid yesterday. He seems nice enough.”

Marcella wasn’t sure if she wanted to be jealous or relieved not to have been assigned that case. It sounded interesting with the potential to go deadly boring in a few days.

“You met him yesterday, and you’re texting buddies already?” Marcella let her expression emphasize the question.

Matt rolled his eyes.

“He’s a modern kid. I think he’d have two phones in hand to text separate people if he had the chance.” Matt’s amusement vanished. “You know who JJ is,” he said quietly.

As soon as he said it, Marcella’s mind conjured the answer.

“Judge Jackson,” she whispered, stunned.

“I don’t know how Sims got the information, but I wouldn’t put it past him to have some sort of prototype surveillance equipment in place.”

“Wouldn’t that be highly illegal?” Marcella asked.

A small shrug was the only response she got. Matt didn’t have time to give a verbal answer.

SAC Waxman suddenly filled the entry to Marcella’s cubicle.

“Scott! Rogers! Drop your cases and get up to Judge Jackson’s office pronto! I want a report on my desk in two hours!” Waxman roared the order then disappeared in the direction of his office, followed by a collection of security men and assistants.

Marcella strapped on her gun, plucked her ID from her pocket, and headed for the nearest stairwell. The elevators would be locked down, and guards would be posted at each entrance and exit. They’d have to badge their way through the checkpoints.

A shooting inside a federal building fell under the FBI jurisdiction, but Marcella was surprised Waxman would give them the assignment. She guessed it might have something to do with convenience, seeing as both their current cases were brand new and therefore easy to set aside. She and Matt weren’t huge fans of Jackson, but curiosity alone made this a coveted case. The fact that they’d dealt with him recently gave them a slight edge in the investigation, assuming they had to deal with him as a perpetrator or victim.

What’s Treachery Makes it Tense about?

When a vanquished foe resurfaces with vengeance on his mind …

Special Agent Marcella Scott expects the danger to fall to her. She does not expect her FBI partner’s entire family to disappear.

Cassandra Mirren witnesses her boss’s murder and gets drawn into a deadly game. Now, she has a choice—either work with Agent Scott or betray her.

Both women are about to find out that treachery makes it tense.

This story is set before Black Jasmine, Book 3 of the Lei Crime Series.

You can find Treachery Makes it Tense exclusively on Amazon, as part of the Lei Crime Kindle World.

There are a lot more new Lei Crime Kindle World releases this month, and it’s all building up to a huge party on Facebook on June 27 with hundreds of dollars in prizes.


About the author

Julie Gilbert 2013 (5 of 25)Teaching and writing make up about 90% of Julie Gilbert’s life. The other smidgen would probably be split between Legos, Star Wars collecting, and drinking decaf coffee or a strong peppermint tea. She might also be a candy addict. She occasionally does puzzles, but crossword puzzles bore her. She’s more of a word search gal because there’s always a chance of winning those.

Find her online:

And follow her on Twitter @authorgilbert.

Born to Love: The #LeiCrimeKW blog tour

A new crop of Lei Crime Kindle World books are coming your way through June, culminating in a big Facebook party on June 27. Born to Love is Amy Shojai’s first Lei Crime novella.Born To Love - Amy Shojai

“The novella is a prequel to the Lei Crime Series. Set in Texas, the story begins about two years before Blood Orchids, offering readers the backstory of Keiki, the Rottweiler,” the author explains.

“In Born to Love, readers get a glimpse of what shaped the young Keiki as a puppy, and learn about experiences and special training that helped her eventually become a police dog,” she continues. “Keiki  learns that even a good dog—and her person, Lia—are not infallible, both need love, and together they are stronger than apart.

“Lia and Keiki alternate viewpoint chapters in BORN TO LOVE, but Keiki does NOT talk, not in human terms anyway. Keiki communicates via body language, scent signals, and the occasional vocalization, in the same way that real dogs communicate. She does have thoughts—pure made-up fun speculation!”

About Born to Love

Can the past unlock the future and love preserve a life?

A puppy’s job is to learn. Keiki relishes the sights, sounds and smells of her world, but people frustrate and confuse her. Why do humans control all the good stuff?

Lia Corazon channels her energy and emotions into the dogs she trains in her North Texas kennel. She especially enjoys four-month-old Keiki’s enthusiasm, but the pup’s owner makes her uneasy. There’s something very…wrong about him.

When a vicious storm, violent flood, and scary creatures menace Keiki, her Rottweiler bravery comes through. But what can a good-dog do when a human enemy threatens? Keiki must use all she’s learned if she’s to save Lia from a killer.

You can find Born to Love exclusively on Amazon, as part of the Lei Crime Kindle World.

There are a lot more new Lei Crime Kindle World releases this month, and it’s all building up to a huge party on Facebook on June 27 with hundreds of dollars in prizes.


About the author

Amy Shojai is a nationally known authority on pet care and behavior, a certified animal behavior consultant, a spokesperson for the pet products industry, and the author of 30 nonfiction pet books. She also writes THRILLERS WITH BITE! which includes the dog-viewpoint thrillers Lost and Found, Hide and Seek and Show and Tell.

New to Amy Shojai? Read the first book in her “September Day” thriller series, LOST AND FOUND, for FREE. Text the word “thrills” to 44222 to get started.



Charade at Sea: The #LeiCrimeKW blog tour

A new crop of Lei Crime Kindle World books are coming your way through June, culminating in a big Facebook party on June 27. Charade at Sea is the third in the series by Eden Baylee.

cas_HR4_liteA luxury cruise is ideal for a budding romance … or is it?

Lainey Lee and ex-Navy SEAL, Max Scott, shared an incredible experience when they met in Kauai. A romantic cruise around the Hawaiian Islands seems perfect for discovering if they can become more than just friends.

But mystery abounds.

Lainey meets a fifty-something newlywed on her honeymoon. The chatty woman speaks highly of her husband and his secret missions abroad. Lainey is intrigued but her intuition tells her something is not right.

Even while her feelings for Max grow, Lainey can’t help wondering about the charade being played at sea.

You can find Charade at Sea exclusively on Amazon, as part of the Lei Crime Kindle World.

There are a lot more new Lei Crime Kindle World releases this month, and it’s all building up to a huge party on Facebook on June 27 with hundreds of dollars in prizes.


Keep coming back to Written Words all week for more previews, and then come to the party to win big.

Initiation Rites: The summer of the Bones of the Earth

Tomorow is is the summer solstice, and tonight is the full moon. This is a coincidence that doesn’t happen very often, and one I used for my first (to be published) novel, The Bones of the Earth.

I chose that because of the symbolism and mystique surrounding both the full moon and the summer solstice. The solstice, of course, is the day in the northern hemisphere with the most daylight.

And tonight is the full moon, always an event full of meaning—a great opportunity for a writer of fantasy.

The last time the full moon came the night before the summer solstice was apparently 70 years ago, so this coincidence is pretty rare. I did quite a lot of research to find when that happened during the Dark Age in Europe, and found it happened in 593 AD. This was fortuitous for a writer of fantasy: it was arguably one of the darkest years of the Dark Age, when the Western Roman Empire was a dim memory, whole nations were migrating across Western Europe, and a new group was invading Eastern Europe, the Avars—a people who made the Huns look like disorganized brush salesmen.

Perfect. For a fantasy writer.

A solstice deal

Initiation Rites, Part 1 of The Bones of the Earth, is 99 cents on Amazon and free on Smashwords. So to get your dark age fantasy on, you can get Initiation Rites for free, and this week, The Bones of the Earth is just 99 cents.Initiation Rites

For those who like dark, sword-and-sorcery fantasy, here’s a taste:

Wait. Wait. Wait.

Wait until the full moon is high, Vorona chanted. Wait until magic fills the night.

They waited as Vorona’s steady drumbeat pulled the full moon over the trees.

“Mysyach,” she repeated with every drum beat. No one else spoke or even moved. They waited as Mysyach, the moon goddess, slowly revealed her face. On this warm night, they felt a promise being fulfilled: “A full moon the night before the summer solstice is a very rare event,” Vorona had said one full moon ago in this same clearing. “It is the time for young men and women to worship, to celebrate their own fertility.”  They had danced naked to Vorona’s beating drum and returned home, exhausted and expectant.

Now, one month later, the night before the summer solstice, they gathered again in the clearing. Vorona’s moonlight ceremonies were irresistible, and open only to the unmarried young adults—no children or married people allowed. Twenty such came to the clearing just before moonrise, speaking low and fast in small groups. In the middle were the most popular couple, Mrost the bully and his girlfriend Grat; the others laughed at all their jokes and never dared interrupt them.

As always, Javor was the last to arrive and stood a little apart, wondering what to do. What if they tell me to leave? he thought. He shifted his weight from foot to foot until he spotted Hrech, his only friend. Then he saw Elli talking with her two girlfriends at the side of the clearing. She is prettier than Grat, and nicer, too, he thought as usual. Why does everyone like Grat better? He wondered whether he should go to Hrech or Elli.

No one noticed Vorona arrive; she seemed to appear in the centre of the clearing. Vorona had set herself up as the village’s witch: the woman who knew about herbs and remedies, who knew who was too closely related to marry, who dispensed potions and advice about finding a lover or getting a baby. But she was no crone. Perhaps twenty years old, she had long, rich brown hair and curves that Javor had started to notice when he had turned 13. She had big, widely-spaced eyes that she accented by painting dark outlines around them, and they flashed green in daylight and strangely silver by firelight. She had high cheekbones, a delicate face, wide lips and a delicate dimple like a tiny furrow in the end of her nose.

Tonight, she wore a metal necklace and a silvery bracelet. A single piece of amber hung in the centre of her forehead, suspended from a leather band around her head. A long robe of yellow and red, woven in a fiery pattern, hung from her shoulders. The front was cut very low and Javor took a good look at the curve of her breasts in the moonlight. As she turned he could see that the robe’s skirts parted at the side, revealing not only her leg but her whole hip. His heart started to beat faster.

The moon’s lower edge cleared the tallest tree and Vorona startled them all by crying “Worship, young people!” She lifted her hands. “Mistress of the night, Mysyach, bless us tonight as we pay homage to thee!” A pyramid of wood at her feet burst into flame all at once, quickly building into a bonfire. How did she do that? Javor wondered.

“It is time, young worshippers! Join hands in a circle around the fire and begin the ceremony!” Vorona commanded, then bent her head down and crooned words Javor didn’t understand.

You can find The Bones of the Earth on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iBooks and other e-book e-tailers.


A new #LeiCrimeKW cover reveal: Dead Man Lying

Dead Man Lying - 529x800

This is it! The latest Vanessa Storm mystery, part of the whole #LeiCrimeKW Kindle World, will be on the Amazon e-shelves by June 27.

The cover is another masterpiece by David C. Cassidy, my favourite book cover designer. Check out his website,

About Dead Man Lying

Vanessa Storm is back — the FBI agent who always knows when you’re lying.

Maui is rain forest, black sand beaches and a laid-back lifestyle. The perfect retirement location for a folk singer.

But when that folk singer ends up dead, it’s up to Maui Detective Lei Texeira and FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm to untangle the web of lies woven by the dead man’s family and friends before the body count escalates any higher.

Get it on Amazon starting June 27.

And check out the other Lei Crime Kindle World titles:

warrior dog cover

Warrior Dog by Emily Kimelman

A Snake in Paradise by Eden Baylee

A Snake in Paradise by Eden Baylee

Paradise Down by D.B. NcNicol

Paradise Down by D.B. NcNicol

Money Makes It Deadlier by Julie C. Gilbert

Money Makes It Deadlier by Julie C. Gilbert


Palm Trees & Snowflakes by Scott Bury

Torn Roots by Scott Bury

Torn Roots by Scott Bury

When life trumps writing

May and June have not been kind to me.

I was planning to write a post on how the past twelve months have been so productive: six titles published! And another one well on the way to being finished before then end of the calendar year.

But these last few weeks have been brutal — I can’t help but wonder what forces are moving against me.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that about three weeks ago, I fell four steps on my staircase, landed on my heel, hyperextended my knee and completely tore out my quadriceps tendon, and broke a small bone behind my kneecap. That pretty much made travel impossible, other than to the hospital. I’m now in a leg brace, and will remain in it for at least another eight weeks.

If you’ve ever been in a leg brace or cast, you’ll know how impossible it is to bend low and pick up things from the floor. And how fraught are such activities as climbing stairs. Luckily, have taken the opportunity to do more writing. While waiting in the hospital for … well, whatever hospitals always keep you waiting for, I managed to finish the final draft of my new Lei Crime novella, Dead Man Lying. I also worked out the outline for the sequel to my first book, The Bones of the Earth. I’m calling the next part of the story of Javor, the seventh-century warrior, The Triumph of the Sky.

But I have found that little disasters get in the way of writing. After that hospital-bound spurt, I’ve been writing the same chapter for two weeks.

The gods of calamity are having a great time with me

Train_wreck_at_Montparnasse_1895The next problem was that the home WiFi network decided to go wonky. I called my ISP, Bell Canada, to fix it. Their first response was that it was all my fault.

Have you ever noticed that? Whenever you ask an IT person what’s wrong with your computer technology, the response boils down to this: “These computers would work just fine if you didn’t keep using them.”

Now, my main computer is in my home office. But because of the vagaries of how we use the Internet, the WiFi router is in the family room. So troubleshooting the network requires me to go back and forth from office to family room. It seems simple until you factor in a leg brace and crutches.

On my third hour-long call to tech support, the techie and I succeeded in completely discombobulating the WiFi network. That finally convinced Bell that we needed a technician to come and fix the problem professionally. A techie showed up and fixed the WiFi network, but disconnected all the telephone extensions. And none of the shows recorded on our PVR would play.

I called Bell again, and another techie showed up the next day — but not before a call from the dispatch office, who wondered why we wanted someone to come out when we had just had a service call. I had to convince “Jay” that it wasn’t my fault, and indeed, the phones did not work. “Then how are you talking to me right now?” Jay asked.

“You’re calling my mobile phone,” I answered, successfully suppressing the word “dumbass.”

Thankfully, the second technician managed to fix everything. It wasn’t hard — it’s just that the first guy was sloppy.

I know, first world problems

The same day the WiFi decided to stop working, the basement refrigerator, which we use for beer and less important things, just died. No warning. My wonderful wife opened it, noticed the light wasn’t on, and came back an hour later to verify that it was indeed getting warmer. We managed to stuff the essential contents in the main upstairs refrigerator, but tragically, the beer is not at the optimal temperature.

I’m not just sitting on my butt

One thing about me that drives my kids nuts is that I almost never do nothing. Weekends are opportunities to tackle home repairs and improvements, days off are times to move the writing projects forward, vacations are times to start writing a new book.

So while I’m at home dealing with this injury, I decided to take a break from elevating my leg (really, how can you spend all day sitting on your butt with one leg up in the air? It’s aggravating.) to look into why the toilet in the ensuite bathroom leaks water from the tank into the bowl. It seemed that the flapper, a rubber seal, had deteriorated. I sent my younger son, Super Nicolas, to the hardware store for a replacement.

JetWBottomImageTornRootsBadgePTAS-800x500IMG_0020.jpgWifeLine-final-smallHe brought back the right one. It looks right, and according to all the hardware stores nearby, it’s the only one. By now, that toilet is old fashioned. And the new flapper just doesn’t fit properly. Water flows even faster because it doesn’t seat properly over the valve.

Time for a painful trip to the home improvement store

At the big box hardware store which I will not name (but rhymes with “Shalom repo”), the helpful plumbing “expert” recommended some parts. But when I got them home, I realized that I would need some other gaskets. When you take apart plumbing that’s 30 years old, you can’t expect rubber seals and gaskets to survive. So I had to go back the next day for yet more parts. The same “expert” recommended some that he said would be compatible.

So with my elder son, the Blond Ravin’, doing the heavy lifting and difficult wrenching, we went to work.

And found that the new parts weren’t really compatible. By that time it was well past closing time for Shalom Repo. So it’s one more day without that bathroom being functional.

The little fall

Oh, yah. I got the 34 staples taken out of my knee on Tuesday. That was a relief — when it was over. As the nurse pulled them out of my flesh with what amounted to hospital-style staple removers, I managed to grunt only three times. After she put iodine on the scar, she told me “This will sting.”

“I know,” I said through gritted teeth.

Eventually, the surgeon came by to pretend to look. He told me to start walking and putting my full weight on the injured leg, but keep the brace on for at least the next six weeks.

That’s what I was doing the next evening, spreading grass seed in the back yard. I lost my balance and went down. The pain in my knee spiked to 10 out of 10 for an instant.

Luckily, there doesn’t seem to be any extensive damage. No swelling and the pain isn’t unmanageable.

Enough, already

Okay, I get it. The deep powers of the universe have shown just how they can push me around. I hope they’re having a good laugh.

But all good things must come to an end.



“Good” always depends on your perspective.

Sneak peek: A new #LeiCrimeKW mystery — Dead Man Lying

That’s right: I’m about to launch a new book. Dead Man Lying is a new Lei Crime Kindle World novella.

I know many of you liked FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm from Torn Roots and Palm Trees & Snowflakes. You’ll be happy to know she returns in Dead Man Lying, along with the beginning of the whole Lei Crime Kindle World, Maui police detective “Lei Texeira herself.

It will launch along with a new crop of Lei Crime KW titles in June. For now, here’s a peak at Chapter 1.

Vanessa paused at the edge of the forest to try to rub some of the dirt off her shoes. “Steve Sangster. I can’t believe I’m investigating his death. Did you like his music, Detective Texeira?”

“Call me Lei. Yeah, I love all that folksy-rock stuff. I even had one of Steven Sangster’s albums as a girl. Did you?”

Vanessa could not repress a smile. “I was a big fan. I had all his old CDs — still do. I had such a crush on him when I was 16. He was so handsome.”

Lei smiled back. “The blue eyes and the square chin, huh?”

So this is the famous Lei Texeira, Vanessa thought, looking at the slender detective with her peripheral vision while appearing to study the heiau. She was small for a cop, but athletic, with beautiful big brown eyes and a sprinkle of freckles across her cheeks and nose. Her features spoke of a mixture of Hawaiian, Asian and European extraction. Her dark brown curls rippled to her shoulders, and Vanessa wondered briefly how much of the curling was due to the incredible humidity of Hana, on Maui’s rain coast.

“Is this where it happened?” said an unfamiliar voice. Vanessa and Lei turned and Vanessa’s shoe slipped again. Her knee buckled and she almost went down, but Lei’s small hand grabbed her arm, steadying her. Vanessa was impressed — Lei was stronger than she looked.

Steady again on the wet lava, she looked up to see a short, balding man letting the yellow police tape down behind him.

“Don’t the words ‘Do not cross’ mean anything to you?” Lei demanded, stepping toward the man.

“I’m Simon Sangster. He — the victim … I mean, he was my father,” the man stammered. He did not step back, but actually put a foot up on the lava rock.

“I’m sorry for your loss, Mr. Sangster, but you still cannot step past the yellow tape.”

The man scowled, straightened his back and puffed out his little chest, which did not protrude nearly as much as his belly. “Now that my father is … this is now my property.”

“Even so, this is a crime scene and you’ll have to step back past the yellow tape,” Lei retorted. She lifted the tape for him.

“It’s so that no one compromises the investigation,” Vanessa offered. “Please, step back.”

“In-investigation?” he said, seeming to deflate. “I thought it was an accident?”

“We’ll have to wait for the coroner’s final report to know that,” said Lei. She stepped off the heiau and took the younger Sangster by the arm.

Vanessa had one foot off the lava platform when a tree beside the path exploded and a boom rolled up the hill. Lei dove between the trees, pushing Sangster with her. Vanessa dropped and rolled, conscious of her jacket tearing on the rock, ending up half buried under bushes with long, pointed leaves. The top half of a young koa tree toppled. She waited, counting to five before lifting her head. Her face was wet from the bushes and covered with bits of shredded wood.

About the book

When a once-famous singer is found dead on his own estate on Maui, it’s all FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm can do to untangle the webs of lies spun by every member of the singer’s family. Dead Man Lying is a new addition to the Lei Crime Kindle World, based on characters and settings created by Toby Neal.

Dead Man Lying will launch in June 2016.

You can win a free e-copy by leaving a comment below.