All posts by Dayna Hubenthal


A novice attorney struggles with one of the most challenging and melodramatic cases of his young career.

For this serpentine, true-crime dramatic depiction, novelist and essayist Seay (Dead in a Ditch,2011, etc.) effectively collaborated with debut author Lloyd, an Oklahoma litigator who, in distinctive detail, describes the yearlong, first-degree murder case that would shake up his early days in the courtroom. Escorting Seay to the Oklahoma locations crucial to the events and drawing from a memory bolstered by a trove of newspaper articles and court transcripts, Lloyd engrossingly pieces together a story of crime and blame.

The case began in 1982, a time when Lloyd, a cub lawyer having only tried (and lost) one jury trial, became propelled by grief after losing his newborn son. He channeled great effort into examining a homicide involving Noi Kanchana Mitchell, a wife charged with the ruthless murder of her husband, Bobby, in a case that, in Lloyd’s words, would take “all of the energy and physical reserve I could muster” as well as endangering his marriage and jeopardizing his financial stability.

Thankfully, this enticing setup delivers on all of its promises as readers are immediately thrust into the story of Bobby Mitchell and his Thai wife, Noi, and the nagging feeling Lloyd experienced that she was innocent of his murder, even though the odds were stacked against her.

The primary evidence, which pointed to her direct involvement in her husband’s strangling, shooting, and corpse disposal, included the statements of an accomplice and Noi’s audiotaped confession. Upon questioning her, the attorney discovered a language barrier and some emotional trauma, which became problematic to sleuthing the case. Lloyd, clever and determined, discounted Noi’s confession, believing it to have been coerced by police, and through preliminary hearings, courtroom dramatics, key witnesses, misled speculation, and cruel accusations, the truth, while untidy, finally emerged in grand fashion.

Despite three trials, fluctuating self-confidence, and numerous roadblocks, Lloyd triumphed while creating tantalizing, exhilarating fodder for Seay to mold and craft into a rollicking murder trial that moves swiftly despite a surfeit of heavily detailed events and many supporting characters. Besides enticing Perry Mason fans, this book should please readers devilishly curious about the intricate workings of the justice system and the trial-by-jury process.  

A bracing, spirited true-crime narrative that reads like fiction but is very much real and rooted in the brutality and injustices of contemporary life.  

Available in bookstores or on-line

Review by “Reader Views”

“Almost a Murder” by Jody Seay and Jim Lloyd is an engaging story about an inexperienced lawyer, Jim Lloyd, who is hired to defend Noi Kanchana Mitchell, charged with the brutal murder of her husband. Several obstacles occur for Jim – he has only tried one case before and lost, he is not rich and is scrambling for money to maintain his meager office, in addition to hiring investigators and expert witnesses. His client is Thai, has limited English skills, and is conned into making a statement of her guilt.

Like Jim, most of us believe in the justice system and hope that all will be treated fair and presumed innocent until proven guilty. Written in the first person, the author describes in realistic detail, his fears, sacrifice of his family, as well as his personal and professional growth.

I have to admit if Jim were my lawyer at the beginning of taking this case, I would have run as fast as I could. I’m not used to dealing with inept individuals especially ones in which my life depends upon. However, I will say he is very dedicated and determined.

The characters were well developed and captivating and the author’s experience with the judicial system served him well. He takes readers inside the mind of jurors, judges and law enforcement in great detail. Readers will find they love or hate the prosecutor and will sometimes find themselves questioning the actions of the judge.

“Almost a Murder” is one you can’t put down for fear you will miss the action. I was stunned at the lack of complete investigation of the evidence by the police. Did it surprise me? No. When you are desperate to convict a person regardless of who it is, one will do whatever is necessary to reach that goal. Such examples from the book include an interpreter who is not competent to accurately translate what is asked or answered of the targeted perpetrator, and police who did not follow investigative protocol.

“Almost a Murder” by Jody Seay and Jim Lloyd is one read that will leave you questioning our legal system in all areas. Readers will experience several emotions and hopefully like me, get you fired up at injustice. I highly recommend “Almost a Murder” for all who have an interest in criminal justice cases and enjoy a great legal thriller.

