Hello, my name is Colleen Collins. As you see in my "handle" my nickname is CoCo (although most people just spell it "coco"). I’m a writer, private investigator and new member of Coffee Time Romance. I look forward to getting to know all of you, starting with this blog.
A little background about me…
I’ve had 20 novels published in the past, most by Harlequin. I was first published for its Love & Laughter line in 1997 (anybody remember that romantic-comedy series?). Sadly, it closed after a few years. Next, I wrote for Duets, which also closed after awhile. Then I wrote for Temptation…yep, it closed. But to prove I’m not the kiss of death to Harlequin series, other lines I’ve written for (Blaze and several Harlequin anthologies) thrive to this day. Along the way, I also wrote a paranormal-romance thriller for Dorchester writing as Cassandra Collins.
As I mentioned above, I’m also a PI. Never dreamed I’d become one, but you know how life is…sometimes a door opens and you march into a new world. How’d I find this door? Back in 2003-2004, I was convincing my then-boyfriend (now husband) that he should be a private investigator (as a former attorney, he’d trained numerous PIs so he well understood the business). Almost overnight, I found myself on stake-out, too. That was eight years ago, and I’ve done dozens, maybe hundreds, of surveillances since then.
The Zen Man
My current book, The Zen Man, is what I call a “21st-century Nick and Nora” mystery. A quick refresher: Nick and Nora Charles are the husband-and-wife PI team in the 1934 film classic The Thin Man, based on the book The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. The film starred Myrna Loy and William Powell, who spent their days getting cheerfully drunk on martinis while solving crimes with their dog Asta.
Fast forward to The Zen Man, which also features a PI man-and-woman team (Rick and Laura), although only one of them drinks martinis these days. Another difference: Whereas Nick Charles carried a gun, Rick Levine stashes a stun gun under the front seat of his Pontiac. But when it comes to investigating cases, some things never change. Nick and Rick must use guts, tenacity and an ability to “think outside of the box” to find the real killer.
Just as washed-up criminal defense attorney, life-long Deadhead (nickname “The Zen Man”), and current PI Rick Levine decides to get relicensed as a lawyer, he’s charged with killing one and ends up in the slammer with a half-mil bail.
Released on bond, Rick and his girlfriend Laura have 30 days to find the real killer. In the course of their investigations, they dig for dirt among Denver’s shady legal backrooms to its tony corporate centers. Dodging bullets, a kidnapping, trumped-up charges and the FBI's unwanted intervention, Rick and Laura continue tracking key suspects who have motive…eventually learning that true redemption begins at home.
To read an excerpt, click here.
"Move over Sam Spade, Nick and Nora; make room for a Denver who-dun-it, Colleen Collins’s The Zen Man. Brilliant and fast-paced writing. I couldn’t put it down." ~ Donnell Ann Bell, Award-Winning Author of The Past Came Hunting
Today’s Blog Question:
What Fictional Private Eye Would You Most Like to Be?
I love the private eye genre, from books to film. Confession: I own the DVD collection containing every TV show in the 70s’ TV series The Rockford Files starring James Garner, maybe the first beta-hero in the private eye genre. I thought it’d be fun in this blog to ask, “If you could be a fictional private eye, either one in a book, TV show or movie, who would you be?” Honey West, Emma Peel, Kinsey Millhone, Sharon McCone, Jessica Fletcher, Veronica Mars? Doesn’t have to be a woman – maybe some of you would dig being Sam Spade, Magnum, Monk…or Rockford!
Although I’d love to live in a trailer on the beach a la Rockford, I’d prefer being Emma Peel (from the 60s’ TV show The Avengers) who’s a master at martial arts, drives a convertible and looks smashing in catsuits.
You can not only read The Zen Man, but wear it too.
Two names will be randomly picked from today’s comments to win a Kindle download of The Zen Man (if you don’t have an ereader, no problem. You can download it to your PC, Mac or numerous other devices). Each winner will also receive a The Zen Man T-shirt (M, L or XL).
So let’s hear from you…what fictional private eye would you most like to be and why?
10 Responses to “The Zen Man: Read It, Wear It”
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