Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Twelve Days of New Adult Giveaway Hop with Chanel Cleeton and FRENCH KISSED

I have a secret to admit - I'm a virgin to New Adult.  I might be tempted by Chanel Cleeton's FRENCH SCHOOL, Book 3 in the International School Series.  Chanel joins me for a cozy chat ...

Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in Asia.


Chanel Cleeton

Kim:  London! What is your favorite sight, sound, and smell from London?

Chanel: Ooh this is such a hard question for me! Smell is probably the easiest :) I really miss the smell of Shawarma from Ranoush, my favorite Lebanese restaurant in London. I tried Lebanese food for the first time when I moved to London and I fell in love. My favorite sound is probably all the different languages you hear walking down the street. I miss the diversity of being around people from different cultures and getting to learn from their experiences. My favorite sight is probably the hardest. It's such a beautiful city and I have so many memories there. I lived in Kensington for three years, so the neighborhood is probably my favorite sight. It still feels like home :)

Kim:  South Korea! I know it is very different from the US and the UK. Can you share a funny adventure from ROK?

Chanel:  There are SOOO many. The language barrier has really been a challenge, so I'm constantly confused. I think driving has probably been the hardest for me. I was taking my dogs to the vet one time and I took a wrong turn that led to a two hour detour. I ended up driving around a really rural part of Korea and couldn't find anyone to ask for help to figure out where I needed to go. It's funny now, but at the time I was convinced I would never get home!

Kim:  Now that you have a three book series under your belt, what have you learned about publishing, your fans, and yourself as a writer?

Chanel:  This has been the most incredible experience, beyond anything I ever imagined. I don't think you can ever be prepared for the feeling you'll get when you hear from a fan who has loved one of your books. I am so grateful that readers are enjoying these books. I've also been so fortunate to find a wonderful group of bloggers who have really supported each release. Publishing can be a bit of a roller coaster at times, but having great readers and friends make the journey amazing. I've been so surprised by how supportive the writing community is, and have been lucky to find a fabulous group of writer friends who keep me sane. Having a support network of writers in similar stages of their careers is invaluable. I never realized how much I would come to rely on that support.

Kim:  Tell us about your current NA series, International School?

Chanel: My International School series is set at an international university in London. The first two books follow Maggie, an American student, through her first two years at university. She makes an amazing set of friends and finds herself falling for Samir, the half French, half Lebanese boy who is everything she never knew she wanted. Book three, FRENCH KISSED, is the story of Maggie and Samir's best friend, Fleur, finding her own happy ending. It's been a really fun series to write because I attended an international university in London, so in many ways it feels like returning to my roots :)

Kim:  What's next for Chanel Cleeton?

Chanel: FRENCH KISSED is my next release and it will be out December 1st and will wrap up the International School series. After that, I'm SO excited to start a new series set in Washington D.C. The Capital Confessions series is set for three-books and will be released by Penguin/Berkley starting with FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL in May 2015. It's a NA contemporary romance series that combines a coming of age story against steamy backdrop of political scandal and intrigue. Each book can be read as a standalone and the series follows three sisters following their professional dreams.


Mahalo, Chanel, for your service as a military spouse!   I am giving away "international swag", spanning from London to Korea, to celebrate the release of FRENCH KISSED:

On the surface, Fleur Marceaux has it all. If only the facade matched reality. With one year left at the International School in London, Fleur’s struggling to graduate, her love life is a mess, and she can’t stop thinking about Max, her ex-boyfriend’s best friend. But all that pales compared to the blackmailer determined to destroy her.

There’s a social hierarchy at the International School and Max Tucker is outside the velvet ropes. After watching Fleur break his friend’s heart, Max knows to stay away from trouble, despite the crush he’s had on her since freshman year. But when they’re partnered on a project, Max learns there’s more to Fleur than meets the eye, and she just might be worth the wild ride.

The more time they spend together, the further Max falls. And when a kiss awakens a passion Fleur never imagined, she’s unable to resist Max, who she had thought was all wrong for her but might be the only thing that’s right. But will he stand by her when her secrets are revealed?

Don’t miss the final book in the International School series. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 17 and up.

To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about London, the Caribbean, or South Korea - what do you know about these places?  Have you visited them? 

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 13, 10 pm in Baltimore. 

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 14.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Follow the giveaway hop at this link.   Thanks to Valerie at Stuck In Books for coordinating this hop.

Check out my pictures of South Korea on my travel blog, ALOHA ON MY MIND, at these links (my family visited my husband in May/June 2013 at the end of his one year tour at Osan Air Base).

