Shave Ice Paradise follows Gina as she sets out to solve a murder mystery that exposes her to the dark underbelly of paradise? How did the idea for this novel start and change as you wrote?
From the moment we meet Gina, we are on her side. Like when Little Red Ridinghood leaves the safe confines of home, we want to warn her, “Be on the lookout for wolves dressed in pinafores!” It’s inevitable that our hero will encounter what is waiting for her in the dark forest: love and loss.
I appreciated the banter between Gina and Curly and Curly and Moreno. What did you enjoy the most about their interactions?
I confess, the characters crack me up. I love their spicy attitude, how they tease each other and never give in. I appreciate Moreno’s explanation of monster trucks, a phenomenon I’ve never been able to wrap my head around.
I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Did you plan the novel before writing or did things develop organically while writing?
The writing process begins with the characters, a wild and unruly bunch. I talk with them about my plans till I’m blue in the face, it’s no use, they’re going to do things their own way. It’s a mystery novel, but in my view, at the heart of Shave Ice Paradise is a love story.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently seeking publication of my fourth novel, RIFT. Hours after a powerful earthquake strikes San Francisco, world-renowned architect, D.T. Hiro, arrives from Tokyo and finds himself entangled in a violent street protest. Stepping in front of a police baton to protect a stranger, Hiro meets a kindred spirit. The death of a beloved street musician, the destruction of Alcatraz, and two gritty survivors ignite a vision of compassion that heals a city and renews our faith in second chances.
Following her aunt’s suspicious death, Gina Mori, daughter of a Buddhist minister, searches for a missing handbag and discovers the dark underbelly of paradise. In the course of her investigation, Gina falls for Julius, a stream biologist who has recently moved to Hawaii. After discovering her lover’s secret past, Gina must confront her own demons. A local girl stuck in a dead-end job, Gina stalks corrupt officials, exposes shady land deals, until at last, she comes face to face with the man who murdered the woman who raised her. Shave Ice Paradise has all the ingredients of a delicious mystery: an unsolvable murder, a delightful cast of trusted friends, and an evil antagonist, with plenty of twists and turns leading to a satisfying and unexpected conclusion.
Gina is on a mission, and it’s one she never envisioned herself having to accept. When Aunt Nalani is found dead, Gina is asked to dig further into the case as the police don’t see a reason to do so. Known for her uncanny ability to find things, Gina finds it difficult to say no to her aunt’s good friend and her pleas for answers. Her investigation leads her to Curly, and things are never the same. As the two work on the down low with Moreno, Gina’s good friend and confidant, they uncover a trail of clues they can only begin to understand.
Shave Ice Paradise, a novel by Mark Daniel Seiler, details the mysterious death of Nalani and Gina’s quest to uncover the truth about her disappearance and discovery of her body in a place Gina is sure she’d never been. When Gina meets Curly, the entire tone of the book changes, and the story takes on a new feel. Gina and Curly are an unlikely pair indeed. The addition of Curly adds a welcome dimension to what could have been a sobering plot with a cast of mourning characters. I appreciated the occasional comedic relief provided between both Gina and Curly and Curly and Moreno.
Seiler writes a fast-paced mystery novel. Gina and Curly move quickly from one site to the next and rapidly begin putting two and two together. I am impressed with the way Seiler is able to relate one clue to the next and keep the pace of the story flowing smoothly. In addition, the dialogue throughout the book is engaging and helps to develop a cast of well-developed characters. I found myself trying to work through the clues even when I took breaks in the reading.
There is some profanity throughout the book though not enough to deter readers from continuing. Seiler assigns this type of language appropriately to his characters, and it adds to the story by helping readers visualize how emotionally invested they are in the events. I am not one to use profanity in my own writing, but I appreciate it when it adds to the plot.
I have always been a fan of mysteries. There is nothing quite like a well-done mystery, and Seiler has more than achieved that through Gina and Curly. I highly recommend mystery fans pick up a copy.
Pages: 250 | ISBN: 1947003682
River’s Child follows Mavin, an assistant working in a seed vault when things took a turn and he ends up in the far future. What was the initial idea behind this story and how did that transform as you were writing the novel?
Most of us have experienced scribbling down a dream before we’re too wide awake to remember. It’s interesting that dreams and seeds both spring to life from the dark. River’s Child is a kind of green seedling. I ran across an article about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The seed vault near the north pole is designed to last ten thousand years. I imagined a distant future when the seeds are rediscovered and their power to rejuvenate the world is unleashed. When Mavin awoke from his long dream, neither of us had any idea of the mysterious new world that awaited.
In the novel males are subservient and females are revered in the new world. I find this both refreshing and entertaining. Was this idea planned or did it develop organically?
The story is humorous but has a serious dimension. I feel as a species we’re still learning how to become human, the cake hasn’t finished baking. Humans transcend category, or I should say, we have the potential to transcend. If a new perspective means giving up our old comfortable view of the world, more often than not, we prefer to stick with the devil we know.
It’s fun to watch how difficult it is for Mavin to be flexible. If a woman found herself in a strange new world, the story wouldn’t work as well, she would simply adjust. It’s not uncommon for men to be wary of women sharing power. For my two cents: if we’re going to survive as a species, the Feminine Perspective needs to be in balance with the masculine viewpoint.
I enjoyed Mavin’s character as well as Simone. What were the driving ideals behind the characters development throughout the story?
Mavin and Simone are strangers to one another. As the author, before they say or do anything, I get to know my characters off-camera. I set up surveillance. I observe them in the supermarket line. Do they let the person behind them go ahead if they have only a couple of items? I know whether they use their turn signal or if they smoke while gassing up their SUV. Mavin and Simone are not angels, but more often than not they surprise me with their humanity.
I find a problem with well-written stories, in that I always want there to be another book to keep the story going. Is there a second book planned?
The best part about being an author is getting feedback from fans. Readers have been letting me know that they loved the story, but were upset that it ended too soon. I have a sequel sketched out, so I better get cracking.
Trapped underground in the Svalbard Seed Vault, Mavin Cedarstrom is rescued by a band of strange women dressed in furs. The Peregrine scout Simone Kita was sent to recover seeds from the top of the world and bring them south to the floating gardens of Kashphera. Conjuring myth and magic, this fun, action-packed novel is a delight. River’s Child is a wild ride into an ancient future. Fasten your seat belt as our spirited heroes ride icebergs from the frozen north, battle wild men, and fall in love while they race to prevent world war.
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