Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Step back in time

Yesterday I finished a short historical piece I've been working on. It feels great to finish but at the same time I have the oh-no, untethered where's-my-wip feeling. This afternoon I'll start the new book I've been considering but for these morning hours I'm going to be book-free.

It feels weird.

I had fun with the historical. It's set in 1924, the era of flappers, speakeasies and prohibition. One of the characters is a baseball player so I did some research on that year's play which was interesting. I'm a Yankee fan so it was fun to peruse stats with Babe Ruth on the roster. (I didn't realize that the Babe was very ill in '25 and didn't play. Thankfully he came back the following season.) But bathtub gin, J. Edgar Hoover and Model T Fords made the time very colorful. Oh, the fun bits and pieces gleaned from research...

I'm so much into the Roaring Twenties mood I'm considering getting a bob.

Just kidding.

By this evening I'll be full into Regency mode. The ton and Almack's, pelisse and phaetons, proper lords and slightly improper ladies... Ah, the fun of writing. Never a dull moment!

Hope your Tuesday is a good one. What have you got planned for this last day of September?

Monday, September 29, 2008


The other day we drove out to the farm stand in search of one perfect mum for a very special spot in our yard. When we got there the choices were amazing! This is only a sampling but it sure made our choosing the one plant a chore...and a delight!

We chose this one. We both loved it. We planted it and you know what? It looks perfect. Just right for the spot.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's a date!

This morning I've got a date with about ten of these. Yes, we're still getting zucchini from the gardens.

How did they survive the frost? What we did was place a couple of zucchini plants we'd pulled out right on top of the plants that still had flowers and/or zucchini growing. The frost didn't kill them so the next morning we tossed the "covering" plants on the side and Jack's your uncle! We've still got zucchini growing!

So this morning I'm going to make about seven zucchini breads. I'll wrap them and tuck them in the freezer. Then, when it's frigid outside and my husband stares longingly at the snow-covered area that is the veggie garden, I'll pull a bread out and we'll, once again, taste summer. I do this every year and it works out pretty well.

By the end of the day we'll have a half-dozen zucchini breads waiting for the snowy weather. Oh? The seventh? I'm sure my husband will make fast work of that one!

Hope your Sunday is lovely!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Any Floor Will Do

He: "May I have this dance?"
She: "But the floor's not finished."

Pulling her into his arms, he grins. "We'll dance on the half that's nailed down, then."
She falls into step easily, tucking her face against his chin.

Why argue with logic like that?

Besides, no one really needs an entire floor to dance, do they?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Strawberries, anyone?

Yesterday, just as darkness began to creep over the countryside, I got an idea. So I slipped into my sneakers and headed back outside. We'd already closed up the barns and potting shed, shut the greenhouse door and taken the garbage to the end of the driveway. So why was I practically running across the lawn at dusk?

Strawberries. I remembered I hadn't checked the strawberry patches in a couple of days. And, I had a hankering. You know how that is, don't you? A craving sweeps over you, one you can't resist? I guess you could, actually, resist...but why?

Within minutes I'd picked enough berries from the closest patch to fill a pretty large mixing bowl. The berries are fat and juicy and, after being hit by the first light frost, sweeter than they are earlier in the season.

Today I'm going to make one of my favorite, easier-than-it-should-be recipes. This works almost as well with frozen berries if you don't have fresh. I thought I'd share it with you, bring a bit of goodness from our home to yours.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Crumb Cake

2 1/4 cups flour
½ cup granulated sugar
2 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
1 egg
½ cup milk
2 T. melted butter
2 t. vanilla
1 cup sliced strawberries
8 T. butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon

In a large bowl combine flour, salt, granulated sugar and baking powder.
Add egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Pour batter into a greased and floured cake pan.

Arrange strawberries on top of batter.

Combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl
until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle crumb mixture over berries.
Place cake pan in a pre-heated 325-degree oven
and bake for 25 minutes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Time passages...

It's hard to believe we're into the first week of fall already, isn't it? The calendar says it's so and by the farm chores we're doing I know it must be true but in my heart it's still summer.

So this morning, a few memories from summer 2008.

Yes, they're sideways.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Heels or flats?

The scent of wood was overpowering. Enticing. Nearly intoxicating. Machinery whined in the distance. Every minute or so a thump jolted the floor beneath their feet.

Trees, some longer than the trucks that delivered them, made their way through the parking lot to the holding area out back. She could have watched the unloading process for hours had there not been pressing issues at hand.

She turned her attention back to the man behind the counter. He wielded a calculator and pencil with such flair she wondered briefly if he was related to Paul Bunyon.

"...sixes and eights but if you go with random widths or anything larger than eights you'll have to surface nail 'em."

"I don't want to do that," Hubby said, shaking his head. "Not even with the boards pegged after nailing. That looks good but it's a pain--"

"In the--" The wood man stopped, glanced at her, then colored. He was young enough to be embarrassed but old enough to find his feet. "It's just a pain, is all. Now, are you thinking hard or soft? Dark or light? You gonna stain 'em or seal 'em?"

She nodded politely, then strolled back to the open door. A truck pulled into the lot loaded with fresh-cut logs. The driver parked beneath a crane and the unloading process began. Much more interesting than listening to the two men behind her talking wood.

A smile made her lips twitch. The men were obviously compelled to discuss options even though the decision for the family room flooring had been made months earlier. She didn't point that out, though. Instead she tuned the men out, knowing full well their talk was similar to countless discussion she'd had in shoe stores.

When she entered a shoe store with friends it never mattered if they knew what kind of shoes they were going to buy. The real fun was in trying on things they had no plans to purchase. To discuss the merits of a heel or the unsuitability of suede. In short, the adventure of shopping for shoes held more excitement than buying.

So she let them talk wood. They needed to do it, and she found her own kind of adventure watching logs move from truck to conveyor belt. She wondered idly if all loggers had such broad shoulders and rugged good looks.

Shoes. Wood. Loggers. Yeah, life was good.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Green tomato rescue

Recently someone asked what I planned to do with all the unripe tomatoes rescued from the garden. We've already had frost here so if we hadn't picked everything it would be lost. Still...we've got bushels of green tomatoes. The question is a valid one...what to do with so many unripe tomatoes?

The truth is that a majority of them will ripen up. After a certain point it doesn't matter whether or not they're attached to the vine. They've begun to ripen and will continue to do so--in the garden or in a bushel. So most of the rescuees will turn red and we'll either can them or eat them now. But the rest? There are loads of uses for green tomatoes!

Of course the most obvious is the fried green tomato route. Have you ever had a fried green tomato? No? What are you waiting for? Hmm? They couldn't be easier to prepare and while I wouldn't want a steady diet of them they're one of the fun summertime side dishes that we look forward to.

If you've got a green tomato and want to try frying it, simply slice it thin and dip in any batter. We use a simple beer batter but any coating batter will do. Then, drop the slices into hot oil. They puff right up, turn golden brown and smell heavenly. When the slices reach your favorite crispness, remove from oil and drain on paper towels. See? Easy as pie.

Many of the green tomatoes will end up in relish. I've also got a recipe for picallily that I'm going to try. I'll let you know how that turns out.

So, with so many uses for rescued green tomatoes there hardly seems to be enough to go around! See what I mean?

What about you? Have you got any ideas about using up the garden's glut--uh, bounty?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lessons and thanks

When we're kids we're constantly learning lessons.

Don't pick your nose.

Sit up straight.

Your math homework--have you done it? No? Why not?

You see what I mean.

For adults the lessons are sometimes subtler. Still, the knowledge is there for the taking, the lesson available if we're willing to learn. Me? I'm willing.

A short time ago I was agonizing over not having a title for a book I had nearly complete. How could I send it off without a title? How? The angst was great, the tension level high. I'd written the book--how could I get stuck on the title?

