Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sisters in Crime/Hawaii Members Join in Two-day Fun-filled Celebration for THE MAKIKI COMMUNITY LIBRARY 40TH ANNIVERSARY

Sisters in Crime/Hawaii Chapter on O’ahu enthusiastically participated in the Makiki Community Library 40th Anniversary Celebration, September 17 and 18, 2016. As a volunteer-run library, they are dependent on donations. They also sponsor SinC/Hawaii monthly meetings. For these reasons, we were eager to support their fundraiser. 

During the library’s big used-book sale, SinC/Hawaii members presented round-table discussions focused on the art and craft of writing. SinC members introduced fresh topics each hour during the celebration. Library patrons were encouraged to join in the discussions.
SATURDAY September 17, 2016

SinC/Hawaii set-up for
Makiki Community Library 40th Anniversary Celebration


On Saturday, Kent Reinker (Alain Gunn) covered Writing Beyond Your Own Experiences: Imagination or Research?

Lizbeth Hartz opened a discussion session with the topic
Fictionalized Memoir vs
Memoir base on True Story.

Vicki White covered Researching a Story Setting.

Gail Baugniet discussed the topic of Writing the First Draft and her participation in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) each November.

(Watch for future posts covering these topics in further detail.) 


Authors  . . . never at a loss for words!

Researching a Story Setting
discussion led by
Vicki White (D.V. Whyte)

Makiki Library Board Members, President Wendy Maxwell and Della Au Belatti
lighting candles on the 40th Anniversary Celebration cupcakes for the kids!!!

Special Spinning Wheel game for the kids to win lots of donated prizes! 

One boy had so much fun he returned with his coin jar and proceeded to dole out money to his friends to pay for a chance to spin the wheel and win a prize.

Makiki Library Board Members Johnny and Linda Prado "manning" the Spinning Wheel game and keeping the table refreshed with enticing prizes for the neighborhood children.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Rose Mary Thompson opened the day's celebration with
a discussion about Research,
and shared stories about her personal research projects.

Dawn Casey fielded questions
on the topic of Historical Creative Non-Fiction
along with writing memoirs.

Larry Mild sharing information
about writing in the mystery genre
To round out the two-day celebration,
before the Fairy Grandmother arrived with magic and fun
for the keiki (children),
Rosemary and Larry Mild presented
 “A Quickie Exploration of the Mystery.”


Interrupting with C - A - K - E . . . NO PROBLEM!
Makiki Library Board Member Julie Wo
sharing birthday cake for Board Member Harold Burger



Sisters in Crime/Hawaii meets the third Wednesday of the month at Makiki Library, 6-8pm.  Please check the "Meetings and Events" page on this site for the most up-to-date information.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

SinC/Hawaii Speaker for August, 2016: MAUREEN A. FINN

Sisters in Crime/Hawaii members met at Makiki Community Library for the August meeting featuring Guest Speaker Maureen A. Finn.

Maureen had attended the Hawaii Book and Music Festival in May, 2016, in Honolulu. She stopped by the SinC/Hawaii booth to visit with members and learn about the chapter. After a short discussion, she was asked to speak at our August meeting and she eagerly accepted.

Maureen A. Finn worked for twenty-eight years as a forensic scientist in the Toxicology Lab of the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office in Chicago. She recently moved to Honolulu with her husband, who is now with the Honolulu Police Commission. Her college degree was in biology and chemistry. She interned in the Illinois State Police crime lab.

Larry and Rosemary Mild and Dennis Keating listen as
Jenny presents a lei to Maureen

SinC/HI members welcomed Maureen at Makiki Community Library where they hold their monthly meetings. She was greeted in true Hawaiian fashion with a lovely flower lei, presented to her by member Jenny Delos Santos.

As you can see, we take over the mystery section of the library - so appropriate for crime writers!

Maureen A. Finn and Jenny Delos Santos

After introductions to the group, Maureen opened her talk about working in the Toxicology Dept. with, “I really learned on the job.”

Relying completely on SinC/HI Secretary Rosemary Mild's minutes, here are highlights of Maureen's riveting talk.

