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We strive to bring you the latest news with PRIDE. On the Blog today, A Divine Tour Stop for A.J. Llewellyn, A Wizard in Waikiki. Get all the saucy details here!
I am so excited to be here talking about my reissued novella, A Wizard in Waikiki. This was an idea for a series of books that came to me after the success of my series A Vampire in Waikiki series. I love paranormal stories and I love the unexpected. My stories can never be accused of being cookie-cutter M/M romances, especially my fantasy/paranormal stories.
All of mine originate from actual myths, many long, long forgotten, such as the story of four mysterious Tahitian wizards who sailed from their South Seas home in double-hulled canoes to the shores of Honolulu a few hundred years ago and started performing miracles of healing on the locals.
What fascinated me was to stumble across four massive stones in a small enclosure on Waikiki Beach that nobody knew very much about, but an old man told me the tale. And I became obsessed.
He told me that Kapaemahu was the leader of the four wizards. He was revered for his ability to ignore strict taboos of the time and care for both men and women. Kapuni was the medical man. It is said he envelop his patients with his mana, power. Kinohi was the clairvoyant one and Kahaloa— whose name means “long breath” the only woman among them was said to be able to breathe life into her patients.
The art of healing they practiced is known in the Islands as la‘au lapa‘au. In this practice, plants and animals from the land and sea, which are known to have healing properties, are used in combination with prayer and song to promote healing.
These four great wizards suddenly left the islands, infusing their individual powers into the stones. For many years, their legend was forgotten. I did a lot of research and learned the stones were not used the way the wizards wanted. They were supposed to be used for the continuing good health and prosperity for the locals but they were abandoned, left up near the mountains of Oahu until they were discovered several years ago.
Today they stand in a locked enclosure, still not being used the way the wizards probably intended and this gave me the idea for my book.
What if there had been more than four? What if one of the wizards had come here with a nephew who’d been banished by his uncle for being gay?
And what if he came back to present day Waikiki with all its modern problems and tried to help?
A Wizard in Waikiki has two books in the series so far, and I am writing the third. I hope you get a chance to read the first book, which has a wonderful new cover. It is one of my favorite books and Konu, the lost Tahitian wizard has been a joy for me to create. His lover, Jason Gamble, is a thoroughly contemporary man who hasn’t given much thought to time and times past. But with Konu in his life, magic can and does happen.
Even in Waikiki.
TITLE: A Wizard in Waikiki
AUTHOR: A.J. Llewellyn
PUBLISHER: Ai Press
COVER ARTIST: Sid Love
LENGTH: 62 Pages
RELEASE DATE: April 25, 2016
BLURB: Summoned from the past, Konu rises naked from the sea to reclaim his power for the freedom to live—and love. If the forces of evil don’t get to him first!
On a hot day in Waikiki, beachgoers are stunned when a tall, handsome man rises from the ocean. Striding naked to a small, ringed enclosure containing four huge stones most tourists never even notice, he becomes visibly upset. These are Wizard Stones, positioned between the beach and the foot traffic on Kalakaua Avenue. Konu, the naked man, is agitated by a young Asian girl draping her beach towel over the stones. He’s come a long way, from Tahiti, and is one of the ancient wizards whose power was infused into these sacred stones four hundred years ago.
With the invisible battle between good and evil raging, Konu has been dispatched to help balance the power. Landing in modern-day Waikiki, he’s stunned by the changes – and to find he is alone. A cop tries to arrest him for indecent exposure but the young girl’s grandfather – who thinks Konu’s a homeless lunatic offers him refuge. Will the ancient forces of evil beat this wizard in Waikiki? Or can Konu find his power again, and perhaps…even love?
Publisher’s note: This book was previously published. It has been edited and re-released with Ai Press.
He rose from the cold, dark depths of the ocean, pain and fear eating at him as his human form slowly molded and emerged, begging for air. Precious, sweet air. He needed to breathe. As he stumbled onto the hot sand at last, the heat seared his feet, but the pain in his body vanished as he took deep, gulping breaths. His human form was so astonishing, it struck him as being perfect, even though his feet hurt.
It wasn’t ego. He had been forbidden to enjoy his physical, earthly body for five hundred years.
I am alive. I am human. I am here!
He longed to stand and just… be, to absorb the moment he’d waited for, but Konu sensed the stares of people at the beach. His long, wet black hair clung to his face and shoulders as his gaze took in the mass of bodies… the colorful strips of fabric they wore. He had come a long way. Under cover of darkness, using only the stars for guidance, Konu arrived at the place they called Waikiki. Now, in the late afternoon light, his strength sapped, he’d been forced to leave the sanctity of the sea. He’d tried to wait for night, but he was tired… so tired.
