The Tom Carroll Mysteries – A New Beginning


Part of my journey to a more positive self is my book project. The first in the series of Tom Carroll Mysteries is Hawaii On Fire.  I am finally set on this being a cozy mystery series of books. And I’m finally confident that this is a good start to the book.  Here is the new first chapter:

Hawaii On Fire – Chapter 1 

“Joseph Lee, you are the Governor of the state of Hawaii. You can’t just ditch your security and go out on some perceived mission to right a wrong. Please, what you are thinking of doing is unsafe. At the least let me help you. What is going on?”

“Please lower your voice Lana. Good grief, I shouldn’t have told you about any of this, and I won’t tell you anything else. This is something I have to look into. You have to trust me on this Detective.”

“It’s not that I don’t trust you, I’m concerned for your safety. Besides, we’ve been friends since we were kids. I’m worried my best friend is putting his life in jeopardy. There is a reason that you have a security detail. This is a really bad idea,” Lana said as she nervously twirled a strand of her long, black hair.

“Okay. I’m a man of my word, I can’t tell you I won’t go. But, I will think about it. Deal?”

“Alright, deal. Think about your safety. The people of Hawaii need you around my friend. Look, I need to go. Dad’s flight from Kauai lands in a few minutes, I want to spend a little time with him before his flight over to the mainland to see his sister.”

“Tell Pops I said Hi. And Lana, thanks for caring.”

“Always my dear friend, always.”

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Brrr! Throw A Blanket Over Hawaii On Fire…Not Cozy Enough.


So, the thing is, I love the cozy mystery genre of books. I enjoy them so much that I’ve determined to write a cozy series of my own, The Tom Carroll Mysteries. But, sigh, I have come to the realization that the first in the series, Hawaii On Fire, simply isn’t good enough. The book that I thought was done, needs work, needs to be better.

What is wrong then?

*Most cozies are set in small towns where most of the characters know each other. Tom is visiting Hawaii from the big city of Atlanta.  This is fixable. 

*Tom is a Corporate Private Detective. And so he is not the typical amateur sleuth of a cozy. This is fixable. 

Other than that, I believe I am on the right track with my story. Okay, it’s not that bad when I take the time to write this blog and think about it all. The characters know each other pretty well. I think they are interesting characters. And, I think many of them will be around for the remainder of the series of books.

Therefore, on this fabulous Friday, I will set to work with a positive attitude. I will cut my newbie author self some slack, and simply keep trying.

Happy writing y’all.

Much Love,


Hawaii My Muse – What! No Waimea Canyon!!



Waimea Canyon sits majestically on the southwest side of the  Hawaiian island of Kauai.  Mark Twain named it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. This canyon, this magical place that was formed, in part, by the island’s very plentiful rainfall.  And while it is smaller than it’s counterpart in Arizona, its no less awe inspiring. Stand at a lookout and observe for any period of time, and you will notice the sun acts as the most delicate paint brush, changing the look of the canyon, highlighting the reds, greens, and browns, as it makes its journey above. Watch with a touch of envy as the birds dip and rise through the canyon, getting the best view of anyone. Is that a waterfall spilling down onto the canyon floor? Yes, indeed!

Kalaulau Lookout, Waimea Canyon …Kauai, HI USA











So imagine my dismay when I realized I did not include this wonder in my book Hawaii On Fire! What is wrong with me? If this place didn’t inspire me to write, what would? But, I won’t beat myself up too bad. Why? Well, you all will just have to wait and see. Perhaps Tom Carroll will end up in Hawaii once again. Hawaii might not be on fire this time…but a spark might ignite. Oh my! I have got to figure out how to get this book published. So want to share it with you all. Hang in there with me, I’m really trying to make it happen!

Much Love,


Waipio, I Love You!


Tucked neatly into a spectacular corner of The Big Island, the Waipio Valley plays an important part in Hawaii’s history. It was the capital and permanent residence of many of Hawaii’s kings during the island’s monarchy. And what a place to reside! Lush green mountains surround and equally lush valley.

To add to the majesty, the mountains stream with waterfalls:

In researching the valley before we made our trip there, I learned that many writers were inspired by this magical place.  So, of course, this made me even more excited to see it. I was not disappointed. When you park and walk down to the lookout over the valley, the view that I show in the top photo simply stuns you into silence. As you look around, you hear the sound of the waves crashing on the beach far below. Looking past the beach, you notice a perfectly placed waterfall tumbling down the mountain. Finding my voice, I asked my husband, “Is this place for real?” He still can’t speak, he simply nods.

Walking over to the only road down into the valley, you are met with this sign:

Yes, a steep, 25% grade road drops down into the valley. No rental cars allowed! Only four wheel drives can handle this road. We decide to leave this hike for another time.

So, yes Waipio did inspire me. My characters Tom and Lana get into some big trouble in the Valley! I can’t wait for you all to read the story (still trying to find a publisher/agent, someone interested in helping me get it published).

I hope everyone has a fabulous Friday!

Much Love,




Hawaii My Muse

Maui, 6 January 2004

Maui, 6 January 2004

Lovely, mesmerizing Hawaii. The muse that started this whole story rolling in my head. So, to freshen up my blog, I will be doing some posts on these breathtaking islands. These islands that have taken on a life of their own in my book, becoming a character in the story. Stay tuned.

