New Release: Strange Markings + Pineapple Haupia #Recipe

Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger’s new release, Strange Markings, is available, and Janet has kindly sent a recipe for Pineapple Haupia to share with us.

Pineapple HaupiaPineapple Haupia

Haupia is a traditional dessert at Hawaiian style Luau feast.


1-1/2 c. coconut milk
1/1/2 c. water
1/2 c. +2 TB sugar
1/2c. +2 TB cornstarch
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained

In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, water, sugar and cornstarch, stir until thickened. lower heat, continue to cook 5-10 minutes. Transfer mixture to 8-inch pan. Stir in pineapple. Refrigerate until set about 2 hours.

To serve, cut into 2-inch squares. Serves 8-10

Strange MarkingsStrange Markings
by Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger


The Pacific breezes blow many things in from the ocean, this time its power, greed, and murder. At the dawn of the television age in 1955, Skylar Drake is called to identify the remains of a fellow movie stuntman found buried in a shallow grave. While there he is shown mysterious wounds and strange tattoos on two additional bodies.

A wealthy Bel Air matron sends her enticing niece to enlist Drake’s help in locating a missing nephew. The search takes him back to pre-statehood Hawaii where he stopped off on his way to the hell of the Korean War. Unexplained deaths, politics and superstitious locals turn the tropical paradise into a nightmare where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted.

Strange Markings is available at Amazon and Smashwords.


The two men looked directly at me. “I’m Drake. Can I help you?”

Dolan stood right behind me.

“I’m Agent Miller, this is Agent Tanner.” They flashed their badges, “We want to talk to you Mr. Drake.” Miller looked past me and frowned at Dolan.

“I’ll just wait out…” Casey moved toward the door.

I put my hand on Casey’s shoulder. ”This is my partner Casey Dolan, anything you have to say to me you can say to him.”

They shrugged and stepped inside. “Let’s go in your office.” I showed them inside, as sweltering as it was.

Miller put his hat on top of the file cabinet. Tanner kept his on.

“We are investigating the disappearance of a Mr. Ted Stone. You’re a known associate of his. Is this true?”

“Sure, I know Teddy. We worked on a few films together.” I sat back in my chair while Casey stood by the door, “His sister Florence and I used to do stunts for Prestigious Studios a while back. Teddy started about a year later… you say he’s missing?”

“His sister reported him missing a year ago. Our records show you were one of the last people to see him before he disappeared.”

“You said a year ago?” I thought for a moment, “Yeah, that sounds about right. It was a war movie. There was a battle scene and we had to fall out some windows and off a moving truck like we’d been shot, y’know. This was before…” I stopped myself. They didn’t need to know about my law suit with the studio brass.

“Before what?” Agent Tanner asked.

“Before my last stunt gig with Flo.”

“And the victim?”

“Victim? I thought you said he was missing.”

“Just tell us about your last job.”

“Well, Teddy and I shared a dressing room. It was about midnight when we finished the night scenes. After we changed and dropped our costumes off at wardrobe, we left for breakfast. That was about two in the morning. I took the bus home, and I guess he drove. I never saw him again after that. Flo and I did a shoot at the studio the following month. She told me she was going to Washington to get married. That was that.”

The two agents took notes on everything I said.

Casey spoke up, “Do you mind if I ask what prompted this recent investigation?”

Miller put his pencil in his ear, “We found a man’s remains in the Arizona desert. Our medical people said he was buried for about a year, so we only have bones, clothes, few personal items and his wallet. There was nothing in it except for his SAG membership card.” He paused, “The Union said you worked with him. We found you in the phone book.”

Agent Tanner pulled a cellophane envelope out of his pocket containing the card. There was Teddy, staring back at me. “Yes, that’s Teddy and that is what he looks like.” I showed it to Casey. He took a look and handed it back to Tanner.

“We’re unable to locate his sister, do you know her married name?”

I thought hard, “I don’t believe she told me. No. She never mentioned it. Flo just said she was leaving the business to get married and move to Washington.”

“The remains are at the LA County Coroner’s office. Since we can’t locate next of kin, we’d like you to stop by and ID what you can.”

I looked at Dolan. “What do you think?” He nodded.


We met them at the Coroner’s office and waited for the Medical Examiner to get back from lunch. Casey called the hospital, Bev had gone home. He called his house, no answer. “I’m not worried,” he said. His eyes said otherwise.

I hadn’t been down here in a long time. Yep, the same frigid air, smell of alcohol and bleach have never left my mind. The door swung open and Dr. Harold Logue came in wiping his mouth with a paper towel. I remember he always ate at the most inopportune times, “Hey Drake and Dolan, LAPD’s two best detectives. Nice to see both of you.” Logue was an old timer. We worked a lot of cases with him. He put his arms on our shoulders, “Sure miss working with you two geniuses. I could never figure out how you caught all the bad guys. These youngsters they got in here now are…” He stopped when he saw the young FBI agents standing by the wall. “Oops, sorry. No offense,” and shook their hands.

