Aloha, mai ka 'Apelila puke SOS America!
Welcome, here is the April newsletter for SOS America!
April is no fool, as her birthstone is diamond. April gives us Spring Break and the Easter Holiday. April breathes life back into nature and opens the flowers these holidays.
1. Hawaiian Happenings: We are overflowing with romance authors on the islands!
- On March 6, HelenKay Dimon spoke to RWA’s Aloha Chapter on Hickam AFB. She shared tidbuts from her own climb up the publishing ladder. HelenKay also shared her experience with the legendary editor, Kate Duffy.
- On April 3, Jill Marie Landis spoke to RWA’s Aloha Chapter at the Kapolei Library. She’s hopped over from Kauai to talk about character motivation – it was an interactive discussion where we helped her develop a cast of characters. During lunch, she shared funny stories when RWA hosted its National Convention on Waikiki Beach.
I’ll see Jill again when I hop over to Kauai for her book signing with Stella Cameron and Kristin Hannah on April 24 at Borders Lihue. Her book signing will feature hula dancers, ukulele player, and other fun Hawaiian culture. I'll blog about it in next month's newsletter.
- On April 8, Jane Porter is signing books at the Grand Opening of Ty Gurney’s Surf School and Board Shop at the Imperial at Waikiki Beach. For more information, log onto http://www.tygurneysurfschool.com/.
In honor of Hawaiian Happenings, I offer you books from these fabulous authors:
- HelenKay Dimon, ww.helenkaydimon.com, Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy
- Jill Marie Landis, www.jillmarielandis.com, Heart of Stone
- Jane Porter, www.janeporter.com, Easy on the Eyes
Mahalo, HelenKay, Jill, and Jane, for donating books to SOS!
2. April also gives us holidays around the world, including:
April is Month of the Military Child. I posted a blog about Month of the Military Child,
In Hawaii, keiki (children) are the focus of the ohana (family). It is a family tradition to pack the ka’a (car) with a grill, Frisbees, and papa he'enalu (surfboards) and head for the kahakai (beach).
April 4-10 is The Merry Monarch Week. In the 1820s, missionaries convinced Queen Ka’ahumanu to outlaw Hula as “hedonistic” as Hawaiians converted to Christianity. Fifty years later, King Kalakua repelled the law and restored the Hawaiian tradition. The Merrie Monarch Festival honors King Kalakua’s legacy with a hula competition, crafts fair, and music concerts in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii.
E Ola Mau Kona Ho’oilina. His legacy lives on.
To learn more about the festival, log onto http://www.merriemonarch.com/.
To learn more about the Big Island, read my blogs about Spring Break:
April 6 is National Tartan Day. Scottish descendants wear their clan's colors in honor of the Declaration of Arbroath. On this Day in 1320, eight earls and 41 nobles signed the Declaration, naming Robert the Bruce as Scotland’s King:
”To this man, in as much as he saved our people, and for upholding our freedom, we are bound by right as much as by his merits, and choose to follow him in all that he does.”
The Declaration of Arbroath sought Pope John XXII’s recognition of Scotland as a kingdom independent from its feudal overlord, King Edward I of England. Perhaps the Declaration of Arbroath was the inspiration for the Declaration of Independence, signed 450 years later by American patriots with Scottish heritage.
Abbott Bernard drafted the Declaration at Arbroath Abbey. The abbey fell into disrepair during the Reformation, but it remains a beloved symbol of Scotland’s independence. Arbroath Abbey is cared by Historic Scotland, www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.
To celebrate National Tartan Day, I am giving away Scottish Medievals from NYT's best selling author, Amanda Scott, www.home.att.net/~amandascott
Border Moonlight, Border Wedding, Seduced by a Rogue, Tamed by a Laird
In the last two books, Amanda refers to Caerlaverock, an area in Southwest Scotland. Given its close proximity to the English border, Sir Herbert de Maxwell built a fortified castle in 1277. Its triangular structure and deep moat enabled the Maxwell family to defend against the King Edward’s Siege of 1300. Today, the Caerlaverock Castle ruin is also cared by Historic Scotland. This preservation society hosts numerous events, including a reenactment of the Siege of 1300 with an actual trebuchet. To learn more about Caerlaverock Castle, log onto:
Mahalo, Frances Jalet-Miller from Hachette Book Group, for donating these books!
April 11 - The Tudors return! Showtime is offering the first episode on its website, http://www.sho.com/site/tudors/home.do
For the past three seasons, King Henry VIII has bedded and wedded three wives
- Catherine of Aragon (divorced)
- Anne Boleyn (beheaded)
- Jane Seymour (died)
He also married Anne of Cleeves, but claimed he never bedded her. Thus their marriage was annulled. In Season Four, he names her as his "sister" so he doesn't have to repay her dowry (or insult the Protestant League who arranged the marriage). This season, the aging Henry will marry Katherine Howard (beheaded like her cousin Anne Boleyn) and Catherine Parr (who outlived him). This series is historically inaccurate. But it is a sensual treat with period costumes, classical music, and handsome Brits. My favorite is Henry Cavill, 1st Duke of Suffolk. To celebrate the return of The Tudors, I offer books about the Tudors:
- Karen Harper, www.karenharperauthor.com, Mistress Shakespeare
- Rona Sharon, www.ronasharon.com, Royal Blood
Mahalo, Karen and Rona, for donating these books!