Available in bookstores or on-line

Ahh, What a Delightful Day

I had a nice dinner and delightful visit, as always, tonight with my cousins Lana and Tommy. They live out at Lake Oolagah and drove into Tulsa to share a meal with me. Then, when they brought me back to Kay and Stephen’s house, the neighbor, Jane, came running out and wanted me to sign her copy of my new book, ALMOST A MURDER, so I did. All of that evolved into a long conversation with Jane and her sidekick, Phyllis, in Jane’s kitchen about the writing of the book, the story behind it, the process of rolfing, my years in radio and TV and on and on.
I just now rolled in the door and am ready to hit the hay.

It was a beautiful day here in Tulsa so I was able to get my walk in without freezing my tail off. I always feel better when I walk and this was a good day to do it. I also got to visit with another rolfing client of mine, Shaunda, who brought a copy of my book by to get it signed for a friend. Shaunda is now engaged to be married to a wonderful guy in October, so I got to see pictures of her dress, her cake, and the snazzy outfit for Travis (her big dog who owns her but is willing to share her with Mike, the husband-to-be). It’s good to see her so excited and happy, even though the planning of a wedding is INTENSE. There seems to be more to do than you would ever imagine possible, but they will all be part of the wonderful memories of their special day. So happy for her. Good thing Mike knows what a terrific wife he’s about to snare.

So, that’s all the news that’s fit to print for right now. Sleep well, everyone. I hope you have only good dreams. JS

First Post:”Almost A Murder”

Going to the bookshelf in a store or a library, I reach out with a tentative hand towards a world – a whole new world. The books are waiting just beyond reach, ready to pull me into their orbit. My hand hovers, not yet touching any of them. I’m looking, wafting, not quite ready to commit. In that delicious anticipation I linger until a color or word catches my eye and my hand closes around the spine of my choice. I flip to the description and my journey begins.

From one heck of a great writer I’ve heard it is rewarding to put something down in ink that resonates another person and connects heart-to-heart.

“Words matter; we surely must know that by now. They inspire us, ignite us, open our hearts, and make us laugh ’til tears stream down our cheeks. We are connected by them, mind to mind, heart to heart. In the end, what we know is that words tell our stories, lighting our way on this bumpy, human path, reminding us, as our shoulders brush against each other’s in the darkness, that we are all in this together, making our way home.” – Jody Seay

And I’ve “made my way” with so many great authors. I love the feel of books, the smell of books, the weight of a book in my hand. I love to read. So it is with great honor we present to you our new book

… about a scared young mother and wife, who was lost in a new world, who did not have the support and protection from those that promised it. What she did was terrible. And it is about one man who was not prepared to take on her massive burden – but he did. And it is about his family who suffered because of his compassion and bulldogged refusal to let bullies win. His clan suffered, but they fought too, to keep the family intact and that is a stunningly beautiful part of this story. And, finally, this book looks at our American justice system…

… and at the end of it, I am more proud to live in this country than I ever have been. And that is because of this book.

So, we share our new book, ALMOST A MURDER, with you. We hope you enjoy it. We’re confident you will.

Please let us know you enjoyed this “new world” we offer – tell us. And spread the word, too! The book is out. It’s spinning in the universe and creating it’s own gravitational pull. Choose it. Hold it. Sniff it. Enter it. Love it! And tell others about it. Happy explorations…

  • The Publisher, 2018


Flying out today for Dallas and Ft. Worth where we will spend a couple of days with friends, visit with even more friends on Friday, then drive to Kilgore, Texas early on Saturday where I will be inducted into the TEXAS RADIO HALL OF FAME for work I did FORTY YEARS AGO @ KZEW – THE ZOO – in Dallas.

I will also be receiving the SAMMY AWARD for Outstanding Women in Texas Radio Broadcasting, which is a huge thrill for me. Mary “Sam” Stoddard was the first woman DJ in Texas and a broadcasting pioneer and legend. She is the woman after whom this award is named.

