Thursday, March 29, 2012


Returning to SOS Aloha is the multi-talented Christine Nolfi!   She visited us last year to celebrate TREASURE ME at this link.   Christine prepared a special post for her new book, THE TREE OF EVERLASTING KNOWLEDGE!

From what imaginings does a book arise? Some novels spring to life after weeks of playing the “What if” game. Other books are born directly from experience. 

Seventeen years ago, I adopted a sibling group of four children from the Philippines. The trip to Cebu was a revelation—local families struggling simply to get by wore the sweetest smiles. The missionaries running the shelter worked with unmistakable joy. My children, too, seemed imbued with a special goodness that stood in contrast to their difficult start in life. 

As years sped by and my kids grew ever stronger, they became standouts first in elementary school then later in high school and college. They became the type of young adults who were always willing to help a friend or offer comforting words. They laughed often and spread joy through churches and classrooms like fairy dust empowered with love. And I was left wondering: How can any child suffer greatly in early childhood then grow up to be so surprisingly good? 

That question drove the development of The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge.

In the novel, Ourania D’Andre and Troy Fagan struggle with dark impulses. Like so many of us, they’ve become cynical and no longer trust the healing qualities of love. Yet both are inevitably drawn to the light. They choose love over hate because it’s in their nature to do so. By learning to release a million regrets, they build a better world for themselves and the people they care about.

I believe these lessons speak directly to the miracle of the human heart. We do possess the power to heal despite every hardship we face. Yes, bad things happen. But in the end, good people prevail.

It’s easy to turn on the news or glance at a newspaper’s garish headlines and conclude that humanity bears rot at its core. Don’t believe it. Every day, in every corner of our pretty blue planet, average folks perform extraordinary acts of kindness. A stranger offers a helping hand. A mother comforts her child. A class of first graders in Wichita, Kansas raise money for other children on the opposite side of the earth. A middle-aged man takes his son to a ballgame then flashes the proof of his love across FaceBook.

Good people prevail.

About the author:

Christine’s debut, Treasure Me, and her March 2012 release, The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge continue to earn 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon, GoodReads and other sites. Christine has been writing novels full-time since 2004. Look for her next release, Second Chance Grill, in several months.

Contact her at and @christinenolfi on Twitter.

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge on Amazon in print (link) and Kindle (link)

Treasure Me on Amazon in print (link) and Kindle (link)
Barnes & Noble (link)
BAM (link)

Mahalo, Christine, for joining us at SOS Aloha!  I am giving away a Kindle copy of THE TREE OF EVERLASTING KNOWLEDGE to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Can you share an experience that would inspire you to write a book?   

When I was a Lieutenant, I had a few zany adventures that might be worthy of a humorous contemporary romance.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, March 31, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, April 1.


Kim in Hawaii

March Madness continues here at SOS Aloha! All commenters in March will be entered into a special drawing for prizes from RT in Chicago. 3 US, 3 Canadian, and 3 international readers will win a package with books and goodies. Comments can be made at:

- SOS Aloha,
- Aloha On My Mind,
- My guest posts at the Reading Reviewer (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) at

I'll post the winners of March Madness on Monday, April 2.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Veteran's Movie Review - ACT OF VALOR

The weekend is coming ... perhaps you are planning to see a movie!  Today I have a treat for you - award winning romance author Lindsay McKenna reviewed ACT OF VALOR.   It is intriguing to see the movie through her eyes as she hails from a Navy family - her parents were living on Ford Island on "that day of Infamy"   Lindsay herself is a Navy Veteran.   She originated the military adventure/romance genre in 1983 with CAPTIVE OF FATE (Silhouette Special Edition/Simon and Schuster/Silhouette).   Welcome, Lindsay!

ACT OF VALOR is an authentic movie that’s just come out on February 24th. It is about active duty US Navy SEALS. The movie had a powerful impact on me for many reasons. First, there is a human story that underpins the entire movie. And it will hold you in its grip and move you. This will appeal to the women, especially, who don’t like shoot ‘em up bang-bang kind of films. There is heart and soul woven into this story, so don’t be put off that it’s just another ‘action movie,’ because it’s a lot more than that. Secondly, active duty SEALS star in this movie. Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh of Relativity Media, took two years to film ACT OF VALOR and received the cooperation of the US Navy. Further, the SEALS refused to ‘dress up’ or do anything other than what real SEALS are trained to do for this movie. Everything you see in it is authentic drama, is present day and how SEALS really go about their business of being the incredibly heroic men they are. 

Even more upsetting, in a way, is that the story line of the movie that came from real missions performed by the SEALS. If anyone ever was against controlling our border with Mexico, you won’t be after this movie is done. On another playing field, it also shows the diversity and global backyard the SEALS work and survive in, to keep the USA safe.

Those readers who love military books or SEAL stories, should see this movie. It’s eye opening, hauntingly emotional and shows SEALS not only in action, but their brotherhood, humanity toward their own and others. These are REAL warriors; they’re professionals and there is no question, they are the best of the best. And the movie goer gets to see authentic action. It’s far more heart/pulse pounding than any movie star or any other action flick you may have seen in the past. This film is the raw, unadorned real deal torn from the pages of today. Be prepared for tears. Bring some Kleenex along. You’ll need it. 

And even if you aren’t drawn to a movie like this, generally speaking, go see it, anyway. You need to be educated about the men who are putting their lives on the line for us EVERY DAY so that we continue to enjoy the freedom we have in this country.

I hope ANOTHER authentic SEAL movie is developed and produced by these two men. They did a great job on it. They listened to the SEALS and the action sequences will have your breath knocked out of you. It is THAT powerful. But so are the underlying emotions that will capture you from the beginning. And in doing that, you’re on a roller coaster ride with these bonafied SEAL heroes as they work to stop terrorism of the worst sort and in the end, protect all of us.

And if you are moved by this movie, by these men and the families they love, then donate and help at this link.   The Navy Seal Foundation supports SEALS, their families, provides scholarships for fallen SEALS children and educates the public about them. 

Reviewed by Lindsay McKenna, US Navy veteran.

Mahalo, Lindsay, for sharing your thoughts with us!  To learn more about Lindsay and her books, check out her website at

Today I am donating a $1 per comment, up to $100, to the Navy Seal Foundation.   Comments are open through Saturday, March 17.  I'll announce the total on Sunday, March 18.


Kim in Hawaii

Leave no man behind .... 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Aloha to Tawna Fenske and BELIEVE IT OR NOT

I asked to review Tawna Fenske's BELIEVE IT OR NOT because I enjoyed her debut book, MAKING WAVES.   As the book sat on my shelf, waiting to be reviewed, I kept thinking of the early 80s' comedy, THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO - here are the lyrics from its theme song:

Believe it or not,
I'm walking on air.
I never thought I could feel so free-.
Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it's just me.

As I read the the book (while riding the exercise bike at the base gym), the 80s pop song morphed into the head banging music of the 80s hair bands.  In fact, 80s hair band music has a double purpose in BELIEVE IT OR NOT - it provides the motivation for the exotic male dancers at the hero's bar.   The music also influences the heroine's ability to bluff her way as a psychic.  Coincidence or not?   Perhaps it was no coincidence that as I was reading about male dancers, I was riding to head banging music with a ripped military guy running on the treadmill in front of me.

Actually, psychics and strippers are the catalysts to bring together the mismatched lovers in BELIEVE IT OR NOT:

Do you believe in...accounting?

Numbers never lie, so Violet McGinn found safe haven in the most boring profession she could find. Until her renowned psychic mother lands in the hospital and Violet has to run her business. Now you can have your taxes filed and your aura read, in one convenient location.

Do you believe

Drew Watson is the jaded owner of the local hot spot next door, and doesn't need a single thing except a good crowd to dance to what he's spinning on Saturday night.

Do you believe

The only thing Violet and Drew seem to have in common is that neither believes in that psychic hoo—hah. Except Drew seems to play exactly the right song at exactly the right time. And truth be told, it makes Violet's heart dance just a little ...

Check out my review on Amazon at this link and Goodreads at this link.   I am giving way a print copy of BELIEVE IT OR NOT to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about '80s music - love it or loathe it?   Do you listen to music while reading? exercising?  cooking?

I often play 80s music for my children to demonstrate I had a life "before them".  Recently, I played Winger's MILES AWAY and both my children just rolled their eyes.  Sigh, Winger was easy on the eyes!  I am going to dig out the CD now ...

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, March 17, 10 pm in Hawaii.   I'll post the winner on Sunday, March 18.


Kim in Hawaii

To learn more about Tawna and her books, check out her website at

To watch Winger's video, check out this link to You Tube.

Remember March Madness here at SOS Aloha! All commenters to my blogs in March will be entered into a special drawing for prizes from RT in Chicago - 3 US, 3 Canadian, and 3 international readers will win a package with books and goodies. Comments can be made at:

- SOS Aloha,
- Aloha On My Mind,
- My guest posts at the Reading Reviewer (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) at

I'll post the winners of March Madness on Monday, April 2.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In Memory of the Coast Guard

Today I would like to remember the Coast Guard crew from the MH-65C Dolphin helicopter.  Their aircraft crashed in Mobile Bay during a training mission on February 28:

Lt. Cmdr. Dale Taylor of Snow Hill, North Carolina

Lt. j.g. Thomas Cameron of Portland, Oregon

Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge of Cypress Valley, California

Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Knight of Thomasville, Alabama

I did not know this crew, but I have close friends who do.  I do know that the Coast Guard mission is dangerous as they secure our borders.

I ask you to say a prayer for their families and all the families of service members and first responders who serve with valor.


Kim in Hawaii

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Aloha to Nancy Lee Badger and SOUTHERN FRIED DRAGON

Last week we talked about dragons ... today I have a special guest, Nancy Lee Badger, author of SOUTHERN FRIED DRAGON, a Civil War paranormal romance.

Thanks for having me today. Since my latest release, SOUTHERN FRIED DRAGON, is set during the first battle of the American Civil War, I thought your readers would like to hear why the Civil War is part of my family’s heritage. War is awful. My husband and I spent a year worrying about our youngest son while he was stationed in Iraq, but can you imagine a war on our own soil? Fought between our own citizens? The American Civil War (1861-1865) has been described as Brother against Brother, and the stakes were high. 

My great-great-great-great grandfather, Brownell W. Lee, was born in 1845 and fought in the Civil War with the Union Army out of New York. He was wounded in the battle at Malvern Hill in Virginia when he was only 18 years old. He’d taken a musket ball to the chest and was captured while bleeding by the confederates on July 1, 1862. He was then confined to Libby Prison in Richmond, VA for three months. Since his wound was severe, he was paroled and sent to Fortress Monro for clothing, then to the parole camp at Annapolis, MD where he remained for six weeks. He was sent home during an exchange of prisoners, but decided to rejoin his regiment who were stationed in Alexandria, VA. He survived his wound, and more fighting, but lost his brother, Enoch. Enoch had survived the battle of Gettysburg only to die in Petersburg, one of the last battles of the war. Brownell went on to marry and raise children including my grandfather, Weston Lee, and then my grandmother and mother.

My husband’s great-great-great-grandfather did not fare as well as young Brownell. Joseph Abner Bean of Wheelock, VT and a member of the Vermont Infantry 10 A Company, was 42 years old when captured by the confederates. He also ended up in Libby Prison (small world!) Unfortunately for his wife and 8 children, Joseph died at that location of starvation on March 23, 1864.

The sadness of the American Civil War seems to have tempered after 150 years. What cannot be forgotten is the pain, suffering, and politics of a four year conflict fought on American soil which began with cannons fired on the Federal troops stationed at Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. My husband and I visited the National Memorial on a man-made island in the middle of Charleston Harbor. The remnants of the besieged fort held eerie reminders of the Civil War. Crumbling bricks, blown apart walls, and quiet cannons stand testimony to another time, another war. The best we can do is not forget the pain and suffering felt by the families of the men who fought and died for something they believed in.

“War is Hell,” General William Tecumseh Sherman once said. Our families know a lot about war and soldiering. My husband and I have spent many hours visiting vital record sites, websites, and graveyards to piece together our proud military history. From the Battle of Bloody Brook in Massachusetts in 1675, to the French & Indian War, to the Revolutionary War, and on and on, members of both our families have served our country. Some died, and all will be fondly remembered by me and my children.

Getting back to how I used the first battle of the Civil War in my latest paranormal romance, SOUTHERN FRIED DRAGON…when my husband and I visited Fort Sumter, I used my trusty camera to record photos while I jotted down notes. Once we returned home, I looked at the photos, transcribed my notes, and came up with the idea of setting my book on the eve of Civil War. Writing fiction gives an author the freedom to deviate from historical fact in order to create a powerful romance. I kept my facts as close to realism as I good and my descriptions of what led up to the first shots fired entwined my Federal soldier hero with my heroine, a southern girl (of Scottish origins). The backdrop of the threat of war gave me the conflict that would keep them apart. I owe it all to our visit to Fort Sumter. 


Amid cannon fire, and the threat of Civil War, love and trust will find a way.

Dru Little flew away from her home in a cave beneath a Scottish Island to end her lonely existence and find companionship across the sea. Her journey in late 1860 has led her to the modern American city of Charleston, South Carolina. Hiding her true self, she takes over the life of a serving girl and enjoys the hard life working in a tavern near the wharves. She has no idea that her life will turn upside down in a dark alley the moment a handsome soldier saves her life.

Lieutenant Shaw Stenhouse has his own worries. Southern secessionists are talking up a storm in Charleston. His fellow Federal soldiers are suddenly at risk from the community they are here to protect. The possibility of civil war takes a backseat when he saves a comely lass from drunken sailors. A good deed and a stolen kiss put a smile on his face until the threat of war becomes a reality. Their instant attraction proves disastrous when Dru spots her former lover, the Black Dragon, working for General Beauregard and the southern troops. As the clandestine group plans their attack on Fort Sumter, and Shaw’s soldiers, she takes to the sky.

Dru fights against the threat of detection, while she fears losing Shaw’s love. What will he do when he finds out that she is a powerful Scottish dragon Hell-bent on carrying him to safety? When Shaw discovers her hiding inside the heavily guarded fortress, thoughts of espionage—and worse—catapult the two lovers into danger from many sides.

When her former lover threatens Shaw, Dru must decide which is more important: protecting another of her kind, now nearly extinct, or protecting the human male, the man she has come to love.


More About the Author

Nancy loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of dirks and broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. Nancy lives the dream. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. She and her family continue to volunteer at the New Hampshire Highland Games each fall. Nancy is a member of RWA, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic &Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Nancy also writes romantic suspense as Nancy Lennea and is a proud Army Mom.

Twitter: @NLBadger

More about Nancy’s latest release:
Author: Nancy Lee Badger
Genre: Paranormal Historical
Length: 30,000 Word Novella
Amazon ASIN: B0074CX7SE
Buy Link:

Where happy ever after takes the road less traveled
Other paranormal romance releases by Nancy Lee Badger:


Nancy has a set of lovely military-themed blank note cards with envelopes that she would love to share with one person who leaves a comment on this blog.  Drawing will be March 12th. 

Mahalo, Nancy, for joining us at SOS Aloha!  Our hearts are with you as an Army Mom!  Nancy's giveaway is open to US residents .... but I have a special "dragon" prize for one international reader!


Kim in Hawaii 

March Madness continues here at SOS Aloha! All commenters in March will be entered into a special drawing for prizes from RT in Chicago. 3 US, 3 Canadian, and 3 international readers will win a package with books and goodies.

Comments can be made at:

- SOS Aloha,
- Aloha On My Mind,
- My guest posts at the Reading Reviewer (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) at

I'll post the winners of March Madness on Monday, April 2.