This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.
The kids were barely out of school when I bundled everyone onto a plane and we flew from the dry heat in California to the humid heat in my smallish hometown in Ohio.
Here are some things I miss about summer in Ohio:
1) Fireflies. My eight-year-old especially was into catching and releasing (her teen brothers less enthusiastic…about almost anything). Her seven-year-old cousin was there to chase them with her a couple of times. My night vision is getting bad, so unless we started when there was still some light, I couldn’t track the bugs in the dark at all.
2) Thunderstorms. Oh, I don’t miss the trees blowing down and power out and the heart-racing anxiety of hearing the tornado siren go off and heading for the basement. (In fact, we only made it out of there last Thursday because we stayed in a hotel near the airport. Otherwise, we would have been trying to drive through a massive 3 AM storm). But now my kids know what to do in Granny’s house when the tornado siren goes off. Storms are amazing and powerful and beautiful. I could watch them all day–from a safe place.
3) Variable weather. Not just the storms, but the days where it was cloudy or not all that hot. There were some sticky, humid days, but there were plenty of others where it was tolerable. Where I live in CA, it’s a break in the weather when it’s only 92 and dry instead of 105 and dry. It sprinkles a little maybe once a summer. And our house is almost 40 years old and has poor insulation and awful windows. And it’s HOT in here, even with the AC running all afternoon and evening, even with curtains closed. I HATE summer here, even after 13 years of it. I keep telling people I’m going to have a cabin in Tahoe (not far from here) for the summer and only live down here in the winter. Because then it’s nice.
4) My family. It has taken me years to get a back-up system of friends in place here in CA. My sister has had my mom to take care of her kids from Day 1. And it’s not just sibling rivalry; it’s the comfort of having my parents around and of my smallish hometown. And my daughter loving hanging out with her cousin (again, the teens were less enthusiastic). It was a great place to grow up.
5) The creek. The woods. There’s a creek running behind my parents’ house which is an endless supply of fossils, entertainment, and, unfortunately, poison ivy. And there’s almost always water in the creek! And the trees and grass are green without watering! (though Ohio seems to be dryer than usual this year and people are starting to get nervous) There are woods without bears and rattlesnakes. Though with climate change, the rattlesnake domain is crawling northward.
6) Water. Which touches on water restrictions and California’s drought. We could take showers for as long as we wanted, until the hot water heater ran out. My parents aren’t going to be thrilled at their water bill, but it’s not a huge strain on scant resources. Here in CA, I noticed yesterday the maple that shades my front window is looking stressed at the top, so I have to get serious about watering it. I’ll let the grass die, but not the trees and other plants.
So hey, enough with nostalgia. I have writing to do!
Aurore was delighted when a marriage was arranged with the boy she loved, her older brother’s friend Dominique, Comte de Bures. But in a few years the first rush of joy has worn off, and their promising life seems ruined by loss, betrayal, and misunderstanding.
One terrifying morning mercenaries overrun their château and usurpers take Aurore hostage. Miles away at Versailles, where he is required to dance attendance on Louis XIV, Dominique is nearly killed by a crossbow bolt.
Escaping, Aurore travels with a troupe of itinerant musicians, hiding in the open while discovering hidden resources within herself.
Dom sets out to find his wife. He needs his old life back. He needs revenge. But his lands, his title, and his honor mean nothing unless he can win back the love of his indispensable wife.
About the Author:Philippa Lodge has been an avid reader since she asked her mother to point out where it said “”Ma”” in Little House in the Big Woods. She read everything she could get her hands on until grad school in French Studies, at which time she lost her reading mojo. Only through the twin discoveries of Harry Potter and romance has she gotten her groove back and gone back to the stuff she loved about seventeenth century France: kings, swords, opulence, and love.
Philippa lives in the suburbs of Sacramento, CA with her husband, three children, two cats, and a head full of courtesans and college students. She edits the newsletter for her local chapter of the Romance Writers of America