Thursday, May 21, 2015

Aloha to Dallas - Evening Parties


We sneaked into the ballroom early to take a picture of the mechanical bull for the Taste of Texas Romance Rodeo:

RT’s opening night party is sure to set the tone for a wild Western fun time in Dallas. A Texas barbeque celebration — pulled pork sandwiches and some traditional Texas-style side dishes — will be served up and, for entertainment, there will be line dancing, country music and a mechanical bull! Be sure dust off your cowboy boots, break out the hats and pack your finest Western attire for this fun-filled fantasy evening.


Two nights later, Heather Graham hosted the Lone Star's Supernatural State:

Come party on down, deep in the heart of Texas! The cowboys, ranchers, vamps, ghosts, ghouls and werewolves are all are planning on some good old Southern hospitality! Solve the demise of the vampire rancher, Nate Bloodworthy, in the midst of the barbecue festivities, and win the grand prize, or pick up one of a dozen fun, lovely, and creepy pieces in the costume competition!


The Little Princess wanted to dance on stage ... 



... and she stole the show!  Would you ride the mechanical bull? Do you know how to two step?  Would you dress up in paranormal costume?  One randomly selected commenter from my RT posts wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, May 31. I'll post the winner on Monday, June 1, at SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Aloha to Dallas - Take a Walk on the Historical Side

 

Fan favorites dressed up for the annual Historical party.  

Top row, Hildie McQueen and Elizabeth Hoyt (aka Wiggy). 

Middle row:  Sharon Page, Sabrina Jeffries, and Beth Williamson.  

Bottom Row:  Victoria Vane, Ally Broadfield, Elizabeth Essx, Julia Justiss, Ella Quinn, and Gina Conkle.


Elizabeth Essex dressed in a Regency gown; she hosted the Battle of Trafalgar table at the SOS America Military Tribute (link).


The tables were decorated with shoes ... above is the 60s!


Beth Williamson loves cowboys!


This shoe represents time travel.


Victoria Vane is all smiles for readers.  If you dressed in a historical costume, what time period would you represent? One randomly selected commenter from my RT posts wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, May 31. I'll post the winner on Monday, June 1, at SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm Cit
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Below, Heather Graham in blue. 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Aloha to Dallas - Welcome Party and Club RT


The RT Booklovers Convention kicked off the week with a welcome party.  Above are my military friends.  From left to right, Tamara Argyle, Sharon Hamilton, Jackson Young,  Siera London, and Kathy Crouch.   All are veterans, except for Sharon, who writes about SEALs.  


County singer Jackson Young brought Rowdy, the Battle Buddy Bear, to RT to promote Operation Troop Aid.  From its website (link),

We salute and support all our Armed Forces! The mission of Operation Troop Aid (OTA) is to provide care packages for U.S. Service members with the revenue generated through professional concert promotions and public financial generosity. OTA is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation striving to make a positive difference and inspire our Armed Forces by letting them know Americans stand with them.


(Jackson chatted about Rowdy and Operation Troop Aid at the Military Salute - pictures to come).


Over in Club RT, we chatted with Harlequin authors Delores Fossen (Air Force veteran), Julie Miller (Marine Corps daughter), and BJ Daniels (cowboy lover).


Tamara modeled the red hat ...


... and I admired this British purse.  Do you wear fancy hats or carry funky purses?  One randomly selected commenter from my RT posts wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, May 31. I'll post the winner on Monday, June 1, at SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Can you guess who wears these gorgeous shoes?

Aloha to Dallas - Reunion Tower


I arrived in Dallas last Monday for the RT Booklovers Convention.  Above, the Reunion Tower rises about the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  From its website (link),

Recently ranked in The Dallas Morning News: Guide "Top 10 Jaunts of 2013," a visit to the Reunion Tower isn’t just about seeing what’s below from hundreds of feet in the air. It’s about expanding your horizons. The GeO-Deck has something for everyone – the foodies, the fashionistas, adventure seekers or sightseers. Think you’ve seen it all? Experience the interactive Halo today, and change your view forever.


