Monday, April 6, 2015

Wai-nani is Available on Audible.com!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


I am very excited to announce that Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai'i is now available  on Audible .So many friends have told me they don't have time to read, but that they love audio books. Christine Padovan, an award winning narrator on Audible.com,  has done a superlative job capturing the nuances and poetry of the Hawaiian language in the telling of Wai-nani's story.

Wai-nani transports you into the wild heart old Hawai’i when Captain Cook stepped upon the shores of Kealakekua Bay in 1779.  In the writing I tried to capture the romance of the time by  weaving legends and myths, fabled history, and an evocative love story into a poetic rendering of the “People of Old.” Lavish images of the Islands splash the page as you tread inside the mysterious Polynesian culture.  Hawai’i’s story is told through the eyes of Wai-nani, a fiercely passionate, free-spirited woman.

One of the challenges in writing this book was that I could not use any modern words that would snap the reader out of old Hawai'i and back into the 21st. Century.  Christine uses classical Hawaiian pronunciations of Hawaiian words in her  effort to be true to the time. I am thrilled with the outcome and hope you will take this seductive journey into the past that spans the most dynamic period in Hawaiian history.
 
                                             Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai'i

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy B-Day to Ka'ahumanu the woman who inspired my novel.


Chiefess Ka’ahumanu

On March 17, 1768 (some say 1777) Ka’ahumanu was born in a cave at the fortress hill of Ka’uiki in Hana. The fierce Moi of Maui, once her mother’s lover, became so enraged when she chose Ke’eamuoku over him that he set his warriors upon her parents. They chased them through Haleakala Crater, but lost them in thick mountain forests. While Ka’ahumanu was still a baby her parents fled from Hana to Hawai’i where they lived in royal comfort. Wai-nani,A Voice from old Hawai’i my historical novel (1750-1819) is inspired by the life of the precocious Chiefess Ka’ahumanu. To some she is remembered as the” loving mother of the people” and to others she is the “flaw that brought down the chiefdom.”
 Ka’uiki in Hana


Brave, athletic, strong, passionate, caring and centered in herself, I saw her as a forerunner of the modern woman. It was a tremendous gift to be given the opportunity to visit the cave where she was born. It took the entire crew of six members of the Hana Canoe Club to paddle me to her birthplace.  We pointed the tip of the outrigger into the oncoming waves that sloshed over the bow and paddled through the foaming surf to the protected shallow waters lapping at the lava rocks beneath  the cave where she was born. I climbed the jagged black lava to a path that led to a large opening with two indentations big enough to accommodate a human.  Her mother enjoyed a lovely view of Hana Bay and the green mountains floating on the horizon. Offerings of flowers were placed in front of the openings. Before leaving I floated in the waters at the foot of her cave considered to be healing by those who come here for sacred ceremonies. 
 Big Mahalo to friend and fellow author, Lorraine Brodek, for fulfilling my desire to visit the sacred birthplace of the woman that inspired my novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i





Written With Warm Aloha

In the Name of Ka’ahumanu

Monday, March 9, 2015

Wai-nani is discounted this week in Kindle Store

In honor of Women's History Month, I am offering Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i for
$2.99 in the Amazon Kindle Store from Monday the 9th until Friday the 13th of March. My novel is inspired by the life Ka'ahumanu, the most influential chiefess in old Hawai'i, who I felt embodied the empowered woman. Enjoy this sneak peek into her world. Go to
 Amazon Kindle Store to take advantage




If  you take advantage of this limited time offer, I hope you enjoy traveling with Wai-nani and the people of old and will take a moment to write a peer review on Amazon. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sneak peek at Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai'i



Award winning narrator
Christine Padovan created this lovely trailer for Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai'i -  The Audio Book is coming soon for all those people who don't have time to read.  Christine is doing a marvelous "talking story" and bringing my characters to life. I am thrilled with her work!





Working hard to get Wai-nani audio book out by March!



Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Gift of Understanding

Pi'ilanihale-Hana, Maui
A rutted road in Hana, Maui leads to the site of Pi’ilanihale, the largest remaining heiau (temple of worship) in all of Polynesia. You must cross over a creek to get to the entrance of Kahanu Garden where the heiau was hidden from sight until 1999. It is hard to believe that this immense structure spanning three acres built of basalt rocks could be so overgrown with jungle foliage that it would go unnoticed until modern times. The side facing the sea rises steeply in five stepped terraces. Construction of the main terrace dates back to the 14th century when remote, water-rich Hana was heavily populated by Hawaiians.
Lono -God of Agriculture

Our guide, also named Pi’ilani, one of 14 children in a blended Hawaiian family, explained that Lono, the god of fertility, was worshipped here for agricultural bounty.  She said, the Hawaiians were so embarrassed about the paganism in their past that they let the heiau become overgrown. They may have also wanted to spare it from being demolished like so many of the ancient sites were at the behest of missionaries who prohibited hula, surfing, and even the language in schools in the 1800’s. Perhaps, the gods did not want this structure trampled upon by disrespectful tourists. Regardless of why it was hidden from time, the people of Hana cut back lush jungle foliage that threatened to swallow the edifice fifteen years ago, revealing a monument to a race of industrious, ingenious and loving people.

Kahanu Garden where the Pi’ilanihale is located is a flat expanse of green overlooking a tempestuous Pacific Ocean crashing on black lava cliffs. It was a landing place of early Polynesian settlers bringing plants they would need to survive. It was chosen by the ancients to be the site of the Makahiki Festival that ran for four months from November to February.  Warring was forbidden as this time of peace that allowed warriors to practice skills with contests and games. Elders played Konana, a form of checkers, and talked story while children frolicked. The tax collectors came around at this time collecting the bounty of the common people to be given to the royal class.

 Chief Pi’ilani, who ruled here in the 16th century was beloved by his people for uniting the warring tribes of Maui and bringing prosperity in his reign.  Under his rule the Pi’ilanihale (House of Pi’ilani) Heiau that began construction in the 1200’s was completed. Rocks from as far away as Hana Bay, seven miles away, were used to finish the task.
Wandering the grounds that boasts the largest collection of breadfruit trees in the world, as well as samplings of all of the indigenous plants brought by early settlers in double-hulled canoes, you can imagine the joyous village that thrived here under Chief Pi’ilani’s rule.  Our guide, Pi’ilani, talked to us about the many uses of the kukui nut used to keep the fires burning at night. She said the day began in the evening when the work was done and people came to share what they had gathered that day in their fish nets, in their taro gardens, and fruits from the mountain trees.
Linda, Lorraine, and Pi'ilani



 Pi’ilani generously answered all of my questions about the realities of the people of old. At the end of our tour she told me she wanted to empower me with the gift of her knowledge. Instead of correcting or judging my tale of her ancestry in my novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i, she told me that she understood that my work was built on what I knew. She said that she would be happy to add her knowledge, as it was handed down to her, to my pool of understanding. We held hands while as she invited us to join her in a chant to the gods who reside at Pi’ilanihale and give thanks for the bounty of the Kahanu Garden, a gift to all who find their way there.A big mahalo to my friend Lorraine Brodek, author of Nobody in a Somebody who resides in Hana, for making this very special tour possible for me. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Join me at the Best of the Best at the Slack-Key Festival





Excited to be a part of the best Polynesian music fest on the mainland. The Slack-Key Festival happens once a year at the Performing Art Center in Redondo Beach on Jan. 18th. I am joining Patti Bielma
 at her table where she displays her incredible ipu gourds carved with intricate one-of-kind designs.
 I will be sharing my novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai'i which is a celebration of the people of old.

At the festival the finest Slack-key musicians in Hawai'i, and on  the mainland come together to jam. Graceful dancers and talented singers join them in a rousing production that brings the magic of the Islands to your doorstep. Wai-nani and I will be there to greet you!

Don't miss this event.  Slack Key Festival January 18th at 2:pm

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Postcard from Paradise

When fellow author, Lorraine Brodek, invited me to stay at her exquisite home high on a knoll in Hana, Maui, I had no idea what a treat it would be. Sipping coffee on the lanai overlooking a dew-laden expanse of emerald green, and the shining Pacific in the distance, watching a Technicolor sunrise, I couldn’t imagine a more idyllic setting.



My friends not only designed  this custom (3,650 sq. ft.) home, and built the mile long road to it, they planted the ten acre estate with every tropical plant imaginable. I strolled the grounds, a veritable Botanical Garden, with Lorraine to her artist’s studio with views that would inspire anyone with a creative bone in their body. Her producer husband, Tom, was busy in his work shop next to the three car garage. She pointed out that the foundation for a guest house is already in place and that a lot split is possible. (Buyer to verify)
Lorraine arranged a canoe ride for us in Hana Bay to the birthplace of Ka'ahumanu who was the inspiration for my novel Wai-nani, AVoice from Old Hawai'i and a visit to nearby Kahanu Garden where the largest heiau in Polynesia remains hidden from time. Hiking, horseback riding and “pasture” golf are favorite pass-times of locals, and visitors on day trips.

A dip in the delicious waters of Hamoa Beach, a mile below the house, where soft foaming waves kiss a sandy shore capped off another glorious day in paradise.
A daily flight from Kahului, Maui to Hana makes Hana, the last bastion of old Hawai’i, accessible.
The home is for sale for $2,995,000. A small price to pay for paradise.

For more information contact Mary Anne Fitch at sold@maui.net

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Dreamy Year in Review

2014 brought all manner of good things my way.  My journey with New England Hiking Holidays in the Columbia Gorge and into the Mt. Hood region of Oregon ranks very high on my not to missed adventures.  In Get some Forest in your Boots I share highlights.


