Saturday, April 22, 2017

Aloha to Beach Blanket Bingo, Rae Latte, and BOOKS I LOVE A LATTE

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We are 10 days away from the RT Booklovers' Convention in Atlanta!  Kim Rocha and I are hosting Beach Blanket Bingo;

Join Annette Funicello (Kim Rocha) & Frankie Avalon (Kim Lowe) for a special edition of Book Cover Bingo. Expect spontaneous singing, dancing and flirting with lifeguards inspired by the beloved 60s film. Readers will join sun-loving authors at their favorite beaches and compete for the book laden gift baskets ... perfect for the sand and surf!

Event Date:
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 2:45pm – 3:45pm
Location: LL2/Exhibit/Reader Level
Room: Grand Hall West, 3

We invited 25 authors ... and 1 blogger ... participate.  It is my pleasure today to introduce you to our fellow blogger, Rae Latte, from Books I Love A Latte.

Kim: Tell us about your blog - what inspired you to create Books I Love A Latte?

Rae: A few years ago Donna MacMeans posted on social media that Advanced Reader Copies were available for her then upcoming book The Whisky Laird's Bed (Rake Patrol). As a lover of whiskey and romance, I knew I needed to get my hands on that book.

For years I’d been keeping a journal of all the books I’d read and periodically posted my thoughts on Goodreads. Within a half hour, I’d secured a Blog name, website, Facebook account, and Twitter account. The rest is history!

Over the years I’ve grown my reader following and in January launched a new website as I continue to expand and promote must read books. One of my favorite features is my Coffee With posts where I interviewed Actors, Authors, Cover Models and other professionals in the industry. Some notable guests at the cafe have been Actor Scott Kyle from Outlander (Season 2) on the Starz network series, Chef Dan Churchill, Cover Models Scott Nova and Charles Paz. If my guest can be connected to a great book, then they are welcome in the café on the blog.

Also, I also feature new releases, cover releases, reviews, participate in Blog Tours and make sure to connect on social media.

As a book reviewer, I prefer only to post reviews of books that I love. Most book review blogs feature a rating system to inform readers of what’s hot or not so hot. While I might not connect to a particular book, the time it takes to craft a book from the first page to the last is both time consuming and someone’s baby. If I tell you it’s a miss, you might have just passed on the one book that could change your life! So, the only thing that I rate is a spicy meter for some of the books that are beyond the normal zest in a romance novel.


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Donna MacMeans

Kim: You mentioned living in Nice - jealous! What was your favorite sight, sound, and smell of the French Riviera?


Rae: One of the things I loved about the French Riviera was that everything was within walking distance or a quick hop on the bus. I enjoyed meandering through the streets and browsing in the shops.

I vividly remember the aroma as I walked past a boulangerie-pâtisserie on the city street. Everyone walking past knew when fresh pastries were pulled hot out of the oven. It was a miracle that anything made it back to my apartment, some days it didn’t ;)!

At night I enjoyed sitting at the beach or walking along the Promenade de Anglais and listening to the water pull along the rocks as the tide came in. Enjoying it with friends under a sky full of stars, it was paradise. 

Nice, France

Kim: What are the rewards and challenges of book blogging?

Rae: The rewards of book blogging are simple; I am privileged to read books before they are released. Afterward, I can then share my joy with other book lovers. As a blogger, I love that I can connect with Authors, Publicists, and Publishers to help promote their books. In fact, I look forward to finally meeting many of them at RT in Atlanta next week.

While blogging is rewarding, there are also challenges, specifically the moments when I don’t receive a book that I’ve been patiently waiting to read. But, I’m just one of many in the blogging world, and I’ve learned to accept it and move forward. Just because I am a book blogger does not guarantee me an advance copy of any books. It just depends on where the books are being distributed from and by whom. For the books that I can’t read early, I wait like everyone else until release day. I then purchase those books and dive into that story.

Every review on my site has a disclaimer that I receive books in exchange for a fair and honest review. While I receive many in that manner, I still purchase books or visit my local library to do my share in supporting the industry.

I look forward to whatever is next in my blogging journey. If you see me at RT please be sure and say hello!

Mahalo, Rae, for sharing your blogging journey!  Learn more about Rae Latte and her blog at booksilovealatte.com.


For the month of April, I am giving away a box of books from authors attending RT. To enter the giveaway,

1. Let's chat about boulangerie-pâtisserie -  bread and pasteries!  Yum ... what is your favorite treat to buy from a bakery?  I would indulge in a mille-feuille aka Napoleon!


