A couple Saturdays ago, I was happily cruising down the interstate (fortunately I was ahead of schedule) when two speedy cops cut off the car in front of me, stopped beneath the immediate bridge, and—while making my heart kick into high gear—stilled all south-bound traffic.
That’s when they came. Motorcycle after motorcycle, making a loud and powerful statement as their procession accelerated down the entrance ramp and took the road.
It was an impressive sight.
Once all 85* of them were on I-35, we (me and the other cars) were allowed to resume driving, and we followed them for miles. I could feel the reverence, thick in the air above us and drafting these police-escorted bikers.
I could only assume it was a benefit ride, or maybe the Patriot Guard Riders.
Later, my first attempts to find details, some cause for this occurrence, returned nothing. But then I hit on the right search terms and found a Facebook page for the Kansas City-based Warrior Appreciation Rally, the ride’s sponsoring group.
I learned that (because it was Armed Forces Day) I’d witnessed the 6th Annual Missouri National Armed Forces FreedomRide. Their site references the event as “the day we honor, show support, and raise awareness for those who have served.”
The ride begins at a Harley-Davidson in KC North and, with law enforcement escorts the entire way, travels dozens of miles to an area veterans’ home, where they spend hours visiting and honoring those who have done so much, before “saddling up” once again and making the return journey. (The photo above is from early in their trip that day.)
I found myself appreciative of their appearance, and fully in sync as my journey for just a time overlapped theirs.
Soon enough my exit came and I broke away from the pack.
They kept on riding. Because it’s what they do, and for good reason.
Have you seen anything like that before?
*This number was confirmed by a Warrior Appreciation Rally source. I was told they’d have had more if the weather had been more cooperative. Their Facebook page admin said, when I asked for his or her name during our messaging exchange, “We usually refer to ourselves [only] as W.A.R., or the W.A.R. Crew, preferring to keep the spotlight on what we’re doing to honor others and generate attention for the organizations that help our men and women in uniform.”
That, too, is for good reason.
We’ve got a few more debut authors and fun new releases to introduce you to this summer, so stay tuned. Have a great holiday weekend everyone.
I LOVE rereading some of the books on my keeper shelf. Recently, I was amazed to discover during a conversation with a friend and avid reader that she never rereads books–even those she adored. “There are so many books,” my friend said, “why would I reread one I’ve already read?”
There are so many reasons!
- I may have forgotten more about the book than the basic plot.
- Sometimes, I may have forgotten the plot.
- I may have forgotten what it was that made me love the book so much that I had to keep it.
- Rereading a favorite book allows me to not rush through the chapters in search of ‘what happens next’ and enjoy the prose.
- I discover new aspects of the book I never realized were there before.
- If it’s a favorite author, I can plot his/her growth as an author.
- Figuring out what I love about a book helps me become a better writer.
- I can fall in love with the book all over again!
My friends still wasn’t convinced, but I hold firm in my enjoyment of rereading favorite books. What about you? Do you reread? If so, why? If not, why not?
Do you have favorite romance themes? Author Mandy Klasky has an article on her blog with a long list of romance plot devices. The best books combine two or more of these themes to weave them into a unique story.
My favorites are those that take an existing relationship and turn it on its head, like friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, brother’s best friend, gay for you, and forbidden love. I also enjoy multicultural romance, because it often pits characters against society or social expectations.
I’m less interested in themes involving deception, like secret baby, fake engagement, or secret identity. I’m also getting a bit weary of alpha heroes and billionaires. (Okay, I admit it, I have a thing for engineers. I’ll take a beta hero over an alpha any day.)
My current sexy romance series, under my pen name Andrea Dalling, combines two themes: friends-to-lovers and second chances. It focuses on three couples who were friends in high school and find a second chance at love at their five-year reunion. It’s been fun exploring their past relationships and how the characters have changed and grown over the years. Mistakes and regrets from the past challenge the current relationship. But of course, because it’s romance, love conquers all in the end.
What are your favorite romance themes? Is there anything you’re tired of seeing, or would like to see more of?
Photo: copyright Elena Vagengeim at 123RF.com