Saturday, April 21, 2018

Aloha to National Park Week!

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Today kicks off National Park Week ... celebrating our Natural Treasures! 

April 21: National Junior Ranger Day
Junior Rangers can earn badges and certificates by learning about the park they’re in, taking part in activities, and engaging with park rangers. Junior Rangers are typically between the ages of 5 and 13, but people of all ages are welcome to participate. Learn more about the Junior Ranger Program by clicking here.

April 22: Earth Day
Ever since the very first one in 1970, Earth Day keeps getting bigger and bigger. Earth Day Network expects more than a billion people worldwide will take part this year. Nearly all our national parks have special activities and events planned.

April 29: National Park Rx Day
Every year, the last Sunday of National Park Week is designated National Park Rx Day – a day that encourages the growing movement of prescribing visits to parks, public lands, and nature to improve and maintain human health.

What's your favorite National Park?  Mine is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii - check out links on my travel blog herehere, here, here, here, and here.

One randomly selected commenter wins swag.  Comments are open through Monday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Tuesday, May 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Aloha to Cathy Maxwell and A MATCH MADE IN BED (Spinster Heiresses Book 2)


The sun has finally peeked out here in Maryland.  Let's join this heiress in hijinks, as this cover suggests, with A MATCH MADE IN BED, Book 2 in the Spinster Heiresses series ...

Once upon a time there were three young ladies who, despite their fortunes, had been on the marriage mart a bit too long. They were known as “the Spinster Heiresses” . . .

Miss Cassandra Howell is too tall, too bookish, and too smart—but she does have money and a father who wants a grand title for her. Cassandra hasn’t felt a desire to marry until she meets the sinfully handsome Duke of Camberly, who captures her imagination . . . until Soren York, Earl of Dewsberry and her family’s sworn enemy, steps in the way.

The Holwells ruined Soren’s family, and he’s lived on the knife’s edge trying to resurrect their fortunes . . . until he considers marrying the Holwell Heiress. Not only would her dowry give him the funds he needs, he has secretly had an eye on the independent-minded bluestocking since they both first realized the differences between men and women.

She likes to read; he has no patience for books. She knows little of sex; he is a man of the world and willing to school her. Her family destroyed his; his offer of marriage may be her only salvation.

Now Cassandra and Soren must learn to love each other for who they are, not what they are—and the lessons are becoming an exercise in absolute pleasure.

I love this photo of Cathy because she is laughing!

Bestselling novelist Cathy Maxwell embraces her writing romance as a way to express her belief that "loving well is the greatest adventure of all," and to explore her fascination with the Regency period.

Born in Olathe, Kansas, Cathy once called Virginia home, noting she is "a Virginian by choice, but a Kansan by nature." She is now learning how to be a Texan and feels like Austin is the perfect place for her to hone her cowboy skills. She worked in television news and spent six years in the Navy, including a stint in the Pentagon. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and a frequent speaker at writers' conferences, libraries and special events. You can always reach Cathy at

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I am giving away a "Spring is Here" swag pack to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about your bed - what makes it comfy? Mine is comfy because it always has a purring cat ready to cuddle.

2.  Comments are open through Monday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Tuesday, May 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Book 1 in the series 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Aloha Eva Gates and BY BOOK OR BY CROOK (Lighthouse Library Mystery Book 1) - Book Review


Get bound up in murder in the first Lighthouse Library mystery!

For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.

Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.

Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending....

Key Biscayne Lighthouse

Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time. ~E.P. Whipple

Lucy escapes her parents' expectations, and an unwanted marriage proposal, by fleeing from Boston to Nags Head, North Carolina.  She finds solace in the Outer Banks, where she spent her childhood summers visiting her maternal aunt and female cousin who is more like a sister.  Lucy's getaway turns into an opportunity for a new direction - she is offered a job in the town's library that is housed in the historic lighthouse.  The icing on the cake - she can live in the "cozy" apartment in the upper echelon of the lighthouse.

Just as Lucy settles into her new job and new abode, she faces push back from some board members and some town folk who see her as an outsider.  Soon they see her as a bad luck charm when the library board president is murdered and one volume of the Jane Austen exhibition is stolen.  Lucy finds her blue blood backbone to face the criticisms and accusations while investigating both the murder and theft.  

