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See our review of this book here.
Elia Winters on the Road: Top Five Vacation Destinations
Coming off a lovely summer vacation and going into a school year, I can’t help wishing for another vacation. Am I spoiled? Yes, absolutely. I’m completely spoiled. Despite this admission, I want to share with you my top five favorite vacation destinations… in no particular order. Spoiler alert: I talk a lot about food.
North Conway, NH. I’ve been going to North Conway since back in college when I was a new skier. I used to ski at the area mountains: Cranmore, Black, Cannon, Wildcat, and Bretton Woods, and do night snow tubing at Cranmore. Since those first days, I’ve started going to North Conway in other seasons as well: hiking Mt. Washington in the summer (I did it once, at least), checking out foliage in the fall, sneaking away for spring adventures in April. I stay at The 1785 Inn, a magnificent B&B with the best bacon anywhere, and eat at places like the Moat Mountain Brew Pub and Beef & Ski.
Gloucester, MA. I went to Gloucester for the first time this past summer, but it’s easily made the top five, and I’ll be back again soon. While I lived most of my life in Massachusetts, I never spent much time on the North Shore. Gloucester has everything I love about life on the water without the tourist craziness of the Cape. Granted, it’s still touristy, but its status as a working fishing town keeps the tourist wildness at bay. Hammond Castle is a must see, with its quirky mishmash architecture and eccentricities. The town of Rockport is wall-to-wall shops and eateries, easy to while away an entire day. It’s practically worth a trip out to Gloucester just for the bread at Virgilio’s Italian Bakery, and I had sushi and a life-alteringly good burger at Minglewood Tavern.
Old Quebec, Canada. I first went to Quebec on a skiing adventure, but when I returned, it was for sightseeing and eating. Eating is a big trend in all my vacations because food. The husband and I tend to go to Old Quebec in the winter, which is a little bit crazy, but we wear lots of layers. Quebec’s winter carnival is a wild ride of snow sculptures and street tobogganing, and we warm up by drinking some delightful ice wine and maple whiskey. We enjoy restaurants like Le Billig Creperie, La Grolla fondue, and Le Trois Becs sandwich shop. When we’re feeling adventurous, we head out to Valcartier for some death-defying snow tubing. It’s a rollicking good time.
Bermuda. Okay, I’ve only been here once, but it was beautiful enough to make the top five list. Our honeymoon was a cruise to Bermuda on Norwegian Cruise Lines, and it was a delightful week of wonderful food and beautiful sights. We visited the famous Swizzle Inn for its namesake Rum Swizzles and some fun souvenirs. I loved the gorgeous Crystal Caves, an underground cave network filled with breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites. Despite spending a few days there, I never made it to the famous pink sand beaches! This means a return trip is in order.
Provincetown, MA. Good old P-town. I chaperone the senior class trip every year, and even though it seems a little odd, we take the kids out to P-town and camp at the Dunes Edge Campground. As such, I’m a little nostalgic for this wacky town on the farthest edge of Massachusetts. Known for its out and proud LGBTQ+ population, there’s lots of adult fun to be seen “after dark” in the summer months – long after our students have gone back home – but it’s got lots to see for all ages. The pizza at Spiritus is fresh-baked and delicious, and following that up with a gelato at the Purple Feather is pretty much the best thing ever. I never go without picking up a new game at Puzzle Me This, an incredible game store. The beaches are beautiful and wild with dunes and grasses, and we always get a bonfire permit to celebrate the beginning of summer. No trip is complete without stopping at the Portuguese Bakery for a malasada and some delicious sweets for the road.
I’ve had so much fun typing this post, but now I’m feeling the pull of wanderlust that threatens to drag me off on another adventure. I might just have to set a book in one of these places until I get to return.
What about you, readers? Have you ever been to any of these places I’ve linked? Where are your favorite vacation destinations?
A war orphan, Astrid Bailey is content living her adult life alone, working as a contract machinist. Her real passion, though, is inventing felicitation devices that promote women’s sexual empowerment and help them find pleasure independent of a man.
The upcoming World’s Fair, with its substantial cash prize, is an opportunity to open the shop she’s always imagined and hopefully solve her financial woes. Except the committee has denied her entry unless she obtains a “sponsor”. Astrid suspects they mean “male”.
Eli Rutledge, noted watchmaker, knows entering the fair will solidify his reputation as an innovator —but he’s fresh out of ideas. Until Astrid approaches him with her outrageous product line. With no other options, though, he agrees to lend her his good name.
As construction heats up, so does their chemistry—and the complications. Astrid is unaccustomed to asking for help, much less sharing credit. And Eli fights an attraction that could spell professional disaster. As the Fair date approaches, Astrid and Eli must decide how far they’ll go. For the business…and for each other.
Product Warnings Contains period-appropriate graphic language, highly inappropriate amounts of M/F and F/F sex, and copious amounts of *ahem* product testing. May *ahem again* “spark” an online shopping binge for *cough* toys. Of the adult variety.
Enjoy an excerpt:
When she met his eyes again, her gaze was resolute. “Mr. Rutledge, I don’t mean to give the wrong impression. It’s very kind of you to come meet with us, when I’m sure there are other things you could be doing.” Astrid put her shoulders back slightly, straightening. “But whether you realize it or not, you’re the very reason we women need groups like this.” With a wave of her hand, she gestured to the other ladies gathered in the room. “You have nothing in common with us. You inherited a successful business from your father, who was already a prominent businessman, and your greatest achievement is to not yet have run it into the ground. Other people have given you everything you’ve ever needed. As a man, you can get a position on the Chamber of Commerce or the Fair Board or the IFCT or the London Business Council or whatever, and know that when you talk, people will listen. And I’m very happy that you have the money to own a shop and rent a booth at the World’s Fair, but to assume that everyone else is in the same position as you demonstrates how completely clueless you are about the plight of women business owners in this city. So no, you haven’t said anything to offend me. Everything about you offends me.”
The room had gone silent, and Eli stood frozen, staring down into Astrid’s face, into her dark eyes that suddenly widened as she realized the magnitude of what she had just said. She flushed, her face and neck and collarbones turning a rosy shade of pink, and she pressed one hand to her lips before turning and rushing from the room.
As she left, Eli watched her go with numb shock. Her words had been incredibly rude, and he couldn’t help but feel stung. What shocked him the most, though, was his sudden and overwhelming urge to kiss her.
About the Author:
Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a bottomless well of geekiness.
Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Her erotic fiction and poetry have been published online at Clean Sheets and Scarlet Letters under a different name. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets.
Elia’s virtual life is as busy as her real life.
Buy the book at Samhain Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other ebook retailers.