Win a copy of Love's Sweet Wager & meet author Jannine Corti Petska today at the Book Boost!
Here's what she had to say...
I’m not an outdoor person. In my younger days, my fair skin burned, blistered, peeled, and bled (Back then, I used the ever-popular baby oil to tan. I know, not too smart. We didn’t know any better.) As a result, I am now having pre-cancerous spots removed from my body several times a year. Needless to say, I try not to be in the sun too much; when I do, I’m slathered with sunscreen. However, I still enjoy a few outdoor activities.
Gardening is my favorite. Tinkering around in my vegetable, fruit and flower gardens gives me a sense of serenity. I virtually clear my brain of everything, good and bad. Every once in a while my characters hold conversations in my head, but nothing important enough to write down that very moment. Usually I have a 100 things going on in my mind (it was 1000 way back when) and can’t stop them from being invasive. But they truly take a back seat when I’m digging in the dirt, pruning, picking fruit or—not my favorite thing—throwing down snail pellets. I hate to kill the little creatures, but they eat my garden alive!
As you can guess, I do not sunbathe anymore though I do swim. Then there are the soccer games my daughter and grandsons play. Picnics are okay. My Sons of Italy lodge has an annual picnic in July. It’s a pot luck, and who wouldn’t want to go when there is an abundance of mouthwatering Italian fare? And tents to sit under. There are Italian stories to tell; Bocce ball to play; Italian to speak, catch up on or relearn. I don’t stay for long. Too many people in one place makes me feel claustrophobic.
Years ago I began a ritual. Almost every day about 3 or 4 p.m., I brew a fresh cup of coffee, get a biscotti (or any kind of cookie or pastry), and sit outside under the patio for a half hour or so, my dogs all around me. My three grown and married daughters look forward to doing this with me every time they come home for a visit. With them, we can sit outside for hours. The only difference is today the high calorie sweets have been replaced with lower calorie or low to no sugar-added treats (with the exception of the biscotti; I work them into my carbs. count—some things are hard to give up.). Even diabetes can’t keep me from enjoying my relaxing afternoon break—rain or shine.
The heat and sun bother me, so I’m usually in the house with the fans whirring in every room. Wish we had air conditioning. But I live in Southern California, and the cost of running it… Well, let’s just say I’d have to make the choice between making my house payment or being cool. I even have fans on my patio! I’m miserable during the summer months. It’s more difficult to write, but I do, even if it’s a paragraph of a wip or research for a book.
My outdoor activities probably sound boring to you. They sounded boring to me when I reread this article, lol. Yet I look forward to getting outdoors, especially to garden. There’s nothing better than growing and eating my own vegetables…and digging my fingers in the dirt. Maybe I’ve never grown up.
A Note from the Book Boost: Jannine, your outdoor activities sound great to me. But I'm a southern girl myself (Alabama) and simply cannot live without the air conditioner. Kudos to you for surviving the heat! Please tell us more about your latest book.
Her gambler father murdered, Rachel Garrett joins a wagon train west to be with her aunt and the fiancé she's never met. Her dream is to forget the life she led performing on stage to earn the money her father gambled away and settle down in one place. But along the trail, she is helplessly drawn to a priest--forbidden fruit--and her hopes are shattered.
Professional gambler Reno Hunter is wanted for the murder of James Garrett. His disguise as a priest on a wagon train is foolproof, until he discovers the woman the old gambler wagered in that fatal card game and Rachel Garrett are one and the same. Can he protect his identity and his heart, or will he surrender to his desire for Rachel and risk being apprehended by the law?
“Are you dancing in Fort Laramie tonight?”
Her body stiffened with insolence. “I don’t see it’s any of your concern.”
“Dancing in saloons isn’t proper for a woman.” Neither was his stealing kisses or stoking the flames of their passionate nature. “What will your fiancé say?”
“He’ll never learn about my dancing.”
“Lying isn’t a good start to a marriage.”
“My fiancé and my life do not concern you. If I want to dance, I will and you can’t stop me.”
“Dancing half naked in front of men who seldom see women is foolish and dangerous.”
“I’ve been dancing all my life. I know how to handle men.” She groaned at the inference. “I mean, I know how to hold off a man’s advances.”
“Is that a fact,” Reno drawled. “Just like you held off mine?” He caught her wrist in midair and yanked her hard to his body, her whoosh of breath striking his face. “If the spoken truth offends you, I’m sorry. But you did nothing to suggest you didn’t want me to kiss and caress you. On the contrary, Miss Rachel Garrett, your body begged me to finish what we started.”
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