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Haole Wood Paperback – June 12, 2012

120 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Winner: 2013 San Diego Book Awards, Romance!

2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist!

"Haole Wood is a fun read with lots of local flavor and a heroine who's desperately trying to find a way to stop making bad choices. It's a story of overcoming cultural differences and coming of age. But most of all, it's an enjoyable mystery written with wit and an eye on the ultimate story goal--entertaining the reader." -

"5-Stars! ...An outstanding story and remarkable characters, but Haole Wood also gave me an intriguing culture and setting." - My Reading Room

"Haole Wood has the perfect blend of sassy and sarcastic humor and exciting and crazy situations." - The Indie Bookshelf

"The plot, the characters, the dialogues, the location, the humor, the mystery, the action, the drama, the romance... put them together and you get - the perfect beach read!" - Indie Book of The Day

"In addition to being something of a mystery...this is a romance...a sweet, delightful, fun book. Jaswinder is sassy and feisty, bless her. And her voice is so real." - Cupcake On Books

"...Filled with all the Aloha spirit that makes you sit back, relax, pull up a lounge, and enjoy a mai tai while reading it." - Chick Lit Central

"The writing style worked pretty well for me. In the beginning of the book, I like the voice – smooth and easy with a laid back, humorous style. I finished the book still liking the voice . . . It also satisfied my craving for something different which, after so many years of reading romances is sometimes difficult to do." - Dear Author

"This is one of those books that once you read it, you will be handing it around to your girlfriends, saying READ this—it's hilarious and sweet and inspiring at the same time! The book is also begging to be made into a movie!" - Bless Their Hearts Mom Blog

"Jaswinder's "coming of age" will resonate with readers as she embraces her Hawaiian heritage. I commend DeTarsio for her spot on references to surfing, tourism, and pidgin (local slang). Recommended read for those who are curious about Hawaiian culture, island life, and where fate can lead." - SOS Aloha

"Can Jaswinder save her Halmoni? Can Jaswinder save herself? You'll just have to read this utterly charming book to find out. Read this book if you need a laugh, and read it if you need a vacation." - Carol K. Carr, author of India Black, Madam of Espionage Mysteries

About the Author

DEE DeTARSIO's literary talents shine with tenderness and humor as she takes readers into the heart of women's lives. Filled with friendship, love, loss, betrayal, and challenges that force her characters to find their place in the universe, Dee's novels give us that hopefully-ever-after we're searching for.

Dee DeTarsio is a graduate of The Ohio State University and lives in southern California with her family. (She only goes back to visit Ohio for two days in early October because she is equally scared of tornadoes and getting trapped in a snowstorm.)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Dee DeTarsio (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615640494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615640495
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,101,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DEE DeTARSIO is a TV writer living in southern California. After growing up in Ennui, Ohio, and graduating from The Ohio State University she vowed never to be cold again (in a tantrum more worthy of Suellen than Scarlett) and ended up in Tucson, Arizona, producing the news for the CBS affiliate, oddly enough called KOLD-TV. She moved to San Diego where she worked in the SeaWorld entertainment department as a producer/writer. (Penguins are mean!) She then became a producer/writer for the NBC affiliate.

GINGER KRINKLES - Winner, New Apple Book Award 2015
ALL MY RESTLESS LIFE TO LIVE - Winner, 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards, Chick-Lit
HAOLE WOOD - Winner, 2013 San Diego Book Awards, Romance, 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist, Chick Lit, 2014 Readers' Choice Awards Nominee/Chick Lit, Big Al's Books and Pals
THE SCENT OF JADE - Finalist, San Diego Book Awards
THE KITCHEN SHRINK - Finalist, San Diego Book Awards
ROS - Amazon Bestseller, Contemporary Women Graphic Novels
'TIL SOMEBODY LOVES YOU -Romantic Comedy Quick-Pick Novella

Though her mother never beat her (that hard) and her father is not a celebrity, she suspects one of her four sisters is a vampire.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Lord Rose on November 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When the main character, on page two, says that her mom is not the boss of her, I have serious doubts about the maturity of said character. The parts that I read (the beginning) had problematic grammar, and the narration jumped back and forth in a rather confusing way. The main character's on Hawaii, then suddenly she starts going on about her job, and then some ghost(?) and disaster and her sister and I have no idea what she's talking about.

