Readers, here is an author we haven't met before. Welcome, Lisa. Tell
us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Pieces of myself go into every character and every book.
Some “pieces” write easily; others take a chunk of my heart with them. These
pieces are not all pretty; none of them are perfect; but they are all honest.
What is the quirkiest
thing you have ever done?
When we took our two elementary-aged daughters to Disney for
the first time, as a forty-something, it was also my first time to explore DisneyWorld
, too. Like the quintessential commercial for
Disney, I walked out of a restaurant and spotted Mary Poppins. Instantly, I
transformed into a small girl again and I screamed, “Mary Poppins. It’s Mary
Poppins.” Clasping my hands together, I rushed over—much to the embarrassment
of my too cool for school daughters. Or as now teenagers they like to recall,
my “I’ve waited my whole life to meet you” moment. Literally.
When did you first
discover that you were a writer?
I told myself stories when I lay in bed as a child to fall
asleep. I thought everyone did until I was in elementary school and discovered,
no, this might not be perceived as normal for the rest of the school
population. I became the child in the neighborhood who entertained my friends
and organized epic retellings of prairie schooners in space, aka whatever I had
watched on television lately—Daniel Boone,
The Wild West, Star Trek (the original), Gilligan’s
Island. Yeah, I know I’m dating myself. But hey, I was steampunk before
steampunk was steampunk. Later, I spent my free time writing down these
fantastic adventures just to entertain myself as a teenager.
Tell us the range of
the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love reading romantic suspense, cozy mysteries and romance.
How do you keep your
sanity in our run, run, run world?
The hectic pace of life in juggling writing, teaching,
mommyhood, and marriage bring me to an inescapable awareness of my own
insufficiency to be enough for everyone who needs me. This drives me to my
knees to the One who is All-Sufficient, the One who is enough for every need
past, present, or future. In my strength, I always come short, but when I pray
through my day and each task that comes my way, I dwell in His Presence, and
His strength gets me through it all.
How do you choose
your characters’ names?
I worked at a preschool and when I'm looking for trendy,
fashionable, unusual names since I write contemporary fiction—I go to class
What is the accomplishment
that you are most proud of?
My children. Motherhood didn't come quickly or easily, and
each of them is God’s wonderful gift to me.
If you were an
animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a bird so that I could fly and soar among the
clouds, seeing the earth, its inhabitants and our problems from God’s point of
view. Some people would jokingly tell you I’m already a bird—Southern speak for
a character. I especially admire the Carolina
wren. Though not necessarily noted for its exquisite plumage, but oh, what a song
they sing. I hope that my life and my words sing a similar song of praise to my
What is your favorite
Anything peanut butter
That’s my husband’s
favorite food. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest
roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Fear of failure kept me from pursuing writing for a long
time. That, and the busyness of life with children. But at the age of 45, I
decided I’d rather take a risk and go for my dream than to look back and never
know what God had in store if only I’d been willing to walk in faith. I feel a
tremendous responsibility to use the abilities with which God has gifted me to
glorify Him. My ultimate goal is that my books will draw readers closer to a
deeper relationship with Him.
Tell us about the
Seeking her birth family, Laney Carrigan’s only clue is the
Lokelani quilt in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Hawaiian
cowboy/helicopter pilot, Kai Barnes finds himself drawn to Laney despite the
tragedies of his past. Laney’s painstaking journey to a place to belong among
the breathtaking allure of the Big
something unexpected. Will Laney find more than she ever dreamed possible?
My hope is that Aloha Rose will make you laugh. Make
you cry. And warm your heart with the greatest love in life, God’s.
Please give us the
first page of the book.
sure there’s no message waiting for Laney Carrigan?”
leaned over the information desk at the Kailua-Kona Airport
“I was supposed to be met here . . .” She gestured around the rapidly emptying
lobby. “By my Auntie Teah. Maybe she’s been delayed and she left a note for me
employee, a willowy blond, craned her head around Laney at the line of people
queuing behind her. She pointed down the corridor. “You can rent a car over
that way.” She raised her gaze above Laney’s five-foot-three-inch height.
tightened her lips. Dismissed. Again.
intercom page directing me to meet someone in Baggage Claim or Ground
Transportation ... ?” Laney sighed at the bored face of the woman and stepped
aside as a middle-aged man wearing a flamingo pink aloha shirt shouldered past
her to the front of the line. Grabbing the handle of her wheeled carry-on bag,
she skirted past a group of Asian tourists who’d been greeted by hula girls
bearing fragrant yellow leis.
No point in
trying to rent a car when she had no idea where she was going. She paused in an
out-of-the-way corner and fumbled in a side pocket of her luggage for her cell
phone. Pressing the phone to ON, she waited for it to come to life.
