Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Story is Born and Other Interesting Things by Liz Flaherty #RomanceGems

Me in front of that blank screen.
One of the very best things about life is how interesting it all is. Even if you get bored you can always go somewhere else, do something else, or if you're a writer, you can look at the same old things in brand new ways and, voila!, a story is born.

Now that I've made that landmark statement, I'm trying to think of a way to illustrate it. While I sat here staring at the screen (it stares back; have you noticed?), my phone clanged a message received and Facebook dinged in a notification on the computer.

I know very well the phone message is from the pastor and the Facebook notification is a new comment on a post I'm following. But if I were sitting here unable to think of anything to write--and the screen was staring back blankly--that clanging message could be from "the guy who got away" years ago or a doctor's office with a scary "call me Monday" message or even an "I was born on this date. Were you there?" warning. The notification could be from someone from school. Who died junior year. Didn't she?

I'm not one of those who have so many ideas teeming in their writers' minds that they won't have time to get all their stories written, so it's important that I find things interesting. In 2012, Carina Press published One More Summer. It's the only book I ever wrote that "wrote itself." Its first draft was 83 days of getting up at 3:00 to write before work. It took more than 10 years and I have no idea how many submissions to sell it. Its publication is still one of my favorite parts of my writing career.

I never intended to write a sequel.

But a few years after One More Summer, I saw a tall guy
walk across a hospital parking lot. He was moving quickly, impatiently. He got in his car and just sat there. In retrospect, I'm not sure if I actually saw this scene or dreamed it, because I can't tell you what hospital it was, but it gave birth to the sequel I never intended to write. Both my Carina editor and I were shocked when it didn't sell there, and for a long time, I let it lie under my virtual bed while I sulked. And then I started it on the rounds, and like the book that came before it, it's been through more submissions than I can remember.

Like the book before it, it still holds more of my heart than any one book should hold. It's all well and good to say I don't have a favorite, and I don't, but there are some that still make my heart ache for the people within them. Still have protagonists who, even in their happily-ever-afters, come back to visit and remind me that the happily-ever-after road has potholes in it.

Should I interject here that, even though I have a few indie projects, I am for the most part a trad author and like being one? If you know that, you know how happy I am that the sequel, The Healing Summer, will be released by The Wild Rose Press sometime soon. I am living on edge from day to day, waiting for the cover and the release date.

I can't begin to say how much this means to me. My husband laughs because of my goals over the years. You know how they went: If I could just sell a story. If I could just sell a book. If I could just sell another book. A series. Make one of the lists. With The Healing Summer, I feel as if the last goal has been reached.

So I guess I better make another one. Goal, that is. Because writing, like life, is much too interesting to stop now.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Lazy Summer Afternoons by Nora LeDuc #Romance Gems

The summer I turned 13, the local movie theater announced they'd show beach-themed movies at Saturday matinees. Hot guys flexing muscles, tan girls showing off their two-piece bikinis--this sounded terrific to me and to my two best friends. I volunteered my mother as our chauffeur and crossed my fingers she'd agree when I asked her to drive us.

Thankfully, she did. So when the weekend rolled around, we headed to the big screen. My mom dropped us off by the ticket booth out front and reminded us she'd pick us up right there. Then we paid for our tickets and entered through the double glass doors. Inside, a cushy red carpet ran the length of the dim foyer. Posters of movie stars in their upcoming films decorated the walls. We paused and pointed out the ones we liked. Most of the movies had already played in better theaters, but we didn't care. We were in a magical world where any story was possible, and in our imaginations, we were the stars.

