Skip to main content

Lady Wynwood #7 early release Kickstarter

I worked on my first Kickstarter and it got approved! It’s for the Special Edition Hardcover of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer and the release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. I contacted my graphic designer about the Special Edition Hardcover of vol. 1: Archer—it’s going to be SO beautiful! The Kickstarter focuses on the Special Edition Hardcover, but it’ll also include vol. 7: Spinster so that it’ll sort of be like a launch day for vol. 7, too. A third special thing that’ll be in the Kickstarter is Special Edition Paperbacks of all the books in the series. They won’t be available in stores, just in the Kickstarter (and later, from my website, and also in my Patreon book box tiers if I decide to do them). The Kickstarter is not live yet, but you can follow it to be alerted when it has launched. (You may need to create a free Kickstarter account.) Follow Camy’s Kickstarter

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 21

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series.

Year of the Dog serial novel

by Camy Tang

Mari Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year.

While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier.

Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Auntie Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Christian home. What’s more, his brother Dusty also needs a place to stay after being kicked out of his apartment—with a dog in tow. And guess who the dog’s owner is?

But then Ashwin gets a request from an old friend, Edytha Guerrero, a private investigator who also runs a day spa on O’ahu’s north shore. A strange bit of “vandalism” at Mari's facility had led her to find a purse belonging to Edytha’s sister—who had disappeared three years ago. Worried that Mari might be in danger, and finding out that security expert Ashwin already knows her, Edytha asks him to covertly keep an eye on the busy young woman.

Ashwin is reluctantly attracted to the lively, easy-going dog trainer. She reminds him too much of his happy-go-lucky mother, whose betrayal had caused him to keep people at a distance. Mari sees past Ashwin’s cold exterior to a man who is loyal to his family, unlike her own mother and sister, who only criticize her career choice.

In the midst of Mari’s disjointed family and Ashwin’s disruptive home, danger begins to circle around them from people who want the past to remain there. Can they shed light on the secrets moving in the shadows?

All the posted parts are listed here.

***

Chapter Twenty-One - Black Mold

Mari's car was not as spotless as her sister Jenessa's minivan, but it wasn't a pigsty. She usually cleaned it when she could no longer see the passenger side floorboards through all the fast food wrappers and bags.

So when she scooped up an In-N-Out paper bag, she was surprised at the sight of jade green fabric, and she suddenly remembered about the tote bag she had found and tossed there two or three weeks ago. She might as well look through it more thoroughly, and then she could throw it out with the rest of the trash.

This time, leery of the mold, she grabbed a facemask and put it on as well as some exam gloves before peeking inside. Only when she opened the bag completely did she realize that there was a large hole at the bottom. She hadn't seen it from the outside because of the dark stains on the fabric, but now she could clearly see the gray of the parking lot asphalt through the bottom of the bag. Maybe that was why the bleepity pothead had left the bag under the crawlspace.

She was about to grab the wooden zipper pull on the inside pocket when something shiny near the bottom of the bag reflected the sunlight. Even though she was wearing gloves, she grimaced as she reached her hand inside.

Mari felt something hard. It didn't come out easily because it had been snagged inside the lining, which likely explained why it hadn't fallen out of the hole in the bottom.

She had to tug rather forcefully, feeling some strands of the fabric snap before she could pull up what she had found. She was shocked to see a diamond solitaire earring.

Even through the dirt, she could tell that the diamond was beautiful. It wasn't exceptionally large and gaudy, but just large enough to be tasteful. The setting looked to be platinum because silver would have tarnished.

As she held the diamond up to the sunlight, squinting at the brilliant sparkles, she felt a fluttering of nervousness in her chest. Why would there be jewelry in the pothead's bag?

She gently set the earring on the hood of her car and reached for the wooden hibiscus zipper pull on the inside pocket. However, she was once more shocked at the glitter of something at the bottom.

This time, it was a gold Hawaiian bangle bracelet. It wasn't as large as some of the other ones Mari had seen—this one was only about half an inch thick—but it was intricately carved with hibiscus and plumeria flowers. She rubbed her finger over the surface and saw the name "Fianna" in black enamel lettering.

The nervousness flutter in her chest began to feel more like a nest of rats scrambling around. More jewelry. Why would the pothead have women's jewelry? And the bigger question, why would he leave this bag behind? Had he forgotten about it? Maybe he'd left it because of the hole and had forgotten about the bracelet in the inside pocket.

