Thanks for joining me on this beachy adventure! Since this is a summer-long beach vacay, I want to share my inspiration for the Beachside Boys with you. Zeke, Milo, and Leo have been several years in the making – here’s an inside look at how their stories came to be.
Once upon a time–at a grocery store–I saw a guy stacking cases of soda…
Not the opener you thought? Same! But hang in there.
The guy was hot –man bun, strong arms, handsome. Soda Guy was my quick sip of sugary goodness while trudging through my massive food order. I told a friend about him and the soda guy became a topic of conversation over and over again. While he might never know it, that hottie sparked my desire to pair romance and delicious treats. Years later, I still smirk when I peruse the beverage aisle.
While I have published beach stories in the past, I wanted to experiment with writing romantic comedies in a town that held all the charm of my favorite vacation spots–Ocean City, Maryland and Bar Harbor, Maine. I always had a great time in both locations and I wanted to recreate some of that fun for readers. I also wanted to create a place where we could escape from the difficulties of the past year.
As I was thinking about the soda guy, my favorite vacation spots, and my must-have foods at the beach, I knew I needed a bigger concept to float this buoy out to sea. I work in a college town and I noticed two pizza shops directly across the street from one another. I started thinking about the turf wars that might happen with rival pizza shops. I’m also familiar with the level of romantic drama that can occur in college. I started daydreaming about the employees of the pizza shops – would they argue over who had the best crust, the biggest slice, or if they would cross the street and work for the competition.
Then the true inspiration hit – what if two employees from different pizza shops fell in love. I was immediately reminded of Romeo and Juliet, and that’s when the idea of The Pizza Guy from Beachside came to life. I wanted to write a funny story about two restaurant owners who met along the boardwalk and didn’t realize they were supposed to be enemies until it was too late.
Love happens fast at the beach, babes. What can I say, it’s the power of the ocean.
The more I thought about how two lovers could hide their romance from their warring families in my favorite vacation spots, making delicious food and drinks, the town of Beachside and the Beachside Boys came into focus.
I knew I wanted to write three books themed around my favorite foods – pizza, french fries, and desserts. While I have played with family dynamics in past books, the Cusano family was a new level of fun. Writing Zeke, Milo, and Leo’s journey toward a summer HEA was a blast. Bringing their loving parents and kick ass grandmother into the mix only added more joy.
Milo’s story will be out later this month. Leo will help us close the summer season in August.
I told you this was a summer-long celebration, friends. Thanks for joining the party!
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I’ll see you in Beachside!