Tag Archives: Author writing companion

Furbaby Friday with Diane Kelly!


I’m glad to have dog lover, Diane Kelly, here to share her Furbaby, Reggie, and novel Enforcing the Paw, the 6th book in her mystery Paw Enforcement Series.

Hi, Beth. Thanks for inviting me to be on your blog! My featured fur baby is Reggie. She’s one of three dogs who share their home with me and my husband, along with six cats. Reggie was a pound puppy and our best guess is that she’s part Dalmatian and part American bull terrier like Spuds McKenzie or the dog from the Target commercials. She’s deaf but very smart, and she responds to hand signals. She also closely watches the faces of humans around her to judge their moods. She’s very sweet and friendly, and she loves to take a dip in the neighborhood pond when we got for a walk. This photo is of her playing in the packing paper when we moved back to Texas a couple of years ago after a three-year stint in Nashville. She had so much fun playing in the pile!

Book Info:

Enforcing the Paw is the 6th book in my Paw Enforcement series. The books feature a female cop who is paired with a female K-9 after things go sour between the cop and her human partner. While neither Megan (the human) or Brigit (the K-9) are thrilled about their partnership at first, they learn over time to respect each other and eventually become best friends. I’m a big dog lover, and I’ve had so much fun writing this series! The chapters from the dog’s point of view are my favorite. She’s definitely got some tough K-9 attitude!

 

Book Blurb:

A TAIL OF TWO LOVERS

When relationships go south, some people just can’t—or won’t—let go. When Fort Worth Police Officer Megan Luz and her pawed partner Brigit investigate a series of stalking incidents involving a couple who recently broke up, their detective powers are put to the test. Is this a case of a controlling creep who refuses to accept rejection—or one about a woman scorned whose fury has been unleashed?

