Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wild Card Weekend - Maui Wowie!

The Pink Heart Society welcomes Charlene Sands and her post on Maui Wowie and Location, Location, Location!

I’ve never met a tropical island I didn’t like! In the dead of winter, with temperatures falling below freezing in many areas, what better way to warm up than with thoughts of lush greenery, tall palms trees, golden sunsets over the Pacific Ocean and two appealing characters locked together in a game of cat and mouse? Set on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, Reserved for the Tycoon, the third and final book in my Suite Secrets series, fits the bill.

I have such fond memories of our trip to Maui with my children and those images stayed with me throughout the writing of this book. Who could forget biking down the volcano at Haleakela Crater, wearing enough outer gear and a helmet to look like a space alien? From the very top of the bike route, all five of the Hawaiian Islands were visible – an awesome sight. We were above the clouds and as we biked down, we shed layers of clothing until we reached the shoreline where the temperatures grew warmer.

We attended a luau with Tiki torches blazing and hula dancers entertaining the audience as we learned all about Polynesian history - the translation of the hula nearly as inspiring as the actual hip action those amazing dancers displayed. We sipped on fruity Mai Tai drinks and were educated in the art of underground cooking with the Imu Ceremony. The Kalua pork was delicious!

We stayed at a resort much like Tempest Maui, Brock Tyler’s newly renovated hotel. The sandy beach at its front door, the hotel epitomized luxury, convenience and beauty. I wanted to convey those characteristics in my story and throughout my Suite Secrets series, the roles of the Tempest Hotels became much like secondary characters, with personalities all their own. It’s funny how images stay with you and though they diminish through time, it’s the essence of the memory that never fades away. It flavors how you write and gives your story a certain feeling and atmosphere.

The story between Vanessa Dupree and Brock Tyler could have been told anywhere, but to be effective and hopefully, enjoyable, the setting had to be right on. You know what they say about location, location, location. Tempest Maui, a once dilapidated hotel on great beachfront property posed the ultimate challenge for our hero, Brock Tyler. And of course, the bet he had with his brother played a part in Brock wanting to make his newly refurbished hotel successful. Little did Brock know that his new Events Planner had a “plan” of her own that included a bit of sabotage and deception.

Romance lives in the hearts of all of us, but it doesn’t hurt to have lush surroundings, killer sunsets, sizzling beaches and emotions running as hot as the tropics.

Some Fun Facts about Maui:

Aloha - "In meeting or in parting, 'Aloha' was a recognition of life in another. If there was life there was mana, goodness and wisdom, and if there was goodness and wisdom there was a god-quality.

Maui is known as the Valley Isle and is the 2nd largest island in the Hawaiian chain.

Maui is known for long stretches of beautiful beaches and the landmark Haleakala Crater, also known as the House of the Sun.

Maui is also the breeding ground for the Humpback Whale, who winters there before heading back to Alaska.

Often, directions are given in terms like mauka (toward the mountain) or makai (toward the sea) rather than north and south. (Example: Alio Street is mauka of Front Street)
Honking your horn is considered poor manners on Maui. You don’t honk in Paradise!
Red and yellow markers in the shape of Hawaiian warriors along the roads mark historical landmarks and points of interest.

Maui County includes the islands of Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokai.

What’s your favorite romantic getaway? What locales do you like to read about? Have you ever been to Hawaii?

Charlene Sands is an award-winning author of 25 romance novels and her November book, Do Not Disturb Until Christmas has been nominated by RT Magazine for Best Silhouette Desire of 2008. Her current release, Reserved for the Tycoon is available on and and will be available in bookstores in early February. Make your reservation to be swept away with Reserved for the Tycoon!

***Charlene is offering one book of your choice from her Suite Secrets series to one lucky commenter today! ***


  1. Hi Charlene! Right now it's 28 degrees in Northern Virginia / Washington DC, and my sidewalks are covered with ice. Reading about Hawaii was like a mini vacation!

    All the best!

  2. Hi Vicki,
    I hear you. I know you once lived in California. You don't want to know how warm it is here today.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hi Charlene! Wow, what a place to do research! I have to say you know how to pick 'em. Warm sand, gentle waves, tall Mai Tais. Pure heaven. Are you sure you went for the research?? LOL

    I love your Suite series and I'll definitely be looking for this book. I'm amazed by your ability to write both historicals and contemporaries. And you're so good at both genres.

  4. Hawaii is my dream vacation spot. I have always wanted to visit there. It always looks so beautiful on television and in pictures; especially the ocean water. It really does make for a nice setting when I am reading a book. What better place could there be to imagine while reading than a warm paradise?

  5. Oh, Charlene, you sure do know how to make a girl long for the islands! sigh . . .

    Never been to Hawaii, but I/we critique by webcam with a fellow writer in Kailua. She'll have her windows open, and we can hear birds chirping, and her neighbors weed-eating while we have below zero windchills! LOL.

  6. Hi Linda, Pam and Raven99,
    Thanks for stopping by. I wish my son wanted a destination wedding in Hawaii - there was talk, and I'd definitely love to go back again. But it seems we're going the traditional route with him.
    In 2010!

  7. Hi Charlene! I've never been to Hawaii but it's on my list of dream vacations. Your trip sounds like it was very memorable. Your book sounds great and I love the cover!

    As far as vacations, I love beach ones, too, but we don't often get to go, just every few years. Most of my trips have been in combination with writing conferences. St. Martin was beautiful--did that about 5 years ago. :-)

  8. We do have sun today in Omaha, and the snow is nearly melted, but boy after so many cold days in a row, Hawaii sounds really good!

    Your new books sounds FABU too!


  9. The closest I've come to a tropical island is getting sand in my shoes while walking on the unpaved road that runs past my house.

    So, I'm impressed. :)

  10. I love Hawaii, too. I've been to Oahu and the Big Island and attended a luau. I like reading stories set in England, Vegas and San Francisco.

  11. love hawaii lvoe to go back, . love all the island. \


  12. Winner of the random drawing for Reserved for the Tycoon is Linda Broday!
    Yippee, Linda. I'll be sending you a book!!