This is Week 3 of  book tour. One of my recent stops included Panama City, FL–a place I always love to visit. This time though, it was a sobering arrival. I was struck by the devastation of the trees and so many houses.

It looked like someone took a chainsaw to the top of the beautiful oaks. Huge swaths of pine trees were toppled like snapped twigs.

Houses were covered in tarp, and many more were evacuated and stood waiting to be demolished.

All of the photos I’m sharing with you are my own. This is the scene 8 months post Hurricane Michael’s category 5 hit last October!

The people have suffered. Despite their losses, I was also struck by the optimism of the citizens who love their city.

They hope to rebuild. Though they know it will take a very long time for the trees to return.

Sadly, in neighboring Mexico Beach, there’s nothing much left to save. The people have left. There are no construction workers to rebuild. It was a ghost town.

Panama City has a long way to go and they need our help! Like many of you, I’m wondering, “What can I do to help?

I learned that if you donate to the United Way of Northwest Florida, 100% of the funds will go to hurricane victims there. I made a financial contribution, and I want to do more by spreading the news to you, my dear readers. Please make any donation you feel comfortable offering. This is a simple way we can each “Light One Candle” for the people of Panama City.

For anyone who gives $50 or more, I will mail to you a hardcover copy of The Summer Guests as a thank you for your donation. My new novel is about hurricane evacuation and it seems appropriate.

To receive your book, please send my assistant ( an email with your mailing address and proof of donation–a simple screenshot of your receipt is all I need. This offer is available to you through the Atlantic hurricane season, which ends November 30th.

Stay strong, Panama City! We love you!