Wednesday, April 16, 2014

~~Author Wednesdays--Toby Neal~~

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Hello everyone! It's that time again, Author Wednesday. Today I have the magnificent Toby Neal on my blog!

The Lei Crime Series ™, by Toby Neal, debuted with Blood Orchids in Dec. 2011 and have become genuine online bestsellers, with ebooks downloads of over 500,000. Leilani Matsumoto Texeira, the protagonist, is a local girl detective with a complicated past that strikes a chord anyone who wants to learn something about the “real Hawaii.”

Lei leaps before she looks into solving crimes that draw the reader into the issues of life in the islands—including cockfighting, sex crimes, art smuggling, human trafficking, drugs and poaching. In each book Lei goes to a different island—in Blood Orchids she’s on Big Island, in Torch Ginger she goes to Kaua`i, in Black Jasmine she’s on Maui and in Broken Ferns, she’s on Lanai and Molokai, in Twisted Vine she’s back on Oahu.

The books have been positively reviewed on GoodReads and Amazon and average 4.5 stars on hundreds of reviews including the following: “Now that I’ve finished them all, I am going to have to join LTA (Lei Texeira Anonymous). Toby Neal knows how to engage and involve the reader. This series is a must read for all fans of mysteries, a true tour-de-force. I for one, cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.”(Paul Janes-Brown, reviewer)

One day I received an email from Toby Neal asking if I'd consider reading her new book, Blood Orchids and if I liked it, would I consider writing a review. I was a little hesitant because the book contained murder. Ms. Neal assured me that the book didn't have any real gory, gross, yucky moments, so I agreed to give it a try. After I read the book I was so wowed by it, that I contacted Ms. Neal to let her know that I absolutely loved the book and to thank her for introducing me to her writing. I can't say enough great things about the Lei Crime series. If you haven't read them yet, watcha waitin' for!?!


Lei has overcome a scarred past to make a life for herself as a cop in the sleepy Big Island town of Hilo.

On a routine patrol she finds two murdered teenagers—one of whom she’d recently busted. The girl’s harsh life and tragic death touches a chord with Lei, and she becomes obsessed with the case. The killer is drawn to her intensity and stalks her, feeding on her vulnerabilities and toying with her sanity.

Steaming volcanoes, black sand beaches and shrouded fern forests are the backdrop to Lei's quest for answers. She finds herself falling in love for the first time—but the stalker is closer than she can imagine, and threads of the past are tangled in her future. Lei is determined to find the killer—but he already knows where she lives.

My review for Blood Orchids:
Buy Links:
Paperback:  Blood Orchids

The island of Kaua'i is remote jungle, golden beaches and ancient culture — but transients are disappearing in paradise, and only Detective Lei Texeira notices.
Fleeing a failed engagement, Detective Lei Texeira transfers to the island of Kaua'i, where she uncovers a pattern of disappearances that may be related to a bizarre cult — or is it just one madman at work? In Lei's world, everyone is guilty until proven innocent.
In Blood Orchids Lei battled her personal demons and won — but now they've come roaring back with reinforcements, including charming real estate magnate Alika Wolcott and former fiancé Michael Stevens. In the midst of the biggest case sleepy Kaua'i has ever seen, Lei must also discover who she loves.
My review for Torch Ginger:
Buy Links:
Paperback: Torch Ginger

The island of Maui is turquoise ocean, stunning vistas, and whalesong—but organized crime has a hidden hold, and Detective Lei Texeira tracks evil that hides behind a beautiful face.

Lei and Stevens find a haven on Maui—until their new life as a couple is interrupted by murder. When a nameless teenage girl dies in an apparent vehicular suicide, Lei can’t rest until she finds out what really happened. She blazes through all the wealth and poverty of island society in her quest for justice, rousing a deadly foe—even as she faces the personal demons of commitment and revenge that threaten the only real love she’s ever known.

My review of Black Jasmine:

Buy Links:
Amazon:  Black Jasmine (Lei Crime Series)
Paperback: Black Jasmine

The island of Oahu is warm breezes, skyscrapers and green mountains—but a daring young thief is out to make a statement, and Special Agent Lei Texeira’s new career is already on the line.

Lei Texeira has made a difficult transition from detective on Maui to the FBI on Oahu—and her first big case as an agent draws national media attention. With her typical jump-first, look-later style, she pursues her quarry from Oahu to the outer islands, rousing old conflicts and new heartbreak.

My review of Broken Ferns:

Buy Links:
Amazon:  Broken Ferns (Lei Crime Series)
Paperback: Broken Ferns

One Betta fish, two dead biologists, three trysts, four suspects and thirty-five pairs of shoes add up to complicated days in paradise for Special Agent Marcella Scott.

Marcella gets into sand way over her Manolos investigating the death of a prominent scientist washed up on a Waikiki beach with a bullet hole between the eyes. BioGreen, a genetically engineered algae that could solve the world’s fuel crisis, has been stolen from the development lab—a hotbed of intrigue where everyone on the project has something to hide.

Marcella also has a secret vice, more dangerous than expensive shoes—and it leads her into arms that are too close for comfort. 

“Toby Neal’s usual breathless suspense plus Agent Marcella Scott’s sexiness feed this reader’s addiction!” Noelle Pierce, author of upcoming Constellation Series.

I just finished Stolen In Paradise and written the review yet. I will update this post as soon as it's completed.

Buy Links:
Amazon: Stolen in Paradise (A Lei Crime Companion Novel)
Paperback:   Stolen in Paradise

The island of Oahu is skyscrapers and rainforests, beaches and boutiques—but Special Agent Lei Texeira is drawn into a shadow world connected by death and the Internet. 

Mysterious suicides draw Lei and her team, including tech specialist Sophie Ang, to hunt a criminal who plays with the thin gray line between right and wrong. Lei stirs up a hornet’s nest on the investigation as her past reaches out in a twisted vine of old loves, new technologies and dark vendettas.
Buy Links:
Amazon: Twisted Vine (Lei Crime Series)
Paperback: Twisted Vine a Lei Crime Novel

Only a volcano can cure some things.

Dr. Caprice Wilson, police psychologist, has spent her life unraveling the mysteries of the human mind—only to find herself in a deep crisis. Caprice prescribes herself a walkabout and goes hiking on Maui—but the solitary retreat she has in mind does not go as planned. Caprice faces an enemy she never knew she had and wrestles with questions of hope, identity, loss, and the nature of psychopathy in a cat-and-mouse game with survival at stake.

Buy Links:
Amazon: Unsound
Paperback: Unsound

An Accidental Matchmaker Novel
Sometimes only an accidental matchmaker can make lighting strike the people who need it most.

Zoe moves to Maui to live her dream of being an independent journalist walking the beaches of paradise every day—but she never expected to be doing it with just her dog Sylvester. Divorced and heartbroken, and she ends up in therapy.
Adam’s born and bred on Maui, a true “local” who surfs to stay in shape and deal with his many sources of stress: care of his mother, a busy contracting business, and a custody fight for his beloved stepkids. A workplace confrontation sends him to anger management counseling.
They happen to share a therapist who gives them the same advice: try Internet dating. And though their Crazy Blind Date match-up ignites sparks neither have felt since high school, finding love is complicated by car wrecks, heart attacks, millionaires, misunderstandings and fresh grief. Can Adam and Zoe find a way to live a deeper dream on Maui?

Buy Links:
Amazon: Somewhere on Maui (an Accidental Matchmaker Novel)

Maui is lush mountains, cloud forest and exquisite birdsong—but for Detective Lei Texeira, arrows break that peace.

Someone is stalking poachers that are capturing Maui’s rarest birds, and Lei pursues the case with her usual leap-first, look-later style—but will she be able to catch a killer, save the birds, and still make it to her own wedding? Shattered Palms is a roller coaster ride from the top of Haleakala to the beach and back again, with extinction at stake.

“Toby Neal creates a captivating balance of the beauty of the islands contrasted with the ugliness of murder, and complicated by the trials of Lei’s personal life. A must-read for Neal fans.” Thomas K. Matthews, author of Rejection.

Buy Links:
Amazon: Shattered Palms (Lei Crime Series)
Paperback: Shattered Palms

I am so looking forward to catching up with the rest of the Lei Crime series, I've loved every book so far.

I hope you enjoyed my visit with Toby Neal and will come by again next Wednesday when Beth Williamson will be here!

**I want to apologize to Ms. Neal for posting her Author Wednesday so late. I had a family emergency and I'm still in need of prayers.**

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