April 19 is Patriots' Day. This holiday commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which ignited the Revolutionary War. Patriot’s Day is celebrated as Massachusetts holiday the 3rd Monday in April. It is the traditional day of the Boston Marathon and Opening Day at Fenway Park. In honor of Patriot’s Day, I am giving away the April release from Dianna Love, www.authordiannalove.com, Silent Truth.
Dianna and co-author Sherrilyn Kenyon dedicated the book to today’s Patriots:
”We’re dedicating this to the men and women in the military who are away from their families protecting all of us back home. Bless you and may God keep you safe!!”
Mahalo, Dianna, for donating these books and your loving tribute to military personnel!
April 22 is Earth Day. Founded by US Senator Nelson from Wisconsin, Earth Day began as an environmental seminar in 1970. Forty years later, we seek more ways to recycle, reuse, and regenerate. In Hawaii, it saddens me to see plastic bags caught in the Ohi'a trees. The islands of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii have banned plastic bags. Over in Kaneohe Bay, the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) no longer offers plastic bags. In fact, it sells tote bags,
"Marines are earth friendly because
- Marines have been saving the planet for over 200 years
- Marines are lean, GREEN, fighting machines
- In battle, the Marines ALWAYS clean up
- Marines conserve … they hit their target with the first round
- Without nature, Marines would be visible."
I will blog about Earth Day on April 22 at www.sosaloha.blogspot.com. I will also give away these fabulous bags to randomly selected commenters. The MCX tote bags are the must haves for the fashionable recycler! Even Tim Gunn would be jealous …
April 23 is the Conch Republic's Independence Day. On this date in 1982, Key West “seceded” from the United States to create the Conch Republic. This secession was a protest to the Border Patrol’s car checks that clogged the Keys’ only highway. It was also a publicity stunt to promote tourism. To learn more about the Conch Republic, log onto http://www.conchrepublic.com/
Key West has long served as a haven for pirates. Pirates also live in Orlando (Disney ride) and Tampa (NFL team). And Florida native Darlene Marshall, www.darlenemarshall.com, has her own band of pirates:
Captain Sinister’s Lady, Pirate’s Price, Smuggler’s Bride, The Bride and the Buccaneer
Mahalo, Darlene, for donating these books. And sincere appreciation to your extended family for their military service!
April 23 is St. George’s Day. St. George is best known as the Patron Saint of England. Born circa 275 AD in Turkey, his physical stature enabled him to enlist as a Roman soldier, rising to the ranks of the Emperor’s Guard. Yet St. George converted to Christianity as the emperor used the Roman Army to persecute Christians. He appealed to the Emperor to cease his persecution. But the Emperor imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded St. George. He died as a Christian martyr on April 23, 303.
The Catholic Church beautified St. George and he became the patron saint of military orders. In 1348, King Edward III established the Knights of Garter, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Edward the Confessor, and St. George. It remains the oldest order of chivalry in Europe.
In 1415, King Henry V led his knights to defeat the French Army in the Battle of Agincourt. Drawing upon St. George as their spiritual leader, the victorious King and Knights adopted St. George as the Patron Saint of England.
St. George is also the Patron Saint of Barcelona. It is tradition to give un libro (a book) as a token of St. George's Day. So let’s giveaway books about chivalrous knights from Sarah McKerrigan, www.sarahmckerrigan.com,
Captive Heart, Danger’s Kiss, Lady Danger
Mahalo again, Frances, for donating these books!
April 28 kicks of the Romantic Times’ Booklovers’ Convention in Columbus, Ohio. Kathryn Falk, Lady of Barrow, is the founder and CEO of Romantic Times’ (RT) Book Reviews – a monthly magazine with interviews, back stories, and more. Almost thirty years ago, she began with a newspaper format and now publishes a glossy magazine. From the RT website, http://www.romantictimes.com/,
"She had the courage to go forward at a time when people didn't believe in her vision. She and RT BOOK REVIEWS became a voice for fans and professionals who had none,” Walter Zacharius, Kensington Books.
Never satisfied with the status quo, Lady Barrow launched the Romantic Times’ Booklovers’ Convention for romance fans to meet their favorite authors. Twenty-seven years later, the convention is an industry event of epic proportions. I have attended four convention,
- bumping elbows with NYT’s best sellers
- attending Heather Graham’s Vampire Balls
- receiving free books, swag bags, and little sleep
What more could a reader want?
