Scenes of Kaua'i                                                                    


Hawaii Like You've
Never Read about It Before

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Kapaa, HI 96746-1521

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Kauai born and raised, Bill Fernandez writes memoirs and novels set in the islands as he enjoys the ocean breezes in the old house his mother bought with her pineapple earnings. His early years exploring the ocean, making kites, paddling tin canoes made from corrugated roofing, and shining GI shoes are brought to life in his memoirs: Rainbows Over Kapaa, Kaua'i Kids in Peace and WW Two, Hawai'i in War and Peace. In 1939 Bill's parents built Roxy, a large movie theater in Kapa'a, a center of entertainment for the thousands of GIs who came to protect against a feared Japanese invasion after Pearl Harbor. Old photographs are intriguing.

The heroes of his novels are young Hawaiian men trying to figure out how to surivive when Western capitalists and religion sweep over the islands in the late 18th to early 20th centuries. Hawaiians fell to the bottom of the plantation-dominated world on Hawaiian land and many still feel that way. Kalani Tana becomes a warrior for Kamehameha during the wars to unite the islands and joins a conspiracy to overthrow the god Ku (Splintered Paddle, Conquest, End of the Gods). John Tana is chased off his inherited farm by men with whips on horseback in the Great Mahele era. To escape a thug hired to kill him he sails to Honolulu and then to Kauai. Traditional religious beliefs do not blend well with Christianity. (Gods, Ghosts and Kahuna on Kauai.) Despite trying to survive by seeking legal help, he loses his farm. The overthrow of the monarchy gives him a last chance for justice. (Hawaiian Rebellions). In the 20th century, Grant Kingsley seeks justice when accused of ritual murders (Cult of Ku) and worries about the fate of the Hawaiian Joseph Kahahawai in the Masse cases (Crime & Punishment in Hawaii). Locals see that white people can kill locals and get away with it. The murder of striking Phillipino plantation workers and Grant's father seem related. (Terrorism in Paradise)

The Hawaiian islands are more than sandy beaches and stunning views. Ever since Captain Cook first stumbled upon the islands in 1778, native Hawaiians have struggled to adapt from their isolated lives to capitalism and Christianity. They learned quickly but succumbed to foreign diseases which left them powerless. Wooden clubs embedded with shark teeth were no match for metal weapons and ammunition. As you read the well-researched stories, you will feel the frustrations and injustices of the complex story of the islands. Many know Michener's book: Hawaii, written in an era when historical materials in the Hawaiian language were not available, and many early sources were out of print. In recent years the sources have been translated and reprinted. To understand the island history, the viewpoint of native Hawaiians, Bill is invaluable.

Two historical novels, Splintered Paddle and Conquest, are set in the tumultuous years of the late 18th century when Kamehameha the Great began fighting island chiefs to unite the islands. Kalani Tana is the reluctant hero, sent to train as a warrior to protect his mother and sisters from slavery. He learns how to use Western guns, is repulsed by human sacrifice, treachery, and is rewarded with farmland when made a "black land chief". But domestic bliss ends with a firey attack. His hunt for the secret killers leads to Captain Vancouver, spying for Kamehameha, and the battle of Nuuanu at an Oahu cliff's edge. The author makes good use of his hobby, historic military battles.

The newest Kalani Tana novel, End of the Gods, NOW IN PRINT!  1819: Hero Kalani left the islands after his wife was killed and sailed on whaling ships. While in Chinese waters, he learns about Buddhism. It is time to return to the islands and reunite with his son and daughter. He finds a different world run by newcomers that entice whalers: bars, gambling, and women. He reunites with his son who manages the farm but cannot find his daughter. The god Ku now dominates life. Violate one of the many kapu (taboos) and instant death strikes. Kalani joins the conspiracy to overthrow the gods which leads to civil war. Meanwhile, six thousand miles away, Christian missionaries set sail in 1820 to bring Jesus to the savages.

                                                                         Author  Bill  Fernandez        

Are you ready to fall in love all over again with Hawaii? Whether you're a history buff or just someone who's interested in a good story, you'll love Bill Fernandez's historical and adventure books! His memoirs of early years on Kaua'i will make you laugh as he makes his own canoes from corrugated roofing and plays war with his neighbor friends right behind the machine gun nest of GIs after Pearl Harbor.

Bill Fernandez Hawaiian Author writes exciting novels and non-fiction memoir books from his home in Kapaa, on Kauai. Each one is well researched for accuracy. Add them to your book collection. Some of his works include gorgeous as well as old pictures of his family and Hawaiian scenery.

                                              Bill  brings the story of Hawaii and its people alive in his book talks.

Are you ready to fall in love all over again with Hawaii?  Whether you are a history buff or just someone who loves a good story, you will love Bill Fernandez's adventurous historical novels! Based on the dramatic history of unification of the islands, the struggle against the take-over of the land by Western business interests and importation of plantation laborers, each book is well-researched. The memoirs include old photographs from the late 1800s to the 20th century. Add them to your collection to enjoy after your vacation.

The local television channel frequently plays the  dvds of his talks where Bill chants and sings while he enchants you with the stories. DVDs are available at the Kauai Historical Society in Lihue.              

In addition to writing historical novels from the perspective of a native Hawaiian, Bill enjoys giving talks about Hawaiian history with anyone wanting to learn more about this great state and native Hawaiians. You're welcome to contact Bill to set up a time and date. No charge. A beautiful PowerPoint slide show plus a chant and some singing create a lively talk.

Rainbows Over Kapaa, From Poi to Pineapple, Hawaiian Sovereignty, Kauai Kids in Peace and WW II, Hawaii in War and Peace, and the novel series of Grant Kingsley (Cult of Ku, a murder mystery; Crime & Punishment in Hawaii; and (new) Terrorism in Paradise), and John Tana (An Adventure Novel of Old Hawaii; Gods, Ghosts and Kahuna on Kauai; and Hawaiian Rebellions); Splintered Paddle, a novel of Kamehameha the Great, and Conquest, a sequel. DVDs of the talks are available at $20 each at the Kauai Historical Society, Lihue. Contact Bill to arrange a talk for your group.

"I saw a side of Kauai tourists never notice," said one reader.

"I read a chapter a day from his memoirs to my classes who loved his stories of the old days. I love his books."

"I learn so much about the Hawaiian story while reading his novels because Bill weaves the history into the fast-paced stories."

"Bill's voice is so deep and beautiful, I loved his singing, and his chanting made my skin tingle."

Bill served as President of the Kauai Historical Society,served on the State of Hawaii Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, and serves on the board of Hale Opio, a social services agency, and the Kauai Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce. He was honored by his high school, Kamehameha Schools, as Most Distinguished Alumnus in 2020.

Forbes Magazine designated Kapaa as "Among the 15 Prettiest Towns in America" in Sept. 2013.

A Word from the Author
I was lucky to be born on a tiny dot in the Pacific Ocean called Kauai, Hawaii. I graduated from Kamehameha High School and Stanford University and its law school, then practiced law and became a judge in California.

I'm back home living in my mother's old house by the ocean. My wife, Judie, and I have a lot of fun creating the books and talks. I love history. My formative years were impacted by the Pearl Harbor bombing and living on an island with thousands of GIs under martial law. My first three are memoirs describing the pre-war and war years in the islands.

Rainbows Over Kapaa describes my family's movie theater, Roxy, built in 1939. More than 1,000 seats, on a tiny island, it was a big risk. Just before foreclosure, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and months later thousands of GIs arrived. Bored on this tiny island, they kept Roxy hopping. I learned to shine shoes, buy candy and cigarettes for the soldiers. They opened my eyes to the big world out there as they were from Brooklyn and described city life. The fear of invasion, blackouts, beaches blocked by barbed wire, and gas masks replaced my carefree ocean play. Lots of old photographs.

My barefoot stories and the family movie theater bring laughter and good times as you learn how to make a tin canoe or challenge the sugar cane trains on the bridges. Kauai Kids in Peace and WW Two makes me wonder how I survived challenging sugarcane trains, learning to surf, kite fighting, and dodging the armed military patrols as I sneaked onto the beach at night. Part II, is serious, dedicated to the courageous Nisei soldiers. My Japanese-American friends and family faced racism and possible internment. The story closes when I fly to Honolulu to attend Kamehameha Schools in 1944

When I land in Honolulu, my next memoir begins: Hawaii in War and Peace. My high school years in Honolulu during World War Two challenged me. The military regimen at Kamehameha Schools for children of Hawaiian ancestry was stressful. The city full of thousands of GIs and sailors was tense. Many of them did not like mixed race locals, unllike life on Kauai. Beaches were off limits (fear of Japanese invasion) and Hawaiians were unwelcome in Waikiki. I learned about the Honolulu Harlot, politics, racism, and how to maneuver in a complicated world. A family driving trip around the continental 1948 caused me to wonder where I belonged when I witnessed anti-Semitism and the segregated South. But there were also wonderful moments diving in the ocean which convinced me I should stay home and become a fisherman. My parents had other ideas. I headed to Stanford University in 1949.

I turned to writing novels - three series: Grant Kingsley, John Tana, and Kalani (Kamehameha era).

