Mason, Tia and Paddington #Kitties at 22 Weeks--Look How They've Grown! by Karen Rose Smith







Doing updates on Halo's kittens is always a pleasure.  My readers enjoy them.  This week they will be 22 weeks old! Teenagers in cat terms.

Mason and his brother
Mason was the most rambunctious of the kittens. He meowed first.  He wouldn't let our two year old cat Zoie ignore him. He convinced her to play when we finally let them roam together after Tia left for her forever home.
Mason's family--a brother and two sisters
Mason and his brother




 Mason's mom says he's a handful but makes them laugh often.  His dad told me one of his favorite games is to play in the bathtub with a ping pong ball.  Mason and his older cat sibling George are fast friends, sleeping together and playing together.  Two other female cats are learning that they can't ignore their youngest brother.


Tia


Tia is doing great, too.  So well loved.  She's a princess with two older males who let her pretty much do what she wants! She cuddles with her mom and dad and still likes to bite toes.  This is her adorable holiday photo! She is a beauty.

Halo and Paddington

Paddington was just as active as Mason but a bit quieter.  Even before Halo--Mason, Paddington and Tia's mom--was integrated into the rest of our cat family, we let Paddington meet Zoie.  Zoie's older sister Ebbie had recently passed on and Zoie was having a grief response.  After she met Paddington, I could tell she was better.  We would just let Paddington with her for short spurts--not knowing how Zoie would react.  But Paddington was respectful of her and helped Zoie over her loss.  Now Paddy and Zoie play hide and seek, chase and snooze a few feet apart.
Paddington

Paddy is still very much a mommy's girl.  She's beginning to roam on her own more and sometimes will settle with me and Zoie instead of napping with her mom.  She's a little squirt sometimes, climbing on top of the flat screen TV like a tightrope walker, but most of the time she likes to play on brown wrapping paper and chase ping pong balls.
Paddy, Halo and Zoie

These kittens were a gift that added so much joy to our lives.  We're thankful to Halo for finding us.







My sleuth Caprice takes in stray animals and finds them loving homes. The first two books in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series (Amazon Kindle format) are on sale at a discounted price right now!


Book 1, STAGED TO DEATH (Kindle version), 
is now $2.99 





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Book 2, DEADLY DECOR (Kindle version),
is on sale for $1.99.











©2014 Karen Rose Smith


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#Mysteries On Sale on Amazon #Kindle by Karen Rose Smith



If you like my cozy mysteries, you'll like this sale. If you love animals. enjoy situations with a large family, and are interested in new recipes to try, my Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Series is for you! The first two books, STAGED TO DEATH and DEADLY DECOR, are on sale now on Amazon Kindle.

Caprice is 32, a woman who likes vintage fashion and is a stray animal magnet, according to her sister Bella. She takes in strays and finds them loving homes while working with high-end clients to come up with unique themes to use in staging their property. The aim--to sell their house quickly. When the interior decorating market took a downturn in difficult economic times, Caprice was flexible enough to reinvent her home decorating business. With the support of her large Italian family--two sisters Nikki and Bella, a brother Vince, her parents Fran and Nick De Luca and her Nana Celia--she has made a name for herself in her profession. Friends and family are everything to her. And when trouble finds them, Caprice doesn't hesitate to help, even if that means solving a murder!

The Caprice De Luca series includes mystery, dogs, cats, recipes...and more!

Right now, the Kindle version of the first two books in the series are ON SALE!  Take advantage of this sale to become involved in the Caprice De Luca cozy mystery series...and become part of the De Luca family.


Book 1, STAGED TO DEATH (Kindle version), 
is now $2.99 





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Book 2, DEADLY DECOR (Kindle version),
is on sale for $1.99.






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Book 3, GILT BY ASSOCIATION, will be available 
February 1.





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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.  






©2014 Karen Rose Smith



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What Says #Christmas To You? by Karen Rose Smith




Holiday preparations can be frantic. Some years Thanksgiving and Christmas creep up on me until I realize time is short to choose presents, wrap them, bake and write my quota a day too. I find myself going through the motions some years until a particular Christmas tradition captures my attention and I stop to appreciate the season and all it means.


