Lei Crime Kindle World Valentine’s Day Menu Hop


What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Millions 1857?

1205. Jumble. – Take one pound of loaf-sugar, pounded fine; one pound and a quarter of flour; three-quarters of a pound of butter/four eggs, beaten light, and a little rose-water and spice; mix them well, and roll them in sugar

A Hawaiian Menu Hop for Valentine’s Day

I’m sure Mrs. Hale would be very interested in the menus.  Join in the fun.

Enter to win a $170 Amazon Gift Card! Read each post, check out the great recipe each author has to share with you! Get to know each #LeiCrimeKW book and author! Comment on the posts with your choices of Valentine’s menu items, like each author’s page, and hop on! Here is my JLOakleyAuthor Facebook page.

About Coconut Island
Memories are dangerous.
Investigative reporter Wendy Watanabe is no stranger to mysteries, but can she handle one steeped in her own family’s history? A box of letters from a WWII soldier stationed on the Big Island is found at the Hilo Historical Society and unlocks painful memories for Wendy’s Great Aunt Bee. Bee’s older sister was swept away in the 1946 tsunami, but now Wendy suspects she was murdered first. As she delves into the mystery, Wendy meets a group of nonagenarians who were at the USO center on Coconut Island during the war. One is a hero. Another is a cold-blooded murderer.

The novella at its heart is about love. Love for a sister thought lost in the 1946 tsunami that wiped out Hilo and a love story between a local Japanese girl and G.I. during WWII. He ever forgot her.
You can buy it here: http://amzn.to/28MhEkl

And now my recipe: Fried Chicken Hawaiian-style
When I lived in Hilo, my neighbor, Mrs. Santos, used to make this all the time. The recipe below is how I remembered with a little help from the Internet. I decided, however, to quickly fry the chicken up and then finish it off in the oven. It tasted just fine.

When I lived in Hilo, my neighbor used to make this all the time. The recipe below is how I remembered with a little help from the Internet. I decided, however, to quickly fry the chicken up Coconut Island with badgeand then finish it off in the oven. It tasted just fine.
• 4 lbs chicken drummettes
• 1⁄4 cup flour
• 1⁄2 cup cornstarch
• 2 eggs
• 2 stalks green onions, chopped
• 1 -2 garlic clove, minced
• 1⁄3 cup soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

• • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
• • Add chicken to mixture and stir together.
• • Cover bowl and place in refrigerator to marinate 4 – 6 hours or overnight.
• • When ready to cook, remix since the batter may separate overnight.
• • Deep fry in oil.
• • Drain and serve.

Click the link at the bottom of each post, to go to the next author! Once again, here’s mine. JL OakleyFacebook page You’ll see where to go next.



Going to the Mother of All Book Club Gatherings

Going to the Mother of All Book Club Gatherings

What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Million 1857?

  1. Upon entering, first address the lady of the house; and after her, the nearest acquaintances you may recognize in the house.

The Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend

Sometimes, some really good things happen to one of your novels, like winningTimber Rose v2 for Kindle an award, getting invited to a book club to discuss it or going on a library tour, but having your novel picked as a book club read by the largest book club in the world (I kid you not) has been one of the most exciting things that has happened to my historical novel, Timber Rose.

I first heard of the Girlfriend Weekend from a tweet by one of my favorite authors, Jamie Ford. Curious, I followed his link to the upcoming events in 2015 and found out it was the annual gathering of Pulpwood Queens Book Club members and authors from all over the place. Most importantly, this organization had over 600 book club chapters and each month, books selected by founder and Chief Inspirer, Kathy L. Murphy, were put out there for book members to read. I decided to submit Timber Rose which had been well received by book clubs and the North Olympia Library System in my state, won a Chaucer 1st place and a Silver WILLA award but I thought that it had no chance against books from published by the Big 5. Much to my shock and delight, Timber Rose was announced at the 2016 #GFWeekend as a back listgirlfriend-sticker February pick.

Meeting Kathy in Person

cac16-kathy-key-note-croppedAs luck would have it, Kathy was invited to the Chanticleer Author Conference 2016 in Bellingham, WA and three months later I got a chance to meet her in person and thank her for selecting my novel. I found her not only a delightful, exuberant supporter of indie bookstores and book clubs and well known to Oprah and Good Morning America book clubs but a genuine person. It was after that meeting, I was invited to be a featured author at the next Girlfriend Weekend.

Girlfriend Weekend

So, in just hours I’m off to Nacogaches, Texas for the writerly adventure of my life. As a featured author. Pinch me. I’ll be seeing my favorite author, Jamie Ford, again and many other authors I’ve gotten to know over the years. This year the events will be held the Steven F. Austin University and will celebrate the life of Pat Conroy, who was a regular here at this gathering of book clubs. To honor him, there will be an auction to raise money for a new literary program in his name and a dinner in which all authors serve the readers— in khakis, ball cap, and button down shirt. Later on Saturday night, there will be the Big Hair Ball whose theme is Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. (I’ve been shopping for that— fascinator from Winsor Castle in England, a tiara, and other sparkly gems) Should be wild. All in the name of book club members meeting authors. diamonds-for-gwfriendDuring that day, I’ll also have my own time to talk about Timber Rose.

If you live in the area, tickets are still available for day passes. And now I must pack my gems. I promise to post pictures later.



Catching Up with 2016

What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipt for the Million 1857?

  1. Postage. – Since the establishment of the cheap postage, it is recognized as a rule that all letters should be prepaid/ indeed, many persons make it a point of never taking in an unpaid letter.

Keeping in Touch and What I’ve Been Up To

Oh, dear. I can’t blame the lack of paying for stamps for my complete silence. It’s just that since late June, I have been mightily occupied. Family stuff, a major trip to England, two conferences. The 195_bbsmallfinalistjpegmonths have just slipped away. During Jøssing Affair FINAL smallerthe first part of 2016, my focus was on getting The Jøssing Affair launched and then promoted. I’m happy to report that is has done very well, gaining interest on-line and with book clubs in my area. I have met several Norwegian-Americans who were children during the German occupation and have given their full endorsement. It’s humbling when people come up and share their personal stories or family stories. Some say that the novel would be too painful to read and I understand. Others thank me. What could be finer?

So Much to Talk About But …

With 2017 fast approaching, I think I’ll save some of my adventures for a later post (Not too late, I promise). Instead, I’ll share my experiences with the release of The Jøssing Affair. no-name-book-club-2-smaller Since it came out in March, I’ve had the honor of having it read by several book clubs in my area. At each one of these gatherings, the discussion of the novel has been lively with some book club members in disbelief over some of the true facts in the story. Most Americans don’t know about the five-year German occupation of Norway –unless you are of Norwegian descent.

At my first book club visit, they had as their guest, 89 years young Ellen Kastler, who was just thirteen when the Germans invaded. Her own story of survival when soldiers came to arrest a farmer and his wife in the Resistance was powerful, but her words that I had done something special in writing the novel was even more powerful for me. Ellen is in the center above.

bookies-book-club-1Often at these gatherings to discuss the novel, people have offered Norwegian foods. At my own book club, A Circle of Friends –all retired reading teachers – my friend Inga, who came from Norway in the 1950s, made up several foods that were in the novel. What fun that was. Here is one recipe along with the excerpt in which it was found. Bløt kake. It’s a popular cake for birthdays and celebrations.

Bløt kake.

 When Haugland emerged again, with clean shirt and hair combed, Marthe was waiting for him with a piece of bløt kake. “Come and sit, Herr Hansen,” she said, pulling out the chair. “Vær så snill.” She pantomimed eating and sitting.

Smiling, Hansen signed it wasn’t necessary. When she insisted, he sat down. He didn’t want to offend her. He bit into the sponge cake, savoring the cream and strawberries preserved from last summer. It was light and fruity, like the ones Tante Sophie made long ago.

4 egg whites    ½ cup powder sugar (beat together 2 minutes)blot-kaker

4 egg whites    ½ cup powder sugar (beat together 3 minutes)

Combine the two and beat for one minute.

Add ½ cup of potato flour (Swan), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1 round teaspoon baking powder. Mix.

Line two 9” tins with wax paper. Divide the batter. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove and cool.

When cool, whipped up a pint of whipping cream. Frost the first layer with some of the whipped cream. Slice some strawberries and lay on top.

Add the second layer. Frost and sides. Add fruit.

Place into the refrigerator for cooling.


What’s Next for 2017?

 In August 2017, I plan to go to Norway to do research on the sequel. The novel will pick up a year later, exploring a country and people in recovery during war crime trials and settling of accounts.

#LeiCrimeKW fun this afternoon

What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Million 1857?

She has been remiss.

