Susan Elizabeth Phillips – The Joy of the Perfect Place

August is Read-A-Romance Month.


I hope you’ll visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about the Joy of Romance. (Check out the calendar.)

Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

I am so excited to be hosting Susan Elizabeth Phillips at Read-A-Romance Month today! She’s so busy that she sent along the post a few months ago, and never got to the Q&A, but I don’t mind! To me, anything by SEP is worth reading, and I am so grateful to have her here today! Happy summer, happy Read-A-Romance Month. Enjoy. xo

Joyful Reflections from My Porch

I’ve been fortunate to have traveled to many beautiful places. One of my fondest 0062106090-199x322memoriessitting in a lovely outdoor café built into the side of a cliff in Granada, Spain, sipping a delicious glass of Rioja and watching the sun set over the magnificent Alhambra. So what if I was with my friend Helen instead of my husband or…say…George Clooney? It was still blissful.

I’ve eaten grapes off the vine in Tuscany, spent a chilly October day trekking barefoot across the Bay of Mont St. Michel. I’ve kayaked next to a playful sea otter in Alaska, gone bird watching at dawn in Costa Rica, wandered through the heather across a gloomy Yorkshire moor. I’ve sipped mint tea with a Berber family in the desserts of Morocco, watched a thunder storm blow in over the Andes in Peru, and abandoned a worn pair of hiking boots along France’s Dordogne River..

Wonderful memories, each one, but as passionately as I have loved all these 51IM7ZTxghL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_locales, my all-time favorite place is my own screened porch.  It’s not one of those beautiful chintz and white wicker screened porches you see in Better Homes & Gardens, but it’s small and shadyand, okay, a little spiderywith a child’s plastic play kitchen set up in one corner and a piece of driftwood I picked in Michigan serving as a dining table centerpiece.

It’s not always quiet and peaceful. (Thanks a lot, you @^% leaf blowers.) Despite a ceiling fan, it can become unpleasantly hot once the temperatures hit the mid-90s. But it’s where my husband and I have our summer breakfasts accompanied by the hiss of lawn sprinklers, where I can enjoy a July rainstorm, and where I write on my laptop all summer long.

I sometimes pass my love of screened porches on to my characters. Kenny Traveler had a beautiful one at his ranch in Lady Be Good, and as I remember, that same porch serves as the background for a scene in another of my Wynette, Texas, books, Call Me Irresistible.  In The Great Escape, Lucy Jorik finds a refuge of sorts on the screened porch of an old lake house situated on a Great Lakes island. Heroes are My Weakness is set in the middle of winter on an isolated island off the coast of Maine, so, alas, no screen porch there, but I compensated with a pretty little cottage. 

As I think of books, writing, and screened-porches, I wonder about all of you and hope you have a place where you can find your own peaceful retreat.

Susan is generously giving away paperback copy of of HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS to an international winner, and three audio copies of HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS to US readers. Enter via the forms below.

susan-244x300This is SEP’s bio on the HarperCollins site:

Susan Elizabeth Phillips soared onto the New York Times bestseller list with Dream a Little Dream. She’s the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a hiker, gardener, reader, wife, and mother of two grown sons.

But really, be sure to read her All About Me page on her website. It’s so SEP.

Find SEP on the web at or  follow her very popular Facebook page. You’ll be glad you did. ;o)

Buy  SEP’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

(Please note that the Amazon button links to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks for your help!)

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  • Marissa Yip-Young

    A surprise 🙂

  • Melisa Safchinsky

    Love Susan Elizabeth Phillips books!!

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I enjoy your books and characters.

  • mariannewestrich

    Your books are my peaceful retreat! Thanks so much for sharing your stories with us.

  • Anna

    I love the porch at my parents house. It isn’t screened, so we can’t use it for most of the year, but during the summer when I go home, it’s a beautiful setting.

    Thanks for sharing your stories with us!

  • Love it! I had to think about the perfect peaceful place for a while. However, I think anywhere that I can curled up with a good book, a cup of coffee, and my puppy playing (not acting like a nutbar) is my perfect place.

  • Molly

    I love your books.

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I always look forward to your books.

  • suepeace

    I want your front porch! 🙂

  • Kareni

    Your porch sounds like a wonderful place to write, to relax, and to enjoy life. Thanks for sharing.

  • Martha B

    LOVE, love, love the humor in the books you write. They are laugh-out-loud funny!

  • Roberta Kipper

    You are my favorite. You make me laugh and cry, but I always look back with a smile on my face.

  • Christyna

    There’s nothing like the sound of nature from your own screen porch. Nothing. 🙂

  • Quinn Fforde

    I love thinking of enjoying a book like enjoying a porch. Lovely!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Love the post and the screen porch. Thanks for the post.