Much Love,


Sobering Saturday…Out Of My Stomach You Butterflies!


So, today is the day. I am attending my first writers conference. This morning I will be pitching Hawaii On Fire to a local publisher. I haven’t been nervous, but, now I am. What if I forget what I was going to say? What if she hates it from the very start? Yikes! But, I will take a deep breath and do my best. If nothing else, I will learn a lot from this experience. So here goes ya’ll. I will post at lunch with the results.

Live those dreams today!

Much Love,


Chapter 2

Sorry!! A little late with this one. Just life and living 🙂


Chapter 2 – Oahu

As Tom parked his rental car in the parking lot of the State Capital building he stared up at the building. It was not what he had imagined. With it’s long columns that reached up to a box of a building, his first thought was a spaceship on stilts. But as he got out of his car and walked closer to the building, he appreciated the intricate architecture of the building. The columns looked like palm trees. He then noticed that the building was surrounded by a pool of water. As he neared the water he inhaled. Was that smell coming from the pool? He hated to think it, but, it smelled like dead fish.

“That can’t be good,” he said outloud.

“It’s not. It’s algae growing in the water. Been a problem for years.” A man sitting by the pool said.

“Too bad. It’s really a beautiful feature of the building. But, can’t it be fixed?” Tom replied, as he stepped back from the water as the smell got stronger.

“Brother, that’s part of my job here. We go into the water and try to clean it with wet vacs. It’s no use. The algae will grow back. The powers up there,” he said pointing up to the building at the top of the columns, “say they are going to fix it. We’ll see. It’s supposed to be symbolic of the Pacific Ocean. All it’s really symbolic of now is the pollution in the ocean.”

“Man. So sorry to hear it. I sure hope they can come up with a solution soon. I know you don’t look forward to going into that smelly water.”

“Yeah. I got to find me another job brother. This is a nightmare. Say, are you here to take the tour of the building? It doesn’t start for a few more hours.”

“No. Actually, I was hoping to see someone at the Governor’s office. You see I’m a Private Investigator on the mainland. I thought I could offer to help find the Governor. Can you tell me how to find the Governor’s office? Which way do I go when I enter the building?”

“Hmm, don’t know if they will tell you anything brother. But, it’s worth a try. Once you go in, go up the stairs, you’ll see his office on the left. Good luck to you my friend.”

“Hey thanks man. And good luck to you today with the pool.” Tom said as he hurried towards the entrance of the building, glad to get away from the smell of the pool.

Tom looked for the door to the building, but soon realized that like many buildings in Hawaii, the Capital building did not have a door but, had a wide opening to an atrium. As he almost slipped on the rain soaked entrance, Tom stared up into the middle of the area. Where most Capital buildings had a dome or rotunda, this building was opened up to the sky. Tom located the stairs and made his way up to the Governor’s office.

As he entered the office, Tom was amazed at the simplicity of the space. White washed walls were covered in maps and pictures of the islands. Stark, metal desks lined the walls of the room. Even the computers were the older, bulky models not the sleek,modern models that everyone had these days. The woman at the one desk in the middle of the room smiled up at Tom.

“Hello. Can I help you?”

“Yes ma’am. I’m here to see if I can be of help with the investigation into the Governor’s disappearance. You see on the mainland, I work for as a corporate investigator. I thought I could be of some help and…”

Tom is interrupted by a large, young man with a fierce look in his eyes.

“Don’t worry Nona, I’ve got this. The police have a handle on the investigation into the Governor’s disappearance. Now, why on earth would you think anyone would need your help here?”

“We’ll sir, with all due respect, they have had no leads in two weeks. It’s as if the Governor of this state has vanished into thin air. Maybe a fresh perspective, a fresh pair of eyes can help.”

Tom did not notice the man that had come up behind him and startled, he jumped when the man began to speak.

“That’s enough Tiny,” the man said as he stood next to the younger man. “I feel this man means well. We will hear what he has to say,” the man ran his fingers through his short black hair and then extended his hand to Tom, “Ralph Solomon, I am the Lt. Governor of the state. This rude young man,” Ralph said as he went over and linked arms with the younger man, “is my son Tiny Solomon. He is one of the Governor’s body guards. He meant well. But, he has taken the disappearance of the Governor very personal.”

“Dad, really. This man is a complete stranger. Is this necessary? Just let me throw him out.” Tiny said as he straightened his tie over his massive stomach.

“Tiny,” Ralph said with the same fierceness in his own eyes, “I mean it. We will here him out. You will come with us to my office but say not another word. Are we clear on that?”

“Yes sir,” Tiny said but kept a wary eye on Tom.

Ralph turned back to Tom, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”

“Tom Carroll. Nice to meet you sir.” Tom said as he extended his hand again to the Lt Governor.

“Please call me Ralph. Come, lets go to my office to talk.”

Eagerly, Tom followed the Lt. Governor and his son. However, he thought to himself that it was odd that the Lt Governor of the state would so easily invite him into to his office to talk. Tom expected that at most he would speak with the receptionist and maybe to one of the Governor’s aides. Something about this was uncomfortable; Tom just couldn’t put his finger on it.

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