EXCERPT FROM ENFORCING THE PAW – Diane Kelly
(Book #6 in the Paw Enforcement Series)
Fort Worth Police Officer Megan Luz
On a Monday night in early August, my shepherd-mix partner Brigit and I were out on patrol, working the night shift. Well, at least I was working. Brigit snoozed away on the carpeted platform in the back of our specially equipped K-9 cruiser. A human officer would have been fired for sleeping on the job, but K-9s? They could get away with it. Lucky dog. She wasn’t quiet about it either, snoring loud enough to wake the dead. Way to rub it in.
Her snooze came to an abrupt end when a vandalism call came in over the radio. She snuffled and raised her head from the comfy cushion I’d bought her, casting me a bleary-eyed look that said she was none too happy about her sweet dreams being interrupted.
“We’ve got a report of a broken window,” the dispatcher said. “The victim reports she believes her ex-boyfriend tried to break into her home.”
Ugh. Domestic violence is the worst.
The victim’s address was on College Avenue in the southern part of the Fairmount neighborhood, only a few of blocks from our current location. Brigit’s unique K9 skills could be especially helpful in a situation like this, where the perpetrator would have left a scent trail.
I grabbed the microphone from my dashboard and responded to the call. “Officers Luz and Brigit on our way.” I slid the mic back into its holder and punched the gas. Off we go!
Three turns and less than thirty-eight seconds later, my cruiser rolled to a stop in front of the address. While the historic Fairmount neighborhood boasted some beautifully restored homes, many of which were quite large, this single-story white house was among its more modest dwellings. My brown eyes took in the place, while the brain behind them performed some quick computations of its own accord, estimating the home to be approximately 1,200 square feet given its width and depth. White oleander bushes flanked the front porch and spanned the width of the house. Hmm. You’d have thought the owner might have planted pink oleanders to add some color, but who was I to judge? There was no garage. The house had been built long before cars were common and the owner had apparently decided not to add one, though there was a short paved driveway in which a beige Hyundai Accent was parked. The porch light was on, as were lights inside the front room, the glow visible around the edges of the slatted wood blinds in the windows. The broken window must be around back.
I climbed out of my car and opened the back door to let Brigit out. After allowing her to take a quick tinkle in the grass, I clipped her leash onto her collar and led her up the single step to the front door. While many of the other houses in the area sported cheery floral wreaths on their front doors, a large sign that read NO SOLICITING was plastered across this door. Even the welcome mat wasn’t very welcoming. Instead of greeting visitors with a simple WELCOME or funny phrase—the one at our house read WIPE YOUR PAWS—it looked more like a torture device, all stiff and bristly.
I raised my hand and knocked. Rap-rap-rap! A moment later the door was answered by a pretty and petite Latina woman. Being of both Mexican and Irish descent, my skin, like this woman’s, was slightly darker than most Caucasians, though mine bore a scattering of freckles while hers was more uniform in color. The woman appeared to be in her early thirties, giving her a six- or seven-year lead on me. She stood a couple inches shorter than my five-feet-five inches, putting her around five three. As long as we were talking in numbers, I might as well say she’d be around an 8 on the attractiveness scale. As for myself, I’d let others be the judge of that. The number I was more interested in was my IQ, which was above average, thank you very much.
The woman wore a drab gray bathrobe over sleepwear, slippers, and no makeup. Her dark hair was messy from sleep, loose curls playing about her head, much unlike the taut bun into which I’d pulled my dark locks. Her eyes flickered down to Brigit, who was sniffing at something through the wooden boards of the porch, but she responded with neither interest nor fear.
“He’s at it again,” she snapped without preamble. “I hope y’all can put a stop to it this time.”
Her eyes seemed to be looking at a spot over my shoulder rather than directly at me. I wasn’t sure if she had an ocular issue or if she was avoiding my eye. I decided to find out by shifting slightly in the direction she was looking. When I did, her eyes moved along with me, remaining a little off target. Hmm.
“I understand someone attempted to break into your home?”
“Not someone. It was my ex-boyfriend.”
She could very well be right. But she could also be jumping to conclusions. I’d learned early on in my law enforcement career not to take everything at face value. “What’s your name, ma’am?”
“Adriana Valdez.”
I mentally repeated the name to commit it to memory. “And what happened exactly?”
“I was in bed sleeping a few minutes ago when a loud crash woke me up. I turned on my lamp and found one of my bedroom windows broken and a brick lying on the floor.”
“Did you see anyone?”
“No. I didn’t look out the window. I was too freaked out.”
Funny, she didn’t seem so freaked out. To me, her emotions seemed more along the lines of irritation and anger. But maybe that was because she’d had time to calm down since I’d arrived, to gather her nerves and wits, and was now realizing that replacing the window would be both a hassle and an expense. “What makes you think it was your ex?”
“It had to be him,” Adriana said to the spot over my shoulder. “Nobody else had a reason to do something like that.”
Juvenile delinquents did things like this all the time without a reason, but no sense arguing with her. “Can you show us?”
“Us?” She glanced down at Brigit. “Is the dog coming with you?”
“I’d planned on bringing her in, yes.” She was my partner, after all.
Her lips pursed and her nose twitched. “Does she shed?”
“Shed?” Brigit was a furry, hundred-pound shepherd with approximately eighty-billion active hair follicles. She shed enough hair each day to stuff a sofa. So, naturally, I said, “Not much.”

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Enforcing-Paw-Enforcement-Novel-ebook/dp/B01N6DJ914

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/enforcing-the-paw-diane-kelly/1124362830?ean=9781250094865#/

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/ENFORCING-THE-PAW/55258530

Social Media:

Website: www.DianeKelly.com
Twitter  @dianekellybooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DianeKellyBooks/

Author Bio:

A tax advisor and former assistant attorney general for the state of Texas, Diane Kelly is no stranger to white-collar crime. When she realized her experiences would make great fodder for novels, her fingers hit the keyboard and thus began her award-winning Death and Taxes series. Of course her fictional heroine’s life wouldn’t be complete without a couple of rescue cats! A graduate of her hometown’s Citizens Police Academy, Diane also writes the hilarious Paw Enforcement series, which features a female K-9 team. Soon she’ll launch her Fixin’ to Flip home renovation series. You’ll be surprised to see what Sawdust, the cat featured in the series, drags in! Diane lives in north Texas with her husband, three dogs, and six cats.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Diane a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Gerri Bowen


I’m very glad to welcome animal lover, Gerri Bowen, here to share her furbabies and her paranormal romance, Discovery and Love In Gettis (the second of three novels set in Gettysburg). She writes ‘Stories with Humor, The Impossible, and Love.’

Gerri: I’ve always had cats or dogs in my life. Bundy was my first adult dog. She was a puppy when I got her, and I spent the first couple of nights sleeping on the kitchen floor with her. She cried otherwise.
Sushi was a small kitten when found in a hedge and slept in my armpit the first night. The vet said he was about 99% Siamese. He was the best cat, almost like a dog. Smart and greeted me at the front door when I came home. Iggy was a little grey cat. Sweet and shy. Bree came after Bundy passed. The three kittens came along although one had to be put down. She ate a string and, sadly, it didn’t pass but wrapped around her intestines.
Tawny is my dog now, a red heeler mix. She and the cats, Sally and Loupie sometimes sleep together.

(Tawny and kitty friend)

Our pets sometimes display what I think of as human characteristics, a look, a cocked head. I can almost hear what they’re thinking. Which got me to thinking about having a character in an animal body, but with a human or a human-like brain inside. So in my novel LOVE’S BLOOD, I had a Raven, a Cheetah and a Dog discussing events and helping to move the story along with their actions. In DISCOVERY AND LOVE, I have 2 dogs, and two cats, three of them the same characters from the LOVE’S BLOOD and also in the first book in the LOVE IN GETTIS series, ESCAPE TO GETTIS…AND LOVE. They also appear in the third book, SERENITY: ACCEPTANCE AND LOVE…IN GETTIS.

Excerpt from Discovery and Love In Gettis:

Daisy put her head between Laurels knees and looked up at her.
Laurel slowly petted her. “I know you’re a smart dog. Not always sure about Splitter.”
“He’s smarter then he pretends.”
Laurel’s hand stopped in mid-air. She looked closely at Daisy. “I could have sworn I heard you say he’s smarter then he pretends, but in my mind.”
Daisy’s head came up and then cocked to the side.
“But that’s silly.”
“No it isn’t. I’ve been trying to talk to you people for ages. You’re mother and Joren are too involved with each other to listen to small voices. Helen is a challenge, but we’ll get to her yet. Dromo, whom you know as Splitter, has been trying too, and for far longer then I. I’m Koozie, by the way, but I’ll answer to Daisy.”
Laurel stared at Daisy and wondered what she’d ingested that was causing her to have a psychotic break.
“You aren’t having a psychotic break, I assure you. I’m actually Queen MariV1, last of the true Amazon Peacekeepers. Dromo is Dromo the Magnificent, once a great and terrible ruler, and Loki’s real name is Port, because Dromo never remembered his real name, but Port was Dromo’s amanuensis when Dromo ruled his bit of the universe.”
Laurel stared at Daisy. She could hear the dog talking to her, but only in her mind. Such things could not be, therefore she was having a psychotic episode. Her first. Hopefully her last, but she knew it didn’t work that way. If you had one you could count on other episodes to follow. Although…what the little voice in her head told her was rather interesting. If she was going insane she would have some interesting stories to think about.

(Bree)

“Listen to me, you are not having any psychotic break or episode, nor are you going insane. Dr. Brad hears us as does Gaspar. Ask them what our true names are and see what they tell you.
“But to get back to the important matter at hand, Dromo, Port and I know not to scare off Sammy or her children when they come tomorrow. We want Maggie to look at Sammy’s aura and Joren to heal her. We don’t have an opinion on Dr. Merriweather yet. Once we meet him we’ll let you know what we think. Is that settled for you?”
Laurel just stared at Daisy. The voice had sounded reasonable. But if it was she herself who produced the voice, of course it would seem reasonable.
“Call Dr. Brad and ask him what our true names are.”
Laurel pursed her lips. She could do that and see what the man said. The question didn’t sound too outlandish. She picked up her cell and found his number and called.
“Yes?”
Laurel almost hung up.
“Something wrong at the house?” His voice sounded annoyed.


“This is Laurel, Dr. Brad. This might seem like a strange question to ask you, but do you know Daisy’s true name?”
Silence. Laurel could feel her face heat. He probably thought she was crazy.
“Who wants to know?”
“I do. I want to know her true name.”
“Why’d you call me to ask that?”
No matter what she said he’d think she was crazy. “Just humor me. What is Daisy’s true name?”
“Also ask about Splitter and Loki. Go on, ask.”
“And you might as well tell me Splitter’s and Loki’s true names.”
Ten seconds of silence. “I’ll be right there. Back porch.”
Laurel met Dr. Brad on the porch, Daisy at her heels.
Dr. Brad bent down and faced Daisy, and then stood tall with a grin on his face. “So you can hear them now? Daisy is Koozie to her friends, but is really Queen MariVI, the last true Queen of the Amazon Peacekeepers. Splitter is Dromo the Magnificent, and Loki is Port, although I believe Port is a shortened form of the word, Porto.”

From Gerri: I love to write. I love to read. Typical writer. I love to discover new authors, and will read just about anything, but unless I’m researching, my first choice is fiction. Fiction with a HEA or Happily Ever After. If I want to be depressed after I read a story, I can read the newspaper.
I was born and raised in Maryland, but moved to South Central Pennsylvania in 2006. Lovely countryside. Wonderful people who always wave to you when you pass by. There are times when the main road has no traffic! Wonderful!
Traveling to other countries is a great joy of mine, but it’s been many years since I’ve been overseas. Soon, I hope. I still have all the photos I took.
I’m a dog lover first, and a cat lover second. (***Bundi on the steps above)

Follow Gerri’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gerri-Bowen/e/B002BLL6ZE/

DISCOVERY AND LOVE IN GETTIS is available in Kindle at:

https://www.amazon.com/Discovery-Love-Gettis-Gerri-Bowen-ebook/dp/B01LX0F60B

 

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Gerri a comment.

 

 

Furbaby Friday with Merry Farmer!


I’m happy to have Merry Farmer here to share her precious kitties and new western romance, Heath’s Homecoming (The Langley Legacy Book 5).

Merry: When Beth asked me to do a Furbaby Friday post for her, I got really excited! Because I will never get tired of talking about the Best Cat in the Entire History of the World, my darling baby, my soulmate, the love of my life, Torpedo.

(Torpedo and Justine)

I’ve had Torpedo since the day he was born. In fact, he earned his name partially because he was born during the 2004 Athens Olympics, when I was having a blast watching the swimming rivalry between Ian Thorpe, the “Thorpedo”, and Michael Phelps, but also because he shot right out of his mom (a cat I had rescued from a coworker who was going to have her put to sleep because she wasn’t a cute kitten anymore!!!) and into my lap. I touched Torpedo before his mom did, and we’ve been bonded ever since.

(Baby Torpedo)

Torpedo had a sister, Butterfly (who, incidentally, was actually named after Michael Phelps. But “Michael Phelps” is not a good name for a girl cat, so, since he’d won the 400m butterfly the day they were born, “Butterfly” it was). I was originally going to give Butterfly away, but the people who said they wanted her never came to get her. So I kept both baby kittens. They moved with me from Alabama back to my home in the Philadelphia area, and through three other moves in the last few years.

