Thursday, January 27, 2011

Aloha to Victoria Alexander and THE PERFECT MISTRESS

Oh, we are having a fan girl moment in my house.  Our guest today is the incomparable Victoria Alexander.  Air Force Brat.  Broadcast journalist.  New York Times' best selling Author.  Wife of the "not so dead" Charles (see the very funny article on her website.)

I met Victoria  last summer at the RWA National Convention in Orlando.  She was enjoying a chat with Stephanie Laurens.  You can imagine how I felt to be among romance's heavy hitters.

Victoria's publicist, the lovely Judy "Spags" Spagnola, sent me an ARC of THE PERFECT MISTRESS before the holidays.  I was in hog heaven.   As I have written on this blog before, I rarely write reviews because I often can't find the right words to describe how a book touched me.   Yet it is easy to find the words for THE PERFECT MISTRESS - a classic Victoria Alexander story with her hallmark humor.   A new extended family and friends for us to meet and love.   For those seeking warmth this winter, find a roaring fire and a fine bottle of wine to set the stage as you read this story of friendship, romance, and passion.

A dazzling new romance in which one otherwise proper lady discovers the passion that is her legacy…

Widowed Julia, Lady Winterset, has inherited a book—a very shocking book—that every gentleman in London seems to want. For a charismatic businessman, it’s a chance to build an empire. For a dashing novelist, it could guarantee fame. But to a proud, domineering earl, it means everything…

Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale, can’t let the obstinate Julia release the shameless memoir that could ruin his family’s name. But the only way to stop her may be equally sordid—if far more pleasurable. For his rivals are intent on seducing the captivating woman to acquire the book. And Harrison isn’t the sort to back away from a competition with the stakes this high. Now the winner will claim both the scandalous memoirs and the heart of their lovely owner…

I asked Victoria several questions about her impressive bio.

USPS honored female journalists

Victoria credits much of her writing success to her experiences as a reporter.

Kim:  You built an impressive career in broadcast journalism in contemporary issues of a thrilling nature. Yet you write sexy historical romances.  What inspired you to veer away from what you knew?

Victoria:  Good question. I'm not sure I ever made a conscious decision to write historicals, my writing just sort of evolved in that direction. When I started writing, contemporary settings were way too close to home. I think I wanted to get away from real life. In fact, my first book was a time travel

(Kim: I loved BELIEVE - Victoria's first book.)

Since I don’t live in Regency or Victorian England—even though I work hard to make sure my facts are accurate—it still has a fictional feel to me. Plus, I have always loved British comedies like Oscar Wilde's. When I really think about it, 19th century historical just seems natural for me.

But I am playing around with some contemporary ideas so we'll see.

She’s interviewed movie stars including Kevin Costner, ridden an elephant and flown in a governor’s helicopter.

Kim:  Suppose Kevin has become a fan of your books. He would like to make one into a movie but leaves it to your discretion to choose the book. Yes, it's like choosing among your children, but which book would best translate into a movie? Who would you cast as the lead characters? Would you (or your family) like to make a cameo? If yes, what part?

Victoria:  Wait. Give me a minute to stop laughing hysterically and pick myself up off the floor…

Okay ((draws a deep breath)) I can do this now. ☺

Honestly—The Perfect Mistress would make a fabulous movie. Colin Firth would be an excellent Harrison. As for Julia…hmmm…that's a tough one and I have no idea. I suppose the problem is that I become my heroines when I'm writing so it's hard to visualize someone else with Colin—um—I mean Harrison.

Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy

Cameos would be fun but I'd rather have my kids running things behind the scenes. My daughter works in independent films and my son is studying film. I wouldn’t mind being an extra as long as I got to wear a fabulous costume and a great hat. ☺

(Kim:  Victoria is one of the sponsors of the Mad Hatter Tea Party at the RT Booklovers' Convention.  I will be the cub reporter on the scene to share the experience on my blog).

Victoria claims her love of romance and journalism is to due to the influence of her favorite comic book character: Lois Lane, a terrific reporter and a great heroine who pursued Superman with an unwavering determination. And why not? He was extremely well drawn.

Kim:  I read in a gossip magazine that Lois married Clark, they started a family, and she is interested in a writing career in romance publishing in between PTA meetings.  Which genre would Lois write - historical, contemporary, suspense, or paranormal? What advice would you offer her as a journalist-turned-author?

Victoria:  Well, frankly, what with Clark actually being Superman and all—I think paranormal would be a little too close to home for Lois. As would suspense. And, since I think she'd have the same passion for history that I do, I'd bet she'd be writing historicals.

The only advice I could give her would be to use what she learned as a reporter. She already knows what makes a good story. She's been all sorts of places and met all sorts of people. And she's spent years observing people at their very best and their very worst. In the midst of triumph and tragedy. Everything she's done or seen as a reporter has prepared her to write fiction.

Air Force brats pointing to where they lived.

Victoria grew up traveling the world as an Air Force brat.

Kim:  What was your favorite place or experience as an Air Force brat?

Victoria:  As much as moving around every few years could be difficult, I think it was ultimately beneficial. It taught me to adapt and to make friends. I can go anywhere and be comfortable. It also allowed me to start over every few years and put all those horrible moments we all have in childhood behind me.

And because my mom's family was on one side of the country and my dad's on the other, every summer we'd go in one direction or the other. My dad made sure we always saw whatever there was to see along the way: the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Gettysburg. So, in many ways, being an Air Force brat helped me see the country. Oh, and, no matter where we were, my dad never passed a bookstore without stopping.

Kim:  What's next for Victoria Alexander?

VictoriaThe Perfect Mistress is the first of a trilogy about three friends (Julia, Veronica and Portia) that I'm calling The Mistress Trio. The next book is His Mistress by Christmas (Veronica's story) that will be out in the fall. That book leads into a new open ended series called Proper Family Secrets. I'm working on the first book in that series now.

I'll be at the RT Booklovers Convention in Los Angeles in April and the Romance Writers of America national conference in New York in June.

It's going to be a busy year. And I'm really excited about what's ahead.

(Oh, you can get more info on The Perfect Mistress on my website,, see some fabulous trailers!)

Kim:  Yes, they are fabulous trailers for a fabulous book!

Mahalo, Victoria, for joining us at SOS Aloha.  I look forward to seeing you at RT (hat in hand) and RWA (lei in hand).  In honor of Victoria's visit, I am giving away my ARC of THE PERFECT MISTRESS to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about Victoria, sexy Regency romances, and/or would you name a character in your book after any relative?

2. The giveaway is open only to US residents but ...

... I welcome comments from all readers - whether or not you are entering the contest.

3. Comments are open through Saturday, January 29, to enter the giveaway.

4. If you are an international reader, I am happy to share Aloha with you - send your mailing address to to receive a Hawaiian treat.

Join us tomorrow as welcome Donna Hatch and THE GUISE OF A GENTLEMAN.


Kim in Hawaii

I have three post scripts tonight ... they include spoilers for the books referenced.

1.  Hubby was disappointed that I didn't reference him in my interview with Victoria.  He asked me, "Does she know that I like her books?"   I did, indeed, mention this to her in passing.  I am curious how many male fans she has other than Charles and Kevin.

Hubby has stacks of books on military history, golf ananecdote, and science fiction.  But one night he was waiting for me and read the book I left on the coffee table - Victoria's THE PRINCE'S BRIDE.  He found humor in the fact that the heroine needed glasses but did not wear them.  Therefore the villain mistakenly assumed she saw a crime, which she didn't, so she and the hero take flight.   Read the book and think of my hubby.

2.  In her article about Dead Charles, she wrote that her husband took pride in being the namesake for the deceased husbands in several books.  The notable exception is the audio book of A LADY IN QUESTION where Charles comes to his end in the prologue.  Yet this book has the "funniest" scene that I often quote when the subject of funny scenes is discussed on romance blogs. 

"Calm?  You wish me to be calm!  Bloody hell, my housekeeper just killed my husband!  I've married my butler, and all of my servants are spies!  Spies! "  Fury shot from her eyes.  "I shall never be calm again."

3.  Victoria addressed New Year's Resolutions in her blog:

It’s that time of year again. Time for New Year’s resolutions. I’m not good at resolutions—remember how I said I’d try to blog many, many months ago? And look how that turned out.

I may have found a kindred spirit in Victoria.  I made the New Year's Resolution to only blog on Mondays, Wednesday, and Friday ... but here I am blogging on a Thursdays!  Oh, I have rules for the resolution:

No. 1:  Resolution doesn't apply to Scotland (from Tuesday's blog).
No. 2:  Exception can and will be made for Air Force brats, NY Times' Bestsellers, and hubby's favorite romance author.

Hmmm ... I'm starting to sound like Gibbs!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grandson's Enlistment into the Army - A Grandmother's Perspective by Loretta Rogers

Today is my honor to welcome Loretta Rogers, romance author and military grandmother, as a special guest blogger.   Loretta will inspire you.

Grandson’s Enlistment into the Army - A Grandmother’s Perspective

By  Loretta C. Rogers

Private First Class Brandon S. Ross was nine years old when hijacked jetliners slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He was old enough to understand something bad had happened that day, but to young to grasp the concept of terrorism.

PFC Ross, now 19, is my grandson. He is currently completing boot camp and airborne infantry training at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He is assigned to Delta Company, 2nd Battalion 54th Infantry.

My grandson is part of a new generation of U.S. troops inheriting the wars spawned by the terror attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the men and women who took part in the initial invasion of these countries have left the military and moved on with their lives. My grandson and many young enlistees, from the Navy to the Marines, are the new “Changing of the Guard.”

Now ten years later, we are still fighting the Taliban. Because my grandson is part of this new guard, it is a daily personal reminder that the fighting has dragged on longer than anyone ever imagined.

The military history of my family dates back to the American Revolution. Ancestors died in POW camps during the American Civil War. My father-in-law and grandfather both served in the Calvary during WWI. At the age of 19, my father was at Omaha Beach during WWII, an uncle was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked, and a great aunt attained the rank of Colonel while serving as a nurse in Mash units in Korea. During Vietnam family members were either too old or too young to serve. In peace-time, many young relatives wore their uniforms with pride. It’s easy to be proud of these relatives.

My grandson is an only child, an only son, and the last to carry on his father’s name. A talented musician, a gentle lad with infectious laughter, and who never meets a stranger, he loves farming and working with cattle. Brandon’s college major was in agricultural science--that is, until he talked with a United States Army Recruiter. I can’t begin to tell you how many tears I have shed, and the extreme emotional stress my daughter has suffered. On the one hand, we are proud to know he is following in the esteemed footsteps of his relatives who served in the various branches of military service. On the other hand, we live with the deep-seated fear that when he is deployed to one of the third world ‘hot spots,’ he may return home in a casket, or worse be physically maimed and mentally destroyed.

I’ve almost stopped reading the home-town newspaper because it breaks my heart to read about a young local soldier in their twenty’s killed in the line of duty. It brings it all to close to home.

Those of us who are left behind, grandmothers, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, have the hardest job. We serve too—we sit and wait. We pray. We wipe our tears as we write letters of news from home, and not wanting to add undue stress to our loved one, we do not express our fears for their safety.

I tell my daughter, and myself, to just support Brandon, to love him and continue writing to him, even if we don’t receive a letter from him for awhile. When the time comes, there will be plenty of care packages full of his favorite beef jerky, sweet and sour gummy worms, and for his reading pleasure one of my newest Westerns or Western Romance novels.

For Christmas my grandson gave me a T-shirt that says “United States Army Grandma,” and to his Papaw a cap inscribed – Army Airborne. We will wear them with pride. And when we travel to Ft. Benning to attend his graduation February 25, 2011, we will continue to struggle with our fears for his safety and his mental well-being, but we will also watch proudly as PFC Brandon S. Ross and his Unit march across the parade grounds.

Loretta C. Rogers is published with The Wild Rose Press. Her newest novel BANNON’S BRIDES is available at on-line bookstores and at the publisher’s website She also writes under the pseudonym L. W. Rogers for Avalon Books. When not writing she and her husband take trips on their motorcycle. She invites readers to visit her website:

Mahalo, Loretta, for sharing your perspective as a military grandmother and a member of a family with a long history of military service.  In honor of Brandon, I am giving away a copy of Loretta's book BANNON'S BRIDE plus an Army bling gift pack to one randomly selected commenter.

To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment with suggestions on how we can support our troops - pen pals, hometown parades, donations to the USO, etc.  Feel free to name a specific organization or charity.

2.  The giveaway is open only to US residents but ...

.... I welcome comments from all readers - whether or not you are entering the contest.

3. Comments are open through Sunday, January 23 to enter the giveaway.

4. If you are an international reader, I am happy to share Aloha with you - send your mailing address to to receive a Hawaiian treat.


Kim in Hawaii

Check out Loretta's other books ...