Since last visiting with you to celebrate the release of RECIPE FOR REDEMPTION, I'm thrilled to announce I've sold an additional four books in the Butterfly Harbor series! I'm not sure who is more excited and relieved: me or those secondary characters who have been banging on the back of my head asking when their stories are coming. Thankfully, Paige, Calliope, Lori, and more can settle down for their HEAs over the next two years. Readers will also be able to catch up with Luke and Holly, Abby and Jason, and of course the ever precocious and entertaining Simon and Charlie, who I promise you will be getting into lots of trouble (including Parent Trap type trouble with Charlie's mom and the dad Charlie has decided she wants). Can. Not. Wait.
As thrilled as I am to get back to my Butterfly Harbor residents (a few deadlines to meet before I do), I'll also get to address the over-arcing story thread of the town's new butterfly sanctuary. Over the past decade or so, Monarchs have flitted with being put on the endangered species list. Thankfully, it seems as if they've taken a turn for the better, but they're not out of the woods yet (um. so to speak <G>). There's still so much that has to be done to ensure the survival of this beautiful and vital species.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, the geographical inspiration for Butterfly Harbor is Pacific Grove, California, a little town a few miles down the road from Monterey. Behind a little bed and breakfast type motel and down a worn path, you can find yourself standing beneath thousands, if not millions of fluttering (or sleeping, depending on when you arrive, as they were for me during a recent trip) Monarch butterflies.
I've had a fascination with these creatures for as long as I can remember. It probably has to do with my Grandmother's butterfly collection. Or maybe it's the fact that these incredible creatures look so paper-thin dainty but can withstand the strongest hurricane force winds. Just for fun, I thought I'd share some interesting butterfly facts I've learned during my research.
- At top speed, butterflies can fly up to 12 mph
- There are over 165,000 known species of butterflies
- Butterflies taste with their feet
- The average life-span of a butterfly is 2-4 weeks. Monarchs, however, can live up to 9 months
- Butterflies can see a range of colors invisible to the human eye
- A butterfly's eyes are made up of 6,000 lenses
- Butterflies are found on every continent except Antarctica
- Butterflies cannot fly if they're cold
- Butterfly wings are transparent
- Male butterflies drink from mud puddles to extract minerals unavailable in flowers
- Some butterfly species lay their eggs on only one type of plant
- The butterfly's favorite "host" plant is milkweed
- Butterflies do not have mouths
- Butterflies are the second largest group of pollinators after bees
- The largest single threat to the butterfly is loss of habitat
Wow. A lot of this was a surprise to me. And this is just a fraction of what my research has given me so far. I'm thinking it might be time to head down south to Monterey, maybe stop at the California Academy of Science and their rain forest dome (where I snapped these butterfly pics a few years ago).
What fact about the butterfly surprised you the most? I'd love for you to tell me in the comments. Thanks for stopping by today and letting me indulge myself in one of my favorite research past times.
USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J. Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family-centric romances with happily ever afters for the independent heroines she writes. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her). Visit her online at www.authorannastewart.com.