(Torpedo and Butterfly)

Sadly, in December 2016, Butterfly passed away after a battle with diabetes. And I wasn’t the only one who mourned. I didn’t know this, but cats can go into mourning too. Torpedo was VERY bonded to his sister, and for weeks the two of us moped around, feeling all sad and lost, and clinging to each other. But Torpedo isn’t a solitary kind of cat, so for Christmas that year, I got him a baby, Justine.

(Kitten Justine)

So now I have my grumpy old man cat and my brand new, high-energy, slightly crazy baby girl cat. Justine LOVES Torpedo. She loves Torpedo way more than she loves me! But Torpedo still loves me to bits. So much so that he HATES it when I go away…for conferences and vacations, or just leaving the house for an hour to go grocery shopping. Heck, Torpedo yells at me if I’m not sitting in the right place in the morning, doing my writing. But I love him.

I know cats are not immortal, and I’m not looking forward to the day when Torpedo crosses the Rainbow Bridge to join his sister. But he’s only 14 right now, and since the last two cats I had lived into their 20s, I’m hoping we have a few more years together. I take good care of him…and he takes good care of me.

(Merry and Torpedo)

I guess you could say that a “pet” plays a major role in my next release, Heath’s Homecoming, which comes out Friday the 23rd, but is available for pre-order now. It’s the fifth book in a series that traces the same family from when they come to America in 1850 to the present. Heath’s Homecoming takes place in 1968. The hero, Heath, is a returning Vietnam War vet. The heroine, Barbie, has a job running Heath’s father’s ranch. A lot of the conflict surrounds a horse, Daisy, who belonged to Heath and Barbie’s best friend, Davy, who was killed in the war. Here’s a little peek….

Excerpt from Heath’s Homecoming:

They’d walked their horses along the edge of the old barrel racing course that Kathleen had made their dad build years ago. It had been cleaned up a bit since he’d left for the war. The splintering barrels had been replaced by stacks of old car tires, and the course itself was well-maintained.

But that didn’t prepare him for the sudden shout from Barbie, or the way Daisy jumped into action, flying toward the course. Heath’s heart shot to his throat as Daisy headed for the first set of barrels. All he could thing about was her bones breaking and the screams that would follow. His imagination mingled them with Davy’s screams and shouts on the battlefield.

“Barbie, stop!” he shouted, but she didn’t hear him.

Daisy made it around the first barrel and shot off toward the second. Heath stood in his stirrups, heart thundering against his ribs. She would fall. She would be thrown. Daisy would trip and it would all be over. He’d lose another friend. He’d lose Davy’s horse. There’d be nothing he could do about it. Again. He’d be helpless and hopeless, and his world would fall apart. Again.

His thoughts spun out of control so hard that it seemed as though he blinked and Daisy was through the course, trotting toward him. Barbie sat, smiling and panting, in the saddle.

“See?” she said, glowing with exertion. “She loves it. She’s dying to race.”
“No.” Heath gripped his reins hard to keep his hands from shaking. “Don’t ever do that again.” His voice came out rough and hollow.
“Why? It’s what Daisy was born to do.” Barbie’s frown held more than frustration. She was studying him.
“She could have been hurt. You both could have been hurt.”
“Come on. Give me more credit than that.” Barbie’s frown disappeared, replaced by a teasing look. She rode Daisy right up to Buck’s side and reached out to grip his arm. “I know what I’m doing.”

Part of Heath wanted to lean into her, wanted to pull her onto the saddle with him and hold her until his shaking stopped. The rest of him pulsed as though he were in a combat zone.
“I said no,” he snapped, yanking Buck’s reins to get away from her. “It’s too dangerous.”
“It’s not dangerous it’s—”
“Will you just listen to me,” he shouted. “I’m trying to save your life.”

Barbie’s mouth snapped shut and her face flooded with color. She swallowed hard, then stared at him with far more emotion than he wanted to deal with. She knew. He’d slipped up, and she knew him well enough to know that his leg wasn’t the only wound he’d brought home from Vietnam.

