Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Saying goodbye to a fabulous summer by Belle Calhoune



This summer has been pretty wonderful.  I love the lazy, peaceful summer days when school is out and my girls are carefree and traveling with us as a family.  My oldest daughter is heading into her final year of college, which is a blessing and a shock to the system.  When did she get so grown up?  In a few days we'll be traveling to Boston to move her to a new off-campus apartment.  It's bittersweet when summer comes to an end and fall begins, although I do love the crisp autumn air and leaves falling all around our yard in Connecticut.


 I love buying fresh flowers at the market.



I love the quiet moments where we drive to a sleepy town in Connecticut and eat dinner at a drive in.




It's been a great summer with many memorable highlights I'd like to share with you.

Summer for the Calhoune family always kicks off with a trip to Cape Cod.  I've been fortunate to have a family summer house there ever since I was a child.  I love that moment when we drive over the Sagamore Bridge and get a whiff of the salty ocean.  Kalmus Beach is our go-to destination for swimming and relaxing on the beach.  It's incredibly tranquil.  We had a very special afternoon of sailing out across Hyannis Harbor with my family and a group of friends.


Beautiful view while out on Hyannis Harbor.

Chartered boat for a family excursion.






Beautiful scenery during our boat ride.  Even a mini lighthouse!














In July I traveled to Orlando, Florida for the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference.  It's a large gathering of romance authors from all over the USA and the globe.  We decided to make it a family vacation since we love Florida.  My husband, Randy, and the girls flew to Florida about five days before the conference started and we met up with my two brothers-in-law who drove down from Alabama to meet us.  There was so much to do! Disney Springs.  Universal--Harry Potter World.  Disney.  The outlets for shopping.  There were so many good restaurants.  We stayed at Vistana Villages Sheraton Resort which was fantastic.  I love staying in a villa where I can have a kitchen and private rooms for the whole family.  Once the conference began, we relocated to the Dolphin-Swan which was beautiful as well.


On our way to Florida!


Beautiful night view at the Dolphin.

Delicious meal at Disney Springs.  

My girls enjoying the hot weather and the pool.

Poolside at Sheraton Vistana Villages.


There's nothing like a Florida sunset!


Once the RWA conference began it was fairly intense, with workshops, meet and greets, networking with authors and festive parties like the annual Harlequin party which was held at the swanky Waldorf Astoria.  I gasped when I walked inside the hotel.  It was absolutely beautiful.

The gorgeous pool area at the Waldorf.



Hanging out with lovely Love Inspired authors

The Harlequin party!!









Delicious desserts at the Harlequin party.  Macarons!













Enjoying a luncheon with Author Karen Kirst.


One of the highlights was being able to present a workshop on Inspirational Romance with dear friends and fellow Love Inspired authors--Jolene Navarro, Lee McClain and Danica Favorite.



When we returned from Florida, we brought our new puppy Beau home.  He is a black Labrador Retriever and he's adorable and goofy and full of unbridled energy.                                              



On August 22nd, "His Secret Alaskan Heiress" hit the shelves.  It's Book 5 in my Alaskan Grooms series and it features one of my favorite characters, Sophie--she's an heiress masquerading as a barista at the Moose Cafe in Love, Alaska.





Something funny happened when I received my copies of the True Large Print of "His Secret Alaskan Heiress."  Instead of it being a box of my books, they were books belonging to Author Allie Pleiter.  She also has a September release titled "The Texas Rancher's New Family."  Woops!  After Allie and I talked about the mix-up, we decided to do a giveaway.  I'll be giving away a copy of "The Texas Rancher's New Family" and Allie will be giving away a copy of "His Secret Alaskan Heiress."  These are True Large Print copies and are absolutely gorgeous.





In order to be in the running, please comment on the post.  Best of luck!


Wishing everyone glorious last days of summer!!



34 comments:

  1. I totally understand how bittersweet this time of year is for you. My oldest daughter is also in her last year of college and the youngest just started college. We are empty nesters for the first time. Summer is such a wonderful time with the family—when the living is easy. Thanks for sharing your beautiful summer memories.

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    1. Hi Lisa. Empty nesters!! Wow. I imagine it's very bittersweet. I can't believe how fast the kids grow up. I feel blessed to have enjoyed such a wonderful summer. I can almost smell the pumpkin donuts that fall will bring.

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  2. I've been enjoying all the pictures you have been sharing! Family vacations are wonderful memories to make. After seeing all 6 of my children leaving for college, I understand how shocking it is to see them growing up and becoming young adults. Our last is starting his Junior year!!! I have not read any books by Allie Pleiter yet, so will have to check her out.

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    1. Hi Becky! Family vacations are truly wonderful. WOW. I didn't realize you had six kids. Bless you. How wonderful that all six went off to college. That makes you a strong Mama to do it that many times. Allie is a wonderful writer. Her book is really engaging! Blessings.

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  3. I love the pictures of your time with your family. Special memories to hold on to. The kids grow up so fast. It's still hard to believe my oldest granddaughter is 11.

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    1. Hi, Mary. Thanks. I really love the fact that I can take great pictures with my phone. It's very useful on vacation to capture those memories. And kids do grow up so fast. Treasure your time with your granddaughter. It all goes by in the blink of an eye.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your vacation photos! I almost felt like I was there. Wonderful memories you made with your girls.

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    1. Hi Christine. We had such a good time in Florida and Cape Cod. I hope the girls will treasure those memories as much as my husband and I will. Blessings.

