Sunday, May 1, 2016

Special giveaway for Military Appreciation Month

Joint Honor Guard
Public Domain (link)

May is Military Appreciation Month!  I am giving away a "basket" of books from authors connected to the military to one randomly selected commenter from all the posts in May:

Victoria Alexander (Air Force), The Daring Exploits of the Runaway Heiress
Robyn Carr (Air Force), One Wish
PC Cast and Kristin Cast (Air Force),
Diana Cosby (Navy),
His Destiny
Cindy Dees (Air Force),
HelenKay Dimon (Navy),
Eileen Dreyer (Army),
Twice Tempted
Marie Force (Navy),
Maid For Love
Rachel Grant (Navy),
Incriminating Evidence
Lorraine Heath (Air Force),
When the Duke was Wicked
Shirley Jump (Coast Guard),
The Sweetheart Rules
Kieran Kramer (Navy),
Sweet Talk Me
Merline Lovelace (Air Force),
The Paternity Proposition
Catherine Mann (Air Force),
Free Fall
Julie Miller (Marine Corps),
Kansas City Secrets

Jessica Scott (Army), It's Always Been You
Tracy Solheim (Air Force), Risky Game
Delancy Stewart (Marine Corps), Redeption Red
Paige Tyler (Army), Hungry Like the Wolf

Michele Willingham (Air Force), Unlaced by the Outlaw

Plus Way of the Warrior - An Anthology with Suzanne Brockmann, M.L. Buchman, Anne Elizabeth (Navy), Lea Griffith, Catherine Mann, Kate Serine, Tina Wainscott, and Julie Ann Walker. 

Plus swag from Emmy Curtis (Air Force), Geri Krotow (Navy), and Elle James (Air Force).

Plus trinkets from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy.

This contests is open to US residents.  I will announce the winner on Sunday, June 5.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Weekly Winners

We have winners at SOS Aloha!

- Barbara wins a book choice from my convention stash.

Laying Down the Paw (Paw Enforcement, #3)

Anne A. Wilson's HOVER
- Susan P. wins a book choice from my convention stash. 


Roxanne St. Claire's BAREFOOT BAY
- Linda wins a book choice from my convention stash. 

- Charlene wins a print copy of LONE HEART PASS.


Spotlight on Anne Barton 
- Karen T. wins a book choice from my convention stash. 

- Patty B43 wins a book choice from my convention stash.


Toni Anderson's DARK WATERS
- Mary K. wins a print copy of DARK WATERS

Dark Waters (Barkley Sound, #2)

Winners, please send your mailing address to


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

May is Military Appreciation Month

5/1: Weekly Winners
plus Special Giveaway to celebrate Military Appreciation Monty 
5/2: Jane Ashford's Rivals of Fortune/Impetuous Heiress 
plus Kiersten Hallie Krum's WILD ON THE ROCKS - Book Review
5/3: Lori Wilde's LOVE OF THE GAME (Stardust, Texas No. 3) 
plus Chanel Cleeton's FLY WITH ME Release Blitz
5/4: Wednesday's Warriors with Terry Spear and ALPHA WOLF NEED NOT APPLY
5/5: Sally MacKenzie's HOW TO MANAGE A MARQUESS
5/6: Darcy Burke's ROMANCING THE EARL
5/7: Laura Lipman's WILDE LAKE
5/8: Weekly Winners
5/9: Julie Garwood's ONE PINK ROSE (Ebook release)
5/10: Adreienne Giordano's DOG COLLAR COUTURE
5/11: Wednesday's Warriors with Chanel Cleeton's FLY WITH ME
5/12: Open
5/13: Leslie Jones' NIGHT HUSH
5/14: RWA in San Diego - A Future Duchess Lands at Navy Base Coronado
5/15: Weekly Winners
5/16: Katie Ruggle's FAN THE FLAME
5/17: Open
5/18: Wednesday's Warriors - Marie Harte's TEST DRIVE
5/19: Siera London's CATCHING REBECCA
5/20: Paige Tyler's TO LOVE A WOLF
5/21: Celebrate Little Victories
5/22: Weekly Winners
plus Rachel Goodman's SOUR GRAPES
5/23: Reserved - Laura Griffin
5/24: Liz Talley's CHARMINGLY YOURS
5/25: Wednesday's Warriors
5/26: Victoria Vane's SADDLE UP
5/27: Carolyn Brown's WHAT HAPPENS IN TEXAS
5/28: Laura Tentham's KISS ME THAT WAY
5/29: Weekly Winners
5/30: Memorial Day
5/31: Samantha Chase's JUSTIN'S RETURN
plus Elizabeth Hoyt's DUKE OF SIN

