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Summer Heat

Amy Leibowitz a m leibowitz adrian j smith anthology available now dan ackerman free reads geonn cannon links recipes stacy o'steen summer reading

Welcome to August! I don't know how it is where anyone else lives, but here in western NY, it's about as hot as it ever gets. Today, I thought I'd help us beat the heat with some hot weather tips for readers and writers (and a list of my favorite books to re-read while I chill).

1. Stay indoors.

  • Obviously, if you have air conditioning, then you can stay in your own house. But if not (like me), then there are a ton of great places I've gone to get some quality reading or writing time:
  • the local library - ours has these awesome space-age chair/desk combos. I feel like Captain Picard sitting in one. Make it so!
  • a museum - yep, been there and done that. Art museums are often quiet and peaceful, and there are benches everywhere. Just be aware of what their policies are. For example, our local one doesn't allow pens or markers, so if you handwrite, you'll want a pencil.
  • a coffee shop - though I'd be tempted to over-caffeinate!
  • a friend's house - I mean, don't just invite yourself over, obviously. You could offer to house-sit or pet-sit, though.
  • the mall - not for me; too noisy. But if that doesn't bother you and you need a place to hang out and people-watch, it'll do just fine.

2. Make yourself a yummy cold drink

  • If you're writing, you might prefer some of these delicious iced coffee recipes. Personally, I just brew my coffee extra strong, chill it in the fridge for a bit, then add ice, chocolate syrup (instead of sugar) and milk.
  • If you're reading (and not driving!), you can try some of these fabulous boozy smoothies. We've made this one for pineapple-mango vodka smoothies, and it was fabulous. We did reduce the alcohol by a fair amount. Smoothie Ninja has some good ones too.
  • For those who may need to be more careful of their sugar, caffeine, or alcohol intake, you can make a yummy smoothie with fresh or frozen fruit, plain yogurt, and skim milk or light fruit juice. That's how we usually make ours because my kids prefer them less sweet.

3. Head for water

  • The beach, a public pool, a cold bath, your own back yard...wherever. Did you know you can put your e-reader in a plastic bag and still be able to use the touch screen? You probably did. But in case not, there you have it. Keeps sand, water, and sticky kiddo fingerprints off your device.

4. If all else fails...

  • Lie on your couch with a cold, wet washcloth and aim the fan at yourself. We used to do this when I was a kid.

Now for the fun stuff. Here's my list of our books that I think make great chill-out reads:

Breaking Anchor, by Geonn Cannon - a sweet, enemies-to-lovers romance with food.

Underdogs: The Novel (Underdogs #1), by Geonn Cannon - always worth a re-read, especially since book #7 is out now.

Appetizers, by Geonn Cannon - short stories are perfect summer reads, especially if your time is limited.

Memoir in the Making, by Adrian J. Smith - a gentle, tender May-December college romance.

An Act of Devotion, by A.M. Leibowitz - probably not really chill-out fuel, but it's a companion novel to Memoir in the Making.

Lower Education, by A.M. Leibowitz - fluff, humor, a touch of romance, and a jab at NY's messed up educational system.

Endless Days of Summer, by Stacy O'Steen - no, I didn't pick it just because "summer" is in the title. This is a sweet story about maturation, first love, and discovering one's identity.

That Doesn't Belong Here, by Dan Ackerman - cute, charming, and full of heart but also one that makes you think a bit.

UPSTAGED! an anthology of women who love women in performing arts - our latest anthology is ten stories about lesbian, bi, and trans women on stage, screen, and even outer space.

Finally, here are a few free reads to whet your appetite:

Underdogs: The First Stories, by Geonn Cannon

Forest Seclusion (a fairy tale anthology)

Canines (a vampire anthology)

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