Thursday, October 31, 2013

Aloha to Pamela Sherwood and A SONG AT TWILIGHT

On this day in 1611, William Shakespeare's romantic comedy THE TEMPEST debuts at Whitehall Palace. From Wikipedia (link),

The Tempest has more music than any other Shakespeare play, and has proved more popular as a subject for composers than most of Shakespeare's plays. 

File:Miranda - The Tempest JWW.jpg
Merida - The Tempest
John William Waterhouse
Public Domain (link)

Music is the centerpiece in Pamela Sherwood's A SONG AT TWILIGHT:

A Woman with a Future

Aspiring singer Sophie Tresilian had the world at her feet—fame, fortune, and true love—until the man of her dreams broke her heart. Four years later, Sophie is the toast of Europe, desired and pursued by countless men. And then Robin Pendarvis walks back into her life . . .

A Man with a Past

Four years ago, Robin hoped to make Sophie his bride, but secrets from his past forced him to let her go. Seeing her again revives all the old pain—and all the old passion. Unable to deny the love that still burns between them, they risk everything to be together once more. But will the things that tore them apart in the past endanger their future as well?

Pamela Sherwood grew up in a family of teachers and taught college-level literature and writing courses for several years before turning to writing full time. She holds a doctorate in English literature, specializing in the Romantic and Victorian periods, eras that continue to fascinate her and provide her with countless opportunities for virtual time travel. She lives in Southern California and is currently at work on her second novel.

Pearl Harbor at Twilight

Pamela is offering a print copy of A SONG AT TWILIGHT to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about music - do you have a favorite style, singer, and/or song?   

I still listen to Hawaiian music!

2.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 9, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 10.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

To learn more about Pamela and her books, check out her social media:

Goodreads: link

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Aloha to Roxanne St. Claire and BAREFOOT BY THE SEA

This cover reminds me of Hawaii.  Perhaps that thought, and Roxanne's heartwarming romance, will sustain me through the dropping temperature in Maryland.   Speaking of Roxanne, let's play Six Degrees of Separation in honor of her new release, BAREFOOT BY THE SEA:

1.  Roxanne's bio is charming, "That year, for my twelfth birthday, my parents gave me a typewriter (with italic font – it was the coolest thing) and from that day on, I’ve had my fingers on a keyboard, pounding out love stories for fun."

2.  I learned to type at Ponce de Leon Junior High School in Miami, Florida.

3.  Again from Roxanne's bio, "I stayed in PR, moved to Miami, had a few babies, lost my home in a hurricane, built another one a few hours north and all along, I kept writing my 'stories' 
for fun."

Tropical Getaway

4.  A hurricane kicks off the action in Roxanne's debut novel, TROPICAL GETAWAY.

5.  I enjoyed an extended "tropical getaway" during our four years in Hawaii.   

6.  Roxanne is celebrating the release of Book Four in her Barefoot Bay series, BAREFOOT BY THE SEA:

When you think you know your heart's desire . . .

Tessa Galloway is a gifted nurturer-her verdant garden at Barefoot Bay's new resort is living proof. If only the woman who can grow anything could grow what she wants most: a baby. Her friends think the right guy will come along, but Tessa doesn't want to wait. All she needs is the perfect donor to make her dream come true. Then John Brown is hired at the resort. If anyone could make beautiful babies, it's this gorgeous, mysterious man. So why does Tessa suddenly find herself wanting so much more?

Can you give up all your dreams for love?

It's been three long years since John Brown had to leave his old life. Forced into the witness protection program, he's desperate to be reunited with his toddler twins. When he gets that chance, there's a catch-he must prove he's got a steady job and a new wife. Landing a gig as a chef in Barefoot Bay is easy enough. And falling for lovely Tessa is even easier. The hard part? Can he win the heart of a woman who prizes honesty-when the truth may shatter it?

In honor of BAREFOOT BY THE SEA, I am giving away a sea themed holiday ornament.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Do you type or henpeck?   

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 2, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Aloha to Elizabeth McKenna and VENICE IN THE MOONLIGHT


Did you know October 30 is Mischief Night?  From Wikipedia (link),

The earliest reference to the night is from 1790 when the fellows of St John's College, Oxford, studied a headmaster who had encouraged a school play which ended in "an Ode to Fun which praises children's tricks on Mischief Night in most approving terms".  

File:Carnaval Venecia 14feb2009.jpg
Carnival in Venice
Image by Robertito1965
Released to public domain 

Mischief runs rampant at Carnival - the setting for Elizabeth McKenna's VENICE IN THE MOONLIGHT:

A Story of Vengeance, Forgiveness, and Love

After her husband’s untimely demise, Marietta Gatti is banished from the family’s villa by her spiteful mother-in-law. She returns to her hometown of Venice and her only kin—a father she hasn’t spoken to since her forced marriage. Her hope of making amends is crushed when she learns she is too late, for he recently has died under suspicious circumstances. Grief-stricken, Marietta retraces her father’s last night only to discover someone may have wanted him dead—and she may be next. When the prime suspect turns out to be the father of the man she is falling in love with, Marietta risks her future happiness and her life to avenge the death of a man she once hated.

Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel takes you back to eighteenth century Carnival, where lovers meet discreetly, and masks make everyone equal.

Mischief in Hawaii

I posted my four star review on Amazon (link) and Goodreads (link).  I am giving away a print copy of VENICE IN THE MOONLIGHT to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Carnival is known for its masks; the heroine wears a "cat" mask as her married name is Gatta.   What kind of mask would you wear?

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 2, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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


Monday, October 28, 2013

Aloha to Eileen Dreyer and ONCE A RAKE

Back in August, I wrote that I would be attending Barbara Vey's Readers Appreciation Luncheon on April 26, 2014 (link). Readers have a chance to sign up to sit at the table with their favorite author ... and I asked readers to guess which author I chose.    I signed up to sit with .... Eileen Dreyer!  She is a dynamo in persona and a virtuoso in writing.   From her bio (link),

Eileen is an addicted traveler, having sung in some of the best Irish pubs in the world, and admits she sees research as a handy way to salve her insatiable curiosity. She counts film producers, police detectives and Olympic athletes as some of her sources and friends. She's also trained in forensic nursing and death investigation, although she doesn't see herself actively working in the field, unless this writing thing doesn't pan out.

Eileen laughs with Patricia Rice and Cathy Maxwell

Eileen is celebrating the release of ONCE A RAKE, Book Five in the Drake's Rakes series.   Eileen joins us today to talk about research through travel, "It's a filthy job, but somebody has to do it."  

When Research Is Really Tough

By the way, if you don't know me, you won't know that the title is tongue-in-cheek, because I'm about to talk of the traveling I do for my work. I know. It's a filthy job, but somebody has to do it. And every time the opportunity comes up, my hand is raised first.

I love to travel. Let's get that one out of the way quickly. I am fascinated by people, by places, by anything that is different from the rather predictable life I've led in St. Louis. Not that I don't love home. I do. But there's so much out there to see and hear and taste and smell.

And there is the secret to traveling for research(or researching so you can travel. The differences have long since blurred). When I was first learning to write, one of the most important lessons I learned was from Nora Roberts, and that was the use of senses. In every scene(but especially love scenes). For every character. I mean, even if all you're describing is a rainy day, each character sees it differently. One might look out and be depressed and cold and lonely. Another might see only relief from hard work, or harder sun.

But also, when you tell a story, especially one set in a different place or time, what sets your audience firmly in place and time? Senses. Taste, touch, smell, feel, sight. And the quickest, most thorough way for me to learn that, is to go there.

For instance, in my Drake's Rakes series, I have walked Mayfair in London. Literally. Every street. I know how Curzon Street sweeps downhill and then uphill. I know what Grosvenor Square looks like when the central garden is in bloom. I know how the floor of Berry Brothers squeaks when you walk in the door, and how the famous scales look like an iron chair.

For ONCE A RAKE, I also traveled to the Lyme Regis area on the south coast. Not only is it an area rich in fossils, but the flora and fauna are lush and lovely. The Undercliff, where Lady Clarke paints, is a jumble of ferns and elephant ears and bluebells tucked under oak and beech and fir trees. The cliffs are still uncertain, looking as if they will crumble away at any moment. The Undercliff itself was created when the land slipped in a previous century.

I traipsed across the ground and saw my Sarah and her family following the same paths. I wandered through Lyme with its impossibly steep streets and mismatched shops and stood before the old Post Office where not only Sarah, but Jane Austen posted mail. I smelled the sea and felt the damp air brushing against my face. I heard the chuckle of the waves as they slipped in over the shingle beach. And I saw that wonderful hot spring green carpet the fields, highlighted by iridescent yellow rapeseed fields. I felt the slow, steady pace of the region, where the ocean sets the clocks. And I knew how to walk in my heroine's shoes. (okay, the 600 pound pig she named Willoughby was just an added bonus. I had to look the Large Black breed up).

So, if I've done my job, I will have taken those steps and transferred each and every one into ONCE A RAKE so you can walk along. Let me know if you do. 

File:People collecting fossil in Lyme Regis at the fossil festival.jpg
Lyme Regis by John Cummings (link)
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Mahalo, Eileen, for joining us at SOS Aloha! I enjoy reading your travels on Facebook. I am looking forward to reading ONCE A RAKE as it teeters atop my TBR pile (the pile is looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa).   I am giving away a print copy of ONCE A RAKE to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Lyme Regis inspired Jane Austen's Persuasion, Henry Fielding's Tom Jones, and John Fowles' The French Lieutenant’s Woman.   Have you read any of these books or seen the film adaptations?

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 2, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

To learn more about Eileen, her books, and her travels, check out her social media:


Operation Holiday Card - 6 easy steps to cheer deployed personnel

Operation Holiday Card is now underway!   Kelley is a long time volunteer with SOS America Inc.  She manages the list of deployed personnel requesting mail.  She has two names, from separate units, seeking mail for 200+ personnel in their unit.    

How can you help?