BY BOOK OR BY CROOK is a typical cozy mystery - an amateur sleuth, quirky characters, a red herring, and a satisfying ending.  What sets this cozy mystery apart is the setting - what's not to love about a library in a lighthouse?  Add the excitement of the Jane Austen exhibition, an enthusiastic book club, and Josie's bakery treats for an entertaining escape for the reader (and Lucy) to the sandy shores of the Outer Banks.

I also read BOOKED FOR TROUBLE (Book 2). I am currently reading READING UP A STORM (Book 3).  I look forward to THE SPOOK IN THE STACKS (Book 4), coming in June.

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Coast Guard Lighthouse near Diamond Head

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

1. Leave a comment about lighthouses - do you have a favorite?  Mine, of course, is the Coast Guard Lighthouse at the foot of Diamond Head.

2. Comments are open through Monday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore. 

3. I'll post the winner on Tuesday, May 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Aloha to Julia Day, FADE TO US, and Autism Awareness Month


April is Autism Awareness Month!  It is my pleasure to introduce you to YA Author Julia Day ... she shares why she wanted to chat about FADE TO US this month ...

In December, I gave a talk at a local high school. I mentioned that my next book, FADE TO US, had an autistic heroine. One young lady in the audience became visibly excited.

Afterwards, she stopped me to say how happy she was to learn about a book with an autistic---"and she's a girl!" This young lady had an autism spectrum diagnosis; to know that she could read a book where one of the main characters, Natalie, had Aspergers was thrilling.

I am an autism mom. When my younger daughter was a teen, we could find few YA books with autistic heroes. Most autistic characters were secondary and nearly all were male. The stories generally focused on their difficulties.

I wrote FADE TO US for my daughter--with her help. She's often said that her autism is a superpower. While book doesn't shy away from the challenges of being autistic and the cruelties they often face, it also celebrates what's amazing about people on the spectrum. Natalie is a multi-faceted character. She's funny and aware, smart and insightful, moody and opinionated. In essence, she's a teen. And, yes, she has Aspergers. Readers will get to watch her grow and bond with her new stepsister, Brooke--who, as an only child, has her own struggles in learning how to be a big sister.

Authors are often encouraged to write the book of their heart. I've written a book about my heart--my spectacular daughter. And a few months ago, a young lady showed me how exciting it was to know that such a book existed--and reminded me why I love being an author.

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FADE TO US is a story about found families, the bond of sisterhood, and the agony and awe of first love.

Brooke’s summer is going to be EPIC— having fun with her friends and a job that lets her buy a car. Then her new stepfather announces his daughter is moving in. Brooke has always longed for a sibling, so she’s excited about spending more time with her stepsister. But she worries, too. Natalie has Asperger’s–and Brooke’s not sure how to be the big sister that Natalie needs.

After Natalie joins a musical theater program, Brooke sacrifices her job to volunteer for the backstage crew. She’s mostly there for Natalie, but Brooke soon discovers how much she enjoys being part of the show. Especially sweet is the chance to work closely with charming and fascinating Micah–the production’s stage manager. If only he wasn’t Natalie’s mentor…

When summer comes to an end, will Brooke finally have the family she so desperately wants–and the love she’s only dreamed about?

“Warm and sensitive, Day’s deft depiction of difficult sibling and blended family relationships will make you laugh, cry, and sigh. A wonderful book!” – Sabrina Jeffries, NYT bestselling author (and Autism Mom)

Julia Day lives in North Carolina (USA), halfway between the beaches and the mountains. A proud autism mom and USAF veteran, Julia has two twenty-something daughters, one old husband, and too many computers to count. When she’s not writing stories or software, she’s traveling to faraway places, binging on TV shows about British royalty, or exercising with little enthusiasm. Julia also writes YA magical realism as Elizabeth Langston.

Learn more about Julia at

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

1.  What are your summer plans that will be epic?  Because we are just skipping Spring.  This summer, my family is headed to Colorado Springs to the beautiful outdoors before heading to Denver for the RWA Annual Conference.

