Friday, September 22, 2017

Aloha to Julie Ann Walker and HOT PURSUIT - Giveaway with Excerpt!


Julie Ann Walker is celebrating the release of HOT PURSUIT, Book 11 in her popular Black Knights Inc., series, coming October 3rd from Sourcebooks:

He puts the hot...
Christian Watson, a former SAS officer and current BKI operator, never thought he would return to England after a terrible turn of events forced him to abandon his homeland. But now he's back on British soil where old enemies are determmeland. But now he's back on British soil where old enemies are determined to do him in. Fighting for his life is pretty much SOP for Christian. Doing it with the beautiful, bossy Emily Scott in tow is another matter entirely.

In hot pursuit.
Emily lost her coveted job at the CIA because of a colleague turned rogue, and now she has just one rule when it comes to men: they're for recreational purposes only. But when she and Christian are thrust into very close quarters while evading two mysterious men who want Christian dead, she can't help but question all her ideas about love and life lived on the edge. Battling the bad guys is hard enough, battling her feelings for Christian just might prove impossible.

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks

Julie Ann Walker

From Julie's bio (link),

After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, Julie began teaching advanced high school mathematics. “I loved working with the students and facing the challenges of the classroom, but I longed for the occasional snow day when I could race to the local book store, buy two or three new novels, and curl up in front of the fire to read.” It wasn’t until a fortuitous move to Chicago that Julie once more returned to her first passion. “Thankfully, my husband – my own personal hero – encouraged my decision to write full time.” Now Julie lives on beautiful Lake Shore Drive with a view that sometimes competes with her deadlines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys camping, hiking, cycling, cooking, travel, and…reading, of course!

Image result for colin firth mr darcy

Sourcebooks is giving away a copy of HOT PURSUIT to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about your favorite dashing Brit - actor, singer, or royal.  I am partial to Colin Firth, the authentic Mr. Darcy.

2.  Comments are open through Thursday, September 28, 10 pm in Baltimore.

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

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Sourcebooks offers an excerpt from HOT PURSUIT ... 

So many questions buzzed through Emily’s brain that she felt like she’d shoved her head in a beehive. She had to grit her teeth to keep from asking them.

And why the hell wouldn’t he stop rubbing her hip? Warmth had spread from the skin beneath his hand, and now her whole body was suffused with it.

“Is she the reason you stayed in England after Boss invited you to join him at Black Knights Inc.?” she asked.

The look he shot her had her lifting a brow. “What?”

“That’s the second time today I’ve thought you were either a mind reader or else practicing witchcraft.”

“Really?” The thought delighted her. “When was the first time?” Then reality sank in. Shit, that was question number three. “Never mind!” She slapped a hand over his mouth. “Don’t answer that.”

His eyes sparkled mischievously. He’d tried using her own technique against her, piquing her interest so she’d use up her truths.

“I’m not the only one who fights dirty,” she accused.

“And don’t you forget it,” he parroted her words back to her. Then he placed a hot kiss in the center of her palm.

She snatched her hand away, dropping it into her lap. If he noticed that she curled her fingers, trying to hold on to the heat of his kiss, he gave no indication.

“So out with it,” she demanded. “Is your mother the reason you stayed in England after Boss invited you to join him at BKI?”

“Yes.” His nod was perfunctory. “After I was let go from the SAS, when I was trying to make my way as a civilian, I moved back in with Mum. After Dad died, she didn’t only get soused on the weekends. She did it all day every day. Held on to the bottle like a lifeline. She was self-medicating, of course. When she was pissed, she could forget she’d been the one behind the wheel that night. But miracle of miracles, with me back home looking after her, suddenly it seemed like she was trying to pull her shite together. She stopped spending all her government support checks at the pub and instead started buying decent food for the flat. She even went ’round to the local Jobcentre offices and applied to be placed in a position.”

From the tender age of six, he’d lived with a drunk mother and a dead father.

Snap. Crackle. Pop.

That wasn’t Rice Krispies. That was the foundations of Emily’s walls. Because she got it.

Her parents might not be drunks, but she knew all about addiction. Her mother and father were both addicted to love, addicted to the high it brought them. They’d sought it with single-minded determination, and their searches had, more often than not, left Emily all alone.

“Then one night, about three months after I got back, I found her in an alley,” Christian continued. “She was half frozen, half dressed, and totally piss drunk. And that’s when I knew.”

He stopped there. Didn’t say another word for a full minute, simply stared into space.

Even though she’d used up her three truths, Emily posed a question anyway. “What did you know?”

Christian turned to look at her. There was so much sadness in his eyes that her heart lurched toward him, and her arms were around his neck before she could stop them.

“That I couldn’t change her,” he said, his voice deep and husky. “That I couldn’t help her, couldn’t save her. And she was too far gone to have any hope of saving herself. So, I trundled her off to the best rehab facility in the country the next morning. It cost all my savings to get her in a six-month program. Then I bought a one-way ticket to America. Got on that plane with nothing but a change of clothes in my rucksack and a paltry roll of pounds secured by an elastic band.”

Emily desperately wanted to know what had become of his mother, if she had ever sobered up, how she’d died. But she’d already pushed her luck and gotten one more truth than he’d agreed to give her. So she bit back the questions poised on the tip of her tongue and said simply, “I’m so sorry, Christian.”

Although sorry didn’t come close to describing what she was feeling for him in that moment. She wasn’t sure there were words in the English language that could do her emotions justice.

Then, because he had given her one more truth than he’d agreed to, and because her emotions were running high and she felt she should do something, she decided to answer the last question he had posed. After all, turnabout was fair play. She prided herself on being an equitable woman.

“I can’t imagine what it was like to lose a father so early in life,” she said, playing with the ends of his hair where it brushed the back of his warm neck. “Or to know what it was to grow up with an alcoholic mother. But like you, I’m sort of the collateral damage of my childhood.”

His dark eyebrows slashed into a vee. “What do you mean?”

“You asked me to explain to you what I couldn’t explain to Richard. Why I couldn’t fall in love with him.” Part of her mind was on the ugly truth she was about to reveal; the other part was distracted by the feel of his hair between her fingertips. It was so soft. Strange for a man who in all other respects was the epitome of hardness. Hard body. Hard head. Hard…ahem. “I’m willing to give it a try.”

The look he sent her was guarded.

“But I want to make another deal with you,” she said.

“I’m listening.”

“I want you to let me go back over to the sofa.” His pretty green eyes narrowed. “What I’m about to tell you is important, and I need to be able to concentrate to get it right. To explain it right. I can’t concentrate when we’re like”—she motioned between them—“this.”

One corner of his mouth twitched. “Why not?”

Her pursed lips told him you know why without having to say the words.

Indulge me, his twinkling eyes answered.

She blew out a windy breath. “You’re distracting, okay? You’re all…” She waved a hand to indicate his entire form. “And it’s distracting.”

Not to mention destructive. As in, sitting on his lap, his arms around her, her arms around him—when had that last thing happened exactly?—was destroying her emotional fortifications, ripping them apart brick by brick until it was hard to remember why she was so determined to keep him at arm’s length.

“You do want me.” A satisfied grin kicked up the corners of his mouth. That mouth that she now knew from experience was magic. If she was a witch, then he was definitely a warlock. A sexy, tattooed English warlock.

She clucked her tongue. “Ah, ah, ah. Your arrogance is showing again.”

“Admit it,” he demanded.

“Okay, I admit it. You, sir, are arrogant.” Devilment had her fighting a grin.

“Admit that you want me, woman. I’m not letting you go until you do.”

“Fine.” Her frustration had her raising her hands and letting them fall back into her lap. “I want you. What red-blooded heterosexual woman wouldn’t? You’ve got that whole unholy trifecta thing going for you.”

“Unholy trifecta?” He looked genuinely confused.

“Tall, dark, and handsome,” she explained, touching his chin dimple. She couldn’t get enough of it. “Plus, there’s the accent.”

“I’m not the one with an accent, darling. You’re the one with an accent.”

“Whatever. The point is that it doesn’t matter that I want you; I can’t have you. And I’ll try to explain why if you’ll let me go back over to the damned sofa!”

She clamped her mouth shut, heat flooding her cheeks when she realized he’d gotten under her skin and made her lose her shit. Again. He had an unnatural knack for it.

“Fine.” He opened his arms, letting them come to rest on the arms of the chair. “You win. Your freedom for an explanation. Although, in truth, I’m hardly sure this is a better deal than the last one.”

That Emily should feel so bereft without his strong arms around her, without that thumb drawing maddening circles on her hip, was completely absurd. Which was why she scrambled off his lap and flounced over to the sofa. She didn’t want him to see the truth of her feelings on her face.