--The Medical Examiner must be an MD and board-certified in forensic pathology. In 1976 Cook County switched to an ME from a coroner, who doesn’t even have to be a doctor. (Often a political appointee.) The ME’s office there (includes the morgue) has about 4500 cases a year of unexplained deaths (when no doctor is present).
--When Maureen was still in training, she got to do testing on the late Harold Washington, the first black mayor of Chicago, who died suddenly at age 65 of a heart attack.
--Her lab received the corpse of a “body packer”: a mule, who had swallowed 33-34 packets of cocaine; three broke, sending cocaine throughout his intestines. He died in his hotel room. The drugs were worth millions. Late at night she called her boss for instructions: to put the evidence bag in the freezer. DEA agents came two days later to pick it up. Maureen had to sign it out in the presence of witnesses.        
--Tissues are kept for one year; blood for two years. DNA is done in the Crime Lab.
--The infant mortality rate in Chicago is high, often because of drugs. Her lab had a rash of cocaine babies (also heroin or alcohol). They would examine every part of the baby, including tissue, brain, etc. to confirm death by drug overdose.
--While testing for overdoses of illicit and prescription drugs, she had to observe strict protocols. A full tox screen takes eight weeks or more. In her lab, fifteen of the eighteen workers were scientists.
--A few of Maureen’s favorite books: Fatal Vision, Helter Skelter, and In Cold Blood.

Photos taken at the meeting and contributed by Leslie Foster:

Photos with Maureen: Larry & Rosemary Mild, Kent Reinker, Lizbeth Hartz, Jenny Delos Santos, Gail Baugniet, Larry & Rosemary, Dawn Casey, Leslie Ishimi, Sandy Ritter, and Shauna Jones. In attendance but missing from the photographs are Rose Mary Thompson and Vicki White (we'll get you in the photos next time!)  


SEPTEMBER 17 and 18, 2016
Saturday Noon to 4pm
Sunday Noon to 3pm
Sisters in Crime/Hawaii participation
The Makiki Community Library
Celebrates its 40th Anniversary!

We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Makiki Community Library on September 17th and 18th (Sat. and Sun.) from 12:00 to 4:00. Come and join us in the following activities:

  • A big used book sale, including a variety of children's books, vintage books, DVDs and records. Get your free book coupon to use at the book sale when you come to check-out books, before the anniversary weekend.
  • The Sisters in Crime will be hosting round table discussions with local authors on Sat. until 4:00 and Sun. until 3:00. The public is welcome to participate.
  • The Fairy Grandmother will bring magic and fun to the keiki on Sunday at 3:00.
  • And oh . . . enjoy some refreshments!
For more information about the library, call (808) 536-7766. 

Makiki Community Library Hours
Wednesdays 2-6 pm
Saturdays 12-4 pm
Sundays 12-4 pm

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Sisters in Crime/Hawaii members will hold round-table discussions focused on the art and craft of writing.

Everyone is welcome to join in the discussions, to listen, participate, and ask questions.

Discussion topics will range from:
Writing the First Draft;
Researching a Story Setting or Background;

Memoir -vs- Based on True Story;

and Writing From Experience.
All questions are welcome.

SinC/Hawaii authors will display their published works for sale and book signing.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#SINC Author FRANKIE BOW and Her Experience with Kindle Scout

Today's guest is Sisters in Crime member Frankie Bow, author of the Professor Molly series.
Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.
In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally. Frankie has agreed to share with us her experience with the Kindle Scout program.

Sisters In Crime: Thank you for joining us today, Frankie, and sharing your experience with the Kindle Scout program. You submitted a book for consideration to Kindle Scout, where readers vote for books they would like to see published. Which book did you submit for consideration and how did you qualify to submit your book?
FRANKIE BOW: I submitted the latest book in the Professor Molly series, The Blessed Event. It was a pleasant surprise to find that Kindle Press will consider books that are not first in series.
Sisters In Crime: How did you get readers to notice your entry and vote for your book?