I admit to having downloaded this, in part, to see just how badly the author mangles local culture. As someone living in Hawaii, I actually found the book somewhat offensive. Although admittedly I haven't been here that long myself, my grandparents have lived in Hawaii for years, so I spent months out of every year here while growing up.

As for the facts- far more Hawaiians speak only English than speak Hawaiian. Hawaiian actually almost completely died out in the 1970s, and the only reason it still exists as a language is the hard work of a few dedicated individuals (university professors) in reviving it. Very few people actually speak Hawaiian at all. Anyone born in Hawaii since the 1920s probably speaks Pidgin, a mixture of English with other languages, but certainly understandable to someone from the mainland. And the taxi driver would probably speak Pidgin- not the broken English that was written.

I really don't see why the main character can't understand her grandmother. If her grandmother is Hawaiian/Korean, that means she was born in Hawaii, and should speak the local language- Pidgin. She's not even an immigrant, and immigrants certainly learn the language after living in a place for years.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Julie B on May 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I was intrigued by the cover, and hooked by the third page. This lovely book has action and drama (there was a murder after all), but it has so much more: romance (I do not want to give anything away, but I loved the ending!), a little bit of philosophy, and just a whole island vibe of aloha. If you can't get to Maui anytime soon, Haole Wood can take you there.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Gifted Grownup on November 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I confess I've only read the first few pages of this book, via on-line preview. Having lived in Hawaii (as a haole girl), I was very disappointed almost instantly at the author's lack of research or understanding of Island culture. To write credible dialogue, you have to know your speakers. For example, Artie the cab driver, on learning the protagonist is visiting her grandmother, says "That's cool that you have family here. You're so white, though. What a haole!" I cannot imagine a Hawaiian saying that. (Manners are very important to the local folks.) A much more authentic version of that would be, "Fo real?! Eh, you really pull da haole side though, yeah?" The author is implying some underlying bigotry with a contrived dialogue, where the authentic response would likely be curiosity and a non-judgemental comment on which side of her family the woman favors. It appeared to me that this book was written by someone who's been a tourist on Maui but didn't absorb much of the local flavor. I also agree with another reviewer about the atrocious grammar and punctuation, which was very distracting.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Llewellyn on August 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
When the author contacted me and asked me to review Haole Wood I jumped on it. A few hours in Hawaii? Beautiful beaches, beautiful people, sun, sand and adventure? I'm in!

Jaswinder Park is living her dream as a TV weather girl in San Diego. When she has to go to Maui to bail her old Hawaiian healer grandmother (whom she barely knows and can't understand) out of jail for selling pot, she not only loses her job but her whole life. Or so she thinks.

Haole Wood is a funny, lighthearted tale that takes us on Jaswinder's journey of self-discovery. Stuck (stuck?) in Maui , feeling sorry for herself and ruminating on the disaster that is her life, she becomes involved in the murder of a prominent island resident. Her grandmother is arrested for his murder, and Jaswinder begins to learn some important life lessons as she works to prove her innocence. With the aid, I might add, of a giant, naked Hawaiian guardian angel who has a penchant for showing up at the most inopportune times.

This book is a delightful blend of romance, mystery, adventure. Dee DeTarsio has a talent for dialogue and expressing her characters' voices and personalities in a very real way. So talented, in fact, that I came to adore Halmoni even though she could only speak two words of English -- "Not that." And Jaswinder, oh, Jaswinder. There were a couple of times when I wished I could turn that girl over my knee. Maybe that's because I saw bits and pieces of my younger self in her stubborn, flighty nature. But that's also a part of her considerable charm.

And the setting -- how can you go wrong with Maui? Well, you can. I've seen it done.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ShyReviewer on June 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is my first book by this author. Love her voice! It was laugh-out-loud in many places, and I was totally charmed by the protag, her grandmother and her "helper." (I won't give the last one away :-) Would've liked to see the "helper" introduced earlier so he wasn't so "out of left field." I get that the little flashes here and there were supposed to be foreshadowing, but I don't think they, as a device, really worked. Regardless, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys humor and a heroine who is her own worst enemy.
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