Monday, July 17, 2017

Beach Reads





Summer makes me think of soft breezes, warm sunshine, blooming flowers, chirping birds, barbecues, the scent of fresh-mowed grass and long walks in the evening. The high point of summer for many of us is our vacation, time away from everyday responsibilities, free to explore other places, bonding with those we love. 

For me the best thing about vacations is having time to immerse myself in good books without feeling one speck of guilt. Active vacations that involve hiking, white water rafting or zip lining would make reading a challenge, I suppose. Not that I do any of those things. I’m more apt to scour museums or take a cog train up a mountain, or stretch out on a lounge chair in front of the ocean with a book I can’t put down.

Want to join me? Are you willing to slip on some flipflops, grab a tote and head to the beach with me this Monday morning? I've reserved cabanas to ensure our comfort. Don't forget sunglasses, a straw hat, towel, sunscreen, beverage and snack, all things you'll need, but most of all, remember to bring that beach read you've been dying to dive into.      

                                What constitutes a beach read anyway?  

I did some online surfing—as far as I know, Sandra is Seekerville’s only true surfer—and found that some people equate the beach read with a book actually set at the beach. Others don’t care where the book is set as long as it’s a page-turner, an escape from routine. Others want to delve into literary, character-driven stories. Some would choose a classic or self-help book. Others want lighthearted stories that give their frazzled brains a vacation too. All these different ideas of what makes a beach read suggests that any book that captures and holds the reader’s attention at that moment is worthy of the title beach read.

                                        Does it matter where a book is read?

According to an article on Quartz Media LLC entitled Summer books: The psychology behind beach reads, there is something different about reading at the beach than reading at any other time. Robin Rosenberg, a psychotherapist who coaches adults with ADHD in New York and the Bay Area, says, "Vacation heightens our capacity to immerse ourselves in a good read. Quite simply, we’re more open to it." Rosenberg went on to say that in our regular lives we’re all over-scheduled, and probably stressed. In addition to that stress is the heavy “cognitive load” we carry each day—the constant need to sort and weigh information in an over-stimulated environment. “When you’re sitting on a beach, the cognitive load is very low. You have time to wonder, to let your mind wander, to be really curious, to be introspective if you’re an introspective person.”

Keith Oatley, a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, suggests that vacation not only primes us for the pleasure of reading, it can also makes the reading experience more beneficial. In particular, reading literary, character-driven stories on vacation can make us more open and empathetic with others after returning to work. 

I understand and agree with all this, but I could never limit reading to just vacations and beach locales. I read every single day. Daylight Savings Time allows my hubby and me to read after dinner, giving our food time to digest, and enabling us to still get our walk in before dark. Hopefully those of us who are working full time, writing and/or caring for a family can scrape together a few minutes to read.

Any Seeker book is high on my list of beach reads. I thought it might be fun to add a few other titles so I asked these Seekers for a recommendation.  


Debby Giusti recommends 15 Minutes: Maizie Albright Star Detective, a PG-13 rated humorous mystery story by Larissa Reinhart.
  
Sandra Smith recommends Her Texas Rebel , a romance with second chances by LeAnne Bristow.

Missy Tippens highly recommends The Lady and the Lionheart, a turn-of-the-century circus romance by Joanne Bischof.


Thanks gals! These are going on my TBR list now! 

I recommend two books that I read for my book club. Neither is a romance.The first is a fascinating character study. The second is a true story that blew me away. It's a tearjerker towards the end so you might want to read this at home. 

The Two Family House by Linda Loigman, a family saga set in post-war Brooklyn that focuses on two families inextricably linked by blood, marriage, and a long-held secret.

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore is so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.


In the comments I hope you'll share the title of the book you toted to the beach today so we can all discover more great beach reads!  

What do you think makes the perfect beach read? Any particular genre? Setting? 

Share a title of a book you loved no matter where you read it.

For a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card, leave a comment. If you win, use the gift card to buy your next beach read!

I brought iced coffee, bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. For lunch I packed coolers of iced tea and lemonade (Mix the two for an Arnold Palmer.), homemade chicken salad, zucchini bread and fruit. There's a vendor near the shelter house ready to scoop a variety of ice cream flavors into waffle or cake cones for our dessert. I've got the cost covered. Don't you love cyber generosity?                                                                                                
JanetDean grew up in a family who cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. The tales they told instilled in Janet a love of history and the desire to write. Janet is a two-time Golden Heart finalist, a Genesis and Carol finalist. Her Love Inspired Historical novels are also Golden Quill, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Booksellers Best, Inspirational Readers Choice Award and Holt Medallion finalists. Visit Janet at her Website: www.janetdean.net

171 comments :

  1. I read everyday. I don't know what would constitute a beach read other than one I'm currently reading. I'm pulling up my beach chair under the cabana, kicking off my flip-flops, sipping on a cool frozen strawberry drink concoction (non-alcoholic) and diving into the next book on my list: Peace in the Valley by our own Ruthy!

    There are so many titles I've loved..anywhere, anytime, anyplace. I'll name the last three that were exceptional (made me cry): Denise Hunter's "Sweetbrair Cottage", "Life After" by Katie Ganshert & "Stars in the Grass" by Ann Marie Stewart.

    By the way, I'm a 10 minute walk/5 minute drive from the beach. It's our tourist season, so I want to go AWAY from the beach! Too many people for my taste, just plop me on a white sand beach somewhere secluded and I'd be happy :-)

    Toss my name in the straw hat for the gift card, thanks so much!

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    1. Trixi, this I understand! When I lived within walking distance to the beach, we were there all the time... and I brought a book. But once there were drownables (kids) the book got tucked away. And then we moved to the farm... No beach on a farm! :) Mud, yes. Sand... nope.

      Laughing at the seclusion comments!!!!!

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    2. Trixi, Peace in the Valley is on the footstool in our great room, which means it's up next.

      Thanks for joining me at our cyber beach, a secluded, peaceful spot with white sand, and for sharing all these great titles! I'm making a list.

      Just a few more weeks and the beach is yours again!

