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This next week, I'd planned to send a PDF of ICE AND FIRE to beta readers and interested pals. ICE AND FIRE is a sequel to my mystery-thriller OUT AND IN.

Set in Hawaii, ICE AND FIRE brings back the lovely cellist Marie and her team of investigators to find out who's killing astronomers on Hawaii's Big Island. The story also resolves the mystery of what happens to the sociopath Lena Verano and her buddy Terrance from OUT AND IN.

ICE AND FIRE'S plot is quite involved, but it's still a fairly-light read with an evil murderer, a crowd of anti-astronomy activists causing trouble, and a lecherous female who tries to get her hooks in Marie's new beau. My hope was to gather feedback before pitching agents. But no!

As I edited the final 40 pages, I suddenly recalled the State of Hawaii had formed some sort of "state police" force. I asked myself, well, would this "state police" be involved in my mystery's crimes, and at what stage?

Luckily I did more research before pitching agents. Seems Hawaii launched a Department of Law Enforcement (DLE) in January 2024, with a separate division of sheriffs and investigators to handle certain crimes. Before this change, each island's police force investigated crimes on their islands, but now, I simply don't know who does what.

I do know this change resulted in a lot more than my simply renaming characters' titles. Several major plot points now need restructuring. To learn more, I've sent questions to a media contact at the new DLE, a fellow named Wayne Ibarra (if any of you know him). I hope he'll respond quickly.

All of this has sent me for a loop, as you can imagine, since ICE AND FIRE must go ON HOLD again. First we had the Hawaii house sale and overwhelming move back to the mainland, then we were sick as dogs for about eight weeks, then I got back to work, thought I was done, but NO!

Within several months, I hope to have restructured ICE AND FIRE for readers to review. I'll keep you posted.

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