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Words and Wine Author Talk Story

Each month Kona Stories hosts an event with local and traveling authors. This event happens the First Tuesday evening of the month starting at 6 PM. Authors are available to talk story while you are getting your plate of appetizers and glass of complimentary wine. Authors then give a 15 minute talk about their book and themselves, the writing and publishing process or a short reading from the book. After all the authors presentations there is a time for individual questions and book signings with the authors. Expect 2 - 3 authors to attend each month and the evening to wrap up around 8 PM. Dress is Aloha casual wear.

April Authors Are:

Gary L. Ivey was born and raised in Oklahoma and was educated in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas and worked in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. In December, 2015 he and his wife of 44 years moved to Kailua Kona, Hawaii, to be near children and grandchildren. In 1975, Ivey earned degrees in Theology and Broadcast Communication from Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas. He has worked as a pastor, a magazine editor and media communication specialist, a TV Ministry director and has had his own video production business. Currently he works with his wife in OmegaNet Inc., the web development business, which they started 21 years ago. When he isn’t working on web sites or writing, he enjoys listening to, writing and playing music in a variety of styles and has been known to put brush to canvas, something he hopes to do again.

Ivey began writing BACKLASH in 2000 and published the first edition in 2011. The second edition was released in 2017, followed in 2018 by the release of BACKLASH 2: JUSTICE DENIED. Ivey also recently finished a biblical novel called THINE IS THE KINGDOM about the reign of King Saul and the rise of King David.

BACKLASH Series -  When young CEO Jacqueline James and her company, Axiom Oil Incorporated, take on environmental radicals, the media and all of Washington, DC, the drama is bound to be explosive. A conspiracy of activists and politicians threatens the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people, so Jacqueline finds herself in the midst of a national controversy. To save her company, her employees and her stockholders, she must launch a daring response called “Operation Backlash.” Gary L. Ivey was partly inspired to write “Backlash” because his father was an oil company middle manager for 31 years and, growing up in Oklahoma, he couldn’t help but learn about the oil industry by “osmosis.” But more than that, as an entrepreneur himself, he has long been interested in the dynamic between business and government and the unintended consequences of their interaction for individual people.


The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned at a young age, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now now writes the Sally Solari Mysteries (Dying for a Taste, A Measure of Murder, Death al Fresco, Murder from Scratch), a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California.  Originally from Southern California, Leslie moved north to attend UC Santa Cruz (home of the Fighting Banana Slugs) and, after graduation, parlayed her degree in English literature into employment waiting tables and singing in a new wave rock and roll band. Exciting though this life was, she eventually decided she was ready for a “real” job, and ended up at Stanford Law School.  For the next twenty years Leslie worked as the research and appellate attorney for Santa Cruz’s largest civil law firm. During this time, she rediscovered a passion for food and cooking, and so once more returned to school to earn a degree in culinary arts.

Now retired from the law, she spends her time cooking, gardening, cycling, singing alto in her local community chorus, reading, and of course writing. Leslie and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.   Leslie’s last book, Death al Fresco was recently nominated for the prestigious Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery of 2018.


Murder from Scratch - Restaurateur Sally Solari’s life is already plenty complicated, what with running the popular and bustling Gauguin and dealing with irate cooks, scheduling headaches, and other staffing issues. So when her dad convinces her to take in a blind relative, Evelyn, whose mother has just died of a drug overdose, she’s none too happy. Sally’s cousin, however, turns out to be not only highly competent, but also lots of fun. And she’s a terrific cook, to boot. When moved objects around her house cause Evelyn to suspect her mother’s death was not the accident or suicide the police believe it to have been, she and Sally decide to investigate on their own. And Sally soon learns that Evelyn’s blindness makes her more attuned to her other senses, allowing her to discover clues that Sally would easily have missed. The cousins’ sleuthing takes them into the world of pop-up and Southeast Asian restaurants, macho commercial kitchens, and the cut-throat competitiveness that can flame up between chefs—especially when stolen recipes are at stake.


Mike Taylor left his life in the wilderness of Montana to live on the Big Island of Hawai’i. At the Aloha Theatre and Café, Mike was the esteemed Technical Director and racked up an impressive number of productions in his eleven years. He met and fell in love with his wife, Marion, who baked the world’s best cookies and bread and everything else. Whether it was writing, acting, directing or teaching children, Mike was passionate about the benefits of theater.

Although most of Mike’s work deals with the American West before the turn of the century, where life was often harsh he’s still able to find some humor which runs like a pleasant breeze through all his stories.

Eventually, he and Marion built a house in the southern district of Ka’u, where Mike enjoys writing until all hours of the night and Marion for years created wonders at her café, The Desert Rose. They are both still in love, semi-retired and working at home.

Mike has completed his first three novels; A Thousand Sleeps, Plentiful and Malama Ko Aloha (Keep The Love), the passionate, loving, often brutal story of Hawai’i Island after the death of Kamehameha the Great and the coming of the missionaries. He is presently working on his fourth novel, Double Cross, set in Montana Territory in the 1890's.

Mike is beyond excited to find out what comes next.

A Thousand Sleeps - The children of Goose Creek, much like those of many small mountain towns, are well-versed in the lore of strange creatures or ghosts inhabiting the mountain woods. Stories of Ben Walkman have been staple lore for the inhabitants of Goose Creek since his disappearance and presumed death for sixty years. In Taylor’s novel, secrets, greed, and deception abound like Goose Creek’s surrounding foliage, and as the town has moved from its beginnings at the end of the 19th Century into a more progressive and enlightened era, so does the truth emerge from the dark recesses of its mountain woods.



Event date: 
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
78-6831 Alii Drive
Suite 142
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
Staff Pick Badge
Backlash Cover Image
ISBN: 9780999396803
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Studio IV Productions - October 6th, 2017

Author presentor at Words and Wine for April 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Backlash 2: Justice Denied Cover Image
ISBN: 9780999396810
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Studio IV Productions - April 2nd, 2018

Author presentor at Words and Wine for April 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Murder from Scratch: A Sally Solari Mystery Cover Image
ISBN: 9781683319535
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crooked Lane Books - April 9th, 2019

Author presentor at Words and Wine for April 2019

Staff Pick Badge
A Thousand Sleeps Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643480879
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Book Venture Publishing LLC - August 17th, 2018

Author presentor at Words and Wine for April 2019