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.

#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. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

New Directions and Slow Starts

Hi, my name is Beth, and I spent 2018 figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

And guess what?

I don’t think I’ll ever have an answer. My life is ever-changing. It flows like a river, taking me one way until a boulder or something shifts me the other way. But then, slowly I change the boulder and my direction shifts again. You know what? Life isn’t about getting to the end! Michelle Obama said it in her book. The most useless question is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” as if at some point you become something and that’s the end.

This year, I’m adding editor to my journey. I love writing. I love my stories. I even love the process of publishing. And then once I week, I get to read other people’s work as I critique for the lovely ladies on this blog. The satisfaction in that is more fulfilling. I don’t know why. But, I think it’s time to take that feeling to the next level. So, I opened the doors to Love Junkie Editing. Yes, it’s a cute, goofy name…for a professional.

Don’t let that fool you.

I’m all business when it comes to the written word. Same as I’ve applied my work ethics to my own career in the last 16 years, I’ll apply with my clients’ careers.

It’s going to be a slow start, and I don’t mind that. Mostly because it’s a nervewracking endeavor! I want to do well. I have lots to learn. I need to get some projects under my belt and figure out how different being on the editor side of the desk will be. But I’m also looking forward to it…

The next time you have a manuscript you need copy or line edited, I hope you do your research and check me out. 🙂

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.

Romancing His Rival #PreOrder #Giveaway

Hey, favorite readers!

Romancing His Rival is almost here!

In celebration, I’m hosting an exciting


1 Audio CD of Bargaining with the Boss (book 1)
1 Audio CD Catch Him if You Can (book 2)

First: Pre-Order your copy of
Romancing His Rival (book 3)
(Pre-Order Links below)
Then, CLICK HERE to enter to win!


If you already pre-ordered, enter now! No purchase necessary to win. 

The winner will be announced here on my personal blog on 2/11.

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. Check out her latest sweet romance: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN

  • 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.