5 Summer Date Ideas For Any Couple

Whether you’ve been together almost 25 years, as with my husband and me, or this is your summer of love after all the losers, there’s always room to add some fun and sparks to your relationship. Here are some date ideas to take advantage of the beautiful weather summer offers.

  • Go see an outdoor concert – Even in the most rural of rural areas, we do have summer concerts at fairs and events that go on all summer long. If there’s at least one close to me, there’s one close to you. Go enjoy some great music, an easy-going atmosphere, and a balmy summer evening. (Don’t forget the bug spray though–mosquitos don’t play.)
  • Go to the drive-in – When my husband and I first started dating, our first official date was at the local drive-in movies. That place is gone now, but there are some still within driving distance. There’s nothing like rolling down your window a bit and listening to the crickets chirp as ambient noise, a breeze move over you, while you and your love take in a summer flick.
  • Get out early for an outdoor brunch – Several weeks ago, my husband and I took a trip to Charlotte, NC, just to get away. While there, we had the most delightful meal out on the patio. It was just the two of us, the food was delicious, and we were very connected. Sometimes a single meal in a pretty locale can reconnect you in this busy world.
  • Watch the sunset – Get in your mode of transportation (I’m hoping you have a car since buses don’t really go to quiet, deserted areas) and go somewhere that you can be all alone. Put a blanket out, maybe turn on some tunes from the radio, and just be for a bit. Watch the sun go down over a mountain, the ocean, or just the horizon. It’ll be a beautiful moment for you both.
  • Daytrip somewhere new – There are lots of small but interesting communities within a fair distance from us. Pick somewhere you haven’t been or even one of your favorite places and go. You’ll talk in the car (because what else is there to do–put your phone down), you’ll see somewhere charming or artsy or fun, have a meal, and then discuss your day as you head home. It’ll be something special.

These are my suggestions and I intend to try every one of them. Except maybe the concert one–my husband would love it, but that sounds awfully peopley.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

Sci-Fi Your Summer

I love sci-fi shows with a passion. I may have posted this before.

My family and I binge some, re-watch others. While we like space-based shows, we also enjoy anything of a sci-fi bent. Think Fringe or Stranger Things. We love Star Trek, Star Wars, Farscape, Dark Matter, Firefly, Black Mirror, and Altered Carbon (I can’t wait for more of this).

As a binge consumer of the genre, I find that I can usually predict storylines. It’s a bad habit and I try to be surprised, but Sci-fi, like romance, has it’s own tropes.

Here are few I love:

  • Government Coverups – Any time the government is trying to do the wrong thing. A lot of sci-fi’s have
  • Hero Amnesia – where the hero finds out he’s actually the bad guy or somehow was at fault for everything that went wrong.
  • Shipwrecked – the ship crashes/breaks down/has a malfunction. These are machines and anything can happen.
  • Lost In Space – while this is a show, there are multiple shows with tropes like this. From everyone being lost in space to a single human being lost.
  • Alien Invasion – Battlefield Earth, even Fringe flirted with this concept for a season. It’s all about humans fighting the aliens who have taken over. A fun idea would be to twist this concept on it’s head. What if the humans invade?
  • Robot Takeover – Hello, Terminator and half a dozen other Netflix films where robots have taken over the Earth.
  • Body-switching – As my son would say, every great sci-fi show has a body switching episode, which could apply to a book easily.
  • Time Travel – This is a blanket statement and I am not a big fan of time travel episodes on shows or sci-fi movies, but while it’s not my favorite if done well I’ll watch it. I would even read it.

 

What are some of your favorite sci-fi tropes, themes? Is there one that freaks you out?

What is the sci-fi show I should be watching?

Also, please keep me in your kind thoughts as I won’t get to watch Stranger Things for an extra 3 weeks after it comes out as I’ll be on vacation where there is no internet or television. Nothing hurts a sci-fi nerd more than having to wait to binge watch the next season of a show they love.

