April 21, 2015

@sloanebcollins - Kitty Love - #birthingkittens #mommacat #ourthreeboys #amwriting #MFRWorg

@sloanebcollins  #birthingkittens  #mommacat  #ourthreeboys  #amwriting

A little over a year ago, a pregnant stray cat chose us to come live with. We had no idea how far along she was, so we Googled cat births, since we didn’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ kittens (having previously only had two male cats).  On that rainy Sunday afternoon, she took turns sleeping on our laps as we researched.  Having never been around pregnant animals before, it was fascinating to me to feel the babies moving in her belly as I petted her.  We watched YouTube videos on how to care for Momma, what to do when she goes in to labor, etc.

So my husband went to bed (since he works nights), and I realized she was actually in labor (thank heavens I’d watched those videos!).  My husband had already lashed two boxes together with a hole cut between them so she had extra space to move around, and we’d padded it with an old quilt and towels.  Over the course of three hours, she gave birth to three kittens, one per hour.  I was petrified something would happen, but she knew exactly what to do to care for them.  So by midnight that night, we had a momma and three babies.  And so precious! Two of them were Tabbies, miniature replicas of the mom, and one was a grey Tabby.

We had already decided we’d foster them until they were old enough to get fixed, then try to find homes for all of them.  But as time went by, we couldn’t fi
nd homes, and I thank God we couldn’t.  We named them all from the characters in my favorite Julia Quinn novel, “What Happens in London”: Sebastian (the grey one, but he’s nicknamed Scooter), Harry, and Oliver.  Well, actually, we thought Oliver was a girl at first, so the name was Olivia, but the vet corrected us so he became Oliver.  And that was after Googling “how to tell the sex of kittens”.  I’m sure they were mortified, as I was, that we kept trying to figure out boy and girl details. LOL

It’s a year later, and they are such blessings.  Even though we had to pack up all our tchotchkes, and even though I have to clean two litter boxes every week, they are blessings.  The two cats we had way back when were our children (since we don’t have children), and it broke our hearts when we lost them.  We had vowed never to have pets again because it was so hard to lose them. 

But these babies are a joy.  Each one has completely separate personalities.  Scooter is just a little hippie – easy going, calm, loves belly rubs and plays fetch with his favorite jingle ball, bringing it right to me to toss for him.  Harry is feisty, an explorer, and loves his ears scrubbed.  Oliver is a little cuddle-bunny, and loves to snuggle under the covers with me.  And Moms is a great mother.  She definitely likes her quiet time, and will race into the den as soon as my husband gets home from work.  They’ll eat, play, and sleep separately and together, and each one has a distinct meow.  Well, Oliver tends to squeak vs. meow. 

It’s been so much fun watching them grow, from their first minute to now.  I’d love to write childrens books based on their antics someday.  I usually write in my big recliner, and many times they've all piled on the chair with me.  I've had to balance the laptop on the arm of the chair and twist myself to the side to type while one or more sleep on my lap.  But it's well worth it to have them with me. 

How about you?  What are your favorite pets?  What kind of personalities do they have?

#birthingkittens  #mommacat  #ourthreeboys

April 16, 2015

.@VickiBatman - The amazing doodle doos? poodoos? What kind of dogs are those? #poodles #MFRWorg #RLFblog #dogs

I was raised a cat girl. I love 'em. Mine is now twenty-one years old. However, Handsome was raised with dogs. 

When #1 son was small, Handsome brought home the cutest puppy, a sheepdog. I named him Baxter (although the three year-old next door referred to him as Bastard). LOLOL. The problem with Baxter was he grew and grew and grew, finally weighing in at 150 pounds!!! I kept asking Handsome if he was supposed to get that big. And being so large also meant he was a handful and really, too big for the kiddoes.

Baxter left us when he was twelve. Most big dogs only make it to that age. And several years went by without dogs. Which was fine, we had cats. 

April 14, 2015

Princess Chris Keniston has Landed--In London

The Americans have Landed—in London!

Some opportunities in life can't be turned down. So when I was asked to join a booksigning sponsored by Kobo #UksignKobo, I couldn't refuse. Which of course meant a trip to London!

First shock to British sensibilities came when a blonde from the west coast and myself sang along to Carly Simon's You're So Vain in the ladies room at Heathrow airport!  But I must say I think I'm adapting quite well. I adore the civilized practice of stopping mid afternoon for tea.    And just yesterday I heard myself comment on the peacocks at an English Manor – I believe my exact words were "Loud little buggers aren't they?"  And again leaving the country shop I heard myself say, "So many lovely bibs and bobs."

April 9, 2015

@lsfabre #SherlockHolmes' Country Squire Ancestry #mfrworg

I recently completed a manuscript about Sherlock Holmes at age 13. For those not familiar with the world's most famous consulting dectective, Doyle gave very few clues to his character's upbringing. In the short story “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter,” Sherlock Holmes tells Dr. Watson that his ancestors were “country squires,” and his grandmother was the sister of the French portraitist Vernet. 

While this leaves an author open to speculate about how Sherlock developed his skills, knowing his background involved country squires provides insights into Holmes’ social level and certain expectations common to those of that rank. A country squire would have owned enough land to rent to tenants and have lived in a manor house. While the squire’s position was below a nobleman or large landowner, (1) he still ranked high in the local social structure.

April 7, 2015

Friends for a Lifetime

We lost my mother-in-law going on three years ago. Yes, we still miss her and probably always will. She was a sweet woman with a sharp tongue and a great sense of humor. And I always told her I married the best one of her kids. Not that the others are shabby, but I got the best.
Last year, I was contacted by a friend of Mom’s, Anita(in the middle). The woman told me that she had been a friend of Ruth (Mom on left) and Mya (Mom’s twin sister on right) since they were three years old. Since that time we’ve been corresponding back and forth and she’s been telling me stories of the three of them. At this time she’s 94 years old.
Reading her stories has made me wonder how many of us can actually say we have friends from our childhood that we’re still connected with? I have friends from high school that I still talk to. I know where a friend from my childhood resides, but we haven’t spoken to each other in twenty years.

March 31, 2015

@BarbaraMonajem 's latest book is on fire! Lady of the Flames #MFRWorg #historical #paranormal

What a wonderful day for the Princesses as we welcome author Barbara Monajem!

Barbara Monajem wrote her first story in third grade about apple tree gnomes. An embarrassing number of years later, she still sneaks magical little creatures into her books, although they’re romances for grownups now. She lives in Atlanta with assorted relatives, friends, and feline strays.

Speed Round:

Favorite movie: The Princess Bride
Favorite book: Oh, come on now. Impossible!
Last book read: Murder in Hindsight by Anne Cleeland (for the third time)
Favorite color: Red!
Stilettos or flip-flops: Sneakers
Coffee or tea: Both, but not mixed together. Tea plus coffee does not equal toffee.

March 26, 2015

# A Book is Born – by Phyllis Middleton

Ten years in the making.  One story.  Many revisions.  Many more times it was shelved.  Yet still, I returned to a story that I wanted to see published. I wanted that story out there for others to enjoy and maybe some will hate, but it’s there for the reading. I wanted THIS story to be the first.

My baby.  My debut novel, NINE LIVES, TWO DOWN will be available to the public tomorrow – March 27th and it’s been on pre-order since March 20th.  Needless to say, I was over the moon when I saw the email from my editor announcing the pre-order. 

Double celebration!  March 27th  also  happens to be my birthday! Who knew fate would wait until my senior years to answer a dream.  What a weekend this will be – Life, Love, Laugh, and the Pursuit of Happiness!