Apr 152017
 


It is my pleasure to welcome Terry Ambrose back to Escape With Dollycas!
His new book Maui Magic was released March 30.

How does Hawaii sound for an escape? When I heard Left Coast Crime was going to be in Honolulu for 2017, I knew I had to be there for two reasons. First, that’s where my Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries are set. Second, I was suffering from Hawaii withdrawal.

For this trip, Kathy and I had a little friend tagging along. Her name is Ariel Afuera, and she wanted to go everywhere with us. That was actually easy to accomplish because Ariel stands about two inches tall and fits in a pocket. Oh yeah, my kind of traveling companion.

We were staying in Waikīkī for nine days. Four of those were dedicated to Left Coast Crime, the rest were either travel or sightseeing days. We only rented a car once for our driving trip. If you’re going to Honolulu and staying in Waikīkī, consider options other than a rental car. It costs about $25 to park a car overnight and between the public transportation, the taxis, and Uber, you can get anywhere for less cost and with no hassle.

We began our driving tour with a stop for breakfast at the Koko Head Cafe. The only problem with this stop was we couldn’t find it! We easily found the address on 12th Ave., but the cafe was nowhere to be seen. It was time for a phone call. One of the staff was kind enough to stand in front of the cafe and wave his hands in the air as I walked around the block. It turns out their address is on 12th, but the front door is on a tiny street one block over. I wasn’t particularly surprised. This was, after all, Hawai’i. By the way, breakfast was worth the hassle. They had great food.

Our first stop on the actual tour was Halona Blowhole. If you’re not familiar with the term, a blowhole is a place where the ocean rushes through a lava rock tube and shoots vertically into the air. One of the best is Spouting Horn on Kaua’i, so we were disappointed when the blowhole was a bust. We visited during low tide so the tidal action was weak and the results far from impressive.

Although the Halona Blowhole was disappointing, the stop was still worthwhile. To the northeast, lava rock gives way to soft sand and the kind of beach Hawai’i is famous for. This is rightfully called Sandy Beach and whether you’re a shell seeker, a surfer, or just a virtual visitor, beaches like this are what everyone visualizes when they think of Hawai‘i. The really nice thing was Sandy Beach Park is only about a 15-minute drive and it has decent restrooms. Plus, the Halona Blowhole is easily visible, so we had a double bonus.

Our next stop was supposed to be Makapu‘u Lookout. Unfortunately, we got a little overzealous and though we might visit the Makapu‘u Lighthouse itself. The problem there was parking. Lots of spaces, but they were all filled. The second problem was the lighthouse is at the end of a long uphill hike. We took a vote and Ariel lost. She wanted to go to the lighthouse, the big people said no way, we’re moving on to the next stop on our travel guide, Makapu‘u Lookout.

Ariel was very pleased at the lookout. She still got to see the lighthouse and was able to have her photo taken with it in the background. We told her our next stop was my one “must see” on the trip, the Byodo-In Temple. She was strapped in and ready to go in no time.

The Byodo-In Temple is one of those incredible places where serenity seems to hang in the air. This is a privately owned temple, but is open to the public. The entrance fee is modest and helps to support the maintenance of the grounds. We were surprised to learn that they were in the middle of a major renovation while we were there. The workers had scaffolding all along the front of the building.

We spent a long time walking around the outside, then went inside to enjoy the quiet. This is a magnificent place and I’d recommend a visit if you even get to O’ahu. The grounds are perfectly manicured and despite all of the other visitors, remains on my must-see list of recommendations.

Even if you can’t make it to Hawai’i, you can enjoy its beauty. I post one of my Hawaii photos every Friday at terryambrose.com. I hope you’ll stop by to enjoy the view!

~Terry

Terry, thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. I have always wanted to travel to Hawaii and this just makes me wish harder for the actual experience.


Maui Magic: A McKenna Mystery (Trouble in Paradise)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Hawaii
Self Published – March 30, 2017
Print Length: 262 pages
ASIN: B06WGYZYJR

Whatever happened to easy? McKenna had the perfect cover for his plan to propose marriage. He and his girlfriend Benni would help his elderly tenant, Mrs. Nakamura, fly to Maui for a visit with her pregnant granddaughter. Then, he’d take Benni for a walk on the beach. He had a ring, but did he have the courage to pop the question?

The minute they land, McKenna’s perfect plan hits a snag. Mrs. Nakamura’s grandson-in-law is being accused of murder—and she wants her amateur sleuth landlord to investigate. Reluctantly, McKenna agrees to take the case with his friend Chance. They dive into an investigation that starts in a seedy hospitality club and goes straight downhill. Before they know it, the battle for Maui’s water is raging around the amateur sleuths and they have too many questions to answer.