FRANKIE BOW: To give readers a sense of the book, I put together cards with a quote from the book and an illustration. The cards went out on Twitter and Facebook. (I've attached some examples.) 

The  Clean Indie Reads community (my books are PG-rated), was great at retweeting and nominating. And of course my SinC - Hawaii friends were wonderfully supportive in helping me get the word out! I also posted on my blog and made the announcement to my mailing list.
You can't just throw your book out there and hope it gets noticed!

Sisters In Crime: Your book was selected for publication. Congratulations! What follow-up work are you required to do before publication?

FRANKIE BOW: They were wonderfully kind in their feedback. There was one description of Molly's wardrobe that they recommended shortening (they were right), but other than that there were no recommended changes. Some of the comments: 

·         light-hearted, funny, and smart standalone murder mystery featuring well-drawn and interesting characters.

·         The author does a great job integrating the several minor character-driven plots with the central murder mystery plot, which kept the story consistently interesting.

·         The author does an excellent job making all of the characters likable, even when they do unlikable things, 

·         Very entertaining and great reading flow.

·         The humor is great – there were several LOL moments.

·         It’s a light read, but it’s also a smart read. The author’s insights on the characters and the absurdities of their situations are compelling and give the book a sense of satisfying substance.
Sisters In Crime: The website for Kindle Scout has answers to the questions of who, what, when, where, and why. But having gone through the process, Frankie, can you give us an idea of your personal experience with Kindle Scout?
FRANKIE BOW: They made it very easy to submit. The hard part was working to keep reader interest high, to keep people coming by to nominate the book. The readers aren't the final judges, but I think the editors need to see that the book will get some interest. After the nomination period ended, it took about a month to find out that my book had been accepted for publication.

Sisters In Crime: Would KS be more beneficial to a new author or to someone who is already self-published? 

FRANKIE BOW: It's a great platform for a new author to get experience and exposure. Experienced self-publishers may feel restricted by the fact that they can't control the pricing or distribute the book on other e-publishing platforms. For me, it's worth the tradeoffs. I would definitely go the Kindle Scout route again. 
Sisters In Crime: Just an aside: Are you planning to attend LCC2017 in Honolulu?
FRANKIE BOW: YES I am already registered for LCC, and looking forward to meeting my SinC sisters and misters in person! 

You can visit with Frankie Bow at these sites:
Follow me on Twitter:
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For answers to the questions of who, what, when, where, and why, the link to the website for Kindle Scout is:


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#WriterWednesday Author Interview with SinC/Hawaii member: A K Gunn

Our guest today is SinC member, A K Gunn. Mr. Gunn is the author of the crime fiction novel, The Honey Bee and the recently published political mystery, The Death of Aloha. The setting for this story is a place first thought of as "paradise", the Hawaiian Island of O'ahu.

This is the author's synopsis of the novel:

Kimo Silva, Honolulu’s incoming mayor, inherits a city that faces hard times. Economic decline, Asian conflict, and internal ethnic strife threaten to unravel the Aloha Spirit that keeps Honolulu’s diverse population at peace.

His own son, Luke, becomes a victim of ethnic intolerance when he is “hijacked” and threatened on his way to school. A series of related confrontations and crimes divides Honolulu’s ethnic groups and enflames people who feel victimized by social forces they cannot control. Honolulu has been a model city for ethnic tranquility for decades, but Kimo knows that the peace Honolulu enjoys is both fragile and critical. He is determined to preserve Honolulu’s Aloha Spirit. But what can he do to reverse the trend? And what must he sacrifice in order to do it?

Two Author Interview Questions Relating to
The Death of Aloha
Author A K Gunn lives in Honolulu where the plot of this novel unfolds, beginning with the protagonist's young son experiencing taunting behavior by older boys from his school. Writers are often told to "write what you know," or to "write from experience."
Sisters in Crime/Hawaii: Mr. Gunn, thank you for taking time for this interview today. The story you tell in The Death of Aloha is not your typical cozy mystery set in paradise. Are the scenes involving young Luke Silva created from imagination like the boy's after-school fantasies of laser blasters and aliens, or are some scenes based on actual events?
A K GUNN: The incident involving Luke stems from an incident involving my own son. He was a little older but still in grade school and had a job as a newspaper delivery boy. While delivering the Star-Bulletin, he probably got too close to a drug deal going down.

