Friday, July 3, 2015

Aloha to Sharon Hamilton and SEAL'S CODE


Let's start the fireworks early with Sharon Hamilton and her new release, SEAL's CODE, Book 3, Bad Boys of Seal Team 3 (SEAL Brotherhood):

Danny Begay has tried to drive out the voices of his ancestors, but his Navajo roots will not die. Summoned back to Arizona to visit his dying grandfather, a former Navajo Code Talker, he knows he has disappointed his hero grandfather. He buries himself one more time in the arms of a stranger before going back to Northern California.

Luci Tohe teaches at a reservation school, safeguarding the health of her ailing mother and little sister’s future, her own life on hold. She doesn’t expect the young Dine warrior she meets to be anything but a distraction from her loneliness.

Danny decides to join the Navy, as a SEAL, becoming the man he knew he was destined to be. Before deployment, he goes back to visit the girl he cannot get out of his mind. A dangerous human trafficking element threatens Luci and her family. Danny vows to protect them all.


Audio Snippet 2 (for mature audiences)

NYT and USA/Today and Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author Sharon Hamilton’s SEAL Brotherhood series have earned her Amazon author rankings of #1 in Romantic Suspense, Military Romance and Contemporary Romance. Her characters follow a sometimes rocky road to redemption through passion and true love. Her Golden Vampires of Tuscany earned her a #1 Amazon author ranking in Gothic Romance.

A lifelong organic vegetable and flower gardener, Sharon and her husband live in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place. When she’s not writing, you will find her in the garden, getting verra verra dirty.


Heartfelt SEAL memorial on Pearl Harbor beach

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

1.  Leave a comment about 

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, July 11, 10 pm in Baltimore.  

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 12.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Sharon offers an excerpt from SEAL’s Code:

“You’re new,” she said to the mirror.

He could feel her breathing, imagined what her flesh would feel like if he smoothed his fingers down her thigh. “Actually, I’m not here at all.”

She turned on the stool, grabbing her beer, and took a sip while she examined him. She was still smiling when she was done.

“You look pretty (bleep) here, Dine kind. But then maybe I’m a ghost too and maybe I see dead people.”

That deserved his attention, so he allowed his body to turn, facing her, knees touching hers. Through the stiff denim of his jeans he could feel her body vibrate like the inner workings of an expensive Swiss timepiece.

“Chester Tso is my grandfather. I believe he will die tonight.” He watched it sink in. She bit her lip just below the slight scar that slashed her upper lip, probably from an old injury. It made her look dangerous and sexy as hell. A slight worry line creased her right eye with just a touch of a twitch.

She turned back to the counter, staring down as if examining the head on her beer allowing her unpolished nail of her left forefinger to dip into the sudsy froth and draw a figure eight. “Then it sucks to be you.”

He had to agree with her. It sucked he’d never made much of himself, and now Grandfather was dying, knowing that. He wasn’t sure there was any potential for any spiritual growth anytime soon, either. That sucked too.

That left only one option for this evening. To get drunk. Maybe get her so drunk she’d go back with him to the motel. He glanced around the room and didn’t see any white boys so figured he’d have a chance with her. With any luck, neither one would remember a thing in the morning. He’d get the call Grandfather was gone. He could pay his respects, stay for the ceremony and then get his butt out of Arizona and back to Northern California. Forget this sandy hell hole for as long as the drink lasted.

“So why are you here?” he started. “Cheaper to drink at home, and a whole lot less dangerous. The drive is what I meant.” He was surprised these words came out of his mouth.

She answered the mirror again. “I know what you meant, Dine kind. I teach at the school.”

“Ah. First choice or last choice?” He knew it was a risk to ask it but he couldn’t help himself.

She almost spit her beer out. “Gawd, it must be true. That old fart gave you some of those visions.”

He turned and tilted his head, wondering what she meant. She addressed him this time by angling slightly so her knees wouldn’t touch his again. Her face in partial profile was masked. She was trying to hide something. “I’m not a do-gooder. Not one of those. I get to hide in plain sight. But I do carry a gun.”

