Friday, July 4, 2014

He was Born on the Fourth of July…by Victoria Curran, Senior Editor

Happy birthday, Liam! My west-coast nephew turns eight today (see picture of him with his best birthday present ever, his first pet, Charlie) and I owe a huge debt to all Americans for helping me remember the date…because I have a notorious memory for birthdays. I hope nobody comments on this blog post today because it tells me you’re all enjoying an amazing Independence Day.

I loved reading Rula’s post yesterday—so much emotion surrounding this date on the calendar. I’m not sure if my fellow Heartwarming Canadians would agree with me, but it seems as if you guys blow us out of the water when it comes to celebrating nationalism. At least in my neighbourhood, Victoria Day weekend in May, which launches cottage and gardening season, feels like a bigger party than Canada Day (which Wikipedia sedately refers to as the anniversary of the “enactment of the British North America Act, 1867, which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire”…what?). It’s probably just my neck of the woods.

As far as nationalistic Canada Day songs, on Tuesday I should’ve been playing Monty Python’s Lumberjack Song or The Blackfly Song by Wade Hemsworth, which I’m not sure Jen Snow can appreciate in Edmonton, but maybe Kate James has tattooed on her heart (forget it! Kate doesn’t live far enough north):

And the black flies, the little black flies
Always the black fly, no matter where you go
I'll die with the black fly a-picking my bones
In north on-tar-i-o-i-o, in north on-tar-i-o

During the sporadic fireworks on Tuesday, I worried that my new back deck cat (Will Feral, see picture) might lose his/her mind, but he/she is still enjoying two meals a day Chez Curran. I’ve lost track of the cat count….

And in keeping with a day of celebration, I’d like to express my gratitude to authors Dana Mentink, Leigh Riker, Tara Randel and Flo Fitzpatrick for their important contributions to Heartwarming with their July 2014 books. With Return to Pelican Inn, Dana, who is also a Love Inspired author, wrote a story that made me laugh out loud one moment and break down sobbing the next (having cared for a father with Pick’s Disease, she absolutely nailed the portrayal of early stages Alzheimer’s, pow). Leigh’s military hero in her poignant story If I Loved You inherits a very young baby and is one of those guys women everywhere will want to elbow out of the way as he tries to navigate a tiny little diaper with those great big soldier’s hands! Tara Randel’s second book in her Business of Weddings miniseries takes us back to Florida for another emotional read (and doesn’t she get fantastic covers???); while Flo Fitzpatrick, who also writes cozy mysteries, weaves a thread of mystery into her first Heartwarming romance, Legacy of Silence (no spoiler alerts, you’ll have to read it for yourself!).





Be safe, read books and have a fabulous Fourth of July!
Victoria

23 comments:

  1. Hi Victoria! I totally agree with you about the American celebrations being so much better than ours. I have a secret longing (or maybe not so secret as I say this as often as I get a chance) to be American lol. I love Canada, but the U.S. just seems more fun lol.
    And yes-blackflies-I know them well. Although, thankfully, they don't seem as bad here yet this year. We have actually been able to spend time in the backyard!
    Beautiful covers this month and congrats to all the July authors!!

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    1. Hey, Jen! I have a feeling it stems back to the fact that we never broke with the British... Our response to nationalism is very stiff-upper-lip...? As far as blackflies go, I was up north in cottage country for a funer at the end of May and guests arrived with camouflage "net" hats. Very classy Canajuns.

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    2. And by "funer" I mean "funeral"! Heck, I'm rushing--summer hours, day before I leave to go camping, six million things to still do! (And zero appointments set up for RWA, eek!)

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  2. Victoria, how can we not pop in and give one little comment. Your nephew must have a bang up birthday every year. Love the cat photos. I think I like our songs better than the blackfly song. I think our northern most part of the east coast shares those with you. You mentioned camping not long ago. How do you camp with so many flies? Do they bite?
    Happy 4th to everyone.

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    1. Confession: I've never camped before. Senior Editor Kathleen Scheibling disdains what I'm about to do as "car camping" (she's a wilderness trekker). I think blackfly season is earlier in the year, touch wood. Now we're into mosquitoes, lovely. Happy 4th!

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  3. Hi Victoria! What a great pic of Liam and Charlie. Liam looks so much like you! Happy Birthday to him :).

    I don't know about black flies, but we have gnats that swarm in all summer and make it almost impossible to go in the yard certain times of the day without sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to keep them from flying in your eyes and up your nose.

    I had to laugh at your feral cat's name ;). Too funny.

    Congrats to all the July authors! The stories sound amazing!

    Okay...off to get food for the grill and get ready for my sis and nephew to come over for the 4th :).

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    1. Ah, Liam. I only get to see him and his brother Simon about once a year! So not fair. If this car camping thing comes off well, I might pull a last-minute trip to B.C. to join them camping in August. We'll see how much energy I have after RWA...and how much I enjoy this camping thing.

      I don't know how my cat-sitter is going to enjoy Will Feral! Will's used to two cans of wet food a day (my own 3 share one each morning). He/She's going to miss me. Hope he/she is still here when I get back.

      Happy 4th!!!

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  4. Victoria, I can always count on you to have such cute cat pictures! As a fellow cat lover, the pictures always make me smile!

    And I have to thank Harlequin for my awesome book covers. The young woman on the current cover looks so much like my daughter, it's uncanny! Heartwarming covers are gorgeous and I'm so proud to be a part of the line.

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    1. What a huge coincidence that your heroine looks so much like your daughter, Tara! What are the odds? I love that. Hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July!

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  5. Hi Victoria. We do tend to embrace the idea of setting off explosions down here. :) Have to admit, fireworks are my least favorite part of the celebrations for the 4th--hearing them, mind you--they are pretty to see, however. And any post with kitties makes me happy! Will Ferel--LOVE that name, LOL, and isn't Charlie (and your nephew) a cutie! Glad they survived your "explosions" up North. :)

    Gorgeous covers for the July releases--my TBR pile is getting entirely unmanageable, but there are worse things in life, right? Thanks for the post!

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    1. Hey, Anna--did I get a chance to welcome you to Heartwarming? I'm such a scatter-brain... I joined Kathryn and Dana in reading your novella and found it so charming. I love the story! Looking forward to more Heartwarmings from you in the near future. Happy 4th!

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    2. So happy you liked the novella, Victoria. I had a lot of fun writing it and creating the town with Mel and Anna A. I'm looking forward to new projects for Heartwarming. Fingers (and everything else) are crossed. :)

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  6. There's no question that we Canadians can learn a lot from our neighbors to the south as far as throwing a good party for our "enactment of the British North America Act, 1867, which united three colonies . . ." celebration!

    I love your cat pics, also, Victoria, and agree with Rula about your feral cat's name. You may recall my commitment that I would supply litter boxes for any new additions to your brood beyond five. Is it time for me to go litter box shopping?

    As for the blackfly comment, no tattoos (anywhere) but we have lots of the pesky little pests, both at home and at our cottage. Roz, to answer your question, they may be tiny but they have a mean bite.

    We have mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies and dragonflies, more or less in succession. Each year, I anxiously await the arrival of the dragonflies because they herald the end of the bugs that bite. Rula, interestingly, our black flies are sometimes called gnats, thus your gnats may be related to/the same as our black flies. Can we just send ours to you? You know . . . the more the merrier?! If anyone is wondering why I know that black flies are also called gnats, it's the same reason Victoria knows that on July 1st, Canadians celebrate the "enactment of the British North America Act. . ."

    I am looking forward to some terrific reading this month, thanks to Dana, Leigh, Tara and Flo. Best wishes with your releases!

    Happy Independence Day everyone! Enjoy, be safe and please remember to add us Canadians to your invitation list for next year's celebration!

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    1. . . . and I wish Liam a very happy birthday!

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    2. Kate! How can you put dragonflies in the same sentence with deer flies? I love dragonflies. Deer flies are my nemesis. Once they sink their...teeth?...into you, they do not let go. I've flapped my way around the subdivision many a time with a single very committed deer fly out to kill me.

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    3. I welcome the dragonflies! Not only do they not bite, they feed on other insects that do bite. Dragonflies are not finicky eaters, thus goodbye mosquitoes, black flies and the dreaded deer flies!

      As for you and the killer deer fly, interesting visual. It's now stuck in my head. I may have to put it in a book!

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  7. Hi, Victoria. Happy Birthday to your handsome young nephew and congratulations to the kitten for finding a good home. (Did you provide the kitten? I can't imagine you parting with one.) Will Feral is as great a name as Jen's Lionel. All you Canadians will have to come celebrate the Fourth in Astoria. Astoria is on the northwest tip of Oregon, so you don't have to travel too deeply into the country. We have a wonderful hotel way out in the river and we'll party down. Writers can come, too. And cats.

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  8. Be careful what you commit to, Muriel! You may end up with a stiff-upper-lip party next year on the 4th! (A hotel in the river sounds amazing...oddly, you don't find hotels or cottages that appreciate cats...dogs are spoiled.)

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    1. Your cats are welcome at our cottage anytime! (Can they catch mice?) Never mind. I prefer the humane traps.

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  9. Will Feral looks adorable!! Love the play on words for his name. You have such a big heart to care for your porch cat and all animals that need you (except for snakes!) the books look outstanding again this month. Cheers to you and your talented editorial team Art Dept, and wonderful authors!

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  10. I remember when I lived in New Hampshire, my son came flying in the house screaming and swatting to get the black flies off. He'd been working on his car just at dusk when the flies attacked him. So glad I don't have to deal with that in Arizona.

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  11. Sorry I'm late to the party! And I can't even use picnicking on the 4th as an excuse. :-) Love the kitties and your nephew is a cutie. He will have to swat the girls off in a few years. I do hope you enjoy your camping trip, although my idea of roughing it is paper towels at the Holiday Inn.

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  12. My favorite cat of all time was a black and white furball. I still miss him.
    I enjoyed the fourth from a motel swimming pool in Cortez, Colorado.

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