Curling Up With A Good Summer Reading List

Summer is a prime time for curling up with a great book hot off a good summer reading list.

good-summer-reading-list

Reading evokes thought, enlightens the mind, enriches the soul, lifts the heart and takes one to treasured places and descriptive destinations in ways only the reader knows reading can.

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Great for fun in the summer sun, porch sitting, or a cool peaceful spot in the shade, keeping company with a delightful-romantic-funny-mysterious selection from a good for summer reading list fills a few moments with imagination and inspiration while taking the reader on a literary summer vacation.

Such a Quiet Place - by Megan Miranda

Such a Quiet Place – by Megan Miranda

Suspense on a summer day will come your way with Such a Quiet Place, a tale of murder in Hollow’s Edge, a traditionally quiet and private neighborhood that is until the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett.

Neighborhood resident Ruby Fletcher is convicted of the murder, and the fallout causes a ripple effect throughout the entire neighborhood.

With an overturned conviction, Ruby is back in Hollow’s Edge and the home she once shared with Harper Nash.  Now terrified by her former housemate, Harper is torn between fear and a sense of responsibility towards Ruby’s living situation.

Lies begin to surface in Hollow’s Edge about the night of the Truett’s murders.  Harper begins receiving threatening notes which leads her to know she must do everything she can to find the truth before the killer strikes again.

Shocking twists and turns keep the reader in suspense, and reading way past your bedtime.

It-happened-one-summer

It Happened One Summer – by Tessa Bailey

Piper Bellinger is a fashionable pseudo wild child with a loyal pack of  paparazzi constantly on her heels.  Too much champagne mixed with one wild and crazy Beverly Hills rooftop party lands Piper in jail much to her “what did I do?” angst and her stepfather’s chagrin.  Cut off from family and funds, Piper and her sister are sent to Westport, Washington to run their late father’s dive bar.

Enter sea captain Brendan, a tall drink of seawater who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills.  Determination drives her to strive to prove to her stepfather and the surly, sexy local she can, and will, make it.  In doing so, Piper reconnects with her past, begins to feel right at home in Westport, and crosses paths with Brendan in an opposites attract manner that captures her attention and her heart.

Tessa Bailey’s Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com brilliance combines romance and comedy with small beach-town coziness and tantalizing banter that immediately hooks and enchants the reader.

Goldenrod

Goldenrod – by Maggie Smith

Powerful poems that celebrate both the beauty and messiness of life, Goldenrod pulls objects from everyday life-a hallway mirror, a rock found in her son’s pocket, a field of goldenrods at the side of the road to reveal the magic of the moment, the contours of daily life, and the beauty found in it all.

Honeysuckle Summer - (Sweet Magnolias Novel) by Sherryl Woods

Honeysuckle Summer – (Sweet Magnolias Novel) by Sherryl Woods

Courage is a beautiful thing, as Raylene Hammond finds out finding the courage to leave her abusive husband.  Despite being taken in by the Sweet Magnolias for safety and healing, trauma leaves her unable to leave the house.  When a terrible accident nearly occurs, due in part to her condition, Raylene realizes the time has come to seek help.

Support and encouragement from friends give Raylene the courage to set out on a journey to recovery.

Along the way, she meets an understanding  sheriff’s deputy, Carter Rollins, who becomes a supporter of her efforts. He’s even taken to bringing the outside world to her when she doesn’t feel ready to confront it.

A relationship between Raylene and Carter soon begins to bloom, and she must decide if she’s ready to move forward on this part of the journey or if it’s strictly a sweet summer romance.

fox-and-I

Fox and I – by Catherine Raven

Catherine Raven receives her PhD in biology, and soon moves into an isolated cottage in Montana where she teaches remotely as well as leading field classes in Yellowstone National Park.

The only regular visitor Catherine has is a fox with whom she develops a friendship.

Pet owners get it, and can attest to the lessons in personal growth, coming to the realization we are never alone when we are connected to the natural world, and how loss can be transformed into meaning through nature, our surroundings, and relationships with animals.

count-the-ways

Count the Ways – by Joyce Maynard

New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard pens a mesmerizing story of Eleanor and Cam from first meeting at a crafts fair in Vermont in the early 1970s to the joy of parenting three children, bitterness of tragedy, fallout from  infidelity, to truths through redemption.

Lessons in love, holding on and letting go of it fill the pages of Count the Ways is a beautiful, poignant, and deeply compassionate story of home, parenthood, love, and forgiveness.

summer-reading-escape

Escape the routine of a summer day or evening by taking a break for one  with a great book selection from a good summer reading list.

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Fetching Friday: Summer Wanderlust

Summer wanderlust grabs hold and sparks a strong desire to hit the holiday road in order to satisfy the wanderlust within, discover roads less traveled, and revel in new adventures while finding ourselves along the way.

summer wanderlust

 

 The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves.  We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate.  We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed.  And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”

― Pico Iyer

The San Antonio River Walk

The San Antonio River Walk

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

“When we get to a place where no one knows us, we become most ourselves.”

Pure Michigan

Paris at night

Paris at Night

“I love Paris in the summer, when it sizzles.”

― Cole Porter

https://bit.ly/3B83OpS

Nantucket Island

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

—Oliver Wendell Holmes

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

– Andre Gide

Whispering Pines Motel, Mid-Century Mountain Cabins, Estes Park, Colorado,

Whispering Pines Motel – Estes Park, Colorado

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the most pleasant sensations in the world.”

—Freya Stark

San Ysidro Ranch view

San Ysidro Ranch

Summer wanderlust travel guides us to destinations known or pondered, sights seen and those soon to behold.

I hope you have a fetching Friday and inspired weekend.

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Pretty In Pink On The Patio

Looks like we’re a go (officially) for summer fun in the sun fetes,  celebrations, and gatherings sitting pretty in pink on the patio.

pretty-in-pink-on-the-patio-leaf

Summer colors radiate a luminous sense and feel of happiness and cheer.

pink-on-the-patio-one-kings-lane

The Frances Collection – One Kings Lane

Inspiration follows, and this is where the fun begins.

Cobbler’s Cove Hotel

Cobbler’s Cove Hotel

A pretty in pink on the patio outdoor space visually draws the eye and stunningly communicates come for the style, stay for the view.

pink-poolside-chaise-McCann-Design-Group

McCann Design Group

Simplicity is the calling card of summer making it a sublime backdrop for mixing and mingling with friends and family in the good old summertime.

pink-peach-wicker-chair

Anthropologie

summer-pink-paint-colors

Rich.

Deep.

Business-pleasure-pink-white-striped-cabana

Business & Pleasure Co. The Premium Cabana

Bright.

Fresh.

Fun.

business-pleasure-co-the-premium-patio-umbrella-West-Elm (1)

Business & Pleasure Co. The Premium Umbrella

Business & Pleasure Co. The Premium Umbrella

Color your world in shades of pink in style and in the shade for summer.

pink-by-the-pool

HGTV – Tria Giovan

Warm summer days into summer evenings spent on the patio rejuvenate mind and body, serving as the optimum sit, sip, dine and dance in the moonlight opportunity to recharge your battery.

pink-patio-Ballard-Designs

Ballard Designs

Cozy is the desired result of the summer experience, and is fetchingly achieved through tactile and visual details.

Vandervort+Long+Reclining+Single+Chaise

Vandervort 75.4” Long Reclining Single Chaise

Lighting is an essential part of setting the mood and the tone of a space, and when nature flips the switch it’s magic.

pink-paper-lantern-Ikea

pink-paper-lanterns

Paper Lanterns

Solar-lamp-pink-shade

IKEA

Seems the iconic sign of summer lawn and garden kitschy chic may quite possibly be the pink lawn flamingo.

pink-flamingo-lawn-ornament

Invented in 1957 by American artist and sculptor Don Featherstone, the pink lawn flamingo continues to be synonymous with summer fun.

flowers-floating-candle-in-bucket

Midwest Living

Summer flower gardens grant the extra added bonus of fresh bouquets of color rich summer blooms.

summer-pink-hydrangeas

pink-hydrangeas-in-white-plates

Midwest Living

Mosquitoes can ruin that patio retreat vibe in no time.

citronella candle-pink-white-magnolia

Extra force against nature is required in the fight against mosquitoes.

