Thursday, February 16, 2017

Aloha to Beach Blanket Bingo, Julia Day, and THE POSSIBILITY OF SOMEWHERE



Image result for aloha on my mind kailua beach

Oh, the possibilities!   Who doesn't love the beach, especially in winter!  Kim Rocha and I are hosting a Beach Blanket Bingo at the upcoming RT Booklovers' Convention in Atlanta (link):

Join Annette Funicello (Kim Rocha) & Frankie Avalon (Kim Lowe) for a special edition of Book Cover Bingo. Expect spontaneous singing, dancing, & flirting with lifeguards inspired by the beloved 60s film. Readers will join sun loving authors at their favorite beaches and compete for the book laden gift baskets ... perfect for the sand and surf!

I invited Julia Day to be part of the escapades .... from her bio (link):


Julia Day was born in Tennessee, raised in Mississippi, and now calls North Carolina her home. She has two twenty-something daughters, one old husband, and too many computers to count. When she’s not writing stories or software, she’s traveling to distant places or watching dance reality shows on TV.

The Possibility of Somewhere is Julia’s first YA contemporary romance. She also writes YA paranormal as Elizabeth Langston.

28220966

Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted-- he's admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There's only one obstacle in Ash's path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?

All Eden's ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college -- and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . . When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream -- one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?


Julia's favorite beach is Emerald Isle, North Carolina:

The tranquil resort and residential community of Emerald Isle, North Carolina, is located about halfway between the states of South Carolina and Virginia. Emerald Isle is located on the western end of the Southern Outer Banks Island called Bogue Banks. Bogue Banks Island is 30 miles long, with Atlantic Beach at the easternmost end, Salter Path and Indian Beach in the center and Emerald Isle on the westernmost end. Emerald Isle’s reputation as a “Family Beach” is well deserved and continues year after year to lure families looking for a peaceful ocean holiday to remember!
 

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. What is your favorite "gem" - emeralds? rubies? diamonds? I like 'em all!

2. Comments are open through Sunday, February 19, 10 pm in Baltimore. 

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, February 20.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 


Marilyn loves diamonds ...


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Aloha to Ruth Saberton and THE ISLAND LEGACY

33220434

I have shared my guilty pleasures of watching BBC dramas broadcast on PBS in the UK, including THE CORONER set in Devon and Cornwall (link).  It is then fate that I recently discovered British author Ruth Saberton who happens to live in and write about Cornwall.  From her website,

Although I was born in London I’m now lucky enough to live in Cornwall. It’s a beautiful part of the world and a constant source of inspiration for my writing. The weather is ever changing and it’s the perfect setting for novels.

I have been lucky enough to write for Little Black Dress, Avon, Pan Macmillan and Orion and Harper Collins. I am also published by the brilliant Notting Hill Press. In 2011 I was a runner up in the Romantic Novelists Association’s “Romantic Comedy Novel” of the year award. That was such an exciting experience! I now write full time and I love every minute. This is the most exciting time ever to be an author.

When I’m not writing for I like to ride my horses, meet my friends for a walk or spend time hanging out with my partner. We also have lots of lovely restaurants here in Polperro so I am never short of a place to meet someone for a drink or a meal. I also love to talk to my readers so pop over to my Facebook author page or my Twitter @ruthsaberton or email me at admin@ruthsaberton.com.

Check out these articles about Ruth Saberton in the Daily Mail (link) and Cornwall Live (link).

An image posted by the author.

I am looking forward to reading Ruth's latest novel, THE ISLAND LEGACY:

When Ness Penwellyn unexpectedly inherits a Cornish island she soon meets property developer, Max Reynard. Wealthy and wickedly handsome, Max is accustomed to getting his own way but Ness is unimpressed. Max’s assumption she’ll sell her inheritance to him makes Ness determined to go it alone – even while her bitter relatives plot revenge and circumstances spiral out of control.

Max Reynard is a rich and powerful playboy. Used to having his own way, in business and in love, he’s shocked to meet a woman able to resist his money and good looks. And when he realises he wants Ness more than he wants her property, Max knows he’s in big trouble.

