Thursday, October 8, 2015

Aloha to Rosanne Bittner and THUNDER ON THE PLAINS



Sunny Landers wants a big life—as big and free as the untamed land that stretches before her. Land she will help her father conquer to achieve his dream of a transcontinental railroad. She won't let a cold, creaky wagon, murderous bandits or stampeding buffalo stand in her way. She wants it all—including Colt Travis.


Like the land of his birth, half–Cherokee Colt Travis is wild, hard, and dangerous. He is a drifter, a wilderness scout with no land and no prospects hired by the Landers family to guide their wagon train. He knows Sunny is out of his league and her father would never approve, but beneath the endless starlit sky, anything seems possible...

Barnes and Noble

USA Today bestseller and award-winning novelist Rosanne Bittner is known as the “Queen of Western Historical Romance” for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—and are often based on Rosanne’s personal visits to each setting. She lives in Coloma, Michigan, with her husband and two sons.

Sourcebooks is hosting a special giveaway at this link ... and offers an excerpt from THUNDER ON THE PLAINS:

Sunny held her chin higher and faced him. “I’ll race you,” she told him.


She gave him a daring look, a new boldness in her eyes. “I said I’ll race you. If you catch me and manage to pull me off my horse, you’ve won!” She charged away, and Colt sat there a minute, wondering what she was up to. What was this sudden change in conversation? She was like a crazy woman today, and she had turned his feelings a thousand different ways.

Colt watched her, the way her bottom fit her saddle, the way her hair blew in the wind. Her daring look stirred his pride, and the race was on. He kicked Dancer into a hard run, manly desires stirring in him at the challenge of catching her. He held the reins with one hand and smashed out his cigarette against his saddle horn with the other, tossing the stub aside and leaning into the ride. “Get up there, Dancer,” he shouted to the horse.

Dancer’s mane flew up into Colt’s face as he galloped up and down more sandhills. He noticed Sunny veer to the west rather than north, and he turned Dancer, taking a cut between two more sandhills and emerging near Sunny as she came around the end of one hill. She screamed and laughed when she saw him, and now he knew he could catch her.

He came closer, the determination to reach her now a burning need. It went against all reason, was totally foreign to all sense of maturity. They were like children for the moment, and yet not children at all. The emotions it stirred in him to think of catching her were dangerous, yet he could not stop himself. He came ever closer, and now he was on her!

Sunny screamed when she felt his strong arm come around her. Suddenly, she was free of her horse and sitting sideways on Dancer, a powerful arm holding her. She covered her face and laughed as Colt slowed his horse. “Now you are my captive,” he teased.

She threw her head back and faced him, and both of them sobered. For a moment they sat there breathing heavily from the ride, watching each other.

“We had better go catch your horse,” he finally told her.

“We’ll find it later,” she answered. She moved her hands to touch his powerful arms, ran her fingers over his bare shoulders. “Tell me, Colt. What does an Indian do with his captive?”

For a moment everything went silent for him. Nothing existed but the utterly beautiful woman in his arms, her tempting mouth, her open blouse, her blue eyes, her golden hair. He moved a hand to rest against the flat of her belly. “He takes her to his tipi and makes her his slave,” he answered, his voice gruff with passion.

She touched his face. “That’s what I want you to do with me, Colt. Make me your slave—today, tonight, tomorrow.”

He shook his head. “Sunny—”

She touched his lips. “Don’t say it, Colt.” Her eyes glistened with tears. “I don’t know what’s right and wrong anymore, and today I don’t care. I just want you. I’ve always wanted you.” A tear slipped down her cheek. “It can’t be anybody else, Colt, not the first time. I—”

His kiss cut off her words, a deep, hot kiss that removed any remaining inhibitions. She could barely get her breath for the thrill of it, the ecstasy of his hand moving to her breast, the ache of womanly desires that surged in her when his tongue moved between her lips. Dancer moved slightly, and she clung to Colt. He left her lips for a moment, keeping one arm around her as he slid off the horse and pulled her after him.

