Those first days of summer vacation

For those in the U.S. today is Memorial Day, a time reserved for honoring all the men and women who passed away in military service. Parades, special ceremonies and cemetery decorations are often scheduled as a way to show our respect and to memorialize those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect and preserve our freedom and our nation.

For many, this is also the final day of a three-day weekend and the unofficial first day of the summer vacation season.

This month we’ve been talking about firsts here at Heart-Shaped Glasses—everything from first kisses and dates to first adventures.
As for me, I’m eager to hear all about your plans for the first days and weeks of summer vacation.

After a particularly long winter, I’m excited to finally see the sun and feel these warmer temperatures. The school year has ended so we’re no longer helping the little ones study for final exams or state standardized tests. The smells of freshly cut grass and charcoal grills and grilling meat wafts through the air. Everyone seems to be gardening, so beautiful bushes and flowers are blooming everywhere and fresh vegetable plants are just starting to peek from the red earth.

We’re making plans to visit family and friends we haven’t seen in a while and a trip to the coast to swim in the ocean and build sandcastles isn’t out of the question.

These first few weeks of summer vacation are stress-free and full of promise and excitement as we make plans for our well-deserved and long-awaited summer vacation.
So what are some of your suggestions? How do you and your loved ones spend your summer vacation?

About Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn is an award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author who's always dreamed of being a writer. Her writing career began in elementary school when she wrote her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy contemporary romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and daughter, and is known for commemorating milestones with silver jewelry, tattoos and/or ice cream.

First Kiss: Bliss or Miss?

Hi, all! Jennifer here. I’m so happy thrilled to introduce fellow Entangled Pub author Robin Bielman as our guest blogger today!

Robin has a new Bliss romance out called Kissing the Maid of Honor, so be sure to check it out as well as the bottom of this post to see her fun giveaway that will be going on next week!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi everyone! I am so honored and delighted to be the first guest on Through Heart Shaped Glasses! Thanks so much to Jennifer and all the HSG gals for having me here today.

First Kiss: Bliss or Miss?

Since this is a month of firsts, I thought I’d talk about The First Kiss. That moment when you lean in, ready to lock lips with that special someone for the very first time ever. Your heart is racing, your stomach is quivering, your head is spinning. You make contact and then one of two things happens: you don’t ever want to stop or you can’t stop quickly enough.

My first kiss was a big ‘ol miss.  I’d been crushing on this boy forever. He was a black belt and one of the junior instructors at my younger brother’s karate studio. I’d go all the time to watch my brother just so I could secretly stare at this too-cute boy. He was sixteen and so cool, and I was fourteen and well, not. When he called me and asked me out, I thought I’d die. (This was also my very first date, and I had no idea he’d even noticed me.) He took me to the movies and held my hand the whole time. It was nice. It was sweet. On the drive back to my house, I started to get nervous, though. I wanted to kiss him. I really wanted to kiss him. But I was worried I’d do it all wrong.

Well, he walked me to my front door and I didn’t have time to get nervous because he proceeded to immediately shove his tongue down my throat. There was nothing romantic about it. Nothing sweet. The wet, sloppy assault had me reaching for the door handle and hurrying inside. Gross! I thought. And my image of this boy was forever ruined.

We never went out again. I ditched the karate studio for tennis and homework.

In my just-released novel, KISSING THE MAID OF HONOR, a first kiss plays an important role in the story. A fun role because it stirs up conflict. And desire. Wishes, too. Do I wish my first kiss had been bliss? Hmm… I’m not sure. I mean everything happens for a reason, right? I will say future kisses were much, much better.

What about you? Was your first kiss Bliss or Miss?

 

 

*Special note: Next week my publishing sister, Jennifer Shirk, and I are having some fun with our Bliss releases from Entangled Publishing. We’re hosting a Bliss Kiss War in honor of her book, KISSING KENDALL, and my book, KISSING THE MAID OF HONOR. We’ll be blogging, Facebooking, and giving away a $20 GC! We hope you’ll check it out!*

 

 

About KISSING THE MAID OF HONORKissingTheMaidofHonor_cover5 copy

Sela Sullivan is resolved to be the best maid of honor ever, even if it means tolerating the best man. Insufferable, too-handsome Luke Watters is not only the guy who humiliated her at a kissing booth in high school, but he also happens to be her best friend’s older brother. Positive he’s the same arrogant jock, Sela vows to focus on her duties and steer clear of the frustrating—and frustratingly tempting—Luke.

 

As a world-renowned extreme-sports photographer, Luke is used to undertaking life-risking adventures. But risking his heart for the beautiful Sela Sullivan, who clearly still hates him for his rejection all those years ago? He didn’t see that coming. Sela inspires a passion he’s never known, and the more time they spend together, the more he craves her. But can he prove to the maid of honor he’s become a man of honor?

BUY LINKS:

Amazon:

Barnes & Noble:

iTunes:

Kobo:

 

Robin in velvet pastel haze 620About Robin Bielman… Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and crazy-cute mini Labradoodle, Harry Dresden. When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also loves to run, hike, and dip her toes in the ocean. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real.

She is also the author of Worth the Risk and Yours At Midnight from Entangled’s Ever After line. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her online:

Website/Blog: http://robinbielman.com

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/RobinBielman

Facebook: http://facebook.com/robinbielman or http://facebook.com/robinbielmanwriter

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/robinbielman

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a 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. Check out her upcoming sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH releasing December 5, 2016.

Storytelling to Take Your Breath Away

storytellingAs I’m sure you know by now, this month our theme is “firsts”. I wanted to write about the first romance novel that made me say, “I want to do that!”

Naturally, there have been many novels since. Many, many. I often think about a book I loved after I read it to examine what about it touched me. Because those are the things I want to do.

That first book, though. It wasn’t a thoughtful examination. I didn’t know a thing about craft. I knew when I couldn’t put a book down. This particular book–Faking It by Jennifer Crusie–not only touched me, it also made me excited about storytelling.

There are spoilers from here on out, so fair warning.

Throughout the book, Matilda has difficulty achieving a climactic moment when she and Davy get intimate. (Don’t you love the classy way I phrased that? Don’t get used to it.) But, also throughout the book, Matilda is struggling very much to not be herself. She’s not comfortable in her own skin, she’s not comfortable with what her father convinced her to do (that was illegal, fraudulent, and,to her, immoral). And because she did this thing, she has to hide the thing she is most passionate about: her painting.

So, in the end, when Davy (who is a former con artist) sees the real Matilda (who did a bad thing) he likes it. And Matilda likes being Matilda. And bad. And not hiding what she is most passionate about.

When this happens, Matilda is able to become quite passionate. And finish up in an explosively hot way. (I told you not to get used to it.)

When I read that, after I finished fanning myself, I could see what Jennifer Crusie had done. She’d given us a physical, concrete way to see how deeply Matilda’s feelings were affecting her. And when Matilda resolved those issues? Wow, did we know.

Have any stories touched you in a memorable way?

EDIT: My mistake is your gain! I published this post with the wrong title and character names (but right plot, lol). To apologize for my error, I’m giving away a copy of Faking It on Kindle. I’ll chose from comments up until midnight tonight and post the winner in the comments tomorrow.

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.

  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

    The first two books in the Cupid's Cafe series release in June by Lori Sizemore and Landra Graf *** Lori Sizemore's Infamous 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, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available.