#Feline Attention Catchers--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith



Summertime provides the opportunity to spend more leisure time outdoors. I love a quiet evening sitting on the patio and enjoying a light breeze while sipping a glass of lemonade. Butterflies dancing in the warm afternoon sun add beauty to any summer garden. The sounds of birds in the garden and the buzz of the hummingbirds as they skip from one flower to another are soothing after a long day of writing and editing.  But these summer mainstays are also attention-getting distractions for the outside cats. This week I watched Bonnie chase up a tree after a chirping bird with Clyde sitting at the base of the tree observing her antics.  I also watched Bonnie as she discovered one of the first butterflies of the season as it fluttered in the garden. Fascinated and curious, she assumed the crouch/attack position and waited for the perfect moment, soon taking a giant leap into the zinnia bed after the yellow-winged monarch. 

Unfortunately, we sometimes take the outdoors inside with us after an outside jaunt. Pesky flies seem to know when we open a door and buzz right through even the smallest opening. The buzz puts Paddy and Zoie on instant alert and a chase usually ensues until the intruder has been subdued and disposed of. Paddy always insists on seeing the evidence of the insect's demise before she resumes her usual indoor activities. One of this week's chases took Paddy to high places she doesn't normally climb--like on top of the bedroom chest of drawers.   

Other animals are also a feline attention getter. One afternoon Paddy had settled on her fleece steps at the French doors. On closer examination, I spotted Clyde, one of our outside visitors, sitting on the deck. There was much less commotion with this visit than with a simple little fly. Zoie and Paddy also enjoy watching birds at the feeder on the deck. They send off a funny little clicking noise to signal that they have spotted a winged visitor. 

Another afternoon, I noticed that Bonnie and Clyde were spending an unusual amount of time at the outside feeder on the patio. After they relented their vigilant watch, I tilted up the feeder only to find a chipmunk hiding under it out of reach of cat claws. A little nudge sent him on his way through the garden to safety.

Anything new or out of place in the house also immediately captures our felines' attention. The new cat condo was no sooner out of the box, than Zoie was perched on its shelf, staking claim to her new perch. And interestingly enough, Zoie has maintained that claim and spends a lot of time napping on the condo and using it to jump to the table for her feedings.
We can spend a lot of money on cat toys, but often the simplest things attract our felines' attention--the box a new delivery arrives in, a milk jug cap, a tin foil ball, a simple piece of ribbon. Just as we are creatures of habit, so too are our furry friends. They enjoy the comfortable and instantly notice the unfamiliar. Sometimes these distractions are long lasting, other times short-lived. And for us, they are just a reminder to appreciate the little things in life, to explore the unfamiliar and to deal with unexpected interruptions and then go about our daily routines as if nothing had ever happened.  

Guess who Clyde is waiting for! A simple
little meow from Bonnie will capture his
attention and send him immediately to her
side whether it be for their evening meal or
a simple tousle in the shade of the
silver maple tree.
 ***************
 In my romance KIT AND KISSES, my heroine grows a 
butterfly garden. This garden becomes a bond between her and the hero's special needs sister.
This is the first book in my FINDING MR. RIGHT series. 




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

Karen and Paddy
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. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks 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. 



    
    
Continue >>>

Quick Summer Meal--Flatbread #Pizza #Recipe by Karen Rose Smith



In the summer, I look for quick meals to make, not only for convenience but so I don't heat up the kitchen for too long. This week at the grocery store, I picked up a pack of thin crust flatbreads.  A six pack--size 12 x 4 each--was on special. It was available in plain, wheat, and garlic.  I bought the plain. Our toppings jazz it up.

I'd picked up fresh local tomatoes at the nearby Amish market and used those, along with turkey pepperoni, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and spices. Here is the recipe I use to make a quick, healthier version of pizza.

Warm the six flatbread pieces for five minutes in a 375 degree oven on 2 cookie sheets.  Then...

3 lbs. tomatoes, sliced VERY thin  Place on a platter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons sugar (You can let off the sugar for a healthier topping.)

1 pack turkey pepperoni (I use Hormel, 6 oz. pack)

5 tablespoons oregano or more if you like spicier

1 cup Parmesan cheese

16 ounces of grated mozzarella cheese (I use part skim.)

