Thursday, June 30, 2016

Celebrate Canada Week - Aloha to Toni Anderson

The Canadian flag at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic 
Image by Jared Grove (link)

I became a fan of Toni Anderson after reading DARK WATERS set in Canada's Barkley Sound. From her bio,

New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble's Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards.

A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.

Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She's addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.

Learn more about Toni and her books at

Kim: What is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of your part of Canada? 

Toni: This is tricky because I live on the cusp of the prairies and the Canadian shield. My favorite sight is probably that of huge fields of sunflowers. My favorite sound…the amazing array of songbirds we have. My favorite smell…the smell of lilac in the spring—it grows around here in mad profusion.

Kim: Can you share a unique Canadian saying or slang that resonates with you?

Toni:  I love using the term ‘tuque' for a hat :)

Kim: What would you recommend a reader to see, eat, or drink to enhance their travel experience to Canada?

Toni: In Manitoba they should go for a drive through the prairie fields to get a sense of the vastness of the place, and a feeling for how incredibly flat it is. They should stand on the edge of the Great Lakes and realize they are staring at freshwater. They should visit the Museum of Human Rights at the Forks in Winnipeg. 


DARK WATERS remains one of my favorite reads ...

Sergeant Holly Rudd arrives in the coastal community of Bamfield after local divers discover a body with a knife jutting from its chest in the waters of Barkley Sound. As she investigates the crime, Holly soon realizes the sleepy town is rife with secrets. But what unsettles her most is the residents’ insistence that she bears a striking resemblance to the victim of a murder from three decades earlier. She shrugs off the uncanny likeness as a coincidence. But her simmering attraction to Finn Carver, one of the divers who discovered the corpse, isn’t so easy to ignore.

Finn, a former Special Forces soldier, knows it’s best to keep his distance from Holly. Yet it isn’t long before they both give in to the consuming desire they share. And as the danger escalates, Finn and Holly must rely on each other to thwart the plans of a cold-blooded killer who’s intent on keeping the past buried.

Motor Lifeboat in Barcley Sound, 1907
Public Domain (link)

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about the Pacific Northwest - what do you know about it?

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

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Long Beach, British Columbia
Public Domain (link)


Washington Loves Readers Luncheon - Spotlight on Jamie Farrell

Reminder: I have a special giveaway to celebrate June at this link.

The Washington Romance Writers (WRW) are hosting their annual Reader Luncheon (link) on Saturday, October 8, 2016. I look forward to chatting with my fellow military spouse, Jamie Farrell. From her bio,

When I’m awake and not writing, I live the glamorous life of a modern mom and military wife. My children are usually well-fed, my cats have their favorite hiding spots, and my husband has a sense of humor.

That sense of humor? That’s my favorite part. I love to laugh, whether it’s at a clever book or movie, or over something one of my kids said (I know you know what I’m talking about here), or when I’m laughing at myself when I drop a full gallon of milk on the floor and it explodes and sprays everything (and everyone) within a six-foot radius. Better to laugh than cry, right?

Learn more about Jamie and his books at

Check out Jamie's latest release, SUGARED (Misfit Brides of Bliss #3)

When Chicago’s Hottest Snack Cake Heir…

Josh Kincaid went from rags to riches when he was adopted by the family who owns the Sweet Dreams Snack Cakes empire. But now the company is floundering, and Josh will do anything to save his parents the way they saved him. Including using his charm on a small-town wedding cake baker.

Takes on the Misfit Princess of the Bridal Capital of the Midwest…

Kimmie is flighty, she spouts off weird dreams when she’s nervous, and her frizzy hair and fashion sense make her the girl least likely to snare a debonair snack cake heir. But Kimmie can bake a cake that’ll make a grown man cry, and that’s exactly what Josh needs.

They Just Might Find The Recipe for Love

Josh’s plan should be easy, except Kimmie isn’t all cupcake underneath. Her cooperation comes with a price. If Josh wants to save his family’s company, he’ll have to do something he’s never done: be himself.

Cupcakes have never been so terrifying.