      Janet

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    3. Ruthy, I didn't know you once lived so near the beach. How did you manage to keep an eye on all the kids? I'm guessing there were rules. :-)

      Janet

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    4. Trixi, I'm jealous you live so close to a beach. Living in Nebraska, I am a long way from the ocean. I don't even live that close to a lake.

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    5. Sandy, I live in Greenwood Nebraska. Linoma Beach is right up the highway. It's on a sand pit inlet off the Platte River. They have snack stands, volleyball nets, and floating docks. We could meet there with our beach reads, dig our toes in the sand, and work on our tan...when it's not so humid. LOL.

      ~ Renee

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    6. Renee, fun to discover there's a beach in Nebraska! Hope you can lure Sandy and Mary there.

      Janet

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    7. Renee, sounds like fun. We should have a Nebraska writers' get-together. That sounds like a nice beach. I have been to the Platte in the past, but it wasn't the greatest. Lake McConaughey has nice white sand beaches, but it isn't someplace I ever go.

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  2. I need a beach. That's the big weakness in teh beach read plan for me. No sand

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    1. Me either, Mary, but I'm picturing the beach so strongly, I feel like I'm there. Best part, when we get home, we won't be hauling in sand on our feet.

      Janet

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    2. Mary, you could join me and Sandra at Linoma Beach. I'm serious about this, gals. When it cools off, I'll be game!

      ~ Renee

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    3. Mary, go play with Sandra and Renee! Though I'm guessing you'll get no reading done.

      Janet

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  3. Hi Janet:

    For me a 'beach read' begins at the airport. It must be an action book that really holds my interest. Plane rides to a faraway beach seem to take forever. A good read can speed things up.

    I also want a large print thick book. I don't want my reading dependent on an ereader working. I also don't want the ereader near the water or left alone when I am in the water. The book needs to be big enough to last the whole vacation. Of course, I'll have my Kindle as well to read something different when I'm not at the beach.

    My beach vacation is coming up and I plan to read "The Late Show", large print, by Michael Connelly. This is the first of a new series about the LAPD and features a woman "Harry Bosch". I feel this is something to really look forward to reading.

    A beach read should also be interesting enough to overcome wind, bugs, too much sun, glare, noisy swimmers, and annoying radio stations.

    Vince

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    1. I am in awe that people fly to beaches. But I can see an analogy from plane read to beach read... usually I end up talking on the plane which makes me That Person... but there's a book on hand just in case my seatmates want quiet.

      A beach vacation... Vince, enjoy from stem to stern!

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    2. Vince, the beach read starts early for me, too, as Mid-westerners have a haul to get to the beach. Thanks for sharing your title and favorite genre for a beach read! Have a fabulous time on your vacation! Are you sure one book is enough??

      Janet

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    3. Yes, Ruthy, some of us live a long way from a beach! :)

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    4. Agreed, Vince! A vacation read begins at the airport. Oh, wait. Never mind. I have to keep an eye on my four-year-old... ;)

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    5. I like Michael Conneally, Vince. Haven't read him in years. Thanks for the info!

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  4. I must agree, Vince. A beach read does start on the plane and it makes you forget you are flying. I used to always save the release of the year by Mary Higgins Clark for my flight to RWA Conference each summer, because I hated flying. Mostly take-off. It cured me of my fears!

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    1. Tina, love that MHC read therapy cured your hatred of flying! You should let her know. :-)

      Janet

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    2. TINA: MHC has very short chapters. Sometimes less than a page. Ideal for interruptions. Mary must love hooks and cliffhangers...she has so many of them per book.

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  5. I used to live close to beaches in California, but now I live in the mid-west and we only have lakes and to me, that does not measure up to an ocean's beach. But a beach read for me is one that grabs me and won't let me go. Probably a suspense novel.

    I have loved lots and lots of books so to pick one is difficult. But one of the classics for me is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

    Please toss my name in for the gift card. Thank you.

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    1. Cindy, I agree, lakes don't cut it. Is it hard to leave CA behind and move inland? I love the Midwest but most of our vacations are near a beach.

      Redeeming Love is a classic! Thanks for sharing a title and your favorite genre. You're name is in the beach hat.

      Janet

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    2. Redeeming Love is a classic. Or should be!

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  6. Janet, every time I go to the beach there are children involved... and the biggest book is Dr. Seuss!

    Thank you for this, though, because my first book "Winter's End" was featured as a "Beach Read" in Woman's World magazine and sold out in a few weeks time... I was thrilled and dismayed! But that shows us the power of national press and beach reads!!!!

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    1. Ruthy, I used to love reading Dr. Seuss to our kids and grandkids. Still have some ragtag copies with no one to read them to.

      Featured in Woman's World is huge! No wonder Winter's End sold out. It needs a second printing.

      Janet

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    2. I am going to the beach in 2 weeks! I will have to get Winter's End to take with me. Thanks for the suggestion!

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    3. Sally, lucky you!! Have a blast!

      Janet

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  7. Hi Janet! I when I saw your post mentioned in WE, I knew I'd enjoy it. While browsing Barnes and Noble, I'm always drawn to the books with beachy covers. Although I don't swim in the ocean, unless it's the Caribbean Ocean where I can see what's lurking around me, it's my happy place. This summer I've been reading tons of Debbie Macomber and Denise Hunter. I'd love to be entered, Janet!

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    1. Jill, writers and marketing know that the beach is many people's happy place. I've read several of Debbie and Denise's books.

      I've never been to the Caribbean. Do you snorkel?

      Janet

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    2. I have snorkeled, but the last time I did, I ducked my head a little to far and the tube filled with water. I'll need a longer tube, next time. :)

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    3. Jill, a long tube makes sense! I'd probably just inhale saltwater if I tried it. But then I'm not a swimmer. I'm picturing lots of ways to do myself in. LOL

      Janet

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    4. Jill, the Gulf can be clear. That's what I love about it! During our vaca, we had crystal clear water. It reminded me of the Bahamas!

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  8. I'm not a beach person. I'm not an outdoor person. I don't like the heat or the sun. I am a book person! I'd like to be in drawing for Amazon card.