“Running from something.”

“Nope.” She licked her lips, her tongue lingering there a little long, her eyes again focused down on the counter. “I am the sole breadwinner, and protector of my little tribe. My mother and my little sister.”

“Except you drink too much.” He knew she’d not like that comment.

“As do you. I can smell an alcoholic a mile away.” Then she gave him the sultry look he was waiting for. “I seem to be drawn to them, like a string of bad pennies, little babbling storytellers. Can’t help it. My nature, I guess.”

Well, she already had said twice as many words as he normally liked in a woman, and hadn’t given him nearly enough “looks”, but he was game.

“Humor me. What makes you drawn to me?”

Her full focus on his face almost made him blush. Her power and nature were strong. Her soul deep. She did not possess the need to smile from nervousness, or to hide the spirit that ran wild inside her. For him, right here and right now, she allowed him to absorb and be warmed by it. Her dark eyes and unlined forehead honestly peered back at him. “I like your jet black hair Dine man. The dark of your eyes all the way through. The black eyes of the tribal kind. But you weren’t raised here, so maybe you got away, maybe not. In any case, I gotta hurry if I’m going to meet you because I think tomorrow you’ll be gone.”

More Bad Boys of SEAL Team 3

Aloha to VK Sykes and SUMMER AT THE SHORE


Morgan Merrifield sacrificed her teaching career to try to save her family's bed-and-breakfast and care for her younger sister. She can't let herself get distracted by Ryan Butler. After all, the rugged ex-Special Forces soldier is only in Seashell Bay for the summer. But her longtime crush soon flares into real desire-and with one irresistible kiss, she's swept away.

Ryan values his freedom. As much as he wants Morgan, he's not ready to settle down with anyone, much less in sleepy Seashell Bay. But his code of honor doesn't allow him to leave a woman in distress-and she's in desperate need of help to fix the inn. It only takes one day working under the same roof and
Ryan is already hoping for a lifetime of hot summer nights . . .

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.

Forever Romance is hosting a giveaway at this link ... and offers an except for SUMMER AT THE SHORE:

This time, the smile did reach his eyes. He slid an arm around her waist. “If I wanted company, Kristi’s not the woman at Golden Sunset I’d want in my room.” His arm tightened around her waist, gently pulling her against his naked torso.

Morgan froze, staring at him. The slowly building heat in his gaze sure didn’t look like a joke, nor did the arm around her waist feel like just a friendly gesture—not when she was plastered against all that warm, brawny muscle. And honest to God, she hadn’t a clue how to react.


His eyebrows ticked up, then he sighed and withdrew his arm. “Sorry. I made you uncomfortable.”

“You just kind of surprised me.” Morgan swallowed past a lump in her throat. God, she didn’t want him to let her go. “But we seem to be making a habit of this, don’t we?”

He smiled wryly. “If twice constitutes a habit.”

She sucked in a deep breath and decided it was time for some frank talk. “You know I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling the same, Ryan. Like practically every minute since I saw you on the ferry.”

“I hear a ‘but’ coming.”

How could she explain how terribly vulnerable she felt? Between her father’s death, her worries for Sabrina, and her insecurity about her own future, she was close to being an emotional basket case. How could she possibly risk a summer hookup with Ryan? That would lead to a world of hurt down the road—especially since he’d just made it blazingly clear that he avoided long-term commitments.

“But I’m . . . I’m not there emotionally, Ryan. I don’t think I could handle it, no matter how much I might want to. I’m kind of a wreck right now.” She briefly nestled her face against his shoulder. “I’m really sorry.”

“Don’t be. I get where you’re coming from.” Ryan gave his head a shake. “I’m just finding it damn near impossible to ignore all this crazy chemistry between us. Hell, sometimes it feels like I’ve got a grenade inside me.”

