Monday, July 28, 2014

Aloha to Shannon Richard and UNSTOPPABLE - Launch Day Blitz

Unstoppable (Country Roads #3)

Shannon Richard is celebrating the print release of UNSTOPPABLE - Book 3 in her Country Roads series:

Some things you don't dare let go . . .

Melanie O'Bryan knows life is too short to be afraid of taking chances. And former Air Force sergeant Bennett Hart is certainly worth taking a chance on. He's agreed to help her students with a school project, but she's hoping the handsome handyman will offer her a whole lot more. Yet despite his heated glances and teasing touches, Mel senses there's something holding him back . . . 

Bennett Hart is grateful to be alive and back home in Mirabelle, Florida. Peaceful and uncomplicated-that's all he's looking for. Until a spunky, sexy-as-hell teacher turns his life upside down. After one smoldering kiss, Bennett feels like he's falling without a parachute. But with memories of his past threatening to resurface, he'll have to decide whether to keep playing it safe, or take the biggest risk of all.

Buy Links

B&N: link
BAM: link
IndieBound: link
Amazon: link

Shannon Richard

Shannon Richard grew up in the Florida Panhandle as the baby sister of two overly protective but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a BA in English Literature and still lives in Tallahassee where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. Okay, so the rants might happen on a regular basis. She's still waiting for her Southern, scruffy, Mr. Darcy, and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination. Oh, and she's a pretty big fan of the whimsy.

Shannon’s social media

shannonrichard.net
facebook.com/ShannonNRichard
@shan_richard

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Forever offers an excerpt from UNSTOPPABLE:

Oh God, who was she kidding? She’d never felt this way about any man before. Bennett was…well, infuriating to start with, but he was brave, smart, kind, funny, intense. There was nothing like having his full attention focused on her. He gave her way more than butterflies. It was like eagles were flapping around in her stomach whenever he was around. There were no flutters. They were freaking tidal waves.
Yeah, getting over Bennett was going to be way easier said than done.

Mel headed toward the supply closet at the back of her classroom where she locked up her purse in a filling cabinet. She grabbed the key and unlocked the top drawer, pulled out her purse, and slammed the drawer shut. When she turned around Bennett was standing in the doorway. Filling it completely. Mel stopped short and stared at him. His eyes were focused on her, the determination in them making all of the thoughts vacate her brain.

“I can’t leave you alone.” He came into the room and shut the door behind him. “And I’m not playing games.” He crossed the small space. “Or at least I’m not trying to.” He shook his head. “I think about you all the time.” He stopped in front of her, took the purse out of her hands, and put it on top of the filing cabinet. Then he reached up and touched her cheek. His fingers fanned out as he pushed his hand to the back of her head and tilted her face up.

Holy hell, what is happening?

She looked into his eyes, and her knees went just a little bit weak. She reached back and planted her hands against the wall, trying to find some balance, something to keep her upright, because she really didn’t want to miss this.

“Because I am interested in you, Mel.” He cupped her face with his other hand and ran his thumb across her lower lip. “Very interested.” He leaned forward and pressed his mouth to hers.

The kiss was soft and gentle at first, just his lips against hers. He took another step into her, pushing her back. When she hit the wall she gasped, and Bennett took advantage of her open mouth. He sucked her bottom lip into his mouth, and she couldn’t stop the moan that escaped her throat.

She plastered herself up against him, against every inch of his hard body. Her arms wound around his shoulders; her hands skittered up the back of his head. She opened her mouth further and his tongue touched hers. Bennett groaned as their tongues began a thorough exploration of each other’s mouths.

His hands were at the back of her head, his fingers deftly pulling out the pins that held up her bun. And then he was unwinding her hair, his hands plunging deep into her unruly curls.

“I’ve wanted to do this for so long,” he said against her mouth. “These curls of yours drive me out of my mind.”

“What stopped you?” She nipped at his lower lip.

“Pure stupidity,” he said, as he claimed her mouth again.

Holy cow, can this man kiss. I feel it everywhere, and do I mean everywhere! He had her toes curling in her shoes, all manner of body parts tingling where they were pushed up against his, and his hands were magic in her hair. One of his hands drifted down to her side. He touched her hip for a second before his hand slid to the small of her back. He held her to him, but really, she wasn’t going anywhere.

“Mel,” a voice called out from her classroom. “Are you here?”

There were only a few things that could bring Mel back to reality with the snap of a finger. The sound of her little brother’s voice was definitely one of them.

“Oh crap, it’s Hamilton,” Mel gasped, pulling back. Bennett’s hand was behind her head, and it prevented her from hitting the wall. “I’ll be right out!” she answered Hamilton, unable to completely cover up the breathy edge to her voice.

Bennett nodded. He let go of her reluctantly, and took a step back. “You’re going to have to give me a minute before I can go out there,” he said, clearing his throat uncomfortably.

“Oh,” she said, nodding. “Um, okay.”

Actually, she was going to need a minute, too. She knew her hair was everywhere, and she had a feeling Bennett’s scruffy jaw had left its fair share of marks on her face. Not to mention her thoroughly swollen lips.

Soooo worth it.


Weekly Winners



Aloha!  I am a winner for attending RWA's annual conference - it was empowering!  Look for pictures on my travel blog, ALOHA ON MY MIND, during this coming week at this link.

My first post is up - An Evening stroll at this link.

I am also a winner for my weekly column with USA Today's HEA blog - this week we visit Texas for #StateofRomance at this link.

We have winners here at SOS Aloha:

Anne Elizabeth's ZOMBIE POWER 2
- Debby wins one of the limited copies from Anne Elizabeth.



Elizabeth Michels' HOW TO LOSE A LORD IN 10 DAYS OR LESS
- Diane D. wins a print copy from Sourcebooks.

17796407

Alexandra Brown's CUPCAKES AT CARRINGTON'S
- Annwitch wins a print copy.

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Fern Britton's THE HOLIDAY HOME
- Barbara A. wins a print copy.

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Winners, please claim your prize by sending your mailing address to sos.aloha@yahoo.com.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 






Sunday, July 27, 2014

Aloha to Fern Britton and THE HOLIDAY HOME

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Fern Britton is a celebrated TV presenter in England ... and Cornwall is a celebrate summer getaway.  

Two sisters, one house, a lifetime of secrets…

Each year, the Carew sisters embark on their yearly trip to the family holiday home, Atlantic House, set on a picturesque Cornish cliff.

Prudence, the hard-nosed businesswoman, is married to the meek and mild Francis, but she’s about to get a shock reminder that you should never take anything for granted. Constance, loving wife to philandering husband Greg, has always been outwitted by her manipulative sibling, but this year she’s finally had enough.

When an old face reappears on the scene, years of simmering resentments reach boiling point, but little do the women know that a long-buried secret is about to bite them all on the bottom. Is this one holiday that will push them all over the edge, or can Constance and Pru leave the past where it belongs?


Porthcurno Bay and Logan Rock Headland
Released to Public Domain (link)

I am giving away a print copy of THE HOLIDAY HOME to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Do you have a favorite escape for the summer, even if it is the local library?

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

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

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Fern and her books at fern-britton.com.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Aloha to Alexandra Brown and CUPCAKES AT CARRINGTON'S

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How about a taste of Brit Chick Lit?  Alexandra Brown hits the spot with CUPCAKES AT CARRINGTON'S:

Georgie Hart had it all – as a top personal shopper in London, the heady world of Mulberry launch parties and Louis Vuitton goody bags meant she was living the dream. But all that extravagance took its toll on her bank balance and it was time to stop drinking champagne on beer money.

Now Georgie runs the luxury bag concession at Carrington’s Department store in the pretty seaside town of Mulberry Bay and her lavish spending is confined to a red velvet cupcake with butter cream icing in Carrington’s cafe.

