Tag: Kathleen Lawless

Distractions

It’s bird hatching season in my part of the world. (My friend A.M. Stuart lives in Australia and I always do a double take when she writes of cold, wintry days while I’m picking roses.) Anyway, here in the northern hemisphere the baby birds are hatched and learning to fly. On Sunday we found a tiny sparrow sitting on the grass beside the porch steps. He had no injuries and was breathing fine. We couldn’t find a nest, so we put him into a berry box and set him up on top of the hedge away from feline predators and waited. I was astounded –and indignant–that  no parent birds were flying about raising a fuss. 

However, when I looked up fledgling sparrows I learned that this is normal behaviour and that the parents could be absent for several hours. We tried not to harass the little fellow  but we did check on him three hours later and he had gone. I trust he just flew away and wasn’t snatched by a raptor. 

This morning I watched the world’s stupidest bird, a killdeer, bring her two chicks out of a safe, fenced field to sit in the middle of the street with cars whizzing by. There is nothing to eat on the pavement but there they sat for what seemed like ages while I watched anxiously from the window. Eventually they completed the trek from the yellow line to the ditch and then onto our lawn. At last check they were happily pecking about under the apple trees — lots of chickweed there.

All of this is a round about way of saying I’m spending a lot more time watching life in my garden than creating stories at my computer. My excuse is that someone has to keep an eye on the little feathered ones. 

Beach Reads

But we are officially into summer, the season for lemonade, lazy afternoons and beach reads. I just visited my local library and all their suggestions for beach reads were tragedies. The characters in these novels grew and learned from their heartbreak, but that is not my idea of a gentle few hours.

To counter the darkness, I offer my suggestions for a summer holiday reading.

The Village

When it comes to easy reads I find myself drawn to “village” type stories. I’ve mentioned The Chillury Ladies’ Choir on this blog, but there are others. Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories are usually set in the village of St. Mary Mead. One of the major appeals of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries is the village of Three Pines with its assortment of eccentrics. Maeve Binchy’s Whitethorn Woods is peopled with interesting characters, but it is the village that is at the heart of the story. Romance author Robyn Carr makes use of the village trope in her Virgin River series. I used the idea of place in my three Prospect books. 

As an author, I find returning to a familiar setting deepens the writing. Once I know the layout of the town, the folk who live there and the themes of the times, I am free to concentrate on developing my characters, deepening the love story, and adding in sub-plots for the minor characters of Prospect, B.C. 

As a reader I like to return to a setting I’ve enjoyed for the comfort of the place. Even though there are a remarkable number of murders in Three Pines, I love the sense of tranquillity and sanctuary Penny evokes when she describes the spot. I also enjoy learning more about the minor characters and how their lives evolve over the course of eighteen  novels.

Of course, these suggestions barely scrape the surface of books I love for summer reading. Susan Wiggs, Nancy Warren, Kathleen LawlessJane Austen, Alice Munro, Helen Simonson, Helen Humphreys — all of these writers are engaging, accessible and take the reader on a wonderful adventure — and, in my opinion, qualify as a beach read.

In honour of summer, this blog will publish only sporadically over the next two months.

Happy holiday reading.

 

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Beach Reads with Kathleen Lawless

Today, I’m very happy to dedicate this space to Kathleen Lawless and her most recent release. Kathleen and I have been part of the same writing group since way back when. In fact, when traditional publishing was the only way to go, she and I made our first sale in the same year. Since then she has built a career in the author business.  Over to you, Kathleen, and good luck with this latest project.

 

LAST CHANCE BEACH, Summer’s End

 

I have always found surfing a fascinating sport, where the surfer’s main opponent is the force of nature, so was thrilled to see surfing scheduled to make its Olympic debut this year in Tokyo.  Alas, with no Olympics this year, we’ll wait for next year to see the sport recognized by the world.  Which took a while, considering surfing originated in Hawaii in the 4th century a.d.

 

When I got a chance to contribute a romance story to the boxed set LAST CHANCE BEACH, Summer’s End, it seemed natural to have my hero and heroine be retired pro surfers.  And since I love a second chance romance, I decided they had been together years earlier in their professional surfing lives.  Fast forward to when they meet again, where for different reasons, neither has been on a surfboard in years.

They’re older, they’re wiser, they’re wary; of each other, and of getting back into a sport that once was their entire lives.  Like all good romances, BLUE SKY SUMMER ends happily, on the water and off.  Read on for a short excerpt.

The entire LAST CHANCE BEACH box set is on pre-order for only 99 cents.  That’s 14 brand new beach romances by 14 bestselling authors.  A new story every day for two weeks this summer.

 

From BLUE SKY SUMMER by Kathleen Lawless

 

Alisha spread out her beach towel and lowered herself onto it, straightening a floppy sun hat to shade her face.  It was the first time this week she’d ventured to this particular cove, home to the island’s surfers.  The break was small this morning, and the few surfers in the water looked like beginners.

She leaned back, resting her weight on her hands, and tried to remember what it had felt like the first time she’d caught a wave.  One initial rush of freedom, and she had been hooked. 

She’d barely settled in to watch the action and live vicariously  through others, when she saw a newcomer walk to the shoreline with a board under his arm.  Something about his long-legged, self- assured gait took her back fifteen years, and the first time she’d  seen Mark.

She gave her head a shake.  She hadn’t thought about him in years.  Much.  Just because this surfer was the same height and coloring . . .

As he positioned himself on his board and headed for the break, she pulled out her binoculars, more to reassure herself it wasn’t him.

She zoomed in, and the bottom fell out of her stomach.

It was Mark!

 

I hope you’ll join us at LAST CHANCE BEACH, where there’s always one more chance to fall in love.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CV3GN3R

 

Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys, which doesn’t stop her from creating a wide variety of interests and occupations for her alpha male heroes.

Her hero, Steele, in UNDERCOVER, is a modern-day cowboy, so when she was wooed by a man called Steel— while he’s not a cowboy, he is an Alpha male and her forever hero.  Which is why all of her stories end Happily Ever After.

Not that she can ever stick to just one genre.  So many stories to tell—never enough time.

With close to 30 published novels to her credit, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance into historical romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and stories for young adults.

Sign up for Kathleen’s VIP Reader Group to receive a free book, updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers.    http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1

 

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Thanks for being my guest, Kathleen. Love that Blue Sky cover.

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