Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Guest Blogger: Julie Eberhart Painter, Author of Daughters of the Sea

Laura, descended from the Princess Kura, revisits her Tahitian heritage to seek her birth father, a Polynesian navigator

Ian, an English journalist connected by heritage, falls in love with Laura. He’s by her side when dejá vu overtakes her and they are plunged into the past to the time of Captain Cook’s first landing on the islands, 243 years prior.

Chased by the demons of her ancestor’s past, and fearing for her sanity, Laura and Ian work to find the answers to her quest.

How I spent my winter vacation finding paradise: Research: can anyone spell tax deduction? by Julie Eberhart Painter

It was the Midwestern storm of January 26, 1978 that convinced us it was time to move out of Ohio and seek respite. It’s one thing to “winter” in “Winterland”, but another to live in a climate that locks you in half the year.

Our destination: a three-week luxury tour/escape from Cleveland to the South Pacific. At five-fifteen the morning of our departure, my husband Shaw tapped on the barometer.

“What’s this? This can’t be right. The barometer has dropped to 28.28.” The temperature plummeted from an unseasonable 50 degrees to 15 degrees. Icy rain slanted toward our townhouse condo.

The temperature dropped to zero. Our son Steve rolled down the window to chip ice off the windshield. The white blanket of oncoming snow raced toward us. We could see nothing. Had the car skidded into a drift, no one would have found us until spring!

Hopkins Airport’s sliding-glass doors, which should move smoothly from side to side, flapped back and forth like sheets on a line. A little man in winter gear wearing thick leather gloves hovered over his computer keyboard. The airport was on quarter power. He looked up as we approached dragging our baggage.

“What are you doing here? Go home—if you can get home. Nothing will fly today.”

Cars and trucks littered the road. Most of the off ramps were drifted closed. Orange barriers sprung up, warning the public that roads were impassible. There had to be a warmer place to be, if only…

Let’s say, we were predisposed to loving Tahiti, and soon fell in love with Polynesia. We’ve returned to those islands many times since. In Daughters of the Sea, I take you there to wallow in the culture: welcoming, warm and magical.

My heroine, Laura is possessed by her ancestor of 243 years prior. Finding that she’s adopted and the daughter of a modern-day Polynesian navigator, Laura travels to Tahiti to confront the father who gave her away. She meets Ian, who’s on holiday before relocating to the States to write for a travel magazine. Drawn into an intrigue that endangers her life and forever changes his, they uncover Laura’s exotic ancestral history.

One of the challenges of writing Daughters was to bring the story of Captain Cook’s men into the readers’ view so they could understand the Romeo and Juliet drama taking place in 1769 between her ancestors Justin Adams, Cook’s Cabin boy, and Kura, the island princess. Because of the stilted language, a friend asked where I’d gotten Justin’s diary entries,

“They’re so poetic and old fashioned.”

"I wrote them," I said. The Fatal Impact by Alan Moorehead holds the voices of the men from the Endeavour, Captain Cook’s ship. Their letters guided me in creating the voice for Justin’s diary.

Example: Justin’s reflections at the first sighting of his island lover:

She stood at the back among other young women in the narrow boat, but none held my eyes as she did. She singled me out, and I felt compelled to wave her a greeting. Arms stretched above her head, she leapt from the boat and swam toward me. Her sleek shoulders sliced through the sea. She scrambled up the hemp ladder and jumped onto the deck shaking her glossy black hair. Sparks of water flew from her head catching the light as if they were diamonds. Her naked body gleamed as the seawater beaded and trickled in rivulets to the deck’s surface. Entwined in her hands were blossoms she’d lifted from her headdress. They swung free in a ring as she danced forward and laid them around my shoulders. I reached for her, but she slipped from my grasp. With a promissory glance, she dove from the ship until all I could see was the powerful kick of her feet and her noble head carving through the opal and sapphire swells. She hast undone me whilst welcoming me to this Garden of Eden into which our captain has brought us.


Julie Eberhart Painter, born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was raised in Bucks County by her adoptive family. She worked in Ohio and Georgia in nursing homes as a volunteer coordinator and later as a community ombudsman. In Daytona Beach, Florida, Julie served as a bereavement volunteer at the local hospice, and contributed to two of their self-help books.

Time permitting (Laughter here) Julie’s hobbies include duplicate bridge, art, music, dance, reading and world travel. Julie is a regular blogger at http://thewritersvineyard.com/ , and a staff columnist for Cocktails, Fiction and Gossip Magazine, http://cocktailsmagazine.wix.com/fictionandgossip#!issue-17, an online slick. Bewildering Stories has published nine of her flash fictions tales at http://www.bewilderingstories.com/bios/painter_bio.html

Kill Fee, a cozy mystery won the Coffee Time Romance & More award for Best Book. Champagne Books awarded it Best Book for 2011. Medium Rare, the sequel, released in December 2012.
Learn more at www.books-jepainter.com

Contact Julie:

Twitter: @JulieEPainter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julieeberhart.painter
Linked-In: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=108603208


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Thank you again, Cheryl for your blogging space and generous offer to feature me.

Talking it up folks.

Cheryl said...

Always great to host, MuseItUp authors. Your book sounds wonderful, Julie.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Hey, I've had some personal mail through Facebook and my website. How about showing Cheryl how much we appreciate her. (Pausing for the applause to die down.) Thanks.

Cheryl said...

Oh, I'm so glad. I always hope my ramblings make a difference.