Let’s Talk with Maggie Toussaint

Celebrating our Independence
By Maggie Toussaint

Americans celebrate July 4 as Independence Day. In my youth, we had to travel thirty miles to see fireworks. At first, the loud noise of the sparkling pretties startled me, but it didn’t take long to ignore the boom and wait impatiently for the delightful burst of fizzling, sizzling sparklers in the sky.

I’m one of those who oohs and aahs with each colorful surprise. I can’t help myself, even all these years later. Fireworks have come a long way from the red, green, blue, or gold flower-bouquet shapes I first saw. No matter how they look or how they traverse the sky, I always eagerly await the next one.

My take on the implied message of those first independence fireworks follows:
“We won!”
“We survived, though its bittersweet because many didn’t make it.”
“Our tomorrow will be brighter.”
“We can now control more aspects of our lives.”

After reading that, is anyone thinking of the parallel with the recent COVID-19 pandemic? That was a battle of the highest order. Our survival cost us our personal freedoms, it changed employment and how we shopped, and it isolated our loved ones. Our mantra in 2020 was “if we only had a vaccine!”

Scientists created vaccines, and today three are available. Now there’s talk of a virus variant and it’s a déjà vu topic that most of us want to go away.

Here’s what I learned from the pandemic:
Tell friends and family you love them.
Do your best.
Read more.
Stay safe.
Celebrate the gift of each new day.

So that’s what I’m going to do! I’m celebrating the gift of each new day by giving away a copy of my latest culinary cozy mystery, SHRIMPLY DEAD (print book to US only) in print or digital format. The winner will be announced on July 8. To enter, comment about who you spend your holiday with (July 4 or another one of your choosing).

While you’re here, enter our new contest. Entries accepted from July 1-18, 2021. All print book recipients must have US mailing address. Prizes must be claimed within a week. ENTER

Also, our Booklover’s Bench authors are participating in the Summer Book Blast on Thursday, July 8, from 8 to 9:30 EDT on the Facebook page “New Release Party.” Save the Date and Join us for giveaways and fun.