 

About Landra Graf

Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

A Binge Worthy #SweetRomance Series Sale #99cents

A Binge Worthy Series Sale!
Hi, Favorite Readers!
Entangled Publishing, LLC is having a Binge Worthy Series Sale!! Over 40 books are on sale!! (Including MINE) Limited time only so hurry and check them all out!!

All three of my books in the “ANYONE BUT YOU” series is on sale.

#1 Fiancé by Fate (Jack and Sabrina’s story) : $0.99

Amazon #1 Best Seller in Romance Series
Their fake relationship is a twist of fate.
Sabrina Cassidy believes in fate. So when her fiancé breaks off their engagement, she’s convinced they’ll get back together eventually. But fate was not on her side when it brought Jack Brenner into her life–and work. Frustrating, gorgeous, and cocky, Jack has an offer that Sabrina can’t refuse. Not if it means getting the life she’s always imagined.
Despite being one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, Jack has a reputation that’s working against him. He has to convince his father–and his company’s board–that he’s ready to settle down if he wants a promotion. But convincing Sabrina to be his fake girlfriend turns out to be the easiest part. What he didn’t count on was their intense attraction and how easily their lie would escalate. Sabrina’s still hung up on her ex, and Jack will never settle down. But fate has other ideas…

#2 Wedding Date for Hire (Maddie and Trent’s story):$1.99A sweet category romance from Entangled’s Bliss imprint…

Hottie for hire…

Maddie McCarthy is single, between jobs, and (oh, the shame) lives with her mother. To make matters worse, she’s the maid of honor for her sister’s wedding, and desperately needs a date. Then she sees her salvation-Match Made Easy, a service for women in Maddie’s exact position. If she can’t find a boyfriend, she’ll do the next best thing…

Hire one.

Trent Montgomery isn’t actually part of Match Made Easy. He’s just doing a favor for his cousin, but one look at the blonde who hired him, and he’s totally hooked.
Now Maddie thinks that the attraction sizzling between them is just “part of the package.” And Trent is running out of time to prove to her that her date-for-hire might just be her happily-ever-after…

#3 Wrong Brother, Right Match (Kennedy and Matt’s story): $1.99Matchmaking guru Kennedy Pepperdine’s life is perfect. Perfect job. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriend. Except…when she gets trapped in an elevator with a handsome stranger, she accidentally confesses a secret: maybe her perfect boyfriend, Justin, isn’t so perfect for her after all. But a matchmaker should be able to successfully match herself, right? Thankfully, she’ll never see the handsome stranger again. Until she heads home with Justin for the holidays and learns that the sexy stranger is none other than Justin’s older brother, Matt.

Matt Ellis is trying to be on his best behavior for his mother—it is Christmas, after all. But when he recognizes the beautiful woman from the elevator—the one he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for months—his best behavior is being held by a thread. Matt’s always sacrificed for his family, and nothing is more important than their happiness, but the more time he spends around Kennedy, the more he wonders if her supposed “right match” might just be the wrong brother.

Each book in the Anyone But You series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.

Grab me while I’m cheap! Prices go back up next week!

Enjoy!

Jennifer

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

A Match for Mr. Write is out now! #resorttoromance #sweetromance #99cents

Hey, everyone!

Welcome to WEEK 8 of the 10 Weeks of Romance Giveaways!

Ten of some of the best authors in the inspirational and sweet romance genres are hosting a 10 Weeks of Romance Giveaway to celebrate their new Resort to Romance series!

Here’s the series premise:

It’s Matchmaking Week at an all-inclusive resort on a private island in the Bahamas. Each guest has been expertly paired and is here to enjoy one full week with their match. While there’s no money-back guarantee on the paid trip, the participants are guaranteed to find love!

Each week beginning Tuesday, February 19th through the week of Tuesday, May 7th, a new book by a new author in the series will release, and you have the chance to win one, some, or the grand prize which includes all ten novellas plus a $150 Amazon gift card!

Here’s how it works: Register at the rafflecopter HERE. We’ll randomly select a winner each Tuesday. And the great thing about this giveaway is the books build with every author’s new release! That means your entries roll over each week all the way up the grand prize.

This week’s prize is: A Match for Mr. Write by Jennifer Shirk

 

Magazine editor Gemma Carmichael has been secretly in love with her co-worker Blade for 5 years and when he suddenly breaks off his engagement, Gemma decides this is her chance to woo her man. He signs up for a matchmaking getaway and she decides to do it too, positive they’re a match. But to her surprise, she’s matched with Sawyer Bennett, a brooding romance author who only came on the island to write and who doesn’t even believe in love. (Obviously the Sterling sisters have no idea what they’re doing!)

Romance author, Sawyer Bennett, did not sign up for this. He thought his travel agent cousin was sending him on a nice, normal vacation in the Bahamas, not to bad reality TV recreation. The only romance he’s interested in is the one between his characters. After all, family history has shown him that true love is just fiction, which is why he’s so good at writing it. But now, he’s stuck in a romance book situation, with contracts that can’t be broken and matched to the pretty but kooky redhead, Gemma. (Obviously, the Sterling sisters have no idea what they’re doing!)

However, the magazine Gemma works for would provide great publicity for his next release, so he agrees to help her win her true love in exchange for her putting his book on the reviewer’s upcoming list. Seems like an easy enough way to pass the week. Sawyer still doubts the existence of true love but by the end of the week, he can’t help but wonder if he could finally have found the write woman for him after all.

 

Be sure to stop by Julie Jarnagin’s blog next Tuesday to see what book is being added to the giveaway.

Good luck!!

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

#SaturdaySeven on THSG Blog

This isn’t a writing post or a reading post or even an industry post [but I bet I can make it one]. It’s just a fun way to make fun of the old people in your life. There are probably a gazillion ways to identify with aging. [And here you go…] Maybe this can help you create a secondary character your readers will relate to!

Seven ways you know you’re old.

  1. You get excited when your kids come home.
  2. You’re the one paying for your kids to come home.
  3. Random people call you ma’am.
  4. Gray hair.
  5. 20th wedding anniversary.
  6. You don’t care about stupid studies that tell you not to wear jeans.
  7. Naps are fun.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

The Magic of Music

During the past month I have been trying to get back into old routines that proved fruitful in the past. Since I’m trying to incorporate more writing into my life once again, I tried to figure out just what I’d used in the past to get those 5000 word days.

I was contemplating this one afternoon as I was doing one of my hourly walks where I get at least a 1000 steps. It was walking to the beat of the music, I realized it was staring me in the face. And I was listening to it.

There is nothing more motivating to me than a good song. I used to put play lists together so I would be in the mood for writing certain scenes. How I did this was to gather a lot of movie sound tracks then try and match them to what I was putting down on the page.

This tried and true method worked for me over and over again. So, I thought why not. Unfortunately, I have been spending a lot of time getting all my playlists together again on my iTunes. When I set up my new computer last year, I didn’t realize the play lists didn’t get copied over to the new iTunes on the new machine. It’s been a real pain but I was lucky enough to have many of those play lists in my OneNote file. Now I just have to put it all back together again.

However, I did manage to find one on YouTube that I just saw the movie for and am loving it. The movie was Alita – Battle Angel and it reminds me a lot of a new sci-fi novella series I’m putting together called The Warmonger Series all about an elite group of enhanced soldiers who are all women. I listened about an hour today and managed to crank out about 1000 words. Yeah me!

What do you use to crank up your writing productivity? Can wait to read all your suggestions.

See you next month!

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job.

  • Our LATEST Buzz!

    The first two books in the Cupid's Cafe series were released in June by Lori Sizemore and Landra Graf *** Lori Sizemore's Infamous was released on December 14. *** Julie Jarnagin's Cowgirl in the Kitchen is available now. *** Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Nina Croft's latest books, Her Fantasy Husband, a hot contemporary romance from Entangled's Brazen line, and The Order Boxed Set, a compilation of the three full length novels, plus a new novella, exclusive to the boxed set, both released in April 2016 *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, A PROPOSAL & PUMPKIN PIE is on sale for .99 through Thanksgiving.