Before long Ness and Max are locked in a battle of wills. And when love’s involved, the rules of engagement are soon broken …

St. Michael's Mount off the Cornish Coast (link)

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about an island - do you have a favorite?  Of course, the Hawaiian islands are my favorite ... but I also enjoyed Mont St. Michel - the equivalent of St. Michael's Mount in France. Both are tidal islands - low tide reveals the causeway for tourists to visit them.  

2. Comments are open through Sunday, February 19, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, February 20.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Mont St Michel in Normandy
Public Domain (link)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Aloha to Weekly Winners, Janna MacGregor, and THE BAD LUCK BRIDE


Image result for aloha on my mind bellows beach

We have winners at SOS Aloha -  Karen T. and Patty B. win a book choice from my convention stash. 

I keep thinking about the RT Booklovers Convention to get me through the cold winter's night.  RT descends upon Hotlanta in early May ... I am cohosting BEACH BLANKET BINGO with Kim Rocha from Book Obsessed Chicks (link):

Join Annette Funicello (Kim Rocha) & Frankie Avalon (Kim Lowe) for a special edition of Book Cover Bingo. Expect spontaneous singing, dancing, & flirting with lifeguards inspired by the beloved 60s film. Readers will join sun loving authors at their favorite beaches and compete for the book laden gift baskets ... perfect for the sand and surf!


I am looking forward to meeting debut Historical Romance author Janna MacGregor:

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.

Visit her at JannaMacGregor.com.
Twitter: @JannaMacGregor
Facebook: Janna MacGregor
Sign up for her newsletter at JannaMacGregor.com.

31451201

Janna's debut romance, THE BAD LUCK BRIDE, is coming May 2 - one day before BEACH BLANKET BINGO:

IS MARRIAGE A BLESSING OR A CURSE?
A man of honor, Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, will not rest until he exacts revenge on the man who destroyed his family. Just one more piece must fall into place for him to succeed he needs to convince his enemy's fiancee, the tragically beautiful Lady Claire Cavensham, to marry him instead.

Lady Claire's curse has always left her one misstep away from social ruin her past three engagements have gone awry, and now her fourth is headed in the same direction. . .until Alex, a man she barely even knows, shocks the ton and Claire by announcing their engagement. What begins as a sham turns into something deeper, and more passionate, than either Claire or Alex could have imagined. But when their secrets are revealed, will the truth behind their union scandalize them both or is their love strong enough to break the curse and lead them toward their happily ever after?

File:Wilton House East Front - geograph.org.uk - 831865.jpg
Wilton House - Ancestral home for the Earl of Pembrooke
Image by Mike Serle (link)

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about luck - do you have a lucky charm?  I have Lucky the cat!

2. Comments are open through Sunday, February 19, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, February 20.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Image result for aloha on my mind lucky cat


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Aloha to Blue and Gold - Happy 107th Birthday, Boy Scouts of America!


On this day in 1910, William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America. From the Boy Scout handbook, 

"Do a Good Turn Daily" is the Scout Slogan.

One Day in 1909 in London, England, an American visitor, William D. Boyce, lost his way in a dense fog. He Stopped under a street lamp and tried to figure out where he was. A boy approached him and asked if he could be of help.

"You certainly can," said Boyce. He told the boy that he wanted to find a certain business office in the center of the city.

"I'll take you there," said the boy.

When they got to the destination, Mr. Boyce reached into his pocket for a tip. But the boy stopped him.

"No thank you, sir. I am a Scout. I won't take anything for helping."

"A Scout? And what might that be?" asked Boyce.

The boy told the American about himself and his brother Scouts. Boyce became very interested. After finishing his errand, he had the boy take him to the British Scouting office.

At the office, Boyce met Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the famous British general who had founded the Scouting movement in Great Britain. Boyce was so impressed with what he learned that he decided to bring Scouting home with him.

On February 8, 1910, Boyce founded the Boy Scouts of America. From that day forth, Scouts have celebrated February 8 as the birthday of Scouting in the United States.

What happened to the boy who helped Mr. Boyce find his way in the fog? No one knows. He had neither asked for money nor given his name, but he will never be forgotten. His Good Turn helped bring the Scouting movement to our country.

In the British Scout Training Center at Gilwell Park, England, Scouts from the United States erected a statue of an American buffalo in honor of this unknown Scout. One Good Turn to oneman became a Good Turn to millions of American boys. Such is the power of a Good Turn.


My oldest son is an Eagle Scout. My youngest son is a Life Scout preparing for his Eagle Project. Scout has been good to (and good for) both my children. I recognize that Scouts - Boy and Girl - have endured scandals and controversies over the years. But the very heart of the programs is to train children to be good citizens.

Do you know any Scouts - Boy or Girl - in your family, among your friends, or in your community? I was a Girl Scout and Explorer (which became Venture Crew). One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, February 12, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Monday, February 13.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Aloha to Weekly Winners, Jessica James, and MEANT TO BE

Image result for sos aloha beaches

We have winners at SOS Aloha - Artemis and Catslady win a book choice from my convention stash.

I recently enjoyed an episode of Beachfront Bargain on HGTV - the Baltimore couple wanted to buy a beachfront condo in Ocean City, MD.  It reminded me of Jessica James (link).  She will be joining us for Beach Blanket Bingo at the RT Booklovers Convention (link):


Join Annette Funicello (Kim Rocha) & Frankie Avalon (Kim Lowe) for a special edition of Book Cover Bingo. Expect spontaneous singing, dancing, & flirting with lifeguards inspired by the beloved 60s film. Readers will join sun loving authors at their favorite beaches and compete for the book laden gift baskets ... perfect for the sand and surf!

Jessica will feature Ocean City at her table. From its website (link),

The sun and surf of Ocean City, Maryland, have been attracting visitors since Algonquian tribes first came to our beaches to fish and sun themselves.

Europeans first arrived in 1524 when Giovanni da Verrazano surveyed the east coast of North America. By the 17th century, British colonists had moved north from Virginia and settled in the area.

Due to Ocean City's isolation as a barrier island, the town remained a sleepy fishing village until 1875, when the Atlantic Hotel began welcoming visitors. The following year, the railroad bridged Sinepuxent Bay, and a resort was born.

Today, Ocean City stretches along 10 miles of beautiful beach from the Inlet to the Delaware state line. Our classic wooden boardwalk offers nearly 3 miles of food, games and shopping. 

25246323

Jessica features Ocean City in MEANT TO BE .... 

It started as a chance encounter on the beach, and ended 24 hours later when they parted to go their separate ways. Or so they thought.

Actually it was just the beginning.

WHEN LAUREN CANTRELL said goodbye to the guy she had just met on the beach, she had no way of knowing their paths would ever cross again. But fate had another unexpected meeting in store for them—this time in a place where danger was part of the culture and the stakes were life and death.

THE LAST PERSON in the world Rad expected to see at a special ops briefing in Afghanistan is the girl he met at the beach two weeks ago—the one he can’t stop thinking about.

From the sundrenched beaches of Ocean City, Md., to the snowcapped mountains of Afghanistan, this thrilling tale of espionage and intrigue takes readers on a spellbinding journey into the secret lives of our nation’s quiet heroes—and answers the question:

What do you do when the person you most want to protect is the one risking everything to make sure you survive?


MEANT TO BE recounts the dedication of our military, the honor and sacrifice of our soldiers, and a relationship that is tested and sustained by the powerful forces of love, courage and resolve.


I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. What do you love to eat at the beach?  Ocean Cit is famous for Thrasher's French Fries.  Other favorites include soft service ice cream, saltwater taffy, and hot dogs!

2. Comments are open through Sunday, February 12, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, February 13.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Aloha to Hawaii Five O: Ka Pa'ani Nui (Big Game) - TV Review


I've previously written that Hawaii Five O has been hit or miss. Last night's episode, KA PA'ANI NUI (Big Game) was on target for capturing Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian history, and current world events:

When working a murder case involving the illegal practice of shark finning, Five-0 uncovers the possibility that a former Nazi war criminal may be hiding out in an old leprosy colony in Hawaii, on HAWAII FIVE-0, Friday, Feb. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

The episode begins with the murder of a shark hunter.  As the team considers the suspects, the producer includes a gorgeous underwater shot of a shark protector swimming in the crystal blue water.  

