Share This

Bookmark and Share

Monday, April 7, 2014

Guest Author - Naomi Hirahara and Giveaway

I am excited to have Naomi Hirahara with us today.  She is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mysteries. The first book in her Officer Ellie Rush Mysteries is being released by Berkley Prime Crime and is available in both mass market and ebook format. For more information, go to

I reviewed Ms. Hirahara's first book in the new Ellie Rush mystery series (click here), so finding out a little more about the author and her new heroine will be fun.  Please welcome Naomi Hirahara and show your appreciation in the comments!

Winner of Murder at Westminster Abbey is Michelle Willms.  I will be emailing you shortly for your mailing email.

Finding Ellie Rush

For the past five mystery novels, I’ve been in the head of a man significantly older than me (although as the years pass, that gap is closing in!). His name is Mas Arai, a gardener in Southern California, Hiroshima survivor, and, of course, a reluctant detective. Mas was modeled after my father and men like him – working class and seemingly ordinary on the outside, but with intricate secrets and strength within.

In April of this year, I’m embarking on a very different mystery protagonist, Ellie Rush. She’s, well, first female and considerably younger, 23 years of age. And the biggest challenge for me – she’s a bicycle cop with the LAPD assigned to downtown Los Angeles’s central core.

Don’t ask me the last time I’ve ridden a bicycle, but take my word for it, I can. And in terms of shooting a gun, I have. In 2011, the same year my beloved father was battling terminal stomach cancer, I participated in a Southern California-based ATF Citizens Academy once a week for two months. There we learned about the hidden perils of cigarette smuggling (usually this crime is linked to more dangerous international gang syndicates), the adventures of going undercover, and how to follow an arson trail.

Providing a brief break from sharing caregiving duties with my mother, these sessions let me escape into the shoes of someone completely different from me. We even donned earpieces and stuffed wireless radios in our jackets to do surveillance at a local mall, wore bulletproof jackets and aimed pellet guns inside an abandoned office which, for our pretend purposes, was supposed to be harboring suspects, and finally went to an outdoor gun range, where we shot firearms of various sizes.

The biggest eye-opener for me is how essential it is for law enforcement officers to work together as a team. But what about the lone rogue detective that we see so much on TV, the movies, and novels? In crashing a drug pad, often the Number Two ATF man or woman has to pull the collar of the person in front. “Hey, not so fast!”

As a lover of basketball, I could totally relate to team coordination. Everyone has a certain role and purpose. I had always viewed law enforcement as powered by adrenalin and emotion, but for it to work properly, quite the opposite is true.

During that same year, I also agreed to step in as an instructor of a UCLA undergraduate writing workshop. As I gazed at the beautiful, fresh faces of these 15 young people, I was transported to my college days, when despite a sluggish economy, we also remained optimistic about our futures.

Somehow these two experiences – the ATF Citizens Academy and the UCLA writing class – intertwined in my brain. The following year, my father passed away in a hospital bed in the room where he had watched his favorite samurai and Japanese soap opera programs on TV for decades. As I struggled with this great loss, I grappled with focusing on something new and young. Slowly this young woman, Ellie Rush, emerged – vibrant and enthusiastic, yet still wondering how she would make her mark on this world.

While the tone of the Office Ellie Rush mysteries are much lighter and breezier than my Mas Arai mysteries, there are still some common elements. I still want to take my readers on a tour of lesser known areas in my “homeland” of Los Angeles. And family and friends are important to both – although cranky Mas will not admit it publicly.

Ellie has her first mystery adventure in Chinatown, so the first book is titled MURDER ON BAMBOO LANE. Hope you might want to take a ride with her, and it won’t matter when you were last on a bicycle.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


Entry for giveaway lasts until Sunday April 6th, 6:00 p.m. (MST).  U.S.  entries only please.  The publisher will ship one copy of Murder on Bamboo Lane to the winner.

How to enter:

*** First, you must be a member (follower or email subscriber) of this blog.***

All entries are to be in the comments for this post.  Please leave your contact email address.

I will accept entries for this giveaway until
Sunday April 13th, 2014.  I shall notify the winner via the email address you provide to get your physical mailing address and have the prize sent directly to you.

IF you are a member of this blog, you only need to leave a comment with your correct email.  BECOME a member of this blog if you aren't already and enjoy the celebration of all things mystery and suspense.

If you mention this and provide a link on your Facebook or Twitter to share with friends, please note that in the comments and you will get an addition entry!


Bookmark and Share


Unknown said...

Thank you for the chance to win.
Follow email: jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

Marilyn M said...

Would love to win your book.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing the birthing process for your new detective. The book sounds very interesting and I would love to win a copy. I am a follower of the blog via email at michelle_willms at yahoo dot com.

♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

Sounds like a great book. I'd love to win. I am an e-mail subscriber.
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

Carol M said...

I really enjoy detective stories and this sounds like a good one! I would love to start reading this series!

I subscribe by email.
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Sue said...

I like the idea of a bike cop---and making the detective a young woman makes the book even more appealing.

Carol N Wong said...

I am an e-mail subscriber: CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com.

I have never read a cozy by an
asian american before and I love San Franciso so this book is a must read for me. Thank you so much for this chance!

BookLady said...

What an intriguing book! Love San Francisco. Thanks for sharing your experience with the Citizens Academy.

Unknown said...

I follow you on email - I read your review and I believe that I would enjoy reading this book I love mysteries and it will be fun to follow Ellie Rush and her first mystery in Chinatown. Thank you for sharing this review

Anita Yancey said...

I enjoyed the guest post. This book sounds just wonderful. I am looking forward to reading Naomi's books.
Email Subscriber.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the chance to win.

Related Posts with Thumbnails