Friday, February 3, 2017

Aloha to the RWA Annual Conference, Motorcycle Club Romances, and Beyond Disney World

The RWA Annual Conference is coming to Orlando (link) - registration opens on Tuesday, February 7. I will be moderating a special workshop:

Rev It Up – Creating an authentic world for Motorcycle Club Romances (and small town romances, too)

Writing a series about motorcycle clubs is more than “strap your hands around my engines”. Join four experts for a hands on experience to “get patched” in the often misrepresented motorcycle culture. We invited the a special Harley Davidson dearlship to offer an introduction to the HOG world, from the weekend warriors to the pros who thrash at Sturgis. Next, authors Laura Kaye, Jade Chandler, and Candance Phillips share how they incorporate the motorcycle culture into romance novels for an authentic representation of this unique American identity. We reserve time for questions from the audience.

Romance author Elle Mason created a comprehensive planning guide to Walt Disney World.  From this link,

Next year’s Romance Writers of America® Annual Conference is being held at Walt Disney World Resort from July 26-29th. My friends already know that I’m a nerd when it comes to romance and a nerd for all things Disney. So to have both of my worlds merge come next July for #RWA17 is magical. It’s truly where all dreams come true (to use Disney-speak). I’ll be the girl not only wearing her RWA badge and pins but also my Mickey ears hat with pride. I just need to get a hat embroidered with “Elle” in advance.

Thank you, Elle, for this invaluable guide for those looking to explore the many worlds of Walt Disney.

I grew up in Miami and actually attended the grand opening of Walt Disney World in 1971.  I have taken my children in between military moves.  Hence, I will be looking to venture beyond the Mickey's ears:

Monday, July 24: St Augustine, two hour drive northeast. From its website (link), 

St. Augustine Florida is known for more than beautiful beaches, great shopping and fine dining. The Nation's Oldest City is rich in over 400 years of history and culture. Our fascinating history spans from the founding of St. Augustine by Pedro Menendez in 1565, to the reign of railroad entrepreneur Henry Flagler in the late 1800s, to the celebration of St. Augustine's 400th birthday in 1965.

Sights include Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (link) and historic Flagler College campus (link).

On the way back to Disney World, I'll stop by Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona to get ready for the Rev It Up workshop.  From its website (link),

Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona is the Home of Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson®, with it's massive 109,000 sq. ft. showroom, selling thousands of motorcycles, genuine HD Motorclothes apparel, parts, accessories and so much more. With retail shops like On The Fringe Leather, Daytona Official Gear and Bruce Rossmeyer's Outlet store; The Wild Hog Cafe, Daytona Pig Stand & Houligan's; and specialty shops like J&P Cycles, Destination 4x4s & More, Giant Recreation World, Ultimate Seats, Asylum Tattoo, Big Scoop Ice Cream, Camouflage Dave's Beef Jerky & More, Godfather's Tobacco, Daytona Cycle Audio and the full bar/nightclub/ Saints & Sinners Pub...there's always something to see... something to do... and something to buy at Destination Daytona.

Tuesday, July 25: Navy SEAL Museum, Fort Pierce, two hour drive southeast.  From its website (link),

The Museum was founded in 1985 and honors the Navy SEALs with its very location in Fort Pierce, Florida – the training site of the first “frogmen” of World War II, who have earned a proud place in Navy SEAL lineage. The museum’s tribute to these warriors is underscored by the Navy SEAL Memorial – the only one of its kind dedicated to Navy SEALs and their predecessors. The names of all who died in service of their country are etched in the granite shrine.

From the Patrol Boat Riverines – PBRs – that enabled the Navy SEALs in navigating and dominating the maze of rivers and canals in Vietnam, to a replica of Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad Pakistan, the Navy SEAL Museum houses an array of artifacts that showcase their perilous missions.

The museum recommends 3 hours to tour its facilities.  It website includes special directions:

Precision street coordinates: N27° 48.7588′, W080° 25.5026′

If you are using GPS, our coordinates are: Latitude: 27.8126468 Longitude: 80.4250437.

