Hot Fun in the Summertime by Joan Reeves

The Trouble With Love by Joan Reeves

The Trouble With Love: a Romantic Comedy set in a hot Texas summer.

Today’s post has a soundtrack: that classic rock song Hot Fun in the Summertime by Sly and the Family Stone. Feel free to hum along.

I went to school in the “write a theme” era. I liked to write so that didn’t bother me.

Except the first week of every school year.

Every year, it was always the same. That dreaded command from the teacher: “Write a theme about how you spent your summer vacation.”

You see, my parents worked hard just to make ends meet. There was nothing in the family budget for vacations of any sort. My summers were always spent the same way: working at the farm in the kitchen garden. Our kitchen garden was humongous because it provided food for the entire year.

In the spring, we kids helped plant the garden. Then came the weekends we spent attacking the weeds with the sharp blade of a hoe. When school was out, every day was spent at the garden, keeping the weeds away from the plants, picking the peas — 2 or 3 varieties, beans — string beans and 2 varieties of butterbeans, squash, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, corn, and eggplant plus other veggies.

Of course, everything that was picked had to be: washed, shelled or cut up, then canned and/or frozen. The days were endless, and the work never ending. All these years later, just writing about it makes me remember how exhausted I was at the end of each day.

There may have been hot fun in the summertime somewhere in the world, but it wasn’t in the rural area where I grew up. A theme about how I spent my summer? Why not just copy the paper I wrote the year before or the year before that?

Imagination Training Camp

I think working those endless days were a training camp for my imagination. When you’re moving from squash plant to squash plant, picking the vegetables that seemed to grow larger before your very eyes, there was nothing to do but think. That was when I started making up stories in my head and letting them play like a movie.

Summer Heat

I’ve set several of my books in the summertime. I guess because I grew up in Louisiana where the summers offered blistering days, spectacular sunsets, and sultry nights. Heat is almost like a character in that it can affect the mood, the temper, and even affect how one dresses which can lead to all sorts of problems. Just take a look at my romantic comedy The Trouble With Love when by-the-book Deputy Susannah Quinn dons a bikini!

Bet You’re Wondering

My summers did get better as I grew up. There were summers when I traveled to other countries like the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Italy, France — oh, and Disney World. *g* Perhaps the lack of vacations when I was growing up prompted my love of travel.

This Summer

Then there’s this summer when I traveled a lot — on the road from the house I sold to our weekend home where I moved my office. Back and forth from the Houston-area to the Texas Hill Country. Now, I’m ensconced up on the hill, watching the grass grow — when there’s rain — and watching it burn to a crisp when there’s not a drop of precipitation in sight.

Grab A Free Book

Whatever you do this summer, enjoy it. For everyone who comments on this post, from now through Sunday midnight, I’m offering a free copy of The Trouble With Love from Smashwords. Just make a comment and leave your email address if you want a copy of this romantic comedy that’s hotter than a bowl of Texas chili.

Post Script

Joan Reeves writes sassy, sexy Romantic Comedy. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers with audio editions available at Amazon,, and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers, and Wordplay, a free subscription newsletter for readers. Info? Visit SlingWords or Joan’s Website.


About JoanReeves

Joan Reeves is a bestselling ebook author of Contemporary Romance. She is multi-published in print and ebooks and is published all over the web under her own name, various pseudonyms, and as a ghost.
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12 Responses to Hot Fun in the Summertime by Joan Reeves

  1. Jill James says:

    Joan, sounds like a lot of work for some veggies in the winter. Bet it made you healthy and strong.


  2. Carol says:

    I understand the need to work that hard in the summer. While in grade school, I used to visit a friend from church. They had lots of kids and all of them worked hard like you. But…the table was always laden with delicious foods. Everything fresh. Sooo good. I’m happy to hear that type gardening doesn’t consume your summers now.


    • Joan Reeves says:

      Now my vegetable gardening is limited to a “salad” garden when I have the time to get it planted in the spring. Tomatoes, lettuces, squash, etc. Mostly my gardening is for decorative — roses, agapanthas, etc. I love being able to walk out into the yard and cut fresh flowers everyday.


  3. susanrhughes says:

    Now I will have that song stuck in my head all day!


  4. Joan Reeves says:

    Susan, that may be true, but at least it’s a happy song that gives you bounce in your steps. *g*


  5. monarisk says:

    I’m amazed at how people are expert at planting and growing flowers and vegetables. I tried to plant tomatoes a few times but never got a single plant to grow. No better luck with flowers. Our yard was green, well-mowed but no flowers, except for the forsythias that were there before we bought the house.


  6. leighmorgan1 says:

    Joan, you’ve got that song playing in my head! I used to car-hop at the A & W in town when I was 15 & 16 and the parents of one of the band members of Sly and the Family Stone would come in. She was so offended the first time she mentioned them and I didn’t know who they were. Then she sang some of the songs and I felt like an idiot. True story! What a great trip down memory lane. 🙂


  7. E. Ayers says:

    I moved to the South and knew I couldn’t grow things the way we did up North. So I went to the local feed and seed and asked what I should grow. I planted all sorts of stuff like okra. It grew so tall and it had these cute little okras on them. My neighbor spotted me and told me to pick those darn things – I guess I was waiting for them to turn color or something.
    I had no clue what to do with okra so I called a friend who told me to pick and come for lunch. She’d fix them for us. That’s a great offer! So I put the diaper bag in the car sat the baby on a blanket. Locked the house. Picked okra, put the baby in her car seat , and jumped into the car for a 1/2 hr drive to my friend’s house. By the time I reached her house I thought I’d claw my hands and arms off. No one warned me about that “hairy” plant. LOL Oh, the things we learn.

    Then my friend steamed them. UCK! So I tried a few years later when I heard to fry the little things. I can fry! I figured I’d try again. My new neighbor said to cut them into dime slices and put them into a pancake-like batter and fry them. That was so much work. Yes, I individually fried each little dime. And I had a ton left over. My friend called that evening to ask how the okra went over with the family. I told it was okay, but it was so much work, and I had a ton of leftovers. She asked me to bring it her house. She wanted to taste. So I took her a bag full of little fried dimes. When she got done laughing at me, she explained that she meant for me to mix the okra into the batter and fry the batter it as if I were making pancakes with okra mixed in. Oh, that was so much better!

    It took me a few years to learn how to fix okra. Now I have a half dozen ways to fix it. But I’ll never fry little dimes again! And I will wash my hands and arms after picking it! And never let it grow 15 inches long unless you are trying to set a record at the county fair. LOL


  8. Joan Reeves says:

    Oh my goodness that’s a funny cooking story. Okra is a challenge for someone unfamiliar with the slimy little veg, but new varieties that reduced the slime make it a lot easier.


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