We bought our snacks and chose our seats on the side aisle. This way we could talk and glance at the incoming audience, hoping to spot boys! Sadly, although a mixed group filled up one third of the rows, there were no teenage males that day. Finally, the lights went down. Now if you follow our Gems Blog, you know that we have book boyfriends, male characters from the book that we love. Well, my friends and I had movie boyfriends. We also had a few rules about our process. You couldn't choose your boyfriend until the show started and you saw him on the screen. Once you did, the other two friends had to agree that you were a match. Luckily, this movie had three teen heartthrobs, which was perfect, one for each of us. Choosing was easy. I wanted the one I thought was cutest. No other qualifications mattered. Fortunately, this story had lots of cuties running around on the white sand and surfing on their boards. They also always gathered in the evenings by a fire with the girl of their dreams.

Truthfully, I remember little of the plots, but I do recall the fun we had together on those afternoons. Giggling, sighing, and ah-ing we became captivated by our fictional characters. And the following Saturday, we did it all again.

My Saturday Matinee Movie Friends Today!!

Don't forget you can follow me on BookBub. Find my books where you can fall in love with a character too.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Texas Girls by Kara O'Neal #RomanceGems

The beach. A forever getaway. A place that has something for everyone. A place that provides endless fun and pleasure.

Well, for people who like the ocean and the sand and the seaweed and the sharks, that is.

I am no such person. But, I always go when my family or friends want to. I don't complain. I put on sunscreen and a swimsuit...ugh. (I promise I don't whine.)

I haven't always disliked the beach. When I was younger I ran up and down the banks along the Gulf of Mexico, from Galveston to South Padre Island. I collected seashells. I built sandcastles. I rode waves. I caught fish.

I also loved the band The Beach Boys. I adored them so much, and so did my friends. We had a special dance to California Girls. And this song was so important to our history that it was played during my wedding reception and at my sister's. And even then we danced to it with much laughter and silliness, just like when we were kids.

Of course, we're really Texas Girls, and we've run all over this state together. We've known each other since we were little. And I mean really little. We were four-years-old and younger when we met. We've been in each others weddings. We've taken family vacations together. We've spent every Easter together. We go to church together.

They lift me up when I can't do it myself. They set me straight when I'm being stupid. They help me raise my children. They've made me laugh so hard I've fallen out of my chair.

We're different from each other. We don't demand that we have the same interests in order for us to get along. Some of us like wine, while some of us don't drink. Some of us work out, while others prefer their pjs and the couch and their Netflix account.

But it doesn't matter. We're friends forever. We're more than besties -- we're sisties.

And many of them are heroines in my stories, and I've dedicated books to each of them.

Most recently, The Ranger's Vow. In this romance, the heroine, Sherry, ends up in a very difficult situation. Luckily, she has four sisters who carry her through tough times. Yes, four. And they each have their own personality. Sherry is quite feisty. I'm pretty sure she would LOVE the beach. She would adore its wildness and raw beauty. In fact, she'd probably swim in it buck naked because she has no problem skinny dipping in the river near her house. And, as luck would have it, the hero of the story gets to witness this first hand. (But he's a gentleman about it. I promise!)

I dedicated The Ranger's Vow to the girls who have helped me over the years. There are so many to mention. Pictured to the right are the ones who have been there the longest. And, wouldn't you know it, we're in Galveston and have just come from the beach.

I couldn't have written The Ranger's Vow without the experiences I've had with my Texas Girls, my sisties. They've given me memories I hold close and there are many more to come. I love them. So much.

The dedication:

For Becky, Catie, Annie, Mary Kay, Jen, Alice, Kathleen, Stefani, Shannon, Leigh, Rebecca, Michelle, Jean, Shelli, Mandy, Amanda, Kristen and Kendra…
Your friendship means the world to me.

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Why I love a good fairy tale by PeggyJaeger

In a scene from the movie version of Sex and the City, Carrie reads the Cinderella fairy tale story to Charlotte’s daughter Lily. At the end of the telling, Lily wants to hear it again and looks completely enraptured with the tale. Carrie gives her a wary look and asks, “You know this isn’t true, right? It doesn’t happen in real life?”

Lily just looks up at her and says, “Again,” meaning she wants to hear the story, not Carrie’s negative take on it.