1.  Gather a group around the table - family, friends, scouts, sports teams, youth groups, etc.

2.  Sign boxed holiday cards .... or make your own from construction paper.  Add pictures!

3.  Insert a small treat, such as tea bags, hot chocolate, Slim Jims, etc., into card.   Place card into envelope but leave blank (each POC will write in soldiers' names).

4.  Place envelopes in larger container ... I recommend the Priority Mail large flat rate boxes - they are discounted for APO addresses.

5.  Contact me at for the mailing address of the unit seeking cards.

6.  Mail box by November Wednesday, November 27, to ensure delivery by Christmas.   


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Aloha to Anne Barton and ONCE SHE WAS TEMPTED

'Tis one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall. 
- William Shakespeare 

Anne Barton was tempted at a young age to read romance. From her bio (link),

Anne Barton started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided historicals (with their balls, dukes, and gowns) were the best. So, when she had the chance to spend a semester in London she packed her bags—and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.

Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anne found her way back to writing the stories she loves and won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart®for Regency Historical Romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Her weaknesses include reality TV, cute-but-impractical shoes, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

Romance readers are blessed that Anne found her way back to Regency Historicals, especially with the Honeycote Series.  I enjoyed Book 1, WHEN SHE WAS WICKED, at this link.  I am currently reading (and enjoying) Book 2, ONCE SHE WAS TEMPTED:


…or is it? The risqué painting owned by Benjamin Elliot, the earl of Foxburn, features a stunning beauty with sapphire eyes, golden hair, and creamy skin. Ben recognizes this particular English rose the instant he meets her—though she’s wearing considerably more clothing. In person, the demure debutante is even more irresistible . . .

In desperate need of money for her sick mother, Daphne Honeycote had posed for two scandalous portraits. Now she must hide her secret to save the Honeycote family name. Ben’s possession of one painting makes him an insufferable thorn in her side—and yet he may be her best chance at finding the canvas’s companion. As she becomes drawn to the dark-tempered earl, can Daphne risk laying bare the secrets of her heart?

File:Blaas Eugene de Portrait of a Lady Pencil Watercolor Gouache.jpg
By Eugenio de Blaas
Public Domain (link)

I am offering a print copy of ONCE SHE WAS TEMPTED; to enter the giveaway,

1.  What tempts you?   Chocolate is my temptation!

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 2, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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

To All The Rakes I've Loved Before

Weekly Winners from Holiday Romance Week and NJRW Conference

We have winners from Holiday Romance Week!

- Catslady wins an Hawaiian ornament


- Penney wins a print copy

Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait

- Carol L. wins two books from Juliana Stone

The Christmas He Loved Her by Juliana Stone15746103

Michele Gorman's CHRISTMAS CAROL
- Cathy P. wins an ebook


- Dani wins a print copy

From my travel blog, ALOHA ON MY MIND, two readers win swag bags plus books from the NJRW Conference (link, link, and link):  Jane and Raonaid



Winners - please claim your prize by sending your mailing address to


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Let them eat cake ... and read books!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Aloha to Theresa Romain and SEASON FOR SCANDAL

The crisp weather in Maryland marks the arrival of the Season of Leaves .... I love the vibrant colors of the trees.   Its a great time to snuggle up indoors with Theresa Romain's SEASON FOR SCANDAL:

Unladylike Risk

Jane Tindall has never had money of her own or exceptional beauty. Her gifts are more subtle: a mind like an abacus, a talent for play-acting—and a daring taste for gambling. But all the daring in the world can't help with the cards fixed against her.

And when Edmund Ware, Baron Kirkpatrick, unwittingly spoils her chance to win a fortune, her reputation is ruined too. Or so she thinks, until he suggests a surprising mode of escape: a hasty marriage. To him.

On the surface, their wedding would satisfy all the demands of proper society, but as the Yuletide approaches, secrets and scandals turn this proper marriage into a very improper affair.

I am giving away a print copy of SEASON FOR SCANDAL to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about the Season of Leaves - do you decorate for Halloween and/or Thanksgiving?

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, October 26, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 27.


Kim in Baltimore

Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Aloha to Michele Gorman and CHRISTMAS CAROL


On this day in 1857, the Sheffield Football Club was founded, marking it as the oldest association football club still in operation.   Skate from Michele Gorman's holiday novella CHRISTMAS CAROL might appreciate this significance of this date.   

One winter wedding, two happy couples, three ex-boyfriends. And a very uncomfortable weekend.

Carol hates Christmas. Being recently dumped, she’s not crazy about weddings either. So her sister Marley’s nuptials, over the Christmas weekend, are making her positively Scrooge-like. When she arrives at the stately home in rural Scotland to find her three ex-boyfriends in attendance, Carol has no choice but to face her ghosts to discover what really happened in those relationships, learning a lot about herself in the process. As the snow falls outside and the fire crackles in the hearth, might one of the wedding guests become the harbinger of Christmases to come?

This wickedly funny re-imagining of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will warm the cockles of even the coldest heart.

Reality may be zanier than fiction as Michele herself is getting married this weekend - congratulations!   I posted my five star review on Goodreads (link).   I am giving away an ecopy of CHRISTMAS CAROL to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about your favorite Christmas story, song, etc.


2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, October 26, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 27.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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