Aloha from Korea! link
Aloha to Songtan - A Shopping Adventure link
Aloha from Korea - Task Force Smith Heritage Trail link
Aloha to Seoul - Itaewon Shopping District link
Aloha to the Seoul Fortress and Deoksugung Palace link
Commemorating Memorial Day in the Republic of Korea link
Aloha to the Bosingak Belfry and Bell Ringing Ceremony link
Aloha to the Han River - Gangnam Style link
Aloha to the Jogyesa Buddhist Temple link
Aloha to the Gyeongbok Royal Palace link
Aloha to Tapgol Park, National Treasures, and Insadong Shopping link
Snapshots from Seoul (part 1) link
Snapshots from Seoul (part 2) link
Honoring the DMZ - Imjingak link
Honoring the DMZ - Tunnel No. 3 link
Honoring the DZM - Dora Observatory link
Honoring the DMZ - Dorason Station link
Honoring the DMZ - Joint Security Area link
Aloha to Korea - Squadron Spirit! link
Aloha (goodbye) Seoul - The Soul of Asia link

December rings in the Holiday Spirit

12/1: Twelve Days of New Adult Romance with Chanel Cleeton's FRENCH KISSED
plus Jessica Scott's ALL FOR YOU
12/2: Susanna Fraser's A CHRISTMAS REUNION
12/3: Collette Cameron's TRIUMPH AND TREASURE

plus State of Romance - Tennessee
12/4: Regan Walker's THE TWELTH NIGHT WAGER
plus Kara Braden's THE DEEPEST NIGHT
12/5: Dee DeTarsio's GINGER KRINGLES
plus Jayne Fresina's SINFULLY EVER AFTER
12/6: Celebrate Little Victories
12/7: Weekly Winners
and Remembering Pearl Harbor Day
12/8: Charlene Groome's COLD AS ICE
plus Diana Cosby's AN OATH TAKEN
12/10: State of Romance - Mississippi
12/11: Gina Danna's LOVE & RECKONING
12/13: Celebrate Little Victories
12/14: Weekly Winners
12/15: Larissa Ione's REVENANT
plus Kelly Bowen’s I’VE GOT A DUKE TO KEEP ME WARM
12/16: Nancy Lee Badger's SHIVER
12/17: State of Romance - North Carolina
plus Jacki Delecki's A CHRISTMAS CODE
12/20: Robyn Neeley's CHRISTMAS DINNER
12/21: Weekly Winners
12/22: Colleen Shannon's FOSTER JUSTICE
12/23: Thoughts of the Season ... The Three Mr. Cs
12/24: State of Romance - Washington
12/25: Christmas
12/26: Boxing Day
12/27: Celebrate Little Victories
12/28: Weekly Winners
12/29: Monday Night Romance
12/30: Sherri Browning's AN AFFAIR DOWNSTAIRS
12/31: State of Romance - West Virginia

1/1: New Year's Day
1/2: Toni Blake's LOVE ME IF YOU DARE
1/3: Celebrate Little Victories
1/4: Weekly Winners
1/5: Grace Burrowes' A SINGLE KISS (review)

plus Julia Tagan's STAGES OF DESIRE
1/6: Tracy Solheim's BACK TO BEFORE
1/7: State of Romance 
plus Adrienne Giordano's THE MARSHAL
1/8: Fiona Lowe's MONTANA ACTUALLY

plus Julia London's ONE MAD NIGHT
1/9: Grace Burrowes' A SINGLE KISS (spotlight)
1/10: Celebrate Little Victories
1/11: Weekly Winners
1/14: State of Romance

plus Misty Evans' DEADLY FORCE
plus Linda Broday's TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE
1/15: Michele Gorman's THE CURVY GIRLS CLUB (Global release)
1/16: Christi Caldwell
1/17: Celebrate Little Victories
1/18: Weekly Winners
1/19: Rebecca York's PRIVATE AFFAIR

plus Cate Masters' TWICE IN A BLUE MOON
1/20: Robin Kaye's A LITTLE ON THE WILD SIDE
1/21: State of Romance
1/22: Laura Griffin's BEYOND LIMITS
1/23: Captivated By His Kiss Anthology
1/24: Celebrate Little Victories
1/25: Weekly Winners
1/26: E. E. Burke 


1/28: Candis Terry
1/29: Grace Burrowes' THE FIRST KISS
1/30: Rachel Lacey's FOR KEEPS
1/31: Celebrate Little Victories

2/2: Joanne Kennedy's HOW TO KISS A COWBOY

plus Jane Goodger's SPINSTER BRIDE
2/4: State of Romance
2/5: Jill Mansell
2/6: Terry Spear's JAGUAR PRIDE
2/7: Celebrate Little  Victories
2/8: Weekly Winners
2/9: Victoria Vane's ROUGH RIDER
2/10: Nancy Naigle's BAR-B-QUE AND BAD NEWS

