Tag Archives: Furbaby Friday

Furbaby Friday with Kristy McCaffrey


I’m happy to have Kristy McCaffrey here to share a very touching dog story, and her new adventure romance, Deep Blue.

Marley The Rescue

By Kristy McCaffrey

(Kristy and her dog Lily)

I’ve always been a dog person. My heart is forged with memories of my canine companions throughout my life: Rommell, Raquel, Buckwheat, Chaco, Shiva, Sparky. Gone but never forgotten. One thing I had never done, however, was rescue a dog in jeopardy. I’d thought about it, of course. I’m an empathic person, which is probably why I like to write stories, but it was that very trait that always filled me with anxiety just thinking about visiting the pound or a rescue shelter. The suffering of so many is a crushing reality that is difficult to bear some days.

(Ranger)

Last October, my family and I lost our beloved chocolate Labrador, Ranger. Although he’d had health issues for a number of years, his loss was still sudden and devastating. One week after his 13th birthday, we were forced to put him down from a broken leg due to bone cancer. I wasn’t prepared for the grief that hit me. I had lost dogs before; I knew how it went. But Ranger had been different. I had promised him I would take care of him. In the end, though, I couldn’t. Something happens in your soul when you must break a promise—a terrible schism of guilt.

My husband and I had long talked of rescuing older dogs, knowing how difficult it was for these animals to find a loving home, but it’s a bittersweet goal—just when you bond with them you’re likely to lose them. But if I’ve learned anything while raising four children, it’s this: you must do what is best for them, not what’s best for you. I knew this was also true when it came to helping a dog in need.

At the beginning of January, my husband traveled to Finland to help our oldest daughter move to Helsinki for a semester abroad. While I was home on my own, I watched the news one evening, and a very brief story about several dogs needing a home caught my eye. The owner was about to be evicted and the animals would be sent to the pound. The prospects for an older male Labrador mutt weren’t good. The next morning, I called the man trying to help re-home the dogs. He ran a local animal rescue in the Phoenix area, but this wasn’t a normal rescue situation. If I could come immediately to pick up the dog, he would give him to me. I jumped into the car and went, feeling trepidation at driving alone into an unknown neighborhood in downtown Phoenix, but something compelled me.

When I met Marley, I knew he had a strong will to live. The woman who had previously owned him had died ten months prior, and it was her daughter who was desperately trying to find a home for him. Her mother had had such a soft spot for animals that she’d regularly picked up strays off the streets. Marley had been such a stray, born somewhere on the streets of Phoenix, so his age was unknown (the estimate was between 9-12 years old). The daughter had had 24 canines to find homes for, and Marley was one of the last. She’d been doing the best she could to care for him, but Marley was undernourished with overgrown toenails and hadn’t been to the veterinarian in years. I put him in my car and drove him home.

That first week was tough. Marley was sweet and quite affectionate, but it was a new home with a new routine and I had to work diligently with him. I got him to the vet immediately and we addressed the most pressing issues (the toenails, bloodwork, vaccinations, etc.). But he was too weak for a tooth cleaning. He also wasn’t neutered, although at his advanced age I wasn’t certain I would proceed with it anyway. I also sobbed frequently because bringing Marley home had triggered a new wave of despair over losing Ranger. It took me a bit to work through that. I also sent my husband—still in Finland—a long and heartfelt email explaining what I’d done and begging him not to be upset with me. His response was so supportive that I wept over that, too. I married the right guy.

It’s been almost three months now that we’ve had Marley. He’s gained weight and has embraced a life of freedom (he’d been crated for much of last year, and possibly longer). We have a dog door, so he can go into the backyard whenever he wants. He has arthritis, but he’s gained stamina with frequent short walks. He enjoys treats and toys, although he doesn’t have much interest in playing with our other dog, Lily. Still, my husband works with him and tries to get the two of them interacting. Speaking of my husband, Marley has become quite attached to him.

I don’t know how much time we’ll have with Marley, but I’m content knowing that we’re giving him a peaceful and secure life in his twilight years, filled with fresh air, sunshine, plenty of food, snuggles and kisses.

(Marley)

Kristy McCaffrey writes historical western romances brimming with grit and emotion, and in 2018 she will branch out into contemporary adventure stories packed with smoldering romance and spine-tingling suspense. Her work is filled with compelling heroes, determined heroines, and her trademark mysticism. Life is a wondrous endeavor, and she strives to bring that sense of awe and joy into the tales she weaves, along with in-depth research into settings and time periods. Kristy holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering, but writing has been her passion since she was very young. Her four children are nearly grown and gone, so she and her husband frequently pursue their love of travel to the far corners of the world. Kristy believes life should be lived with curiosity, compassion, and gratitude, and one should never be far from the enthusiasm of a dog. She also likes sleeping-in, eating Mexican food, and doing yoga at home in her pajamas. An Arizona native, she resides in the desert north of Phoenix. Sign up for Kristy’s newsletter to receive her latest book news as well as subscriber-only content.

