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: