I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “Art imitates life.” For me the last few months have been quite the reverse of that, with my life imitating what was going on in my book world. In my April release, Sand Dollar Lane, I follow the adventures of Lucy Holmes, who is new to the beach town of Moonlight Harbor. Lucy is not only launching her real estate company and driving her business rival, Brody Green, nuts, she’s also doing renovations on her new house. I should have made Lucy suffer more. She should have redone her bathroom. Like me.
My home adventures started early last fall when we fell in love with a cute, little house only minutes from the college where my husband teaches, and decided to leave behind condo living. It is on the beach. I mean, ON the beach. With its own little peninsula, the thing sits right out over the bay. Looking out my living room window, I see the deck and right beneath it the water. It feels a little like living on a cruise ship.
But the good ship Sheila came with some interesting challenges. It was originally built in the sixties and then added onto. It obviously started as a beach vacation home, as in no such thing as a master bath, linen closet or coat closet. (Who needs a coat closet when you can just hang your sweatshirts on hooks on the wall?) We’ve managed to get around the linen closet issue. I have a perfectly placed vintage dresser holding my linens and, as for where to put our guest’s coats, we have a coat tree by the front door and our coat collection is in the guest room closet. The bathroom is right across the hall, so we decided we could live without a master bath. But it was ancient, with no shower, and the toilet rocked when you sat on it. Remodel time. We also required a man cave for my husband, the hoarder wannabe. We found a spot to add his man cave, found a nook for my office desk and files, and then set about upgrading the bathroom, replacing the ancient tub with a modern shower and the rockabye toilet, which I think was about the right height for a three-year old, with a new one.
When we started pulling out all the old bathroom fixtures and flooring we found rotted floor beneath. No wonder the toilet rocked. The wood under it was vanishing. “You’d have eventually fallen through,” one of our workers told me. Wouldn’t that have gotten the views on the Internet!
While the bathroom was being done, that toilet sat out on our lovely “cruise ship deck,” giving new meaning to the word Poop Deck. Such an addition it made to the view, especially when the pretty party lights along the railing came on at night.
The shower is now gorgeous, but it took several tries to get it right due to complications with the tiles we’d picked out, so our quick bathroom reno took three times longer than expected and we wound up taking our “baths” in the powder room or at the kitchen sink for about a million years. (Bathroom Remodel Lesson #1: consult your contractor before purchasing shower tiles. Not all tiles are created equal.)
We are done with our home improvement projects for the moment, but the fun will start again, come summer. And that should be interesting because the floor dips in one spot, right next to the kitchen sink where, judging from the mess in the cabinet under the sink, I suspect there were some water issues. I am going to stock up on aspirin and chocolate!
Like Lucy Holmes, I’ll probably be chronicling my adventures online once more. And I’m sure I will have new lessons to share. So, if you’re not already following me on Instagram (#funwithsheila), come on over. There’s never a dull moment at my place.
Tell me your home improvement stories and I’ll give away a copy of Welcome to Moonlight Harbor, the first book in my Moonlight Harbor series to one person who comments!
“Lighthearted and full of colorful, quirky characters and surf-side warmth… Roberts’s picturesque coastal world is sheer delight and will appeal to romance and women’s fiction fans alike.” —Library Journal
USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts will have readers laughing and swooning in turn as two rival business owners compete for the homes and hearts of Moonlight Harbor.
Brody Green is finding it hard to recover after being dumped by his fiancée, Jenna Jones, then watching her walk down the aisle with someone else. Jenna is determined to make up for her love defection and find him the perfect woman, but Brody is done with love. First a divorce, then a broken engagement. From now on he’s keeping things light, no commitments. Luckily Brody’s business is booming. Beach Dreams Realty is the best real estate company in town. And the only one. Until…
Lucy Holmes needs a new start. In business, in love, in…everything. If ever there was a cliché, it was her life back in Seattle. She was a real estate broker working with her husband until she caught him trying out the walk-in shower in a luxury condo—with another agent. She’s always been the more successful of the two, and with him gone, she’s determined to build a business even bigger than what she had. Moonlight Harbor is a charming town and it has only one real estate agency. Surely there’s room for a little competition.
Or not. Looks like it’s going to be a hot market in Moonlight Harbor. And maybe these two competitors will make some heat of their own.