Settlers of the Great Plains
Public Domain (link)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Aloha to Denise Swanson and the Change of Heart series

Denise Swanson is a versitile author, penning the Devereaux's Dime Store mystery series, the Scumble River mystery series, and now the Change of Heart romance series.  She is celebrating the release of LUCKY GIRL HITS THE JACKPOT and SMART GIRL SWEPT AWAY.  Denise joins us for cozy chat ...

Denise Swanson lives in Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr and their cool black cat Boomerang.

Kim:  What is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of the Illinois, the Prairie State?

Denise:  I love seeing the fields of corn and soybeans as you drive south on I-55. Everyone thinks of Chicago when they hear Illinois, but once you're 30 miles south of the city the rest of the state is pretty rural. My favorite sound is the rustle of the leaves on a breezy evening. And the as for the smell, I'd have to say a good old fashioned cookout.

Kim:  I have a cool black cat, too! His name is Kono; we adopted him in Hawaii. Why is your cat named Boomerang?

Denise:  Boomerang was a stray who darted into my house one day when I opened the door to get the mail. He had a collar so I thought he was a neighbor's cat and I put him back outside. We repeated this twice, before I decided to call his owner. The number on the tag was disconnected and when I did a little research the town was a good thirty miles away. I call the vet on the tag and he had no info on the owner. So after my local vet fixed him up the little black stray became Boomerang since he kept coming back to me.

Kim:  Tell us about your Change of Heart series and your new release?

Denise:  The Change of Heart series features small town friends who all need a fresh start and a change of outlook in order to find their forever loves.

Good Girl Overboard which is book 1 and came out in March of 2015 features Darcy & Mitch. Darcy, cruise ship reviewer, has decided it's not blondes, but bad girls, who have more fun, and she is determined to become one of them. Captain Mitch James has a firm no-messing-with-female-passengers rule. But when he discovers Darcy’s true reason for taking the cruise, he decides to use his charm to get a thumbs up for his ship. Breaking his own rules, he sets out to seduce her. Now, if he can just convince himself that his only interest in Darcy is a good review, he might make it back to port with his heart intact. 

Good Girl Overboard (Change of Heart  #1)

Book 2, Lucky Girl Hits the Jackpot, is Delaney & Spencer's story.

The last place Delaney Smallwood ever expects to find herself is at the Illinois State Lottery office, holding a check with more zeros than she’s ever seen before. The last person cynical attorney Spencer DeWitt ever expects to be attracted to is a quixotic millionaire schoolteacher. The last thing either wants is a relationship. Can kisses hotter than a Midwest July thrust two such opposite people into a forever kind of love?


Book 3, Smart Girl Swept Away, is Sheridan & Ridge's story.

When feminist author Sheridan Davis is forced to return to Sutton Falls, Illinois, to care for her estranged father, the last person she wants to run into is Ridge Sutton. Meeting Ridge, who has matured from handsome to gorgeous, while she looks as if she’s spent the night in a cardboard box is so not how Sheridan pictured seeing her high school crush again. Especially not after what he and his friends did to her the night of their senior prom.


Sweet Girl Undone, is a prequel novella featuring Lucy & Curt

Special education teacher Lucy Wheeler is sick of being taken for granted. Sick of people thinking that they know what’s best for her. And sick of being the sweet one. It’s time to break free from that role. It’s time for a do-over. But no matter what her best friend says, dating her ex-boyfriend, Reverend Curtis Campbell, is not the kind of do-over she has in mind.

Kim:  What's next for Denise Swanson?

Denise:  I'm currently finishing book #19 in my Scumble River Mystery series which will come out in September of 2016. Earlier that year, Between a Book and a Hard Place, #5 in my Devereaux's Dime Store mysteries will debut. Meanwhile, I'll be writing book #4 in my Change of Heart romance series.

