Right now the beautiful beaches I've written about in my romance novels are littered with dead fish. Red tide is a toxic algae bloom that kills marine life and causes respiratory problems in humans.
I've been on Lido Beach and Longboat Key during red tide outbreaks, and it is not a pretty sight. The normally pristine water of Sarasota Bay turns brown and muddy. Fish carcasses are piled on the fine white sand. It's impossible to breathe without feeling like your lungs are taking in not air, but a noxious gas that stinks like ammonia.
This is not the landscape of love, but an apocalyptic scene that speaks--and smells--of death.
Right now it seems difficult--almost a betrayal of the truth--to ask readers to enjoy my new novel, Love on Lido Key. And yet maybe now is the best time for readers to delve into a little fantasy. In my story, the water is so clear that the characters can see their feet as they tread in the deep. The air is pure, the sky is bright, and love, instead of algae, blooms in the beauty of ordinary Florida days.