Friday, July 5, 2013

The Fourth of July All Week Long

Happy Fourth of July!  On July 5th, I know. ;)  Hope everyone had a fun, festive, safe celebration of America's birthday.  (And hope my Canadian friends enjoyed the same on Canada Day!)



At my house, we actually do our big celebration on the 3rd of July.  The tradition started out of practicality--so many of our friends and family had only the 4th itself off, so it made better sense to stay up late on the 3rd, then we'd have the 4th to relax and recover--maybe do a small family celebration--before going right back to work on the 5th.

This year was no different.  About 30 of our friends gathered last night for a big grill out with fresh corn on a stick and yummy pot luck favorites.  Lots of friends from our community theater group, some family, some folks from our hosts' work and church were there.  After eating and catching up with friends we haven't seen for a while, we played some yard games.  Then, when it got dark, we had a terrific fireworks show, complete with plenty of laughter and oohs & ahs.  The hour was late when we were finished, but we cleaned up and stood around and chatted and traded hugs a while longer.  Then it was home to bed and a relaxing day today.

My son was home for the holiday, so there were lots of conversations with friends who watched him grow up about his plans now that he's a college graduate.  There's a long-standing tradition of certain teams playing certain games (bean bag shuffle board and disk golf, for example) and defending their titles.  We talk books, theater, family, weather, children, parents, shared memories, future plans and more.  It's a fun, special evening.


Today, on the actual Fourth, I fixed a brunch for my guys before sending my son back to work.  Then hubby and I did some reading, played some Angry Birds and Spider Solitaire, and did a little fireworks shopping.  He took me out to dinner, and we came home to watch a movie until dark.  We extended the holiday festivities a little bit by lighting off a few fireworks in front of the house.  Not the splendiferous show from July 3rd, but a sweet date night and a lot of fun.  These pix are from our modest festivities.  And aren't those mini-flashlight rings fun?  I may pack one up and take it to the Harlequin Party when I go the the RWA conference in a couple of weeks.  It'd be fun out on the dance floor. ;)


July 5th will be one more relaxing day for me.  I'll probably actually do some work around the house and read more.  But then it'll be back to my regular writing schedule.  I'm working on a brand new book.  And that's always fun to figure out where this particular literary adventure will take me.  Certainly to Kansas City's fictional Fourth Precinct, with a couple of characters readers will have met before as supporting characters in other books.  No details, though, because even revealing the hero and heroine's names might give away a clue to my current Precinct: Task Force miniseries.  Hope you all are enjoying those books!

Share something about your most recent holiday celebration.  I'll give away a copy of a book from my backlist... or, if you can wait, a copy of my upcoming September release, TASK FORCE BRIDE (as soon as I receive my author copies) to one lucky poster.
September 2013 (available August 20)

Happy Fourth!  Fifth?  Third? <g>
Julie Miller 

29 comments:

  1. Our most recent holiday celebration was for the Queen's birthday. Since her birthday is in April, it's really just the best excuse to give us a long weekend later in the year. I did drink to her health though!!

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    1. Bully for you, Mary! (Is that the right expression to mean "Way to go!" or "Good going!"?)

      There must be some awfully good genes running in the House of Windsor. How long did the Queen Mother live? Well past 100. I think Queen Elizabeth should have a holiday to celebrate each year!

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  2. We celebrated Canada Day with our usual trip to a local park, where we enjoyed music, games, lots of walking, and a parade (although we noted that numbers were way down from previous years). Fireworks in the evening completed the day.

    Thanks for sharing re your holiday festivities. I like the idea of having a celebration the night before, as then everyone can celebrate on the fourth with others as well (and you have better odds of having a good group attending).

    We host a potluck "wine party" every summer for 40-75 people (where we share homemade wine my daughter and I have won in our badminton club championships). I think this year (in a week's time) we will be down to maybe 25 people, as I chose to limit my invitations. Matters not how many, though, as I'm sure we'll all have a grand time.

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    1. You make your own wine, Laney? How interesting. Do you live in a vineyard and grow your own grapes? Sounds like a fun gathering to me. :)

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    2. No, WE don't make it. Members of the badminton club executive go to a local store where they make it themselves a month or two (?) in advance. There ARE lots of vineyards within a half-hour radius, though, in an area called "Prince Edward County".
      Yes, the party is lots of fun - as long as you limit the alcohol. We tend to invite lots of neighbours so they can walk home afterward. I'm always amazed that when I invite these people, I say that we don't drink the wine, so we share it with our friends/family instead. So what do our guests do? Bring their own wine to share too! There are years that we start out with 7 bottles to share and end up with 6 left, because you just HAVE to drink the others' gifts first! Kind of defeats the purpose, but as long as we all have a good time together, it just doesn't matter. We send the wine home with the neighbours afterward.

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  3. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceJuly 5, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    We didn't really do anything yesterday to celebrate the 4th. A long time ago one of the church families always had a church picnic at their house on the fourth. Then high school came which found me marching in the town parade for the two years I was in band. I have never been a big fan of fireworks so I usually volunteered to work 4th of July when I worked at DQ. Now we are in Texas and every year our town has a firework display in the park. They tend to set them off the weekend before the 4th so that was where I was last Saturday. I am enjoying the time off from work (we were closed yesterday & today) since July is a quarterly month I know the rest of the month won't be so relaxing.

    I can't wait to read your next Precinct book! When is the last book for the Rose Red Killer coming out? I have an idea of the suspect but I really need to reread the series back to back to see if I missed any clues to another person. I probably will once the last book comes out. Hope everyone had a good 4th!

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    1. One of the perks of a holiday to me, Laura, is that it CAN be just a relaxing day where you don't have to do much.

      I marched in the band, too! That was a LOT of fun for me--lots of wonderful memories. Lots of asthma attacks, too, but that's just me. ;)

      After my June book, ASSUMED IDENTITY, there will be 2 more Precinct: Task Force books--TASK FORCE BRIDE in September (Aug. 20 release) and YULETIDE PROTECTOR in December (Nov. 19 release). One of the villains will be revealed in each of the last two books. The mystery will all get wrapped up!

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  4. We went out for fireworks on the third...I stayed in and watched NYC & Dallas on television last night.

    I was slightly disappointed in the music choices. I'm still ready to hear some good old-fashioned patriotic marches and anthems. I'll have to tap into my hubby's record stash today. >>grin<<
    ~Angi

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  5. I agree, Angi--there's nothing like a Sousa march or the Armed Forces Medley on the Fourth of July!

    I love to watch the Boston Pops or the Capitol Fourth on PBS on Independence Day. Missed them this year because we were doing our own thing. But I'll probably get my CD's out, too, and play some patriotic music while I'm cleaning house this weekend. ;)

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    1. Even though I'm in Canada, I too look forward to the Capitol Fourth on PBS. I taped it this year (as usual), but you could probably find it on the Internet in the next day or two, if you still want to see it, Julie!

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  6. We didn't do anything yesterday for the 4th either! We are empty nesters now and all our kids live in different states! Our little town does a couple things for the 4th but they are at night and since I have some medical issues, nights are hard for me. I have wonderful memories of lots of 4ths of July spent as a youngster in my home town that are fantastic! the 4th was a BIG day in my small home town in Calif. and miss it every year!

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  7. Small towns really seem to do celebrations like the Fourth of July right, don't they, Valri? ;)

    Talked with my mom yesterday, and she and a friend sat out on the porch to watch the Fourth of July parade in our small hometown. She said the theme was honoring WWII veterans. Lots of convertibles and flat-beds with veterans and veterans' groups on them. Plus the high-school band, a few patriotic floats, and the horses (at the end of the parade, thank goodness! I remember that from my marching band days--I was always glad when we marched in front of the horses instead of following them ;)

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    1. Yes, when I was young, we marched in our parade too and I was also glad to march in front of horses also! I forgot that the best part of yesterday was Skyping with our granddaughter - age 17 months! Such a cutie!

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  8. Well the 4th is always celebrated with a BBQ, but in recent years it is also my little nephew's b-day... so we enjoy cake and presents... This year he is spending time with his other grandparents... my sister called to wish him Happy Birthday... he actually said it is not his birthday until he gets his birthday cake... I guess the other grandparents did not make him or get him one... no problem, when he comes home... if my sister does not get him one... I will make him a birthday cookie cake!...

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    1. Now that's a good grandma, Colleen! ;) How fun to have fireworks for his birthday every year. ;)

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    2. LOL, I am one of his Aunts... he is off visiting his father's parents... I love that kiddo so he will get a little spoiled by me... :)

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  9. My cousin wanted to go to a museum upstate so we drove up there and then did a little shopping at IKEA.

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    1. I love visiting museums, Jane. Especially on a hot summer's day--it's a great place to enjoy the scenery and the air conditioning!

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  10. This year I've some what taken a break from almost everything. My oldest was at her b/f's when I went to the neighboring towns parade when it was Memorial Day parade. I , too, used to be in the schools band. I played clarinet so at least it was a light weight instrument but the uniform was horrid. It was made out of wool I think, and we wore this huge hat that looks like what the men in England wear around the palace. There is a name but don't ask me what it is!!!I still love listening to the marching bands. So, as for the 4th we stayed home. However, since I live next door to a campground someone there set off "some" and I went outside and seen some. This year I head them in all 4 directions, north, south, east, west. We came back inside and then I watched what was on tv to realize it was repeated so I went to bed!!! I'm anxious to get the next book and will be finishing up Last Man Standing to send to Jenny! I also found another older one , too , that she doesn't have so that one will b next, as you know.

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    1. This is Pam, right? Some day you'll have to tally up how many of my books of mine you and your sister have read. ;)

      Sounds like you were surrounded by festivities, even though it was a quiet year for you--that's great for celebrating, not so hot for sleeping.

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  11. We have one more day of celebration as Norfolk has their Big Bang Boom on the Saturday closest to the 4th.We will join hundreds of others, along with family and friends for a wonderful show at Skyview Lake. Leaving afterwards takes forever but if all are patient we will all get out of there sooner or later.

    Tanks for sharing with us.

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    1. I love that name, the "Big Bang Boom"--sounds like a big time fireworks show. It was good to see you on the 3rd!

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  12. Live in Australia so don't celebrate the 4th but hope you all have a great celebration and can't wait for task force bride to come out :) celebrated my birthday last month but wasn't home since my mother is fighting cancer and staying with her so my family visited and had a nice time together and going to my daughter's best friend wedding today,she is bridesmaid and is 9 degrees and raining winter here :)

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    1. Hey, Jan--your winter sounds like ours was a few months ago. I'm sorry to hear about your mom--hope there's some good news and healing soon.

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  13. I got called into work. But was able to quickly cook everyone dinner on the Grill and take my youngest to the fireworks our town sets off. Our town has an entire day of activities. Since I had to work we only got to see the fireworks. Missed out on the funnel cake which is my favorite part of the day :(

    Totally love your books Julie. Cannot wait for this new one to come out.

    Thanks for sharing your day with us.

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  14. Thanks so much, Renee! Sorry you had to work.

    No funnel cake? Eek. I love a good funnel cake (crispy outside and tender inside)--and just sprinkled with powdered sugar for me. I don't like all the fancy syrups/sauces some folks do.

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  15. And the winner is... bn100!

    Congratulations--Maggie nosed your name out of the pile of entries and selected you as the blog winner!

    I just need you to send me an email with your choice of book--a backlist title (they're all on my website at www.juliemiller.org) or an upcoming copy of TASK FORCE BRIDE. I also need to know if you prefer a print copy of ebook copy. Then I'll need your snail mail addy to send the book to you, or your contact email for your Kindle or NOOK so I can gift you a copy.

    Thanks to all who stopped by! Look for me on Facebook or the www.Harlequin.com boards.

    Happy Reading,
    Julie Miller

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