I’m counting down until the opening of Days, our favorite ice cream place down the shore. This year it reopens for the season on May 6. Can’t wait. Days is Ocean Grove’s oldest continually operating business. It’s been around since 1876 in various locations.
I had the pleasure of attending the Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference this weekend and a workshop by the marvelous Virginia Kantra. Virginia is a lovely lady and an amazing speaker. I always get something worthwhile from her panels and speeches.
The panel I attended was one on “What Makes a Good Hero?” It had lots of information and got me to thinking about how to refine the hero in book #2 in the At the Shore Contemporary Romance series. But it also had me contemplating what inspired Owen Pierce, the hero in #1 – One Summer Night.
When I think of Owen, I think of someone who is almost too perfect to be true. Someone who always does everything by the book. Owen is honorable and full of integrity. He’s hard working and demands a lot of himself because of a father who belittles him and a brother who needs his love and support.
Owen would sacrifice anything for the people he loves and he’s not afraid of commitment. But to have the woman that he loves in his life, Maggie Sinclair, he may have to lose all that he’s worked for as well as his honor and integrity. It makes for an interesting story, trust me! LOL!
Here’s how I pictured Owen. Sexy, right?
Photo Credit: By Jiyang Chen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
And just in case that smoldering look wasn’t enough, how about this one courtesy of his Facebook Page?
You can order One Summer Night at the following retailers:
I’m in the process of writing #2 in the At the Shore Contemporary Romance series and am working on a scene where the hero visits the heroine at her condo in Jersey City. The heroine is Cuban and she knows that the hero loves Cuban food. Unfortunately, she’s been hard at work over the weekend, but she still knows where to go to pick up some great Cuban food before she comes home.
So what’s a typical kind of Cuban meal? I’ve shared some recipes with you before, so here’s a list of what you’ll see in the scene I’m busy writing. You can click on the links for the recipes or visit my Cook’s Treat page.
It was a busy weekend what with the Liberty States Fiction Writers conference and a post conference movie date with a good friend and my lovely daughter. What movie? Beauty and the Beast, of course. The animated feature was always one of our favs (closely followed by Anastasia which we will be seeing on Broadway shortly!)
I wasn’t sure what to make of the actor playing the Beast/Prince. I have to say that the transformation at the end surprised me in a good way. I won’t spill in case you haven’t seen the movie yet.
So today’s Man Candy Choice is Dan Stevens, the Beast/Prince. (And FYI – Emma Watson was the perfect Belle!)
I’ve had a couple of heroes who were surfers, just like Owen and Jon Pierce, the heroes in #1 and #2 from the At the Shore Contemporary Romance series. The influence for those is totally my daughter, my little surfer girl! LOL!
This is a picture of her on her very first surfing adventure. We were visiting California for the first time and rented her a wetsuit and surfing board. Headed to Malibu and found Zuma Beach where my daughter popped up on a wave on one of her very first attempts.
It’s no wonder she owns a surf and skate shop now!
One of the things that I wanted to show with the At the Shore contemporary romance series is the diversity of New Jersey, both ethnically and economically. While Maggie and Owen from ONE SUMMER NIGHT are both well-off, Connie and Emma, the heroines of #2 and #3 in the series respectively, have both had to work hard to achieve what they have.
I’m getting ready to write a scene in #2 where you find out a little bit more about Carlo and his family, who play a substantial role in #3. In that scene, you get to see a big Portuguese-style family dinner at their Ironbound home.
The Ironbound is a unique section of the city of Newark. It’s located not all that far from Newark Penn Station and between the airport and the Passaic River. It is a largely Portuguese neighborhood with the first immigrants from Portugal arriving in the early 1900s along with Spaniards from Galicia (my family’s part of Spain). In fact, many Portuguese food dishes are very similar to those from Galicia.
The main avenue in the Ironbound is Ferry Street which abounds with a number of mom and pop Portuguese shops along with a number of other Latin restaurants. In #3, the hero’s family has owned a successful bakery there since the 1930s. Carlo’s older brothers now run the business and Carlo has struck out on his own to make a life down the shore. He’s Emma’s Go-to-Guy in more than one way, although she refuses to admit that.
Ferry Street, as you might guess, was named after a ferry that ran between Newark and other locations to the east. Check out the video below that shows you Ferry Street. If part of it looks familiar, it’s because it made an appearance in the beginning of the 2005 remake of War of the Worlds (2:30 to 2:45 in the video). If you can’t see the video below, use this link: https://youtu.be/PGP_94G3Vms
We’ve got a blizzard going today. Unfortunately, that means no Philadelphia Flower Show for me this year as I was supposed to be going today. So sad. I was really looking forward to the show. The theme was Holland this year and I absolutely love bulbs like daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and more!
Instead I will be shoveling and here are some tips for you to stay safe if you’re experiencing winter snow as well.
Keep the loads light and try to push instead of lift.
If you have to lift, do so with your knees and not your back.
Keep your shoveling intervals short, no more than ten minutes at a time if you can.
Dress appropriately! Hat, scarves, gloves and good boots to stay warm.
Listen to your body and stop if you are feeling short of breath or dizzy.
And now, a photo of my snowy view this morning!
P.S. – I’m working on a new look for the website. Would love to hear what you think about it!