“My name is Samantha Reynolds. Samantha Jane Reynolds,” I explained to the bored looking lady in front of me. “I’ve just flown into Aloha Lagoon from Sydney, Australia. Well, not directly from Sydney. It was supposed to be direct but I think the travel agent who booked my flight made a mistake. I wasn’t supposed to go to Seoul, just Sydney to Honolulu and then onto Aloha Lagoon. My luggage was tagged to come all the way through so that I didn’t need to worry about it, so I hadn’t. Until now, that is.” I stopped babbling and rubbed my eyes. It had been a long flight. I left Sydney at 10.30am yesterday morning. It was now exactly 11.15 am Hawaiian time and I’d been travelling or sitting in airports for 29 and a half hours.
I handed the lady my flight details. I’m sure it was just a small misunderstanding. Someone must have picked up my suitcase by mistake. I mean, why else couldn’t I find it on the conveyor belt? Maybe I was just too tired and didn’t see it and it was still going around and around all on its lonesome.
I caught my refection in a nearby window. My brown eyes were blood shot, my blond hair was frizzing, my clothes were crinkled, and I was hot. They really needed to turn up the air conditioning.
The bored looking woman slowly tapped her chubby fingers on her keyboard. I’d been warned that Aloha Lagoon worked on island time, so I took a deep breath and looked around me.
The airport was lovely, but what I could see of the outside, the scenery was breathtaking. The ocean was aqua blue and sparkling in the sun, and the gardens were green and lush. I took another deep calming breath as fatigue settled itself into my bones.
The bored lady looked up from her screen. “You may have made that journey, but your luggage didn’t.”
I stared at her, opened mouthed. “But. . .what. . .what do you mean?”
“Your luggage,” she repeated, even slower. “It’s not here. It was never put on your plane.”
“How? How does that happen?” I asked, my voice getting higher by the second. I thought of the contents of that suitcase and how pretty much all of my life’s possessions were in it. When I’d made the decision to leave Sydney it had been a permanent one.
“Well,” the lady said scratching her neck and looking back at the screen, “I guess someone put it on the wrong plane.” Her attitude was pretty casual and I wondered if she’d be this relaxed if it was her luggage that had been lost. “Don’t worry, I’ve emailed a request so it’ll be sent here on the next flight. Maybe. It could be the flight after that one. It really all depends on the load that they have onboard at the time.”
My heart missed a beat.
“Where exactly is it at the moment?”
“Right at this moment?”
“How did it get to Helsinki?” I asked, incredulous.
“Well, it went to Singapore, then to London and then to Helsinki.”
Geez, my luggage was better travelled than I was.
She shrugged, her dark brown bob bouncing off her shoulders as she moved.
“These things happen,” she said.
“They will send it won’t they?”
She nodded. “Sure.”
Okay that didn’t sound as reassuring as I’d hoped, but I’d take what I could get.
“In the meantime,” she continued, “I’d suggest you visit Coconut Closet Convenience Co-op. It’s in the main street. They’re having a two for one sale on underwear.”
I took a slow calming breath and stepped away from the counter, feeling slightly shell shocked and numb. My mum had told me to pack a spare set of underwear in my handbag, but did I listen? No. I was too embarrassed that the people x-raying my carry-on luggage would see them. And what would have happened if they’d made me pull everything out of it? I’d seen too many airport security shows to take that risk.
Now I really wished I’d done as I was told and listened to my mother. Just wait until I told her that I needed to stop at the shop before going home. I’d never hear the end of it.
The upside of losing my luggage was I didn’t need to declare anything as I made my way through Customs, and stepped out of the airport into the hot Hawaiian sun, my soul relaxing as the salt air filled my lungs.
Mum was standing on the sidewalk waving frantically. Smiling, I fell into her arms and held on tight. I’d never been to Kauai before today, but I felt like I was home.
I guess if losing my luggage was the worst thing that was going to happen in Aloha Lagoon, I couldn’t really complain.
Deadly Wipeout is the third book in the Aloha Lagoon mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, September 2016.
From bestselling cozy mystery author Beth Prentice comes an Aloha Lagoon mystery that will leave you gasping for more. . .
Samantha Reynolds had hoped that moving to the resort town of Aloha Lagoon would be the start of an exciting new life. Sure it may not be everything she had hoped for—she’s living with her mom, has no job, no income, and absolutely no idea what to do next. But it’s a start! Out of options, Samantha decides to take a job she’s just a little under-qualified for—a children’s surfing instructor at the Aloha Lagoon Resort. She can surf. . .she just doesn’t know how to teach surfing. But that soon becomes the least of her worries.
Throw in two dead bodies, two unexpected inheritances, and one hot bartender, and the heat in Aloha Lagoon has quickly turned up! Samantha just needs to figure out why her family is involved, control a group of preadolescent kids, keep her mom and brother out of jail, and get the hot bartender to notice her. It couldn’t be that hard, could it? With the help of her new friend Alani and some of the quirky residents of Aloha Lagoon, she just may be able to pull it all off. . .and still keep everybody alive!
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About the author
Beth was born in Manchester, England, but after moving backwards and forwards across the world 13 times in 14 years she decided that at the age of 18 that Australia was to be her home. She now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia where every day is a good one. To date, she has three self-published titles as well as two novels published by Gemma Halliday Publishing.
Her main wish is to write books you can sit back, relax with, and escape from your everyday life…and ones that you walk away from with a smile! When she’s not writing you will usually find her at the beach with a coffee in hand, pursuing her favorite pastime—people watching!
Connect with Beth at www.bethprentice.com
All comments are welcomed.
Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a signed print copy of Deadly Wipeout. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends October 26, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!