Posted by Jo Robertson Jun 30 2010, 4:01 am in Jo Robertson, Summertime
by Jo Robertson
We’ve just reached the triple digits in northern California and I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West screeching, “I’m melting, I’m melting.”
Summer’s definitely here to stay in our little corner of the world. In spite of the heat, mosquitoes, and escalating air conditioner bills, summer recalls those wonderful memories of childhood in my home state of Virginia.
Barefoot explorations. My mother never cared if we ran wild and barefoot all summer long. My standard clothing issue was shorts and halter top and NO SHOES. Our property sloped down the hillside to the banks of the James River and my brother and I spent hours exploring the territory.
Gives me the shivers now.
Sleeping in. We had a screened in side porch where we always slept during the hot, humid summers. Our old house had a swamp cooler, but no air conditioning, so the meager breeze that swept off the river was essential!
Why is sleeping in still so wickedly delicious?
Fireflies. Not the Nathan Fillion kind – yum – and I’ll again recommend your buying the complete DVD of that amazing Joss Whedon TV series – but the bugs that light up.
As kids we always caught fireflies during the summer, captured them inside my mom’s canning jars, and stared at them all night as they rested on the floor by my bed. I’m still fascinated by the way their tiny bodies flash this amazing green light.
Ticks. Yes, we had tons of those little buggers. I distinctly remember one particularly fat one burrowing its body into my right butt cheek. I was about eleven, I think, and horrified at the thought of some crawly creature sucking my blood out like a vampire. That was also the summer I got interested in Bram Stoker. Mom used alcohol and tweezers and finally snipped off the head, leaving the body deep in my tender flesh.
I don’t remember the rest – I think I passed out.
Accidents. Why is summer always the time someone breaks a bone, gnashes a wrist or knee, or falls into an open sewer? I mention these three things because the summer I was twelve, my little brother Ken, eleven, managed to do all three on consecutive Saturdays.
The sewer was the worst. And I swear — I was responsible only for one of the events — the slashed wrist.
Ice Cream. I know, I know. It’s way cheaper to buy ice cream nowadays than to make your own, but there’s something that speaks of home and mom and comfort during warm summer nights with a giant bowl of homemade ice cream for company.
I’m again offering my super-duper infamous recipe for anyone who missed it previously. It’s easy, quick, and so light you’ll eat the entire canister by yourself. If the other people living in your house don’t beat you to it!
3 cups sugar
2 quarts of half and half
1 can evaporated milk
2 TB vanilla extract
1 TB lemon extract
And finally, making out on a blanket (otherwise known as picnicking). Okay, I’ll keep this PG-13, but summertime reminds me of dates I had with Dr. Big when we picnicked by the river. It was so beautiful and we were so much in love. Nuff said!
What about you? What’s your standard “uniform” for the summer? What childhood memories does summertime bring to you? What kind of memories are you making for you children?
Are summer sports your thing — water skiiing, rafting, sunbathing (hey, that’s a sport!) Are you a sun worshipper or do you avoid it like the plague?
Do you enjoy picnic scenes in a romance novel? Do they remind you of a more relaxed time as opposed to our current hectic pace?
Posted by Susan Sey Jun 29 2010, 4:06 am in Dreams, Susan Sey
by Susan Sey It’s 1994. I’m twenty-one years old, student teaching 9th grade English. In the four months I’ve been on the job, Tonya Harding has put out a hit on Nancy Kerrigan’s knee & Kurt Cobain’s committed suicide. It’s a pretty accurate barometer of how my pursuit of a teaching certificate is going, actually. But since my dad has recently informed me I can’t be a camp counselor forever, I feel compelled to augment my imminent English degree with an actual skill set. Hence the teaching certificate. My cooperating teacher is napping behind a barricade of books on his
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Jun 28 2010, 5:00 am in Ellora's Cave, historical western erotica, party in the Lair, Suzanne Ferrell, THE SURRENDER OF LACY MORGAN
by Suzanne In case you’re one of the few people on the planet that I haven’t told, and trust me, I’m pretty sure I’ve shouted it from the mountain tops, I sold my first book this month! Now, this wasn’t my first book. Nope, it was actually my ninth. I’ve been writing seriously for about 15 years. Over that time I’ve tried my hand at many romantic sub genres. At first it was American Historical…the market fell out from under me. Then contemporary, then contemporary small town, (not much market at the time for those). Then romantic suspense…oh, wait the
Posted by Tawny Weber Jun 27 2010, 7:29 am in imagination, Pamela Palmer, Tawny Weber
by Tawny I’m so jazzed to welcome one of our favorite authors, Pamela Palmer, back to the Lair. Today’s she’s hanging out with us and talking about that ever-exciting topic that keeps all writer’s going hmmm… Imaginations. I know, you can’t wait to hear what she has to say (okay, read what she has to say) so without further ado… Here’s Pam!!! All fiction writers have imaginations, big imaginations, or we’d never come up with the stories we do. We’re the ones walking around with the voices in our heads. But these big imaginations can take different forms. I think
Posted by Nancy Northcott Jun 26 2010, 6:13 am in dark books, high stakes, post-apocalyptic fiction and films
by Nancy I’ve heard that phrase, “the crack of doom,” all my life. Learning from context, I figured it meant the end of the universe but didn’t give it much thought. It recently popped into my head again, probably because I’ve been reading post-apocalyptic novels, and I decided to find the derivation and specific meaning of the phrase. Since I didn’t feel like going to the library, where a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary resides, I went on a quest via the internet. This was a tactical error. Many, many, many people apparently think the phrase originated with Tolkien’s
Posted by Kate Carlisle Jun 25 2010, 4:01 am in Kate Carlisle, The Millionaire Meets His Match
We always hear about the millionaire playboy, but seriously. Trotting the globe alone. Sounds kind of sad and pathetic, doesn’t it? How much fun could a man have, bedding different women every night? No man wants to do that! Snort! After a while, arm candy would make a millionaire sick. Or at least, it would a millionaire of character, like Adam Duke, the hero of my latest book, The Millionaire Meets His Match. Adam has no intention of ever settling down, but that’s because he doesn’t realize how much a wife – the right wife – would add to his
Posted by Guest Jun 24 2010, 12:00 pm in Uncategorized
by KJ Howe I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading THE INHERITANCE by Simon Tolkien–yes, that’s really Tolkien, the grandson of JRR Tolkien of LORD OF THE RINGS fame. The story features Stephen Cade, a young man on trial for murdering his famed Oxford historian father. If you enjoy a good Agatha Christie mystery combined with a John Grisham courtroom drama, this book is for you. Lots of great twists and turns, startling revelations, and heart-stopping moments. And the writing is rich, textured, like an oil painting on the page. What struck me most about the novel and its author
Posted by crocodesigns Jun 24 2010, 3:11 am in Bandit Booty, Kris Kennedy, The Irish Warrior
Hmmm, does that post title sound a wee bit naughty? Oh well, you all know what I meant! We have a WINNER for Kris Kennedy’s newest release, The Irish Warrior! Congrats to: Louisa Cornell!!! You’ve won a copy of Kris’ fabulous new book! She will be in touch with you soon. Thanx to everyone for turning out for Kris’ visit!
Posted by Donna MacMeans Jun 23 2010, 5:00 am in Anthology Charity, Gift of Love, Lori Foster
Sponsored by Donna MacMeans Every year for the past three years, New York Times bestselling author, Lori Foster, has taken the lead to compile an anthology of stories with a central theme. The author proceeds from the sales of the anthology benefit a charity. This year’s book benefits a charity close to my heart, the Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati www.clcgc.org. They work to educate and empower those individuals with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and other motor challenges. It’s special to me as my youngest sister attended the learning center. I can remember neighbors coming to our house to
Posted by Anna Sugden Jun 22 2010, 6:07 am in Anna Sugden, booing, reviews
by Anna Sugden A couple of things happened recently – both during sporting events – which caused me to ask this question. In both cases, the team had performed poorly and their own fans were booing them off the field. I’ve seen it happen before and each time it does, it makes me cross. When I was young, I was told that you never booed. It was considered rude and poor sportsmanship. Even at the pantomime, you never booed the baddie – you hissed (don’t ask me how that got started!). I don’t remember much booing as a child, though