As a volcano on Hawaii begins to rumble, sudden,
inexplicable tragedies bring an unlikely couple together.
Annie Tagama has always been content to bask in the glow of her brother and sister and to quietly assist her father in his volcano research. Annie has a secret crush on Mano Ohana, though he's never noticed her. Her devotion turns to disdain after a mistake by Mano kills her beloved brother.
But when her younger sister goes missing, she's forced to turn to her former love, now her sworn enemy, for help.
Mano Ohana made a fateful mistake that cold night. A mistake that probably cost the life of his best friend, Tomi Tagama. But the night before he is to bring Tomi's belongings to his family, Mano discovers his friend is still alive--but he's in serious danger. Worse, the danger threatens to spill over to the rest of the Tagama family-and the entire Hawaiian islands.
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November 09, 2005
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Excerpt from Black Sands by Colleen Coble
Chapter One One Year Later Annie Tagama squatted on the lava and examined the cracks. Vog burned her nose and eyes. She barely noticed the stink of sulfuric gases that hung in a miasma around her. The thick air was as much a part of her world as the rough lava under her feet and the blue Hawaiian sky over her head. Even though she knew she was safe here in this stable part of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, caution dictated her choices on this work day--her first since the accident. "Can you bring me a new GPS receiver?" Monica Rogers called from the edge of the lava shelf. "This one is shot." The older woman's voice reminded Annie of Minnie Mouse, and it didn't match Monica's stocky frame. Annie stood and took two steps toward Monica. She peered toward the drop-off, where heavy clouds of sulfuric mist billowed. Sweat broke out on her forehead. Her lungs constricted. You can do it. It's safe. She swallowed the sour taste in her mouth. Carrying the new receiver, she took a few more steps. "Hurry up!" Monica squeaked. "I'll do it." Annie's best friend, Fawn Trenton, took the receiver from her hand, her expression warning Annie not to cross Monica. Annie froze, and Fawn hurried toward Monica. Thirtysomething Fawn turned heads wherever she went. Her tawny hair gleamed in the filtered wash of sunshine. Bright blue beads decorated the long braid that hung over one shoulder. Her T-shirt read SAVE THE RAIN FOREST. Annie stepped away from the edge and sighed with relief. She had to get over this fear that turned her knees to jelly, but she wasn't sure how to go about it. The shelf out there was perfectly safe. It hadn't had a collapse in years. But her face was still damp, and her pulse still galloped. She was such a failure. Turning her back on the other women, she returned to her task. Her pack held cans of yellow spray paint. She grabbed one and began to spray the cracks in the ground. Watching the paint over the coming weeks would tell the scientists about the earth's movement. She forced herself to focus, though it was hard not to let her gaze stray to the vog drifting up from the drop-off. Half an hour later, Monica and Fawn joined Annie near the two all-terrain vehicles. Monica's lips were tight, and she kept shooting angry glares toward Annie. "I'm going to headquarters," she said. Her movements stiff, she stalked to her ATV and drove off. "I hope she doesn't rat on you," Fawn said. Annie bit her lip. "I don't think Gina will listen if she does." Limping toward her ATV, she saw a glint of metal in the sun. She stooped and picked up a delicate necklace. What was this doing here? The familiarity made her catch her breath. It couldn't be her sister's, could it? Surely there were many necklaces like this on the island. Fawn peered over her shoulder. "What's wrong?" Annie turned over the heart-shaped pendant and saw the initials A. T. on the back. "It's Leilani's," she muttered. She rubbed her forehead. "How did it get here? Your sister wouldn't set foot on the volcano if you paid her." Unease began to coil in Annie's chest. "She didn't come home last night. I figured she was out with her friends and didn't think much about it. You know how she is. I'm sure she called Father after I left the house this morning." But that didn't explain the necklace's appearance out here. Fawn's gaze followed hers. "Maybe she loaned it to someone? Did you borrow it a few days ago and forget about it?" Annie shook her head. "She never takes off this necklace. Mother gave it to her the week before she died. Leilani even showers in it. These are Mother's initials. A. T. Adele Tagama." When their mother committed suicide a year ago, she and Leilani both had clung to anything of their moth