Friday, May 20, 2011

Aloha to Kienna Riley and UP ON THE ROOFTOP

Yesterday, we learned that Deb Marlowe married the hero who dressed in a tux.  Today, I welcome an author who married the hero who dressed in uniform - Kienna Riley.

From her bio,

Kienna Riely s a small town girl with big dreams.  She lives with her husband, son, and small dog Kimmy.   She enjoys exercise (as if), planning family vacations, dreaming up placed to go with her husband, reading, tinker with computer software, and watching her son grow.

Not sure if this is Kimmy,
but the picture was cute!

Kim:  Other than publishing your novels, what other big dreams do you have? Where do you dream to go with hubby?

Kienna:  Thank you so much for asking, and for letting me visit with you today. One of my ambitions is to take what I have learned, (and will continue to learn), from my journey to publication and help aspiring authors who are just beginning. I’m a Project Manager/Facilitator by trade, and have a passion for instruction. Couple that with the welcome that I have received in the literary world and I think I have a great combination of experiences that I can provide to others.

My husband, son and I have a ‘places to visit’ list which I carry in my purse. My husband was stationed in Hawaii for a number of years, and he loves, loves, loves, the beach. We are planning a return trip there next year, as our son has never been. He looks forward to showing us around the islands, although, I think a lot has changed in 17 years!

I would also like a lighthouse tour, although my husband hasn’t quite bought off on that one yet.

Kilauea Lighthouse on Kauai's North Shore

Kim:  Yes, Hawaii has changed in 17 years, especially the island of Oahu.  You could tour the Kilauea Lighthouse on the island of Kauai.  The Garden Isle offers a wide variety of family activities

(Read about Spring Break on the Garden Isle at this link.)

You have a military connection - what have you learned from your husband about duty, honor, and country? What would you like your son to learn from your husband's military career and your writing dream?

Kienna:  Yes, my husband is a 14.5 year USN veteran. He’s also a disabled American Veteran, so there has been lots to learn about how our veterans are cared for *cough*. It’s difficult to focus on any one thing, so I will focus on two –

Thousands of men and women have served our country and paid the price with the highest of valor. And to those men and women, I solemnly salute. We remember our fallen, our brave and those that will never come home.

This is picture always takes my breath away as the
WWII veteran thanks the Iraqi veteran.

There’s also the less visible casualties of the military, the families. Take the h/h from my novella, UP ON THE ROOFTOP, for instance. Sailor Walters is a military child who’s father died while on active duty. I told the story from her POV, with flashes from her childhood. She remembers a father who was away a vast majority of the time, but cherishes the memories she has of them together. Sailor still struggles in adulthood to understand the commitment her father showed to the military, and why he gave his life for his country.

Her love interest, Caleb Gannon, followed in her father’s footsteps, and did the one thing she thought she couldn’t get past, he joined the Navy. Of course there’s a HEA, but you’ll have to read it to find out!

Please understand that I recognize that many families remain strong and survive while a spouse (or both) are serving our country and away on assignments, far from their families.  I recently read an article in USATODAY regarding the divorce rate of females in the military. In addition to other startling statistics, the following was most notable – “the military has more single moms than dads, and an estimated 30,000 of them have deployed in support of the wars in Iraq an Afghanistan .” The price these children and families pay is seldom spoken.

As noted above my husband is a disabled American veteran. He had a rewarding military career, which he absolutely loved. He had planned to officially retire, but when he was injured, he was faced with a tough decision to medically retire and rebuild his life as a civilian. So, after a 14 year career, he was honorably discharged as a Senior Chief, he let his hair grow and went back to college to earn his Bachelors and Masters degrees. I want our son to know that life often doesn’t turn out as planned, and when the winds change there’s always a choice. You can bundle up and face the wind, no matter how mighty, or be blown over.

As for my writing, I hope our son will be able to look back some day (when he is much older!) and understand that hard-work, determination, and perseverance is always more rewarding than a hand-out. Balancing a full-time career, which can be very demanding and family commitments/school activities is always a balancing act. But we thrive, and at the end of the day, it’s life. And we love every minute of it!

Kim:  You offer a balanced perspective of the challenges and rewards of military life to the both the service member and family members.  I sincerely appreciate your husband's service and the life you have built with him.  What's next for Kienna Riley?

Kienna:  Right now it’s a race to see what is published first. My next contracted work will be available this summer from Untreed Reads, titled The Prince at the Corner Bakery. You will meet my h/h Lillian Grace and Jagger as they are thrown together while caring for Jagger’s ailing aunt. It’s fun, witty and Lilly is full of mischief. Readers also meet Lilly’s bff, Ellie, who stars in the sequel novella, 52 Ways to Flirt.

Kienna Riley is my pen name. The Prince at the Corner Bakery will be published under my real name, Leta Gail. I have links to my two personalities (ha) via my Facebook page. I love meeting new people, and encourage everyone who reads this post to stop by. I’m also known to give out random prizes *hint*.

Hopefully the Prince is buying a chocolate croissant for two.

Kim:  Let's make sure readers know how to follow you - here's Kienna's media outlets:


And Kienna has generously donated a ecopy of her spicy book, Up On The Roof -

After eight years of separation due to a military enlistment, Caleb Gannon steps off a ship and right back into Sailor Walters life. The two meet at Senorita Lita’s, the Mexican restaurant Sailor inherited from her uncle, where Caleb pitches in and chisels away at Sailors bah humbug attitude.

Sailor grew up as a child of the military. When Sailor and Caleb were younger, they dreamt of a life together, until her father died in valor during a combat mission, altering their future plans indefinitely. After the break-up, Caleb did the one thing Sailor couldn’t forgive, he joined the military.

To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about your big dreams - we all have them!

My big dream is to move to Scotland when hubby is retired from the Air Force and children are off to college.  Yes, my blog would still be SOS Aloha!

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, May 21, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll announce the winner on Sunday, May 22.


Kim in Hawaii

Yesterday, I (as a blogger) interviewed myself (as a veteran) at the Reading Reviewer - read about me at this link.


  1. My big dream is to stay with good health so when we retired we can move to Florida to be closer to family.

  2. My big dream would be to own a book store, so that I could be surrounded by books all the time. LOL

  3. Great interview! I want to live in Hawaii ... and owning a book shop would be the icing!


  4. I like lighthouses, too! Kienna, do you have any lighthouses in mind to visit?


  5. My big dream is to stay healthy to see my young(5 and 4) graduate from high school.

  6. Hello! Thank you all so much for stopping by:) I hope that each of you are able to follow your dreams and make them come true. Good health, books, lighthouses and watching our kids grow are all great dreams to aspire to fulfil. Dear Anonymous...I will go anywhere there is a lighthouse, I'm not picky. Although, I do like the one Kim added to the post! Who wouldn't, right? And, I think Kimmy needs the Team Riley shirt ;)
    Thank you all!

  7. My big dream is to live somewhere that doesn't have winter!

  8. Fabulous interview, Kim. Very nice to 'meet' you, Kienna!

    My 'BIG' dream is to open a home for veterans where they can stay with their families while they are attending therapy at a VA hospital. My goal is once I move to the Southern NJ area, to make connections and begin my dream. I'm super psyched about this project! Other dreams are to buy a firetruck for a volunteer fire department, sponsor a house for Habitat For Humanity, and I assure you, many many more. :)

    My sincere thanks to you as your family for your husband's as your service. Take care and I wish you every success!

    Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN Ret.

  9. My dream is to retire to a little condo on the beach when I'm still healthy enough to enjoy it! Great interview, Kienna! Thanks for sharing everything you did. And Kim, great illustrations!

  10. @Diana Thank you so much for stopping by. It sounds like you are very close to making your dream come true. You are going to help military families in a huge way, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you:)
    @Laurie, as always, I appreciate your suppoert and encouragement. I know you will make it to that beach home some day.
    @Artemis, the good news is that there will always be houses in the market to choose from.

  11. Chey- are you in the U.S.A.? Here lately its tough to find a place with no winter:/ Hawaii would be nice;)

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