Connect with Kristy
Website: http://www.kristymccaffrey.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/didEqv
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristyMcCaffrey
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/McCaffreyKristy
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristymccaffrey/

Kristy’s New Release
In the deep blue ocean lives an ancient predator…

When a photo of Dr. Grace Mann freediving with a great white shark goes viral, the institute where she works seeks to capitalize on her new-found fame by producing a documentary about her work. Underwater filmmaker Alec Galloway admires Dr. Mann and jumps at the opportunity to create a film showcasing the pretty biologist. But can he keep her safe when her passionate focus on the sharks repeatedly leads her into danger?

“…a compelling dance between two very likeable characters…” ~ Midwest Book Review

Excerpt from Deep Blue

“We’ve got three sharks in the water,” Tony yelled from above Grace.

Sweet. She did an imaginary fist-pump in her head, and then indulged in a little side-step shuffle, lifting her arms up and giving a boogie-shake of her hips.

“She dances,” Alec said from behind her.

Startled, she gasped and spun around. Alec’s wetsuit molded his body and showed every sleek, muscular contour.

“Just burning off some nerves.” The words tumbled out in a breathless rush.

“It’s good to know you have nerves.”

“I never claimed to be superwoman.”

He grinned. “That’s a relief.”

Copyright © 2018 K. McCaffrey LLC

Learn more and read Chapter One at http://kmccaffrey.com/deep-blue/

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Kristy a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Sorchia DuBois!


I am happy to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Sorchia DuBois to Furbaby Friday to share her wonderful kitties and spellbinding Gothic Romance, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones.

Cat Muses by Sorchia DuBois

I didn’t set out to have seven cats. In fact, I intended to limit the number of pets so I could do a bit of travelling without having to make arrangements for them. But Fate did not agree. Four of my seven are the direct result of my son who rescued two cats and brought them to me. One was pregnant and the other was in heat. Before I could take the appropriate measures, voila—kittens. I gave most of them away, but the others remain. Everyone is now ‘fixed’ so no more little accidents, but those I have are young cats which means I will be their enabler for a good long time to come.

These are three of my brood.
Petunia was a gift from my daughter after the death of a much-loved black cat. At the time, we only had two others so I was delighted to have another black cat. Petunia is the queen. She does exactly as she pleases and must know everything that’s going on and she must investigate everyone new who comes to visit. She particularly loves to lie on my desk, swishing her tail across the keyboard as I’m trying to type. Some Siamese ancestor gave her a piercing, grating meow, which she uses to show displeasure or annoyance or happiness or just for fun.


Zinnia is my soul mate in tabby cat form. She sits on my shoulder and pokes her head into everything I’m doing. She loves nothing more than to nap on my desk as I write. Sometimes she worms onto my lap so slyly I don’t realize she’s there until she’s wedged between me and the keyboard and I am wound like a pretzel trying to type around her. She likes to know where I am at every moment and has trained me to respond to her call. She’ll call until I answer.

Tadpole—At ten, Tadpole is the oldest cat in the menagerie. He was rescued from a short life as a barn cat at a place where their chosen method of birth control is shooting the older cats. I live in a barbarous part of the country. He is my protector from the evil canine who lives with us (a black lab of advanced years who knows her place around the feline members of the family.) When Tadpole puffs up and puts on his fighting face, he is truly terrifying. Otherwise, he purrs the loudest of any of my cats and rolls on his back for a tummy rub if cast your eyes in his direction.

They are indoor-outdoor cats—I live at the end of a long lane with no neighbors nearby and no busy roads to worry about. There are trees to climb, woodland creatures to chase, and warm spots to lie in the sun. It’s really Cat Heaven here. They come and go as they please through the cat door and are happy to share the house with us. While I would never give any one of them up, I am not looking for any more cats.

Tadpole made a guest appearance in my first book, Just Like Gravity, but Petunia and Zinnia oversee the writing of my Zoraida Grey series. They insisted that cats be featured in the books and I have complied with my feline masters.

Blurb
Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.
Not by a long shot.

