Sunday, September 22, 2013

This is My Definition of Happiness. What's Yours?

View of Lake Michigan from Two Rivers, WI

Recently, I attended my 50th high school class reunion. Although Washington High School has been torn down, the beach house across the road from Lake Michigan still stands. Reminiscent of school days, a Friday night behind-the-beach-house beer party featuring Sandy Bay Port pizza preceded the reunion held at the downtown Hamilton Community House on Saturday evening.

Over 60 classmates and spouses attended the week-end events, collaboratively arranged by the generous reunion planning committee. Following an actual face-to-face social media hour, and a delicious buffet dinner (not to mention an open bar for those of us interested), we were regaled with a slideshow presentation entitled Four plus Fifty, highlighting our four years of high school and touching on the fifty years since.

Our MC offered a tribute to all class members who served in the military. He displayed several other applause-generating slides of school activities that included sports events, reigning prom king and queen, hall of fame inductees, and school mascots. A special thank you was offered to one classmate for her tireless efforts in bringing decades of class reunion events to fruition.

The presentation concluded with mention of my writing efforts, implying that a 50th class reunion does not signal the end of the road for goals and accomplishments but in fact offers, for many, a new beginning. One classmate enlivened the evening with his rendition of songs by Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, as entertaining as he was in high school. Wherever your dreams and objectives led you over the years, today you can use those accomplishments as stepping stones toward your new goals.

My interest in writing mystery novels, the excitement of actively researching plot scenes and interacting with other authors, and seeing my work in print, offer satisfaction and pleasure for this 60-something mind, body, and soul. This is my definition of happiness. What’s yours?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Take On: CRY OHANA, Adventure and Suspense in Hawaii

The setting of CRY OHANA, Adventure and Suspense in Hawaii, encompasses the Hawaiian islands of O’ahu, Mau’i, and the Big Island of Hawaii, with much of the action occurring throughout O’ahu. Woven into a suspenseful tale is the story of family members on diverse journeys to restore relationships once diminished by neglect and deceit. It is evident that coauthors Rosemary and Larry Mild conducted extensive research prior to writing this novel.

Throughout CRY OHANA, the reader is treated to the emotional rollercoaster thrill of action-packed events. A rainbow of unforgettable characters are backlit with views of elite hot spots or back alleys, the exotic, and even the mundane.

Contrast is a key ingredient as protagonist and antagonist square off. At times they appear to create a balance before tipping the scales to the advantage of one, only to have a subtle shift benefit the other in a subsequent scene. An early line in the opening chapter might effectively describe both characters: “If you’re not winning big you’re desperate to get even.”

CRY OHANA is not a quick beach-read involving a sunny holiday destination, but rather a comprehensive story of a family devastated by tragedy, a situation to which many readers will relate on some level. The inevitable, plot-thickening struggles of the individual family members portrayed in the novel are overlaid with acts of murder, blackmail, domestic violence, and selfish indifference. The possibilities of salvation rest in the generosity of others.

While this mystery continually moves toward a satisfying solution, CRY OHANA also offers a journey as challenging and pleasurable as its anticipated destination.

Rosemary and Larry Mild are the coauthors of the popular Paco and Molly Mystery Series, as well as their most recent novel, Death Goes Postal, the first in the Dan and Rivka Sherman Mysteries. Their books can be found in print and eBook formats on the Internet and in bookstores. For full information, visit the Milds at their website: 
For local residents and visitors to Hawaii, CRY OHANA is now available on O’ahu, at Na Mea Hawai’i bookstore in Ward Warehouse.