My Guests

My Little Piece of Florida – Guest post by Sandra Dailey, Author of Twice the Trouble

Twice the Trouble, a contemporary romance by Sandra DaileyThey say to write what you know, and I know small town Florida. It’s not the same Florida many of you imagine. Reading my book, TWICE THE TROUBLE, you would see Indian Lakes as a small town anywhere in the United States.

My real town, Melrose, is nestled in the north central interior of the state. I don’t live on the ocean or gulf coast. My street isn’t lined with palm trees. There isn’t a bikini clad blonde on rollerblades in sight. Tourists aren’t attracted to our tiny town, but we like it that way.

Women's Club


Today is a busy day at the Melrose Women’s Club. They’re making crafts, trading recipes, and planning fund raisers to keep our quiet little town looking beautiful.


You won’t find cops on patrol or an armed guard at the M&S Bank. Instead, an employee is posted at the locked door to greet you. Don’t worry though, we look out for each other, (and most of us are armed).

Gas Station

At our only traffic light is Chiapini’s. The local gas station has been owned by the same family since opening in 1935. It’s also a small store, bait shop, and popular watering hole. They promptly close at 7:00 PM.

Eye Doctor & Art Gallery

This white building is my Ophthalmologist’s office. It was built in 1899 as a post office and still has the original fixtures inside. If the wait time is long, you can visit the art gallery next door to experience our local talent.


A great end to the day is watching the sun set over Lake Santa Fe.

Now that you know more about the area, I hope you’ll visit again by reading my book, TWICE THE TROUBLE.


Lacey Carlyle has worked for years to make a perfect blend of home, family, and business. Now she stands to lose everything when the land she farms is bought by the man who abandoned her thirteen years earlier.

Alex Benson is all business since the only woman he’d ever loved turned her back on him. Now, he holds the deed to her farm and intends to take what he feels she owes him. The problem; two kids aren’t part of his plan.

Jenna, a romance minded girl, and Jerrod, a stubbornly protective boy, adds up to one disaster after another with Alex and Lacey caught in the middle.

Here’s a sample:

Lacey let her legs dangle over the end of the dock. The pink twilight sky made the surface of the lake look like a sheet of lavender tinted glass. If she had to leave the Double J, the lake is what she’d miss most. She’d never lived in a place where she couldn’t see the water from her window. But she’d decided that if she did have to move, it would be to a new town. She’d make a fresh start. She’d go to a place where people didn’t know every detail of her past. Her kids shouldn’t have to hear gossip about her.

Jerrod was clearly ashamed of her. That had been the worst pain she’d ever experienced. Then, to solidify his low opinion of her, she’d struck him. She wished she’d never gotten out of bed that morning.

She heard Alex’s footsteps on the wooden planks behind her, but she didn’t turn around. She was too embarrassed. He sat on the corner of the dock with his back against the rail post, facing her right side.

“If you’re thinking of jumping in the lake to end it all, let me know in advance,” he stretched out his legs and crossed his ankles. “These shoes set me back a couple hundred bucks. I’d want a chance to take them off before I dive in after you. There’s also my wallet and cell phone to consider.”

Alex always could make her smile.

“I’ve never heard Superman complain about having his cape dry-cleaned,” she replied. “I’ve never seen Batman ask for time to remove his utility belt. The Incredible Hulk never asks for a safety-pin. If you’re going to be a hero, you’ve got to be tough.”

Alex’s eyes widened. “So that’s who you’ve been dating since I’ve been gone.”

TWICE THE TROUBLE is available in ebook:

The Wild Rose Press


Barnes and Noble

And, you’re always welcome to visit me personally:Sandra Dailey, Author of the contemporary romance, Twice the Trouble

I’d like to thank Babette for hosting me on her beautiful blog and giving me the chance to meet her lovely readers and friends.

Be sure to leave a comment below to tell me what kind of town you live in.


Photos: Sandra Dailey

19 thoughts on “My Little Piece of Florida – Guest post by Sandra Dailey, Author of Twice the Trouble”

  1. I grew up in Eau Gallie, Florida, which is now part of Melbourne. Sixty years ago, it looked much like your pictures. I live in Washington state now, in another small town.

  2. I love Florida, Sandra. I grew up in Baton Rouge and we used to go to Destin every summer to take my grandmother fishing. I have some wonderful memories of those years. Now I actually live in a big city again after nearly twenty years of living in a small town in northwest New Mexico.

  3. I’ve always been a Big City girl, having grown up in Panama City, Panama, but I’ve always been intrigued to small town life. I live on the Gulfcoast of FL, and over the years we’ve tried to visit as many “Old Florida” places as possible. There’s nothing like a food festival to draw me in (i.e., Plant City’s Strawberry Festival or the Zellwood Corn Festival). Kitsy, quirky FUN!

  4. I’ve only visited friends in Florida, but I grew up in small towns in Missouri–all small towns must be the same. But I love them and hope as many of them as possible can hold on to their identity. Lovely post. Thanks.

  5. My hubs grew up in Gulf Breeze, FL and we made it our home for the first ten years of our marriage. I love that place and we hope to get back there someday. Loved the excerpt. Best wishes for mush success!

  6. OMG – I’m so jealous of your town. It looks and sounds amazing! I live in Arlington, VA, which I love for now and there’s lots to do. But I’m from a small town in PA and I think I’ll end up some place like it eventually.

  7. I am a U of F grad. Always loved FL. Should have stayed there after graduation. My sister and brother- law live in Mt Dora. We visit a lot. they have a boat on one of the big lakes. Beautiful, quaint town.

    My mystery novels are set in small towns on the Jersey shore. If you’ve never been to the Jersey shore try Murder at the Jersey Shore. It’s a three book trilogy in one volume.
    Richard Brawer

  8. I grew up in east Hillsborough Co. near Plant City; currently living in Homosassa. Small towns sure beat big cities. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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