Only after she had settled into the corner, drawing her feet up onto the cushion and hugging her knees to her chest, did she dare look at him. “Like I said earlier,” she grumbled. “You wouldn’t know a good deal if it—”

“I’m warning you, Emily.” His expression was so fierce, so focused that she found herself fighting for breath. “If you mention the words bite and pecker in the same sentence again, I can’t be held responsible for what I’ll do. Likely bite you and then try to use my p—”

“Okay!” She screwed her eyes shut and covered her ears. It felt as if someone had tossed a bucket of scalding water over her head. “I get it!”

When she blinked open her eyes, it was to find him reclined back in the chair, a smug half-smile plastered over his irritatingly attractive face.
SAS Patrol in North Africa during WWII
Public Domain (link)


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Aloha to Mia Sosa and ACTING ON IMPULSE

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Mia Sosa is celebrating the release of ACTING ON IMPULSE, Book 1 in her Love on Cue series from Avon Impulse ...

After a very public breakup with a media-hungry politician, fitness trainer Tori Alvarez escapes to Aruba for rest, relaxation, and copious amounts of sex on the beach—the cocktail, that is. She vows to keep her vacation a man-free zone but when a cute guy is seated next to her on the plane, Tori can’t resist a little harmless flirting.

Hollywood heartthrob Carter Stone underwent a dramatic physical transformation for his latest role and it’s clear his stunning seat mate doesn’t recognize the man beneath the shaggy beard and extra lean frame. Now Carter needs help rebuilding his buff physique and Tori is perfect for the job. It doesn’t hurt that she makes his pulse pound in more ways than one.

Sparks are flying, until a pesky paparazzo reveals Carter’s identity. Tori is hurt and pissed. She wants nothing to do with another man in the limelight, but she’s still got to whip him into shape. Can Carter convince Tori he’s worth the threat to her privacy that comes with dating a famous actor, or will Tori chisel him down to nothing before he even gets the chance?



Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, and more.

A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy that finally sleeps through the night. For more information about Mia and her books, visit miasosa.com.


I am giving away a swag pack from RWA17, including swag from Avon romance, to four randomly selected commenters from my posts published in the month of September. To enter the giveaway, 

1. Leave a comment about loungewear - what's your favorite apparel to read a book?

I love getting in my sleepshirt after dinner ... in the winter I add flannel PJ pants.  I am quite the sight!

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

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

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


35068784
Coming in February 2018

Monday, September 18, 2017

Happy 70th Birthday, United States Air Force!


Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun! (Give 'er the gun now!)
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!


Minds of men fashioned a crate of thunder,
Sent it high into the blue;
Hands of men blasted the world asunder;
How they lived God only knew! (God only knew then!)
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wings, ever to soar!
With scouts before And bombers galore. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!




Here's a toast to the host
Of those who love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those who gave their all of old,
Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.
A toast to the host of men we boast, the U.S. Air Force!
Zoom!

Off we go into the wild sky yonder,
Keep the wings level and true;
If you'd live to be a grey-haired wonder
Keep the nose out of the blue! (Out of the blue, boy!)
Flying men, guarding the nation's border,
We'll be there, followed by more!
In echelon we carry on. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!






Saturday, September 16, 2017

Aloha to the Maryland Romance Writers (MRW) Fourth Annual Online Auction

Image result for maryland Romance writers

The Maryland Romance Writers (MRW) are hosting the Fourth Annual Online Auction:

This auction benefits the Maryland Romance Writers (MRW) chapter of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and its programs which promote excellence in romantic fiction and advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers. To learn more about MRW, visit marylandromancewriters.com.

Check out what I donated:

Social Media Review from Popular Romance Bloggers (link):

Three bloggers, Kim Lowe (SOS Aloha Book Blog), Danielle Gorman (Ramblings from the Chick), and Kimberly Rocha (Book Obsessed Chicks) will independently review the winner's digital imprint - author website, social media, and author pages - to offer their feedback to the author's branding, reader appeal, and overall cohesiveness. Kim Lowe will compile their feedback and offer a one hour consultation.



