Let’s Talk with Cheryl Hollon

Red Hot Time
By Cheryl Hollon

It’s a Red Hot Time in St. Pete! Unfortunately, cooler weather is still months away.

Red Firecracker bush

As the calendar reaches the end of August, my tolerance for the relentlessly hot days also reaches an end. Typically, we would be on vacation to mountain country, enjoying cool mornings and firepits at night. But, alas, this is not an average year, so I’m facing another two, possibly three months of what is known as 90/90 days here in St. Pete. Translation: 90 degrees temperature/90 percent humidity.

What I’ve noticed in my section of town is that the red flowers are blooming like fury. Unfortunately, there is a garden near me that has completely given up producing anything edible. The next planting season isn’t until late October.

These are red firecracker bushes that line the walkways near our apartment. They do look like those bunches of firecrackers that are common in Singapore. It was an everyday event for someone to light a cluster and throw them into the street.

Jacaranda Tree

The Jacaranda trees around Mirror Lake have gone berserk. The fragrant blooms and fern-like leaves give dappled shade to the banks.


The Ixora is also going crazy but looking absolutely gorgeous. These showy ball-shaped flowers grow at the end of their branches. It can quickly get leggy when it lacks water, but we’ve been getting drenched overnight for weeks.

If you’re looking for a regional eastern Kentucky series, my Paint & Shine Mysteries are set in the Daniel Boone National Forest. My characters spend a lot of time preparing traditional southern meals along with moonshine cocktails. Buy local. Independent bookstores need your help during this challenging time. If you’re an Amazon shopper, here’s that link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088WYF8QV

While you’re here, enter our Booklover’s Bench contest. We’re collecting entries for a book giveaway from our vault by one of our Booklover’s Bench authors. It runs from September 1-18. Click here to enter! (please note that the link isn’t LIVE until Wednesday, Sept. 1)