“We’re summer people,” my sister casually explained last week as we purchased ready-to-pour-over-ice margaritas in a big plastic jug. I glanced at her grocery cart and mine. Between us, we had burgers, buns, beer, an outdoor tablecloth, sunscreen, a fly-swatter, and a flashy new set of tiki lights for my porch and her deck. Summer has started whether the planet agrees or not.
The signs of summer come slowly—we shave our legs, paint our toenails, mow the lawn for the first time—and then sparkle into over-drive. Spring in Ohio is a drunken airline pilot wandering toward the end of the runway then taking off in a flurry of heat and light. We peel back the pool cover, get the boat out of storage, and renew our passes to the local amusement park.
And we write.
All summer long.
Summer is my coconut-scented-Jimmy Buffett-playing muse. Heat and exposed flesh combined with any place on the water is my idea of a banquet set out by the gods for my enjoyment. I think it’s a natural habitat for romance, too. While I concede there’s great tension and anticipation tearing through layers of winter clothing to get to the goods, slipping off a tank top and sandals gets to the action a whole lot faster and sacrifices nothing by the time-savings.
In HER LUCKY CATCH, the hapless Jazz Shepherd has three months off from teaching kindergarten, but she finds plenty of excitement at her summer job—a marina that happens to be the scene of a federal investigation. Lucky for her, Kurt Reynolds–the hottest firefighter in town– docks right under her nose manning the fireboat and revving her engine. When things with Kurt heat up, Jazz tries to keep her investigation undercover while under the covers with her summer flame. It’s a fun contemporary romance for any time of the year, but it runs on summer fuel.
The “fictional” town of Bluegill is my hometown. The lake and marina? I can see them from my house. The fireboat? I watched it go in the water last week. The hot firemen? Their station is right across the street from my sister’s front porch (front seat to all the action!). Now you know what the margarita mix is for.
P.S. Although summer is where I live, I’m not a conscientious objector to other seasons. If you like the sparks between Jazz and Kurt, I hope you’ll open up the sequel HER LUCKY PRIZE which begins with a Halloween party going up in flames.
Your turn—what are the signs at your house that summer is officially open for business? Do you hand-sharpen the lawnmower blades? Exfoliate your kneecaps? Roll a keg into cold storage? Please share a “you know it’s summer when…” story.
It might just make me look normal.
And please visit me at www.amiedenman.com