Tag Archives: methodist

#WriteWed – Inspiration for Sea Kiss from ONE SUMMER NIGHT

As you might guess from the At the Shore series name, the stories in my new contemporary romance series are set on the Jersey Shore in the fictional town of Sea Kiss. Sea Kiss is a mix of several of my favorite towns along the Jersey Shore. Today I’m going to share a little bit about Ocean Grove which is one of my favorite shore towns.

Located just south of neighboring Asbury Park, Ocean Grove is a quaint town filled with lovely Victorian homes and a shopping district with a hometown feel. You’ll get to taste some of that atmosphere in ONE SUMMER NIGHT as the characters stroll through town. There’s even a little homage to my daughter’s surf and skate shop on Main Avenue. You’ll actually get to meet her in #2 in the series, WHAT HAPPENS IN SUMMER.

Ocean Grove was originally founded by the Methodists and is today still owned by the Camp Meeting Association. For that reason, the town is dry and many of the homes are on land that is owned by the Association and only leased to the homeowners. Not that long ago, residents could not park their cars in town on Sunday and to this day, the beach does not open until noon on Sundays to allow residents to attend religious services. Some of those services are actually held in a small pavilion on the boardwalk.

One of the most interesting elements in town that track to its faith-based mission are the tents which are erected every May and taken down in late September. The tens are a holdover from when the Methodists would hold their camp revival meetings on the beach. At some point the structures became more permanent with small sheds to hold the kitchens and bathrooms and the tented area for sleeping. They are lovely to see and are decorated quite nicely by the summer residents. Over 100 of them remain in town.

In ONE SUMMER NIGHT, the families of the heroe and heroine have lived in Sea Kiss for nearly a century and have grand Victorian homes on the beachfront. It was so much fun to craft these homes and the nearby town to give you a taste of what I love about the Jersey Shore and Ocean Grove in particular. The town is a unique gem, so much so, that the entire town has been designated a National Historic landmark.

I hope you enjoyed this look into the inspiration for Sea Kiss, my little town in the At the Shore series. I hope you’ll check out ONE SUMMER NIGHT which is now available for pre-order and will be out in print and e-book on October 3. The second book in the series, WHAT HAPPENS IN SUMMER, will be out in late Spring 2018 and you’ll get to spend some more time with Owen’s brother Jonathan and Maggie’s best friend Connie Reyes. Plus you’ll get to see a little more of Sea Kiss!

You can pre-order ONE SUMMER NIGHT at the following retailers:

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2krMwfE
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2kYLWZV
B&N: http://bit.ly/2kNuo0p
iBooks: http://apple.co/2qsqdwx
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2fuEphL

Stronger Than Sin Research Part 2

This is a crazy time of year for me! I’m putting the finishing touches on STRONGER THAN SIN, the second book in the SINS series, while also visiting people to chat about SINS OF THE FLESH which will be released on October 27th! Less than a week away.

Be sure to check the calendar to the left of this blog post for the dates of my various online and in-person appearances. There are a tons of giveaways going on for SINS OF THE FLESH and you might be one of the lucky winners of a copy! Also check out the Contests page on the site for other contests that are currently in progress.

But back to STRONGER THAN SIN which I am absolutely loving. It’s about another genetically engineered patient – Jesse Bradford, a former pro football player. Once from the wrong side of the tracks, Jesse now owns a multi-million dollar home in Spring Lake (more on that town in another post).

The heroine – not spilling the name here so that I don’t spoil anything from SINS OF THE FLESH – is smart and strong, but introspective. I needed somewhere that she would feel safe and also very spiritual since she is a devout Catholic and very connected to family. After spending the summer wandering through the various shore towns, I knew the perfect place for her new home would be Ocean Grove.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit, you must do so during the summer. There is always something going on. Plus it’s a lovely landmark historical town filled with Victorian homes surrounded by carefully tended gardens. Main Avenue has an assortment of shops, galleries and restaurants you will totally enjoy. In addition, it’s just a walk over a footbridge or along the boardwalk to hit the renovated Asbury Park boardwalk and take in some of the sights there.

One of the more unique things about the town is the tent city that goes up every summer season. The tents date back to the revival meetings held in Ocean Grove. Today the tents are leased and occupied through the summer season. Here are some photos of the tents up for the season and some that have been closed for the winter.

Ocean Grove was the perfect place for my heroine and as the setting for some of the scenes in STRONGER THAN SIN which will be out in October 2010. So, I’m sharing some of the photos I took during my research and hope you will enjoy them!

If you can’t see the slideshow below, you can visit this link to see more pictures:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2037563&id=1130005412&l=6ac91988b1