Friday, September 11, 2015

Aloha to Chris Keniston, the Aloha series, and LOVE BY DESIGN


After an emotional Friday, let's escape to Hawaii with Chris Keniston, author of the Aloha Series. From her bio,

A native New Yorker, Chris Keniston was on her way to Australia when she fell in love with North Texas. Little did she know the balmy seventy-degree October days would turn into fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk heat in August!

Twenty years later, she started scribbling short stories about her favorite TV shows, giving them lives more to her liking—and the elusive happy ending. Not long after, a dear friend dragged her to a local writers’ meeting. After winning multiple writing contests and making the finals in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest, she now spends her days, and nights, writing contemporary romantic fiction with lots of emotion, plenty of surprises, and, of course, the happily ever after.

Chris lives in suburban Dallas with her husband, two human children, two canine children, and one grandkitty. Though she loves her four-legged family equally, she admits being especially attached to her German Shepherd rescue named Gunny. After all, even dogs deserve a happily ever after.

Facebook link
twitter.com/CKenistonAuthor

Place of Refuge on the Big Island of Hawaii (link)

Chris joins me to talk story (chit chat) ...

Kim:  I am now curious ... why were you on your way to Australia?

Chris:  A cousin of mine had moved there after marrying a wonderful woman he'd met while backpacking through Europe. At the time, Australia held plenty of career opportunities. So, before leaving the US, I loaded my car and began a drive cross-country to see all the places I'd ever wanted to see. I visited the Amish country, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the land of Elvis Presley, the Smokey Mountains, New Orleans, NASA, and lastly, the stomping grounds of JR Ewing. Dallas. And here I still am!

Kim:  Can you share the TV shows in which you scribbled short stories?

Chris:  Anyone who has read my Aloha series will know that I am quite the JAG fan. One of my favorite scenes to write took place in Aloha Texas when the hero's mother and the heroine's aunt were talking JAG. And boxer shorts. LOL.

Kim:  Tell us about finaling in the Gold Heart contest.

Chris:  The poor woman who called me most likely was asking herself how anyone with a vocabulary of three words – oh my God – could write a whole book. I kept repeating myself until she mentioned I would have to send in a head shot and my mind went straight to – "Oh dear I wonder if it has to be mine?" The next few months were an incredible high of dealing with agents, editors and chatting with famous authors like Robin Carr and Jodi Thomas (who I'm still friends with to this day).

Kim:  Let's chat about your Aloha series - what inspired it?

Chris:  Oh that's easy. A good friend and I meet once a year to vacation together. She's an avid scuba diver and I am a lover of land under my feet. Or at least a boat deck. While she was diving, I sat on board and read. Then I looked up for a moment and spotted the captain at the back of the boat doing pushups. Young, strong, and tanned. All I could think was: "There has to be a book in here somewhere." My friend and I spent the next few meals plotting out a story with a former navy diver, and Aloha Texas was born.

Kim:  If you have visited Hawaii, what is your favorite sight, sound, and smell?

Chris:  This is hard. There are so many wonderful things too see and experience. I've been fortunate enough to briefly visit Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. Or as much of it as can be seen on a three hour tour. I'm still trying to figure out why the Krispy Kreme donuts taste better in Maui. They were heaven. Every night the light went on for warm donuts and my friend and I gobbled up a dozen a day. I still have the six pounds to prove it. Of course the sunrise from the top of Haliakela is amazing, and the drive down with daylight may very well be the most frightening thing I've ever done. But my favorite place is Kona. To me that felt like Hawaii. The view from the southern most point of the United States was stunning. I live to return and hear the sound of the ocean at night. But I'm sorry, the smell of those warm baked donuts are going to trump all those gorgeous flowers in bloom all over the islands.

Kim:  FYI, Maui is home to the only Krispy Kreme donut shop in Hawaii.  Boxes are often flown to Oahu at o-dark-hundred and gobbled up by noon at local grocery stores, including the Pearl Harbor Commissary.  What's next for Chris Keniston?

Chris:  There are still quite a few stories to tell from our crew at the Big Island Dive shop. I'll have a short story in the Aloha Series, Love Walks In, as part of a Christmas season boxed set. Though the thing that excites me most about this particular story is that all the proceeds from the boxed set will be going to the Autism Society of America. Between Aloha books, I'm hoping to bring a new family of brothers to my readers.

Place of Refuge (link)

Mahalo, Chris, for sharing Hawaii with your readers!  Chris is celebrating the release of LOVE BY DESIGN, Book 5 in the Aloha series:

Secret billionaire, new boyfriend, new boss. Same guy?

The smartest things architect Ava Everrett had done in a long time was to tell off her chauvinist employer and to unload her freeloading ex. Now, back home in Kona with friends and family, her life is falling into place: a coveted dream project, a fun office renovation, and a sexy new guy. What could possibly go wrong?

Convinced women only want him for his money, billionaire international developer John Maplewood doesn't believe in love. While visiting his sister in Kona, he embraces the chance to be just a regular guy in a world where friends, family, and falling in love matter. His only problem? Keeping the girl once she learns who he really is.


Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Watch out in Kona!

I am giving away Aloha swag to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Do you like Krispy Kreme donuts?   When we took the Boy Scouts to Maui for fall break, we stopped by the Maui Krispy Kreme shop ... it is conveniently located next to the airport!  Check out my pictures at this link.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 19, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 20.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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29 comments:

  1. Krispy Kreme Donuts are my absolute favorites, especially the ones with jelly inside.

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    1. we only tried the plain warm ones - if you're ever on Maui I highly recommend them :)

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  2. Thank you so much for having me Kim - it was a blast chatting Hawaii !

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  3. Romance in Hawaii and Krispy Kreme donuts - now that's paradise!

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  4. I do like Krispy Kreme donuts.

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  5. I like Krispy Kreme donuts and would enjoy them even more if I could eat them in Hawaii.

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    1. Honestly, everything is more fun to eat in Hawaii :)

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  6. I have only had them a few times and they aren't my favorite, I grew up going to the Winchells Donuts near my house and always liked their donuts.

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    1. I'm not that fond of Krispy Kreme either - but there was something about the ones in Maui that were just wonderful - maybe it's the water :)

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  7. Havnt been in ages to one. Not sure if I like them these days or not

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    1. You'll have to make the sacrifice Gretchen - go check them out for us and report back :)

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  8. I like donuts, but I have never had a Krispy Kreme donut.

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    1. My friend made fun of me the entire vacation - I'd never had a warm Krispy Kreme and was SO surprised :)

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  9. Our state is a Dunkin' Donuts state. Krispy Kreme tried but failed. I did like their donuts.

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    1. My hubby is from the land of Dunkin Donuts - they have the best coffee too :)

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  10. Nope, never liked them......they closed all their stores in my area about 9 years ago.

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    1. I never understood why they were so popular myself. And I was so excited to find a warm donut sign here in Dallas and stopped to have just one - but it wasn't the same :)

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  11. I do like them, but make a point not to buy them - too dangerous to the hips!

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    1. Did I mention I gained six pounds that vacation! LOL

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  12. There are no Krispy Creme donuts here. But I love to bake my own donuts, in the oven so that they are a lot healthier compared to fried ones. Your new book sounds fun btw :-)

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  13. I do! Especially the classic frosted. I only allow myself that treat occasionally.

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  14. I do love Krispy Kreme donuts, particularly, jelly.
    Karen T.

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  15. I like Krispy Kreme but prefer Dunkin Donuts or most local bakeries. I'd like a chance to try some in Hawaii.

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  16. I love their donuts. They are so light and airy and they have such a good taste to them. But I love most donuts.

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  17. oh Jo's Daughter you have my mouth watering at the thought of home made donuts - :)

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  18. I love Krispy Kreme when you get them at the shop--I don't like the ones at the grocery store.

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