Monthly Archives: March 2017

With a LOT of Help From My Friends #MFRWAuthor

Related image

Yeah that about sums it up.

Remember when I was whining about NOT. Not being able to write 50,000 words or walk 10,000 steps? That was the January 7 blog The message I was trying to convey was I can’t do that in one gulp. But I can do it in small sips. With help.

Since January 19, I have only missed minimum 10,000 steps one time. A lot of those steps were around and around and around the house. I try very hard to hit minimum 8,000 before it’s too dark to use the yard or the road but that just does not always happen. If possible I add in steps to any shopping trip.


Oops getting dark. Gotta get one more circuit of the yard.

Even so, some days it’s sundown, or it’s raining and I’m only at 5,000. Well, I tell myself, missing step count one day is not the end of the world. Self reminds me of slippery slopes. So I set out on the journey of twenty five steps around the room. Because I have Fitbit friends, and if I let myself get away with fewer steps they will get ahead of me.

Can’t have that, right?

Obviously walking in circles is freaking BORING. Music helps. Music always helps. I might not be able to walk half an hour solid but I can walk for one song, right? Three to four minutes gets me minimum 500 steps. Then 500 more. I tell myself I can take a break after the current song, or maybe the one right after. And I keep walking.

I’ve exposed myself to a plethora of singing competitions, and reintroduced singers I’ve always admired. Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand have strong voices that support my steps. Karen Carpenter’s clear sweet voice soothes as I huff and puff along but ABBA’s styling slows me down. Go figure.  Sometimes I’ll do a song marathon…do you know how many people have taken on Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah?

Step. Step. Step. Once I’m to 7,000 the rest isn’t quite as difficult, and after I’ve hit 8,000…well not finishing seems like such a waste.

No, it doesn’t make sense but shhhhh I’m getting in those steps!

And the writing, you ask? Or what about the Agility? I’ll take what I can get, with the absolute


Biddy, watching for the next jump

knowledge that I CAN do it, I CAN apply my current self to get things done.

Heck if I can get those steps done I can do pretty much anything.

Step by Step. Page by Page. Jump by Jump in Agility

What do YOU do to fool yourself into getting things done?


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Let’s WELCOME Kathleen Kaska #BlackOpalBooks

Our guest today is Kathleen Kaska, another Black Opal Books author, with a bit of a mystery from the potential dark side of dog racing…what can happen when people allow greed to overcome their responsibility for the animals under their protection.

Take it away, Kathleen

EXCERPT : Run Dog Run

She’d been foolish and gone off alone, now she might have to pay the ultimate price…front cover5

The rocks along the bottom of the creek bed seemed to disappear. Kate felt the ropy, gnarl of tree roots instead.

The cedar break. She was approaching the road and soon the water would pass through the culvert. She knew that she would not make it through the narrow tunnel alive. Her lungs screamed for air. With one final attempt, she grabbed hold of a long cedar root growing along the side of the creek bank and hung on. Miraculously, it held. She wedged her foot under the tangled growth and anchored herself against the current. Inching her way upward, she thrust her head above water and gulped for air. But debris in the current slapped her in the face, and leaves and twigs filled her mouth, choking her. Dizziness overcame her ability to think—exhaustion prevented her from pulling herself higher.

She must not give in. Fighting unconsciousness, Kate inched her way up a little farther, and at last was able to take a clear breath. Her right arm hung loosely by her side, the back of the shaft had broken off in the tumble through the current, but the arrow was lodged in her arm. Numb from cold water and exhaustion, she lay on the bank as the water swept over her, and then, as quickly as it had arrived, the flow subsided and the current slowed. If she could hang on a few moments longer, survival looked promising. As thoughts of hope entered her mind, Kate feared that her pursuer might not have given up the chase. Perfect, Kate Caraway, just perfect. You screwed up again, she chided herself as the lights went out.

Short Synopsis:

After five years in Africa, researching the decline of elephant populations, Kate Caraway’s project comes to a screeching halt when she shoots a poacher and is forced to leave the country. Animal rights activist Kate Caraway travels to a friend’s ranch in Texas for a much-needed rest. But before she has a chance to unpack, her friend’s daughter pleads for Kate’s assistance. The young woman has become entangled in the ugly world of greyhound abuse and believes Kate is the only one with the experience and tenacity to expose the crime and find out who is responsible. On the case for only a few hours, Kate discovers a body, complicating the investigation by adding murder to the puzzle. Now, she’s in a race against time to fine the killer before she becomes the next victim.

Animal rights activist Kate Caraway travels to Texas for a much-needed rest. But before she has a chance to unpack, her friend’s daughter pleads for Kate’s assistance. She has become entangled in the ugly world of greyhound abuse. On the case for only a few hours, Kate discovers a body, complicating the investigation by adding murder to the puzzle. Now, she’s in a race against time to find the killer before she becomes the next victim.

Bio:161118_003Kathleen Kaska is a writer of mysteries, nonfiction, travel articles, and stage plays. When she is not writing, she spends much of her time with her husband traveling the back roads and byways around the country, looking for new venues for her mysteries and bird watching along the Texas coast and beyond. It was her passion for birds that led to the publication The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story (University Press of Florida). Kathleen Kaska is the author of the Classic Triviography Mystery Series, which includes The Alfred Hitchcock Triviography and Quiz Book, The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book, and The Agatha Christie Triviography and Quiz Book. Kathleen also writes the award-winning Sydney Lockhart mystery series set in the 1950s. Her first two mysteries, Murder at the Arlington and Murder at the Luther, were selected as bonus-books for the Pulpwood Queen Book Group, the largest book group in the country. Her latest Sydney Lockhart mystery, set in Austin, Texas, is Murder at the Driskill.