Boy, that was exactly how she felt. If Ryan grabbed her and kissed her now, she’d probably be lost. They’d end up naked on this pebbly beach, getting busy in plain view of every boater sailing down the channel.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Aloha to Kristen Ashley and RIDE STEADY


RIDE STEADY by Kristen Ashley (June 30, 2015; Forever Mass Market; Chaos #3)

The ride of her life . . .
Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . .
In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .


Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake. Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.


Forever is hosting a giveaway at this link ... and offers an excerpt of RIDE STEADY:

“What now?” he clipped, planting his hands on his hips.

I watched him do this.

His knuckles were all scabbed. But his fingers were long, not graceful, but handsome. They were a working man’s hands. They’d be rough. I could even see grease stains around the nail beds.

Something about that caused something to happen inside me.

My focus shifted from his hands to his crotch. His jeans were faded. The area around his crotch more faded.

Up I went to a black belt with silver rivets in it that had seen some wear, the length beyond the clasp dangling from a belt loop to the side in a supple way, the leather not close to stiff.

Up his flat belly to his wide chest and broad shoulders and bulging arms.

And up to his long black hair that looked thick, messy, had a lot of wave and brushed his shoulders. His beard wasn’t bushy, it was trimmed, but it was about two days away from being unkempt.

He was tall.

He was annoyed.

I felt the latter because he was the kind of man whose mood altered a room and I understood this because I was right then experiencing it. But I also knew it wasn’t just that or that we were the only ones in the room and having the conversation that was making him annoyed so of course I’d be feeling it.

It was him. He had that kind of power behind his personality.

I shifted my eyes to his.

Steel. A strange flat color that seemed impenetrable.

And suddenly I had a new dream. One that didn’t involve motherhood, cookies, doing laundry, and being a soccer mom.

One that centered around penetrating the impenetrable.

“So? What?” he prompted irately.

At his words, I flew across the room.

He had the chance to go back on a boot but that was all he had before my body slammed into his, my hands went to either side of his head and I lifted up on tiptoe as I yanked him down.

Then I pressed my lips hard against his.

A breath later, something strange happened.

Strange and wondrous.

His arms closed around me, and if I could think of anything, I’d worry about the state of my ribs.

But I couldn’t think of anything because his tongue spiked into my mouth and my world changed.

My entire world.

I didn’t have a dead sister.

I didn’t have a dead mother.

I didn’t have a lonely father looking after his mother, who was addled with Alzheimer’s disease.

I didn’t have an ex‑husband, who I once loved who I thought would cherish and protect me and help me build my dream, but now was making my life a misery and trying to take my son away from me.

I had this.

All of it. All the biker named Joker gave me by holding me so tight it was a pain that hurt so good and who was invading my mouth with his tongue in a way that stated clearly he could do it for a lifetime and never get enough.

My hands left his head so I could curve my arms around his shoulders as I pressed closer.

In return, one of his hands slid up my spine. He pulled out my ponytail holder and drove his fingers into my hair, cupping the back of my head, tilting it one way while he slanted his the other. He deepened the kiss in an intoxicating way while his other hand glided down and cupped one cheek of my behind.

That felt good.

He shuffled me back.

I went with him.

We kept kissing.

Then he turned quickly and we were falling.

Then he turned quickly and we were falling.

He landed on his back on the bed. I landed on him but barely had the opportunity to experience the dizzying beauty of the long length of his hard frame under mine before I was given more beauty when he rolled me and I had the weight of his hard frame pressing mine into the bed.

His hand left my bottom and went up, fingers yanking at my navy LeLane’s polo shirt, pulling it from my khakis, and then I had its heat, skin against skin.

I was right.

His hands were rough.


Aloha to Nancy Lee Badger and MY HUNTED HIGHLANDER - Guest post


Warriors, Weapons, and Pirates. Oh my!

