I hope everyone is enjoying their summer � despite the record-setting temperatures in certain parts of the country. We in the Northeast have experienced several days of 100� temperatures, but nothing like Texas or the Southwest. It is not fun to have to go from an air-conditioned house to an air-conditioned car in order to go to an air-conditioned store. There were only a few days when I�ve been able to open the windows to let in fresh air or grill outdoors. However, summer is my favorite time of the year, because I don�t have to put on layers of clothing before venturing outside. It all helps that I was born in August, so that makes the season even more palatable because I suffer from SAD: seasonal affective disorder.
The intense heat has kept me close to my computer. I really don�t need too many distractions because of my writing schedule. However, I did take time to attend RWA National here in New York. I stayed in the city even though a thirty-minute train ride was close enough to commute. What I�d forgotten were the hoard of tourists attempting to navigate the already crowded Manhattan sidewalks. As someone born and raised in Manhattan I�m used to a certain cadence when traversing the sidewalks in the Big Apple, and what should�ve taken less two minutes to walk from one corner to the next became two and occasionally three minutes. My frustration shifted into overdrive a few times, but I was quickly reminded that I, too, was a tourist when visiting other countries and I�ve lingered a bit too long to view or photograph a building or statue.
EBOOK ALERT ... The first five titles in the Hideaway series will be in Kindle format this fall � Hideaway, Hidden Agenda, Vows, Heaven Sent and Harvest Moon.
On a much somber note � please keep the families of Brenda Turner and Leslie Esdaile in your prayers. Brenda, mother of LaShaunda Hoffman was called home on July 16, 2011. The late-Mrs. Turner will be this summer�s Reader Spotlight.
And our beloved Leslie passed from this life to the next on August 2, 2011. I believe Publishers Weekly contributing editor Barbara Vey said it best in her column: A Bright Light No Longer Shines. �It is with profound sadness that I announce that Leslie Esdaile Banks, our Queen literary pen passed this morning.�
I remember a very personal meeting with Brenda when LaShaunda invited me to her St. Louis, Missouri home one very cold night in February, 1999. I was still celebrating the news that President Clinton had been acquitted of the two articles of impeachment the day before. It was my first visit to St. Louis and during the days and hours I spent with Brenda and LaShaunda I truly felt like family.
The instant I met Leslie I knew she was a bright light � warm and encompassing. Her laugh was infectious, her smile endearing and her warmth and beauty unforgettable. Whenever we saw each other there were hugs and kisses. Our telephone calls were sparse, but always filled with love and encouragement. Leslie � I miss you girlfriend.
Until next month � don�t forget to read, love, live romance.