5 Favorite Summer Things To Do by Stephanie Queen

Like a lot of us, I find I have more leisure time in the summer. Work slows down, days get longer and energy goes up. Maybe it’s all a mirage, but suddenly there’s more time for the fun stuff in life.

Here are my top 5 fun summer leisure loves:

  1. The Beach. Breathing the salt air. Splashing in the ocean waves. Walking in the warm sand. Any of it. All of it! One of my favorite all time beaches is Gay Head Beach on Martha’s Vineyard (pictured above), a small island off the coast of Massachusetts and top summer vacation mecca. When POTUS vacations there, you know it has to be hot!

Speaking of which, POTUS plans a vacation to Martha’s Vineyard in my latest Beachcomber Investigations novel, Beachcomber Danger. The problem is there’s a credible threat to his life. But my hero and heroine, Dane & Shana will do their part to foil the threat. Of course, nothing is that easy and nothing good happens without a cost. Find out the price Dane has to pay when you read the book…

  1. Summer Theater. Maybe I’m a geek, but I love seeing those small productions done in all the vacation spots well off Broadway—mostly in the mountains. Revivals of long ago favorites like South Pacificor My Fair Lady, or my very favorite The Pajama Game. I’m heading up to the mountains in New Hampshire to see whatever they’re showing!
  2. Shopping. I know, I know. This is a great leisure activity any time of year (think Christmas) but it’s extra special when you can cruise the boutiques and shops in a vacation town, especially one that’s on the water, and duck inside for special sales and AC when the sun gets too hot. My favorite spot is in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, closely followed by Wolfeboro, NH on the shores of Lake Winnepesauki. Or any water front harbor town along the coast of Maine, like York or Kennebunkport.
  3. Ice Cream. I know it’s not an activity. Not strictly speaking, but eating ice cream cones, visiting shops or outdoor stands, especially if they’re along a beach or at a carnival, is classifiably a FUN activity! I enjoy the beach side stands at places like Old Orchard Beach in Maine or Salisbury Beach in Massachusetts among many, many others (closely followed by the stands that sell ‘Beach Pizza’!)
  4. Reading a Beach Book. This is the ultimate leisurely activity in the summer. Laying around with nothing to do but read for hours on end. On the beach or in a hammock or poolside. Or maybe in bed late at night, or before you get up in the morning because you have nowhere else to be. The ultimate definition of leisure activity!

If you’re looking for a great Beach Read, check out my romantic detective series, Beachcomber InvestigationsIt’s on sale now for a limited time for $.99!

Stephanie Queen

About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen
A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she’s lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.

Finding Your Voice @amwriting #mgtab

laptop-3087585_640 (1)

When I first began my writing career I took a LOT of online classes on craft, editing, revision, grammar, technique, and the one thing that kept coming up was the need to discover your voice. The unique something that distinguishes your work and keeps your readers coming back for more.

But how?

What do the experts mean by voice anyway?

Do you have a favorite author? One whose pages you could read without seeing the cover and you’d STILL be able to say without a doubt, yes, that is definitely their book?

I thought so 🙂

That’s voice!

It’s a distinctive style that sets the writer’s work apart from anyone else. Some use setting, such as bestselling and award-winning author Louise Penny. Her books are set in and around the scenic mountain town of Three Pines, Quebec. If a fan were to read a brief passage from any of her books they would know who wrote the novel.

Other writers have a certain way with characterization that’s a dead giveaway, such as Jill Shalvis. Her writing style is part sass, part angst, and a whole lot of heat!

One of the best styles of voice comes with deep POV (point of view).

Military romantic suspense author Suzanne Brockmann does this better than most. Deep point of view is when the character acts, thinks, or talks and there is no need to add a name tag because we know this character. He/she is as real as if we were watching them on our favorite television series. Suzanne does this by creating distinct mannerisms that we immediately associate with that person. She does this so well, she can write entire passages without a name/ and frequently does, and yet it’s easy to know who is talking at any given moment.