I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the the giveaway,

1. What's your favorite snack?  Healthy snack - pineapple rings.  No so healthy - Little Debbie Swiss Rolls.

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

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Celebrate Canada Week - Aloha to Julie Rowe

The Canadian flag at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic 
Image by Jared Grove (link)

Julie Rowe and her fellow residents of Fort McMurray, are resilient. Julie, in particular, remains cheerful despite the fire. She is participating in one of the panels I coordinated for the RWA Annual Conference (link):

The Joy of Writing (WRITER’S LIFE)
Anne Elizabeth, Kim Lowe, Cathy Maxwell, and Julie Rowe

Best-selling, award-winning, and perpetually positive authors share how they savor their passion for writing while navigating the pitfalls of the publishing industry.

From her bio,

Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “No one would believe them!” A double Golden Heart finalist 2006, Julie’s writing has appeared in several magazines such as Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living. She currently facilitates communication workshops for her local city college. Julie enjoys hearing from her readers. You can reach her at

Kim: What is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of your part of Canada?

Julie: I love the sight, sound and smells of the Rocky Mountains! There’s nothing like the clean, crisp scent of pine trees, the sound of birds and rushing water and the sight of the peaks covered in snow.

Kim: Can you share a unique Canadian saying or slang that resonates with you?

Julie: I’m sorry. I say it all the time and don’t even realize it. My kids tease me about being sorry for everything, including the weather, bad traffic, political unrest in foreign nations and the plight of Syrian refugees.

Kim: What would you recommend a reader to see, eat, or drink to enhance their travel experience to Canada?

Julie: If you could only do one thing, I would recommend flying into the Calgary airport, driving to Banff and having High Tea at the Banff Springs Hotel. 

Banff Springs Hotel, October 1929
Public Domain (link)

Juile's recent release is VIRAL JUSTICE ...

As a general's daughter, Alicia Stone has fought twice as hard for everything she's earned in the military. A Special Forces consultant with black belts in three martial arts, she's as strong as her surname implies. No one dares call her Alicia—no one but Colonel Robert Maxmillian, head of the Biological Response Team.

With Alicia at his side, Max must lead the team into northern Iraq to investigate a virus—or is it a weapon—killing the area's population. Charged with guarding his body, she can't help wanting his hands on her body. Max would be the perfect fling. But he demands more.

The heat builds between them, but danger quickly follows. As the two get closer to the source of the virus, they'll have to risk their future to outsmart a scientist with nothing to lose.

Book three of Biological Response Team


I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash. To enter the giveaway,

1. How do you take your tea - hot or cold? Milk or lemon? What flavor?  I prefer hot green tea!

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

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Aloha to Mary Jo Putney and ONCE A SOLDIER


Reminder: I have a special giveaway to celebrate June at this link.


As heir to a title and great wealth, Will Masterson should have stayed home and tended his responsibilities. Instead he went to war. Now, after perilous years fighting the French, he intends his current mission to be his last. But all his plans are forgotten when he arrives in the small mountain stronghold of San Gabriel and meets her.

Knowing herself to be too tall, strong, and unconventional to appeal to a man, Athena Markham has always gloried in her independence. But for the first time in her life, she finds a man who might be her match.

Two of a kind, too brave for their own good, Athena and Will vow to do whatever it takes to vanquish San Gabriel’s enemies. For neither will back down from death, and only together can they find happiness and a love deeper than any they'd dared imagine...

Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

Mary Jo Putney is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written over 60 novels and novellas. A ten-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won the honor twice and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. In 2013 she was awarded the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Though most of her books have been historical romance, she has also published contemporary romances, historical fantasy, and young adult paranormal historicals. She lives in Maryland with her nearest and dearest, both two and four footed.

Website | Facebook | GoodReads

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Celebrate Canada Week - Aloha to Shana Gray

The Canadian flag at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic 
Image by Jared Grove (link)

Continuing our celebration of Canada Day on July 1, Shana Gray joins us from Ontario.  From her bio,

Shana's passion is to enjoy life! She loves to travel and see the world, be with family, friends and experience the beauty that surrounds us. Much of her experiences find their way into her books.  Her stories range from scorching quickie length to longer erotic romance novellas.

She splits her time between her house in a small Ontario town with her twentysomething son's, four cats, two budgies and, as the world knows him, Meat Man's house. It's an adventurous challenge that she loves.

