New Audio Book–#English #Historical #Romance INTO THE LION’S HEART

One of my earlier Wild Rose Press historicals has new life. I’m psyched to announce the release of  Into the Lion’s Heart in a fabulous audio version. Narrator, Rebecca McKernan, does a brilliant job! I love her British accent, and she does the French heroine beautifully.  Poldark fans will appreciate the flavors of Poldark in the Georgian time period and setting of Into the Lion’s Heart. I read all the Poldark novels by Winston Graham ages ago and loved the first version of the television series that came out on Masterpiece Theater. Of course, I’m a big fan of the newest version with the wonderful Aidan Turner.

Into the Lion’s Heart got some awesome reviews.

2012 Reader’s Favorite Finalist
“This is a brilliant historical romance by Beth Trissel. You can feel her passion in the story, very well written and characters that you can feel. Into the Lion’s Heart will take you through a journey of love, and enough surprises to keep you hanging on. If you love a beautiful historical romance you will enjoy this story!”

Reviewer: Wanda from Romance Writers Reviews “Into The Lions Heart is a historical romance novelette that is sure to delight the fancy of those who read this genre… If you have never read any of Beth Trissel’s books, this will be a great start and make you want to read more. I have always liked her style of writing and hope she does not change. Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Lynn F. for Readers Favorite
I simply adored INTO THE LION’S HEART by Beth Trissel. I’m not an avid reader of historical romances or even the simply sweet romances, but this tale kissed a delicate smile on my face and I have to admit, my heart melted. Not only was the writing superb and in context with the time and place, but the plot itself was very well done.

Story Blurb:
Will the English captain save a woman the French Revolution would devour when he learns the truth?

Georgian England 1789: As the French Revolution rages, the English nobility offer sanctuary to many a refugee. Captain Dalton Evans arrives in Dover to meet a distant cousin, expecting to see a spoiled aristocrat. Instead, he’s conquered by the simplicity of his new charge. And his best friend Thomas Archer isn’t immune to her artless charm, either.

French émigré Cecile Beaumont didn’t choose to travel across the Channel. And she certainly didn’t expect that impersonating her own mistress would introduce her to a most mesmerizing man. Now she must play out the masquerade, or risk life, freedom – and her heart.

Purchase into the Lion’s Heart in Audio at Amazon at:

Also available at Audible:

Furbaby Friday with Lyn Horner!

I am delighted to have Lyn Horner and her wonderful kitties on the blog. Lyn is sharing the stars of her memoir Six Cats in my Kitchen.

First, a big thank you to Beth for inviting me to her beautiful site. I have enjoyed reading about everyone’s furbabies and am happy to write about my own four-footed darlings. When I was a child, my parents always preferred dogs, but I was fascinated by cats even then. We finally got a kitten and I’ve been a cat person ever since.

The stars of my memoir, Six Cats In My Kitchen, are quite naturally six special kitties who played important roles in my family. And yes, they ALL lived under our roof at the same time, crowding around my feet each morning meowing for their breakfast. I loved them all, but one boy really stole my heart. His name was Tommy. So original, right?

Tommy, otherwise known as Trouble, was a long-legged orange tabby. He showed up in our yard about a week after we moved to a Houston suburb from the Chicago area. My two children were elementary school-age at the time. They started playing with the half-grown kitten and sneaking treats to him. Pretty soon I let them bring him into the house. He was a little terror, chasing our older cat, Shadow, around until she panted like a dog, but eventually he calmed down, becoming pals with her.

As our feline clan grew to include Coco, Pepper, Rumor and Tiger, Tommy grew to be their unflappable patriarch, welcoming each newcomer with regal dignity. He also became my best buddy, often joining me in my recliner to lie stretched out along my arm like a human baby. Not to be denied, Shadow usually hopped up to lie on my opposite leg. They made comfy lap warmers!

Tommy, Shadow and their friends have all crossed over the rainbow bridge. The loss of each was painful, but losing Tom hurt so much that I crawled into bed and cried off and on for an entire day. That was over sixteen years ago, and I still miss him. Hubby and I have two sweet kitties now. I love them both, but Tommy can never be replaced.

Book Description: As I say on the first page, very first line, this is not a “cute kitty” book. I started out to create just that, but my cast of characters swiftly dug in their claws, insisting I tell their true story. Consequently, this comedy/drama turned out to be a very personal memoir. Six special cats are still the headline-grabbing stars of the show, but their human companions (my family) fill pivotal supporting roles.

In this second edition, I enlarged the photos and added a little in the last chapter about newcomers to my feline brood, but the heart of the book remains the same. Subjects include grieving the loss of human and four-footed loved ones, moving cross-country with kids and pets, and living with a disabling genetic illness. I have tried to lighten the heavy stuff with smatterings of humor, but you still might want a tissue or two. Most of all, this is a love story about the deep, unbreakable bonds I have shared with my adopted feline children.

At Amazon:

Author Bio:

Lyn Horner resides in Fort Worth, Texas – “Where the West Begins” – with her husband and a pair of very spoiled cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor before she took up writing. She loves crafting passionate love stories, both historical and contemporary. Lyn also enjoys reading, gardening, visiting with family and friends, and cuddling her furry, four-legged children.

The author’s Texas Devlins series blends authentic Old West settings, steamy romance and a glimmer of the supernatural. This series has earned multiple awards and nominations, including Crowned Heart reviews and a Rone Award nomination from InD’Tale Magazine.

Lyn is now hard at work on her paranormal-romantic suspense series, Romancing the Guardians. These books combine her trademark flashes of psychic phenomena with Irish folklore and a chilling apocalyptic theme. Along the way, readers are treated to thunderous action, terrifying suspense and sizzling romance.

Amazon Author Page: Lyn Horner’s award-winning.books

Website: Lyn Horner’s Corner  

Lyn’s books are on Kindle Unlimited:

Thank you for stopping by. Please leave Lyn a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Lynda Cox

I have long admired Lynda’s beautiful collies on Facebook, and am happy to have her here to share her champion collie and best friend, Vander,  and her western historical romance, Smolder on a Slow Burn.

Lynda: Third puppy on the left. That was where he was when his breeder posted a picture of his whole litter at three days of age. Third puppy on the left. Even in a picture, I saw that face, saw the rounding of the muzzle, saw the stop placement and I wanted that puppy. I knew both sides of his pedigree, inside and out. Knew the “uglies” he would go through, when he would go through them, and for how long I would joke I needed to keep a brown paper bag over him.
I contacted his breeder and told her that I wanted the third puppy on the left. I was told, “He’s a tri smooth male. You don’t need a tri smooth male.”

She was right. At the time, I had three other tri smooth males.
What I want and what I need have always been very distinct things.
I actually had hands on him when the litter was three weeks old. Again, I picked him out. He was the first puppy I saw and the rest of his litter didn’t seem to exist. It was as if for me, there were a spotlight that shone on him and him alone. I again told his breeder I wanted him. I told her that again when I once more had hands on him at five weeks and at eight weeks. I took him home when he was eight weeks old.

He finished his championship before he was seven months of age, had his Bronze Grand Championship before he was a year old, and even though he was still a baby, that first year I showed him, he finished the year ranked in the top twenty. It was the last and only time of his show career he wasn’t in the top ten.
I’ve said of that day, when I took him home, we never looked back. But that isn’t true. I am forever looking over my shoulder and thanking his breeders, Bertha and Sarah Garrison, for allowing him to come home with me and for entrusting me to do right by him. I promised them I would take him as far as we could go. I haven’t taken him anywhere. He’s taken me. He’s taken me on the ride of a lifetime.

We’ve been invited to participate as one of the top five dogs in his breed at The Westminster Kennel Club show. (Yes, we went. No, we didn’t win.) We’ve been to shows all over the United States. He was selected as the Best of Opposite sex winner at the Collie Club of America show last March in California. We’ve “danced” every year at the Collie Club of America Top Ten Invitational.
And when it’s all said and done, at the end of each day, he sleeps next to my bed on his favorite blanket and doggie bed. He’s known to the American Kennel Club as Platinum Grand Champion Bandor’s The Wyching Hour. His friends and admirers know him by his call name of “Vander.” I simply call him my friend and my heart dog.

Speaking of things of the heart—as an author, I am NOT supposed to have a favorite book. It’s almost like saying as a parent I have a favorite kid. That being said, my heart book is my second book published through The Wild Rose Press, Smolder on a Slow Burn. It originally started life as a contemporary romantic suspense. I completely rewrote it for NaNoWriMo because when I pulled it out to try to update it, that “contemporary” was so dated it could have passed as an historical. I started tinkering and realized there was no way to salvage it as a contemporary. For NaNo, I picked the hero and heroine up, dressed them in period clothing, and threw them on a train heading in the right direction—ANYWHERE BUT THERE. When I got to A.J.’s first line of dialogue and he tells Allison to go sit on a hay bale in the stock railroad car they’re in before she inadvertently knocks him out the door of that rapidly moving train, I knew it was going to work.
I love these two characters so much that I’ve submitted a sequel to The Wild Rose Press.

Blurb: Smolder on a Slow Burn
Allison Webster dreams of having an adventure like the characters in the books she loves. But there is no romance in being pursued by a man who wants her dead for educating the children of former slaves. Unlike the heroines she reads about she doesn’t have a trusty companion to rescue her…until she literally runs into A.J. Adams, a former Confederate cavalry officer. Now, she just has to convince A.J. he really is the honorable man and hero depicted in the dime novel she is reading.

Branded a “traitor” for more than ten years, scarred by harsh treatment in an inhumane prisoner of war camp, A.J. Adams wants revenge. Allison Webster’s arrival into his life provides the bait to destroy the men who murdered his wife and daughters and kidnapped his little brother. The men pursuing Allison are the very same men he has sworn to kill. Falling in love and admitting he might actually be a hero means surrendering his need for vengeance. Surrender is not part of A.J.’s battle strategy.

She had been just holding the window, staring out in the night while she tried to sort through the enigma of the man. Allison shoved the window up a little more and then tried to drag it down. It wouldn’t budge past its original point.
“Allow me,” Adams’s deep baritone murmured in her ear.

Startled, Allison reared away from the window. At the same moment, the train jolted forward, sending her tumbling backwards. Her head slammed into his shoulder. His arms snaked around her, steadying her. The broad chest her back pressed up against was as solid as a stone wall and the strength in the arms circling her waist felt as strong as iron bands. Her heart leapt into her throat.

“I might begin to think that more than conversation is in your plans if you don’t stop throwing yourself at me. Of course, you can always blame it on your lack of coordination when the train is in motion.” He spoke barely above a whisper and his breath teased along her cheek, ruffling the stray wisps of her hair. Something deep in her stomach clenched, making it difficult to draw a deep breath.
“I have no motives other than trying to close this window.” Allison didn’t make any attempt to free herself of his hold.

“Then, as I stated a moment or so ago, allow me to assist you.” His chuckle sank deep into her, filling her with warmth, brushing over her like the richest of velvets.
This was going to get her into serious trouble. Allison twisted out of his arms and away from the window, and dropped onto the bench.

Author Bio:
I write steamy western historical romance, what one reviewer called an authentic blend of Old West action and happily ever after romance. My first published romance won the 2015 Laramie Award for best debut novel. Several times that first romance has sat atop the Amazon best sellers list for western romance. The subsequent three romances have all been RONE nominated.

I was born and raised on Chicago’s south side, into a family of staunch White Sox fans and Democratic Party bosses…and much to their consternation, I’m not a White Sox fan and I refuse to discuss politics. (Some things are much better left unsaid.) I also grew up with a steady diet of syndicated Western television shows, John Wayne movies, and the Sunday night staple of Lassie. I blame those television shows and movies for my lifelong love of the American West and Collies. I said when I grew up I was going to have Collies, own horses, and live on a ranch just like the Ponderosa. Two out of three isn’t bad.

