Good morning – I’m running a special offer this week. If you haven’t read any of the books from my Florida Fiction series, now is the chance to grab the first two for free. All three books are stand alone novels. Each one has its own cast of characters and political, romantic, and environmental issues facing them. Let’s start with the first one.
Tortoise Stew – FREE May 11-15 – The first book in the series follows the antics of rural small town Florida politicians, developers, reporters, and environmentalists. All of them have something to hide and the events that start unfold as Monster Mart tries to take over the town with trucks and warehouses.
Blurb: When a bomb is left on reporter Kelly Sand’s desk, she’s determined to find out who wants her to stop reporting on corporate growth in rural Florida. The open threat thrusts Kelly back into the arms of her editor and former lover, Bart Stanley.
Together, the two begin to unravel the master plan of major developers who want to destroy the last vestiges of Florida’s natural beauty. Tortoise Stew is a satire on political crime and Florida sensibilities.
A sometimes humorous, often harrowing, and never boring Florida suspense novel, Tortoise Stew contains a cast of characters who leave dead armadillos as calling cards, dynamite ponds as a way to fish, and carry guns under Santa Claus costumes during the annual Christmas parade.
Through it all, the steamy relationship between Kelly and Bart heats up to blistering hot as they rediscover what brought them together in the first place.
Trails in the Sand – FREE May 11 and 12 – This book leaves rural Florida to concentrate on state issues when the oil spill from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig threatens to harm the wildlife and environment on Florida’s Panhandle. While a sweeping romance between Caroline and Simon reveals much more about the family, environmental issues create the disastrous background from the oil spill to a coal mine tragedy in West Virginia.
Blurb: Caroline Carlisle loved Simon from the moment she first laid eyes on him when she was nine years old. Unfortunately, he married her older sister, and thus set a southern family on a collision course with its past. After the death of her sister that makes Simon a widow, the two finally marry and attempt to make a family with Simon’s daughter Jodi. Jodi has other ideas, and they don’t include welcoming a new step-mother who also happens to be her aunt.
As Caroline starts to report on the oil spill threatening the sea turtles on Florida’s Panhandle beaches, she begins to uncover the secret of her own mother’s past, which includes her brother’s suicide and a teenage pregnancy. With Caroline’s sharpened reporter skills, she digs until she brings all the secrets to light, including her own.
Native Lands – $2.99 Kindle – The final book in this series widens its scope to the whole state from St. Augustine and the Everglades and beyond. It also goes back in time to the original native Floridians who are also fighting the invasion of their world.
Blurb: When their environment is torn apart by a conglomerate of international interests, a tribe of native Floridians thought to be extinct rise up and form their own oddly matched conglomerate, and with the assistance of nature, attempt to halt the destruction of the natural world they treasure. Cultural boundaries established centuries ago are erased as love and nature seek the balance lost in the battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier. Native Lands is a novel rich in intrigue and history as a tribe of Native Americans, thought to be extinct, fight to save their beloved heritage. They join with others willing to sacrifice everything to save the Everglades and St. Augustine.
There you have it! The three books in my Florida Fiction series. I’m also thrilled to announce that all three books are now available on Audible, narrated by the talented Jeffrey A. Hering of Hering Voices.
Five years ago today I sat in bed reading the morning papers and listening to Good Morning America. A little passing news story took up less than a minute of air time to let us know that an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico had caught on fire. No big deal.
Until it was. Eleven men died in that fire. The environmental effects aren’t over just because the cap was sealed on the gushing fire. Click here for some comprehensive articles from the Wall Street Journal on what is being done and what has been done in the past five years.
We know for sure that we lost lives, both human and wildlife. We know that habitats were disturbed. And we know that if full safety procedures had been followed, this disaster might never have happened.
Today, please remember what we lost.
I wrote my novel Trails in the Sand as an appeal to make sure we never let anything like this happen again. At the time it happened, I worked for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a public relations director. One of my jobs during the spill and subsequent threat to Florida beaches was to head up the media portion of the effort to move sea turtle nests from the Panhandle beaches to the east coast where once hatched, the hatchlings would march to sea in safer waters. I hope they remained safe.
Or download for free at Smashwords, using coupon code FR84H.
A thoughtful piece from Whooping Crane and the Badger.
As the holidays loomed, I pulled together my three Florida novels into one box set. Now that we’re cozy in front of fires and hibernating a bit here in the north, here’s a chance to go to Florida for free.
For the next three days (February 4, 5, 6), my Florida Fiction Series box set is available for free Kindle downloads on Amazon. I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to read these three books.
Each one of them represents a period in my life where creating an alternate world of fiction seemed the logical course. It also gave me the opportunity to express my great love of a place I’d lived for thirty years.
Tortoise Stew grew from the rancor and chaos of covering local politics as a reporter. When Walmart wanted to disrupt the community in one small municipality, politicians, developers, and environmentalists created one hell of a stew. All parties involved often acted as violent children more bent on hearing their own voices than dealing with the issues at hand. I often sat in these excruciatingly long meetings typing dialogue into my laptop for use in the novel.
Trails in the Sand emerged from the horror of the BP oil spill in 2010 when I worked with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The efforts to save sea turtle hatchlings from oil in their habitat parallels the lives of one family bent on destruction as well.
Native Lands lived with me the longest of any of my published novels. It came from my life as a writer and reporter, too. I began it in 2006, and finally revamped, revised, and restructured the piece. I wanted to show how we are all connected to one another.
All three novels contain elements of romance and intrigue. They touch on issues of forgiveness and redemption. They also celebrate Florida’s landscapes, wildlife, and people.
Here’s a chance to find some warmth and comfort in a long and cold winter. After all, Puxatawny Phil says we’re in for another six weeks.
Stay warm and let me know how your winter is faring. We’re still eating frozen vegetables from the summer, which seems far away right now.
It came as a delightful surprise when Jaidis over at Juniper Grove Book Solutions wrote me an email to inform me I’d won a one-day book blitz. I readily accepted my prize, and now the big day has arrived. There’s a drawing for my Florida fiction and environmentally focused novel, Trails in the Sand. U.S. winners will receive a paperback edition and international winners an eBook. Eighteen bloggers signed up to host me. Check out their blogs and enter to win.
- Sue @ Books, Books, the Magical Fruit
- Erika @ Cloud Nine Girl
- Denise @ Rantings of a Closet Vamp Princess
- J. Hooligan @ Platypire Reviews
- CCAM @ Mythical Books
- Mary @ Mary’s Cup of Tea
- Patricia @ Room With Books
- Vicky @ Deal Sharing Aunt
- Ruth @ My Devotional Thoughts
- Laurie @ Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
- Jaidis @ Juniper Grove
- Sabrina @ Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace
- Sheila @ Sheila Deeth
- John @ Illuminite Caliginosus
- Heather @ The Rambling Jour
- Cu’Anam @ Cu’s eBook Giveaways
- Sarka-Jonae @ Between Boyfriends
They came out of nowhere that day I floated on a fishing boat in the waters off Chokoloskee Island. Two men in a canoe using long poles to push themselves through the shallow water as low tide came. They said they went out every day on those waters on the western edge of the Everglades. The people of the Everglades call their way of life “free.” They live by the seasons, the sun, and the vagaries of weather.
Most of the land in this part of Florida lies at or below sea level. Chokoloskee Island, a small island at the gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands, is one of the tallest places in the Everglades and it was formed by the Calusa–the native people of the Everglades–who threw their seashells in piles that soon grew into mounds. Developers in Florida destroyed many of these mounds and the advent of Europeans into Florida forced the Calusa into exile to Cuba or worse. By the 1770s, most all of the original people of the Everglades were gone. And by the 1930s, much of the Everglades was manipulated and destroyed in man’s effort to control water.
Those fishermen who came out of the water the last time I visited the Everglades reminded me of the timeless beauty and simple endurance of nature. The Everglades may not be what they once were, but they have survived, and along with them the flora and fauna that make up the rich environment of the “river of grass.”