Learn more about Shana and her books at

Kim: What is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of your part of Canada?

Shana: I love our cottage country. I’m a country girl at heart so the forests and lakes of Ontario calls to me. The smell of the country air, heavy with forest greens and mists, is like perfume. Fresh cut hay. My absolute favourite sound in the whole world is the spring peepers – you know those little frogs with the big song? To me that is a single our winter is FINALLY over and summer on the way. They only sing for a little while and it’s usually the middle of April.. But, I also love the call of the loon. It truly signifies Ontario north.

Spring peepers - link.

Common loon - link

Kim: Can you share a unique Canadian saying or slang that resonates with you?

Shana: This is a tough one. There are lots of sayings we use that are different. How about this ...

I'm definitely going to be a Snowbird when I retire and heading to Florida is a whole lot of klicks from up here. I used to drink double-doubles but now just drink double cream. My favourite beer is Alexander Keiths or Moosehead and if it's on sale I'll get a two-four, but if I drink too much I have to go to the washroom all the time. The first time I ever got drunk was on a mickey of Southern Comfort, I was fifteen! I have a cool toque to wear in the winter when its minus 15 Celsius and friggen freezing. But man in the summertime we can get up over 30 Celcius with a humidex that make it feel like 40! Whenever I do book signings I bring chocolate loonie and toonies in my knap sack, people love them, eh!

Kim: (laughing) Thank for for an introduction to Canada! What would you recommend a reader to see, eat, or drink to enhance their travel experience to Canada?

Shana: Another great question. Canada has so much to see, eat and drink it’s hard to pin one thing down. For drinking, I’d have to say you must try our Niagara Ice Wine. It is so delicious- don’t get it confused with dessert wine…it’s SO not the same. Our beer is stronger than American beer too. Of course poutine is a must try! My favourite is crunchy golden fries, with cheese and gravy, sometimes I’ll put bacon crumbles and a bit of sour cream too. Another thing is back bacon, a very Ontario meat. To see? Algonquin Park in Ontario. It’s one of the biggest Provincial parks and will take you into our Ontario Cottage country which is a definite must see. The further north you go, the better chance you’ll have a seeing the Northern Lights. As a Canadian I’m sad to say I haven’t seen as much of my country as I should have by now. I’ve been to Banff, Calgary, Quebec and of course Ontario. There is still so much to see!

File:Algonquin Cache Lake Lookout.JPG
Algonquin Cache Lake Lookout
Creative Commons (link)

Shana caught my eye with MORE THAN A FLING from A TASTE OF PARADISE:

Lana Hunter has a few precious days in Hawaii before a big business meeting—time to relax and indulge herself. But indulgence takes on a whole new meaning when she meets dishy South African Grant Rankin. It's the perfect fling—brief and wicked. After days exploring volcanoes and nights exploring each other, how will Lana ever return to real life?


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

1. Leave a comment about what you hear in your backyard - I hear orioles! 

2. Comments are open through Saturday, July 1, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 2.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Toronto, the Capital of Canada
Image by John Vetterli (link)

Aloha to Laura Trentham and THEN HE KISSED ME (Cottonbloom Novel Book 2)


Reminder: I have a special giveaway to celebrate June at this link.

Can two hearts come together in one divided town?

As a boy, Nash Hawthorne spent countless afternoons on the Louisiana side of Cottonbloom with Tally Fournette, wading in the river, peeling oranges and catching frogs. When illness stole his mother, Nash yearned to take Tally and run away—for good. Instead, he crossed the state line to live with his aunt. It was a short distance as the crow flies, but it swept him into a whole new world…

After Nash left, Tally managed to struggle through her own losses without him. But now that she’s crossed paths with him again—at Cottonbloom College, where the grown-up, gorgeous Nash teaches history—she is reminded of their cherished youthful connection…and an attraction that has only gotten stronger with age. Between Tally’s possessive ex and Nash’s snobbish aunt, no one thinks they belong together. In a town torn apart by old resentments and rivalries, can they find their way back to the life they once shared—and turn their long-lost dreams into a real and lasting love?