Mahalo, Denise, for sharing your series with us!  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 Illinois, the Praire State - what do you know about it?  Both my husband and I were assigned to Scott AFB in Southern Illinois across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.   My son was born on Scott AFB and roots for the Rams and Cards. 

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

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 11.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Denise and her books at


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

TV Review - The Good Wife's Bond (Season 7 premiere)

The Good Wife returned on Sunday, 9 pm, on CBS.  I have a love/hate relationship with this legal drama set in Chicago, Illinois.  I don't always enjoy the story lines.  But I cannot deny the show offers stimulating story telling and award winning acting.  Julianna Margulies stars as the title character, the good wife emerging from the ashes of her bad husband's political corruption.

Season 6 ended with Alicia winning the election for Illinois State's Attorney (her husband's former job).  But a reporter revealed one of the polling station was rigged.  The Democratic Party asked Alicia to resign, aka "take one for the team", to protect another Democrat who would loose his seat if the rigging was investigated. Having sold her share in her own law firm to run for State's Attorney, Alicia found herself unemployed.  Yet she never gave up hope.  Alicia simply went home to create a website offering her legal services.

Season 7 opens with Alicia learning the ropes at bond court where "bottom feeding" lawyers are only paid if they are able to secure bond for clients they recruit in lock up.  She returns home to find a more reputable client responding to her website. The client requests Alicia to settle her mother's estate "fifty-fifty" with her brother.  Her brother's attorneys, of course, are Alicia's former partners.  The two sets of attorneys arrive at the mother's sealed apartment to find all the post it notes have fallen from items the mother identified for each sibling.  It remains unclear who inherits the mother's only valuable, an $8 million painting.  Here's where the fun begins - Alicia battles her former partners over their technical experts of adhesive stick, paint chips, and Roomba batteries.  SNL alumni Jane Curtain offers comedic relief as the presiding judge who is overwhelmed by the conflicting testimonies, "Are we going to hear from a scissors expert, today?"

The episode is a tossed salad of many ingredients which interact well with each other:

- Alicia's teenage daughter, Grace, serves as her research assistant for the inheritance case, googling issues as they arise in the courtroom.

- Alicia's former partner, Cary, finds himself as an "old fogey" in his own law firm.

- Alicia's husband, Peter, fires longtime public relations guru Eli Gold.  He then hires a national level political adviser to steer him as a Vice President candidate.  Outraged by his disloyalty, Alicia hires Eli to serve as her chief of staff.   Eli commits to protecting Alicia from any efforts by Peter's staff to "rehabilitate" her after the election scandal (oh, the irony).

The icing on the cake is Louis Canning, a sleazy lawyer who exploits his obvious disability.  He is played flawlessly by the beloved Michael J. Fox.  The Back To The Future Star uses his own disability, Parkinson's Disease, to demonstrate that he is still a bankable actor.  Louis follows Alicia from bond court to a local bar, interrupting her well deserved glass of wine.  He invites her to join his law firm.  Alicia replies by calling him the devil.  At the end of the episode, Louis follows Alicia again to the bar.  Alicia suspects, and Louis confirms, that he sent the inheritance case to her.  She considers his second job offer, noting he is still the devil.

If you are a fan of The Good Wife, you will enjoy its return.  If you are not watching The Good Wife, find time in your schedule to do so.

Have you discovered a new show this season?   Or have you welcomed back a returning favorite?  One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Saturday, October 10.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 12.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Julianne Margulies was an original cast member of ER -
also set in Chicago.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Aloha to Adrienne Giordano and THE REBEL


Bad to the bone…in all the right ways

A brilliant civil lawyer, David Hennings has always been the outsider—at odds with his wealthy family, shunning relationships, defying convention as a sexy leather-jacketed biker. Which is why sculptor Amanda LeBlanc agrees to his request to reconstruct a skull from a cold case murder. The instant heat between them is scorching.

But once Amanda takes the job and gets too close to the rebellious attorney, her carefully balanced life is upended by a series of methodical attacks. Someone doesn't want her to finish the job. Now David will risk everything not to lose the woman he unknowingly put in jeopardy.

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane's Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Adrienne offers an excerpt from THE REBEL ...

Inside the stairwell of the hundred-year-old building on the city’s West Side, David climbed the last few steps leading to the landing of Amanda’s second-floor studio. He loved these old structures with the Portland stone and brick. The iconic columns on the facade urged the history major in him to research the place. Check the city records, see what information he could find on who’d built it, who’d lived here or which companies had run their wares through its doors.

Structures like this had a charm all their own that couldn’t be duplicated with modern wizardry. Old buildings, this building, had a life, a past to be researched and appreciated.

Or maybe he just wanted to believe that.

He rapped on the door. No hollow wood there. By the scarred look and feel of its heavy weight under his knuckles, it might be the original door. How amazing would that be?

The door swung open and a woman with lush curves a guy his size could wrap himself around greeted him. She wore jeans and a graphic T-shirt announcing he should make love, not war—gladly, sweetheart—and her honey-blond hair fell around her shoulders, curling at the ends. The whole look brought thoughts of lazy Sunday mornings, hot coffee and a few extracurricular activities, in a bed and out, David could think of.

To say the least, she affected him.

And she hadn’t even opened her mouth. Please don’t be an airhead.


Yep. That was the voice from earlier. Soft and sweet and stirring up all kinds of images right along with Sunday mornings and coffee. With any luck, more than the coffee would be hot.

Hokay. Mission Pam Hennings getting derailed by wicked thoughts. Time to get serious.

“Hi. Amanda?”

“Yes.” She held her hand out. “Amanda LeBlanc.”

David grasped her hand and glanced down at her long, elegant fingers folding over his. Her silky skin absorbed his much larger hand, and he might like to stay this way awhile. Nice hands. Soft hands. He’d imagined a sculptor’s hands to be work-hardened and rough. Not that she swung an ax all day, but he’d expected…different.

“Um.” She pointed at their still joined hands. “I kinda need that hand back.”

Epic fail, Dave. He grinned and regrettably slid his hand away. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but where have you been all my life?”

As recoveries went, it wouldn’t be listed among the top hundred in brilliance, but a man had to work with what he had. Still, her lips, those extraordinary, shapely lips, twisted until she finally gave up and awarded him with a smile.

“Good one,” she said. “Come inside and we’ll talk about your project.”


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Aloha to Jane Ashford, FIRST SEASON, and BRIDE TO BE

Two classic Regency romances by beloved bestselling author Jane Ashford celebrate the adventures of a London Season.  This duet is available October 6 from Sourcebooks.


Widowed Lady Anabel Wyndham was married right out of the schoolroom and has never before experienced the delights of a London Season. She’s dazzled by the attention of the fascinating Sir Charles Norbury, a man whose touch seems to melt her very soul, but a notorious rake. She’s drawn to handsome friend-of-the-family Christopher Hanford and the comfort and serenity he offers. But how does one choose between two such charming suitors? Anabel is finding that love is so much more dangerous the second time around.


Emily Crane is the toast of the ton—and she couldn’t find it more tedious. Until she encounters the darkly sensual stranger whose life she once saved and the London Season becomes infinitely more exciting. Recently returned from the wilds of South America, Lord Richard Sheldon has only contempt for tiresome London chits, but he finds himself stunningly intrigued by the dauntless Emily Crane. When the two become embroiled in a budding scandal and are forced into an engagement, they discover a passion more dangerous than any killer…

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as the U.S. Twenty-six of her new and backlist Regency romances are being published by Sourcebooks. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She is currently rather nomadic.

Facebook link
Goodreads link

Sourcebooks is offering a special giveaway at this link .... and an excerpt from FIRST SEASON:

“There you are,” said someone from the hall below. “They said you had gone upstairs.”

Anabel looked down to find Sir Charles Norbury gazing up at her. A tingling shock ran through her body, and the candle trembled a little, dripping wax.