Why was the murder victim living under a fake identity? Why is their client claiming he committed the crime? And, who is the mystery man stalking them?

About The Author

Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

Today, Terry likes fast, funny mysteries and cool photography.  He writes the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries and organized an anthology to benefit Read Aloud America. He fondly likens his efforts to those of a blind man herding cats. Find him at terryambrose.com.

Terry’s Books



Just click on the book cover for more infomation or to purchase from Amazon.

The author is giving 1 e-copy of Maui Magic away! 

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

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Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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Contest Will End April 29, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
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Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Sep 072016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to have Terry Ambrose drop by for a visit! 

guest post

Terry Ambrose 400x560

Kai Palakiko’s smile captivated me the moment I met her. It happened on a flight from San Diego to Honolulu in May 2014. She was ten years old, precocious, and determined to prove her nanny wasn’t a killer. Okay, I didn’t know the last part until long after the flight. But, isn’t that the way it goes with some people? The more we discover, the deeper we want to dig.

Kai isn’t a real person. She’s one of the main characters in “North Shore Nanny,” my sixth Trouble in Paradise McKenna MysteryNorth Shore Nann 600x900. Her inspiration was a photo on the cover of Hawaiian Airlines in-flight magazine, Hana Hou. The real subject of the cover photo was a girl standing in front of her purple, red, and white surfboard. She stood about half the height of the board. And, from the moment I saw this “little shredder’s” picture, I knew I had to write about her.

Little shredder is the term used to describe a young surfing sensation in Hawaii. The term came into use because it often looks like these kids are literally shredding the waves. To be truthful, I’m more of a splasher than a shredder.

You see, I’ve only been on a board once in my life and that was because my wife signed me up for a paddleboarding lesson. Paddleboarding involves standing on a surfboard and propelling yourself forward with a paddle. The lesson ended in a minor disaster and some rather embarrassing photos.

DSC01221 copyThe lesson started out well enough—we were on the docks. I was holding my own as three of us knelt on our boards and navigated out into the calm water. Then came the tough part. The instructor wanted us to stand.

“Don’t worry,” he told us, “nobody’s ever fallen in during one of my lessons.”

Emboldened by his success record, I stood. Sort of. I made it up, shaky knees and all. Then, after a few seconds, disaster struck. Splish, splash, that’s me, taking a bath in the Oceanside Marina. Okay, I can’t quite check surfing off my bucket list. And yes, I did ruin our instructor’s perfect record.

DSC01234So, what’s a non-surfing mystery writer going to do with a precocious, ten-year-old, little shredder? Write a cozy thriller, of course. Laura Childs calls them thrillzies. Whatever we call this type of story, it’s a delicate blend of cozy mystery and elements designed to ramp up the tension.

I knew Kai couldn’t be directly involved with a murder, but she could use her traits to save someone who was. I returned back to an issue that had bothered me from the moment I heard about it—veteran’s benefit scams and shoddy medical care.

What? How’d we go from a kid who surfs to VA benefit scams? Her name is Juliana Rollins and I envisioned her as Kai’s nanny. Juliana is a forty-something, ex-army nurse who was fired after she blew the whistle on abuses in an Army hospital. Juliana grew out of a conversation I’d had while researching a previous book. Here’s the description for “North Shore Nanny,” which shows how a precocious ten-year-old, an army nurse, and a reluctant amateur sleuth all tie together.

McKenna and his friends are taking a sunset cruise off the coast of Honolulu when they discover a stowaway. The stowaway turns out to be ten-year-old Kai Palakiko, one of Oahu’s best young surfers.

Kai insists she needs to hire a private investigator so she can prove her nanny isn’t a murderer. McKenna reminds everyone he’s only an amateur sleuth, not a PI. Kai’s determination and charm endear her to his friends on the cruise and, despite his better judgment, McKenna agrees to help.

Almost immediately, McKenna realizes Kai will be the worst possible client. She’s precocious, strong-willed, and has a nasty habit of interfering in the investigation. He also discovers the woman he’s trying to help appears to be lying about her involvement in the murder. The worst part is she’s somehow involved in a government cover-up involving the US Army and secrets nobody wants unearthed.

The deeper McKenna digs, the more he realizes his fearless client’s commitment to saving her nanny is only the beginning of his trouble in paradise.

~Terry

GIVEAWAY

So how about you?
Do you like to know the story behind a book? Why the author wrote what he did?
Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing to win your choice an electronic copy of any of my books. You can find all of the books at terryambrose.com/books/. If your mailing address is in the continental US, you could also choose a soft-cover copy of “Kauai Temptations,” my second Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mystery.

Leave a comment for Terry.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 21, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Terry’s Books


Just click on the book cover for more infomation or to purchase from Amazon.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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