Friday, March 16, 2018

#Cats and Essential Oils--Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith



Essential oils have gained in popularity over the last decade. They are used for aromatherapy (with and without diffusers), perfumes, aids for better skin tone and also for various health conditions.



However...

I receive a newsletter about felines from Cornell University called CatWatch.  It originates from the College of Veterinary Medicine—Feline Health Center. It includes innovations in pet care, new treatments for diseases, and advice on behavior issues.  I’ve been receiving the newsletter for several years now and find it practical and useful with sound advice.

This month there was an article on essential oils.  The Feline Health Center’s advice advice is to not use them in cat care.  They list these oils as toxic to felines. 


Cinnamon oil
Citrus oil
Clove oil
Eucalyptus oil
Oil of sweet birch
Oil of wintergreen
Pennyroyal oil
Peppermint oil
Pine oils
Tea tree oils
Ylang Ylang oil


The ASPCA Poison Control Center recommends avoiding essential oil use unless approved by your veterinarian. Apparently some are used for parasite control. If the oils are ingested, breathed in or absorbed by their skin, the oils can possibly affect your cat’s liver. 

I know I like to use natural products with our five inside cats and two outside strays. I raise pesticide free flowers and herbs for our gardens and try to avoid plants that are toxic to felines.  I’ll be avoiding essential oils now and in the future.



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NOW AVAILABLE

MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES

DAISY'S TEA GARDEN MYSTERIES, Book 1

Daisy, a widowed mom of two teenagers, is used to feeling protective—so when Iris started dating the wealthy and not-quite-divorced Harvey Fitz, she worried . . . especially after his bitter ex stormed in and caused a scene at the party Daisy’s Tea Garden was catering. Then there was the gossip she overheard about Harvey’s grown children being cut out of his will. Daisy didn’t want her aunt to wind up with a broken heart—but she never expected Iris to wind up a suspect in Harvey’s murder.

Now the apple bread and orange pekoe is on the back burner while the cops treat the shop like a crime scene—and Daisy hopes that Jonas Groft, a former detective from Philadelphia, can help her clear her aunt’s name and bag the real killer before things boil over . . .





****************

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. This award-winning and bestselling author will have her 100th novel released in 2018.  At present she is working on two mystery series for Kensington Books--Caprice De Luca Home Staging cozies and Daisy's Tea Garden mysteries. From time to time, she also writes romance for Harlequin Special Edition.
Karen and Zander

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks and does watercolor paintings rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 




©2018 Karen Rose Smith

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A New #Cozy #Mystery Series from Karen Rose Smith



In an old Victorian in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country, Daisy Swanson and her aunt Iris serve soups, scones, and soothing teas to tourists and locals—but a murder in their garden has them in hot water . . .


I am excited to announce the release of a new cozy mystery series from Kensington Books.  Daisy's Tea Garden Mysteries begin with the publication of MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES this week. Daisy's Tea Garden, a Victorian house in downtown Willow Creek, has become a town gathering place.  Daisy and her Aunt Iris are the proprietors.  


I created the fictional town of Willow Creek and located it in beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with its Amish buggies, manicured gardens, fertile farms, hex signs on barns, delicious baked goods and home-grown food, handcrafted quilts and cottage industries. This area embodied all the feelings that I want my readers to have when enjoying DAISY’S TEA GARDEN Mysteries—a strong sense of home, belonging, friendship and warmth.  Setting the series in a small town in Lancaster County was taking a step back in time to when values, home and hearth mattered. 

My sleuth, Daisy Swanson, is a widow with two teenage daughters—Violet (aka Vi) and Jasmine (aka Jazzi).  Daisy’s mother Rose named her two daughters Daisy and Camellia. Rose’s sister’s name is Iris. Flower names are a family tradition. Since Daisy likes to garden, she followed the tradition. By the way, Daisy and her daughters adopted two cats—Marjoram and Pepper!

Marjoram is modeled after my own feline, Miss Paddington! 
Pepper is modeled after my companion feline, Zoie Joy.
Daisy and her daughters live in a renovated barn which she transformed into a unique home when she returned to the area after her husband's untimely death.

I hope you enjoy the new series and add this new cast of characters to your list of cozy mystery favorites. 

NOW AVAILABLE

MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES

DAISY'S TEA GARDEN MYSTERIES, Book 1

Daisy, a widowed mom of two teenagers, is used to feeling protective—so when Iris started dating the wealthy and not-quite-divorced Harvey Fitz, she worried . . . especially after his bitter ex stormed in and caused a scene at the party Daisy’s Tea Garden was catering. Then there was the gossip she overheard about Harvey’s grown children being cut out of his will. Daisy didn’t want her aunt to wind up with a broken heart—but she never expected Iris to wind up a suspect in Harvey’s murder.

Now the apple bread and orange pekoe is on the back burner while the cops treat the shop like a crime scene—and Daisy hopes that Jonas Groft, a former detective from Philadelphia, can help her clear her aunt’s name and bag the real killer before things boil over . . .





****************

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. This award-winning and bestselling author will have her 100th novel released in 2018.  At present she is working on two mystery series for Kensington Books--Caprice De Luca Home Staging cozies and Daisy's Tea Garden mysteries. From time to time, she also writes romance for Harlequin Special Edition.
Karen and Zander

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks and does watercolor paintings rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 




©2017 Karen Rose Smith

Thursday, December 14, 2017

#Felines Sleep in Heavenly Peace--#Cats This week by Karen Rose Smith


The other day when I was listening to Silent Night, one of my favorite Christmas carols, some of the words made me think of my furry family.

All is calm...
Sleep in heavenly peace...

When I watch the felines sleep, a sense of peace and contentment fills me that helps me escape the stresses of everyday life and appreciate the simple things that overshadow the complexities of the outside world. I truly appreciate that I can find that peace, not just at the holiday season, but throughout the year. My Christmas wish for you is that you will be filled with much love and an abundance of peace each and every day of the new year.     

Below are photos of the Smith family felines sleeping calmly and dreaming of Greenies and Little Friskees!

Halo has always been a beautiful sleeper.
 
Miss Paddington prefers to find a quiet
spot to herself for an afternoon nap.

Paddy always rests best in the
arms of Halo, her mama.
 
Zoie prefers her special pad next to my pillow.

Freya is totally at peace in both of these photos.

Zander varies his napping positions.
 

London spends most of her senior days napping.

Bonnie and Clyde seek the warmth of the sunshine
on sunny days when the temperatures are slightly warmer.

****************

Coming December 26
A new cozy mystery series
Daisy's Tea Garden Mysteries

MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES
Book 1


In an old Victorian in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country, Daisy Swanson and her aunt Iris serve soups, scones, and soothing teas to tourists and locals—but a murder in their garden has them in hot water . . .
 
Daisy, a widowed mom of two teenagers, is used to feeling protective—so when Iris started dating the wealthy and not-quite-divorced Harvey Fitz, she worried . . . especially after his bitter ex stormed in and caused a scene at the party Daisy’s Tea Garden was catering. Then there was the gossip she overheard about Harvey’s grown children being cut out of his will. Daisy didn’t want her aunt to wind up with a broken heart—but she never expected Iris to wind up a suspect in Harvey’s murder.
 
Now the apple bread and orange pekoe is on the back burner while the cops treat the shop like a crime scene—and Daisy hopes that Jonas Groft, a former detective from Philadelphia, can help her clear her aunt’s name and bag the real killer before things boil over . . .
 
Includes delicious recipes for Iris’s Lemon Tea Cakes and more!




*****************
Click on the link below to read an additional blog entry by Karen  
every Thursday on the Cozy Chicks blog





****************

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. This award-winning and bestselling author will have her 100th novel released in 2018.  At present she is working on two mystery series for Kensington Books--Caprice De Luca Home Staging cozies and Daisy's Tea Garden mysteries. From time to time, she also writes romance for Harlequin Special Edition.
Karen and Zander

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks and does watercolor paintings rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 




©2017 Karen Rose Smith

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thankful For My Furry Family--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith



As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, a time for celebrating with friends and family, I stopped this week to reflect on my furry family. I am so grateful for the felines who have wrapped themselves around my heart.  The looks of trust and affection in their eyes show me how grateful they are for my care and the love I try to share with them each day. Each of the felines has his/her own personality and I have learned to interact with them in their individual uniqueness.

Halo and Zoie love to share the bed and bask in extended periods of cuddling. Paddy, on the other hand, is more of a loner but appreciates a special treat or a passing back rub. London, our senior feline who is blind, looks forward to my husband's afternoon nap with her. The kittens are still adapting to their new surroundings and adjusting to the varying reactions of the adult members of the feline family. They can be cuddly and sweet, but also have their active periods of play and wrestling.

And Bonnie and Clyde, our outside visitors, have been willingly coming in the basement each evening to spend the night, but are ready to go back outside after their morning feeding. They are showing more trust with both my husband and me, but still dart at the smallest movement or unfamiliar sound. I can pet Clyde (when he chooses to allow me to do it) and Bonnie will occasionally tolerate a quick hand down her back as she walks by.

My furry family fills my otherwise work-filled days with laughter and affection. For that, I am grateful not only this week but every week of the year.

Halo, Paddy's mother, is pictured above and below are photos of the rest of my faithful felines.     

Miss Paddington

Zoie Joy

London

Zander

Freya

Bonnie and Clyde


 Happy Thanksgiving!



*****************

NOW AVAILABLE!



Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery #7




It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially now that Caprice De Luca has wrapped up her holiday-themed staging gig at a stunning historic home in downtown Kismet, Pennsylvania. Behind all the red ribbon and glowing string lights, homeowners Chris and Sara Merriweather have it all. But Chris, a Vietnam vet who plays Santa every year at the community park, has been displaying strange behavior after a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

The joy of the season vanishes entirely when Chris is found murdered on Santa Lane, leaving behind his loyal malamute and lots of unfinished business. As Caprice uncovers hidden secrets in Santa's workshop, the pressure is on to catch the candy cane-wielding culprit--before she's next on a killer's deadly wish list . . .

SLAY BELLS RING on Amazon

SLAY BELLS RING on Barnes and Noble



*****************

Click on the link below to read an additional blog entry by Karen  
every Thursday on the Cozy Chicks blog




****************

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. This award-winning and bestselling author will have her 100th novel released in 2018.  At present she is working on two mystery series for Kensington Books--Caprice De Luca Home Staging cozies and Daisy's Tea Garden mysteries. From time to time, she also writes romance for Harlequin Special Edition.
Karen and Zander

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks and does watercolor paintings rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 




©2017 Karen Rose Smith

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dreams Do Come True--My Book Is A Movie by Karen Rose Smith




I couldn't be more excited.  When my editor at Harlequin told me that Brain Power producers had bought His Country Cinderella to make into a movie, A VERY COUNTRY CHRISTMAS, I couldn't believe it.  This was a dream come true.  During my entire twenty-five year career, I have dreamed of seeing my hero and heroine on the screen.  At first we didn't know if the project would go forward.  But then I received the script.

When a book is made into a movie, it's not exactly the same.  My hero and heroine have the same qualities they did in the book--compassion, integrity, and the ability to fall in love.  Jeannette, who is a single mom, has a little girl instead of a little boy.  (I think girls play better!)  Zane is still a country singer.  Several scenes are similar to the book's scenes.  However, this wasn't a holiday book and now it is.  And I love that because Christmas stories have that extra sparkle.








Of course, I googled the actors and actresses and found they had many credits. Greyston Holt is a Canadian actor, known for his role as Ray Prager Jr. in the TV series Durham County, as Emerson Hauser in the Fox series Alcatraz, and as Clayton Danvers in Space series Bitten.  He began playing the guitar in high school.







 Bea Santos is Jeannette, a single mom who acted in Murdoch Mysteries (2008) and Coconut Hero (2015), as well as Stockholm (2018).


Greg Vaughan who plays Billy, Zane's agent, was born in Texas.  He has acted in Malibu Shores, and Beverly Hills 90210.  He has played Dan Gordon on Charmed, as well as Diego on The Young and the Restless, the role of Lucky Spencer on General Hospital, and guest roles on Will and Grace.

Michelle Morgan who plays Zane's agent in the movie, is a favorite actress of mine best known from the Heartland series.

Deanna Carter is a country singer.  She plays Jolene, a good friend to Zane and Jeannette. Her voice brings Christmas magic to the movie.




The movie was shot in beautiful Alberta where the weather even cooperated and snowed at the proper time!



Dreams do come true!!!


Trailer for A VERY COUNTRY CHRISTMAS


*****************

NOW AVAILABLE!

Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery #7


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially now that Caprice De Luca has wrapped up her holiday-themed staging gig at a stunning historic home in downtown Kismet, Pennsylvania. Behind all the red ribbon and glowing string lights, homeowners Chris and Sara Merriweather have it all. But Chris, a Vietnam vet who plays Santa every year at the community park, has been displaying strange behavior after a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

The joy of the season vanishes entirely when Chris is found murdered on Santa Lane, leaving behind his loyal malamute and lots of unfinished business. As Caprice uncovers hidden secrets in Santa's workshop, the pressure is on to catch the candy cane-wielding culprit--before she's next on a killer's deadly wish list . . .

SLAY BELLS RING on Amazon

SLAY BELLS RING on Barnes and Noble


****************

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. This award-winning and bestselling author will have her 100th novel released in 2018.  At present she is working on two mystery series for Kensington Books--Caprice De Luca Home Staging cozies and Daisy's Tea Garden mysteries. From time to time, she also writes romance for Harlequin Special Edition.
Karen and Zander

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks and does watercolor paintings rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 




©2017 Karen Rose Smith