Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Butterfly Magic by Anna J Stewart

Hi Heartwarmers! Great to be back with you again. Did you miss me?  :)

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.

Happy reading!
~Anna J



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.

36 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your recent sales, Anna! I love butterflies, but sadly I don't see nearly as many as when I was a child. All of these facts are amazing, but the most surprising was the butterfly's eyes are made up of 6,000 lenses. How can that be? They're so tiny.:)

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    1. Right?! Nature is so amazing. I can't even wrap my mind around that many lenses! And I know. Not as many butterflies these days. I'm hoping to do some planing in my garden to entice them. Thanks for posting! :) Have a great day!

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  2. Anna, big congratulations to you. Looking forward to meeting more of your characters in the months to come.

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  3. Anna, I LOVE butterflies! It helps that I garden organically, so I get a lot of different types flitting around my place. We always have eastern tiger swallowtails and I plant butterfly gardens. I also have two young paw paw trees I hope will bloom by next year because that tree genus is the only food source for zebra swallowtails. We also have a lot of Monarch way stations (certified) in our area and I planted tons of butterfly weed, many other host flowers and milkweed last year. I'm on the lookout! If I start seeing them, I plan to get registered as a monarch way station.

    Looking forward to the rest of your series coming out and super congrats on the contract!!

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    1. OOoooh, a way station! How cool is that!Now I know who to come to when I plant my garden. :)

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  4. Wonderful pictures! I enjoyed reading Recipe for Redemption so I bought the first book in the series for my kindle. Look forward to the other books in the series.

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  5. Great post, Anna! The fact that surprised me the most is that butterflies can see a range of colors invisible to the human eye. Oh . . . wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to see the world through their eyes for a moment!

    Those people who follow my posts about our black Labs, Harley and Logan, might understand why I have a love/hate relationship with butterflies! I love their beauty and the essential work they do. On the other hand, Harley has an obsession with butterflies. If he sees one, a little switch goes off in his head and everything other than the butterfly ceases to exist for him. He will chase it until he loses sight of it. He will, at times, cry as if he's being tortured. I actually wonder if the butterflies are intentionally teasing him, because they will flit about, just out of his reach. Watching Harley can be entertaining, as he dances around, but (and here's the hate part) because nothing else exists to him at that point in time, I worry that he could run over the edge of our property (there's a steep incline in the back) and/or otherwise hurt himself. (So far it's only my gardens that have suffered the consequences!)

    Having said that, the love part of it far outweighs the...let's say...concern to do with Harley's obsession!

    I'm so very happy to hear we have four more books in your series to look forward to, Anna! Congratulations!

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    1. I love the image of Harley chasing butterflies, Kate. :) I'm sure you don't necessarily though, LOL. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  6. Anna! Congratulations on the sale - I'm so happy for you. I, too, love butterflies, but we don't see that many here. Like Jill and Kate, I'm fascinated by their eyes and what all those lenses allow them to see. Wish you even bigger success.

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    1. Thanks so much, Muriel! For such little creatures, they have SO much going on! :)

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  7. Congratulations, Anna! Four more books! I always do a big unit on butterflies, so I knew many of those facts. My kindergartners are always amazed that they taste with their feet. I didn't know about how many colors they can see. Wow.

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    1. I love the ideas of little ones learning about butterflies early in life. They'll see the magic and wonder for even longer. :) Thanks for posting!

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  8. Congratulations! I didn't know butterflies couldn't fly if they were cold. I think butterflies are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Hi Melanie! Thanks for stopping by. And I know! Kinda feels like me in the morning...gotta warm up before I can actually move and accomplish anything, LOL. Have a great day!

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  9. Congratulations! I didn't know butterflies couldn't fly if they were cold. I think butterflies are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

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  10. Anna, so interesting! I like the fact that they are the largest group of pollinators after bees (which I happen to have a thing for(: I like the idea of bees and butterflies doing all that important work together. Happily, I've seen so many butterflies on my flowers this year. (More than last year I think.)

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    1. Bees and Butterflies...sounds like a match made in heaven to me. :) And yes, it seems as if butterflies are making a comeback! I hope, anyway. We need them! Thank you for posting!

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  11. I didn't realize their lifespan was so short! Love butterflies. Love you. And congrats on four more books! xoxo

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    1. Awwww, thanks, Amy. Love you, too! <3

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  12. Congrats on your new sales, Anna! More books for us! I had no idea butterflies taste with their feet, or that they were pollinators. Thanks for the new info!

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    1. Hey, Anna! Glad I could fill you in . Thanks for stopping by (and for the congrats). Have a great rest of your week!

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  13. I love butterflies, although I'm with Jill about being surprised at that number of lenses. That's amazing! Congratulations on the new contract--it's a wonderful series.

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    1. Those lenses are insane!! And thank you! :)

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  14. Hurrah for your new contract, Anna! And I'm glad the Monarchs are doing well again. Taste with their feet? No mouths? How do they eat and digest their food? Amazing creatures. We had a visiting Luna moth (not a butterfly) at the window recently. They are enormous!

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    1. The live on liquid, actually...absorbed through their feet and I think...their wings. Truly miraculous. Thank you for posting!! MOths...the other butterflies

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  15. I loved all the details.
    I don't fly when I'm cold either. Of course, I don't fly when I'm hot, warm, cool, or even just right temperature wise. LOL
    And, really, they don't have mouths. I never though about that. Cool beans.
    Love that you're ripping down the publishing highway. You go, girl!

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    1. Thanks, Pam! Yeah, I'm with you on flying...I do it, but I don't like it! Thanks for stopping by today. :)

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  16. Yay! for your new contract! I love butterflies, too. Amazing that the can see colors we can't see. And that they taste with their feet.

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    1. Hi Patricia! Thank you! And they're amazing creatures, right?

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  17. Wow, no mouths? How do they drink? Amazing.

    Can't wait for Charlie and Simon's new adventures and my next visit to Butterfly Harbor.

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    1. I think they drink with their feet, too...need to do some more research, clearly! And yay! A Charlie and Simon fan! I can't wait to see what mischief they get up to this time around! Thank you for stopping by, Beth!

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  18. I didn't know that they have over 6,000 lenses. It's amazing. I wonder what they see. The beauty of the nature never cease to amaze us! I love butterfly too!

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  19. Hi Anna, Love all the info on butterflies. Loved meeting you at RWA 2016 in San Diego. It was really fun. AM loving your books. Thank you so much. smile

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