#Cats This Week--Life "as usual"--8/28 by Karen Rose Smith





Life proceeded "as usual" this week for the Smith feline gang.  For Paddy, "as usual" means What can I get into next?   For Halo "as usual" means Who wants to take a nap with me?  For Zoie "as usual" means When do I get my tummy rub?   For Sunnybud "as usual" means Do I wander off for some grand adventure or do I stick around for a comfy nap in the sun room?  For London "as usual" means Do I afford them the pleasure of my company or do I hibernate upstairs for some peace and quiet?  The circumstances and situations may change weekly, but each furry face has its own agenda and somehow the household falls into a unique yet compatible array of personalities.  And somewhere in between there's a little room for me and my hubby!

Paddy "helps" set the table for company.



Paddy likes to sleep on the bath mat under the towel rack, but her curiosity got the better of her and she decided to "open" the cupboard and explore its contents.  These pictures caught her in the act.  The innocent I didn't mean to do it expression almost makes me want to believe her!

Paddy hides behind the kitchen
door, waiting for one of her
furry sisters to walk by so she
can jump out and scare her.
 

Paddy and Halo snuggle!
Zoie joins Halo for their afternoon nap. 




Zoie waits on the ottoman for Paddington to join her for some morning exercise. 

Sunnybud settles down for a morning nap after breakfast and a massage.
Sunnybud takes the "scenic route" through the field at the end of the yard
rather than walking on the neighbors' nicely manicured lawns.

And, of course, Halo sleeps through it all.  Oops, that's London taking the nap this week!! 


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

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

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

NOW AVAILABLE
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. . .





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




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 >>>

The #Butterfly Garden as #Therapy and Relaxation by Karen Rose Smith






Anyone who knows me understands my love of gardens.  Each year the growing season brings beauty and wholesome produce into my life.  Years ago after back surgery, I began writing to escape pain.  Since then I've found many ways to manage it besides writing.  Life is all about managing, isn't it?  From work...to time with family and friends...to Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and daily life crises.  Relaxation is the key for me.

One of my favorite relaxation pastimes is growing, then appreciating our butterfly garden around our patio.  If you've ever watched butterflies cavort in the sunshine, you know the beauty of the sight.  The season began with dark pink cone flowers attracting butterflies.  Next the purple butterfly bush developed full blooms that drew these wondrous creatures.  Now zinnias are becoming bushier.  There are pink, purple and yellow pompom zinnias as well as regular blooms in all shades of pink, yellow and orange.  The fuchsia phlox are also a big hit with these fragile, beautiful creatures.

In my romance KIT AND KISSES, KIT not only is a cat mom, but she also likes to garden and has planted a butterfly garden.  Little does she know that her garden and the butterflies can create a bond between her and the hero's special needs sister. It might even lead her to happily-ever-after.

Here are a few photos I shot.  Photography has also become a hobby because I want to capture the beauty and memories for as long as possible...the butterflies, the flowers, the summer.






At night when the butterflies are resting,
the patio is lit by my solar butterfly.
Miss Paddington enjoys the butterflies
from the living room window.






















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

In my romance KIT AND KISSES, my heroine has a butterfly garden that forms a bond between her and the hero's special needs sister!

Now on sale at $.99 for a limited time on Amazon!


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



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 89th 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. 


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





©2015 Karen Rose Smith
Continue >>>

Cats This Week--The Eyes Have it! 8/21 by Karen Rose Smith





And the winner of Miss/Mr. Photogenic is...

It was a tie!  Although all the furry faces received votes, Miss Paddington and Sunnybud came out on top.  It seems Paddy received her votes because of her beautiful colors and silly antics.  Sunny's votes were votes of the heart...everyone wanting the handsome guy to have a home and be safe.

It seems that in the photos this week, the eyes tell it all: 

Was that a bug I just saw?
Can you massage me
some more before I leave?

Where's Paddy?  Is it safe to come out?
 
Don't I look beautiful on pink?
This week, Hubby removed plants that had been harvested from the garden and began preparing the feral shelter for Sunnybud and any other feral cat who will be seeking shelter during the cold winter months. The igloo will be packed around the outside with straw bales and equipped with a heat pad to provide warmth and comfort. Sunny has already examined it and seems to have given his approval. He also continued to "scope" out the new igloo in the sun room.  Hopefully he will take advantage of its warmth when the temperatures dip.


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!

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

NOW AVAILABLE
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. . .




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



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 >>>

Nikki's Baked #Tomatoes #Recipe from DEADLY DECOR by Karen Rose Smith




This time of year we're harvesting tomatoes from our garden faster than we can eat them in salads. I freeze a batch every week too. But this is a casserole I created (recipe is in Caprice De Luca mystery #2, DEADLY DECOR) just for this time of year. If you like the taste of pizza and would appreciate a dish a little healthier without the bread, this one is for you!



Nikki's Baked Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prep time—15 to 20 minutes  (This always depends on how much you enjoy the process of handling ingredients.  Some cooks rush through prep, others put on music and enjoy chopping and measuring!)
Bake time—60 minutes
Serves 6-8 as a side dish

2-1/2 lbs tomatoes–washed, cored and sliced about 1/4" thick (I like to use large tomatoes)
1 medium onion thinly sliced 1/8" thick
2 teaspoons oregano (You will use half and then the other half later.)
1 clove garlic, grated
E-BOOK NOW ON SALE $1.99

1 tablespoon sugar (You will use half and then the other half later.)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (You will use half and then the other half later.)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (You will use half and then the other half later.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz. bag)
1/3 cup Italian style bread crumbs (I use Progresso.)

Layer 1/2 of the sliced tomatoes in 8"x12" glass casserole.  Spread 1/2 of onion over first half. Then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon oregano, all of the grated garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Layer remainder of tomatoes and onion.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon of oregano.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cover with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Remove casserole from oven.  Carefully spoon out excess liquid.  Sprinkle with remaining parmesan, then mozzarella cheese and bread crumbs.  Put the casserole back in oven at 350 degrees uncovered for 20 more minutes until bread crumbs are toasty brown.

After removing, allow the dish to sit for five minutes before serving.


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

NOW AVAILABLE
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. . .




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



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 >>>