But her plans for a quiet life are thwarted when Carrington’s goes into a recession-busting makeover and soon, with the arrival of Maxine, wielding the axe in her immaculately manicured hands, Georgie is fighting not only for her job, but also for the attentions of her dishy boss, James. And when newcomer Tom arrives, who may or may no
t be the best thing since sliced bread, Georgie must decide where her loyalties really lie…

Sunshine cupcakes from the Strawberry Festival

I am giving away a print copy of CUPCAKES AT CARRINGTON'S to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about cupcakes - what is your favorite flavor?   Mine is chocolate!

2.  Comments are open through Sunday, July 27, 10 pm in Baltimore.  

3.  I'll post the winner on Monday, July 28, assuming I recover from RWA.  

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Alexandra and her books at alexandrabrown.co.uk.

1790820721065817

Friday, July 25, 2014

Aloha to Elizabeth Michels and HOW TO LOSE A LORD IN 10 DAYS OR LESS

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Elizabeth Michels joins me for an intimate chat to celebrate HOW TO LOSE A LORD IN 10 DAYS OR LESS, Book 3 in Tricks of the Ton series:

"I want to know you, to understand anything at all about you, because you are the most maddening lady I have ever encountered."
He's the perfect gentleman...

After years hidden away from the mockery of the Ton, proud Andrew Clifton, Lord Amberstall, is finally ready to face Society again. But when his horse is injured on the road to London, Andrew finds himself literally thrown at the feet of the beautiful, infuriating, and undeniably eccentric Katie Moore.

...she's anything but a lady.

Katie always preferred the stables to society, so when she was badly injured in a riding accident, she was more than happy to retreat to the countryside and give up the marriage mart for good. She never expected an infuriatingly proper lord to come tumbling into her life - and she certainly never expected to find herself wondering what it would be like to rejoin the world at his side.

They couldn't be more different, and soon Andrew and Katie find themselves at odds about everything but the growing passion between them... and a keen awareness of a threat that may end their unconventional romance before it has even begun.
Kim:  After completing your third book of your debut series, what have you learned about fans and their expectations of Regency romance?

Elizabeth:  When I began writing Regency romance, I did so because I was a fan. I love the fashions and the ballroom scenes, but most of all, I love the escape from modern day reality this genre provides. After completing 3 books, the fact that I carry with me is that I’m exactly where I belong. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of my readers and speak with others via email since my first 2 books were released, and every time I walk away with the feeling that I’ve found my people. I’ve found others like me who love history, love fun characters, and want to spend the afternoon dreaming of a time when carriages ruled the streets and scandal was only an alcove away. I love my readers, and I’m very thankful I found them.

Kim:  HOW TO LOSE A LORD IN 10 DAYS OR LESS involves horses - do you have equestrian experience or did you conduct research?

Elizabeth:  I grew up in an equestrian neighborhood of mini-farms. All of my neighbors had horses, and I would feed them occasionally even though I never learned to ride. I’m pretty sure we were the only family who lived there and didn’t have horses…because we had Christmas trees. *grins* But, my knowledge of trees didn’t help me much in telling this story of an injured horse who leaves a lord stranded and forced to take refuge with a most unconventional lady while on the road south from Scotland. So, I spent days watching videos on subjects ranging from treating wounds on horses to breaking wild horses. I read blogs and articles. I interviewed friends experienced with horses. And, at the end of it, I wrote HOW TO LOSE A LORD IN 10 DAYS OR LESS. It wasn’t without its fair share of challenges, but I think readers will be pleased with the outcome.

Kim:  Your titles are odes to contemporary romantic comedies - what are the key elements of combining romance with humor with the constraints of a historical era?

Elizabeth:  The humor, I blame on my characters. In my stories there are always shenanigans. My characters seem to find trouble if trouble is to be found. And, I think more trouble is to be found in a historical setting than today because of the constraints of their social situation at that point in history. I like the snowball effect one small event has on another. My former editor used to compare the comedy in my books to I Love Lucy when the conveyer belt of chocolates speeds up. It seems like a small change in their situation, and yet it ends in mouths and shirts stuffed with chocolate. These small changes that produce wild situations happen so easily within a historical setting that my characters seem to seek them out. Perhaps I need to keep a tighter rein on them, but to be honest, they make me laugh and that makes me happy.