I did what anyone would do in the situation. I shared my dilemma with you. And I got some encouraging comments, a commiserating email or two and even a phone call from a friend who knew I'd feel better if I laughed over my little roadblock. And in it all? Invaluable advice.

"I spend no time on my working titles because they always get changed."

One sentence, a small bit of honesty from someone with loads of writing experience, made my writing journey much more peaceful. A lesson.

The windup is that I sent my manuscript off this past weekend. I gave it a title but I didn't agonize overmuch on it. I realized that while the title counts it's more important to send good, solid writing so that was my focus. Not the title.

And this week I'm beginning something new. The title? The Playboy's Redemption. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I think it'll be a hoot to write this one, especially now that the whole title dilemma is behind me.

Thanks, Melissa, for sharing your writing savvy with me. I am grateful. :)

What about all of you? Did you have a nice weekend? Learn any lessons you're willing to share?

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 19, 2008

One more thing...

The Whiskey Creek Press site has been down for the last few days so Legal Tender, which released just a couple of weeks ago, and the rest of my books (as well as every other WCP general line author's books) has been unavailable for purchase. No one is thrilled by this turn of events but it can't be helped.

Anyhow, if you're interested in ordering the new book (or any of my books) please drop me an email at and I'll take good care of you. :)


I'm sure you know the feeling. You open a book and get sucked right into the story. Hooked...line and sinker. There's no way to close the book, no way to put it down and simply walk away. It can't be done. Nope, you've got to stick with the story, find out just what happens to the characters. Now. Not tomorrow. Not the day after. Now.

You've. Got. To. Know.


Last night I was pooped, beyond words worn out. We spent yesterday pulling out the gardens because of the widespread frost warning for Upstate New York. Being that we live in the middle of nowhere and it's generally colder here than practically anywhere else on Earth (all right, that's an exaggeration...but it's cold here. Really cold.) we knew enough to pull out the veggies and pick the fruit. We worked all day to get everything picked. Then we moved a bunch of huge pots into the greenhouse. Did I mention there are big plants in those huge pots? So by last night I was almost too tired to think. We ate cereal for dinner (that says just how tired we really were!), showered and settled down for the evening. Hubby watched a movie and I opened a book I'd picked up a couple of months ago but hadn't gotten a chance to read.

Bayou Paradox by Robin Caroll pulled me right in. I forgot my weariness, lost my aches and pains and got swept into a tangled web of intrigue and suspense set in the Louisiana bayou. In short, I loved it. The writing is clean and crisp, the story was filled with interesting characters and it kept me spellbound right up until the last page. I haven't read anything by this author before but I'll definitely look into buying her other Bayou books. I've read a bunch of Steeple Hill romances recently and haven't been disappointed by any of them. This one, however, really impressed me.

So, what have you been reading? Hmm? :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fuzzy Navel

A maple in the side yard gives up its leaves earlier than the others. A warm breeze sends a shower of yellow and crimson spiraling through the air. They sit side by side on the glider, tipping their heads back in enjoyment.

Peace. This is what peace feels like.

Then, he emerges from the house. Using long stride he moves quickly. When he's standing alongside the glider he looks down.

He smiles. "Enjoying yourself?"
She nods. "Mmm hmm."
I look from one to the other. Duh.

He gives an understanding nod. "Thinking about chapter 3, huh?"
She shrugs. "Uh huh..."
I scowl, but my whiskers get in the way. What else would she be doing?

He begins, "Need some more time to...?"
She finishes, "Contemplate my navel?"
My--what? I look down at the fuzz covering my belly. Am I supposed to have a navel?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One of those days

We all have 'em, those days that just don't seem to gel no matter how hard we try. I've had 'em. You've had 'em. As I said, we've all had 'em.

Conversely, we've all have wonderfully flowing, everything-falls-easily-into-place days. You know the ones. The sun seems brighter than usual. The air smells sweeter. Every task requires less effort. Each moment seems like it shines.