4/10:  Maggie Mae Gallagher's ASCENDED

5/26: Ella Quinn's A KISS FOR LADY MARY
6/15: Debra Holt's HIS COUNTRY BRIDE

Aloha to Marina Adair and SUGAR'S TWICE AS SWEET


SUGAR'S TWICE AS SWEET by Marina Adair (November 25, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $6.00)

He's trouble she doesn't need . . .
Thanks to a cheating fiancé, Josephina Harrington's perfect life just crashed and burned. Moving in with her overbearing parents is definitely not an option. No, she needs to prove she can make it on her own. And she will-by turning her great-aunt's old plantation house into a destination getaway. She's just not expecting her contractor to be so hands-on-and so totally irresistible.

. . . but everything she wants

Bad-boy golf champion Brett McGraw figured his hometown of Sugar, Georgia was the perfect place to lay low and get his life back up to par. The leggy blonde with a pint-sized pup is the kind of sweet 'n sassy trouble he never saw coming. She doesn't know a nut from a bolt and before long, he's renovating her house . . . as she steals his heart. Can he convince Josephina that his womanizing ways are in the past and he's ready for forever?

Marina Adair is a lifelong fan of romance novels. Along with the Sugar series, she is also the author of the St. Helena Vineyard series. She currently lives in a hundred-year-old log cabin, nestled in the majestic redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with her husband and daughter.

As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive. She also loves to interact with readers and you can catch her on Twitter at @MarinaEAdair or visit her at


Marina offers an excerpt ...

A heat passed through her eyes that told him she liked his touching her, liked being with him. Determined to find out just how much she liked his hands on her, he tightened his grip on her hip, shifting closer until they brushed up against each other. He dipped his head, just enough to let her know his intent.

Her breath caught and suddenly their mouths were only a fraction apart. Their gazes held, neither talking, just sharing breath.

“Brett,” she whispered again, her voice a little thick. “We shouldn’t. I just got out of a relationship and you, well, it’s weird that I don’t even know you but I’ve seen your tattoo and…”

Brett smiled. So she had seen the video. Paid close enough attention to notice his tattoo, which meant she was staring in the vicinity of his ass. He didn’t know if that was a good thing or not. But her dilated eyes and shallow breathing were.

It was the damnedest thing, they were barely touching and yet he was reacting as if they were naked and pressed against each other. Maybe this was what he needed, one night to get her out of his system, then he could forget about this crazy attraction and go back to lying low.

Just one night.

He lowered his head and she went up on her toes. Her eyes fluttered shut. He wasn’t sure who started it, but suddenly they were kissing, her arms on his chest, his in her hair. Their lips brushed once, and then some more. Tender little kisses that made his chest tight and his jeans even tighter.

She gave a small purr of approval that was pretty much his undoing. She didn’t grab or demand, instead cuddling into him all soft and vulnerable. So damn vulnerable. With another sexy sigh she pulled back, just enough so that they weren’t kissing but were sharing breath, staring into each other’s eyes. Hers were huge and unguarded, showing him every damn thing she was feeling.

Brett tensed, waiting—hoping like hell—for her to push him away. End this and give him an easy out.

Too bad nothing about her was easy. She wrapped her arms around his middle, pulling him close enough to bury her head in his chest, and her whole body melted into his. That one move changed the game.

He stood there, stock-still, his hands at his side. His brain raced, trying to figure out what she needed from him. Apparently, it was a hug, because when he wrapped his arms around her, she let go a warm sigh that went all the way to his heart. She held on to him as if she were afraid there was somewhere else he’d rather be. Which should have terrified him, because there wasn’t. He could stand there all night and just hold her, listen to this soft little sounds of hers, which turned him on almost as much as her mouth.

A sure sign that was he was in trouble.

A lot of trouble. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Weekly Winners

I am a winner during my Thanksgiving Day visit to NYC for the Macy's Parade (link) and Rockettes' Spectacular (link).  

We also have winner at SOS Aloha!

- Janice wins Regency Swag from me.


Shannyn Schroeder's HER WINNING FORMULA
- BN100 wins a digital copy from Shannyn.

- Kim H. wins holiday swag from me.


Eileen Dreyer's TWICE TEMPTED
- Catslady wins a print copy from Eileen.

- LSU wins Highlander swag from me.

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


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Friday, November 28, 2014

Aloha to Shelley K. Wall and FIND ME

How to Catch a Man?

by Shelley K. Wall

How do you catch a man these days? Hmmm, well according to Amanda Gillespie, you let him convince you to date his best friend. And if that’s not enough, you let him talk you into doing things you were never meant to do simply because he needs your help. Things like rock climbing and hiking and sleeping under the moonlight on the side of a mountain. Ugh, all very nasty things for a non-outdoorsy attorney. Not to mention, seeking out missing heirs to a property which also happen to be missing heroes.

Why does Amanda agree to this nonsense? Because her friend Jackson wants her to help him solve a very confusion legal matter that threatens the financial stability of his father’s company.

Why does Jackson choose Amanda when there are plenty of attorneys in Houston available? Because whether he realizes it or not, he’s missed her like crazy for years—and as much as he hates seeing her with his best friend, it’s better than not seeing her at all. He’s already done that.

Find Me Blurb

Jackson was good at pushing Amanda’s buttons – making her do things her sensible mind abhorred—but was cheating on a friend part of the agenda? Would he go that far? When his best friend has the girl he’s always wanted, how far will Jackson go to tempt her away?

Jackson Holstenar owes his childhood to his best friend Carter, the closest thing he’d had to a brother. Amanda Gillespie’s in serious need of adventure—according to her friend Darlene. After losing her job a year earlier then hiring on with another law office, she hasn’t taken her eyes off work in months. Until the man behind her job loss shows up at the adventure club meeting Darlene dared her to attend—Jackson Holstenar.

When Jackson’s father suffers a stroke, he has to drop his carefree attitude and take over the family company’s helm. He turns to Amanda to help unravel a contract problem at work and fixes her up with his best friend who’s ready to start a relationship. Can Jackson work alongside her again without losing her?

Can Amanda keep her work life out of her personal life and keep Jackson on the friendship track?

Amazon link
Barnes & Noble link
Kobo link

Winter camping in Maryland

Shelley grew up in Missouri, graduated from Oklahoma State University, and took post graduate courses from OSU and the University of Wyoming. She's a member of RWA, Sisters In Crime (SinC), The Literary Guild, and Houston Writer’s Guild. She writes daily, striving to perfect a voice that supplies enjoyable and romantic reads. She has yet to meet a person she doesn't like or a job that's not worth enjoying. She writes with humor, drama, and a desire to share life's precious moments. Shelley currently lives in Texas with her family.

Shelley is giving away a digital copy of FIND ME to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about "sleeping under the moonlight on the side of a mountain" - love it or skip it?  My kids like camping but I prefer a cabin. 

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 7.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Camping in Hawaii typically involves the beach ....

Aloha to Jennifer Delamere and A BRIDE FOR THE SEASON

Jennifer Delamere joins us for a cozy chat to celebrate A BRIDE FOR THE SEASON:

The youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist, Jennifer acquired a love of adventure and an excitement for learning that continues to this day. She's lived in three countries and traveled throughout the U.S. An avid reader of classics and historical fiction, she also enjoys biographies and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in her books. She resides with her husband in North Carolina --where, when not writing or dreaming up romantic adventures for her characters, she can be found fantasizing about her next ski trip or European vacation.


Kim:  What do the lyrics from Anchors Aweigh mean to you?

Jennifer:  It’s a rousing song, isn’t it? I love the last line: “Faith, courage, service true, with honor over all!” My dad was a Naval officer, and I know he gave his best in many different capacities. I’m proud of his service.

Kim:  What draws you to Victorian England?

Jennifer:  I love the energy and the industry of the Victorians, particularly in the period of 1850-1870. People often think of the Victorians as stodgy and repressed. But in the early part of Victoria’s reign, a better description is energetic, inquiring, and multi-talented. Those years saw the widespread development of railways, steamships, the telegraph, and photography. I love being able to include these “new” inventions in my books! In A Bride for the Season, a mutual fascination with photography plays a fun role in bringing James and Lucinda together.

Kim:  Congrats on your Maggie. Where is she now?

Jennifer:  Thank you! It was a thrill to win, to be sure. The Maggie award is actually a lovely sterling silver medallion with a magnolia flower on it. I enjoy wearing it often!


London's most scandalous bachelor has finally gone too far. Caught in a situation that was innocent but too compromising, James Simpson is forced to admit that he must do the honorable thing and marry the lady. Unfortunately, marriage alone will not be enough to appease her father. He won't agree to a dowry unless James can find a suitable husband for the lady's elder sister-the shy and awkward Lucinda Cardington.

Lucinda doesn't care that she is close to being "on the shelf"; she has more serious pursuits in mind. She enjoys the friendship she and James share over their love of photography, but she leaves dreams of romance to silly young ladies like her sister. James does manage to find a match for Lucinda, and his efforts to get them together are about to succeed...until James comes to the distressing realization that he doesn't want Lucinda in anyone's arms but his own.

