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By May 4, 2015Articles, blog

Honolulu, HI–Acclaimed Hawaii author Steve Soone is proud to announce the release of his first novel, “Plastic Leis and Hawaiian Hearts.” “Plastic Leis” is now available online at

“Plastic Leis and Hawaiian Hearts” offers a unique perspective on Hawaii and what paradise was and could be for Hawaiians. With dialogue is “pidgin” English and narration in standard English, Soone presents a raw view of the islands through his protagonist, Sam Keahi, from his days as a Waikiki beach boy to his rise to wealth and prominence as a local entrepreneur. Sam, who was in high school when Hawaii became a state in 1959, believes in Hawaiian sovereignty and works toward his goal of improving the lives of Hawaiians, largely through patience (hoʻomanawanuʻi).

The lessons that Sam learns along the way are based on Native Hawaiian tradition and they are also universal. At times educational, at times shocking, but always with a lot of humor and heart, “Plastic Leis and Hawaiian Hearts” is a gonzo dream of how to beat the system at their own game and the hazards along the way.

In terms of storytelling, Steve Soone can be described as the William Faulkner, Ernest J. Gaines and Truman Capote of Waikiki. Working as a local bartender for half a century brought him in contact with everyone from dignitaries to thieves. Weaned and educated in Waikiki, Soone spent a decade traveling and working on the mainland before returning to Waikiki for good in 1968. Soone is one of the few Hawaiians who do not claim to be of royal decent. Friends and friends of friends were Hawaiian activists and a few were involved in illegal activities. Throughout the years, informative and enlightening conversations were held over food and beer at Soone’s infamous Waikiki soirees, which provided plenty material for a novel.


Plastic Leis and Hawaiian Hearts tells the story about SAM KEAHI who believes in Hawaiian sovereignty and for Hawai`i to secede from the nation. He believes all Hawaiians deserve a better life and wants to be the one to make these changes for his people.

Lacking any economic power to achieve his goal, he becomes a beach boy and playboy until ten years later when he meets DIANE RICHARDSON and falls in love. After visiting her in California, Sam realizes he could never afford to give her a life she deserves. Disillusioned, he returns to Hawai`i and asks his UNCLE KEAWE and AUNTY LOVENA if he could live and work with them on their Hawaiian homestead on Moloka’i where he eventually grows a marijuana plantation.

UNCLE KEAWE’S good friend, JOHNATHAN GAY, a former IRA warrior, mercenary, smuggler and gun runner in Southeast Asia, mentors Sam and they launder the money through legitimate businesses. Sam succumbs to financial success and casts aside all the Hawaiian values that he believes in.

SAM’S best friend, JERRY KANEKOA, leaves the corrupt Honolulu police department and goes to Vietnam and returns a war hero. With SAM’S influence JERRY becomes the next police chief and together they gain control of Hawai`i through politics and organized crime. SAM’S favorite cousin, GEORGE LEE, who has the most influence over him, comes back to Hawai`i after living and working on the mainland for fifteen years and guides SAM back to Hawaiian values and to a more balanced life.

DIANE RICHARDSON reenters SAM’S life and introduces him to HAUNANI, the daughter he never knew existed. Reality sets in for Sam when he realizes that Hawaiians are no better or no worse than any other people. There are subplots that interweave with the main plot.

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