  • Congratulations for your books, your travels and most of all your porch! And thank you for the international prize!

  • jcp smith

    Thank you for the giveaway! I enjoy your books very much.

  • I adore screened porches! Growing up on a lake in Michigan, all of the houses on our street had them and they were the gathering spots for young and old alike. I don’t have one now but I do have a lovely patio where the dog and I often enjoy breakfast or a good book or a glass of wine while watching the sun set.

  • Kathryn Trask

    You are the best! Loved all your books and your sense of humour and interactiosn with your readers. We wait awhile for each new book but so worth waiting. Wishing you many happy writing hours on your porch!

  • Sheila M

    I love your books!

  • Marcy Shuler

    The screen porch overlooking the lake at my hubby’s family cottage in northern Michigan is one of my favorite places, and a wonderful place to read.

  • BookLady

    Thanks for sharing your very special screened porch with your readers.

  • kirsten west

    I enjoy sitting on my patio in the morning before anyone gets up, being surrounded by flowers, pond with a waterfall, and watching the birds and my dogs.

  • kirsten west

    I enjoy sitting on my patio with my dogs, surrounded by flowers and a pond with a waterfall.

  • kirsten west

    I enjoy sitting on my patio with my dogs.

  • Bernadette Long

    We don’t have a screened porch but we can enjoy the breeze on our back porch when it’s not too hot down here in Texas!

  • kirsten west

    Love sitting on my patio with my dogs.

  • Patty Vasquez

    When we win the lottery, my dream is to put a screened porch on our house. Or buy a house with a screened porch. In the meantime, my family spends one week every summer at a cabin with a screened porch where I spend my time reading and reading and reading. It’s become a family joke.

  • K Davis

    I love that you travel so much. I listen to your books, as well as reading them on kindle. I really enjoy them.

  • Angela H

    This sounds like a good book.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    It took me awhile to discover your wonderful books. But once I did, I had to read all them, which I have. I enjoy your sense of humor and wish I could travel like you do. I am so glad you share all of this on facebook and in your books.

  • Seanna Yeager

    Thank you for the giveaway. I love a porch swing to sit on and read a book.

  • Kim

    I don’t have a screened porch or sunroom. Both sound like cozy places to read.

  • Beth K. Vogt

    All the best houses seem to have screened in porches …

  • Courtney Cogswell

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’m a huge fan of your books as well…they are perfect hammock reading material 🙂

  • Mary McCoy

    I wish we still had our 3 seasons porch, but that was another house. My favorite place is our family room, not House Beautiful but comfy and snug. Looking forward to seeing you again at Barbara Vey’s luncheon.

  • Diane Blaser

    One of my favorite places to read is on my screened porch! I grab my book, iced coffee and some cookies and spend the afternoon listening to the birds and my wind chimes singing in the breeze!

  • Sharon Forbes

    I have enjoyed your books in the past, and would love to win this one, thanks!

  • Dawn Anderson

    My porch isn’t screened, but I’ve spent many a day out there reading a book and drinking iced tea.

  • Cindy A

    Ahh, screen porches in the summer! Get a breeze and keeps the mosquitoes away. BTW – I love your Facebook postings. One of the highlights of the day.

  • Linda Henderson

    I’ve always wanted a big screened in porch. The mosquitoes are terrible here and unfortunately they always come after me so I don’t sit outside in the evening much.

  • flchen1

    Love the armchair traveling we readers can enjoy via your characters, SEP! Thank you for sharing your stories with us!

  • Sue G.

    I was just telling my husband the other day we should screen in part of our deck. I am afraid of bees but love to sit outside. This time of the year the bees are too plentiful so I tend to stay inside. Lucky you to have one!

  • Nicole Potter

    I love screened porches! I have a friend that has one, and I use it as a reading spot whenever I have the chance to visit her! 🙂

  • Sharlene Wegner

    What an interesting life you have led!

  • Pamby50

    No screened in porch but a nice little patio. If it is not to hot there is where I start the day. In the summer, that ends very early.

  • Erin F

    LOL… I would love a screened in porch! We have giant mosquitoes and I’m very allergic so reading outside is not in my best interest. Thanks for sharing!

  • Michele Hayes

    I love your books. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Lisa Hutson

    I have a covered porch out back. Its where I went to smoke and read. But I quit smoking 6 years ago. And I still cannot find a comfortable way out there to relax and read. haha So I sit indoors. Still love the reading time!

  • Diane Sallans

    I want a screened porch in my next house!

  • Great post! Love Susan’s books! *waves hello*

  • Jennifer Wilson

    I love SEP! She’s an amazing writer and absolutely hilarious!

  • rebecca moe

    Maybe my next house will have a screened porch…or a wraparound one 🙂