“You have missed the first waltz,” he added, meeting her at the bottom of the staircase and taking the candlestick from her hand. He snuffed the flame between forefinger and thumb and set it aside. “And I came early especially to engage you for it.”

“I wanted to look in on the children.” As always, his presence overwhelmed her. He seemed to tower over her, yet his pale green eyes felt close and compelling. She found it hard to breathe.

“It is a country dance now, unfortunately. Mayn’t we wait outside here for the next and hope?” He smiled and reached for her hand to lead her across to a small empty anteroom.

Anabel knew she should say no, but her voice seemed to have died, and she went with him silently and allowed him to escort her to a sofa and sit beside her, his arm thrown along its back.

“You look exquisite tonight,” he said softly. “The loveliest woman at the ball.”

This outrageous compliment revived her. “What a plumper. There are dozens of prettier ones.”


“Flatterer.” She smiled, but when she met his eyes, they were very serious.

“No,” he said again. “To me you are the most beautiful.” He held her gaze for a moment, then slowly bent forward and took possession of her lips, his arm tightening around her shoulders.

Anabel’s slight trembling increased, and her mind dissolved in confusion. She should pull away, part of it cried; this was terribly fast, and someone might come in at any moment. But another part urged her on, fascinated by Sir Charles’ attractions and filled with curiosity.

His kiss was very expert, and nothing at all like her deceased husband’s, Anabel’s only standard of comparison. His lips seemed to draw all strength out of her, leaving her limp and pliant, yet she felt disconnected from the expected sensual pleasure. He knew how to draw response from her body, clearly, but her heart and mind remained in turmoil.

Norbury, on the contrary, was in the grip of feelings stronger than any he had ever experienced, and for him the kiss confirmed a decision. This was the woman he wanted. Never had his passions been suffused with such emotion. Beyond thinking, he moved his free hand to Anabel’s knee and slid it upward caressingly, savoring the curve of her waist under the thin satin dress and cupping his fingers around her breast. She drew her breath in sharply.

A scuff of footsteps in the hall, followed by a scrap of conversation and a laugh, jerked Anabel upright. She pulled away from him only just in time to avoid being caught by two couples coming into the room. But it was obvious in the way that the newcomers stopped, smiled, and apologized that their appearance gave them away. Anabel rose and hurried from the room, Norbury behind her. Her cheeks were flaming, and she felt that she could not possibly face the crowd in the ballroom.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Weekly winners


It's rainy and cold in Maryland ... so let's remember the sunshine and warmth of Hawaii.  We have winners at SOS Aloha:

Hawaii Five O Season Premiere:
- LSU wins a book choice from my convention stash.

HelenKay Dimon's FACING FIRE
- Artemis wins RWA swag

Donna Kauffman's SNOWFLAKE BAY
- Angela wins a book choice from my convention stash.

Forever Romance's Holiday Hookup with Katie Lane, Debbie Mason, and Jessica Lemmon
- Girlygirlhoosier wins RWA swag.

Anabelle Bryant's UNDONE BY HIS KISS
- dstoutholcomb wins a book choice from my convention stash.

Winners, please claim your prize by sending your mailing address to


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Friday, October 2, 2015

October brings wicked good books ...

10/1: Forever’s Holiday Hookup Blitz with Debbie Mason, Jessica Lemmon & Katie Lane
10/2: Anabelle Bryant's UNDONE BY HIS KISS
10/3: Celebrate Little Victories
10/4: Weekly Winners
10/5: Jane Ashford FIRST SEASON / BRIDE TO BE
10/6: Adrienne Giordano's THE REBEL
10/7: Michele Gorman's FESTIVE FEAST
10/8: Rosanne Bittner THUNDER ON THE PLAINS
10/9: Denise Swanson and Change of Heart Series
10/10: Hildie McQueen's PROTECT AND SERVE
10/11: Weekly Winners
10/12: Lindsay McKenna
10/13: Happy Birthday, US Navy
10/14: Eileen Dreyer's PRINCE OF A GUY
10/15: Harlequin Heartwarming Christmas Anthology - Release Day Celebration
10/16: Heather Boyd's MISS MERTON'S LAST HOPE
10/17: Celebrate Little Victories
10/18: Weekly Winners
10/19: Laurie McBain's Dominick Trilogy
10/20: Wendy LaCapra's Duchess Decadence
10/21: Wednesday's Warriors
10/22: Lia Riley's BEST WORST MISTAKE
10/23: Reserved
10/24: Celebrate Little Victories
10/25: Weekly Winners
10/26: Reserved - Avon Romance
10/27: Sara Richardson's SOMETHING LIKE LOVE

10/28: Eileen Richards' AN UNEXPECTED WISH
10/29: Cynthia Eden's SHATTERED
10/30: Leigh Greenwood's FOREVER AND ALWAYS
plus Codi Gary's I NEED A HERO
10/31: Celebrate Little Victories

11/1: Weekly Winners plu
s Books I'm Grateful I Read Giveaway Hop with Valerie from Stuck in Books
11/2: Grace Burrowes' DANIEL'S TRUE DESIRE 

11/3: Lynnette Austin's BEST LAID WEDDING PLANS
11/4: Wednesday's Warriors with Lindsay McKenna's TANGLED PURSUITS 
11/5: Melissa West's RACING HEARTS
11/6: Julie Brannagh's GUARDING SOPHIE
11/7: Celebrate Little Victories
11/8: Weekly Winners
11/9: Victoria James' FALLING FOR HER ENEMY and Ophelia London's KISSING HER CRUSH
plus Lorraine Heath's FALLING INTO BED WITH A DUKE
11/10: USMC's Birthday
11/11: Veteran's Day
11/12: Eileen Dreyer's THE PRINCESS & THE PEA
11/13: Jo Ryleigh's THE DUKE'S TEMPTATION
11/14: Celebrate Little Victories
11/15: Weekly Winners
11/17: Reserved 
11/18: Wednesday's Warriors with Cathy Maxwell's THE MATCH OF THE CENTURY
11/19: Open
11/20: Open
11/21: Celebrate Little Victories
11/22: Weekly Winners
11/23: Open 

11/24: Mingmei Yip's THE WITCH'S MARKET
11/25: Wednesday's Warriors with Lisa Olech's WITHIN A CAPTAIN'S HOLD
11/26: Thanksgiving 
11/27: Reserved - Forever Romance11/28: Eileen Richards' AN HONORABLE WISH 
11/29: Weekly Winners
11/30: Open

12/1: Melinda Curtis' A MEMORY AWAY 
12/2: Collette Cameron's HEARTBREAK & HONOR
12/3: Reserved - Forever Romance 

12/4: Open
12/5: Celebrate Little Victories
12/6: Weekly Winners
12/7: Pearl Harbor Day
12/9: Wednesday's Warriors - Lindsay McKenna's FORGED IN FIRE
12/10: Open
12/11: Open

12/12: Celebrate Little Victories
12/13: Weekly Winners
12/14: Open
12/15: Open

12/16: Wednesday's Warriors - Reserved
12/17: Open

12/18: Open
12/19: Celebrate Little Victories
12/20: Weekly Winners

12/21: Open
12/22: Sharon Struth's HARVEST MOON
12/23: Wednesday's Warriors
12/24: Open

12/25: Christmas
12/26: Celebrate Little Victories
12/27: Weekly Winners

12/28: Anthology - ONCE UPON A TRUE LOVE'S KISS with 
Julie Johnstone, Katherine Bone, Collette Cameron, Jillian Chantal, Samantha Grace, Alanna Lucas, Lauren Smith & Victoria Vane12/29: Open
12/30: Wednesday's Warriors
12/31: Open

1/11/16: Eileen Dreyer's A FINE MADNESS
1/26/16: Jodi Thomas' RUSTLER'S MOON