Excerpt from Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones.
“That crystal belongs to us.” No trace of tears lingers in her voice, that’s for sure. Her tone would make a black bear tuck in his tail. “It’s a Healing Stone, and it’s the only thing that will keep me alive. You have to go steal it back for me, Zoraida.”
“I can’t just pick up and go to Scotland anytime I want to, you know. My life is complicated. I have a house and a business. Who’ll take care of Johnny Lee Hooker?”
“Cats don’t need no tending. Johnny Lee will be glad to have you out of his way, I reckon. That man of yours can manage it.”

“His name is Al,” I say. “We broke up anyway.”
She snorts. “I’ll believe it when I see it. You ain’t never known what was good for you.”
“Al is good. He’s sweet, and he takes care of things for me. Even you can’t say he hasn’t been good to me.”
She’s never approved of Al and me as a couple. I don’t want her to feel like she’s won this battle just because he and I aren’t together anymore. At least, we aren’t as together as we usually are. It’s complicated.
“I never said he wasn’t good. I said you didn’t know what was good for you. You ain’t got no sense when it comes to men, neither.” She flashes me an I-told- you-so look. “But that ain’t what we’re talking about right now. Pay attention. This is important business. You’ll have to go to Scotland. There ain’t no
other way.”
I am not concerned about my house or my shop and certainly not Johnny Lee, the black cat who lives with me. I’m not even worried about Al who has survived worse things. I’ve lived in Bear Hollow, Arkansas, all my life. The thought of leaving my neatly-ordered, comfortable life sends little jolts of lightning up and down my spine. What worries me is I can’t tell if those little jolts are excitement or fear.~

The second book in the series, Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen, will be released Winter 2018.

Sorchia Dubois Bio and Contact links
Award-winning author Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats, two fish, one dog, and one husband. She enjoys a wee splash of single-malt Scotch from time to time and she spends a number of hours each day tapping out paranormal romance, Gothic murder, and Scottish thrillers.

A proud member of the Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found at Scottish festivals watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.
Her stories blend legends, magic, mystery, romance, and adventure into enchanted Celtic knots. Halloween is her favorite time of year (she starts decorating in August and doesn’t take it down until February) and her characters tend to be mouthy, stubborn, and a bit foolhardy. Nothing makes her happier than long conversations in the evening, trips to interesting places, and writing until the wee hours of the morning. Well, chocolate cake makes her pretty happy, too.

Blog/Website: www.SorchiaDubois.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SorchiaDubois

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/SorchiaDubois/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SorchiaD

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/SorchiaDuBois/e/B00B60NOUQ/

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6879978.Sorchia_DuBois

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SorchiaDuBois

Sorchia’s latest book, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, is the first in a Gothic romance trilogy.

• Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/ZGandFSBN
• Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Zoraida-Grey-Family-Stones-ebook/dp/B01LDLSCA4/
• KOBO: http://bit.ly/ZGandFSKOBO
• Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/ZGandFSWR

Furbaby Friday with Author Luanna Stewart!


I’m pleased to have the delightful Luanna Stewart here to share her deep love of animals and her  new Victorian historical romance, Love and Mayhem.

Luanna: I’ve had many fur babies over the years, including those with feathers and scales. For as long as I can remember my family had a pet. Four cats and three dogs lived with us at one time or another during my childhood. The best of the lot, in my opinion, was Gurgi, a lovely Maine Coon Cat who showed up at our door one day and stayed for 17 years.


(Gurgi–Maine Coon cat)

My grade 12 science class ran experiments on learning using mice. My lab partner and I built a maze and trained our mouse using either a spritz of water as punishment, or a piece of peanut as reinforcement. I don’t recall which option got the best result. But, as might be expected when boy and girl mice are housed together, there was at least one litter of babies. We were given the option of taking a mouse home, saving them from the reptile tank. My wee beastie was called Benji, a little black mouse who turned out to be female, LOL. She seemed to enjoy sitting in my shirt pocket whilst I played piano.

I became step-mom to two cats – Grey Kitty and Calico Cat – when I moved in with my boyfriend (who became my hubby). He wasn’t great at names, LOL. Grey Kitty retained her name but the other cat quickly displayed her true character and was christened Mrs. Danvers (the evil housekeeper in Daphne DuMaurier’s novel “Rebecca”). That cat lived to be twenty-two just to spite us!

When our two sons got to the age when they wanted a pet of their own we welcomed a bearded dragon and a parakeet into the family. Our cat at the time, Portia, was greatly amused.

(Portia)

Several years ago our town approved backyard chickens and we got six Rhode Island Red hens. They did a fabulous job of ridding our yard of insect pests, and gave us delicious eggs. Some might question whether they were pets, but I took them to the vet when they were ill, I worked hard to cure common complaints (bumble foot and sour crop to name two), and I cried when they died. I think they qualified as pets.