Lei Crime Kindle World Facebook Party today

Just a quick note and a promise to post something more substantial later this week. I have been so busy. Barely time to poke out my head, except for tweeting. But things are going so well!

Did want you know about the Lei Crime Kindle World #giveaway this afternoon. I’ve been writing mystery novellas in this wonderful world for over a year. Coconut Island, published last October, has been in the top 20 mystery/ thriller category for nine months in Kindle Worlds. Toby Neal, the author of the best selling police procedural novels set in Hawaii, is the source behind the novellas. Join us for some great prizes and fun times with many of the authors, including myself on the Lei Crime Kindle World Facebook Party.






What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Millions 1857?

2680. A Paris card of invitation to an evening party usually implies that you are invited for the season.

Time Flies by When You’re a Writer and Have a Life

Fishing village2Hang it all, where did the time go? I was going to report on what has transpired since Christmas, (sometime around New Years) mainly that my latest Lei Crime Kindle World novella, Coconut Island, has been selling very well. But in January, I made the decision to finally publish WW II novel, The Jøssing Affair. A 2013 Chaucer category award winner, I’ve been pitching and getting full reads for Jøssing for years. (Even as recent as last summer by an editor at a top house) A launch is planned at Village Books, in Bellingham, WA on April 9th. In the meantime, it is available for pre-order at Amazon on Kindle.

What The Jøssing Affair is About

British-trained Norwegian intelligence agent, Tore Haugland, is a jøssing—a patriot—sent to a fishing village on Norway’s west coast to set up a line to receive weapons and agents from England via the “Shetland Bus.” Posing as a deaf fisherman, his mission is complicated when he falls in love with Anna Fromme, a German widow. Accused of betraying her husband, she has a young daughter and secrets of her own. Although the Allies have liberated France, the most zealous Nazis hang on in Norway, sending original Jossing (1)out agents to disembowel resistance groups. If Haugland fails, it could cost him his life and the lives of the fishermen who have joined him. When Haugland is betrayed and left for dead, he will have to find the one who betrayed him and destroyed his network. He will also have to prove that the one he loves was not the informer. In wartime love and trust are not always compatible.

Writing is an Art, A Passion, and Requires Persistence to Reach a Goal

Jøssing Affair FINAL smallerAm I excited? Yes, I am. The Jøssing Affair is my first novel. I wrote it years ago, by hand before I had a computer. On it, I learned how to write long form, research an historic time, and put living, breathing characters into it. I learned how to write synopses, pitch and query agents. With it I went to writer’s conferences and entered lit contests. I also learned how to rewrite, slash and kill my darlings. Its story has always had a special place in my heart, but I think I am glad that I’ve waited this long. All the things I learned over the years, has made this novel ready to come out. You can the pro-order here.


Coconut Island and another announcement

It’s really a joy to have a story based on history to resonate with readers as has Coconut Coconut Island with badgeIsland. Many, some regular visitors to the Big Island or new residents, never heard of the devastating 1946 tsunami that hit Hilo. Some report scrambling to their computers to learn more, something that makes me very happy. I took extra effort to do the research and get the little details. Many thanks to the wonderful librarians at the Hilo Libraries and the Hawaii & Pacific Section of the Hawaii State Library.

Other News.

Timber Rose, my historical novel set in the North Cascades at the turn of the century, received a number of awards in 2015. I’ve been very humbled by the attention, but January 16, I learned that the novel has been selected by the Pulpwood Queens Book Clubs as their February back list read. This is such an amazing honor. I’ve been pretty speechless since then. The Pulpwood Queens is the largest book club in the world with over six hundred chapters. I can’t imagine the impact this will have on my novel, but I am very happy.

Finally, I’m very pleased that my manuscript, Mist-shi-mus: A Novel of Captivity received an honorable mention in the Chatelaine Romance Awards for 2015. This novel is set in the Pacific Northwest, just a year before the outbreak of the Civil War. Royal Marines and the U.S. Army occupy an island while the international boundary is decided. American settlers, Coast Salish Indians and Hawaiians also inhabit the island. Against this background is a love story that spans 20 years.

One final thing

I’ve set up a Mail Chimp account for a newsletter. It would be great if you could sign up for it. The button is calledn “JL Oakley’s Book News & A Little History too .” I promise not to spam.

Christmas Poetry


What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Million 1857?