You can pre-order your copy of Heath’s Homecoming on Amazon (and it will be part of the Kindle Unlimited program when it comes out): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079YTQ6WL

In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about me, come hang out on my Facebook Group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/merryfarmerreaders/

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Or Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Merry-Farmer/e/B006RATLFC/

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Merry a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Paty Jager


I’m happy to have fellow country gal, Paty Jager, here to share her little dog, Tink, and latest western romance from her Shandra Higheagle Mystery series.

My Furbaby Tink by Paty Jager

Tinkerbelle or Tink, as we call her, is a mini-pincher, chihuahua cross that I brought home when she was only five weeks old.
It all started with me making over an older couple’s dog that their granddaughter had given them. He was a min-pin/chihuahua mix named Mokie. I liked his personality, his manners, the way he carried himself. When we visited them, or they visited us, I would hold Mokie and talk to him. We’d moved into a new house we’d built and had lost our mini-schnauzer to old age. I told my husband, I didn’t want any more house dogs. We had three outside dogs. One was ours and the other two were our daughters’ that had been left behind when they went to college.

Molly, Boots, and Maverick

The older couple showed up at the house one day and told me to get in their van. I did, and they took me to a house with a mother dog and 8 puppies. “You get the pick of the litter,” they said. Mokie had sired the litter with a chihuahua mix female. There were four puppies who had the same coloring as Mokie. I sat on the floor and watched them moving around. One came over to me, crawled up my leg, and sat in my hand. She was as big as my palm. She had a kink in her tail. I said I’d take this one. The lady with the female dog said, “You might as well take her today. The mom doesn’t have enough milk and I’ve been feeding them puppy chow.” She gave me a small bag of puppy chow because I wasn’t prepared to take a dog home. But I did.

(Riding on a tractor)

Because she was so small, we named her Tinkerbelle, but call her Tink. We had snow, and she was so small she couldn’t walk through it. I had to clear the snow in a small patch so she could go to the bathroom. But she also didn’t like the cold and would shiver and not go. We ended up most of that winter using a pad in the utility room for her.
She also couldn’t get up the stairs to my writing area. I would carry her up, and she’d sleep on my lap or in a bed by the desk. She still follows me into my office every day and sleeps on a bed next to my desk as I write.

(Looking for Sage rats)

Because she was so young when I got her, she has never learned to play with other dogs. When they try to play with her, she puts her nose in the air and walks away. She tolerates another dog sniffing her, but then moves off. She will play with a toy and with me or my husband. She has been leery of the smaller grandchildren but will tolerate the older ones petting her when they first arrive. After about thirty minutes she’s had enough and finds a quiet place to sleep.
She likes to go on walks, enjoys laying in a chair on the porch in the sun, chasing sage rats, and riding in tractors and farm equipment. She thinks she’s bigger than she is.

(Mikey and Harlie)

We have two other dogs at this time. One is my husband’s dog, Mikey, who is two to three times the size of Tink. She tolerates him, and they go for rides in the backhoe with my husband. We also inherited my dad’s dog Harlie, she’s a border collie/boxer mix with a lot of energy and gentle disposition. She has tried to play with Tink but has been snapped at for the attempt.

I’m not sure what I’ll do when my 13 year-old Tink leaves us. She has been the best dog I’ve ever had. She only barks if someone comes and then she stops as soon as you tell her to. She has manners. I can leave open food in the car with her and she won’t touch it unless I give it to her. She knows the words, thirsty, hungry, kids, walk, backhoe, tractor and many more. She is clean, doesn’t roll in nasty stuff like the other two. And tolerates baths.

Because of my love of dogs, my character, Shandra Higheagle in my Shandra Higheagle mystery series, has a big, furry, goofball of a dog that in some cases helps her find clues to the murders.
In my current release, Artful Murder, Sheba, the dog, hears someone leave a package on the doorstep and keeps Shandra safe.

