Congratulations to my September contest winners, Wendy from Yorba Linda, California, and Isabelle from Belgium! Your copies of HOT ALPHAS will go out Monday morning.
I've had a busy week since the newsletter went out and have gotten rolling on my next Feral Passions story, WILD PASSIONS. I've got some fun characters again and the men of Feral Passions are just so damned sexy. I do love writing the truly hot stuff once in a while.
I sent my newsletter out a week ago Friday on 9/11. The very next day, a horrible fire started up in the tiny mountain community of Cobb where Doug and I lived for a number of years. Named the Valley Fire, it's still burning, though firefighters are slowly bringing it under control, but please hold the good thought for the displaced families, those who have suffered horrible losses (almost 900 homes known to have burned, and Lake County is a very SMALL county) and so far, three known deaths of people trapped by this fast moving fire. The town of Middletown was absolutely devastated, and Harbin Hot Springs, known worldwide, is gone. They are promising to rebuild--the springs are still there!
A local photographer has posted some amazing photos on Facebook. They're hard for me to look at--this is the community where I spent my summers from the time I was a toddler, staying at my grandmother's cabin in Whispering Pines. I've hiked all over these mountains, have ridden horses on the trails, and fished the creeks. The photos of the helicopter siphoning water out of a small lake? That's where I learned to fish for bluegill and bass with my dad, and my brothers and I used to catch frogs and tadpoles. The road and the house where we lived until three years ago was somehow spared, but it's surrounded by thousands of acres of burned forest. Over 74,000 acres have burned to date, and the town of Middletown was devastated. The downtown survived, but so many houses burned. Entire streets are piles of ash, burned out cars and fallen chimneys.
We need rain so badly, or we're just going to continue to have forest fires like this one--fires that burn so fast that people abandoned their burning cars on the side of the road and others were trapped in their homes. The stories of heroism and sacrifice are hard to read, but it's a pretty tough population up there, and I have complete faith in them rebounding and coming through this.
When I end my post, I always ask everyone to stay safe. I think those words mean more to me now than ever before, because it's not always in our control to be entirely safe, but I still mean it! Be safe, and don't forget to take time for yourself--and don't forget to tell the ones you love just how much you love them.