It’s finally almost feeling like summer here in the Puget Sound. Except for last night, the last few weeks have been wonderfully sunny and warm, as those of you who follow my Instagram and Facebook accounts know. The long daylight hours make up for the short, gray, and rainy days we endured in the winter. When the summer solstice rolls around on June 20, we’ll have 15 hours and 59 minutes of daylight, from sunrise at 5:11 a.m. to sunset at 9:10 p.m. My husband, who needs to jet off to work early, and I take morning walks. Not having to worry about flashlights and reflective gear is wonderful!

The Lloyds and Piper on the beach

Gray summer days make good reading too!

Summer and reading seem to go hand in hand. There’s something about being outside with a book, whether it’s at a beach, in the backyard, or by Piper’s kiddie pool, that is so relaxing. Reading has so many benefits such as reducing stress, improving memory, and increasing brain power. It helps develop empathy, expands attention span, makes me a better writer and so much more.  Most of what I read falls within my genre of clean contemporary romance and Amish fiction. While I read all year long, summer is when I might try out a different genre or a new author.

The Lloyds and Piper on the beach

Piper enjoys sitting outside while I do some reading, at least until something distracts her.

I also find I read differently in the summer. In winter I snuggle under a blanket in a comfortable chair with a cup of tea nearby. If not a library book, I underline passages and jot down notes in the margins if I notice clever word usage or a twist of phrase I want to revisit. In fact, I may read the book again as if it was a textbook. I learn much from other authors.

The Lloyds and Piper on the beach

Not quite a throne, but having the time to read does make me a feel a bit like a princess.

My summer reading this year includes Golden Girls by Elin Hilderbrand, Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer, The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews, The Cottage Guesthouse by Robin Carr, and The People We meet On Vacation by Emily Henry, The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery. Amish author Shelley Shepard Gray and talented Suzanne Woods Fisher are two of my favorite authors. Can’t wait to read their recent releases.

What’s on your summer reading list?

To help celebrate reading I’m giving away a $100 Amazon gift certificate and a copy of either of my latest novels, Stage Fright or From Rome With Love, your choice of paperback or eBook. US and Canada only. Winner has three days to respond.