Tag Archives: Florida Springs

Announcing…..Living Spring

29 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photo by Melodie Hendrix

Photo by Melodie Hendrix

My neighbor came over yesterday to return something. Since I was about to get in the car, we stood in the driveway for a minute to talk. She had finished reading my newest book in the Florida Springs Trilogy, Living Spring wanted to tell me how much she liked it. She said what she said when she read the first book, Sacred Spring. “Living Spring is a wonderful book, it kept my interest the whole way through, when is the next one coming out?” This is a smart and successful person and not one who is inclined to flatter or gush. I was pleased with her report.. Truly all my readers are intelligent and discerning. I’m so glad they like my novels.

I’ll tell you a teensy secret, though perhaps I shouldn’t…I was a tad worried about my new baby, Living Spring. Even though I love the characters, the setting, and the plot, I wasn’t quite ready to turn loose of it for publication.

When I told Onisha what I’ve told you, she said, “Your niggling feeling about turning loose of it may mean, Living Spring is one of your best books.” Now, I understand that it was because I would miss working on Living Spring that I didn’t want to let go of it. Now, I’m on to Clear Spring, the third book in the trilogy, so all is well.

When Bill, Billy (our son) and I were having lunch at Tibby’s New Orleans style restaurant in Winter Park, I told our son about my doubts and how they have been overcome by good reports. He who is the father of two perfect (to me) college age kids, said, “Is Living Spring better than Sacred Spring?”

My answer was: “I don’t really want to know or think about that.”

”Why?” says he. Why has been his favorite word since he learned to talk. He’s a biologist now and since he has the inside scoop on nature, he is my chief source for questions about plants, animals, land, and water. We have a lot of lovely scenes and encounters in our Florida Spring trilogy, along with real love stories and a bit of suspense.

How do I explain to our inquisitive son that I don’t want to compare the two books? Aha, I ask him this: “Is your daughter better than your son or your son better than your daughter?”

“I see what you mean,” says he. “But it’s not the same thing, your books aren’t your children.”

“Oh, yes they are,” his father and I say in unison. “Or anyway they’re the next best thing.”

What do you, blog reader and friend have to say about all this? I hope you’ll say with the neighbor, “It was wonderful, it held my interest all the way through, when is the next one coming out?” I can’t ask for more than that.

Sacred Spring is available exclusively from Amazon right now, for Kindle or in paperback, but that will soon change and you’ll be able to get it, as you now can now get, Living Spring, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. In case you don’t know what Smashwords is, it’s an eReader service that can sell you the books in any format to fit any eReader or device.

Please buy Sacred Spring, and Living Spring in whichever format you prefer and let us know what you think on our blog comments or my Face Book page. We’ll soon have a website up and running, too, for Rebekah Lyn Books, a new Christian publisher who will take the world by storm. Her first book is Summer Storms, and she has two more after that. Look her up, you’ll like her.

In Living Spring, Jean Schaefer, sister of Hank, has suffered from overwhelming anxiety for the past four years due to the death of their parents and an entanglement with her child’s father which ended in a shocking rejection. She contracts for an original settler’s house in the woods near, “Living Spring,” hoping to use the renovation process as therapy. She must now learn to live in new ways and begin to allow people into her life again. As the history of the old house, along with elements of her own past begin to surface, Jean finds herself fighting inner battles she thought she had buried forever.

Living Spring


We love Florida Springs Part 2

27 Feb

 A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites


The Florida natural springs are some of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever experienced.  Floating down a quiet, cool, spring run on an inner tube in the middle of a hot and humid Florida day is one of the best stress relievers I can think of.  You can leave all your worries and cares back at the job and just lay there and drink in nature in all its glory.



If it gets too hot for you, all you have to do is drop over the side into the water and cool off.  We found that snorkeling was another great way to explore the natural beauty of the springs.  A person can float along with the current and be surrounded with some of the most beautiful underwater scenes of plant life and fish.  Snorkeling also allows you to explore the spring “Boil” at the source of most of the springs.



