Hola, Jolene here checking in from the Texas Hill Country.
I’m writing on the porch of a cabin that sits on the Fro River. The birds are chatter and the water is rushing over the rocks. The shade of old giant pecan trees just invites me to stay and hide from the world a little bit longer.
When I plan a writing retreat or vacation the one request I have is a balcony or porch that overlooks the water.
My soul is refreshed by the sounds of water, it doesn’t matter if it’s a lake, river or the waves of the ocean. As humans we are called to the water, it’s a life source. We are connected to water in the most basic way.
That’s what a good story does for me too. Which is probably why all my stories have water and giant trees with deep roots in them.
In my contemporaries for Love Inspired all the stories take place in Clear Water, Texas. The Frio River plays a part in these stories.
Texas Daddy (July paper release Aug 1 e release) has a heroine, Nikki Bergman which struggles to let go of the past and decisions she made. But in order to live out the future God has planned for her she must forgive herself and others. For one of the pivotal scenes I take the characters on a horseback ride across her family ranch, through a pecan grove and next to the river. I love this scene and the trees and water add so much to the subtext between Adrian (hero) and Nikki. The healing powers of water.
I’m not sure what it is about water. When we stay downtown San Antonio I want to see the water.
On the coast of Texas I will sit on the balcony and just write for hours. Walking along the creek in our hometown I’m recharged by the water. It just washes away the stress.
An incredible group of authors (Jessica Keller, Danica Favorite, Belle Calhoune, Leah Atwood and Kristen Ethridge) invited me to be part of an anthology last Christmas. With a new story I got to create a new setting, so I picked a lake this time. When we decided to do another for summer, I knew I wanted to go back to the lake and dig deeper into the family history.
Sweet Summer Nights is all about making those summer memories, so I just had to take them to a summer camp on the lake. A place they loved as children, but now his job is to close it and sell the land while she is trying to find a way to save it. Sunsets over the water and kisses at a bon fire are just is so romantic. It was a perfect setting for Alex Cortez and Sasha Saint Clair to reconnect and find God’s purpose for their lives.
The best part is you can get all six stories for .99 cents. Here are two more of my favorite picture from my walk.
Anyone that tries to guess where either of the photos were taken will be put into a drawing to when a free copy of the Sweet Summer Nights and an early paper back copy of my August release with LI: Texas Daddy. So enjoy!
Do you love water? Do you have a favorite place?
Jill Weatherholt says
When I need to reduce my stress level, the ocean is my go to place. Great photos, Jolene!
I love the sounds of water.
Nice blog post.
I am just finishing Sweet Summer Nights and enjoyed every story.
It’ s always a little startling when someone says they are reading your story. :) Thank you, so happy to hear you are enjoying them.
Hi Jolene, thanks for sharing your photos, they are beautiful. Texas looks like a picturesque state and the San Antonio river walk- wow!
I love water- though I am not a fantastic swimmer! Some of my favourite memories are of canyoning in the Blue Mountains, floating on a lilo after finishing the main canyon, or sitting in a kayak or boat watching dolphins playing in the ocean nearby.
I’m with you. I love the sound of water and watching it move, but not so much into getting in.
I think the water brings a sense of calm and relaxation. When I go to the beach I can easily get lost in La la land?. It makes you think clearly.
YES! It just clears the mind.
Hi Jolene! Lovely pictures. In SW Michigan, I live about a mile from the beautiful, sandy romantic shores of Lake Michigan. We have many Sweet Summer Nights walking the bluff while smelling the tantalizing aroma from Silver Beach Pizza and hearing children’s delightful screams at the Whirlpool Splash and Cannon Fountain or the Carousel and seeing the magnificent sunsets over the lake. Water indeed is refreshing to the soul. Looking forward to reading Sweet Summer Nights.
That sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing
Narelle Atkins says
Hi Jolene, I live near a lake in Australia and I enjoy the tranquility of walking around it. The water is calming, even on chilly days as we head into winter. Enjoy your summer :)
I love being at the beach in fall – fewer people and it’s just so perfect. A little chill in the air. I would love to visit Australia…some of my favorite people are from there. :)
Valerie Comer says
I’m with you in our love of water. Whether its a tumbling creek, a placid lake, a thundering waterfall, or the pounding surf, I love it all! We’ll be seeing a new part (to us) of the British Columbia coast in a few weeks at Bella Coola, which is on a long fjord. It won’t be the same as the expansive view I enjoy on Vancouver Island, which I find as therapeutic as the sounds, but I’m looking forward to it all the same!
I love seeing new places. I’m sure you will enjoy it!
Merrillee Whren says
Lovely photos. The sound of running water is refreshing. I guess that’s why people put fountains in their yards.
We are drawn to water – if you think about it having a fish tank is very strange, but people find the bubbling water and swimming fish soothing.
Hi Jolene, I really enjoyed reading Sweet Summer Nights and Mistletoe Memories–those were great collections. I’ve recently finished Sweet Summer Nights and it was quite a pleasant surprise to find Alex and Sasha’s story after having read a bit about them in Xavier and Bella’s story.
I also really enjoy being by the water and I can’t think about a more relaxing place to write than the ones from your pictures (lovely pictures). I was born in a city named Porto Alegre (Happy Harbor) and one of my favorite memories from college was going to the riverbank with my friends from church to watch the sun set on Sunday afternoons (it takes a long time since it’s south of the Tropic of Capricorn).
I do appreciate your pictures from Frio river as they make me imagine the scenes from Cortez camp, even the last one, “peaceful water,” though you haven’t disclosed the location.
Thank you so much Priscila. I had never planned to write Alex’s story, but he thought if his twin got a book so should her best friend. LOL The brothers and cousins are doing a great deal of talking to. I hope to get to do more Cortez stories.
I really dislike most of them after Alex’s story. I think you’ll have a lot o redeeming stories to write.
LOL Yes..alot of rotten apples in this group. But a few seemed ready to find redemption. They might be tougher to write. But I’m a sucker for a bad boy turned good. I love redemption stories. :)
Linda Hogue says
I so totally relate to you Jolene, I love the water weather its rivers, lakes, streams, or the ocean I am at peace. I particularly l love being in the mountains surrounded by pine trees by the water.
The mountains have their own peace – combine that with a lake or river and total bliss.
Margaret Nelson says
I enjoy the beach, or a lake, or a stream too! We live near the Pacific Ocean, and I love going down to watch sunsets over the water! I can’t guess where your pictures were taken, but they are lovely!
Thank you so much Margaret. Yes something about the sun settling down over the ocean is just amazing.
Gail Estes Hollingsworth says
I love water, especially the ocean. We live in West Alabama about five hours from Gulf shores. I love to go whenever we get the chance. So relaxing! If I can sit outside our RV with a cup of coffee and see water I am in my happy place. We camp but my elderly mom just had to move in with us for safety reasons so we won’t be going anytime soon. ?
Is your picture with the boats close to the Texas coastline? They are all beautiful!
That would be a good guess – but I threw in a west coast picture. I took it on a walk while at RWA
Laura Conner Kestner says
Love your photos, Jolene! I, too, am drawn to water, and love to visit the beach (Galveston, Corpus Christi or Padre) every chance I get. Which is not often enough. I don’t swim, though, I just enjoy the sights and sounds. I also love the River Walk (and the great food), and included it as the destination for my hero and heroine’s first date. Thanks for a fun post.
What the title of the book? Would love to read a SA setting. :)
Water is God’s peace for me. I love visiting Presque Isle in Erie when I drive back to my hometown. Great post!
That is a great way to say it. Thank you
Julianne Archer says
I find water refreshing, whether listening to it, watching it, getting in it or getting on it. We live about 45 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and have a camp on a small lake. We are very blessed! My favorite place would probably be Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park.
Thunder Hole sounds amazing. I have a goal to visit all national parks.
I spent my summers by a lake and I loved to hear the waves hitting the shore at night. It was very calming. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.
Jessica B. says
I love going to the beach. I like being able to sit and listen to the waves and walk barefoot on the the sand, especially. Was the sailboat picture taken near Marina Del Rey, CA?
It is CA – San Diego. :) I love walking on the beach early in the morning before all the crowds arrive.