Military Appreciation Gift Set (link):

US Flag flown over the Air Force Memorial (Arlington, VA), Air Force lanyard, Army Magnet and Pin, Coast Guard Tote Bag, Navy SEALs DVD, NSA Ballcap, NSA logo golf balls, Pearl Harbor Map, Pentagon Magnet, and Military Ducks



Pacific Rim Gift Set (link):

Hawaiian souvenirs (Aloha Pencils, Flower Hair Clip, Silk Lei, Slippahs magnet), Mount Fuji Magnets, Pearl Harbor Map, Jake Shimabukuro coozie, South Korean Magnet, USS Missouri "Mighty Mo" Golf Balls, and Military Ducks



Always Alba - A Sample of Scotland (link):

Albannach CD and bottle coozie,Brass "buck" decoration, Doune Castle leather bookmark (film location for OUTLANDER and MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL), Historic Scotland coffee mug, and vintage photographs from Victorian Scotland.


The auction ends on Monday, October 23 ... check out all the items available at this link.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Next week ... the Baltimore Book Festival!



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Aloha to Sara Jane Stone and THE CINDERELLA FANTASY - Release Day Blast


Sara Jane Stone is celebrating the release of THE CINDERELLA FANTASY, Book 1 in the Playing the Princess series ....


A princess who has lost her faith in love . . .

Lucy Linden’s prince charming (a.k.a. her fiancĂ©) disappeared three months before the Big Day. Determined to pick up the pieces, she dives into the world of online dating. But the only men interested in a woman whose day job involves playing Cinderella leave Lucy looking for an exit strategy before the main course. And the man rushing to her rescue isn’t the solution to her problems. Jared is a walking, talking fantasy—if Lucy’s daydreams began and ended in the bedroom. No one would ever mistake South Florida’s bored billionaire bachelor for a long-term prince.

A man willing to risk everything to prove he’s her prince . . .

Jared Mitchell pushes the limits, in the boardroom and in bed. When his best friend and business partner’s little sister sends up red distress flares, he’s thrust into the role of pseudo-big brother. He’s never had a thing for Cinderella. But now he’s fighting his desire to make the princess his—even if he has to risk his empire to deliver her happy-ever-after ending.

Amazon


Sara Jane Stone lives near New York's Hudson River with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children, a lazy Burmese cat, and a very active dog. When she is not finger painting with the kids, she loves writing sexy stories, staying up past her bedtime reading red-hot romance, and chatting with her readers on Facebook.

sarajanestone.com
facebook.com/SaraJaneStone
twitter.com/SaraJaneStone
Goodreads

Sara Jane offers an excerpt from THE CINDERELLA FANTASY ...

She pulled her hand free from his and crossed her arms in front of her chest. She wore the white lace shirt like body armor. “And if I tell Finn you spent your lunch hour interrupting my date?”

“Your date was over.” He stepped closer and inhaled her sweet vanilla scent. “What you tell your brother, that’s up to you.”

“So you didn’t drive over here on some misguided rescue mission?”

He raised his hand to her cheek and brushed his fingers over her skin. “I came here to kiss you.”





Aloha to Delta Gamma's "Do Good" Week with Tracy Solheim and SMOLDER


I welcome fellow Delta Gamma turned romance writer Tracy Solheim for DG's "Do Good" Week .... 

“Doing Good” By Supporting the Characters Featured in My Books

This week, Delta Gamma sorority is celebrating “Do Good Week” which simply means that as members, we are encouraged to live up to our motto “Do Good” by paying it forward within the community. As I did last year, I’ve chosen to “Do Good” by supporting the Red Cross and their efforts to support those affected by the raging wild fires out west. With two incredible hurricanes capturing the weather headlines these past few weeks, many people are unaware of the fire damage occurring in our nation. The 2017 wildfire season is one of the worst in our nation’s history destroying over 8 million acres across nine states in the west: California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Many of these fires are still burning today, devastating not only natural resources, but families and businesses who find themselves in harm’s way. Throughout the month of September, I’m donating one hundred percent of my sales from my book SMOLDER (featuring a Montana smoke-jumper) to the Red Cross charities that provide support for those displaced by these wildfires and the first responders who put their lives on the line to fight the blaze. I had the opportunity to speak with several smokejumpers while researching SMOLDER and it is out of my profound respect for these men and women that I’ve chosen to “Do Good” for the Red Cross this year.

SMOLDER is available in all digital formats.


Donate to the Red Cross support of the wildfires at this link.


Former Army Ranger, Sam Gaskill, is starting over in Glacier Creek, Montana - far away from the plains of Texas and the memories of his late wife. Taking charge as the new captain of a squad of smoke jumpers should provide him with enough adrenaline to chase away the ghosts from his past. Until a sexy, green-eyed temptress with a sassy mouth enters the picture... 