He was thrown to the ground, a knife put to his throat and he was told that if he ever told anyone about anything, he’d be killed. When he got home, we could tell something had gone wrong, and we were able to extract the truth from him after a little prodding. We called the police, who were very helpful, but that just aggravated his fear, both when he delivered his papers and when he went to school. A month or two later, a crack house in the neighborhood was raided. My son gave up his paper route and switched to a private school. 
Sisters in Crime/Hawaii: Your story addresses socio-political issues that are also recognized in other areas of the country. Is there any one issue in particular that is unique to the islands due either to our isolation or another reason?  
A K GUNN: Many of the issues involving Hawaii are similar to those facing many areas on the mainland, but Hawaii has been uniquely successful in dealing with them. Ethnic diversity, an unhappy indigent population, homelessness, crime, and economic disparity are examples. In addition, we have some unique problems.

We are dependent upon two major industries—tourism & military--both of which tend to be cyclical, so we’re vulnerable to difficult economic shifts. In addition, we host a high percentage of transient residents (tourists & military) who inevitably bring attitudes and viewpoints to our shores that differ from those held by people who live here permanently. Expenses are high here, particularly in housing, and people have to work harder to keep a positive cash balance. We’re over-crowded in Honolulu, and our infrastructure, particularly transportation, hasn’t kept up.

These negatives are offset by some positives, including the great climate, the physical beauty of both the land and the sea, and—most important—the Aloha Spirit. Our society is uniquely tolerant and acceptant of people with ethnic differences and different points of view. It’s the Aloha Spirit that makes Hawaii paradise, that makes our aina a garden of Eden instead of a jungle. 
Kent Reinker is a retired U.S. Army colonel, medical school professor, and scientist. He has published three novels under the name Alain Gunn, and one novel under the name A K Gunn. He has also authored forty-eight scientific publications, over twenty short stories, and numerous articles in newspapers or journals.
He has lived in Hawaii since coming from the mainland for military service in 1970. He was educated at Yale University, where he earned a BS in physics, and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where he received an MD degree.
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Monday, April 25, 2016

Book Reviews . . . and Who is Kalei-O-Mano

You've just finished reading a book that entertained you over a period of twenty-four hours or seven days. Everyone has their own pattern. Some pick up a book at bedtime for a half hour of reading, others don't set the book down until they reach "The End".

Whatever your preference, why would you want to take the time to write a review of the book? You liked it. You plan to call your friend and discuss it over the telephone. Your reading group at Starbucks is eager to hear your opinion of the story. Isn't that enough?


Actually, word-of-mouth is a terrific means of promoting a book you like. Who better to recommend a book than someone who read it and was entertained by it, maybe even used it to escape the duties of daily life for a time. Fiction is meant to "take the reader for a ride" away from the normal stress of everyday activities.

A word-of-mouth recommendation is, in essence, an audio book review. Any author would be most grateful to know you are discussing their latest book, or even the one they wrote five years ago. Contrary to popular belief, some authors do have considerable egos. (Even Stephen King still wants to know you liked his latest installment in horror.)
Reviews on Goodreads and Amazon
Other ways to show your support for an author is to post a review on Amazon (no, it is not illegal to post a review if you borrowed the book from a friend.)
Recently, a reader enjoyed all of the short stories and decided to write a review for the anthology MYSTERY IN PARADISE 13 Tales of Suspense. Each story is set in Hawai'i and written by an author living in or having strong ties to the 50th state. (You're right, that is why it's called Hawaii 5-0).
Before writing the review, though, the reader had a question about one of the stories and emailed the author for clarification. The short story is entitled TOURISTS and the author is Lehua Parker (aka Michelle Lehua Parker of Facebook.)
The reader's Quiry:
Hi Lehua,
I'm reviewing the stories in Mystery in Paradise. I loved yours, but am puzzled as to why you chose the name Kalei for the shark man when, according to mythology, his name was Nanaue.
Please let me know.
(Reader's name withheld)
Lehua's Response:
Hi (Reader's name withheld),