I had one of those days yesterday. I woke to the winds of change, remember? We did have branches down in our yard. Tomatoes were blown clear off their plants. It sure made harvesting them interesting! I've never reaped tomatoes from the lawn but at least they were all unblemished. The silver lining, I guess, to having a crop blasted off the vine! But the wind, which persisted all day long, was an added attraction to a day that was...perfect.

We had breakfast on the back porch. The sun was shining and it was breezier than usual but it didn't matter. We enjoyed pancakes with blueberries still warm from the sun sprinkled on top.

Then, we spent some time in the gardens, rescuing crops that had been buffeted through the night. Like I said, nothing was much worse for the wear.

And yesterday afternoon I began writing something new. It began like a dream and snowballed. I love the feeling of fingers flying over keyboard. Honestly? There are few things I like more than bringing what I see in my mind to life on the screen. Days like yesterday make up for the ones when writing requires much more effort.

Not a bad Monday. In fact, it was a great day in every respect. I'm hoping the breezy influence lingers long enough to finish the story I began yesterday. I've already got a destination planned for it, and am anxious to finish writing...then send it off on a gust to, hopefully, find a good home.

What about you? How did your Monday go? I hope it was a good one.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blowin' in the wind

If you live in the northeast there's a good chance you heard the wind last night. Actually, it's still blowing hard outside my window and it's nearly daybreak. Through the night from time to time I heard sharp cracking sounds. I suspect when it's light out we'll find we've lost some tree limbs.

Now normally wind wouldn't make its way into a Monday morning blog post--no matter how hard it huffed and puffed! But kept me awake through the night, insinuated itself into my dreams and placed its blustery self right smack-dab in the center of my plans for the story I'm going to begin writing this morning.

So here we are, talking about wind.

What had been the opening scenes in a historical love story are still the opening scenes in a historical romance...but with a twist. Now instead of our heroine making an uneventful, contemplative journey aboard a small vessel she's going to have a much stormier trip. This poor woman may even find herself stranded for a time with--you guessed it--the handsome boat captain himself.

Oh? The other passengers? I have a sad feeling they all drown. Hey, don't blame me. It's the wind's fault. Really.

Before the wind's arrival we had a relaxing weekend here on the farm. We hiked through our freshly mowed meadow, fed the fish in the pond and lazed away our Sunday afternoon reading in the shade. We had a great time...and I hope you did, too. How did you spend your weekend?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

You wanna call it what?


The bane of this writer's existence. Well, not really. But they definitely give me a headache. A big one.

I'm almost done writing a book that has no title. Really. I kid you not. This book, which went easily from chapter 1 to just a few pages shy of the end is responsible for the scowl on my face. I loved writing it, enjoyed watching the characters evolve and their situation solidify. I had fun with it, but now that it's coming to crunch time I'm stumped.

If I didn't intend to submit this thing, its being title-less would hardly matter. But I can't very well submit it with the working title, can I? No, I promise you, I most assuredly cannot. Why? Well, uh...all right, I'll admit it. The working title is...well, it's just not appropriate. Not witty or catchy. Not...well, it just won't work, that's all.

Excuse me? The working title?


Well, as long as you don't tell anyone... The working title of the book is WIP PB. See? I told you it wouldn't wash. Work in progress Palm Beach is neither witty nor catchy, and is sure to scare away a publisher.

The good thing is that while WIP PB is still unnamed, brainstorming titles has given me a few good ones for upcoming books. And I guess it's a good thing that WIP PB flew from head to screen. Too easily, almost.

This weekend I'll contemplate the list of possible titles I've got for this book because by the end of next week it's going to be out of here. And I'm going to be working on the next book, using one of the titles that wasn't a good fit for this book.

What about you? Have any weekend plans?

Have a nice weekend! :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Have you noticed?

The flowers all seem exceptionally gorgeous this time of year?

Bigger? More alert than usual?

Doesn't this zinnia look like it's waiting for something?
Someone, maybe?

Gladiolas bloom.

Beg to be picked.