Laurel Keenan, champion horsewoman, couldn't wait to escape her hometown. But instead, an ailing mother and an unplanned pregnancy landed the impetuous dreamer right back on her father's ranch. Laurel has managed to lead a quiet life with her young son--until she sets eyes on the tough guy with the sexy ass.

Sam already failed one woman; he won't trust his heart with another. And Laurel is determined not to risk her heart--or her son's--on another thrill-seeker. Can their slow burn lead to a love that lasts?

Tracy Solheim

From Tracy's website (link),

Currently, I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, with my husband, two kids, a wild Labrador Retriever puppy and a mare named after my debut novel. When I’m not writing, I enjoy photography, cooking, and reading–shocker, right? Be sure to friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.


Image result for margaret mitchell house
Margaret Mitchell House

I am giving away a swag pack from RWA17 to four randomly selected commenters from my posts published in the month of September. To enter the giveaway,

1. Let's chat about Tracy's home town of Atlanta ... what do you know about the Big Peach?

Back in May, I visited the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum in downtown Atlanta.  It was a step back in time.

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

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

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Atlanta Botanical Gardens
atlanta.net

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Aloha to Delta Gamma's "Do Good" Week with Alexandra Haughton and DESTINATION, LOVE


Social media enables me to find romance authors who share common ground .... I discovered Alexandra Haughton is a Panhellenic sister ... and I invited her to participate in "Do Good" Week.

One of the best qualities of Panhellenic women is our life-long commitment to philanthropy, so I was delighted when Kim asked me to take part in her celebration of Delta Gamma’s “Do Good” Week. (Though I pledged ADPi, I did pref at DG, so we’re practically sisters.) 


From the time I was a little girl, my parents taught me the importance of sharing our blessings—whether that meant time or money. We didn’t call it philanthropy. (That word often makes one think of red brick buildings covered in ivy with a series of hyphenated names on them, doesn’t it? Believe me, if there are any Haughton names on hospital wings and university buildings, they’re from a much different branch of the old family tree.) In fact, I’m not sure my parents ever really called it anything. It was just the way they were raised, to seek out those in need and do the right thing. I’m grateful to them for the thousands of non-showy ways I witnessed their philanthropy over the years.

I had planned share with you two of my favorite local organizations, the Ronald McDonald House (link) and the Richardson Adult Literacy Center (link) whose Buns and Roses Romance Tea fundraiser raises thousands to transform the lives of adults in the Dallas area each year.

Then Harvey happened in my backyard. No, not my actual backyard—I’m a Dallas girl and far from any danger. But all of Texas is my backyard, and there wasn’t a person among us who didn’t have a cherished family member or close friend with stories of loss. And it’s not just Houston, though the city has been much in the news.

Millions of families have been impacted. And some are still in critical need. I’d like to highlight the food banks (especially those in the Beaumont and Corpus Christi areas) and the Texas Diaper Bank listed in this NPR article (link).

Back in my actual backyard, over three thousand evacuees from Harvey are in the mega shelter downtown, with more set to arrive. The Dallas Public Library is accepting donations of books, games, and cards to share with those sheltering. And we know how much access to a good book can help during troubling times.

I’m working with several other romance authors and bloggers to collect books. If you’d like to help out by sending books, feel free to email me (link).

And, at the time I’m writing this, Irma is bearing down on the Caribbean and Florida—by the time you’re reading it, we’ll know the extent of the devastation there. And I thank you for doing good work to help your neighbors in need, no matter where you are. 

Image result for richardson adult literacy center

Alexandra Haughton lives and writes in a cozy urban cottage. Contrary to popular belief, it is not wall-to-wall pink and glitter. (Yet.) She makes a mean chicken fried steak and has a weakness for Italian Cream Cake (no nuts). When Alexandra isn’t writing contemporary romance, you can find her out and about in Dallas and on social media, where she shares all her secrets on Twitter and Instagram @WriterAHaughton

Alexandra Haughton

I am giving away a swag pack from RWA17 to four randomly selected commenters from my posts published in the month of September. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about cake - what is your favorite?

Alexandra loves Italian Cream Cake ... I adore the Tuxedo Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.

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

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

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

PS Come back on October 16, 2017, and we'll chat more about Alexandra's DESTINATION, LOVE series.