Laura Trentham

I was born and raised in a small town in Northwest Tennessee. Although, I loved English and reading in high school, I was convinced an English degree equated to starvation! So, I chose the next most logical major - Chemical Engineering- and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years. Now I live in South Carolina with my husband and two children. In between school and homework and soccer practices, I love to get lost in another world, whether its Regency England or small town Alabama.

KISS ME THAT WAY, Book 1 of the first trilogy, released May 31st and has been getting incredible reviews. It's my first paperback that's been widely available at bookstores and Walmarts around the country. It is very cool to see my book between two writing idols, Lisa Kleypas and Debbie Macomber! Book 2, THEN HE KISSED ME releases June 28th, and Book 3, TILL I KISSED YOU, is out Aug 2nd! This is your perfect binge-beach read!

Learn more about Laura and her books, including excepts, at

Natchez–Vidalia Bridge over the Mississippi River
Released to Public Domain (link)

I read an ARC for TILL I KISSED YOU - loved it!  And you will love the Cottonbloom series!  I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about what you know about Mississippi, the Magnolia State, and/or Louisiana, the Pelican State.

2. Comments are open from Saturday, July 2, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha spirit in Charm City


Monday, June 27, 2016

Celebrate Canada Week with Ann Lethbridge

The Canadian flag at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic 
Image by Jared Grove (link)

July 1 is Canada Day! I invited Canadian author Ann Lethbridge to kick off our week long celebration. From her bio,

An army brat born in England and now living in Canada, Ann grew up loving history, but majored in business, with history on the side. She has a husband and two lovely daughters and a Maltese Terrier called Teaser, who likes to sit on a chair beside the computer while she works.

Her love of the past and the stories in her imagination led her to write her first novel in 2000, a never-see-the-light-of-day-effort, and after having her first book published in 2006, she knew she'd found her niche.

She loves the Georgian era, and within that, the period known as the long Regency. She also adores happy endings.

Ann Lethbridge

Kim: What is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of your part of Canada?

Ann: My favourite part of Canada are the nearby lakes in summer. There is always a lovely breeze which seems to carry its own special scent. I like to write to the sound of the water lapping against the shore and the birds chirping in the trees. I especially love to see the osprey who nest all around the lake carrying their fishy catch home to their young. We see all sorts of wild life around the lakes. One just has to sit still and a kingfisher will flash by. Or a humming bird will hover among the leaves of a nearby tree. Can you tell--I prefer the country to the town?

Kim: Can you share a unique Canadian saying or slang that resonates with you?

Ann: If someone asks you if you have seen their toque, (sounds like toook), do you know what to look for? It's a woolly hat worn in winter to keep the ears warm. There is nothing different or special about them apart from the name. Also you will find the extra letter u showing up in odd places like favourite and neighbour. We hate to see a good letter go to waste so stick it here and there wherever it will fit. 

Kim: What would you recommend a reader to see, eat, or drink to enhance their travel experience to Canada?

Ann: Canada being such a large country, it would depend on where you are, but around where I live I would have to recommend Niagara Falls and the surrounding wine country. Not only are the Falls an impressive wonder of nature but the gardens and parks around them and along the Niagara Parkway are quite lovely and not too commercialized. A trip on the 19th century Spanish Cable Car over the Niagara Gorge whirlpool is quite the adventure for those who don't mind heights. These are all summertime things to do as this is my favourite time of year though seeing trees covered in ice formed by the spray from the nearby Falls is also a remarkable sight. It always reminds me of an ice palace n a fairy story.

Canadian side of Niagara Falls, circa 1858
Public Domain (link

Ann's latest release is MORE THAN A LOVER:

Will he unlace all of her secrets?

Former captain Bladen Read knows respectable Caroline Falkner would never look twice at an illegitimate ruffian like him. But when he's suddenly thrown into the role of her protector he discovers the undercurrent of tension runs both ways…

At first Caro tries to resist the pull of attraction, for Blade is a link to the scandalous past she buried long ago to protect her son. Although when the opportunity to explore this rake's expertise in the bedroom presents itself, temptation proves too much to resist!


Learn more about Ann and her books at  I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about Niagara Falls - have you visited this famous honeymoon destination?

