Publication Date: October 30, 2013
During the cultural revolution of the 1960’s and ’70’s, the war in Vietnam continued, daily casualties calmly reported on the evening news. Shaw, a brilliant ex-Navy Seal, has managed to come home alive after two tours in Vietnam and is now involved in black ops with Naval Intelligence, stationed in the exotic Hawaiian Islands.
The revolution had evolved into social and anti-war protests, rock ‘n roll, drugs, feminism, burn-your-bras, and casual sex, arriving in Hawaii as tradewinds of change.
An unorthodox romance springs up between Shaw and Marie, his boss’s daughter. From the moment they meet, sparks fly and the erotic heat between them runs as hot as the lava streaming from Hawaii’s volcano, Kilauea.
Thus, the first installment of the Sliding into Black trilogy begins.
“Out of the gloom, I saw a tall man coming toward me from behind the bar, at last – the bartender! I felt him stop in front of me and without glancing up from digging in my purse for some money, placed my order. The man cleared his throat, I looked up and caught my breath. My god what a gorgeous man! Tall, about six foot four, with a honed physique (every muscle defined under his thin white t-shirt), thick, blue-black hair pulled into a ponytail and blue eyes, the color of deep water – maybe royal blue or indigo, glittering mischievously at me. Wow, immediate sparks.
The bartender said, “Lady, I think you are in the wrong establishment. I would prefer that you leave before there is any trouble.” I looked at him, then scanned the room as well as I could in the twilight. I replied, “Look, mister. This is 1970 and ladies go where they choose. And this lady would like a double rum and coke, double-quick.”
He glared at me and said dangerously, “My name is Shaw, not mister. I own this bar, and I can damn well invite you to leave.” Sharply he yelled, “Ben – get your ass over here and escort this ‘lady’ out, please.” In the background, I could swear time stood still.
And I also heard, “Stupid haole moe ipo,” rough translation, stupid white slut. Ohhhh, that pissed me off!
To hide my embarrassment, I said nonchalantly, “Well, now, Shaw, I’m sorry if I somehow got off on the wrong foot with you, but I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time, and I normally don’t cause problems. So, how about that drink?”
Shaw stopped, looked at me sharply, waved Ben off and grim-faced, made my double rum and coke. He brought it around the counter and leaned next to me, a little closer than I care for, and replied, “This bar can be a dangerous place, a lot of merchant seamen on leave come in here, not to mention soldiers and sailors on R & R, along with some druggies and a smuggler or two – all really horny – and they’d love to have a taste of a babe like you.”
“Isn’t that so, Kam?”, he directed to the white haired Hawaiian at the other end of the bar, who nodded emphatically.
“I just don’t want to see you hurt. With that body and face of yours, you will undoubtedly attract attention, probably the kind you don’t want. And, I’m busy and don’t have time to worry about you.”
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Tough question! I am an avid, maybe even rabid book reader! So here goes, not in any particular order, and not any favorite over the other.
1) The Bone Bed, Patricia Cornwell. I love her characters, how they seem to stand in front of you, and the intricate details that she weaves into every book.
2) Bonnie, Iris Johansen. Ms. Johansen’s work fascinates me and Eve is an irrestible character.
3) Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb. Love, love, love everything that Norah Roberts aka J.D. Robb writes. All of her characters are ultra-cool and the plots well defined.
4) Feastday of Fools, James Lee Burke. Mr. Burke has a unique writing style that is amazing in it’s descriptiveness and detail. Every word leaps off the page and a picture starts forming immediately of each character, location, and each action.
5) A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin (all 4 books). Epic story telling, like watching a movie in your head.
These are just newer books, there are many, many other authors and classics that beguile me.
How do you approach cover design?
This is a great question because personally, the cover of a book will attract me first as I am a visual person and learner. First the cover needs to pull me in and second, I like interesting pictures or drawings and hope that they give me a hint of what’s inside. For Sliding into Black, it was imperative to show a Hawaiian beach, then hopefully a Shaw and Maria. It came together well!
What do you read for pleasure?
Fantasies, Science Fiction, Mysteries and Erotic Romances.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Right now, a Kindle Fire. Love it!
Describe your desk
My desk is a mess. But don’t touch it! Each stack means something and only I know what it is!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was a semi-military brat, lived all over the U.S. and Hawaii. So far, there is nowhere that has beat Hawaii for overall climate, beaches, things to do and see, and wonderful warm people! Hawaii has influenced my life more than anyplace I lived, except for twenty years on a horse and cattle farm. I loved writing the first book of the Sliding into Black trilogy with Hawaii as the setting – so romantic!
When did you first start writing?
I started writing as a child, mostly diaries and journals. As I progressed through school, several teachers told me that I should consider writing as a profession. But life happens. Now I have the chance to write books and am loving every minute of it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sharing thoughts, ideas and introducing people to new places or bringing back memories for them. Of course, there is always a release. Writing can be cathartic.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are why I write. They let you know what they like and what they don’t pretty quick and I love the feedback – take every bit to heart and apply to the next book. You can’t grow without praise and constructive criticism. I appreciate every fan!
What are you working on next?
Book 2 of the Sliding into Black trilogy. What’s going on with Shaw? What will Marie do? So much fun!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family, my cat and my horses!
T.L. Kitae is a retired journalist and magazine publisher residing in Asheville, N.C. Unable to sit still for long, she writes and attends school full time to obtain her long awaited Registered Nursing degree and license.
She is married to her long time sweetheart, enjoys riding her two horses, has a silly cat, and loves spending time with her daughter and son-in-law.
Currently she is working on Book 2 of the Sliding into Black Trilogy.
Connect with T.L. Kitae:
Smashwords Interview: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/tlkitae
Smashwords profile page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/tlkitae