6/1: Wednesday's Warrior Mitchell Charles' THE KINGDOM OF OCEANA
6/2: Nancy Herkness' THE ALL-STAR ANTES UP
6/3: Lauren Layne's FROM THIS DAY FORWARD
6/4: Celebrate Little Victories - Tracy Solheim's SMOLDER
6/5: Weekly Winners
6/6: Celebrate Hawaii with Kate Pearce from the Big Island
6/7: Celebrate Hawaii with Jennifer Bernard from the Big Island
6/8: Wednesday's Warriors - Celebrate Hawaii with Melissa Schroeder from Oahu
6/9: Celebrate Hawaii
6/10: Celebrate Hawaii with Jill Marie Landis from Kauai
6/11: Celebrate Little Victories - King Kamehameha Day
6/12: Weekly Winners
6/13: Open
6/14: Open
6/15: Wednesday's Warriors
6/16: Julie Ann Walker's DEVIL AND THE DEEP
6/17: Open
6/18: Celebrate Little Victories
6/19: Weekly Winners
6/20: Amanda Forester's IF THE EARL ONLY KNEW
6/21: Samantha Chase's ALWAYS MY GIRL
6/22: Wednesday's Warriors
6/24: Open
6/25: Celebrate Little Victories
6/26: Weekly Winners
6/27: Celebrate Canada with Anne Lethbridge
6/28: Celebrate Canada with Shana Gray
6/29: Celebrate Canada with Julie Rowe
6/30: Celebrate Canada with Toni Anderson

7/1: Celebrate Canada with Kaylea Cross
7/2: Celebrate Little Victories
7/3: Weekly Winners
7/4: Freedom isn't Free
7/5: Alissa Johnson's A GIFT FOR GUILE
7/6: Wednesday's Warrior
7/7: Leigh Greenwood's No One But You
7/8: Jill Mansell's YOU AND ME, ALWAYS
7/12: The Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely

8/2: Laura Trentham's TILL I KISSED YOU

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Aloha to Lenora Bell and HOW THE DUKE WAS WON (The Disgraceful Dukes)


The Regency has never seen debutantes quite like these …

First there’s Charlene Beckett from HOW THE DUKE WAS WON:

Charlene Beckett is not your ordinary Regency heroine. She was raised in a bawdy house and learned the basics of martial arts for self-defense against the lecherous clientele. So when she’s asked to impersonate her half-sister Lady Dorothea and win a duke, she knows she’ll have to be on her guard every second. She can’t slip up and reveal her true identity. The only problem is, she never expected the duke to be so sinfully handsome…and so very tempting.

Photo credit (link)

Next is Lady Dorothea “Thea” Beaumont from IF I ONLY HAD A DUKE:

After four failed seasons and a disastrous jilting, Lady Dorothea Beaumont has had more than enough of her family’s scheming. She won’t domesticate a duke, entangle an earl, or vie for a viscount. She will quietly exit to her aunt’s Irish estate for a life of blissful freedom. Until an arrogant, sinfully handsome duke singles her out for a waltz, making Thea the most popular belle of the season.

Photo Credit (link)

And then there’s Miss Alice Tombs.  She’s known for being quirky, and she’s…not finished being written yet! But you can expect Alice will be just as determined and funny as Charlene and Thea.

miranda kerr
Photo Credit (link)

HOW THE DUKE WAS WON is a twist on The Bachelor (with some nods to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), IF I ONLY HAD A DUKE is inspired by the Wizard of Oz (with nods to Arrow), and BOOK 3 will be a take on Alice in Wonderland.

I’m having tons of fun writing these lovely, determined ladies! I really hope you enjoy meeting them…and their disgraceful dukes!

