Friday, July 19, 2024

Opening Paragraphs To Hook the Reader #AmWriting

Iolani Palace in Honolulu on Oahu, Hawaii
the only royal palace in the USA
(recent photo)

At a Hawaii Fiction Writers workshop, authors read opening paragraphs of their current writing projects. Good opening sentences draw the reader into the writer's world to immediately hook them with promises of an action-filled thriller, conflicting emotions of a true romance, or unfolding drama in a historical novel. 

Author and Mental Health Professional, Joy Ogawa, who was born and raised in Hawaii and states she has been creating worlds and characters since age five, was invited to share news of her recently published debut historical novelVictoria Ward and the Gilded Age of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Opening lines of Joy Ogawa's historical novel introduce the reader to the regal side of the 19th century Hawaiian Kingdom, showcasing protagonist Victoria Kathleen Robinson Ward and her family.

The Kingdom of Hawai'i
Iolani Palace

A beautiful part-Hawaiian, part-Caucasian woman fusses over her daughters’ Victorian finery as they exit the carriage. She arranges them in order by age, except for the guest of honor. The palace doors open, and the Royal Hawaiian Guard announce their arrival. “Your Majesty, introducing Ms. Annie Eva Theresa Einei Ward, debutant, the fourth daughter of Mrs. Victoria Kathleen Robinson Ward and the late Mr. Curtis Perry Ward. She is accompanied by her six sisters and brother-in-law.” 

King David Laʻamea Kamananakapu Mahinulani Naloiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua is a charming and handsome modern renaissance man who cuts a dashing figure in his ceremonial Victorian English royal and military dress with fashionable bushy mutton chops. Jovial, his brown eyes sparkle with delight as he formally receives the Ward family.

Ogawa, Joy (2024-01-04T22:58:59.000). Victoria Ward and the Gilded Age of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Austin Macauley Publishers. Kindle Edition.


1889, Iolani Palace, O'ahu: The majestic Hawaiian Kingdom teeters on the brink of oblivion. At its heart stands Victoria Ward, a woman of royal Hawaiian blood, bound by her lineage and duty. Armed with vast lands, ancient cultural rituals, and the unwavering loyalty of her villagers, she becomes the beacon of hope for a nation under threat.

From my Book Review:
Excellently researched and professionally written history of Hawaii alii, royalty, and family life on Oahu right up to present day headlines. Victoria Robinson Ward's strong family focus and tough business sense are highlighted throughout.


Wednesday, July 17, 2024

WWW Wednesday #AmReading


Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words.  Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

WWW Wednesday, 17-July-2024 | Taking On a World of Words (


Currently I am reading Vixen 03 by Clive Cussler. Last year I decided to start reading more series books so I wouldn't always be wondering what my next read would be. Mr. Cussler's long list of novels and action-packed plots are a perfect addition to my reading list. I don't often write book reviews but when an interesting remark or topic item within the plot catches my eye, as happened with this story, it compels me to write a short essay to post on my blog (which will appear in August.)

Recently, I read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, a book club choice. I haven't been reading many literary novels, but this one is definitely my favorite of the year. Along with the entertainment factor, it also offers excellent suggestions for future reading.

Next on my reading list is Wolf Pack by C.J. Box, another series author who has made my reading experience a pleasurable pastime.  Another amazing author, Randy Wayne White, will follow with Black Widow.

What's on your reading list?