Barbara M. Hodges is the author or co/author of 17 fiction books. She lives on the central coast of California with her husband of over 50 years, Jeff. The two of them share their lives with two sassy rescue basset hounds, Heidi and Monty. When Barbara is not writing, she creates works of art with polymer clay, beads, and machine embroidery.

Her books are all on Amazon, most available as e-books.

Ice, One Last Sin, A Spiral of Echoes, and Hounded By Death are audiobooks as well.

Barbara is a proud member of the Public Safety Writers Association. She urges readers and writers of crime fiction to check the organization out at

My Surprise Book – My latest suspense fiction book came as a surprise to me.

My sister-in-law and her husband live on the big island in Hawaii. Last year we went to visit them. I have problems with motion sickness, so I can’t read on an airplane. I had an audiobook loaded on my Kindle Fire. That was my plan to ease the boredom on the five-hour flight. You know what they say about the best-laid plans? I forgot my noise-canceling headphones and lost interest in the book about twenty minutes into the flight. Not important. I’m a plotter when I write. I admire authors who can write without a plan, but I’m not one of them. So, here I was with four hours to work on the plot for the third book in my Beyond Investigations series.

But something else kept interfering. A woman named Brandie kept whispering in my head.

Brandie was on a flight to Hawaii, and, surprise, she also had motion sickness issues. Brandie was to get married at sunset on the beach and have a wonderful honeymoon. The problem was the bride-to-be was having second thoughts about getting married. And she was on the way to Kona, Hawaii, where her first love lived.

That’s where the writer’s best friend kicked in, what if. Staring out the airplane window with nothing to see but white clouds and blue sky, I started my what-ifs. What if Brandie reconnected with her first love? What if that old flame flared? What if that old love was to be the best man at her upcoming wedding?

Musing on Brandie’s problems was fun, but I pushed them aside. I needed to work on Hounded By Hope. I was four chapters into it. Unlike some authors, I can only work on one book at a time. I’m the same way with reading a book…one at a time.

Jeff’s sister knows a lot about Hawaiian history. On a day trip to the beautiful scenic Puuhouna Ohonaunau National Park, we started talking about the Hawaiian gods and goddesses and the ancient heiaus(altars) on the island. We visited one, and I was awe-struck by their simplistic beauty. Someone had brought an offering, a puka shell necklace, draped it on the heiau. I write suspense fiction, and as I stared at that necklace, a thought came to me. What if a twisted mind used those beautiful altars for his grisly sacrifices? More questions followed that thought. Had the ancient Hawaiians performed human sacrifice? Who could stop such evil from destroying more lives in beautiful Hawaii?

The storyline wouldn’t leave me alone. Murders had been occurring for 15 years. How could someone become aware of what was happening? Enter Hawaiian County Police Officer Alana Lee and a washed ashore body on a remote county beach.

And, surprise, Alana Lee has a cousin who is on her way to Hawaii with her best friend Brandie, who is getting married. Or is she?

On the five-hour return flight, my surprise book, Deadly Rituals…The Shark Teeth Murderer came into being. Check it out if you’d like to know how everything comes together.


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