June 19 is my parents' anniversary. Four years ago on their anniversary date, we found Zoie Joy in a dwarf redbud bush in our back yard, dehydrated, hungry, lost and needing a home. She weighed a pound and a half. That day and since, I felt my parents gave me this wonderful gift. She's a sweetie and every day tells us in some way that she appreciates being in our home and being loved.
Zoie's integration into our feline family was a gradual one. At the time we had two twelve year old cats, Ebbie and London. With Zoie's arrival, London changed from a grumpy older cat to a buddy of Zoie's and although London now spends most of her day in an upstairs bedroom, she and Zoie still like playing "catch the laser light" together. Zoie seems to be the mediator when London shows her disapproval of our other felines. Ebbie, our other twelve-year-old, was struggling with arthritis in her back and was leading a very still and inactive life. With Zoie's arrival, Ebbie became more alert, more active and seemed much happier, even though her little "sister" pestered her. Now and then she would search for a quiet spot to escape Zoie's kitten antics.
Two years ago we brought Halo, a pregnant stray, into the house and quarantined her in my office. Zoie lost her sleeping quarters and some of her other favorite daytime spots like the table in front of the office window. A few months later, we lost Ebbie and once again Zoie's world was rattled. Ebbie had been my constant companion and together Zoie and I absorbed the shock of losing her. We began to develop a special bond and while no one could replace the bond that Ebbie and I shared, slowly Zoie began to nap in some of Ebbie's spots and now sleeps with me every night and is by my side most of every day. She is gentle, kind and loving. She is a comfort when I'm feeling down and, true to her name, a "joy" to have by my side.
After Ebbie passed and Zoie was in mourning too, it seemed like the right time to integrate Zoie, Halo and Halo's kittens. We found forever homes for two of the kittens, Mason and Tia. Zoie immediately accepted Miss Paddington, Halo's first-born kitten, into her world. The two of them often play together, tussle in the sheets when I'm changing the bed and chase each other through the house. For a long while, Halo was wary of Zoie's motives and very protective of her kitten. She would instantly go on alert when Zoie and Paddy were together. Slowly, Halo is becoming more accepting of Zoie and even sleeps in close proximity to her on the bed. They still have an occasional sisterly tiff, but are learning how to share our love and attention.
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.
|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.