Freshly brewed in Hawaii and sent to you with love.
Dear Friends & Readers,
I hope 2021 is being kind to you, you deserve it! I've been busy lately and have a few good things to share:
1. Bookish News
2. 3 Recent Reads
3. Short Life Lessons
4. 6 Top Picks For 2021
5. A Sneak Peak At My 5th Novel, yay!
For anyone in Australia/New Zealand, The Lieutenant’s Nurse just released over there in paperback. I love seeing my books in the larger format, they feel so substantial! Red Sky Over Hawaii is also available there, and has even been spotted in a tiny library near Muriwai. So fun!
In the US, The Lieutenant’s Nurse is on Kindle Unlimited through the end of March, so download it if you haven’t already! And please spread the word.
Radar Girls is now on NetGalley for those of you who are members. I’d be happy if you request it and post a Goodreads review if you enjoy it.
Also, please follow me on Instagram @saraackermanbooks and Facebook @ackermanbooks for giveaways leading up to the release of Radar Girls July 27.
3 RECENT READS
TO BE HONEST, I listened to two of these and watched the third. I am sharing them with you because I think each one is wonderful in its own unique way. Also, I would recommend reading The Wim Hof Method rather than listening, so you can easily reference all the information, but definitely listen to Green Lights. And though I watched Virgin River on Netflix, I have heard the books are even better! Right now, I’m all about easy reads.
The Wim Hof Method, by Wim Hof
Have you heard of Wim Hof, the Iceman? Here’s a blurb from the back of his book. “Wim Hof has a message for each of us: ‘You can literally do the impossible. You can overcome disease, improve your mental health and physical performance, and even control your physiology so you can thrive in any stressful situation.’ With The Wim Hof Method, this trailblazer of human potential shares a method that anyone can use—young or old, sick or healthy—to supercharge their capacity for strength, vitality, and happiness.”
After listening to this fascinating look into his life and methods, I downloaded his App and started doing the breathing on my own. I was looking for ways to boost my immune system, because it feels like an important time to take our health into our own hands. When I first started, I could barely hold my breath for a minute. Now, I’m up to three and a half minutes and shooting for four. I love it and feel highly energized.
Green Lights, by Matthew McConaughey
It turns out that Matthew McConaughey is not only a great actor, but a great storyteller too. The book is drawn from his diaries of a life well lived. I appreciated his humor, his honesty and his wisdom, as well as the little glimpses of trouble he got into, because, hey, haven’t we all gotten into a bit of trouble along the way? An extremely heartfelt, entertaining, and inspiring book.
Virgin River,by Robyn Carr
Since Robyn Carr (the author of the Virgin River books that inspired the Netfix series) and I have the same publisher, and since her titles have sold over 27 million copies, I thought I better watch it and possibly learn a thing or two. Immediately, I was struck by the gorgeous scenery. I’m a sucker for Canada, and though the imaginary town of Virgin River is supposed to be in California, it is filmed in Vancouver. We’ve (Todd is watching it too) only finished season one, but I highly recommend it if you enjoy small towns, big characters, and a dash of romance and mystery. Each episode ends on a major cliffhanger, which definitely is keeping us hooked. It’s relatively light and a perfect escape from the world right now!
SHORT LIFE LESSONS
I recently had the pleasure to do an interview with WorldClassPerformer.com, a site devoted to sharing advice and tactics from experts in various fields, with the aim of inspiring and helping people get the most out of life. The site reminds me a bit of the book Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss, which I found fascinating. I have quite a varied background – from counseling psychology to education to Chinese medicine to writing – and hope you might find some of this info useful in some way, shape or form. I'm including part of the interview below. Enjoy!
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life? I was born and raised in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. My parents were very outdoorsy types and I spent much of my childhood in the ocean and traipsing around rainforests and volcanoes with them–my father in particular. On numerous occasions, we were lost high on a mountain, stuck in a flooded valley, or walking over active lava flows, evading the park rangers. I think this created a deep love of nature in me, and the desire to help preserve our wild spaces. Now, as an author, I write my love of nature into the books and people always comment on how much they love the settings. When you infuse what you love into your work, you can’t go wrong!
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life? Life is short, so don’t waste one second of your precious time!
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise? Maybe, ‘write what you know‘. In some ways, I think it helps (as in setting, like I just mentioned), but I was no WWII expert and now I have 4 WWII novels under my belt. I knew some stories from my grandparents and parents, who lived through the war here, but most of my information came from research. I say, write what you are passionate about. And do your research.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
These are 6 of the historical novels I am most excited about in 2021! This is a carefully curated list ranging from a secret apothecary shop in London to Agatha Christie's mysterious 11 day disappearance in 1926. And not one but two books that have been compared to Where The Crawdad's Sing (one of my faves), to a top secret group of women charged with defending the Hawaiian Islands from attack during WWII (Radar Girls). Of course, I love anything by Kate Quinn, and The Rose Code about the nervy female codebreakers of Bletchley Park is sure to be amazing.
So much to look forward to!
Read more below about each book, and click on the title to order at Bookshop.org, the fabulous online bookseller that supports indie bookstores.
By Julie Carrick Dalton. A startling and timely debut, Julie Carrick Dalton's Waiting for the Night Song is a moving, brilliant novel about friendships forged in childhood magic and ruptured by the high price of secrets that leave you forever changed.
By Kate Quinn. The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female codebreakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.
By Marie Benedict. The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room returns with a thrilling reconstruction of one of the most notorious events in literary history: Agatha Christie's mysterious 11-day disappearance in 1926.
By Kristin Harmel. The New York Times bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names returns with an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.
BOOK 5 IS UNDERWAY
So, about that next book. When you sign with a publisher, you sign for a one book deal or a multi-book deal. My first contract was for two books, my second contract was for one, and my third was for two. This next book is my fifth novel and I honestly cannot believe it!
Another thing about working with a publisher is they like to keep you writing in the same genre–in my case, historical fiction. I have other unpublished novels that are not historical, and other fun novel ideas that are contemporary women's fiction with a dash of magical realism thrown in. But those will have to wait.
However, in preparation to switch gears, my next novel is a dual timeline, set in 1942/43 and 1965. I outlined this story quite a bit (I had to with the dual narrative, which I've only done once), so I know the major plot points, but as always, there will be a bunch of surprises along the way as I flesh out each story.
Here's a glimpse (please keep in mind this is not the polished synopsis that goes on the back cover):
1943 A brilliant female codebreaker comes to Hawaii, working on cracking the Japanese fleet code to help win the war that took her brother's life.
1965 A young journalist returns home from San Francisco to cover the grand opening of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Lawrence Rockefeller's newest project and the most expensive hotel ever built.
The two women's lives are stitched together by a handsome pilot (of course), a fateful message, and a mysterious disappearance at the hotel that raises questions about what really happened 20 years ago during the war.
I grew up going to the Mauna Kea for Sunday brunch with my grandparents whenever we visited from Oahu, and more recently I was lucky enough to work on the beach there for a couple of years. I'm very excited to write about another one of my favorite places in the islands. See above pic of Kauna'oa Bay.
Current Title:Hotel at the Edge of the World. Though it is likely to change as titles most often do.
- Lalah Delia
Wishing all of you a fabulous day or a fabulous night, and a fabulous life.