Like Lily, I was enamored with the Cinderella fairy tale when I was a kid. I watched the Leslie Ann Warren version of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical on tv about 100 times. 

When my daughter was little, we owned every VHS version of the Disney Princess movies from Sleeping Beauty to Snow White to Mulan.

The were many common themes running through those tales that, for the times they were written, rang true for children. Don't talk to strangers ( Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel); beauty is only skin deep ( The Ugly Ducking, Beauty and the Beast) there's no place like home (The Little Mermaid, Jack and the Beanstalk ). They all served to tell some kind of cautionary tale to children so that they would obey their elders and think twice before being naughty.

Kids will be kids, though, so I kinda think that didn't work exactly as planned. But that's just me.

As someone  who writes romantic fiction for a living, I see those fairy tales in a slightly different light. Told from an adult perspective, the morals and themes of the fables can remain the same.  I mean, really - don't you still think beauty is only skin deep and there really is no place like home? But how the stories are told to the contemporary book reading world is what I'm exploring these days.  It's fun for me to take a classic story and put an adult spin on it, which it what I've done with my new RomCom release DIRTY DAMSELS, a spin on the classic Cinderella tale.

And, yes! I know Cinderella has been modernized before. But not like this. Hee hee

Since this is 2019,  my Cynderella ain’t no broken down stepchild sittin’ in the corner covered in dirt and used as unpaid labor for a biatch of a menopausal step-monster.

My Cynderella Jones is the CEO of a company she founded called DIRTY DAMSELS, which caters to New York’s rich and elite who pay her company to keep their condos, mansions, and pied-a-terres spotless. Cynderella manages a stable of 20 and 30-something out of work actresses and between jobs models as her cleaning crew and she treats them with respect and kindness.

No more rags for this Cynderella, either. She wears designer labels and red power suits. And she isn’t sitting at home by the dirty fireplace waiting for a prince to come and snatch her from penury. She made her success happen all by herself with an MBA and a sound business plan.

And although Ella doesn’t need a man in her life she sure would like one, not to support her financially, but emotionally.  

Like the fairy tale of yore, my version of Cynderella sports a handsome, rich, Prince, who is smitten with Ella. But each of them has a secret they’re keeping from the other, and when it’s discovered, their fairy tale HEA is in some serious jeopardy.

Also like that fable of yesterday, human and relatable themes run through this story. Forgiveness is a key one for me, as is treating others how you'd like to be treated.

And..... this wouldn't be a fairy tale - old or modern - without the Happily Ever After scrolling through the credits at the end.

So, tell me, what's your favorite fairy tale, and which would you like to see modernized?
Until next month ~ Peg

Friday, July 26, 2019

Coffee and Conversation with the #RomanceGems

It's time for Coffee and Conversation with the Romance Gems! So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and join us for some fun. This month's topic is: Favorite vacation destination or dream trip

No denying we are into summer in the northern hemisphere. Hot, hot, hot! That means vacation time for many. So, tell me… What’s your favorite vacation destination or dream trip? The ocean or a lake? A tropical island getaway? Is there a theme park, hometown, big city, campground, casino, or cruise ship calling your name? Maybe your ideal vacation destination is fictitious, someplace you dreamed up for a book? Tell me!

"Among our all-time favorite trips, my husband and I enjoyed our past trips to Ireland. The entire country is beautiful. What’s more, the Irish apparently like Americans when many countries do not. With the huge number of Americans of Irish descent, the Irish consider Americans “coming home”. We hope to go back someday and rent a cottage for a month—or two. From that base, we could use a rail pass and see those sites we missed."
~ Caroline Clemmons

"Since I live in Las Vegas, when I vacation, I want to beat the heat. I love going to the beach. My favorite is Huntington Beach, CA."
~ Laura Hunsaker