By the time I was legally an adult (I refuse to grow up), I couldn’t wait to get out of Dodge, so to speak. I moved first to the wilds of central Wisconsin and then to south central Indiana to the middle of a corn field, where I currently reside with my best friend, biggest supporter, and husband, Ken. We have a beautiful piece of property in the woods of central Tennessee I escape to every chance I get. Now, to just convince hubby it’s time to put away the veterinary practice and become a backwoodsman in Tennessee. Does he really think I was learning all those survival skills because I’m expecting an apocalypse of biblical proportions?

Social Links:
Web page:
Twitter: @lyndacox

Buy Links:
(e-book is available only through Amazon)
(if you prefer the paperback)

Furbaby Friday with Author Peggy L Henderson!

I am happy to welcome Peggy to Furbaby Friday to share her love of animals, her cat, Hissy, and  Yellowstone Heart Song from her Yellowstone Romance Series.


Peggy: Thank you for inviting me to talk about my fur babies today, Beth! Where do I begin? I ‘ve been an animal lover for as long as I can remember. I had mice, hamsters, frogs, rabbits… you name it, when I was little. We tried getting a dog, and also a cat, but for one reason or another, it never worked out that we got to keep them, so I spent a lot of time on my uncle’s farm in rural Germany. I loved hanging out with the chickens, the cows, the horses, and the cats. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a veterinarian.

Fast forward to when I was a teenager and living in the US. My first job was at age 15, working in an animal hospital’s boarding kennel. From there, I worked my way up to technician, and it’s a job I held all through high school and college. After four years of Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary Medicine, I decided to call it quits on the veterinarian dream. I got married, had a house, started a family, and lived the dream of having lots of animals. I was burned out on school, but I continued to work in the field. After staying home with my kids for their first ten years, my background landed me a job in a veterinary reference lab. Now I’m loving life as a full-time romance author, but animals tend to find their way into my books to help bring couples their HEA, in the form of horses, dogs, and even a goose.

Over the years, I’ve owned dogs, cats, horses, chickens, goats, you name it. Most of the animals were cast-offs from clients at the vet clinic or rescues from shelters. There was Misty, our black barn kitty who moved into our barn, young and pregnant. I had her spayed, and she decided she wanted to move in permanently.


Then there was Wink, our one-eyed little rescue cat. Someone had dropped him off at the clinic when he was about four weeks old. He was covered in fleas and had a terrible eye infection and upper respiratory infection. He barely knew how to eat on his own. I cleaned him up, took him home, and got him healthy, except for his eye. It was unsalvageable, so we had to have it removed. Hence the name Wink, because he looked like he was always winking at someone.

Most of my horses were racetrack cast-offs or kill-lot rescues. Due to life’s circumstances, I had to give up my animal lifestyle about a dozen years ago and drastically downsize (which meant that none of the ones that passed on were replaced). At the moment, I have only one cat and my welsh pony left. My other pets and horses have all passed away from old age. I’m a huge believer that pets are for life.


So, today, I want to give a special mention to my current fur baby, my cat Hissy, who is known on Facebook as the Writing Assistant. What kind of silly name is Hissy? Yes, there’s a story behind the name.

One day, about seventeen years ago, I was out feeding the horses when I saw this beautiful calico cat wander through the yard. She was skinny, and obviously nursing kittens. She was shy at first, but when I brought out a can of tuna, she came running and was most grateful. She came around again the next day, and I saw a tiny orange furball kitten with her. Unfortunately, the little stinker would not let me get close to him.

(Jedi and Misty)

I talked to my neighbor, who told me the cat lived in her shed, and that two of her kittens had been taken by hawks. Right then, I made it my mission that this last kitten would not meet the same fate. Mama cat (who we named Minx, because I used to have a calico named Minx decades ago) was easy to catch. The kitten was a challenge. I had to go into the shed and all but remove most of the wooden floorboards to finally grab him. Boy, was he a feisty one. Hissing and spitting and showing me how tough he was.

I brought him into the house to re-unite with his Mama, and for several weeks, no-one was able to get close to him. He would hiss and spit at anyone getting near his crate. My then 3-year-old son decided to call him Hissy. Weeks passed, and he finally decided that living in the house, getting fed, having a safe and warm place to sleep wasn’t such a bad deal, after all. He became a lovable couch potato, but we never changed his name.

Now, he’s my 17-year-old senior cat, the best cat I’ve ever owned. He’s never been a lap cat, but he loves sleeping next to me, either at night, or during the day when I’m working, typing away on the couch. As I said before, he’s my “Writing Assistant” and his fans on Facebook love him.

Last year he adjusted to living in an RV in Yellowstone for five months, and he will be going with us again in a couple of months when we leave for another season in the world’s first national park. He has feline diabetes that has been in remission for several years (crossing fingers it stays that way), and is in overall great health for his age. I can’t imagine life without him.

Author Bio:

Peggy L Henderson is an award-winning, best-selling western historical and time travel romance author of the Yellowstone Romance Series, Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, Teton Romance Trilogy, and the Blemished Brides and Wilderness Brides Western Historical Romance Series. When she’s not writing about Yellowstone, the Tetons, or the old west, she’s out hiking the trails, spending time with her family and pets, or catching up on much-needed sleep. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart. Along with her husband and two sons, she divides her time between living in Southern California and Yellowstone National Park.

(Peggy and Mel)

Find Peggy at:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Blog |Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Pinterest | Twitter |mailing list |BookBub

Blurb for Yellowstone Heart Song:

Nurse and avid backpacker Aimee Donovan is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. She encounters a patient who tells her he is a time traveler and can send her two hundred years into the past to spend three months in the rugged Yellowstone wilderness at the dawn of the mountain man era. The only requirement: she cannot tell anyone that she’s from the future.