(Tink helping Paty sell books)

Blurb from Artful Murder, Book ten in the Shandra Higheagle Mystery Series
Secrets… Scandal… Murder…

An autistic boy and his brother need potter Shandra Higheagle’s help when a teacher’s body is found after a confrontation with the older brother. Shandra knows the boy is innocent. Digging into the teacher’s life, she and Ryan turn up scandal.
Detective Ryan Greer has believed in Shandra’s dreams in the past, but she can’t always be right. When his investigation uncovers a principal on the take, females being harassed, and parents kept in the dark, he discovers more suspects than the brothers. Shandra’s time at the school is coming to an end, and the killer has struck again.

 

Excerpt from Artful Murder:

“I’ll be fine. Besides, you’ll be there sometime this morning, won’t you? To talk to Jennifer?” Shandra buttered her toast and tossed half the slice to Sheba. Having a large dog made it easier to eat foods she shouldn’t. She could take a few bites of the forbidden food and then toss it to her furry companion.

“Yes. I’ll head there after I go by the department and fill in Sheriff Oldham. After the school, I’ll catch up with Mrs. Lawrence at her work. Someone, somewhere is bound to slip up and give me a detail that will give me a foothold on some information.” Ryan set his coffee mug in the sink and stopped beside her. “Please be careful.”

Shandra stared into his pleading eyes. He knew her well enough by now to not tell her what to do. But his caring always did more to shake her need to find the truth anyway.

“I’ll be careful. I just want to make sure the real killer is found.” She hugged Ryan, wondering how she’d been so lucky to have found him.

“Good. We have a wedding to plan for and it’s hard to do that without a bride.” He kissed the top of her head and walked into the living room.

The wedding! She still needed to get the invitations sent out. In all the hubbub the last week or so, she’d forgotten they were in a box in her suitcase in the bedroom. Sheba rose up off the floor as Shandra headed out of the kitchen. Before she crossed the living room, Sheba woofed and pounced on the door.
“You have to go out the back door.” Shandra pivoted toward the kitchen.
Sheba woofed and pounced on the front door again.

Shandra spun around. “You can’t go out there unless I watch you.”
The dog pounced at the door and dug at the floor.

“Okay. I get the point. You want to go out the front door.” Shandra snagged her coat from where it lay across the back of the couch and walked to the door.
Sheba whined and plopped down on her furry backside.

“What is wrong?” Shandra looked out the peephole on the door before opening it. All she spotted were kids headed to school. To avoid one of them getting knocked down by her overgrown puppy, Shandra grabbed the leash by the door and clicked it to the collar.

“Let’s go.” She opened the door and Sheba refused to move. “You’re the one who had to go out this door.” Shandra glanced down and found a shoebox.
She shoved back into the house and closed the door.
Phone.

Where had she left her phone this morning? A quick look through the living room and kitchen didn’t find it. The second she stepped into the bedroom her gaze landed on the object of her search. She crossed the room, grabbed the cell phone, and hit Ryan’s speed dial number.

“You have reached Detective Ryan Greer—”
“Voicemail!” She hung up and dialed the Sheriff’s Department.
“Weippe County Sheriff’s Department this is Deputy Davis. How may I help you?”
“Cathleen! This is Shandra.”
“Hi Shandra. Ryan is in with the Sher—”
“I know. He’s not answering his phone. Someone left a shoebox on the front porch.” She knew there could be something innocent in the box, but given someone followed her last night, she really didn’t need to find a harmful surprise.

(Tink in the backhoe).

Get Artful Murder in Kindlehttps://www.amazon.com/Artful-Murder-Shandra-Higheagle-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07B282PHN/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Universal Buy Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/bapvjq

Author Bio: Paty Jager is the award-winning author of the Shandra Higheagle Mystery series. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. This is what Mysteries Etc has to say about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”

blog / website / Facebook / Paty’s Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest / Bookbub

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Furbaby Friday with Karen Rose Smith!


I am pleased to have cat lover, Karen Rose Smith, here to share her kitties and cozy mystery series, Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes Book 1, Daisy’s Tea Garden.