Forever is sponsoring a giveaway at this link.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Celebrating Thanksgiving with Christopher Murphy and NASHUA


Check out my weekly column, State of Romance, at USA Today's HEA blog at this link.  This week I spotlight romance books set in New Hampshire as the Granite State has a connection to Thanksgiving.

The second largest city of New Hampshire is NASHUA ... the title of Christopher Murphy's debut novel:

Located just north of Boston, Nashua, New Hampshire, is known as a quiet city--until a series of violent murders makes front page news just before Memorial Day weekend. The brutal killings leave citizens terrified, and the NH State Police respond by bringing in an experienced investigator. Detective Sergeant John Osborne is an abrasive but competent state trooper from the major crimes unit. Osborne immediately butts heads with Detective David Boyle, his liaison to the Nashua police department. Both men begin investigating the grisly murders, which seemingly happened with absolutely no apparent connection except for the killer placing a white pillowcase over the victim's head and tying the end of it off in a knot around the neck. As if the killer didn't want to see the victims face, the skull is pummeled rendering them unrecognizable. Nothing is as it seems as both investigators clash every step of the way. Their own personal dislike and inter-departmental hostility for each other threatens to jeopardize the investigation. Ironically, both of them might actually be closer to the truth than they realize upon learning of an eerily similar crime committed in Maryland the year before. In fact, the killer has already decided that one of them must become the next victim.

Amazon link

Christopher Murphy is a former police officer and native of New Hampshire. He has been on active duty in the United States Marine Corps for the last fourteen years. He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, Donna, and their six daughters.

I am giving away "Thanksgiving" swag to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about Thanksgiving - do you have a favorite dish?   

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 29, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 30.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

State of Romance - New Hampshire with Nancy Lee Badger and MY DARK HIGHLANDER

Each week, I host State of Romance at USA Today's HEA Blog. This week, we visit New Hampshire in honor of its connection to Thanksgiving at this link

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have an extra special treat ... Nancy Lee Badger offers a guest post with gorgeous pictures of New Hampshire!

Loon Mountains

I recently traveled through New Hampshire, a state wedged between Maine and Vermont, with Massachusetts beneath, and Canada above. Fall was in the air. Could winter be far behind? Folks love its sparkling coast where Portsmouth and Dover fishermen ply their trade. The ski slopes in the White Mountains are eagerly waiting the first snowfall. Waterfalls, streams, beaver dams, and mountain lakes are filled with wildlife. 

A little history: New Hampshire is one of the 13 original states. Named after the English county of Hampshire, it once included the land we now call Vermont. These two ‘mirrored’ states are separated along the border of the Connecticut River. The state motto found on its license plates is ‘Live Free or Die’, and it is referred to as the ‘The Granite State’. New Hampshire still uses the granite profile of the ‘Old Man of the Mountain’ as their state symbol even though this huge outcropping of granite tumbled down into the valley. This happened back in May 2003 while I was at work at NH 9-1-1. I can remember the sorrow of learning this famous, ancient grouping of rock was gone, while White Mountain National Park rangers searched for any hikers caught in the disaster (no one was hurt).

Another reason that this crumbling visage hurt the state is because tourism is a major economic product. Every fall, starting in mid-September, tourists drive past where the “Old Man” used to stand, as they enjoy the changing colors of the leaves. Snowfall starts in November, and ski areas fill with visitors who enjoy brisk white slopes dotted by groves of dark green pines. Summertime brings people to their summer homes; small two room cabins on the edge of a lake or pond, or multi-million dollar mansions along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.

Ellsworth Falls

My Dark Highlander

Stranded in 1603 Scotland, veterinarian Jenny Morgan is eager to get home to New England. Hiding her ability to read auras, a powerful witch comes to her aid. All Jenny will miss is the man who stole her heart, one dark night.

Laird Gavin Sinclair has a missing brother, a murderous father, and a dark-eyed beauty on his mind. When Jenny returns to a dangerous future, he sets aside his obligations and searches for her at the New England Highland Games. Jealousy and lust ravage his dark soul, until he and Jenny fight evil together.

Amazon ebook
All Romance
Amazon Print
Barnes and Noble Print

ISBN 13: 978-1502558558

More About Nancy Lee Badger

She loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Connect with Nancy & check out her Books on her BLOG.

Dover Point Inlet

Mahalo, Nancy, for sharing your love of the Granite State with us! I am giving away "Highlander" swag to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about New Hampshire - what do you know about it?

2. Comments are open through Saturday, November 29, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 30.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Photos from Nancy Lee Badger

Monday, November 24, 2014

Aloha to Eileen Dreyer and TWICE TEMPTED

The fabulous Eileen Dreyer joins me today for a cozy chat to celebrate the release of TWICE TEMPTED.  From her bio,

A retired trauma nurse, Eileen lives in her native St. Louis with her husband, children, and large and noisy Irish family, of which she is the reluctant matriarch. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.

