12 July 2015 by Published in: kindle worlds 16 comments



Toby Neal needs no introduction. Her books are regularly on the bestseller lists and she has a fanatical readership that’s growing by the day. Her Lei Crime Series struck a chord that resonates with many, and she masterfully blends mystery, thriller, and romance into a seductive tropical cocktail. She agreed to sully her reputation writing in the JET Kindle World, for which I am endlessly grateful. Now let’s cut to the chase and see what Toby’s got up her sleeve:


Russell: How did you come to be interested in the JET Series Kindle World? 

Toby: I have long been a fan of Russell Blake and his Jet books. When I got my own Kindle World for the Lei Crime Series, I asked Russell to write for my World. Due to scheduling, he wasn’t able to—but I couldn’t resist the challenge to explore the Jet World!

Russell: Tell us how your story links to the JET Series. Characters, setting, specific event? Is there any crossover or meetings between your characters and any of the original characters?

Toby: My novella, Nightbird, is a spy/suspense/romance set in the Jet Ops Files days, when Maya is being recruited to the Mossad by a profiler code-named “Benjamin.” Maya has an older sister, Dr. Lila Weiss, a neurobiologist and part-time ballerina, who has been separated by divorce and their father’s death. Maya, soon to become Jet, doesn’t remember Lila—but Benjamin sees her potential and recruits her as a Mossad agent.

Russell: The JET Series books are fast-paced action and adventure stories. What genre(s) do you explore in your story? 

Toby: Nightbird is a spy/suspense/romance with a layered mystery, a tangled web of family backstory, action and sabotage, and a simmering, bittersweet romance.

Russell: The JET series has been set all over the world… the Middle East, Asia, South American, the Caribbean, etc. Tell us about where you set your story, and why?

Toby: My main series is set in Hawaii, so it was a blast to write a story set in Israel and Paris. I’ve been to Paris, but not Israel, and I had a Jewish writer friend, Laurie Hanan, who’s married to an Israeli and lived there many years, read for me for authenticity. I always do research and have experts read for me—readers have come to count on learning new things from my books while being entertained, and Nightbird is no different.

Russell: Tell us a little about your main character. Why do you think readers will like her?

Toby: Lila’s a sensitive, brilliant, idealistic scientist who wears her heart on her sleeve, has been sheltered all her life, and dances ballet to express her passion. She speaks seven languages and is physically brave, but doesn’t have Maya’s ruthlessness. She moves cautiously into the shadow world of Mossad, seeking a connection with her sister and with Benjamin, and wanting to protect her country. I fell in love with her and I think readers will to. She developed into someone I want to keep writing about for a long time!

Russell: What major theme comes across the clearest in your story? Is this a theme found consistently in your other works? Please market those works here!

Toby: The theme of a strong female protagonist coming into the fullness of her power and passion is something that I have explored in most of the Lei Crime Series and their ancillary novels. Overcoming the past, fighting for justice, the power of love to heal and good overcoming evil are all ongoing themes in my work. If you’re interested in an action-packed police procedural mystery series that’s a cross between Michael Connelly and JD Robb, but set in Hawaii, start the Lei Crime Series with Blood Orchids!

Russell: Do you have a background related to your writing? Interests? What makes you interesting outside of your books?

Toby: I have a background in psychology. I’m a licensed clinical social worker, and diagnose people and do mental health therapy. Recently, the books have been doing so well and demanding so much of my time, that I’ve cut way back on my mental health work to write these psychologically-complex villains and those who hunt them. In addition to my work and writing, I enjoy life in Hawaii beach walking, hiking, diving, doing photography and volunteering in a nonprofit for children.

Russell: What are you working on next, aside from the novella in the JET Series Kindle World?