Agent Miller kept hold of Dr. Logue’s hand and said, “We’re here to see the remains of Ted Stone.”

“Yes sure, come this way,” Logue said.

He had the bones laid out on the table, a complete skeleton. How was I suppose to ID the remains of Teddy from this?

Contact information:

And here’s a cool picture of the authors. Looks like they are having fun.

Janet & Will

Janet Lynn & Will Zeilinger

Researching Pre-Statehood Hawaii & Molokai’i Island by @JanetLynn4 & @Will_Zeilinger

Pre-Statehood Hawaii, Molokai’i Island Research
by Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger

Strange Markings coverSTRANGE MARKINGS is the second in the Skylar Drake Mystery series. The novel begins in San Pedro, California. The clues lead to pre-statehood Molokai’i, Hawaii, 1955.

Now you may be thinking, “Oh, poor babies. You have to go to Hawaii for a book.” But you’d be surprised that even after spending hours searching online, a trip to the Hawaii State Public Library in Honolulu and the Molokai Public Library was a must. We needed to get it right!

Our first stop was Molokai’i and its public library, one of three places on the island that had AC and plenty of drinking water. Both of these are in short supply on the island, believe it or not. We spent hours going through newspapers, telephone directories and local magazines from the period. The librarian was more than helpful, pulling out old materials, blowing off the dust and piling them up on the table in categories. We were shocked that after 58 years, the town had not changed that much.

KaunakakaiPictures of the main street Ala Malama Ave. was exactly the way it looked now! The history of how the islands ownership of the sugar mill switched between cattle ranches and crops was like a chess game. We read extensively about the Sugar Mill and its role in the development of the island.

We took notes and gauged our exploration according to what was found in the newspaper articles. The Sugar Mill was in ruins but many parts of the interior and actual mill were intact. As we walked around the overgrown landscape, the original plot we thought of using, changed drastically, especially the Kapu (curses). The local people believed the mill was haunted toward the end of its run.

The trip through the west part of the island was desert-like, flat, dry, red dirt and plenty of places to dump dead bodies. On the west side, tropical foliage with cliffs and beautiful beaches with crashing surf. We took a side road through hills covered with dense forest and large groups of birds fluttering and singing. After a short hike on the trail we came across an old rusty, abandoned shack with saplings pushing against the dilapidated roof and bent sides. A perfect place to hide someone or something illegal perhaps?


The remaining two days on the island was spent interviewing the locals. Since we were out of our element and had some understanding of the layout of the island, we asked our usual question, “Where would you dump a dead body?” We discovered early on that people react differently. Some smiled and walked away, others didn’t even smile when they left. However, quite a few gave us cross streets, and specific building on the main street to check out. This we found a bit “creepy” that they thought about it!

The largest town is Kaunakakai, a consisting of 3 blocks of Mom and Pop shops, a single traffic light, and one gas station. The population hadn’t grown very much since the 50’s and the residents love their isolation. Air conditioning is reserved for the medical center, Post Office and the library. Much like it was in 1955. There were still many unpaved roads.

Fortunately, Molokai is a time capsule because the kind of growth that occurred on the other islands has been restricted in Molokai due to insufficient water and electrical resources needed to support large hotels, resorts and housing developments.

We found out from the locals that families still live near the water’s edge and fish for their living and the main street in town is still the gathering place for the latest news. To this day they still have a custom where the locals gather around the small bakery and visit, gossip, tell stories and basically catch up with each other.

Armed with a lot of notes, and pictures, we flew back to Honolulu on the same Cessna 208B, turboprop that brought us to Molokai’i, a 9 seater with a two man crew. Talk about Indiana Jones!

Cessna 208B Turboprop

We spend another two days in Hawaii State Public Library, again the librarian was very helpful pulling magazines, telephone books, newspapers, this time to get an idea what life was like in 1955 Honolulu. We even found great articles about the Red Light District, the perfect place for Skylar Drake and his partner to drown their sorrows. An interesting tid-bit, there was a large, well organized group of locals that didn’t want statehood during this time. They were very vocal about it. Also, politics at the time under the provincial government in Honolulu was as crooked as it was in the main land. Also, traditional Hawaiian music was by and large replaced with Latin music, Mambo, Tango, etc. AND, Huli-huli chicken was developed the summer of 1955. It went on to become a popular food item in Hawaii and the main land soon after. How about that!

After the first day, the librarian was surprised to see us again. As we continued to pour through the periodicals, she came up to us, “Would you be interested in some of the,” she paused for a moment, “legends, superstitions and curses from that time?” Both of us almost fell off our chairs, “Sure!” The rest of the day we read amazing stories, personal accounts and research into the origin of many of them. Fascinated we took photos, photocopies and notes on the amazing accounts locals had.

Hawaiian sunset

After our research, the two of us not only typed our notes into our laptops, but we had wonderful brainstorming ideas while sitting in the pool…watching the sunset…every night. The results, great research, new found friends, amazing plots and subplots, character and an interesting novel, STRANGE MARKINGS.

Strange Markings is available at Amazon and Smashwords.