Voice is something a writer gains with time. It can’t be forced, but for readers it’s that magic thing that will make them your fans. If you have a backlist take another look, you might be pleasantly surprised 🙂

I’m currently working on a summer romance set on an island in the Pacific Northwest. A theme that runs through my stories is the value of family, and this one is no different.

Here’s the blurb for Sweetheart Cove:

Josie Sparks is looking for escape after a disastrous relationship. A summer job on a small Pacific Northwest island seems perfect. That is, until she meets her irascible new boss. She thinks she can help his sweet little girl–he’s another story.

Jacob Samuels needs someone reliable to care for his special needs daughter, but is sorry he trusted his sister with the task when help arrives in the shape of a too-young, too-tempting therapist with pain-filled eyes he can’t ignore.

Sand, surf, and soft island breezes bring two lonely hearts together in this heartwarming tale of second chance romance and a love that lasts forever.

SClargeFront

Exclusive excerpt

Josie wasn’t sure how she got through the next few days. She must have acted reasonably normal because no one questioned her absentmindedness, even when she set the puppy’s food in the refrigerator instead of the pantry where it belonged. Jacob’s kiss lived front and center in her thoughts, and his hard, masculine body encompassed her dreams. A moody, short-tempered grump who made her pulse skyrocket.

How could she feel this way about him when she’d been hours from marrying another man a month ago? She added fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies to the picnic basket she’d prepared and glanced down at the pup sitting quietly at her feet. “If you’re looking for handouts, you’ll just have to wait. No offence, but I don’t trust your stomach in the car.”

“Is it time yet?” Jane wheeled into the kitchen, her face expectant. The dog, thinking it was playtime, crouched, nose on his front paws, butt in the air and tail wagging a mile a minute. He let out a couple of excited yips, then raced around the room and jumped against Jane’s short-clad legs. “Ow, Mischief, that hurts,” she cried, then stopped in shock and stared at the red marks already fading from her skin. “It hurt,” she whispered.

Josie pushed the dog out of the way and crouched at the little girl’s side. “Honey, this is great. I’m so happy for you. We better tell your father, so he can get you into the specialist for a checkup.”

Jane shook her head and gripped Josie’s wrist. “No. Can we keep it a secret? Please, Josie? Just for a while. I want to get better and surprise Daddy by walking. Please?”

Her pleading eyes undid Josie. How was she supposed to say no to that? She nodded. “Okay, but if you have any pains at all, you tell me, understand?” She patted Mischief’s silky head. “Guess your dad knew what he was doing, getting you a dog. Maybe we should name him Miracle instead of Mischief.”

Jane giggled. “It’s not Mischief, Josie. It’s you. You’re the miracle.”

I’d like to think I’m gaining a voice, but you the reader are the only ones who can tell me whether I’m right. What do you think? 🙂

Jacquie Biggar

Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
View website

First Love #mgtab @Natalieann121

Do you remember the first time you fell in love?

How about that smile you didn’t want to fill your face when you saw that special someone, fearing they’d think you were nuts? You know that one. The big toothy one with sparkles in your eyes because everything you see is surrounded by rainbows, puppies, and unicorns.

And let’s not forget the sweaty palms and racing heart. Butterflies swarming in the belly too. Been there and done that.

I was thirteen the first time I fell in love. Seven years later, I walked down the aisle with my high school sweetheart. We’ve been married twenty-four years now.

Whether you are a teen or in your twenties, maybe your thirties, forties, or even seventies, when you fall in love, everything looks different…feels differently too. That giddiness that makes you hop out of bed and rush to see your sweetheart.

That’s why I put together a collection of three of my favorite novels. They also happen to be the first book in each of my three series.

First Comes Love is out for a limited time for $4.99. That’s a big savings when each book sells for $2.99. And if you’ve got Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free!

Included in this set are the stories of Ben Harper and Presley James of All or Nothing, Nick Buchanan and Mallory Denning of Second Chance and Brody Fierce and Aimee Reed of Fierce-Brody.

If you’re looking for the thrill of love, you’ll enjoy First Comes Love!

Danger & Romance, the Beachcomber Investigations Way

 Beachcomber Danger, the 8th book in the Beachcomber Investigations romantic detective series is now out!  I’m just as proud of this baby as I was of the first. So far reviewers agree.

If you like a little danger with your romance, this is the series for you. Set on Martha’s Vineyard, ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise wrestles (literally!) with his attraction to bombshell ex-Scotland Yard detective, Shana George. Along the way, their assignments involve kicking some badasses while they manage to keep each other from harm–or at least they manage to stay alive.

Each book can be read as a stand-alone, but I always love reading a series in order. (You could start with the box set of the first four books HERE.)

But today I’m celebrating the Newest Baby: Beachcomber Danger

Here’s the tab:

The trouble with being stupid-in-love is that it makes you stupid. And you have your whole world to lose…

Dane Blaise was once a special ops legend, so he’d been in danger before.
But not like this. This time it counted for all the marbles.

Shana was not going to let Dane take on this assignment without her, though she knew he wanted to. The stakes were off-the-charts high. This was about saving the President. And there was no way she would let him shield her from the dangerous consequences.

The only problem was, when someone was out to assassinate the President of the United States, things got complicated. They had a way of spiraling out of a man’s control until legendary status meant shit.

And in the end, there was nothing left but you fighting for the life of the one you loved most…

Excerpt from Beachcomber Danger:

Chapter 1

They were blessedly alone at this ungodly hour of the morning. Dane ran behind Shana along State Beach, mostly for the view of her backside. He could catch her and pass her if he’d wanted to. Sweat trickled down his temples and he bent his head to wipe the sweat off on his sleeve. When he did, he caught a glimpse of a moving car out of the corner of his eye.

He turned his head only slightly to see two men in a gray sedan creeping along the road about fifty yards behind, tracking them.

Picking up his pace, he caught up to Shana.  Ever the competitor, she speeded up to try and stay ahead of him. Before she got too far, he managed to snag her t-shirt, almost tearing it from her shoulder. She slowed and swung around, pulling the shirt back on while she scowled at him.

She was about to protest but he quieted her with a look and hauled her in close. He didn’t want it to be obvious to the men in the car that he’d made them. He had no idea who they were or what they were up to, but it was scalded into his DNA by now to be cagey. Never play it straight.

He put an arm around Shana’s sweaty body, enjoyed the effects of running with the heat and humidity of the day rising, and nuzzled her ear while he whispered.

“Two men in dark glasses and suits are following us in a non-descript sedan. What does that tell you?”

“Are you in trouble with the feds?” It was both good and bad that she stopped squirming in his arms.

“No.”

He thought for a moment, running his mind in reverse back to the last time he’d had a run-in with a federal law enforcement agency. The ATF. One of their agents had been bad and they hadn’t been thrilled that Dane had been the one to discover this fact. But the man had killed their client’s husband and Dane and Shana had nailed him with a recorded confession and a gun aimed squarely at him with intent to kill. No one was happy about that mess. As a reward for uncovering the ATF agent’s drug ring, Dane had been threatened with imprisonment for his so-called interference that they’d insisted labeling as obstruction of justice. But that fiasco ended a while back with a truce.

“Then what’s it about?” Her scowl changed over to something more loving, not worry, not yet.

“I’m hoping it has nothing to do with the President’s upcoming vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, but I’m not that optimistic.”

She stood stock still now and looked at him.

“Do you think they want us to—“

“No. I think they think we’re suspicious characters and they’re keeping an eye on us.”

She slapped his arm and took off at a sprint before he could stop her. Damn.

Now he’d have to catch up with her. And he’d have to acknowledge that she was probably right. The feds, likely secret service, wanted something from him—from them. He needed to remember he wasn’t in this alone. And never would be again.

Order Now at Amazon for $.99 or FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Stephanie Queen

About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen
A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she’s lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.