Home or Away?

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Someone recently asked me—if I could go anywhere this summer, where would I like to go? I answered—can I stay at home, please?

But then, I’m writing this sitting in the shade of an almond tree on a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. It’s the middle of a Spanish summer, it’s hot, and I love it!

Summer is my favorite time of year.

I come from the north of England. Growing up, I yearned for the sun, and when I started reading romances in my early teens, I was always drawn to the ones with hot, sultry settings and with tall, dark, handsome heroes; Greeks, Italians, Spaniard’s, all hot-blooded and spectacularly rich (owning their own island always helps). I dreamed of Spanish summers and of one day lying on a sun-kissed Mediterranean beach with a stunningly gorgeous, very-nearly-naked hero of my own. He’d be all golden skin and rippling muscles, and one look from his dark eyes would melt me into a puddle in the sand.

So, at eighteen I headed south in search of a real summer.

I never found my Mediterranean hero, but I did find a lovely English guy instead. We spent a lot of time travelling when I was younger but when it came to settling down, it was hardly surprising that I ended up not far from the Mediterranean. In fact, I now live on a farm in the mountains of Southern Spain, which looks down onto the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s a remote area of mountains and steep rugged gorges, where mules still plough the small vineyards, and mains electricity is something they have in the towns. We have no near neighbors and the nearest shop is nearly an hour away. I share the farm with my husband, my horse, two goats, four dogs, three cats, a three-legged Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, and a handful of chickens (so it’s just as well we like staying at home).

I love the area, the people, the food, the fiestas, and the summers…

It’s also a fabulously inspiring place and it’s not unsurprising that I now find a few of those smoldering heroes slipping into my own work.
Even in my science fiction romance, Break Out, which takes place over a thousand years in the future, and in a distant solar system, the hero, Ricardo Sanchez, comes from Spain. And he’s hot—just like the summers here.

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So where would you spend your ideal summer…home or somewhere more exotic? And who would you spend it with? Let me know and all comments will be entered into a draw to win a $5 gift card and an ecopy of my soon to be released contemporary romance, Losing Control.

About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Summer?! Really?

summer2For the first time in many, many years I am working a full-time job during the summer months.  I have been fortunate up until now to have been able to spend the time at home with my kiddos while enjoying the activities that go along with the heat and lack of a schedule.  Luckily, not sure if it can be considered luck or not, I am off work for the rest of this week so I can deal with storm damage issues.  And yes, the little man and I are trying to squeeze in a summer activity or two while I’m home.  Thankfully my new job has a great benefit package but with being a new employee…I will have to wait quite awhile before I can actually take time off for pleasure.  No vacation for us this year.

So what am I missing?  To be honest…nothing I can’t actually do after work or on the weekends.  I do miss being able to shop for groceries without dealing with being run over by wild weekend crowds.  And yes, I do miss being able to sleep in and wear my jammies all day.  I miss not being able to get lost in my current work-in-progress and write when inspiration strikes.  By the time I get home from work I’m scrambling to make dinner and/or do any cleaning or activities we have scheduled.  I am lucky though to have a cowboy who isn’t scared to wash a dish, or two, and help with whatever it is I’m trying to cram in before bedtime.

Long story made short?  Summer?!  The only difference for me now is that it’s hot.  Really, REALLY hot.  And we grill outside more to keep from heating up the house with the use of the stove or oven.  Oh…and swim.  *deep sigh*  Which means more work with cleaning the pool.  Is there anyone else out there sharing my misery?! I won’t try to show my jealousy (too much) if you tell me about the wonderful family vacation you have planned.  😉  Enjoy your summer!  I’m ready for fall and FOOTBALL!!

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.

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