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    1. Cathyann40, indoors or out, a book person is number one here in Seekerville! Any favorite titles to add to my list?

      Janet

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  9. Hi Janet, my definition of a beach read is anything I feel like reading at the beach. I'm 10 minutes from one of New Hampshire's nicest state parks, and I go there fairly often because I can get in free!!!Because I'm a senior!!! I usually like to take a paperback in case I spill something on it, so LI, LIH and LIS are perfect for a day at the lake. I also like to do research for my stories at the beach or lake, so I'll pick up nonfiction paperbacks on my topic or time period at a yard sale and delve into them by the water. I find it's easier for me to read "heavy" stuff in the summer, because my mind is clearer and there are fewer distractions at the lake or ocean. It is in the winter that I need the excapism. If you've ever survived a Northern New England winter, you'll get that.
    NH also has 18 miles of the Atlantic coast, so sometimes I go to the ocean.
    And sometimes I sit in the shade in my back yard.
    I am always reading. When I'm not writing. I watch some TV, but only if it grips me, and there's precious little of that in the summer.
    Z read Christian romances, historicals, mysteries and suspense, and I read secular mysteries and suspense if the language is clean and they have well-developed characters.
    Janet, this is a good post and it makes me want to run out to the lake right now.
    Please put me in drawing.
    Kathy Bailey

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    1. Kathy, thanks for sharing all your spots to read and the type of books that fit the moment. I've read Writing Craft books at the ocean. Whatever we want to read is a great beach read!

      Our state parks are not free for seniors but my DH and I have a national park pass that cost $10--not free--but it lasts a lifetime and covers the occupants of your car. We got our money's worth during two tours of the west! I think you have to be 55 to qualify.

      I've never been to NH in the winter but understand the appeal of reading a book tucked under an afghan on a cold winter's day. But let's not talk about winter!!

      Janet

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    2. Janet, the information I find about the national park pass is that 62 is the age. But the important news is that the cost goes up from $10 to $80 on August 28, so anybody eligible should get it now. It costs an extra $10 if you get it online. We are headed to the Black Hills this week, so hope to pick one up.

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  10. Did you SEE how I spelled "escapism"?
    Warmest regards,
    KB

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    1. Kathy, I missed the misspelling. But then, I wasn't in edit mode. I read entirely differently when I am.

      Janet

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  11. JANET!! What a fun topic, my friend, and what a great day for it, too! You can tell I'm from the generation of The Mamas and The Papas because "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down"! But this post really lifts my spirits because "reading" always lifts my spirits! Like you, I read every single day as well, and it adds SO much dimension to my life!

    I agree with Rosenberg, but I especially agree with YOU! She said: “When you’re sitting on a beach, the cognitive load is very low. You have time to wonder, to let your mind wander, to be really curious, to be introspective if you’re an introspective person.”

    When my "cognitive load is very low" (which I agree with you doesn't just have to be at a beach -- can be at a doctor's office, while driving, in bed at night), I reallllly enjoy reading. For me, it's therapy from a nonstop mind that pushes, pushes, pushes.

    I checked out your recommendation of Same Kind of Different As Me, and HOLY COW -- it has a five-star rating with 2453 reviews!! WOW, your recommendation and that rating is enough to get me to read it too, but I'm guessing there's no romance?

    I recently read Joanne Bischof's The Lady and the Lionhart as well (which just won an Inspy, I believe), and really enjoyed it. It's one of those books that haunts long after the last page.

    Fun post, my friend!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Julie, I've always admired that you are an avid reader. A most enjoyable way to hone craft! Your reference to The Mamas and The Papas song just made me smile.

      Same Kind of Different as Me was written eleven years ago. I was reading the acknowledgements and saw that Lee Hough from Alive Communications went out on a limb to read and tout this atypical book and got it published by Thomas Nelson. It's not a romance but the love between the husband and wife bathes the entire story that proves God works in amazing ways. I think you would love it.

      I've got my eye on The Lady and the Lionhart!

      Janet

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    2. Same Kind of Different as Me is a good book. I don't remember too much about it, though. My son had to read it several years ago before going on a mission trip with the high school youth. So I read it then, too.

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  12. Hi Janet,
    What a great way to start a Monday morning, talking about two of my favorite things, books and beaches! Add in that coffee and zucchini bead and fruit, all is well in my world.
    Beach reads are a state of mind for me. They imply rest, relaxation, and as you said, time away from everyday responsibilities. They don't have to be beach settings, they just have to add to that overall feeling of happiness and escape, which rules out some of the more serious/sad books.

    I'm currently reading an LIS, Deep Waters by Jessica Patch, that does have a summer setting as the main character Caley is a marine veterinarian for sea turtles. Love Jessica's wit and suspense plots.

    I've read a lot of books this year and some are stand outs, I've even read an excellent ARC of a Christmas novella, Christmas at Carnton, Tamera Alexander's new series, so I don't limit myself to a season either. Some of my favorites that I would recommend:

    The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck
    Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter
    All of You by Sarah Monzon
    I'll Be There by Susan May Warren
    Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon
    A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

    I love seeing what everyone has been reading and recommending. I'll be checking into some of those. Thanks for the fun topic Janet!

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    1. Tracey, you get a gold star for giving all these recommendations!! Thank you! Most are well-known authors I've read many times but always enjoy. I'm adding these titles to my TBR list.

      Janet

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  13. Thanks Seekerville & Debby for naming 15 MINUTES! What an honor!
    My favorite kind of beach read is something light and funny. Although a few years ago, we traveled to Japan to visit old friends (before we moved back the last time) and I read The ExPat, which is a thriller about an ex-spy turned housewife & stay-at-home mom living overseas who is forced to return to her spy life, which was really fun to read while traveling.

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    1. Welcome Larissa! 15 Minutes looks like great fun! I'm eager to read it!

      I'm too much of a chicken to be a big fan of thrillers but The ExPat premise is very appealing.

      So you live in Japan? Any issues with the language?

