Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Summer Campfires (and a Giveaway!)

by Jill Kemerer

Now that it's June, summer can begin! From June through August we grill most of our dinners, soak up the glorious sunshine, and have weekend campfires in a small fire pit in our backyard. My husband bought and built it for me for my birthday a few years ago. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving!

Photo via Unsplash

I like to keep graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey's bars on hand for s'mores, but honestly, we tend to gobble up the chocolate before we even think about making a fire. I should hide the candy bars...or better yet, have another family member hide them from me! I'm a chocoholic. :)

A good campfire needs dry wood. Unfortunately, in June our wood is often wet from spring rains. We compensate with a lot of kindling. By July we're stocked with dry wood, which produces a nice, crackling fire with less smoke. There's something wonderful about enjoying the night breeze, looking up at the stars, and just chatting and laughing with my family.

The only thing I don't like about being outdoors at night? Mosquitoes. I'm a baby about bugs, so I cover my body with bug spray!

I love sitting around our fire. It's the best way to spend a summer night! Well, that and going to a baseball game, but that's for another post...

My new novel, Hometown Hero's Redemption, is set during the summer in Lake Endwell, Michigan. It's in stores now!!


A Temporary Father 
When he becomes guardian to his friend's troubled ten-year-old boy, firefighter Drew Gannon knows he needs help. But before he can get former social worker Lauren Pierce to agree, he's got to prove he's changed from the sports jock who gave her a hard time back in high school. Returning home, Lauren wants no part of her old profession. She only wants to forget the unspeakable tragedy she left behind. She can't take responsibility for another child. Or a reunion with Drew—no matter how generous he's become. But a desperate boy and his handsome guardian may be more than Lauren can resist…


My new Love Inspired, Hometown Hero's Redemption, is available in stores and online now! To celebrate, I'm hosting a giveaway! One blessed winner will receive an autographed copy of Hometown Hero's Redemption. The easy entry options are below. (US only, 18+. See entry form for rules.)




And please, please join us tonight (4pm - 9pm Central Time) for the June Love Inspired Author's Facebook Party! We have 15 authors in the line-up! I'll be moderating (and giving away a prize) from 6:45-7:00pm (Central Time) and would love to have you join us! Pop in whenever you can. Here's the link to the party: June Love Inspired Facebook Party.

Do you like campfires? What's says "summer nights" to you?

42 comments:

  1. Summer nights to me are lightening bugs (Southern for fireflies) and fun family vacation travel.

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    1. We have lightning bugs, too, and they always make me smile!Enjoy your travels!

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  2. I love s'mores! Have you tried them with the Special Dark Hershey bars? For dark chocolate lovers, they're even better than the original. I had to chuckle about the bug spray. I'm with you on that one! Congratulations on the new release.

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    1. Mmm, I love dark chocolate, so I will have to try that in s'mores!! Yum!!

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  3. If it's cool enough for a campfire, I'll be indoors under a blanket! :) And I recently encountered some of the biggest mosquitoes I've ever seen--in, of all places, Alaska! Guess they're still working on bragging rights about being bigger than Texas.

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    1. Alaska!! Can you get over that? They really are supersized there!

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  4. We went to a picnic at friends' house on Memorial Day and saw their new fire pit. Since then, we've been looking at them and deciding on which spot in our yard is the best place to put it. I can handle maybe 1 s'more for the entire summer. :) I'm a weirdo, I guess.

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    1. You should definitely put one in pronto! They're relaxing! Yeah, s'mores aren't for everyone, and with the sugar content, that's probably a good thing! Haha!

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  5. Enjoy your fire pit this season!

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  6. Jill, Michigan is on my bucket list, especially near Ludington and Beaver Island. My mom's parents are from that area and I think it would be neat to explore. BTW, I hate mosquitoes too.

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    1. Anywhere along Lake Michigan is gorgeous! You need to get there! White sand beaches, adorable little seaside towns--it's the best in the summer!

