My best reads in 2017

best of 2017I was asked by Andria Williams to participate in her annual Women Writers Recommend Books blog post she puts together for her Military Spouse Book Review, site. I never turn down a chance to spread the word about good books. And 2017 was an especially busy reading year since I had to take any and every opportunity to escape from the reality of 2017 … if you know what I mean.

Some of the best I read this year were, Dinner at the Center of the Earth, by Nathan Englander, In Farleigh Field, by Rhys Bowen, A Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon and Janet Oakley’s expertly researched historical thriller, The Jossing Affair.

Andria told us to giver her our top three books of this year. An impossible task! So, I’m going to cheat and give you my top three picks, in no particular order, which all happen to be part of a larger series. Continue reading

Two big things

First, a whole bunch of the Lei Crime Kindle World authors got together for a Valentine’s Day Facebook hop. Some lucky person is going to win a $170.00 Amazon gift card. You don’t want to miss this contest.

The sweet part, aside from thlei-crime-valentinese fat gift card, is that each Facebook post features a unique Hawaiian recipe –Get it? The sweet part? Since most of the Lei Crime stories take place in Hawaii, the recipes get you closer to the world. I want to try them all. Hawaiian king bread, Kalua pork and cabbage, Hawaiian pineapple Cake… So many yummy and fairly easy ideas to bring to the table.

All you have to do is visit some Facebook pages, leave comments and move onto the next one. Lots of us are playing. You can start on my page (www.facebook.com/mldoyleauthor) and go get familiar with other authors who write in the Lei Crime world. It’s a talented bunch who write mystery, romance, fantasy and much more.

The second big thing is the Association of Writer’s and Writing Programs (AWP) is this weekend. I’m so excited to be going back again this  year. I will be on a panel alongside some amazing veteran writers. I went to AWP for the first time last year and the experience had a lasting impact. I wrote about it when I got home and now I can’t wait to see some of the friends I made. Here’s a description of the panel I will be on. It would be great fun to see you there!

Friday, February 10, 2017

9:00 am to 10:15 am

Marquis Salon 6, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

F110. The Middle Americans: How Flyover Country Responds to War. (, , , , ) By various measures, rural Americans are more likely to enlist in the US armed forces. Despite isolation from traditional centers of publishing and military power, voices with Midwestern roots have sprung forth like dragon’s teeth to deliver clear-eyed, plainspoken views of war, service, and sacrifice. The civilians and veterans of this stereotype-busting panel of published writers offer their insights regarding themes, trends, and markets in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

 

Hidden Designs – Cover reveal!

Hidden Designs cvr finalCreating characters is like making new friends. You get to know them by spending days, weeks and months together. Eventually, you have to say farewell for a time, but you never forget them. When you get back together, it’s like you were never apart and you quickly become reacquainted.  You learn what things have been happening in their lives since you last spoke. You’re happy for their successes and sad for their losses.

When I wrote Hidden Poppies in the Lei Crime Kindle World series, the character I chose to use from Toby Neal’s stable was Ken Yamada, an FBI Special Agent.  I put Ken on a case where he ran into Major Charles Mathews, an Army officer Ken met ten years before. They’d been lovers briefly, but because of their careers and their hidden sexuality, they knew a relationship was impossible for them at the time. Continue reading

Lucas Kana – Princess Eyes

PrincessLucas Kana hoped to be part of the first group of Lei Crime KW authors who launched their books last April. Unfortunately, Lucas couldn’t make the deadline so his book had to be put on hold for release. Seems he thought getting married was more important than finishing his novella on time. You gotta love a guy who has his priorities straight!

The good news about the missed deadline is, now that he’s released his story, he’s done it in two parts, Princess Eyes I and Princess Eyes II, giving us lots of material to sink into. Somehow he found some time between getting the book done, getting married and going on a whirlwind honeymoon to far flung reaches of the world, to answer a few questions about the Lei Crime experience.

Here is the blub for his Lei Crime novella Princess Eyes I:

Geeky Honolulu Lieutenant, Michael Stevens, teams up to investigate a series of homicides with Jenna Brooke, a streetwise psychologist for the FBI, which leads to the mysterious disappearance of a local beauty queen known as ‘Princess Eyes.’ 

Timeline: 10 years before Blood Orchids in a semi-alternate universe where Stevens starts out as a nerd.  Continue reading

Books to take to the beach!

Beach kindleIt’s been a very long time since I’ve granted myself the luxury of a beach vacation. So long in fact, I need new bathing suits (not my favorite thing to shop for), new beach bags, new flip flops and sunscreen. Lots of sunscreen.

By far the most important thing I need to stock up on – even more important than the bathing suit – is beach reading material. For me, the sun, sand and surf are nice but without a good book I might as well be at work.

To ensure this precious reading time is not squandered, I reached out to friends to get recommendations. And since I have so many author friends, I included the caveat they couldn’t recommend their own books. While many suggested books I’d already read, there were a few gems in there I had to share. I know I’m not the only one looking for good summertime reading so here is a rundown of the suggestions I received.

My brother, Larry and I exchange book ideas all the time. He usually never steers me wrong. I just finished reading all six books in the Purge of Babylon series by Sam Sisavath based on Larry’s strong support. I absolutely loved them. Can’t wait for book seven. But I finished the series and need more to fill my time.

Continue reading

Lei Crime Kindle World – A team effort

Hidden-Poppies2It’s hard to believe it was less than two months ago that one of my indie publishing idols, bestselling author Toby Neal, asked me to be a part of an incredible project. Amazon intended to launch a Kindle World, featuring Toby’s Lei Crime Series. Part of Toby’s Amazon launch involved convincing nine authors to write the first stories that would populate the new World. What an honor for Toby and what an exciting opportunity for me and eight other authors.

While the amount of time available to actually write the piece made my heart seize up in fear, I knew there was no way I could let the opportunity slide. Besides, there were eight other authors in the same short timeline boat and if there’s one thing I learned from my time in uniform, a challenge is best faced with a team at your back. Continue reading

Kindle Worlds – Lei Crime Series

leiCrimeSeries-kindleWorldThere are days when I sit at the keyboard with so many projects and ideas rolling around in my head that
I don’t know where to begin. Should I blog? Write another chapter in the new paranormal mystery I’m working on? Finish the novella for the Harper series? Tackle some marketing and promotion work? Sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to choose.

Today, the draw to writing comes from a completely new place. When I set out on this indie-publishing journey, one of the first authors I ever approached for help and advice was Toby Neal. I’d read most of her Lei Crime series books and loved her work. Much to my surprise, she was gracious enough to read my book, write an awesome blurb for the cover and ever since, has been an online friend and an invaluable source for advice and support.  Continue reading