Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Most of my blogs about Zoie, the kitten we rescued this summer, have been the story of what's happened since we adopted her and she adopted us.  And I'll continue with that in upcoming weeks.  But this week,  for Thanksgiving, I just have to blog how thankful we are that we found her and she found us.

So here are some of the reasons we are thankful for Zoie Joy:

My husband retired this year and it's been an adjustment!  As a writer I've been used to being alone all day and just talking to our cats London and Ebbie.  But Zoie has made this transition easier.  Taking care of her has bonded us in a way we'd forgotten about when our son was small.  Nuturing and sharing love has brought about renewal.  We have a common goal, a being to care for togetehr, a reason to enjoy each day more fully.

We have to thank Zoie for the many belly laughs--downright tear-rolling, can you believe she's doing that? kind of comedic entertainment.  Maybe you have to love animals to appreciate kitty antics, but smiling and laughing is great for the heart and soul.  From Zoie playing like a little imp with London to her new pastime of  watching TV, we're amused too many times to count!

Ebbie and London want to thank Zoie for their new lease on life.  They are more active again and seem in better health.  Maybe they're laughing under those whiskers, too.

I'm thankful that spending time petting and nurturing Zoie seems to relax me in a way nothing else can.  I heard somewhere that petting an animal lowers blood pressure.  I know I'm more calm and peaceful after she falls asleep in my lap or when she looks up at me with those big golden eyes.  And whether my husband will admit it or not, I think the same is true for him.

I've got to thank Zoie for making me feel like a mom again.  Our son is grown and more than half a country away.  Caring for a baby kitten definitely brought out my motherly instincts again.  Nurturing Zoie has brought back happy memories of the times when our son was two and we adopted a kitten who became his playmate, when we brought home Ebbie and London, when we watched all of their personalities develop as they became integral members of the family.

I have so much to be thankful and grateful for this year, not the least of which is a black kitten with tuxedo markings who has a hold on my heart.

Happy Thanksgiving!

©2012 Karen Rose Smith

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ALWAYS HER COWBOY (Holiday Edition) on Amazon 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Romance Giveaway by Karen Rose Smith

Family and friends joined us this weekend for an early Thanksgiving celebration. I like sharing the season with my readers. I'm so grateful for a home and heat and family, friends and pets that bring us love and joy. So in honor of the holiday season TOYS AND BABY WISHES is my giveaway to you on Amazon for a limited time--Sunday until Thursday. It's a contemporary romance with a Christmas theme. For Josh and Lexa, love is just a jingle bell away!

I hope you enjoy it and that this romance puts you in the mood to enjoy every precious moment of the holidays.


                                                     TOYS AND BABY WISHES Giveaway on Amazon

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

RESCUING A KITTEN, Part 9, Zoie and London's friendship


In the last blog, I wrote about training a kitten.  We've been loving and training Zoie Joy since we rescued her last summer.  She's a smart kitty, maybe because of her hunter instincts.  Although her mommy took good care of her, taught her the basics and weaned her, we believe Zoie was living in the wild and got separated from her family in the wild.

Training Zoie not to bite and scratch went well with constant reinforcement and a resolute "no."  Some cats recoil and stop unwanted behaviors when their owner uses a water spray bottle as negative reinforcement.  That didn't faze Zoie in the least!  Maybe she was used to rain.  If you remember, when we bathed her, she didn't struggle at all and the bath went smoothly.  But other training didn't happen as we'd hoped concerning integrating her with London, our big gray female tabby and Ebbie, another kitty rescued eleven years ago who owns my heart.  Ebbie and I have a special bond.

Once we went through a few weeks of partial integration, we began letting the three of them relate during the day.  Zoie went back to my office and her safe places there to spend the night.  We created a routine with her.  As my husband finished some nighttime chores, I'd toss colorful mice with her and play with her at the wheel.  When my husband finished in the rest of the house, he'd come in, feed Zoie and then we would cuddle her and say goodnight.  When she heard the ping of dry food in her dish, she ran to it.  That's when we would leave.  She never cried when we did it this way.  Cats like ritual and knowing what comes next as much as their human parents.  In the morning, my hubby would feed Zoie in the office while I fed Ebbie and London in the kitchen.  (Zoie would go after their food).  But after they were all fed, we'd open the office door into the kitchen, call "Zoie's coming" to warn Ebbie and london, and off she'd go.