Lenora Bell is a third generation Alaskan and her hometown still has no traffic lights or fast food, but the public library is going strong!

An English teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing, Lenora has traveled the globe using music to bring smiles to classrooms. She currently lives in Switzerland with her carpenter husband and two naughty tiger-striped kitties.

In 2014 she won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She's thrilled to be debuting with Avon Books in 2016!

Learn more about Lenora at



The pleasure of your company is requested at Warbury Park. Four lovely ladies will arrive… but only one can become a duchess.

James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.
Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?

She is not like the others…

Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:

* Be the perfect English rose [Ha!]
* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns
[blast Lady Dorothea’s sylph-like figure]
* Charm and seduce a wild duke [without appearing to try]
* Keep said duke far, far from her heart
[no matter how tempting]

When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.



A signed copy of HOW THE DUKE WAS WON and a fair trade Divine Chocolate bar! (U.S. only)

Co-op will stock 70% Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange, and 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries

Mahalo, Lenora, for introducing us to your debutantes!  To enter Lenora's giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about Charlie and The Chocolate Factory - have you read the original book?  Seen the movie Willy Wonka with Gene Wilder?  Or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp?  

(In my original post, I wrote Gene Hackman).

2. Comments are open through Saturday, May 7, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8. 


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Coming in August 2016 ...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Aloha to Toni Anderson and COLD HEARTED (Cold Justice Book 6)


It is my privilege to welcome the multitalented Toni Anderson to SOS Aloha! From her bio,

A graduate of Marine Biology from the University of Liverpool, and the University of St. Andrews, Toni was a Post-doctoral Research Scientist for several years, and travelled the world with her work. After living in six different countries, she finally settled in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children. Now she spends her time talking to the voices in her head and making things up. Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She’s addicted to reading, dogs, tea (never travels without it), and chocolate. She loves to hear from readers.

Learn more about Toni and her books at

Kim: Six different countries! What have you learned about people after your nomadic moves?

Toni: It’s fun moving around actually. I love people even though I’m a bit of a hermit. For all there are huge generalities about people from different countries, I found people everywhere world appreciate the same things: a smile or a laugh, good food, and a glass of something cold at the end of a long workday. And although there are ‘bad’ people everywhere, most people are generous and kind. A little kindness goes a long way.

Kim:  You recently visited my beloved Hawaii. What was your favorite "tourist" activity?

Toni: I was only there for a week and most days I was tucked up inside the conference center so I didn’t do as much ‘touring’ as I would have liked. What a beautiful part of the world! I loved the whole place. The sandy beaches, the warm sun, the fresh breeze, the clear ocean. I really enjoyed the hike up Diamond Head and loved seeing the hula dancers, but the most special thing I did was go to Pearl Harbor. It’s a fascinating place that brought that part of the war alive for me. I was honored I got to see it.

Kim:  How did your training as a Marine Biologist prepare you to write romantic suspense?

ToniMy training as a Marine Biologist helped in many different ways. Getting a Ph.D. taught me how to approach problem solving and roadblocks, how to persevere (there’s that word again). It also meant I had a lot of experience and background material to use for fictional characters. I get a little freaked out by how scientists are often portrayed in fiction. My characters are much closer to reality, except real scientists party more.

Kim: Tell us about the Cold Justice series, which was recently released as a box set. What inspired it?

Toni: I love Romantic Suspense; it is my favorite genre to read. I’ve always been intrigued by people who bend the rules and by situations where there is no right answer. My Cold Justice Series is loosely set around the FBI’s BAU-4 (ala Criminal Minds), but my heroes and heroines often bend the rules to achieve a ‘just’ending. My first hero is an assassin and he gets a lot of love from readers. The sixth book comes out May 31st, 2016 and is called COLD HEARTED. The hero of that one is FBI Agent Darsh Singh and the herione is a detective called Erin Donovan. The two share a bit of a history and then have to track down a viscious murderer on a college campus.

Dark Waters (Barkley Sound, #2)

I am giving away a copy of DARK WATERS from Toni's Barclay Sound series to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about tea - Toni never travels without it. Do you like it hot or cold?  Milk, lemon, or sugar?  

