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Chicken Soup from the Soul of Hawai'i

Available now through Amazon!

Do you dream of Hawai'i? The sun warm on your shoulders, tradewinds through your hair; the pounding surf, the air laced with plumeria and gardenia, the succulent food of many cultures exploding with taste. Here at last is a book that will transport you to paradise in an instant, whether you're on the beach at Kailua or a tar beach of New York!

A very different Chicken Soup book...

From the beginning, my co-author, Robin Stephens Rohr, and I knew this book would be very different. The difference started with the title of the book: unlike the others in the very successful Chicken Soup series, this isn't Soup for the Hawaiian Soul. It is instead Chicken Soup from the Soul of Hawai'i--Hawai'i's gift of storytelling to a world in desperate need of aloha.

"Talking story" is an important part of the Hawaiian culture, a gift of wisdom, entertainment, mystery or humor passed from one generation to the next, from neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend.

The Celebrities, the Kupuna, the Entertainers, the Sumo Wrestlers, Paniolo, Surfers, Keiki, Chefs...

Robin and I had such a magnificent time collecting and creating the stories for this book.

If you've ever been to Hawai'i, you know that music paints the backdrop to all of life. Four of Hawaii's best-known entertainers contributed original stories. Robert Cazimero of the Brothers Cazimero and Danny Kaleikini, Hawaii's "Ambassador of Aloha" wove fascinating tales about their early struggles. Also included is triligy of stories from three generations of the Ho family: Matriarch Honey, singer Don Ho and his daughter, pop princess Hoku.

Much of Hawaii's wisdom resides in her kupuna (revered elders), and they are respresented here as well. Kumu John Lake tells of a mysterious day in his Lahaina childhood. Nana Veary shares the importance of aloha that she learned as a child, and Nalani Olds shares stories about events that shaped changed her life.

Then there are the celebrities who love Hawaii: Kelly Preston (an island girl) and her mainlander husband, John Travolta, Clint and Dina Eastwood, Regis and Joy Philbin. Actress Bo Derek recounts a moving story about how manta rays helped begin her healing from grief after her husband John's death.

Actor Jason Scott Lee tells how his Hawaiian childhood helped him in time of crisis on a movie shoot, Kenny Loggins recalls how the lushness of the Big Island surrounded him as he fell in love and started a new life; John Baxter tells how two young filmmakers named Spielberg and Lucas changed the face of Hollywood while sculpting sandcastles on an O'ahu beach.

Chef Roy Yamaguchi explains how Hawai'i inspired him not to give up after a disastrous career turn. Tutu Hale tells how a ukelele and two old women changed the hearts of Congress; Genie Joseph gives the definitions of "aloha" that have been taught her by kindergarteners statewide.

And adventure stories! Radio personality Larry Price recounts the hilarious story of his first big football game. Bill Jardine tells a surprising "shark story," and three Army men get hopelessly lost in lava tubes under Madame Pele's volcano. A single mother's life is turned around by a miracle, and a woman afraid to have children is guided by a pair of dolphins. Glen Grant tells of encounters with the supernatural that seem to happen all the time in the Islands, and Auntie Irmgard becomes a prolific composer in a language she doesn't know--well after middle age. Hoot Brooks is shanghaied from Iowa and never goes back.

Lives change, hope flourishes, aloha overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds. The true stories in this book--and the people who tell them--have enriched my life immeasurably. I guarantee they will do the same for you--wherever you are!