      Janet

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    2. Hi Janet!
      We have just returned from Japan. We've lived there 4 times now, which made The Expat appealing to me. Language is a huge issue there, but the Japanese people are so sweet and welcoming, that it overrides the language barrier usually. Plus now I could use Google Translate app to help me. I can get around there okay and my husband is fluent, so we're lucky.
      Thanks for such an interesting post!

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    3. Larissa, you know I love your stories!!!

      So glad you and the family are back in the USA! And living close!

      I need to read The ExPat. You've mentioned it but I needed to be reminded.

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    4. Larissa, I love your Cherry Tucker stories, and I especially love Tater. I've only read the first three but look forward to reading the others.

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    5. Thank you Tanya! That is so sweet of you to say. Debby, it's so good to be back and see you on a regular basis! xoxo

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  14. Hello JANET! If I were to read at the beach, I would take a romantic mystery such as Irene Hannon's Hope Harbor series!

    Please toss my name in the sunbonnet.

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    1. Caryl, Irene's such a strong writer! Thanks for recommending her Hope Harbor series.

      Janet

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  15. Janet, you've hit on two of my FAVORITE things - the BEACH and BOOKS!!!!!!!!

    I'm like you - I read ALL THE TIME. I cannot imagine a day without immersing myself in at least a chapter a day, or if I'm short on time, maybe just a paragraph. It kicks in those creative juices, as well as draws me into other worlds if only for a time.

    I always shake my head when I hear people say, "Reading? Ohhh, I haven't read a book in years!" ...Like THAT is something to brag about.

    Favorite recent reads are

    * RUTHY'S Double S Ranch Series (Oh... LOVE those Staffords!)

    * DAVIS BUNN'S Miramar Bay - Sweet, heartwarming romance...set at where else? Miramar Bay! :)

    * KAREN SARGENT'S Waiting for Butterflies (Current read & quite a page turner! A new author and one I'd love to see on SEEKERVILLE!)

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    1. Cynthia, thanks for sharing our beach read escape! I checked out Miramar Bay and Waiting for Butterflies and they both are going on my TBR list! Ruthy's books are always winners. Thanks for sharing. Thanks also for your interest in seeing Karen Sargent in Seekerville. You never know. We aim to please!

      Janet

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    2. Cynthia, Waiting for Butterflies was AWESOME. I cried. Takes a lot for me to cry but that book did it. Got to meet Karen Sargent at ACFW. She's a sweetheart!

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    3. Sharee, I've already boohooed a bit. Can't wait to see how it ends!!!!!!!

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  16. Fun post, Janet. I read everyday, especially in bed at night before I go to sleep. I probably read less on vacation because our vacations are always the kind where we are on the go and sightseeing a lot. Since I don't get to see the ocean that often, I probably wouldn't just sit and read. I like to look at the water and walk on the beach. Actually, I'm quite envious of those who live so close to the ocean. I live about 1800 miles away from either ocean.

    Last week we talked in Seekerville about cozy mysteries. I think those are great beach reads. Lorena McCourtney has two great cozy mystery series--the Ivy Malone series and the Cate Kinkaid series. Both are a lot of fun.

    Please enter me for the gift card. I need more books!

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    1. Sandy, we take those sightseeing vacations and they're great, but I love to veg at the beach with a good book. I do drag myself out of a chair and walk along the water, looking for dolphins and just stopping to soak in the beauty. My DH can't understand my version of walking the beach. LOL

      Lorena McCourtney cozy mystery series look like great fun! Thanks for sharing!

      Janet

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  17. Oh, I forgot to add another recent read by JESSICA STRAWSER - Almost Missed You (exploring the intricate relationship of marriage, secrets, and choices.) Jessica's the editorial director of Writer's Digest, BTW, and I would love to see her guest post here, as well.

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    1. Cynthia, this book sounds compelling. I've got to ask. Does it end well?

      Janet

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    2. JANET, Almost Missed You is realistic WF, so while it may not be for everyone, I found the plot compelling, and there were a lot of interesting, didn't-see-it-coming twists. The ending is hope-filled, laden with new possibilities. :)

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  18. What a fun post! Thanks, Janet. I love to read Steve Alten's series on megalodons at the beach. They're about these huge sharks in the Marianna trench. One year I read one book a day and read the whole series, plus The Loch, that is about the Loch Ness moster. Several years ago when my daughter was reading the Twilight series, I decided to read them to see what they were about. I read one per day lol. I was up early and up late trying to finish one each day. This year some of my to-be-read pile is going with me. Dana Mentink, Ruth Logan Herne-I have Back in the Saddle and Home on the Range. I need to get Peace in the Valley to complete the series. One a day would get me through! And Mary Connealy's Long Time Gone. Pam Hillman's Promise of Breeze Hall. And Lynette Eason's Always Watching, Without Warning, and Moving Target. And I always pick up a book or two at one of the stores when I'm at the beach. Books about the beach, Christmas stories, shark books, it doesn't matter. I'll read them all at the beach!

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    1. Sally, I'm impressed with your diverse list of beach reads! You just devour books. You are probably the fastest reader I know! Thanks for sharing your list. The Steve Allen books look really intense!

      Janet

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    2. Shark books at the beach, Sally! YIKES! JAWS made me think twice about going into deep water!

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  19. I don't think I've ever brought a book to the beach--when I'm there, I'm in the water, not sunburning on the sand (though to be fair, I'm typically sunburning in the water, too). However, I do frequently go outside to a nearby elm tree and read in its shade (where, believe it or not, I also managed to sunburn one day, even though I was hidden from direct sunlight; the curse of fair skin).

    In any case, if I'm reading outside/in public, I'm more likely choose a light-hearted or suspenseful book rather than one that would leave me an emotional wreck, because people get concerned when they see folk crying in public (even if it is over fictional characters). Recently I greatly enjoyed Karen Witemeyer's Heart on the Line and Sandra Orchard's Over Maya Dead Body.

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    1. Rachael, water lovers like you are smart to save great reads for less active times. Our daughter and her son have very fair skin so I know how hard it is to avoid sunburns, even with reapplying frequently.

      Yeah, weeping at the beach might alarm those nearby, the reason I suggested reading Same Kind of Different as Me at home.

      Thanks for the suggestions. Karen's book is on my TBR list. Sandra's book looks great too. Thanks for the recommendations.

      Janet

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    2. Waving to Rachael, another water person! I'll meet you in the waves!

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  20. Thanks for the recommendations, Janet! And for the interesting logic behind why "beach reading" is so good for us!

    Haven't been to the beach this summer, but I always have an "escape novel" in progress on my nightstand. Right now I'm reading a Jack Reacher book. And having great difficulty reconciling Lee Child's description of Reacher as this really big dude when I keep seeing Tom Cruise from the movies in my mind's eye.

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    1. Myra, I know when Tom Cruise played Jack Reacher in the movies a lot of fans were upset that they chose a short actor. I wonder how Liam Neeson would've done?

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    2. Myra, I haven't read a Jack Reacher book. Does that make me a freak? Tom Cruise must've been selected to play him more for his box office draw than his size.

      Janet

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    3. I haven't read one either, Janet, although I have thought about at least reading the first one.

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  21. Hi Janet, I love your post today. Before vacation one of the first things I do is pack books. Sometimes I'll buy a book and save just for vacation so I can savor it.

    Right now I'm reading Bounty Hunter by Lynette Eason.

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    1. Jackie, I do the same! It's tough to wait, isn't it?

      Ah, a K9 book! Bounty Hunters make great heroes! Thanks for the suggestion.

      Janet

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  22. Nice post, Janet!

    This summer I am reading non-fiction biographies on several music artists, Heart and Whisperin' Bill Anderson to name a few. Quite eclectic, huh?

    I never have a specific type of book I read in the summer although some years when I'm backed up on Christmas stories, I'll have a Christmas in July and read those.

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    1. Rose, I did that too with Rachel Hauck's A Royal Christmas Wedding. :)

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    2. Rose, Christmas reads in July would be great fun! They might ease some of the humidity. :-)

      Do you prefer reading non-fiction when you're writing fiction?

      Janet

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    3. Sharee, are you still floating on air from your sale?

      Janet

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    4. Janet,

      I do prefer reading non-fiction when writing fiction.

      Delete
    5. Yes ma'am. I'm riding Cloud 9 as long as I'm allowed :)

      Delete
  23. Just send me on a cruise or to the beach, and I'll read anything you want me to read! ;)

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    1. Pam and Sharee, you're easy! LOL I suspect you're both badly in need a vacation!

      Janet

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  24. Beach Writes

    The avoidance of cognitive overload is also a great aid to writing a book. There is nothing like sitting on a balcony, eight stories up, looking out at the ocean, smelling that wonderful saltwater air and hearing the hypnotic cadence of waves breaking on the beach, while at the same time watching oceanside weddings take place below as parasailers glide above -- all this is ideal for creating a perfect atmosphere to pantser an eighty page outline or, heaven forbid, actually pantser the book itself!

    Actually 90% of my beach time is spent in a pool with a view of the beach a hundred yards off. Almost all beach reading for Linda and me is done at night on the porch. The beach comes alive at night with stars, ships silently passing and flickering flashlights bobbing along the water's edge. And when there is a full moon...beyond words.


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    1. Vince, your description of the beach at night has me wanting to pack a bag! Everything about your vacation location sounds fabulous! Know you and Linda will enjoy every minute.

      I'm snickering at the poke at our pansters! I've edited at the beach but never written there.

      If you don't read at the pool, you must be in the water swimming laps or floating on a "noodle".

      Janet

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    2. JANET: Yes, and don't forget your 'noodle' because we did last year and all they had, at end of season, were the small ones...not the big thick ones. And yes, Linda and me spend most of the day time in the pool. We even switch pools at end of day to follow the sun! "Use your noodle and don't forget it."

      Delete
  25. My Cowboy is a Southern gospel music fan, and I'm a reader. So our treats to ourselves when we used to go on vacation was to find a book store for me and a music store for him.

    Then, he drove and listened to his CDs and I sat in the passenger seat and rode. #HappyCouple

    The kids either had books of their own, toys, or Game Boys... the traveling video game of choice for kids 15-20 years ago.

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    1. Pam, sounds like the perfect way to enjoy your vacation! My DH listens to books when we travel by car. I always seem to fall asleep and have to ask him what happened.

      Janet

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    2. PAM: it seems you are also well setup to attend Bluegrass festivals. Sometimes there are more RVs than mandolins. I'd love to attend more of them. Are they gospel enough for your cowboy?

      Delete
  26. What about OPR?
    Other People's Reading


    What's really fun at the beach is trying to see the titles of the books other people are reading. (Especially pretty people who are reading a book you've read!)

    "I know the author who wrote that book," beats "what's your sign?"

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    1. Vince, I do the same thing when I walk on the beach...always try to see what folks are reading!!!

      Delete
    2. Vince said: "I know the author who wrote that book," beats "what's your sign?"

      You're a hoot, Vince! We won't tell Linda. LOL

      I also try to see what people are reading, especially in airports. It's harder at the beach as I walk along the water's edge.

      Janet

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    3. Debby, have you ever seen anyone reading one of your books?

      Janet

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  27. Hi Janet! I'm no where near a beach, but I'm a fan of the idea of it. My beach read this summer has been "The Beekeeper's Ball" by Susan Wiggs. It's a little outside of what I normally read, but I've enjoyed it very much. Thanks for the great recommendations and I'm waving to Sandra and thanking her for recommending my book. I start back to school next week, so my summer is already over, but I hope everyone else has a fantastic summer.

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    1. LeAnne, The Beekeeper's Ball sounds great, as does your book Her Texas Rebel!

      I'm blown away that your schools start next week. Years ago--I mean years and years--school let out before Memorial Day and started back after Labor Day. Of course there was no such thing as fall and spring break. Hope you have a great school year!

      Janet

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  28. To me any book would be a good beach read. I will be reading three books today. The promise of breeze hill by Pam Hillman, Inherited Unexpected family by Gabrielle Meyer and Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry. All 3 are terrific so far.

