Saturday, March 19, 2016

Celebrate Romance Every Day: SOS Aloha 6th Anniversary (Part 3): Andrews AFB, RT, and RWA


Andrews AFB is home of Air Force One, which frequently visited Hawaii, parking not too far from my house!  Andrews AFB is also where my romance appetite was cultivated by Cathy Maxwell during a book signing in the base exchange. 

Cathy's THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT was the first romance book I read (link). Cathy attended the Old Fashioned Tea Party on Fort Meade (link). I was too busy at the Tea Party to chat with Cathy, thus prompting me to join her at the book signing on Andrews AFB.

I watched Cathy work her magic, laughing with readers as she signed their books.  I noticed a retiree approach her table, pick up her book, read her bio, and comment, "You look like you love what you do.  I'd like to buy this book!"


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In April 2009, I attended the RT Booklovers' Convention in Orlando.  Cathy supported me as I coordinated the SOS America Military Tribute - she's a Navy Vet!   Many readers asked what they could do to support military families ... so I collected email addresses to create the SOS America newsletter (the newsletter would later morph into a blog).

No sooner had I returned home from Orlando when my husband received his next assignment - Hawaii.  By July, my house was packed but I had one last event - the RWA National Conference in Washington, DC.  I was in heaven! The highlight was sitting in the bar with Cathy, Cara Elliott, and Lauren Willig ... when the fire alarm rang and the lobby was swarmed with firemen!  No doubt this inspired the wave of firemen romances to come.  As we evacuated the building, Cathy suggested we enjoy lunch at an Thai restaurant across the street.  We were joined by Elizabeth Hoyt and Jade Lee. What more could a romance fan want?!?

I found firemen during RWA in NYC in 2015

My roommate at RWA was Mary Gramlich (link), who had been reviewing books for several years. She invited Delilah Marvelle back to our room for an impromptu wine tasting.  We later dined with Delilah and Kim Killion.  I look back at the entire conference with fond memories before our big move to Hawaii.  Those memories sustained me as I felt isolated from romance by the physical distance ... my blog would later bridge that distance. 

Readers, do you remember the first romance blog(s) which caught your attention?  One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Saturday, March 19, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, March 20.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Next Week:  SOS Aloha is born on Pearl Harbor.


20 comments:

  1. I think it was Harlequin Junkie. I remember doing a search for Harlequin books and thought it was a sub-site and then I realized what it was, such a great place for reviews and giveaways and I've been visiting them ever since.

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  2. I guess it would be yours......I visited message boards but not blogs.

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  3. I cannot say which ones, but now I discovered many & enjoy visiting them!

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  4. Sadly, I do not remember that. But there are many I love reading today. I love hearing your stories, like today's!

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  5. DC was my first RWA Convention! I was in a class on 'Adding Heat to Sex Scenes' or something like that when the fire alarms went off. Hot! The blog I have visited and get a lot our of is History Undressed by author Eliza Knight (who I met in DC!) http://www.historyundressed.com/ All the articles are historical in nature and really great!
    Nancy Lee Badger, Author

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  6. What wonderful memories you had at the Washington Conferance Kim. I honestly don't remember what my first blog was. Thanks for sharing your memories.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  7. Probably Jaunty Quills was my first, and then there have been so many more... I found you while you were in Hawaii!

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  8. Harlequin Junkie was the first one I remember ;)

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  9. Hmm, hard to remember which was first, Plotmonkeys, now defunct.
    ladbookfan

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  10. Sadly most have gone their ways - yours is one of the few that I still enjoy!

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  11. I agree with catslady - many are gone and many have changed; there are only a few I frequent, this being one of them and Jill Shalvis.
    PattyB43

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  12. I actually think that yours was one of the first blogs that I visited. We were stationed at Andrews AFB in 1990, and used to see the President drive by when he was going off in air Force One. A small contingent of us Brits went to see the Queen when she landed at Andrews when she came for a visit.

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  13. I think it was the blog Karen Ranney and Sue-Ellen Welfonder did called Tartan Ink

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  14. Harlequin Junkie was the first of many romance blogs.

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  15. I was a children's librarian who also did the ordering for the romance collection in our small county library. I started following author and found some review blogs so I could keep up with what was new and coming up. I think the review sites were all links to reviews from author sites. The Romance Dish, Petticoats and Pistols, RomCon were the first blogs I visited and many years later I am still visiting them.

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  16. I think it was Jaunty Quills and the Romance Dish for me. Always a fun place to visit and great author visits!

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  17. My first blog was Romance in Color.

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