Heart Wreck

Two damaged hearts. One tropical vacation. That’s where our story starts… Four years ago, a tragedy left me shattered, and my life has sucked since. So, when a guy I met online suggested we meet in Hawaii for a first date, I agreed to go. It sounded like an exciting adventure. But upon arriving, my date said he couldn’t make it. As an apology, he paid for my room and said to enjoy the resort on him. Though a nice offer, it meant I’d experience paradise alone. Or would I? Somehow, I’ve met someone interesting. Cillian is a handsome and mysterious fellow resort guest. He’s also on his own for the week. I’m drawn in by the questions he asks and how he listens and wants to learn about my life. Though I like him, I sense something has Cillian stuck in his past, giving him reservations about me. Can I see what’s happening between us in just six days? I’ll soon find out…

Meet Melinda Hazen

I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. I have a B.S. in family studies with an emphasis in child development. For most of my life, I’ve worked with students of all ages, from pre-k through high school. Photography, genealogy (especially helping adoptees find their birth parents), and Betsey Johnson accessories are a few of my many interests. Work on my novels has been done in my spare time—often late into the night. I enjoy writing romance because I can create the perfect couple who are striving to achieve their happily ever after. Everyone loves to be in love. And, to put it simply, I write books I want to read. My mornings always begin with a homemade iced latte. The remainders of my weekdays are spent either substitute teaching, going out to lunch, or working on my novels. My weekends are spent at soccer fields of varying location (I’m a soccer mom and love it), listening to psychological thrillers while on road trips, and binge-watching shows with the love of my life. Disneyland will forever be my favorite place on Earth and has provided many of my best memories with my son.

Islanders: The Pacific Chronicles

“I loved the combination of history, lore, education, entertainment…and I absolutely loved Eleu and Molawa.” -Tara Lewis, former Director, Disney Publishing Worldwide
“Islanders comes steeped in Hawaiian culture, mythology, and legends.” -D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer for Midwest Book Review
“Enormously entertaining, [the] tale deeply respects the myths that have inspired it.” -Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite
“Islanders is clearly a product of love… love of nature, love of Hawaii, and love of good storytelling.” -Reviewed by Jake Vander Ark, author of Put the Cat In the Oven Before You Describe the Kitchen: A Concise, No-Bull Guide To Writing Fiction

When eleven-year-old Kilikina and her brother, fourteen-year-old Kaimana, are unknowingly given access to a hidden and legendary world in their native O’ahu in the Hawaiian islands, they are also gifted with an unexpected set of magical abilities. Soon, they find themselves on an adventure, one in which they experience the interconnectedness of the world around them and begin to learn firsthand about the islands’ vast history and traditions.

Guided by a quirky and silly duo from a mythical race of tiny people, the siblings soon learn they have been chosen to help protect their island and way of life from a great evil. Are they up to the challenge?


Meet James Eldridge

Children’s book author James Eldridge and his illustrator brother Richard Eldridge were raised in Hawaii and were inspired to bring the beauty and mythology of their homeland to young readers with their middle-grade fantasy novel, Islanders, the first installment in The Pacific Chronicles series. James is married to the lovely, real-life Kilikina and together they have four children. Richard is married to his childhood friend, and together they have their own island girl.

After a near-fatal experience with COVID in 2021, including forty-five days on a ventilator in the ICU, multiple blood transfusions, being in an induced coma and having several live-saving surgeries, James’s road to recovery was both mentally and physically challenging. He and his brother worked together to bring this story to life, using their home as a background, as a way to focus on something creative and inspiring to help James put the nightmare of COVID behind him.

James and Richard explain that there is a fascinating concept of duality in the animal world in Hawaii: there are native species and invasive species, yet many people (especially visitors) cannot tell the difference. For their series, they enjoy using the idea that these species are secretly at war with each other for control of the island and nearly no humans are aware of it except for a chosen few.

The brothers hope their young readers come away from their stories having tasted a small part of the beautiful Hawaiian language, the soft strength and humor of its culture, a respect for its history, and a desire to visit. James now lives in Bentonville, Arkansas, while Richard lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. Islanders, book one in The Pacific Chronicles series, is their debut novel.