Kids these days! by Janie DeVos

I’m an idiot when it comes to social media.  But, maybe I’m just being too hard on myself… No, I’m an idiot.  I’m always afraid I’ll post something to everyone when it was only meant to go to someone, or that I’ll open something that looks perfectly innocent only to have my computer flip me the finger and melt down. I’m learning that there all kinds of social media predators out there; trolls, hackers, and many others who I just don’t know the names for.  And I’m afraid I won’t recognize one when I see one, or read one, or hear from one – or whatever you call it when you connect with those monsters of cyber space.  It’s a scary cyber world that we live in and my level of naïveté is off the charts.

When my first novel was published about a year ago, I knew I’d have to get heavily involved in (cue scary music), social media.  I hated it, I was scared of it, but I knew I’d be forced to do it because in today’s world that’s how you sell stuff – books included, and especially if your book happens to be coming out in a digital format, as mine did, (as well as soft cover).  So, I did the only sensible thing I could do: I ran to the nearest high school (which happens to be the only high school in this tiny town), and found a wiz kid to get my social media marketing going.  Who better?  Unlike me, who grew up back in the 60’s, and was raised on Jiffy Pop Popcorn, The Ed Sullivan Show, and A.M. radio, kids today grow up on megabits, flash drives and tweeting – or is it “twittering”?  Oh, heck, I can’t even pronounce it correctly much less practice it with ease.  But these kids can do this stuff in their sleep!  My little wiz kid could fly across the keyboard, and had me set up in so many different things, on so many different days, and for so many different reasons that I couldn’t keep track of them all. Oh, how I loved her so!

But, just as things have a way of doing, my specific needs changed and my wiz kid’s life changed, too.  For her that meant college and getting engaged; for me that meant moving on to the next level of social media marketing, and my current high-tech, social media saint.  But, I will always be eternally grateful to my first little PC guru for dragging me into the world of websites, FaceBook, and Instagram.  I know it wasn’t easy for her getting me through that cyberspace door. I resisted it as strongly as my Bassets do when I pull open the vet’s door.  I’m quite sure I looked just as wild-eyed, too, and panted to the point of nearly hyperventilating.  But, she wrestled me in, nonetheless.

I often hear people knocking the kids of today, but I believe we can learn a thing or two from them if we’d just stop and listen.  I know I did from my little wiz kid, and not just about social media stuff.  It’s important to respect these kids for what they are: our future.  And to believe that they want it to be just as good and safe and promising as we babyboomers do.  All things considered, I think we’re in pretty good hands.  Just don’t get these little computer Einsteins mad.  They know how to hit that delete button, and I, for one, don’t want to be sent to the trash bin in the eternal black void of cyber space, especially since I can’t remember where the escape key is.

In the earliest days of the last century, a Florida family strives to build a legacy in the burgeoning new city of Miami . . .

In South Florida, a region that offers some of life’s richest beauty as well as some of its harshest conditions, a city is rising. Eve and Max Harjo moved to Miami after the great freeze of 1894 wiped out their citrus grove. Eve is busy writing for the Miami Metropolis, Miami’s first newspaper, while Max salvages the ships that fall victim to Florida’s dangerous reefs and violent storms.

Their nineteen-year-old daughter Eliza dives to bring up the salvaged treasures, uncaring that it is hardly woman’s work. And her stubborn determination to educate local Seminoles—male and female—draws the ire of the tribe’s chief. But Eliza’s greatest conflict will be choosing between two men: a brilliant inventor working on the prototype for a new motorboat, and a handsome lighthouse keeper from the northwest. When a massive storm unleashes its fury on South Florida, it reveals people’s truest characters and deepest secrets, changing lives as drastically as it changes the coastal landscape . . .