2. Comments are open through Monday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Tuesday, May 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 


Monday, April 9, 2018

Aloha to Stacy Reid and THE EARL IN MY BED (Rebellious Desires Book 2)

For years, Daphne Wentworth, Countess Carrington has loved her powerful, enigmatic husband, despite the fact that they married under less than ideal circumstances. But no more. Finally at her breaking point, Daphne intends to create a scandal so big, her austere husband will have no choice but to divorce her. Except everything goes awry when he surprises her with the last thing she expected.

Sylvester Wentworth, Earl of Carrington, has returned to London for one reason—to seduce his wife. After a near-death experience, he is in need of an heir and means to make his marriage a real one. To his shock, though, his wicked, beautiful countess wants the exact opposite, and he must now do everything possible to entice his countess to stay forever.


Stacy is an avid reader of novels with a deep passion for writing. She especially loves romance and adores writing about people falling in love. Stacy lives a lot in the worlds she creates and actively speaks to her characters (out loud). She has a warrior way, never give up on her dreams. When Stacy is not writing, she spends a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese anime and playing video games with her love.

Stacy offers an except from THE EARL IN MY BED ... 

It was unbearably tempting to press her mouth to his. If she allowed the intimacy of a kiss, wasn’t that the doorway to her undoing? She was already so very aware of him. That echoing emptiness crept from the corners of her heart and darted through her. Daphne knew the press of his lips, the scent of him, the comfort of touch, the thrill of passion would suppress the chasm. 

She should be doing everything in her heart to resist whatever this was, for if she allowed him close enough, he would soon be in her bed, and that way led to disaster, she knew it with a certainty that defied logic. Her lips paused a whisper below his, and the fingers on her hips tensed. A rush of fierce anticipation flowed through her veins, yet the dratted man did not press his advantage at her evident willingness. Instead, he waited, an odd sort of tension riding the air.

He kissed her. She made a soft sound and parted her lips. He tasted of mint, spice, and Sylvester himself. His tongue lightly skimmed along her lower lip, and she softened more against him. Then it was over.

Her lids fluttered open, and she stared at him in bemusement.

“Thank you,” he said.

She suddenly knew with a shattering certainty that their marriage as it had existed in that cold, indifferent state was over. What stood on the other side of the invitation, pain or happiness, she did not know, but she was willing for the next several weeks to discover it.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Aloha to Patience Griffin and BLAME IT ON SCOTLAND - Book Review


The quilters of Gandiegow expand more than their quilting enterprise into the village of Whussendale. They bring along a heavy dose of good-hearted meddling, too. What’s the outcome? Love will never be the same… 

When Tuck MacBride, Gandiegow’s favorite scapegoat, is blamed for a fisherman’s tragic accident, Tuck takes on extra work to secretly funnel his earnings to the maimed fisherman’s family. Haunted by the mistaken turn of events, Tuck is working night and day. Even so he can’t stop thinking about the new lass who has just arrived in town.

Ryn Breckenridge has no one left in the world. To fulfill her mother’s last request, Ryn travels to Scotland to return a quilt to her long lost cousin. Hoping to rebuild family ties, Ryn volunteers to help her cousin at the upcoming quilt retreat. But there is more than quilting on Ryn’s mind. The irresistible Tuck MacBride is proving to be a dangerous distraction.

Ryn’s past is riddled with bad boys like Tuck, who have left her alone and broken. She vows to stay away, but can’t help taking a closer look when she realizes there is more to Tuck than meets the eye. Both of their pasts contain shattered promises, but Scotland is known to bring reluctant hearts together. Will the two of them be willing to cross the deep chasm between them and find love? If they do, they will only have Scotland to blame…

William Wallace statue in Aberdeen
Public Domain (link

Every man dies. Not every man really lives. - William Wallace

Tuck McBride is not really living.  He roams from one job to another, trying to avoid the whispers that he is no good.  His only stake in Gandiegow is his brother who reminds him daily of forgiveness and redemption.  

Kathryn "Ryn" Breckenridge is also a shell of her former self.  After quitting her job to care for her mother, she feels empty once her mother succumbed to cancer.  Dipping into her savings, she travels to Scotland to return her mother's "Goodbye Quilt" to a distant cousin.  Upon arriving in Gandiegow, she is unable to connect with her cousin - Maggie is distracted by her husband's recovery from loosing his arm during a storm.  The townsfolk rally around a dazed Ryn, drawing her into the quilting retreat that has become an alternate source of income for the fishing village. Their efforts make her realize she has worth - she has a talent in modern quilts. The Scots' generosity to Ryn contrasts with their quick judgement of Tuck; he failed to accompany the fisherman who lost his arm.  Here in lies the beauty of Griffin's writing - she features imperfect characters who embrace their own flaws.

