Sunday, April 19, 2015

Aloha to Elizabeth Moss, WOLF BRIDE, and the Courtly Love Quiz


Elizabeth Moss is celebrating the release of WOLF BRIDE, Lust in the Tudor Court Book 1, from Sourcebooks ...

Bound to him against her will…

Lord Wolf, hardened soldier and expert lover, has come to King Henry VIII's court to claim his new bride: a girl who has intrigued him since he first saw her riding across the Yorkshire moors.

Eloise Tyrell, now lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn, has other ideas. She has no desire to submit to a man she barely knows and who-though she is loath to admit it-frightens her more than a little.

Their first kiss awakens in both a fierce desire that bares them to the soul. But as the court erupts into scandal around the ill-fated Queen, Eloise sees firsthand what happens when powerful men tire of their wives...


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Born into a literary family, Elizabeth Moss lives with her husband and five children in South-West England, and is a keen countryside walker. She writes fun and sexy historical romances. She also writes award-winning fiction as Victoria Lamb. 

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Courtly Love Quiz by Elizabeth Moss

Follow this quiz to discover what kind of courtly hero you might prefer to curl up with!

Question #1- What word best describes you?
A Ambitious
B Romantic
C Feisty
D Secretive

Question #2 – Complete this sentence: My preferred courtly hero is most likely to…

A Set me up in a large palace with servants
B Serenade me with a lute
C Ride off with me on his horse
D Keep my head safe from the block

Question #3 - I prefer my hero’s kisses to be:

A Forbidden
B Long and lingering
C Fierce
D Intriguing

Question #4 - My hottest historical hero wears…

A A crown and ermine-trimmed robes
B Top designer doublet and hose
C Shining armor
D Black, for lurking in the shadows

Question #5 - On his day off from courting me, my hero usually…

A Goes hunting
B Plays bowls
C Polishes his lance
D Reads Machiavelli

Question #6 - I like a hero whose bragging rights include:
A Absolute wealth and power
B Fluency in five European languages
C Ancestors who led the charge at Agincourt
D A string of political assassinations

Question #7 - For my birthday, my ideal courtly hero would get me:

A Diamonds, of course
B A love sonnet tied with a red ribbon
C A romantic, tumbledown castle
D A chess set
Question #8 - My hero’s worst feature is probably his:

A Lack of long-term commitment
B Poor work/life balance
C Obsession with his horse
D Tendency to listen at keyholes

If you chose mostly ‘A’s, then you won’t settle for anyone else but the King himself. The King is the man with power over everyone, including his Queen. Regal and dynamic, he dominates his world with natural authority. But like many powerful men, he lives his private life in public. Only an ambitious woman, destined for the top and comfortable with celebrity, can keep pace with this dangerous Alpha male. You’ll need to keep him happy in the bedroom, and never stray yourself, as the King is not known for fidelity or a forgiving nature. Serial divorcer and beheader, Henry VIII got through six wives – and may have been contemplating a seventh marriage when he died!

If you chose mostly ‘B’s, then a charming Courtier is on the top of your list to love. The Courtier is a man skilled in the art of courtly love as well as international diplomacy. He was educated at Oxford or Cambridge, can sing and play the lute, and knows when to compliment the Queen’s eyes and when to hide in the closet. A lady who loves expensive gowns and state dinners would do well with the Courtier, as long as she is not too possessive and does not mind him disappearing off to another European court every few months. Many Tudor courtiers were of noble French descent, like Hugh Beaufort in Wolf Bride, and possessed substantial lands as well as looks and charm.

If you chose mostly ‘C’s, then the strong and brave Knight is just right. The Knight is a courtier with other strings to his bow. He has the charm, wit and courtly manners to seduce the ladies, yet stands ready to charge into battle for his King at a moment’s notice. Less of a smoothie than the Courtier, he’s also better equipped to protect his lady from danger. If you hanker after a Knight, you’re probably earthy and ultra-feminine, and enjoy being in the arms of a big strong man. Although Lord Wolf is noble, he’s also a Knight at heart, a fierce lover and courageous soldier whose loyalty to his lady and his country is beyond question.

