Halo's #Kittens Are One Year Old Today! by Karen Rose Smith



Mother's Day a year ago, we found a stray tortoiseshell cat sleeping in our backyard. We could tell she needed care and we began to feed her. After weeks of earning her trust and her decision to stay in our back yard, we took her to our veterinarian and learned she was pregnant. That was just the beginning of a wonderful journey with Halo.

I can't believe it's been a year!

Halo lived in my office for the last month of her pregnancy. We couldn't let her mix with our inside cats until she had her shots. (She couldn't have those until after the kittens were born.) She adjusted to confinement, realizing we were taking good care of her. She had digestive issues and had to eat every few hours.  On the morning of July 29, she delivered three kittens. We were told to let nature take it's course, but we had to intervene with helping to release the babies from their sacs and delivering a placenta with the aid of an emergency vet on the phone. With the 3rd kitten, the placenta wasn't expelled and we had to pack up Halo and the kittens and take them to our vet. Click HERE to read my complete blog about the kittens birth.

Paddy, Mason and Tia with Halo



But Halo was the most devoted momma cat ever. When we returned from the vet, she gathered her babies to her. We had to hand feed the first born, Miss Paddington, who had trouble nursing. By evening, however, all nursed. We named the babies Paddy, Tiara (Tia)--for the tiny tiara on her head--and Mason.






The Kittens at 6 Weeks
I detailed their progress each week on my blog.


Here are a few links:

The Kittens at 12 Days

The Kittens at 3 Weeks

The Kittens at 1 Month

Paddy Then





After talking to friends who had cared for momma cats and kittens, and reading as much as I could find on the subject, we decided to keep the kittens for at least 12 weeks.  They needed to learn skills from their mom as well as soak up all her love and care. Since I posted photos every day on my Facebook page, two friends asked about adopting Tia and Mason.  Paddy, because of the care we had given her, was close to our hearts.  We decided to keep her with Halo.

Paddy Now

Using a screen between rooms to let the new cat family get used to our inside cat family, we patiently let them get to know each other.  We unexpectedly lost one of our older cats--my soulmate cat Ebbie--and that loss hit hard.  Not only for me but for our two year old kitty Zoie who was in mourning too. Thank goodness we had decided to keep Paddy with Halo.  Paddy became the peacemaker, lover, and sweetheart.  She and Zoie connected right away.  So she was the first kitten to cross the barrier. Mason and Tia followed.  We were socializing everyone!

Now a year later, Mason and Tia are part of feline families in their forever homes. They made their transitions easily and got along with the other members of their cat and human family right away.  It was so hard to let them go.  But through photos sent by their adoptive moms, I can see how contented and happy they are.

Tia and Mason Then
Tia Now

Mason Now
Paddy and Halo still have an inseparable bond.  Paddy sleeps with Halo and cuddles with her.  They still wash each other.  Despite how much we handled Paddy, she's a sweetie but independent and not much of a cuddler...except with Halo.  Since she was spayed at nine months, however, she likes to be petted and brushed and will lay in our vicinity and keep company with us.  She's curious, independent and a hoot!  Everyday, she brings us laughter and smiles with her antics.  We love her to bits.

Halo and Paddy Cuddle
It's taken a year for our feline family to mesh in a comfortable way.  Halo is trusting and loving, transitioning from a cat who didn't know what furniture was to a feline who seeks our company every day and cuddles with us whenever she can.

Halo Today
Taking in a pregnant momma cat and caring for her kittens was a bigger undertaking than we ever imagined.  But it was a wonderful experience and a journey we will never forget.


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In my Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series, my sleuth Caprice takes in stray cats and dogs and finds them forever loving homes!


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

New Release--DRAPE EXPECTATIONS, book 4



Caprice De Luca's former client and now friend Ace Richland--an 80's rock star--asks her for a favor.  Can she quickly stage his girlfriend's house to sell?  Widow Alanna Goodwin, a transplanted Southern beauty, will be moving in with him!  Immediately Caprice realizes Alanna's southern charm can be turned on and off at will.  Caprice agrees to stage Alanna's Kismet antebellum-styled mansion for Ace's sake.  But she soon learns Alanna doesn't have a genuine love for her cat Mirabelle and also uncovers a plot her new client is hatching to sabotage Ace's comeback.  However, before she can tell Ace, Alanna is murdered and Ace is the prime suspect.  

As Caprice investigates, she learns Alanna had more secrets than pie safes.  With her Cocker Spaniel Lady by her side, she tracks down clues and adopts Alanna's cat.  In the midst of some of her own family upheaval--her uncle has moved in with her parents--she finds herself with a dilemma.  Grant Weatherford, her brother's law partner, advises Ace and reveals more of his past to her.  Seth Randolph, the doctor she dates, wants her to meet his family.  She must choose between them.

