Hawaiian Dream

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A couple weeks ago I asked the members of my Kathi Daley Books Group page for suggestions for blog subjects. I received several really good ones including a question about my Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mystery Series set in Hawaii. I’ve chatted about this series before but I thought I’d take a moment to talk about it again since I have a new book in the series – Murder at Turtle Cove – publishing in March. The question I was asked had to do with the motivation or reason I decided to write the series. The simple answer is that I LOVE Hawaii and visit almost every spring so I thought it would be fun to write about the very real places I visit or at least the fictional equivalent of the very real places I visit.

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Hawaii is the land of warm sunshine, friendly people, beautiful beaches, and truly amazing sunsets. It is a tropical paradise inhabited by whales, dolphins, sharks, and turtles amongst other creatures of the sea. The hiking and scuba diving are amazing, and don’t even get me started on the food! In short, Hawaii really is the paradise television makes it out to be.

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Since I have been to the islands so many times the urge to do the tourist thing and cram activity into every waking moment does not exist. Hawaii for me is a place where I can go to read, write, and relax, while enjoying the exceptional weather and the warm sea. My desire to write about this particular location allows me to visit mentally at least several times a year. I wrote Murder at Turtle Cove during one of the biggest blizzards Tahoe has experienced in more than a decade. Thoughts of clear water that feels like a warm hug when you enter, kept me going during those long days of snow, snow, and more snow.

murder-at-turtle-cove-facebook  Personally I really love this particular story. There is a lot going on and the reader will discover the truth behind such things as Shredders secretive behavior and Luke’s Wall Street past. There is also a surprise ending which I think my readers are going to enjoy. Murder at Turtle cove actually turned out to be one of my favorites in the series. Of course it could have been the ten feet of snow outside my window as I wrote it that made this particular book so enjoyable for me, but whether you live where the winters are cold or blustery or you live in a warmer climate, I think you’ll enjoy the story either way.

 

Here is the Amazon description and link:

Lani is trapped when a school of sharks gather to feed between her location beyond the breakers and the beach. When she is finally able to come ashore she finds that the meal the sharks were feeding on was a who rather than a what. Based on the evidence provided it looks like the victim was murdered prior to becoming shark food. Luke and Lani set out to find the killer but during the course of the investigation Lani learns a surprising secret about Luke that may change everything she believes to be true.

Preorder the book: http://amzn.to/2md4BCm

 

 

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Traveling the Open Road

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I was stuck for a blog subject for this week so I asked the gang who hang out over at Kathi Daley Books group page for suggestions and I received several very good ones. One of the questions had to do with my favorite vacation. At first I wasn’t really sure, and to be honest I can’t say that I have a single favorite vacation, but I think that if I had to choose it would be the long road trips that my husband and I used to take. We didn’t travel a lot when our kids were living at home but after they moved out we decided we wanted to begin to see the world. The question was, where to start? After a bit of discussion, we decided to visit all 50 states plus all the National Parks before traveling overseas. This was a decision I have not regretted once.

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We decided it would be best to take long road trips using different routes each time. This was back before you had everything you needed on your phone so I went down to the automobile association and got a bunch of maps and a bunch of those books with lodging properties listed. Every spring and every fall we took 4 – 5 weeks and headed in a different direction. We never made reservations since we weren’t sure what we wanted to see, how long we wanted to spend in each location, and what the weather would be, so we just picked a direction each morning and drove until we got tired and then we’d start looking for a motel. I had a map of the United States and each time we passed into a state we had never visited I colored in the state. We took a photo of the sign for each National Park we visited as well.

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It took a decade of traveling different backroads across America, but eventually we did manage to visit all 50 states and we’ve visited all the National Parks except for a few in Alaska that are so remote you have to charter a private plane to get to. Unfortunately we did most of this traveling before digital cameras, so while I have a ton of photos, they will need to be scanned into the computer before I can share them. I’ll do that one day though and do a follow up blog about my favorite spots along the way.

 

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Comment below and tell me about your favorite vacation in order to be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift card.

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Writer’s Retreat

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I am so excited to introduce my new series featuring a writer’s retreat set on Gull Island off the South Carolina Coast. It will publish May 1 and is a spinoff of sorts from Treasure in Paradise which will publish April 11. Treasure in Paradise is a Tj Jensen mystery and the Writer’s Retreat series will not mention or refer to Tj in anyway, but the location and local characters introduced in Treasure in Paradise will carry over to the new series.

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So here is the setup.

Jillian Hanford is a investigative reporter working for the New York Times. Her world comes crashing down around her when she decides to use an unverified tip she received at the last minute and her intel turns out not to be true. Jillian is fired as a means of pacifying the target of her story and finds herself unemployed and unenthused. It is shortly after this that she receives a phone call from a half brother she never knew existed inviting her to come to Gull Island. It seems that her brother has had a stroke and is no longer able to run the island resort he owns. He asks Jillian (Jill) if she would be willing to move to the island and take over the management. She agrees to this at least for on a temporary basis while she figures out a way to get her life back.

After she arrives on the island she decides to try her hand at writing a novel which gives her the idea to run the resort as a writers retreat. She contacts Charles Baxter, a mystery writer and old friend of her brother, and asks him if he would like to move to the island on a permanent basis and help her run things. He agrees and the pair line up several other authors who want to live there as well.

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The Writers:

Jillian (Jill) Hanford

Jillian is a dark haired, dark eyed, never married thirty eight year old newspaper reporter who moved to Gull Island after her much older brother, Garrett Hanson, had a stroke and was no longer able to run the resort he’d inherited. Jillian had suffered a personal setback and needed a change in lifestyle, so she decided to run the resort as a writers retreat while she waited for an opportunity to work her way back into her old life. In order to help make ends meet, she takes on freelance work which allows her to maintain her ties to the news industry. Jillian shares her life with her partner in mystery solving, an ornery parrot with an uncanny ability to communicate named Blackbeard.

 

Jackson (Jack) Jones

Jack is a dark haired, blue eyed, never married forty-two year old nationally acclaimed author of hard core mysteries and thrillers, who is as famous for his good looks and boyish charm as he is for the stories he pens. In spite of his success as a novelist, he’d always dreamed of writing for a newspaper, so he gave up his penthouse apartment and bought the failing Gull Island News. He lives in an oceanfront mansion which he pays for with income from the novels he continues to write.

 

George Baxter

George is a sixty eight year old writer of traditional whodunit type mysteries. He’d been a friend of Garrett’s since they were boys and spent many winters at the resort penning his next novel. When he heard that the oceanfront resort was going to be used as a writers retreat, he was one of the first to climb on board. George is a distinguished looking man with gray hair, dark green eyes, and a certain sense of old fashion style that many admire.

 

Clara Kline

Clara is a sixty- two year old self-proclaimed psychic who writes fantasy and paranormal mysteries. She wears her long gray hair in a practical braid and favors long peasant style skirts and blouses. Clara decided to move to the retreat after she had a vision that she would find her soulmate living within its walls. So far the only soulmate she has stumbled onto is a cat named Agatha, but it does seem that romance is in the air so she may yet find the man she has envisioned.

 

Alex Cole

Alex is a twenty eight year old fun and flirty millennial who made his first million writing science fiction when he was just twenty-two. He is the light hearted jokester of the group who uses his blond haired blue-eyed good looks to participate in serial dating. He has the means to live anywhere but the thought of a writers retreat seemed quaint and retro so he decided to expand his base of experience and moved in.

 

Brit Baxter

Brit is George’s twenty six year old niece. A petite blond haired pixie, she decided to make the trip east to live with her uncle after deciding to quit her job and pursue her dream of writing. She is a MIT graduate who decided that her real love was writing.

 

Victoria Vance

Victoria is a thirty-seven year old romance author who lives the life she writes about in her steamy novels. She travels the world and does what she wants to, to whomever she wants to, without ever making an emotional connection. Her raven black hair accentuates her pale skin and bright green eyes. She is the woman every man fantasizes about but none can ever conquer. When she isn’t traveling the world she is Jillian’s best friend, which is why when Jillian needed her, she gave up her penthouse apartment overlooking central park to move into the dilapidated island retreat.

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http://amzn.to/2l1BNrT – Kindle

http://amzn.to/2kOqnvc– Paperback

http://bit.ly/2llQaZo – Nook

First Case opens with the group being asked to help Jill figure out a mystery for a freelance article she has been asked to write.

Here is the (unedited) opening scene:

The fact that Katrina Pomeroy had been murdered was in and of itself a newsworthy event. The fact that she had been murdered on Friday October 13th exactly eleven years after she’d been one of five teenagers to survive the Friday The 13th Massacre, made her passing worthy of notice by the national news agencies I used to work for. When an old editor of mine offered me the chance to write a human interest piece about Katrina’s life and subsequent death, I jumped at the chance. An article such as this had all the makings to become the exposé I’d need to relaunch my currently defunct career. Of course in order to make the sort of impact I was after, I’d not only need to write about Katrina’s unusual life, but I’d need to answer the question of who was responsible for her death.

I knew I’d need help to accomplish my goal, so I gathered my friends on a dark and stormy night, and with the help of fellow writer George Baxter, presented a proposal.

“Rayleen Oswald was the first to die.” George shared in a raspy voice as thunder rumbled in the distance. “She was stabbed thirteen times and then propped against a tree, which eerily enough, would be struck by lightning before the horrific night had come to an end.”

A flash of light pierced the sky causing everyone gathered in the three story home we shared to gasp as they waited for the clap of thunder we knew would follow. The house, which was part of the rundown resort I had temporarily taken management of, shook as the wind battered the island from the south causing the tension in the room to intensify.

George continued. “Most felt that as the first victim, Rayleen, was the killer’s intended target, while the others who died, merely victims of circumstance. I’m not sure we can ever know what was in the killers mind and heart, but in spite of the killer’s motive, or lack thereof, two more died before the sun rose in the morning sky.”

Rain streamed down the windows creating a feel of isolation in the dark room which was illuminated by only the light from the nearby fire and a few flickering candles we’d set around the room to offset the inky darkness created when the electricity had flickered and then gone out. It wasn’t uncommon for strong storms to batter the small island off the South Carolina Coast, but I was new to the area and had yet to develop the backbone needed to easily weather such a storm.

“Why were the kids on the island in the first place?” Clara Kline, a sixty-two year old self-proclaimed psychic and paranormal mystery writer, asked her traditional mystery counterpart.

George took a puff from his pipe before he continued. “The day had started off sunny and mild. A group of teens from the local high school decided to cut class and go sailing in spite of the prediction by the local weather service that a major storm would blow in by mid-afternoon. Now the kids, having grown up on the island, were familiar with local weather patterns, and most were excellent sailors, but for reasons that have never been fully understood, the students neglected to return to the marina before the tropical storm rolled into the area. When the teens realized they weren’t going to make it back to Gull Island, they decided to take shelter in one of the abandoned structures on Waverly Island.”

“Waverly Island?” Asked Brit Baxter, George’s twenty-six year old niece and the newest member of our group.

“It’s about fifteen miles north of us,” I answered in George’s stead.

Brit was not only new to the group but she was new to the writers retreat and to Gull Island so I wasn’t surprised that she was unfamiliar with small settlement on the nearby island that had been occupied a half a century ago but had been destroyed in a hurricane and never rebuilt. I glanced at Blackbeard, the outspoken parrot I’d inherited when I took over as manager for the resort my half-brother Garrett Hanford owned. It appeared that he was listening intently to the story which sort of crept me out since he was, after all, a bird. Blackbeard nodded in my direction which caused me to flinch. It had occurred to me on more than one occasion that, the assertion by Clara that the large tropical transplant was really an apparition in disguise, might just not be as wild a claim as I had originally believed.

“So eight teenagers took refuge on a deserted island in the midst of a tropical storm…” Alex Cole, a fun and flirty millennial who made his first million writing science fiction when he was just twenty-two trailed off, thereby encouraging George to continue.

“I think it is important at this point to emphasize that the storm was really more of a hurricane, and the shelter where the teens sought refuge, was within the walls of a structure that had already been destroyed by a hurricane more than thirty years prior. But yes, in answer to your unspoken question, according to the testimony of the survivors, as reported to the local newspaper, the eight teenagers managed to land on the island and find a building which remained at least somewhat intact. They built a fire for warmth and decided to wait out the storm. At some point after they settled in, Rayleen and her boyfriend Troy got into a fight. Rayleen stormed off and the next time anyone saw her she had been stabbed thirteen times and was left leaning against a tree that had just been struck by lightning. The specifics of this case are complex,” George warned. “I am going to suggest that we keep to an overview this evening and then begin to examine the bones of the mystery at a later date.”

“Sounds fine by me,” Brit answered. “But I still want to hear the end of the story.”

“Very well.” Charles refilled his glass of brandy from the bottle on the table.

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If you want the rest of the story you’ll need to buy the book. I know, mean right!

The series is a bit more mainstream mystery than most of my cozies. It is about 25% longer than my cozies and it will not contain recipes. (I don’t think. I might change my mind by the time it publishes.)

The series will still is focus on friendships and there are several romances developing between the various characters. It is also still clean and wholesome so anyone can be comfortable reading it but the storyline is more about the mystery and less about cozy elements such as cooking and animals.

Book 2 in the series will involve one of the writers and their connection to a cold case and will publish in July.

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At this point I do not plan to put this series in Kindle Unlimited so that I can offer it for Nook, Kobo, and iBooks as well as Kindle. It will also be available in paperback.

Comment below and be entered to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

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How to Survive a Kathi Daley Scavenger Hunt

 

YOU ARE INVITED TO A VALENTINES DAY MURDER MYSTERY

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Kathi Daley Books is joining 12 Cozy Mystery Facebook pages to bring you a Valentines themed murder mystery scavenger hunt. The event will run between February 8 – 14. The clues will be provided, two each day, between February 8 – 13. The winners will be announced on February 14. There will be one grand prize winner who will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and 5 second prize winners who will receive their choice of Kathi Daley ebook.

 

If you plan to participate here are some tips to help you find the correct answer.

  1. TAKE NOTES – I cannot stress this strongly enough. This mystery is medium hard. It is not the most difficult I have hosted since you only need to find two things – the name of the killer and the victim – but there is still no way you will solve this if you don’t write things down. Each clue will only be available for about 24 hours. The hosting Facebook page will schedule the clue to post at 12 am on the day they host and they will remove the clue the next morning whenever they happen to log onto their page. There will be clues provided early on that won’t help you eliminate a suspect until you receive additional information later, so like I said, TAKE NOTES.
  2. Eliminate names as you go. What I do when I create the mystery and then check it for accuracy is to list all the names, plus in this case dances, twice. At the top of column 1 I write KILLER and the top of column 2 I write VICTIM. Whenever I get a clue I cross off the name, and in this case dance, under the appropriate column. There will be clues that tell you that someone isn’t the killer but they may still be the victim, or vise versa.
  3. Be sure to log on and check the clues EVERY day. You will not be able to figure it out without all the clues. If you know you are going to miss a day prearrange for a friend to share the clue with you.
  4. If you collect all the clues and make the appropriate deductions you will have the name of the killer and victim at the end. If you messed up or missed a day go ahead and guess. The winners will be selected from those with correct answers but it costs you nothing to play so a guess is better than nothing.

Good Luck Everyone.

 

To be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift card comment below and let me know if you enjoy participating in this type of event.

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Paradise Lost, Paradise Found

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I’m out of town today so I am phoning in my blog. Okay it is really more of a commercial but I have been working hard to bring you a new series in May (which is going to be awesome) and I needed a day off. There is still a gift card to be had so bear with me and continue down to the bottom of the page.

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Snowmen in Paradise is on sale this week which doesn’t often occur since Henery Press doesn’t put their books on sale as frequently as I put my self published work on sale. If you haven’t read it yet it is a fun wintery read. In Snowmen in Paradise Winter Carnival comes to Serenity, and with it Tj finds her schedule busier than ever. Not only is her ski and snowboard team heavily involved in demonstrations and local competitions, but her ragtag choir is about to debut in their first live performance. To make matters even more complicated, someone has killed Travis Davidson, a town favorite son, world-class snowboarder, and Olympic hopeful. Tj is determined not to get involved in the subsequent investigation until she learns the prime suspect is Chelsea Hanson, her high school boyfriend Hunter Hanson’s sister.

Although there’s no shortage of Sereninites with a grudge against the hometown hero, even Tj has to admit there’s good cause to suspect Chelsea of the murder. Balancing bridesmaid duties, Winter Carnival obligations, show choir duty, and after-hours investigation, Tj sets out to prove Chelsea innocent.

 

Here is a link if you want to give it a try for only $.99.

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2jVyHIH

Nook: http://bit.ly/2j0Q8IP

 

So what is coming next for the gang from Paradise lake? Can anyone say vacation? Of course this vacation ends up featuring a murder to solve in this cozy island mystery.

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Tj Jensen and her family head to Turtle Cove Resort for summer vacation, but their plans for rest and relaxation are thwarted when they find a dead treasure hunter in the attic of the resort’s main house. Initially vowing not to get involved, Tj quickly changes her tune when the Gull Island deputy on the case closes it after a bare bones investigation. All evidence points to foul play, and Tj’s determined to uncover what the deputy wants to keep hidden. With the help of her best friend and a chatty parrot, Tj digs up a centuries old legend, a hidden map, and secrets buried deeper than pirate’s treasure.

You can preorder today:

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2iN25Se

Nook: http://bit.ly/2jAnFXj

 

Comment below and let me know what your idea of paradise might look like in order to be entered to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

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Book Club News

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Hi everyone,

After chatting with Jayme Maness I have decided to create a group for my book clubs since it looks like Jayme will be doing one or more book clubs a month for me in the coming year. At this point I have been creating a new event for every book club but we felt it would be better to just have a group to handle the events. I will be posting a schedule in the group header which will be updated as books are added or completed. Jayme will do book clubs for my new books as well as “fall back” book clubs for books on my backlist.

As Jayme has done in the past she will have daily questions and contests and I will be popping in to add comments and answer questions.

I am going to delete the events for A Winter’s Tail and Treasure in Paradise book clubs and just have everyone hop over to the new site for those two books.

The Holiday Hangover Book Club will be on the event page as planned since it is next week so we felt it was too late to move it.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1653319078299533/

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To be entered to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card comment below and let me know which book from my backlist you would MOST like to see with its own book club. I included a link to my book list if you would like to refresh your memory.

http://www.kathidaley.com/about1

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Snowmageddon

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Today marks the fifth day in a row I have not left the house. In some ways the fact that it has been raining or snowing every day for over a week is a good thing. I have completed one book and am halfway through the next one which actually puts me slightly ahead of schedule for once.

 

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It is supposed to snow next week as well, although it does appear we’ll have sunny skies for the weekend.  Having said that today is Friday the 13th so who knows what might be in store.

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Snow love it or hate it? Comment below to be entered to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card. I will choose a winner on Saturday.

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