Friday, June 3, 2016

"The Cursed Canoe" by Frankie Bow

The Cursed Canoe
(Professor Molly Mysteries Book 2)
by Frankie Bow

The Cursed Canoe is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Seven on the crew. Six seats in the canoe. Everyone wants to paddle in the big Labor Day race. What could go wrong?
Professor Molly Barda investigates a mysterious paddling accident, and realizes it isn’t only business majors who cheat to get what they want. Whether it’s moving up in the college rankings, getting a seat in the big canoe race, or just looking out for themselves, some people will do whatever it takes - including murder.

Iker Legazpi is one of my favorite colleagues, despite his sunny attitude. He must get the same underachievers, plagiarists, and grade-grubbers in his accounting classes as the rest of us have, but he never complains. He gives every student his full attention and the benefit of the doubt.
“Did you go to that Student Retention Office meeting this morning?” I asked. “I couldn’t go. I was doing late registrations.”
“Yes,” Iker said. “It was a long meeting of many hours.”
“Anything interesting?”
“Oh, Molly, these meetings, they are as dull as a dishwasher. Many people stood and left.”
“But you stayed until the end?”
“I did not wish to be impolite,” he said.
Iker is a saint. Not a real one, of course. You have to be dead for that.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"I really enjoyed this book. It has plenty of believable characters, funny moments, and a twist in the tail. As a former employee of the University sector (including at an institution of similar size to the one described) I could totally relate to the excessive paperwork, and the need to manipulate statistics to put the institution in the best light." ~ Sarah Jackson
"Another fun book from Frankie Bow. The writing is clever and very entertaining. I find the main characters (Molly, Emma, Pat) quirky and likable." ~ L.G. de Pillis
"If you like your cozy mysteries with humor and a satisfying dose of sarcasm, Frankie Bow is your go-to author." ~ Laura's Interests
"This is a strange mystery, for it is not very mysterious, and if it's a cosy, there's not much in the way of detection going on. The situation seems reasonably clear, although a few more details are revealed as time goes on, but it's all very enjoyable and full of Hawaiian terms and terrain. A nice read for a train journey." ~ Jemima Pett

Guest Post by the Author
In The Cursed Canoe, Professor Molly Barda’s best friend Emma Nakamura is the captain of a paddling crew. With seven women on the crew and only six seats in the canoe, things get a little competitive.
In fact, there’s a word for this kind of infighting:
“We call it paddletics,” Yoshi said. “When paddlers get too competitive within their crew, and turn on each other.”
Yoshi has mellowed a lot since he first moved here with Emma as a freshly minted MBA. At first, he didn’t like living in Mahina. He claimed there were no decent jobs to be had, and would say things like, “I can’t live in a place where no one can tell I’m wearing a two thousand dollar suit.”
Tired of his grumping around the house, Emma got him into canoe paddling, which he embraced with the zeal of a convert. Most of his time is now spent paddling and hanging out at the beach. Today he wore board shorts, a souvenir t-shirt from the previous year’s Labor Day canoe race, and a cap with the logo of a local paddling shop.
One thing that hasn’t changed about Yoshi is his need to be the Expert. His favorite pastime is explaining things to people.
“Paddletics!” Pat exclaimed before Yoshi could expound further. “Molly, isn’t that one of those words you hate? What do the Word Police have to say?”
Pat knows I hate sloppy neologisms: Homophobe. Anything-gate. The worst of the bunch is the suffix –holic, which got snapped off the end of ‘alcoholic’ and now is attached to any word you can think of to indicate addiction or even mere affinity. Normally I enjoy arguing etymology with Pat, but right now, I wasn’t in the mood.
“I’ve heard worse. Paddletics could mean affairs of the paddle, in the same way that politics means affairs of the city.”
It’s not just at the office or in the PTA that people vie for position and undermine their colleagues. Paddletics (derived, as you might guess, from “Paddle” and “Politics”) describes all of the infighting and backbiting that comes with a competitive endeavor. Paddlers have been known to talk down teammates, undermining the coach, or even threaten to leave for a competitor club.
So does this mean you should avoid canoe paddling?
Not so fast. The blog LiveScience tells us that spending time around the ocean can improve your health and well-being. Some paddlers describe their experience as almost spiritual:
"I’ve learned that sometimes I can’t change things, but I can go with the flow. I’ve learned to harness nature’s energy and use it to my advantage. I’ve learned not to get in Mother Nature’s way. I’ve learned to listen when she speaks. I’ve learned to respect, love and celebrate nature and her ocean."
And if you’ve been yearning for shapely, muscular arms, you can’t beat the hours of repetitive upper-body work required to push a four-hundred-pound canoe through the waves.
What if you live far from the water? I hope you can get a taste of what it’s like to paddle from The Cursed Canoe.

About the Author
Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.
In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win an ebook or paperback copy of one of the Professor Molly Mysteries of your choice.