Thursday, June 11, 2020

SUMMER DAYS AND NIGHTS by Kathleen Lawless @kathleenlawless #romancegems

I love June.  It’s the start of summer, along with some cool celebrations like summer solstice.  Living in the Pacific Northwest, our evenings stay light enough to read outside until bedtime.  We also don’t have a lot of mosquitoes or bugs, so reading outside is definitely an option in my new chair hammock.  Every bit as comfy and relaxing as a traditional hammock, but much easier to get in and out of, as well as sporting the required drink holder. 

Years ago, I started a summer solstice ritual of taking a rose to the closest body of water (in my case the beach) where I make a wish and throw in the rose.  I am pretty sure I have had a character or two adopt this ritual as well. 

Last birthday, my three children surprised me with a gift that lasts all year long.  Each month, shortly before the new moon, I receive a single red rose to enjoy before I take it to the beach, make a wish, and toss the rose to the sea gods.  I wonder what the neighbors think of my monthly ritual with the rose.

I have two new releases this month.  UNDERTOW is an extremely hot contemporary romance.

A revenge-sounds-sweet-story that takes an unexpected turn.    Here’s a sample:


“You don’t recognize me, do you?”
Sloan Hardt gave the red-headed beauty his sexiest smile: the tilted head, the frank blue-eyed interest, and the “come keep me warm” crooked half grin.  “Should I?”
“We went to school together.”
“What school?” Sloan challenged, convinced she was mistaken.  He would have never forgotten such a looker.
“West Bend High.”
“Apparently I owe you a drink and an apology, Miss . . ?”
He waited expectantly, having already checked out her unadorned ring finger.
She met his gaze, her eyes the color of warm sherry.  “I think I’ll keep you waiting a little longer for that.  See if it comes to you.”
“That would be cruel beyond words.  What are you drinking?”
“Champagne, of course.  What else at a wedding?”
“You’re here for a wedding?  What a coincidence.  Me too.”
“It’s no coincidence, Sloan Hardt.  We’re here for the same wedding.” Miss Red turned and sashayed away, leaving him with his mouth hanging open as she greeted his brother. 
After the redhead left, Steele went over to Sloan with a grin.  “Jeez man, pull up your jaw.  I know she looks good, but—”
“Who is she?”
“Are you kidding me?”  He cocked his thumb toward the departing redhead.  “Little Cassidy Ferrill.”
Fatty Ferrill?”
“Be kind.  She had a serious crush on you, man.”
If memory served, Cassidy had never been much for crowds, so he took the hunt out onto the ship’s Promenade Deck.  Up-deck he spotted a flash of red hair shimmering in the sun and sped up his pace, careful not to spill the champagne he’d picked up on the way.  As if she sensed his pursuit, Cassidy turned and waited for him. 
“I bear champagne and an apology.  Shame on me for not knowing who you were.”
She dipped her fingers in the champagne and flicked them playfully his way.  “Double shame.”
His grin widened.  “I should be punished.”
“Spanked perhaps,” she said in a way that sent blood surging to his loins.  This was a whole different Cassidy from his memories.
“To getting reacquainted.”  He chinked the rim of his glass to hers.  “So how are we going to amuse ourselves, stuck out here at sea for days on end?”
Cassidy flashed him a half smile over the rim of her glass.  “I would think that was obvious.  We’re going to be lovers.”  
Mmmmm . . .   Sloan could definitely weave a few fantasies about Cassidy. “How do we get started?”
“Just like this.”  She plucked the empty flute from his hand, set the glasses on a table, wound her arms around his neck and pressed against him. 
Sloan’s arms encircled her with an unerring confidence, pulling her near. 
At the first touch of her, the first taste of her, the years flew back, confusing his senses.  Cassidy had been everybody’s pal and nobody’s sweetheart, a stand-in for his prom date who was home with the measles. 
Cassidy had waited a lifetime for this moment—step one in making Sloan fall for her—and she kept her eyes wide open for his kiss. 
It didn’t disappoint.  His lips were soft at first, firm, shaping themselves to hers in a series of tiny nibbles that promised great things to follow.  He didn’t try to force his tongue down her throat, but let her set the pace as her lips opened of their own accord, her tongue instinctively seeking his.
Cassidy felt as if the well of pent-up feelings inside of her drained into Sloan, leaving her empty.  She clutched his shoulders as her body melted into him, and then, like a miracle, she felt a surge of renewed energy.  As if he took what she offered, doubled it and refilled her wellspring. 
Yes, the boy next door had turned into one fine specimen of a man.  And he was going to fall in love with her so fast, he wouldn’t know what hit him.  Right before she dumped him on his muscular tush.       


From the other muse, who writes sweet western historicals, comes a second-chance romance, MAIL ORDER OLIVIA on June 25th.  This was my first mail-order bride, secret baby romance, but was such fun to write, it won't be my last.

What do you like best about June?  Comment below and enter our     Rafflecopter Draw.


  1. The rose and wish are such lovely traditions. And I laughed at "And he was going to fall in love with her so fast, he wouldn’t know what hit him. Right before she dumped him on his muscular tush." Great fun, Kathleen. Thanks and may you sell a million.

  2. That's a wonderful ritual. Very special and beautiful, and it's so sweet that your children honor it, as well. I enjoyed the excerpt and the post! So sweet!

    1. Thanks Kara. I guess I'm superstitious around rituals, but I like the idea of a wish on the solstice and the new moon.

  3. A lovely ritual, Kathleen. I remember the lovely late sunsets on the west coast, but we were in California. I'm glad you've reached into sweet historical romance,too.

    1. Caroline, I am having so much fun with everything I write. Those wst coast sunset are really something, aren't they?

  4. I love the chair/hammock! I may or may not be Googling this very moment. :) Also love your rose tradition. And Undertow... Just wow. Love this story!

  5. Thanks Maddie. I first tried the hammock chair as a resort and loved it. I ordered it on line. Let me know if you need the website.

  6. I loved that excerpt! So sweet about the rose, and I'm jealous that you're close enough to walk to the sea. It takes us about an hour.

  7. The chair, the rose... I LOVE IT! I'm jealous because you have no bugs and live so close to the shore. (I think the regional bird of New England is the mosquito - jumbo size) I also love that you have two muses. I'm experiencing that myself right now, and it's refreshing and fun. Congrats on your new releases!

    1. I almost snorted my coffe reading your remark about the mosquitoes there. I guess that's why screened porches are the norm.

  8. What a beautiful tradition! Lovely!

  9. Thanks, Kari. I've been doing solstice for à long time.

  10. I love your rose ritual, and your gift from your kids!

  11. Liz, I think that's my favorite gift from them.

  12. That's a lovely tradition, Kathleen. I think I'll adopt it. Loved the excerpt. I've mined that trope a time or two and enjoy reading books with that premise. Can't wait to read this one. I'll treat myself to it when I finish edits.


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