Karen: My husband and I have rescued and adopted five inside cats. Zander and his sister Freya are the youngest. In July, a dear friend found six kittens under a porch. My husband and visited them. That was the mistake! I planned to take one of the kittens—Freya, a little black beauty. But her brother needed a home too and no one seemed to want him. After another visit to the litter, my husband held him and that was that. We added these two adorable kittens to our family. Zander is the first male cat I’ve had inside even though I’ve been a cat mom since I was a child. He thinks he’s king of the house and he’s probably right!

Snippet/Blurb:

Murder With Lemon Tea Cakes is the first book in my new cozy mystery series, Daisy’s Tea Garden. It’s set in Willow Creek, a fictional town in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Daisy, a widowed mom of two teenagers–one at home and one who recently started college–along with her aunt Iris, are the proprietors of Daisy’s Tea Garden. Although Daisy’s aunt is in her golden years, she’s enjoying the company of Harvey Fitz, wealthy CEO of Men’s Trends. (Harvey’s favorite snacks at the tea garden are Lemon Tea Cakes.) The only problem is that Harvey isn’t yet divorced. When Harvey is murdered on the tea garden’s patio, Aunt Iris is the prime suspect. But Daisy soon discovers many residents of Willow Creek are suspects–from Harvey’s soon to be ex-wife, to his children to his business colleagues.

Daisy’s focus has to be on her adopted daughter Jazzi (Jasmine) who wants to search for her birth parents. But with the help of a former detective turned furniture store owner, Jonas Groft, she finds answers for both her daughter and her aunt. (Daisy’s two cats, a tuxedo feline named Pepper and a dark tortoiseshell with a unique split colored face named Marjoram, are important members of their family.)

Excerpt:

Aunt Iris pulled her camel-colored coat from the coat rack, then went to the counter for the bag of lemon tea cakes she’d set there. “Don’t work too hard,” her Aunt Iris told her as she gave her a hug. “Oh, and can you pick me up in the morning and bring me to work? I’ll leave my car here because we’ll probably take Harvey’s. He’ll just drop me off at home.”

“That’s fine. Why don’t you have a cup of tea with me until he gets here?”

“He’s usually prompt, or even early. I’ll just go out to the garden and wait for him. I really should check the thyme and oregano. If they’re not producing as much as we need, you might have to order from the supplier.”

“Don’t sit out there alone if Harvey’s late.”

“I won’t,” her aunt assured her, gave her hand a squeeze, and then left through the back garden door, carrying her purse and the bag of tea cakes.

Daisy had picked up her two-cup vintage teapot with its hand-painted lilac pattern when she heard a blood curdling scream.

That was her aunt!

“Aunt Iris,” she called as she set down the teapot, exited the back door and ran through the garden.

She froze when she spotted Harvey’s body crumpled in the herb garden.~

Get Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes in Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Lemon-Daisys-Garden-Mystery-ebook/dp/B06XZ99HCY

Author Bio

USA Today Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith’s 100th novel is a 2018 release. She writes both cozy mysteries, romance novels and women’s fiction. One of her romances was aired as a TV movie on the UP tv network. Her passion is caring for her five rescued cats. Her hobbies are gardening, cooking, watercolor painting and photography. An only child, Karen delved into books at an early age. Even though she escaped into story worlds, she had many cousins around her on weekends. Families are a strong theme in all of her novels. She’s recently working on her Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series as well as her Daisy Tea Garden mystery series.

Social Media Links:

Romance Website: https://karenrosesmith.com/

Mystery Website: https://karenrosesmithmysteries.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenRoseSmithBooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenrosesmith

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Karen a comment.

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: https://www.amazon.com/Six-Cats-Kitchen-Lyn-Horner-ebook/dp/B01MXID3UQ

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: http://amzn.to/Y3aotC

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

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.

(Hissy)

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.

(Hissy)

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.

(Mel)

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.

Excerpt

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: https://www.books2read.com/YHS

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Peggy a comment.