How did a white woman suddenly appear in the remote Rocky Mountain wilderness? Trapper Daniel Osborne’s first instinct is to protect this mysterious and unconventional woman from the harsh realities of his mountains. While he fights his growing attraction to her, he is left frustrated by her lies and secrecy.

Daniel shows Aimee a side of Yellowstone she’s never experienced. She is torn between her feelings for him, and exposing a secret that will destroy everything he holds as truth. As her three months come to an end, she is faced with a dilemma: return to her own time, or stay with the man who opened her eyes to a whole new world. When the decision is made for her, both their lives will be changed forever.


Aimee smiled sweetly. He could ask her all he wanted about bison. This was basic junior ranger stuff to her. How many countless ranger-led hikes had she gone on in her life? And a favorite topic of discussion on those hikes had often been bison. She could practically lead one of these bison talks herself. She had to admit, though, that her guide this time was far more interesting than any ranger she’d met in modern times.
When Daniel didn’t speak, she finally asked, “Well, how am I doing so far?”
He studied her for a moment with that intense look of his. “Where would you expect to find berries here?” he asked, rather than answer her question.
“I’d be looking around for sunny spots, I suppose, for berry bushes.”
Daniel pointed out some strawberry patches on the ground, and huckleberry bushes among the thickets. She moved eagerly in their direction, when he took hold of her arm and pulled her back. She turned her head, and raised her eyebrows in a silent question.
“Bears, remember?” he warned. He scanned the area for a moment, and inhaled deeply. “Often, you can smell a bear before you see him,” he explained.
“What do bears smell like?” She recalled the death and decay smell of the elk carcass, but she couldn’t remember now if the bear smelled like rotten meat as well, or just the air around him.
“Most of the year, bears smell like the places they visit,” Daniel explained. “In the early part of summer, they smell like the wet grasses.”
“Sweet?” she asked. He nodded.
“The tundra smells like the earth and sage, and a bear has that smell as well. It is only much more distinct. You need to train your senses to pick up the differences. Bears like to roll in their food, or anything with a strong odor, so whatever they have eaten, they will smell like it.”
“Ew. Okay. Kind of like dogs. They do that, too.” She took a deep breath, but all she smelled was the pine scent of the forest. “What else?” she asked eagerly.
“Listen to the forest. What do you hear?”
She closed her eyes and inhaled. The tranquil sounds of the forest birds, the smell of fresh pine and musty earth, even the distinctive cow scent left behind by the bison, and the rushing sound of the breeze through the tops of the tall lodgepole pines, all had an intoxicating effect on her.
“I hear the wind and birds,” she said softly.
“What kind of birds?” Daniel prodded.
She focused on the different sounds. “Oh! A woodpecker,” she said in surprise. She had never paid attention to different birdcalls before. She turned her head to listen closer. “I hear ravens, and probably some kind of jay?”
“Any other animals?” Daniel pushed her further. “You must learn to separate all sound.”
She sighed, but kept her eyes closed. Amazingly, she could, indeed, sift through the cacophony of chirps and make out individual animals. “Hey, that’s not a bird . . . that was an angry-sounding squirrel.”
She opened her eyes. In front of her, Daniel stared intently at her face. Her heart skipped a beat.
“Is it safe now?” she whispered.
Was he going to answer? She shifted her weight nervously. His intense eyes drove straight to her heart. She couldn’t read his expression, but she wasn’t about to back down and be the first to look away. Finally, he cleared his throat.
“There is no bear here,” he answered, his voice sounding a bit raspy. He motioned with his chin to the berry patches.
Relieved for the excuse to move away from him, Aimee picked handfuls of berries, and between mouthfuls carefully placed some in her backpack. “There are so many. I would love to take some of these back and make a pie!”
Daniel stood off to the side while she ate her fill, and casually popped a few berries in his mouth from time to time. He was like a security guard – constantly trained on her to make sure she didn’t make a wrong move. She tried to ignore him and concentrate on her task, but his eyes seemed to reach straight into her. Her skin tingled all over.
“Okay, I think I have enough,” Aimee said after her pack was rather full. She wished he would catch her double meaning. She’d definitely had enough of his continuous perusal, and was ready for a diversion. Daniel turned and led the way out of the forest.
“The last time I ate pie was in Philadelphia seven years ago,” he said wistfully when the trail widened and they walked side by side. Aimee was surprised he volunteered this information.
“You’re in for a treat, then. I make a mean berry pie.”

* * *

For the better part of the morning, Daniel led her through the forest. He showed her how to read different tracks, signs to look out for that an animal had been in the area, where to look for edible roots and plants, and how to watch the skies for changes in the weather. Along with the berries, she filled her backpack with mint, wild onions, licorice, and various other roots and plants.
She listened attentively as she tried to absorb everything Daniel told her. Some things she already knew, others were completely new to her. The subtle animal signs he picked up on astounded her. Silently, he had pointed out a black bear sow and her twin cubs in the distance, a moose in the thickets that she would have completely overlooked, and countless other smaller animals. He knew which critter made every track they came upon. He read the forest for information as someone in her time would read a newspaper. It was most refreshing to get a glimpse of this wilderness that she loved so much in her time from this man who carved out a living here.
Aimee savored the beauty of her surroundings. Aspen trees grew in abundance. Beaver lodges lined the banks along streams, and countless otters played in the waters. With the coming of the fur trappers to these mountains within a decade of this time, the beaver would be trapped to near extinction. Wolves would be hunted until none remained, and without this predator, the elk would take over, and cause the destruction of the aspen from overgrazing. This was a Yellowstone unfamiliar to her, but it was as nature had intended before the encroachment of man.
Despite the differences, the landscape still held a certain familiarity, and she realized Daniel was leading them back in the direction of the cabin sometime in the early afternoon. Her foot throbbed with every step she took, but today was one of the best days of her life. The raw, undisturbed landscape exhilarated her. No other hikers, no roads. Just me and this gorgeous backwoodsman.

Find Yelowstone Heart Song at:

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Peggy a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Cara Marsi!