Every bed of cosmos is overflowing.

Morning glories are...well, glorious.

Don't even get me started on the sunflowers!

They all stand at attention.

I love these. So friendly looking.
This field of sunflowers is near our house.
Every year I think we should plant a field like this.
And every year I enjoy this one instead.
Maybe next year we'll plant our own.
Maybe not.

I grew these blanketflowers from seed.
Don't they look like they're waiting?
Maybe they've seen this.
Maybe they know what's just around the corner...
Where did summer go?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never forgotten

September 11, 2001.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pick a day, any day

Scented with apples, cinnamon and berries, the steamy air in the kitchen swirled when he walked in. Even with the exhaust fan roaring, the room felt as full of flavor as a homemade pie. He stopped and stared at the rows of canning jars on the table and countertops. Then, a grin.

"Busy this afternoon, were you?" A top on one of the dozens of jars pinged and he arched a brow. "Very busy?"

She lifted the final jar from the boiling water bath and deposited it on the counter. There. The day's work was done. Satisfaction swept over her as she twirled the dial and wiped her brow all in one efficient movement. The kitchen was closed for the day.

"Just a little," she answered with a small, albeit tired, smile. "And you?"

Running a hand through his touseled hair, he shrugged. "Just cleaning up the workshop some. Getting things moved so when the wood for the family room floor is delivered we'll have somewhere to put it."

"We're getting that next week, right?"

"Looks that way." He paused. Looked around. "So...what's for dinner?" He covered his head with his hands as if he expected to be slapped with the dishtowel.

A smile playing on her lips, she retrieved three small covered cups from the fridge, along with two bottles of iced tea. She handed them to him, waiting while he arranged everything so nothing would crash to the floor. Silently she grabbed a couple of knives. A jar of peanut butter. A towel-wrapped bundle from inside the oven.

"What's that?" he asked, motioning toward the bundle.

"Bread. I made it this morning before I started the preserves. And in your hands...strawberry jam, blackberry jam and spiced apple butter. Leftovers that wouldn't fit into the canning jars. So," she walked across the room and, using the only two fingers she had left, opened the back door. "are you ready for a picnic?"

He followed. "You bet I am."

"Good," she said, laughing as she dashed out the door. "The last one to the dock's a rotten egg!"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

And the date would be?

Hi all! Yes, I know it's Tuesday and my summer schedule calls for only Monday, Wednesday and Friday visits with you. But now that it's September and the leaves on the trees in my backyard are starting to turn orange, yellow and red already it feels sort of fall-ish so I thought I'd begin showing up on Tuesdays and Thursdays, too. Besides, I miss you all on the days I don't show up. Weekends? They're still hit and miss. :)

Well last Thursday the first shipment of Legal Tender arrived. *You can order it here if you're interested. Or email me and we'll arrange for a signed copy to head your way.*

Friday morning I sat down with the list of kind folks who'd pre-ordered signed copies, a stack of manila envelopes and my favorite pen. I love signing books! A half-hour later I had a pretty good-sized pile of envelopes ready for the post office.

The names on the list were dwindling. I pulled a book out of the box, opened it to the first page and began to write. Out of habit, I dated the page. Then, I stared at what I'd written.

Hubby was in the kitchen so I hollered from the family room. (Why get up when sound travels so well?) "Honey?"


"What month is it?"

A head appeared in the doorway. He wrinkled his brow. It was apparent he thought I'd finally lost my mind. "September. It's September. Why?"

Uh oh.

"And that would be the ninth month of the year, right?"

His brows pulled tighter. "Right. The ninth month. Why?"

I glanced down at the page in front of me.


"Uh, no reason." I smiled, knowing full well I'd signed most, if not all, of the first wave of books using the wrong date.

Welcome to my world.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Have you noticed?

Have you noticed that somehow the world pretty much gives you what you need, when you need it? I've realized this before but it's one of those things I just sort of forget...until it happens again. Has it ever happened to you?

