Meet the Authors at Kona Stories

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On the first Tuesday evening of each month from 6 to 8 p.m., Kona Stories Book Store hosts an event with local and traveling authors.

The evening begins with authors mingling with the guests while they enjoy appetizers and a complimentary glass of wine.

Each of the three authors will present a 15-minute talk about their book and themselves, the writing and publishing process and/or a short reading from the book, followed by a question-and-answer session and book signing.

Dress is aloha casual wear.

Aug. 2: Cecilia Johansen, Susan Scott and DS Thornton

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Cecilia L Johansen. Courtesy photo.


After the death of her husband, Charles Kanewa, in Los Angeles in 2003, Cecilia Johansen met his cousin a year later at a Hawaiʻi Marines Reunion in Las Vegas. She fell in love with the handsome virile cowboy and after four months, she took a leap of faith and moved to Hawaiʻi to marry Bernard Johansen and live in the lush upcountry of Waimea on Hawaiʻi Island. They were only married for five years before his untimely death. Stories from the lives of the two cousins growing up in Kapaʻahu, Puna District, and extensive research have led to her first novel The Canoe Maker’s Son.

Cecilia is a new writer and has published stories and poetry in North Hawaii News, Freida Magazine, and contributed her husbands’ stories to Haliʻa Aloha no Kalapana (Fond Memories of Kalapana), a project sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities and the Teresa Lee Waipa Trust.

She is contemplating to write another novel about the beautiful Hawaiian people and their history, and she continues to live in Waimea, enjoying the rainy coolness of the pastures and her dog Maka Polu.

The Canoe Maker’s Son takes you on a glorious adventure from the tropics of Hawaiʻi to the open sea, to rugged coasts and dark forests and to the Indians of the Pacific Northwest. A story of shanghai, survival and surprising ancestry.

“My great-great-great-grandfather, ʻEleu, was born in 1773,” the old man paused, watching his grandson’s face light up with excitement. “He grew up to be a canoe maker just like his father before him. Both were in service to Kalaniʻōpuʻu, the great chief of Hawaiʻi Island. Not only were they canoe makers to the king, but ʻEleu went to the Pacific Northwest Coast on a great tall ship.”


“What? Papa, I can’t believe it.”

“It’s true, boy. Now, let me tell the story of the canoe maker’s son.”

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Susan Scott. Courtesy photo.

Since 1987 Susan Scott has written a weekly column called “Ocean Watch” for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and is the author of eight books about nature in Hawai‘i. A former registered nurse, Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Hawai‘i and is a graduate of the university’s Marine Option Program. As a long-time volunteer for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, she has counted albatrosses on Midway Atoll, tagged coconut crabs on Palmyra Atoll and rescued monk seals and sea turtles at French Frigate Shoals Atoll.

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Scott has lived on O‘ahu with her physician husband, Craig Thomas, since 1983. Scott and Craig travel to Bangladesh each year to support a free clinic and school they started in 1997 as volunteers with the Aloha Medical Mission.

In Call Me Captain, Scott recounts her venture into the daunting world of offshore sailing, bares her soul regarding her struggles with menopause and marriage and introduces readers to remarkable Palmyra Atoll. Susan’s memoir is an exciting account of that remarkable journey, merging adventure, biology, history and the complexities of human companionship. The story is for everyone for who has ever faced a major turning point, and wondered about the meaning of life. Call Me Captain is laced with humor, beauty, adventure and love.


“The ending,” wrote a reviewer “is spectacular.”

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Diane Thornton. Courtesy photo.

A former graphic designer and magazine art director, DS Thornton lives in the Hilo area of the Big Island, where “time is relative, gardening is serene and there are way way way too many vowels.” She writes middle-grade fantasy as well as silly sci-fi for young adults and up. She is also an accomplished artist, specializing in island themes. She loves botanical gardens, Turner Classic Movies, sci-fi, Doctor Who and puppies.

In Scrap City, we meet fifth-grader Jerome Barnes. When he begins to explore his local junkyard, he doesn’t expect to find anything interesting. But then he comes upon Arkie. At first Arkie looks like a toy or a robot. But Arkie isn’t a toy or a robot… He’s a Scrapper—a boy made of old odds and ends come to life! And what’s more, there’s a whole city of Scrappers right underneath the junkyard.

Jerome and little Arkie quickly become good friends, and for the first time since Jerome’s mom and younger brother’s mysterious deaths, he feels happy. So when danger threatens to destroy the underground city and all of its citizens, Jerome knows he must protect his new friends. But will he risk everything—his safety, his dad’s job, his town’s future—all for Arkie and the Scrappers?

Thornton has written for the San Francisco Examiner (Hearst years) and the Peninsula Times Tribune (Palo Alto, Calif.). She has produced three novels and one picture book. Her middle-grade fantasy, Scrap City, was released by Capstone Young Readers on Oct. 1, 2015.

Kona Stories is located at 78-6831 Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona.

Canoe Maker's Son

By Cecilia Johansen.


By Susan Scott.

Scrap City

By Diane Thornton.

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