I am happy to have Cara Marsi here to share her love of cats and her contemporary romance, Wedded in Vegas (Gambling on Love series).

Cats I Have Known and Loved by Cara:

Cats have been part of my life since before I was born. Both my parents were raised with cats. I can’t imagine a world without these elegant, beautiful, independent, playful, affectionate creatures who shower us with unconditional love. I remember fondly every cat I’ve ever had, since I was a little girl. Each cat has been a member of my family. Pet owners know, as much as we love all our kitties and dogs and other pets, there are always those few that are special.

One of my very special cats was Sabrina, a tabby. I got her in 1970 as a kitten from a co-worker when I lived in Toronto, Canada. I’d gone to my co-worker’s house with the idea of choosing a male kitten. When I sat on the floor, near the kittens, Sabrina, a sweet little girl, immediately ran to me and climbed up to my chest. She chose me, as is the case with the most memorable pets. Sabrina’s fur was thicker than most short hairs. I always figured it was from being bred in cold weather. She and I formed a bond that couldn’t be broken. She loved me totally and thought of me as her mommy. She was my baby. We were a team. I went through a rough patch at the time, and Sabrina was my rock. She saved my life.
It bothered me, but I was so consumed with new motherhood, I couldn’t give Sabrina the attention I’d always given her. All these years later, I still feel regret over that. She contracted heart problems and we had to put her down when she was twelve. That was thirty-four years ago, and I miss her. She will always be part of my heart.

There were cats after Sabrina, and I loved them all. But I didn’t find another special cat until December 2003, when we adopted a fat, black, almost two-year-old cat from the shelter. The Humane Association told me a man had found the cat as a kitten hiding in his bushes on his property. Ebony had lived at the shelter her whole life until we adopted her. Black cats (and dogs) are the last to be adopted. My son, in college then, renamed her Killer because she was so sweet and gentle. He said it was irony. Killer didn’t like being held, but she liked to hang out with my husband and me. In the evenings while we watched TV, Killer slept on a satin pillow on the sofa between us. She wasn’t vocal, and only cried when we picked her up or tried to give her a pill for the chronic upper respiratory disease she’d gotten from her time in the shelter. Killer may not have been vocal, but she communicated with her eyes. I knew what she wanted by the way she’d look at me. Sometimes I’d say to her, “Show me what you want,” and she’d lead me to her food dish. We lost Killer in October 2015, to cancer. I miss her so much. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about her and miss her.

Almost a year before we lost Killer, we brought in a little tortoiseshell stray we call Tortie. Tortie and her kittens were running around our neighborhood the summer of 2014. Neighbors fed them, but no one could get near the cats. We all thought they were feral. I contacted a rescue group, Forgotten Cats, and with their help, I trapped Tortie. It took until September of that year to get her into a trap. We couldn’t find her kittens, and I hope kind people took them in. Forgotten Cats spayed Tortie and gave her shots, then released her to us. She lived on our open porch, and my husband and I were building an outdoor shelter for her. As she got more comfortable with us, she stopped running away when she saw us. One day she wrapped around my ankles, and I realized Tortie wasn’t feral, but just a scared, abandoned little kitty. We brought her inside and she’s been with us ever since. She, like Killer, is an indoor cat. She’s a petite cat, although after being close to starvation when she lived on the street, she’s gotten a bit chubby. Tortie has the standard five toes, but one of her toes is like a thumb. The perfect name for her would be Mittens. Since Forgotten Cats called her Tortie due to her coloring, we kept the name. She’s so affectionate and gentle, I think she knows we saved her life.

One month after I lost my Killer, I was in Pet Smart to buy cat food for Tortie. I went to look at the cats for adoption, as I always do when there. I told one of the Humane Association volunteers about Killer, and I started crying, right there in the store. Before I knew it, I left with a 10-week old tuxedo kitten named Brew. We renamed him Brewster. I’d forgotten how crazy kittens are. After bringing him home, I realized my husband and I were too old to deal with a super energetic kitten. Brewster kept trying to play with Tortie, but she ran from him. I think he scared her, small as he was then. He had, and still has, so much energy.

Brewster is the craziest cat I’ve ever had in a life filled with cats. He and Tortie get along now, and he doesn’t scare her any more. She likes to groom him, and I wonder if she thinks of him as her baby, although he’s almost twice her size.
Brewster weighed less than three pounds when I got him. He’s now a little over two years old and he weighs 17 pounds. He’s a big cat, and looks as if he may have a little Maine Coon in his DNA. He’s beautiful, ornery, and a cuddle bug. Both my cats adore me. When Brewster weighed less than three pounds, he liked to curl up under my chin while I sat and watched TV. At 17 pounds, he still tries to curl up under my chin.

He wakes me up in the morning (way too early) by licking my face. Like a Maine Coon, he’s very vocal. He’ll announce himself entering or leaving a room. He stares at my husband and cries until my husband picks him up and walks around the house with him. We recognize what he wants by his different cries. Brewster is Mr. Personality, and he still acts like a kitten and gets into as much trouble as one. He’s whip smart, too. I taught Brewster to sit on command, and it only took a few minutes and some treats.
One of the reasons I chose him is because he’s almost all black. I wanted another black cat like Killer. Brewster is a medium hair, and he has a bushy tail. Killer, while a short-hair, had thick, silky, luxurious fur. I wanted a cat with fur like hers.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my little homage to the cats I’ve known and loved.

I sometimes include a cat in my books. It depends on the story. In Love by Chance, Book 2 of my Gambling on Love series, my heroine Laney has a fat black cat named Ebony, Killer’s shelter name. In Wedded in Vegas, Book 1 of the Gambling on Love series, my hero, Cole, rescues a black kitten. He names it Killer, my way of honoring my sweet cat.

Blurb for Wedded in Vegas:

A reluctant bride
A hot Hollywood actor
What happens in Vegas…
Bartending in Las Vegas is the means to an end for Analisa Barbero. As soon as she finishes school she can get her dream job as a teacher. With her hard-working single mom temporarily disabled, money is tight and the hours are long. Who has time for dating? But when a sexy nerd asks her out, Analisa does what everyone else in Las Vegas does: she takes a chance and says yes.

Some people come to Sin City to gamble. Some come to start over. And some come to hide out. Cole Lassiter is Hollywood’s hottest property. Fed up with phoniness and paparazzi parasites, he just wants to be an ordinary nobody for a while. But when his deception causes a pretty bartender to lose her job, he makes her the kind of offer that can only happen in the city of make-believe: Marry him for one year in exchange for a house, money, and all-expenses-paid tuition for school. If she agrees, maybe the tabloids will finally give him a break.

Neither Analisa nor Cole thought love was in the cards for them. But what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Is Analisa willing to gamble her future on a man who already deceived her once? Everyone in Las Vegas knows one thing: you have to roll the dice if you want to hit the jackpot. And love is worth the risk.

EXCERPT from Wedded in Vegas:

Cole jerked upright as a thought, like the proverbial lightbulb, went off in his head. He knew how to help Analisa, and maybe himself. If he could convince her. He glanced at the wall clock. He didn’t have much time.
He grabbed his phone and called down to the garage for his car. With a hopeful spring in his movements, he slipped on his leather jacket against the March chill and left the penthouse.
He had a woman to win over.
Cole let out his breath at the quiet when he turned down Analisa’s street. True to their word, the paparazzi had left the area. He tightened his hand on the gear-shift knob, hoping all would go well now so he’d have some big news for the press later. Mostly, he hoped his plan would help Analisa.
When he pulled into her driveway, he saw movement behind the front curtains. Busted! Anxiety clenched his stomach. He had a lot of convincing to do. First, she had to let him in.
As he exited his car, shouts from up the street drew his attention. Anger propelled him to run toward the noise. A group of young teens was throwing rocks at a black kitten. The poor creature was running in circles, trying to avoid the missiles.
“Stop it!” Cole shouted as he got close. He scooped up the trembling kitten and held it against his chest. “It’s okay,” he crooned. “You’re safe now.”
He glared at the nearest kid, one with a rock ready to throw. “Drop the rock. Now,” Cole said in the harsh tones he’d used as the superhero in his last action picture.
The kid dropped the rock. Cole’s gaze canvassed the group, locking eyes with each boy. “Are you proud of yourselves? Hurting a defenseless little cat? Didn’t your parents teach you to be kind to animals?”
“Someone dumped that cat off here coupla days ago, mister,” one of the kids said. “My mom said not to feed it ’cause it would hang around. No one wants it here. We were just having fun.”
“Yeah,” said another. “It would have starved to death anyway.”
“You would let a poor, helpless creature starve?” At Cole’s glower, they moved back. “What kind of jerks are you?”
Rage coiled his insides. No wonder the world was in such a sad state with kids like this. Dismissing them with a look of disgust, he held the kitten close and strode toward Analisa’s house. After several knocks, she opened the door.
Her beauty stole his breath. Her curling midnight hair cascaded past her shoulders. The yoga pants and top she wore hugged her lush curves. Her amazing eyes, shuttered and red-rimmed, tore a hole in his heart.
“What do you want?” Her voice and tight features communicated her distrust of him. Her eyes widened when she noticed the kitten he held. “What are you doing with a kitten?”
“I saved it from some thugs who were about to kill it. Can I come in?”
She opened the screen door, reached out, and took the kitten from him, hugging it to her. “The poor little thing.” Turning away from the door, she motioned for Cole to enter.
Rosa pushed up from the sofa when she saw him. “Hello, Cole.”
“Hello, Rosa. Good to see you again.”
“Mom, look at this dear kitten. Cole said kids were trying to hurt it.”
“Poor baby. Let me have it. I’ll take it into the kitchen and give it some milk.”
“May I sit?” Cole asked when Rosa left.
“Suit yourself,” Analisa said.
He sat on the sofa, while she perched on the edge of one of the chairs that flanked it. Hands clasped on her lap, she stared, unblinking, at him. “What do you want?”
“Hear me out. Please. I talked to Appleton but I couldn’t change his mind about your job. I’ve come up with something that might help us both.”
Silent, she studied him with cool, gold-brown eyes.
Rubbing a hand over his hair, he swallowed. “I like you a lot. We get along well, or we did before all this happened.”
At her continued silence, he said, “I think we should get married.”

Purchase Wedded in Vegas in Kindle

At Barnes & Noble:

At iTunes

At Kobo:

Author Bio:
An award-winning and eclectic author, Cara Marsi is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She loves a good love story, and believes that everyone deserves a second chance at love. Sexy, sweet, thrilling, or magical, Cara’s stories are first and foremost about the love. Treat yourself today, with a taste of romance.
When not traveling or dreaming of traveling, Cara and her husband live on the East Coast of the United States in a house ruled by two spoiled cats who compete for attention.

Visit my website to read about all my books and sign up for my newsletter:
I’m on Facebook and Pinterest. I’m always interested in making new friends.

Follow me on Amazon and BookBub:

Thank you to Beth for featuring me today.  (My pleasure, Cara. I love hearing about your kitties. Wonderful cats).

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Cara a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Author Vonda Sinclair!

I am delighted to have Vonda Sinclair here to share her lovely kitties and fabulous Scottish romance, Highlander Unbroken. I remember when her sweet rescue cat, Kaylee, had these wonderful kittens. I followed their adventures on Facebook. ***Vonda is generously giving away an eBook or audio book to one winner to be chosen from those who leave comments.