If you chose mostly ‘D’s, then you are meant for life at court directing the action behind the scenes with your powerful Political Advisor. The Political Advisor is often a commoner who has risen to power at court through his own skills. A cool and calculating strategist, his innate power and influence can be very seductive. Those who find this courtier intriguing are likely to be intelligent women with low boredom thresholds who enjoy mental stimulation (and maybe some power games in the bedroom). Your main challenge will be to sidestep the scandals that often surround the Political Advisor. Sir Thomas Cromwell was Henry VIII’s right hand man for years, becoming almost as powerful as the King himself during the period in Wolf Bride.


Sourcebooks is hosting a special giveaway at this link.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 

Berry Pomeroy Castle, home of the Seymour family
Jane Seymour replaced Anne Boleyn as queen ...

Aloha to Cara Elliott and SCANDALOUSLY YOURS - Book Review

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Proper young ladies of the ton-especially ones who have very small dowries-are not encouraged to have an interest in intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the only thing they are encouraged to pursue is an eligible bachelor. So, the headstrong Sloane sisters must keep their passions a secret. Ah, but secret passions are wont to lead a lady into trouble . . .

SCANDALOUSLY YOURS

The eldest of the three Sloane sisters, Olivia is unafraid to question the boundaries of Society-even if it does frequently land her in trouble. Disdaining the glittery world of balls and courtship, Olivia prefers to spend her time writing fiery political essays under a pseudonym for London's leading newspaper. But when her columns attract the attention of the oh-so-proper Earl of Wrexham, Olivia suddenly finds herself dancing on the razor's edge of scandal. With the help of her sisters, she tries to stay one step ahead of trouble . . .

However, after a series of madcap misadventures, Wrexham, a former military hero who is fighting for social reform in Parliament, discovers Olivia's secret. To her surprise, he proposes a temporary alliance to help win passage of his bill. Passion flares between them, but when a political enemy kidnaps the earl's young son, they must make some dangerous decisions . . . and trust that love will conquer all.


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St. Giles Chuch, Wrexham
Image by David Powell (link)

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. - Anais Nin

Olivia Sloane has a talent for writing yet the ton forces her to hide behind a pen name.   She also hides during social engagements.  On one such occasion, Olivia matches wits over a chess board with a shadowed man marked by a military bearing.  She later learns her challenger was Earl of Wrexham, a war hero and widowed father of a precocious son.   Circumstance continues to bring them together, giving Olivia and Wrexham the opportunity to learn each other's secrets.   

Elliott excels in the little details to make this a quintessential Regency romance laced with passion, humor, and warmth.  The chess board becomes the catalyst for these fated lovers to learn how to outmaneuver their enemies ... and conquer each other's hearts.  Elliott includes children in a subplot ala Sleepless in Seattle.  I wasn't sure how this storyline would merge with the overarching story of the social reform.  Yet Elliott weaves all threads together for a heartfelt romance, whetting my appetite for the other Sloane sisters to have their own adventure.

Recommended read for fans of Regency historicals, bluestocking heroines, and road trips.

The road trip takes them to Dartmoor ...

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 your pen name - what would it be?

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, April 25, 10 pm in Baltimore.  

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, April 27.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Cara and her books at caraelliott.com.

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Books 2 and 3 from the Hellions of High Street

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weekly Winners


We have winners at SOS Aloha ...

Finding Your Tribe 
- Sharlene wins a book choice from my convention stash.


Susana Ellis and Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo
- Catslady wins a tea mug from Susana


Kelsey Browning, Nancy Naigle, and IN HIGH COTTON
- Library Pat wins a book choice from my convention stash. 


Heather Ashby's UNFORGETTABLE
- Jane wins a gift certificate from Heather.


From my travel blog, ALOHA ON MY MIND
- Mary K. wins a book choice from my convention stash.


Winners, please claim your prize by sending your mailing address to sos.aloha@yahoo.com.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Friday, April 17, 2015

Aloha to National Library Week with Wendy Crutcher, the Super Librarian (the lost interview)


Bench outside my hometown library in Safety Harbor, FL

Did you celebrate National Library Week?  Let's go out with a bang with a salute to  Wendy Crutcher, RWA's 2011 Librarian of the Year and the creator of The Misadventures of the Super Librarian.   


