luggage full and ready to travel

Have Books Will Travel:
6 Vacation Picks to Stash in Your Suitcase

Tis the time of year for taking those precious vacation days that we have worked so very hard for!  Saving them up since the first hint of orange in the treetops, through snowfall and gray, dreary, days that tempted us to call out we made it through…finally! We managed to save all of our time off for the summer months and we are intent on doing as little as possible—or at least only stuff we enjoy, once we reach our destination.

Whether you are heading across the pond or across the state this summer, we have some recommended reading that will go quite nicely with your suitcase, picnic baskets, or even in your backpack as you trek out to your campsite.

Lounging in a hammock on the porch of an isolated log cabin? This could go a couple of ways depending on your preference. Feel like being scared? Try Black Woods by Laura Wright LaRoche. Beginning with a creepy tale from years ago, the book opens with suspense. Sisters Laura and Julie are now sixty something and hunting for mushrooms. Something sinister lurks in the Black Woods and they know part of “their” woods that is not safe even for them. The sisters have seen what rules the woods, you see. Of course nobody believes their story—which makes it all the more spine tingling. As part of a rescue group, Laura and Julie encounter some young travelers who are not aware of the bad part of the woods. Written with both humor and gore, Black Woods will have you peering out from your hammock before putting your feet in the grass to get that lemonade. P.S. this book is FREE on Amazon!

Camping with your significant other to reconnect quietly and keeping it low key? How about Summer on the Mountain by Rosemarie Naramore for an idyllic country escape. Artist Summer Windham is thrilled to spend some time at her boss’s cabin. All she has to do in return for the vacation is paint a landscape as a gift for boss Gwendolyn’s husband. When Summer meets Jarrod, the local ranger, he thinks she is trespassing. Talk about starting off on the wrong foot. Jarrod is also Gwendolyn’s son. What begins as a clash of an unlikely duo evolves into a romantic tale. Need a break from erotica? This one is quite a bit less raunchy then recent chart toppers, and has all the right qualities of a romance.

Heading to the big city with your family? Looking for the best ice cream or searching for a spot to chill out over lunch with the little ones while visiting the Big Apple? Pines Picks: A Kid’s Guide to the Best Things to Eat and Drink In New York City just won an IR Discovery Award for author David Pines’ suggestions on the best places to enjoy meals with kids in New York. What makes him such an authority on the matter? He’s eleven! From the mouths of babes; as they say, comes a terrific travel guide to avoid those restaurant experiences that plague us when we finally get a table and the menu has nothing our kids would touch with a ten foot Noodle. The best part: no fancy vocabulary to decipher as you salivate for super-stuffed burritos.

Only have one afternoon between planned activities to spare for a mini-read? Try Khaki Pants- A Vacation Story by Chris Stralyn. At 13 pages it’s a beach read you will finish before you succumb to that afternoon snooze in the sand. It’s also packed with disastrous details of a vacation gone bad which will make yours seem that much better! Thirteen pages of bed bugs, flat tires, snakes and emergency room drama highlight the story that won a contest called “Worst Vacation Ever.” After winning, Stralyn decided to keep writing. If you enjoy Khaki Pants on vacation, check out her novel when you get home! This Time You Lose was named a semifinalist in the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books of 2012. Stralyn proves she can go the distance (over 300 pages this time) as she describes a home invasion gone wrong in this thriller that has been read worldwide.


Virginia Jewell has got you covered for a trip to the coast with A Week at the Beach. Cami and Chrissy vacation in the Outer Banks, where they unexpectedly discover they will be sharing their beach house with Darren and Nick. Chrissy and Darren are party people who hit it off right away. Nick is more reserved; like Cami. The two have potential for romance but they live on opposite sides of the country. Agreeing that their locations would hinder a relationship, they try to hold back from each other. Can they do it? Sparks are flying, but in a mutually respectful manner. Could this love story have a happy ending even with the geographical distance between the potential lovers?

Taking a jaunt to Europe? Jewell has you covered there too with Across the Pond. Chloe meets James while in Europe fulfilling her grandfather’s final request. The two connect as James shows Chloe his world, which is gorgeous and successful; just like him. The treat of this story is that we get to see it from both Chloe and James’s points of view, and what we see are two people falling for each other. But can James keep Chloe near him or will she go back home without her newfound love?

No matter where you go this summer, don’t forget to take along your sunblock, some lip balm, a hair tie and one of these. You never know who you might meet while you’re away!

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