I’ve always been more of a cat person, but I love dogs, too. In fact, my most painful pet loss was probably a dog almost ten years ago. I’ve lost a lot of furbabies over the years and it’s always so heartbreaking. After that last devastating one, a kitty, I decided I didn’t want another cat or dog for a while because I didn’t want to deal with the heartbreak of losing a precious animal family member again for a long while. But fate, or destiny or the angels had other ideas. 🙂

For some reason, stray cats show up at my mom’s house frequently. We don’t know if people are dropping them off during the night or if they somehow have an instinct that she loves animals and will feed them. Regardless, a small, stray female black cat, less than a year old, showed up there. Pretty soon her belly started looking round and it was obvious she was pregnant. It was a cold January. My mom already had a female indoor cat who hates all other cats. There was no way my mom could bring the newcomer into the house without a major upheaval. So, obviously I took the stray black cat to my house and named her Kaylee. I named her after a ceilidh, (pronounced the same) which is a Gaelic social gathering featuring Scottish folk music, singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.

Kaylee grew rounder and rounder over the next two months. Pretty soon she looked like a little watermelon with legs and she could hardly waddle across the floor. The vet said she thought Kaylee would have maybe three or four kittens. Boy, was she wrong. Kaylee finally had six kittens! Four black ones and two gray ones. I’m thinking, oh my gosh, what have I gotten myself into!? I went from having no cats to seven in a short time. But they were so adorable as kittens and I had to take pics of them almost daily. I hadn’t been around kittens in a long time. They were a joy and always made me laugh.

I contacted almost everyone I know, trying to find new homes for the kittens. I didn’t want to give them away, but there was no way I could keep that many. Finally, I found good forever homes for three of them. One special kitten I knew from the first that I couldn’t let go was a long-haired gray one named Bluebelle. She was the most adorable kitten ever, with a feisty personality. She’s also sweet and lovable.


Jax is a brave, friendly boy who always climbed on my lap from the time he was tiny, so I knew it would be hard to let him go, too. No one chose him, so he got to stay with me. Now, I tell people he’s as big as a horse. Well, almost anyway. I bet he’s approaching twenty pounds. His favorite thing to do is crawl under my jacket and snuggle while almost crushing me. LOL

Pixie is like a wild forest creature, skittish, timid but very territorial. She’s so beautiful, I thought she would be the first chosen. And someone did take her, but returned her to me the same day. I’m glad she gets to live with her mama, brother and sister.

(Kaylee and Jax)


They get along great most of the time, but sometimes Jax picks on his sisters and gets a hiss, growl or a slap. He’s so big and much heavier than his sisters, so I’m sure he just laughs it off. They remember that Kaylee is their mama, and they treat her with respect. Even though she’s now a lot smaller and shorter than her grown offspring, she can still put Jax in his place. He acts submissive toward her. It’s so adorable the way they groom each other. All the kittens grew into huge cats, very long and tall, much bigger than Kaylee. Their papa must have been a large cat.

They live indoors but go outside sometimes when the weather is nice for an hour or two. I have them trained, for the most part, to come back when I call them. I live in the country and they enjoy climbing the trees or running like insane cats through the yard to burn off energy. They’re all my babies, muses and companions. 🙂

I featured Kaylee and her babies in the book I was writing at the time, Highlander Unbroken.
How many furbabies do you have?

Beth: I love hearing about your kitties. I have three indoors and several  barn cats. Plus Puppy Cooper, our older rescue dog, Jilly, and farm dog Luca.

Blurb for Highlander Unbroken
Torture has driven Neacal MacDonald to the brink of madness.
As the new chief of the MacDonald clan, Neacal will do whatever it takes to honor his late father and to help his clan thrive. But whispers of his madness abound and many in his clan turn traitor, wanting MacDonald of Sleat to lead them instead. Conflict ignites between the bitter rivals when Sleat garners the help of the man who tortured Neacal in the past.

Can one woman’s song pull him back and begin to heal his soul?
Everything has been ripped from Anna Douglas except her angelic voice and the will to survive. When she meets Neacal, she recognizes something familiar in him—stark loneliness and pain. His past could be even more tragic and tarnished than hers. No one must learn her true identity or about the brutish man declaring she is his wife, for he will stop at nothing to reclaim her. Though Neacal vowed to never trust a woman again, he cannot resist the secrets in Anna’s eyes or her spellbinding song, which threatens to break down the icy walls surrounding his tormented heart.

Highlander Entangled is my latest release, but I want to share the excerpt from Highlander Unbroken, featuring Kaylee (Ceilidh) and her kittens.

The next evening, after Anna finished singing three songs, the other musicians took over. She needed a reprieve from the crush in the great hall during the cèilidh. Neacal had also disappeared again, as he did half the time. Was he telling the truth about enjoying her singing? She wasn’t so sure.
Still, anytime his eyes chanced to meet hers, her heartbeat sped along and she felt flushed.
Some wild and irrational part of her urged her to slip up to the ramparts again, for Neacal might be there, but…that would be madness. She’d best avoid him for many reasons. She must guard her secrets well if she wished to survive.
Aye, she would stay far from the ramparts and the tempting chief, she decided, savoring a small bowl of stew and a piece of bread in the kitchen. Most of the maids were in the great hall, carrying food or serving.
“Could I help you with anything?” she asked the cook after she’d finished eating.
Mistress Pottenger eyed her with a lifted graying auburn brow. “I thought you a singer rather than a kitchen maid.”
“Aye, indeed, but I like to keep busy.” Anything to keep her mind off the chief and how much she wanted to talk to him again.
Mistress Pottenger limped forward and handed her a small wooden bowl. “Aye, if you wouldn’t mind taking these scraps out to wee Cèilidh. I would take them myself but my bad knee is paining me something fierce this eve.”
“Of course. I would be glad to. Who is Cèilidh?”
“The black cat what catches all the mice. She has wee kittens hidden somewhere and I’m thinking she needs extra food.”
“Oh, aye.” Anna smiled. “I petted her earlier today in the garden, then I secretly followed her toward the back sheds. I did see a tiny black kitten.”
“Mayhap you should see Tavia about something to rub on your knee.”
“Aye, I will. I’ve been on my feet too much today.”
Anna headed out the door and across the bailey. The torches had been lit, but ’twas still light out. No one was about, although she was certain the guards on duty were in the gatehouse. Everyone else was inside the keep, dancing to the lively music. During supper, the great hall grew too warm and stuffy with all the people shoulder to shoulder. She much preferred some time alone in the fresh air. Besides, she liked being helpful to Mistress Pottenger. The woman had been kinder to her than most people. She also knew the woman likely had to keep working despite her knee pain in order to earn a living. She truly hoped the healer could help her.
Anna called the cat but didn’t see her anywhere. She strode around behind the stables toward the back sheds where the hay and grain were stored. This was where she’d seen a tiny black kitten that had escaped the nest.
Upon entering the shed, she saw naught but straw upon the ground. She soon heard mews in the back corner and found the wee critters. The mama cat meowed a warning and came out to greet her. No doubt to keep her away from her babies.
“Here you go.” Anna poured the meat scraps from the bowl onto the clean straw. The sleek black cat tore into the food as if famished. Anna crept closer to the squirming, wiggling pile of kittens, then knelt to better observe them. Four black ones and two gray. They all hissed at her. How adorable. She smiled and stroked their soft fur anyway, despite their hisses.
“Indeed, you have a large family to feed.”
Mama cat mewled but didn’t leave her food.
“I won’t hurt them, Cèilidh,” she whispered. Funny that Mistress Pottenger had named the cat after the song and dance the clan engaged in every night.
How Anna loved babies of any type, human or animal. If Blackburn hadn’t shoved her down the stairs and caused her to have a miscarriage, she might be holding her own sweet bairn. The lass would’ve been two years old by now. Tears pricked her eyes, blurring her vision as she watched the squirming kittens beneath her hands. How soft they were.
“What are you doing out here, my little songbird?” asked a rough male voice behind her.
Anna jerked around. ‘Twas the huge, burly guard who often stared at her, the one who’d spoken to her in the bailey a few days ago—Farquar.
“I was simply feeding the cat.” She rose to her feet.
“Ah.” Farquar watched her with focused interest, as a wolf watches a lamb.
Alarm prickled through her. “I was just leaving,” she said, picking up the wooden bowl. “The other musicians are awaiting me. I’m to sing two more songs.” ‘Twas a lie but her instincts warned her to get away from him. Now.

Bio: Vonda Sinclair is the USA Today bestselling author of award-winning Scottish historical romance (aka Highlander romance) novels and novellas. Her favorite pastime is exploring Scotland and taking photos along the way. She especially loves ancient castle ruins! She also enjoys writing about hot Highland heroes, unconventional ladies and the healing power of love. Her series are the Highland Adventure Series and the Scottish Treasure Series. Her books have won the National Readers’ Choice Award, the CRW Award of Excellence, the Winter Rose Award of Excellence in Published Romantic Fiction–1st Place Historical, and an EPIC Award. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina where she is crafting another adventurous, wildly romantic Scottish story. Please visit her website at

Book Links

Highlander Unbroken (Highland Adventure Book 8)
by Vonda Sinclair


Amazon Print






Vonda Sinclair’s links



Amazon Author Page:





Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Vonda a comment!

Author Miriam Newman and her Rescue Dogs! #FurbabyFriday

I’m very glad to have Miriam Newman here to share her wonderful dogs, the rescue organization she supports, and her book, Recused, the story of Dancer, the pit bull.

Miriam: Thanks to Beth for inviting me today to her lovely blog. I am always delighted to write anything about my furry friends. My advent into animal rescue came in the early 2000’s, when I was living alone for the first time in many years. When my bull terrier died from heart failure, off I went to the local SPCA to adopt a nice, small, furry pet to grace my couch and snuggle with me.
I came home with a pit bull.

Full details of the ensuing hilarity are chronicled in my book Rescued, which you will see below. After intense joy and heartbreak, my beloved pit bull Dancer succumbed to kidney failure, but she had given me an appetite for taking the dogs no one else wants.

Several years later, I saw Dancer’s doppelganger on a page for a rescue in northern New Jersey. It wasn’t even remotely near me, but that was my dog. Luckily, I found a kindred spirit in Jennifer McFadden, who heads the rescue. She and her then-little daughter brought that barfing dog all the way from near New York City to my remote farm tucked far away in Pennsylvania. Oh, the poor brave souls, but their faith was rewarded as Tia—pictured here—went a long way towards filling the gaping hole in my heart.

(Tia the Guardian)

And I was hooked. When Jennifer asked me to foster dogs for her rescue, I plunged in headlong. To date, I have fostered roughly two dozen dogs for several rescues. Four of them remain with me for various reasons—either I couldn’t let go or they couldn’t. (One bites everybody but me!).
Delilah was one of my first rescues. She is now our wise old lady dog. Then there is Kipsy, who thinks she is Tia’s puppy—on what grounds, I don’t know, but there you have it.
And Mushie, everybody’s favorite little mushpot that I can’t live without. How I love that dog.


And finally we have Hank, otherwise known as Jaws. Like the Lord of the Rings, Hank does not share power, so I think my dog rescues are at an end. Still, everything finds me, from a dumped-off pregnant kitty to a riderless horse to a two hundred pound pig on the porch. Anyone who thinks life in the country is boring just doesn’t know.

The dogs are my writing companions in a collection of books on my website. Mainly these are historical and/or fantasy romance, with one exception. I have written the true story of Dancer the pit bull, with Tia posing as cover model. All proceeds from sales of the book go to Home Free Animal Rescue in Red Bank, NJ. I would be thrilled to have you share our story.

Blurb for RESCUED:

What do you do when you are alone in the world? If you’re a nice middle-aged lady with a social conscience, you go to your local shelter and adopt a rescue dog. Of course, sometimes it isn’t only the dog who needs to be rescued. That’s when life might send you a Dancer-Dog.


Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can see my books at

Follow Miriam’s Amazon Author Page

Get RESCUED in Kindle and Print at Amazon

At Barnes & Noble:

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Miriam a comment.