Teah, whom she’d yet to meet, had assured her over the course of several phone
calls that she would be here to welcome her long-lost niece to her ancestral
home. An ancestral home to which she’d not been given directions or an address.
Rodrigues’s phone number she’d stored in her cell, she tapped her navy blue
stiletto clad foot on the shiny, white airport floor and waited for someone to
pick up. And waited. After ringing four times, voice mail—a deep, rumbling
man’s voice—informed her that no one was currently at home—duh—and instructed
callers to leave a callback number at the tone. Laney snorted, not trusting
herself to speak, thumbed the phone to OFF and stuffed it into her bag. She
stalked down the passageway toward Baggage Claim.
pushed her shoulders back, trying to ease the tension of her muscles. As her
brigadier father never failed to point out, when stressed, she hunched down
like Quasimodo. And at her diminutive stature, there was no one Laney wanted to
resemble less than that hunchback of literary legend. She scanned the dwindling
crowd encircling the baggage carousel.
her Auntie Teah? Her cousin, Elyse, or Elyse’s sweet little boy, Daniel? They’d
promised to be here. Laney glanced at her black leather sports watch, noted the
time in addition to the barometric pressure and altimeter reading. Her own
barometric pressure rising, Laney shoved her bag to the ground, threw herself
on top and faced the doorway. Nobody had ever dared ignore Brigadier General
his daughter not so much.
her dad this was a bad idea, but he’d insisted she answer the inquiry in response
to the information he’d posted regarding the scant facts they knew of her birth
twenty-eight years ago. The website, which specialized in reuniting adoptive
children with their biological families, had been silent for months. And Laney
was fine with that.
positutely fine with that.
been curious as to her biological family. She’d always known her real parents,
Gisela and Tom Carrigan, adopted her when she was a few months old. They’d chosen
her—as her mother had often reminded her. Loved, cherished, protected her. But
Gisela succumbed to a lingering, painful death to cancer three years ago.
dad—administrative guru to the five stars at the Pentagon, able to cut through
bureaucratic red tape and leap over snafus in a single bound—had the bright
idea to post a picture of the quilt in which she’d come wrapped on their
a hit less than twenty-four hours later.
He did some
checking—to make sure none of them were serial killers—and declared it would be
good for Laney to plan a visit to their home on the Big Island. Good to connect
with people who knew something about her family background. Good to fulfill her
adopted mother’s last wish that she one day reunite with her biological family.
a sob. She’d believed she’d already found her forever family. She glanced
around the claim area. Her lower lip trembled at the sight of a suitcase going
round and round the carousel.
Alone. Like her.
her shoulders. Who needed these people? The ones who’d abandoned her, deserted
her. Left her behind.
closed her eyes on the hateful, treacherous tears that threatened to spill out
from beneath her lashes and wondered how soon she could book a return flight to
been a very bad idea.
* * *
get why I have to be the one to go get this woman, Mama Teah. Why can’t
Elyse—?” Kai held the phone a few inches away from his ear.
roar on the other end subsided, he cradled it once again between his head and
his neck as he negotiated a curve around the lava-strewn rubble dotting the
mountain side of the highway leading toward the airport, a now dormant
volcano’s last little hiccup some two hundred years ago. He gripped the wheel
of his truck and glanced to his right at the cerulean hues of the Pacific.
okay. I get that Elyse was called into work and Ben’s on Daniel duty, but I
just stepped off the helipad and I didn’t get your message until a few minutes
ago.“ Kai frowned. “I’m on my way.” He peered at the clock on the dashboard.
“ETA in ten. But what aren’t you telling me, Teah? Has something happened to
you?” His voice caught. “Or to Tutu Mily?”
A pause on
the other end.
Where are you? You’re scaring—” Kai banged his hand on the steering wheel. “I
knew something like this was going to happen. I told you this was a bad idea to
bring in an outsider at a time like this. I—”
Alexander Barnes.” Teah’s voice trumpeted in the truck cab.
good sign when your foster mother used your full, legal name.
as Teah told him in no uncertain terms what she thought of his thoughts on her
ideas. “But surely, there’s another way, Teah. We take care of our own. We
don’t need some overprivileged East Coast socialite barging into our business.
Family takes care of family. Like you and Daddy Pete took care of me.” His chin
A sigh on
Teah’s end. “You’re family in every way that counts, Kai.” Her tone toughened.
“Laney Carrigan is family, too.”