My Hunted Highlander, released June 16th, is the third and final book in the Kilted Athletes Through Time series. This book has taken a twist to include pirates of the North Sea. Before I had written the first line, I had already decided to have my hero, Niall Sinclair, use a longbow when he traveled forward in time. He also proves adept at the sheaf toss, and in wooing a special woman…the captain of The Black Thistle. The book blurb sets the tone:

Plucked naked from the North Sea, bruised and nearly drowned, Niall Sinclair wakes bound to the mast of the pirate ship, The Black Thistle. Hiding his identity, and brutalized by the first mate and other seamen, their captain comes to his aid. Her identity, and gender, are a surprise, and his physical reaction to her makes him nearly forget his need to escape, and return to his clan. When kidnapped from her shipbuilding business in modern day Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the last place Blair MacIan figured to end up, was at the helm of a pirate ship in 1603 Scotland. With her abusive husband dead, and the ship, the crew, and their people under her care, the last thing she needed was to fish a naked man from the sea. His ravaged face and ragged sandy hair could not detract from his magnificence, and she sensed in him, a means for her own escape. 

I dug out my husband’s ancient longbow to use for inspiration and to place prominently on my book cover. Creating book covers is an art, and I was able to find a hunk in a kilt, a rocky shore, and a tall ship to bring my story to light. In Scotland of old, the longbow was used primarily for hunting, but it proved a fearless weapon on the battlefield. In this excerpt, the power behind the longbow is evident:

“Blair!” She didn’t answer. Concerned for her safety, Niall raced toward Wynda’s cart. Shouts from the other archery competitors made him wonder if his last shot had won the match. Once he captured his sire, he would have no need for coin. Unfortunately, if Blair truly meant to stay in this world, she might have use for it, but he saw no reason for her to remain. Could he persuade her to return to Scotland with him? If she did, what could he offer her?

If he managed to capture his sire, and their surviving clan members deemed Angus Sinclair unfit to rule, could Niall accept his place as clan chieftain? Would his brother, Gavin, relinquish his current position as laird? In the Scottish Highlands, rules were not hewn in stone. The best man to rule, would rule.

When they had traveled forward in time, winter was nearly upon them. Heavy snows were not far behind. Many would starve, if Gavin had not had the forethought to prepare their people.

Battle-weary, Niall notched an arrow as he searched for his sire, aware that the older man was similarly armed.

The whisper of an approaching arrow made him duck behind the corner of a small out-building. “Too close.”

He moved stealthily around the opposite side of the building, ducking behind a small pen holding several sheep. They bleated softly, and moved to the opposite side of the small enclosure. In the next corral, a pair of Highland cows were more curious, than fearful.

As Niall crouched, crawling along the fencing, the smaller cow headed in his direction. When it settled its chin on the top rail of the odd fence, Niall glanced up at its great span of horns. He slowly stood, and patted the tuft of shaggy red hair on its forehead, until the bull approached. As the beast swung its horns toward him, Niall fell to his knees. At the same moment, another arrow flew past his head, and imbedded in a tree that provided shade to the penned animals. Upper branches trembled at the contact, and showered him and the beasties with dead leaves.

“Bloody Hell!”

Amazon print
Highland cow

Award-winning author, Nancy Lee Badger, loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. A former EMT, volunteer firefighter, and 911 Dispatcher, Nancy writes about kilted Highlanders, heart-broken dragons, and romantic thrillers and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers.


Nancy is giving away a $25 Gift Card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble HERE

21851280My Dark Highlander (Kilted Athletes Through Time, #2)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Aloha to Laura Kaye and HARD TO LET GO - Release Week Blitz


Beckett Murda hates to dwell on the past. But his investigation into the ambush that killed half his Special Forces team and ended his Army career gives him little choice. Just when his team learns how powerful their enemies are, hard-ass Beckett encounters his biggest complication yet—a seductive, feisty Katherine Rixey.