For five hundred years, his soul and those of the four sorcerers he’d worked with, watched and waited.
In the distance, at the edges of the sand, he saw the flash of large beasts… loud sounds, flickering tiki torches, the flashes of smiles. He heard laughter and the jarring sound of a dozen different languages. Then he saw them. All of the sights and sounds stilled. His heart gave a lurch at the sight of the stones.
Konu flushed with anger as a woman draped a thick, brightly colored towel over the iron gate and onto one of the four boulders representing the sacred mana of the ancient, fifteenth century wizards—Kapaemahu, Kahaloa, Kapuni and… Kinohi, Konu’s grandfather. Konu had been the fifth wizard, the sacred protector of the stones… until he’d been banished.
“Hey!” the woman shouted as he pulled her wet towel from the iron gate surrounding the stones and tossed it onto the ground.
The word Aloha flashed up at him from the pooled fabric.
Konu narrowed his eyes as his gaze shifted to the woman. Was she the sign he’d been seeking?
He reached in through the bars to touch the boulders. It wasn’t easy. The gate kept a distance between the stones and prying human hands. He glanced at the white pigeons sitting vigil on the rocks. The tiny bird heads turned in his direction. These miniature keepers of the fire looked as exhausted as he felt. They were dirty, unkempt, very sick birds. Konu read their energies. His mind flashed on mass, migratory deaths. These were the survivors. They had flocked to the stones as creatures in trouble always had. They needed his help.
The gate had a small lock that in his normal strength, he could have removed, but he was weakened by the journey. He was relieved that the four wizard stones seemed intact. His heart almost broke at the sight of one very scrawny bird that looked near death as it lay on his grandfather’s rock. The bird kept pecking at itself, biting at a raw wound in its wing. Konu held his hand near the bird, unable to reach it. The bird scuttled a little closer. It tucked its head under its wing and Konu worked his magic. He tried to sense if the bird wanted to live or die, but people were jostling him now, and he had to work fast.
He gave the creature life and with a flap of his hand, produced a few worms on top of the rock face. The bird gobbled quickly. The stone’s supernatural power would restore the bird’s fire-core. Konu grappled to touch the rock. He saw now that people had brought offerings. Purple orchid leis dangled along the gateposts. Somebody had left a shell lei, too. He gingerly stroked it. A recent addition.
Two bronze plaques stood before them. He scanned the writing. He recognized it as English. He had to retrain his mind to read the words.
The voices around him grew loud again as his hand crackled like lightning against the sensing power of the stones. Ah, magic still dwells here. He felt the separate, yet unified, energies of each wizard infused inside the stones. He took a deep breath as his hand came to the last stone, which represented his grandfather. Konu, long exiled from his family, yearned for this sincere connection with Kinohi. His hand neared the stone, but fell on a yellow lei. Ilima, flower of the gods.
He bent his head and wept.
They haven’t forgotten us.
So long he’d waited and now he was here, his emotions had gotten the better of him. He gripped the iron bars for a moment, blinking away the hot tears on his face. He reached out once again, this time touching his grandfather’s stone. A dim stirring from within. The mana was still there. Polluted, but it was there. Sleeping. The stone had sought to protect itself. He understood now why his family had sent him here.
The bird he’d healed stood on wobbly legs. Konu saw that one of them was broken. With another flick of his wrist, he restored the injured foot. The bird glanced at him with one beady eye, hopped to the tallest rock, and settled down to watch him.
“Fly,” Konu said, but the bird remained with its companions.
“He threw my towel down!” the woman beside him shouted. “Somebody get the police. This guy is lolo…he’s crazy!”
A.J. Llewellyn lives in California, but dreams of living in Hawaii. Frequent trips to all the islands, bags of Kona coffee in the fridge and a healthy collection of Hawaiian records keep this writer refueled.
A.J’s passion for the islands led to writing a play about the last ruling monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili’uokalani as well as a non-erotic novel about the overthrow of her kingdom written in diary form from her maid’s point of view.
A.J. never lacks inspiritation for male/male erotic romances and on the rare occasion this happens, pursues other passions such as collecting books on Hawaiiana, surfing and spending time with friends and animal companions.
A.J. Llewellyn believes that love is a song best sung out loud.
Winner’s Prize: 5 E-copies of A Wizard in Waikiki
April 25: Diverse Reader
April 26: My Fiction Nook
April 27: Rainbow Book Reviews
April 29: The Novel Approach
May 2: Rick R. Reed
May 3: Love Bytes Reviews
May 5: Prism Book Alliance
May 6: Loving Without Limits
May 9: Queer Sci-Fi
May 11: Divine Magazine
May 12: Drops of Ink