Danger stalks Caprice.  Will her refresher self-defense course save her life?  Only if she keeps her wits about her and Lady by her side.




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





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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 87th novel will be released in 2015.

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. 

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





©2015 Karen Rose Smith









Continue >>>

Release Day--DRAPE EXPECTATIONS #Cozy #Mystery by Karen Rose Smith




When I branched out from romance to mystery, I wasn't sure what would happen. Would I enjoy writing mysteries as much as bringing couples together for happily-ever-after?

The verdict is in--I love writing mysteries, putting a literary puzzle together, delving into a different type of research material in more depth, as well as adding a touch of romance. Of course, my sleuth will fall in love, find Mr. Right and have a bumpy time of doing it. I get the chance to delve into her history and relationships in a unique way in a series of mysteries, spreading her love story and conflicts throughout several books.

In my Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Series, my sleuth Caprice not only solves murder mysteries, but she also takes in stray animals which is one of my passions. We have four rescued cats and feed a regular stray. In the past, my husband and I have cared for an injured cat with FIV and provided shelters to help stray and feral cats survive winters. Caprice is my alter ego.

In addition to staging homes to sell for high-end clients--she uses unique themes and fantastic open houses catered by her sister--Caprice loves vintage fashion and retro music. (After all, I watched The Beatles perform at Dodger Stadium when I was 16!)

My fourth mystery, DRAPE EXPECTATIONS, is released today! It doesn't seem quite possible. All about a Southern beauty, a Persian cat and an 80s rock star legend, in DRAPE EXPECTATIONS Caprice also follows her heart and chooses her Mr. Right. Will it be handsome Dr. Seth Randolph? Or her brother's law partner Grant Weatherford?

It was hard to keep the secret, but I did it. Now you can solve the murder mystery puzzle, be part of the De Luca's large family, cook along with Caprice and enjoy original recipes, and watch Caprice find the love of her life.

Here's a brief recap:

Caprice De Luca's former client and now friend Ace Richland--an 80's rock star--asks her for a favor.  Can she quickly stage his girlfriend's house to sell?  Widow Alanna Goodwin, a transplanted Southern beauty, will be moving in with him!  Immediately Caprice realizes Alanna's southern charm can be turned on and off at will.  Caprice agrees to stage Alanna's Kismet antebellum-styled mansion for Ace's sake.  But she soon learns Alanna doesn't have a genuine love for her cat Mirabelle and also uncovers a plot her new client is hatching to sabotage Ace's comeback.  However, before she can tell Ace, Alanna is murdered and Ace is the prime suspect.  

As Caprice investigates, she learns Alanna had more secrets than pie safes.  With her Cocker Spaniel Lady by her side, she tracks down clues and adopts Alanna's cat.  In the midst of some of her own family upheaval--her uncle has moved in with her parents--she finds herself with a dilemma.  Grant Weatherford, her brother's law partner, advises Ace and reveals more of his past to her.  Seth Randolph, the doctor she dates, wants her to meet his family.  She must choose between them.

Danger stalks Caprice.  Will her refresher self-defense course save her life?  Only if she keeps her wits about her and Lady by her side.






Books 1, 2, and 3 are ON SALE at special discount prices for a limited time!




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 87th novel will be released in 2015.

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. 

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





©2015 Karen Rose Smith







Continue >>>

Cats This Week 7/24--#Feline Friday by Karen Rose Smith



The Smith felines spent this week resting up for next week's launch of DRAPE EXPECTATIONS. They know it will be a hectic week full of Facebook giveaways, my Facebook launch party on Tuesday, and prize mailings after the launch. Even Miss Paddington was a little subdued, although her mischievous side occasionally showed.

A curious Paddy examines tomatoes
brought in from the garden
Paddy "helped" prepare for lunch with a friend



Paddy shows her playful side to Zoie Joy
who is trying to decide if she wants to ignore
her or join in.

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The photos below are great examples of how a cat's eyes reflect their personality!

Youthful innocence
Compassion and
appreciation

Possessiveness and
Determination
Peacefulness and
contemplation
T

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Sunny stops to reflect on
his day's activities after
breakfast...or is that a
rabbit he sees?

And, of course, Halo slept through it all!


********************
In my Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series, my sleuth Caprice takes in stray cats and dogs and finds them forever loving homes!