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

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Rainbow Bridge
Image by Saffron Blaze (link)

Aloha to Maya Rodale and CHASING LADY AMELIA (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes Book 2)

Reminder: I have a special giveaway to celebrate June at this link.

In the second novel of Maya Rodale’s enchanting Keeping Up with the Cavendishes series, an American heiress finds her reputation—and heart—in danger when she travels to London and meets a wickedly tempting rake
Terribly Improper

Lady Amelia is fed up with being a proper lady and wishes to explore London, so one night she escapes . . . and finds herself in the company of one Alistair Finlay-Jones. He’s been ordered by his uncle to wed one of the American girls. How lucky, then, that one of them stumbles right into his arms!

Totally Scandalous

Alistair and Amelia have one perfect day to explore London, from Astley’s Amphitheater to Vauxhall Gardens. Inevitably they end up falling in love and making love. If anyone finds out, she will be ruined, but he will win everything he’s ever wanted.

Very Romantic

When Amelia finds out Alistair has been ordered to marry her, he must woo her and win back the angry American girl. But with the threat of scandals, plural, looming . . . will he ever catch up to the woman he loves?

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and it wasn’t long before she was writing her own. Maya is now the author of multiple Regency historical romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Maya offers an excerpt from CHASING LADY AMELIA ...

“Ah, Lady Nansen. Lord Nansen!” The duchess and her charges paused before a couple that looked just like all the others Amelia had been introduced to: they were of an indeterminate middle age, decked in an array of brightly colored silks and satins, and honestly, a bit jowly and gray.

“I haven’t yet introduced you to my nephew and nieces.”

“And we have been dying to make their acquaintance,” Lady Nansen said, fanning herself furiously. “The ton has spoken of nothing else.”

The duchess performed the introductions. Upon meeting James, the new duke, fawning ensued.

Everyone fawned over James these days—but then when his back was turned they whispered about how his father was a horse thief and that James had been raised in the stables and how tragic it was that Durham was now in his hands.

“And Lady Claire.”

Amelia watched as they took in Claire’s spectacles and her distracted, impatient demeanor. She had not mastered the slightly vacant look of a simpering miss and with a brain as sharp as hers, never would. Amelia watched as Lady Nansen decided that Claire would never be an “incomparable,” or whatever they called the popular girls of the ton, and flitted her attention to the next sister.

“Lady Bridget.”

Amelia watched as her middle sister glided into an elegant curtsy. The duchess beamed. Lady Nansen judged.

“Your practicing is paying off,” Amelia murmured. She’d caught Bridget curtsying in front of the mirror in the ballroom for an hour last Thursday.

“Do shut up, Amelia,” Bridget said through gritted teeth. Unlike the other Cavendish siblings,

Bridget actually cared about fitting in here. She was obsessed with learning and following the rules.

“And Lady Amelia.” She gave a smile somewhere between gargoyle and simpering miss, but perhaps more on the gargoyle side of the spectrum.

“You must have your hands full, Duchess, trying to make so many matches.”

“It does give one something to do all day,” the duchess replied, with a tight-lipped smile that

Amelia dubbed the One Where I Am Smiling Even Though I Hate What You Just Said. “But I do have every confidence that they will make splendid matches. In fact, I have someone special in mind for Lady Amelia this evening.”

The duchess beamed at her charges, as if they hadn’t been foiling her every effort to marry them off. Amelia began to dread meeting “someone special.”

“I say, Duke,” Lord Nonesuch or whatever began, “do you have an opinion on any of the horses running Ascot?”

The lords always asked James for his opinion on which horse would win a race, so they might win a wager. And then they turned around and made snide remarks about his experience raising and training horses—as if he were beneath them because of this knowledge. Even though he now outranked them.

“I do,” James said, smiling easily.

“Don’t suppose you’d tell a friend who you think will be the winner?” Lord Nansen or Nancy said jovially, with a wink and a nudge.

“I might,” James replied.

This was a conversation he’d had before and Amelia had begged him to do something nefarious, like deliberately suggest a losing horse. But James refused and just smiled like he knew the winner and never said a word.

“I suppose you’re going to build up Durham’s stables,” his lordship said.

“Nansen, he doesn’t have time for horses,” his wife said in that exasperated way of wives. “He must find a bride first.”

