Sunday, October 30, 2011

TALK LIKE JANE AUSTEN DAY with Regina Scott and Marissa Doyle

Today is TALK LIKE JANE AUSTEN in honor of the 200th anniversary of the publication of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. I invited two Regency authors to join us, Regina Scott and Marissa Doyle. They contribute to NINETEEN TEEN,, “being a teen in the nineteenth century.”

Correct that – I invited the heroines from their upcoming books.

Kim:  Please introduce yourself - your name, age, where you live, the time you live, and the book which details your life.

Lady Everard: My name is Samantha Ev - - - oops! I beg your pardon. My name is Samantha, Lady Everard. I just learned I had a title, so you'll excuse me for forgetting to use it. None of us knew my father's title could go down the female line until he died a few months ago. I'm sixteen years of age, and I currently reside in London though I was born and raised in the north of England in Cumberland. I live during what you call the Regency period, though for much of my life the Prince wasn't Regent yet. And you can learn more about me in a series of three books coming out in 2012, the Everard Legacy. The first book is called The Rogue's Reform, and it will be published in February. 

Lady Sophie: This is a most interesting experience! My Aunt Isabel always says that a lady never draws attention to herself--but then again, my Aunt Isabel says a lot of things, many of which I disagree with, so.... I am Lady Sophie Rosier, and I am eighteen years of age. My papa is the Marquis of Lansell, and just now we are at our London house, though I mostly grew up at our country seat, Lanselling, with my two younger brothers. My mother and little sister died two years ago, and I nearly did too...and ended up with this cursed limp as a result of what I believe you these days call polio. Papa has been frightfully busy with his work for the War Office ever since that monster Napoleon escaped from his exile on Elba and retook his throne in France--1815 is turning out to be quite an eventful year, as you will find out if you read Courtship and Curses, which will appear in all fine bookstores next summer. 

Portrait of Benjamin Everard circa 1813
available from

Kim: What is your favorite past time? school subject? music? dance? 

Lady Everard: Must I name just one? I love to play the piano and ride, but my cousin Vaughn Everard, the famous poet, is teaching me to fence. And my cousin Captain Richard Everard taught me to navigate by the stars. But I suppose what's kept me busiest is trying to match each of them up with the proper lady. Cousin Jerome was the hardest. They say he can charm the birds from the trees, so why did he fight so hard to keep from falling in love with my governess? With three rogues for cousins, my work is never done! 

A woman fencing?!?!

Ladie Sophie: It is a little difficult for me to talk about see, when I was ill, I not only ended up with a shrunken right leg, but also lost--oh, please don't breathe a word about this to anyone--but I lost my ability to do magic. It's coming back slowly--at least, I hope it is, but I can't rely on it. And dance...I used to love dancing. In fact, Mama used to have a dancing master visit Lanselling for a few weeks every year when I was younger, and all the gently-born girls and boys in the neighborhood would come for lessons, to prepare for entering society. But not any more. When your right leg is inches shorter than your left, dancing is not something you can expect to do. It hurts to go to balls and watch others do what I no longer can.

Kim: What are the rewards and challenges of being a nineteen teen?

Lady Everard: Rewards? Beautiful dresses, dinner by candlelight, dancing until dawn Challenges? Did I mention my guardians are three rogues? And I have the title and all the money? That's a big responsibility. Too bad so many people seem to think it shouldn't be mine.

Lady Sophie: At first, I wasn't sure there would be any rewards for me in being a young lady entering society. People, even otherwise intelligent ones, presume that just because I'm lame means I must also be feeble-minded or even evil--and yes, I've had several run-ins with people like that (though I did get my magic to work well enough to give the loathsome Lady Lumley her comeuppance!) But three things--or I should say, three people have kept my life from being a complete horror: first, my best friend Lady Parthenope Hardcastle, who is something of a madcap but who is the truest, dearest friend I could ask for...I believe you may have previously met her in a book called Bewitching Season, though in that book she's an adult with daughters of her own (which I own quite amuses me!) The second person is Madame Amelie Carswell, the widow of one of my Papa's school friends who is staying with us right now, and who is so sympathetic and has helped me to once more see myself as a whole person. The third person...well, I am not sure it's quite proper to discuss him, but if you promise not to Parthenope's cousin Peregrine, Lord Woodbridge. Our friendship had a rocky start, and I am still not sure where it will lead, though I do have my hopes...! 