Lady Barrow also founded Support Our Soldiers (SOS) America Inc. for the publishing industry to give back to military families. The convention features the SOS Military Mixer sponsored by romance authors with military connections:
- Sherry James, www.sherryjames.com
- Robin L. Rotham, www.robinlrotham.com
- Rebecca York, www.rebeccayork.com
- Julie Miller, www.juliemiller.org
I pay a special tribute to Julie’s Marine Dad who recently passed away
Mahalo, Sherry, Robin, Rebecca, and Julie, for your support of SOS!
And a big Mahalo to Lady Barrow for her tireless efforts with veterans everywhere!
The SOS Military Mixer is scheduled for Saturday, May 1, 3:30 pm, in the convention hotel. All convention participates are invited to attend. The mixer is also open to any veterans and their families in the local area. SOS will also have a table in Club RT – stop by for patriotic swag!
I salute those authors attending RT who have supported SOS over the past year:
Victoria Alexander*, Jenna Black, Shayla Black, Mary Blayney*, Celeste Bradley*, MaryJanice Davidson*, Kate Douglas, Lori Foster, Angie Fox*, Lynn Raye Harris*, Leanna Renee Hieber, Marcia James, Sabrina Jeffries, Sally MacKenzie*, Annie Marshall*, Delilah Marvelle, Courtney Milan, Cait Miller, Pamela Palmer*, Helen Rosburg, Robin L Rotham*, Michelle Rowan, Bobbi Smith, and Sherry Thomas.
* Authors have a military connection. Mahalo, authors, for your support!
Special Mahalo to the Special Ops authors - Anne Elizabeth, C.H. Admirand, Chryssa Caron, DC De Vane, Tara Nina, and Lori Avocato - for their continued generosity as they write the Special Ops anthologies. To learn more about these inspiring authors, log onto http://www.operationlove.us
In fact, the Special Ops authors kick off the Convention Pre-Party with their anthology,
For Your Heart Only - catch the romances in the I&A, DEA, NSA, FBI, and Treasury. From Anne Elizabeth, Leslie Wainger, DC De Vane, Chryssa Caron, and Tara Nina
And from other authors attending RT/2010 in Columbus:
Tales of Love, an anthology from Lori Foster, Dianne Castell, Marcia James, Donna MacMeans, Sarah McCarty, and Patricia Sargeant
The Journey Home, an anthology from Mary Jo Putney, Rebecca York, Patricia Rice, and Catherine Asaro
Winter Heat, an anthology from Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jade Lee, and Anna DeStephano
Victoria Alexander, Love with a Proper Husband, The Perfect Wife
Jennifer Armintrout, Ashes to Ashes, Possession, The Turning
Celeste Bradley, Desperately Seeking a Duke, Duke Most Wanted
Shannon Drake, Beguiled, Reckless
Diana Groe, Silk Dreams
Jennifer Haymore, A Hint of Wicked
Leanna Renee Hieber, The Dark Nest
Lisa Jackson, Absolute Fear
Jade Lee, The Concubine
Julia Ann Long, Like No Other Lover, The Perils of Pleasure
Delilah Marvelle, Lord of Pleasure
Donna MacMeans, The Education of Mrs. Brimley, The Seduction of the Duke
Julie Miller, At Your Command, Beauty and the Badge, Out of Control, Pulling the Trigger
Pamela Palmer, Passion Untamed
Michelle Rowan, Talk, Dark, and Fangsome
Hope Tarr, Vanquished
Lori Wilde, All of Me, Once Smitten Twice Shy
These books were donated by Jade Lee, Donna MacMeans, Carol Brown from the WRW, Mary Gramlich from The Reading Reviewer, and Nancy Collazo from Romantic Times.
Mahalo, Jade, Donna, Carol, Mary, and Nancy, for sharing with SOS!
I also offer Bobbi Smith’s Wanted: Half Breed. I won a contest to be a character in this book. I am a school marm in Chapter 2 (my friends think I am better suited as a bar wench).
Bobbi Smith coordinates an SOS fundraiser each year, offering readers the opportunity to pose with the Mr. Romance contestants. Mahalo, Bobbi, for your generous heart!
To learn more about Romantic Times Book Reviews and the Booklovers’ Convention, log onto www.romantictimes.com.
3. Book giveaway – If you would like one of the above listed books (in bold italics), send me your top three preferences and your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you receive your books, please contact the author to let her know that you received the book through the SOS Newsletter (look for contact info on the author’s website).
4. What’s Next? In May, we’ll celebrate
- Cinco De Mayo in Mexico
- Liberation Day in the Netherlands
- VE Day in Europe, including our last excerpt from George Small, WWII veteran
- Victoria Day in Canada
- Armed Forces and Military Spouses' Appreciation in the US
- Asian Pacific Heritage Month in the US
- RWA National Convention Preview
SOS Military Liaison
SOS is Support Our Soldiers (SOS) America Inc. – a 501(c)(3) charity registered with DOD’s “America Supports You” network. To learn more about SOS, log onto www.sosamericainc.org.