The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.
A softcover copy of my new funny Hawaiian mystery, Kauai Temptations, is up for grabs in a Goodreads giveaway. Enter at
A McKenna Mystery
Author: Terry Ambrose
When Wilson McKenna’s bank tells him he’s written $4,000 in bad checks on an island he’s never been to, he’s one unhappy haole. Things get worse when he’s nearly arrested for impersonating himself, the woman who trashed his credit turns up dead, and he realizes he’s up to his ‘umi’umi in hot lava.
"More delicious than a Coconut Mocha Frap (and that's saying something), this rambunctious, character driven whodunit, kept me laughing out loud while I wallowed in the exotic locale beside the engaging amateur sleuth Wilson McKenna as he unraveled a timely case involving identity theft and murder. Terry Ambrose has penned a truly engaging, page turner of a mystery in Kauai Temptations." — Jenn McKinlay, New York Times Best Selling Author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries and the Library Lover's Mysteries!
“The Hawaiian language doesn’t include a word for crappy day, does it?”
My friend Alexander, who was born and raised here on Oahu, laughed. “That something we leave to you haoles.” He gave me a bright smile, the one wide enough to cause the little laugh lines around his mouth to crinkle as he pointed at the bold text on his navy blue tee. “Slow down, brah. You live too fast.”
As a relative newcomer to the islands, a mere five years and counting, I was only beginning to wrap my head around that concept. If I lived to be 113, another 50 years, maybe I’d learn to live that way. As it was, today’s crisis came in the mail. Overdraft notices from my bank. And yes, that was plural.
Nearly a dozen pink slips of paper, all addressed to me, Wilson McKenna, littered the glass top of my wicker dining-room table. They totaled nearly $4,000. Once upon a time, a very long time ago on the mainland, I’d been a bill collector and skip tracer. I thought nothing of calling the people who received the little “duns” schmuck or dirt bag or flake. Now I was the schmuck, so those references weren’t quite as funny.
I had no clue as to who had written the checks in question or pulled me back into the financial services world on the opposite side of the credit equation. For once, I realized how frightening these things were.
There was no aloha, no mahalo, or thank you, for my business. Each notice, which had arrived in its own envelope, was a little ransom note for my credit record. “Hey, Mr. Moneybags, if you don’t follow our directions, your precious little bank account is a goner.”
I had two simple choices. The first, paying up, was impossible. The second was to let the bank declare me a blight on their profit picture. Choosing the latter option would force the bank to sanitize their good name. In corporate-speak it would mean clean up their profit picture by removing said blight from said profit picture by the addition of appropriate fees, penalties, and black marks on my credit. I navigated my way through phone-tree hell, all the while envisioning my bank account in a body bag.
“Account number, please.”
Jeez, talk about sounding like a pit bull. I gave her the number.
Had she gotten a memo about me already? She sounded perfectly capable of sinking her bite into my financial private parts until I screamed for mercy and coughed up whatever blood the bank thought I owed. “Look, Miss, I didn’t write these checks.”
Keyboard sounds in the background emphasized the obvious. This pit bull came equipped with teeth and claws. She growled. Maybe she’d only cleared her throat, but it sounded as though she was preparing for her next customer meal. “Mr. McKenna, are you denying writing these numerous checks which have overdrawn your account?”
Ouch. When she put it that way, even I hated myself. My jaw felt tight. “I may be 63, but I’m not senile. Not yet, anyway. I didn’t write those checks.” My adrenaline level was spiking somewhere in the “about to die” range and my sweating palms made the phone feel slippery in my grasp. Not normal, not for me. I wiped my free hand on my khaki shorts, then switched the phone to the other hand. This time, I used the back of my “I hate L.A.” T-shirt to dry the sweat.
“Then who did?”
“How the hell should I know?” I had to admit one thing, the pit bull had put me on the defensive without breaking a sweat. “I’ve been gone for a week. I got back today and picked up my mail. I didn’t know anything was wrong until I got your little ransom notes.” Oops.
She snarled, “Those overdraft notices are to let you know that you have overdrawn your bank account. It’s my job to make arrangements with you. Or, you can make a deposit sufficient to cover your overdraft.”
While I silently mimicked her “it’s my job” line with a prissy face, Alexander snickered, then scolded me with an index finger he waved back and forth. My gut reaction was to insult her for having an obviously short and insignificant job description. The problem was, I’d been on the other side of this call far too many times to count and knew how many fish that would net me. “But I didn’t write those checks.” Crap, talk about sounding whiny.
She, on the other hand, became matter-of-fact. “You’d have to take that up with the branch.”
Uh, okay. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Oh, wait, I had. “I don’t have time to traipse into town. I’ve only been home for a couple of hours. I need to get some things done for both of my employers before they send me their own little pink notices.”
“You need to speak to the branch unless you’re going to make arrangements for a deposit.”
Her business tone, the same one I’d used so many times pissed me off. I slammed down the phone. “Bitch.”
With the exception of the check incident, it was a typical Tuesday afternoon in paradise—eighty-seven degrees outside, sun shining, but willing to take a quick break for an intermittent rain shower, and gentle trade winds caressing the palms along the shore. Inside my little condo living room, however, the cold hand of a big financial institution’s clerical error had picked my wallet clean. I could tell they’d gotten not only my wallet, but also my self-confidence, because I felt a chill run through the room.
Mystery & Thrillers, Funny Mystery, Suspense
Terry Ambrose - Mysteries with character
Check Out Goodreads
Check Out LinkedIn
Check Out Facebook
Check Out Pinterest
Terry Ambrose started out skip tracing and collecting money from deadbeats and quickly learned that liars come from all walks of life. He never actually stole a car, but sometimes hired big guys with tow trucks and a penchant for working in the dark when “negotiations” failed. A resident of Southern California, he loves spending time in Hawaii, especially on the Garden Island of Kauai, where he invents lies for others to read. His years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons including—always keep your car in the garage.
Author's Book List
License to Lie
Never trust a soul—even your own. With Five Million Dollars and their lives on the line, can a determined criminologist and a beautiful con artist learn to trust each other—or themselves? Both are experts in the art of communications. Both are driven by their goals—but they’re on opposite sides of the law. When her father is kidnapped, they join forces—and learn that it’s hard to trust each other—or themselves.
License to Lie
Order the Book From: Amazon
- Barnes and Noble
Catch island fever with this funny Hawaiian mystery set on the beautiful island of Oahu.
Wilson McKenna's newest tenant is hot, gives great hugs, and just saw a dead body being thrown from a plane. McKenna's not one to get involved in other people's problems, especially those of a woman half his age, but before he knows it, he's volunteered to track down the plane and its owner. In no time, McKenna has uncovered an island drug ring, pissed off a sociopath, and set himself up as the victim in a beautiful woman's con that could cost him his life.
Trouble? Oh, yeah. McKenna's found it. If only trouble didn't have such great legs.
Order the Book From: Amazon
- Barnes and Noble
A collection of short stories and vignettes on life, Hawaiian style, with a twist of grumpy.
When you need humor, look to McKenna for a twist of grumpy. McKenna’s always a good lead-off player and his fans call him everything from delightful to a dirty old man.
Sometimes, a look at the tragic side of life is just what we need and this short story of how quickly life can change will warm your heart.
Hawaiian style is a taste of the islands…light and breezy with moisture-laden air, pupus, and even a talking duck.
Order the Book From: Amazon
Author Recommended by:
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle
Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.