Today I'll talk about her interaction with London.  From the outset, London let her know who was boss.  London's best napping place is upstairs in my husband's office.  Ebbie doesn't venture in there unless I do.  She stays mostly downstairs, especially in the first floor bedroom.  But Zoie considers the whole house as hers and tries to be everywhere all at once.  For eating and napping, she finds me and my husband.  But the rest of the time, she wants to play.  London is also eleven, in her sixties in human years.  Zoie is a playful child who wouldn't and won't let London alone.  From the beginning, however, she soon learned from London what her boundaries were.  When London would growl and hiss and swat, Zoie would back off.  At first, London would just watch Zoie and maybe shake her head in annoyed tolerance.  But after about three months,  they actually began to play together.


 Sometimes the thunder in the house sounds like a giant storm.  But it's just Zoie chasing London or London chasing Zoie up and down the stairs, around the upstairs hall, sliding on the throw rugs or playing in and out of the banister rungs.  At times, while London sits on the printer looking out the window, Zoie will dance around her, paw at her or just sit with her.  This week we had real progress--London and Zoie napping on the bed together.  It's a mommy-moment only true animal lovers can appreciate.  They are becoming friends.

Last time I mentioned I'd discuss flower essences.  But those came into play with Zoie's interaction with Ebbie.  More the next time. 

©2012 Karen Rose Smith

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Monday, November 5, 2012


I'm often asked why I write romance.  That answer for me is simple.  I believe in love, commitment and marriage that lasts.  What I love most about writing in the romance genre is that I can take the ideal of happily-ever-after, salt it with honesty, some realism and what a reader believes romance should be.  I believe the romance genre is uplifting, emotional and gives readers hope about what a relationship can strive for.

Maybe because I was an only child and searching for the kindred spirit described in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, I sought out close friendships, not here-today-gone-tomorrow ones.  I dreamed about dating and read teenage romances along with THE BLACK STALLION and NANCY DREW.  The relationships in Emilie Loring's books fascinated me and I think that's when I first started noticing story structure and exactly what happened in a romance.  I sought out other books that would give me that intense hero/heroine relationship and ended happily-ever-after.

I didn't date much in high school but I did a lot of dreaming.  I wanted a career, but I also wanted to meet that one person whom I could love for a lifetime.  I remember my first boyfriend, my first dance, my longing for a connection with someone that superseded all others.  At college, I found my husband and we've been married for forty-one years.

I believe in romance and what that means.  Essentially, the definition of romance is thinking about what the other person in the relationship wants and needs and giving that to him or her--whether it's a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, a massage or a break from watching the kids!  Caring, tenderness, kindness and closeness are integral aspects of romance whether true to life or the ideal.

My October Samhain release, ABIGAIL AND MISTLETOE, embodies the true meaning of romance.  Attraction and chemistry is only the beginning.  Honesty and unconditional love are the end.  Abigail is a trauma makeup artist who arrives at Brady's Colorado lodge over the holidays to help a friend of his father's.  When Abigail and Brady meet, their sizzle unnerves them both.  Abigail realizes Brady will never really know her until she tells him about and shows him her secret.  Past experience makes her fear his rejection.  But what kind of relationship can they really have without honesty?

ABIGAIL AND MISTLETOE is about caring and tenderness and acceptance...it's about romance leading to unconditional love.  I think the romance genre is so popular for just that reason.  At the end of the day, isn't unconditional love what we all seek?  Why wouldn't I want to write about romance.  Of all genres, I believe it's the one that is most universal, most heart-satisfying and most emotionally powerful.

©2012 Karen Rose Smith

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