Dreyer won her first publishing award in 1987, being named the best new Contemporary Romance Author by RT Bookclub. Since that time she has also garnered not only six other writing awards from RT, but five RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, which secures her only the fourth place in the Romance Writers of America prestigious Hall of Fame. Since extending her reach to suspense, she has also garnered a coveted Anthony Award nomination.

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.

Kim:  Where do you keep the RITAs?

Eileen:  Actually, they're on a bookshelf in my office. Now, to be specific, it's the office where I store my research and do business. I have another little cubby where I write, because I found that when I tried writing with my awards sitting over my shoulder, they had a disconcerting habit of chuckling evilly whenever I got stuck. Kind of like, “Yeah, you thought you were so good, romance girl.” So now they laugh at my research books, and in my cubby I can't hear them.

Kim:  What Olympic sport would you be best suited to win a RITA, er, Gold?

Eileen:  I just heard my parents whimper in my head. I come from a family with five boys and athletes all around. My mom and dad coached us all in sports when I was a kid. My mom tried to teach me tennis and my dad tried to teach me golf (that experiment failed when I sent him to the ER for stitches with my backswing). And while my mom had to have me on the softball team for my unnatural ability to hit a ball (my legit batting average was in the .700s. I couldn't hit for power, but I could always dink the ball over the infield. I was lead-off hitter for five years), she put me in short-center so all the other girls could support me. I can catch a ball, but when I throw, even my four-year-old grandson says, “Oh, grandma.”

And that was as close as I got to being athletic. I was even called The Klutz in theater and asked never to dance. So I guess if they had reading, acting, singing or gardening in the Olympics, I might stand a chance to even be at opening ceremonies (I did sing the National Anthem at a minor league baseball game once—it was one of the coolest things EVER). Otherwise, my sport is watching the Olympics from my living room.

Kim:  Which movie director would you like to direct what book from your penned books?

Eileen:  Ooh, that's a good one. If I were to film any of my medical-forensic suspenses, I'd definitely want Christopher Nolan (Memento, Dark Knight, The Prestige—maybe he could also get Hugh Jackman to star...). He just has the touch for suspense.

For my historical romances, I think that the most filmable would be my first Drake's Rakes book, ONCE A RAKE, since it begins on the Eve of the Battle of Waterloo and I'd love to see that filmed. If David Lean was still directing, I'd ask him (think Lawrence of Arabia). But since Tom Hooper is directing now, I'd ask him (who did not only HBOs John Adams, but King's Speech and Les Miserables—which shows he can do scope. And might talk Colin Firth into starring as Jack, although really Hugh Jackman is Jack). If I filmed my newest book, TWICE TEMPTED, I'd ask Neil deGrasse Tyson because astronomy and science are at the heart of my heroines's lives—and I have a mad science crush on Neil deGrasse Tyson. I think he'd love to direct a movie that highlights the contributions of women to astronomy in the late 18th and early 19th century, and Fiona and Mairead Ferguson are not only witnesses but pretend participants. As for the nefarious spies chasing Fiona and Mairead and the lovely relationships they form with Alex Knight and Chuffy Wilde (yes, those who've followed my Rakes, Chuffy is one of the heroes), I figure Tyson is smart enough to ask help from Nolan (and could get Hugh Jackman, although Alex is really Richard Armitage) and maybe Jon Turtletaub, who directed one of my very favorite romantic movies, While You Were Sleeping. Easy, huh?

Thanks so much for inviting me to play. This was fun!  If you want to know more about the research for Twice Tempted, it's going up on my website

Eileen (left) with Patricia Rice and Cathy Maxwell
A good time was had by all ...


Fiona Ferguson's troubles began with a kiss . . .

It feels like a lifetime ago that Alex Knight saved Fiona from certain doom . . . and stole a soul-shattering kiss for good measure. Wanting nothing more than to keep her safe, he left her in the care of her grandfather, the Marquess of Dourne.

But Fiona was hardly safe. As soon as he could, the marquess cast her and her sister out on the streets with only her wits to keep them alive.

Alex has never forgotten that long-ago kiss. Now the dashing spy is desperate to make up for failing his duty once before. This time he will protect Fiona once and for all, from a deadly foe bent on taking revenge on the Ferguson line-and anyone who stands in the way . . .

Barnes and Noble
Google Play

I am giving away a print copy of TWICE TEMPTED to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  What is your best sport?

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 29, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 30.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 


Aloha to Julie Ann Walker and FULL THROTTLE

She Needs a Hero... 

