The Summer Brief

What does it mean? It sounds like an itinerary for the summer season. “Right, summer’s here – this is what’s going to happen.” Yeah, right! I live in the UK, the land of notorious weather and the people that love to talk about it. Hence, my post.

Anyway, it isn’t about an outline of the activities that were undertaken over the summer, but rather an adjusted way for me to bemoan the distinct lack of the season without being too obvious about it. Well, it’s less depressing than a title that immediately screams of an inadequate summer season—even though it was.

Yep, I’m going there. Well, as I said, I’m from the land where the weather is a favoured topic of conversation so who am I to upset the status quo. The summer was so brief that it was practically non-existent. It’s true that there were a few days of unseasonably good weather during September—what should have been the start of autumn. However, I am both greedy and occasionally traditional, so I like my sun when I’m supposed to get my sun.

Still, there is one way in which it is possible to turn that grey cloud into one with a silver lining—make believe that summer is still here. There are several ways to achieve this, like turning up the heating and installing a sun lamp or filling your garden with sand reminiscent of the beach. If this is too much like hard work, you can always immerse yourself in a good book like Summer Spectacles. With sizzling tales by Gillian Archer, Maggie Nash, Imari Jade and myself, you can read all about the sights that can be seen beneath the heat of a burning sun.

The stories are conveniently available in both digital format as well as print so you can wrap yourself in the warmth of the written word whether you are techno-savvy or old school.

Summer Spectacles is available now at Total-E-Bound and an excerpt from my own contribution, Two With a View, follows.  

 The purr of his engine approached as she reached her front door. Looking back as she turned the key, she watched him get out of the car after parking in his driveway. In turn, he turned to her the moment he emerged from the car, offering a smile and a nod before leaning back into the car to gather his briefcase and suit jacket.

            Apparently unaffected by the heat, despite the early evening sun remaining strong, he looked pristine. He always looked good, and it always seemed effortless.  

            Closing the door as he approached his house, she didn’t see him look back at her again before disappearing inside. 

            Her smile remained when she got inside, the sudden shade making her skin tingle. Natalie Vaughan had only lived opposite Cyrus Perdue for a little over five months, but they had quickly become more than friends. On moving day, he brought her a welcome basket, which thoughtfully included a bottle of wine as well as fridge staples.

In a street mostly made up of families and elderly people, they had bonded further at a neighbourhood watch meeting. Gravitating to each other, they spent the evening in shared amusement over the fervour with which dog fouling and graffiti was being debated.

It quickly became clear that they were kindred spirits, appearing to be normal civil neighbours when, really, nearly every flirtatious conversation would gradually descend into pure lust.

If Cyrus had his way, they would be a couple but Natalie resisted despite realising how good they would probably be good together. She had thought the same way with her previous boyfriend. Moving home had come with the end of a long and bad relationship, which left her only wanting to enjoy the single life.

Both good-looking and successful, he was everything her ex-boyfriends aspired to be, which meant that the good times would never last. 

Kicking off her sandals, she padded along the hardwood floor to the living room, feeling the stifling heat as she advanced further. Dropping her bag and portfolio, she opened a window before heading upstairs. The temperature gradually increased as she ascended the stairs, the air seeming to become thicker with every step.

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