 
This year, Idina Menzel's Christmas CD hooked me into feeling the season. Once I listened to it, cookie baking took on a new fervor and more love went into each batch I mixed up. Since this is the first time our adopted cats Halo and Paddington heard music, it was fun to watch their reactions. When I sang along they might have thought I was another cat meowing! But eventually they realized music was just part of the preparations and they should sit on the rug and enjoy it rather than running from it.

I try to buy presents all year so I can choose the right gifts for friends and family. I like to wrap leisurely too, so I can enjoy the process.

When
the final package is mailed, I feel like Santa Claus. Watching close one's eyes light up or smiles break across their faces says "Christmas" to me.

Most of all family flying in for Christmas is what the holiday is about for us. Wreaths, shiny balls and Christmas carols pale in comparison to wrapping my arms around a loved one.

What says "Christmas" to you?







                                                            JAKE'S BRIDE on Amazon

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Halo's Kitten Paddington Turns Five Months Old Today by Karen Rose Smith





Miss Paddington -- Our Christmas Gift

Paddington is five months old today! She is friendly, happy go lucky and wants to be friends with everyone, cat or human. She especially loves to play. Each morning I lay out brown wrapping paper that came packed with cat food. She romps in it, sometimes with her mom Halo joining in. Lately, she is spending a lot of time watching the birds outside the windows. When she gets bored with that, she and our two-year-old cat Zoie play hide and seek with the bedspread hem (when Zoie isn't napping!).

Zoie and Paddy share a special moment.


Paddy and Halo share a hug.




















Halo is settling into our home after six months as if she finally realizes she belongs here. She seems to be able to accept affection more easily and purrs when we pet her. She and Paddington still have a tight bond. They snuggle and sleep together. But Paddington is spending more time apart from her mom, too. Paddy is our early Christmas gift that we'll cherish for years to come.


                                        














©2014 Karen Rose Smith













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New Release FOLLOWING HIS HEART by Donna Fasano Hosted by Karen Rose Smith





Following His Heart
by Donna Fasano
Series: Ocean City Boardwalk, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 12, 2014



Sara Carson is a 30-something widow with a busy life. Two fun-loving best friends, a caring mom who needs her, and a thriving sweet shop. What more could a woman want? But when the ancient plumbing in her shop springs a leak and a gorgeous, dark-eyed stranger rushes to her rescue, hilarity unfolds—and Sara quickly sees exactly what she’s been missing.

Something most peculiar draws Landon Richards to Ocean City, Maryland—and to the lovely Sara. This woman touches his heart like no other, and the two of them explore the heady attraction that pulses between them. But haunting dreams have a way of encroaching on reality, and the strange phenomenon that brings these two together will also threaten to tear them apart.

This is the first book in the Ocean City Boardwalk Series, where life for three enterprising women, Sara, Heather, and Cathy, isn't just fun in the sun—love is waiting on those sandy shores!





USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano has written over 30 romance and women's fiction books that have sold 4 million copies worldwide. Her books have won numerous awards and have been published in nearly 2 dozen languages.


 






©2014 Karen Rose Smith






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Peanut Butter Blossom Holiday #Cookies by Karen Rose Smith



I baked our first holiday favorite cookies today--Peanut Butter Blossoms. What better combination than peanut butter and chocolate buds? They're pretty, too, as well as delicious. This is a small batch--about 30 cookies. Perfect for any family or gathering. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

PEANUT BUTTER BLOSSOM COOKIES

36 chocolate buds--I used Wilbur's because I didn't have to unwrap! I use a mix of dark and milk chocolate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons granulated sugar separate from above for rolling cookie balls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I line the cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Stir and set aside. In a large mixer bowl beat the shortening and peanut butter with an electric mixer until well-blended. Add 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla and beat until well blended. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture on low speed until it's combined.

Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. When you remove the cookies from the oven, immediately set chocolate bud into the middle of the cookie. Cookies will make blossom shape. Remove the cookies with a spatula to a wire rack to cool completely. They take longer to cool than most cookies because the chocolate softens in the warm cookie and has to harden again before storing.

Makes about 30-36 cookies.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Email me at karen@karenrosesmith.com if you'd like to sign up for my newsletter. My January issue of IN TOUCH will have an original cookie recipe for my readers as well as cute kitty photos!

©2014 Karen Rose Smith



                              



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