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  7. Summer to me is berry season. When the kids were little we would go berry picking many times a week. Now we go to farmers markets. There nothing better than fresh berries.

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    1. I love fresh berries, too! Especially blueberries. Yum!

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  8. With all the asthmatics in my family, a fire pit is out. The next door neighbor has one and it causes half of my family to flare up. I loved going camping as a child, but not so much as an adult.

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    1. Oh no! I didn't think of that. Breathing is important!

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  9. Fireflies, sitting outdoors at night and watching the stars. Putting up our pool for the granddaughters. All fun things. I'm excited about the party later today.

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    1. Everything you mentioned sounds awesome!

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  10. Jill, I love your fire pit even without seeing it! Mosquitoes are a problem in GA! A FB post I read yesterday mentioned Avon's Skin So Soft being a good repellent. I used to have some...need to find an Avon lady!

    Your book sounds wonderful! Must stop at Walmart to get a copy! Hugs!



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    1. Thanks, Debby! Off makes a product similar to Avon's--it doesn't smell as bad as Off! I use it all the time. :)

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    2. Really? Is it a cream? Much look for it! Thanks!

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    3. Much=must. You understand typos, I'm sure! :)

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    4. It's a spray! You can find it in supermarkets!

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  11. We camp all the time, and getting the right wood is a chore. We actually had a woman from a nearby camp come show us the look of the wood that burns nicely without smoke. Unfortunately, we're slow learners LOL
    Once we put a piece of wood in the fire that never burned.
    Arg.

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    1. Haha! We've been there, too! A fellow camper had a neat trick for a firestarter--he soaked cotton balls in rubbing alcohol. It helps get moist wood fired up!

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  13. Summers days in Kansas are for wheat harvesting, putting up hay, moving cattle and fishing when the work allows. Summer nights are for sitting out on the patio watching the kittens or kids chase fireflies, enjoying a cold drink and talking about the old days.

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    1. Ooh, that sounds lovely! I would enjoy a cold drink and a nice view of those hay fields. So perfect!

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  14. S'mores AND a giveaway? Great post! I'm a swimmer in the summertime. It's my favorite time of year.

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    1. Same here! We don't have a pool, but we can drive to a city pool. I love swimming!

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  15. Summer in rural Eaton County, Michigan! Working the farm, planting a large garden, relaxing on the porch, having a bonfire. I would love to be home!

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    1. Where is Eaton County? I grew up in mid-Michigan, and everything you described is what I love!

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  16. Jill, we have a wonderful gas fire pit too, and we just love it when the kids come to visit. My granddaughter will say, "You have chockwat, Granny?" (She knows I always have chocolate in the freezer and try to keep graham crackers and marshmallows on hand, but Papa (aka my husband) tends to eat those too fast to keep on hand.) But I have a question...when the kids aren't at home, how do I get Papa to take just little ol' me out to the fire pit? It seems like our fire pit is always so lonely until the kids come home for a visit. :( HAHAHA!

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    1. Aww, your granddaughter sounds precious! Love the way they pronounce words! Papa and I are a lot alike...You might have to bribe him with chocolate! Haha!

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  17. Hi Jill. Waving to you and throwing confetti at you due to your June release. I love your post. I have to admit I'm not the best camper. I hate mosquitoes with a passion although I do love Smores and the smell of hotdogs cooking on the grill. And there's nothing better than gazing at a sky full of stars. I think I would like Glamping though. Good luck on your release.

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    1. Hi Belle!! THank you! I hate mosquitoes, too. Like I seriously started RUNNING when a bunch of them buzzed by us on our walk last week. It takes a lot to get me to run! Glamping sounds fabulous!

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  18. Great post, Jill. Having dinner outside is a little beyond what we can do in Texas. Heat and mosquitoes make it miserable.

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    1. Oh no! Stay indoors and enjoy your meal in air-conditioning! I would!

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  19. Congratulations, Susan Snodgrass! You won the giveaway!!

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