My Cat, Cajun, And The Cone Of Shame

My Cat, Cajun, And The Cone Of Shame

Anyone who knows me or follows my blog posts knows I am a cat lover so when my fourteen-year-old kitty, fell ill last week I was devastated. He had stopping eating and drinking. I was prepared to hear he had a terminal illness since he’s a senior citizen. I was extremely relieved to learn it was a very treatable condition. However, a surgical procedure was required, complete with antibiotic, pain killer and an IV for dehydration.

And worst of all for Cajun, the “cone of shame” was fastened about his little neck. Once home, even though he was sedated, when I released him from his carrier, he totally freaked out. He raced wildly around the house trying to rid himself of this strange thing blocking his peripheral view. He even tried to back out of it. I felt so terrible for him. Fortunately, by the following morning, he’d adjusted to it.

Also, the veterinarian had instructed me to swap out his litter box for one with shredded paper or recycled paper pellets. This was to insure no litter made its way into the wound. Another huge change for my boy.

Fortunately, my daughter is a vet tech and I texted her with a myriad of questions, some probably pretty silly. Like, can I clip the long tab off the collar, or is there a purpose for it? The answer was yes. You can see it in the photo if you take a close look. Also, she told me to be sure his food and water dishes were smaller than the diameter of the collar.

I asked about if cats usually preferred shredded paper or the pellets. She replied there was no way to predict that, or if they will use either one. I cringed at that answer.

Fortunately, the following day, Cajun ate and drank a little bit. He also used the recycled paper pellets. I felt like a proud mom.

And our return to the vet for his recheck, he was freed of the collar that had rendered him a crazy man. Yeah!



Who Would Believe Fuzzy’s Is The Name Of A Mexican Restaurant?

Who would believe Fuzzy’s is the name of a Mexican restaurant? I certainly didn’t until I began researching my next book in the Kendra Morgan mystery series.

In this third book, entitled Crushed!, Kendra flies from Nebraska to Arizona to intern with her Aunt Lena, a Phoenix police detective. Lena has a condo in Tempe so some of the story is set there. In checking out places I felt Kendra would frequent, I stumbled on the perfect spot…Fuzzy’s.

Those of you familiar with Tempe know that it’s home to Arizona State University. Consequently, many of the businesses are geared toward college students. Fuzzy’s fits the bill beautifully. Its wild colors, serve yourself system and reasonable prices combine to draw in the younger crowd. It was the perfect setting for Kendra to meet with a new love interest.

Of course, I had to sample their wares. Not bad, not bad at all.

Mesa Library Local Author of the Month

The Mesa Library is hosting me as the Local Author of the Month for November, 2018. I’ll be at the Main Branch Saturday, November 10th from 2 to 4 p.m. The address is 64 East 1st Street, Mesa, AZ 85201. I’ll be signing copies of my Kendra Morgan mystery series, Clipped! and Cornered!. Come on out and see what the library has to offer!

I’ll also be at the Dobson Branch the following Saturday, November 17th and the Red Mountain Branch on the last Saturday, November 24th. My time slot for these branches is 1 to 3 p.m. The Dobson branch address is: 2425 S Dobson Rd, Mesa, 85202 and the Red Mountain branch is located at: 635 N Power Rd, Mesa, 85205.

The library has so many programs and events. Check out their website at


A Wonderful Day at Tempe Book Festival

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, or the company more exceptional at the Tempe Book Festival yesterday. There were many talented book sellers there as well as hundreds of library patrons. I hope this annual event will continue for many years to come!

I spent my time between at the Sisters in Crime booth (above) and the Southwestern Authors booth.

Pictured from left to right, are Maegan Beaumont, Toni Niesen and Suzanne Flaig, all writers extraordinaire!