Yes, it is that blue.

When the team find a second body in Oahu waters, they realize they have a second (separate) murder.  The victim, a young woman from New York, was last seen volunteering on Kalaupapa - the infamous leper colony on an isolated peninsula of Moloka'i.  The victim tattooed her grandfather's Auschwitz number on her own arm, a clue that leads the team to realize she was tracking a prison guard who tortured her grandfather. 


The episode includes three secondary (and ongoing) story lines:
- Lou trying to outcook Chin Ho
- Kamekona's staff going on strike
- Eric's emotional growth after meeting a Kalaupapa patient scarred by the disease.

These are fluff pieces but add an extra dimension to the ohana (family) spirit of the TV series.

The dialogue referenced the difficulty of the general public to visit Kalaupapa - a visitor must be invited by a resident.  This is somewhat misleading as the general public can visit the Kalaupapa National Historical Park.  From its website (link),

When Hansen's disease (leprosy) was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, King Kamehameha V banished all afflicted to the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula on the north shore of Molokai.

Since 1866, more than 8000 people, mostly Hawaiians, have died at Kalaupapa. Once a prison, Kalaupapa is now refuge for the few remaining residents who are now cured, but were forced to live their lives in isolation.




Visitors must register with Damien Tours, which offers a 2 hour drive through the colony, trying to afford the remaining patients their privacy.  Visitors can arrive to the peninsula by:

- hiking down the cliffs
- riding a mule down the cliffs
- arriving by small aircraft from other islands.

When we lived in Pearl Harbor, I treated my mother in law to a tour of Kalaupapa - check out our pictures on my travel blog at this link




Hawaii Five O glossed over another aspect of Kalaupapa. From Pacific Historic Parks (link),

There are only two saints in the world that are from the same location, and Kalaupapa is the backdrop of the heroic stories of Hawaii’s two Catholic saints. 


Here you will learn how Father Damien De Veuster and Mother Marianne Cope sacrificed themselves and gave up everything when they both made their one-way trips to Kalaupapa. These selfless individuals provided comfort and medical assistance to thousands of Hawaii's people who suffered from this horrible disease.

The episode was packed with references to current events - the first crime spotlighted the need to protect our natural resources, even sharks.  The second crime comes one week after we recognized Holocaust Remembrance Day (link). When the murderer escaped Kalaupapa, Steve commented:

He won't stay missing for long. There’s a camera on every street corner...Social media. 24-hour news. There is no hiding anymore.

For me, the most compelling aspect of this episode is the reminder that all civilizations across time have "refugees" who become outcasts. While we honor Father Damien and Mother Marianne for their selfless service, I believe we can follow their example to make our communities stronger.

Watch KA PA'ANI NUI at this link.




I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about:
- your favorite park, or
- your favorite Catholic Saint or historical figure known for his/her selfless service, or
- would you have hiked down the cliffs, rode the mules, or arrived by airplane into Kalaupapa.

My favorite park is the Waimea Canyon State Park on Kauai.

I admire William Wallace who fought for Scottish Freedom (I also admire Father Damien and Mother Marianne - they were canonized in Rome when I lived in Hawaii).

We arrived by air - not sure I would have the stamina to hike or mule down the steep path.

2. Comments are open through Sunday, February 12, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, February 13.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



Friday, February 3, 2017

Aloha to the RWA Annual Conference, Motorcycle Club Romances, and Beyond Disney World



The RWA Annual Conference is coming to Orlando (link) - registration opens on Tuesday, February 7. I will be moderating a special workshop:

Rev It Up – Creating an authentic world for Motorcycle Club Romances (and small town romances, too)

Writing a series about motorcycle clubs is more than “strap your hands around my engines”. Join four experts for a hands on experience to “get patched” in the often misrepresented motorcycle culture. We invited the a special Harley Davidson dearlship to offer an introduction to the HOG world, from the weekend warriors to the pros who thrash at Sturgis. Next, authors Laura Kaye, Jade Chandler, and Candance Phillips share how they incorporate the motorcycle culture into romance novels for an authentic representation of this unique American identity. We reserve time for questions from the audience.


