Heroine Interview from Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter with a Giveaway

» Posted on Nov 29, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Heroine Interview from Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter with a Giveaway

This week I’m hosting Anita Higman with A Marriage in Middlebury (2 copies US only) and Lisa Carter with Aloha Rose (US only) . If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (Dec. 1st) evening.

aloha_rose_coverInterview with the heroine from Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter:

Laney Carrigan enters Margaret Daley’s living room. Margaret gestures Laney over to the sofa. Laney perches like a tiny Polynesian bird on the edge of the couch and crosses her ankles, tucking her sandal-clad feet underneath her body.

Laney Carrigan, tell me the most interesting thing about you. 

I’m a travel reporter. I chase ivory poachers across the savanna; I raft down the Amazon in the company of headhunters; and I’m planning to infiltrate an Indonesian group of militants if things don’t work out on the Big Island with my new birth family. I believe in having a good back up plan. An escape hatch.

And the clock started ticking the moment Kai Barnes showed up at the airport to retrieve me—the long lost granddaughter of Miliana Franklin.

She grimaced. 

From the moment Kai Barnes and I collided—ticking in more ways than one.

Investigative journalism sounds dangerous. What do you do for fun?

Laney raises her eyebrow.

Getting the story is fun. More fun than what my crazy Hawaiʻian relatives have me doing now.

She sniffs.

Auntie Teah’s got me learning to quilt. Tutu—that means grandmother in the Hawaiʻian language—Tutu Mily is trying to teach me to hula. Good luck with that.

Laney gives Margaret a weary look.

 I’m better at stuff like racing across airports to catch the next transport out; climbing mountains; or . . . body surfing with Kai Barnes. Whale watching with Kai. Flying over erupting volcanoes with . . .

She sighs.

This whole family thing . . . Oʻhana the Hawaiʻians call it. As an adopted only child, it’s all new to me. I learned, thanks to my birth mother, to always travel light; to never depend on anyone beside myself.

What do you put off doing because you dread it?

I didn’t want to seek out my birth family in the first place. I thought I’d already found my forever family. My adoptive dad kind of insisted I post a photo of the quilt in which I was left abandoned as a baby on a website that reunites separated families.

She looked away.

After my mom died of cancer and my dad remarried, he thought it would be good for me to find my birth family and answer those lingering questions . . .

She faced Margaret, her hands gripping her jean-clad knees.

Like who would want to reunite with a bunch of people who’d left you on a stranger’s doorstep? Unwanted. Unclaimed. A mistake.

What are you afraid of most in life?

Laney cocks her head. A long, studied pause.

You know, Margaret. I’m usually the one asking the questions.

Margaret waits, her pen poised over her notepad. Laney lets out an exasperated breath.

Okay already. . . I’m afraid I don’t belong anywhere. That no one will ever love me. That I’m unlovable. That’s why, I guess, I move around so much. Leave before I wear out my welcome. Like I did when my birth mother abandoned me.

Laney bites her lip.

On a lighter note, I dread Auntie Teah’s nightly Spam recipes. 

She shudders.

Spam—and not the junk that clutters the internet—to the Hawaiʻians is like an essential food group. An acquired taste.

Unfortunately not the only thing Hawaiʻian I’ve begun to acquire a taste for. She flushes and fiddles with the corded belt hanging from the loops in her jeans.

What do you want out of life?

Laney takes a deep breath.

My mom’s favorite song before she died was ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. She sang it to me over and over and told me I was her pot at the end of the rainbow.

She folds her arms across her chest. 

That’s what I want, too. More than Pulitzers. More than adventure. I want a man who loves me; who wants children with me.

Laney throws her hands in the air. 

A green-shuttered bungalow. Surrounded by coffee fields. With a view—and I’m not just talking ocean—to die for. Kai Barnes, tall, dark and . . . cowboy.

She purses her lips.

Although if you tell Kai Barnes I said that, I’ll deny it. He’s already arrogant. And obnoxious. And . . .

Laney rests her elbows on her knees as her head slumps forward into her hands. 

 . . . But oh, so easy on the eyes.

What is the most important thing to you?

Laney straightens.

I came to the Big Island to spend Tutu Mily’s last days with her. I came here looking for a family.

She glances out the window.

I didn’t realize I might also have come looking for something more.

Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

Laney leans forward.

I love books. Adopted by a military couple, we moved around a lot. I moved schools a lot. Hard to make friends when people realize you’re not sticking around for the long haul. So books became my friends. Anne of Green Gables was a favorite.

A crooked smile.

Kai says it sounds lonely to him. It would to him, surrounded as he was by his sometimes overbearing, borderline interfering, but always loving Hawaiʻian oʻhana.

She shrugs. It was lonely, I suppose. But the books were better company than a lot of people I know. Until I met Kai, that is . . .

Laney blushes. She shoots Margaret a quelling glance.

Again, if you mention that little factoid to Kai Barnes . . .? Don’t make me 5-oh you, Mrs. Daley.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Auntie Teah says I have high, emotional walls. Kai, too. She also said once that she hopes we can work out our insecurities with each other. Sparing two other perfectly innocent people who might lack the good sense to avoid matrimony with either of us. That Kai and I deserve each other.

Her lips curve into a smile. Her Kona coffee brown eyes sparkle.

Let’s just say he and I got off to a rocky start. She laughs. But I’ll say this for Kai Barnes, he’s done his best since to show me the true meaning of aloha.

Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

Well, on the way to the ranch from the airport, Kai and I rescued this stray island cat. I like strays. I’m a stray myself. There are, you know Margaret, the fluffy kittens of the world—all those beautiful, poised people. And then there’s me. I was afraid when Kai said we were taking the cat straight to the pound that the pound would euthanize the cat in his weakened condition.

Her lips quirk. 

Kai reminded me that this was Hawaiʻi, not Nazi Germany. He wasn’t too thrilled about the whole cat thing. But I was sure that over time his experience with the cat would improve. Just like I was walking in faith believing that the experience of knowing Kai over time would improve.

And it did. On both counts. Next day, Kai named this creature ‘we’ were going to take to the pound, Kolohe, which means troublemaker. And before you could say catnip, that cat had taken up residence in Kai’s bungalow and his heart.

Wish I could say the same.

Her eyes cut to Margaret.

I hope I don’t need to remind you that last comment was meant off the record. ‘Cause if wishes were horses, we’d all be riding rainbows in the sky.

Margaret nods and scratches through the last statement recorded on her notepad.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d travel back to the day before my birth mother abandoned me. Of course, I was a baby then. But I’d want to know why . . . why she didn’t love me. Why she left me with a woman she’d just met . . .

Or maybe I’d just show up sooner to the Big Island—

She flutters her lashes.

Just so I could annoy Kai Barnes longer, of course.

Margaret laughs and closes the interview session.