April 7, 2013

Margaret Blake-Thankful She Has Floridian Family Ties

I don’t live in the State I am writing about. You might pause then and, rightly, ask why I am here doing just that. Well, frankly, I have strong connections with my chosen State and I visit a lot.

My son was born and raised in New York but moved to Florida for work. That is now my adopted State. I go as often as I can to spend time with him and his lovely wife and fantastic children.  (Well grown up young people now).

I love Florida. It is different from anywhere I have been before, and I have been to a lot of places. For one thing it is very green and lush. Certainly it can be really hot in summer but I like to call it sultry because sultry is good for a romantic novelist.

Florida – that long slim strip of land – has so much different flora and fauna. I love the trees, the wonderfully coloured flowers that burst into life. My favourite is the crape myrtle but the red maple and slash pine are wonderful too. In fact there is a breathtaking amount of different trees that it would be impossible to name them. I also am fascinated by the curls of white that dangle from the trees. Of course I know that parasite is all over the southern states, but I find it attractive. There is just so much to see.

My son’s backyard dips down to a lake as you can see from the photo, there is a wood to one side and from out of that wood deer miraculously appear. I can remember many times seeing the deer charge out from the wood and at night take time to chew on the fresh, green grass. Of course there are less friendly creatures like alligators, but the moment the car pulls onto the drive, the basking gators slip into the waters of the lake.
No problem with these guys.

Driving home late one night we spotted an otter, my first sight of an otter, it will live with me forever. How wonderful to see one of these. And the birds don’t get me started about all the different birds. My daughter and I are particularly fond of the sand cranes, these handsome birds mate for life. Another good reason for me to like them! They strut with pride and look so elegant. Ospreys nest on the tall lamps along the highways, how great is that. I have never seen an Osprey before I visited Florida, in the State they are quite common, wonderful.

Florida has inspired me to set two novels there. A Poisoned Legacy and A Fatal Flaw. Both these are romantic suspense; somehow the lushness of Florida inspires me to write in this genre. While visiting I can sit out on the linea by the pool and think up great ideas for stories, once I return to chilly England and I can capture that warmth by setting a novel there. It ‘s magic.

Of course I haven’t mentioned the theme parks but that is not what I am interested in, however having visited Disney World I can confirm it’s all that it’s cracked up to be, lots to do and plenty to see. A whole variety of attractions. My favourite is SeaWorld but there is plenty to suit every taste and pocket.

There are the beaches and there is nothing better for me than to swim in the warm waters of the gulf and then go for a turkey burger to a fantastic restaurant on the beach. The sand at Clearwater is like talcum powder, soft and white, it truly is fantastic.

There are gorgeous beaches in the Sarasota area too and the wonderful Naples. I could go on forever.

My adopted State Florida, I hope I can keep visiting every trip brings something new…I love it and you will too!

If you would like to know more about me and my books do visit my website –

The first person to contact me can win an e-book of A Fatal Flaw.
(Photos provided by Author)


  1. Thank you for sharing. It does look beautiful. Not too sure about the sultry or alligators.


  2. I've visited Florida three times and on one of those visits I can say I didn't like it. Rather I should say, I didn't like the time of year I was there. That visit was in September and between the Love Bug storm I drove through and the nasty weather because of several low pressure systems (including a hurricane) I was forced to cut my 2 week vacation short. That said, I visited both coasts and most of the attractions and loved every minute of my time spent there. As a native Michigander, I can say that Florida in December is the place to be! Thanks for your post today.

  3. Another fan of Florida here, though I prefer the wilder aspects rather than the more sedate tourist attractions. I'll take sultry over frigid anytime, too. Speaking of fan, if you haven't sampled Margaret's writing, do yourself a favor. You're gonna like it.

  4. Hi Karen and Mary - Mary you are first so if you would like to choose a book let me know and I will mail you an e-book as your prize.

    Karen YES I did not mention temperamental weather. Those rain storms and the thunder and lightening. I remember sitting in the lounge with my grandson when a bolt struck a post on the linai, scary! Also when I was there at Christmas it was quite cold - but overall it is perfect!

  5. Lovely post, Margaret. Beautiful pictures and I love your book covers.Florida is a delightful State. Thank you for reminding me of green grass and sunshine. Our spring is yet to come. Sigh.... Happy writing!

  6. Charlotte EmbodyApril 07, 2013

    We love having you visit Florida, Margaret! Your effervescent personality always makes our Sunshine State a little brighter! We know you have a few more spots in Florida to visit, though, so you need to come back soon! The sparkling, shimmering seas of aquamarine await you.....while, I wait patiently for your next book to be released!!!! Charlotte

  7. Thanks, John. We are of like mind.I love rural Florida and of course sultry over freezing (it is still freezing here so thanks a lot!) anytime.
    Thank you for your kind words, right back at you as far as writing is concerned. Your books are great.

  8. I can tell you are a romantic novelist, you have just sold Florida to me on your beautiful romantic description alone! I went many years ago to Kissimee and stayed in a gorgeous villa with pool. We did all the theme parks but I imagine it's changed since then - it was 1991. My parents have been to Naples often; they stayed in a beautiful hotel called The Tides Inn which I think is based on the beautiful white sands of Clearwater but do correct me if I've got that wrong.

    A lovely post.

  9. Very nice -- like a travelogue! Best luck.


  10. Roxe Anne PeacockApril 07, 2013

    I enjoyed your post, Margaret. Florida is a place I have longed to visit but most likely never get there. It has to be where my husband wants to visit. At least I can see Florida through your eyes. Best of luck with your books. I read A Fatal Flaw and it was excellent.

  11. Thank you, Charlotte, hope to see you soon. Next book will be out in August!

    Not sure about the Tides Inn, Crystal but it does sound such a romantic name! I love Naples, very stylish.

    Thank you Rose and Roxe Anne and Pauline. Roxe Anne what a nice thing to say, so pleased you enjoyed A Fatal Flaw, I enjoyed writing it.

  12. Very positive view of Florida, which I guess is my home state now, although I'll always be a Yankee. Sultry is such a nice way of describing the indescribably hot/humid summers. I live in the Tampa Bay area, so the next time you are visiting Sonny-boy, let me know and maybe we can have lunch...Yes the Sand Hill Cranes are magnificent.

  13. Hi Margaret,
    Great blog, I didn't realize you spent so much time in Florida, but the way you have described it,and with the lovely accompanying pictures I am not surprised. Looks gorgeous.

    Best wishes

    Your Australian friend

  14. Great description, Margaret. I'd love to see more of Florida, but so far have only been to Daytona and Orlando!

  15. Thanks, Fran. My son lives in Tampa Bay too.

  16. Hi Margaret and Paula - nice of you to stop by. I do love Florida and you must visit and see more Paula. There are still lots of places that I need to see there too.

  17. I have been to Florida and I must say, the humidity was something that took my breath away .... literally. I found it hard to breathe, but I would give anything to see an otter, how cool! I love the covers of your books and although you are a new author to me, I am putting your books on my tbr list. Thanks for stopping by and blogging.

    Val Pearson
    lastnerve2000 at gmail dot com

  18. Thank you, Val. I haven't had that experience in the humidity, but it can be unpleasant. It is strange that I go to Scotland a good deal and also walk in the countryside, the only place I get to see an otter is Florida!

  19. I've only been to Florida once, on my way to a cruise I won through my job. A little too hot and humid for my tastes, plus I was told that since it never freezes down there, the bugs can grow to the size of small dogs! Ew!

    But from your description, I'd love to visit during the winter, when the Midwest is almost unbearably bleak!

    Thanks for sharing.

  20. Fiona, I can honestly say I have never seen those big bugs.

    Spring and Autumn are good times to visit, and winter can be a treat.

    I have been visiting at Christmas and although the weather can be a tad iffy it is better than elsewhere.

  21. Excellent post, Margaret. I have been in Florida once, as a child, for the theme park and attractions side of things. I'd like to go back by myself, if just to see the Everglades, spots like that.

  22. Back in 1990 I visited a friend of mine in Florida and had a great time. It's a beautiful state. Even though I arrived too late for a chance to win your book, Fatal Flaw, I think it looks like a sensational read.
    I wish you all the best.


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