The Season of You & Me
by Robin Constantine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: May 10th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Disability
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Cassidy Emmerich is determined to make this summer—the last before her boyfriend heads off to college—unforgettable. What she doesn’t count on is her boyfriend breaking up with her. Now, instead of being poolside with him, Cass is over a hundred miles away, spending the summer with her estranged father and his family at their bed-and-breakfast at the Jersey Shore and working as the newest counselor at Camp Manatee.
Bryan Lakewood is sick of nevers. You’ll never walk. You’ll never surf. You’ll never slow dance with your date at prom. One miscalculated step and Bryan’s life changed forever—now he’s paralyzed and needs to use a wheelchair. This is the first summer he’s back at his former position at Camp Manatee and ready to reclaim some of his independence, in spite of those who question if he’s up for the job.
Cass is expecting two months dealing with heartbreak.
Bryan is expecting a summer of tough adjustments.
Neither of them is expecting to fall in love.
Real Life Inspiration behind The Season of You and Me
One of the reasons my latest book is so close to my heart is the setting. The Season of You & Me takes place in the fictional town of Crest Haven, New Jersey but it’s loosely based on Cape May.
The germ of this story began years ago when I stayed at a bed and breakfast that had recently been purchased by a couple with a young son. It was their first winter as owners, and lots seemed to go wrong during our stay. Pipes froze, hot water was scarce, and some rooms were boiling while others were frigid. (I was luckily in a warm one!) In short, it was a mess, and all through the craziness they kept their cool. One morning during breakfast, a guest asked the young son how he liked living in the bed and breakfast. He kind of shrugged and slunk back behind his mom. Why that image stayed with me, I’m not sure – but it got me thinking – what would it be like to live in a bed and breakfast as a kid?
When all the pieces of my new story came together – I knew it was time to use this captivating setting. Cape May is not what you might imagine a typical Jersey beach town to be. It doesn’t have the boardwalks of Point Pleasant or Seaside Heights. It doesn’t have the club scene of Belmar or LBI. It’s quiet. Elegant. Quaint.
During summer you can comb its beaches for shells and quartz crystals called Cape May diamonds. Around Christmas time, they host special carriage rides and house tours so you can see it all decked out in Victorian splendor for the holidays. It’s a magical town to visit any time of the year and is truly one of my favorite places. Here are a few of the reasons why I love it so much:
Visiting Cape May is like traveling back to another era. There are so many beautiful houses – each one more ornate than the next with widow’s walks and dormers and gingerbread trim - and most are decorated just as beautifully on the inside. It’s easy to see why it’s a National Historic Landmark City.
The Blue Pig Tavern
I love this gem in Congress Hall, which serves great (fresh and local!) food in a rustic, relaxed atmosphere. It’s also fun to explore the shops and other areas of the hotel when you’re finished. If you happen to smell tobacco in and around the hotel, rumor has it there could be a ghost nearby…mwahahaha.
In the fall, thousands of migrating butterflies stop here for a bit on their way to Mexico. If you keep your eyes peeled, and stay very, very still, you might catch a glimpse of these beauties.
Kohr Bros Frozen Custard
This frozen yumminess is quintessential Jersey shore. My old standby is a vanilla and orange twist, but in the fall they have pumpkin and cinnamon!! You can keep your PSLs – this is the absolute BEST fall treat.
This picture says it all. I love letting my mind wander here.
Is it any wonder why this gorgeous place ignited my imagination and inspired me to write The Season of You & Me? The reason I chose to change Cape May to the fictional Crest Haven is because I took a few liberties with the actual landscape and businesses, but tried to remain as true as I could to the spirit of the town. It’s the perfect backdrop for Cassidy and Bryan’s story. <3
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Robin Constantine is the author of The Promise of Amazing and The Secrets of Attraction. A born-and-raised Jersey girl, Robin likes to spend her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, eventually, but not without a lot of peril, angst, and the occasional kissing scene. She loves swoony books, flip-flops, dark chocolate and the full moon.