(Hens)

The two kitties currently putting up with us are Mogget and Bruno. (If you follow me on Instagram you’ll recognize these two.)

(Bruno)

(Mogget)

They are displaying great forbearance with being moved to a foreign land. They’ve settled into our temporary home (whilst our house is under construction) and are greatly entertained by all the rodent activity in and around this 180-year-old house. They’ve dispatched a grand total of one mouse. Clearly they are too well fed! Mogget is the more social of the two and prefers to be in the room with her humans. Bruno will present himself for meals, and for requests to be let outside on his leash. He does an excellent job of sleeping the afternoon away and his snore can be heard in the next room.

My latest release, Love and Mayhem, strangely and unusually doesn’t have any pets in the story. My heroine, Sybil, runs a sheep farm, and though she’s quite attached to her lambs, she doesn’t treat them as pets. And my hero, Max, is too busy sailing across vast oceans to have time for a pet. I suspect once he settles down—but I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

Sybil is happily on the shelf, tending to her sheep. But she fears she’ll depart this life without experiencing physical love, which she suspects is rather enjoyable. When her long-lost fiancé returns from sea, she decides he’s the lucky man who’ll receive her virginity.

Max is eager to return to his sugar plantation and has no intention of remaining long in London. However, he didn’t bargain on a wilful, pretty, exasperating spinster determined to take him to her bed.

He insists on marriage but she wants only his body. Her heart is not part of the deal. Unfortunately, love doesn’t always follow the rules.

Excerpt:

“I see all sorts of advantages to the married state.” He brought her hand to his mouth, kissing each knuckle in turn before kissing her palm. Then he flicked his tongue over the inside of her wrist. She bit back a moan. Who knew the wrist was such a sensitive spot?

She forced her mind back to the task at hand. Which, when you came to think of it, served the other task as well. Namely, getting him to flick his tongue on other sensitive parts of her body. She took a deep breath. “Some enjoy those advantages without the bother of a marriage ceremony.”

Buy links:

Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/non-american-historical-romance/5180-love-and-mayhem.html

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Love-Mayhem-Luanna-Stewart-ebook/dp/B072TQGG3J

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-and-mayhem/id1252491353?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/love-and-mayhem-1

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-and-mayhem-luanna-stewart/1126952180?ean=2940158555770

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother’s stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Luanna writes full time, concentrating on sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna has recently returned to the land of her birth with her dear husband and two spoiled cats. When she’s not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Under her previous pen name of Grace Hood she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press.

Website:  http://www.luannastewart.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Luanna_Stewart

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Luanna.Stewart.nau

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/luannastewart/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14104212.Luanna_Stewart

Follow Luanna’s Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Luanna-Stewart/e/B01068GXTC

Thanks for letting me hang out with your readers, Beth. And sharing pictures of my animal friends, past and present.

I am delighted to have you here and love learning more about you and your furbabies!

Furbaby Friday with Author Jinny Kirby Baxter


I am happy to welcome my dear friend and talented wordsmith, Jinny Baxter, to share one of the most moving animal stories ever, and her debut novel.

Jinny: It was the worst time of my life. Spring of 2003. I had just lost my husband. We were only married fifteen months when he went to heaven, and I was simply staggering with grief. Thankfully, I had two of the sweetest little granddaughters, Mandy and Kit, who tried very hard to cheer me up.

I wasn’t surprised when they led me through the woods behind their house to a secret hiding place for a mama cat and her litter of kittens. I told them no, I didn’t need some little wild cats to take care of. They insisted that I needed something to love and to love me.

Well, long story short, I ended up with two kittens, mainly because I wanted them to have someone to play with while I was at work. TJ was a black and white Tuxedo and Baby was a silver Tiger with blue eyes. TJ would remain an outdoor cat and Baby would live her entire life inside, my constant companion.

The two little rascals became a family favorite. Even my son, who claimed he hated cats, grew to love them. Friends commented that TJ was so alert and sleek, he was like a panther. But Baby was the favorite. Her little pink nose topped a mouth that truly looked like a sweet smile. She, like most cats, insinuated herself into whatever I was doing, whether I was just reading a book or rushing a chair. Her snuggling was my favorite thing about her. Often, she would sleep with me and kneed my back, as if to say “Relax human mama, I’m here and I love you.”

When TJ was about five years old, he disappeared for a week. When he came home, he was obviously very sick. The vet gave me the terrible news, he had fatty liver disease and there wasn’t much they could do. I called my family and they all came to the vet’s office and cried with me as TJ crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. (I’m crying now, just remembering.)

A year later, I notice that Baby was having trouble breathing. Well, she was sick too. Stomach cancer. Once again, I called my family and we all wished her a wonderful journey to join her brother on the other side. There was so much emotion in that room that even the vet cried with us.

Oh, I grieved those fur babies.  I think they were more than pets, they were a connection to my late husband, they had shared my life while I slowly put it back together. I like to think TJ and Baby are together now, happy and rather smug as they say, “We completed our job on earth, we helped her find her way back to living her life.”

Fanciful maybe, but there is so much we don’t know about the other side, so many possibilities.  A couple of weeks after we buried Baby, I was sitting out on my back porch at dusk. It was a dreary evening, rather chilly for the time of year and a thick fog had fallen over the area. Suddenly the fog shifted a bit and a silver-grey tabby appeared. She sat there for about five minutes while I struggled with disbelief and maybe even shock. I knew it was my Baby, come to let me know she was alright. Finally, I rose and approached her. She tilted her head as if to say “Good bye” and turned and walked back into the fog.  You’ll never convince me that our pets don’t have hearts and souls and give us unconditional love. I will always miss them, but they were very big stitches in the fabric of my life.

Beth: Jinny, that was amazing and deeply touching. Thanks for sharing with us. I remember when you saw Baby, although I didn’t realize then the full significance of what she meant to you. I do now.

About Jinny’s new release:

“An August Affair” is my first book, although I have a lot of experience writing magazine and newspaper articles, as well as the dreaded SOP Manuals. (Standard Operating Procedures for work places.) This book was a refreshing labor of love where I could abandon excruciatingly boring facts and dream a little.

The setting is an old house in the mountains where many strange things have previously and are currently happening. My characters must figure out who committed a murder more than two-hundred years ago. Along the way, they learn a lot about themselves, and maybe fall in love.

Blurb for An August Affair:

Seth Berkeley was a man haunted by his past. Trapped in a small town with the ghost of his dead father’s perversions hovering over him, his prospects seemed bleak and hope was a distant fantasy. That all changed with the arrival of certified legal documents declaring him the sole beneficiary of a beautiful colonial estate in the mountains of Virginia. Seth jumped at this opportunity at a new beginning and left at once.

Willow Callahan suffered from one calamity after another. The most recent was leaving a job she loved after the sexual harassment of a new employee protected by nepotism made it impossible to continue working there. A chance encounter at a diner led her to discover that the old Berkeley estate may need renovating. Willow jumped at this chance to exorcise her personal demons and leave the specter of her past behind.

Their exploration leads to the discovery of a child’s skeleton on the wine cellar. From then on, every new discovery leads to danger and secrets they must unravel, and an unexpected passion neither of them wants. Can they solve the mystery of Seth’s heritage and heal their suspicious and fearful hearts along the way?

Excerpt:

She studied his face and could almost see the wall he put up. His bright blue eyes were shadowed and wary. “That sure sounds like an anxiety attack to me. And you used to have them? Were you ever treated for them? Medication? Therapy?”

Seth jerked back in embarrassment. “No! I got over it!”

Willow nodded, understanding instantly that this was a big issue for him. A sign of weakness, something real men didn’t do. “Have you ever tried to figure out what was causing it? Researched it on the internet or talked to a doctor?”

He frowned and shook his head. “No, I don’t even own a computer and my family, well, we didn’t go to the doctor for stuff like that. But it’s all over now; I don’t do that anymore.”

Willow raised an eyebrow and gave him a pointed look. He felt his face heat and averted his gaze. “Well, not until today,” he mumbled.

“Seth,” she urged, “I don’t want you to strip yourself bare. I just want to understand what happened so maybe I can help you get over it. If I’ve done something that reminds you of a bad time, tell me, I’ll stop. We all have things in our past we don’t want to share. I know I do. But I took them out and looked at them and decided I had to put them behind me. I couldn’t go on until I did. And the same goes for you. If you are hanging on to a bunch of yesterdays, you can’t embrace today. Do you understand that?”

Author Bio

Jinny Kirby Baxter is a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother who has always dreamed of being a published author. Her life has been filled with many obstacles, but here she is at this late date killing it! She has written many newspaper and magazine articles, as well as the dreaded SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) for her past employment. Some of her past experiences prompted her to write about a man tortured by childhood abuse and the growing awareness of this despicable social problem. Her mantra is “It’s never too late to shine” and dreams can come true for all of us! She lives with her sister in a small town in Nevada and is working on a sequel to her first book!

***An August Affair is available in kindle: 

Follow Jinny’s Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Jinny-Kirby-Baxter/e/B073KKLMH7