Aloha, mai ka Mei puke SOS America!
Aloha, here is the May newsletter for SOS America!
Before we venture forth into May, let’s back track to April:
- In the April newsletter, I mistakenly called Darlene Marshall by a different name. I have corrected the mistake in the newsletter and offer my sincere apology to Darlene. I cannot fathom why I made this mistake as Darlene is a fellow Floridian.
I thank Darlene Marshall once again for her donation and her family’s military service to our country. To learn more about Darlene’s books about Florida pirates, log onto http://www.darlenemarshall.com/
- Last week, Diane Cosby (Navy Veteran and Zebra author) asked me to recommend tourist spots for her Facebook friend and romance reviewer, Sarah Simas. Instead, I offered Sarah and her husband a military tour of Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, and Hickam Airfield. As we toured these historic sites, I learned more about Sarah’s review site, http://thelovestrucknovice.blogspot.com/
But she blew my socks off when she mentioned that she sat next to Jay Nicholas Sario on the flight from San Fran. You may be wondering, who is Jay Nicholas Sario? He was a contestant on Lifetime TV's Project Runway. According to Sarah, Jay was disappointed with fourth place. As a mother of two preschoolers, Sarah offered him words of wisdom from a classic children's book, “Chin up, Jay.”
What book did Sarah quote? I have a special prize for every reader who emails me with the correct answer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I thank Diana Cosby for introducing me to my new friend! To learn more about Diana and her Scottish romances, log onto http://www.dianacosby.com/
And now for the merry month of May – it is named for Maia, the Greek goddess of fertility, lending credence to the nursery rhyme, “April showers bring May flowers.” But I associate May with remembering the accomplishments and sacrifices of our military families:
May 1 – Super Saturday: The Romantic Times’ Booklovers’ Convention continues with the giant book fair, Mr. Romance contest, and the SOS Military Mixer. I salute those who contributed to the SOS Military Mixer:
- Cindy Carver, Navy Veteran, for coordinating the mixer. To learn more about Cindy and Internet marketing, log onto http://www.cindycarver.info/
- SOS Sponsors who each have their own military connections:
Julie Miller, http://www.juliemiller.org/
Sherry James, http://www.sherryjames.com/
Robin L. Rotham, http://www.robinlrotham.com/
Rebecca York, http://www.rebeccayork.com/
- The publishers who donated books for the SOS tote bags:
Patti Marks, Jasmine-Jade Enterprises LLC, Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc., Cerridwen Press Inc, http://www.jasminejade.com/
Rhonda Penders, The Wild Rose Press, http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
Maureen Stead, Harlequin Enterprises, http://www.eharlequin.com/
Plus the RT volunteers who are always ready to support the military: Kelley, Brandi, Sandy, and countless others!
May 5 - Liberation Day in the Netherlands: Operation Market Garden brought the Allied Forces to the Low Countries, pushing back the German army and liberating the Netherlands. I lived in the Netherlands from 2002-2005. Each year, I witnessed the Dutch express their sincere appreciation of the Allied Forces. In 2005, President Bush joined Queen Beatrix on the 50th anniversary of Liberation Day at the American Cemetery in Margraten:
“On this peaceful May morning we commemorate a great victory for liberty, and the thousands of white marble crosses and Stars of David underscore the terrible price we pay for that victory. For the Americans who rest here, Dutch soil provides a fitting home. It was from a Dutch port that many of our pilgrim fathers first sailed for America. It was the Dutch who became one of the first foreign nations to recognize the independence of the new United States of America.”
How does Operation Market Garden relate to romance books? English writer Daphne Du Maurier was married to Lieutenant General Frederick Browning, who served as the Deputy Commander for Operation Market Garden. She became Lady Browning when the general was knighted in 1946. But Lady Browning became a Dame of the British Empire in her own right in 1969 when she was recognized on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List for her published works.
Please join me on May 5 at this blog site for Wandering Wednesday when we’ll travel to a special palace in the Netherlands in honor of Liberation Day.
May 8 – Victory in Europe (VE) Day: More than a million people celebrated the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, ending the War in Europe. The actual surrender was signed May 7 in Reims, France.
