Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha – Champagne Twist

Since I wrote this story, all I’ll say about it is, it’s clearly the most GLORIOUS story in the anthology. Anyone in their right mind will agree. (If they don’t agree, they aren’t in their right minds and probably voted for Trump, anyway, so they’re hopeless in darkness and do not have the Light of Glory dwelling in them, anyway.)

So go buy the Dark Paradise anthology in paperback. Then you can read and annotate this thoughtful, complex excursion into the darkest parts of the human psyche, that has much to say about the complicated relationship between the individual and the moral code forced on us by our society. (Remember, we learn our culture’s behavioral codes before we’re even conscious. Anthropology 101.)

You’ll want to stand the paperback copy up by your bed, open to this story, so it will be the last thing you see before sleep and the first thing you see upon waking. (Building a shrine and making offerings is optional.) Then go buy the ebook and consult it for wisdom and guidance throughout your day.

Thereby will your life be transformed, and that of all those with whom you come in contact be made GLORIOUS, forever and ever. Amen.

Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha – Night Swim

Unlike “Drifting,” the people in this story are going somewhere: crossing the channel from Molokai. One is swimming, the other two are escorting him.

One main thing I liked about it is that its core is a man-woman friendship. A friendship, not a “turning into a romance”-ship. Refreshing against the popular backdrop that the only relationship between men and women is sexual.

The style is very clear and involving, the characters realized in depth. The mystery isn’t so much “who dun it” as “how will the bad guy do it”. You try commiting a murder at sea between the islands without being spotted!

So go buy the Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha and find out. You won’t regret reading this story

Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha – Drifting

Now this one I have some issues with. It’s rich and detailed and the main character (and narrator for most of the story) is uniquely himself. There’s a murder in it (but little mystery). The end wasn’t a surprise for me; it was inevitable.

My issues? It presents the main character (a mentally-challenged, perhaps autistic, man) as stupid and murderously violent. It presents a “surfer dude” as even stupider. It has a local man make fun of the main character as a “pupule haole” (crazy white) just because the main character looks at the local man’s daughter.

Perhaps the story is meant satirically, but to me it’s one bigotted, malicious clichè after another. And that’s what made the ending inevitable.

Don’t agree with my ‘issues’? Go buy the anthology, check this story out for yourself, and see what you think. There are many stories in the anthology worth reading, so feel free to skip over this one.

Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha – He Was #2DIE4

Set in the Mokuleia area where O’ahu’s premier polo matches happen, Laurie Hanan’s story happens in the polo culture of North Shore. it feels very real as a young woman (Emmy) sets out to unravel the crime hidden behind a friend being comatose after being thrown by Emmy’s horse, Journey.

There’s a young adult feel, too, courtesy of Emmy’s frequent Instagramming and (of course) the title.

Two unusual characters are critical to the plot: Journey, and Emmy’s dog Dacey. Both provide clues and save the day. Fortunately not in that cutesy way that too many mysteries use.

The way I read this one, someone owns the tool that did it and did it, or someone else used the tool and did it and is getting away with attempted murder because the tool owner can’t prove innocence.

I can’t tell for certain – can you? Go buy the book and see for yourself!

By the way, the paperback is much easier to read on a beach than the Kindle version. So spring for the paperback while you’re buying. Then go hang out at the beach in Mokuleia and read your heart out!

Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha – Tsunami!

This one feels the most local of the bunch so far. Set on North Shore, but among people who live there. It has the local vibe, although surfers don’t wax their boards to make them go faster. (They wax the tops of their boards so they won’t slip off the board while surfing. And don’t get me started about earthquakes, tsunamis and storm surge.)

I’ve seen houses like that of the main character, Suzanne, on pilings real close to the shore. I have a friend who used to live in that area, in a 100+ year old house standing maybe 40-50’ from the water. The house had repeatedly been floated up into the valley behind it by monster surf and storm surges.

The mystery in this one is, who’s the incredibly skilled burglar cleaning out jewelry, electronics and other valuables even when the owners are home? It has a warm, gentle humor that made me laugh a couple of times. And the end will surprise you.