By far our favorite Florida spring is Ponce de Leon Springs located about 10 miles North of Deland, Florida.  This spring is rumored to have been visited and used by ancestors of the Seminole Indians as long as 6000 years ago.  In the early 1500’s history tells us that the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon went searching for what the local Indians called their “magical spring waters” and he called the “Fountain of Youth.”



In the early 1800’s, after the U.S. purchased Florida from Spain, central Florida was settled by sugar cane and citrus growers.  It was during this period that a sugar mill was built at the spring for grinding sugar cane.  The original sugar mill was destroyed and restored at least two times during the late 1800s and now houses the famous Old Sugar Mill Restaurant.



Designed around the rustic mill equipment, you sit at a table with a griddle in the middle, and cook your own meal.  There are eggs, bacon and sausage of course, but the specialty of the house are the pitchers of stone ground 5-grain and unbleached white batter for you to cook your pancakes.   You can spruce up your pancakes with a variety of items including blueberries, pecans, peanut butter and even chocolate chips.  Top that off with some local maple syrup, honey or molasses and you have a breakfast fit for a king.  There is also French toast and several homemade breads available.



When we first started camping at Ponce de Leon springs, it was privately owned, very primitive and had many beautiful campsites.  It was less crowded and more restful than most of the larger springs and soon became our favorite weekend retreat.  We usually tried to keep our tent camper as open as possible to enjoy the cool spring surroundings.  The screen windows were at both ends of our pullout bed, so our heads were as close to the out-of-doors as we could get and still keep the insects out.  On one occasion, in the middle of the night, I was awakened from a deep sleep by what sounded like heavy breathing.  I couldn’t imagine what in the world could be making that kind of sound.  When I raised up on my elbow to look through the screen window, I almost had a heart attack.  Right there, not an inch away from my nose, was a very large horse sniffing me through the screen!   I almost jumped clear out of the bed!  “Whoa!  Where did you come from?”  I said.  Then, with heart pounding, and as calmly as I could manage, I told the horse to take it easy, and go find another place to sleep, as all the beds in our camper were taken.



Now for those of you who don’t like to get wet, Silver Springs near Ocala, Florida is the largest of the 33 Florida natural springs, gushing 500 Million gallons of clear fresh spring water per day. They feature great glass bottom boat cruises, botanical gardens, wildlife exhibits as well as many other activities.



Try a Florida springs Day Park or camping sometime–I think you’ll like it.

—–The End—–

How to Feed a Squirrel

6 Jun

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


After moving to Florida, one of our favorite family pastimes was camping.  We started with a small four-person tent and over the years upgraded several times ending up with a very nice pop-up tent camper.  We especially enjoyed the many Florida natural spring camping areas.  The flora, fauna and wildlife was truly a wonderful learning experience for our whole family.


On one occasion, after a morning of swimming and playing, my wife headed off to the bathhouse for a shower.  On the way back to the camper, she noticed that a squirrel was following her.  She thought that was so cute and kept encouraging it to follow her.  Well, it didn’t need much encouraging, and followed her all the way back to our camper where I was shelling and eating some salted peanuts.  As you might know, my activity immediately got the squirrel’s attention and I was instantly it’s friend.  I threw a peanut on the ground out in front of me to see what it would do.  It snapped up the peanut and had it shelled and eaten in no time.  I held another peanut to see how close it would come and then dropped it close to my feet.  It didn’t take it long to come right up to me for the next treat.  So, I decided to see if it would take a peanut from my hand.  I held one between my fingers and held it out.  the squirrel came right up to me, stood up on it’s back legs, put one front paw on each of my fingers, I thought to steady the procedure, and calmly bit one of my fingers.  I couldn’t believe it!  Here that squirrel was biting the hand that was feeding it.  What kind of gratitude was that?  You can be sure that squirrel didn’t get any more of my salted peanuts.

I’ve recently learned that scrub jays like to take peanuts out of your hand. Maybe I’ll try that next time and see what happens.



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