Carrie Lofty (left) and Wendy from RWA 2012

I intended to host Wendy long before now ... but I just found the "lost" interview from 2010.

Kim: Who/what inspired you to become a Librarian?

Wendy: In part, my high school geometry teacher. After struggling through his class for a semester, I convinced my guidance counselor to let me drop it. I didn't need it to graduate, and frankly while I had no idea what I wanted to be "when I grew up" - I knew it wouldn't involve any math that was more complex than basic arithmetic. So, I signed up to work as a library page in our school library the following semester thinking it would be my slacker class. Ha! The high school librarian actually made me work, and taught me stuff. This was pre-Internet, so I learned a lot about researching, reference books, finding information etc. I was hooked. At 16, I had found my calling.

Kim: Who inspired you to become a blogger?

Wendy: I started doing reviews for The Romance Reader back in 1999, and was looking for a way to "highlight" my work over there. I started out doing a very basic web page using a free service, but I was never sold on that format. I found out about blogging via Laurie Likes Books (who used to run All About Romance and Rosario (a reader from Uruguay who started her blog to practice her English) and thought it sounded neat and easy! I especially loved that the archiving was automatic and I didn't have to know a bunch of HTML. I started my blog in February 2003 and it's been nothing but a rewarding experience for me - both personally and professionally.

Kim: Assuming the sky's the limit, who would be your dream guest speaker (and topic) at a program you coordinated for your local library?

Wendy: Do you realize how impossible this question is to answer? So many choices!

For me personally, either Barbara Michaels (AKA Elizabeth Peters) or Mary Higgins Clark - just because they wrote some of the first "grown-up" books I ever read as a teenager, and I'm got a massive soft spot in my reading heart for both of those ladies.

Now, I'm sure my library patrons would not scoff at either Michaels/Peters or MHC - but for them, I'd love to get Nora Roberts. Just because. I mean, she's Nora Roberts.

However, if I was designing a program geared towards librarians, I'd have to go with Jayne Ann Krentz. I've heard her speak before, to a room filled with librarians, and I'm not sure anybody but a librarian will understand this but....she just talks like a former academic librarian. I liked the way she presented the genre to other librarians, and she's had a very interesting career. Certainly there is plenty of snobbery about the genre still thriving in my profession (don't get me started) and the way JAK talks about the genre has the kind of passion, verve and intelligence that can sink through some pretty thick skulls.



Wendy and Rosie at RWA 2011 

Mahalo, Wendy, for blogging for truth, justice and the right to read what you want since 2003.  I look forward to seeing you at RWA 2015 in NYC, including Librarian's Day.  Oh, look, Jayne Ann Krentz is on the schedule:

Kiss Me or Kill Me: The Timeless Appeal of the Romantic Suspense Novel
Speakers: D. D. Ayres, Mary Burton, Laura Kaye, Jayne Ann Krentz, Carla Neggers, Wendy Corsi Staub, and Rebecca Zanetti.


and Wendy:

Creating Effective Partnerships: Librarians, Booksellers, and Authors in a New Publishing Era
Speakers: Wendy Crutcher and Laura Florand

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

1.  Leave a comment about a favorite librarian and/or library.  My favorite library is still the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH) Library at this link

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, April 25, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, April 26.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

JBPHH Librarian Phyllis F. with Jane Austen!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Aloha to Susanna Kearsley and A DESPERATE FORTUNE


For nearly three hundred years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has lain unread. Now, amateur code breaker Sara Thomas has been sent to Paris to crack the cipher.

Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing—for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.

As Mary’s gripping tale is revealed, Sara is faced with challenges that will require letting go of everything she thought she knew—about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women will be united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the coincidences of fate.

Buy links


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley is known for her meticulous research and exotic settings from Russia to Italy to Cornwall, which not only entertain her readers but give her a great reason to travel. Her lush writing has been compared to Mary Stewart, Daphne du Maurier, and Diana Gabaldon. She hit the bestseller lists in the U.S. with The Firebird (a RITA winner) as well as, The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden (both RITA finalists and winners of RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards). Other honors include National Readers' Choice Awards, the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, and finaling for the UK's Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Her popular and critically acclaimed books are available in translation in more than 20 countries and as audiobooks. She lives in Canada, near the shores of Lake Ontario.

Learn more about Susanna and her books at her website, susannakearsley.com.

Sourcebooks is hosting a giveaway at this link.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 

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My two favorites from Susanna Kearsley

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Aloha to Sally Orr and WHEN A RAKE FALLS


Welcome!

I’m Sally Orr, the author of the new historical Regency-era romance, WHEN A RAKE FALLS. This is book 2 in The Rake’s Handbook series. Thank you so much to SOS Aloha for hosting me today. I’m excited to introduce you to WHEN A RAKE FALLS.

In order to for you to get to know my hero and heroine, Miss Eve Mountfloy and Lord Boyce Parker, a little better, I’ve conducted a mini interview to give you a little taste of WHEN A RAKE FALLS.

Enjoy!

Best wishes,

Sally Orr


What would your partner say was the last thing the two of you argued about?

Boyce: Her father.
Eve: My Dad. The two of them do not get on.

What percentage of the housework would your partner say they do?

Boyce: The maids do all of it.
Eve: I no longer cook and clean.

What is your partner’s favorite food?

Boyce: She loves soup that has lots of cheese in it. I don’t know why, but she does.
Eve: A mixed fruit pudding with a little added brandy.



He’s racing to win back his reputation

Having hired a balloon to get him to Paris in a daring race, Lord Boyce Parker is simultaneously exhilarated and unnerved by the wonders and dangers of flight, and most of all by the beautiful, stubborn, intelligent lady operating the balloon.

She’s curious about the science of love

Eve Mountfloy is in the process of conducting weather experiments when she finds herself spirited away to France by a notorious rake. She’s only slightly dismayed—the rake seems to respect her work—but she is frequently distracted by his windblown physical magnificence and buoyant spirits.

What happens when they descend from the clouds?

As risky as aeronautics may be, once their feet touch the ground, Eve and Boyce learn the real danger of a very different type of falling…


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Praise for The Rake’s Handbook:

“Orr debuts with a charming romp. The witty repartee and naughty innuendos set the perfect pitch for the entertaining romance. Though there are serious themes and carefully researched historical details, it’s the banter and sensuality that are sure to enchant readers.” --RT Book Reviews, 4 stars

The Rake’s Handbook: Including Field Guide (Book 1)

AmazonAppleB&NBAM!ndigoIndieBoundKobo

When a Rake Falls (Book 2)

AmazonAppleB&NBAM!ndigoIndieBoundKobo

Sally Orr worked for thirty years in medical research, specializing in the discovery of gene function. After joining an English history message board, she posted many, many examples of absolute tomfoolery. As a result, a cyber-friend challenged her to write a novel. Since she is a hopeless Anglophile, it's not surprising that her first book is a Regency romance. Sally lives with her husband in San Diego, surrounded by too many nerdy books and not enough old English cars.

Website – sallyorr.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Aloha to UNFORGETTABLE with Heather Ashby and Christopher Bergeron

 

Thanks for inviting me today, Kim. I’m so happy to share my stories about healing with your readers, both military and civilian. In February, a woman approached my table at the Amelia Island Book Festival here in Florida and thanked me for the healing properties in my books. She said she was a physician in the Washington, D.C. area and that she recommends Book 2 in my “Love in the Fleet” series, Forget Me Not, to her military couples dealing with PTSD. My jaw dropped and the following words echoed in my head: Mission accomplished.

She mentioned that not only were there psychological steps to healing in the book, but “it is told in story form, not preaching to the reader. And it appeals to female and male readers—both the romance and the military action. Plus, much of it is told from a male point of view.” Not only have I spent a lot of time around military men—my retired Navy husband being one of them—but the military advisers for all my books are male. One recently said, “You’ve created a new genre, Heather: The technically-correct-modern-warfare-self-help-romance novel.”

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Book 4 in my series, Unforgettable, is co-authored by a retired Marine, Major Christopher Bergeron. Chris was the advisor on Book 3, Never Forget, as well. Both books take place aboard USS New York and feature a Marine gunnery sergeant with PTSD forged in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, a place where Chris served. I mentioned to him that 90% of romance novels are read by women. He smiled and added, “Yes, and 90% of the people who get guys to seek help for their PTSD are their wives. We gotta’ write these books.”