As you know, my dad went back to Florida last week after a wonderful extended stay with us. We loved, loved, LOVED having him here. So sending him home? It was hard. Really hard. I've got to admit that although I'm generally a happy, smiling, cheerful sort I was bummed after he left. Really bummed.

To be quite blunt, I was pretty sad. In a blue funk. Really not wanting to see anyone, talk to anyone or do much of anything besides spending time with Hubby and Piglet. Not normal behavior for me, that's for sure. But there you have it.

Almost instantly after we got home from the airport I sat down with my laptop, opened a new document and began to write a new book. Easily started, flowing well and doing exactly what I wanted it to do: it kept me from thinking. From dealing with anyone aside from the characters on the page. From missing my dad.

Well, almost.

I thought I'd figured it out, found a way to get past missing the man we'd love to have living closer to us.

Apparently the world was smarter than I. It gave me what I really needed. A bucketload of what I really needed.

Funny thing, that. The world knew what was best and sent it.

What was it? One of the most important powers in the world. Contact.

From here and there long, newsy emails. Friendly faces, even if on a screen. A card from a friend who lives on the other side of the world. No particular reason for the card; simply one of those "just because" cards. I needed it more last Thursday than on any holiday, believe me. And Saturday a package. An unexpected kindness from a newer friend. I'll tell you, it just made my day!

I needed the human touch, the very thing we were missing so desperately. It came, and I appreciate it more than words can say. While I'm not over missing my dad I'm well on the way to feeling more like my old self. Hubby, too. And Piglet, although she's still searching the farm for Grandpops.

This has been a rough week but the kindness of friends and family, and the world's willingness to send what we most needed, has helped us so much. We're getting back to "normal" here. :)

I suspect the next time you're feeling a little down at the mouth the world will send what you need, when you need it, too. At least I hope it does. I think it will...really, I do.

I'd just like to know how the world knows what to send. Any ideas?

Me? I'm not going to dwell overlong on the mysteries of the world. I've got a book to finish!

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Rainy Saturdays

When I was a kid I despised rainy Saturdays. What kid doesn't? Now I smile when I see rain in the weekend forecast. Especially now, when we're fully into harvesting and the rest of it. A rainy day? You know what that means, don't you?

No vegetable picking! Yay! No bushels, baskets or bunions. (You don't get bunions from veggie picking--at least I don't. I can't speak for everyone, mind you. But it fit...the whole "b" thing, you know? So...bunions.)

Still, there's a lot of freezing and canning happening here. I'll be doing more today but so far this week I've made:

blackberry jam,

bread and butter pickles

and tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes.

And because rain is in the forecast, I figured I'd bring a few flowers.
Happy Saturday ! :)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Green Acres

We're full into harvest time here at the farm. Every day we haul bushels of produce from the gardens into the house. There, we either freeze, can, eat or give away what we've grown. It is a busy time, but fun and exciting, too. There's a lot of hard work involved but it's all very satisfying.

Here are some photos of some of what we're picking.

Some things, like this gourd, are easy to identify.


From the watermelon patch.
These are soooo sweet!

We've been eating a lot of blueberries...
blueberry pie...blueberry crumble...
blueberry muffins...
trust me, a lot of blue food is being served
at Casa Leone!
I love the way onions look fresh from the soil.

Hot, hot, hot!
Other things are not as easily identified...
Any ideas?
He: "What's that?"
She: "Um...melon? Squash?"
He: "There are a lot of them. A lot."
She: "Lots of melons? Loads of squash?"
Ah, now that's something I can identify!
All sorts of eggplants beginning to come out
of the gardens.
My favorite veggie, btw.
Growing corn.
Does it get any more majestic?

Melons. We've eaten a bunch of these already and
they are sweet enough they could almost pass for candy.
From our home to yours, wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


The last night. No amount of wishing, foot-dragging or thought-pushing could change the fact.

With three matching sighs, they gathered the pinochle cards and stuffed them into their box. They'd each won a game tonight. A good way for the last games of the year to work out.

