Postcards from (Carolina) Home by Virginia Kantra
Virgina Kantra shares her love of the sandy shores and her new romance novel – enjoy!
I’ve always loved the sea. When I was growing up, my family took vacations to the beach. To the sticky boardwalks of New Jersey, redolent with popcorn and coconut oil. To the cold, seaweedy beaches of New England, where the views and the water temperature steal your breath away. Beautiful, rocky Maine inspired the setting of my Children of the Sea paranormal romances.
My husband has different beach memories. While his father was jungle training in Panama, his family lived in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He remembers the old style wooden snack bar of the beach on base; night fishing off the pier at Surf City; watching snakes swim under the swing set after a hurricane. After we were married, with children of our own, my husband persuaded me to give the beaches of his childhood a try.
I fell in love with the place. For me, the beach is a place to relax and recharge. To reconnect with the ones I love. Three years later, we moved to North Carolina. And when I was looking for a setting for my new contemporary romance series, I chose North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
Allison Carter, the new island schoolteacher in Carolina Home, is charmed by Dare Island’s mix of old and new and seduced by its natural beauty. Not to mention her reaction to Matt Fletcher, the hunky single dad of one of her students.. After his brief, failed marriage, Matt knows that not everyone can put down roots in island sand. Despite his caution, he’s drawn to pretty, enthusiastic newcomer Allison. But how long will the heat last? Could this be a life time love? Or only a season’s love affair?
When I researching the Dare Island books, my husband and I took many trips to the North Carolina coast from Manteo to Ocracoke, Emerald Isle to Southport. We took lots of pictures, one of which actually served as an inspiration for Tony Mauro’s stunning cover illustration for Carolina Home.
So here are my “Postcards from Dare Island.” Email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a one-sheet layout to download and print.
So tell me, do you have plans to get away this summer? What’s your favorite vacation spot? Comment below for a free book giveaway – Virginia will announce her winner in the post – good luck!
I’m also sharing this snapshot from Matt and Allison’s story. Hope you enjoy!
The foam rushed in, the foam rushed out, breaking and dissolving around Allison’s ankles. She struggled for footing, her bare feet sinking in the sand.
Matt gripped her hand.
She’d never actually believed it could happen, that it would happen to her, that she’d be leaving her shoes and inhibitions behind on a moonlit beach.
But then, she’d never been with anyone like Matt before.
She snuck a look at him, his strong profile etched against the night sky, his thick hair tousled by the breeze. He’d rocked her world and seriously shaken her self-perception.
“You know, Gail Peele warned me about this,” she said conversationally.
He slanted a smile at her, still holding her hand. “About . . . ?”
“About you and your amazing effect on women.”
His face froze for a moment before he grinned. “I never touched her. Not since the fifth grade dance.”
Despite her pounding heart, Allison smiled. “Your moves must have improved since then.”
She cleared her throat. “I should probably thank you.”
He shot her another sideways look and she flushed. Because she had thanked him. Less than half an hour ago. Right after she’d put his hand on her breast and her tongue in his mouth and he’d still pulled away.
Why had he pulled away?
“You want to thank me,” he repeated. “For what? Showing you my moves?”
“For not . . . you know. I don’t usually get swept away like that,” she continued. “I’m not a go-with-the-flow kind of girl.”
“I get that. You want to establish expectations. Set boundaries. I respect that.”
She turned, digging her heels in the sand. “Is that why you stopped?”
The pier loomed closer, its misty lights gleaming on the water, casting deep shadows on the beach.
Matt moved his shoulders uncomfortably. “We got carried away.”
“I certainly did. That doesn’t mean I expect you to be responsible for my behavior. My choices.”
His jaw set in a way she was coming to recognize. “I figured we should take a breather, come up for air.”
“That’s very sweet,” she decided. “And now?”
“Now . . .” Waves slapped and echoed against the pilings of the pier. “I think we should go back.”
She blew out a frustrated breath. “I don’t want to go back. I think if we just talk about this, we can find a way to move forward.”
“To the truck, Allison. We should go back to the truck.”
She opened her mouth to argue.
Light flashed at the corner of her vision. She caught a scramble of movement between the black pilings, voices floating on the fitful breeze.
“Shit. It’s my dad.”
“Who’s he with?”
“Is that Miss Carter?”
Allison froze. Busted. The Dare Island teenagers were on the loose, hanging out under the pier on a Friday night.
“Now can we turn around?” Matt asked grimly.