Saturday, July 6, 2013

WOMEN'S FICTION, ROMANCE & SEX ON THE BEACH: Summer Reading Suggestions... With A Twist #1


I have spent time picking up shells on the shore with my kids lately...frigid water and cloudy sky most of the time. Loved it! Ah, the wonders a few days at the beach can do for the human spirit! Waves crushing relentlessly, lulling my senses, soothing my soul...the ocean truly is a magical place. Even a motherload of dirty laundry looks less threatening after some 'beach relaxation'. But if sandy beaches, ocean breeze and blue green waters are not within your reach, and your busy mind and overstimulated senses are begging for an escapist outlet, treat yourself to a sultry 'summer book therapy'...with a twist.

On The Island: A Novel by Tracey Garvis-Graves
Paperback, 329 pages
Published October 11, 2011
Genre: Romance, contemporary novel, women's fiction, chick lit, new adult

"When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day. T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends. Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man." (Goodreads)

Uncharted: An On The Island Novella by Tracey Garvis-Graves
ebook, 160 pages
Published July 2, 2013 by Penguin
Genre: Romance, contemporary romance, novella, women's fiction, chick lit

"When twenty-three-year-old dot-com millionaire Owen Sparks walked away from his charmed life, he had one goal in mind: get as far away as possible from the people who resented his success, or had their hand out for a piece of it. A remote uncharted island halfway around the world seemed like a perfectly logical place to get away from it all. Calia Reed wasn't part of Owen's plans. The beautiful British girl - on holiday in the Maldives with her brother, James - made Owen wonder if getting away from it all might be a lot more enjoyable with a carefree girl who didn't know anything about the life he left behind. But Owen had no idea how much his carefully detailed plans would go awry. Nor did he realize that a decision he made would have such a catastrophic effect on two passengers who boarded a plane in Chicago. And when Owen shows up at Anna and T.J.'s door with an incredible story to tell, everyone involved will learn just how much their lives are intertwined." (Goodreads

The Ties That Bind by Jaci Burton
ebook, 102 pages
Published November 6, 2012 by Penguin  
Genre: romance, contemporary romance, novella, erotica, women's fiction, chick lit

"Sixteen years is a long time to carry a torch for an ex-husband, but Lisa has been through a lot with Rick, including a rocky marriage, a divorce, raising a daughter together, and developing a solid friendship with him in the wake of it all. But she has to admit—to this day, no other man has ever been able to replace him in her fantasies. Lisa’s not alone in her desires. Rick has not only wanted to reignite the flame that he and Lisa once had together, but maybe even throw a few new kinks into the fire. On a tropical island getaway, they plan to test the waters—which means risking a hard won friendship for something more. For something wild. For something that could totally be worth the risk." (Goodreads)

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published May 30, 2013 by Putnam Adult 
Genre: romance, historical fiction, women's fiction, chick lit

"Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview. Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancĂ©, now recently married—an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations. Budgie’s arrival to restore her family’s old house puts her once more in the center of the community’s social scene, and she insinuates herself back into Lily's friendship with an overpowering talent for seduction...and an alluring acquaintance from their college days, Yankees pitcher Graham Pendleton. But the ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations. Under the scorching summer sun, the unexpected truth of Budgie and Nick’s marriage bubbles to the surface, and as a cataclysmic hurricane barrels unseen up the Atlantic and into New England, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional cyclone of their own, which will change their worlds forever." (Goodreads)

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 25, 2013 by Reagan Arthur Books
Genre: women's fiction, chick lit, romance, contemporary novel

"A summer wedding stirs up trouble on both sides of the family in this new novel from bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand. The Carmichaels and Grahams have gathered on Nantucket for a wedding. Plans are being made according to the wishes of the bride's late mother, who left behind The Notebook: specific instructions for every detail of her youngest daughter's future nuptials. Everything should be falling into place for the beautiful event--but in reality, things are far from perfect. While the couple-to-be are quite happy, their loved ones find their own lives crumbling. In the days leading up to the wedding, love will be questioned, scandals will arise, and hearts will be broken and healed. Elin Hilderbrand takes readers on a touching journey in BEAUTIFUL DAY--into the heart of marriage, what it means to be faithful, and how we choose to honor our commitments." (Goodreads)

Crazy Little Things by Tracy Brogan
Paperback, 333 pages
Published October 23, 2013 by Montlake Romance
Genre: romance, contemporary novel, women's fiction, chick lit, humor

"Sadie Turner can organize just about anything — except her own life. When her cheating spouse topples Sadie’s impeccably tidy world, she packs up her kids for a summer vacation at her aunt’s lake house, hoping to relax, reboot, and formulate a new plan — one that does not include men. Any men. But eccentric Aunt Dody has other plans; she’s determined to see Sadie have a little fun—with Desmond, the sexy new neighbor. Tall, tanned, muscular—and even great with her kids, Desmond is Sadie’s worst nightmare. He must have a flaw—he’s a man, after all—so Sadie vows to keep her distance. But as summer blazes on, their attraction ignites, and the life Sadie is trying so hard to simplify only gets more complicated. But maybe a little chaos is just what she needs to get her future, and her dreams of love, back in order." (Goodreads)

Time Flies by Claire Cook
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 11, 2013 by Touchstone
Genre: women's fiction, chick lit, contemporary novel

"Years ago, Melanie followed her husband, Kurt, from the New England beach town where their two young sons were thriving to the suburbs of Atlanta. She’s carved out a life as a successful metal sculptor, but when Kurt leaves her for another woman, having the tools to cut up their marriage bed is small consolation. She’s old enough to know that high school reunions are often a big disappointment, but when her best friend makes her buy a ticket and an old flame gets in touch to see whether she’ll be going, she fantasizes that returning to her past might help her find her future…until her driving phobia resurfaces and threatens to hold her back from the adventure of a lifetime. Time Flies is an epic road trip filled with fun, heartbreak, and friendship, and explores what it takes to conquer your worst fears…so you can start living your future." (Goodreads)

Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman
Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 9, 2013 by Touchstone
Genre:  historical/contemporary novel, romance, women's fiction, chick lit

"From the author of Wildflower Hill, this breathtaking novel travels more than a century between two love stories set in the Australian seaside town of Lighthouse Bay. In 1901, a ship sinks off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The only survivor is Isabella Winterbourne, who clutches a priceless gift meant for the Australian Parliament. This gift could be her ticket to a new life, free from the bonds of her husband and his overbearing family. But whom can she trust in Lighthouse Bay? Fast-forward to 2011: after losing her lover, Libby Slater leaves her life in Paris to return to her hometown of Lighthouse Bay, hoping to gain some perspective and grieve her recent loss. Libby also attempts to reconcile with her sister, Juliet, to whom she hasn’t spoken in twenty years. Libby did something so unforgivable, Juliet is unsure if she can ever trust her sister again. In these two adventurous love stories, both Isabella and Libby must learn that letting go of the past is the only way to move into the future. The answers they seek lie in Lighthouse Bay." (Goodreads)

Island Girls by Nancy Thayer
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 18, 2013 by Ballantine Books
Genre: women's fiction, chick lit, contemporary novel

"Charming ladies’ man Rory Randall dies with one last trick up his sleeve: His will includes a calculating clause mandating a summer-long reunion for his daughters, all from different marriages—that is, if they hope to inherit his posh Nantucket house. Relations among the three sisters are sour thanks to long-festering jealousies, resentments, and misunderstandings. Arden, a successful television host in Boston, hasn’t been back to the island since her teenage years, when accusations of serious misbehavior led to her banishment. College professor Meg hopes to use her summer to finish a literary biography and avoid an amorous colleague. And secretive Jenny, an IT specialist, faces troubling questions about her identity while longing for her sisters’ acceptance. To their surprise, the three young women find their newfound sisterhood easier to trust than the men who show up to complicate their lives. And if that weren’t problematic enough, their mothers descend on the island. When yet another visitor drops by the house with shocking news, the past comes screaming back with a vengeance. Having all the women from his life under his seaside roof—and overseeing the subsequent drama of that perfect storm—Rory Randall might just be enjoying a hearty laugh from above. (Goodreads)

Unwritten by Charles Martin
Hardcover, 336 pages 
Published May 7, 2013 by Center Street
Genre: contemporary novel, Christian fiction

"An actress running from her past finds escape with a man hiding from his future.
When someone wants to be lost, a home tucked among the Ten Thousand Islands off the Florida coast is a good place to live. A couple decent boats, and a deep knowledge of fishing and a man can get by without ever having to talk to another soul. It's a nice enough existence, until the one person who ties him to the world of the living, the reason he's still among them even if only on the fringes, asks him for help.
Father Steady Capri knows quite a bit about helping others. But he is afraid Katie Quinn's problems may be beyond his abilities. Katie is a world-famous actress with an all too familiar story. Fame seems to have driven her to self-destruct. Steady knows the true cause of her desire to end her life is buried too deeply for him to reach. But there is one person who still may be able to save her from herself.
He will show her an alternate escape, a way to write a new life. But Katie still must confront her past before she can find peace. Ultimately, he will need to leave his secluded home and sacrifice the serenity he's found to help her. From the Florida coast, they will travel to the French countryside where they will discover the unwritten story of both their pasts and their future." (Goodreads)


SEX ON THE BEACH RECIPE
This is a popular Sex On The Beach and what is most likely the original. Popular substitutes include using pineapple for the orange, or Midori & Chambord instead of schnapps. 

INGREDIENTS for 1 serving:

Add vodka and peach schnapps to a highball glass over ice. Fill with equal measures of cranberry juice and orange juice, and stir.

Read more: Sex on the Beach recipe http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink583.html#ixzz2YKfdLVZc



(Lady In Red by Elise Remender, courtesy of Shinn Fine Art Gallery)

 HAPPY SUMMER!




 

 


4 comments:

  1. Maryellen PallowJuly 7, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    Oh Mina! What a fabulous list and a fabulous post! I love this! Love it!

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  2. Thank you, Maryellen! So many beautiful books to choose from :)

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  3. Love your beach drinks!!!Im going to check them out some time!!! Looks delicious!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Irene! It was fun to pair them with the featured books :) I hope you will find the time to kick back and indulge. Happy summer!

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