The "to-do's" that inspire me (plus two great summer reads!)

I sit at my desk by the window. I look up, and I see the stack of books and the camera sitting on top—my colorful tower of lofty summertime goals.

photo (3).JPG

There's something about the beginning of summer that prompts me to create this long, ambitious lists of projects: read lots of books, take more photos, write, declutter the house, plant flowers and herbs (remember to water flowers and herbs), frame family photos and kids' artwork (remember to hang family photos and artwork). 

Summertime inspires my creativity, and the projects on my list don't feel like work. But since it's already July, it's time to shape these goals into something more realistic. These "to-do's" won't get crossed off and discarded—they feel too important and necessary for that—but they definitely won't all get accomplished by summer's end. I'm trying to retrain my mind to stop the panic-like thinking... time is running out. Living like that creates anxiety and makes me counterproductive. 

Slow down. One thing at a time. 

***

I decided to start here:

Earlier this summer, a book arrived in the mail. Mary Alice Monroe's publisher sent me a copy of The Summer Girls, which is part one of a Lowcountry Summer Trilogy. The story is set on Sullivan's Island, one of my favorite beaches and located just a half hour from my house in Charleston. The novel begins as three sisters return to their family beach house to celebrate their grandmother's 80th birthday... a party that ends up falling apart when old, dark secrets come flooding out. 

But, as the salt air and the sea work their magical powers, the sisters discover a chance for healing and new beginnings. Even though it's fiction, I believe in this magic because the Lowcountry is my home. And I'm grateful for authors like Mary Alice Monroe who capture its essence so beautifully. 

The Summer Girls also includes an excerpt of part two in the trilogy, The Summer Wind, which was just released last month. Will you join me in finding out what happens next? You can grab your copies by visiting Mary Alice's Monroe's website.

Meet Mary Alice Monroe: 

If you live in the Charleston area or are visiting this week, coming up this Friday, July 11 at Noon Blue Bicycle Books is holding an Author's Luncheon to celebrate the release of The Summer Wind. Tickets are $35 and include lunch, author talk, and a signed copy of the book. To purchase tickets, click here, or call the store at 843.277.2666.

Then, on Sunday, July 13 at 2:00 p.m. Mary Alice will also be signing books during a special event at The Lowcountry Artists Gallery (148 E. Bay Street, Charleston). 

I was given a free copy of The Summer Girls but was not paid to write about The Lowcountry Summer Trilogy. My opinions are my own, and as a general rule, I only share news about and promote the people + places + things that I love.

If you'd like to have new blog posts delivered to your inbox, click here to subscribe to Angie's blog.