What’s Your “Beach Read?” By Virginia Kelly

Please help me welcome Virginia Kelly to my blog today. Virginia has a giveaway for you readers. One lucky reader will receive a copy of one of these books, AGAINST THE WIND or JUST ONE LOOK, for their Kindle. Just leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.

A lounger. A colorfully striped umbrella. The Gulf of Mexico’s emerald waters. Gently lapping waves. Sugar white beaches. An exotic drink. Ah! I love the beach. I live along the Florida Gulf Coast, home of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world. Truly. Just google sugar white sand and you’ll see what I mean.

I love to read and I love to travel. Trips mean a book or books in hand. If I’m driving, it’s a book on CD. It’s now summer, time for vacations. I often hear the term “beach read.” But what is a beach read? To me it’s fun, not weighty. Escapist reading. It can be romance, action/adventure, thriller or mystery. Genre fiction, not literary fiction. Not non-fiction. Not a textbook (I remember college days when that was all I read, wherever I went.)

How about books set on the beach? These could give “beach read” another meaning.

I write romantic suspense with an emphasis on the romance. My beach books, AGAINST THE WIND and the stand-alone sequel JUST ONE LOOK, are set along “my” beach (though fictional names and descriptions are used), but what we see of the beach in each is different.

VirginiaKelly_AgainstTheWind_800px_2AGAINST THE WIND opens with a hurricane, when the hero and heroine meet again after six years. My inspiration came from the many hurricanes we’ve withstood. We live six miles from the beach, so my house has never had storm surge damage, but the wind can cause a good deal of destruction. Once, one of our large oaks just missed the house, but in the middle of the night, when the limbs blocked our view from two windows, I thought we were in the middle of a nightmare. Then, a few years ago, Hurricane Ivan’s slow movement blew out the gable end of the roof. If Ivan had taken any longer, we’d have lost the roof. And then there’s the debris. Ours has mainly been big branches, lots and lots of twigs, and leaves. I had no idea the wind could blow hard enough to crush leaves into green mush against the window screens.

JUST ONE LOOK portrays a much gentler beach scene. There’s a wedding where the hero and heroine meet, calm waters, sand dunes, a beautiful sunset. My inspiration came from those relaxing beach days, like the ones when my children enjoyed snorkeling, building sand castles and gathering sea shells. Or the day I watched a giant sea turtle crawl up onto the beach.

Each book provides danger and romance along with a taste of the beach. Escapist reading.

What do you think of when you think of a beach read? If you go to the beach, which beach is it? Are you going for the 4th?

Comment for a chance to win a copy of either Against the Wind or Just One Look (Kindle only), winner’s choice.

VirginiaKelly_JustOneLook_800px_2Excerpt from JUST ONE LOOK:

That’s when Drew saw her.
The knock-out, fiddling with the younger sister’s hair. Who could that be? He’d met everyone, hadn’t he? Both sisters, the endless cousins and assorted relatives. Who the hell was she?
She turned, and he knew instantly who she was.
The older sister. The prickly one with thick glasses. Mia, she’d said as she’d shaken his hand with ice-cold fingers and a businessman’s grip. Only she wasn’t wearing the thick glasses she’d worn at the rehearsal dinner, nor the prim business suit. She stood next to the younger sister… Izzy, that was it. Dizzy Izzy, he’d thought last night. She stood next to Izzy as calm and serene as a queen in a knee-length cream-colored dress that enhanced everything the business suit had hidden.
She wasn’t tall or blond, what he’d always considered his type. Prepared to dismiss her since he’d been fooled too many times by good looks, he nearly turned away. Then she smiled at something the flower girl, daughter of one of the cousins, said, and squatted to be eye level with the little girl.
And all the prim, all the regal, disappeared.
She was simply breathtaking.
He remembered watching one of the old Godfather movies and ridiculing how, based on a single look, the youngest Corleone son had gone bat-shit crazy over a girl.
His rational self argued that this sort of thing didn’t happen.
Still, he watched as she totally disregarded formality, hair, clothes, and hugged the flower girl. No cold fingers or businessman’s grip about her.
Warm and vital and gorgeous and classy…and so damn sexy.
Jesus. He’d counted on a few days of sun, sand and water. He hadn’t counted on her.
It felt like getting shot in the gut again.

Buy Links (Just One Look):
Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B00JMV997S
Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00JMV997S
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JMV997S
Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00JMV997S

VirginiaKelly_2About the Author:
Virginia’s first story involved a mouse that hitched a ride with Paul Revere. She was eleven. A bit later dreams of romance (and the requisite happily ever after), adventure, and danger came together to produce her RWA Golden Heart nominated novel. Her books have been nominated for several awards including the Holt Medallion, the Golden Quill, the Aspen Gold and the National Readers Choice Awards. She writes about dangerous heroes (sexy, gorgeous ones, of course!) and the adventurous women willing to take a chance on them. An academic librarian, Virginia is a native of Peru and lives in Florida with her family.

Website: http://virginiakelly.net
Newsletter: http://virginiakelly.net/news.html
Facebook: http://facebook.com/virginiakellyauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3151712.Virginia_Kelly
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/virginiagkelly
Twitter: http://twitter.com/virginiagkelly

7 thoughts on “What’s Your “Beach Read?” By Virginia Kelly

  1. Both sound wonderful. My beach is in South Carolina. The place is south of Myrtle and my kids and I would go there every year. I have videos of them at 6 weeks in the sand. Of course the sand isn’t as pretty as Florida’s but having my children there, it was paradise.

    daringzoey at yahoo.com

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