Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Aloha to Elizabeth Boyle and THE VISCOUNT WHO LIVED DOWN THE LANE (Rhymes with Love) - Book Review


In New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Boyle's fourth novel in the Rhymes With Love series, a resolute young woman goes toe-to-toe with the Beast of Mayfair...

She has no desire for love...

As she arrives in Mayfair, Louisa Tempest is horrified when her incorrigible cat bolts from the carriage and dashes into a neighbor's house, where she comes face-to-face with the reclusive Viscount Wakefield. But even more dismaying than his foul temper is the disarray in which she finds his home. Convinced his demeanor would improve if his household were in order, Louisa resolves to put everything to rights.

...until she meets the viscount who lives down the lane.

Much to his chagrin, Wakefield finds it impossible to keep the meddling Louisa out of his home, invading his daily life with her "improvements," and his nights with the tempting desires she sparks inside him. Wounded in the war, he's scorned society ever since his return . . . until Louisa opens the door to his heart and convinces him to give love a second chance.

My thirst for adventure will never be quenched! - Puss in Boots (Shrek)

In Regency England, Hannibal embraces Puss in Boots' attitude.  He is an ungrateful cat who escapes from his fair maiden's carriage upon their arrival in London.   The maiden chases after her beloved pet, only to find herself in the liar of the dragon.

Elizabeth Boyle taps into nursery rhymes to create a humorous romance between a tidy spinster and a wounded warrior.   She delivers a Regency style fairy tale with a dose of Jane Austen, Erma Bombeck, and Martha Stewart.  Yet Boyle weaves compassion and redemption into the story that leaves the reader - and Hannibal - purring in content.   

THE VISCOUNT WHO LIVED DOWN THE LANE is Book 4 in the Rhymes with Love series.  I have not read the previous books (gasp!) but I was able to read this romance as a stand alone story.  In fact, I could not put this book down much to my cats' dismay for having my attention diverted from them.

Recommended read for fans of Beauty and the Beast, both human and feline.  I received a coy of THE VISCOUNT WHO LIVED DOWN THE LANE as a gift.

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

1.  Do you have a favorite animated character?   I'm partial to the Cat in the Hat.

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 Elizabeth and her books at elizabethboyle.com.

Meet Elizabeth at the SOS America Military Tribute during the RT Booklovers' Convention at this link


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Aloha to Laura Wright and BRASH


The New York Times bestselling author of the Cavanaugh Brothers novels returns to the Cavanaugh’s Texas Triple C ranch as the brothers confront the painful memories of their childhood and the truth about their sister’s murder…

No matter how many fights UFC champion Cole Cavanaugh wins, he can’t rid himself of the guilt of not having saved his twin sister’s life. Now, not only is he facing his arch enemy in the ring, he’s fighting to uncover the truth about Cass’s death. But will winning both fights truly give him the retribution and absolution he seeks? Or does he need the healing power of love to finally move on with his life?

The mystery surrounding Cass’s murder also haunts veterinarian Grace Hunter. Many believe that her father might hold the key to the truth. Unfortunately the ex-Sheriff’s deteriorating mental state makes it impossible to separate fact from fiction. As Cole persuades Grace to help him unlock the elusive clues, her defenses weaken. She finds the Stetson-wearing fighter irresistible. But while the truth could free Cole’s heart, it could very well end up shattering hers.

Cows on Kauai ... life is good!

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

1.  Leave a comment about ranches ... what would you name yours?  Mine would be the Circle Palm Tree in honor of Hawaii.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, March 14, 10 pm in Baltimore.  

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, March 15.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Laura and her books at laurawright.com.


Aloha to the Library of Congress - Romance Fiction in the Digital Age (part 4)

Above are Nicolas Cage and Justin Bartha in NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS as they scour the Library of Congress for a clue. What treasures will digital books hold for the future?  The Library of Congress hosted a day long conference, Romance Fiction in the Digital Age (link).  Panel Four explored this very issue - Where is Romance Fiction Heading in the Digital Age?

Moderator:  Sarah Frantz Lyons, founder of The International Study of Popular Romance

Panelists:  Liliana Hart, self published author, Jon Fine, Former Director of Author Relations for Amazon, Angela James, Editorial Director for Carina Press, Tara McPherson, Associate Professor of Gender Studies at USC, and Dominique Raccah, CEO of Sourcebooks.  

From the panel (paraphrase):

Liliana Hart: I was tired of being told that romantic suspense would not sell (so she decided to self publish).  I self publish like a traditional house - I hire a professional editor, cover artist, etc.

Angela James: Digital publishing provides hope to aspiring authors.

Dominique Raccah:  Find where are your readers.

The panel agreed that romance community embraced digital format, paving the way for indie publishing.  

I recommend Sarah Wendell's storified Tweets at this link.  For tweets related to this panel, scroll to 3:44 pm. 

I prefer print books.  I'll probably be buried with a print book in my hand.  But I appreciate the new opportunities afforded by digital books - traditional authors publishing backlists; traditional authors completing series; any author publishing genres (like romantic suspense) that "dont' sell"; and any author pursuing a dream.

What are your thoughts on digital publishing?   One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, March 7, 10 pm.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, March 8.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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 sos.aloha@yahoo.com.


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 carlaneggers.com.