2. Comments are open through Saturday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Aloha to Nicole Helm and OUTLAW COWBOY (Big Sky Cowboys No. 2)


Ever since his father's accident, Caleb Shaw vowed he'd mend his wild ways, and he means to keep his word. He’s a changed man. A better man. And he knows he should want absolutely nothing to do with his crazy old life...or the maddening temptation that is Delia Rogers.

Because Delia? Is nothing but trouble.

Delia’s been stealing her sisters away from their violent father ever since she was old enough to fight back. But now with the police on her trail and all her bridges burned, there’s nowhere left to run but back into the arms of the one cowboy she knows she shouldn’t need. Caleb has always been too good for her, no matter how bad he claimed to be. Yet when close quarters turn into something more, Delia and Caleb are forced to decide what really matters: mending their reputations or healing their wary hearts...


Nicole Helm writes down-to-earth contemporary romance specializing in people who don’t live close enough to neighbors for them to be a problem. When she’s not writing, she spends her time dreaming about someday owning a barn. She lives with her husband and two young sons in O’Fallon, Missouri.

Visit Nicole’s website for more down-to-earth contemporary romance!

O'Fallon Veterans Memorial Walk
My oldest son was born on nearby Scott AFB

Sourcebooks is hosting a giveaway at this link ... and offers an excerpt from OUTLAW COWBOY ... 

“I know. I’m not comparing, Delia. I can’t.” He shook his head as his gaze returned to hers.

If she looked closely enough, she could probably see her own reflection, but getting any closer than this already too-close cab of his truck held zero appeal.

“But if you had something that was yours, that made you who you are, that gave you a reason to get up in the morning, wouldn’t you do everything to keep it? Wouldn’t you fight to keep the thing that made you feel like you weren’t a complete waste of space?”

She should look away. She should get out of the truck or demand he drive her to her family home. She should do anything but keep his gaze and let his words wrap around her heart and squeeze.

She didn’t have a thing that made her who she was, or a reason to get up in the morning—at least not once Steph was out. Yet she’d always kept plowing ahead, because no matter how bleak things were, she knew who she was. Strong. Resilient. And she knew, deep in her heart most of the time, that once she did her duty to her sisters, there would be something waiting for her on the other side.

She hadn’t planned on it being jail, but even in her darkest moments she knew even that would be a temporary thing, as long as she could get Steph safe first.

All the crap Caleb was complaining about was easier, but somehow sadder, because he didn’t know how to go on without this beautiful, amazing piece of land that made her feel an aching kind of hope.

Hope. Somehow, it kept her going. It kept people like them going. And all of Caleb’s was tied up in something that could be taken from him.

“I’m not expecting sympathy,” he said, his voice hushed and his eyes on hers.

She felt herself lean forward, as if there was some force pushing her there. Him or the sun disappearing in his eyes.

“I just want you to understand why I did what I did. Helping you isn’t an easy choice for me. It threatens my only chance at this. But I want to do it anyway.”

She couldn’t swallow the lump in her throat, and her eyes burned. It shouldn’t make it better and it shouldn’t make it understandable. It certainly shouldn’t make her forgive him for trying to kick her off Shaw.

But she saw his battle, and that thing inside of him so lost he couldn’t find a center without the beauty that surrounded them, and that seemed more depressing than getting up every morning ready to fight. Thinking the only thing that made you worthwhile could be so easily taken away seemed worse than working to save people you loved. At least, at the end of the day, she knew she’d have her determination.

He cleared his throat. “Christ, Delia. Why are you crying?”

“I’m not crying.”

He reached out and touched his thumb to an unruly tear trailing down her cheek. She had a handle on the rest, but that one escaped and now he was touching it. Her.

Why were they so close? Why was she letting him be this close? Letting him touch her? She should push him away. Knock that stupid hat off his head while she was at it. She should do everything but lean into that gentle touch. It was a lie, a distraction, anything but something she could believe in or allow.

But somehow their mouths were close, and her heart was beating frantically against her chest, pushing her even closer to him. With his mouth a whisper from hers, her body completely warm for the first time since she’d woken up in the Shaw house this morning, he didn’t press his mouth to hers. He shook his head.