Romance author Elle Mason created a comprehensive planning guide to Walt Disney World.  From this link,

Next year’s Romance Writers of America® Annual Conference is being held at Walt Disney World Resort from July 26-29th. My friends already know that I’m a nerd when it comes to romance and a nerd for all things Disney. So to have both of my worlds merge come next July for #RWA17 is magical. It’s truly where all dreams come true (to use Disney-speak). I’ll be the girl not only wearing her RWA badge and pins but also my Mickey ears hat with pride. I just need to get a hat embroidered with “Elle” in advance.

Thank you, Elle, for this invaluable guide for those looking to explore the many worlds of Walt Disney.


I grew up in Miami and actually attended the grand opening of Walt Disney World in 1971.  I have taken my children in between military moves.  Hence, I will be looking to venture beyond the Mickey's ears:

Monday, July 24: St Augustine, two hour drive northeast. From its website (link), 

St. Augustine Florida is known for more than beautiful beaches, great shopping and fine dining. The Nation's Oldest City is rich in over 400 years of history and culture. Our fascinating history spans from the founding of St. Augustine by Pedro Menendez in 1565, to the reign of railroad entrepreneur Henry Flagler in the late 1800s, to the celebration of St. Augustine's 400th birthday in 1965.

Sights include Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (link) and historic Flagler College campus (link).

nps.gov

On the way back to Disney World, I'll stop by Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona to get ready for the Rev It Up workshop.  From its website (link),

Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona is the Home of Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson®, with it's massive 109,000 sq. ft. showroom, selling thousands of motorcycles, genuine HD Motorclothes apparel, parts, accessories and so much more. With retail shops like On The Fringe Leather, Daytona Official Gear and Bruce Rossmeyer's Outlet store; The Wild Hog Cafe, Daytona Pig Stand & Houligan's; and specialty shops like J&P Cycles, Destination 4x4s & More, Giant Recreation World, Ultimate Seats, Asylum Tattoo, Big Scoop Ice Cream, Camouflage Dave's Beef Jerky & More, Godfather's Tobacco, Daytona Cycle Audio and the full bar/nightclub/ Saints & Sinners Pub...there's always something to see... something to do... and something to buy at Destination Daytona.


Tuesday, July 25: Navy SEAL Museum, Fort Pierce, two hour drive southeast.  From its website (link),

The Museum was founded in 1985 and honors the Navy SEALs with its very location in Fort Pierce, Florida – the training site of the first “frogmen” of World War II, who have earned a proud place in Navy SEAL lineage. The museum’s tribute to these warriors is underscored by the Navy SEAL Memorial – the only one of its kind dedicated to Navy SEALs and their predecessors. The names of all who died in service of their country are etched in the granite shrine.

From the Patrol Boat Riverines – PBRs – that enabled the Navy SEALs in navigating and dominating the maze of rivers and canals in Vietnam, to a replica of Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad Pakistan, the Navy SEAL Museum houses an array of artifacts that showcase their perilous missions.

The museum recommends 3 hours to tour its facilities.  It website includes special directions:

Precision street coordinates: N27° 48.7588′, W080° 25.5026′

If you are using GPS, our coordinates are: Latitude: 27.8126468 Longitude: 80.4250437.

If you plan to parachute in, prevailing winds are from the Southeast at 10 to 18 knots.

For those of you who plan a SCUBA insertion, water temperatures range from 84° in the summer to under 70° in winter.


Er, I will simply drive.  Anyone attending RWA is welcome to join me for these "research" trips. I wanted to publish these opportunities as you make your travel plans.  If you live in Florida, feel free to join us even if you are not attending the conference.  Contact me at sos.aloha@yahoo.com to chat details.  

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Have you visited Disney World, St. Augustine, or Fort Pierce?  If so, what are your favorite things about these places  If not, what would you like to see in these "towns"? 

2.  Comments are open through Sunday, February 12, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Monday, February 13.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City