Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Meet Cedar Key

Earlier this month Hurricane Hermine roared through the “big bend” area on Florida’s Gulf coast. Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in my state in eleven years, and she took a major toll in one of my favorite places, Cedar Key. Many of you have not even heard of this coastal village eighty miles north of Tampa. Only seven hundred full-time residents live there. Historically Cedar Key is best known for the manufacturing of pencils and brooms. Now it’s a sleepy town that comes to life on weekends when tourists or students from the University of Florida invade its square mile of territory.

There are no chain restaurants (that’s right – no McDonalds!) no chain hotels. Every business is privately owned by “Mom and Pop.” Restaurants stick out over the Gulf waters, downtown looks like a scene from a hundred years ago when people strolled. And the tide flow is incredible. You have to see it to believe it.

My husband, who was an avid fisherman, and I happened upon this town some years ago. I had already begun writing romances for Harlequin, and I immediately saw the quiet village as a perfect setting for a series of books set in my fictional Heron Point. My editor liked the idea, and a few years ago three books hit the shelves. An Unlikely Match, An Unlikely Father, and An Unlikely Family
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But now, Cedar Key is suffering. Hermine took aim and the clean-up is ongoing. Here are pictures of Cedar Key pre Hermine:


Here is what Cedar Key looks like after an unwelcome visit from a major storm




I hope weekends are still lively and fun in this village, but I kind of think they won’t be for a while. So I encourage you – if you are coming to Florida, don’t skip this lazy, lovely gem on the Gulf coast. The residents are working hard to welcome you, and sometimes the biggest boost to rebuilding is just knowing people care. You won’t be sorry you settled in for a day or two under the one thing Hermine couldn’t change – the warm Florida sun.

I plan to continue writing love stories set in quirky, small towns, including my latest series, The Daughters of Dancing Falls. Book one, A Boy to Remember, and book two, The Bridesmaid Wore Sneakers, are available now. Watch for book three, Rescued by Mr. Wrong, coming soon.
Thanks for reading!
Cynthia



21 comments:

  1. What a great find Cedar Key was! I hope it comes back even better. Good luck with the new series!

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  2. Cindy, I loved the Bridesmaid Wore Sneakers and will look forward to the next book. Mother Nature can be so harsh at times. I hope Cedar Key is able to rebuild. It's amazing that so many places are able to come back.

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    1. People are resilient, Roz. We have to be. And we inspire the same in our damaged communities.

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  3. Cynthia - what telling pictures! I'm from coastal Massachusetts where hurricanes often hit. The people who live on the water are a sturdy breed - it's amazing what they can survive and somehow turn that devastation into a fresh start. Wish I could pack up some friends and go there for lunch. That place advertising steamers looks good! Ages ago, I wrote a series for American set in a place called Heron Point . It was based on Astoria.

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    1. Muriel, if you came to Cedar Key for lunch, I would definitely meet you there!

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  4. How very sad that Cedar Key was hit so hard by the hurricane. I hope no residents were injured, and I hope they can rebuild effectively.

    I am looking forward to the third book in your Daughters of Dancing Falls series, Cynthia!

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    1. Thanks, Kate. I don't think there were any serious injuries, but so much flooding!

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  5. Cedar Key looks like such a sweet little town! I can see why you are so charmed by it! And congrats on your new releases. I've had several friends comment that they love your title, "The Bridesmaid Wore Sneakers." :)

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    1. Thanks Patricia. I wish I could claim authorship of that title, but actually my friend thought of it and the editors agreed that it would be a winner. I think it is too.

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  6. I hope Cedar Key is back up and running soon. It looks like a lovely town. And I love the titles of your books! And the stories.

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    1. Thanks so much Patricia. I hope the same for Cedar Key.

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  7. I hope Cedar Key is soon back to its charming original condition. If I ever make it to the area, I'll be sure to visit.

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  8. I love towns like Cedar Key. Hoping the residents recover. I love the series name Dancing Fall--it immediately brings up soothing and warming images for me.

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    1. Sophia, I've always been drawn to waterfalls, so the title just came to me and I liked it right off.

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  9. During the years I lived in Ft. Lauderdale, several hurricanes hit, so I can identify. I recall going outside during the eye of the storm and seeing all the trees down and huge chunks of pavement being torn away. Hope your town recovers. Looks like a charming place.

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  10. awww We are in SE Alabama - and were missed by Hermine.
    I hope to visit someday, I love mom and pop places

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  11. Mother Nature is not to be messed with! Hope Cedar Key is in a better way soon.

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  12. Love the titles of your titles of the Daughters of Dancing Falls series. They just sound like fun.

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  13. What a great setting for a romance novel. I hate to see all of the destruction left behind by Hermine. We were in Myrtle Beach when he rolled through, it wasn't too bad. I hope Cedar Key is back to normal soon.

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