Today, romance author Mariah Stewart has a guest post to share. Mariah recently released Home for The Summer: The Chesapeake Diaries. Help me welcome Mariah to Book Savvy Babe:
I get a lot of emails from readers who want directions to St. Dennis, MD, where my Chesapeake Diaries series is set, so that they can visit all the places I’ve written about. I always feel so badly when I have to tell them that the town is fictional.
I have to admit, St. Dennis does feel real sometimes, even to me. It’s the quintessential Bay town that’s made a come-back after years of economic decline. Graced with a location on the Chesapeake and streets lined with charming, historic houses, the movers and shakers set out to turn their hometown into a thriving tourist attraction. Their newly-adopted slogan – Discover St. Dennis – is as much invitation as it is an imperative.
So let’s take a tour of St. Dennis and discover a few of the town’s attractions.
There’s One Scoop or Two, the ice cream shop where everything is handmade, daily, from local ingredients. The shop sits right on the Bay and a stroll along the boardwalk will bring you right to the marina, where you can charter a boat or dock your own. Next to the marina, there’s a great seafood restaurant, Captain Walt’s. Walt and his wife, Roxana, buy their fish right off the boats every morning. On weekends in the summer, there’s live music on Saturday nights – sometimes jazz, sometimes country, sometimes blues. Not always good but most weekends it’s the only show in town.
Up on Charles Street, at the corner, there’s Petals and Posies, the flower shop, and next door, you’ll find Cuppachino, where you can get the best coffee in town along with your morning gossip, because that’s where all the locals gather before heading off to their jobs. Next to Cuppachino is Lola’s Café, the fine dining establishment where ninety-something year old Lola reigns as the town’s restaurant queen. Directly across the street is Cupcake, the newest bakery in town where you can buy – wait for it – cupcakes (and the occasional muffin). Book ‘Em, for books and magazines, sits between Cupcake and Past Times, an antique shop. Next door is Bling, an upscale boutique where you’ll find the latest in trendy clothing and accessories.
There’s a town square up on Old St. Mary’s Church Road and a house that still harbors the cannonball that was fired during the War of 1812, and a historic society reading room where you can find everything you ever wanted to know about not only the locals’ genealogy, but the pirates – yes! pirates! – who used to descend upon the town every fall until they were captured and hanged.
Of course, it’s the people – I mean, the characters – that make a place interesting, and St. Dennis has more than its share of characters. Sometimes they feel real to me, too.
Okay, sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s all make believe, so I understand why my readers want to visit St. Dennis and meet the residents. I’d like to take a stroll along Charles Street or the boardwalk down near the Bay and meet them, too.
In HOME FOR THE SUMMER, book #5 in the Chesapeake Diaries series, you’ll meet wedding planner Lucy Sinclair, who harbored a terrible secret that forced her to leave right out of college and never look back. Clay Madison, once Lucy’s best friend, never understood why she left – and never stopped wishing she’d come home. With Lucy finally home for one summer, Clay is determined to find a way to make her want to stay.
Thank you Mariah for stopping by, I know that I want to visit St Dennis too!
Here is an excerpt from Home for the Summer: (click the image to enlarge)
Readers, you can grab your copy of Home for the Summer today at: