Friday, June 25, 2010

Let's Hear It For Theme Parks

From my house on Florida’s east coast, it’s an easy one-hour drive to any one of four major theme parks. Imagine, non-stop fun practically guaranteed for the (admittedly hefty) price of an admission ticket. Unfortunately years, if not decades, pass between my visits to Orlando’s tourist mecca. Which is a shame, really. Because the parks are a lot of fun.

This summer, thanks to a story idea about a couple who disagree when she plans a theme park expansion that threatens his livelihood, I’ve been making the rounds of the theme parks. And since there’s no better way to view magic, I took some kids along. Believe me, it didn’t take much effort to “bribe” a precocious eight- and six-year-old to join in the fun.

It’s amazing how kids see things.

Stifling heat? Sweltering humidity? I don’t think they even noticed.

90-minute lines for popular rides? Did you know kids can play “I spy” for over an hour? Again and again? Plus, all memory of the time spent in line was instantly erased by a three-minute roller coaster ride or a train ride or a seat in a spinning teacup.

Crowds shuffling along, elbow-to-elbow, through a new exhibit? The 8-year-old kept asking if I felt the MAGIC of the town. The 6-year-old wanted to solve the mystery of snow on the rooftops in the middle of summer.

And an ice cream cone in the afternoon instantly picked up flagging spirits. My flagging spirits, that is. The kids were still going strong.

All-in-all, we had a blast. And I gathered a lot of info for the new book. Including one piece of information critical to surviving a visit to any of Florida’s theme parks in the summer—bring a hand-held, battery-operated water mister.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Love San Francisco!

Every time I wear my I "heart" SF T-shirt, I'm surprised by how many comments I get.

"I love San Francisco, too!"

"I really want to go to San Francisco someday."

"What does SF stand for?"

I'm wearing my I "heart" SF T-shirt a lot these days because every time someone comments on it, it's an opportunity for me to hand them a bookmark and tell them about my next Harlequin American Romance, FIREFIGHTER DADDY (July 2010), which is set in San Francisco.

The hero in the this book is a widower with a little girl who loves to ride the cable cars.

These days the cable cars are among the city's biggest tourist attraction, but there was a time when they were also an important means of transportation.

This film was shot c.1905 from the front of a cable car traveling east along Market Street toward the Embarcadero (the clock tower in the distance).

Do you suppose there were any traffic rules in those days? Everyone seems to walk, ride and drive wherever they please!

Cable cars no longer run along Market Street, but you can still take a cable car from Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf, up and down those crazy steep hills, and I think it's wonderful that the city has preserved that part of its history. Just one of the reasons why I "heart" SF!

Happy reading!

Until next time,
Firefighter Daddy
The Writer Side of Life

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My August release, DUSTY: WILD COWBOY, is quickly turning into one of the most exciting books of my writing career. Not only do I get to participate in Harlequin American's first ever continuity, THE CODY'S: FIRST FAMILY OF RODEO, I just found out yesterday that I received my first ever 4.5 Stars Top Pick review from Romantic Times Book Club. This has been a dream of mine for years, and I'm so happy to have finally achieved it. Hope you don't mind if I share the review with you.

by Cathy McDavid
Genre: Harlequin American Romance, Current Series Imprints, Series

Rating ★★★★ ½ Top Pick!

DUSTY: WILD COWBOY (4.5) by Cathy McDavid: Dusty Cody ran on the wild side until he found out he was a dad. Since then his life has changed and never more so than when Maryanne Devonshire enters his life. A PR rep for an eco-company, Maryanne is vacationing with her father when she and Dusty meet, but the wild cowboy and the relationship-wary Maryanne will have to trust each other to move the relationship forward. Dusty and Maryanne are wonderful, and by turns charming and stubborn. The rest of Dusty’s family is as rowdy as ever.

Reviewed By: Pat Cooper

Thanks for letting me gush and carry on a bit. I'm still doing the happy dance even after a full day.

Oh! Don't forget about THE CODY: FIRST FAMILY OF RODEO media blitz contest we're running again, starting July 16th. I know it's a little early, but mark your calendars, and be sure to check back here before the 16th for more details. Remember, the more places you link the post, the more chances you'll have to win! You can earn additional chances to win if you refer a friend and they in turn post a ling to their favorite social media websites and blogs.

Whoo, hoo!

Warmest wishes, my friends.

Cathy McDavid

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

Since yesterday was Father's Day, I thought I'd share some photos from our visit with my husband's 92 year old father at his home in Denton, Texas. He's one of the people responsible for me writing about small towns and the people who live there. He and my late mother-in-law told wonderful stories of growing up in Texas, southwest of Fort Worth. He lived in an area near Dennis, TX, on the Brazos River. He called it the "Big Valley," which is the equivalent of bottom land for those of us more familiar with large rivers. The house he grew up in is still there, in the photo on the left.

My mother-in-law spent the first 17 years of her life in Lingleville, TX, which is near Stephenville. She grew up on a smaller farm with much poorer soil, less water and more rocks. It was a tough life which she escaped though education, attending college where she met my father-in-law. Many of the stories he's told us through the years centered around people they stayed with and knew, distant relatives and friends of friends who helped out.

Yesterday we had a great visit, heard a few more stories (and some of them the second or third or tenth time,) and watched our grandchildren play in his spacious home. We treasure these visits and I always take lots of photos because I want the girls to remember their great-grandfather, whom they call "Dad." I doubt that they will remember the stories, but I have plans to record them on my Flip video and store them for the future. After all, Dad probably only has 10 or 20 good years left! Happy belated Father's Day to all the dads and to everyone who no longer has their dad to visit and listen to and get advice from, I hope you hold on to the all the good memories forever. Perhaps when the girls are older (like 25 or so!) I'll suggest they read my books for the essence of the stories from their great-grandparents and so many other Texans I've met in the past 39 years.

And a special memory of my dad, Art Chancellor, on one of our trips to the Smoky Mountains. I miss you, Daddy.