From George Small, WWII Army veteran, who was working as a radio operator in Reims on that fateful day:
”During the day the German generals had all arrived in their Mercedes Benzes and surrendered. Though I had missed the show, the day shift had left copies of all the communications on the bulletin boards so we could read all about it. When I got off duty that night the French were in full celebration. There were huge bonfires burning over town and people were dancing, in the streets, sing and waiving bottles of wine.”
Almost a year later,
”Finally, it came time for me to ship out and head for home. Many of my buddies had already gone. I took the slow route back by train, wandering through the countryside and stopping at every little town where the citizens all ran down and tried to sell us knick-knacks and bottles of green wine. We embarked at LeHavre aboard the George Washington, thousands of us, and spent seven seasick days crossing the Atlantic. Then one sunny spring day we steamed into New York harbor. Suddenly, to my surprise, we were surrounded by little tugboats, all decked out with flags and blowing their whistles. Along the shore people were standing and waving. I couldn't imagine what all the fuss was about, and then I suddenly remembered.
It was May 7, 1946.
It was a marvelous welcome home, but as I stood there in midst of celebration I couldn't help thinking of all the guys who wanted to see this and never would.”
Thank you, George, for sharing with us. George is married to NYT best-selling author Bertrice Small, http://www.bertricesmall.com/. I met George and Bertrice at the RT Booklovers’ Convention in Pittsburgh/2007. George attended the SOS Military Mixer in his original Army uniform. I look forward to seeing them again next year when RWA hosts its national convention in NYC.
May 31 – Memorial Day: “Decoration Day” was first observed on May 5, 1866 in Waterloo, New York to honor the Union soldiers who lost their lives during the Civil War. It remained a “Northern holiday” until it was renamed Memorial Day after WWII.
This year, my children (and the scout troops) will place flags at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, http://www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/nmcp.asp.
Also known as Pūowaina (Hill of Sacrifice), the cemetery is built on a volcanic crater at the foot of the Koolau Mountain Range. Punchbowl offers a dramatic view of downtown Honolulu – perhaps the heroes buried there keep watch over the city.
May is Armed Services Appreciation Month. And the second week in May is Military Spouse Appreciation. Military service runs through the families of authors and readers alike. For authors, check out:
- RomVets, http://www.romvets.com/
“RomVets was organized when a handful of former military women got together for a drink at the Romantic Times convention in St. Louis in 2002. Since then our ranks have grown to include more than a hundred veterans and active duty women involved the creative process.” You might be surprise to learn who is a RomVet!
- Romance Roll Call, http://romancerollcall.com/
“Romance Roll Call is written by military writers for fans of military romance, in all its forms. Maybe the blogger has military experience. Maybe they write military romance. Maybe they’re a spouse, looking for a way to connect with other military spouses. Romance Roll Call is here to focus on our military romance genre.”
In honor of Memorial Day, Armed Services Appreciation Month and Military Spouse Appreciation Week, I invite you to leave a comment about a military veteran or spouse who you would like to appreciate. I will randomly select one commenter to win a special “military” prize from Pearl Harbor.
I would like to appreciate my husband, Chris – Air Force officer, Cub Scout leader, youth bowling coach, Barbershop quartet singer, and all around good guy. He generously indulges me in my romance hobby. In honor of Chris, I offer you one more holiday that celebrates his favorite book.
May 25 is Towel Day: From the website, http://www.towelday.org/
“Towel Day is an annual celebration as a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. On this day, fans around the universe proudly carry a towel in his honour.”
According to Chris, “The towel is everything in the book.” I challenge you to answer Chris’ trivia question, “What do you get when you multiply six times nine?” The answer is not 54 - you must be a fan to know the answer!
I have a special prize for every reader who emails me the correct answer, email@example.com.
What’s next? June celebrates D-Day, King Kamehameha the Great, US Army’s birthday, Flag Day, and Bloomsday. Meanwhile, I’ll be traveling to Las Vegas, Tampa, and Boston. July will take me to RomCon in Denver and the RWA National Convention in Nashville.
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 http://www.sosamericainc.org/