As she turned the bracelet around, she realized that it had been crushed into an uneven oval shape, which wouldn't have been difficult if it was pure gold. Because of the disfiguring, she had to twist the bracelet this way and that and squint to see the inscription on the inside.

"Waialua High School, class of 2006."

It looked like it had been a graduation present. Mari did a mental calculation, feeling slightly guilty as she did so. Fianna would be 35 years old this year.

Mari looked inside the pocket again, and this time she found a business card and what looked like a receipt. The receipt was hopelessly faded, although she saw "COF" faintly along the left side of the paper, and thought perhaps it was a receipt for coffee somewhere. There was a round smudge at the top which might have been a logo.

The business card had once had a glossy surface on one side, but the design was also very faded. Mari squinted at the lettering at the top of the card, and thought it said, "Warubozu."

A laugh burst out of her. "Warubozu" was a local Japanese slang word meaning "bad boy" or "bad kid." When she was younger, her Uncle Herbie would playfully call her that whenever she had been slightly naughty but not enough to get a paddling.

There was nothing else in the inside pocket. She shuddered a little but forced herself to run her hand along the inside of the tote bag to make sure she hadn't missed anything else.

In feeling around, she found the seam to another inside pocket, this one without a zipper. Thanks to the "mold-glue," it had stuck tight to the lining and was a little hard for her to peel it open.

All she found inside was a wad of napkins, the kind they served in bars or high-end coffee shops. The outer napkins were a blackened, pulpy mess, but two napkins in the center of the wad had a circular logo just barely visible. Mari was surprised to recognize the seven stars and lehua blossom logo of the expensive Pleiades Resort, which was also on the North Shore, only a few miles away from her school.

Mari searched the rest of the bag, including the outer pocket, but found nothing else. She took the jewelry inside to wash the pieces in the bathroom sink, tossing the bag onto the floor rather than putting it on the counter.

She dried the jewelry and used the wet paper towel to gently clean the surface of the business card. She had a feeling that this bag and its contents belonged to Fianna and not the pothead guy.

She took out her phone and looked up "Warubozu." At the top of the search page was the Warubozu Day Spa, which was in Waialua. She called the spa’s phone number.

A cheerful young woman's voice answered. "Warubozu Day Spa. This is Sakura. How may I help you?"

"I was wondering if I might speak to Fianna."

There was a strangely long silence. Then Sakura said, "She's not here at the moment. May I transfer you to her sister, Edytha?"

"Of course."

Mari had barely spoken her assent before Sakura put her on hold.

It didn't take long before a deep woman's voice answered, "This is Edytha." The woman sounded older than Sakura, and also slightly breathless. "May I ask who this is?"

"My name is Mari Mutou. I found Fianna's purse and wanted to return it to her."

"Her purse?" Edytha paused, then asked, "Is it a cloth tote bag? Green fabric, with cherry blossoms?"

"Yes! That's exactly right." She had definitely found the owner. Or at least, the owner’s sister.

There was a soft sound on the phone, almost like … a sob. But after a moment, Edytha asked in a businesslike tone, "Where did you find the bag?"

"I bought Kaiāulu Keiki Academy in Waialua a few months ago," Mari answered. "I found the bag in the crawlspace under one of the classrooms." She glanced at the bag, carelessly dropped on the floor. "I'm afraid it's pretty dirty."

"Please don't clean it," Edytha said quickly, forcefully. There was a strange urgency in her tone as she asked, "Could you bring it to me today?"

Mari was surprised, but she said, "Sure."

”Thank you,” Edytha said and hung up.

Mari stared at the phone, confused. Edytha had thanked her as if Mari had found her lost cat rather than her sister's lost purse. Even a pure gold Hawaiian bracelet wasn't all that expensive, but perhaps it had sentimental value. Or maybe the earring was high clarity, and she'd naturally want the missing piece.

She shrugged and went to her car to deliver Fianna's things to her sister.

***

Comments

Popular Posts

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by Feminitz.com . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And

What's a Kickstarter and what will I get from it?

I’m hoping to do a Kickstarter in late July or early August, and I thought I’d post this to answer a few questions you might have about it. What’s a Kickstarter and why’s Camy doing one? My Kickstarter is a crowdfunding campaign to fund the production of a Special Edition hardcover with dust jacket of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer. Depending on how this Kickstarter goes, eventually I would like to do Special Edition hardcovers of the other books in the series. For all you avid fans of the series, this Kickstarter will also offer an early release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. However, the main focus of this campaign is the Special Edition hardcover of book 1. Kickstarter isn’t a shopping website, but I admit I kind of feel like I’m shopping when I back a campaign for books or items that look fantastic! Why Kickstarter: Kickstarter enables me to produce the kinds of gorgeous special editions that I love and offer them to you, my readers, so you can

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

Grace Livingston Hill romances free on Google Books

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci

Camille's Writing Progress

Join my newsletter to get regular updates in your inbox!

Christmas meme

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.17.2008 1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Bags because they’re HECKA EASIER! HELLOOOOOO! Besides, save a tree. 2. Real tree or Artificial? I like the smell of real trees (had them while growing up) but cleaning up the needles in January was a pain in the petootie! Gimme a fake one anyday! I’ll burn pine logs to get the smell. 3. When do you put up the tree? That should probably be IF we put up a tree. Since it’s in the living room, the Christmasy eye candy is lost on us. 4. When do you take the tree down? After New Year’s Day. Sometimes a few months after New Year’s Day ... 5. Do you like eggnog? Yup! Full fat! Bring it on, baby! 6. Favorite gift received as a child? Books! (Come on, you saw that coming, right?) 7. Hardest person to buy for? My parents! They already have pretty much everything they want. If they don’t have it, they’ve already bought it. And anything they do want is WAY out of my price range. 9. Do you have a nativity scene? No 10.

I sold to Steeple Hill!

Captain's Log, Supplemental Remember that romantic suspense proposal I blogged about earlier? Well, it just sold to Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Suspense line! I am so jazzed! I am beyond jazzed! The story’s working title is Sinister Spa The story's title is Deadly Intent and here’s a blurb (but it’s probably not what will appear on the back of the book): Massage therapist Naomi Grant could use a massage herself. With her father at home recovering from a stroke, Naomi is put in charge of the family’s elite day spa in Sonoma county. The new responsibilities sit awkwardly on her shoulders, and things only get worse when handsome Dr. Devon Knightley breezes into the spa, demanding to see one of the female clients. And the woman is found dead in Naomi’s massage room. Suddenly, Naomi is a suspect and her family’s spa is shut down. How could God let this awful thing happen? Devon only needed to see his ex-wife about a family necklace she still hadn’t returned, but when she dies and

Interview with Fantasy author Willamette Sutta

Adamant in Dust by Willamette Sutta Stones of power and one princess to save them all. The Far Stone Endurant is broken, and a prophecy foretells doom… She should have been the chosen princess to deliver them. But Pergi can’t love Prince Teyrnon, and that's a deal-breaker. Pergi has prepared all her life to become the ruler that her father wants. Without sons, he knows she could only retain the throne if she marries the neighboring prince, combining their kingdoms. Yet the same prophecy that calls for the reunification also warns that they must join by love. Supplanted by her younger sister in this sentiment, Pergi waits with ill grace for Sadira to marry Teyrnon and steal her birthright. No one expects that Sadira would do a runner on her wedding day. What starts as an impromptu rescue of the wayward bride leads to a desperate struggle against a deadly foe. The dark lord Malchor ensnares Sadira in his opening bid to gain all the Far Stones of power. With them, he wi

Chinese Take-Out and Sushi for One

Captain’s Log, Supplemental My agent sent me an article from Publisher’s Weekly that discussed this incident: Chinese Take-Out Spawns Christian Controversy And here’s also a blog post that talks about it in more detail: The Fighting 44s This is Soong-Chan Rah’s blog: The PCS blog In sum: Apparently Zondervan (yes, my publisher), who has partnered with Youth Specialties, had put out a youth leaders skit that had stereotypical Asian dialogue, which offended many Christian Asian Americans. In response to the outcry, Zondervan/Youth Specialities put out a sincere apology and is not only freezing the remaining stock of the book, but also reprinting it and replacing the copies people have already bought. I am very proud of my publisher for how they have handled this situation. The skit writers have also issued a public apology . (I feel sorry for them, because they were only trying to write a funny skit, not stir up this maelstrom of internet controversy. I’ve been in youth work long enou