I invited Tamara Argyle (Navy surgeon) and Sally MacKenzie (historical author) for drinks at Wolfgang Puck's Five Sixty Restaurant.  The seating area rotates, giving us a panorama of downtown Dallas.


These buildings reminded me of something ... then I remembered they are featured in the opening credits of the prime time soap opera, Dallas.  I loved the original show on CBS and the reboot on TNT.


The Trinity River was overflowing with the recent rain.


This red stone building stood out - it is the Old Red Museum. From its website (link), 

Dedicated to inspire and educate visitors about the rich and varied cultural, economic, political and social history of the Dallas County Area, the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture serves as a symbol of Dallas heritage. Built in 1892, the beautifully restored Old Red Courthouse contains some of Dallas County’s most fascinating historical artifacts. There is a special exhibit gallery located on the first floor, while the second floor of Old Red is filled with exhibits, 41-touch screen computers, an educational learning center and four mini theatres.



We enjoyed Asian themed appetizers ...


... and unique drinks.  How about that ice cube?
  

Have you visited Dallas?  One randomly selected commenter from my RT posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Sunday, May 31.  I'll post the winner on Monday, June 1, at SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Sally and Tamara 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Aloha to Barbara Vey's Reader Appreciation Luncheon - Pass It On


This past week I posted pictures from Barbara Vey's Reader Appreciation Luncheon here, here, here, and here.  Here are the statistics:

61 authors at each table + 7 readers per table = 488 book lovers in one room

The luncheon tote bags included 11 print books and 13 ebooks.

Barnes and Noble sold over $8000 during the book signing following the luncheon.

Over 100 raffle baskets raised $10,074 for the American Cancer Society.

Barbara kicked off the Reader Appreciation Luncheon in 2012, hosting it on the Tuesday before the RT Booklovers Convention in Chicago.  I remember a group of authors leaving the hotel for the two hour ride to Milwaukee.   The luncheon was held in a community center with Barbara's family volunteering for the prep work.   She had a vision which has come to fruition in four years.  Barbara announced next year her event will be a reader weekend.

The success of this event is shared by Barbara, her family, authors, and readers - all book lovers eager to reach each other. Barbara has created a template for other regional reader events.



I am fortunate that the Maryland Romance Writers participate in the Baltimore Book Festival each fall - my pictures are here, here, and here.   The MRW hosts their own tent with interactive programs which appeal to readers.   The Washington Romance Writers kicked off their own reader luncheon last fall - my pictures are here.  I look forward to attending this year's event on October .

I challenge RWA chapters and other local writers groups to capitalize on Barbara's success to connect with readers in your area.  Long live booklovers!

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter from this week's posts.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Have you attended a regional "reader" event, such as a book signing, luncheon, or even library program?  

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

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 3.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City






Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Aloha to Barbara Vey's Reader Appreciation Luncheon - Glisten and Glow


After the luncheon, readers could mingle with the authors.  I chatted with Tess Gerritsen and Jane Porter - both have ties to Hawaii.  


I spotted this clever purse ... we are in Green Bay territory after all!  


I returned home on Sunday, sitting again with Terri Brisbin and Cathy Genna.  Terri shared her first experience at the RT Booklovers' Convention in Nashville.  She volunteered with the Mr. Romance contest, expecting to hand out programs. Instead, Terri assisted the contestants in the dressing room. It's was a hard job but someone has to do it!  She explained the techniques of applying baby oil - make them glisten!   Mahalo, Terri, for entertaining me on my flight home!

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter from this week's posts.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about your favorite football team.

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

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 3, on my book blog SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha  Spirit in Charm City



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Aloha to Barbara Vey's Reader Appreciation Luncheon - Author Tables (part 2)


Heather Graham loves New Orleans ...


... her assistant Connie Perry hand made these beautiful masks.



I would have a hard time choosing my favorite.


Each mask is unique.


With feathers and sequins.


One randomly selected commenter from this week's posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about which mask you would choose for yourself.  

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

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 3, on my book blog, SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Tracy Solheim celebrated her fictional team,
the Baltimore Blaze, from her Out of Bounds series.