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Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm Gonna Be a TUTU!!!

Do you remember my T is for Tutu post? Yes, that's right! Tutu is the Hawaiian term of endearment for Grandma!! That's me!!! And wasn't this a great, fun way to make the announcement??? (Before Halloween, but they wouldn't let me blog until today.)

This will be my first grandchild, and boy am I excited! My daughter and her husband are expecting this bundle of joy to arrive in May--and it's all I can do to hold myself back from going shopping and buying every cute baby thing on this planet!!

So, here's what you need to do, readers--help me out with advice! What does a First-Time Tutu do to prepare. What is the most important thing I should prepare for?? I feel like I'm having this baby--minus the horrible nausea and pukes, of course!

I'll keep you all posted, and if you haven't read one of my episodes on "Cheryl in Peril," you can catch up and prepare yourself for more exciting adventures once that little one is in the picture!

So, celebrate with me--jump up and down and scream, "Yaaaaaaaay!!" And do it Kimo Style!

Aloha, and Mahalo for visiting!

The Hawaiian Island Detective Club
Book One—Pineapples in Peril
Available NOW Everywhere!
Book Two—Menehunes Missing
RELEASES February 5, 2013

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hawaii--Here I Come!!!

On Thursday I'm taking flight and winging my way to Hawaii!! 

I can already tell you that I'll have an amazing time, but probably won't be able to share pictures and stories until I get back--but I'll keep you enticed with other blogs until I return!

This will be an opportunity for me to research and become inspired to do more writing--probably with a tropical setting (I'm totally stuck in the whole warm climate thing, huh?)

How many of you have been to the islands?

Tell me about what you liked best. I'd love to hear from you.

Keep reading my blog posts and look for what I'll have to say after my return!

Aloha, and Mahalo for visiting!

The Hawaiian Island Detective Club
Book One—Pineapples in Peril
Available NOW Everywhere!
Book Two—Menehunes Missing
RELEASES February 5, 2013

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hau'oli La Ho'omakika'i

That's Happy Thanksgiving in Hawaiian.

If you'd like to know how to pronounce it, try this:

how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-key-kah-ee

Hope everyone has (or had) a wonderful day with family and friends, eating, sharing, and making wonderful memories.

What are you thankful for? I am most thankful for God's hand in my life and the lives of my family. We have been truly blessed this year!

May God bless every one of my readers today and every day.

Aloha, and Mahalo for visiting!

The Hawaiian Island Detective Club
Book One—Pineapples in Peril
Available NOW Everywhere!
Book Two—Menehunes Missing
RELEASES February 5, 2013

Monday, November 19, 2012

Know Someone Who's "Madily In Love"??

Some of you may have read my interview/review last year of MIND OVER MADI by Lynda Schab. This is the second book in the series, MADILY IN LOVE.

I loved this book as much as the first one! I could so identify with Madi's attempts to do "all the right things" to promote love and romance in her marriage. I laughed and laughed at all the things she faithfully tried--every moment planned, every detail thought out. Somehow, disaster seemed to strike at every turn. If it wasn't the kids or the dog, it was her mother-in-law or some unforeseen force of nature.
Lynda Lee Schab

I absolutely recommend this book. It would be a Great Gift to a woman who would love to laugh at Madi (uh . . . maybe herself!) as she attempts to put every disaster behind her and try again to make her marriage "love"ly!

Aloha, and Mahalo for visiting!

The Hawaiian Island Detective Club
Book One—Pineapples in Peril
Available NOW Everywhere!
Book Two—Menehunes Missing
RELEASES February 5, 2013

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Friends and Family Fun Times!

Today is my last post with Tamara Ching.

It has been so much fun learning about everything Tamara enjoys--and her love for the Big Island (Hawaii.) Thank you so much, Tamara, for sharing your life and your photos with my readers.

What other things did you do with your friends?
We went swimming just about every day after school. If not for a swim team we would swim for fun. We’d also swim on the two nights of the week the public pool was open. It was an Olympic sized pool, 50x25 yards. It had high and low spring boards, as well as a diving platform.  We frequented the beach as well on the weekends.

I had 3 sisters, and our neighbors across the street had 2 boys and a girl. We would play hide-n-seek until very late at night. We would dress in the darkest clothing possible.

