June 25, 2015

Cora Recommends: The Aloha Series by Chris Keniston

I have a very special treat for all of you today. Chris Keniston, award-winning contemporary and military romance author, is joining us to talk about her series and answer some questions! Hello Chris, and welcome! Thank you for joining us today, it’s always a pleasure to speak with other authors. What initially drew you to writing?

I read a book by a best-selling favorite author and the end totally ticked me off. Decided I could do better. Pulled out my laptop and a year later – Homecoming was finished.

Many of your books are set in Hawaii. What is it about the islands that enticed you to set a series there?

It wasn’t the islands. It was a person. I have always loved the beach and the ocean. A friend of mine enjoys scuba diving. I, on the other hand, prefer to be on the water not in it. While everyone was underwater, I remained on board reading. At some point I glanced up and in swim trunks with no shirt the captain was doing pushups off the back of the boat. I thought, “Oh there has to be a book in there somewhere.” I took a photo, gave my hero a background in the Navy, former EOD Special Forces, and the Aloha Series was born.

Definitely an inspiring picture, and so interesting that it was able to inspire the Aloha series! Is there any genre that you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to try?

Cozy Mysteries. I wrote a prequel for Aloha Texas, Shell Game. So many people fell in love with the antics of the heroine’s grandmother, a former grifter/con artist. I often think it would be fun to set a new series in Florida based around her new husband the retired cop/ PI and her crazy larcenous sisters stumbling onto various crimes.

That sounds like a fabulous connected series to me! What is it about becoming an author that most surprised you?

Having no control over my characters. Long ago I’d read something where an author said they’d outlined a book going in a particular direction and then the characters wouldn’t let them. I’d think, “That’s crazy, you’re writing them.” Well, ha! Sure enough. I sit down with a plan and a direction and the next thing I know my characters have gone off to a whole different place. And honestly, they’re much better at it than I am!

What’s the best thing about being an author?

The ability to travel and spend time with family. My mother is getting older and I was delighted last summer when she wasn’t feeling very well to be able to take her on a cruise to lift her spirits. Getting spur of the moment time off from a day job would have been difficult. But since a laptop is very portable, while having fun with my mother I was able to start work on  Shell Game. Readers often comment how real the story feels. Well that’s why, I was there. And yes those navy stories are true, my trivia partner was stationed at Pearl Harbor – and yes that’s really what happens when the buffet catches fire. :-)

Thank you so much for joining us today, Chris! The Aloha Series features heart-stopping former Navy SEALs and the smart, savvy women who fall for them. But just because the series is set in paradise doesn’t mean everything is smooth sailing. The course to true love is often a rough one, and you’ll enjoy every moment of that journey with this amazing cast of characters. Aloha, Texas by Chris Keniston

Former navy diver Nicholas Harper likes his new world as captain of a dive boat in Hawaii. A phone call from the past changes everything. Now his uncomplicated life suddenly becomes very complicated. Powerhouse attorney Kara Lynn O’Conner’s world revolves around her small Texas town where life is easy and safe. Focusing on her career keeps her dark secrets locked away. That is until her newest case makes her face her fears. When the past surges into the present will it be enough to keep Nick and Kara’s two worlds together?

Get Aloha, Texas, and check out the rest of the Aloha series, today! The Aloha series Shell Game (Prequel – Brooklyn & Sharla) Aloha Texas (Book #1 – Nick & Kara) Almost Paradise (Book #2 – Billy & Angela) Mai Tai Marriage (Book #3 – James & Lexie) Dive Into You (Book #4 – Doug & Emily) The Look of Love (Novella – Daniel & Madeleine)