We’re still celebrating the release of Sherry Harris’s A Time to Swill and Cate Conte’s Claws for Alarm. Both books are about wonderful places to spend time. A seaside bar in a beach community and a cat cafe on an island. I want to go there. To both. Seriously.
Since most of us spent the last while indoors and only hanging out with our fellow residents, I’m not going to ask about your current hangout. Instead, I’m inviting you to invent a fantasy place where you can meet other interesting adults. Is it a bookstore, a coffee shop, a bar, a museum restaurant? Wherever you’re mentally hanging, I want to come by. Or, as we all learn to socialize again, maybe your fantasy place is a hideaway, where you can escape when re-entry is too much. Tell us about either or both!
Julie: Congratulations Sherry and Cate! And Liz! This was a great question, Barb. My initial response was a house by a lake, But upon reflection, and since this is a fantasy, my dream hideaway is a suite on a river cruise boat that travels the world. Weeks on the Nile. Months in Europe. Adventures in Asia. Since it’s a suite, people can visit.
Jessie: Add my congratulations to the chorus, Sherry and Edith! I love Julie’s idea of a river cruise! I think my fantasy would be an enormous house facing the sea where I could invite anyone I chose to stay for a visit. There would be a wrap-around porch, vast expanses of glass and at least two dozen bedrooms, a solarium, a dining room to seat fifty, a library, a walled garden, an outdoor fireplace rising from a stone patio and an art studio. It would include a turret room with a widow’s walk where I could spend a bit of time on my own looking over the churning waves to the horizon.
Liz: Thank you! Jessie, I’m totally stealing yours – a seaside house has always been my dream and the one you created sounds lovely! I would probably fill mine with foster animals (oh, who am I kidding, they would become permanent residents) but the idea is the same.
Barb: I think prior to the last year and a half I would have gone with a hideaway, one of those wonderful book nooks you see on Instagram. But, for now at least, even this introverted homebody has HAD it. I’m thinking about a diner full of regulars, where everybody knows your name and your order before you’re halfway through the door. Maybe like Gus’s from the Maine Clambake Mysteries.
Edith/Maddie: I think I’m with you, Barb, on wanting to be (safely) around people again. I’m inventing Books and Brews – a book-centered pub where all my author pals and avid fans hang out for a drink, some chat, maybe reading curled up in an armchair with an Irish coffee, but lots of company and comfortable seating. Plus walls lined with filled bookshelves and a sign reading, “Take One, Leave One.” Since we’re fantasizing, it will also be at the beach! And many congrats to Sherry and Liz/Cate.
Sherry: Thanks, ladies! I want to go to all of those places! Barb and I had lunch with a VERY famous author one time at a conference who told us about the annual four month cruise. It was a huge cruise ship but only had 150 passengers. They traveled the world going to different ports every year. That sounded pretty good to me.
Readers: Tell us about your fantasy hangout or hideaway.
A cozy shop that that sells hot chocolate, okay, coffee for you coffee lovers, books and goodies for us to consume. There are comfy chairs, tables and a nook where book groups can talk about their latest read. Also in the back is a movie room to watch the latest book-inspired movie.
I love it, Dru!
I must be suffering from a failure of imagination because I can’t think of any kind of specific fantasy hangout I’d like to be spending time at. I’m usually most comfortable at home. It has everything I need so why hang out anywhere else? Especially since I don’t have to worry about other people being there.
But if I can be a little less specific, I wouldn’t having a book store or record shop to hang out for hours at a time. I guess the main specific thing would be that it would have to be big enough that the act of hanging out doesn’t interfere with others being there and doing the same kind of browsing and/or relaxing that I’d want to do.
Still, I’d really just rather be home.
Your shop sounds wonderful. I would definitely hang out there–staying out of your way, of course!
I would love to have a book/coffee shop to hang out at in our area that has a few cats that roam around.
The cats do add something.
Well, let’s see. I love the coffee shop idea (as long as it also sells tea). But really, I’d love a place in the mountains with plenty of guest rooms so I can invite all my friends to come hang out, write, gab, drink whatever beverage suits your fancy, and a big fireplace we can gather around in the evening after the writing is done.
Packing my bag right now!
I’m totally hanging out with Jessie – but in my case, I want it on the cliffs of Cornwell. Hey, it’s fantasy.
Indeed. Checking ticket prices now.
Let’s think! Alcohol, snacks, sandwiches. At the side of a lake or ocean(I’m thinking Hampton NH) and a large table with friends who come by, chat and maybe stay awhile before moving on so the next friends coming by can stop and chat. I can write, read, order food, and visit!
I was in Salisbury Beach State Park all day Saturday for a family reunion and it was glorious, so I am seconding this Hampton, NH notions.
I’m still imagining Jessie’s seaside house, with all of Liz’s animals and Edith’s Irish coffee! That would be a perfect place to have lots of people over, but I’d also need a little cozy book room for just me (and cats) with a big stuffed cushy recliner and a fireplace. With a candy cupboard lol!
A big entertaining space and a refuge. Now we’re on to something…
Congratulations, Sherry and Liz (Cate)! Both of your settings sound great. But right now, I’m with Barb. It’s about being with friends for me. I’m pinning my hopes on Crime Bake in November. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.
As soon as I saw this question, I started thinking of an answer that looks an awful lot like Edith’s. Great minds think alike, right?
I am like Jay and really enjoy home, but the most fun places I think I would enjoy being close enough to walk to would be: Goosebush, MA; Walmsley Parva, UK; Busman’s Harbour, Maine; Emerald Cove, FL; Cape Cod, MA and Daybreak Island. Fortunately for me, I can travel to those places with each book I read and I will “walk” in my mind to each of those favorite spots! Notice they are all near water or not too far from it! When you are born near an ocean or large body of water, it is a part of you.
What a lovely sentiment. I agree about the water.
I love the idea of a bookstore/coffee house, with some rooms for discussions to occur. We did have storytelling in a couple of coffee houses that would suit. ETSU used to organize storytelling cruises, and the river cruises were the best for bonding as a group. Right now, it’s really hot in St. Louis, and I find myself fondly remembering hotel pools in Kingston, Jamaica, where I could relax, drink a beverage, and grade papers or read, even though I wasn’t staying there. I really thought by now we’d be free to mingle again, but nope . . . staying safe and glad for imaginary travel in books.
Sigh. Imaginary travel it is, though the river cruises sound wonderful.
I would go to a library in a big beautiful garden where they also have coffee or iced tea , I will read sitting on a patio swing next to beautiful blooming flowers or little ponds where the water lilies are blooming while listening to birds singing and butterflies sipping nectar from the flowers. Congratulations on your new book release ladies. Have a great rest of the week and stay safe.
My perfect hideaway would be an all weather gazebo with big cozy furniture, a fireplace, lots of books and puzzles, a deluxe coffee maker, and a small fridge and microwave. And, of course, a couple of snuggly kitties.
My kitchen table is fine, thank you.
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