Abby Thompson didn't sign up to be the daughter of the President of the United States. The position was forced on her by the small matter of her birth. Preferring a quiet life of study, she's content to leave the politics and the international intrigue to her father. Unfortunately, the most powerful man on the planet is sure to make enemies. When a group of armed thugs takes her hostage half a world away, demanding the U.S. government release prisoners in exchange for her safe return, she fears her father's policy of "not negotiating with terrorists" means she'll never see the shores of the Potomac again. Luckily, there's one glimmer of hope. His name is Carlos Soto. And though she abruptly ended things with him years ago, she knows now he's the only man who can save her…

Black Knights, Inc. to the Rescue...

Carlos "Steady" Soto has taken part in his fair share of dangerous missions working at the covert government defense firm of Black Knights Inc. But nothing prepared him for the emotional rollercoaster he faces when he's tasked with rescuing the only woman he ever loved-who also broke his heart. Racing against time and outmaneuvering a group of trained terrorists will take everything he's got. Plus there's the heat simmering between them which is threatening to ignite into an inferno. While ruthless enemies stalk them, they must learn to trust each other again. Even if they do make it out alive, will Abby turn her back on him... for the second time?

Goodreads link
Amazon: link
Barnes and Noble: link
iTunes: link 

Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of award-winning romantic suspense. She has won the Book Buyers Best Award, been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award. Her latest release was named a Top Ten Romance of 2014 by Booklist. Her books have been described as "alpha, edgy, and downright hot." Most days you can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.


Julie Ann is hosting a giveaway at this link .... and offers an excerpt from FULL THROTTLE:

So far, so good…

The hum of the Ducati was reassuring, as was Abby’s tightened grip around Steady’s waist. They were riding down the devil’s own washed--out, rutted, rock--filled hell of a rubber tree logging road, and for the first ten minutes of the harrowing journey, while she’d still been suffering the lingering effects of the sedative, it was just as difficult to keep her on the bike as it was to navigate the frackin’ jungle track.

But now they were clipping along at a steady, if decidedly slow, pace. No JI goons could be seen in his rearview mirrors—-though it was hard to tell exactly, given the fact that the forest encroached from both sides and above. And if his calculations were correct, a half hour or so more should see them entering the lovely kingdom of Thailand.

See, he wished he could call and tell Dan, sometimes it’s better to Lone Wolf McQuade things…

Abby squirmed against his back, interrupting his thoughts and alerting him to the feel of her supple thighs pressed against the outsides of his hips and legs. Which, in turn, immediately focused his attention on her soft breasts—-and distended nipples?—-grazing his back.

Okay, so who was he kidding? Like he hadn’t been keenly aware of each of those things since the first moment. Even while worming his way through the dense undergrowth of ferns and vines after escaping the encampment and hiking back to the Ducati, he’d been hard--pressed to concentrate on anything other than the feel of Abby squeezed all nice and tight against him. Abby’s soft skin touching his. Abby’s sweet smell—-even sweaty and bedraggled, she still emanated a soft cloud of dryer sheets and cocoa butter lotion—-filling his nose and making his head spin.


Aloha to MK McClintock and A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS


MK McClintock joins us for a cozy chat to celebrate A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS:

MK McClintock spins tales of romance and adventure inspired by the heather-covered hills of Scotland and the majestic mountains of home. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, she lives and writes in Montana.

Kim:  I am envious of your extensive travels! Can you share a funny story? I know, I know, it's hard to pick just one.

MK:  I haven’t been to nearly as many places as I would like, but I can definitely say that Scotland is my favorite thus far. There were a few interesting experiences, one of which took place as soon as I left the airport. Many Americans have stories about driving on the opposite side of the road, but boy was it an experience. Luckily I knew how to drive a manual transmission. I was very careful to stick with the speed limits, but I kept noticing that everyone else seemed to be passing me on the road. Each person who passed looked directly at me with the strangest expressions. To this day, I feel like they somehow knew I was a tourist who didn’t know what I was doing. Almost everywhere I went, I opened the door on the wrong side of the car, which isn’t embarrassing unless someone else sees. Then there was the haggis . . . it was an awesome holiday.

Kim:  Culinary school - how fun! What is your best dish to make?

MK:  O was always more into the pastry side of the business. Asking me to pick a best is a tough one, but I’d have to say chocolate croissants for pastry. For a regular dish, I’d have to go with a cast iron deep dish pizza. It’s not fancy or French, but it’s mind-blowing delicious.

Kim:  Montana - what is your favorite sight, sound, and smell?

MK:  Watching a bald eagle soar over the lake with the mountains in the background. The sound of waves crashing against the lake shore on a stormy day. The fresh scent of pine after a rain or on a snowy day.

Kim:  Tell us about A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS - what inspired it?