"My dream vacation would be a train trip through the Canadian Rockies. Although I've been to the Colorado Rockies once during a business trip, I think it would be amazing to travel along enjoying the scenery and getting pampered." ~ Lucinda Race

"My dream vacation would be to go to Iceland to see the Northern Lights. There is a place there where you stay in a cabin with a glass roof so you can see them from inside your bed!" ~ Karen Whiddon

"My favorite vacation destination these days is Florida. We're New Englanders counting down until retirement, and we plan on making sunny Florida our future home. This month we're visiting a town called Dunedin. It's on the west coast and it's high on the "move to" list. I can't wait to kayak on the Shell Key Preserve and visit the quaint stores and restaurants... and of course, the beach!" ~ Elsa Kurt

"This summer, we're taking a road trip to Drumheller, Alberta to see all the fossils and dinosaurs. When I say road trip, I mean with a 5 and 7 y.o. in our back seat. A 2 day drive. Wish us luck." ~ Bonnie Edwards

"My top five future travel destinations are Morocco, Iceland, Turkey (Cappadocia region), Spain, and Argentina. I love traveling and have been lucky to see quite a few places, including Thailand, Myanmar, Ireland, and Switzerland. However, my favorite vacation was going to Peru for my honeymoon and seeing Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest. I firmly believe everybody should try to visit the Amazon Rainforest at least once in their life. You can’t help but be changed by the awesome beauty of Mother Nature when you see it!" ~ Satin Russell

"There are so many places I'd love to visit, I couldn't possibly name them all. But the one place that I truly love, that I've been to many times, and would go many, many more, is Bar Harbor on Mt. Desert Island in Maine. Looking in the shops downtown, or walking around the gorgeous Jordan Pond and nibbling on one of their popovers at the Jordan Pond House after, and especially watching the sun set from the top of Cadillac Mountain. Nothing more beautiful!" ~ Kari Lemor

"My dream vacation always includes sun, sand, and a large dose of romance. As we love the Caribbean, I was excited to explore somewhere new, notably the island of Utila off the coast of Honduras. This is a cute, sleepy island with one main street and no cars. One evening Mr. Romantic whisked me away to one of the few restaurants, which he had booked exclusively for us. I had no inkling until, just before desert, he went down on one knee with the most romantic proposal ever, and a gorgeous diamond ring that fit me perfect. I said ‘yes’." ~ Kathleen Lawless

"A haunted castle in Scotland or Wales would be my dream vacation! I even know the perfect posse to take along. But my other side craves sun and surf. Mr. H. took Darling Daughter and I to the Mayan Riviera, Mexico. A tiny town named Xpu-Ha near Playa del Carmen. From our hotel outpost, we explored Mayan ruins at Tulum, swam with sea turtles, and enjoyed beachside bars. The best experience, by far, was snorkeling with Whale Sharks thirty miles off Isle Mujeres. Majestic creatures the size of a bus, floating in a bottomless sea." ~ Kathryn Hills

"It's not just because I write historical romances set in England that it’s my favorite place to visit. I've always had an affinity for the country. English lit was my second major in college, and there's never been a time when I didn't love books set in England. The first time I went to England more than 30 years ago it felt like coming home. I've been there a dozen times since and been fortunate enough to take a flat in London for several weeks three times. Our whole family loves it and will continue to visit Merry Old England." ~ Cheryl Bolen

"My Fav Vaca Destination. I have so many: The French Quarter of New Orleans, LA; San Francisco, CA; Savannah, GA. However for breath-taking, raw-beauty I must choose the Grand Tetons National Park, WY.