“I can’t do this with you.” But he didn’t back away, and when his eyes searched her face, they didn’t seem to mean that at all.

“But here you are,” she managed to croak out, sounding not at all like the cool, unaffected, kick-ass woman she’d like to be. Here she was, letting him swoop in, letting him touch her and affect her. “I don’t trust you,” she whispered, because she had to put that between them. She had to remind herself.

“Good. I don’t trust myself.”

Why? Why did she feel sorry for him? He had everything, including all the power. But sympathy softened her heart against her will, because the jackass didn’t know himself at all, and that was damn sad.

She’d rather be stupid than sad. She’d rather feel than run away from it. So she did the stupid, feeling thing to do.

She leaned in and pressed her mouth to his.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Aloha to Kate Dyer-Seeley and SILENCED IN THE SURF (Pacific Northwest Mystery Book 3) - Book Review


Covering a windsurfing competition should have been a breeze for reporter Meg Reed, but with a killer in the curl, she’s headed for rough waters…

Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge is the windsurfing capital of the world, and Meg is stoked to cover the King of the Hook event for Portland’s Northwest Extreme magazine. Before the competition gets under way, Meg has a chance to try some windsurfing on her own. But when the current sweeps her downriver, she spots a body snagged on the rocks. The dead man is Justin Cruise, aka Cruise Control, a celebrity windsurfer and not exactly a nice guy. It’s soon clear his death was no accident, and Cruise had no shortage of enemies. As Meg dives right in to discover who wiped out the windsurfer, she’ll need to keep her balance—or she too may get blown away.

Image by Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives (link)

Out of water, I am nothing. - Duke Kahanamoku

Meg Reed is a budding reporter putting her journalism skills to work at Northwest Exposure, an extreme sports magazine. Her latest assignment takes her to the Columbia River Gorge for the "King of the Hook" windsurfing tournament. She invites her closet friends, fellow journalist Matt and law student Jill, to share her rental house for the weekend. Meg ventures out with the "top tiered" journalists for an early morning windsurfing demonstration, only to find that she drifted away from the crowd. As she scrambles to steer her windsurfer down river, she spots the reigning champion, Justin Cruise, floating upside down. Clearly, he was murdered.

Although she is warned to leave the investigation to the sheriff, Meg can't help but snoop around the tournament to find likely suspects. Along the way, she questions her career choice, her father's fatal accident, and her feelings for Matt - issues addressed in previous novels that seem to have no resolution in the near future. Meg's focus on these issues detract from the murder mystery which fails to reach its potential in carrying the plot. Dyer-Seeley offers some comic relief with Meg's challenge to overcome her klutzy tendencies while participating in extreme sports. The author also gives a nod to the "nerd herd" popularized by Comic Con and The Big Bang Theory. 

Dyer-Seeley excels with her vivid descriptions of the Pacific Northwest - its natural beauty, quirky culture, and outdoor activities. I was ready to book my flight to Portland and sample the microbrews, artsy vibe, and, of course, the gorgeous landscape. I learned more about windsurfing - I assumed competitions took place on an ocean beach, not a river gorge. Still, the windsurfing tournament (and the associated hoopla) reminded me of how the Hawaiians celebrate the kai (sea). I also enjoyed the references to holistic healing as practiced by Meg's grandmother.

In the end, I was satisfied with SILENCED IN THE SURF if only for the chance to visit the Pacific Northwest again with the millennials who I now consider book friends. I am hooked on the series and ready for the next adventure with Meg, Jill, and Matt.

I recommend reading this series in order.

I purchased a copy of SILENCED IN THE SURF since I enjoyed Books 1 and 2 in the series. 

Oneonta Creek
Image by Rocketstove (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 extreme sports - have you sampled any?  I was required to participate the "slide for life" at AFROTC camp.  I held on for life to an overhead bar as I slid down a rope from a tower to a lake.  Yes, I jumped into the water!

2. Comments are open through Saturday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Kate and her books at

18371392Slayed on the Slopes (Pacific Northwest #2)

Book 1 and 2 of the Pacific Northwest Mystery series