Toby: I’m working on Bone Hook, Lei Crime #10, as well as a memoir, some romance under my pen name Anna Skye, a narrative nonfiction travel book, and a new techno-thriller that Russell was kind enough to blurb for me, Wired In. I am never short on books to write! Check out my work at http://www.tobyneal.net/ and I hope you enjoy Maya’s sister Lila’s leap into the spy world in Nightbird! And as a special thank you for your blog readers, I’m going to gift a copy of Nightbird when it releases to one of your commentors! Just leave your comments and I’ll pick a winner, and with your permission, Russell will give me your email so I can do so. Good luck, all, and happy reading!



  1. Sun 12th Jul 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Russell, thanks so much for the fun opportunity to play in your World! The challenge was fun and fascinating as I learned about Mossad, spy training, a little about Israel and the shadow world of spycraft. Loved coming up with Lila and I never would have thought of her without your inspiration.

    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 12th Jul 2015 at 1:46 pm

      Gracias for the lotion job! Seriously, I think it’ll do really well. Honored to have you as part of the launch!

  2. Lois Wade
    Sun 12th Jul 2015 at 2:04 pm

    toby Neal is a great writer. I’m anxious to read Jet to find out how good you are.

  3. Diane
    Sun 12th Jul 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Looking forward to reading anything Toby writes. I am also enjoying the other writers in her Kindle World. Now I can look forward to a new adventure in Jet World.

  4. Laurie Hanan
    Sun 12th Jul 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Great interview, Toby! I’m totally honored that you asked me for input on life in Israel. This is a fun story and I know everyone’s gonna love it!

  5. Joyce Taylor
    Sun 12th Jul 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Sounds fascinating! I am anxious to read your books Russell!

  6. Zrayna
    Sun 12th Jul 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Hello Toby,
    Just a very quick note to congratulate you on being a member of Russell’s ‘Jet’ set.
    Had a very quick look at your site, loved its design and have just downloaded your free book on building an author’s platform. I am excited – thank you very much.
    May I wish you continued success in all your writerly endeavours and I look forward to following your inevitable rise up the best selling charts.
    Kindest regards, Zara.

  7. Sue Devers
    Sun 12th Jul 2015 at 9:18 pm

    I love these Kindle worlds!!! I have been introduced to so many excellent writers via some of my favorite characters and settings!!! Keep up the great work writers!!!

  8. Kathy
    Sun 12th Jul 2015 at 10:05 pm

    “Nightbird” and Lila both sound fascinating! Looking forward to another Toby Neal book.

  9. Sun 12th Jul 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Very excited for you Toby Neal. I can’t wait to read your Nightbird and watch you spread your wings. Love the cover.

  10. Mon 13th Jul 2015 at 8:27 am

    A combination of two of my favorite authors’ creativity! Looking forward to a great read!

  11. Charles G.
    Mon 13th Jul 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Nightbird sounds like a lot of fun to read, before I read that it wasn’t out, I’d already flipped to Amazon & Toby’s website looking for it.
    Having mowed through all the Jet books in about a month(fortuneately my pre-order of Escape came in right after I finished Survival), I can’t wait to read Nightbird.

    I’m now hooked on the El Rey Assassin series.
    Uh oh, I just saw that OPS II is out, can I catch a break..

  12. Janet
    Tue 14th Jul 2015 at 9:49 am

    I am SO EXCITED!!! Really. So excited for this book. I found Russell Blake through Toby, started the JET series, got hooked. I am not sure if there could be anything better than Toby Neal and a JET type story. Two very different authors but so enjoyable. I am just breathless with anticipation. 😉 Thank you guys for this!

  13. Kathleen
    Tue 14th Jul 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Just downloaded “Blood Orchid,” and looking forward to when all the Jet world contributor books become available. Terrific marketing approach for Maya, a very compelling character. Hoping someday to read a book about her daughter who takes over the heavy lifting for her mom, who still gets involved in the periphery.

  14. Mon 27th Jul 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Can’t wait to read this. Love the JET series and your writing, Toby. It’s a terrific pairing.



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