One of my all-time favorite shows when I was a kid was "Flipper," which spurred my lifelong love affair with dolphins. I've learned a lot about these intelligent, complex and charismatic mammals since then, and I know their lives in the wild and in human care are nowhere near as idyllic as I once believed. I don't attach mystical qualities to dolphins like some people do, either. I've learned to appreciate them for what they are and what they aren't.
Those who know me won't be at all surprised that I've chosen to set my new contemporary romance series in an aquarium and a west-central Florida beach town. Both locales are near and dear to my heart. Gulf Shore Aquarium isn't based on any one facility I've visited or yearned to see. It's a composite of the best of what they have to offer. I've tried not to idealize, but I want readers to see GSA as a place where the animals are as content as they possibly can be and where their needs are paramount.
That's not to say, however, that GSA is controversy free. Animal rights activists, for better or for worse, are keeping a close eye on the place. And even the employees there struggle at times with the seemingly never-ending argument about freedom vs. captivity. My characters and my books wouldn't be realistic if those topics didn't come up, but my intent isn't to preach or draw any proverbial lines in the sugary white sand.
My primary mission is to entertain and make you fall in love with the animals and the people of Gulf Shore and its aquarium. And who knows? You just might learn something, too.
Those of you who visit this website and my Facebook and Pinterest pages will be treated to lots of pictures, stories and other information about nature and Florida. I hope you'll find them as compelling as I do. You'll also hear about my pets and my hobbies and, of course, my writing projects.
I'd love to hear your stories and see your pictures, too. And I hope you'll sign up for my e-mail list, drop me a note, make a comment and, most of all, stay in touch.
Thanks for reading, and welcome to my world.