As the toughest son with the fewest morals, Manō Alana promised his mother that he’d protect his siblings. Since her death, he’s embraced his role as the family heavy, but killing is the one part of his job he hates. And the awful nightmares driving him to commit violence aren’t doing him any favors—nor is the sinister, ancient magic calling to him from under the slopes of a dormant volcano.
A shakeup in power between rival drug lords reveals a half brother Manō didn’t know he had, complicating the Alana family’s plans to take over the marijuana trade on Maui. Not only that, but one wrong move could turn the sexy cop he’s involved with against the family.
When a crime the Alanas fought hard to bury is exposed, their whole cartel is in danger. Now Manō’s blood has him trapped between two clans: the siblings he’s loved since they were kids, and the ruthless, shadowy kin he just learned he has.
Manō can either succumb to the darkness threatening to drag him under or tap in to its power and embrace his role as a cold-blooded killer.
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About the Book
by Kendall Grey
Ohana Book Two
Howling Mad Press
February 19, 2019
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What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
A trip to Australia several years ago sparked the backdrop for my Just Breathe urban fantasy series. I was part of a whale research team and learned a ton about whales during my time there. Many of my experiences in Hervey Bay, Queensland became actual scenes in the Just Breathe books.
I also own property on Maui and go there at least once a year. Early visits fueled my ‘Ohana supernatural suspense series and gave me lots of ideas for not only portraying the setting of those books but also Hawaiian culture.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. Writing can be exhilarating or debilitating, depending on the book. When I write comedy, I usually have loads of fun. Heavier stories can be hard on the soul, though.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Yes! I have two pseudonyms—Seven Slade (check out COMING OUT, a friends-to-lovers romance with a twist) and Kendall Day (FALLING FOR MR. SLATER is an enemies-to-lovers teacher romance).
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I tried writing what everyone else writes, but it’s not for me. I’d rather make art than house payments (just ask Letty Dillinger, the heroine of my Hard Rock Harlots series). If I can’t write what I want, I don’t enjoy it. No point in being miserable, so I write original stories from my heart and hope the right readers will find them.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I took most of the money I made from STRINGS and put it toward my condo on Maui. Best investment ever! But nowadays, a good investment for me is paying a solid editor and quality cover designer for every novel. Bad editing and bad covers will ruin a book.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
THE PRICE YOU PAY by Aidan Truhen. It’s effing brilliant and so, so funny!
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Whales, of course! Whales have been my spirit animals since 2006 when I met my first one off the coast of Massachusetts. I wrote an entire series based on them (INHALE, EXHALE, and JUST BREATHE).
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Currently, three. They’re all written and have been through first-round edits, but for various reasons, I haven’t gotten back to finishing and publishing them. Maybe one day.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
My research is always extensive. I don’t often do a ton of research before writing, but I’ll stop to look things up while I’m writing. I’m a firm believer in fact-checking every little detail I’m not sure about.
What did you edit out of this book?
I had to cut several thousand words from COLD-BLOODED on the advice of my betas and editor, and it broke my heart. There’s one scene that provides the answers to all the mysteries in the ‘Ohana series (as well as a connection to my Just Breathe series and its upcoming spin-off books). Readers said it slowed the pace too much. While I understand that, it was painful to delete it. I wanted to yell, “The entire book is unpacked here, and you’re not seeing it! UGH!” But they were right. The scene slowed the pace too much, so I worked around it. Maybe I’ll published that deleted scene someday.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Ideally, I’d be a marine naturalist on whale watch boats.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
YES! All the time. In fact, pretty much every book I’ve published is connected in some way to the others. Sometimes it’s the characters; sometimes the worlds overlap. I love finding ways to connect my stories, even if readers don’t notice. It makes me feel like I’m welcoming a new member to the Kendall Grey ‘Ohana. Ha!
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Dealing with my own emotions around writing. I’m very hard on myself and have paper-thin skin. The tiniest bit of criticism hurts. When I get edits or beta feedback, I have to read through everything and step away from it for a few days so I can come back later and look at it more objectively. I try not to read reviews. Those can be brutal. It’s best to avoid reading other people’s opinions of my work.
Does your family support your career as a writer?
My husband is by far my biggest supporter. My kids pretty much ignore anything to do with my book stuff. Ha! My parents have both passed away, but my dad was around during my first release, and even though he didn’t read the story, he was very supportive. My sister and a couple aunts are also amazing. The rest of the family … I don’t think most of them view what I do as valuable or an actual job, even though this has been my full-time job since 2008. I don’t talk about my work around friends or family much. They’re just not interested.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely. I struggle with depression, and that puts a dent in my writing mojo from time to time. When I’m feeling down for long stretches, I can’t write. Thankfully, it’s been a while since I had a depressive episode, so writing has been much easier this last year. But yes, writer’s block is very real for me.
About Kendall Grey
A whale warrior, indie freedom fighter, and vodka martini aficionado, KENDALL GREY is calm like an F-bomb*. She writes about fierce women and the men who love them. Her aliases include Kendall Day (FALLING FOR MR. SLATER) and Seven Slade (COMING OUT).
Kendall lives off a dirt road near Atlanta, Georgia, with three mischievous Demonlings, a dashing geek in cyber armor, a long-haired miniature Dachshund that thinks she’s a cat, and an Aussie shepherd mix whose ice-blue eyes will steal your heart and hold it for ransom.
*Detonation manual not included.
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