The Grant Kingsley series: Hero Grant Kingsley is the son of a prominent Caucasian sugar planter who has led a comfortable life as one of the island elites. The youngest of three children whose mother was half Hawaiian, some notice he is different from the first two. 

   Cult of Ku,  Gruesome murders strike the political elite in Honolulu in 1920 when Grant returns from serving in the Army and after law school.. Grant, is accused of murdering his grandmother after she threatens to disinherit him. He must find the real killer or face trial for several murders of the powerful Caucasian elite. The history of anti-unionism of the plantations, the multi-cultural society, and ancient Native Hawaiian rituals and martial arts plus the advancing winds of war carry the reader into a complex world. A dramatic ocean-side fight at an ancient temple reveals the murderer and the motive.

    Crime & Punishment in Hawaii, is set in 1930s Honolulu when two dramatic real life criminal cases, The Massie cases about the murder of Joseph Kahahawai shook the islands. The verdict and leniency afterward shocked the local population: whites could even murder a local and get away with it. Woven into the true life cases is a fictional story of Grant Kingsley and his family who become targets of bootleggers.

    Terrorism in Paradise, interweaves real plantation violence against striking Filipino workers in 1924 known as the Hanapepe Massacrewith the fictional murder of Grant Kingsley's father. Grant must find the killer's identity before the plantations convince the police to arrest all Japanese plantation workers. The violence of plantations in Hawaii and the Philippines makes Grant wonder who the real terrorists are. 


      My second noveI series: John Tana, a trilogy about the impact of Westernization on native Hawaiians.

   John Tana, An Adventure Novel of Old Hawaii, opens the series. In the mid-1800s, the seventeen-year-old orphan hero is kicked off his inherited farm, a kuleana, by a sugar baron. He struggles to understand why and tries to adapt to Western capitalism and religion. After many misadventures and temptations, John sails his canoe to the island of Oahu where he finds Honolulu is challenging. He complicates his love life. To avoid a killer, John sails to Kauai.

   Gods, Ghosts and Kahuna on Kauai, Book Two of the trilogy: John seeks a peaceful life but finds Kauai is a mysterious, ghostly place of wild boars, sharp mountain peaks hidden by clouds, roaring surf, and traditional Hawaiian beliefs in curses and kahunas. He encounters immigrant Chinese plantation workers, the powerful white elite sugar barons, learns about leprosy, and marries. His Christian beliefs are not accepted by his new family. 

   Hawaiian Rebellions, Book Three of the trilogy: set during the last years of the 1800s as plantations are devouring land and Hawaiian water. John encounters two frightening groups following the old ways. Tattooed men attack, seeking human sacrificial victims and bring a worse scourge: disease. Thousands of Hawaiian leprosy victims are being sent to a remote island for life. Some hide in the remote Kauai valley Kalalau. When John's lawsuit brought to recover his farm water ends, he reaches his limits. How can he survive? Then the  businessmen overthrow the monarchy.   


               Two novels (plus one more) are set during Kamehameha's battles to unite the islands in the late 1700s.

   Splintered Paddle, a novel of Kamehameha the Great: 1790: Kamehameha's efforts to unite the islands is at a stalemate. He witnesses the metal cannon and muskets on Western sailing ships destroy "from afar" and realizes he can win with those weapons.  This novel opens when Kalani, a seventeen-year-old orphan, is sent to the warrior school in order to earn the award of being a "black land chief" and save his mother and sisters from slavery.  When Kamehameha selects him to be in charge of the western weapons. The battles are fictionalized historical battles at various dramatic parts of the islands of Hawaii and Maui: mountains, ocean, plains, and a volcano. Human sacrifice shocks him, and he learns about the treachery of men and women.

      Conquest, a sequel to Splintered Paddle: Kalani and his wife are settled on farmland awarded to him by Kamehameha when a night-time attack by tattooed warriors who set everything afire and kill those escaping. Kalani vows revenge. A chief tries to kill him, a former lover rescues him, he is asked to spy for Kamehameha, and meets British Captain Vancouver in the period when Oahu becomes the next battlefield to unify the islands.  Many twists and turns occur with treachery threatening him until the final, dramatic battle as warriors advance to the cliffs of Nuuanu.

       The End of the Gods, third in this series, is expected to be published in late 2021.


So, as I look back on my late teenage years when I wanted nothing more than to be a fisherman, I realize that facing the challenge of  Stanford, its law school, the practice of law in California, and then serving as a judge, led to my development as a person, and to a legal career where I believe I benefited society. All in all, it was a very wise decision to listen to my parents and attend college, an opportunity they never had. I learned so much about the world and people. Now I am back home near the ocean and enjoy a relaxed life with my wife, Judie.

                                                 Me ke aloha pumehana - May you be surrounded by love.


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