Today's guest, Liz Arnold, will help us understand how Pearl Harbor became the strategic port leading up to the "day of infamy".
Liz is the author of MESSAGE TO LOVE, a historical romance during the Spanish American War.
From The Wild Rose Press website,
Audra Wakely’s father has been seized by Spanish authorities and imprisoned for sympathizing with Cuban rebels. Raising the money to bribe officials, if necessary, she sets off for Cuba to rescue her father. She doesn’t bargain on the interference of any U.S. officials—that is, until she meets Rollins McBride.
Lt. Rollins McBride of the newly designated U.S. Naval Intelligence service is assigned to track Audra on her journey. He’s to arrest Greg Wakely, a U.S. citizen, for treason and gun smuggling. His mission and his heart are taken by surprise by the feisty beauty who sets a stubborn path toward finding her father and proving he isn’t a traitor—no matter what or who gets in her way.
Kim: I enjoy reading historicals and intrigued that you have staged your story during the Spanish American War. What inspired you to write about this time period and how did you research it?
Liz: MESSAGE TO LOVE is inspired by a dream that became an obsession that became a published novel. I always dream in vivid scenes with great color and detail but this dream would not let go after I woke up. A man on horseback was speeding along in the dark to deliver a message he had tied around his chest in a leather pouch. A woman had helped him "escape" so he could deliver the message.
The images stayed with me and I began talking to people about it and one person said it reminded her of something she read about in history called THE MESSAGE TO GARCIA by Elbert Hubbard written in 1899. It explained the bravery and dedication of Lt. Andrew Rowan who delivered a message from U.S. President William McKinley to Cuban insurgent General Calixto Garcia in 1898. McKinley was secretly pledging U.S. aid to the Cubans in their freedom fight against Spain. I had my historical romance novel plot. From there it was research and perseverance.
Kim: Imagine Hollywood making MESSAGE TO LOVE into an epic film. Who would you like to play your hero and heroine? Would you like a cameo? Where would you host the premiere?
Liz: This is an easy one to imagine! I've seen this book depicted in film almost from the get-go. Cuba has been a hot political topic for many years and I actually expect to see many films in the near future. I'm shopping my book for a director now! For a hero, I'm crazy about Ryan Reynolds, and I think my feisty, dark haired young heiress Audra would be well played by Natalie Portman.
I would definitely like a cameo in the flick! I've been an extra before in big screen films and the only thing I didn't like was the waiting around while the film crew argued! I would like to play my hero's mother. The film would so be premiered in Miami, Florida.
Kim: Tell us about your road to publishing - what got you started and who helped you along the way.
Liz: I have loved reading and writing from an early age. I won writing contests in school, wrote for school newspapers, then freelanced in trade magazines and wrote poetry. Because of my weekly newspaper days, I have close to 1000 articles published!
My mother introduced me to historical romance novels when I was in junior high. They brought it all together for me; reading, writing and history. I read everything Catherine Cookson wrote. When I matured, Connie Mason hooked me as a fan and because I read so much and wrote a lot of non-fiction it was a natural step for me to write historical romance myself.
I wrote MESSAGE TO LOVE and shopped it around for a while before The Wild Rose Press picked it up.
Kim: Hmmm ... I'm hungry! What's next for Liz Arnold?
Liz: The current WIP is another historical romance set in pioneer Ohio after the Revolutionary war. My heroine is a doctor who isn't allowed to practice medicine in Baltimore because she is a woman and my hero was held captive by the Shawnee Indians for ten years. There are Indian raids, captivity, a wild ride down the Ohio River in the spring of 1790, a smallpox epidemic, and deep love in the face of the incredible odds against survival during those times.
Thanks so much for having me, Kim. I love your site and all you do to support the romance genre and our military members. If readers are interested in a free bookmark, they can send a SASE to P.O. Box 1322, Parkersburg, WV 26102
Kim: To read more of Liz's writing, log onto her blogsite. To purchase MESSAGE TO LOVE, log onto Liz's page at TWRP website.
Mahalo, Liz, for joining today at SOS Aloha! In honor of your visit, I am giving away a copy of MESSAGE TO LOVE.
1. Leave a comment about Liz, Navy heroes, and/or Ryan Reynolds.
2. Make sure I know how to contact you - send your email to email@example.com
3. This giveaway is open only to US and Canadian residents. Comments will be open through December 10 for the giveaway.
Remember the Maine! You probably remember this catchy phrase from high school history class. On January 25, 1989, the USS Maine sailed into Havana Harbor to secure "American interests." Cuban rebels were fighting to expel the Spanish rule. Three weeks later, an explosion erupted on the Maine - was it the Cuban Rebels or the Spanish Navy?
American journalists published the headlines, "Remember the Maine" as the US considered its options. The US blockaded Havana Harbor and Spain declared war. It ended with a US victory by August. The US gained three Spanish colonies - the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Cuba became an independent country but the US signed a 99 year lease to use Guantanamo Bay (the lease has been extended as the Marines remain there).
Meanwhile, American businessmen overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii and formed the Republic of Hawaii. Noting the American interest in the Pacific, the new republic sought to become a US territory. Congress approved the Spanish Peace Treaty and Hawaii's territory status in August 1989. Hawaii was the first stop en route to Guam and the Philippines so it became a strategic port.
From Historic Hawaii,
In the early 1900s, as Pearl Harbor was being dredged to accommodate deeper-draft Navy ships, the Army built shore defenses at Fort Kamehameha to protect the ships and resources operating in and around the harbor.
The Army built five batteries for coastal defense. Sadly, the guns were silent on December 7, 1941 as the Japan's surprise attack was took quick for the aging system. Fort Kamehameha is now a "historic district" adjacent to Hickam AFB. Several buildings, including one battery, have been preserved.
(I could not find a photo of the preserved battery)
|Marker where Japanese Zero |
crashed on Fort Kamehameha
My husband' great-great-uncle, Robert Householder, served in the Spanish American War.