posted on January 27, 2021 by conniemann

Beyond Disney’s Magic and Miami’s Glitz

When you think of Florida, do you immediately think 1) Spring break on the beach or 2) Disney? If so, you’re not alone. But Florida, believe it or not, offers much more than that.

I live in Central Florida, and when we moved up here from S. Florida’s hustle and bustle 25 years ago, we realized we’d moved far enough north that we were now in the south. We were addressed as “sir,” and “ma’am” – with just the hint of a drawl – learned to eat biscuits and gravy, and fell in love with the wide-open spaces, slower pace, and those majestic live oak trees draped in Spanish moss.

I’ve been a licensed boat captain for almost 15 years and it’s been my privilege to work on the spring-fed, crystal clear Silver River in Ocala, driving a glass bottom boat and introducing tourists from around the world as well as local schoolchildren to this amazing place.

The Silver River flows alongside the 400,000 acres of the Ocala National Forest and is absolutely gorgeous. When it came time to start a new series, I knew I wanted to set the Florida Wildlife Warriors books in this beautiful corner of the world.

I’ve gotten to know some of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Officers who protect our natural resources and they are some of the most dedicated, kind folks I’ve ever met. They are state-wide law enforcement, which means they’re so much more than “fish cops.” It didn’t take me long to figure out they were the perfect heroes for this series.

If you’re looking to escape the cold, come on down to Florida and take a glass bottom boat ride, kayak down a slow-moving river or walk in the hush of the woods at dusk. If a virtual trip is the best option right now, I hope you’ll grab a book and come meet the Tanner family. I think you’ll adore these tough FWC Officers and the dangerous cases they take on – all while falling in love.

The Florida Wildlife Warrior series:

Book 1 – Beyond Risk
Book 2 – Beyond Power

The print copy of BEYOND POWER is now available, so here’s a bit about the story:

When your heart’s involved…
If you dare venture beyond Disney’s magic and Miami’s high-rises, you’ll find yourself in Florida’s untamed wilderness. A bush pilot and officer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Josh Tanner is one of the tough cops needed to manage these rugged areas. And the minute he finds Delilah Atwood deep in the woods without a good explanation, he knows something is very wrong…

All the stakes are raised…                                  
Delilah barely escaped her ultra-fundamental militia family years ago. Now she’s back to save her sixteen-year-old sister, and no government man is going to stop her. Josh isn’t going to stand by and watch Delilah risk her life, but unless he can get her to trust him, she may end up being the next victim.

I regularly post pictures of the natural beauty of this area on Instagram so I hope you’ll follow me there or sign up for my newsletter for the latest on my books and writing.

Comment below and tell me what comes to mind when you think of Florida and one lucky winner will get a signed print copy of BEYOND POWER. Good luck – and happy reading!

Connie Mann

Connie Mann

Connie Mann is a licensed boat captain and loves writing romantic suspense stories set in Florida's small towns and unspoiled wilderness. She is the author of the Florida Wildlife Warriors series, the Safe Harbor series, as well as several stand-alone titles.When she's not dreaming up plotlines, you'll find "Captain Connie" exploring the beaches along the Florida coast and captaining eco tours on the Indian River Lagoon in New Smyrna Beach.She is also passionate about helping women and children in developing countries break the poverty cycle and build a better future for themselves and their families. She and her husband love hanging out with family and friends and heading off to explore new places. If those days include time on the water boating, so much the better.

Connie Mann Contest

Connie Mann is giving away a print copy of THE CROWN CONSPIRACY, Book 1 in the Speranza Team Series, to one winner.

Enter Here

8 thoughts on “Beyond Disney’s Magic and Miami’s Glitz”

  1. So happy to read this. I’m transplanting from California to the Florida Gulf Coast next month, just bought a house and have a beach rental. Love to meet you some day and swap stories! From one writer to another, best of luck! And yes, I’d love to take that glass bottom boat ride!

    1. Welcome to Florida, Sharon! I hope the move goes smoothly and that you love your new home state. I’d love to meet you sometime! That would be great fun. And it’d be my great pleasure to take you on a glass bottom boat ride!

  2. Karen Hackett says:

    Being a Floridan native since as a child, Florida means seeing leaping dolphins in the Peace River between Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, seashells on the beach, Sanibel Island, the Everglades, alligators, pelicans, humid hot weather, and let not forget the hurricane seasons.

    1. Karen, except that last one (bah, hurricanes) all the rest of it is the best of what Florida has to offer! Dolphins are one of my favorite animals in the world. Love seeing them, any chance I get.

  3. bn100 says:

    Disney World

  4. It’s always a pleasure to read about the real Florida, the one too many people aren’t even aware exists. Anyone who’s tubed Ichetucknee Springs or hiked San Felasco Hammock gets a completely different (and soul soothing) view than those who fly in and out of the big cities. Thanks, Captain Connie, for sharing your Florida experience with readers who love a good romance.

  5. Thanks so much, Darlene! That’s so kind. I love sharing the “real” Florida with people, whether on a boat ride or through my stories. I’m with you, the hidden parts of Florida are the best parts, the places that soothe the soul.

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