2. Comments are open through Sunday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I will be offline from Monday, May 1 - Sunday, May 7.

4. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City
Mille-feuille aka Napoleon
Image by George Seguin (link)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Aloha to Janna MacGregor and THE BAD LUCK BRIDE - Book Review

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IS MARRIAGE A BLESSING OR A CURSE?

A man of honor, Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, will not rest until he exacts revenge on the man who destroyed his family. Just one more piece must fall into place for him to succeed he needs to convince his enemy s fiancee, the tragically beautiful Lady Claire Cavensham, to marry him instead.

Lady Claire s curse has always left her one misstep away from social ruin her past three engagements have gone awry, and now her fourth is headed in the same direction. . .until Alex, a man she barely even knows, shocks the ton and Claire by announcing their engagement. What begins as a sham turns into something deeper, and more passionate, than either Claire or Alex could have imagined. But when their secrets are revealed, will the truth behind their union scandalize them both or is their love strong enough to break the curse and lead them toward their happily ever after? 


THE BADE LUCK BRIDE is Book 1 in the Cavansham Heiresses series.  It is available May 2 from St. Martin's Press.

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Pembroke Castle in Wales
Image by JKMMX (link)

If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. - Hee Haw


Lady Claire Cavenshan could join the Hee Haw band with the bad luck that has prevented her from walking down the aisle. Just when she feels confident about prospect number 4, she is blindsided by the Alexander Hallworth, the Marquess of Pembrooke. Her surprise engagement, then wedding, seems to fulfill her dreams ... until the truth emerges to threaten her marriage and happiness.  It will take more than luck for Claire and Alex to negotiate their own HEA.

Janna MacGregor bursts onto the historical romance scene with a heart wrenching story of two fated lovers who find themselves facing down Lady Luck when life throws a few twists and turns. I commend MacGregor for diving head first into the darker side of historical romance. She masters the nuances of Regency life, including the unchecked power the titled nobility can sway over society, only to find the matters of the heart do not follow any rules.  MacGregor's characterizations show some rough edges - rookie mistakes for a debut author. But this author has a talent for prose and she will only improve over time like a fine wine in the Marquess' cellar.

I look forward to more books in the Cavensham Heiresses series.

I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review.

Learn more about Janna and her books at jannamacgregor.com.

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Cavensham Park
bbc.com

For the month of April, I am giving away a box of books from authors attending RT. To enter the giveaway,

1. Janna MacGregor is participating in Beach Blanket Bingo at RT - her favourite beach is Old Portsmouth Beach in Hampshire, including a medieval Round Tower!  


Do you have a favourite beach town or historic building to ignite your imagination?

2. Comments are open through Sunday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I will be offline from Monday, May 1 - Sunday, May 7.

4. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Old Portsmouth's Round Tower
castlesfortsbattles.co.uk







Monday, April 17, 2017

Aloha to Sherlock Holmes, Dancing Men, and Rare Books

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On Saturday, hubby and I ventured to Clyde's Restaurant for the "irregular" meeting of the Diogenes Club of Washington, DC.  Fans of Sherlock Holmes know the fictional detective often found his brother, Mycroft, at the Diogenes Club. From its Facebook page (link), 

A scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars for current and past employees of any agency, department, or branch of government be it local, state, federal, or foreign, including members of the Armed Forces and diplomats. We meet upon an "Irregular" schedule in the Washington, DC Metro area. Based on a roundtable model, Diogenes Club combines a refined clubby atmosphere, an erudite speakers symposium, fine dining experience.


Jeremy Brett (right) stars as Sherlock Holmes in 
THE ADVENTURE OF THE DANCING MEN.

The luncheon featured S. Brent Morris and "Dancing with Cryptographers: An Evaluation of Sherlock Holmes' Cryptanalysis of The Dancing Men Cipher”.  From Wikipedia,

S. Brent Morris is an American author who writes on Freemasonry. He is a Master Mason, a 33° Scottish Rite Mason, and currently the editor of The Scottish Rite Journal, a publication of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction.

Morris has served as Executive of the Cryptologic Mathematician Program at the National Security Agency and as U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in the area of computer security.



