Even though it’s been years since I was a kid in school, it’s permanently ingrained in my brain that the words “summer” and “vacation” must go together. Sometimes that means traveling on an actual vacation, but it also means taking things a little slower and savoring a few guilty pleasures.
With a book deadline in mid-July, this year, that’s not as easy as I’d like. But with summer finally here, it seems like a perfect time to share a few of my summertime guilty pleasures and find out a few of yours.
- Afternoon beach breaks– Back when my kids took swimming lessons at the lake in our community, a 4:00 p.m. class meant the water was much warmer than it was at 9:00 a.m. For me, it was the perfect way to wind down the day. Years later, I still find a late afternoon beach break a great way to decompress.
- Carnival food– For my husband, summer isn’t complete without at least one funnel cake (also known as elephant ears in some parts of the country). For me, it’s cheese fries from the little ice cream place in our town, or a soft-serve chocolate/vanilla swirl ice cream cone. There’s nothing natural in either one, and we won’t even discuss the calories, but both taste great on a summer night.
- Staying up late– My internal clock runs a little later in the summertime, and I just naturally stay up later. Which leads to cravings for soft serve ice cream. And popcorn—made in a pot on top of the stove, not in the microwave.
- Reading– As an author, I’ll argue that this should never be a guilty pleasure, but in the summer, I’m less apt to read books to learn something–whether it’s writing craft non-fiction, or a romance that reflects a hot trend, just to see what all the fuss is about. Nope. In the summer, give me escapist reads, comfort reads, and reads outside my genre. Preferably those I can take to the beach.
- Binge-watching– Again, this is perfect for late nights, especially when it’s too hot to do anything but stay inside with the AC cranked. Past summer binges have included Lost, Breaking Bad and UnREAL, a series set behind the scenes of a Bachelor-style reality show.
Not only was UnREAL a blast to watch, but it was also confirmed that my book Turning It On, which is also set behind the scenes of a reality show, had the details right!
Want to see for yourself? Win a digital copy of Turning It On by sharing one of your summertime guilty pleasures!
Turning It On
Go behind the scenes of a reality TV show, where what happens off-camera is even more outrageous than what happens on.
When book editor Hannah becomes a reluctant contestant on Last Fling, TVs sexiest reality show, she starts to question everything—including the man she’s loved half her life. When her fickle fiance falls for a scheming starlet, Hannah enlists the show’s male stripper villain, Vlad the Bad, to help her win him back. But when the reality show villain is revealed to be a real-life hero, Hannah discovers that true love can blossom in the middle of the most unreal place of all.
Happy summer, and happy reading! Elizabeth
About the author
Contemporary romance author Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different. She is the author of the Red Hot Russians sports romance series. Her debut novel Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA® Award Finalist.
Her latest book, Heating It Up: A Red Hot Russians Novella is an Antarctica-set small town romance and was released in Feb. 2017.