Welcome MFRW Author Fran Thomas.
Fran Thomas was born in Pittsburgh. She never intended to live in Florida, but Fate had other plans for her. She resides with her husband on an island in the Gulf of Mexico and spends her time observing its quirky denizens and their antics. Visit her website or find her on pinterest.
She's recently released Southern Hospitality: Book Two of Calusa Town Tales. Here's what she says about her creative process...
Just like Kate in Southern Hospitality, I moved to a barrier island in Florida from Pittsburgh. And like her, I was a fish out of water. After living here a few years, I began writing a column for the local newspaper, highlighting the quirky personalities and colorful social events of the residents. As I grew to know more and more people, I finally felt like I belonged. Eventually I became the editor of that newspaper and gained even more experiences with the opinionated and vocal people who call this home.
When I decided to write fiction, I had plenty of material to draw from. I've changed the name of the town and modified the geography to suit my own purposes. But I hope I have retained the caring qualities of the people who live in what I now call home. Southern Hospitality is Book Two of the Calusa Town Tales series. I will be beginning Book Three very soon.
ABOUT Southern Hospitality
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Kate Schubert is a woman on a mission. After working her way to a degree and toiling behind a series of check-in counters, she's on her way from Pittsburgh to a town in Florida. The bad news is nobody she knows has ever heard of Calusa. The good news is she has been hired for her very first management position, one she plans to make a stepping stone to the career she's always dreamed of.
Dave Morissey is still friends with every woman he's ever dated--and there have been quite a few. He doesn't believe in permanent relationships, but he's more than willing to add a leggy redhead to his list of temps. Kate Schubert is a woman on a mission. After working her way to a degree and toiling behind a series of check-in counters, she's on her way from Pittsburgh to a town in Florida. The bad news is nobody she knows has ever heard of Calusa. The good news is she has been hired for her very first management position, one she plans to make a stepping stone to the career she's always dreamed of. Dave Morissey is still friends with every woman he's ever dated--and there have been quite a few. He doesn't believe in permanent relationships, but he's more than willing to add a leggy redhead to his list of temps.
Kate Schubert sighed. Loudly. She attempted to stride through the South Florida Airport pulling her animal-print carry on behind her. Her progress, however, was blocked on every side by her fellow passengers arriving from Pittsburgh. Giggling school children on summer vacation bounced alongside slow-moving, silver-haired senior citizens. Two or three middle-aged men shucked lightweight suit jackets and loosened ties as they ambled down the concourse. Would it be too much to ask that they speed it up?
The concourse dead-ended at an escalator rumbling downwards. At the foot of the escalator, Kate made a sharp right towards baggage claim. Near the stilled carousel, a man holding a cardboard sign with her name printed on it slouched in a plastic chair.
Kate approached him. “I’m Kate Schubert.”
The man took a quick inventory from her red hair pulled back in a severe pony tail down through her head-to-toe black outfit and back up again.
He grinned. “Welcome to Florida. I’m Dave.”
He began to unfurl himself from the chair. When he was fully upright, Kate had to look up into his eyes. That was a rarity. She stood nearly six feet tall in bare feet. In the three inch heels she favored, she towered over most men. She had learned to use what had been a drawback in high school to her advantage. Unintimidated, she returned the man’s stare. His grin faded.
“Let’s see about getting your other luggage,” Dave said.
A bell sounded, and the carousel lurched to life. A mishmash of luggage tumbled down a chute and slowly revolved until hauled off by a hand shooting out from the gathered crowd. Kate pointed out her matching bag, and Dave hefted it easily.
“You travel pretty light,” he said. “I was expecting more suitcases, so I borrowed Seth’s SUV.”
“I shipped the rest,” she said. Her brow puckered. “So you work for Mr. Connor, er, Seth?”
“In a manner of speaking.”
Kate fell into step beside the tall man. What job could he possibly have at the new hotel she’d been hired to manage? The baggy cargo shorts, flowered shirt, and flip flops he wore weren’t much to recommend him. The only thing he had going for him was his impressive physique. Well, that and eyes a startling turquoise against his tanned face.
“What exactly do you do?” she asked.
“This and that.”
“Not too ambitious, are we?”
Dave shrugged. “Ambition’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Nice use of the royal ‘we’ by the way.”
When the electric doors slid open, a blast of warm, moist air hit Kate in stark contrast to the highly air conditioned building. So this is what Florida felt like. After they left the terminal, Dave led her across the street and into the parking garage. He stowed both her bags in the trunk of the car and then attempted to open the passenger door.
Kate beat him to it. “I can open my own door.”
“Just because you can doesn’t always mean you should.” Dave circled the vehicle and climbed into the driver’s seat.
“I’d rather depend on myself,” Kate said.
“Yes, ma’am. I can see that.”
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