Sunday, March 1, 2015

Weekly Winners

March 1 is Saint David's Day - the Patron Saint of Wales. Check out more pictures from Wales at this link.  

We have winner at SOS Aloha!

Library of Congres - What is Love?  Romance Fiction in the Digital Age, parts 1 and 2
- Chelsea B. and Lexi H. win a book choice from my convention stash.

File:LoC Barse Romance.jpg

Katharine Ashe's I LOVED A ROGUE
- LSU wins a print copy.


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


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Tintern Abbey in Wales

March celebrates St. David's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and Books Galore!

3/1: Weekly Winners with St. David's Day
plus Aloha to the Library of Congress - What is Love? Romance in the Digital Age (part 4)
3/2: Laura Wright's BRASH
3/3: Kendra Leigh Castle's EVERY LITTLE KISS
3/4: State of Romance - Vermont
3/5: SOS Aloha's Fifth Anniversary!
3/6: ML Buchman's FULL BLAZE
3/7: Celebrate Little Victories
3/8: Weekly Winners
3/9: Cheryl Brooks' COWBOY HEAVEN
3/10: Bec McMaster's OF SILK AND STEAM
3/11: State of Romance - Minnesota (Roxy)

3/12: Wendy LaCapra's LADY VICE
3/13: Cori McCarthy's BREAKING SKY

3/14: Celebrate Little Victories
3/15: Weekly Winners

plus Elise Faber
3/17: St. Patrick's Day
3/18: State of Romance - Oklahoma
3/19: Open
3/20: Open
3/21: Celebrate Little Victories
3/22: Weekly Winners
3/23: Open
3/24: Open
3/25: State of Romance - Alabama plus Susan Stoker
3/26: Open
3/27: Open
3/28: Celebrate Little Victories
3/29: Weekly Winners
3/30: Jessica Scott's IT'S ALWAYS BEEN YOU
3/31: Jodi Thomas' ONE TRUE HEART

4/1: State of Romance - Rhode Island (CPO George Bradley)
4/2: Cara Elliott's SCANDALOUSLY YOURS
4/3: Amanda Scott's DEVIL'S MOON
4/4: Celebrate Little Victories
4/5: Weekly Winners
4/6: Lauren Christopher's TEN GOOD REASONS
4/7: Jeanette Murray's BELOW THE BELT
4/8: State of Romance - South Carolina
4/9: Open
4/10: Maggie Mae Gallagher's ASCENDED
4/11: Celebrate Little Victories
4/12: Weekly Winners
4/13: Susanna Ellis
4/14: Open
4/15: State of Romance - Iowa (Bob Feller no hitter on 4/16)
4/16: Open
4/17: Open
4/18: Celebrate Little Victories
4/19: Weekly Winners
4/20: Open
4/21: Open
4/22: State of Romance - Wisconsin (Barbara Vey)
4/23: St. George's Day
4/24: Open
4/25: Celebrate Little Victories
4/26: Weekly Winners
4/27: Cara Elliott's SINFULLY YOURS
4/28: Kelley Bowen's A GOOD ROGUE IS HARD TO FIND
4/29: State of Romance - London
4/30: Anna Campbell's A SCOUNDREL BY MOONLIGHT

5/1: May is Armed Forces Appreciation Month with Leah Marie Brown's FAKING IT
5/2: RT Spotlight - Kimberly Rocha
5/3: Weekly Winners
5/4: RT Spotlight - Heather Ashby
5/5: RT Spotlight - Elle James and Delilah Devlin
5/6: RT Spotlight - Chanel Cleeton
plus State of Romance - New Mexico
5/7: RT Spotlight - Beth Ciotta and Elle J. Rossi
5/8: RT Spotlight - Lindsay McKenna
5/9: RT Spotllight - Kennedy Layne
5/10: Weekly Winners
5/11: RT Spotlight - Cat Johnson
5/12: RT Spotlight - Sharon Hamilton
5/13: RT Spotlight - Julie Ann Walker
plus State of Romance - Nebraska
5/14: RT Spotlight - Merline Lovelace
5/15: RT Spotlight - Angel Payne
5/16: RT Spotlight - Lea Griffith
5/17: Weekly Winners
5/18: RT Spotlight - Sabrina Jeffries
5/19: RT Spotlight - Sally MacKenzie
5/20: State of Romance - Idaho

plus RT Spotlight - Elizabeth Essex
5/21: RT Spotlight - Elizabeth Boyle
5/22: RT Spotlight - Ella Quinn
5/23: RT Spotlight - Crista McHugh
5/24: Weekly Winners
5/25: RT Spotlight - Susan Stoker

5/26: RT Spotlight - Ophelia London
5/27: RT Spotlight - Emmy Curtis

State of Romance - North and South Dakotas
5/28: RT Spotlight - Catherine Mann
5/29: RT Spotlight - Julie Rowe

5/30: RT Spotlight - Megan Bamford
5/31: Weekly Winners

6/1: Jessica James' MEANT TO BE
6/2: L.A. Kornetsky's CLAWED
6/3: State of Romance - Colorado
6/4: Open
6/5: Open
6/6: Celebrate Little Victories
6/7: Weekly Winners
6/8: Open
6/9: Open
6/10: State of Romance - Maine
6/11: King Kamehameha Day
6/12: Open
6/13: Trooping of the Colors
6/14: Weekly Winners
6/15: Debra Holt's HIS COUNTRY BRIDE
6/16: Open
6/17: State of Romance - Puerto Rico
6/18: Open
6/19: Open
6/20: Celebrate Little Victories
6/21: Weekly Winners
6/22: Open
6/23: Open
6/24: State of Romance - Scotland
6/25: Open
6/26: Open
6/27: Celebrate Little Victories
6/28: Weekly Winners
6/29: Open
6/30: Open

Caerphilly Castle

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Aloha to the Library of Congress - What is Love? Romance Fiction in the Digital Age (part 3)

Library of Congress - Main Reading Room (link)

Continuing my recap of the romance conference hosted by the Center for the Book (link), I was eager to hear Panel 3: Community and the Romance Genre:

Moderator:  Mary Bly/Eloisa James, Professor of English, Fordham University, and romance author

Panelists:  Robyn Carr (romance author), Brenda Jackson (romance author), Kim Castillo (author assistant), Anne Jamison (Associate Professor of English, University of Utah), Kathleen Seidel (romance author and WRW member), and Sarah Wendell (book blogger)

Here are snippets from the conversation (paraphrase) about "community":

Romance is less about sex and more about hope

Robyn:  romance community is a place to comfornt vulnerable emotions in a safe place

Brenda:  garner relationships with readers

Kim:  "pay it forward", reading romance is life affirming, it becomes personal to reader

Sarah:  reading fiction makes us more empathetic

Sarah also asked Robyn how many virgins swam in the river (as her series is called Virgin River).   Sarah is a born entertainer and enthusiastic reader.   

The audience was comprised of romance readers, romance writers, and nonfiction writers curious about the genre.   The panel demonstrated that the romance community is alive, well, and welcoming.

What are your thoughts on the romance community? Comments are open through Saturday, March 7, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, March 8.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Lucky enjoys the romance community ...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Aloha to Carla Neggers and ECHO LAKE


In snowy Swift River Valley, unexpected romance is just around the corner… 

Heather Sloan has landed her dream job—the renovation of Vic Scarlatti's stately 1912 country home overlooking the icy waters of Echo Lake in Knights Bridge, Massachusetts. It's the perfect project for the family business, but for once, Heather is in charge.

Diplomatic Security Service agent Brody Hancock left Knights Bridge at eighteen, a few steps ahead of arrest and the wrath of Heather's older brothers. Though Brody had never planned to return, Vic, a retired diplomat and friend, needs his help.

Staying at Vic's guest house makes it impossible to avoid running into a Sloan at every turn—especially Heather. Seeing her again has affected Brody more than he wants to admit. But Heather is wary of Brody's sudden interest in her, and she suspects there's more to his homecoming than he's letting on…

Set against the scenic backdrop of a New England winter, Echo Lake is a captivating tale of family, friends and the possibility of new love.

Echo Lake (Colorado)
Released to Public Domain (link)

I am giving away a print copy of ECHO LAKE to on randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about lakes - do you have a favorite body of water near you?

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, March 7, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, March 8.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Carla and her books at


Aloha to V.K. Sykes and MEET ME AT THE BEACH

Yes, let's ditch the snow and meet at the beach with V.K. Sykes:

V. K. Sykes is a wife/husband writing team-Vanessa Kelly and Randall Sykes-who write romantic suspense and single title contemporary romance. One of the great things they appreciate about being writers is that they can work anywhere so Vanessa and Randy split their time between Ontario, Canada, in the summer and Florida in the winter. Both locations have shores just as beautiful as the imaginary Seashell Bay.

Kim:  Amelia Island - what is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of coastal Florida?

V.K.: Definitely the ocean. There’s nothing as soul-restoring as walking along the beach, listening to the crashing of the waves and smelling the crisp salt air!

Kim:  What's the hardest element of cowriting a book with someone who you see 24x7?

V.K.: There’s no escaping each other when you have a disagreement about something with the book! Which is probably not a bad thing, since it means we have to deal with the problem rather than ignoring it.

