Tag Archives: cat rescue

Furbaby Friday with Meg Mims / Meg Macy!


I’m very happy to welcome Author Meg Mims / Meg Macy to the blog to share her darling furry loves and holiday romances and mysteries. What fun covers! Be sure to leave a comment for a chance at her giveaway.

Meg: Thank you, Beth, for inviting me to chat about my furbabies today! Dogs and cats play a big part in my holiday romance, western historical, and cozy mystery writing. Characters in my books always have a pet – it gives them a sense of “reality” if they love an animal as much as if not more than a romantic hero. And my heroes, in turn, also must love dogs or cats.

Holiday Books by Meg Mims and Cozy series by Meg Macy

I started writing long ago with a loyal dog lying at my feet. Corky, my poodle, was not like the cat (Toby was my daughter’s cat). Toby walked over the keyboard or begged for attention in other ways – even brought me a present of a live mouse from outside. Eeek! Whenever Corky needed to go outside, that gave me a welcome break.

He also loved to sleep tucked beside me on the sofa at night, so I switched from writing at a desk to sitting in my “Sheldon spot” (a la The Big Bang Theory TV show). Having him there really helped give me comfort, for some reason – I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s akin to a feeling of belonging, of being “with” someone who gives you that unconditional love and support. And yes, someone – not “it”, because my dogs/cats were family members.

After losing Corky to old age, my husband and I rescued a Malti-poo named Dusty who was just as loyal. A bit too loyal and territorial – he wouldn’t let visitors in the house! Hoo boy. But he also loved sleeping beside me on the sofa, or at my feet.

Our second rescue, Benji, was more of a dog’s dog – he loved the floor or lying on the sofa by himself. In hilarious positions. But alas, he succumbed at a young age to a nasty spider bite that turned into necrosis (I still blame myself and the vet for not recognizing it in time. Sob!) Benji inspired my first novella, Santa Paws, which helped me overcome the loss four years ago. Even Dusty missed his pal Benji.

Although I’m allergic to cats, we rescued Toby as a stray. My daughter wanted a cat, and voila, Toby appeared one day in our yard. Apparently she’d been hanging around for a while, since Dusty knew her – and we started feeding her. Gradually she adjusted to being an indoor cat. My second novella, Santa Claws, helped me deal with losing Toby to thyroid disease. Poor sweetie, she loved my husband (not a cat lover) so much, she would drool on him, purr, rub hair all over him. Cats keep trying to convince those who don’t love them back, don’t they? Ha!

And I followed up Santa Claws with Home for the Holidays, although I only had Dusty on the sofa beside me at that time. I also included Corky in that book to memorialize him, along with a dachshund my family had when I was a child. The idea of a rescue organization seemed to follow naturally, and all three novellas inspired me to create my current cozy mysteries, the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear series. I included a ‘teddy bear dog’ as the pet of my heroine Sasha Silverman, of course, and added a black cat (remembering Toby) for some ‘cat/dog’ wars over sleeping spots. That’s always fun to imagine how they get along – or not!

Bearly Departed debuted in May of 2017, and Bear Witness to Murder came out in late May of 2018. Unfortunately, Dusty succumbed to old age in between books, so that was a heartbreaker for me. I’ve found it very difficult to write without a dog beside me, but I am currently working on Have Yourself A Beary Little Murder, book 3 in my cozy series. I also plan to get another dog, possibly another poodle or poodle mix, by next year. My husband needs a break, we’d like to take a few trips over summer, so that means waiting. Augh! But soon. I love dogs so much, and miss mine terribly! For now, I have to be satisfied with my fictional creations.

Thanks again, Beth, for hosting me today on your wonderful blog!

Beth: I am delighted to have you.

BIO: Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the setting of her “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mysteries for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries; two books, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly and Get Me to the Grave On Time were Agatha Award finalists for Best Historical. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Meg loves reading historical and cozy mysteries, gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

It’s CHRISTMAS IN JULY! — Meg will giveaway ONE e-book of Santa Paws, her first holiday romance novella, to one lucky commenter. What pet do you have?

VISIT MEG via the following links:

Meg Mims Amazon Author page

Meg Macy Amazon Author page

Visit me on my website!

Or my Facebook page Meg Macy

Also my Facebook page Santa Paws and Claws

Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/megmims

And Instagram

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Meg a comment.

Furbaby Friday with P.L. Parker!


I am happy to welcome my friend and fellow author, P. L. Parker, back to the blog to share the wonderful story of her rescue kitty.

P.L. Parker: …and then there was Dorie! Here she is in her favorite spot, relaxing as she checks out her territory.


My parents were notorious for taking care of stray cats, feral or otherwise. It was not unusual for them to have up to 17 cats that they took care of at any given time. Before long, people would hear about the cat man and would drop off unwanted cats nearby and they made their way to Dad and Mom’s place. Eventually, they found a free service that would catch the cats, spay them and then bring them back.
Just a month or so before Dad passed away, this half-grown little female cat showed up at their place. She was nervous but friendly, but she was lucky if she got a bite or too of food before the other cats chased her away. Anyway, Dad paid her special attention because he was sure someone had lost her. He put up signs, contacted the vet clinics and the animal shelter but no one ever came to claim her.
When Dad passed away, we moved Mom from their home in Ontario, Oregon, to Boise and she moved in with my sister. Mom had been confined to wheelchair for many years and my sister became her full-time caregiver. It was a rough time, back and forth to Ontario to take care of their place.
We worried about the cats and a neighbor promised to feed them while we looked for homes, preferably farms since the majority were feral. But then there was Dorie! Mom worried about her so one day I grabbed a pet carrier, drove to Ontario, and caught the little booger. She cried all the way back to Boise but she recognized Mom so she settled into the house pretty quickly.
It wasn’t long before Mom realized Dorie would play fetch. Not only would she retrieve a ball and bring it back and drop it before Mom, but if it wasn’t close enough, Mom would tell her to push it closer and the little girl would do just that! Here is a video of Dorie playing fetch. Watch how she shoves the ball with her paw closer to Mom.

Because of her unusual markings, Dorie is referred to as a “cow” cat, white with black circles around her body. She is a loving little girl, a scamp, a talker and full of hell most of the time, but a really sweet cat. She gave Mom hours of enjoyment before Mom also passed and now my sister loves this little cat dearly, but she loves me too. Whenever I visit, she spends the entire time rubbing against me, giving me kisses and showering me with attention!
Dorie found a place in our hearts and she is here to stay.

Beth: What an adorable kitty!

For more on P.L. Parker visit:

Her Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/P.-L.-Parker/e/B002BMIAPM/
www.plparker.com
www.plparker.blogspot.com

Furbaby Friday With Patti Sherry-Crews


I’m happy to have Patti Sherry-Crews here to share her wonderful furbabies and her Western historical romance, Margarita and the Hired Gun.

Lucille “Lucy” Bell

Patti: Growing up we always had dogs. Back-to-back dogs without gaps in between. Because my firefighter father sometimes hunted for sport, the dogs we had were bird dogs. My childhood was peppered with springer spaniels and English setters, and once, the odd Dalmatian. When we got a new dog it went like this: Contact a breeder, anxiously await birth of the litter, and then a long car ride to pick up our new puppy.

As an adult I switched over to Team Cat. I discovered cats are not only good company but they fit in easily with a busy lifestyle.
When I got married and started my own family, it made sense to stick with the lower maintenance pet cat, and so one Thanksgiving week we put our two kids in the car and drove to Orphans of the Storm Animal Shelter. There were rooms of cats and kittens waiting for a home. We walked in with a wish list, and on that list was one calico kitten. We walked out with a tabby cat. How did that happen?
As we went from room to room looking at calico kitties, a volunteer followed us around thrusting a cat at us saying, “Trust me. This is the one you want.” I looked at the common grey tabby, who was not a kitten, and politely said no, and moved on.

“Watch this,” he persisted. He flopped the cat on her back so she rested in his arms paws up, quite comfortable with the arrangement. “See how she lets me do this. It’s very unusual for a cat to let you handle them this way. She’s really relaxed and trusting.”
He went on to demonstrate with other cats, who sure enough, squirmed their way out of being held in this position. He convinced us the grey tabby cat was for us. I mean, if a person who volunteers in a place with hundreds of cat has a favorite, I’m going to listen.


Lucille “Lucy” Bell has been and remains the best pet we’ve ever owned for the last thirteen years. Hands down. The best. Other than regularly destroying house plants and annually plundering the miniature Christmas village, she doesn’t have a bad habit. On top of that, she has magical healing powers and a routine you can set a clock by. And despite not speaking English, she has a way of communicating her needs and feelings in ingenious ways.
Flash forward a few years and the kids are petitioning hard for a dog. It seems the cat was merely a gateway pet. My husband and I resisted because we felt it would be too much work. But eventually we broke down, despite knowing that the contract the kids wrote up detailing how they were going to take care of the dog between them was empty chatter (we were right about that, by the way). We decided to get a puppy rather than a dog because we wanted to bring it up ourselves.
Then came a frustrating period where we couldn’t find a puppy. Every time I’d see an available puppy on a site covering shelters in the Chicago area, we’d pile in the car and head straight to the shelters, and each time the puppy had been given a home before we got there.
One day I looked at the site to see a litter of puppies from southern Illinois had just been brought in to a shelter not far from us. The puppies were said to be a mix of pug, beagle, and golden retriever (The mind boggles at the thought of a pug and/or beagle being “romanced” by a golden retriever—particularly in rural downstate Illinois).

Gracie May

Off we went! By the time we got there all the puppies had already been taken except for one. She was so cute, we almost died of sweetness overload. Plus, the fact that her sisters and brothers were gone and she was alone, did tug at the heartstrings. The volunteer at the shelter vouched for her, saying “she doesn’t have a bad bone in her body”. After a brief get to know you session, we took her home (I can still remember the smell of her puppy breath!).
She was so little! We watched her grow, taking bets on what sort of dog we’d end up with. We all hoped the retriever in her would lead to large dog. My husband hoped she’d be a dog with a downward hanging tail, which sounds strange, but if you’ve ever walked behind a dog, you can see his point.
So, what dog did we end up with? If there is a trace of golden in our dog she hides it well. I’ve even come to suspect the shelter threw in the golden retriever for broader appeal (but, really shelter, you had us at pug and beagle). Our Frankendog, Gracie May, grew into a small, russet dog who walks with her tail held high.

What do you get when you cross a pug with a beagle? A Puggle! Puggles, combining the best of both breeds, have come on to their own. The Scrabble Dictionary even added the word “puggle” to their list of new words this year. Puggles can run a gamut of tan to black, curly or straight tailed, short snout to longer, beagle-like face. But whatever mixture of pug and beagle they possess, once you know a puggle, they are instantly recognizable to you. When puggle owners run into each other on the street, we have to stop and talk about our dogs.
Another expectation that got left at the wayside was that we weren’t going to let the dog on the furniture. That idea lasted about a day. Good thing too, because pugs are bred to be lap dogs, and there is no place she’d rather be. Even when I take her to the dog park, she’d rather try and climb into the laps of the dog owners than socialize with the other dogs. I like to plop down on the couch after a long day and call out “where is my couch buddy!” and she comes running and settles across my lap. When she’s not in a lap, she’s usually stretched out on her back on the couch with her sock monkey doll.
Our cat-who-is-not-a-calico-kitten and our What’s-it-going-to-be-dog are the best additions to our family. I may be projecting, but I sense rescue animals know they were saved and are eternally grateful.

Bio: Patti Sherry-Crews lives where she grew up in Evanston, IL, where she can frequently be seen walking behind a little dog. She writes contemporary romance, women’s fiction, historical western and medieval romances.

Her first historical western romance, Margarita and the Hired Gun has been recently re-release in the collection Under a Western Sky, which features six full-length Prairie Rose Publications novels.

Blurb for Margarita and the Hired Gun:

Pampered Margarita McIntosh is not used to being forced to do things she doesn’t want to do—but when her father, Jock, sends her away for her own safety, she has no choice. The long journey from Flagstaff to Durango tests her personal strength of will as never before, and the secret she carries in her saddlebag could be the death of her.
A rough Irish gunman, known to her only as “Rafferty”, is entrusted with getting her to her destination “safe and intact”—something he fully intends to do to claim the reward he’s been promised by Jock McIntosh. With a price on his head, the promised money is Rafferty’s ticket to a new life, and he’s not going to jeopardize that for anything—not even love.
But there are steamy nights and dangers all along the arduous trail for MARGARITA AND THE HIRED GUN, with deadly secrets between them that passion cannot erase. With her father’s enemies after her and the secret she conceals, will Rafferty’s protection be enough to save their lives? And will the heat of their passionate love be enough to seal their future together—if they do survive?

Speaking of leaving your expectations at the door and falling in love, here is an excerpt: This is the scene when Margarita first meets “Rafferty”, the man who is to accompany her to safety. He has a massive hangover and unbeknownst to her, they are in a brothel.

“The saloon must serve as a hotel,” she said.
Homer gave her an odd look as he stood up. “Something like that. I’m going to go find Rafferty.”
Now, she waited uncomfortably, alone at a table, while Homer went
up the stairs at the far end of the room. With relief, she saw him
returning, just one of the cowboys at the nearby table
half rose out of his seat as if about to approach her. Homer nodded to
them as he walked by, a warning in his face directed at the cowboy, who
sat back down.
Homer pulled out a chair next to her. “He’ll be down directly.”
The girl who had been sweeping minutes earlier, put down a pot of
strong smelling coffee and two chipped enamelware mugs at their table.
“Make that three mugs. A guest will be joining us. Can we get
something to eat?” Homer asked.
“Biscuits, eggs, and bacon.” The young woman headed off
without waiting for a reply.
Margarita’s attention was drawn to the stairs again. A man in a fancy
brocade waistcoat under a black jacket was making his way down the
stairs. He had long, silver hair, and a mustache curled up at each end,
defying gravity with the aid of mustache wax. Catching her eye, he
tipped his hat to her.
“He’s older than I expected,” she whispered to Homer, who turned to
look over his shoulder.
“That ain’t him,” he said, as the gentleman joined the card game in
progress.
After a beat, another man appeared at the railing overlooking the
saloon.
The tall man with black hair leaned on the railing. With his
arms stretched out at full span he took in the room below with a
predatory gaze. He was powerfully built with broad shoulders and long
limbs. Like a bird of prey, he held his head still while his eyes shifted
around the room. Margarita felt like he was deciding which one of them
he would swoop down to pick off first.
Although nobody moved, the room changed. It felt like
the very air grew hot and dry in his presence, charged with a heaviness
that wasn’t there a minute ago.
When he saw Homer, the man’s gaze came to rest for a second. Then
his stare shifted, and met with hers. He lifted his eyebrows in surprise,
fixing her with such an intense stare that Margarita leaned back in her
seat.
“Rafferty,” said Homer, nodding his head in the direction of the man,
who now moved toward the stairs, eyes still on Margarita.
He walked slowly, swinging one long leg after another, a slight
swagger in his shoulders. Unable to bear up under his direct gaze any
longer, Margarita looked down at her coffee. Her throat constricted in anticipation, but still,
he moved down the stairs and across the room at an unnervingly slow pace.
When he arrived on the scene, the women at the table stopped talking and looked
expectantly at him. He didn’t register their presence as he walked past
them—to their apparent disappointment.
The men playing poker watched him with wary eyes. One of them
touched the gun in his holster, nervously.
The cowboys stopped talking and drew closer together.
Without a word or invitation, the tall man pulled out the chair across
from Margarita. The gun sticking out of his waistband put a lump of fear
in her stomach.
He jerked his head in her direction, looking at Homer. “Why is she
here?” he asked in a deep voice, speaking in the same slow pace as he
walked. He had an Irish accent, she noted.
Homer poured out a cup of the thick, dark liquid for him. “Rafferty.
This is Margarita McIntosh, Jock’s daughter.”
“And she’s here for what reason?” he asked in a brusque tone.
Margarita looked up, her face burning with indignation. She was met
with quite a sight. The man across from her had a few days’ growth of
black whiskers covering the lower part of his face. Jet-black hair stood in
loose curls around his head in an uncombed mass in need of a wash.
He was without a jacket, and his long john’s undershirt was
pushed up at the elbows, showing long, muscular forearms. Worse, the
top buttons of his shirt were unbuttoned, exposing the patch of black hair
on his chest. The tight, sweat-stained garment showed every bulge and
indent in his lean torso, including his nipples. He was as good as naked.
Margarita tried to hide her shock at this unseemly display. She’d never
seen so much of a man’s body before, up close.
His eyes bored into her. They were steely eyes the color of indigo set
in bloodshot orbs. Her discomfort seemed to amuse him. He narrowed
his eyes, and a smirk twisted his lips as he observed her watching
him. Other than his lips and eyes, he was as still as if he’d been carved in
stone. Very economical in his movements.
“Well, here’s the thing. She’s the job. Jock wants his daughter
delivered to his sister in Durango. He wants you to make sure she gets
there. Safe—and intact,” Homer said, in a way which made her redden.
The man called Rafferty grinned rakishly, displaying surprisingly
even, white teeth. “If it’s safety he’s after, there’s better ways to
transport his precious cargo, I would think.”
“He wants her movements to go undetected.”
Rafferty leaned over the table. She could smell him now. He smelled
like sour sweat, whiskey—and cheap perfume. There was some other
odor Margarita couldn’t identify, but it repelled her.
She raised her handkerchief to her nose to breathe through its
lavender-scented folds. Catching her gesture, the dark man glowered at
her briefly before the smirk returned to his lips.
“I’m a hired gun. Why does he need me to accompany her? She can’t
take a stagecoach or train? I have to wonder what’s going on that my
particular skills are required.”
Homer raked his hand through his hair, clearly wrestling with how to
answer the question. “Jock is on the run. He got involved in a dispute.
He’s afraid the men that are after him will grab his daughter to lure him
back. That’s all you need to know.”
He jerked a thumb in her direction. “I’m not interested in this job,” he said, starting to stand up.

Get Margarita and the Hired Gun in Kindle at:  https://www.amazon.com/Margarita-Hired-Gun-Patti-Sherry-Crews-ebook/dp/B01EAS7F50

Follow Patti at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Patti-Sherry-Crews/e/B01C7L8QUU/

http://pattisherrycrews16.wix.com/author-blog

Facebook:
http://pattisherrycrews16.wix.com/author-blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PattiSherryCrew

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Patti 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 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.