Thrilled to introduce a Hawaii girl born and raised, voice actress Sara Malia Hatfield reading the Lei Crime Series audiobook (s)!


Sara Malia Hatfield

Sara Malia Hatfield

The journey to bring my books to audiobook form has been a long and winding road. When Audible bought the rights to produce my books, I presented them with non-negotiable requests: 1) a female voice talent with a great range 2) someone who could pronounce pidgin and Hawaiian words flawlessly, adding to readers' enjoyment of the story.

Once I heard Sara's sexy, uniquely Hawaii voice, I was thrilled when she made the commitment to read all my books! Sara fell in love with Lei and my stories, and I in love with her reading of them. We were both able to eventually  bring this perfect pairing to Audible for production.

To introduce her to my readers, I asked her to answer some questions on the blog.

Q: When did you realize you could do voice acting?

A: Actually, I honestly don't recall a moment of realization. It  sort of happened over the years and I couldn't be happier.  It's likely a culmination of  entertaining myself as a child, whether it be bringing my stuffed animals to life or playing with puppets, doing voice acting favors for small businesses, and later as a working actor being presented with voice acting opportunities along the way. When I relocated from Hawaii to New York City, a friend suggested I look into voiceovers. I never seriously pursued it, but I did set out to get quality training, and got a voice over demo produced so that I would be prepared should such opportunities arrive, and thankfully, they did. Of all my opportunities, the Lei Crime series is the most personally fulfilling and creatively challenging project to date and I'm ever so grateful.

Q: What do you like about the Lei Crime Series?

A: Truly, as an actor what's not to like!  The sheer fact that my ethnicity, gender, age, physical characteristics, etc. don’t severely limit my creative expression or opportunities is such a blessing. Freeing me from those limitations, allowing me to play and offer up a full spectrum of my imagination, and challenging me as an actor is such a gift. The tough part is meeting deadlines, as the creative process can be a never-ending exploration that at some point or another must be shared.

Sara Malia was always a performer!

Sara Malia was always a performer!

Q: What have people said about your voice acting work?

A: Being that I am born and raised in Hawaii with a slight local sound and am on the spunky side, my voice acting work typically shocks those who know me well, especially my warmer tone. I often get “Is that really you?” or “That's cool. You sound great!”  Industry folks expect quality, so I do my best to deliver by taking on projects that fit me and simply offering my best in any given moment.  My favorite response has to be from my uncle, who gives complements on rare occasion, so it's particularly special. That, and he grew up listening to the radio as a child, listening to stories unfold, anxious to hear the next adventure.  He asked to my mom “That's Sara? Nah, really?” That's the kind of comment that makes you want to hear more. To know that my work had brought him back to those fond childhood days, where his imagination was ignited with vivid adventures, brought me great joy.

Q: What intrigued you about the Lei Crime Series?

A: Lei.  Her beautifully flawed character and her ever-changing journey intrigued me. The variety of characters, their relationships, the twists and turns, excited my imagination. The setting of Hawaii brought me home, and gave my imagination an opportunity to utilize personal experiences throughout my many years on the islands. And Toby's writing, it's rhythm and seamless painting of pictures, provides a variety of creative colors and textures to experience.  Her work took me beyond words on a page and beyond moving pictures…it brought my senses to life and shared a glimpse of Hawaii that is more complex and interesting than often depicted or experienced.

Q: Was there a character in which you identified?

A: Without hesitation, Lei.   Beyond her Hawaiian background and mixed race ethnicity, her inner strength, vulnerability, tomboy nature, love of animals, passion, quick wit, and instincts are easy to identify with. Personally, I have not had to endure as challenging a past as Lei, but I can sympathize and have been exposed to those challenges that so many victims face. I'm sure Toby's work speaks to many women like myself, and I am honored to be able to contribute to such a strong and beautiful heroine, one who isn't dependent on being saved, but rather strives to fight a good fight, and save herself.

Thanks so much for joining us, Sara, and for bringing Lei and the cast and characters of my books to life! I've loved everything I've listened to so far. You've brought the books vividly to life beyond my expectations.  So far, Somewhere on Maui, Stolen in Paradise, Blood Orchids, Torch Ginger and Black Jasmine are ready for purchase in the Audible store!


“Sara's smooth, sexy, authentic Hawaii sound brings the Lei Crime Series to life in an unforgettable series!” Tony M, Reviewer

Listen to a sample of Blood Orchids here:


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