Paty Jager is an award-winning author of forty-three novels, eight novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. Learn more about Paty and her books at her website.
Sunscreen, Bug Spray, and Camera
When my hubby of forty years finally caved and agreed to a trip to Hawaii, I couldn’t start packing fast enough! We discussed which island to visit with our daughters, who had been to several between them and their husbands. We settled on Kaua‘i.
After I made the plane reservations and reserved a place to stay, it started to hit me that we were really going! In October. We were told the weather stayed a nice even mid to high 70s with some rain. That was fine. We’d just had a mild summer and would be accustom to the temperatures.
We arrived late at night, drove to the place we were staying, and collapsed. The next day we surveyed the area, bought some groceries, and figured out what we wanted to do. My goal was to discover all I could about the art community on the island. After all, I needed a logical reason for my character, potter Shandra Higheagle, to travel to the island.
The “condo village” where we were staying had a farmer’s market day, where locals brought in produce they grew. I tried the interesting looking lychee fruit. It was like eating a peeled grape with a large seed in the middle. Very sweet, and a wonderful addition to my breakfast. There was also a day when local artisans brought their wares. Here I visited with a photographer and a woman who sold painted sarongs.
In the town of Kōalo, I wandered into an art gallery and asked the woman questions about the local artists. She didn’t seem to know very much other than she had a brochure about a juried art exhibition at a mall in Līhu‘e.
The next day I asked my hubby if we could go to the mall. After eating lunch in the mall plaza, I went to the area where the exhibition was set up and had a wonderful visit with an artist who was keeping an eye on things. She told me about the show, and how they get a judge from the islands or the mainland. Right then lights went off in my head. I could have Shandra come to Kaua‘i to be the juror for their show. The time of the year was good, she would have to be on the island at least a week and a half, and she could bring her husband Ryan.
Once I’d learned all the ins and outs of how to get Shandra to the island, I could just take in the island, learn bits and pieces of the culture, and relax. Well, hike and sweat! This was where the sunscreen, bug spray, and camera came in. Hubby isn’t a sit at the beach kind of guy. We hiked trails to get higher to see better. We hiked rocky, up and down, trails to get to pretty beaches and see wet caves and enjoy the tropical ambiance.
And that 70 degree weather…Nope! It was in the 90s all week. Talk about two melting bodies! The place we stayed didn’t have air conditioning because it is rarely needed. The small studio we were in didn’t have a way to get any kind of cross breeze. We spent the nights, taking cold showers and trying to sleep. Needless to say, I won’t get my hubby back there again.
I mixed photos of the art I perused while at the exhibition into this post. They had everything from painting, mixed media, and ceramics. There were some beautiful pieces. Some depicted the island and some were just interesting.
A Shandra Higheagle Mystery, Book 14
Shandra Higheagle is asked to juror an art exhibition on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.
After an altercation at the exhibition, the chairwoman of the event, Shandra’s friend, arrives home with torn clothes, scratches, and stating she tried to save an angry artist who fell over a cliff. Shandra and Ryan begin piecing together information to figure out if the friend did try to save the artist or helped him over the edge.
During the investigation, Shandra comes across a person who reminds her of an unhealthy time in her past. Knowing this man and the one from her past, she is determined to find his connection to the dead artist. When her grandmother doesn’t come to her in dreams, Shandra wonders if her past is blinding her from the truth.