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    1. Wilani, all three books appeal to me! I can't wait to read Pam's The Promise of Breeze Hill!

      Do you usually read three books at the same time? I'm in awe. I often read a non-fiction while I'm reading fiction, but never multiple fiction books. Go you!

      Janet

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    2. Hi Wilani: I also read several fiction books at the same time. I let the books compete for my attention. This teaches how to write page-turners. I really like a book that 'runs the table' and gets read all the way through. I think the best way to read a book for a writer is to read several books at the same time. Of course, it is best to mix them up with a contemporary, historical, and an Amish, for example. It also helps if the major characters don't have the same names. Vince

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  29. What a wonderfully relaxing post, Janet! Reading on the beach is the best, but no library books (don't wanna get sand in them).

    Beach reads for me would be the kind of story you get swept away in so historical fiction or suspense. Possibly a women's fiction. If I'm meeting you today, I'm ready Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason, Higher Than the Heavens by Kate Breslin and The Wisdom of God by AW Tozer. I'm always reading more than one book at a time.

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    1. Sharee, I never take library books near the beach and like Vince, I prefer not taking an eReader. I usually buy beach reads. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm impressed by those who read multiple books at once!

      Janet

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    2. I have also discovered it isn't a good idea to read a library book while eating if I'm eating something messy, like spaghetti sauce. Nothing like splashing a little sauce on a book that you know is brand new from the library!

      Delete
  30. P.S. Beach Writes...

    I should have said that 'beach writes' are most likely speculative new ventures and not what you are currently working on at home. That would be bringing work to the vacation. That's why I favor pantsering outlines for new ventures. For example: I once wrote an 80 page outline for my WIP, "Characters Who Came Alive",as a 'beach write' which I then used to write a 78,000 word NaNo, the following November. With an outline that long, writing the novel is like recalling an actual event that happened just a few months ago. I didn't write from the outline. The outline was just to create the memory of the events that I then pantsered.


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    1. Vince, an 80 page outline is a great way to fix the story in our minds and make us feel we're recalling an actual event when we're writing the story. I think Melissa Jaegers first introduced me to the idea. Sounds like you've been doing it for a while.

      Janet

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    2. Janet: I feel that doing this is like pantsering with a safety net. BTW: In my David Mamet screenwriting class he said 'you have to draw from your unconscious when you write or the audience will know it is contrived. That's the best argument I've heard for pantsering. Don't let Myra read this! And Mamet is very much into Greek tragedies and Aristotle's rules for writing! He really knows his stuff.

      Delete
  31. I've been working my way through Nancy Atherton's 'Aunt Dimity' series and having so much fun reading it. I think they would make good beach reads but I might actually read them all before I make it to the beach. :)

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    1. Loraine, The Aunt Dimity stories look like great fun! With 21 books in the series, you might be able to save one or two for the beach. But if not, there's a lot of recommendations for beach reads. :-) Thanks for sharing! I'm discovering a whole lot of new to me authors.

      Janet

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  32. What a fun post, Janet. I spent the week of July 4th at the beach with family, but that's not reading time for me. I'm always too busy with the kids, spending most of the day in the water. Then in the evenings, it's dinner and games and more fun with the family. So I rarely read books at the beach.

    Even when little ones aren't with us, I lose myself in the sounds of the waves washing over the sand, the seagulls cawing overhead and the rustle of the breeze against my beach umbrella. And that's when I'm not in the water. So I save those special books for when I come home...and yes, I read at the pool, but as I mentioned, rarely at the beach.

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    1. Debby, family vacations with the little ones are wonderful and active! Sounds like you're a kid at heart and enjoy the water more than anyone. We can always find other times to read. Do evenings work for you? I used to read at bedtime but then got too sleepy.

      Janet

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  33. Same Kind of Different as ME was one of my book club reads, Janet. Loved the story. Read it some years ago and still think about it. :)

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    1. Debby, Same Kind of Different as Me is an eye opener, a challenge, a glimpse of what God can do through us, in us, when we listen and act. Was it just me or did the story have the feel of fiction for you? Even though it is true, complete with pictures.

      Janet

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    2. Same Kind of Different was such a great book. VERY thought provoking.

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  34. I just went to the beach. I read three novels while there. (Drove my wife crazy.) They varied, between two thrillers and one comedic, light, southern fiction. My only requirement is that they be PB, as I don't like getting sand in HCs (or getting them wet), and my reading devices get too hot.

    Also, my parents have a place at the beach. The place is used by friends and extended family members. I have created a Seeker library there for beach reading, and half of the books are Seeker books.

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    1. Walt, your wife probably got tired of lowering the book from in front of your eyes in order to speak to you. I understand. I've been on both sides of that book. LOL

      Thank you for creating a library of Seeker books and other books at your parent's place! You rock!

      Janet

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  35. Great topic, Janet! I love the comments from Julie and Vince about cognitive overload. I love going to the beach and one of the things I do is to get a book I have been waiting to read for a long time but haven't had time. I usually take a book on spirituality or devotions for early morning quiet thinking (with a cup of coffee on a balcony) and then, for the rest of the day, a romance or suspense book. Like Vince, I'll pick up a "big" book for the beach as I usually read genre fiction at home, and I want the beach book to last the whole trip. If I were at the beach today, I'd be reading Brad Thor's new thriller, Use of Force--I've been waiting a long time for that book to come out.

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    1. Darlene, thanks for stopping by and sharing your beach read! I wouldn't have guessed you read thrillers, probably because of your gentle, quiet demeanor, but I can see you're hooked. I checked out Use of Force. If I read it, I'd be having nightmares. LOL

      Janet

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  36. I loved this post and the way you wrote it, Janet! With 3 kids ages 4-13, I rarely read at the beach, but I do read every day. The books I read over the summer tend to differ from the rest of the year, though, and I wonder if it has something to do with the idea of summertime and easy living. So, I tend to stick to light-hearted reads and I'm particularly drawn to anything set in a foreign location.

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    1. Josee, I'm intrigued that you're drawn to foreign settings for your beach reads. Maybe summer feels like an easier time to travel. :-)

      Janet

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  37. I agree with Walt. Paperbacks only at the beach. Mary Kay Andrews. Perfect Beach Read.

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    1. Tina, her covers scream beach read! So many intriguing titles. These sound like a lot of fun and are going on my TBR list! Which is getting mighty long! Yay!

      Janet

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  38. Any Seeker book is a beach read for me - but in paperback form - NOT electronic. Too risky with saltwater and sand. Paperback is perfect.

    I do like to read cozy mysteries on the beach too - except now with the child unit, mommy spends more time in the water and making sand castles. :)
    I really want to read Ruthy's first cozy. A Lighthouse for the beach read seems perfect.

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    1. DebH, motherhood does change things, doesn't it? I was never good at making sand castles but I loved for our granddaughter to bury my feet in the cool sand while she played "nail tech".

      Thanks for your sweet support of Seeker books. Looking forward to reading Ruthy's first cozy too!

      Janet

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  39. I'm not much of a beachgoer, but cannot imagine reading anything that would take major concentration. That would mean no mysteries, suspense, or historicals for me. Contemporary romance, lite Women's fiction, or chick-lit would be the best. The Savannah books by Denise Hildreth would be lovely beach reads. The third book even has a beach setting.

    nina4 sm at Gmail dot com

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    1. Sylvia, thanks for sharing The Savannah books. They look great!

      Janet

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  40. So many good books :) "Peace in the Valley" by our Ruthy was great. Happy summer everyone!

    May God bless all of Seekerville!

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    1. Phyllis, isn't this a great list of beach reads? I keep hearing lovely things about Ruthy's book. I start Peace in the Valley after dinner tonight. Yay!

      God bless you.
      Janet

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  41. I love seeing what everyone has been reading and recommending. Another commenter mentioned Karen Witemeyer's Heart on the Line! It think it is my fave this summer. I read every day! Currently reading Judy Miller's "Chapel Car Bride"...very good!
    Thanks, Janet, for your giveaway of a gift card...count me in!

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    1. Jackie, I've been interested in Karen's book since she visited Seekerville! I'm fascinated by Judy Miller's premise for Chapel Car Bride. Thanks for sharing!

      Janet

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  42. I'm late today but chiming in to say I just received Kate Jame's book "When Love Matters Most" in the mail so it'll be coming with me on the plane tomorrow! Love the golden lab on the cover. :) For me, a beach read is usually a BIG book I wouldn't normally have time to read unless I'm on vacation. Eg. any of the Outlander books, or the newest Harlan Corban or Lee Childs book. Don't worry about putting me in the giveaway, Tina and I discovered Canucks can't receive US gift cards. :)

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    1. Laurie, When Love Matters Most sounds really good! The difference in the h/h backgrounds is no doubt a conflict for the hero.

      Janet

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  43. Janet, great post. Who knew there was so much to a beach read?!

    I recently finished an older book by Siri Mitchell: Kissing Adrien. I Loved it. I'm currently reading Lindsay Harrel's debut, One More Song to Sing. Again, I'm loving it.

    Having boys kind of makes reading time hard to come by. They like to engage, and vacations are also for spending uninterrupted time together as a family. So...a beach read to me is a book that can get lost in because the story is THAT good. :)

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    1. Jeanne T, Kissing Adrien and One More Song to Sing both look wonderful! Thanks for sharing these titles.

      That's a great definition of a beach read,
      wherever it's read. Hope you can find some time to read when your boys are tucked in for the night!

      Janet

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  44. Oh for the beach on a cool day! This former Floridian is in middle Tennessee and my idea of a beach read is sitting on the back porch on a rare Tennessee day when there is breeze flowing through the nearby oak. Beaches and the back porch start out as reading places but end up as meditating and praying...I guess both places free me from the cognitive overload that marks life inside the house...love a Mary Higgins Clark for those times when I bring a book outside. Please enter my name in the drawing.

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    1. Olivia, sounds wonderful to escape responsibilities and spend time praying and reading surrounded by nature. Enjoy your MHC novel!

      Janet

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  45. "Winter's End"


    I think "Winter's End" is a perfect beach book...why read about a beach setting when you are at a beach setting? What kind of escapism is that? Besides, what if the book beach is so much nicer than yours? Wow! Who needs it? I think a book setting that makes you think: "I'm glad I'm here", is ideal. What could be better than a New York upstate winter setting with a hospice theme while enjoying the good life in the sand and sun? I bet that was the same time that the WW recommendation came out.

    BTW: the only Seeker book I've seen someone reading on the beach was "Winter's End" and this was at Cozumel and the swim suit was one of those stringy things! However, I was just new to the Seeker website and the 'strings' came with a boyfriend who looked bigger than the Judge on the Yankees. The event was memorable, however!

    My wife wanted to know what I was looking at so often. I said, "The woman is reading Ruth's book."

    "Sure she is," Linda said.

    Well it was true!

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    1. Vince, you made me laugh out loud! I hope I get to meet Linda one day!

      Janet

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    2. Oh, Vince, that gave me such a good laugh! Thank you!

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  46. What's the perfect beach read? The next in your favorite series! So far, I've been blessed with both Sandra Orchard's Over Maya Dead Body and Elise Stroke's Cassidy Jones and the Eternal Flame.

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    1. Boo said: What's the perfect beach read? The next in your favorite series!

      Isn't that true! Or even your favorite author next release, series or not.

      You're the second Villager to recommend Sandra's series. There are as many kinds of books as there are readers taste. I'm still reeling that there are people who don't read ever.

      Janet

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  47. What a fun topic! Just take out the beach and leave the read and that's me. :-) All. The.Time. I'm hopeless. Today I was determined to tackle the mold (ick) in my basement but I picked up a library book -- Obsession by Kathi Mills-Macias and the day is gone. Finished the story though. It consumed me -- a mystery published in 2001 so the writing was very different to new releases today which was interesting too.

    And, now, since the day is all but gone I've decided to leave the mold until tomorrow. Sanctuary Cove by Kate James is beckoning to me. :-)

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    1. Kav, you're a delight! And addicted to suspense novels. :-) Mold is never going to go up against novels and win! Mold isn't good for us but reading is. Maybe it's time to get a professional.

      Janet

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  48. We're heading down to Missouri on Wednesday to spend time with my aunt, uncle, and cousins who I haven't seen in years so vacation is something on the forefront of my mind.

    I actually find it harder to focus on reading while on vacation. The only time I ever get any done is during the car trip. Any other time and I'm just too busy, too excitable, and too distracted to focus on reading. Also I've never read while at the beach, I'm too busy splashing in the waves.

    I just finished reading the fifth installment in the Cassidy Jones series, and I loved it! It's completely changed the course that the rest of the series had been headed and I cannot wait until the next book comes out.

    Please enter my name in the drawing.

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    1. Nicki, you're too active for vacation reads, much less beach reads. But it sounds like you work reading in at home.

      You and Boo love Cassidy Jones! I'm amazed the fifth installment changes the course of the rest of the series. Hope you don't have to wait too long for the next book!

      Janet

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    2. Unfortunately I'm afraid that I will have a long time to wait. It took quite a long time for THIS book to come out. But here's hoping that Stokes picks up the pace.

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  49. Janet, I love this topic. How fun! My husband always laughs when I bring five books with me on vacation in addition to my Kindle, but I tell him sometimes I just want a different book than the one I originally planned. Only problem is I'm not one to just sit back and relax on vacation. I want to see places and do things, but every now and then on vacation we do reserve one day to try to do less on the activity scale and relax more. I read a lot of ABA books as well as some CBA, and I also love mysteries. So right now I'd bring along a mix of books from Ruthy's books that I've won to some cozy mysteries (like Carolyn Hart, etc.) and one or two historicals or Southern fiction ABA books (I really can't wait to read some books from my fellow Georgia Romance Writers).

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  50. Tanya, I'm not going to miss out on seeing new sights/sites, but when we go to the beach, I've got time to read and to take a walk or watch the waves. Sounds like you've got eclectic taste. I usually read romance but I've enjoyed my book club reads too. It's great that we have so many wonderful choices! Can you share some of GRW southern fiction titles?

    Janet

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  51. I just remembered that the last time I read Shogun, it was on the beach. I wonder if anyone else would consider this a beach read.

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    1. Not me, Walt. :-) But isn't that the point? What is a beach read is a matter of personal preference.

      Janet

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  52. Thank you, Janet! I had no idea what a beach read is. Don't faint ... I'm not a beach lover.

    How wonderful that you make time to read every day. I've been on a Fannie Flagg books binge lately. A new Jodi Thomas and a bunch of Seeker books are patiently waiting nearby.

    And I want you to know that The Bounty Hunter's Redemption is now a favorite book :-)

    Nancy C

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    1. Nancy, thank you for your kind words about TBHR. You made my day! How do you get your reading time in?

      Janet

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  53. Janet, my goodness, I'm so late and will have to catch up on a gazillion comments! But that's a GOOD thing. I'm sure there will be lots of recommendations. I'll read with my pen and paper ready!

    BTW, I LOVE reading on the beach. I take my umbrella and beach chair and read literally all day--until hubby and my sons come out to force me (and my daughter) to come in so we can eat dinner. :)

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    1. Missy, you and I could be beach buddies! The longer I sit, the lazier I get with that great view of the water and a gripping book.

      Janet

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  54. Wonderful post,Janet! Unfortunately don't get to the beach to read,but find quiet reading time during break time at work,in bed,on my balcony,or even the laundrymat. :) Some recent reads have been:The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson,Love Everlasting by Julie Lessman,and When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin. Putting Lady and the Lionheart on my TBR list,plus looking forward to Julie Lessman's His Steadfast Love. Love reading and love the quiet times I can no matter what the location :)

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    1. Lynne, where we read doesn't matter. I love how you find time and opportunities to squeeze it in.

      Julie and I thank you for the suggestions!

      Janet

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  55. You know, I used to pack a HUGE tote bag full of books to go to the beach. One year, I think I read more than a book a day. Now, I love having my Kindle to save lugging that bag! I also like the capability of buying the next book in a series if I fall in love with the one I've just read. Instant gratification!

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    1. Missy, the Kindle allows us to take loads of books wherever we go. Isn't it fun to see that book pop in?

      Janet

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  56. Replies
    1. Sabrina, thanks for chiming in with a great book!

      Janet

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  57. The perfect beach read happens to be the next on my pile.

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  58. The perfect beach read would be whatever is next on my TBR pile. I love Biblical fiction, historical fiction, contemporary romance, suspense/mystery so any of these genres would be good. But one gripping book I've read recently is If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock.

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    1. MH, variety is the spice of life! I'm guessing Terri's book is kept you on the edge of your seat!

      Janet

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  59. Oh, I loved Her Texas Rebel and The Lady & the Lion Heart mentioned above!
    I'll read any inspirational fiction at the beach :)

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    1. Janet, I'm looking forward to reading those books too. It's been a great day of sharing our favorites.

      Janet

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  60. Hi Janet, Sorry I missed the beach reads yesterday. What fun you had and what a great list of books we now have to read. Yay. Don't you love having so many friends who LOVE to read? Yay.

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    1. I do, Sandra!! I'm thrilled to have so many new books to read!

      Janet

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  61. Sorry I missed yesterday's beach reads too, Janet. Since I am a voracious reader, and the temps have been in triple digits here in NV, I don't get to the beach very often! There's also that pesky flaw of mine...I can't swim!

    Any big trade-size paperback will do for a beach read...Mary Kay Andrews, Susan Wiggs and Elin Hilderbrand come to mind.

    Blessings,

    Marcia

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    1. Marcia, I don't swim either. For me, beach means looking, walking and reading.

      With those temps, I'd be reading inside!

      Janet

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  62. What a fun post! I've been "craving" a beach trip lately. I would bring Nancy Kimball's Unseen Love and Jody Hedlund's Undaunted Hope, since that one is a lighthouse book. :)

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    1. Natalie, thanks for the suggestions! I'll check them out!

      Janet

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