Friday, February 8, 2013

Menehunes Missing, with Cheryl Martin

Nancy Drew is back...and she's Hawaiian!

Book Two of the The Hawaiian Island Detective Club is here!

About Menehunes Missing:
The acrid smell of billowing smoke
from a fire set as a diversion sends a clear message for
Leilani Akamai, Maile Onakea, and Sam Bennett
to shift into Detective Club mode,
and discover who is stealing the statues of
Hawaii's Leprechaun-like little people.
And why.

I love Cheryl's cheeriness.

Cheryl grew up in Southern Oregon and earned a BA with honors in Recreation and Park Management from the University of Oregon. She went on to work for a number of years as a Recreation Coordinator and Community Center Director in Portland, Oregon.

After years of working with and teaching kids, she is now writing for Middle Grades. Her childhood love of Nancy Drew sparked a never-ending appreciation for mysteries, and her sun-worshipping spirit led her to the Hawaiian Islands for a year while she attended The University of Hawaii.

Her series, The Hawaiian Island Detective Club, springs from her experiences in mystery and the exotic land of pineapples, palms, sand, and surf. The first book in the series, Pineapples in Peril, won the Novel Journey YA/MG contest in April 2010 and placed third in The Kiss of Death, Daphne Du Maurier Mainstream Mystery Competition in July 2010.

She is a member of Oregon Christian Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and is Vice President of the Portland Chapter of ACFW.
Book Three, Ukeleles Undercover, in releases August 14.
Connect with Cheryl:
My website address is I also have a blog all about Hawaii at
You can also connect with me on my facebook author page at
If “tweeters” would like to comment on The Hawaiian Island Detective Club, they can add the hashtag: #HIDC
Enjoy an interview with Kimo from the book, and with the author.


Kimo, you have a real love/hate relationship with Leilani, huh?

Leilani’s a super good detective, but she doesn’t think I’m good. But I’m real smart and do good at snooping and stuff. I also saved Leilani, Maile and Sam when they were trapped in that old shed.

Yes, you did! Is your sister going to let you be an official member of the club?

I dunno. But she’s teaching me lots of way cool stuff. She says I’m in training to be a real detective.

I know you helped out with the Menehunes mystery. What was your favorite part?

When I got to drive Mrs. Wong crazy. She’s soooooo funny! She scares everyone else, but she just makes me laugh and laugh. I also liked figuring out the clues. Leilani, Maile and Sam couldn’t even get the first clue right. I was the only one who knew the right answer. (Kimo puffs his chest and grins)

Did you ever get involved in something scary?

Nope. But I got real scared when the police came to our house, because it made Mom sad. I was afraid she would cry and cry, but the officers were way nice and they just wanted to help.

You don’t like water sports, so what do you like to do for fun?

I like to draw, do detective things and play video games. I also love playing the ukulele. After school starts, I’ll be taking lessons again.

Thanks for visiting, Kimo.


Questions and Answers by Cheryl

Here are a few Q & A for you to pick from if you would like to include an interview of me on your blog. Take the liberty of personalizing the questions to correspond with the answers. Also feel free to send me your additional questions, and I’ll answer them!

If something doesn’t make sense, let me know and I’ll try to clarify.

What is a Menehune and how do they go missing?
They are Hawaii’s treasured “little people,” kind of like a Leprechaun. As a school fundraiser, Menehune statues are hidden around town. Leilani, Maile and Sam get clues and try to find the locations. But the kids soon discover that the statues are missing from their spots.

What inspired you to write this series?
I have always loved Hawaii ever since I lived there while attending The University of Hawaii. I combined that with my interest in writing for ages 8-12 years and The Hawaiian Island Detective Club was born!

The three books in this series are entitled Pineapples in Peril, Menehunes Missing, and Ukuleles Undercover.

What advice do you have for new writers?
If you’re goal oriented, try setting a reasonable word count goal that allows for you to get ahead at times and gives you make-up time as well. Also, set aside that time to simply sit down and write—don’t go to any e-mails, facebook pages, etc. It’s all about planting yourself in front of that computer and pounding out the words!

Who or what inspires you?
I was first inspired to write as a child, reading Nancy Drew. I knew at that young age that I would one day write a mystery!

