When I received the email from The Book Loft inviting me for a book signing I had to admit I had no idea where Amelia Island was. Although the name was fitting. Amelia is the protagonist in MYSTIC. As soon as I read about the Island I began planning a weekend family vacation around my book signing.
Thank you, Sue and Beth for inviting me to your lovely bookstore. I enjoyed meeting everyone and talking books.
1. The Food Tour! We have been to several food tours in different cities. The tour on Amelia Island is like no other. Tara and Marisol are two of the friendliest most welcoming guides I’ve ever met and they put a tremendous amount of effort into making sure our experience was wonderful. The food was incredible! All the chefs took the time to tell us about their creations and to talk to us about life on the island. We toured with a film crew so next month you can see us on i Know Jax Daily. Here’s a list of the restaurants we visited. I recommend all of them. Eric and Arielle also went on the Mixology Tour and had a fabulous time.
We also had a slice of pizza at PI Infinite Combinations which was delicious!
2. Horseback riding on the beach! While Eric and Arielle were on their mixology tour Kai and I went horseback riding. Kai rode Jesse and I rode Jen. The two were best friends. Kai really wanted to trot and canter and that’s exatly what we did along the water’s edge. Now I’m convinced that one day I must have a horse of my own. I can’t wait to ride again. Debbie and Cassy made sure we had lots of fun. Check out their website.
3. Seaside Amelia Inn It’s right on the beach! Wake up, sit on your balcony sipping coffee while listening to waves crash on the shore. Then go for a long stroll on the beach dipping your toes in the Atlantic. That’s a vacation!
4. Air Amelia! We are always on the lookout for adventures our entire family can enjoy. I shocked everyone when I agreed to fly in a powered hang glider. I had seen one flying over the beach and it looked like fun. I jokingly said it’s a motorcycle in the sky. So when Eric texted me during my book signing asking if I wanted to give it a try, I replied with a yes! For some reason, I wasn’t nervous until we took off. As we climbed higher and higher, I suddenly stopped talking. Our experienced pilot read me like a book. He made sure I was okay and then pointed out landmarks. One of my favorites was John Grisham’s House. Soon we were flying along the beach waving to everyone. My favorite part. The view was amazing! I’m someone who never rides rollercoasters or seeks outrageous adventures, but this ride was something I’d definitely do again. Being out in the open among the clouds, looking down and seeing the landscape from a bird’s point of view, it was magical.
5. The Welcoming Attitude of Everyone We Met Everyone we met from our tour guides to chefs to restaurant and store employees and owners were all very friendly and happy to have us on their Island. It was a relaxed atmosphere. They all helped each other out by recommending their neighbor’s store or restaurants. They were genuinely interested in where we were from and if we had ever been to Amelia Island. There was a strong sense of community that exuded kindness towards each other and tourists. I’m very happy I discovered Amelia Island. Next time we’ll visit for more than three days!
K.D. Rausin is a former teacher living in sunny Cape Coral, Florida. MYSTIC, her middle grade fantasy, and Elle & Buddy, her picture book, both feature strong female protagonists who use wheelchairs. Both books were inspired by her daughter, Arielle Rausin.
K.D. Rausin is a former teacher living in sunny Cape Coral, Florida. MYSTIC, her middle grade fantasy, and Elle & Buddy, her picture book, feature strong female protagonists who use wheelchairs. Both books were inspired by her daughter, Arielle Rausin.
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.