You can now get your hands on the newest book in the Suamalie Islands series! To celebrate its release, the Suamalie authors are doing a series of blog posts along with a giveaway. Marguerite Gray chose the topic, and this is what she said:
In Room for Love, Amy runs a bed and breakfast on Alexandre Island. She pours herself into making the experience memorable for her guests through her delicious recipes and comfortable, inviting accommodations. Do you have a positive (or funny) B&B or Airbnb (a cabin in the woods or a condo on the beach) experience to share? What made it special?
I’m really sorry to disappoint you, but I’m really not cool. Yes, I write exciting stories filled with romance, adventure, inspiration, and suspense, but I’m actually quite dull. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I have never stayed in an actual B&B or Airbnb. On second thought, that’s technically not quite true. I stayed in a beach house rental once, but it was for a funeral. Not exactly something to enjoy remembering.
My family didn’t have much money growing up. The few vacations we had were to visit my grandparents or to go camping in a tent in the mountains—both of which we loved. As an adult, my husband and I have been so busy raising kids that we not taken the time for those weekend getaways. In fact, this past spring was the first time in about 16.5 years that we went away for a weekend just the two of us.
However, just because my memories don’t fit the classic categories doesn’t mean that I don’t have some pretty amazing stories and memories! When I was about nineteen, my mom, my two younger sisters, and I decided to go camping. We hadn’t gotten to go at all that summer, so we decided to go ourselves, even though our dad couldn’t go with us. To date, it is the only “girls trip” I’ve even been on. And it didn’t go well.
When we got there, we found out tConvert to blockshat the tent we’d grabbed had gotten wet, shrunk, and mildewed. The colors had bled together, and it now resembled a ‘70s tie-dye disaster. Worse, it no longer fit with the tent poles. We had no other option for a tent and were 2.5 hours from home. So we tried to put it up anyway. It took us a long time. I remember forcing the tent pole into the tent canvas by sheer strength and stubbornness, finally fitting it in and getting it upright.
Then we entered the tent and found out that the water damage had left another souvenir. The tent stunk. Really stunk. Then I found out that I’d apparently done a lousy job of packing and had forgotten something essential. Pants.
I wore my middle sister’s sweatpants. She wore our younger sister’s pants. And our youngest sister wore pajama pants.
Eventually, we made it through the night in the stinky tent. In the morning, we woke to find that it had collapsed around us.
We also tried to get some fishing in. I’ve always loved to fish and was very familiar with the stream that ran through the campground. We hiked upstream and spent several hours fishing. Unfortunately, the stream was notorious for getting your line snagged and devouring your fishing hooks. Also unfortunate, we had a limited supply. After I’d lost several, I was not about to let another one go.
Sure enough, my line got snagged and I couldn’t get it to release. I announced to my mom and my sisters that I was not losing another hook. I cautiously checked to make sure we were completely alone in the forest. Then I stripped off my borrowed pants and waded into the water. Realistically, I wasn’t being immodest. I was wearing a large shirt that covered any areas of concern.
However, the water was deeper than I’d anticipated. Soon the bottom edge of the shirt was dipping in the stream, and I was steadily raising it up. I’d come this far, though. I couldn’t turn back now. But I couldn’t let my shirt get wet. I had a very limited supply of clothing.
So I did the only logical thing. I looked around once more to make sure my sisters and my mom owned the only eyes around. Then I shrugged out of my shirt and tossed it to the shore.
The only problem was that it didn’t quite have the aerodynamics I expected. Instead of sailing through the air to land dry and safe, it only offered a meager hop from my hand, landing in the water with a plop. By this point, I could no longer pretend that I had any shred of modesty left, and my mom and my sisters were laughing hysterically on the shore. I think that is also the only time I can say I went swimming in a bikini… sort of.
Still determined to complete my task, I reached down into the cold water and extracted my fishing hook. Then I marched back to shore with my prize in all my glory. That was a good fishing hook for me. I caught multiple fish on it after that. Until it got caught again sometime later and I refused to perform an encore.
To clarify, there is no evidence that this event occurred, except in the memories of my mom and my sisters. But there it is still alive and well, and they make sure to keep me humble. Not that I need a lot of humbling. After all, I was asked to tell about a charming stay at a B&B, and all I could come up with was an embarrassing tale that could earn me a T-shirt saying “I Strip For Fishing Hooks.”
All that to say, check out Marguerite Gray’s Room for Love. I’m sure she has a much more appropriate, modest tale involving no hint of a tie-dyed stinky tent and missing clothing.
Room For Love by Marguerite Gray
When Amy Lee’s son heads off to college, the bed and breakfast owner finds life even lonelier and emptier than she had after losing her husband. She needs something to occupy her mind and heart while she reinvents her life again. What more could she ask for than an after-school program for local children and a renewed interest in painting?
Then the arrival of a professor of archeology shakes her world and makes her yearn for the way things were only a few short months ago.
Still grieving the loss of his beloved wife, and ignoring the warnings and protests of his grown children, Professor Walker Standish escapes on a six-month sabbatical. His heart, barely beating these past months, jerks to life again when he finds more than a room at a B & B.
Where an ocean meets the shore, love has room for one more.
Take a trip to the Suamalie Islands where palm trees sway, the sand and sea pulse with life, and the people will steal your heart.
Check out some of the other stories of fun getaway experiences by the other Suamalie Islands authors!
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