About Marin McGinnis

Marin McGinnis has been a voracious reader ever since she could make sense of words on the page, but she came fairly late to writing. She dabbled with a mystery in her 20s, but didn’t start writing in earnest until after she discovered historical romance a decade or so later. While her very first manuscript will forever languish under the bed, the next one, Stirring Up the Viscount, won two contests in 2013 and was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2015. Her next three books, Secret Promise, Tempting Mr. Jordan, and Treasure Her Heart, were also published by The Wild Rose Press. Check out her Bookshelf for more info. Marin lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio with her family. She is represented by Margaret Bail of Fuse Literary.

Summer? Meh.

I don’t love summer.

I’m sorry, but I just don’t. (My son read the title of this post and gasped in dramatic horror.)

There are definitely some things I like about summer–wonderful fresh local food, evenings on the patio with a cold glass of wine, lazy afternoons at the pool. I like that I occasionally get a vacation. I like that I don’t have to argue with the kid about homework, and I don’t particularly mind taking a break from hockey rinks. I’m very happy that it’s not snowing.

But other than that, summer feels much like every other time of the year, except hotter and with more bugs. I still have to work. Unlike other parts of the country, not everything is air conditioned in Northeast Ohio, including my house, so I spend much of the summer sweating and uncomfortable. And although I suspect this reveals more about me than I really ought to share, summer seems to me to be full of expectation, almost pressure. There’s a feeling that because it’s summer, something wonderful should happen. Sometimes it does, but when it doesn’t, there’s an odd sense of wastefulness–how could I have let it slip through my fingers?

Nevertheless, it’s summer and summer book lists are everywhere. Many of them contain relaxing, feel good reads, and so I feel compelled to add my own. Here are some great books that fit my summer mood, in no particular order and for no particular reason:

The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith (also known as J.K. Rowling).  — I will admit I read this just because Rowling wrote it. I tried to read her other non-Potter book but couldn’t get through it. This one, however, is brilliant.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds, by Cat Winters. — A captivating debut novel set during the influenza epidemic of 1918, I actually read this one because of the cover. Seriously–Google it, then read the book.

Not a Drop to Drink, by Mindy McGinnis. — Full disclosure time: Mindy is my cousin (about 20 times removed), but I would love this book even if she wasn’t.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells. — There’s something about the steamy south that appeals to me in the summer.

Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. — See above about steamy south, then throw in magic and teenage angst.

The In Death series by J.D. Robb — I enjoy most of what Nora Roberts writes, but I particularly like this series. It’s gritty and dark, with wonderful, likable characters and some very steamy sex. What’s not to like?

The Heir, by Grace Burrowes. — Although I adore both reading and writing historical romance, I generally don’t read them in the summer–I save them for winter.  This one, though, is a perfect fit with my summer mood.

Which books capture how you feel about summer?

About Marin McGinnis

Marin McGinnis has been a voracious reader ever since she could make sense of words on the page, but she came fairly late to writing. She dabbled with a mystery in her 20s, but didn’t start writing in earnest until after she discovered historical romance a decade or so later. While her very first manuscript will forever languish under the bed, the next one, Stirring Up the Viscount, won two contests in 2013 and was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2015. Her next three books, Secret Promise, Tempting Mr. Jordan, and Treasure Her Heart, were also published by The Wild Rose Press. Check out her Bookshelf for more info. Marin lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio with her family. She is represented by Margaret Bail of Fuse Literary.

Can’t Beat the Classics

It’s Movie Month here at HSG, and thus far the blog has been conspicuously lacking in mention of classic movies. I have always been a fan of classic films–this is undoubtedly due to my mother, who watched Thin Man movies with me in my infancy. I still love The Thin Man, and just about anything with Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, or Fred Astaire.

Inspired by my son, with whom I have recently begun to watch every James Bond movie in chronological order, the other day I watched Charade on Netflix, with a 59-year-old Cary Grant and a much younger Audrey Hepburn. In addition to those two, the cast was a who’s who of talent–James Coburn, George Kennedy, Walter Matthau. It’s been a little while since I indulged myself in this way, and what struck me the most, besides the banter that you never see onscreen nowadays outside of Aaron Sorkin or Joss Whedon, were the funny little moments: Matthau doing squats while on the phone with Hepburn, for example. It was subtle, easy to miss if you weren’t paying attention, and very funny.

