L: Life’s ups and downs #AtoZChallenge

Today I was going to talk about how lucky I am to be able to be a writer an to be releasing my fourth book on this very day. Then my husband woke me up at 5:30 AM because our dog couldn’t walk. We rushed her to the hospital. About twenty minutes ago, the doctor told us that she might have a brain tumor or she might just have idiopathic “old dog” vestibular disease. The only way to know for sure today would be to get an MRI, which is a *quite* pricey. So instead we’ll wait to see if she improves and go from there.

Sashi in younger days. This was not long after we adopted her. We figure she was about seven. That makes her 13 now.

I’m still lucky to be a writer and have a new book. I’m lucky to have a great, supportive husband, as well as friends and family. I’m lucky to live in a place where my dog can get treatment, even if it ends up mostly being supportive care for her final days.

I’m also on an up-and-down emotional ride, but, then, aren’t we all?

K: Foster kittens (cuteness and mess) #AtoZChallenge

Our current foster kittens: Ludo, Gordon, Floki and William.

My husband and I foster kittens several times a year. We’ve been doing this for 15 years now through a local animal shelter. Usually we get groups of two to six kittens who are too young to be adopted. Sometimes they have moms and we go through a weaning process with them (and drying out for momma kitty). More often they are without a mother. Once we even had a pregnant mom give birth at our house (to SEVEN! kittens).

Our latest group of four had a few days of bottle feeding before they got the hang of eating a watery gruel of canned kitten food and KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement). A few weeks later, they are now eating canned food and starting on kibble. About half the kittens we foster either come to us with a respiratory or gastrointestinal illness or develop one shortly thereafter. So far so good on that front with the current batch.

Lars was our second “foster failure.” He was with us while a bite wound healed (hence the collar). His hair has grown in now so you can’t see any scar.

I love helping kittens grow. Many are feral, and hiss and make themselves puffy before they learn that we aren’t there to hurt them. Others just aren’t too sure about humans yet. There’s nothing like the day when a kitten crawls in my lap and starts to purr.

Really young kittens are super messy. They tromp through their water dishes and food dishes. Then they tromp through the litter box with wet kitten feet. Then they tromp back through the water dish and leave behind specks of clay litter. Little paw prints mark the floor. And the smell. Kittens poop A LOT! At least most naturally use the litter box though. I’m not sure I could handle house training a puppy. 🙂 I try to focus on how cute they are when they purr, sleep, and play with such joyful abandon when I’m really tired of cleaning up AGAIN.

Lux was our first foster failure. She’s a sassy troublemaker!

Most people are shocked that we can give up the kittens when they’re grown up enough to find their forever homes. I think those people have never had six hyper kittens running around their house at 2 in the morning. 🙂 It’s never easy to say goodbye. Sometimes I cry. I did more in the early years. And we’ve had two “foster failures”–kittens who ended up adopted by us. Not too many considering the hundreds who’ve come through our doors.

In the end, we keep fostering because every kitten we take in is a kitten who doesn’t end up euthanized. And a lot end up euthanized. Millions of cats every year in the U.S. Spay and neuter, folks!

Click the K to see more bloggers doing the Challenge




J: Jeremiah of the pasty white legs #AtoZChallenge #MySexySaturday

Today’s another double duty A to Z Challenge and My Sexy Saturday post. This one features the hero from my upcoming novel Monica’s Match (it releases Tuesday!). In this scene, Monica is trying to get an answer about why Jeremiah doesn’t wear shorts.

He shrugged. “I wear jeans on the farm and I spend most of my time there. I’m used to pants.”

“Are your legs pasty white or something? Afraid it will ruin your sex appeal to show them off?”

His groin tightened. “You think I have sex appeal?” He watched her lips move as she swore under her breath.

“I’m sure you’re supremely aware of your attractiveness. You have noticed the way women leer at you?”

He had, although he rarely made note of it. “No. It must just be you.”

She narrowed her eyes and huffed, which gave him a perfectly good reason to ogle her heaving breasts. “Ha. Ha. Ha. You’re a riot.”

“I aim to please.”

Monica has the ability to see a guy’s aura light up the first time he touches his soul mate, but she’s kept it a secret since her parents shamed her as a child. Still, she decides to start her own matchmaking company—even if she doesn’t advertise her unique ability. Business is so-so until she gets a call to find matches for the singles of the small town of Perry Grove. She’s not looking for love herself but has an immediate attraction to one of her clients. Too bad another woman lit up his aura.

Hunky dairy farmer Jeremiah wants nothing to do with his grandpa’s hare-brained matchmaking scheme but agrees to play along to appease the man who raised him.  But when he meets the sexy matchmaker, he starts to rethink his single status. Too bad she’s intent on pairing him up with another woman. If there’s one thing he knows, though, it’s how to be stubborn.

Pre-order today: