Author of OUTBACK LOVE a contemporary romance novel set in Australia, JETTING AWAY a short story prequel to OUTBACK LOVE, MOON OVER MADNESS a paranormal romantic comedy and BAYOU BLUES AND OTHER SORROWS a collection of short stories and poems about life and love. All are available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony, Diesel and Kobo. On Twitter @TeriHeyer

Friday, August 30, 2013

Lunch at Flounder's on Pensacola Beach

Flounder's Chowder House on Pensacola Beach.
A couple days ago I had lunch at Flounder's Chowder House on Pensacola Beach. It was a Girls Day Out with some friends. Ahh, what a yummy lunch. We ordered a huge mound of Seafood Nachos and split it between us girls.

When it was all gone I realized I should have taken a photo before we dug in. Hmm! I guess that means I'll have to go back there again?

Outside covered seating at Flounder's.

Those of us who weren't driving ordered a Bushwhacker, which is a mocha rum punch. Very tasty. On Wednesdays a Bushwhacker is only $2.00 - a real bargain, which means you might want more than one.

Well, I was driving that day, so all I got was a tiny little sip. Next time someone else gets to drive me home.

Great sea-going decor at Flounder's.

Dessert was a triple-decker, to-die-for, Key Lime Pie. One order is actually the equivalent of half a pie. Well, we shared that too, but believe me, I swear I could have eaten the whole thing. I should have taken a photo of the Key Lime Pie too. What was I thinking?

Eat lunch with a shark at Flounder's.

I have my camera with me almost everywhere I go. I take tons of photos of just about everything. So how did I forget to take photos of the Seafood Nachos and the Key Lime Pie?

The Soundside view at Flounder's.

Well, after we finished eating we all wandered around Flounder's, taking in the sights. The restaurant sits on the Soundside of Pensacola Beach, right on the water. The view is awesome! Seating is inside or outside. The decor is colorful. The food is delicious.

The outdoor stage at Flounder's.

Here's the link to Flounder's in case you happen to be visiting Pensacola Beach.

Flounder's Chowder House - Pensacola Beach

The kids' pirate ship at Flounder's.

Flounder's is a great place to bring the whole family. Kids can play on the outdoor pirate ship or dig in the sugar-white sand.

It's one of those restaurants where you want to sit and stay a while. And you also want to eat, eat and eat.

Flounder's Weather Rock.

Before you leave Flounder's you'll want to check out the Weather Rock. In case you can't read the print this is what it says.

If this Rock is ...

Dry - - - - - - - - - -  Sunny
Shaded - - - - - - - - Cloudy
Sweating - - - - - -   Humid
Hot - - - - - - - - - -   Heat Wave
Hard to See - - - -   Foggy
Rolling - - - - - - - -  Windy
Wet - - - - - - - - - -  Raining
Chipped - - - - - - -  Hailing
Icy - - - - - - - - - - - Sleeting
Spinning - - - - - - - A Tornado
Blown Away - - - - A Hurricane
Floating - - - - - - -  A Tidal Wave
Not Moving - - - - - On a Coffee Break

Me and the Man-Eating Giant Clam.

You'll also want to have your photo taken with the Man-Eating Giant Clam. I couldn't resist and had a friend take my photo.

Flounder's Chowder House is all about yummy food, an ultra-friendly wait staff, and just a great place to sit and visit with family and friends. Not to mention, it's on beautiful Pensacola Beach. This is paradise, baby, Florida style.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Today at Pensacola Beach

Bright sun and blue skies today at Pensacola Beach.

Today I made a quick trip to Pensacola Beach. It was a hot, sunny day, at last. This summer has been a particularly rainy one with lots of cloudy beach days. So my last couple beach posts have included photos of gray, stormy beach skies. I couldn't resist taking a few sunny beach photos today.

A day of zero surf on Pensacola Beach.

I've lived in Florida off and on for over thirty-one years. In all that time, I remember most summers were hot, humid and full of sunshine. Today was a reminder of those days.

No, I didn't laze on the beach today. I was meeting some of my girlfriends at Flounders, a Pensacola Beach restaurant, for lunch. But I'll save all that for another post. After leaving the restaurant I just had to make a quick stop at the beach to take a few photos.

My favorite part of Pensacola Beach.

The tourist season is coming to a close here, so there were very few people on the beach. It was a day of flat blue Gulf waters with almost no surf. There was absolutely no breeze, so the heat was intense. I'm sure if I'd waded in the water it would have been the temperature of bath water.

Some hardy souls were working on a tan, while others stayed under beach umbrellas. Only a handful of people were swimming in the water.

Greetings from sunny Pensacola Beach.

A holiday weekend is coming up. The beach weather should be perfect. At least for those three days the beach will be packed with people. But for those who want the beach pretty much to themselves, just head to the far west end of Pensacola Beach. That's my favorite spot and even on the busiest of beach days there are very few beach goers there.

Hmm! I may just decide to visit the beach this holiday weekend. Sun, sand and warm Gulf waters. Ahh, that's my idea of paradise.

Pensacola Beach is waiting for you. So y'all come visit sometime soon.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Importance of Names

Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler are favs.

I happen to have an obsession with names. Maybe due to my rather ordinary birth name of Teresa Ann and my lifetime nickname of Teri. I know, there are more ordinary names than Teresa Ann, Terry Ann and Teri, but come on, couldn't my parents have come up with something a bit more unique?

As a kid I was always changing my name. Nicola and Nickie featured prominently in my early years. I'd read Mary Stewart's The Moonspinners and the heroine, Nicola Ferris, sounded so exotic as she traipsed around the Island of Crete.

I went by Samantha and Sam in my early high school years. I suppose it had something to do with the TV show, Bewitched. I could wiggle my nose just like Sam. My boyfriend at the time, Scotty, always called me Sam for that very reason.

I've always loved the name, Nicola Ferris.

Later in high school I became Tracy and then Traci. It had to do with a character in a James Bond movie, I forget which one. In fact, I think my mom is the one who actually started calling me Tracy after she saw the movie.

For many years I was Missy. My mom started that one too. I don't think she's ever told me why she started calling me Missy, but she still uses it now and then to this day.

I've used Tes off and on for years. I'm a sometimes artist and Tes is a great signature on a painting. Plus, I just like the sound of Tes.

As a writer I know that naming your characters is ever so important. It just won't do to write a medieval romance and name your hero and heroine, Bob and Sally. No kidding, I came across a medieval romance a long time back with just those names. I didn't read the book, because the names just didn't seem to fit the medieval genre.

What better character name than Travis McGee?

If your hero is supposed to be a to-die-for hunk, I don't think you'd want to name him Larry, Harold or Donald. If you happen to have one of those names, please forgive me for using your name as an example. I don't think I'd swoon over a hero with one of those names.

Some names are so well known, like Scarlett O'Hara and Elvis, that it's maybe not such a good idea to use those names in a book. Though if you're wanting readers to always think of Scarlet or Elvis as they read your book, then the names work and serve a purpose.

I just saw online that the top baby names for 2013 are Imogene and Asher. Well, at least those are different and I rather like them. Hmm! I can instantly imagine characters with those colorful names.

My favorite resource for character names.

I'm currently working on a Young Adult Dystopian novel and I've given the characters the coolest of names. Or at least I think their names are cool. However, I'm not going to mention the names here. You'll have to wait until the book is finished, which may take me a while (I'm writing rather slow these days).

I've been writing practically forever and I have this name book that I'm always using when I create my characters. I imagine it's still in print: The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon. There are dozens of other books of baby names which would also do the trick.

I have so many favorite literary characters/names. I'll always love Travis McGee, James Bond, Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler, Bathsheba Everdene and Gabriel Oak, Katniss and Peeta, Darcy, Hawk-eye, D'Artagnan, I could go on and on.

Read Shakespeare for great names.

If you want to find some awesome names, just read Shakespeare.  Nothing compares to the names: Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet. 

Just remember, whether you're naming your baby, your dog or cat, or your literary characters, names are of the up most importance.

Hmm! I almost forgot to mention my latest name, Nana, bestowed upon me by my three adorable grandkids. I have to admit, that's the best name of all.

(Note - This is my college edition of The Complete Works of Shakespeare. The text is old and well loved. I also have a copy on my Kindle Fire. I can't get enough of Shakespeare.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer Blow-Out Sale

OUTBACK LOVE on my Kindle Fire.

Another stormy summer day here on the Florida Gulf Coast. I'm sitting in my living room looking out the front windows as the day grows darker and darker and the rain comes pouring down. Every few minutes there's another loud clap of thunder.

Well, this stormy weather got me to thinking. Maybe this is just the right time for a Summer Blow-Out Sale of my books: OUTBACK LOVE, MOON OVER MADNESS and BAYOU BLUES AND OTHER SORROWS.

All three eBooks are temporarily $0.99/ea. In addition, JETTING AWAY, my short story prequel to OUTBACK LOVE, will continue to be FREE.

Teri Heyer's eBooks at Amazon/Kindle - $0.99/ea.

Just so you know, this sale was not something I planned in advance. It's the result of day after day of steamy, sultry, HOT summer weather interspersed with lots and lots of rain. How long will this Blow-Out Sale last? Well, maybe until the weather improves? It's really hard to say. Since this is a temporary, spontaneous Blow-Out Sale, not a planned one, the price of $0.99 is only available at Amazon/Kindle.

Now why would you want to buy and read my books even at this great price? Well, because they're fun, upbeat, adventurous and heartwarming reads with plenty of love thrown in and some guaranteed happy endings?

OUTBACK LOVE is a short contemporary romance novel set in Australia and the Outback. Years back my husband and I took a five thousand mile road trip through Australia, from Melbourne north through the Outback and then east to Queensland and the beautiful and exotic Australian coast. We rented a conversion van which my husband drove (they drive on the left instead of the right in Australia). I rode shotgun and filmed much of the trip. It was an awesome three week vacation and I hope that we'll be able to repeat it sometime in the future.

The places I wrote about in OUTBACK LOVE are real locales. We went there and fell in love with each and every place mentioned in my novel. OUTBACK LOVE is not a travelogue, but you will read a little about The Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell, Barossa Valley (great wineries), Chateau Yaldara (an awesome winery), Glendambo (a stop on the road to the Outback), Coober Pedy (where they mine gorgeous opals and most of the people live underground), Ayers Rock/Uluru (which is one of the most awesome sights ever and I did climb Ayers Rock), Alice Springs (have you seen the pop movie, 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'?), Mataranka (a hot springs oasis in the middle of the Outback), Tennant Creek (a tranquil crossroads in the Outback), Darwin (a must-see city at the tip-top of Australia) and Kakadu (an exotic, beautiful, step-back-into-time kind of place where they filmed 'Crocodile Dundee'). Whew! That was a long trip, a great adventure and wonderful inspiration for my novel.

A few tidbits about OUTBACK LOVE. A river guide I met in Kakadu was the inspiration for rugged, handsome, Ian MacAlister. A young college student working for the summer in Tennant Creek was the inspiration for Priscilla Alexander. A so-homely-he-was-cute dog in the Outback was my inspiration for Elliot.

OUTBACK LOVE is an adventurous love story with a happy ending. But it took Priscilla and Ian some definite ups and downs to get there. I loved writing OUTBACK LOVE and hope you'll love reading it too.

JETTING AWAY on my Kindle Fire.

JETTING AWAY  is a short story prequel to OUTBACK LOVE. It came about following a reader's request to know more about Priscilla's background. She wanted to know why Priscilla, a high-powered business woman, would leave beautiful San Francisco and travel to Australia to find herself.

Though JETTING AWAY is a prequel, it can be read as a stand-alone short story. No, you don't have to read OUTBACK LOVE to enjoy this story. It's all about Priscilla, a young woman who decides to make changes in her life and jets away to Australia.

Best of all, JETTING AWAY is a FREE eBook on Amazon/Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple iTunes, Sony and Kobo. How can you resist a fun, FREE read?


My paranormal, romantic comedy novella, MOON OVER MADNESS, came to me full-blown in one mad moment of inspiration. I swear the little helper-elves in my head wrote this book and all I did was write down the story as they told it to me.

Chantel Deneuve is a responsible mother of two beautiful young daughters and living a quiet life in Florida. She also happens to be a half-witch, something she'd prefer to ignore. But then one night a to-die-for, gorgeously handsome vampire, Riordan "Rio" Martainn, comes knocking on her front door.

Chantel's life is never the same after that night. An assortment of witches, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, a very angry dragon named Sabilla and Jake, a dog who only talks to to children, all join in this romantic mad adventure.  If you want to read a book that will make you smile, then MOON OVER MADNESS is just the book for you.

BAYOU BLUES ... on my Kindle Fire.

BAYOU BLUES AND OTHER SORROWS  is my book that evolved over time. It's a collection of eight short stories and eight poems that all contain little pieces of me. The central themes are love, family, hopes and dreams.

There's a little bit of everything in these stories and poems. "Harry's Garden" was inspired by a not-very-nice former neighbor when we used to live on a Florida bayou way-back-when. "A Kiss is Just a Kiss" was written after a childhood friend of mine died of AIDS. I was thinking of him as I wrote that story. "The Night of the UFO" was inspired after we (my husband and I) swore we saw a UFO over the bayou. I was drinking Margaritas that night, rather than Whiskey Sours (I happen to like both) and the story came to me full-blown. I stayed up half the night to write it. "I Love You, Joe Montana" was inspired, because, well, you know, I happen to love Joe Montana.

The stories and poems in BAYOU BLUES AND OTHER SORROWS are very dear to my heart. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed the journey in writing those stories and poems.

As I finish writing this post it's still raining outside. Overall, this has been a very wet, rainy summer here on the Florida Gulf Coast. Am I complaining? No. But I've spent a lot of indoor time instead of enjoying the great outdoors and our beautiful sugar-sand beaches. However, all this rain means you get the Summer Blow-Out Sale of my books. I do so hope you'll rush right out and add all of my books to your Kindle or other eReader. Who can resist eBooks for only $0.99/ea.? I know I can't. Of course, I'm addicted to books and I'm assuming you are too.

Summer Blow-Out Sale of Teri Heyer's eBooks at Amazon/Kindle - $0.99/ea.

A happy summer shout-out to y'all. Thanks again for stopping by my blog. And many many thanks to all my readers too.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Living in the Woods, Florida Style

The old Naval Live Oaks in our front yard.

Not too long ago my grandson told some of  his school friends, "My Nana lives in the woods." I don't really live in the woods, but then from a child's point of view, well, maybe I do live in the woods.

This got me to thinking, so I took several photos of my yard. Then when I was looking at those photos tonight I went, "Whoa, it does look like the woods." Of course, this is Florida, so it's kind of a tropical version of the woods.

Gazing up at the branches of the old Naval Live Oaks.

In the front yard are two old majestic Naval Live Oaks. They must be well over a hundred years of age. At one time I'm sure they were adorned with Spanish Moss, but Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis blew the moss out of the trees. They lost a few limbs in those hurricanes too, but nothing to cause any damage to the house.

The Date Palm the squirrels love.

There's a huge Date Palm in the front yard too. According to neighbors, the palm was planted in the yard some forty-two years ago by the original owners of our house. When the dates are ripe the squirrels go crazy gathering them up. Apparently the dates are very tasty.

The rest of the yard, front and back, has an assortment of White Oaks, Pin Oaks, Scrub Oaks, tropical palms and other trees, shrubs and vines I can't even begin to identify. When the mosquitos aren't feasting I love sitting out in the yard and just watching the world go by.

An assortment of palms, vines and oaks in the backyard.

The yard is a haven for Cardinals, Blue Jays, Mockingbirds, Doves and a variety of songbirds. Now and then a Great Blue Heron flies overhead on his or her way to and from the sound or the bay. Some days a Red Tailed Hawk swoops through the yard hoping to catch an unwarry bird or squirrel.

Did I say squirrels? Our oak trees are actually giant squirrel condos. The trees are festooned with squirrel nests. If I could peek inside the nests I'd see the downy fluffs of my dogs' fur. I frequently see the squirrels carrying those tufts of fur up to their nests.

Across the back of our yard is a thicket of oaks, palms and lots of vines.  This is my dogs' favorite part of the yard, a wooded jungle of sorts. They can go back there and hide if and when they want.

Hmm! I guess my grandson is right. I do live in the woods. And best of all, I love it.