Smart Girls Read Romance

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summertime & Easy Living by Joan Reeves

I love that old song “Summertime” because it reminds me of the summers I experienced as a child.

The livin' seemed easy. Fish jumped. The cotton was high.

The heat was a palpable thing because no one had air conditioning back then. We had a huge attic fan that pulled in the cool night air, making the curtains my mother made billow like the sails on a tall ship.

That bluesy melody plays in my head as I write this, and it makes me think about all the things I loved about those long ago summers when the living did seem easier or less complicated than life today.

Bygone Years

Since we had no air conditioning, summer evenings before bedtime were spent on the porch and out in the yard. My brothers and I and all the neighborhood kids chased lightning bugs, or fireflies if that’s how you know those little insects that could make a Mason jar glow like a lantern if you caught enough of them. If it wasn’t quite dark yet, most of us played baseball. We never seemed to tire of baseball.

The porch swing creaked as it swayed back and forth, and the rocking chairs added their subtle groan of wood against wood. The quiet voices of the adults on the porch were about the day's events and the talk gleaned from the grapevine that always seems to wind through every small town and rural community.

The Evening Calm

Evenings were peaceful and a time to relax after a long day. I think people in today’s world have lost that end of the day winding down. Instead of talking quietly, as a family, about the day, we seek relaxation in front of a television set, computer screen, or video game. It’s just not the same.

In fact, a lot of scientific studies have been done that say those modern ways to relax actually interfere with sleep rather than make it restful. In a society where sleep deprivation is rampant, maybe we should change the way we unwind in the evenings?

Small Town and Rural America

The habit of enjoying the quiet calm of evening still lives in small towns and rural America. I see it whenever I visit my brother on his farm or talk with friends who live in the small towns near our country house. That small town environment is what I often write about in my romance novels.

Many of my books are set during the summer. In my romantic suspense, Heat Lightning, I touch on this a little and a lot on the phenomenon of heat lightning. Tessa and David are secluded at a lake house in West Texas. When their WiFi goes out, a neighboring rancher offers his mobile device for David to use.

That’s what people in ranch country do. If someone has a need, his neighbors are willing to help.

Later when there’s trouble at the lake house, not only does the county Sheriff show up, but also the neighboring ranchers. Farm and ranch folk are used to helping each other out.

Weather Phenomenon

The title for my romantic suspense novella was a no-brainer for me because the phrase heat lightning has always had a certain cachet for me. Perhaps because I remember watching it often in the summer night sky. I can still sit on the porch at our country house and witness   heat lightning, which happens when lightning can be seen but no thunder is heard.

On Sale Until June 24

This week Heat Lightning is on sale for only 99 cents. You can find it at: Amazon Kindle * iBooks * Kobo * Nook * Smashwords.

I wish you a summer full of good books, good times, and easy living! And maybe an occasional instance of heat lightning.

Post Script

NY Times and USA Today bestselling romance author Joan Reeves lives her happily ever after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Her books, available as ebooks and audiobooks, all have the underlying theme that is her motto: It’s never too late to live happily ever after.

Readers, sign up for Joan’s email list/newsletter, WordPlay. Writers, sign up for Writing Hacks, Joan's free newsletter for writers with tips about the art, craft, and business of writing.

Connect with Joan Online: Blog * Facebook * Google+ * Twitter * YouTube, and she'll happily reciprocate.

1 comment:

  1. I remember those lazy summer evenings. The attic fan roared like a jet plane, but it kept us cool enough to sleep. After a day playing outdoors (and catching lightning bugs at dusk), we slept through thunderstorms and hailstorms too. Simpler times.

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