There were many times at Halloween when we would put on a haunted house. Our house and the neighbor’s house was an old plantation house and was relatively close to the ocean so it was built on stilts approximately 8 feet off the ground. We would gather old appliance boxes and create a maze under the house. We hung sheets or blankets as walls too. We created sounds with tape recorders, and trick-or-treaters could go through it.

I also remember a time where we all put on clothes we were going to throw out. We each went out and picked a bunch of this weed that were like little bean pods that would stick to your clothes. We each made a ball as big as we could and had a “sticker” fight.  We had these bean pods all over us! We totally did not think about our hair, but we were able to toss the clothing.

Share with us a favorite memory as a kid.
My favorite memory would have to be all the times mom packed us up in our jeep and drove us to a beach or river to swim.  We had these very large black inner-tubes we would use at the beach. We could barely fit them in the jeep with my 3 sisters and I, but we managed to do it. Mom drove us to the other side of the island to our favorite beach. It was a windy day, and the wind was blowing out to sea. Well, I was the youngest and smallest and somehow was left with the inner-tube. I accidently let it go, and we all watched it sail out to sea.  Everyone was mad at me. But we had a nice roomy ride home in the jeep!

Another memory would have to be just running around the pastures in the mountains while dad did his ranching. We took a friend with us once. I was so little, I remember him piggy backing me around up and down the hills. He also carved a tiki out of a branch for me which I still have to this day.

A favorite hang out?
My favorite hang out was anywhere near the ocean. There were many times I would just go down to the ocean or shoreline and find a nice spot to sit and think for hours while listening to the ocean crashing against the shore.

Did you and your friends ever get into mischief? If so, tell us a story.
Hmmmmm….Talk to Luana on this one!
I NEVER got into mischief…that was Luana’s duty! (Remember—I interviewed Luana, Tamara’s sister, last year and she told me some great mischief stories!)

I do remember lining up mangos across the road and getting a kick out of cars running them over.

I also remember picking guavas to sell to the juicing company. I would pick a few rotten ones on purpose and leave them on the top of the crate so that on the way home we could throw them at the road signs. Back in those days there were no seatbelt laws so we sat in the back of a truck, on the tire well, and rode all over town that way.

White Sand Beach on Hawaii
What do you really love about Hawaii, especially The Big Island?
I love that it is not a big city. I love that you can just stop by someone’s home unannounced and they would probably invite you in, feed you if it was mealtime, and talk for hours.  The life was simple on Hawaii when we grew up.  There wasn’t a lot of hustle and bustle—going from one sport to another, or one event to another. 

I love the different climates and terrain on The Big Island. It’s the only island you can drive completely around. The climate changes so drastically in some areas. You can be on a mountain where it is lush and green and in a snap, start driving down to the coast and it becomes like a desert.

I love the site of the dark black lava rock against the deep blue sea and white wash from the wave crashing. It’s just SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!

I love that there are 3 colors of sand on The Big Island, black, white and green. Where else can you see 3 colors of sand?

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Volcano National Park forest. The plant life and growth is just so beautiful to me.  

Big Island Beauty at Sunset
Anything else you’d like to share with my readers?
Just that The Big Island is such a BEAUTIFUL island and if they ever visit Hawaii they should not miss out on the beauty there.

Thanks, Tamara! What variety and what beauty! Personally, I can't wait to get back there!

Aloha and Mahalo for Visiting!

The Hawaiian Island Detective Club
Book One—Pineapples in Peril
Available NOW Everywhere!
Book Two—Menehunes Missing
RELEASES February 5, 2013

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ahhh . . . Amazing Hawaiian Food and Fun!

This is the second post for my interview with Tamara Ching.

Today it's mostly about food--with a little sand fun thrown in.

Itsu's--Tamara's Favorite
Ice Shave Shop
What was your favorite Shave Ice flavor?
First off, there is always the question as to whether or not it is Shave Ice or Ice Shave…..I’ve always called it “Ice Shave”. So with that cleared up, my favorite was pineapple and coconut mixed to make a pina colada flavor, or straight banana. We’d always get our Ice Shave from a little old fishing supply store called Itsu’s. They were a fishing supply store but also had a wide variety of candy, snacks, and other food items. It was an almost daily stop for us.

Sand Castle Fun!
Did you learn the hula or go surfing, and at what age?
No, I never learned the hula or went surfing. Now I wish I had learned the hula. We did more boogie boarding or body surfing the waves. I did however love building sand castles, sand turtles and sand dolphins.  At 45 years of age now, I will still will sit in the sand with any child, and help them make a formation.  It’s fun to see how excited they are to see it when it’s done.

What is your favorite food?
Ume-a Japanese pickled plum
Mochi-another Japanese favorite made with rice flour
Spam Musubi-rice molded into a rectangle with a slice of spam in the middle and seaweed wrapped around it. It was a favorite beach lunch snack
Manapua-A Chinese sweet bun with char siu pork in the middle of it

Kalua Pig and Lomi Lomi Salmon
What is your favorite Hawaiian food?
My favorite Hawaiian food is:
Kalua Pig
Lau Lau
And Lomi lomi salmon

What are your favorite Hawaiian foods to cook?
Quite often I will make an oven version of Kalua Pig, and lomi lomi salmon.

Thank you so much for sharing, Tamara! I have more interview to share and then later (when I have a chance to prepare it myself) I'll share her recipe for lomi lomi salmon. Visit my recipe page to see the recipe from my niece for Kalua Pig. It's pretty much like Tamara's with a Traeger version too!

Aloha and Mahalo for Visiting!

The Hawaiian Island Detective Club
Book One—Pineapples in Peril
Available NOW Everywhere!
Book Two—Menehunes Missing
RELEASES February 5, 2013

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Paniolos And Rodeo Dreams!

Over the next week or two, I will be posting parts of a great interview with Tamara Ching.  Remember my interview with my friend, Luana? Tamara is her sister.

Today Tamara is going to answer only one question, because she tells an amazing story of growing up with horses on the Big Island (Hawaii.) Enjoy!

Tamara, when you were a kid, what was your favorite thing to do?

Beautiful Shoreline on the Big Island
When I was a kid, I loved to go horseback riding.

We grew up with horses. I had 3 sisters, but it was my best friend and neighbor, Loke, that also loved horses and usually came with us to care for them. We’d help with filling their grain, water, and fresh cut grass.  In Hawaii there really weren’t any farmers that grew hay so we didn’t feed our horses hay, they either were in a pasture where they grazed on grass or when they were in a stable we would have to go and find fields of grass to cut for them. Mom or dad would use a sickle to cut the grass and we’d carry it to the truck. We’d cut about 10 big bundles every 5 days or so.  

Once we did our part of the horse chores, Loke and I would get to bridle up the horse and exercise her while mom or dad cleaned out their stall. We didn’t get to ride for long, so we would usually ride bare back without a saddle.  We had several horses over the years, however there was mainly one that we rode. She was grey and we named her Minnie.

My dad would help my uncle on his cattle ranch. We’d pack up and drive way up into the hills of Mauna Kea (meaning “white mountain”) to a little natural grey, weathered, rustic old cabin that was only heated with an old wood burning stove. 

Once we turned off the main road we drove several miles on a dirt road through the most beautiful breathtaking pasture lands. We also had to go through many gates that separated each pasture.  Dad would let us out to sit on the tail gate of the truck so we could open and close each gate for him. I remember times he’d start driving again just before we got to the truck so we had to run to catch him. He also stopped once for us so we could climb to the top of a huge hill and roll back down.

When Loke and I arrived at the cabin our only agenda was to find the horses and see if any were still saddled up to ride. We’d get our chance to ride in the afternoon when the paniolo’s (cowboy’s) got back from rounding up the cattle. We would take the horses and ride through the pastures then bring them back and unsaddle them.

Chili and rice was a favorite meal up on the cold mountain top. In Hawaii we ate our chili poured over white rice. There was always a hot pot of chili on the old wood stove to help yourself to, from morning until night.

At night it was so quiet and peaceful up on the mountain top away from the small city we lived in.  You could look up into the sky and see a gazillion stars in the sky.  Mauna Kea has the clearest darkest skies and is known to be the best place in the world for astronomers.

We also went to any rodeo we could. We loved being around all the horses and enjoyed all the different events that took place. Bull riding, calf roping & barrel racing, just to name a few. I would dream that one day I’d get to barrel race in a rodeo. My dream never came true, but dreaming it created a life long memory. 

Back in those days the little old town of Hilo didn’t have its own country radio station so they had a program where for 3 hours or so, that was all they played. I remember one night while Loke and I listened to the 3 hour program of country music we drew a picture of our dream log cabins that we were going to live in one day. I wish I kept that picture. Another dream that didn’t come true, but the memory lives on.

Amazing Black Sand Beach on Hawaii
Thank you so much for sharing, Tamara! I remember eating chili and rice, too, when I lived in the islands. And I loved reading about your dreams of being in a rodeo and someday living in a log cabin!

Keep visiting my blog as I ask Tamara more questions, and she shares her memories and favorite things.

Aloha and Mahalo for Visiting!

The Hawaiian Island Detective Club
Book One—Pineapples in Peril
Available NOW Everywhere!
Book Two—Menehunes Missing
RELEASES February 5, 2013

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Next Big Thing?

Today I’m participating in a fun little Blog Hop!

And it’s all about what all of us writers are working on right now. The posts are scheduled for Wednesdays, but since I don’t normally post on that day, I figured I’d better post on Monday. My post follows after The Cuffe Sisters’ Post from last Wednesday, October 31. Please click and visit!

So, here are the questions about my WIP (Work In Progress.)

What is the working title?
Murder With Tea, Book One of The Macks and Me Murder Mysteries

Where did the idea come from?
An old adult mystery manuscript I wrote years ago. I tweaked it and made it fun and appropriate for Middle Readers. It is aimed at the upper end, ages 11-14.

What genre?
Middle Reader (11-14 yrs) mysteries.

Which actors would play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmm . . . I definitely picture Detective Michael Macks being played by Matt Bomer, the actor who portrays Neil Caffrey on White Collar. For my main character, Jordyn, I really don’t know many 16-year-old actresses!

Short synopsis?
Jordyn Kent, a huge fan of The Detective Michael Macks Murder Mysteries, has secretly wished to solve a murder, and when the fictional detective appears to her and begins to encourage, instruct, and annoy her, she and Macks work together to solve a real murder.

Agency representation?
Terry Burns with Hartline Literary

How long did it take to write the first draft?
When I wrote the original manuscript, I was working full-time and raising kids, so it took me well over a year. The recent Middle Reader rewrite took a couple months.

What other books in this genre compare?
Any mystery for Middle Readers. But I’ve checked, and I could not find any mysteries with a fictional detective helping the amateur sleuth.

Who or what inspired this book?
I was inspired when on a Caribbean cruise to Grand Cayman where I saw an amazing estate on the bay. Murder With Tea takes place in Grand Cayman at the Jordyn’s grandmother’s estate, Evansview.

Anything to add?
Like The Hawaiian Island Detective Club series, The Macks and Me Murder Mysteries is also a series. Book Two is Murder in Moonlight, and Book Three is Murder by Arrow.

Please visit these two blogs next Wednesday, November 14, to read what this writer is working on—you may be the first to know!!

Aloha, and Mahalo for visiting!

The Hawaiian Island Detective Club
Book One—Pineapples in Peril
Available NOW Everywhere!
Book Two—Menehunes Missing
RELEASES February 5, 2013

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cheryl In Peril! (Episode 2)

Are you ready to see another photo and story of Cheryl in Peril?

Me and Rob Ready to Play!!
Okay, so here's what's up! This was about 2 1/2 years ago when I played on a co-ed indoor soccer team. This is a photo of me and my brother, Rob.

There were a few times when I got nailed with the ball and ended up with a huge bruise on my leg. What was I thinking at my age??? At least I didn't fall and slide across the artificial turf--those "rug burns" are nasty!

Then there was the time I was doing so well tracking the play and staying with the opponent. Suddenly, he blasted the ball at me--it hit my leg and went flying--GOOOAAAAAAAL!!!!! Too bad it was for the other team.

Enjoy this quick clip of me actually running around out there, putting life and limb in peril!


HEY! I'm on LENA NELSON DOOLEY'S BLOG Today!!! Please visit and comment if you'd like--you could win a copy of Pineapples in Peril! She did a really fun interview--you might find out some very interesting information about me!

Aloha, and Mahalo for visiting!

The Hawaiian Island Detective Club
Book One—Pineapples in Peril
Available NOW Everywhere!
Book Two—Menehunes Missing
RELEASES February 5, 2013