Kim:  If readers were to meet you at the beach, what would they find in your beach bag?

V.K.: Books, of course, and maybe even a mini-iPad. Also, water, snacks (heavy on the chocolate), suntan lotion, hand sanitizer (for after petting all the dogs on the beach), tissues, sunglasses, and an extra ball cap.

When Lily Doyle spots her high school crush Aiden Flynn on the inbound ferry, she knows trouble is about to dock in Seashell Bay. And not just because he's more handsome than ever. If Aiden's in town, the rumors must be true about his family's plan to sell their coastal land to the highest bidder. But Lily will do whatever it takes to convince the hottest guy on the beach to protect their idyllic island home.

Gorgeous Lily Doyle was the only thing Aiden missed after he escaped from his hometown to play pro baseball. Now all Aiden wants is to wrap up the business deal and get back to his life, not relive a past that still haunts him. But as memories rush in about the night of passion he and Lily shared long ago, everything else washes right out to sea-everything except the desire that still burns between them.

Amazon: link
B&N: link
iTunes: link
Kobo: link
Goodreads: link

Forever is hosting a special giveaway at this link.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Aloha to Susanna Ives and WICKED MY LOVE

Today we are pleased to welcome Susanna Ives for a round of Marry, Kiss or Kill!  For this stop, we asked her to choose between Alex O'Loughlin/Steve McGarrett from Hawaii Five O, Johnny Lee Miller/Sherlock Holmes from Elementary, and Allen Leech/Tom Branson from Downton Abbey:

My children commandeer the television. All I’m allowed to watch is Mythbusters. Repeatedly. So I had to call a friend on this one. Here’s what we came up with:

Kiss Steve McGarrett because he has luscious lips. But he won’t be around to marry because he is always off catching the waves or the bad guys. Kissing is the best we can do.

This obnoxious incarnation of Sherlock Holmes would arrive early one morning, well before I’ve stumbled out of bed and consumed the required amount caffeine to keep my homicidal tendencies at bay. For a lark, he would slip something I fear more than anything else in the world under my sheets: a spider. And then, well, I can’t be accountable for the carnage I reap.

I’ll marry Tom Branson because he’s fiery, loyal, and a good daddy. Good daddies are super hot. The Irish accent only adds to the allure.

I met Alex at my son's school ...

Mahalo, Susanna and your friend, for sharing your thoughts on TV's leading men.   Now that Alex is married, I'd like to play Kiss with your new leading man from WICKED, MY LOVE:

A smooth-talking rogue and a dowdy financial genius

Handsome, silver-tongued politician Lord Randall doesn’t get along with his bank partner, the financially brilliant but hopelessly frumpish Isabella St. Vincent. Ever since she was his childhood nemesis, he’s tried—and failed—to get the better of her.

Make a perfectly wicked combination

When both Randall’s political career and their mutual bank interests are threatened by scandal, he has to admit he needs Isabella’s help. They set off on a madcap scheme to set matters right. With her wits and his charm, what could possibly go wrong? Only a volatile mutual attraction that’s catching them completely off guard…


Susanna Ives started writing when she left her job as a multimedia training developer to stay home with her family. Now she keeps busy driving her children to various classes, writing books, and maintaining websites. She often follows her husband on business trips around Europe and blogs about the misadventures of touring with children. She lives in Atlanta.

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Susanna offers an excerpt from WICKED, MY LOVE:

She stationed herself by the window and scowled as if to say to the people looking in her window for vacant seats, Don’t get in this carriage. It’s occupied by a dangerous, sleep-deprived, hysterical woman who wants to be left alone. Stay away. Stay away. When the conductor’s whistle blew and the train started to rumble underneath her feet, she released her held breath and rested her head against the back of the seat.

Wham! The carriage door flew open and a brown leather bag went flying past her, hitting the opposite wall. Randall leaped in just as the train lurched forward.“Good morning, love.”

“W-what are you doing?” she cried, the great plan that she’d spent the night weaving suddenly torn to shreds. “You’re supposed to be getting your black heart shackled to some beautiful nincompoop.”

“You didn’t really think I was going to let you go alone?”

“No, of course not,” she stammered, feeling stupid. Why was she so terrible at understanding subtle meanings? She took everyone at their literal word. She should have known better from that slippery snake of a man. After all, he was a politician, and a good one, in a profession not renowned for its honesty and forthrightness.

He sat himself down beside her, his woodsy scent clogging her nose and setting her nerves alight. She switched to the opposite seat. “And don’t sit next to me. I don’t want people to think we’re lovers.”

“We’re lovers?” He shot her a sly glance. “Did you get me foxed out of my poor wits, take advantage of me in my defenseless state, and then not have the courtesy to tell me? Did I enjoy it?”