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  5. Aww, I love all these photos! Cape Cod looks amazing! I hope your daughter's final year of college is wonderful. And your new doggy is so cute!

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    1. Thanks, Jill. I have been in love with Cape Cod for most of my life. I'm really drawn to beach towns. I find them so relaxing and tranquil. Beau is super cute but he's quite something. I hope I can get writing done when my youngest goes back to school next week. She's been such a big help. Blessings.

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  6. Belle, it looks like you've been a traveling maniac this summer. How fun! Especially spending time with family. That's the best.

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    1. Hi, Leigh. I really love traveling. Next year we're hoping to do a bigger trip like Hawaii or Europe. So many places to see!! And you're so right. Spending time with family is the best. Blessings.

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  7. Gorgeous pictures ! Looks like you had a really great time! Thanks for offering the book as a giveaway!

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    1. Hi Paula. Thanks for stopping by. I had a great summer. Good luck with the giveaway. Blessings.

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  8. You did have a wonderful summer, but I have to argue that Arizona has the most beautiful sunsets. I've lived in both places. :) But I will have to say that your photo of the sunset is gorgeous.

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    1. Hi Merrillee. I've always wanted to visit Arizona. It's on our bucket list. Maybe we'll get there next summer and finally see the Grand Canyon. Then I'll post about that!

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  9. Such a great summer, Belle! I lived in Amherst as a child and often went to Cape Cod, although I remember so little about those special family moments. I would love to go back. Your pictures make me want to go even more! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Debby. I love teh Amherst area. It's beautiful there, although I'm partial to my home state of Massachusetts. And Cape Cod is my sweet spot, the place where I love to go. I don't think I've ever had a bad moment there. Blessings.

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  10. It sounds like you had an eventful but wonderful summer! I enjoyed seeing your pictures. I haven't been to Cape Cod or any beaches in the area. It's beautiful. I'd love to visit that area some day.
    And your pictures of Orlando make me wish I was back there! I so enjoyed spending time with you and other authors.
    I hope all goes smoothly during your oldest daughter's move to the apartment.

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    1. Hi Karen. It was so great to hang out with you at RWA. Such fun. We really have had a wonderful summer and I can't quite believe it's almost over. So bittersweet. Cape Cod is gorgeous. I love driving down the Cape Cod National Seashore and seeing the beautiful landscape. Thanks for your best wishes for my daughter. It's a process!!! I'm still wondering how we're going to move her leather love seat to her new second floor apartment lol

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  11. You have a beautiful family. I have always wanted to go to the Cape Cod area. Maybe next summer - it looks like our Texas coast is going to be out of commission for a good long while. I had a great time with you at RWA - see you next year!

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    1. Thanks, Jolene. It was great to see you and hang out together in Orlando. And I loved doing the workshop with you, Lee and Danica. You would love Cape Cod. The beaches are gorgeous, the seafood and restaurants are great and there's lots of fun stuff to do. See you next year.

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  12. I'm almost jealous of your summer vacation Belle ;-) Looks wonderful, relaxing and FUN! I've never been to Florida, but it's a dream vacation for me someday. I live on the Oregon coast and love our beaches here, but I really want to see and walk on the white sand! Not so sure I'd like the HOT weather though, I suppose if one has a pool to enjoy, it would make it tolerable...lol! I'm so glad your family had so much fun together. Love all the pictures you shared!

    I've been following your posts on Facebook and had to laugh when you and Allie got each others books in the mail. What a surprise to open up what you thought was His Secret Alaskan Heiress only to find The Texan Rancher's New Family peeking out at you :-) Oh my!

    Thanks for the giveaway chance!

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    1. Hi Trixi. Thanks for stopping by. The Oregon coast sounds so lovely. I would love to visit one day. And Florida is almost like our second home. We have spent many a vacation in Florida, mostly Orlando due to the lure of Disney and Universal. My girls still love going to the parks. But I have to say it was blazing hot in Orlando. I don't do too well in heat unless I'm poolside or able to take a dip in the ocean. And what I forgot to make clear in the post was that Allie received my books as well. LOL

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  13. What a wonderful summer, full of adventure and family time! I'm sure all of these wonderful experiences lend towards the creative process that is necessary to write your fabulous novels! Thanks so much for sharing with us all!

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    1. Hi M. Moore. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, my down-time replenishes the well so that I can move forward and write the books I love to write. That family time is so precious. It's my pleasure to share with everyone. Blessings.

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  14. Wow! You've had a very busy summer. I am always sad to see summer come to an end but I do enjoy the beauty of Autumn and the holidays that are ahead. Thanks for your giveaway.
    Blessings!

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    1. Hi Connie. Thanks for stopping by. I also love Autumn. My husband and children love Autumn more than summer. We have a lot of family birthdays in the Fall so that's fun as well. Good luck with the giveaway.

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  15. I so want to go to Cape Cod sometime. Beautiful pictures. It was great seeing you at RWA.

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  16. Thanks Terri. It was great to see you too. Cape Cod is a gem. Hope you're out of your cast.

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  17. Belle, it was so nice to visit with you and meet some of your family in Orlando. What a great summer you had!

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    1. Hi Lenora. It was great to see you again and meet your sweet hubby. Florida was such a nice getaway for us.

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  18. Wow, sounds like a very exciting summer and good times. Thank you for sharing some of the wonderful memories with us.
    Blessings,
    CherylB1987 AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. Hi Cheryl. Thanks for stopping by. I'm sad to see summer go, but Autumn is such a nice time of year. I'm looking forward to all things pumpkin. Blessings.

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