Regency Ladies

Kim: What intrigues you about your creator?

Lady Everard: Why she took so long to write about us! I've been nagging her for five years. Do you know how hard it is staying sixteen for five years? [Note from creator: some characters have to learn to wait for their turn.] [Note from Samantha: pffft!]

Lady Sophie: I am interested in how she used her childhood memories of a dear family friend to help bring my disability to life. I suppose that for authors and authoresses, all life experiences can contribute to their creations. 

Susan Gee Heino, Marissa Doyle, Regina Scott, and fiend
at the Beau Monde Soiree

Kim: What's next for your creator? 

Lady Everard: Me! I understand her editor, God bless her, has asked her to write the story of how I fall in love. I can hardly wait to find out! [Note fromcreator: see note above.] 

Lady Sophie:  Er, me, I suppose! You can read about how I come to London, meet Parthenope, fall in love, and try to discover who is trying to assassinate the members of the War Office (and later, the Duke of Wellington when we travel to Brussels!) when Courtship and Curses comes out from Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in August 2012. And right now, I believe she's occupied with a very different time and place--the United States in 1901, and more specifically, the Gilded Age in Newport, Rhode Island...but I don't think she's quite ready to discuss that yet... 

Mahalo, Lady Everard and Lady Sophie, for joining us at SOS Aloha! I met your creators through the Beau Monde – the RWA Special Interest Chapter for writers of Regency Romance. The website,, has a special tab for Readers.   What’s a party without a goodie bag? I am giving away a Beau Monde tote blag with Regency goodies to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway, 

1. Leave a comment about Jane Austen, Regency Romances, or being a teen in the 19th century. 

2. This giveaway is open to all readers. 

3. Comments are open through Saturday, November 5, 10 pm in Hawaii. I’ll post the winner on Sunday, November 6. 


Kim in Hawaii 

To learn more about Regina and her book, log onto her website at

To learn more about Marissa and her books, log onto her website at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Aloha to Gwyn Cready and A NOVEL SEDUCTION

Gwyn Cready is known for her time travel romances but today she celebrates the release of a contemporary romance with a road trip theme, A NOVEL SEDUCTION:

When snobbish book critic Ellery Sharpe screws up at Vanity Place magazine, her boss assigns her the ultimate punishment: write an ode to romance novels, a genre she considers the literary equivalent of word search puzzles. To make matters worse, he hires her sexy former party boy ex, Axel Mackenzie, to shoot the photos. Axel really wants the project to succeed. For one, the magazine will double his fee if he convinces strong-willed Ellery to write a story no woman can resist. Besides, getting Ellery to fall for romance novels might be just the push she needs to believe people can change . . . even him. At his sister’s advice, Axel gives Ellery a copy of Kiltlander, a much-adored romance whose warrior hero is utterly irresistible. To her dismay, Ellery finds herself secretly falling in love with the story—and with Axel, who’s drawing his own lessons from the book’s compelling hero. With her carefully crafted image of herself crumbling and her dream job on the line, will Ellery risk it all to make the leap from tight-lipped literati to happily-ever-after heroine?

A scene from Kiltlander?
1st Scot Guards

I posted my review on Goodreads at this link.   A NOVEL SEDUCTION takes Ellery and Axel to Pittsburgh, London, and Cairnpapple (Scotland).   Join me for a peek at their travel log:

- Looking for Vamps at the Monkey Bar in Pittsburgh:   Gwyn lives in Pittsburgh so it is no surprise that there is a real The Monkey Bar.   From Bar Smart at this link:

A smaller bar, The Monkey Bar, makes up for it in cheap prices and good specials. The bartenders are all very well trained, and very pleasant to look at. With a television in every corner of the bar, a nicely stocked jukebox, and several dartboards it's easy to see why this place almost always has a crowd. The beers are always cold, and the food is excellent. 

According to Ellery, this would be an accurate description of the original Monkey Bar until it was featured in VAMP and morphed into a paranormal waterhole to connect itself with the popular book. 

All romance books leads to England so Ellery and Axel jet off to London.   

- Meeting the Rosemary Readers at the Rosemary Hotel (with Pub):   Still skeptical that romance books have any value, Ellery follows Axel to a London pub where the Rosemary Readers meet weekly.  The readers are not what Ellery expects.   In fact, they feed her curiosity for KILTLANDER and its time travel portal, Cairnpapple Hill.

The Rosemary Branch Pub

Ellery and Axel travel by train to Edinburgh to meet with a socialogist. Ellery realizes that the good doctor lives in the shadows of Cairnpapple Hill.

- Standing atop Cairnpapple Hill. Cairnpapple is an actual site cared by Historic Scotland at this link.

Cairnpapple was used from about 3,000 BC to 1400 BC firstly as a ceremonial site then several centuries later as a burial site.  It is situated on the summit of Cairnpapple Hill with stunning views over central Scotland, and as far as Goat Fell, on Arran, on a good day.   The henge monument is a good example of this rare class of neolithic ceremonial monument.

Hubby and I visited Cairnpapple Hill during our 2007 tour of Scotland. I can tell you it is magical.

Cairnpapple Hill

To celebrate the magic of romance, I am giving away a print copy of A NOVEL SEDUCTION to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about some place special, where you live or visited, that would be the perfect backdrop for a romance book.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, October 29, 10 pm in Hawaii.   I'll post the winners on Sunday, October 30.


Kim in Hawaii

To learn more about Gwyn and her books, including links to purchase, check out her website at

And the party continues on my guest post, A NOVEL SEDUCTION - a study of undergarments in romance novels at this link.

Graeme Sinclair playing the bagpipes atop Cairnpapple Hill

Friday, October 21, 2011

Aloha to Ruth Zavitsanos and THE KONA DOG

Kona is the Hawaiian word for the leeward (dry) part of the island.  It is also the name of the area on the leeward side of the The Big Island with the tourist resorts (as tourists like dry weather).

We have Kona Coffee, grown on the Kona side of the Big Island along the leeward slopes of Mauna Loa (Long Mountain).

We also have Kona Winds that blow in the opposite direction of the trade winds, bringing rain to the leeward side.

Magnum PI episode titled KONA WINDS.

And now we have THE KONA DOG from Ruth Zavitasanos:

Akela, THE KONA DOG, brings a smile to everyone she meets. She is sweet and caring to all those working and visiting the coffee plantation and pineapple grove.  

To please her master, Akela makes her rounds on the plantation, assuring safety and offering encouragement with her gentle ways. When the plantation is threatened with closure by the banker man, Akela and her master's older son, Keoki, join forces to enlist the banker's daughter, Penny. Akela knows something makes the girl sad. If they get her to laugh and smile, perhaps they can save the plantation. But Penny isn't talking, and the plight of Akela's home doesn't look good either.

Faced with defeat and the loss of her home, Akela must use all of her bravery and instinctive abilities to bring everyone together. Can she soften their hearts in time to stop the banker man?

World Famous Dole Plantation

Ruth first visited SOS Aloha in June at this link, sharing doggie tales for summer vacation.   I met her in person at the RWA National Convention where she shared the good news that THE KONA DOG would be released in the fall.   My family and I read THE KONA DOG during our recent vacation to the Kona side of the Big Island.

I must disclose that we are a cat family .... but THE KONA DOG stole our hearts.  It is a timeless story for all ages.  Ruth adds authentic elements of old Hawaii for a charming adventure.  This book makes a great holiday gift for families who loves dogs, Hawaii, and/or learning about other cultures.  Ruth's bookshelf also includes THE OLD FORTRESS DOG (set on Corfu) and THE VILLA DOG (set in Tuscany).   Ruth delivers animal characters that relate to children as they teach life's lessons.

