Saturday, June 16, 2012

Trooping the Colours with the Regency Rockstars!

The Diamond Jubilee is first of the trifecta of celebrations in London this summer. The second is the annual Trooping the Colours.  From the Trooping The Colour (at this link),

The custom of Trooping the Colour dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th. Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle and were therefore trooped in front of the soldiers every day to make sure that every man could recognise those of his own regiment. In London, the Foot Guards used to do this as part of their daily Guard Mounting on Horse Guards and the ceremonial of the modern Trooping the Colour parade is along similar lines. 

To celebrate the Trooping the Colours, let's play eight degrees of separation with the Regency Rockstars - Vicky Dreiling and Kieran Kramer:

1. Trooping the Colours dates back to Charles II.

2. Charles II rebuilt Windsor Castle during the Restoration, creating the Baroque interiors that are admired today.

3. From Vicky's website bio, "Triple RITA® finalist Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile ... She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle."

4. From Kieran's website bio, "Double Rita®-finalist and USA Today bestseller Kieran Kramer is the author of the lighthearted Regency historical romance ... a former CIA employee ... and game show veteran."

FAMILY FEUD with Loni Anderson and Frank Bonner

5. My favorite game show is Family Feud.

6. Family feuds erupted in the House of Hanover - the Prince of Wales' extravagant lifestyle placed him at odds with his father, George III, his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, and even Parliament.

7. The Prince became the Regent and gave his name to an era that was plagued by Napoleon.  Ultimately, honor, courage, and the stiff upper lip defeated him.  With the Little General exiled, British architecture, literature, fashion, and culture thrived.

8. The Regency Rockstars - Vicky and Kieran - incorporate all that we love about the Regency Era into their passionate romances.

To learn more about the Regency Rockstars, check out their website at  In honor of the the Trooping the Colours, I am giving away a special treat - winner's choice of an autographed book from Vicky or Kieran.  I will see both during RWA's Literacy Signing on July 25 in Anaheim!  To enter the giveaway,

- Leave a comment about the Regency:  what attracts you to it?   

- This giveaway is open to all readers.

- Comments are open through Saturday, June 23, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 24.


Kim in Hawaii



Friday, June 8, 2012

Guest review: SEAL TEAM SIX OUTCASTS by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin

When the USS Carl Vinson recently docked in Pearl Harbor, I signed up for the public tour.   Our guide stated that she could answer almost any question ... but one notable "kapu" (forbidden) was the Navy SEALS' mission to capture Osama bin Laden.   Following this mission, SEALS are a hot commodity.   Timing is everything ... and SEAL TEAM SIX:  MEMOIRS OF AN ELITE NAVY SEAL was previously scheduled to be released shortly after this mission.  Written by former Navy SEAL Howard Wasdin and former Navy SEAL trainee Stephen Templin penned, the memoir shares details of a SEAL's training, mission, and life.    

One year later, Wasdin and Templin teamed up again for a fictional story of those who become SEAL outcasts ... but continue to serve:

Alex Brandenburg: SEAL Chief Petty Officer and Outcasts Team Leader. Disobeyed direct orders by refusing to let a deadly terrorist live to kill another day. Francisco “Pancho” Rodriguez and John Landry: SEAL Petty Officers First Class. Took the pursuit of justice into their own hands with explosive results. Catherine “Cat” Fares. Navy Petty Officer. Holds an unbeatable record for pissing off the top brass with her strongly stated opinions on the combat readiness of women.

The team’s mission: Take out the seven terror merchants vying to take Bin Laden’s place. The team’s status: Expendable.

With no official support from their government and no one to rely on but themselves, the Outcasts must track down each target. Hot on the tail of the third, Brandenburg and the team start to realize that they are closing in on a larger plot, one that puts the security of the United States in dangerous jeopardy. The terrorists are threatening American territory once again, and the Outcasts will have to do what SEALs do best. Whatever it takes to keep their country safe. 

I requested to review this book.   When it arrived, I placed it atop my TBR pile ... but my fourteen year old son absconded with it.   So today I interview Andrew for his perspective of SEAL TEAM SIX OUTCASTS.

Kim:  What interested you in this book?

Andrew:  The title caught my eye.

Kim:  So what did you think of the story?

Andrew:  It was fast read with non stop action.   The book opens with Brandenburg's perspective that SEALs are obsessed with equipment.  The wrong equipment could give the enemy an advantage.   I was also drawn into the moral dilemma of following rules versus taking initiative to do what seems to be right.

Kim:  How did you relate to the characters?