On Sunday, we are joining with family for a Seay clan gathering at my cousin’s house in Plano, where there will be lots of babies to squeeze. Then, visiting with some more friends in Dallas, and then flying back to Oregon on Monday.

This induction is one of the great honors of my life and I am so humbled and grateful that words fail me….nahhhh…words never fail me – YOU KNOW THAT. My eternal gratitude goes to Ira “Eye” Lipson (our ZOOKEEPER) and Bill Harrison for nominating and campaigning for me. These two fellas really know how to make blackmail work for them, I gotta say. In truth, my time in rock ‘n roll radio with those people at that moment in my young adulthood colored everything in my life. It was an extraordinary place full of outrageously fun and creative and brilliant people and I am so thankful for that experience. I left it, eventually, but it never left me, not really, and I have life-long friendships to prove it. Can’t wait to see everyone.

I will have a lot of necks to hug. I promised Josh Holstead, the TRHOF HONCHO (and one of our beloved Joe Holstead’s red-headed young’uns,) that I am honing my acceptance speech down to 2 minutes from 45 minutes, but that I would read the other 43 minutes of my speech to him over the phone. He gave me his number, but it doesn’t seem to work…

Anyway, as I do each time, I need to say, THANK YOU, TULSA, OKLAHOMA! Your support for the launch of my new book, ALMOST A MURDER, was outstanding and so very much appreciated. I will be back to rolf some more in Tulsa 12/7-12/11/18. To get on the schedule, call Stephen @ (918) 605-6508, Hope to see you. Have a glorious Thanksgiving. Be thankful for each other and hold hands. JS

New Postcards are in – ask your favorite author for some or print one yourself

Hi Launch team. Jim and Jody have a selection of new Almost A Murder postcards. It’s time to pass them out. Do you want some to help spread the word? Just ask Jody or Jim to give you some to pass out or you can print them out yourself (make sure you print the front and back as a double sided print).

They are a great conversation starter … and they are soooo pretty.
Here are some great places to hand them out:

  1. Library acquisitions person.
  2. Library events person.
  3. Local bookstores – leave a stack (with permission, of course) and talk up the book.
  4. Your grocery store announcement board.
  5. Your local coffee shop’s announcement board.
  6. Your local high school librarian.
  7. Your friends and neighbors who love to read and are looking for a crime book.
  8. Any book bloggers that you know.
  9. A hospital, chiropractor, dental or doctor’s office (with permission)
  10. Anyone who can get us one step closer to Ellen or Oprah.

You get the idea. Let’s spread the word… and enjoy doing it, because they are soooo pretty.

View or Print the Postcard Image

  • Ask Jody or Jim about them


Two New Reviews – yeah for us!

Some of our supporters are trying to enter reviews onto Amazon and B&N, but are unable to because they bought the book elsewhere. That's a bit problematic for us because we want everyone's voice to ring out!  Therefore, we are going to put those reviews here... good or bad... we want readers to know.  

My friend, Chris Bogdano, says...

thumbs UP

"I just finished this book by my friend Jody Seay!  Wow!  A real page-turner!  Nancy is my hero.  Jody, you did it again...

everybody...go out and buy this book...

a great read and a lot learned along the way...woo-hoo! 

Hats off to you, Jody Seay!" 

Written on her personal FaceBook page

My friend who grew up with me, Mary Newton Maxwell, says...

thumbs UP

"Jody, finished the book last night.  What a story (not even almost.)  But what I loved most was how it was written.  Really, really loved that.  You and Mr. Lloyd are both so talented. 

"It is my honor to know you, my friend."

Via a personal FaceBook message

Book Launch Event!

Good news… It’s finally happening! Our book launch / author’s signing is Sunday, October 28th from 2-4 pm at Barnes & Noble on 71st Street in Tulsa.

You are invited. Bring a friend or two and join us. We’ll read a few excepts. It will be fun.

My co-author, Jody Seay, will be there along with several people mentioned in the book. (Spoiler Alert: some will be related to me). Photo ops are encouraged.

Tulsa/Woodland Plaza Barnes & Noble

8620 E 71 Street
Tulsa, OK 74133