A tough, stubborn prosecutor, Kat visits her brothers’ Hard Ink Tattoo shop following a bad break-up—and finds herself staring down the barrel of a stranger’s gun. Beckett is hard-bodied and sexy as hell, but he’s also the most infuriating man ever. Worse, Kat’s brothers are at war with the criminals her office is investigating. When Kat joins the fight, she lands straight in Beckett’s sights . . . and in his arms. Not to mention their enemies’ crosshairs.

Now Beckett and Kat must set aside their differences to work together, because the only thing sweeter than justice is finding love and never letting go.

Buy at Amazon | B&N | iBooksKobo

Hard to Let Go on Goodreads

And don’t miss the other Hard Ink books, now available:


Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Website | Facebook |Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

Laura is hosting a giveaway at this link ... and offers an excerpt from HARD TO LET GO

Beckett was a wrung-out mess. He’d just spent the past hour talking to Emilie, and it was maybe more than he’d talked at one time in his whole life. He couldn’t exactly say he felt good, and maybe not even better, but he could say that he was a little proud of himself for facing his past. Didn’t matter that dealing with that shit was as comfortable as swallowing crushed glass, because choking it down was the only way he’d have a chance at a future.

At least, a future that he really, truly wanted.

One where he wasn’t alone. One where he wasn’t angry. One where he wasn’t wasting the time he might have left on this earth—time his seven fallen teammates no longer had.

Jogging down the stairs from the third-floor apartment, Beckett headed to the gym. No matter how trashed he felt, he had one more conversation that absolutely had to happen tonight.

With Nick. About Kat.

Beckett had seen the all-knowing looks on Marz’s and Jeremy’s faces when he and Kat joined the all-hands’ meeting earlier in the evening. If he didn’t go to Nick soon, the guy was going to learn about them some other way. And then the hell was going to be even worse to pay. And Beckett didn’t want that to happen. Not just because he didn’t want the hassle. But because he owed it to Nick—as his friend and his brother—to come clean.

Didn’t mean that his gut wasn’t all twisted up about whether Nick would think him good enough for his baby sister, though.

He reached the gym door, took a deep breath, and punched in the pass code. Man up, Murda. Right.

Inside, things were hopping, despite the fact that it was pushing eleven o’clock. Some Ravens were lifting weights. Others were shooting the shit around the table. And two guys were tossing a ball back and forth, driving Eileen crazy by bouncing it over her head. Easy was pounding out a fast pace on the treadmill. And, in the back corner, Nick, Marz, and Shane were poring over something on Marz’s desk.

Beckett had faced down terrorists who wanted nothing more than to take his life with their very hands, and he’d probably never been as nervous as he was right now. For fuck’s sake.

He moved into the room. About midway across he spied Cy peeking out from behind a weight machine. “You and me are gonna have a talk soon, too,” he said, pointing at the cat. A one-eyed blink was his only answer.

And then he was standing on the far side of Marz’s desk next to Shane, peering down at what the three men were examining.

Marz gave him a smile and tapped his finger against the pages. “Just going over all these instances when Merritt noted Kaine as having changed orders regarding counter narcotics missions.”

“Marz was right,” Nick said, looking up at him. “Some of these gave me a bad feeling in my gut at the time, because they seemed out of character for Merritt. He was never a last minute kinda guy. Every damn time he’s marked those changes as having been ordered by Kaine.”

Beckett nodded. And then his mouth acted without his brain’s permission. “I’d like to date your sister.”


July sparkles with Romance

7/1: Wednesday's Warriors with Marilyn Pappano's A PROMISE OF FOREVER
7/2: Nancy Lee Badger's MY HUNTED HIGHLANDER
plus Laura Kaye's HARD TO LET GO 
plus Kristen Ashley's RIDE STEADY
7/4: Celebrate Little Victories - Let Freedom Ring 
7/5: Weekly Winners
7/6: Adrienne Giordano's THE DETECTIVE
7/7: Reserved
7/8: Wednesday's Warriors with Andrew Peterson 
7/9: Julie Ann Walker's HELL OR HIGH WATER
7/10: Terry Spear's SEAL WOLF HUNTING
7/11: Celebrate Little Victories
7/12: Weekly Winners
7/13: Michele Summer's NOT SO NEW IN TOWN
7/14: Adrienne Giordano's DOG COLLAR KNOCKOFF
7/15: Wednesday's Warriors

7/17: Samantha Grace's THE BEST OF BOTH ROGUES
7/18: Celebrate Little Victories
7/19: Weekly Winners
7/20: Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano, EXPOSING JUSTICE
7/21: Jane Ashford's A RADICAL ARRANGEMENT
7/22: Wednesday's Warriors
7/23: Sherri Browning's THE GREAT ESCAPE
7/24: Misty Evans' DEADLY INTENT
7/25: Celebrate Little Victories
7/26: Weekly Winners
7/27: Lauren Layne's FRISK ME
7/29: Wednesday's Warriors
7/30: Grace Burrowes' TREMAINE'S TRUE LOVE
7/31: Paige Tyler's WOLF TROUBLE 

8/1:  Celebrate Little Victories

8/2:  Weekly Winners
8/3:  ML Buchman's HOT POINT 
8/4:  Happy Birthday, US Coast Guard!
8/5:  Wednesday's Warriors 

8/6:  Nancy Lee Badger's IGNITE
8/8:  Samantha Chase's MADE FOR US 
8/9:  Weekly Winners 
8/10: Debra Holt's MERCY'S RESCUE
8/11: Heather Boyd's MISS RADLEY'S THIRD DARE 
8/12: Wednesday's Warriors
8/13: Open
8/14: Open
8/15: Celebrate Little Victories
8/16: Weekly Winners
8/17: Open

8/18: Open
8/19: Wednesday's Warriors
8/20: Open
8/21: Open
8/22: Celebrate Little Victories
8/23: Weekly Winners
8/24: Open
8/25: Jodi Thomas' RANSOM CANYON
8/26: Wednesday's Warriors
8/27: Open
8/28: Open
8/29: Celebrate Little Victories
8/30: Weekly Winners
8/31: Open  

September is Write a Review Month

10/12: Lindsay McKenna 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wednesday's Warrior - Aloha to Marilyn Pappano and A PROMISE OF FOREVER

Today I am honored to host Marilyn Pappano - a military spouse who writes military heroes.  From her bio,

Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband's Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.


Marilyn joins me for a cozy chat ... 

Kim:  Thank you for husband's service, and yours, too, as a military spouse. Can you share one favorite memory from Navy life?

Marilyn:  You're welcome, and the same to you! One of my favorite memories came when we were stationed in Charleston SC. Bob was assigned to the USS Sierra, and they were returning from a brief cruise. The families, including our infant son and I, were waiting on the pier, all excited and anticipating a wonderful reunion. Arrival time came and went, people started getting restless, kids running in circles. To make matters even worse, our son, who'd woken with a cough, was quickly getting sicker. Finally, word spread: the ship had run aground in the channel just a few miles away. It took forever for them to reach the pier, everyone was cranky, and instead of enjoying a wonderfully romantic reunion (it would have been our first), we wound up taking our son to the ER at the naval hospital, where we found out he had pneumonia! In the end, it was all good: the baby recovered, and Bob and I had a little quiet time together. It was a good lesson for a new Navy wife: be prepared for anything.

Kim:  Who or what helped you along the path to publishing?

Marilyn:  A long-gone editor at Silhouette (now part of Harlequin) helped me in an unusual way: she told me I had no talent for storytelling. I wanted to prove her wrong, so I finished my second book and submitted it to Leslie Wainger at the same house, who bought it right away. Leslie was a huge help; she spent a lot of time, not just telling me what I did wrong but why it was wrong and showing me how to fix it. I learned more working with her than any courses could ever have taught me.

Kim:  I know Leslie!  She is awesome!  I'll share the story of how I met Leslie in a future blog.  What inspired the Tallgrass series and A PROMISE OF FOREVER?

Marilyn:  An editor I'd worked with before asked if I was interested in doing a military-themed series for her. It took five or six months, but suddenly, on the 4th of July, it all came together. There are authors with military backgrounds writing from that view, but I was a Navy wife and an Army mom, so the natural focus for me is from that angle. A PROMISE OF FOREVER was one of those lucky books that just grew. Ben and Lucy appeared in previous books; Avi and Calvin just naturally filled in the blanks. Avi's my first active-duty female character, and I love her.

Mahalo, Marilyn, for sharing A PROMISE OF FOREVER.  I'll post my review on the 4th of July.

Sergeant First Class Avi Grant's return to Tallgrass, Oklahoma is a long-deferred wish come true. With her final tour in Afghanistan over, Avi can focus on her future-a job here at home and a family of her own. There's just one thing she has to do first: visit her beloved commanding officer's widow and share her grief. The last thing she expected was to feel an instant attraction to the woman's son. Too bad the sexy surgeon is impossible to ignore . . . and even harder to resist.

The sting of his parents' divorce still niggles at Ben Noble. So when a warm, funny, and beautiful young sergeant arrives, mourning his stepfather's loss as strongly as his mother does, Ben can't help but feel conflicted. If his parents taught him anything, it's that love doesn't last-especially with a career soldier. But try as he might to keep his distance, Ben begins to see that Avi-and the spark she brings to his life-is the stuff forever is made of. As Avi's leave ticks away, can Ben convince her to take a chance on forever with him?

Forever Romance offers a giveaway at this link ... and an excerpt from A PROMISE OF FOREVER:

Outside, the sounds of children playing were louder, the splashes indicating that the kids across the street were enjoying one of the last swims of the summer. Avi and Ben walked silently to her car, parked in the driveway.

She nestled the pie plate into the passenger seat, tucked her purse around to hold it in place, then closed the door before turning to him.

So . . . Would he ask for her cell number? Offer his? Make firm plans to see her again before driving away?

For the first time in a long time, the answers mattered.

Linking his fingers with hers, he pulled her to the driver’s side of the car, then stood, invading her personal She liked it.

“Do you have any plans for tomorrow night?”

Yes! “Not a single one.”

He combed his fingers through his hair. “Would you like to go out to dinner?”

She wanted to blurt out the affirmative as quickly as it had echoed in her head, but he went on. “You would have to drive to Tulsa. Tuesday is surgery day, so if I come here, I can’t get here before seven, and I’ll have to head back before nine.”

Drive to Tulsa? An hour or less. No big deal. She’d had commutes between apartments and forts that took longer, and that was just to work. An evening with Ben was such a nicer payoff. “I don’t mind.”

“I usually get out of clinic around six. We could meet at my house around six thirty?”

A smile spread across her face. “I can handle that.”

“Good.” He wasn’t smiling, but his eyes showed something just as encouraging. Relief, maybe, or satisfaction. Hmm. She could show him satisfaction.

He leaned closer, just slightly, and lowered his voice. “I’d kiss you good night, but we have an audience.”

Glancing over her shoulder toward the house, she caught just a glimpse of Patricia before the blinds at the living room window settled. Looking back at Ben, she smiled. “Kiss me anyway.”

He closed the last of the distance between them, lowering his mouth to hers, giving her a sweet, gentle, tender kiss that set her blood on fire. It was impressive and surprising and just a bit scary, considering she’d had tons of kisses that were a whole lot more passionate and evoked a whole lot less of a response.

When he lifted his head, her fingers curled, wanting to wrap around the back of his neck and pull him down again. Her heart skipped a beat or two, and something deep inside her felt deprived.

In the dim light, Ben looked impressed and surprised and a bit scared, too. For a moment, he stared at her, all intense and searching, then he gave a rueful shake of his head. Stepping back, he asked for her cell phone, input his number, and texted it to himself to get her number.

“Six thirty,” he said when he handed it back, his voice rough-edged. “I’ll send you the address.”

“I’ll be there.”