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

Coming July 28--DRAPE EXPECTATIONS, book 4



Caprice De Luca's former client and now friend Ace Richland--an 80's rock star--asks her for a favor.  Can she quickly stage his girlfriend's house to sell?  Widow Alanna Goodwin, a transplanted Southern beauty, will be moving in with him!  Immediately Caprice realizes Alanna's southern charm can be turned on and off at will.  Caprice agrees to stage Alanna's Kismet antebellum-styled mansion for Ace's sake.  But she soon learns Alanna doesn't have a genuine love for her cat Mirabelle and also uncovers a plot her new client is hatching to sabotage Ace's comeback.  However, before she can tell Ace, Alanna is murdered and Ace is the prime suspect.  

As Caprice investigates, she learns Alanna had more secrets than pie safes.  With her Cocker Spaniel Lady by her side, she tracks down clues and adopts Alanna's cat.  In the midst of some of her own family upheaval--her uncle has moved in with her parents--she finds herself with a dilemma.  Grant Weatherford, her brother's law partner, advises Ace and reveals more of his past to her.  Seth Randolph, the doctor she dates, wants her to meet his family.  She must choose between them.

Danger stalks Caprice.  Will her refresher self-defense course save her life?  Only if she keeps her wits about her and Lady by her side.





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

STAGED TO DEATH, book 1




Caprice De Luca  stages houses for high-end clients. When she discovers a body in the castle-mansion she staged to sell and starts asking questions, she finds herself in danger. On the way to solving the murder, Caprice's large Italian family helps and hinders. She also finds romance with Dr. Seth Randolph. But does her brother's partner, attorney Grant Weatherford, care about her, too? Or is he just worried she'll get herself killed and her family will blame him?

Enjoy solving the mystery with Caprice, cook along with her, see her find homes for the stray animals she protects, be a part of the De Luca family...in STAGED TO DEATH.




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

DEADLY DECOR, book 2



Quiet Kismet, Pennsylvania, may look like any other small town, but as a home stager, Caprice De Luca can see behind closed doors--and it seems someone has designs on murder. . .Life is a full house for Caprice these days. She's dating, she's rescuing adorable cocker spaniels, and she's decorating the roomy interiors of Kismet's most well-heeled residents with fun fantasy themes. But she's worried about her pregnant sister. Bella's marriage is coming apart like a bad wallpaper job, and to make matters worse, she's decided to meet up with a former flame Bob Preston, a house painter Caprice frequently employs. When he's found dead in a pool of green paint swirling with blood, it's time for Caprice to stage an investigation. With all eyes trained on Bella's husband, Caprice shifts her attention from finding the perfect curtains to finding the perfect culprit. . .


DEADLY DECOR Barnes & Noble

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

GILT BY ASSOCIATION, book 3



Caprice De Luca's latest house staging is all about hearts, flowers, lace and chintz since Valentine's Day is around the corner.  She never expects her client to be murdered in the greenhouse the day of the open house.

With her six-month-old pup Lady by her side and her own love life in disarray, Caprice ferrets out clues from the victim's best friend, Caprice's mother, the housekeeper and a special male friend who insists his relationship with the victim was platonic.  However, as Caprice digs deeper, she finds the victim's past is filled with secrets that she kept from her husband for thirty years.

The past isn't merely history.  The present isn't always what it seems.  When hearts are involved, passion and even murder aren't far behind.




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




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 87th novel will be released in 2015.

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. 

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





©2015 Karen Rose Smith








Continue >>>

How #Family and Memories Fit into Karen Rose Smith's Cozy #Mysteries





One element that has always characterized my books is family relationships. Whether I'm writing the ultimate mystery or a romance, family trumps all.

There are many reasons for that.  Although I was an only child, my extended family was large.  My parents and I lived with my grandfather and aunt until I was five and then my parents built a house next door.  I ran between the houses as if they were both "home."  On summer mornings I can remember hearing my aunt sing while she made breakfast.  When I was home sick from school, I stayed with my aunt and grandfather until my parents got home. 

This is me playing outside my grandfather's house,
which is the model for Caprice's childhood  home
in my Caprice De Luca mystery series
The dining room table in my grandfather's
house ready for a family gathering
My grandfather cutting my hair in his
first floor barber shop
My paternal grandfather's house was on a corner lot. My neighborhood friends and I had the run of both properties to skate around, to ride bikes around, to pretend and imagine and create scenarios that we brought to life.  Sundays were usually spent with relatives. Decades old elms cascaded over park benches where my aunts and uncles would sit and talk.  My dad had nine brothers and sisters, so someone was always coming and going, bringing food, cooking food, laughing and enjoying a glass of wine.  My favorite cousin became a confidante as we grew older into teenage crushes, discussed favorite music and even wrote a script together.