We sat with two couples - the couple to our right, Dennis and Mary, are also a retired Air Force family.  Dave attended Purdue University several years before my husband.  Plus they lived on Maui when Dave was assigned to the Air Force observatory on Haleakula (for more pictures from Haleakula, check out my travel blog at this link).


Our other table mates were Brian and Rebecca.  Rebecca shared that she taught English in a small Japanese village. My husband served in Japan so we shared memories of the Japanese culture.  Brian and Rebecca then chatted about their jobs as rare book dealers.  I replied, "All I know about rare books I learned from the History Channel's PAWN STARS (link). Set in Las Vegas, the pawn store is operated the Harrison family, leading to drama between the grandfather, father, and son.  When they receive a rare book, they often call an expert named Rebecca to give them an evaluation."

Rebecca was that Rebecca.  I almost fell out of my chair.  From the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop website (link),

Rebecca Romney’s background is in Linguistics, Classical Studies and Philosophy. Languages are one of her chief passions: she speaks three (English, French, Japanese) and reads in six (add Ancient Greek, Latin, Old English). She can recite poems in each. She currently works as an independent book expert and appraiser.


Learn more about Rebecca from her website, rebeccaromney.com.


Let me say Rebecca looks great on the show ... but she is gorgeous in person!  She was kind to answer our questions about rare books ... and allow me to gush over her reality star status. Rebecca even expressed an interest to learn more about rare books in the romance industry.

For the month of April, I am giving away a box of books from authors attending RT. To enter the giveaway,

1. Have you met a reality star?  Do you have a favorite reality show?  Have you visited a pawn shop? Do you have any "rare" books?  

I enjoy PAWN STARS and STORAGE WARS - I am curious what people collect and what objects they think are valuable.  I have not visited a pawn store yet - I am tempted to visit the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, as featured on the show, when I next visit Las Vegas.  As I shared with Rebecca, I have several hardcover books published in the late 1800s, including Emerson's poems, but the books themselves are in fair condition.

2. Comments are open through Sunday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I will be offline from Monday, May 1 - Sunday, May 7.

4. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Leighton Hall in  Lancashire served as the 
film location for DANCING MEN.
leightonhall.co.uk

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Aloha to Jenn McKinlay, Library Lover's Mystery series, and BETTER LATE THAN NEVER - Book Review


In the latest Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Likely Story, a decades overdue book puts library director Lindsey Norris hot on the trail of a cold case...

When the Briar Creek Public Library holds its first overdue book amnesty day—no fines for late returns—the volume of incoming materials is more than Lindsey and her staff can handle. In a bind, Lindsey drafts the crafternoon ladies to help check in and sort the stacks of books.

But one tardy tome catches her attention—a copy of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, twenty years past due. When Lindsey looks up the borrower, she’s shocked to discover it was a murdered school teacher named Candice Whitley, whose killer was never found.

Candice checked out the novel on the day she was murdered. Now Lindsey wonders if it could provide a clue to the decades-old cold case. No one noticed who brought the book back in, but could it be Candice’s killer? Lindsey is determined to catch the culprit one way or another, because justice for Candice Whitley is long overdue ... 



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Patience outside the NYC Library

Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world. 
- Tommy Douglas

Lindsay Norris is building a better world as library director in Briar Creek, a New England coastal town. She transitioned as an academic librarian to public servant, bringing fresh ideas to a traditional institution. Lindsay implemented "Amnesty Day" to encourage patrons to return late and/or damaged books, thus welcoming back the "prodigal" readers.  As her staff struggle with the overwhelming number of returned books, one title stands out - a twenty year old copy of CATCHER IN THE RYE.  After digging up old library records, the staff discover the reader was a beloved high school teacher who was murdered the day she checked out the book. And her murder remains unsolved.

Lindsay can't help but initiate her own investigation to satisfy her curious nature. In fact, her friends have already taken friendly bets on how long it takes Lindsay to solve the mystery. Yet Lindsay's inquiries open old wounds for those who loved the teacher and became suspects in her murder. The plot follows the predictable pattern of cozy mysteries - an amateur detective, multiple suspects with personal secrets, a few red herrings, and the climatic unveiling of the murderer.  Still BETTER LATE THAN NEVER is an enjoyable escape into a small coastal town. 

