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, May 31, 2013

Hurricane Season Again? Greetings from Pensacola Beach!

Red Flag Warning on Pensacola Beach today.

I could have sworn we just got through the last Hurricane Season and here it is again? Well, I figured that was a good reason to make a quick trip to the beach this afternoon to snap some photos of the wild surf.

Today's heavy surf on Pensacola Beach.

Red Flags were out warning beach goers to stay out of the dangerous surf. In spite of the warnings a few surfers were trying to catch some waves.

Me trying not to get blown over by the strong winds.

I've seen rougher surf through the years, but the wind was blowing hard enough that I wondered if I'd become airborne. I could easily believe that Hurricane Season starts tomorrow.

Beach goers at the edge of the surf.

Some hardy souls were walking along the edge of the surf. Lots of salt spray in the air, which gave it a hazy quality close to the surf.

Lifeguards were out in force today.

On the other hand, looking away from the waves the sky was a bright blue with hardly a cloud in sight. Lifeguards were out in force all along the beach.

A view of beach goers, seagulls and the Ferris Wheel.

I took a few photos of the Ferris Wheel which is supposedly relocating to Atlanta's Centennial Park in the near future. Apparently, not enough people are riding the Ferris Wheel to make it cost effective to keep it on Pensacola Beach.

I didn't spend much time on the beach this afternoon. I'm not really into getting blasted with wet sand. I prefer the tranquil beach days with a soft gulf breeze and gentle surf.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Talking about the Beach, Birds and Books

My favorite spot on the west end of Pensacola Beach.

Living on the Florida Gulf Coast, it's no wonder I like to talk about the beach, birds and books. I live only a couple miles from that gorgeous sugar-white sand and emerald waters of Pensacola Beach.

I could spend hours sitting in a beach chair under a big umbrella and watching the seabirds run across the sand at the edge of the surf or circle and dive into the gentle  waves. Although I might like to spend hours each day at the beach, I only go there now and then.

One of the many birds on Pensacola Beach.

The photos in this post were taken last week at Pensacola Beach. It was a hot day, pretty close to 90 degrees, with bright sun, no clouds, a light breeze coming off the Gulf, and only a scattering of people at my favorite spot on the beach. That's my kind of beach day.

I had my Kindle (my old Kindle Keyboard) with me, because I like to read on the beach. Only the beach, the water and the birds kept my attention and I didn't read a word. Some beach days are like that. Some days I just want to sit there with my feet in the sand and let my mind wander.

A perfect place to read or daydream.

Actually, I thought a bit about the book I'm writing, Romance in a Bottle, which is set on Pensacola Beach. But I'm so good at procrastinating. I'd rather think about the book instead of writing. So if you want to know why that book isn't yet available, well, blame it on the beach and too many hours spent daydreaming ... oh, and reading.

Hmm! Reading? Yes, I read every chance I get. I'm a night-owl, so I do most of my reading in the midnight hours. My Kindle Fire is perfect for night-time reading. I can snuggle into bed and the only light in the room is the back lighting on my Kindle. It's loaded with an assortment of great books, so I always have a wide assortment of reads to chose from.

The other time of day when I love to read is in the morning sitting on the patio with my two dogs lazing nearby. My yard is full of song birds, which are the backdrop to whatever I happen to be reading.

I'm rarely reading just one book. Usually I'm reading one during the day on my Kindle Keyboard, which is great for outside reading. Then I'm reading a different book at night on my Kindle Fire. And I almost always have a paperback near at hand, for whenever I have the urge to hold a real paper book in my hands. Then I have my research books, the history of one thing or another, which I dip into now and then. Yes, I definitely love to read.

Over the last several months I've read some wonderful, great, awesome books. So I thought I might share that list of reads with you. I've written short reviews of all these books on Goodreads. So you can check out My Goodreads Page if you have the time.

It seemed to me the best way to list my latest reads is month by month. All of these books were great, wonderful, awesome reads that I can definitely recommend. I like a variety, so some are romances, others are sci-fi, historical fiction, literary fiction, etc. You're bound to find something you'll enjoy in the books listed below. All of these are available as eBooks and many can be found at your local library.

January Reads:

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming
Moonraker  by Ian Fleming
Badwater by Toni Dwiggins
Damaged (Maggie O'Dell, #8) by Alex Kava
Lion of Ireland by Morgan Llywelyn

February Reads:

Pride of Lions by Morgan Llywelyn
The Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales, #1) by Bernard Cornwell
The Pale Horseman (Saxon Tales, #2) by Bernard Cornwell
The Lion of the North (Saxon Tales, #3) by Bernard Cornwell
Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

March Reads:

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Sword Song (Saxon Tales, #4) by Bernard Cornwell
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

April Reads:

The Burning Land (Saxon Tales, #5) by Bernard Cornwell
The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley
1356 by Bernard Cornwell
The Abilene Trail (A Ralph Compton Novel) by Dusty Richards
Cowgirl Trail (Texas Trails, #5) by Susan Page Davis
End of the Trail (Texas Trails, #6) by Vickie McDonough

May Reads:

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
Long Trail Home (Texas Trails, #3) by Vickie McDonough
BEYOND (BEYOND Series, #1) by Maureen A. Miller
BEYOND: Two Suns (BEYOND Series, #2) by Maureen A. Miller
Secrets of Paris by Luanne Rice
Baby, Don't Go (Southern Roads Trilogy, #3) by Stephanie Bond
Baby, Drive South (Southern Roads Trilogy, #1) by Stephanie Bond

Whew! I didn't realize I'd read so many books over the last several months. Of course, if I'd found the time I would have read a whole lot more.

Now, before I forget, I'd best mention the books I'm currently reading. By the way, these too are wonderful reads.

Currently Reading:

Stella in Stilettos by Jan Romes
Down in New Orleans by Heather Graham
Baby, Come Home (Southern Roads Trilogy, #2) by Stephanie Bond

Well, those books are calling me, so I've got to go. I need to grab a few afternoon minutes to read.

Thanks again for stopping by. Please feel free to mention some of your favorite recent reads in the comments below.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Party Time on Pensacola Beach

Party time on Pensacola Beach.

This being a holiday weekend and all, it's party time on Pensacola Beach. The weather is gorgeous, in the mid 80s to low 90s with a light gulf breeze, warm emerald waters and gentle surf.

The west end of Pensacola Beach looking east.

Yesterday was my husband's birthday, so we spent a few hours on the beach. We prefer the far west end of Pensacola Beach where there are fewer people.

However, for those who want to party, there are always groups of beach goers near the Pensacola Beach pier and near the lifeguard tower on the west end beach near the pavilions.

The west end of Pensacola Beach looking west.

Yesterday there were only a few puffy clouds way off to the west. This afternoon the clouds are building up, but there's still plenty of sun shining through.

I'm not much into crowds, so I prefer a spot where's there are almost no people.

I took these photos yesterday, one showing a party crowd and the other two photos taken from my favorite part of the beach with only a scattering of people. Even on a holiday weekend like this one, there are wide open spaces on Pensacola Beach.

Thanks again for stopping by. I hope y'all have a wonderful holiday weekend.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Tranquil Days of Spring

My patio is the perfect place to sit and read.

This is the time of year I love the most, these tranquil days of spring, when the temp hovers in the 70s and only occasionally tops out the low 80s. My yard is an assortment of greens, from the palest celery shade to a deep forest green and everything in between.

These days I spend most of my time sitting on the patio, my feet up, listening to the songbirds singing their varied songs and reading or oftentimes just daydreaming.

The latticed patio is covered by a huge canopy of wisteria and the leaves shimmer in the gentle breeze.

It's hard to believe that hurricane season here on the Florida Gulf Coast is a mere two and a half weeks away.

Potted miniature Roses on the patio table.

As I'm writing this I hear the cooing of doves and the caw of a crow. Directly overhead another bird is chirping while a bright red Cardinal is perched on the wooden fence. The scent of Jasmine and Lilies sweeten the air around me.

I can't find the energy to do much of anything today. My dog, Dude, and I spent an hour at the dog park this morning where he ran around with an assortment of dogs, big and small. I read for a while when we got back home. Today I'm reading Luanne Rice's Secrets of Paris. It seemed like a perfect read for a day like today.

My Lilies that only just started blooming.

I should be writing today, working on one of my works in progress, but I'd rather just sit here and watch the squirrels play and the birds fly from tree to tree. It's one of those days when daydreaming is high on my list of things to do.

I swear that tomorrow I'll get back to my writing. If I could just get those voices in my head to stop daydreaming and get back to work. Honest, I need the cooperation of those voices to help me write and they're enjoying these tranquil spring days too.

Mandevilla on my patio.

I hope you all have a chance to just sit back and enjoy some beautiful spring days. The hot days of summer are just around the corner. In the meantime, stop and smell the Roses, Jasmine, Lilies and any other flowers now in bloom.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to Y'all

Mama and baby at the Gulf Breeze Zoo.

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes. Lately I've enjoyed watching the baby birds learning to fly and the baby squirrels venturing from their nests and crazily chasing each other up and down the trees. The proud mamas are usually nearby, sometimes encouraging and often scolding their young. Sound familiar?

I think my favorite mama and baby these days are Rwanda and Kigali, Western Lowland Gorillas at the Gulf Breeze Zoo. Kigali is over a year old now and it's obvious that mama Rwanda is so very proud of him.

If you want to know more about our local zoo, check out this link: Gulf Breeze Zoo

For those who might be interested, I'm the Mother of one awesome daughter and the Nana/Grandma to three gorgeous, bright, incredibly energetic young grandkids. I'm looking forward to my Mother's Day breakfast with them.

My own mother is 350 miles away in the Atlanta area. I'll be on the phone with her on Mother's Day talking about all the things mothers and daughters universally discuss. It would be nice if we could all live in houses side by side in the same neighborhood, but these days families are often spread from one end of the country to another. As the saying goes, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." So maybe that is true?

As many of you already know, I'm also the "Mama" to two big dogs, Shani and Dude. I have several photos of the two at the bottom of my blog.

I'm hoping this Mother's Day brings joy and happy memories to all. This is a time to think of the good days and let the not-so-good ones fade into the background. On the whole, our mothers mean well even if we don't agree with them all the time.

Here's wishing a Happy Mother's Day to y'all.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day Flowers

A floral assortment in one of my many flowerpots.

For me, May Day has always meant flowers. As a kid, I used to pick flowers from my neighbors' yards all the way home from school. Then I'd give the bright colored bouquet to my mom. She never said, "You shouldn't pick the neighbors' flowers." And the neighbors never stopped me from doing just that. I guess because I only did it once a year that little harm was done?

I have lots of pretty potted flowers.

Well, this morning, in honor of May Day, I took a bunch of photos of the flowers blooming in our yard. So here are some of those photos.

I have flowerpots everywhere filled with an assortment of flowers, but I've long since forgotten the names of many of those flowers.

Dude wanting to be included in my photos.

My dog, Dude, wanted to get in the pictures and so he plopped down in the middle of a flower bed. No, he doesn't have a missing paw. He just likes to tuck one paw under him when he's laying down. My other dog, Shani, followed us around the yard, but she didn't want to be in any of the photos.

The blue flowers are on a huge bush full of blooms.

It rained all last night. Torrential rains and lots of wind. The yard is covered with leaves fallen from all the oak trees: Naval Live Oaks, Pin Oaks, White Oaks, and others I can't even name.

Oak trees here lose their leaves in the spring instead of the fall. So it's Leaves-R-Us in our yard at this time of year.

Mandevilla growing next to the backyard patio.

There were still raindrops on some of the flower petals and occasional drops/plops of rain falling from the trees overhead. Guess I don't need to point out that I love flowers, trees and anything green and growing.

I love the heady smell of Jasmine.

My grandson told some of his school friends, "My Nana lives in the woods." Considering all the trees in our yard, it kind of looks like the woods. Plus, our yard has bunches of flowers scattered here, there and everywhere.

Florida is, after all, the land of flowers. Just take a drive through any Florida neighborhood and you'll see a rainbow assortment of flowers.

As a kid, Lantana was one of my favorites.

Before I forget, we have lots of wildflowers blooming in our yard. Some are a pretty lavender/blue that look like some kind of Iris. There are some white ones that look like miniature daisies. The yellow ones are so small I didn't even try to take photos of those.

Some of the wildflowers in our yard.

I hope you stop by now and then to see my latest posts and photos. I'll be doing several Texas posts over the next week or two due to our mini-vacation to East Texas last month. I took so many cool photos on our trip that I have to share them with you.

If you love wildflowers, be sure to check out my previous post, "Wild About Texas Wildflowers," which includes lots of photos of gorgeous Texas wildflowers.

Daisy-like wildflowers in our yard.

I hope you love flowers as much as I do.

A Happy May Day to y'all.