She refused to dignify that bit of lunacy with a direct answer. “Your mother, Judith, everyone thinks that I l-love you. Oh, my throat hurts for uttering such moronic nonsense.”

He extended his legs, cupped his hands behind his head, and let a charming smile laze on his lips. His blue coat molded to his lean, flat belly and the contour of his sex bulged in his brown trousers. “Naturally they think that,” he said. “What’s not to love?”

She averted her eyes, determined not to look at his male part. However, the generous, manly swell in the fabric was now emblazoned on her brain. “I really don’t have the time to discuss all the things that I don’t love about you. The list is quite long, and I’m a bit upset. I didn’t get any sleep, and now you are here to complicate everything. I just…just want to read.” She unfurled her journal and bowed her head, hoping he would take that as a cue to be quiet.

She gently rocked in her seat, as if it were a comforting cradle, trying to keep her curious eyes from roving back to his lap as she read and reread the first paragraph in an article about interest rates in the banks of Holland. She had almost made it to the second paragraph when she felt his shoulder rub against hers.

“Just relax,” he said, settling next to her. “We’re not lovers. I detest you as much as you detest me.”

“I don’t detest you,” she corrected. “I just don’t like you some—well, most of the time.”

“I certainly despise you, no question about that. Now that we have our mutual dislike for each other clarified, I think we should play a little game.”

She looked at him askew. “The our bank fails, we lose all our money, and our names and reputations are ruined game? I hear that it’s great fun until they cart us off to the poorhouse.”

“No, it’s the let’s-invent-false-identities-so-as-not-to-cast-suspicion game.”

“Oh.” It made sense. She hated when Randall made sense.

Also from Susanna 

Aloha to Sara Humphreys and VAMPIRES NEVER CRY WOLF


Vampires are nothing but trouble…

As far as beautiful vampire Sadie Pemberton is concerned, werewolves shouldn’t be sticking their noses into New York’s supernatural politics. They don’t know jack about running a city—not even that hot-as-sin new vampire-werewolf liaison who’s just arrived in town.

Werewolves are too sexy for their own good…

The last thing Killian Bane wanted was to end up in New York City playing nice with vampires. Unfortunately, he’s on a mission, and when he encounters the sexiest, most stubborn female vamp he’s ever met, he’s going to have to turn on a little of that wolfish charm…and Sadie’s going to learn a thing or two about what it means to have a wild side…

Goodreads link

Amazon: link
Barnes and Noble: link
iBooks: link

Sara Humphreys has been attracted to the fantasies of science fiction, paranormal, and romance since her adolescence when she had a mad crush on Captain Kirk. An actress and public speaker, Sara lives in Bronxville, New York with her husband, who is very considerate of her double life, and four amazing boys.

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Sara offers an excerpt from VAMPIRES NEVER CRY WOLF ... 

Sadie forced herself to look Killian in the face, and the instant she did, she knew it was a colossal mistake. His eyes looked like pools of liquid gold, and she could swear he saw straight through to her very soul. A growl rumbled in his chest and Sadie gasped. His eyes flickered and shifted into the glowing amber eyes of his wolf. The sudden and instinctive change was a glaring reminder of who he was…who they both were.

In a remarkably steady voice, Sadie whispered, “Last night should never have happened.”

“The only thing about last night that shouldn’t have happened was the way it ended,” Killian rasped.

Sadie stilled when his large hand cradled her cheek. Despite her best efforts to resist him, her body quivered uncontrollably as he surrounded her in every way a person could be surrounded. When the heat of his palm seared against her skin, a needy moan escaped her lips. She sagged against the stack of boxes. Desire curled inside her like smoke, and regardless of the litany of warnings that ran through her head, Sadie’s hands found their way to the front of Killian’s shirt. She grasped the fabric, still warm from the heat of his body, and pulled him closer. The evidence of his desire pressed against her hip, and images of him in all his naked glory came roaring back into her mind. Sweet Jesus, the man had a body that looked like it had been hand carved by the gods themselves.

“Is that so?” Sadie pulled his shirt loose from his jeans and slipped her fingers underneath before trailing them along the hard planes of his stomach. Arching one eyebrow, she held his heavy-lidded gaze and unsheathed her fangs. “How do you suppose it should have ended?”

“The same way it should end every night from now on,” he growled. Killian slid both hands into her long hair. Sadie shivered when his fingertips grazed her scalp. He pressed his hips against her before slipping his thigh between her legs. Sadie gasped with pleasure as he put pressure on just the right spot, and when a moan escaped her parted lips, a cocky grin emerged on his. Killian tightened his grip on her hair and leaned in so his mouth was just a breath away. “Every single night should end with me buried deep inside you.”