Striving to do what God has placed in front of me motivates me to keep pressing forward. Sharing wholesome mysteries filled with fun, humor, mishaps and unexpected moments for kids to enjoy also motivates me to continue this amazing journey.

What do you do for fun and relaxation when you’re not writing?
I love to grow veggies, and blueberries and raspberries on my deck. I also love to sing, and am part of my church’s drama team—challenging, yet rewarding. I swim with my son and do push-ups with the Oregon Duck (the U of O mascot) whenever Oregon scores—and, yes, they’re men’s push-ups! I’m practicing for another great fall of football and push-ups!

Tell us a little about your family:
I have a great husband, three amazing kids and Lilly, a Persian cat who’s definitely “The Queen.”

My oldest son, Ian, has his own home and works for Nautilus. My daughter, Ashley, is married to a wonderful man, Dave. She works for Portland State University and he is a lawyer for a Portland, Oregon firm. My youngest son, Shane, wants to be an artist for a Graphic Novel company. He’s busy working on projects and sending them off—not unlike being an author!

This May, Ashley and Dave are making me a first-time grandma (Tutu in Hawaii)!

What They’re Saying About Pineapples in Peril, Book One of The Hawaiian Island Detective Club 

Nancy Drew is Back . . . And She's Hawaiian! –Jessica Nelson

My daughter, who is not a huge reader, is loving her copy!  She is reading Pineapples in Peril and I don’t have to push her to read the 15 minutes she’s supposed to read every day! –A Mom

My son was super excited to show his class the book that you autographed. He has already finished the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. He is already excited about the next book in the series! –A Mom

My thirteen-year-old twin girls just finished reading Pineapples in Peril and both loved the book. One particularly focused on the characters. "I felt like I knew them by the time I got to the end." She also enjoyed how the author built the plot in such a way that kept her guessing. My other twin writes: "What I liked was the never-ending excitement, as well as the atmosphere of intensity growing with every page. I enjoyed how Leilani includes her brother even though he gets on her nerves." –A Mom

Bethany loved your first book! I will be ordering this one for her. –A Mom

The fifth-grade class in library this morning were so excited to check out Pineapples in Peril! Also, a few of the students who had purchased books were carrying them into library. I had one student tell me she has already read it all the way through one time and is in the process of reading it a second time because "it is soooo good!" –C. Reed, Librarian

This is such a great book! –A Fourth Grader

Thank you for writing my favorite book ever! –Emma

I love this book—My favorite book! The best thing about it is the mystery. Annika

I am totally a fan of you! –Amanda

It's the best mystery book I've ever read and I think it's now my favorite book. I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out. You write good books. –Iyana (age 10)

Your book is awesome! –Jadon

We love your book so far! –Nakkita (the class is reading it at school)

I love the book you wrote and can't wait till the next ones come out. You should write more books for the Hawaiian Island Detective Club series. Annika (age 10)

This is a very good book with some excellent morals we can learn from: like treating your siblings with love and respecting your parents. I really liked Leilani and felt her loss and victories. –Maddie



When I was a middle school teacher, my students would have loved this book. Do you want to get your children, grandchildren, or neighborhood youngsters hooked on reading good books this school year? Then you’ll want to grab this great middle-grade mystery –Davalynn Spencer

This is such a fun story! An adventure-mystery set in Hawaii where the kids have to solve the crime—what's NOT to love?! It's the kind of adventure I drooled about having when I was in middle school. Even as an adult, I couldn't wait for the next chapter! –Emily C. Reynolds

Fun, exciting, and well-written. The characters are well-developed, and the plot is exciting.  I read the book in two days (while homeschooling and writing!) – I enjoyed it that much. –Danika Cooley

Cheryl has a way with writing for Middle Readers, but little does she know, she has this writer hooked on the mysteries as well. –Linda Glaz

The description and lure of the Hawaiian setting is so great it gives readers a chance to feel like they’re walking on the beaches in their flip-flops. –Sophie Cuffe

A Nancy Drew-style story for the twenty-first century—packed with investigative fun that will bring young readers back for more adventures with the Hawaiian Island Detective Club. –Jill Williamson



  1. Thanks, Lisa! You covered everything! I hope your blog readers will e-mail me with what the kids in their lives who have read either or both books!
    Aloha! --Cheryl

  2. I hope so, too, Cheryl. It was so much fun having you visit.