"The first glimpse of the jagged mountain range is beyond description. The wilderness, the wild-life (bear, elk, deer, beaver) the endless sky, the walk along a slow-moving river. The reflection of Mt. Moran at the bend of the Snake River. Horseback riding, hiking trails, and dinner at the Teton Lodge. Bliss." ~ Connie Vines

"I’d go back to the Covered Wagon Ranch, Montana, snug between Bozeman and West Yellowstone. The scenery was gorgeous. The ranch family was friendly. The food was great! It was a real dude ranch experience." ~ Jan Scarbrough

"I loved vacationing in Montana. The mountains and the beauty within always mesmerized me. So much, that we moved there when we retired. Unfortunately, I can't breathe there, so we had to move. But I would go back there in a heartbeat just to visit. We saw so many ghost towns, or old mining towns, that I actually wrote three books about life in Montana. Montana just reminds me that there are so many wonderful places in the United States to visit, who needs to visit other countries?" ~ Constance Bretes

“I love the ocean. Walking on the beach and watching the dolphins play in the surf. It's very relaxing. Port Aransas Beach in Texas is my favorite.” ~ Karen Kelley

"My favorite vacation spot is Las Vegas. Surprisingly to some (perhaps), it's not all about the gambling. Although, truthfully, that's my favorite part! When I go, I make sure to take in at least one or two shows. As someone who can't keep an air fern alive, I am obsessed with the beautiful foliage at the Wynn (one of my two favorite hotels/casinos). The carousel, made from thousands of flowers, is magnificent. Just walking through their display, a near-perfect form of stress-relief!" ~ Nancy Fraser

Okay, it's your turn to join the conversation! Add your comments below or send via email through the "contact us” link on the bottom of the left sidebar. You can also make suggestions on what you'd like to discuss here in the future.

Surprise addition to this month's topic! Some Gems are sharing their personal vacation pics over on Facebook. Here's the link to our Romance Gems Facebook Group if you'd like to see. Maybe even share some of your own pics in "comments" there.

Thanks for joining us!

~ The Romance Gems ~

Don't forget our July Giveaway!

Starts at 12:01am CDT, July 5, Friday. 

Ends at 12:01am CDT, July 25, Thursday. 

You can click Rafflecopter here at any time, or scroll to the bottom and find the form. Remember, it opens July 5 so enter often and tell your friends.
There are some great prizes up for grabs.

July Prizes

Grand Prize: a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card 

Second Prize: a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card

Third Prize: a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

Fourth Prize: 2 print books, each autographed and mailed by the author

5th, 6th, and 7th Prizes: Eboook bundles of 3 Ebooks each 
 Beach Book Bonanza

What's better than a Beach Book in the summer? Not much, especially when you're talking about these beach books by these bestselling authors! Some are sweet; some are spicy; some are downright sizzling hot! There's definitely something for everyone.

Romance Gems July Rafflecopter Giveaway

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Writing Sweet and Spicy by Cheryl Bolen

The great “Digital Disruption” that significantly altered the publishing industry also had a dramatic effect on individual authors. The pivotal year was 2011, and I was one of the fortunate authors to get in at that ground-breaking time. In addition to making the move from New York publishing houses to indie publishing that year, I went from writing hot to . . . writing sweet.

When I broke into publishing in the 1990s, the only lines publishing “sweet” romances were the slender little Harlequin Romance and a handful of slender traditional Regencies. Many other houses were publishing a much meatier historical romance set during the Regency period. These featured a number of sex scenes, and these could be pretty darn sexy. These were called Regency-set historicals, and advances for these were typically two to four times as much as they were for traditional Regencies. I chose to write these. 

Over the next few years I made ten sales to four lines at two New York publishers. All except for one novella were pretty “hot.”

For reasons out of my control, there came a lull in my career. I now realize it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had breast cancer. A hurricane destroyed my house. My publisher was on a buying hiatus.

Then Kindle sales went crazy. Self publishing lost the stigma it once had. I knew people who’d never been able to sell a book who were making more money self publishing than ever I’d made in New York. I started my indie career with four backlist titles for which I’d gotten back my rights. They did very well.

Then I started publishing original work. My first year I sold 100,000 books.  My first full tax year I paid more in federal income tax than I had earned in ten years selling to New York publishers.