The subplots offers depth to this novel and the series - Lindsay has an on/off/on relationship with Navy Vet-turned-Sea Captain Sully. The children's librarian, Beth, adds comic relief with her literary antics. Lindsay's friends in the book club/craft group cook up tasty treats (and gossip) to counterbalance the underlying concern of a murder still prowling the town. McKinlay makes it easy to assimilate with the quirky characters who populate Briar Creek.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER is Book 7 in McKinlay's Library Lover's Mystery Series.  While this title can be read as a stand alone novel, I recommend reading the series in order. McKinlay is also the author of Cupcake Bakery Mysteries (set in Scottsdale, Arizona) and Hat Shop Mysteries (set in London, England) - I am a fan of all three series.

Natually, I checked out BETTER LATE THAN NEVER from my local library.

Learn more about Jenn and her books at jennmckinlay.com.

Fortitude outside the NYC library

For the month of April, I am giving away a box of books from authors attending RT. To enter the giveaway,

1. What's your favorite library?

2. Comments are open through Sunday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I will be offline from Monday, May 1 - Sunday, May 7.

4. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore

Aloha Spirit in Charm City

9745415663351615810115


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Aloha to Beach Blanket Bingo, Tracy Solheim, and SMOLDER

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I have started packing for the RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta, Georgia!  Kim Rocha (Book Obsessed Chicks) and I are hosting Beach Blanket Bingo:

Join Annette Funicello (Kim Rocha) & Frankie Avalon (Kim Lowe) for a special edition of Book Cover Bingo. Expect spontaneous singing, dancing, & flirting with lifeguards inspired by the beloved 60s film. Readers will join sun loving authors at their favorite beaches and compete for the book laden gift baskets ... perfect for the sand and surf!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017 2:45pm – 3:45pm
Location: LL2/Exhibit/Reader Level
Room: Grand Hall West, 3



Kim and I invited 26 authors to join us, including Atlanta local Tracy Solheim:

Tracy Solheim, a military brat who now makes her home near Atlanta, began her writing career as a teenager when she penned a column in her town's local newspaper. Then, it was on to journalism school and a brief stint with NBC sports. After spending nearly two decades writing reports and testimonies for Congress, she delved into fiction. She lives in the suburbs with her husband, two teenagers, a Labrador retriever who thinks she's a cat and a horse named after her first novel. When she's not writing, she enjoys photography, cooking, and reading. A frustrated sports writer, the books she loves to read--and write--feature athletes and the women who capture their hearts. See what's she's up to at www.tracysolheim.com.

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Tracy is know for romance set in the sports world and small towns ... but roared onto the scene with a smoking hot romance, SMOLDER:

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?


Glacier National Park
Public Domain (link)

For the month of April, I am giving away a box of books from authors attending RT. To enter the giveaway,

1. Readers - do you have any advice for authors at conventions?

2. Comments are open through Sunday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I will be offline from Monday, May 1 - Sunday, May 7.

4. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore

Aloha Spirit in Charm City




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ask a Blogger: Roll Out the Red Carpet for Readers - Maximizing the Author Experience at Romance Conventions

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I have a new feature here at SOS Aloha - Ask a Blogger. Several authors have asked me what to expect at the RT Booklovers Convention, coming to Atlanta from May 3 - 7 at this link. To answer their questions, I offer an article I wrote for RWA's monthly magazine, the Romance Writers Report with a few updates:

Roll Out the Red Carpet for Readers - 
Maximizing the Author Experience at Romance Conventions

Convention season is upon us. It is prime time to meet readers, reviewers, and bloggers who can make (or break) your writing career. I’ve traveled over 2500 miles, across the Pacific Ocean, to attend conventions. So I have high expectations of the author experience. I offer several tips for you to offer the ultimate author experience for the readers you meet.

Before you go,

- Update your social media, including your website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Make sure that readers can follow up their personal experience with online access to your bio, books, and contact information.

- Order promotional material that readers will want to take home. All materials, at the very least, must direct the reader to your online presence. It may be easy to hand out buttons at a panel discussion. The challenge is to inspire readers take the buttons home. Suitcases grow fatter as each day passes as a convention. Make sure your promotional material is relevant, informative, and useful – enough so to make the cut in the limited luggage space.

- Know your audience. Does the convention appeal to a wide range of readers or is it a genre focused? Is it large enough to attract readers from around the country or will there be a regional draw? Knowing your audience helps you pack your promotional materials and prepare your public persona.

During the conference,

- Be the rock star readers think you are. I have been attending RT since 2006 and RWA since 2009; I still get goose bumps when I meet an author. No matter where you are in the convention area - workshops, hallways, elevators, restaurants – you will be on public display. Be prepared to sign books, hand out bookmarks, and take photos with your adoring fans. If you need a break from the fishbowl, escape the convention hotel to a nearby restaurant for some down time with your chapter mates.

- Create a signature look. Cherry Adair wears a bright colored flower pinned to her dress.  Jaffe Kennedy sports a large hat. Cathy Maxwell laughs out load. These public personas invite readers to interact with the authors.

- Be spontaneous. If a reader is walking around the lobby, looking for a place to sit, invite the reader to sit with you. If your table at the book fair intersects with the overflowing line of a popular author, engage the readers waiting in line. Break away from your comfort level of being with your author friends to stand in line with a group of readers. You will not only introduce readers to your public persona, but learn firsthand what they want from romance.

- Create opportunities. If readers identify themselves as reviewers, ask for a review. If they identify themselves as bloggers, ask to be a guest. If you commit, follow through with that commitment. Nothing turns off readers more than opportunities that fizzle.

- Be prepared for all personalities. Some readers, like authors, claim to be introverts. Employ techniques to draw these readers into conversation. Other readers are in/out, maximizing their limited time at the book fair. Respond accordingly and send them on their merry way. You will also meet readers who will want to monopolize your time – I’m guilty! Find the balance of including the enthusiast reader while drawing in the introvert.

- Be gracious. I’ve seen fans give nominal gifts to their favorite authors, only to hear the authors later make fun of the gifts. Don’t gossip - remember the fish bowl. Even if you are dining away from the convention hotel, be aware of who may be listening at the next table. Save your complaints for your pet at home. Your pet gives you the opportunity to vent without the possibility of it being repeated.

- Have fun. A smile speaks louder than words.

Once you go home,

- Share your experience, and especially pictures, on social media. Readers will enjoy your musings. Even I enjoy reading authors’ perspectives of the conventions I attended. Give away some of the swag, including your own, so your fans feel a part of your travels.

- Follow up with the contacts you made. Check out the social media of the readers, reviewers, and bloggers you met. Contact them for reviews, promotion, or even just a thank you for their company at the convention.

- Take note what you learned about the convention and share with your chapter. Provide constructive feedback to the convention organizers so they, too, can improve the author experience for both the reader and the author.

Kim Lowe created her book blog, SOS Aloha, as virtual connection to Romanceland while living in Hawaii. Readers’ interest in Paradise lead to her travel blog, ALOHA ON MY MIND. Kim now lives in the Baltimore, bringing the Aloha Spirit to Charm City. You’ll find Kim at romance events in her signature look – an Aloha shirt.


For the month of April, I am giving away a box of books from authors attending RT. To enter the giveaway,

1. Readers - do you have any advice for authors at conventions?

2. Comments are open through Sunday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I will be offline from Monday, May 1 - Sunday, May 7.

4. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Image result for sos aloha lucky books

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Aloha to Hawaii Five O: Ua malo'o ka wai (The Water is Dried Up) - TV Review


As I have previously wrote, Hawaii Five O has been hit or miss for me. Last night's episode - Ua malo'o ka wai (The Water is Dried Up) - was a hit for the secondary characters.  The sum of their contributions bypassed the uninspiring crime of the week. From CBS.com,

McGarrett and Five-0 are captured and face certain death after tracking a dangerous nemesis to the Island of Lanai. Also, Grover takes his son to Chicago where he testifies against a dirty cop from his past.

McGarrett and company discover a nefarious group (probably the Yakuza) is smuggling from an isolated beach on the island of Lana'i - the Pineapple Isle (where the Dole Company farmed the delicious fruit). Naturally, McGarrett pilots the helicopter to take Danno, Chin Ho, Kono and himself to catch the Japanese gang that has reeked havoc on the H50 team last season. No journey with McGarrett and Danno cannot be complete without a cargument (car argument now helo argument). Their bickering like a married couple keeps fans like me coming back for more.

The H50 team are caught off guard by the Yakuza and taken by gunpoint to their camp.  The Yakuza lock them up in a jungle jail of sorts as they pack up their operation. Danno expects Steve - a Navy SEAL - to crack open the steel door.  Steve responds he was trained to blow up things, not pick a lock. Ultimately that's what Steve accomplishes ala MacGyver * and the H50 team chases the Yakuza to the beach. Just as our heroes are pinned down when their ammunition runs out, four helicopters from the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) hover over the beach and officers repel down as reinforcements. The H50 team later thanks Jerry - conspiracy theorist turned special consultant - for taking action when their communication link was disabled.  Jerry contacted the one HPD cop he could trust - Duke - to recruit those who he also trusted to serve as the air cavalry.


* H5O Producer Peter Lenkov also rebooted the new MACGYVER which airs just before H5O on Friday nights. 


In fact, McGarrett rewards Jerry with a coveted H50 badge to welcome him as an official member of their team.  It is this moment that makes viewers forget the predictable story line. We first met Jerry when his high school classmate, Chin Ho, asked him to decipher a puzzle related to a murder.  Since then, Jerry has led the H50 team on a merry chase with other conspiracy theories, landing him with a windowless office in the basement of the 'Iolani Palace where the H50 headquarter themselves.  Actor  Jorge Garcia conveys the emotions that the audience is feeling - Jerry finally belongs.

The episode failed to give us a glimpse of Lanai's unique landscape. Alas, the action remained secluded in the jungle then tumbled onto a beach that could have been anywhere in Hawaii. The episode (and series) also underutilized Duke - a character from the original series.  He is simply a fill in when H50 needs HPD assistance.  I would like to see more of actor Dennis Chun (he is the son of Kam Fung Chun who portrayed the original Chin Ho Kelly).


The icing on the episode takes place in Chicago where Grover travels with his son, Will, for a "boys' weekend" to their hometown. Grover is scheduled to testify in court for a previous case he worked as a member of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). He and his son revisit favorite cop hangouts only to find that Grover is no longer welcome after testifying against his corrupt partner.  Grover painfully learns that he can never go home.  Yet he tells his son that he made the right choice, no matter the consequences.  Sensing his father's sadness, Will has room service waiting for Grover when he returns from court with his favorite foods from the Windy City.  It is the emotional connections - Grover and Will, Jerry and Chin Ho, Steve and Danno - that make Hawaii Five O a must see for me on Friday nights.

Learn more about Hawaii Five O, including cast interviews and full episodes, at this link.


For the month of April, I am giving away a box of books from authors attending RT. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment food you love from Hawaii or Chicago - I love plate lunches from Hawaii.


I would also have joined Grover in the Chicago hotel room since his son ordered a cannoli! 

2. Comments are open through Sunday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I will be offline from Monday, May 1 - Sunday, May 7.

4. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Image result for aloha on my mind plate lunch




Thursday, April 6, 2017

Aloha to Beach Blanket Bingo, Christi Barth, and TRYING IT ALL (Naked Men Series)

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It's a gloomy day in Baltimore ... so let's escape to the beach! We are counting down to the RT Booklovers Convention (link), May 2 - 7, 2017, in HotLanta!  Kim Rocha and I are hosting Beach Blanket Bingo (link)

Join Annette Funicello (Kim Rocha) & Frankie Avalon (Kim Lowe) for a special edition of Book Cover Bingo. Expect spontaneous singing, dancing, & flirting with lifeguards inspired by the beloved 60s film. Readers will join sun loving authors at their favorite beaches and compete for the book laden gift baskets ... perfect for the sand and surf!
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Christi Barth is joining us to celebrate the May release of TRYING IT ALL, Book 4 in her Naked Men Series: 

Order. Attention to detail. Never leaving anything to chance. These are the qualities that make Riley Ness such a terrific federal agent . . . and a pain in the ass to everyone else. The only time Riley lets loose is when he’s hanging out with his closest pals. So when he’s thrown together with gorgeous, flighty Summer Sheridan, Riley’s brain tells him she’s a ticking time bomb—but his body doesn’t want to play by the rules.

Riley has to be the most irritating man Summer has ever met. The brooding hunk thinks he needs to teach her a few lessons about real life, while she’d rather show him how to enjoy it. But her BFF’s all but engaged to Riley’s best friend, and besides, their intense physical chemistry is all too real. Summer just needs Riley to try to meet her halfway and take a chance with the one thing that matters: his heart.


Christi is an author local to me ... from her bio (link):

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series. Christi can always be found whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

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Christi's favorite beach is .... Ocean City!  For the month of April, I am giving away a box of books from authors attending RT, including Christi!  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about gourmet meals ... do you whip them up like Christi?  Or do you prefer the role as taster?  Do you have a favorite "gourmet" meal to make or taste?