Run Dog Run Kathleen’s her first mystery in the new Kate Caraway animal rights series.

Books are available through Black Opal Books, Kathleen’s website, and Amazon.


Filed under Uncategorized

Just in Spring #MondayBlogs #MFRWAuthor

Way back when I was so much younger and believed in all sorts of odd ideas (most of which did not include white picket fences and 2.3 children…who would want only 1/3 of a child?) I came across ee cummings poem “In Just Spring” At that time I didn’t worry much about poetry analysis, I just enjoyed the sound of the words, the feel of them in my mouth.

“in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-

Later he refers to “Puddle-wonderful” and we are taken to a time and place when children jumped into puddles and stomped through mud. Sometimes going back for another round, maybe using the puddle to clean off the mud.

Problem is I really don’t much like mud. I know we need moisture from the sky into the ground to help things grow, and to keep our aquifers up to safe levels. If only there weren’t so much MUD. I’d hunt up one of my OMG rain pictures since our rain can fall furiously. But I’m trying to remain positive. Fortunately here the wind comes along to help dry up that mud but in the meantime the dogs bring in clumps and slime on their furry feet.


However, when the rain does fall, the high desert bursts into glorious color, feeding my heart and soul with wildflower beauty. The rain also fills my holding tanks and makes it possible for me to have a garden, even after the aquifer under my well decided it just wasn’t feeling the love, and diverted to another area.

Yeah, BUMMER. So I haul water, and in the process story ideas have come a’knocking. Including a novella/short story which will be the link between My Killer My Love and the next Atrahasis book. Inspiration can come flying in from anywhere, can’t it?

In the meantime I’m also delving back into the third Stormhaven book. This time it’s Lana, Sydney’s sister, and Adam Roberts, who walked on stage in A Question of Faith

“Before he could go to the door, it opened and Devin stepped through, closely followed by another man, not as tall, and with a more wiry build. He copied Devin’s boot scraping on the inside rug then dropped his outer clothing on the entry bench. When they came closer, Ty heard a faint “click” and realized one of the man’s legs didn’t strike the floor with the same impact as his other. The man was underweight and pale, as if he spent more time inside than was healthy. When he sat, he shifted as if finding the least uncomfortable position. Devin stepped to one side long enough to pick up a stool to slide under the table”

In spite of his prosthetic leg, Roberts carried Rosalind out of the hell hole where she’d been kidnapped. He darned near stole the whole book, and poor Ty would have been on a longer story arc for his Happily Ever After. In A Question of Trust Roberts will be rescuing his own damsel, which will be super interesting since it is Sydney’s sister, who so far has been ‘that bitch who stole the horse.’

Ah, but why did she steal the horse? Isn’t answering that question what writing is all about?

For now, check out front cover final and

plus my other stories: Mona’s Amazon Page

Kristen Weiss encouraged me to get back to blogging, to celebrate SPRING along with these other great authors…drop in when you have a moment or two.

Allyson Charles – Romance:

Conniue di Marco – Mystery:

Gillian Baker – Mystery:

K.B. Owen – Historical Mystery:

Layla Reyne – Romance:

Mona Karel – Romance:

Misterio Press – Mystery:

Shannon Esposito – Cozy Mystery:

Victoria De La O – Romance:


Filed under Uncategorized

It’s All About Relationships, a Sneaky Fan Girl Message

I was blabbing with one of the MOST talented authors I’ve ever met (more about her in a


Just a pretty picture, nothing to do with the blog!

second) mainly sharing thoughts about writing, publishing, and frustration with both. Plus, of course, dogs. I first met her through dogs, which isn’t that much of a shock since books and dogs have kind of become my life.

I mentioned something about the bad rap Romance continues to receive, and she commented other than the war machine military sort of books, don’t we all write about Romance?

Hmmm. I mulled that over on the way home and for the next few days and realized I think about Relationships rather than “Romance” since relationships are the web of our lives. Whatever sort of relationship: positive, negative, adversarial, loving. Between people and people, people and animals, people and the world around them. It’s all about how we relate to each other. This brings those militaristic books into the fold, big time.

A good story, or a bad story, has to do with how the characters relate to each other, and to

the situations we put them in. How do they succeed? What is success in the context of the world we create for them?

Our own lives consist of intertwining relationships, with other people, with jobs, our environment, our loves. And not so loving, of course. These disparate threads intertwine to form the net that becomes our lives. Sometimes the net is kind of sparse, especially up close though we might have a wealth of friends far away. But it’s there, waiting for us to recognize its existence, and maybe more lines to weave in. Kind of makes me feel less lonely.

That writer? The one I met through dogs? Such a talented wordsmith, I feel so fortunate to know her and share her knowledge as one of the threads in my net. Oh, her name? Doranna Durgin. If you’ve not read her before you have such a treat in story for you, whether you prefer High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy (she has a unique take on shape shifters), or strong women who protect themselves Romantic Suspense. I’m hearing a rumor of the third book in a compelling paranormal about for-real ghostbusters and a man from…you really need to read these, the first one is The Reckoners. The third one will be out very soon, you’ll probably have just enough time to read One and Two. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized