Scenes of Kaua'i                                                                    


Hawaii Like You've
Never Read about It Before

Call: (855) 279-7253
Kapaa, HI 96746-1521

  The Kauai Made Products seal is awarded to products unique to Kauai, using Kauai products and made on the island. Kauai born and raised, Bill Fernandez writes memoirs and novels set in the islands and featuring native Hawaiian heroes while sitting in the house his mother bought with her pineapple cannery earnings in the 1920s. 

Each of my books was selected to participate in the Kaua'i Made Approved Products Program.

Splintered Paddle

NEW!!!   Splintered Paddle, a novel of Kamehameha the Great

Set in 1790, on Hawaii Island when Kamehameha the Great seeks to unite all of the islands into one nation. For eight years he has not succeeded in conquering all of the chiefs using traditional (and the only) weapons available: stones, wooden clubs and spears, shark teeth, and in close combat. Then Western sailing ships appear with metal cannon, muskets and gunpowder. When he sees the destruction "from afar" he knows he must seek the weapons. He selects Kalani, a seventeen-year-old student in his military school  to be in charge. Kalani's mother sent him to the school so he could bcome a great warrior and be awarded land as a "black land chief". As a commoner, his horizons are very limited. If he fails and remains landless, his mother and sisters face a life of slavery. A slave boy explains that religious human sacrifices are required before every battle. As Kalani fights in the historical battles in the mountains, ocean, beach, and even volcano, he must maneuver away from the treachery of men and a royal wife, a princess, and other women.

When he hears Kamehameha issue the Law of the Splintered Paddle ("Let every elderly person, woman and child lie by the roadside in safety") to end the brutality toward non-combatants, Kalani begins to hope that he can win land and end slavery.


John Tana

John Tana, An Adventure Novel of Old Hawaii

A sugar baron kicks seventeen-year-old orphan John Tana off his farmland on Maui in the mid-1800s, forcing an abrupt confrontation with the dramatic change in Hawaiian Kingdom land control, the Great Mahele. Western capitalism and religion clash with the communal lifestyle of sharing among the common people. John sails to Lahaina on the south side of Maui to find distant relatives. Western whalers and seamen rule the town, torment him, and try to shanghai him. He meets a beautiful cousin but learns that the Western religion forbids a  relationship. The sugar baron sends a thug to kill him. John escapes in his canoe to Oahu with the family and settles in Honolulu. Life is more complicated. He meets a future king, a Hawaiian lawyer, a French girl, joins a militia, studies the martial art of lua, and discovers the truth about the young woman he loves when her locket's story is revealed. The sugar baron's hired killer ambushes him. After a dramatic fight, John knows that he must leave, and sets off once again in his canoe, heading for the island of Kauai to find peace.

Book Two of the John Tana trilogy, Gods, Ghosts and Kahuna on Kauai 

Sugar plantations are expanding on the island of Kauai and need security to contend with the immigrant Chinese labor which is stirring up trouble. John's lua skills qualify him but he needs to learn Western ways to be accepted by the Caucasian sugar barons. He marries and settles down on a farm but must contend with his wife's loyalty to traditional Hawaiian beliefs in curses, kahunas, and other mysteries. When an octopus drags someone down into the water, family seeks a kahuna for guidance. A baptized Christian, John tries to convince his wife superstitions are not true. A boar hunt which ends when a pueo (owl) flies above ends in a death. John gets blamed. A brush with a shark makes John wonder about this world. He sees the isolation of many Hawaiians on the island of Molokai due to leprosy. A French friend explains America's plan of Manifest DestinyCan John settle into a peaceful life on this island?

Kauai is an island of swirling clouds among mountain peaks where birds dart and the echo of the pounding surf sounds like the gods talking, a place of mysterious happenings.

Book Three of the John Tana trilogy, Hawaiian Rebellions

Set in the late 1800when plantations are devouring Hawaiian land and Hawaiian water, they create problems for John who seeks legal help. Sugar planters seek annexation to America (and John's death). Followers of the old religion attack including tattooed warriors seeking human sacrificial victims. When leprosy strikes thousands of Hawaiians, John learns the Board of Health imprisons the victims for life on a remote island, but some take refuge in a remote valley on Kauai. A violent military-style attack on them stuns John who feels pushed beyond his limits. Not even a reunion with his beloved Leinani can ease his pain. Then the monarchy is overthrown. He feels trapped between the old religion and new world.

Cult of Kua Grant Kingsley novel 

When a series of cult-like murders occur in 1920 Honolulu, police suspect the hero, Grant Kingsley, son of a prominent sugar baron. Arrested for the brutal murder of his grandmother who threatened to disinherit him because of his ancestry, then released, Grant seeks the killer's identity: A note at the scene from KU promises more murders.

The search reveals the criminal underworld, the hard life of imported plantation labor and efforts to form unions, and leads to a Euro-Asian scholar who helps him find the killer. Grant meets Native Hawaiians when he surfs. As more murders of politically elite occur, with the same note from "Ku" promising more murders, Grant must solve the mystery before social pressure leads to his arrest again.

Set in a period when the overthrow of the monarchy and racism still sting, Grant searches for his own place in Honolulu society, torn by loyalty to his family and his discovery of his Hawaiian side.

Crime & Punishment in Hawaii, a Grant Kingsley novel

In 1931 Grant Kingsley and a friend are attacked by bootleggers while spearfishing. He tries to find the killers and gets entangled in a federal investigation of mob influence in the islands which leads to violence against his family. Honolulu during 1931-32 draws national attention due to two real life cases  known as  "The Massie Cases" when a Navy officer's wife, Thalia Massie, accuses five local minority men of rape. 

The image of Paradise turns ugly as racism in the islands and continental USA surfaces. When the jury cannot reach a verdict against the five men, a violent reaction across America leads to demands for martial law in the islands. Grant Kingsley's twelve-year-old son and his "local" friends worry about the safety of the accused men and their own as well. When one of the accused men, a Hawaiian named Joseph Kahahawai, is murdered, the young men recognize there is a two-tiered soceity with no justice for the locals. The famous lawyer, Clarence Darrow arrives to defend the killers, the Massies. Grant and his family struggle with the urge for revenge on the bootleggers who attack his family. The Massie trial reveals the painful conflict between rule of law and revenge. Grant wonders how he can make the future of his son and friends better than the hard life and poverty of plantation work. 


Hawaii in War and Peace, a memoir

My high school years in Honolulu at Kamehameha Schools (1944-1949) exposed me to streets crowded with GIs and all the chaos that brings. The animosity between the GIs and locals surprised me, my school uniform and shoes irritated me. But I learned a lot about world politics, girls, and dove for coins when the Lurline arrived. Spearfishing adventures provided relief and a desire to be a fisherman. My parents had other ideas. While on a driving trip on the continent, I witnessed racism which made me wonder about my place in life. Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, the South, Mexico - the insulting treatment of non-whites and Jews made me feel unsafe. I wondered if I could handle being at Stanford University. My last summer before college was filled with glorious spearfishing and hiking. I began to consider running away to Alaska. But life had other plans and I found myself trudging up Palm Drive heading to my dormitory. Within minutes, I met a man I had only read about. I had made the right decision.

Old photographs include the author, age 17, on the steps of the United States Supreme Court.

Kauai Kids in Peace and WW Two,  a memoir

My first ten years on Kauai were barefoot and spent exploring the reefs, making kites, and surfing on an old wooden ironing board. Then in 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor changed our lives: fear of invasion, fear of internment, military rule, rationing, blackouts, and learning to use a gas mask. Pineapple picking taught me to work hard from age 13. My parents' big theater, Roxy, in Kapaa, was a failure until 40,000 GIs landed to protect us and for jungle warfare training. I developed entrepreneurial skills as a shoeshine boy and ran errands buying cigarettes and candy for GIs. My pals and I mimicked the machine gun nest at the reef near my home by digging a hole in the sand and placing large palm tree branches for a roof. The islands were 40% Japanese originally imported for plantation labor who proved their loyalty to America by enlisting in the military and earning more medals for units of their numbers than any other. Part II is dedicated to the Nisei soldiers. My story closes when I am sent to Honolulu to attend Kamehameha Schools for children of Hawaiian ancestry. I didn't want to go.

Many old photographs.

Rainbows Over Kapaa, a memoir

My family built one of the largest movie theaters in the islands in 1939, Roxy.

The small community of Kapaa wasn't big enough to fill the 1,050 seat theater. I introduce you to my family and their desire to succeed as half-native Hawaiians in a plantation-controlled society on an island Territory of the United States.  As the bank started to foreclose in 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, and within a few months, the island was filled with GIs  seeking entertainment. My friends and I had many adventures during those years despite the fears and stress. The story of the Roxy ends when Hurricane Iniki strikes in 1992.

Filled with old photographs.