Monday, July 28, 2014

Coming face to mask with the world's cleverest raccoon

I got him. On cherries and goldfish food. There he was, precious mask and soulful eyes looking at me from the trap. I smiled. At last!

My joy was short-lived because this is the world's cleverest raccoon. The only good thing I can say from this point on is that I have his photo and my husband is witness to what happened next.

We were putting him in the back of the pickup for his ride to join the not-so-clever raccoons we have accumulated over the last month. It's a nice country spot. Perfect for God's creatures who need the wild. The trap slipped. He bounced. It opened and OUT HE WENT!

A flying leap to the ground and he was gone onto the property next door which we own also. So now, not only am I feeding the little rascal, I'm sheltering him!

It's not over, Mr. Raccoon. Just because you had one more trick up your fur sleeve than I did, doesn't mean I won't win.

Someday. Just not today.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My kosher raccoon

Once again, we have a clever raccoon invading our back yard. He's very consistent, arriving around 11 PM each evening, scarfing up the leftover cat food and forcing the water bottle off its perch with his nose. I know all this because I've captured his image on the game camera.

Obviously, it is time that Mr. Raccoon find a home in the wilderness which is where I believe God meant raccoons to live. Not my back yard.

In the past, I've had good fortune to trap them on fruit, so I started with oranges, then strawberries. The fruit would be gone--and so would the raccoon! He is a bit on the scrawny side (and unbelievably clever) and so didn't weigh enough to trip the trap. So I greased the trap some more.

After a week of this nonsense--and quite frankly I'm tired of being bested by a lightweight critter--, I pulled out all the stops and positioned a pork rib in the trap, tied top and bottom so he couldn't, as his predecessors have done, sit on top of the trap, pull the rib through, and dine.

From the photos that night, he didn't even look at the rib. The next night, I added strawberries and a fresh rib. He looked but didn't enter the trap.

What kind of raccoon is this? Does he keep kosher? Is he a vegetarian?

Last night I put all the leftover dry cat food under a box and put a plant on top of it. I should have swept it up, because the plant was dislodged, the box still downturned, and the food gone! Besides that, there was a possum in the photos! Now he's bringing friends?

But I have another plan. NO cat food out. I will sweep up what remains from the cats and they will have to wait until morning. Maybe then, he'll be tempted by… strawberries? peaches? A Brussels Sprout?

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

A review for ONCE UPON A MCLEOD

I've received a four-star review from BTS Book Reviews, an online magazine, for ONCE UPON A MCLEOD.

Thrilled!

The link!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

T's Trial available now!

I published T's Trial yesterday on Amazon. Currently, it's available only for Kindle since I'm trying a little experiment. I joined the Kindle Select Program for 90 days. Within that time frame, it can't be available for sale anywhere else. What it can be is borrowed in the Kindle Owner's Lending Library and offered for a free/greatly reduced price sometime during the months.

Since it's the first of a series, that's what I plan to do as soon as C's Comeuppance is formatted and the cover finalized, hopefully by August. In an ideal world, I'd be able to release the third one, Tib's Temptation, within that 90 day window as well.

T started life as Heaven on a Kitestring (and was an RWA Golden Heart finalist), then evolved into Lyla's Song as it went through two e-publishers. Over the years, I added books to include all the members of the band Bone Cold--Alive, plus giving a jilted lover from the first book his own HEA.

And because I think it says so much for the hero, here's the cover again.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Round Robin for June--emotion and fireworks!

"It was the music. Always the music. It started somewhere deep in his soul and coursed through his body in a mad rush to explode on the surface. He had felt it as a small child, this urgent need to touch the piano keys, to hear the notes, to reach inside the old upright in his grandmother’s parlor, close his eyes and feel the strings and make the vibrations. To release the music from within himself and then take it back inside, remold it and start all over again.

"He felt it now. Eyes closed, hands splayed on a keyboard, his foot pumped, his head moved, his body swayed. He felt the music, was the music and both started and stopped with the music. Smoke, lights, crowd, video screens, revolving stage—all enhanced his music, helped others feel it. But no one knew the music as he did. No one was the music as he was. Not the four other members of Bone Cold—Alive, not even his twin brother, who lolled his head as he sang to the 75,000 fans that screamed and yelled and gyrated with them. The drums modulated the rhythm, increased, called to him. He felt them. The crowd called to him. He felt them. Shifting his weight, he took a deep breath, and began to sing into the mike attached to his headphones. His words, his song, his music.

"His soul."


This is the beginning of the prologue for T's Trial, releasing July 1 and the first of six in the Bone Cold--Alive series about a rock band and their individual redemptions. I wrote this years ago, when the book was entitled Heaven on a Kitestring. It was a 1997 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist in Long Contemporary. I knew it hadn't a prayer of winning (it didn't), but RWA in Orlando was certainly more fun because I was a finalist.

Why did I know it wouldn't win? Rock. Star. Music. Drugs. Eddie T, the man who is music, has flaunted every rule and held nothing sacred but his music. While I have rewritten parts of the book over its course of two e-publishers as Lyla's Song, and now being independently published, these words have always stayed the same. I placed my hands on the computer keys, closed my eyes, and gave life to T.

This round robin focusses on emotion. You've wandered here from Beverley Bateman's blog and I'm sending you on to Anne Stenhouse.

But that's hardly fair. Perhaps you'd like the complete list of participants and here they are:

Margaret Fieland
Heidi M.
Beverley Bateman
Kay Sisk
Anne Stenhouse
Connie Vines
Ginger Simpson
Geeta Kakade
Fiona McGier
Lynn Crain
Rhobin Courtright

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A new cover!!!!!! Excitement reigns!

My cover artist Lyndsey Lewellen (Lewellen Designs) has outdone herself with the first of my six part rock star novels, T's Trial. This book, as Heaven on a Kitestring, was an RWA Golden Heart finalist back in 1997. Alas, it didn't win. I found a home for it with an independent e-publisher in the early 2000s as Lyla's Song. This past year I requested the return of my rights for this book and the others so I could update them, shorten them, and republish independently.

T's Trial will be followed by: C's Comeuppance, Tib's Temptation, Ron's Run, Ian's Image, and finally, to wrap up any loose ends, Bo's Beauty.

The back cover blurb for T's Trial:

"Eddie T Samuels' addiction to music takes him to the top of the rock world, but his addiction to drugs threatens his life and freedom. Sobering up in rehab is a start, but band manager Levi Fletcher wants to seal the deal by hiding him for another three weeks.

Widow Lyla Lee has never rented her house to anyone like her new tenants. Something is not quite right, from Sam's obsession with the grand piano to Fletch's control of every situation. But hearing Sam play challenges her own long-buried artist and when he wants a duet, she can't resist, either the music or the man.

Welcome to Jinks, Texas, where no one's business is quite as private as they want it to be and T is set to face the trial of his life."

But, the cover:


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Let us ponder the cat

So why, in a house with real wood flooring, faux wood flooring and tile, does the cat always choose to be sick on the carpet?

And not the carpet which would disguise this colorful transgression, the area rugs of many colors which I just couldn't resist 12 years ago. Oh, no, the grey carpet. The English wool in the master bedroom. In the middle of the night.

Is there cat food without red/orange/brown dye which won't break my cat food budget? I need to research and realize it would be cheaper than replacing the carpet.