If Southeast Alaska’s chilly, rainy days have you dreaming of warm Hawian breezes, check out “Aloha With Love”, a new book by local author Lindy Miller Ryan.
Ryan, who writes romance novels under the name Lindy Miller, told the Empire that the story is a summer romance that centers around a woman who leaves Hawaii to pursue a career as an architect.
After losing a big project and ending a relationship with a longtime love, she returns to Maui to attend her aunt’s funeral.
While there, she inherits her aunt’s house and learns that she must restore the home—using a specific local contractor—to do the work.
Ryan’s publisher describes the tale as a “cheerful love story.” But, Ryan said the story is really about second chances.
“It’s more than a love story between an architect and a contractor,” she said. “It’s really a story about second chances for the house, and for both of them. “I wanted a story about a woman starting over and having a second chance at falling in love as part of that,” she said.
Writing about Hawaii from Juneau
Ryan said she got the idea for this story while living in Juneau in the spring of 2020. She said that gray, rainy days had her thinking of Hawaii and that a recent renovation coupled with a lot of HGTV watching during the lockdown served as the inspiration for the story.
She said that she talked about the story with her co-author and frequent collaborator, Terence Brody, a New York-based firefighter, and the two agreed on the setting and the plot.
Ryan, whose husband is in the Coast Guard, moved to Juneau in 2019. She said her own educational pursuits and husband’s career has taken the family all around the country and that Alaska is “one of the more exotic places” she’s lived.
She also teaches data analytics online at Rutgers University and has written several other books, including textbooks and a holiday novel, “The Magic Ingredient.”
She said that the horror genre is her first love, but her romantic-comedy tales have found more quickly found traction.
“Even a horror writer needs a little romance from time to time,” she said, noting that it’s important to her that the female characters in her books “forge their own destinies.”
Although her holiday novel has been optioned for film, “Aloha with Love” is the first story to become a movie. She said the process of watching her story unfold in front of a camera was “amazing and terrifying.”
“It’s a very different way to experience your own story,” she said. “Watching it come to life on screen, they say things a little differently than in my head. The actors look exactly like the characters look. They really brought the characters to life.”
Christmas in Juneau
Ryan said she’s currently working on a Christmas story that takes place in Juneau.
“I put a lot of emphasis on the sense of place, and I bring as much of the local atmosphere as possible,” she said, adding that she will be doing more research for the story during the holiday season.
• Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-308-4891.