Thanks for your question. The simplest answer is that the story is not about the traditional myth of Nanaue. While the legends of Nanaue and Kamohoali’i are the most well-known shark man-stories in Hawaii, there are many tales throughout the Pacific about literal sharks, aumakua sharks, demi-god sharks, and chiefs who are shark-like. Building upon those traditions, Tourists is actually an adult side story to a middle grade/young adult series I write called the Niuhi Shark Saga. One Boy, No Water; One Shark, No Swim; and One Truth, No Lie are all set on Oahu in fictional Lauele Town where Hawaiian myths, gods, and legends are real and exist beneath the radar of most of the humans. The series is centered around a boy who is allergic to water. His name is Alexander Kaonakai Westin, but he’s called Zader. Throughout the series, Zader discovers who he really is and why his biological family hid him in Lauele Town.  

In this world, there are Niuhi who have the ability to appear as human on land or as sharks in the ocean. (In Hawaiian, niuhi is the word used to describe a shark big enough to attack a human and is usually translated as a large tiger shark.) Kalei is a character in the series. His full name is Kalei-O-Mano, which refers to a war club ringed with shark’s teeth or a shark’s mouth. In the series, he’s a scary bad dude who is mostly called The Man with Too Many Teeth by Zader. By the time his name is revealed, it’s very clear that the series is not a retelling of Nanaue, so there’s no confusion with Kalei-O-Mano and Kalei the maiden in the most well-known version of the Nanaue legend. In this short story I just called him Kalei because it’s simple and what he’d probably tell a tourist—and really didn’t consider there might be confusion with the Nanaue legend.  

Kahana and Ilima are also characters in the series, and I wrote Tourists to give adults a different perspective to consider as they read the Niuhi Shark Saga. While the publisher pigeon-holed the series as MG/YA because of Zader’s age, the series is read by as many adults as kids. 

In my head, I have lots of stories set in Lauele Town that are adult-themed, and someday I hope to write them all down and publish them under another pen name, Jace Hunter. As Jace Hunter I publish speculative horror fiction for adults. As Lehua I publish children’s literature, and as you know, Tourists isn’t for children. I originally published it as Lehua because of the tie to the Niuhi Shark Saga series, but I’ve since rethought that decision. A revised version of Tourists will soon be available as an audiobook by Jace Hunter, narrated by Michelle Parker.

Hope this answers your questions. As for your review, first of all, thank you!, and secondly, please feel free to write whatever you wish in your review. A hui hou!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

SinC/Hawaii Guest Speakers for March: Lourdes & Dave Venard

On Wednesday evening, March 16, 2016, Lourdes and Dave Venard will be the guest speakers for Sisters in Crime/Hawaii's monthly meeting held at The Makiki Community Library from 6-8pm.

Lourdes Venard
Dave Venard

The Business of Writing
The Writing Business

Lourdes Venard talks about the how to successfully navigate publishing in a market that's been in constant change over the past 10 years, and is still changing, and tactics that have worked for some authors in growing their readership.

Dave Venard, president of a tax and accounting business, will talk about the issues that specifically face writers and how to run your writing business like the business it is.

There will be a Question & Answer session following their talks.

Below is a SinC/Hawaii interview with Lourdes Venard from 2014 for those who missed it.

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Interview with editor Lourdes Venard
Our guest today is Lourdes Venard, a journalist with more than 29 years of reporting, editing, design, and project management experience. She has worked at major newspapers such as The Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Newsday. She currently operates her own freelance business, CommaSense Editing.

Lourdes edited the material for MYSTERY IN PARADISE 13 Tales of Suspense, an anthology of short stories set in Hawaii and written by local authors.

Sisters in Crime/ Hawai`i: Thank you for joining us today for an interview, Lourdes. Can you please offer a brief insight into something humorous, poignant, or unusual in your life that led you to a career as an editor? 

