Some people think the scene above is a winter wonderland, but I long for sunny beaches and swaying palms. We've been hit hard with a snow storm here in the Northeast this week. Here's a photo of my son's car, it's the car in the foreground, with just the side mirror showing. It's just a giant blob of snow! You can barely see the outlines of it, it doesn't even look like a car, it could be Jabba the Hutt lurking under there.
When I worked in Philadelphia one winter, the snow was piled high on both sides of the road, traffic was jammed and the roads were nearly impassable.
So every year, my thoughts turn to Florida and the Ft, Lauderdale condo. It's right on the ocean (most condos call themselves "oceanfront" but they are actually across the street, on the other side of AIA.) This one is actually right on the sand.
And when it's high tide, the water comes up so close to the balcony, you can pretend you're on a cruise ship. Here's a picture I took from the deck.
Day or night, it's a beautiful sight...
Sometimes I do a little research while I'm down there. I found a vintage candy store in Ft. Lauderdale and got some great ideas for Oldies But Goodies, the candy shop in the Dream Club Mysteries. Rows and rows of vintage candy--a fun experience! And of course I bought a bundle to take home.
I sent the photo above to the folks at Penguin and suggested they use the inside of Oldies But Goodies on the cover of A Premonition of Murder, the 3rd book in the series (and I was happy when they agreed!)
I have another mystery series set in Florida, the Talk Radio Mysteries. It's all about a Manhattan psychologist who closes up her office and moves to sunny Florida to become a radio talk show host. (Like Frasier.) And since it's a mystery series, she solves a murder in every book. The series is set in a fictional town north of Miami, "not too far from Boca and a hop, skip and a jump away from Ft. Lauderdale." DEAD AIR is the first in the series.
And I have a new teen series that features South Beach in the first book. The series is called the Hollywood Nights series (South Beach is known as "Hollywood East" because of all the movies they shoot there). Golden Girl is the first book and books 2 and 3 are set in Hollywood.
So besides the dreamy weather, gorgeous ocean and swaying palms, Florida has inspired me in so many ways. How about you? Do you have a favorite escape when the snow hits? Or are you one of the lucky few who are already living in a sunny paradise of your dreams?