The movies were often beautiful, too. The opening scenes in To Catch a Thief are stunning, and I still remember watching Rear Window in college–Grace Kelly’s extraordinary face literally filled the screen, and every man in the auditorium gasped aloud. I do enjoy modern movies, but despite the technological advances in filmmaking, they seldom seem to capture beauty the way older films did.

Although I never really thought about this before, it occurs to me that I look for similar qualities in the books I read. I recently finished Julia Quinn’s The Sum of All Kisses, which has many of the same qualities as a classic romantic comedy. Her writing is quirky, lighthearted, sexy, and funny as hell. Eloisa James is poetic, with sometimes heartbreakingly lovely descriptions of places, people, and emotions. There is beauty and innocence, in their writing and that of many other talented authors, which makes a refreshing change from the fast-paced, non-subtle world we inhabit.

Perhaps by this post I am revealing that I sometimes think I was born in the wrong decade–or century–but I also think there are definitely times when, no matter when you were born or what world you inhabit, it is good to sit back and enjoy a simpler life, even if only for the time it takes to watch a movie or read a novel.

So what about you? Classic movie fan? Favorites?

 

About Marin McGinnis

Marin McGinnis has been a voracious reader ever since she could make sense of words on the page, but she came fairly late to writing. She dabbled with a mystery in her 20s, but didn’t start writing in earnest until after she discovered historical romance a decade or so later. While her very first manuscript will forever languish under the bed, the next one, Stirring Up the Viscount, won two contests in 2013 and was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2015. Her next three books, Secret Promise, Tempting Mr. Jordan, and Treasure Her Heart, were also published by The Wild Rose Press. Check out her Bookshelf for more info. Marin lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio with her family. She is represented by Margaret Bail of Fuse Literary.

Springing Forward

The theme this month on Heart-Shaped Glasses is Spring, and somehow it seems very fitting that I should be posting my first blog entry now. Here in Northeast Ohio, Spring held off for an obscenely long time this year. Winter kept us in its icy grip for so long that most of us started to despair. But even in Cleveland, Winter doesn’t last forever, and Spring arrived at last.

As I wasIMG_0140 casting about for a suitable topic for this post, it occurred to me (after an inspiring poke from a friend) that I feel somewhat like Spring after a long, hard Winter. A bit ragged, squidgy ‘round the edges, covered with muddy paw prints. (Okay, I’m not really sure how the paw prints fit into the analogy, but it’s been raining for two days and I have two big dogs, so paw prints are on my mind. And the floor.)

But underneath the mess, there is growth, renewal, and hope. Walking through my neighborhood I see trees beginning to fill with leaves, rose bushes sending up tender new shoots beneath last year’s hard brown stems, babies in strollers, puppies on leashes. Everything old is new again, and full of possibiSpring robinslity.

My writing is feeling new again too, or at least it has finished hibernating. I am finally completing edits for my last book (even if I have to chain myself to my chair). I started a new book. I joined a fabulous critique group, and now a new blog. I am spending more time on me, and my writing. This is my year; I can feel it. (If I say it here, that will make it happen, right?)

I look forward to sharing the journey with you, muddy paws and all.

Easter dogs

 

About Marin McGinnis

Marin McGinnis has been a voracious reader ever since she could make sense of words on the page, but she came fairly late to writing. She dabbled with a mystery in her 20s, but didn’t start writing in earnest until after she discovered historical romance a decade or so later. While her very first manuscript will forever languish under the bed, the next one, Stirring Up the Viscount, won two contests in 2013 and was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2015. Her next three books, Secret Promise, Tempting Mr. Jordan, and Treasure Her Heart, were also published by The Wild Rose Press. Check out her Bookshelf for more info. Marin lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio with her family. She is represented by Margaret Bail of Fuse Literary.

  • 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.