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"Lehua" is the first of a trilogy that traces the life of a young ali'i [noble] woman who comes of age in 1819 when Hawaiian Queen Ka'ahumanu "lifts the kapu"-- effectively destroying the traditional Hawaiian religion--in favor of Christianity. Lehualiakahuamalioakalanipa'akalole (Lehua, the shiny haired questioner of the secrets), the fictitious young noblewoman of the story, sees that the ali'i, as a class, are being subverted by haole [outsider] wiles and whiskey and that kahuna [heditary priests] are rushing to protect their own interests. Thus she takes as her kuleana [responsibility] the task of leading the common Kanaka [natives] along the narrow path between pono [righteousness] and preachers. In Book One we see her struggle to convince her near-throne 'ohana [family] of the ramifications of the queen's actions. And we see her fall in love with a Hawaiian/Chinese paniolo [cowboy]--a harbinger of the series of external forces that will impact the Islands in the ensuing eighty years...ending with U. S. annexation of the Hawai'i Kingdom. Lehua is causing much hu hu [fuss] in her ohana because she quickly understands and embraces the Queen's edict, but is just as quick to realize the searing changes that it will bring to the entire Kanaka cultural framework...and the ensuing grief. The family, fearing for her and the entire ohana safety in the post-edict turmoil, bundles Lehua, an ardent student of hula, off to the renowned hula halau [school] at the foot of Goddess Laka's heiau [temple] at Ke'e, Kauai. There, she inadvertently becomes involved in Island political intrigue and narrowly escapes a kidnapping attempt when rescued by Tong Ah Tim. This California paniolo, brought to the Islands to train kane [men]to herd cattle, makes their escape a 19th c. Hawaiian road trip up and over the top of Mt. Waialeale--during which they fall in love. Book two, begins with their ranch life on Molokai--Island of Sorcery--and chronicles her straddling of the divergent cultures in her efforts to malama [save] pono.
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After serving as an Air Intelligence Officer in the Navy during the run up of General MacArthur’s aborted plan to invade China, Mr. Parola married Shirley Tong, and began to pursue an academic career at U.H. Manoa, Indiana University and University of Michigan-Flint. He and Mrs. Parola ended their careers at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey after he had taught for the Ministry of Defense, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for several years. Traveling extensively in the Middle East during that time has given him a perspective that makes rich reading in his three collections of short stories. It also makes settings for his mystery novels* as authentic as possible. Upon receiving the First Prize in an international competition for Mrs. Parola’s Memoir, “Remembering Diamond Head, Remembering Hawaii”, the couple returned to Honolulu to continue research and writing about things Hawaiian. Mr. Parola is the author of the short story, “The Bone House” in Bamboo Ridge Press, Journal of Hawai’i Literature and Arts. His “Portraits of a Young Artist in Istanbul” from his collection The Little American Blonde, won an Editor’s Choice Award from Author Stand. Mr. Parola has also published another mystery and a book on hurricane preparedness for yachtsmen. “Lehua”, is the first book of a trilogy that has kept Mr. Parola in research for most of ten years. The author may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org *See “Old Sins, New Sinners” at geneparola.com
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