Ocean

Okay, I’m going to come right out and say it … I’m a beach bunny. Ya know, like a snow bunny, only warmer and in a lot less clothes. 😀 And it’s really hard for me to watch the summer winding down. (And just like every year I’m wondering … where the heck did it go???)

Yep, I grew up on the coast of Maine. I worshiped the sun so much that I never lost my tan lines in the winter. Seriously. I didn’t know until I went off to college and didn’t have quite as much time in the sun, that a white bikini in the shower wasn’t normal. LOL! (Of course back then I was too young and stupid to worry about the ozone layer and skin cancer. *eyeroll* Foolish youth.)

Those hours lounging on a towel shaped my romantic fantasies. There is nothing sexier to me than a man without a shirt, a pair of jeans and bare feet. The bare feet are a must. And if he was sitting around the bonfire at the river, laughing and hanging (and maybe doing a little flirting), well I was in definite lust.

I learned to sail on the ocean and snorkel it’s waters. I got my first kiss at the beach. (Probably shouldn’t mention it was during a game of spin the bottle. Yeah, pretend I didn’t say that.) Held hands for the first time walking along the sandy shore in the blue wash of a full moon. And yep, after I met Mr. Nina … a little nookie a time or two in the privacy of the dunes.

I’ve enjoyed sunsets and starry nights. The soft brush of an ocean breeze and the crisp bite of the ocean waves. The ocean is the most romantic place I’ve experienced. It’s no wonder the smell of salty air makes my heart go all squishy.

I’ve set a couple of my books at the ocean, the scents and sights always an integral part of my stories. My sexy romantic suspense novel, Deceive Her With Desire (book #2 of the Dangerous Affairs Series“) takes place on the Maine coast. Please enjoy this excerpt:

Cautious, and working to keep his jangled nerves from pumping his legs in a dead run, Ayden strolled to the shelter of the dinghy. The noise grew louder. Ayden realized he wasn’t moving away from the sound. He was aimed right toward it. What a fool. It was a beautiful fall night. No doubt lovers were using the upended craft for a little private party of their own.

Turning on his heel, he started to walk away, when the noise came again. It wasn’t the moan of sexual pleasure. It was the keening sound of sadness. Someone was crying. And from the quiet hiccupping, it was female.

Ayden shot a longing look over his shoulder, debating between the refuge of the path and the complications under the boat.

Chivalry won out and he stepped warily around the bow.

The redhead sat on the wooden slats, her bare feet digging restlessly in the sand, her face cupped in her hands. Between shuddering breaths, she sputtered angrily into her bent knees, but her tears and her fingers kept the words from him.

“Uh-hmm.” He cleared his throat, not knowing how else to get her attention.

“Holy shit…” She tried to jump to her feet, but banged her head on the iron rigging attached to the upside of the boat and fell back down. “Crap!” Her hand flew to her head.

“I’m sorry, you okay?” Ayden reached for her, but she shook him off.

“I’m fine.”

She looked up at him. Even in the pale light, he could see the sadness in her eyes.

“Actually, I’m not all right.” She pushed herself up, ducking her head away from the oarlock. She brushed the sand off her ass. “You scared the living shit out of me.”

Biting back a smile, Ayden watched her glistening tears turn to fury. That he could handle. An angry woman was one hundred times easier to placate than a despondent one.

“Again, I apologize.” He held his hand out as a peace offering. “I’m Austin Schaeffer.” How easily that name slipped off his tongue.

“Deirdre Tilling,” She shook the hand he offered.

Her grip was surprisingly firm. Ayden liked the touch of her palm against his skin. Not all soft and pliant, but callused and rough. He wondered how it would feel running up his back.

She was a beautiful woman. Her breasts swelled enticingly just above the bodice of her dress. Her long, muscular legs that he’d admired in the great room, started somewhere around her neck. No wonder Jameson had been seducing this lovely creature.

Jameson. Right. He mentally shook his head. Focus, Ayden. Tonight was about gathering information, not sexual conquests. But then again, there was that two birds and one stone thing.

So what about you? Do you have fond memories of the ocean? or perhaps another spot makes your romantic knees go weak? Tell me about it.

I love the water. My sister-in-law says there are two kinds of people in the world. Mountain people and Ocean people. I definitely fall into the latter category. But then, I grew up on the Maine coast where swimming wasn’t an option. We just did. Of course my mom took us to swimming lessons at the public pool one town over.

I remember having to test for … something. I’m not sure if it was to go to the next level in class or to swim in the deep end during public swim, but for some reason I was alone in the pool with the instructor walking along the side while a dog-paddled my way from one end to the other. It was a loooong trip for a little kid. It’s the only thing I remember about those lessons. I don’t think I was afraid so much as I didn’t want to fail. I’m sure my mom and siblings were somewhere nearby.

When we had kids, we got them swimming very early. We did the whole baby/parent lessons with the oldest. After I learned the techniques, the lake or a pool became the learning classroom for the other two. And now my children love the water. When we’re at the lake they’re just as happy lounging in a kayak floating along as they are on the sandy beach. More often they’ve got their face in the water with a mask and snorkle chasing fish.

But living in northern Maine, where the lakes are muddy and the ocean is several hours away in any direction, I met a large number of people who not only couln’t swim, but were downright afraid of going on the water. Of course I understood their reticence, but it made me sad because I find such peace and tranquility being in water.

In the next month I’ll be joining my families (both sides) at the lake and the ocean. I can’t wait! I swear ocean water runs through my veins and I need to be recharged every year.

What about you … are you a swimmer? Do you know anyone who isn’t, but really wanted to be? Because you know, it’s summer and I’m just wondering how many of you out there are enjoying the water.

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