Kim:  What's next for Elizabeth Michels?

Elizabeth:  I’m writing more! I’m currently working on Lady Roselyn Grey’s book and will follow that up with three ladies you’ll remember from DESPERATELY SEEKING SUZANNA, Evangeline, Isabelle, and Victoria. These are going to be great stories involving a new group of gentlemen I’m really excited about writing. There will be love, and knowing my characters, there will definitely be shenanigans.

Thank you for hosting me today on SOS Aloha! I hope you enjoy HOW TO LOSE A LORD IN 10 DAYS OR LESS! I look forward to chatting with you here in the comments. What is your favorite part of a Regency romance?

Buy links:
Amazon: link
BAM: link
B&N: link
IndieBound: link
iTunes: link


Sourcebooks is giving away a print copy of HOW TO LOSE A LORD IN 10 DAYS OR LESS to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment to Elizabeth's question - what is your favorite part of a Regency romance?

2.  Comments are open through Sunday, July 27, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Monday, July 28, assuming I recover from RWA!

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Elizabeth and her books at elizabethmichels.com.

1758648817586489

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Aloha to Anne Elizabeth and ZOMBIE POWER 2


The multi-talented Anne Elizabeth is getting ready for the San Diego Comic Con, where ZOMBIE POWER 2 will be a Comic-Con International Exclusive 2014:

Welcome to the Zombie Power series! The series is based in Greenwich, Connecticut, and most of the action takes place at The Academy (For Girls) and The Wick (For Boys). Zombies are springing up everywhere and our protagonists the Greenwich Gals (Tiffany, Sandra & Izzy) must make their way to the Academy and find a way to solve the crisis. With twists and turns, and some particularly voracious Zombinistas—fashion-plates made into zombies--the Greenwich Gals have their work cut out for them.

Incorporating the themes of working together, self-empowerment, and the usefulness of common sense, these Gals have a serious battle on their handles, and the first order of business is...staying alive.


ZOMBIE POWER 2 is a limited print run with only 1000 copies ... and Anne Elizabeth is generously giving away three here at SOS Aloha!   Anne Elizabeth will personalize and autograph ZOMBIE POWER 2 for each winner.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about comics - why do you like comics?

2.  Comments are open through Sunday, July 27, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Monday, July 28, assuming I survive RWA.  

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Aloha to Jessica Scott and BACK TO YOU


Today is the Literacy Autographing to kick off RWA's Annual Conference in San Antonio:  

At the "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing, hundreds of romance authors meet with and sign books for fans, with the proceeds from book sales going to literacy organizations. Since 1990, RWA has raised more than $825,000 to fight illiteracy.

This year, proceeds from the Literacy Autographing will benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide, Literacy Texas, Restore Education, and Each One Teach One San Antonio.


I plan to look for Jessica Scott for reasons that are obvious from her bio,

USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, She's written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas. She's pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.  



Jessica is celebrating the upcoming release of BACK TO YOU, available July 29 from Forever Romance:

He's in for the fight of his life . . . 

Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn't explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family-so he deployed again. And again. And again...until his marriage reached its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs ...if she'll have him

. . . to win back his only love.

Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she's just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried-and a love that won't be denied. But can she trust that this time he's back to stay?



For this blog tour, I asked Jessica for the Top 5 things she enjoyed eating/drinking/doing when she returned home from deployment (other than embracing family).  Here are her answers ...

1. Ice cream

2. Pizza

3. Sleeping in my own bed

4. Taking as long and hot of a shower as I wanted

5. Walking around my house barefoot after a year in boots/sneakers/flipflops.

Mahalo, Jessica, for your service to our country!  I hope you've enjoyed all these things!   

Forever is offering a fabulous giveaway ...

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26635c79/"

... plus an excerpt from BACK TO YOU:

“So, to what do I owe the honor of this visit?” she asked, minimizing her e-mail to be able to focus.

“Don’t throw me out of the office,” he said, trying to keep his voice light. “But I need to talk to you about Trent’s case.”

Laura leaned back in her chair, folding her arms over her chest, and started counting to ten.

“I know you’re having a hard time with him.”

Laura sucked on her top lip for a moment before answering. “I wouldn’t necessarily call filing for divorce a hard time.”

“And that’s what I need to talk to you about.”

“Patrick…”

“Just hear me out, okay?”

She ground her teeth but after a moment nodded.

“Listen, there’s no case against Trent. It’s weak at best. With the Article 32 about to start, we have a good chance of getting it stopped here before it goes to court-martial. But I need to plant doubt that the allegations against him are true.” He met her gaze. “I need you to do that.”

Laura chewed on her bottom lip, playing his words over and over in her head, not understanding what he was asking of her. “What do you mean, you need to plant doubt?”

“The primary witness against your husband, PFC Adorno—”

“Oh, we’ve met,” Laura said dryly.

Patrick’s smile was humorless. “Yes, well, that’s part of the prosecution’s problem. She’s alleging that Trent was inappropriate but the problem is that she and Lieutenant Randall were caught in their shenanigans downrange.”

Laura frowned. “So you think this is a ploy to get herself out of trouble?

“Her and her husband. If they were working together to steal the missing weapons systems, then what better way to get out of trouble than to make this stuff up against Trent? Takes the focus off her and her husband completely.” Patrick leaned forward, tapping his index finger on the desk. “If I can cast Trent as a sympathetic family man who would never do anything like what she’s alleging, this case is all but dismissed. I’m not attacking her. All I have to do is make Trent look better than the story she’s telling and we’ve got a win.”

“And you need me to paint on a happy face and be the loving wife.”

Patrick shook his head. “No, I need you to be one half of a loving couple. And I need you to do it publicly where everyone can see it—in the PX, in the chow hall, everywhere. I need the officers on this board to believe exactly what I’ll be telling them on the day of the hearing.”

She looked down at her empty ring finger, absently rubbing the bare skin beneath the bandage. “Everyone knows that we’re having problems, Patrick.”

“Then make sure everyone knows you’ve fixed it.” He leaned back. “I wouldn’t ask you to do this if I didn’t think it was our best shot at getting this whole thing thrown out.”

She looked up at him. “Why didn’t Trent ask me to do this?”

Patrick swallowed and looked away. “He refused to drag you into this,” he said quietly. “For what it’s worth, I don’t in a million years believe the allegations against Trent. I don’t think he would ever, ever be unfaithful to you.”

Laura pressed her lips together in a flat line. “You’re wrong, Patrick. He’s been cheating on me for years. It was just with the army instead of another woman.”

“Laura—”

“Let me think about it,” she said quickly. “I won’t say no out of hand but I can’t make this decision on a whim.”

Patrick leaned across the desk, gripping her hand. “I know this is hard for you, Laura. I know what I’m asking you to do.”

She said nothing for a long moment and he gave her a sympathetic but firm smile. “Give it some thought, okay?”

When she was alone, she sat there, staring at the picture of her family. Wondering how she was going to bring him back into the kids’ lives and then rip him out again. What he was asking wasn’t fair. He had no idea what this was going to do to her family.

She glanced at the photo on her desk as she typed furiously, trying to get ahead of the flood of e-mails in her inbox.

There was a quiet rap on her office door. “I’m not here,” she said quickly, looking up.

Her fingers froze on the keyboard. Her heart stopped in her chest.

Trent stood in the doorway. He had a duffle bag slung over his shoulder. His glasses hid the darkness of his eyes. There was a streak of dirt on his cheek. An assault pack hung limply from his left hand.

A thousand emotions ripped through her all at once, rioting for supremacy as she drank in the sight of her husband.

Ex-husband, she reminded herself. Or at least he was supposed to be.

She wished that this were a normal homecoming. One where she would rush across the small space and crash into him. His arms would come around her and she would inhale the strong spicy scent of his skin. Feel the heat of his touch. Savor that first, wild kiss.

Instead she had this. This empty chasm between them, echoing with loneliness.

And she had no idea how to cross it.