Do you smile when you look through old photographs of places you have been on your vacations and remember the sights and sounds?
It seems that our world is now divided into before versus during the pandemic. We are not out of the woods yet, and many people are not traveling outside their own comfort zones or their country. In some countries, lockdowns and mandates are still in place. Even if you go to vacation spots, restaurants and shops might be closed.
I do love to travel, both in and out of the country. However, as the global pandemic lingers, it’s impossible for me to go overseas at this time. Staycations are all I can do. How are you spending your vacations these days as we weather the situation worldwide? Are you staying at home or traveling within your own country? Or is your country or region still under lockdown?
Before the pandemic, I traveled quite a bit. In 2018, my family and I went to seven countries in two months for my son’s senior-year adventure. I’m glad we did it then.
In my story world, I love to mention places I have been, things I’ve seen and experienced outside the USA, where I live and write my books. The first three novels in my Vacation Sweethearts series focus on International romances.
That’s on my mind today. But first, let me mention the triple giveaways.
Giveaway: You don’t have to answer all three questions. I’ll enter the names into a drawing to win an ebook from my Vacation Sweethearts collection. The winner gets to choose which ebook from Books 1-4. The giveaway ends on Monday, September 21, 2021.
An American Art Teacher in the Bahamas:
Have you visited the Bahamas? The weather is perpetually warm there, and I love the daily sunshine. I don’t burn easily, but I would still wear hats and put on sunblock, nonetheless. When I think of the Bahamas, I think of bright summer sunlight. I love Nassau, with its mix of old British colonial architecture and busy marketplaces selling bright fabric and local products that I can only find in bazaars.
Into this setting, I placed Smile for Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 1). American potter Tina MacFarland finds herself teaching art in a summer camp run by the Chapel by the Sea church in Nassau. This is the second time she’s been back in the Bahamas, and the second time she has to put up with her nemesis, Bahamian assistant headmaster (principal) Byron Moss. The school is super conservative and doesn’t allow workplace romance, but Byron is in love with Tina.
Giveaway Question: What is a “royal poinciana”? If you don’t know that, what is the most exotic plant you’ve personally come across? If you’re not familiar with unusual plants, what about exotic fruits that you might find in a grocery store near you?
An Irish Triple Amputee in the Great Smoky Mountains:
What about the mountains? Most of my readers live in the USA, and I enjoyed my visit to the Great Smoky Mountains. What if a hunky Irish former soldier visits the mountains? That’s a bit ordinary, isn’t it? The Smokies get tourists all the time. So what if this ex-soldier is now on a secret mission and is running away from his enemies? Ah, that makes it more interesting to me. And what if he has a personal challenge of being not just an amputee, but a triple amputee?
From Ireland to Tennessee, Keenan has traveled far. In the Smokies, our Irish hero hides from his pursuers, and meets American girl Phoebe, who also has secrets of her own. Reach for Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 2) is primarily a romance, but with a side dish of suspense. You don’t have to be a suspense fan to read this novel, which has a happy ending, as does all my romantic stories.
My novel is set in the fall (autumn) season. I love writing about fall weather. However, falling leaves can make walking on riverbanks slippery, especially after a rain. In Reach for Me, our hero Keenan is looking for Phoebe, who has gone for a walk alone. That’s not something advisable in the mountains. It’s safer to have a walking buddy, don’t you think?
Giveaway Question: Do you like to walk in the woods in the fall? What about camping out in the mountains among the fall foliage? What do you like to do in the fall season?
A French ex-Wife in Alaska:
The third novel in my Vacation Sweethearts series takes us to Alaska. The last two ocean cruises we took in Alaska were for seven days each, and I think that’s a good span of time to be cruising along the Alaskan and Canadian coastlines. We went in the summer time, when it was warmest in Alaska. But for this tropical girl, Alaska is cold in July, so cold that I wore a goose down jacket when we went outside.
When I travel, I often wonder about the people all around me, about what sort of lives they live. In my romantic women’s fiction, Wait for Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 3), American billionaire Logan and French translator Marie have been divorced for several years. Logan has full custody of their son, a five-year-old who wants his parents to take him on a summer cruise to Alaska. I was imagining what it would be like for a divorced couple to come together for a family vacation. Will they be able to pull it off? Why didn’t Marie get custody of their son and take him home to France with her? As the story unfolds, I reveal that mystery.
Giveaway Question: Have you been on a cruise? What type of cruise is it? Where did you go? How did you enjoy it?
Well, I hope our mini virtual travel is fun for you if you’re not able to travel much these days. I am writing more travel romances in this series, and I hope we will have a great time visiting more places in the world.
Don’t forget to answer at least one question if you’d like to participate in the giveaway drawing. The winner gets to choose one book from the published ebooks in my Vacation Sweethearts collection.
Here’s to armchair traveling. Stay safe and have fun!