Kai made a
right turn into the airport parking lot, willing himself not to relent. This
woman—and you’d better believe he’d Googled her—was as elusive as an ice cube
in a lava flow. Even with his connections, he’d not been able to blast through
the security firewalls her prominent army dad raised for her protection over
the years. Not a single photograph to his knowledge existed of the mysterious
“Anyone can post a picture of a quilt. We don’t know if that quilt is really
hers or how it came into her possession. We don’t know if that quilt is the
quilt Tutu Mily made years ago for her unborn grandbaby before Mily’s daughter
ran off to—”
to the house as soon as you can,” Teah interjected. “I’ve prayed about this,
Kai. Didn’t know what to do to solve our dilemma and more importantly, with
Tutu’s condition worsening, I’m hoping this will bring Mily some peace. I’m
still praying. But I believe God’s going to work this out.”
the smile in her voice over the wireless.
continued. “How else do you explain after all these years of wondering when
Elyse met a tourist at the resort who mentioned how he’d found his biological
parents through that website and then just one day later when Elyse logged into
the site, Tutu’s quilt appeared?”
his teeth. “I’m parking now, Teah. I promise to deliver Ms. Carrigan safe and
sound to your doorstep ASAP.”
sure you do that, son.” Teah clicked off.
at the phone in his hand. The dial tone echoed in the truck cab. Nabbing an
empty space, he pulled to a stop and put the F150 in Park. Killing the engine,
the door dinged as he thrust it open, swinging his boot-clad feet to the
up her mind. And when Teah Rodrigues got something in the bit of her teeth, she
was worse than any stallion on the ranch. Unstoppable. Unquenchable.
A force of
nature. A regular Typhoon Teah. And like a silent, offshore earthquake, the
aftershocks of this unknown family prodigal—Laney Carrigan—returning to the
fold might prove to be their undoing.
hardened. Just let her try.
No way, no
how, he’d let some haole bimbo take advantage of his family. Not on his watch.
* * *
whoosh of air over her closed eyelids and the sound of the glass doors of the
terminal sliding open, Laney opened her eyes. A Caucasian man stepped through
and stopped, his polarized sunglasses obscuring his eyes. As the doors swished
shut behind him, Laney took in his appearance—the khaki cargo pants, the ocean
blue polo shirt that stretched taut across broad shoulders, the rugged jawline
in need of a shave. He searched the room for someone.
catch her staring, she dropped her eyes to the floor and noticed his scuffed
not Auntie Teah or Elyse. Whoever he was looking for, it wouldn’t be her. He
wasn’t here for her.
him never were.
pushed his glasses onto the crown of his close-cropped dark hair revealing eyes
as tropical blue as the waters off the Seychelles
, her last assignment.
His head rotated from side to side, scrutinizing the remaining occupants of the
baggage claim area. His eyes eventually came round to her. With the intensity
of an electric blue flash.
the urge to fan herself—was it just her or had the temps risen another
notch?—she pushed her glasses farther up the bridge of her nose and sat prim
atop her carry-on case. His eyes traveled over her from the top of her head to
her best-interview pointy-toed shoes. Self-conscious, she tucked her feet under
her body, smoothing the edges of her pleated navy skirt over her ankles.
Cowboy’s eyes narrowed before flicking away at the sound of a voice down the
corridor, dismissing her as she knew he would.
turned her head as did Cowboy when a leggy redhead strode across the room,
latching onto his coiled muscular arm. His nose crinkled. Then a practiced lazy
smile flitted across his handsome features. Those baby blue lagoon eyes of his
dropped to half-mast. A whirring of the air around Laney fluffed her
shoulder-length hair as another figure rushed forward.
blond from Information seized Cowboy Kai by his other arm. He inclined his head
as the I-Can’t-Be-Bothered airport employee whispered something for his ears
only. Too far away for their conversation to register—and who cared?—she did
catch Cowboy’s deep-throated chuckle in response to whatever witticism Blondie
She’d seen his macho, arrogant type many times following her father around the
globe in the rolling stone life of Uncle Sam’s army. Laney folded her hands in
her lap. His kind loved the fluffy kittens of the world like Blondie and the
redhead. He probably wasn’t a real cowboy, either. Probably didn’t know one end
of a horse from a—
mountainous shadow inserted itself between Laney and the fluorescent lighting
of the terminal. She jerked at the sight of Cowboy looming over her.
Carrigan, I presume?” A mocking smile flickered at the corners of his lips.
hackles rose, and she hunched her shoulders as she struggled to rise from her
awkward position on the floor. The heel of her shoe caught on the handle of her
bag and she fell—make that sprawled—into his arms.
could sink into the floor, she felt the blush matching and mounting from
beneath the collar of her pink shirtwaist blouse.
elegant as always.
give him full kudos for quick reflexes.
In a full
face plant against the blue fabric of his shirt, Laney noted—in the half-second
before Cowboy pulled his own nose out of her hair—an enticing blend of smells
on the man, a spicy aftershave like her father wore, cocoa butter and something
indefinable that belonged to him alone. Awkward . . . this was long past
getting out of hand.
herself in hand and cleared her throat.
hands wrapped around her upper arms, set her aright upon her two left feet. His
black-fringed eyes—eyelashes the envy of any girl—blinked. Not that there was anything
remotely girlish about him.
lingered. Stepping back, Laney almost fell again over her suitcase. His hand
shot out restoring her balance. He nudged her bag out of the way with the
pointed toe of his boot.
Was it her
imagination or did a rosy flush darken his sculpted cheekbones? “Carrigan,
free of his grip. “And you would know that how?” Settling her hands on her
hips, she looked past him to where two fluffy kittens glared mayhem in her
direction. “Who are you?”
his hands into the front pockets of his pants. “Kai Barnes. I’m here to perform
a SAR for Auntie Teah. A search—”
what a SAR is, Mr. Barnes. Search and rescue.”
beam of his oceanic orbs lasered her. She extended her neck upward, refusing to
let his six-foot height intimidate her.
derisive smirk crossed his too-handsome-to-live features. “I forgot about your
“I take it
you’re military, too?” Should’ve seen it sooner, but the boots had thrown her
off. She could spot ’em alright. That distinct swagger, that I’m licensed to
kill attitude, that ...
pilot.” His eyes shuttered again. “Former. Flew SAR in medevacs.” He removed
his hands from his pockets and crossed his arms over his chest. His mouth
flatlined. “Search and rescue seems to be what I do best.” His gaze raked her
over. “I’ll take you to Teah who’s waiting for us at the ranch. My—”
going anywhere with you.” Laney’s chest puffed out. “I was told to wait for my
Aunt Teah or Elyse. I don’t know you from Adam. You could be some psycho cowboy
serial killer for all I know.” She crossed her arms, mirroring his stance.
his eyes toward the ceiling, his jaw working. An exasperated sigh rose from the
depths of his being, rolling through the airwaves like a rumbling volcanic
eruption. “Teah’s not your real aunt.” He stabbed Laney with a fierce look. “If
you are who you claim to be ...”
him with a matching glare.
your mother were first cousins, which makes Elyse, Teah’s daughter, a more
distant cousin. Auntie is a term of respect for elders in our Hawai’ian
Our?” She let her eyes roam up and down his muscular form in a deliberate
repetition of his scathing perusal of her earlier. Kai flushed again. This time
though—and she could tell the difference—with anger.
something under his breath, with a sudden move, Kai whipped a brown leather
wallet from one of the ubiquitous pockets lining his pants. He extracted a
driver’s license and held it to her face. “Kai Barnes. My address—Franklin
Ranch. Near Waimea. There’s been a slight emergency with Tutu Mily so they
Mily?” Laney’s arms dropped to her sides. “Do you mean Miliana Franklin, my
grandmother? What’s happened?”
understanding of our culture underwhelms me. Tutu means grandmother. And yes, I
refer to Miliana Kanakele Franklin although whether she’s actually your
grandmother or not remains to be seen.”
she’d explain when we reached the ranch. Until then, if you want to meet your
Hawai’ian relatives, then I suggest . . .” His arm swept the room and pointed
at the glass doors.
it your way.” Laney bent to retrieve her bag but found Kai to be quicker, his
hand grasping the handle. She tugged.
He held on.
So, he was
a gentleman, too.
thing it?” He heaved it to his shoulder.
a long time ago to travel light.”
sashayed past him toward the double doors and the parking lot, pretending as
always she knew exactly where she was headed. And if things got too
uncomfortable with these virtual strangers ... She fingered her escape hatch in
the pocket of her skirt, her return ticket via Jakarta
them three weeks. Three weeks before she winged out to her next assignment. She
eyeballed her teeth-clenched companion.
sooner. They didn’t know it yet, but the moment Cowboy showed up, her clock
disconcerted feeling settled over her at the truth of that statement.
more ways than one.
I ask authors for the
first page of their book as a teaser for my readers. I don’t usually include
this long of a passage, but I couldn’t stop reading. I know my readers won’t be
able to either. How can readers find you on the Internet?
you, Lisa, for sharing this new book with us today. I can hardly wait for my
copy to arrive, so I can continue to read it.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Aloha Rose: Quilts of Love Series
Aloha Rose: Quilts of Love Series
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory.
(Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing.
Here’s a link.