After the flatbreads have warmed five minutes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Spread the tomato slices on top.  Sprinkle with oregano.  Cover the tomatoes with the pepperoni, then spread on the mozzarella cheese!  Bake in 375 degree oven for ten minutes.  The edges of the flatbread should be crispy.

I hope you enjoy it!

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

NOW AVAILABLE!


THE WEDDING PROMISE

Book 8, SEARCH FOR LOVE Series

Sequel to HER SISTER



Beth Crandall has known trauma. Kidnapped from her birth family when she was three, abandoned at a mall by her kidnapper a few months later, traumatic amnesia has prevented memories from plaguing her as she was adopted and ushered into a "normal" life. But a twist of fate reunited her with her birth family recently and now she's attempting to move forward in a way she couldn't before.

As a teenager, Beth's face was scarred in an attack at a group home where her best friend lived. Now Beth is seeing a plastic surgeon, Dr. Sam Benedict, so he can remove the scar. Sam volunteers his time to the foundation Kids Cause which sends doctors all over the world to help children. Sam, who came from an abusive home, feels children need to be listened to and fixed. He and Beth connect on a deep level from the first moment they meet.

Beth has believed a romantic relationship is impossible for her given her background. But during integration into her birth family and throughout a search for her teenage best friend, Sam remains by her side. He helps to heal more than the scar on her face. Neither of them realize that Beth's search for her friend with the help of psychic Gillian Bradley (continuing character from other SEARCH FOR LOVE books) will land them in a fight for their lives.


THE WEDDING PROMISE is also available in print and audio book formats
  


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

Karen and Paddy
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. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks 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. 



Continue >>>

Adopted by #Felines--Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith




This week, I found a quote by T.S. Eliot that I thought nicely accompanied the photos that I captured of the Smith felines:  When a cat adopts you there is nothing to be done about it except to put up with it until the wind changes. 
Zoie as a kitten
While all of our furry family are rescues, Zoie Joy and Halo are the two who seemed to "adopt" us.  As Eliot suggests, when cats decide where they want to make a forever home, little can be done but submit to their desires.  After all, how can you turn away a one and a half pound kitten crying in a bush outside your back door? 
A spindly young Zoie
Four years ago, my husband was working in the garden when he heard the first meows and tried to ignore the cries until they remained persistent and he had no choice but to check who was sending out "adoption" signals. Just holding the dehydrated and hungry little black ball of fur in my hands the first time was all I needed to know that the wind would never change and that Zoie Joy had chosen the right "forever" home. Now fourteen pounds later, she is my companion, bed mate and truly the "Joy" of my life.

Zoie Joy today


Halo on our patio
On Mother's Day two years ago, Halo suddenly appeared on our patio while my husband and I were looking at the spring flowers that were bursting into bloom.  Again, I immediately knew that we had been adopted. It took a little while to gain her trust enough to scoop her up for a visit to the vet and an FIV check to determine if we could bring her inside. In the course of the exam, the vet informed us that Halo was pregnant. She also had a colitis issue, but it was obvious we had been "adopted." 
Halo's kitten Miss Paddington
The wind has not changed since the day we brought her in, nursed her back to health and supported her through a pregnancy that produced three beautiful kittens, one of which we adopted. Halo's road to good health was a long and rocky one, but today she is a sweet and constant companion. She knows when I need comfort and spends most of her day next to me as I work.



Paddy and Halo today

So, T.S. Eliot wisely captured the essence of being a cat owner. But whether our furry friends adopt us or we adopt them, it is more than obvious that the wind will never change while they are members of our furry family.
******************


The first book in my Caprice De Luca mystery series
--my sleuth takes in stray animals and finds them homes--is on sale.  It's the Kindle Monthly Deal at $1.99. You can find the whole series on its own page at Amazon. Link below.

Staged To Death
Deadly Decor
Gilt By Association
Drape Expectations
Silence of the Lamps
Shades of Wrath--December 2016



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

Karen and Paddy
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. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks 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. 



    
    
Continue >>>

Rod McKuen Inspired #Feline Photos--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith






My teenage years were influenced by the music and the literary mood of the 60s.  The Monkees and the Beatles were my "social media," albeit without a tablet or computer. Teen magazines were the Facebook of the time and LP albums the playlists of favorite music. Rod McKuen was a familiar poet and singer-songwriter during the late 60s. His poetry explored themes of love, the natural world and spirituality. Since I believe having a cat or cats embodies all of these themes, I am going to share my feline pictures this week accompanying a very appropriate Rod McKuen quote: "Cats have it all--admiration, an endless sleep and company only when they want it."

"Cats have it all--


admiration, 

It's easy to admire Halo's beautiful colors.
Every new position she chooses highlights a
different spectrum of color. She never appears
the same in any of her photos.
Paddy's unique face makes her very
photogenic and her sweet personality
reflects her natural beauty. 

Zoie's striking features have always been her
beautiful eyes and her white tuxedo markings.

an endless sleep 

Halo is a beautiful sleeper. She assumes relaxed
positions and emits a peaceful resting aura.
I only wish that I knew her secret!
 
Zoie, on the other hand, settles next to me on the bed
and rolls on her back for her before-sleep tummy massage.

and company only when they want it."

Strays who visit us regularly twice a day,
Bonnie and Clyde spend a lot of time together,
But they also go their separate ways throughout
the day.  They always reconnect before breakfast
and evening feedings. They accept my company at a distance
at these feeding times, then depart, sometimes together.
Other times, they head off in opposite directions. 

Halo and Paddy enjoy their together times, but
Paddy has been spending more alone time on
her favorite office chairs.

Zoie and Halo often compete for their preferred
spots on the bed. Sometimes they eye each other,
ready to defend their spot. Other times they seem
to agree to settle near each other, accepting
the fact that they need to share my attention. 

In this one small quote, Rod McKuen seemed to capture the essence of being a cat...and owning one. Enjoy all of your special moments with your furry friends!


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




The first book in my Caprice De Luca mystery series
--my sleuth takes in stray animals and finds them homes--is on sale.  It's the Kindle Monthly Deal at $1.99. You can find the whole series on its own page at Amazon. Link below.

Staged To Death
Deadly Decor
Gilt By Association
Drape Expectations
Silence of the Lamps
Shades of Wrath--December 2016



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

Karen and Paddy
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. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks 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. 

Continue >>>

Visiting Our Grand #Kitties--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith



We have just returned from a trip half way across the country to visit our son and our grand kitties. While it is tough to leave our own feline crew behind, we were fortune to have a wonderful house sitters, my bff and her daughter, who tried to keep Paddy, Halo, Zoie and London on their regular schedules. Our felines seemed to have enjoyed the extra attention they received, although it didn't take Halo and Zoie long to reclaim their spots next to me on the bed when we returned.

Willow

Our son's felines, also rescues, seemed glad to see us.  Since they are home alone when our son is at work, Joey and Willow enjoyed the extra activity and soon settled for their afternoon naps despite the interruption to their schedule.  Willow is the social one and quickly settled next to my husband or I for a massage. My cozy mystery sleuth Caprice De Luca's cat Sophia is modeled after Willow. She is a beautiful long-haired calico and is every bit as lovable in real life as Sophia is in my mystery series. She loved our shoes and followed me around the house, even into the shower! 


Joey
Fifteen-year-old Joey, on the other hand, is much more independent. As soon as I settled on the living room recliner, she jumped on my lap for a quick appraisal and a short massage. Then she was off to her special chair for to watch the proceedings on her terms. 

Joey has had a lot of medical problems this past year, but seems to be doing well. She is our son's soulmate and a simple meow will signal him to vacate the chair he is sitting on for her to settle for her afternoon nap. She was glad for our company but preferred the passive role of observer rather than actively engaging us for attention. She did immediately take to the catnip turtle I had tucked in my suitcase for her. 

Willow inspected our bag before we left! But I don't think she was considering coming along. She likes her life with her sister and cat dad.  Cats might like company and some extra attention.  But they also enjoy, like humans, getting back to their regular routine.



May all your travels be happy ones!


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

You can read about Caprice, her pets, her family
 and her penchant for solving murders in 
the Caprice De Luca Mystery series.




Staged To Death
Deadly Decor
Gilt By Association
Drape Expectations
Silence of the Lamps
Shades of Wrath--December 2016



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

Karen and Paddy
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. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks 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. 

Continue >>>