The duchess beamed, an I-told-you-so smile.

Then Lady Nansen turned and fixed her attentions on Amelia. Her fan was beating at a furious pace.

“And Lady Amelia, have you found any suitors you care for?”

“After having met nearly all of England’s finest young gentlemen, I can honestly say that no, I have not found any suitors that I could care for,” Amelia said. “But I do have a new appreciation for spinsterhood. In fact, I think it sounds like just the thing.”

Just the thing was a bit of slang she had picked up. Sticking forks in her eye was just the thing (but only with the good silver!). Flustering old matrons with an honest and direct statement was just the thing.

Lady Nansen stared at her a moment, blinking rapidly as she tried to process what Amelia had just said.

“Well your sister seems to have snared the attentions of Darcy’s younger brother,” she said, evidently disregarding Amelia and focusing on Bridget, the one who cared about fitting in and finding suitors.

“Are Lord Darcy and Mr. Wright here tonight?” Bridge asked eagerly. Too eagerly. “I haven’t seen them.”

“It’s not a party without Darcy,” Amelia quipped.

Darcy spent the majority of every social engagement standing against the wall, glowering at the company, refusing to dance, and begging the question of why he even bothered to attend.

But that was neither here nor there and no one deigned to reply to Amelia, so she sighed and lamented her choice in footwear quietly to herself. When Lord and Lady Nansen took their leave and sauntered off, the duchess turned and fixed her cool, blue eyes on Amelia.

“You might endeavor to be a touch more gracious, Lady Amelia.”

The Duchess always said everything in perfectly worded, excruciatingly polite phrases. Translation: Lord above, Amelia, stop acting like a brat.

“I’m just . . . bored.”

And homesick. And unhappy. And dreading the future you have planned for me. And a dozen other feelings one does not mention when one is at a ball.

“Bored?” The duchess arched her brows. “How on earth can you be bored by all this?” She waved her hand elegantly, to indicate everything surrounding them. “Is all the splendor, music, and the company of the best families in the best country not enough for you? I cannot imagine that you had such elegance and luxuries in the provinces.”

Everyone here still referred to her home country as the provinces, or the colonies, or as the remote American backwater plagued by heathens, when Amelia knew that it was a beautiful country full of forthright, spirited people. It was her true home.

They operated under the impression that there was no greater fun to be had than getting overdressed and gossiping with the same old people each night, in crowded ballrooms in a crowded city.

She missed summer nights back home on their farm in Maryland, when she would slip outside at night with a blanket, to look up at the vast, endless expanse of stars.

This, no matter what the duchess said, just did not compare.

Amelia shrugged.

“We already met half these people at the six other balls we have attended this week,” she said. “The other half are crashing bores.”

Crashing bores was a phrase Amelia had read in the gossip columns. The violence of it appealed to her.

“I suppose it would be too much to ask you to pretend to act like an interested and engaging young lady.” Then, turning to Lady Bridget, the duchess said, “I daresay she couldn’t.”

With that, the duchess turned away.

She turned away, leaving the words hanging in the air, floating to the ground, just waiting for

Amelia to pounce on them.

“Well that was a challenge,” Claire said.

“I’m not certain she could manage it.” Bridget sniffed.

Really? Really?

“Is that a dare?” Amelia asked, straightening up. Oh, she would pretend all right. She would pretend so well they’d all be shocked. It would give her something to do at least. “Because I will take that dare.”

“I’d like to see you try,” Bridget replied. Then, muttering under her breath she added, “For once.”

Amelia reddened. Admittedly she hadn’t been taking this whole sister-of-the-duke business seriously. But she would show them. So instead of sticking her tongue out and scowling at Bridget, Amelia stuck her nose right up in the air and turned away.

Keeping Up with the Cavendishes Book 2

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Aloha to Lecia Cornwall and BEAUTY AND THE HIGHLAND BEAST


Reminder: I have a special giveaway to celebrate June at this link.

A Scottish Twist on a Classic Fairy Tale ...

Powerful and dangerous highlander Dair Sinclair was once the favored son of his clan, The Sinclairs of Carraig Brigh. With Dair at the helm, Sinclair ships circled the globe bringing home incredible fortune. Until one deadly mission when Dair is captured, tortured and is unable to save his young cousin. He returns home breaking under the weight of his guilt and becomes known as the Madman of Carraig Brigh.