On my mom's side of the family I had seven uncles and aunts. They were scattered a bit more so I didn't see them as often. But every Friday evening my parents and I would drive to my grandparents' house to pick up fresh food my grandmother had purchased for my mom at the farmer's market.  They lived in a row house across the alley from the market.  My grandfathers' barber shop was on the first floor.  The living room was on the second floor but we hardly ever used it because around the huge dining room table was where all the conversation swirled.  On those Sundays we weren't visiting with family next door, we drove to my other grandparents' house for supper.  This was life.  Everyone was connected.
My dad and our cocker Buffer outside the
house that is the model for Caprice's home.
My sleuth Caprice, along with her large Italian family, her love of animals, her vintage fashion look and penchant for anything retro brings back memories. Caprice's childhood home was the home I lived in until I was five. The cape cod that Caprice lives in was my home from age of five on. When I write about both houses, those words and urge me to relive the best times in my writing about Caprice and the De Luca family. Memories give depth to my descriptions and warm my heart.











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

Coming July 28--DRAPE EXPECTATIONS, book 4



Caprice De Luca's former client and now friend Ace Richland--an 80's rock star--asks her for a favor.  Can she quickly stage his girlfriend's house to sell?  Widow Alanna Goodwin, a transplanted Southern beauty, will be moving in with him!  Immediately Caprice realizes Alanna's southern charm can be turned on and off at will.  Caprice agrees to stage Alanna's Kismet antebellum-styled mansion for Ace's sake.  But she soon learns Alanna doesn't have a genuine love for her cat Mirabelle and also uncovers a plot her new client is hatching to sabotage Ace's comeback.  However, before she can tell Ace, Alanna is murdered and Ace is the prime suspect.  

As Caprice investigates, she learns Alanna had more secrets than pie safes.  With her Cocker Spaniel Lady by her side, she tracks down clues and adopts Alanna's cat.  In the midst of some of her own family upheaval--her uncle has moved in with her parents--she finds herself with a dilemma.  Grant Weatherford, her brother's law partner, advises Ace and reveals more of his past to her.  Seth Randolph, the doctor she dates, wants her to meet his family.  She must choose between them.

Danger stalks Caprice.  Will her refresher self-defense course save her life?  Only if she keeps her wits about her and Lady by her side.





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





My cozy mysteries--with irrepressible sleuth Caprice De Luca--include a murder to solve. But as Caprice finds the answer to each investigation, she takes in stray animals and finds homes for them, stages houses, spends time with her large Italian family and cooks. She also must solve her own romantic dilemma--choosing Mr. Right. Readers will find recipes along with love and caring in each novel. 

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


STAGED TO DEATH, book 1




Caprice De Luca  stages houses for high-end clients. When she discovers a body in the castle-mansion she staged to sell and starts asking questions, she finds herself in danger. On the way to solving the murder, Caprice's large Italian family helps and hinders. She also finds romance with Dr. Seth Randolph. But does her brother's partner, attorney Grant Weatherford, care about her, too? Or is he just worried she'll get herself killed and her family will blame him?

Enjoy solving the mystery with Caprice, cook along with her, see her find homes for the stray animals she protects, be a part of the De Luca family...in STAGED TO DEATH.




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

DEADLY DECOR, book 2



Quiet Kismet, Pennsylvania, may look like any other small town, but as a home stager, Caprice De Luca can see behind closed doors--and it seems someone has designs on murder. . .Life is a full house for Caprice these days. She's dating, she's rescuing adorable cocker spaniels, and she's decorating the roomy interiors of Kismet's most well-heeled residents with fun fantasy themes. But she's worried about her pregnant sister. Bella's marriage is coming apart like a bad wallpaper job, and to make matters worse, she's decided to meet up with a former flame Bob Preston, a house painter Caprice frequently employs. When he's found dead in a pool of green paint swirling with blood, it's time for Caprice to stage an investigation. With all eyes trained on Bella's husband, Caprice shifts her attention from finding the perfect curtains to finding the perfect culprit. . .


DEADLY DECOR Barnes & Noble

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

GILT BY ASSOCIATION, book 3



Caprice De Luca's latest house staging is all about hearts, flowers, lace and chintz since Valentine's Day is around the corner.  She never expects her client to be murdered in the greenhouse the day of the open house.

With her six-month-old pup Lady by her side and her own love life in disarray, Caprice ferrets out clues from the victim's best friend, Caprice's mother, the housekeeper and a special male friend who insists his relationship with the victim was platonic.  However, as Caprice digs deeper, she finds the victim's past is filled with secrets that she kept from her husband for thirty years.

The past isn't merely history.  The present isn't always what it seems.  When hearts are involved, passion and even murder aren't far behind.




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




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 87th novel will be released in 2015.

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. 

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





©2015 Karen Rose Smith






Continue >>>