691. To make Old Writing legible – take six bruised gall nuts, and put them to a pint of strong white wine; let it stand in the sun or forty-eight hours. Dip a brush in it and wash the writing, and by the color you will discover whether the mixture is strong enough of the galls.

Christmas Traditions

My parents were of the Great Depression and WW II generation. Many of the ways we celebrated Christmas when I was growing up in the 1950s came from their experiences as young children in the1920s. One of the traditions was Dad’s insistence that we getOsborn Family Xmas the tree on Christmas Eve Day and set it up in the evening before church. It wasn’t the favorite of our family’s traditions, though to late Christmas Eve service was. In fact, as adults, my brothers and I abandoned pretty quickly. It seemed that we set up the tree while Dad watch (I could be wrong~ probably grumbly from my teenage-years memories). But the one tradition that we all loved and continued to share was Christmas poetry.

What is Christmas poetry?

Christmas poetry was essentially bad limericks and riddles for giving clues to what might be inside a wrapped present. On Christmas morn, the poetry would be read by the receiver out loud and all would then try to guess what was inside. I learned at an early age how to write simple clues, often with pictures. Later, I joined the crazy before and after late Christmas Eve service wrapping and writing. It was a tradition that when really bad poetry was read, the writer would say that it was one o’clock or three o’clock poetry. Such sweet memories uncovering a box with around 40 tags at my mom’s apartment after she passed away.

I continued the tradition with my own children and now my grandchildren.

Christmas poetry tagChristmas poetry tag2

Christmas poetry dad to momChristmas poetry dad to mom2

Christmas poetry cooking presentChristmas poetryJohh suzi to mom2

Christmas poetry mom to dadChristmas poetry mom to dad2


A very Merry Christmas and to all who are celebrating holidays this time of year.

IndieBRAGG logo on TR

Visit my Amazon Page

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Twitter handle: @jloakley

The next IndieBRAGG author on our blog tour (Thursday, Dec 10) author Clare Flynn. Happy Holidays to all and a very merry Christmas too.

P.S. Leave a comment and a lucky winner will win my latest Kindle World mystery, Coconut Island. (USA only) or a Kindle version of Timber Rose (worldwide)


CONGRATS to LORRAINE DEVON WILKE, winner of the Giveaway! And a Happy New Year to you all.

Lost Letters from WW I

What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipt for the Million 1857?

3863. If you would avoid the diseases which your particular trades and work are liable to produce, attend to the following hints:
3864. Keep,if possible, regular hours. Never suppose that you have done extra work, when you sit up till midnight, and do not rise till eight or nine in the morning.

WW I Doughboys in the Family

00j Mom saluting her brother Rufus

Mom salutes big brother Rufus.

My mom, Martha Bailey Osborn was born in Gooding, Idaho April 3, 1915. The youngest child and the only daughter of my grandparents, she was also at least seventeen years younger than her brothers. I always grew up hearing the stories of Uncles Bill, Merle and Rufus Bailey and how they had been dough-boys in World I.; how one had been in an accident and had been injured while training in California; another getting the measles and never going with his unit to France. (The unit perished in the trenches from what I was told) My uncles were all small town boys, off to new places outside their rural hometown.

Uncle Rufus was her favorite brother, in her words. I only met him a couple of times in my life as we lived clear across the country, first in Washington D.C. And then in Pittsburgh, PA. She was heartbroken when he died. He was funny, caring, and professionally, a highly admired attorney in Los Angeles.

Letters to Nana

Uncle Rugus attorney

Rufus Bailey, attorney

Mom passed away at age 99 in April 2014. While at her home for her memorial, I gathered up all the family files that dealt with her side of the family. I had promised that I would continue her quest to learn more about the Baileys. She had already continued my Nana’s quest to find her March ancestors way back to 1638 in Massachusets, but the Baileys and Hulses still needed some searching.

A couple of days ago, I started to put some of those files into order. One file marked Bailey in my mom’s handwriting contained a picture of my Uncle Rufus as he appeared in the 1950s. There were some letters. Only when I looked closer, did I see the postmark: 1915! Uncle Rufus was writing home to Nana in Gooding Idaho from his training camp in Moscow, Idaho. (Later he would pass his Central Officer’s Training and be sent down to the Presidio in California). I looked again last night to get ready to start writing this post and burst into tears. Nana had also put a clip of my hair as a little girl as well as Mom’s hair when she was a toddler. Nana was keeping track of me. But back to the letters. Here is one of the letters from Moscow, Idaho: Continue reading