Even if I'm not on vacation all summer long like my kids are, I have enjoyed such great 'beach reads' that it feels like an escape just to pick up a good book. And this past weekend I got to meet one of my favorite authors.

If you haven't real ALL of Elin Hilderbrand's books I recommend that you get started immediately!

They are all set on the island of Nantucket and they are all about life (be it for summer vacation or full-time living) at the beach. Elin's books contain characters that you will never forget, doing things that you will by turn gasp at, cry about, or fall in love with.

Her books are so pupular that fans have taken trips to the island off Cape Cod just to see the places that Elin writes about!

My favorite local bookstore, BookTowne of Manasquan, was able to get Elin to come in for a book signing this past weekend. Elin sat down and talked about her life, living her dream as a famous author, her wonderful books and characters, being a mom in her 'real life', and her future projects.

Thanks so much to Rita for her hospitality and for getting such great authors to our tiny beach town! Your little store on Main Street is just awesome! (Rita has also given back so much to our community and to hurricane victims.)

It was wonderful to have such a celebrity in our midst. I've already read Elin's latest book (Beautiful Day) in less than a week because it was so amazing. I will really have a hard time waiting until next summer for her next release, having already read everything in her collection.

If you'd like to learn more about Elin's books and digital short stories, click here!

My other favorite summer author is Luanne Rice....who has a new book out now that I am dying to read. I have spent many summers reading her collection of beach-based books and have been bereft when I have to wait a year for another one of her new releases. I have already made my request to BookTowne that they try to get her in for a book signing next!

What are your favorite summer beach reads? I am desperate for more beach reads!