If you plan to parachute in, prevailing winds are from the Southeast at 10 to 18 knots.

For those of you who plan a SCUBA insertion, water temperatures range from 84° in the summer to under 70° in winter.

Er, I will simply drive.  Anyone attending RWA is welcome to join me for these "research" trips. I wanted to publish these opportunities as you make your travel plans.  If you live in Florida, feel free to join us even if you are not attending the conference.  Contact me at to chat details.  

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Have you visited Disney World, St. Augustine, or Fort Pierce?  If so, what are your favorite things about these places  If not, what would you like to see in these "towns"? 

2.  Comments are open through Sunday, February 12, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Monday, February 13.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


  1. I've been to Disney World four times, but not in 25 years (really need to go back). Haven't been Ft. Pierce, but have heard about it many times - my Dad was stationed there in WWII when he was in the Navy.

  2. Only been to Miami and Key West.

  3. Thinking of Disney World I'd want to immerse myself I think. Enjoy the atmosphere.

  4. Yes Orlando , it was fun , my first there

  5. I've been to St. Augustine love the city especially visiting the oldest fort.

  6. I visited Disney in California. I like to visit anything and everything.

  7. Disney World visitor when my niece and nephew lived nearby and visited St. Augustine for a spring break in the early 2000's.... Ft. Pierce is somewhere I've never been.

  8. We were visiting my mother-in-law who lived in Florida in 1971 and on the way home we spent a few hours in the newly made Disney World. (we had our dog with us but they had a nice new kennel). There wasn't a lot there at the time but we did take the monorail to see the sites. Luckily we've gone back for a few days here and there but we'd love to see more!

  9. I've been to Disney World twice. Definitely have to go back. I have always wanted to visit St. Augustine. My son went and loved it. Thanks for the post and giveaway chance.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  10. I would like to visit Disney World :)

  11. I've never been and no desire to go either 😊

  12. I used to go to Disney World at least once a year. It's been about 15 years since I've been.

  13. Had to smile over the directions to the SEAL Museum. We will have to go there next time we are in Florida.
    We went to Disney World Just after it opened, the week after Thanksgiving I think. The crowds were down to nothing. Several of the rides were down for repair. We had just gotten engaged. We have been back many times over the years with our family. Haven't been in a while and would like to see some of the new exhibits. We have been spoiled. We have had friends who work there and have gotten in for free (one of their benefits). They are all elderly now, even older than we are. Now it is our daughter who has friends working there. The rules have changed for getting guests in and there aren't as many times that aren't busy.
    St. Augustine is still on my list to visit. We stopped once on our way home, but only to eat dinner at the Columbia Restaurant. I want to go back and spend about a week in the area.
    Have not been to Ft. Pierce. We seldom get past Orlando. We have family there. my husband's mom moved there after his dad died so they would be near MaCoy AFB. Several good family friends were stationed there. Of course this was all pre-Disney.

  14. I have visited Disney in Fla - see my post about my fav park - LOL - no to St Augustine or Ft Pierce.

  15. we took the auto train to Orlando to start the "grand college tour" last summer--four schools in FL (UCF, Miami, UF, FSU), plus Bama and Duke. my husband doesn't like amusement parks, so we didn't visit disney or universal. I could see hogwarts from the interstate en route to UF. :(


  16. It would be nice to visit these places with a group!

  17. Have been to Disney in Fla, would like to see the Seal Museum.

  18. Have been to Disney in Orlando a few times, the last with my grandchildren and family. I have not been to St. Augustine or Ft. Pierce; the places you mentioned sound like good places to visit.

  19. I'm hoping to attend this year if I can get the funds together. Army retirement doesn't pay what it does when your active duty. My 3rd book releases in March so here's to crossing my fingers. I've never been to florida so this is my chance lol. If not this year I see y'all next year just make sure yall in Romvets share pictures. ������

  20. Disney World is so much fun! Hubs and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary there. Just the two of us for a week.

    We've been to St. Augustine many times, but not in quite a few years. I love the old city.