When a pagan healer predicts that only a virgin bride can heal his son’s body and mind, Dair’s father sets off to find the perfect wife for his son. At the castle of the fearsome McLeods, he meets lovely and kind Fia MacLeod.

Although Dair does his best to frighten Fia, she sees the man underneath the damage and uses her charm and special gifts to heal his mind and heart. Will Dair let Fia love him or is he cursed with madness forever?

Lecia Cornwall lives and writes in Calgary, Canada, amid the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with four cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate Lab, and one very patient husband. She is hard at work on her next book.

Learn more about Lecia and her books at

Lecia offers an excerpt from BEAUTY AND THE HIGHLAND BEAST ... 

How had the Sinclairs heard of Moire? She was a humble soul. She kept to herself, tended the ancient spring of the goddess, and helped only those who came to her. Fear numbed the icy blast of the wind as she stared up at Carraig Brigh’s bony tower, a crooked black finger rising from a solid fist of rock.

“Ye’ve made a mistake,” she whined as they rode under the iron teeth of the gate. “I’m naught but a simple midwife.” No one listened, and the wind carried her pleas over the edge of the cliff and drowned them in the bay below.

In the bailey, men stood in the light of gale-thrashed torches. There wasn’t a friendly face among them, or a word of welcome.

Someone hauled her off the garron, kept hold of her arm as he propelled her across the bailey. The portcullis fell with a metallic squall that ended on a human note, a wail of pure agony that floated down from the tower and made Moire’s innards curl against her backbone. The clansmen shifted uneasily, crossed themselves, and turned their eyes up to the narrow window high above them. Moire’s escort grabbed a torch from the nearest man as he opened an iron-studded door and pushed her up the steps inside.

“Do you truly have magic, old woman?” he asked. “You’d best hope you can conjure a cure.”

She stumbled. A witch. They thought they’d summoned a witch.

“A midwife, just a midwife,” she protested again, panting. The curving stone steps were steep, but he gave her no time to catch her breath. Her old legs were no match for his long, muscular ones. She scrabbled at his sleeve. “Please, there’s been a mistake.”

“There’s no mistake, Moire o’ the Spring. ’Tis you and no other we were sent to fetch. The chief would summon the devil himself if he thought it could save his son.”

“What’s wrong with him?” she found the courage to ask.

He grunted. “Have ye heard of Jean Sinclair?”

“Aye, of course. The lass they called the Holy Maid of Carraig Brigh,” Moire replied.

“That’s her. She was Alasdair Og’s cousin, the chief’s niece. Padraig wasn’t pleased when she decided to take holy orders and shut herself away in a French convent.” He rubbed a hand over his face. “’Tis a sad tale. They set sail from Sinclair Bay and put in at Berwick for the night, only to be ambushed by English soldiers. Alasdair Og thought there’d been a mistake, that they’d been taken for pirates, perhaps, or kidnapped for ransom. He imagined it would be a matter of a few days’ delay, an exchange of coin, and they’d be on their way again. But they didn’t bother themselves about ransom. They took the gold Alasdair Og was carrying right enough, and the goods, and the ship, and they murdered his crew. Then they beat Alasdair Og half to death, and threw him and Jean into the dungeon of Coldburn Keep.”

Moire put a hand to her throat, a shiver racing up her spine.

“Worst of all was what they did to poor wee Jean. They raped her, tortured her, then murdered her in front of Alasdair Og. He was chained to the wall, could do nothing to help her. She pleaded with God for help. She was just a slip of a girl. They said if she was Catholic and a Highlander, then she was no better than an idolatrous witch. ’Twas hatred—not just for the Scots, but for Alasdair Og in particular. They called him a pirate, blamed him for things that had nothing at all to do with the Sinclairs. It wasn’t wee Jeannie’s fight—Alasdair told them that, but they wouldn’t listen. He lay in his own filth for a fortnight, chained, wounded, and listened while they beat her, broke her bones, tormented her. They kept him alive to hear her screams.”

“And then?” Moire asked.

The man grimaced. “They hanged her as a heretic in the courtyard, forced Alasdair to his feet, made him stand at the window and watch.” He stared down at her from the step above. “He can’t forget any of it. That’s why they call him mad—he has nightmares, feels constant pain, and starts at shadows. Can you help him?”

She blinked. Did the holy maid haunt Alasdair Og Sinclair? Perhaps it was the devil’s work after all. Moire knew little of the Christian God, either Catholic or Covenanter. She followed the ancient goddess, tended her sacred spring . . .

Another guttural scream came from the top of the tower. Moire shrank against the cold stones of the wall and made a sign against evil.

Her companion took hold of her arm again. “Come on.” He opened a door at the top of the steps, dragged her through it. The room was nearly dark, lit by a single candle—expensive beeswax—and the dull glow of a brazier in the corner. The sweet scent of the candle mixed with the dark stink of old blood, corruption, and sweat. It was a smell Moire knew. It meant illness far beyond her ability to heal, and death.

Once Upon a Highland Summer1859991321479389

Weekly Winners


Reminder: I have a special giveaway to celebrate June at this link.

We have winners at SOS Aloha!

RWA in San Diego - Carriers pull into port
- Jo's Daughter wins a book choice from my convention stash.

Washington Loves Readers Luncheon - Spotlight on Lisa Dyson
- Karen T. wins a book choice from my convenion stash.

Sherry Harris' ALL MURDERS FINAL - Book Review
- Susan P. wins a book choice form my convention stash.

All Murders Final!

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


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Aloha to Diane Kelly and AGAINST THE PAW (Paw Enforcement) - Book Review


Reminder: I have a special giveaway to celebrate June at this link.

Police officer Megan Luz and her K-9 partner are on the lookout for a convict who has been unleashed. . .

Megan has her sights set on finding a convicted burglar who’s broken his parole, and she has the perfect partner to help sniff him out. Unfortunately, her shepherd-mix Brigit’s dog bowl is already full. A Peeping Tom has been spotted in an affluent Fort Worth neighborhood―and concerned citizens are looking for a few good watchdogs…

To catch the creep, residents start enlisting volunteers to beef up their Neighborhood Watch group. Which is fine with Megan. She needs to focus on catching a burglar who’s still at large. But when the Peeping Tom patrol grows into a virtual vigilante mob, Megan and Brigit have to jump in paws first―before some very angry people take the law into their own hands…

Against the Paw is the fourth installment in Diane Kelly's Paw Enforcement series.

Dogs are miracles with paws. ~Attributed to Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy

AGAINST THE PAW falls somewhere in between with cozy mystery and romantic suspense by following Megan on patrol with Brigit by her side, smelling for the liver treats in her pocket.  Megan is a capable officer looking to advance herself to detective. Brigit is just looking for her next meal although she relishes the opportunity to sniff out the suspects. The action unfolds from three perspectives - Megan's, Brigit's, and the unknown suspect referred to as Peeping Tom.  Megan wants to protect women from the Peeping Tom who is growing more aggressive with each incident in an affluent suburb of Fort Worth.  It is clear that Megan is the brains and Brigit the brawn as they defuse a vigilante neighborhood watch, combat sexism with the police force, and search for a parolee on the run.  

The beauty of AGAINST THE PAW is Megan's "can do" attitude - she's overcome a childhood stutter; she transitions from a twirling baton to police baton with ease; and she sees through an Army veteran's PTSD to help him realize his own self worth.  The mystery of the Peeping Tom kept my attention ... I almost didn't want Megan to catch him so the book would not end. AGAINST THE PAW was heart warming, heart wrenching, and heart felt as Megan strengthens her relationship with Seth, fine tunes her skills as a police officer, and survives putting Brigit on a diet. 

AGAINST THE PAW is Book Four in the Paw Enforcement series.  Kelly provides enough back story for readers to jump into the series with any book - I enjoyed them all! 

Recommended read for fans of a heroine with flaws, a hero with baggage, and a dog with an endless appetite.

I purchased a copy of AGAINST THE PAW.

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

1. Leave a comment about your favorite four legged friend - canine, feline, feather, or gills.  We are home to four rescued cats, three which adopted us in Hawaii.

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

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more Diane and her books at