In honor of THE KONA DOG, I am giving away the winner's choice of an Aloha treat or Hawaiian print dog bandana.   To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about dogs, Hawaii, and/or your favorite children's book.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, October 29, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 30.  


Kim in Hawaii

To learn more about Ruth and her books, check out her website at this link.

THE KONA DOG is set on Maui, "The Valley Isle."   The island has a lush valley between its the two volcanic mountain ranges.   Maui is also home of Maui Gold - the last pineapple plantation in the US.  It is kapu (forbidden) to take home any island produce except specially packaged whole pineapples from Maui Gold.

Maui Gold Pineapples

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Aloha to the US Navy's 236th Birthday!

Birthday cake for deployed sailors!

Hau`oli Lā Hānau
! From the Master Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy at this link:

Shipmates and Navy families,

As we honor the birth of the United States Navy 236 years ago, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all Sailors, civilians and family members for their service and dedication to our great Navy team.

From our beginning in 1775 with just six frigates to our present-day highly diversified, modern Fleet with a total of 285 deployable ships and submarines, our Navy is the best it has ever been. Our Navy has remained steadfast and ready for 236 years, and we continue to be ready to answer every call our nation makes thanks to your outstanding dedication and selfless support.

Happy birthday shipmates ... you look pretty darn good to be 236 years old!

USS Constitution - the Navy's oldest ship

Yes, the Navy looks great for 236 years old because its sailors and families have kept it young!   Consider who in Romanceland is connected to the Navy - from the RomVets roster at this link:

Kayelle Allen,USN,73-77, Avionics
Anne Ashby, Royal NZ Navy, 70-91, Communications
Terry Blain,USN,73-76,Electronics
Rogenna Brewer,USN,80-85,Administration
Shannon Brown,USN,02-pres,Logistics
Christyne Butler,USN, 87-92,Data processing
Cindy Carver, USN, 76-79,Aviation Machinist mate
Susan Charnley,USN, 76-85,Sonar systems
Misty Chavis, USN, 80-05, Supply
Diana Cosby,USN,78-96,Meteorologist
Mary Fishler-Fisk,USN,81-05,Surface Warfare Officer
Loni Glover, USN, 87-89, Logistics
Ilena Holder,USN, 72-76,Aviation Storekeeper
Charlotte Hunter, USN, 88-10, Chaplain
Candace Irvin,USA/USN, 83-91,Surface ships
Geri Krotow,USN,82-95,Air/ASW Intel
Cathy Maxwell,USN,76-82,Intelligence
Dawn McClure,USN,95-98, Cryptology tech
Lindsay McKenna,USN,64-67, Meteorology
Heather Nickodem, USN, 74-87, Personnel
JoAnn Reardon, USN, 88-94, Cryptologist
Shelagh Rivera, USN, 74-95, Nurse
Lucy Slagel,USN,73-93,Intelligence
Leigh Willis, USN, 02-08, Cryptologist

Sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan man the rails
and salute the USS Arizona Memorial.

Plus there are numerous Navy spouses and family members, too, including but not limited to Anne Elizabeth, Kendra Leigh Castle, Alyssa Day, Jennifer Hart, Julia Justiss, Melissa Mayhue, and Tara Nina (I know there are more ... my brain is just fried!)

Mahalo, ladies, for your service! Now let's open the Navy's present to us - freedom!  In honor of freedom, I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about the US Navy - any connections?  seen any ships sail by?   Have you read any authors with Navy connections?

2.  Since the Navy sails the world, this giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, October 15, 10 pm in Pearl Harbor.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 16.  


Kim in Hawaii

Submariners aboard the USS Cheyenne
also salute the USS Arizona Memorial

Anchors Aweigh, my boys
Anchors Aweigh
Farewell to college joys
We sail at break of day, 'ay 'ay 'ay
O'er our last night ashore
Drink to the foam
Until we meet once more
Here's wishing you a happy voyage home!

WAVES visit the USS Missouri
in 1944