MK:  It’s a collection of three historical western short stories that all have a bit of sweet romance, but really focus on family and the special moments that can happen around the holiday. I really wanted to put out a Christmas book, and I had all of these stories rolling around in my mind that I could easily have put into full-length novels. I then considered a short story collection because I understand how insanely busy the holidays can get. Story lines and settings just seem to pop into my head, but those are usually inspired by places I’ve been or something I read during research. I named four of the characters after nieces, and their personalities definitely inspired their character counterparts!

Kim:  What's next for MK McClintock?

MK:  The audiobook version of A Home for Christmas is in production, and I’m hard at work on my third British Agent novel, which will be out in early 2015. I also have two more installments to my Gallagher series planned for 2015. Needless to day, I’m going to be pretty busy this winter. Lucky for me, Montana winters can be long and cold which makes for great writing weather.

Thank you so much for allowing me to visit with you and your readers today! I can’t express enough how much fun I had writing these Christmas stories, and how honored I am to be sharing them with everyone.

Mahalo, MK, for sharing your holiday cheer with us!  I am giving away holiday swag to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about your home ... how do you decorate for the holiday?

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 29, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 30.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about MK and her books at


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Aloha to Shannyn Schroeder and HER WINNING FORMULA

The Wishful Traveler

I am not well traveled. I rarely go far from home, even though there is a huge part of me that would like to. My mom took our family to Ireland and London when I was a small child. It was the year after my father had died and she wanted us to meet his family. I was so young, though, that the trip didn’t make much of an impression. We went to Wisconsin Dells once and I went to Houston with my aunt to visit another aunt (all we did was sit around the apartment).

When I turned 18, my graduation present to myself was a trip to London. I went for 2 weeks. Although I traveled alone, I was able to stay with my dad’s aunt so I didn’t have to pay for a hotel. It was a great trip. I still have vivid memories of what it was like to stand and wait for the tube or sit and people watch at Picadilly Circus. I only wish I would’ve gone to Scotland from there, spent more time exploring. Ever since then, I promised myself that one day I’d travel more.

But then there was college and then a career and marriage and kids. Having kids prompted me to do more traveling, but it was all kid-related: many trips to the Dells, a trip through central Illinois to visit 3 kids’ museums in a weekend, Indianapolis for another kids’ museum, a trip to Michigan where we rented a house walking distance from the lake, a few trips to Disney World… You get the picture. But in all of those trips, it was about making memories for the kids, not me.

As a writer, I’ve played it safe with setting. All of my single title books take place in and around Chicago because I’ve lived here my whole life. It wasn’t until I wrote my Hot & Nerdy trilogy that I left Chicago for two of the novellas, but even then, setting only played a small role. I did my research and kept it simple.

I went to RT in New Orleans last year. It was only the second time I’d ever gone on a trip without my kids. The conference was fun, for the most part, but I enjoyed walking around just experiencing parts of the city. By the time my week was over, and I was sitting in the airport, I opened a notebook and wrote an epilogue for my first book. It took place in New Orleans. The flavor of the setting was all over that short piece. I wrote about the things I saw on my walks, the food I ate, the sounds I heard, the smells I smelled. No amount of research could really give me that.

My hope as I continue to write and explore outside my comfort zone is to travel more, to make my writing more authentic. Of course, I still have my kids and travel is expensive, so I’m not sure how to make it happen, but I can wish.

What is your favorite place to visit?

Kim's photo from the Honolulu Airport
Note the surfboard case!


Spring break was supposed to be a last blast of fun for three friends before the reality of adulthood set in. But for the trio’s science whiz, it’s an education in instant attraction…

Chemistry major Felicity Stone can tell you everything about the way chemicals interact, but when it comes to social interaction, she needs schooling. Abandoned by her friends, Felicity is faced with spending spring break alone—unless she accepts a gorgeous stranger’s invitation to pose as his girlfriend at a family wedding. Not one to turn down a research opportunity, Felicity never expected it to produce such breathtaking results…

Teacher and baseball coach Lucas Tanner is fascinated by Felicity’s potent mix of spirit and scientist, not to mention her delicious curves. When Felicity asks him to return the favor by teaching her how to pick up guys, he can’t refuse—but he’s not at all happy with the idea of her using a formula for flirting on anyone but him. Can he convince her that together they have the perfect chemistry?

Kindle link
Nook link
iBooks link
Kobo link

Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the new Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends and their last spring break. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.
Goodreads link

Kim's photo of the island hopper

Shannyn is giving away a digital copy of HER WINNING FORMULA.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Answer Shannyn's question - what is your favorite place to visit?  Mine, of course, is Hawaii.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 29, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 30.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 

Kim's photo of Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore