Tag Archives: Florida

Monstrous Hurricane Irma on the Warpath

With vicious Hurricane Irma bearing down on my home state of Florida, my thoughts turn to good wishes and prayers for the safety of all in her path. The islands along her way were devastated. When she leaves Florida, other states will feel the remnants of her wrath. Wider than the state, this is the largest and most determined hurricane we have seen, and we’ve seen many here in Florida. She seems to have picked a path and is sticking with it. The current eye track leads right over my town.

We have spent the last few days preparing as best we can. We’re all in a similar situation, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Stores keep running out of gas, water, and bread. Tempers can be short, but compassion wins out in the end most times.

In Florida 5.6 million people were asked to evacuate. That doesn’t always mean leave Florida. Many times it means seek higher ground. However, out of necessity thousands of folks are on the slow treadmill of the roads heading north, and my heart goes out to them. 

Special thanks to the weather people to whom we are glued, in particular for me, Paul Dellegatto of Fox Channel 13. My husband and I watched him since he started back in the old Roy Leep days, and I know we can count on Paul to keep us straight. Don’t you feel better just looking at the face of your longtime weatherman?

A big thanks to all the emergency personnel, including my son and daughter-in-law. You are out there working to keep people safe, as you do every day. Hopefully, the Snickerdoodles can look on this as an somewhat of an adventure, as my son did when he was a kid and I did as a small child during Hurricane Donna.

Prayers for all, and thanks my dear friends for your good thoughts. Once the sunshine returns, it will be time for a wine party!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Rave Reviews Block Party

 

Welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’s Springtime Book & Block Party!  Thanks for visiting Conjuring the Magic in Romance here in sunny Central Florida!

Today’s Goodies:

Signed copy of my paperback anthology Dark Warriors
Total number of prizes offered today: 3

To be eligible to win a prize, leave a comment
on this post
.

Having recently joined RRBC, this is my first block party with the crew. I look forward to meeting and getting to know everyone. Paying homage to our SPRINGTIME theme, here are some delights that are meaningful to me as a Florida native and inspirational as a paranormal fantasy romance author. Enjoy!

SPRINGS –  Our family likes weekend day trips, and Juniper Springs is one of our favorites.

RIVER – My two little grandsons enjoy boating on the Withlachoochee River.

BEACH — We especially love to zoom over to the beaches on the east coast of Florida.

POOL – With summer coming, it is time to plan poolside grilling and cocktails.

For me, the hardest part of writing is the initial 1st rough draft. It often feels like jumping off a cliff. To combat my resistance, my habit is to work on one of my 1st rough drafts seven days a week. The daily routine lessens the cliff sensation. Do you play any tricks like that on yourself? Still, I need my fur fae, Marigold, (and an endless supply of coffee) to see me through.  

Thank you for visiting my part of Rave Reviews Book Club’s Springtime Book & Block Party, Conjuring the Magic in Romance! I hope you enjoyed our Florida waterworks of springs, river, beach, and pool–which one do you like best?

I look forward to meeting up with you in the social sphere:

Website        Facebook      Twitter @frostfyre        Pinterest

Amazon author page        Goodreads author page     

 Google+     Tumblr       

Cheers,

Flossie

Tuesday Tales: Writing Gray

gray-tabby-cat-with-green-eyes-close-up-600x600Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a dedicated group that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our key word is gray. My snippet is from a vintage paranormal romance set in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

With a deep belly sigh, the old woman squeezed Laura’s hand before releasing it. “That’s all. Spirit done for now.”

“B-but—“

“Your man’s alive. Be thankful for that.”

“I am, of course.” She flexed her fingers to alleviate the tingling sensation left over from the spirit contact or whatever it was flowing through the seer.

“Shake it.”

Laura jumped at the abrupt command. “What?”

“Like this.” Miss Sarah’s hand flapped wildly in the air. “Gets the spookies off.”

Laura half-heartedly followed suit. She bit her bottom lip. “So, there was no other information about Jeffrey? How badly he’s hurt? When he’s coming home?”

A gray tabby leapt onto the table, staring with alert pale eyes. “Scat!” Miss Sarah brushed it off. “Not directly.”

“What do you mean?”

“That all spirit showed me, but I get the feeling you will learn something more in the next few days. Try to keep peaceable about it. Spirit has a hand in the goings on and will let you know if you need to come back out here for another go round. Meantime, you’ll see something on your own. Pay attention.”

Clueless at that pronouncement, Laura pushed back her chair and rose. She didn’t have a smidgen of what her granny called the sight. “Thank you.”

The old woman nodded, heaving herself up with a mighty groan. “These old bones ain’t what they used to be.”

When Laura reached the front porch, the pungent scent of pond lilies permeated the air. Old Ben reappeared to escort her back to the car. “Careful on the road out. Deer are prancing about this time of night. Swamp’s not safe for the living or dead.”

For the living or dead. On the winding road words flashed in her mind, like a pulsing neon sign. Not dead. Not dead. Not dead. She gripped the wheel to keep from veering off into the bog. A leaden ball still lay in her stomach. Was she losing her hold on reality? She didn’t feel the elation she expected. “Oh Jeffrey, are you really alive?”Tuesday Tales

I hope you enjoyed my take on gray. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Vintage Friday: Young Ladies 1930

FOTORfile0187oldpic3Looking at old pictures of my mother when she was a girl brings forth a flood of emotions and sweet nostalgia for the old days I never got to see. She is in the front row, second from the left. One of thirteen children, seven of whom were girls, her last remaining sibling passed away last month. The other young ladies in the photograph are her sisters and neighbors who later became her sisters-in-law. Back then, people did not travel extensively, and they habitually married folks from around the nearby countryside.

The Great Depression that started with the stock market crash of 1929 sent shockwaves far and wide and among all occupations. Although Florida farm families, such as headed by Mama’s parents, grew most of their own food, hard times still trickled down. People were naturally penny pinching. Meals were cooked from scratch, or created from basic ingredients. Few items were store bought. The frugality that was the natural manner of living became even more pronounced.

Florida farmers worked hard and ate a big breakfast before heading out to the fields. Grits, eggs, fried salt pork, and hot buttered biscuits provided the energy they needed to endure the blazing hot sun. It was prepared on an iron cookstove, with buckets of drinking water toted in from an outside well. At noontime came dinner, the heartiest meal of the day. Crispy fried chicken, beans and collard greens, and cast iron skillet cornbread or biscuits filled the children’s bellies. On special occasions or lucky days, a sweet treat topped off the repast. Sundown brought a simple supper, followed by prayers and “early to bed.” Weekends were filled with more hard work, as well as church, play, music from fiddles, guitars and harmonicas, and singing.

 

Blackberry Cobbler

Ingredients:
Liquid — 2 quarts fresh blackberries, water, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 ½ cups sugar; Dumplings — 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, ½ cup shortening, 1 ½ cups milk, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt.

Directions:
To make liquid sauce — Rinse berries and barely cover with water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and stir frequently until the berries begin to puff up, usually about ten minutes. Use a colander to strain into another big pot, pressing the berries energetically with the back of a spoon to extract as much purple liquid as possible. (Be careful, as it will dye your fingers and clothes.) Discard the remaining seeds and rough pulp. Reheat the liquid just before you are ready to add the dumplings to it, stirring in cornstarch, butter, and sugar. Allow the ingredients to mix and dissolve.

To make dough – Use a fork to cut the shortening into the flour. Stir in other dry ingredients. Mix in 1 ½ cups milk. Dough will be soft and stretchy. Add the dumplings by spoonful into the hot blackberry liquid, turn into a pan or dish, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes at 460 degrees. Sprinkle again with sugar. Serve warm, topped with homemade whipped cream.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hump Day Hook

HumpDayHooklogo

Welcome to the 1st Hump Day Hook of 2013. In this blog hop, each author posts one paragraph from a book or WIP. Find a list of HDH hook authors here. Everyone would love a comment. Join the HDH page on Facebook.

The Ghuillie Dhu or Dark Man of the Forest haunts a dark Florida swamp in Wytchfae Runes. He is based on Celtic tales of a mysterious wild man.

They had just made it to the mucky area and started to plod single file across the slender ridge, when Kelly heard something off to her right. It sounded like a deep growl. She stopped and felt Ingvar’s hand on her shoulder. She cast the light toward a group of cypress tees. What she thought were large cypress knees jerked and began to slog toward them, eyes red and gaping mouths full of sharp teeth. Not cypress knees at all. “Ghuillie Dhu,” she whispered to Ingvar, hating the quake in her voice. “The Dark Man. These are his minions. Don’t let them bite you. Their venom is more poisonous than a cottonmouth’s. In fact…” She gripped his hand. “Run!”

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) in Congaree ...

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) in Congaree National Park, South Carolina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blog Hop Contest Winner

Manatee or Sea Cow

Congratulations to AnnQ, winner of my book for the Secret Cravings Publishing blog hop! She has proven herself a detective worthy of the great Nero Wolfe himself. Her name was randomly drawn from answers denoting the correct general area suggested by the clues.

Huge thanks to all who stopped by and left a comment. I appreciated your taking the time to do that. The blog hop was loads of fun and a big success.

Here is some more information about my clues:

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and the climate is humid subtropical. If you travel down into South Florida, you will encounter pure tropical conditions. I remember once when my son was little, and he came home and reported that his teacher said Florida was a desert.I laughed. I had never heard that before. It’s true, though, that Florida has lots of sand. I don’t just mean sandy beaches. Forest and pasture areas are full of sugar sand, and please be careful if you drive down a private unpaved road (speaking from experience). Thankfully, the state  also has an abundance of rain and green trees.

Spanish explorers bestowed Florida’s name– pertaining to flowers— on Easter Sunday, 1513. Wow, it’s amazing that was 500 years ago. I always envy the aeons of history found in other parts of the world but am thankful that with our Native American history, we have thousands of years.

Manatees or sea cows are a source of fascination and entertainment in our location. Boaters sometimes grouse about the slow speeds required in manatee zones, but the “real mermaids” are very special to most.

I didn’t even mention gators, skeeters, and the largest cattle ranches in the United States!

If you haven’t visited us lately, what’s the hold up?

Thanks again to all who participated in the blog hop!