I’ve got my First Class ticket to Maui, Hawaii, courtesy of author, Dee DeTarsio and I’m traveling via her latest novel, HAOLE WOOD. It’s her fourth novel, but the first one filled with all the Aloha spirit that makes you sit back, relax, pull up a lounge, and enjoy a mai tai while reading it, like I did.
Jaswinder is a weather forecaster in San Diego who leaves the mainland to help her grandmother, called Halmoni, whom she can’t understand except for one phrase: “not that.” Apparently, Granny is the herb-expert on the Islands. Once she arrives, Jaswinder goes out drinking one night, hooks up with Dr. Jac, a hunk, of course. He's also a dermatologist, which works out perfectly because the fair-skinned Jaswinder just happens to bake herself the next day.
In addition to herbs, Granny has bolts of beautiful fabrics in her closets and Jaswinder proceeds to make what she calls “sunshminas” – they’re similar to pashimas! She soaks them in her Kukui nut oil which is found in the Kukui nut trees all over the islands and they protects the skin from the harmful rays of the sun! Woo Hoo! They are a success! But during this good time, a businessman named Mike Hokama is found murdered! He has been poisoned by a lethal amount of Kukui nut oil. Granny is the number one person of interest in this murder case!
At this point, a bunch of characters come into the circus making for a comedy of errors. There are a bunch of women working on the sunshminas because the business has grown so successful. There’s an enormous nude guardian angel only seen and heard by Jaswinder, her parents (who, lucky for everyone involved, stay on the Mainland), lawyers and a nightclub singer. It’s Dee DeTarsio at her fun "Kitchen Shrink" best! All the while, Jaswinder is blossoming into a beautiful, confident, successful woman, when at the beginning of the novel many readers had barely any hope for her.
This is romantic comedy. Boy and girl kiss. The bad person goes to jail. The Hawaiian title ends up making sense. We’re in Maui...everyone gets their happily-ever-after and a nice suntan, too! No, I haven’t given it all away. You’ll have to read HAOLE WOOD to enjoy the rest. Mahalo!
HAOLE WOOD is available on Kindle for $3.99.
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