We depend on our Thermacell lantern to light the night and kick mosquito butt, but pretty on the patio is not one of its qualities.

pink-rose-covered-arbor

Gardenista – Photo by Justine Hand

I ordered (love curbside pickup!) two of these white flower citronella candles from Walmart at the beginning of pretty in pink on the patio season, and between the two working together our patio days into evening sitting sessions remain mosquito free.

pretty-in-pink-patio-the-cottage-journal

The Cottage Journal – Photography by Mark Lohman
Styling by Sunday Hendrickson

vintage-white-wicker-chair-Washington-Old-Schoolhouse-Antique-Mall

Washington Old Schoolhouse Antique Mall

Wicker is a summer classic, and this vintage wicker chair is calling my name.

tropical-palm-outdoor-throw-pillow

Better Homes & Gardens Palm Outdoor Toss Pillow

Pink and green palm anything captures the classic Palm Beach-Bay-Springs look of summer.

ROSE-GINGHAM-DREAM-Indoor-outdoor-throw-pillow

Rose Gingham Dream Indoor/Outdoor Throw Pillow

Currently catching my eye is the color, texture, and pattern trifecta of pink gingham, classic black and white, and a palace urn motif.

C&F Home Colonial Williamsburg 14" x 18" Palace Urns Indoor/Outdoor Decorative Throw Pillow

C&F Home Colonial Williamsburg Palace Urns Indoor/Outdoor Throw Pillow

Summer entertaining and patio decorating go hand in hand with setting a simple yet elegant summer inspired tablescape.

summer-tablescape-pink-roses-Southern-Lady-Magazine

Southern Lady Magazine

Premium Floral Collection Harper & Violet Garden Roses 15oz 2-Wick Candle White

Premium Floral Collection Harper & Violet Garden Roses 2-Wick Candle

On-trend decoristas have got this hot hostess style fashionista thing down pat.

finefetti-sandals-kate-spade-surprise (1)

Finefetti Sandals by Kate Spade

Pink portable waterproof wireless speakers let the sweet summer music play on the patio.

Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker-IPX5-Waterproof-Bluetooth-Wireless-Speaker-Mini-Stereo-Bass-Speaker-for-Outdoor-Camping-Pink

Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker, Mini Stereo Bass, Pink

I’m not embarrassed to admit I strive to create a big look for little money.

Light Banana Leaves Removable Wallpaper

Light Banana Leaves Removable Wallpaper

An inexpensive pair of outdoor curtains embellished with trim, tassels, and tiebacks is a super chic way to zhuzh up your outdoor space.

pink-outdoor-drapes

Celebrating the moments of your outdoor living life with a cool refreshing beverage is always a good idea.

Summer Cobbler Cocktail

Southern Living

llop-sicles-posicles-in-champagne

Popsicles and champagne come together to make Summer’s Sweetest Sparkling Sipper.

Rose-Lemonade

Rose Lemonade

fruity-patio-drink-Domino-photo-by-Brittany-Ambridge

Domino

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Simple touches refresh and impress.

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Putting together pretty in pink on the patio place settings is a summer breeze.

FLower-magazine-pink-summerparty-tablescape-Elaine-Griffin-Sea-Island-garden-party

Elaine Griffin Sea Island Garden Party – Photography by Julia Lynn

Acrylic and melamine tablewares give good style at a great price point.

Summer outdoor plates-glassware

Destination Summer Vintage Embossed Highball Glass in Pink
Calder 17 oz. Acrylic Drinking Glass (Set of 4)
Lillian 12 oz. Acrylic Goblet (Set of 4)
 Modern. Southern. Home.™ Set of 4 Lime Melamine Dinner Plates

Pink Round Placemats Celebrate It™, 4ct.

Pink Round Placemats Celebrate It™, 4ct.

pretty-in-pink-on-the-patio-linens

Hobby Lobby

Roasted Beet & Blueberry Salad

Roasted Beet & Blueberry Salad

cherry-limeade-popsicles

Cherry-Limeade Popsicles

Summer has arrived, and with it comes ample opportunities to kick your sandals off and enjoy a sunny afternoon into moonlit evening sitting pretty in pink on the patio.

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***Blog Housekeeping Update***

I am tickled pink to report the change from old to new email subscription service provider is complete and looks to be a successful endeavor.

Thank you for your patience.

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On A Spring Into Summer Laundry Day

Sometimes all it takes to set memories in motion and give ideas for a blog post is a photo putting a fresh spin on the household necessity we call laundry day.

laundry day

Country Living Magazine – Brent Darby Photography

As sunny days and warm breezes become the norm, I look forward to the spring into summer activity of hanging freshly washed clothes out on the clothesline to dry.

Linens especially smell so summer sweet when line dried, and instantly take my thoughts back to summers sleepovers at Dave the Builder’s aunt’s house, where life in a Northern Louisiana town imitated that of your favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

decorative-laundry-room-items

laundry-clothesline-vintage-print

North Prints

Today’s laundry room design and decor is anything but rinse and repeat.

laundry-room-Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

My laundry room falls into the category of not ready for prime blog time, but it is the little space that could.

Currently, the space lacks loads of style, but makes up for it in cabinets, countertops, shelves, and storage space that aid in getting the job done.

Back in our antiques shop days, Dave the Builder unearthed a vintage soda display stand from an old store, brought it home, and promptly placed it next to the washing machine as an absolutely perfect storage display for laundry soaps, fresheners, softeners, dryer sheets and the like.

This began an appreciation for display fixtures for home use.

Retail stores going out of business will usually sale display tables, cabinets, and racks for a song.

If this is not a feasible route, check out big box retail and home improvement stores.

3 Way Clothing Rack - Boutique Ivory

3 Way Clothing Rack – Boutique Ivory

Inexpensive surprises and common sense laundry day tips never cease to amaze me.

Ocean Scented Liquid Dish Soap - 10 fl oz - Smartly™

Ocean Scented Liquid Dish Soap – 10 fl oz – Smartly™

Smells like the ocean (a super lovely scented ocean) liquid dish soap is the go-to laundry detergent alternative I use for washing pillowcases.

Several drops added to a medium to high water level load does the trick, and the clean fresh scent is amazing.

Ocean Scented Liquid Dish Soap

Let’s just say getting clothes out of the dryer as soon as the cycle stops is not one of my laundry day strong suits, however, I love the way sheets and pillowcases smell fresh out of the dryer.

A spritz or two of homemade linen spray refreshes, and the light and lovely scent sets the tone for a good night’s slumber.

Linen Spray

Ingredients

1 ½  teaspoon essential oil of your choice

2  Tablespoons witch hazel or vodka

4  cups distilled water

32 oz.  spritz bottle

Directions

Mix witch hazel or vodka and desired oils in a bottle.  Add the distilled water and shake to combine.

The witch hazel or vodka aids in dispersing the oil evenly throughout the liquid.

Shake bottle gently before each use.

Clothespin-Bag-Decorated-with-Cricut-outside

Spring into summer is the prime clothesline drying season, and this clothespin bag from Mary Beth at The How-To Home is an easy DIY project perfect for clothespins storage.

Vintage Wire Collapsible Laundry Basket Hamper

Vintage Wire Collapsible Laundry Basket Hamper

Dirty laundry is just a fact of our all things house that make a home life.

neutral-laundry-room

Better Homes & Gardens

Easy DIY projects, fresh scents, comfort of the known, sunny days and warm breezes go a long way toward making laundry day a little easier.

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A Fetching Friday: Sunny and Bright

Today’s Fetching Friday is sun kissed and brightly inspired by sunny and bright summer days and positive dispositions.

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Sunny and bright interiors, exteriors, flavors, settings, and destinations radiate a luminous sense and feel of happiness and cheer.

Bruern Abbey gardens

Bruern Abbey Gardens – House & Garden – Photo by Eva Nemeth

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but the wide world’s joy.”

-Henry Ward Beecher

natural-sunlight-in-hallway-photo-Paul-Massey

House & Garden

sunny-and-bright-yellow-front-door

Spartina 449

yellow-road-stripes

Solitude art print by Diane Leonard

Solitude Art Print by Diane Leonard

“Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink.”

-Lilly Pulitzer

bright-powder-room

Southern Living- Photo by Alison Gootee – Styling by Suzonne Stirling 

aesthetics for the zodiac signs

sunny-and-bright-on-the-beach

Condé Nast Traveler

yellow-wall

Better Homes & Gardens

lemon-tree

“Friends are the sunshine of life.”

-John Hay

daisy-bouquet-in-yellow-bike-basket

Style Me Pretty – Allyson Magda Photography

sunny-and-bright-gallery-wall-photo-Rebecca-Reid

Domino – Photo by Rebecca Reid

Wishing each of you a sunny and bright fetching Friday custom-made for soaking up the sun (don’t forget the screen) and positive summer vibes.

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Seasoned Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes Recipe

This seasoned cheesy broiled tomatoes recipe is a taste of summer on a plate.

homegrown-tomatoes

One the many things we love about summer is the fresh vegetables and flowers the season brings to the table.

vegetable-stand

When word gets out our favorite fresh vegetable vendor has homegrown tomatoes in stock, it’s time to place a call to my brother who lives closer to the stand located about 10 miles from our house.

fresh-tomatoes-squash-1

As long as I’m making and sharing with him a dish, sandwich, or burgers with fresh tomato slices or dices in the mix he’s happy to oblige.

sunflowers-in-the-morning

Fresh sunflowers, squash, and eggplant accompanied this latest tomato haul- a bit of Louisiana lagniappe.

fresh sunflower 1

Crazy is the word of the week here at Places In The Home.

I’ve been crazy busy tying up loose ends before Dave the Builder’s upcoming heart procedures.

In all the planning, packing, and pre-admit madness remains the fact you still gotta eat, and homegrown tomatoes at room temperature, which is the way we like our tomatoes, will ruin if left unrefrigerated for too long.

As delicious as a homemade hamburger and a tomato sandwich is, I was looking for a something on plate.

Something on a plate is a Places In The Home family term.

Credit goes to Dave the builder for taking a commonly used phrase into colloquial territory.

Here’s how it came to be:

My mother-in-law took a day off from work to finish sewing junior prom dresses for Dave’s fifteen-year-old identical twin sisters.

That’s two times the daughters, two times the junior prom dress fun.  To say she had a lot on her plate is an understatement.

Dave is eight years younger than his sisters, the baby of the family, and on this particular day was underfoot more than normal.

Parents in Covid quarantine know exactly what I’m talking about.

Dave set in asking his mother to fix him something for lunch.  Her promise of just one more minute and I’ll fix you a sandwich was met with Dave’s verbal protest.

“I don’t want a sandwich.  I want something on a plate.”

Dave wasn’t having any part of the simple sandwich solution to lunch.  What he wanted was a salad-meat-vegetables-bread something on a plate lunch.

Joe's-broiled-tomato

A quick inventory of cupboard and crisper coupled with the memory of the fabulously delicious broiled tomato served at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab brought about recipe inspiration.

Easy is the key ingredient of this seasoned cheesy broiled tomatoes recipe.

Seasoned Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes Recipe

Ingredients

3 fresh tomatoes, halved

3 cups shredded mild cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese

salt & pepper taste

1½ teaspoons garlic powder

olive oil

3 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

6 Tablespoons bread crumbs; optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Rinse tomatoes and pat dry.  Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side up in baking dish.

Salt and pepper each tomato to preference.  Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon garlic powder over top of each tomato.

seasoned-tomato

Top each half with ½ cup shredded cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the cheddar & Monterey Jack.

bread-crumbs-topped-tomato-1

An optional choice is to top each tomato half with bread crumbs.

Give each cheese-bread crumbs topped tomato half a lightly drizzle of olive oil.

olive-oil-drizzled-over-top-of-tomato

Place baking dish in preheated oven and bake cheese topped tomatoes for 8 to 10 minutes.

Turn oven to broil.

Broil tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese-bread crumbs is toasty brown.

broiled-tomato

The above image is of the seasoned cheesy broiled tomato, and the image below is of a seasoned cheesy broiled tomato topped with bread crumbs.

Toasty brown puts just the right amount of crisp on top.

seasoned-cheesy-broiled-tomatoes-recipe

This seasoned cheesy broiled tomatoes recipe makes for a great side dish to grilled steaks, appetizers at the cocktail hour, or dinner entrée.

enjoy

Summer Reading List 2020

Summer is prime curling up with a good book season; hence, the importance of what book(s) makes your summer reading list 2020.

books-set-by-green-staircaseHouse Beautiful

Reading evokes thought, enlightens the mind, enriches the soul, lifts the heart and takes one to treasured places and descriptive destinations in ways only the reader knows reading can.

Summer Reading List 2020

My Summer Reading List 2020 is a delectable literary picnic packed for the beach, lake, pool, porch, patio or bespoke indoor alcove.

beach-reading

Flickr

Up first on the list is I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman.

I-was-told-it-would-get-easier

I Was Told It Would Get Easier – by Abbi Waxman 

Mother and daughter Jessica and Emily Burnstein have a college tour trip planned.  Jessica anticipates reconnecting on a “she’s not a little girl anymore” level with her daughter- a daughter in search of a way to become excited about her future.

Traveling together along the east coast, mother and daughter experience a shared journey in personal growth and special bonds made along the way.

brunch-and-other-obligations-a-novel

Brunch and Other Obligations – by Suzanne Nugent

Brunch and Other Obligations by Suzanne Nugent details the fictional story of four ladies, friendship, loss, humor, understanding, and the things one learns over a standing monthly brunch date – a final request from one friend to three grieving frenemies who meet and master hard times, the art of patience, and the dynamics of the female friendship.

the-Jane-Austen-society-a-novel

The Jane Austen Society – by Natalie Jenner

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner charms the reader with a story set in the English village of Chawton post World War II, also known as the final home of novelist Jane Austen.

A group of socially different but like-minded people undertake a united and powerful effort to preserve the home of Jane Austen and her legacy.

A shared love of works, timeless words, the bonds of war, and triumphs in wins come together to create the Jane Austen Society.

Summer Solstice – by Nina Maclaughlin

Summer Solstice by Nina Maclaughlin details the details of summer and the elements and activities only summer knows.

Lakes, oceans, and every pond between.

Ripe red tomatoes ready for the summer salad or sandwich.

The taste of the first hot dog hot off the grill.

The scent and the seen of fresh cut grass.

Opened windows.

Fireflies.

Stargazing.

Nina MacLaughlin’s essay is a season of sun and fun insight into summer pasts and the ones that lie ahead.

you-had-me-at-hola

You Had Me at Hola – by Alexis Daria

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria reads like a summer sexy soap opera, and the reader is all atwitter for it.

This romantic, sultry, and smart story is set in the drama-filled world of telenovelas.

Jasmine Lin Rodriguez is the soap opera darling returning to New York City after a breakup to star in a bilingual romantic comedy.  All is presumably well until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela heartthrob Ashton Suárez.

After a series of career killing circumstances, Ashton figures his new gig will give him the chance to win over American audiences and Hollywood casting agents.  The on-screen chemistry with Jasmine has got to be as hot as summer, but leave it to a less than memorable first impression to squash the hope of any heat between the two of them jumping off the screen.

In a career move to benefit both, Jasmine and Ashton mutually agree to rehearse together in private.  Private rehearsals lead to a private affair in true soap opera style.

The glare of the media spotlight is bright, and stands ready to discover and dish the dirt on these two telenovela stars.

Is it me, or is it getting hot in here?

the-vanishing-half-a-novel

The Vanishing Half – by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett promises to be a can’t put it down summer must read.

The story of the Vignes sisters, identical twins whose decision at age sixteen to runaway from the small, southern black community they called home, is a complex one.

From that time and moving forward, everything from their families, communities and racial identities is different.

One sister along with her black daughter lives in the very southern town at sixteen she tried to escape. The other sister secretly poses and passes for a white woman living with her white husband who knows nothing of her past.

Many miles and lies exist between them, and their fates continue to be intertwined.

Weaving together aspects of this family from generations past from the Deep South to California during the 1950s to the 1990s, this provocative story looks beyond issues of race to the lasting influence of the past and its influence on the personal decisions and wants, for reasons not easily recognized, people sometimes feel compelled to live as something or someone not of their origins.

Florida-Man-a-novel

Florida Man – by Tom Cooper

The Florida Man by Tom Cooper centers around a 1980 timeline and a middle-aged beach bun named Reed Crowe.

Reed is living the Florida life on fictional Emerald Island on ill-gotten gains.  When sink holes begin opening up on the Island, the seedy to the point of shambles motel and amusement park Reed owns as well as his secrets become endangered. In the midst of this predicament he puts into place his amateur spelunker skills. Soon he begins to uncover artifacts that connect the dots between his understanding and the island’s history as his family’s role as pioneering homesteaders.

Bringing more intrigue and to the mix is the company Reed has kept over the years.

Hector “Catface” Morales is a Cuban refugee, a trained assassin, and a crack-addicted Marielito who is after revenge on Reed for stealing his stash of drugs and then leaving him for dead (a detail unknown to Reed) in the wreckage of a plane crash in the Everglades decades ago.

Heidi Karavas, a globe-trekking art curator ex-wife, and Nina Arango, his current love, find their way into the state of confusion in the state of Florida.

enjoy-hydrangea

A Fetching Friday: The Good Old Summertime

Today’s Fetching Friday features wonderful memories of childhood summers and how we whiled away the hours in the good old summertime.

fetching-definiton

 

white mountain freezer

White Mountain Freezer

Homemade ice cream was the summertime treat we had to work for.

Who remembers being put on cranking detail?

Southern Living – Photo by Paul Costello

My grandmother had a PhD in food presentation. 

She always served homemade ice cream in an etched sherbet dish like the ones above garnished with either a sprig of fresh mint, peach slice, fresh strawberry, or chocolate Kiss. 

To me, there is nothing better on a hot summer afternoon than a dish of cold, creamy homemade ice cream garnished with a generous amount of memories. 

good old summertime

I first saw this in the good old summertime image on Pinterest.

Social media trends from one platform to another, and I noticed it on Facebook captioned with the words “this is what old folks call snap chat.”

summer-fresh-peas

Guide to Summer-Fresh Field Peas- Southern Living

If I had a nickel for every time my grandmother handed us a glass of homemade lemonade and a bowl full of peas prime for the snapping, I’d have enough money to run by Raising Cane’s for a lemonade to enjoy on the drive out to the farmer’s market stand on the bayou to pick up a bushel or a peck of peas.

Revered summer rituals of the past shape the summer activities of the present.

good old summertime

Flickr

We never met a pond, creek, or fresh water spring our feet or fishing poles didn’t like. 

Serenity Photograph by Li Newton1

Serenity Photograph by Li Newton

It was nothing for my Dad and uncles to suggest the entire family load up and caravan to the drive-in.

My Mother and my aunts gathered up the aluminum lawn chairs, filled an industrial size ice chest with canned Cokes (it’s the South- we call any flavor soda or pop Coke), and popped several pans of Jiffy Pop.

Ironically, the only trip to the concession stand was for mosquito coils.

Pure summertime fun gold. 

drive-in-theatre

I hope you all have a most fetching Friday and a great weekend enjoying some good old summertime fun.

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