LASR Anniversary: AJ Nuest – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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AJ’s “Musts” for a Great Beach Read

Summer has officially begun, and over at the Nuest household this means several things—open the pool, clean and pack the camper, keep the freezer stocked with burgers and dogs, and get those beach supplies prepped and ready to go. Sunscreen, bug spray, picnic basket, beach towels, water toys, hair brush, dry undies…there’s a whole roll call of summer necessities. But the one item that makes the top of the list? A great beach read.

Ahhh… Nothing says summer to me like lying in the sun with a good book. The kids are busy playing in the water, hubs is busy napping at my side, the chatter and constant roll of the waves in the background…it’s pure bliss. A moment of total relaxation I get to enjoy maybe once or twice a year. So, admittedly, I’m a bit choosy about my beach reading material. Certain criteria apply.

For example, the book…

Must be a romance. Or at the very least contain strong romantic elements. There’s lots of skin at the beach. Romance fits better with all that nakedness.

Must contain humor. Don’t get me wrong. I love an intense, emotionally fraught story as much as the next gal. Heck, I’ve even written a few. However, I keep those reads for dark stormy nights when I get to cuddle under a blanket. Yummy. At the beach, I like to laugh my way through the story, have some fun.

Must contain travel. I’m a mom of two kids. I haven’t been anywhere truly exciting in over ten years. Sitting at the beach allows me to imagine I’m someplace different, someplace exotic even. I like my summer reading material to take me there.

Must be easily bookmarked. “Mom, where’s…my towel, the sandwiches, the sunscreen, my goggles, my wallet, a bottle of water, etc., etc.?” I gotta be able to stop and start without too much fuss or going back several pages to recapture the story, otherwise I end up reading the same passage over and over again and that’s no fun.

Must be easy to follow. I may decide to have a cocktail at the beach. Hey, it’s been known to happen. I’m not about to turn the cabana boy away. Hence, I prefer something that contains details which are easy to recall. Besides, I’m too busy holding a fruity umbrella drink to take notes.

Must be something I would recommend to my girlfriends. A good chance exists I will be at the beach with another mom. An even better chance exists she will ask what I’m reading. I prefer to answer enthusiastically vs. a shrug and tossing the book aside.

Must have an antagonist I love to hate. I’m already sorta irked there’s so much sand creeping under my suit, the book might as well give me someone to rail at. A strong antagonist fits the bill…like someone I can really stew about while I’m packing all the wet gear (and about six pounds of beach sand) into my vehicle. Bring it!

Must contain a fairish to goodly amount of steam. It’s summer, after all. The sun is out, the mercury is high… What better way to celebrate than to read something which reflects the long sultry nights and optional sleepwear? Call me a clam and steam me, baby! Whoot!

There you have it. Those are my “musts” for a great summer read. What are yours?

AJ Nuest Golden Key Chronicles, The - AJ Nuest (2)The key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom,
but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart…

When antiques restorer, Rowena Lindstrom, purchases an armoire containing a hidden key and a “magic” mirror, she believes the handsome warrior prince waiting on the other side is some sort of elaborate joke. Yet she cannot deny their connection seems bound by more than just the key and, as her love for Prince Caedmon grows, she agrees to join him in his realm. Prophecy intervenes in a way neither of them could have expected. Lost and alone in the Austiere Kingdom, Rowena struggles to find her place, and though she fights the heated advances of the dangerous Prince Caedmon, the attraction between them brings challenges much deeper than her troubled heart can recall.

After two torturous years held captive in the dungeons of Seviere’s Keep, Prince Caedmon returns home with more than just lash marks lacing his back. He now retains the secret behind the key, and is the only one who understands its grim connection to his beloved Rowena. Yet their enemies to the north are merely one of many obstacles determined to see them fail and, to escape the clutches of the evil Wizard Gaelleod, Rowena and Caedmon flee to the future—the one place Caedmon’s worst fears are confirmed. Though Rowena’s memories have returned, everything he loves stands to be ripped from his grasp.

Join Caedmon and Rowena as they embark on an epic journey bound by fate, and struggle to unravel the significance behind an age-old prophecy in The Golden Key Chronicles.

About the Author: AJ Nuest is a multi-published, award-winning author who lives in the middle of a cornfield in NW Indiana. Her loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day and laundry service, tolerate her lunacy. While she spends most days happily ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup has been percolating. The dogs just informed her the cat is secretly vying for dictatorship.

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  1. SHELLEY S says:


  2. anything with an HEA

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  3. good blog, keep up the good work x, I can only hope my blog will be as good as this one day.x

  4. Solid post. The beach and a great book simply go together.

  5. Shelly Small says:

    awesome blog! awesome author!

  6. I really only have one, it must be HOT! 😉
    I live in SW Florida, so it seems like summer almost year round.
    I love your list of musts though. I need to read more humorous books. I don’t do that nearly enough.
    Thank you for sharing and for the wonderful giveaway!

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