LOURDES VENARD: I don’t know that it was that unusual. I’ve been involved in journalism since high school and even then I had editing roles (I was editor in chief of the school paper my senior year). I was the kid who edited the valedictorian’s English essays; while she was brilliant, she still needed grammar help! Nevertheless, I started out my career as a reporter. After a few years, I realized I really enjoyed and was more suited to the editing, rather than to chasing people who didn’t want to be interviewed. I found I have a real passion for editing. Sometimes I think, ‘What am I doing? I spent half an hour arguing over a hyphen with a cover designer.’ But, really, that hyphen was important!

Sisters in Crime/ Hawai`i:  How did you become involved in the editing process of MYSTERY IN PARADISE? 

LOURDES VENARD: When I found out that a group of Hawai’i authors was compiling an anthology, I jumped at the chance to edit it. Hawai’i is a special place for my husband and I (we have a second home there). It is unlike any other place in the United States, and I was excited about the possibility of stories set there. Also, short stories seem to be making a renaissance. The short story lends itself to our fast-paced, time-crunched culture. But writing a good short story is just as hard as writing a full-length novel. The short stories in this anthology are truly unique, shaped by the Hawaiian culture, lore, and landscape. They are also quite diverse. That’s another thing I love about anthologies: Authors might write about the same subject, but their take is always so different! All of these aspects drew me to editing this anthology, and I was glad to have a small part in bringing MYSTERY IN PARADISE to readers.

Sisters in Crime/ Hawai`i:  What is your role as a judge for a scholarship program run by the American Copy Editors Society? 

LOURDES VENARD: I’ve been judging this contest for 10 years. It awards scholarships each year to three college students who show promise in copyediting. Many students gravitate to the more glamorous reporting end of journalism, but few have a love (or aptitude) for the behind-the-scenes end of it: fixing holes in stories, working with authors to make the stories more lively or readable, writing headlines and captions, designing pages, etc. Copyeditors are the last set of eyes on stories, so it’s an important job—and ACES wants to encourage that. Each year, we get a stack of applications and we carefully winnow through them and then the judges go back and forth to decide which students get the scholarships. It’s a lot of work, but we feel it’s important to the future of copyediting.

Sisters in Crime/ Hawai`i:  Can you tell us a bit about your current project(s)? 

LOURDES VENARD: I’m juggling a few things—OK, more than a few! I’m editing two manuscripts: one science fiction and one crime fiction, my two favorite genres. I’m also writing my own book. I work with many first-time authors and they always have questions that go beyond the editing (Should I self-publish? Look for an agent? How do I write a query? How do I format my manuscript? How do I market my book?). It’s quite a learning curve these days to publish a book, especially with so many options. So I’m writing my own ebook, which will hopefully answer some of those questions. In between all of that, I’m editor for a newsletter for 500-plus mystery authors, the Guppies, a subgroup of Sisters in Crime. The deadline for the next issue is coming up, so I’m editing articles, designing the newsletter, and soliciting articles for upcoming issues. Finally, I teach a copyediting course online through the University of California, San Diego, and I’m in the middle of the summer semester. 

Lourdes Venard can be found on the Internet at:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Today’s Spotlight Shines on Author Laurie Hanan

Sisters in Crime/Hawaii meets on the third Wednesday of the month at
Makiki Community Library from 6-8 pm. Meetings are open to the public. Annual membership is $10.00. This year, our blog site is focusing on members of SinC/Hawaii and their writing progress as published and as-yet unpublished authors. As a group, we support each other’s work, and offer friendship and encouragement in new projects. Several events throughout the year help to spotlight our interests, including book fairs/festivals and panel discussions or book readings. Check out the Meetings/Events page for upcoming events (and directly below for the February, 2016 meeting.)
Author Laurie Hanan

Today’s spotlight shines on long-time SinC/Hawaii member, author Laurie Hanan. Laurie is the successful author of the Louise Golden series, mysteries set in Hawaii. After publishing her fourth Louise Golden mystery, Stairway to Heaven, Laurie wrote a novella for a Kindle World, the Lei Crime World of author Toby Neal. Laurie’s novella is entitled Hoaka Moonshine. 

