Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Toby Neal - Torch Ginger is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Toby Neal's Book:
Torch Ginger - FREE Thru Wednesday - 4/9/2014

Torch Ginger

Lei Crime Series 2

Author: Toby Neal


"If J.D. Robb's In Death series went on location with Kaui Hart Hemmings' The Descendants, you'd have Toby Neal's Torch Ginger."

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.

Lei 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 the midst of the biggest case sleepy Kaua`I has ever seen, Lei must also untangle the mysteries of her heart and discover who she loves.

Chapter 1

Wednesday, October 20
People said Kaua`i was the last of the Wild West, a jungle paradise of secretive people and strange spiritual forces. After two months, Detective Leilani Texeira just found Kaua`i slow and boring. She leaned on her hand and fiddled with the Bic ballpoints in a mug on her desk, looking for one that still worked as she contemplated a slim pile of case jackets in front of her.

Lei shuffled the pile, closed her eyes, and pulled one out. The vacation-rental burglary case had now become the project of the day. She sighed and opened the file, scanning the incident reports filed by Paradise Realty, the company managing the rentals.

“Excuse me.” Lei looked up into blinking brown eyes in a chubby-cheeked face. Long brunette hair curled over shoulders bisected by a bulky leather purse, a plastic shopping bag held in one hand. “The guy at the front sent me to you, and I’d like to—I’d like to report a missing person.”

The girl’s round eyes blinked harder and tears seemed imminent. Lei felt familiar anxiety, a prickle along her arms that tightened her chest. She pushed the mug of pens away and pointed to the orange plastic chair alongside her desk.

“Have a seat. I’m Detective Texeira.”

“Um. Hi. Kelly Waterson.” Kelly clutched the bulging handbag on her lap like it held the crown jewels, setting the shopping bag at her feet. Lei shook one of the Bics and jotted the name on a yellow legal pad.

“Name of the missing person?” Lei kept her voice brisk as blinking turned to sniffling.

She pushed a box of tissues over without making eye contact.

“Jay. Jay Bennett.” Kelly blew her nose and firmed her voice. “I mean, something’s very wrong. He’s not where he said he was.”

Lei turned to her computer and her fingers rattled over the keys as she typed “Jay Bennett” into the local database. Nothing came up. No Hawaii driver’s license, no outstanding warrants. She typed in Kelly’s name—same result.

“Your relationship to the missing person?”


“How long has he been gone?”

“He was supposed to call me yesterday. He’s not picking up. So it’s been at least twentyfour hours. I decided to fly out and surprise him. He’s been camping in Hanalei.” A catch in the breathy voice.

“So he has a cell phone?”

“He has a cell, but he keeps it off. He’s on . . . a walkabout is what he’s calling it. He’s staying away from technology.” Kelly told Lei the number, and her voice rang with pride as she said, “He hitchhiked all over the States for six months, then came to Hawaii. He’s been exploring the island.”

“Where are you two from?”

“Clovis, California. Not much to it, just a flat stretch of Central California nowhere. Jay wanted to see more, do more, before he started working in his dad’s auto dealership.”

“Any particular reason you think he’s not just on a long hike or something?” Lei pulled up the Missing Persons Report screen on her computer and began filling it in. She pushed her thick curly brown hair back impatiently, bundling it into a wad and spearing it with the Bic, returning her attention to the screen.

“He thought someone was, you know, stalking him. He said he had a funny feeling about it. I decided to surprise him. I flew in from California today and drove out to where he was camping, at a park called Pine Trees. He wasn’t there.” She dug in the tote and brought out a man’s leather wallet, plunked it on the desk. “I looked in the trash and his stuff was there. I put his clothes in this bag here—but he’d never throw his wallet away.”


Lei snapped on a pair of latex gloves from a box beside the Kleenex and opened the wallet.

A driver’s license: Jay Bennett, Clovis, California, age twenty-seven. A Visa credit card poked its silver edge up out of a slot, along with a Paradise Realty card with a phone number on the back. Fattening the cash area of the wallet were folded paper shapes.

Lei upended the wallet, and a crane, a turtle, a fish, a diamond, and a jumble of other origami in cursive-covered lavender paper fell out onto the desk.

“Something’s happened to him! Those are my letters to him all these months. He would never throw that wallet away.” Kelly stuffed a double-fisted handful of Kleenex against her mouth, shaking. Jack Jenkins, Lei’s partner, blew into their cubicle with his typical energy and flung a jacket over the back of his chair. He paused, assessing the situation with the wariness of a man unexpectedly confronted by female emotion.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Suspense

Website: Toby Neal
Twitter: @tobywneal
E-Mail: tobyneal0@gmail.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: Toby Neal was raised on Kauai in Hawaii. She wrote and illustrated her first story at age 5 and has been published in magazines and won several writing contests. After initially majoring in Journalism, she eventually settled on mental health as a career and loves her work, saying, "I'm endlessly fascinated with people's stories."

She enjoys many outdoor sports including bodyboarding, scuba diving, beach walking, gardening and hiking. She lives in Hawaii with her family and dogs.

Toby credits her counseling background in adding depth to her characters-from the villains to Lei Texeira, the courageous and vulnerable heroine in the Lei Crime Series.

Author's Book List
Shattered Palms - Lei Crime Series
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.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Somewhere on Maui - an Accidental Matchmaker Novel
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. Adam and Zoe 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, dot.com millionaires, misunderstandings and fresh grief. Can Adam and Zoe find a way to live a deeper dream on Maui?

Order the Book From: Amazon
Unsound - A Lei Crime Companion Novel
“Toby Neal weaves a spell-binding suspense that pulls you in with breathtaking scenery, flawed characters, and brilliantly twisted psychology.”
Gae-Lynn Woods, author of the Cass Elliott Crime Series

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.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Twisted Vine - Lei Crime Series 5
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.

“Toby Neal scores a royal flush in this fifth of an unmissable crime series for mystery fans!”
J.C. Martin, author of Oracle

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Stolen in Paradise - A Lei Crime Companion Novel
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 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

Order the Book From: Amazon
Broken Ferns - Lei Crime Series 4
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.

“Crisp, well-written and full of local color - Broken Ferns is another page-turner from Toby Neal.”
Greta Van der Rol, author of Morgan’s Choice

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Black Jasmine
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.

"Toby Neal's stories have a relentless, charged energy that heats up every page."
-- Holly Robinson, author of Sleeping Tigers

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Blood Orchids - Lei Crime Series 1
Fast-paced crime mystery with a touch of romance, readers call Blood Orchids "un-putdownable"!

"Sometimes in crime fiction you stumble across a character who lives on beyond the book's end by virtue of their psychological complexity, and the richness with which the author has drawn them. Will Graham, Jack Reacher, Alex Cross, and now they have a worthy female counterpart in Lei Teixera. Blood Orchids is that rarity among debut novels, in that it satisfies on every level. A powerful new talent is on the scene, whole-heartedly recommended."
-Drew Cross, former police officer and author of BiteMarks

Hawaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water—but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise.

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. With its echoes of her own past, the murdered girl’s harsh life and tragic death affect Lei deeply. She becomes obsessed—even as the killer is drawn to Lei's intensity, feeding off her vulnerabilities and toying with her sanity.

Despite her obsession with the case and fear that she's being stalked, Lei finds herself falling in love for the first time. Steaming volcanoes, black sand beaches and shrouded fern forests are the backdrop to Lei's quest for answers—and the stalker is closer than she can imagine, as threads of the past tangle in her future. Lei is determined to find the killer—but he knows where to find her first.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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