Gorgeous Graphics

I wanted to share two teaser quotes from my upcoming release, HOT SHADE. Aren’t they gorgeous? The wonderful artist at Bookin’ It Designs made them. I’m so thrilled with how they came out. Feel free to download and share on social media! And if you’d like to order the book, click here for the Amazon Pre-Order site:

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Weekend Writing Warriors #8Sunday 8/23/15

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Wow, so it’s been a really amazing week for my book, with USA Today’s HEA blog featuring the excerpt and cover.

Here’s another small snippet from HOT SHADE, my upcoming book with Boroughs Publishing Group. This is part of the WeWriWa, a weekly blog hop. Check out the site for other great authors.

This ten-sentence selection from my book is part of the first chapter, when Luca and Skylar are getting acquainted following a plane crash. While having a glass of wine in the pool. As one does.

“Corruption and weird shit happens in Florida all the time. It’s what my editor and all the reporters at the paper say. Everyone tells me I’ll eventually witness it for myself or write about it if I stay in Florida long enough,” she said.

“Well, that’s something to look forward to.”

They both laughed. Luca was funny and handsome. She worried that her voice was too excited. Her laugh too eager. Her eyes too interested in what he had to say. Her weakness had always been men who told good stories and made her laugh.

Want to pre-order HOT SHADE? Amazon link here.

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HOT SHADE Exclusive Cover Reveal! Happy Ever After-USA Today

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Over the years, my journalism has been featured in USA Today. I actually worked there for a brief period many years ago as part of a Gannett program. That was back when I was at The Burlington Free Press. USA Today is where I met Joyce Lamb, who would later go on to curate the paper’s smart and wonderful Happy Ever After blog, focusing on all things romance.

Today, I’m on the paper’s website for a different reason: my book. I was thrilled when Joyce said she would run an exclusive cover reveal and excerpt of my debut novel, Hot Shade. It’s a huge honor to be in the ranks of the writers featured on HEA, and I’m eternally grateful to Joyce.

Check it out here.

To pre-order on my publisher’s website, go here.

Weekend Writing Warriors – 8/16/15

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So here’s another excerpt from my upcoming book with Boroughs Publishing Group. This snippet is part of the WeWriWa, a weekly blog hop. Check out the site for other great authors. For more about my book, and a sexy video trailer, see below. Pre-order links coming soon!

This ten-sentence selection from my book, Hot Shade, is part of the first chapter. It’s where the hero, Luca, meets the heroine, Skylar. She’s a rookie reporter covering a plane crash on a Florida beach, and trying to wring information out of him. Unsuccessfully.

Skylar grinned and rummaged through her straw tote bag then handed him a business card. Plucking it from her fingers, Luca studied every inch of her face. Even the freckles on her nose were adorably sexy.

He glanced down and read her card aloud. “Skylar Shaw. The Palmira Post.”

She took a pen and notebook out of her bag. The pen’s end was frayed with bite marks. Luca arched an eyebrow. He longed to flirt but knew he shouldn’t, for all sorts of reasons.

“You search like it’s your mom out there.”

8428792_GNo sooner did I return from RWA in New York when I had to get back in a plane.

I went up in a C-130 with a Clearwater, Florida-based Coast Guard crew this week. We spent 10 hours flying the Atlantic coast, looking for two missing teen boaters.

Here’s my story.

Once the plane cleared the state’s other coast and was over the Atlantic, it dropped to 500 feet above the murky ocean. The crew eased open the back cargo ramp and two men flopped on their bellies so they could search the sea below.

It wasn’t an easy task. Around noon, the water was the same gray-blue as the sky; the horizon invisible, hazy. Spotting something in the water involves a little luck and a lot of training and experience.

And passion.

“You search like it’s your mom out there,” Petty Officer Garrett Peck said.

And my video:

Sharks.

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My take on #SharkWeek, a dispatch from the Outer Banks.

It’s the golden hour, right before sunset, when the light is soft and pretty. The landscape looks like a postcard. Tourists stroll, kids run.

No one is in the water. No one wants to be a feast for a shark.

“This is a very sharky place,” mused 56-year-old John Kane as he stood on the Avon Pier and stared into the crashing surf.

They’re out there, somewhere, in the murky, antifreeze-green water. There are sharpnose and black tips, bulls and tigers. Maybe even a great white or two, if Twitter is to be believed. Always lurking, always swimming, always eating.

“I was like, that doesn’t look like fish.”

Here’s a story, video and photo I did of a wonderful little girl named Annika:

Annika — who was born without part of her right arm — was shocked to see a custom-made prosthetic limb, decorated with bright flowers. A bionic limb, if you will, that’s controlled by Annika’s muscles and electrodes.

The most remarkable part: The limb was created using 3-D printing technology.

Limbitless Solutions, an Orlando-based nonprofit run and staffed by University of Central Florida engineering students, made the limb. The group’s mission is to “print” prosthetic limbs for children and to encourage other companies and nonprofits to use the technology by providing the plans and software.

Cozi Zuehlsdorff, the actress who starred with Winter in the “Dolphin Tale” movies, set a cooler next to Annika. The girl opened it, thinking it was dolphin food.

“I was really surprised,” said Annika, whose eyes welled with tears when she saw what was inside. “I was like, that doesn’t look like fish.”

It’s that time of the year…

…hurricane season!

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Here’s a story I wrote about NOAA’s hurricane hunter planes, known affectionately as “Miss Piggy” and “Kermit.” They’re getting new Rolls-Royce engines, new wings and better radar.

And here’s a gem from ten years ago, when I covered Hurricane Wilma in Key West:

Gary Dunn, the bar’s owner, said he is thinking of staying open. He’s making his final decision at 2 p.m. today. Dunn knows that if he stays open, people will come to drink the storm away. Once, a guy rode his bike to the bar in the middle of a hurricane.

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IMG_9848Want to know what’s new at theme parks this summer? Check out my story.

Over at Disney, imagineers are busy transforming Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. Some of the new restaurant and shopping offerings are open, including The Boathouse, a waterfront eatery that overlooks Lake Buena Vista. Guests can now take tours in “Mad Men”-era “amphicars” around the lake; the boat-cars are original, not replicas. Nearby, Starbucks serves beer and wine after 4 p.m.

Because the “Frozen” movie frenzy keeps growing, the “Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” at Disney Hollywood Studios moves to the larger Hyperion Theater June 17, with new technology including a high-definition LED screen and new snow-making. Note to parents: The theater is deliciously air-conditioned and dark, enabling weary park-goers to kick back and rest while little ones happily belt out “Let It Go” at the top of their lungs.

Oh, and if you’re in Orlando, the Sea Life Aquarium has a giant wall tank of jellyfish, and I can’t stop thinking about them because they were so pretty and floaty.