Laurie’s synopsis of the story:

When Dee Maltin bought the little beach cottage on Maui, all she wanted was to leave her memories behind. Now, fifteen years later, things are starting to go awry. Why does everyone else deny hearing the feral cats that keep Dee awake all night? What’s the smell that permeates her house no matter how much she scrubs? Why does her strange neighbor, who hasn’t spoken to her in all these years, choose this moment to strike up a conversation? A woman shows up at Dee’s door looking for her birth mother. Is she a con artist, or just deluded? Dee searches for answers and is soon over her head in one big Hawaiian-kine mystery. 

A 5-Star review of the novella, Hoaka Moonshine

(Moonshine, Hawaiian Style):
A novella is often a fast read with a bit of a punch at the end. Laurie Hanan’s novella, Hoaka Moonshine, was a fast read but far more than a lead-in to a quick-punch climax. 

The story captured my interest with the suspenseful opening lines. The characters immediately triggered reactions from me. Several times, I wanted to thrash the ears of the grown son, although I admit to having given more than a little leeway to “grown” children in my own family. Hearing that Dee, the protagonist, was “too old” to suck in her belly for appearance sake endeared me to her from the start. She is someone I would enjoy spending a day with in comfort. 

It was a pleasure to “visit” a quaint area of Maui that I know little about, Pā‘ia. The plot of Hoaka Moonshine (I love this title) held enough twists and complications to keep me reading, but never became improbable. I especially liked the satisfying conclusion. 

SinC/Hawaii: Aloha, Laurie. We are pleased to have you as our spotlight guest today; and we look forward to having you as our Guest Speaker at the February, 2016 SinC/Hawaii meeting. At the February meeting, you will discuss Amazon’s Kindle Worlds and your submission of the novella, Hoaka Moonshine, to The Lei Crime World. 

When you wrote Hoaka Moonshine, did you find any difference between writing this novella and your Louise Golden novels? 

Laurie Hanan: There was a very big difference in writing Hoaka Moonshine. Since it wasn't part of my series, I took a lot of liberty in creating the characters and developing the plot. With Louise Golden, I keep more or less within the bounds of a traditional mystery style: Mail carrier Louise discovers a crime has been committed on her mail route, there is a villain who needs to be found out, Louise eventually solves the crime when the police could not. Though there are mysterious events and questions that demand answers in Hoaka Moonshine, the story doesn't fall into the typical mystery genre.  I never explain whether the events are paranormal, figments of the character's imagination, or bizarre coincidences. I leave that for the reader to decide. There is no crime to be solved, no villain to be discovered and caught. It was a new kind of story for me and I had a lot of fun with it.

SinC/Hawaii: You submitted Hoaka Moonshine to The Lei Crime World. This is the Kindle World of Toby Neal, author of the Lei Crime Series that currently includes 11 novels (and counting.) During the writing process, did the author have any involvement in or offer you support during this new venture? 

Laurie Hanan: Once I'd completed Hoaka Moonshine to my satisfaction, I asked Toby to look it over. Involving the author is not a necessary--or even a usual--part of the Kindle Worlds process, but I wanted to be sure Toby was okay with my use of her characters. Toby graciously took the time to look over my story. She was very encouraging, which I totally appreciated, coming from such a successful author as her. After hearing Toby's comments, I wrote some additional scenes. Her advice greatly enhanced the final story. 

SinC/Hawaii: Thank you, Laurie, for taking time to share this informative information about writing novellas and about Kindle Worlds. We look forward to having you as our Guest Speaker on February 17, 2016 and hearing even more in depth information about the world of writing novellas.
SinC/Hawaii Meeting February 17, 2016
Makiki Community Library 6-8pm
Guest Speaker: Laurie Hanan
Skype Interview arranged by member/author Kent Reinker
Toby Neal, bestselling Maui author of the Lei Crime Series

Louise Golden mystery novels
by Laurie Hanan
Laurie Hanan's Amazon Author page: