Friday, July 14, 2017

Aloha to Bastille Day, Heather Graham, and RWA

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Today is Bastille Day in France.  From France's tourist site (link),

Allons enfants de la patrie (Let's go children of the fatherland)… it is time to celebrate!

(On July 14, 1789) the royal fortress of Bastille — a symbol of despotism — was attacked. The tide of patriotic fervour led to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

“Men are born free and remain free and equal in rights.” 

Nations around the world modeled their bill of rights after this now universal sentence. No wonder France’s national holiday, le quatorze juillet, is world famous. Every year, since 1880, Bastille Day’s notoriety is matched by festivities and pomp honouring the republic to the rhythm of the national anthem La Marseillaise.

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No doubt New Orleans will be celebrating ... from Bastille Day New Orleans (link),

Bastille Day NOLA celebrates the French National Day in America’s most French city! Leading up to July 14th (or en français, le quatorze juillet), the city will enjoy a wide variety of French-related events taking place throughout New Orleans. The best part? Most are free!

French culture is a rich part of New Orleans’ heritage, and to honor that heritage, an array of local organizations have come together to host something for everyone, from learning the art of French cooking, listening to French music, to the traditional waiters race and beyond!

When I think of New Orleans, I think of the multi genre author Heather Graham.  From her bio (link),

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Heather Graham majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write, working on short horror stories and romances. After some trial and error, she sold her first book, WHEN NEXT WE LOVE, in 1982 and since then, she has written over one hundred novels and novellas including category, romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. She wrote the launch books for the Dell's Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette's Shadows, and for Harlequin's mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books.


Heather wrote about New Orleans on her blog (link),

So . . . I love New Orleans, which is pretty evident. I’ll never know exactly what made me so very passionate about the city. Is it the history—is it a real mystique, or something that we’ve given to it.
More than anything, I think it’s the way that Nola manages to be a city of living history. People live out their lives in homes where others tread before, dealing with the tragedy of the Civil War, slave markets, Civil Rights, and more. Restaurants are places where those creating the eras that came before us dined and talked and voiced their own opinion about “current” political situations that shaped the nation we live in now. Since the summer of storms, the city is more international than ever. Everyone is welcome in NOLA—Southern hospitality abounds. There’s the “decaying elegance” of bygone times; there is the good and the bad—an outlook that is resilient and hopeful for the future. There are the cemeteries where the past seems to seep right into your skin and Jackson Square where you see the performers, hear the performers, and the wonderful laughter of the children. Ghost stories in carriages as you listen to the voice of your guide . . . and the clip-clop of the mule’s hooves.

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I have the privilege of moderating the chat with Heather Graham at the RWA Conference on Friday, July 28, at 9:45 am:

An intimate chat with best-selling author Heather Graham. Get ready to discuss the current publishing marketplace, what’s changed, and where she sees the romance market going. Bring your questions for a Q&A!

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

1.  Leave a comment about Bastille Day, New Orleans, and/or Heather Graham ... anything goes!

I discovered Heather's books when I lived in the Netherlands ... the Army Library offered her romantic suspense books set in South Florida ... where I grew up.

I have met Heather numerous times at RT .... and she loves the military!  

Most recently at RT, she and Cathy Maxwell showed readers how to dance to rockabilly!

2. Comments are open through Sunday, July 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, July 31.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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Heather, center in blue, at the RT Historical Party in 2015


  1. I studied French at school, so Bastille Day was a major feature on our calendar.

  2. I've enjoyed many of Heather's books . France is also a place I'd love yo visit one day. The French language is also one of the most beautiful languages in the world.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  3. I have never been to New Orleans and really would like to visit there.

  4. I was able to visit New Orleans twice when my husband was stationed in Gulfport. One time we ate at Antoine's and were disappointed but another time one of my husband's friends who came from there took us to a local eatery that we loved. And then there were the Hurricanes lol.

  5. Would be fun to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

  6. Heather's books are great! That is awesome that you will be moderating a chat with her. If I were going to RWA this year, I would go to the chat! I have been to New Orleans one time. Loved it and would like to go back there again.

  7. I love Heather's books! I have been to NOLA only once but it was a memorable trip.

  8. I knew today (July 14th) is Bastille Day; I've enjoyed many of Heather's books; haven't visited NOLA yet, but I'd like to

  9. haven't been to NOLA

  10. It's been ages since I've been in NOLA! I'd love to go back sometime.

  11. Never been to New Orleans. I do love Heather's books, she writes vg suspense as well as her contemps.
    Nattys Mama

  12. New Orleans would be a fun place to visit. Don't know much about Bastille Day. But do enjoy reading Heather's books.
    Patty B43

  13. I was lucky enough to meet Heather Graham at my first conference, RomCon. They had author-reader chats where 12 readers and an author got to spend about an hour together discussing pretty much what they wanted to. I had read mainly her historical romances and a couple of her paranormals. She is a very interesting person. I went to RT in Dallas where she was again a prominent figure. Her love for New Orleans and its special vibes comes through loud and clear in talking with her and In the programing she does. We have been lucky enough to visit New Orleans three times and really enjoyed it. I had not realized that Bastille Day was such a big celebration there, but it does make sense.