She stood. Stretched. Then, she walked over to the French doors and looked up. "Dad, have you seen the stars?"

The men had already crossed the room, headed for the kitchen. They stopped when she spoke.

"No, I haven't. How are they?"

"Bright. Lots of them tonight."

"Go take a look, Pop. I'll turn out the lights."

The lights grew dim before the room became full dark. She turned, her gaze catching their profiles in the large room. Her husband stood by the switch. Her father, who had begun walking back to her before the turn of the switch, stood stock-still in the center of the space. Knowing instinctively he'd lost his direction, she took a step forward.

"Stay there. I'll come get you." When she reached his side she put one hand on his nearest shoulder. Then she slid it down his arm and clasped his warm hand in hers. "Follow me, Dad. It's just a few steps."

"Want me to turn the lights back on?"

"Nope, we've got it," she called over her shoulder.

When they reached the doors they pressed their faces against the glass, looking out and up. The sky seemed dotted with thousands of tiny points of light. For a moment no one spoke. Then, from the darkness, a sigh. This time, not a sigh of regret but one of wonder.

"Beautiful, aren't they? We don't see this in Florida...too many lights."

"It is incredible," she agreed. "Our own lightshow, every night. So pretty...hey Dad, isn't that the Big Dipper? Over there, just above the hill?"

", I don't think so. It's..." He leaned down a little, craned his neck sideways. Pointing, he said, "over there. To the left. Do you see it?"

She followed his lead, bending lower and twisting her head to the right angle. There. He was right. "I do. It's beautiful, isn't it?"

"Mmm, it is."

They stood shoulder to shoulder for a few minutes. Their breathing syncronized and a sense of peace washed over them. This was something they knew how to do. The first time she'd watched the stars he'd held her in his arms; now she guided him.

Finally he said, "They look so close, don't they?"

"They do."

"So close, yet so far..." He sighed, shook his head and put his arm around her shoulders.

Like New York and close, yet so far.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Legal Tender Release Day!

Hi. It's me. Piglet. I'm taking over the blog this morning because, quite frankly, my human's busy. Can you believe it? She's caught up in spending every minute she can with Grandpops before her goes back to...huh. Where is it he's from again? Hmm...warm, sunny, the place where they grow oranges and alligators (don't know what an alligator is, exactly, but I know they've got 'em near Grandpop's house) that's the center of a hurricane sandwich (not sure what a sandwich is, either)...oh! Right! Florida. The grand-paternal human is heading back to Florida this week, so my parental human is eyeball deep with last minute things. Getting his laundry done. Packing his suitcase. Smiling even though she's sad he's leaving. You know. Stuff.

*sigh* So here I am. Called to action. Pressed into writing this blog post.

Would've been nice if I'd had some notice, some time to prepare. But you know how humans can be. Stand-offish. Finicky. Unpredictable.

What's a cat to do? Suck it up, I guess. Then, back to sleep. I need a nap. All this hurricane jabber, getting ready to travel and good-byeing has worn me out. First, though, I've gotta tell you the big news...

Legal Tender releases today! Available from Whiskey Creek Press, it's a love story with a ghostly twist. A little mystery, some smooching and a bond that just won't go quietly to the hereafter.

Interesting. If you're a human.

Me? I'd rather read about birds. Naps. Cheese slices.

I guess you can't please everyone, so if romance and mystery is your thing, Legal Tender is the book for you. But be forewarned...there aren't any cheese slices in the story. Not even a wedge.

Buy it here.

I'm hoping Sarita will be back on Wednesday. If she's still busy with Grandpops, I'll be here to chat with you. I have a feeling it might take her a few days, maybe even a week, to find her footing once her dad heads home. She's going to miss him. A lot.

But don't worry. I'm already thinking about what we'll talk about next time we visit. Believe me, I've got some good ideas. But first, a nap.

Have a nice Monday!

By the way, how do you feel about mice? Lots of gray, fluffy mice? Hmm?