So go buy the Dark Paradise anthology and find out.

Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha – Unresolved

Wow. This story by Hannah Cheng of relationship problems between two UH dorm roommates, with its powerfully ambiguous climax, just may be the star of the Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha anthology. I cared about both of the main characters, giving the ending even more hefty emotional meat (however you choose to interpret the ending).

Go buy the anthology just for this story, if nothing else.

Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha – Jimmy Chan, Counterspy

Have read the first story, “Jimmy Chan, Counterspy” by Bob Newell, in Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha. Fun and lightly humorous. Jimmy finds himself way out of his league, up against Chinese and Russian spies experienced in very-modern rendition and torture. And his client is a former US intelligence agent whose reasons sound a bit suspect themselves.

To find out how it turns out, go buy the book and meet Jimmy Chan, Counterspy.





It is here.

  • The cover reveal whereat you may interact with authors via the Dark Art of Facebookery
  • The book itself in both utilitarian ebook and the lush, sensual, fondle-my-pages-with-your-fingers-oh-that-feels-so-good-baby trade paperback form

So go grab a copy and find out just what my heroine does about her embarassing blackmailer problem.

Read the glorious stories by the other 16 authors, including my wife’s story (learn what to do about husbands who suddenly insist we must leave the country right now and start driving like maniacs).

Then flood the internet with 5***** reviews and BE GLORIOUS!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Calay!


Not here yet but the gloriously-itchy trigger finger of our gunslinger (yes, I did just finish reading Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, so I hope you understand what I mean by ‘gunslinger’) Gail pulled the trigger. (No, she didn’t do herself harm due to stress overload.) 

Instead! The Anthology arrives in the Magik Kingdom of Amazon in [3-5 days from 3/29]… so the GLORIOUS COVER REVEAL has been rescheduled to TOMORROW, March 31. So rearrange your social media calendars and plan to BE GLORIOUS AT THE FACEBOOK PAGE!

You MUST see the cover! Even screaming Billy the Squid (who is eaten alive by his family in a short short story I just finished two days ago) would cease screaming as the GLORIOUS COVER wiped away all his pains, soothed his troubled soul, and welcomed him into the eternal kingdom of endless joy. (Not only do all dogs go to heaven, so do squids.)


Its GLORIOUS COVER REVEAL happens April 3, 2017 on the DARK PARADISE: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha Facebook page (which will dramatically descend from the heavens and appear on said date, all glory be to god and editor Gail M Baugniet of the Aloha Sisters in Crime Hawaii chapter, amen).

Along with the cover, there will be tidbits about plot lines, the authors (one of them my awesome wife Shauna) and writing information we’ve picked up along the way. Like the best way to find typos is to put your story into a book layout program? Of course, when you PUBLISH it, grammar nazis will still scream that you used a jot when you should have used a tittle. (Note to grammar nazis: “jot” and “tittle” are SYNONYMOUS.)

The anthology offers 17 mysteries set in Hawaii, including my 5.9% contribution (yes I can do math despite being an English major) humble (but GLORIOUSLY so!) story about a young Japanese woman with the kind of embarrassing problem everyone has – a greedy blackmailer.

You’ll also find Shauna’s glorious story, “The Stranger,” in which a happily-married Jenelle learns some shocking and deadly information about her husband – like just WHY they’re dashing to the airport to flee the islands.

So on Monday, April 3, pop in at the Facebook page and have a glorious visit with everyone. Then I think you’ll agree with me that the cover is the NUMBER ONE CANDIDATE for greatest book cover of 2017. It would win the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes for book covers hands down. When it appears on bookshelves, all other covers will bow in adoration. (Can you tell that I really like this cover? I am PROUD to have a story behind a cover this great.)

Find out more about it and its other stories from some of the other authors appearing in the anthology. They’ll also post about the cover reveal today and I’m sure many will be hanging out at the Facebook page when it goes live:

So be there and be GLORIOUS!