Friday, August 22, 2014

The wiliest raccoon, part 2

It took a new trap, a lot of patience, no little frustration, and a good dose of WD-40 to capture and relocate the wiliest of raccoons.

Once said raccoon had escaped from my old trap, I bought a new one. Spiffy thing, but difficult for even me to set off. I garnered photos from the night camera showing my new best wildlife friend sprawled across the release panel, dining on the latest offering, yet not setting it off. Finally, the spouse took pity on my frustration and "worked on" the trap.

After two days of staying away from us, the raccoon reappeared, got careless, got trapped! Yeah! Sorta'.

Because this little guest moved the trap. In an all-out effort to work his way out, he scooted the trap into my net patio umbrella cover. I gently pushed him back, out of, I thought harm's way. (That would be harm to the cover.) Thirty minutes later, he had managed to pull the netting into the trap, tear a huge hole in the side of it, and break the hose which, when filled with water (as it was), weights down the netting.

I was not pleased with my new best friend. Not only had he cost me a new trap, but now I was out an umbrella cover and this was the first one I'd ever had which hadn't leaked!

But, to end on a happy note, we have upgraded the gene pool in the countryside by the addition of the wiliest of raccoons. I just hope he or his offspring don't decide to move back to town!

Saturday, August 09, 2014

This is why you should change your smoke detector batteries once a year

A true story, thankfully not ripped from the headlines.

Two nineteen this morning, I hear it. BLEEP! An irritating sound and meant to be so. I know exactly what it is, the dying of a battery in a smoke alarm.

I also know that they only start BLEEPing in the middle of the night. There is no hoping it'll stop and I can go back to sleep. It will not. It was built to BLEEP. Every minute. Ad infinitum.

We have three smoke alarms, one on each floor's ceiling and one in the basement. I do not change the batteries on a regular basis. If I did, if I followed the handy advice of once a year whether they have BLEEPed or not, I would not have this problem. I do not and therefore I do.

The first problem is to determine which alarm is BLEEPing. They are, basically, one atop each other in the stairwell. I think, after the third BLEEP, that it is the one outside the bedroom doors. I get the step stool and determine that I can barely reach it with my fingertips. I drop the cover and awaken my husband.

This was not in the plan.

But now that I have a comrade, we can be more efficient about this. He removes the battery, I start to get a new one, and we hear BLEEP.

Wrong smoke alarm. Must be the one downstairs. It's easier to reach, we replace the battery quickly, head upstairs to do the same, and hear BLEEP.

Is it the one in the basement? Will I ever get back to sleep?

Husband replaces the upstairs battery, which probably didn't need it now but we need something to show for our efforts and a year's peace is making sense. I head to the basement to stake out the bad actor. Except the next BLEEP is not from the basement.

So now we have a well-behaved basement alarm, two new batteries in the stairwell alarms, and something is still BLEEPing.

We are having our stairwell repainted and the painters have quite nicely covered up the hall tree where the carbon monoxide alarm resides on top. Guess what's BLEEPing?

I tear open the plastic covering and look at the offending alarm. Had the plastic interfered with it? Never mind, it was getting a new battery and a new life on the kitchen counter until the painting is done.

Twenty minutes had passed and no, I never did get back to sleep. But when I go to bed tonight, I'll be assured that no smoke or CO will go undetected!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

C's Comeuppance on sale now!

The second of my Bone Cold--Alive novels, C's Comeuppance, is now for sale on Amazon. It will be in print through CreateSpace as soon as I approve the proof, probably in less than a week.

I'm still debating on whether or not to make it part of the Kindle Select program, wherein it can't be for sale anywhere else for 90 days. I've done that with the first in the series, T's Trial, because I want to offer it at a greatly reduced rate in September, hopefully after I get the third one up, Tib's Temptation. I'm just waiting on a cover tweak for it.

In C, we have the story of the other Samuels twin, Eddie C, bad boy and womanizer, egocentric to the heavens. He feels that brother T has deserted him by marrying--and being happy!--so he's made a nuisance of himself. T challenges him to get his own life and C sets about doing that, first of all tangling with real estate agent Jemma Lovelace, then going back to California for a misbegotten love affair with former fling Abby Sander. Things don't go well for C in California and he returns to Jinks, Texas, determined to find the happiness his brother has.

C has to jump through some hoops before it all straightens out and the Fates have more than one surprise in store for him before he gets his final comeuppance and happiness.

The back cover blurb:

"A lost man...

Eddie C Samuels' world has crashed before, but nothing to compare to his twin brother Eddie T finding the redeeming love of a good woman. C makes a nuisance of himself until T challenges him to live his own life.

A trapped woman…

Realtor Jemma Lovelace finds the man on the opposite side of her desk both appalling and obnoxious. He says he wants a house, but it soon becomes apparent he's seeking a home--and he has her in his sights to obtain it.

Will they be each other's salvation--or ruin?

Welcome back to Jinks, Texas. Just as life settles into a new normal, Eddie C disrupts it again--but this time he may get his comeuppance."

And the cover:

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


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


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.