Friday, October 21, 2011

Aloha to Ruth Zavitsanos and THE KONA DOG

Kona is the Hawaiian word for the leeward (dry) part of the island.  It is also the name of the area on the leeward side of the The Big Island with the tourist resorts (as tourists like dry weather).

We have Kona Coffee, grown on the Kona side of the Big Island along the leeward slopes of Mauna Loa (Long Mountain).

We also have Kona Winds that blow in the opposite direction of the trade winds, bringing rain to the leeward side.

Magnum PI episode titled KONA WINDS.

And now we have THE KONA DOG from Ruth Zavitasanos:

Akela, THE KONA DOG, brings a smile to everyone she meets. She is sweet and caring to all those working and visiting the coffee plantation and pineapple grove.  

To please her master, Akela makes her rounds on the plantation, assuring safety and offering encouragement with her gentle ways. When the plantation is threatened with closure by the banker man, Akela and her master's older son, Keoki, join forces to enlist the banker's daughter, Penny. Akela knows something makes the girl sad. If they get her to laugh and smile, perhaps they can save the plantation. But Penny isn't talking, and the plight of Akela's home doesn't look good either.

Faced with defeat and the loss of her home, Akela must use all of her bravery and instinctive abilities to bring everyone together. Can she soften their hearts in time to stop the banker man?

World Famous Dole Plantation

Ruth first visited SOS Aloha in June at this link, sharing doggie tales for summer vacation.   I met her in person at the RWA National Convention where she shared the good news that THE KONA DOG would be released in the fall.   My family and I read THE KONA DOG during our recent vacation to the Kona side of the Big Island.

I must disclose that we are a cat family .... but THE KONA DOG stole our hearts.  It is a timeless story for all ages.  Ruth adds authentic elements of old Hawaii for a charming adventure.  This book makes a great holiday gift for families who loves dogs, Hawaii, and/or learning about other cultures.  Ruth's bookshelf also includes THE OLD FORTRESS DOG (set on Corfu) and THE VILLA DOG (set in Tuscany).   Ruth delivers animal characters that relate to children as they teach life's lessons.

In honor of THE KONA DOG, I am giving away the winner's choice of an Aloha treat or Hawaiian print dog bandana.   To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about dogs, Hawaii, and/or your favorite children's book.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, October 29, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 30.  


Kim in Hawaii

To learn more about Ruth and her books, check out her website at this link.

THE KONA DOG is set on Maui, "The Valley Isle."   The island has a lush valley between its the two volcanic mountain ranges.   Maui is also home of Maui Gold - the last pineapple plantation in the US.  It is kapu (forbidden) to take home any island produce except specially packaged whole pineapples from Maui Gold.

Maui Gold Pineapples


  1. I have four doggies. Three of them are dachshunds. Two females and one male. The male is a black and red toy dachie. One female is a long haired auburn miniature. Then their daughter is a toy, long haired black and red. The puppy turns one in a couple days * sniff sniff*

    Then we have a pomchii - one that hubby rescued.

  2. I want to visit the Dole Plantation. My favorite children's book is Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are."

  3. Aloha, Raonaid! You have a full house! I am surprised you don't have a Scottish Terrier!

  4. Aloha, Jane! Did you try the Pineapple Ice Cream? It is delicious!

  5. First thing I thought of was all the Carl (the rottweiler) books by Alexandra Day. Great children's books.

    I've had two wonderful dogs but at the moment am only owned by cats lol.


  6. As always Kim you bring so much to your blog! I look forward everyday to your interviews, pictures of Magnum and now dogs, awesome. thank you

  7. Kim, I haven't had a chance to try pineapple ice cream with. I'll definitely have to try it when I get the chance.

  8. We've always had dogs, strays who have crossed my husband's path. Nothing can beat their love for, and loyalty to, a human who helps them. Surely Akela can defrost any banker's heart.

  9. Kim, I'm with you and prefer cats, but all of my friends have dogs.

    In recent years, there has been only one dog that I 'befriended' and that was a great dane that someone just took out to the country and left. My neighbor adopted her, but whenever she saw me, she would just come up and lean on me and let me pet her. She didn't do that to anyone else.

    The Kona Dog sounds like a good story and I'll make sure to let my friends with children know about it.

  10. My daughter is allergic to dogs so we had to get rid of our dog. She was a golden lab and quite crazy.

  11. I had two Pekingese and two Yorkies, but now have only one cat.

  12. 1 DOG,. AND ITS A STRAY BUT CAME AND STAYED ,LOL HER NAME I PETER. (my grandaughter named)


  13. Sandy is my 11 year old white german shepherd mix. Adopted her from the animal shelter 10 years ago. She is super sweet. I enjoy reading animal stories. Especially dog stories, but all animal stories are touching to me.

  14. My daughter & I were going trough the bookshelves here the other day & we found "Anne of Green Gables". Now that's a great story.

  15. I have a foster dog. He is a Golden Retriever and normally it is my neighbors dog, but she had a knee surgery in February and ever since I have been taking care of him. He is turned 1 early September and is full of mischief, but I love him.

  16. My hubby wanted a dog but our daughter is allergic to both dogs and cats so we have rats.

  17. I'm an avid dog lover, Ruth, and the covers of your books are so cool. I didn't know that you set your novels in different venues for each book. I've been to Maui once and Kauai twice and Kauai is my favorite. We spent our honeymoon there on the north shore because at the time it was so isolated and quiet.
    Congratulations on your novels.

  18. Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments. I see many of you are cat lovers. Though I don't own a cat, I have many friends who tell me how special their feline friends are to their families. In THE OLD FORTRESS DOG, Leonidas' best friend is a cat. And, Kanellos (cinammon in Greek) has quite the personality and way with his canine bud.

    I hope you all get a chance to read my children's chapter books-they are fun adult reads, too. I'm very pleased to say, the beautiful settings and heart warming stories of my books have engrossed readers of all ages.

    All the best,

  19. Also, I'd like to thank my wonderful hostess, Kim. She does such a fabulous job with this site, it is truly a privilege to here. :)

  20. When my kids were little I would say the Dr. Seuss books were some of my favorites. Also The Giving Tree and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom were great books too.

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