Our Marine protagonist and his issues are introduced in Never Forget and he is healed in Unforgettable by a hypnotherapist. Before you scoff, let me explain. 9/11 occurred a month after the unexpected death of my only sibling. My Army son left for war several months later, and I assumed care of my eccentric, elderly mother—while I was teaching elementary school. I resumed smoking cigarettes, a habit I had kicked twenty years earlier. After my son was safely home and the dust had settled, I went to a hypnotherapist as I had become a completely addicted smoker again. She not only removed smoking from my life in one day, but healed all the reasons I ever smoked in the first place! My immediate reaction was: “Can this heal combat PTSD?” To which she replied, “Absolutely.” Then and there, I knew I had to write this story. Check out this interview on NPR for more information at this link


The doctor who thanked me at the book signing shared her concerns over the medications being prescribed for PTSD. She said that we need to heal the reasons why patients have symptoms, not just treat the symptoms. I totally agree. The hypnotherapist I saw in 2010 gave me a new lease on life. And I want that for all of our troops who came home with issues. I hope and pray that Unforgettable will find its way into the hands of those who need to read it. And then I can say, once again: Mission accomplished.

I’d like to close with words from Christopher Bergeron’s acknowledgements in Unforgettable:

“Last, thanks to all my brothers and sisters who came home wounded in ways no one could see. I hope you find the healing I have found. Never give up the fight to be you again. It’s the most important battle. Semper Fi to all.”

Your readers are invited to stop by and chat with Chris and me and our awesome guest authors on Facebook at AN UNFORGETTABLE LAUNCH PARTY from 5-10 EDT on April 15, 2015. Click here to RSVP. Hope to see you there! 

HEATHER ASHBY - BIO 

Award winning author, Heather Ashby is a Navy veteran who taught school and raised a family while accompanying her Navy husband around the United States, Japan, and the Middle East. In gratitude for their Army son’s safe return from Afghanistan and Iraq, she now writes military romance novels, donating half her royalties to Fisher House Foundation in support of wounded warriors and their families. Her son serves as her cover model, helping to raise money for Fisher Houses around the world. Heather lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida with her retired Navy husband. Unforgettable is the fourth and final book in the “Love in the Fleet” series.

heatherashby.com
@HAshbyAuthor
facebook.com/HeatherAshbyAuthor


CHRISTOPHER BERGERON - BIO

Christopher Bergeron is a retired Major in the United States Marine Corps, with twenty-four years of service. His ten deployments include combat tours in Desert Shield/Desert Storm; Somalia; Kosovo; Haiti; Fallujah, Iraq; and Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Chris’s travels have covered the globe, including more than twenty countries. He lives with his wife and son in Rockford, Michigan, where he is currently a Communications/Marketing student at Grand Valley State University. Unforgettable is his first novel.


UNFORGETTABLE

The 9/11 spirits aboard USS New York are back! Their mission: help Adam, Gwyn, Mike, and Cate find their happily ever afters—and stay alive. As the only person who can see them, Lieutenant Gwyn Pritchard tries to help the spirits move on to the light. That is, when she’s not helping Gunnery Sergeant Adam Connor heal from his PTSD—or falling madly in love with him.

Captain Cate Hawkins, has run from her unconventional childhood by becoming a Marine Corps pilot. But when a mission in East Africa goes awry, she finds herself in a race for her life. After burying the hatchet with Cate, Navy pilot Mike Nikolopoulos wants nothing more than to rescue his new love. If the spirits help him save her, they’ll finally be free to move on. But can Mike overcome a sudden fear of flying to find his way to Cate before terrorists repeat “Black Hawk Down”—with a female American pilot this time?


Amazon
Nook 

Thanks for in inviting me, Kim. Now I have a question for your readers. What do you think is the secret to healing? Any kind of healing? Could be bodies, relationships, emotions, you name it. I have a $10 gift card for one lucky commenter. Blessings to you and your readers.


Blessing back to you, Heather and Christopher, your collaboration!   To enter Heather's contest,

1.  Answer her question - what do you think it the secret to healing?

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, April 18, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, April 19.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City