Golden Scroll Finalist 2015 Novel of the Year, Awards presented July 2015
Ambush Road on Mount Tantalus is a mystical place hiding secrets that destroy lives. In the summer of 1965, fourteen-year-old Didi Nakaoka’s life changes forever when she moves to the rainforest in the middle of Honolulu. Shadows of the past reach into the present shattering her childhood, and shoving her into realities she’s emotionally unprepared for. As she and her two best friends, Benny and Milo, explore the rainforest along with urban legends like the lady with no face and menehune marches, superstition merges with reality. Didi discovers she cannot hide from the ugly truths and consequences of evil and hate.
Didi’s first love, Benny, is a shy, awkward, handsome sixteen-year-old. His superstar athlete older brother and their dad, bully him. Unable to deal with life, his agoraphobic mom lives in a tool shed.
Didi admires sixteen-year-old Milo who lives up the street. The sexy, beautiful, and bold free spirit appears unafraid of crossing moral and legal lines. Until crossing the line leads all three of them to a dangerous point of no return.
Amidst a backdrop of multi-ethnic superstition, Didi faces dark truths at a time when revolt simmered among an entire generation of young adults who wanted to find themselves and their own truth. Didi wonders if she can emotionally survive the world she has been cruelly thrust into.
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Ambush Road takes place from the mid sixties to the early seventies, a time when I was coming of age. Hawaii has a rich history of immigrants, beginning with the Native Hawaiians who canoed their way from greater Polynesia. The white man was second and most of the workforce came from the Asia. Every group brought their own superstitions and religious beliefs.
Ambush Road takes place in the rainforest of Mount Tantalus amidst the ghost stories, urban legends, and the mores and folkways of that era. Almost everyone who grew up in Hawaii will be familiar with the menehune night marchers, the lady with no face, Pele, the volcano goddess, and Mako, the shark god.
To the malahinis, or newbies, enjoy these urban legends peculiar to my home state.
Mahalo and Aloha, Carole