I prefer to be the taster ... I'm open to almost any "flavor" - Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Indian - as long as it doesn't have unusual ingredients.

2. Comments are open through Sunday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I will be offline from Monday, May 1 - Sunday, May 7.

4. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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More books in the Naked Men series ...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Aloha to Weekly Winners, RT Booklovers Convention, and Authors Galore


We have winners from last week's posts - Kim H. and Maureen win a book choice from my convention stash.  

Speaking of conventions, the RT Booklovers' Convention is one month away in Hot Atlanta!  From its website (link),

The RT Booklovers Convention is the book-industry event where you can mix business with pleasure. Attend more than 200 workshops as well as numerous parties and reader events that will keep you informed and in touch while having fun. It's where friends new and old come together to learn about the industry we love and to have fun with authors and fellow book lovers. Fifty percent of conventioneers are first-time RT Convention attendees, and many travel by themselves. However, almost all leave having made new friendships they'll cherish for years to come.

I am participating in four events:

Great Expectations - Virtual Assistants

Looking to build a successful partnership with a Virtual Assistant?

Virtual Assistants Kim & Kim explore what a virtual assistant can offer an author, including social media, newsletters, and blog tours. Kim & Kim will offer a step by step process to find the right assistant so authors can focus on the creative process.

Speaker(s):
Kim Lowe
Kimberly Rocha

Event Date:
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 11am – 12pm
Location: LL3/Conference/Industry Level
Room: Fairlie

Beach Blanket Bingo

Join Annette Funicello (Kim Rocha) & Frankie Avalon (Kim Lowe) for a special edition of Book Cover Bingo. Expect spontaneous singing, dancing, & flirting with lifeguards inspired by the beloved 60s film. Readers will join sun loving authors at their favorite beaches and compete for the book laden gift baskets ... perfect for the sand and surf!

Appearing(s):

Christi Barth
Christi Caldwell
Julia Day
Eileen Dreyer (AKA: Kathleen Korbel)
Elizabeth Essex
Avery Flynn
Maggie Mae Gallagher (AKA: Anya Summers)
Andrew Grey (AKA: Dirk Greyson)
Heidi Hormel
Jessica James
Harper Kincaid
Geri Krotow
Tamra Lassiter
Rae Latte
Ann Lethbridge
Siera London
Janna MacGregor
Stacy McKitrick
Kate Pearce (AKA: Catherine Lloyd)
Ella Quinn
Julie Rowe
Jessica Ruddick (AKA: Jessica Linden)
Dawn Ryder (AKA: Mary Wine)
Joanna Shupe
Tracy Solheim
Teri Anne Stanley
Beth Williamson (AKA: Emma Lang)

Host(s):
Kim Lowe
Kimberly Rocha

Event Date:
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 2:45pm – 3:45pm
Location: LL2/Exhibit/Reader Level
Room: Grand Hall West, 3

SOS-Military Tribute

Our military is the backbone of our country. They pay the price for our freedom through all of their sacrifices. This military tribute is a multi-author-sponsored event to pay a moving tribute to our military and all they have done for our country. This event is open to all. Tables will be decorated by authors representing Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, etc.

Host(s):

KaLyn Cooper
Cristin Harber
Elle James (AKA: Myla Jackson)
Cat Johnson
Kim Lowe
JM Madden
Trish McCallan
Donna Michaels
Megan Mitcham
Caitlyn O'Leary
Ella Quinn
Julie Rowe
Susan Stoker
Natasza Waters
Sabrina York

Event Date:
Thursday, May 4, 2017 12:20pm – 1:20pm
Location: LL1/Ballroom Level
Room: Centennial III

Finding the Balance


Kim Lowe (SOS Aloha Book Reviews) and Kim Rocha (Book Obsessed Chicks Blog) guide authors on finding the right balance between public interaction and private life. We offer tips to effectively launch a book, organically engage readers, and still find time to enjoy the fruits of your success. The results: relaxed authors, increased sales, and satisfied readers.

Speaker(s):
Kim Lowe
Kimberly Rocha

Event Date:
Thursday, May 4, 2017 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Location: LL3/Conference/Industry Level
Room: Lennox

Image result for aloha on my mind flowers

For the month of April, I am giving away a box of books from authors I will meet at RT.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about your plans for April - anything fun in the works?

2.  Comments are open through Sunday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.  

3.  I will be offline from Monday, May 1 - Sunday, May 7.  

4.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Aloha to the USS Missouri - A Legacy of American History



They ain't gonna sink this battleship, no way!
- Old Salt, BATTLESHIP

Yesterday I missed a special anniversary ... on March 31, 1992, the USS Missouri, America's last battleship, retired from active duty during a decomissioning ceremony in Long Beach, CA.

From her website (link),

Born in the midst of World War II, the shipyard workers at Brooklyn’s New York Navy Yard constructed the battleship in time for her launch on January 29, 1944 and commissioning as the USS Missouri on June 11, 1944 with Capt. William M. Callaghan in command.

On September 2, 1945, in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri, representatives of the Allied and Axis powers met in solemn ceremony to “conclude an agreement by which peace can be restored”. General MacArthur concluded the ceremony by saying: “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world, and that God will preserve it always. These proceeding are closed!” With those words, World War II was over.

On 25 June 1950, North Korean forces invaded South Korea.  By mid-September USS Missouri was underway off the coast of Korea, armed and ready to support U.N. forces in the "Police Action" that would become known as the Korean War.

At 0140 (1:40 a.m.) on January 17, 1991, USS Missouri was first battleship to fire Tomahawk cruise missile at Iraqi targets as Operation Desert Storm commenced. The USS Missouri then conducted patrol and armistice enforcement operations in the northern Persian Gulf before sailing for home on March 21, 1991.

But the USS Missouri had one final mission to complete. On December 7, 1991, the Missouri returned to the historic waters of Pearl Harbor for the 50th anniversary commemoration of the attack on the Hawaiian Islands. Moored a short distance from the USS Arizona Memorial, the Missouri and Arizona provide a symbolic connection from the “day which will live in infamy” to the formal ending of World War II.


The Mighty Mo is now a floating museum, permanently moored on Ford Island to stand guard over the USS Arizona Memorial. During our four years in Hawaii, my family enjoyed the USS Missouri:

- Scout overnight encampment with my husband (link)

- Scout overnight encampment with moms (link)

- Eagle Scout ceremony (link)

- Special tour for the premiere of BATTLESHIP (link

- My husband sang with the Sounds of Aloha aboard the USS Missouri to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War II.


Have you visited a historic ship, battlefield, or military museum? One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, April 9, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Monday, April 10.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Old Salts in the movie BATTLESHIP

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Aloha to Beach Blanket Bingo, Teri Anne Stanley, and A SHOT WITH YOU

Puerto Vallarta
freephotooftheday.com

We are counting down to the RT Booklovers Convention (link) and the Beach Blanket Bingo (link):

Join Annette Funicello (Kim Rocha) & Frankie Avalon (Kim Lowe) for a special edition of Book Cover Bingo. Expect spontaneous singing, dancing, & flirting with lifeguards inspired by the beloved 60s film. Readers will join sun loving authors at their favorite beaches and compete for the book laden gift baskets ... perfect for the sand and surf!

Teri Anne Stanley is joining us for Beach Blanket Bingo.  From her bio (link),

TERI ANNE STANLEY has been writing since she could hold a crayon–though learning to read was a huge turning point in her growth as a writer. Teri’s first stories involved her favorite Saturday morning cartoon characters, followed by her favorite teen idols. She has also authored a recipe column (The Three Ingredient Gourmet), and scientific articles (Guess which was more interesting!). Now she writes fun, sexy romance filled with chaos and havoc, populated by strong, smart women and hunky heroes.
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Teri celebrated the print release of A SHOT WITH YOU (link):

Bourbon is in Brandon Morgan’s blood. His family owns the best bourbon brand in the country—or it will be with his marketing genius. And after meeting the fiery daughter of a tequila distillery owner, he’s never been more sure.

His barrels, her tequila. It’s a match made in heaven. But only if he can keep his hands off the owner’s daughter…and his secrets to himself.

Lesa Ruiz will do anything to keep Little Possum afloat, but one look at Brandon’s gorgeous dimples and Lesa knows two things for sure: forever is not in the cards with this man and he’s way too sexy to resist for long.

Well, three things… Brandon is hiding something, and she’ll need to get a lot closer to figure it out and save her family’s legacy. Shots, anyone?

Puerto Vallarta
visitmexico.com

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Teri Anne is featuring Puerto Vallarta at her table.  Have you visited Puerto Vallarta or any other Mexican getaways?  I have only crossed the border into Tijuana for the day.

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

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, April 3.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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