Andrew:  The obvious is that I am a military brat and the characters are military veterans.  I have moved several times and traveled throughout Europe, so I connected with the outcasts' constant movement.  I sometimes get frustrated with bureaucracy and the outcasts had anti-bureaucracy views.   

Kim:  Who do you think would enjoy reading this book?

Andrew:  The same people who enjoy an inside look into how the military operates, especially under duress.   

Mahalo, Andrew, for joining us today!   I am giving away a print copy of SEAL TEAM SIX OUTCASTS to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Do you have a favorite fictional character with Black Ops experience?  

I did not read the Bourne books, but I enjoyed the movies with Matt Damon.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, June 16, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 17.


Kim in Hawaii

Check out my pictures from the USS Vinson here and here.

'Olelo Ku'i'o - Requesting Reviews, Promotional Opportunities, Giveaway Guidelines, and Disclosure Statement

'Olelo Ku'i'o translates as "true statement" - the Hawaiian equivalent of here's how my blog works! 

1.  Requesting reviews:  I do not have an ereader (or even a Smartphone).  Yeah, yeah, I'm a dinosaur and proud of it!   

I prefer to review print books of historical romance, contemporary romance, and women's fiction.   Sometimes I review romantic suspense and paranormal romance.    

Occasionally I review PDFs to support authors with military connections.

2.  Promotional Opportunity:  If you are interested in promoting your book (with or without a review), just ask!  If I can rotate you into the schedule, I will.  I prefer you offer a giveaway during your promotional visit.

3.  Giveaway Guidelines:  When I offer a prize, I identify the guidelines on the post.  If you do not receive a prize you won from an author, publisher, or me, I will make every effort to offer a substitute prize.

4.  Disclosure Statement:

I am military spouse, romance reader, and community volunteer.  I write SOS Aloha as a means to exercise my brain, practice grammar, and  maintain keyboard proficiency.  I attend as many conventions as possible, including RT, RWA, RomCon, etc.   I bring home the convention swag - books and promos - to giveaway on my blog.   I bear the cost to mail these items home and to the winners.    I am not compensated by any convention for promotion nor does the swag influence my opinion of conventions.

I host authors' and publishers' giveaways.  They do not provide any financial compensation nor do their giveaways influence my opinion of their books (should I post a review).    Most authors and publisher mail the books directly to the winners.

I adopted the creed of Duke Kahanamoki, Olympic athlete and surfing enthusiast:

In Hawaii we greet friends, loved ones or stranger with Aloha, which means with love.  Aloha is the key work to the universal spirit of real hospitality, which makes Hawaii renowned as the world's center of understanding and fellowship.  Try meeting or leaving people with Aloha.  You'll be surprised by their reaction.  

I believe it is my creed.

Aloha to you.


Kim in Hawaii

The Duke (end of middle row) with friends.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Just in time for Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee - English author Jayne Fresina joins me for a cozy chat to celebrate her new novel, THE MOST IMPROPER MISS SOPHIE VALENTINE!  From her bio,

Jayne Fresina sprouted up in England, the youngest in a family of four girls. Entertained by her father’s colorful tales of growing up in the countryside, and surrounded by opinionated sisters— all with far more exciting lives than hers— she’s always had inspiration for her beleaguered heroes and unstoppable heroines. Visit for more information. 

Kim:  We are Anglophiles at SOS Aloha! I saw on your website that’s where you are from! Can you share your corner of England - your favorite sight, smell, and sound?

Jayne:  I am from a town called Huntingdon in East Anglia. If you know who Oliver Cromwell was, that's where he was born. I can still smell the Saturday market in the town square. That may sound strange as not all the smells were good, but it brings me back to my childhood and going to buy sweets at the market! Also - and I know this sounds even odder - I used to spend a lot of time wandering around churchyards, so the smell of damp, mossy stone always reminds me of home too. And the cooing of woodpigeons on a lazy afternoon. I loved watching and feeding the swans on the river, taking family trips to look at ruins and walks along the river bank on Sundays. Our father taking us to watch him fish, while we sat on a freezing cold beach, watched grim, gray waves and felt rain pelting us in the face. Those are my best memories of home. 

Kim:  I am curious about those opinionated sisters - have they influenced (or inspired) your writing?

Jayne:  They would like to believe that they're the heroines in my books. Ha ha! I do actually use bits and pieces of people in some of my characters, but I doubt they would recognize themselves. I always tell one of my sisters that she has a "bit" part in my latest book. Just a small part. That makes her sulk. I joke that she gets typecast. We were all big readers growing up and we had wild, inventive imaginations, so I suppose all that rubbed off on me. As a writer I think everything I have experienced is somewhere in my books. Most of the time I don't even know it's there until someone points it out to me. 

