Saturday, March 15, 2014

#Hawaii - Life as an Island Girl... by author Toby Neal


 
 

Today I have the pleasure of hosting an island girl, a wonderful author and a supportive friend to my blog. Toby Neal is multi-published as you can see by her Page on Amazon. Her new release is called Shattered Palms.
Below are some photos that Toby is sharing with us of her home. Makes me want to book a trip!!!


Hanalei View



 
Toby(left) and a fan.

 
Kee Beach

 
Hawaiian Night Sky
 
Hawaii: when you grow up in a place like this, it does something to you.

It kind of ruins everywhere else.And that can be difficult, because even after you try to find a way to live in a place people visit on vacation, and few but millionaires own homes, life is challenging.

I grew up on Kaua`i and started life as a young married, I worked in hotels and restaurants, and cleaned houses for Charo, Bette Midler, Billie Jean King and Guns’ n Roses. (Yeah, they really did throw some crazy parties, as least back in the eighties. It wasn’t fun being the maid.) My husband and I  had to leave Hawaii for college, to scrape our way into middle class by education—only to find there aren’t jobs here on Kaua`i when we tried to return.

So we settled on Maui. What a hardship, right? But many people have to work multiple jobs to afford the cost of living here, and that is still the case with me—even though my books are selling well, I still work at my practice as a therapist and my husband has two jobs!

We love Hawaii, though, and I write about it because it’s a place with a lot of unique history, a gorgeous setting, and a multicultural people from all over the world who have made Hawaii one of the most diverse states in the US. I plan to write about it forever!

Have you lived in an “exotic” location or gone somewhere on vacation and discovered you fell in love with it? What were the joys and challenges of that decision? Add a comment and enter to win a free ebook of my newest title, Shattered Palms!
 
 

Blurb:
Maui is lush mountains, cloud forest and exquisite birdsong—but for Detective Lei Texeira, arrows break that peace.
Someone is stalking poachers that are capturing Maui’s rarest birds, and Lei pursues the case with her usual leap-first, look-later style—but will she be able to catch a killer, save the birds, and still make it to her own wedding? Shattered Palms is a roller coaster ride from the top of Haleakala to the beach and back again, with extinction at stake.
 
“Toby Neal creates a captivating balance of the beauty of the islands contrasted with the ugliness of murder, and complicated by the trials of Lei’s personal life. A must-read for Neal fans.” Thomas K. Matthews, author of Rejection.

Twitter: @tobywneal
 
 
 
 



24 comments:

  1. I grew up on a cattle ranch in Idaho. We spent our summers in the mountains, and you are right living somewhere that beautiful does something to you. I didn't appreciate being in the boonies as a kid, but as an adult I see how the experience shaped me as a writer. No TV all summer. Lots of time for reading. That place still inspires me, and I try to make it back for a visit every summer.

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    1. It's strange how we now appreciate many things as we get older that we disliked as youngsters. I grew up in a city without lovely views but the street we lived on had overhanging oak trees that formed a kind of an arc of interweaving green above the streets and to this day, I love seeing trees like this.

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    2. Kauai didn't get TV until the late 1980s and I'm convinced that all that reading, playing in the jungle led to my imagination! I bet Idaho was amazing, I got to drive through it once, at least!

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    3. There's a great lodge on the ranch now. If you ever get this far inland, let me know. It's worth a visit!

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    4. Thanks, Mike and I want to do a lot more traveling and Idaho is a state we really liked.

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  2. We have journeyed to the Hawaiian Islands 3 times on cruise ships and fell in love with the atmosphere and the people. (We just returned from our last trip 10 days ago). But our home from home closer to us (we live in England) is the Ziller Valley in Austria. It's somewhere we've been back to almost every year since we were married! We stay with a family who always make us very welcome; the scenery is beautiful; the food and music can't be beaten; even the weather usually is kind to us when we go!

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    1. Three Hawaiian cruises - you lucky lady!! And yearly trips to Austria....sigh!!! I have visited Hawaii a number of times, last year a week on Oahu but I've still to have that cruise experience :-)

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  3. Yes in Oahu on my first vacation. My aunt had vacation in Honolulu in the 60's and coming home to WA brought my mother a Lei and planted a dream in her heart to also see the Hawaiian Islands one day. My mother loved flowers, she had a real green thumb and could grow anything. She never was able to afford to see Hawaii. Upon her passing in 2011 my brother and I decided to see Hawaii for her and booked a vacation to Oahu. After arriving and walking through the airport breezeway to baggage claims the scent of Oahu filled the air and I was overcome with emotion. When that scent hit my nose I could feel my mother walking beside me. I could hear her thanking me for coming to HI and she seeing her dream through my eyes. In baggage claim I met a few ladies and started talking about what brought us to HI. When the flower cart came around my eyes filled with tears and Jutta one of the ladies I met, bought me a Lei to welcome me to the islands the Hawaiian way. To this day Jutta and I have become friends from afar, she living in Boston and I in AZ. Not only meeting her but the times spent with my brother relaxing and enjoying site seeing Hawaii was a trip of memories for both of us in moms memory. My mother by my side at the airport that day brought me and a new friend together. Who could have asked for more? I am awaiting a time when I can return and spend more time on the islands and hope to meet my friend Jutta there for a few days too.

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    2. Your story is so beautiful, Debra. Not only do you and your brother have a wonderful memory, but maybe your mom had something to do with your meeting Jutta? I like to think she sent you a friend to make the holiday even more special.

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    3. Incredible story, thanks so much for sharing Debra!

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  4. There seems to be some trouble with leaving a comment and I'm not sure why? This is a blogger site and I've never had others say they've had problems. I know that Toby has tried to get on to converse with you but she's one of the people who can't access it. I'm so sorry for this happening.

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  5. Hawaii has by far been my favorite vacation spot. I love all the pictures, both yours & Mike's. I can re-live my times I spent there through your stories & photos. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thanks so much for putting my photos in the same category as my talented husband! <3

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  6. I visited Hawaii in 1970 just before Hubby came home from Vietnam, we did a last minute R &R. Was so lovely. We stayed on Oahu, and drove around the Island. Visited Polynesian Cultural Center. Loved it and see the different cultures. Wish I could go back again and see Maui and some of the lovely scenery that Toby shows us on Facebook. Plan to buy the book but maybe I will win a copy.. That would be lovely. Loved all your stories so far known this one will be great as well. Cheers

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    1. That was way too long ago, Jolene! You gotta come back and dip your toes in the ocean!

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  7. Was planning on buying Shattered Palms today, but if you wantto send me a free e-book on kindle that would be swell!

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    1. Ha ha, it's a contest, and Mimi is picking the winner! So I can't promise anything!

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  8. I think I've wanted to have a "second", "third", "fourth", etc house almost everywhere I've ever gone, but deep down, I'm a NY girl. I hope that when I fly into your neck of the woods this summer, I am not taken in by all of that beauty, because these extra houses(even the dream ones) are a bit expensive. I loved learning something new about you and I wish you lots of luck with your new book. My goal is to get through the whole series before arriving in Honolulu, but I think I have you and hubby beat. I will be squeezing my reading time in between 4 jobs...not including working at my own writing. CHEERS!

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    1. Thanks and hope we can meet in person someday!

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  9. Okay, this isn't a fix!! LOL
    Linda, my hubbie picked your name to win Shattered Palms from the list of numbers that I gave every entrant - facebook commenters included. Congratulations!!

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