Because I could now write to please myself, I chose not to write full sex scenes. When a story called for a sex scene, I closed the bedroom door. Oftentimes, I would continue a series I had started in New York, where the first books in the series were hot, hot, hot. And the new self-published books were not, not, not. And guess what? The readers never complained. Not one reviewer ever pointed out the difference!

I still have sexual tension. Heroes still notice the heroine’s breasts. The heroes still get aroused. Married couples have sex—behind closed doors. Most of the time, I don’t have premarital sex. But remember, I do write historical. Two of my entirely indie series with no on-the-page sex scenes are my Regent Mystery series (which has a romance in each book) and my Lords of Eton. All of my other series are hybrids, that is, they started with traditional publishers and I finished them with my own imprint, so each of my other historical series starts out spicy and ends up sweet!

In this new age of digital publishing, we indie authors are changing things. My friend Anne Marie Novark self published a bunch of sexy ranch stories. Then she went back and rewrote those same stories in sweet versions. This way, she suits readers who like their books spicy as well as those who like them sweet.

Historical author Lauren Royal started her career with three trilogies originally published by Berkley. After the rights reverted to her, these have been perennial indie bestsellers. Now, her twentysomething daughter Devon Royal has rewritten each of the books in a sweet version. Each book by the mother-daughter team has been retitled and seeks an entirely different audience than the original sexy ones.

The great Digital Disruption has given authors financial, creative, and managerial career opportunities we never would have dreamed of as recently as ten years ago. It’s a great time to be self publishing—especially for those of us fortunate enough to have gotten our foot in the door in that glory year of 2011.—Cheryl Bolen is the New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of 40 published books, most of them set in Regency England. Her newest release is A Duke Deceived, a re-release of her first published book (which is very sexy). Her January release was Last Duke Standing, which was sweet.   

Don't Forget Our Monthly Giveaway! Details HERE 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Weathering a Home Invasion by Judith Hudson

AKA - Welcoming Summer Guests

A lot of things have happened in and around my workshop this year that have put my writing behind schedule - workmen installing gas lines in my ceiling and jack-hammering old pavement right outside my window - but none have been quite as disruptive as having two boys, age three and five, sleeping right in my office.

I also have the baby and their parents in the next room. They are all great, lots of fun, only here for a week, but although I have not been going on the day trips with them, I am exhausted when they leave and can’t jump into my work in progress (WIP) on a dime. Could I ever? I don’t remember, but I know I spaced my own children out for a reason.

 It’s lovely to see them with my 95-year-old mother, though. (I may have mentioned her before. She’s kind of a recurring theme in my life these days.) The little ones are her great-great-grandchildren and she’s really enjoying them – for short visits. I’m happy to be able to host these events, but I’ll be glad to get back to my WIP, The Lodge trilogy.

Just to remind you - and myself! – what it's about, here’s a blurb of book one:

Holly Chance arrives in remote Riverton WA to discover she has inherit an old hunting lodge from her estranged grandfather. It’s a place where, in the 1960’s, musicians and movie stars came to kick back, do some fishing and jamming and, well, you can imagine.
The catch is she shares the inheritance with two other women – half-sisters she knew nothing about, the legacy of a father she barely remembers.
Can the women, total strangers, work together to rebuild the derelict building? And to what lengths will their local cousins go to reclaim an
inheritance they feel is rightful theirs?

You can catch my monthly posts right here to see how the series develops. I can’t wait to get back to work!
In the meantime, you can read the first book in my first small town romance series, Lake of Dreams, FREE, when you sign up for my reading group.

sign up for Judy's reading group

A cabin by the lake.

A haven for people at the crossroads of their lives.

Welcome to Fortune Bay!


And don't forget to join the monthly Rafflecopter giveaway. The prizes keep getting better and better!

Grand Prize: a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card

Second Prize: a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card

Third Prize: a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

Fourth Prize: 2 print books, each autographed and mailed by the author

5th, 6th, and 7th Prizes: ebook bundles of 3 ebooks each

PS – I'd love to know what you think of the books. Join me on my facebook group –

Judith Hudson Author – Let’s Talk!

Hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Impressions of Summer by Kathryn Hills #RomanceGems

Close your eyes. Now, imagine you’re at the beach. What do you perceive? Sounds of surf or lapping lake water? Seagulls, a nearby radio, children playing? Classic sounds of summer. How about what you smell? Salty air or sunscreen? Perhaps even a specific type of sunscreen – Hawaiian Tropic vs. Coppertone?

As writers, we spend a great deal of time describing settings. If we’re any good at stringing words together, what we “see” in our mind’s eye is only part of the grand picture when world building. And, maybe it’s because we are writers that we pay attention to all our senses. We feel a setting, immerse ourselves, right down to the smallest details.

I recently traveled to Orlando for vacation, something my family does often since we once lived in Central Florida. As I waited for my flight in the crowded Delta terminal, my mind meandered through the past week. Sights in “The City Beautiful” are astonishing, but the sounds and scents are unique as well. The grass and earth in Florida smell different than they do in New England. So does the tap water. My family calls it “Florida Water,” and it makes us happy because it means we’re on vacation.

How about scents anyone who has visited Disney World will recognize? "Disney Water," as in that distinct smell of rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Small World, and that smoky smell of Rome burning in Epcot’s Spaceship Earth. How about the sounds at Disney World? Laughter and crying – those are non-stop. LOL Roller-coaster screams, the ferry’s toot, fireworks, and happy music. Lest we forget the all-time classic, “Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas.” Visitors to the Magic Kingdom know it’s the monorail’s safety message to riders.

If we leave out our vision and taste senses, what are some other impressions of summer? How about the aromas of popcorn, hot dogs, and beer coupled with the crack of a bat? A man I met at that same Orlando airport was traveling to Boston to visit Fenway Park. He told me he dreams of those things since he has happy memories of growing up near the ballpark. For him, it’s a every-few-years pilgrimage to immerse himself in his favorite place, including those special sounds and scents. “It’s that Boston city smell," he admitted with a silly grin. “Every city has a smell, but I like Boston’s best.”

Here are a few more that likely set a scene in your mind… The scent of damp earth and pine. Soft chirps of birds or crickets, and the slow crackling of a fire. Camping! Aah…peaceful, right? Until there’s a rustling noise… Eek! Or, perhaps it’s pool chlorine or freshly mowed lawns. Maybe grandma’s berry pie, smores, or a charcoal grill loaded with burgers that speaks to you. I know someone who loves the smell of gasoline because it reminds her of summers on her brother’s boat.

So, tell me…what are your favorite impression of summer? Using only your senses of smell and hearing, tell me what says “SUMMER” to you? If not that, do you have a favorite scent or sound? For some it’s coffee or cinnamon. Cats purring or baby belly laughs? You never know, maybe the image you conjure up in this writer’s head will end up in a book. 😊

To learn more about me and my books visit
or find me on Facebook

~ Kathryn ~

Don't forget our July Giveaway!

Starts at 12:01am CDT, July 5, Friday. 

Ends at 12:01am CDT, July 25, Thursday. 

You can click Rafflecopter here at any time, or scroll to the bottom and find the form. Remember, it opens July 5 so enter often and tell your friends. There are some great prizes up for grabs.

July Prizes 

Grand Prize: a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card 

Second Prize: a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card

Third Prize: a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

Fourth Prize: 2 print books, each autographed and mailed by the author

5th, 6th, and 7th Prizes: Eboook bundles of 3 Ebooks each 
 Beach Book Bonanza

What's better than a Beach Book in the summer? Not much, especially when you're talking about these beach books by these bestselling authors!

Some are sweet; some are spicy; some are downright sizzling hot!
There's definitely something for everyone.

Romance Gems July Rafflecopter Giveaway