No sooner do Ryn and Tuck find themselves attracted to each other in Gandiegow, they are both "relocated" to the neighboring estate of 
Whussendale.  Ryn is tasked to lead quilting lessons at the new retreat; Tuck is hired as a a "jack of all trades".  He enjoys working in Whussendale where he is not reminded of his failures.  But Ryn distracts him from dwelling in his misery.  She makes him feel alive again ... and he inspires the same in her.   Griffin features secondary story lines, including Maggie and James working through the impact of his injury to their family.

I felt Griffin was heavy handed with melodrama ... but I was still intrigued to read BLAME IT ON SCOTLAND many a night well past my bedtime for a work night. Likewise, I appreciated how Griffin incorporated Scottish culture in a modern world and the unique bond of the quilting community.  She creates a nurturing atmosphere that comfort readers as we considers what makes us feel alive.  I am not a quilter, but I welcomed the sense of achievement that comes from making art from one's own hands with help from a few friends.  I am a fan of Scotland ... and men in kilts ... so I applaud Griffin for reminding us why we all still rally to the call of William Wallace. 

BLAME IT ON SCOTLAND is Book 7 in the series.  I have read the previous books and felt right at home in Gandiegow. Still, Griffin wrote BLAME IT ON SCOTLAND as a stand alone novel, allowing readers new to the series to jump right into the Scottish hospitality that is Griffin's writing.

I received a copy of BLAME IT ON SCOTLAND from Griffin for an honest review.

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

1.  Leave a comment about quilts or kilts - do you have a favorite pattern?

BTW, today, April 6, is National Tartan Day in the US!

2.  Comments are open through Monday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Tuesday, May 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



Thursday, April 5, 2018

Aloha to Charlene Sands and THE TEXAN'S WEDDING ESCAPE


From friendship to passion…to forever?

Only if she doesn’t marry the wrong man first…

Lauren never got over her childhood crush on Cooper, but she’s grown up now and ready to settle down. She even agrees to plan her upcoming wedding at his ranch, but in close quarters, she’s second-guessing her groom and yearning for Cooper’s forbidden embrace… Then she discovers the rancher’s ulterior motive. Will she walk down the aisle with the wrong man?

Google Play

Charlene Sands is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and historical romance. She has been honored with the National Readers Choice Award, the Booksellers Best Award, The Cataromance Reviewers Choice Award and Romantic Times Magazine's Best Harlequin Desire Award of 2014. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she spends time with her four "princesses", enjoys sunny Pacific beaches and yummy chocolate mocha cappuccinos! Sign up for her newsletter for fun and exclusive prizes at and on FB and Twitter!

Charlene offers an excerpt of THE TEXAN'S WEDDING ESCAPE ...

“Thank you, Cooper. You’ve been wonderful.”

Lauren’s eyes flashed, all that meadow green working magic on him. Holding her like this felt right, and that was all wrong. But when she dipped her gaze to his mouth, the longing in her eyes did him in.


He put his hands in her hair and tilted her head up. Their eyes locked, wrecking his resistance, wrecking any semblance of rational thought. He brought his mouth down and touched his lips to hers. It was Fourth of July fireworks and sweet cake on Sunday morning all rolled up into one. She was soft and delicate and amazingly sexy. But one brush of the lips wasn’t enough; he needed more, demanded more. She made little noises in the back of her throat, and the sounds were like music and laughter and brightness. His body grew tight and hard, and Lauren was just as lost, just as needy. She hugged his neck, ran her fingers through his hair and he deepened the kiss even more. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Aloha to the Sweet Romance Speak (Facebook Page) Blog Tour

You're invited to Sweet Romance Speak, where bestselling authors share about all things romance. Enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at authors, books, the writing process, and more!

Beth Labonte
received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She worked as an administrative assistant for fourteen years, turning to writing as her creative outlet in an excruciatingly mundane corporate world. Beth now writes full-time and resides in Massachusetts.  Sign up for her mailing list & receive exclusive access to Summer's photo albums! Sign-up on her website

Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author who writes 'A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart' that span the heat scales. Her popular sweet romance series, Sweetwater County (rated PG), is a small town romance full of family trials, friendly competition, and community love. Also, there is a brand new sister series, Riverbend. The prequel novella is now available on all online retailers, and the first four books will release in 2016. For more information on the different genres and heat levels, to read excerpts, and learn more about the person behind the stories visit Ciara's website at

Melinda writes sweet to medium heat contemporary romances as Melinda Curtis and red hot reads as Mel Curtis. She loves writing romances about women who don't realize how strong they are until a hero comes along to show them, while capturing the wry humorous power struggle of falling in love - because, really, who lets the man have the last word? Learn more about Melinda (and Mel) at

A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a best-selling author of clean romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller. To learn more about Shanna or the books she writes, visit her blog at

Susan Hatler is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, who writes humorous and emotional contemporary romance and young adult novels. Many of Susan's books have been translated into German, Spanish, French, and Italian. A natural optimist, she believes life is amazing, people are fascinating, and imagination is endless. She loves spending time with her characters and hopes you do, too. You can reach Susan at

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Aloha to Callie Hutton and THE PURSUIT OF MRS. PENNYWORTH

From USA Today Bestselling Author Callie Hutton is a new captivating and suspenseful historical romance... 

Recently widowed, Charlotte Pennyworth is relishing her independence and it rankles to have to rely on a man to help her with an increasingly sinister stalker. Former Yardman, Elliot Baker, is reluctant to take on Charlotte’s case but despite himself and his history with another woman, he is drawn to the bright, attractive widow.

Sparks smolder between the PI and his client but neither is looking to form an attachment. Elliot thinks Charlotte is hiding something. Charlotte has no desire to marry again, especially to a private investigator, no matter how handsome, brave and kind he is. The risk to his life and her heart is too great. But more dangerous than a menacing stalker is secrets and when Charlotte’s come to light, even the passion between them might not douse the flames of Elliot’s distrust.


Callie Hutton, the USA Today bestselling author of The Elusive Wife writes both Regency and western historical romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs and her top cheerleader husband of many years. Her family also includes her daughter, son, and daughter-in-law. And twin grandsons “The Twinadoes.”

Callie loves to hear from readers. Sign up for her newsletter to receive information on new releases, appearances, contests and exclusive subscriber content.

Callie offers an excerpt from THE PURSUIT OF MRS. PENNYWORTH ....

A light rain had begun to fall when he exited the building. Elliot opened his umbrella and decided to catch an omnibus instead of walking. What he was looking forward to now was an evening in his rooms with a brandy, a warm fireplace, and thoughts of Charlotte.

Now there was a true conundrum. Truth be told, he would enjoy an evening in his rooms with a brandy, a warm fireplace, and Charlotte sitting on his lap. Curled up with her head resting on his shoulder, her plump breasts pressed against his chest. He would slowly unbutton the back of her dress and ease it off her silky-smooth shoulders.

His lips would cast feathered kisses over her neck, his teeth nipping her earlobe. Then, he would—.

The devil take it, he was hard as a rock and sweating, just thinking about her. This nonsense had to stop. She was his client, nothing more. The kisses they’d shared were an aberration. They should not have happened and would not happen again. Yes, she was a lovely woman, but she was hiding something. He sensed it, and his past experience with Annabelle made him more attuned to deception.

He hailed the omnibus and climbed aboard. The light drizzle had turned to a steady rain. Darkness had descended earlier due to the weather, and he shivered, anxious to be home in dry clothes. The horses plodded along, stopping to allow riders to alight and board the vehicle.

Eventually, the conveyance came to a stop a block from his rooms. He stepped onto the pavement and opened his umbrella. He raised the collar on his jacket, and head down against the rain, he hurried toward home. Before he even identified the sound as footsteps behind him, he was thrown to the ground, a large body landing on top of him with a grunt.

Monday, April 2, 2018

March Winners

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As March Madness wraps up tonight, we have March winners at SOS Aloha:

Linda, Maureen, Liz, Denise, Catslady, and Debby win swag!

I will contact you via email for your mailing address.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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