From there I drove to the coast of Oregon where I explored trails on my own.  The Oswald Park below Cannon Beach was my favorite hike but, If You’re Looking for a Cozy, Friendly Community, With Mammoth Trees, Walking Trails and Whale Sitings, You Won’t Want to Miss Yachats — Gem of Oregon’s Central Coast.


December found me in the Hawaiian Islands linking up with two local authors to form the Aloha Trio.
Together we shared our wares at Barnes and Noble in Lahaina, and at the exclusive Coast Gallery in Hana. Such warm aloha for Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i made my heart sing. I was invited to stay with fellow author Lorraine Brodek who lives in Hana.
She arranged for me to canoe to the birthplace of Ka’ahumanu, the powerful woman in Old Hawai’i, that inspired my novel.

Watching my life unfold in ways I had never dreamed of is quite magical.

2015 promises to be filled with more exciting adventures that I look forward to sharing with you in my articles.


Happy New Year!!!

Cheers, Linda

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wai-nani Catches a Big Wave

 I’m off to Maui to meet up with the Aloha Trio for our book signing at the Barnes and Noble in Lahaina on Dec. 14th.  I met hugely popular Toby Neal, author of the Lei Crime Series, online. I found her writing to be crisp, contemporary and fun. According to Toby, born and raised in the Islands, my book Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i “Casts a hypnotic spell that takes us to ancient Hawai’i. Coming from Toby, someone with an intimate knowledge of the Hawaiian culture, this is quite an endorsement.
I was having lunch with book guru, Carolyn Howard Johnson, here in L.A. and she introduced me to Lorraine Brodek, author of A Nobody in a Somebody World.  Lorraine's book is filled with insider juice on Hollywood celebs she grew up with in Beverly Hills. Being a Hawaii aficionado, my personal favorite is her rendering of her life in Hana, one of the last enclaves of old Hawai’i, where the threat of wild pigs calls for a luau.
Lorraine read Wai-nani and said “The rhythm of Linda Ballou's writing is sheer poetic dialogue. Her descriptions are as mystic as the ancient Hawaiian culture she so graphically describes in this wonderful story that she tells using the voice of Wai-nani (aka Ka'ahumanu, King Kamehameha's favorite wife). Chiefess Ka'ahumanu's birthplace was in a cave at Puu Kauiki in Hana--a hill that exists today in this charming town that truly evokes the beautiful spirit of old Hawaii.
We became friends and Lorraine invited me to stay at her exquisite home high on a knoll overlooking Hamoa Beach in Hana. How could I say no?
 Being a person who gets things done, Lorraine arranged for us to have a reading at the Coast Gallery at the luxurious Travaasa Hotel Resort on Dec. 17th, .
Writing the Hawaiian story became a beautiful obsession for me that spanned twenty years. I had no idea where it would lead me, or the doors that it would open. I can only say I am grateful for what has come my way.

I have arranged a Kindle Giveaway for Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i on Dec. 14-17th on Amazon for those who can’t make it to the Islands for our events. REVIEWS ARE WELCOME


Wishing you all a very Maui Christmas with warm Aloha-In the name of Wai-nani.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Heaven Doesn't Have to Wait

Hana, Maui-Sunrise


 Writing Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i has brought many wonderful people and fine experiences my way. Lorraine Brodek, author of A Nobody in A Somebody World, a sneak  peek into lives of celebrities she grew up with, and I are signing our books at the Coast Gallery  at the Travaasa Hana Hotel on Dec. 17th.  Ka’ahumanu, the Hawaiian chiefess who was the inspiration for my character Wai-nani was born in a cave in Hana. Lorraine has graciously arranged a canoe outing for me to her birthplace.
In addition, she has invited me to stay with her and producer husband Tom in their spectacular home sitting on ten acres high on a hill overlooking Hamoa Beach, deemed one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. When I saw the video of her home.
 I couldn’t believe my good fortune. Who could ask for a more gracious estate amidst gorgeous grounds overlooking the rugged coastline of pristine Hana, the last bastion of old Hawai’i.
A couple of years ago I drove the fabled Hana Highway laced with waterfalls. My piece 
Doing theHana Highway My Way details how you can experience the curvaceous road overlooking the sequined Pacific without rubbing bumpers with all the other tourists.  Most visitors stop at the Haleakela National Park and hike through the bamboo forest to a dramatic waterfall and cap off their visit with a plunge in the pools of Oheo Gulch below the highway. At night they head back to “the other side” of Maui leaving residents to stunning sunsets and tranquility of water-rich Hana. The lush tropical forests and dew –laden pastures are still once more as the sun rises announcing another day in paradise.



If you dream of making heavenly Hana your home contactMary Anne Fitch at (808)-250-1503 http://www.soldmaui.com/