Tag Archives: Furbaby Friday

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