Vittorio Reggianini's THE LETTER.


Jayne:  Sophie Valentine is in danger of becoming an old maid. She's almost thirty, scarred, and hides herself away in a small country village where she lives with her brother and his wife. But despite her meek appearance she has a streak of willfulness that she can't seem to tame and it comes out at the most unpredictable moments. One day, fed up with her sister-in-law's nagging, she decides to advertise for a husband in the local farmer's gazette. She regrets this impulsive act as soon as it's done, but she can't take the advertisement back. The best she can do is own up to the prank and hope no one answers it. Along comes the mysterious, handsome stranger Lazarus Kane and he isn't about to let Sophie change her mind about needing a husband, no matter what she does to put him off. 

Kim:  What's next for Jayne Fresina

Jayne:  I just finished working on the sequel - THE WICKED WEDDING OF MISS ELLIE VYNE - which is all about Sophie's best friend falling in love with her childhood nemesis. Next I'll be finishing off the third book in the series - LADY MERCY DANFORTHE FLIRTS WITH SCANDAL

Mahalo, Jayne, for taking time from the Jubilee Celebrations to join us at SOS Aloha!  I posted my review on Amazon at this link and Goodreads at this link.  Sourcebooks is giving away a print copy of  THE MOST IMPROPER MISS SOPHIE VALENTINE BY JAYNE FRESINA – IN STORES JUNE 2012:

"Wanted: one husband, not too particular. Small dowry, several books, sundry furnishings, and elderly aunt included. Idlers, time-wasters, and gentleman without other attachments need not apply."—Miss Sophie Valentine


Sophie Valentine knew placing an ad for a husband in the Farmers Gazette would bring her trouble-and she was right. When the darkly handsome, arrogantly charming Lazarus Kane shows up on her doorstep, the nosy residents of Sydney Dovedale are thrown into a gossiping tizzy. After all, it's common knowledge that Sophie is a young lady In Need of Firmer Direction. But even Sophie isn't so scandalous as to marry a complete stranger. .. is she?


Lazarus Kane has been searching for Sophie half of his life. She may not remember him, but he could never forget her. But the past is a dangerous thing, and it's best if his remains secret if he wants to tempt Sophie with ... 


To enter the Sourcebooks giveaway, leave a comment about the most daring thing you have done - leap off a balcony?  Flirt with a younger man?  Read a scandalous book hidden under a dull cover?

This giveaway is open to US residents only.  But I will give my ARC to one international reader.  Comments are open through Saturday, June 9, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 10.


Kim in Hawaii

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Remembering D-Day

Captain Miller:  James ... earn this.  Earn it.

A generation later, James at Captain Miller's grave:  My family is with me today. They wanted to come with me. To be honest with you, I wasn't sure how I'd feel coming back here. Every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. And I've tried to live my life the best I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that at least in your eyes, I've earned what all of you have done for me.


On this day in 1944, the Allies commence Operation Overlord by landing at five beaches in Normandy - Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.   Nicknamed D-Day, it became the largest amphibious operation in military history. 

In remembrance of this day, I offer you several links to those who have earned it:

From Tamara, a Navy surgeon and romance reader,

One of our beautiful Navy nurses here at Bethesda was diagnosed with breast cancer and her inspirational story that originally just aired on the military channel is up for an Emmy!   

Here's the link.  

I am proud to share that my friend was recognized by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).  From this link,

5/1/2012 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Lt. Col. Gregory Baxley, 445th Airlift Wing Judge Advocate Office, and Col. Stephen Goeman, 445th AW commander, congratulate Mary Ann Wilsbacher, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trustee, for receiving the Above and Beyond Award at the Ohio ESGR 2012 Annual Employer Recognition Dinner March 31. Wilsbacher is the employer of Senior Airman Matthew McDonald and Maj. Jeremy Flannery, both from the 445th Airlift Wing Judge Advocate General Office. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris)

Finally, Operation Paperback connects book donations with deployed personnel.  These tireless volunteers recently received an unusual request - twin sheets!   If you would like to participate in the book donation, contact Operation Paperback, check out their website at   If you are interested in mailing twin sheets to an APO address, contact me at

Have you visited any famous battle ground?   One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash.  This giveaway is open to all readers.  Comments are open through Saturday, June 9, 10  pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 10.


Kim in Hawaii

The Might Mo salutes those who earned it.