Tempe Book Festival



Hi Readers,

I’m sorry to have been away so long! I recently moved, and I think most or all of you know what that’s like. At any rate, I wanted to tell you that the Tempe library is hosting their fantastic Book Festival this Saturday, November 3rd. It runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will host many, many talented Arizona authors! I hope to see you there. The address is: 3500 So. Rural Road (southwest corner of Rural and Southern).

Be sure to check out the Sisters in Crime Booth if you are a mystery lover!

The Lucky Winner Who Will Appear As A Character In My Next Mystery, Crushed!

Front Cover of Clipped

Thank you to the brave souls who entered the drawing to have their name used as a character in the next book of my Kendra Morgan mystery series, CRUSHED!. I say brave because you had no idea if you would appear as a murderer or a victim. Not to mention if you would be fat, skinny, old, young, rich, poor, kind, mean-spirited, beautiful, ugly–I could go on and on, but you get the picture. And yet, you signed up!

I’m pleased to announce that the winner is:  Dorrine Zelmer. Congratulations, Dorrine!

Enter To Have Your Name Appear As A Character In The Next Book Of The Kendra Morgan Mystery Series

Front Cover of Clipped

How would you like to appear as a character in the second sequel, CRUSHED!, of my Kendra Morgan mystery series?

If so, go to my website, and click on Blog at the top of the page. In the Comment section on the Blog Page, leave your name, email and your wish to be included in the drawing. The winner will be selected on September 14th. Also, it you’d like to be included in future posts, you can choose to be a subscriber in the dialog box on my Home Page. I don’t post often but when I do, I try to create a quality item.

I will send an email to the lucky person whose name will become a character in CRUSHED!. It will also be announced on my Blog.

Of course, I can’t reveal if your character will be a villain or some other fascinating personality. But it will be a kick, right? Good luck!


Each Word Matters According to Karen Harper and Especially in Writing Short Stories

This month the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter,, featured a panel of stellar writers talking about how to write a short story that “captivates publishers and sells itself.” The panel included Susan Budavari, Jake Friedman and Deborah Ledford. One of the things stressed by the panel members was that each word matters when creating short stories.

So, when I came across this article in an old Sisters in Crime Quarterly, it was so on point that I had to share it.

Even if you’re not a writer, you can sharpen your conversation skills by employing author, Karen Harper’s, tips in her article below.



Writing Mysteries: Is It a Mystery?

There is so much good information about the craft of writing out there. Here’s an article written by Marcia Rosen, Writing Mysteries:  Is It a Mystery? In a very concise manner Ms. Rosen explains the basics of writing a mystery. It appeared in the June, 2018 inSinC, The Sisters in Crime Quarterly. If you’re interested in mystery writing this is a wonderful international association. Wherever you live, there will probably be a local chapter near you.

Check out their website at

A Critique Group Can Help Improve Your Writing Immensely

Just ask me, a critique group can help you improve your writing immensely. Initially, it’s a difficult thing to do because our manuscript is our baby and any criticism can cut deep. But we cannot better our writing if we remain in a vacuum. As the kitten in the photo knows: “Everything is sweetened by risk.”

That’s not to say, you must change your text to comply with every comment or suggestion. You will know in your gut if the advice rings true or not. Also, if more than one person in your writers group, has the same input, it’s a good idea to consider those comments more closely.

So, how does one find a critique group? There are online groups if it’s difficult for you to leave home. But personally, I prefer face to face interaction. Libraries often host these groups, as well as various writers associations. A good start would be to Google critique groups for your area.

You may have to try a few before you discover the right fit. Some of the things you’ll need to check out are:

  1. How many members are there? A good ballpark amount is six, but it really depends on how serious the writers are. Do they bring pages to every meeting or just occasionally? If they all participate every time, the meeting could go over, or some writers could miss out on feedback.
  2. How often does the group meet? How long are the meetings?
  3. Is the group open to all genres or more narrowly focused?
  4. How is the group set up? Do they email their pages in advance so members can print out and make comments ahead of time? Or, do members brings printed copies of their work to read aloud and obtain feedback at that time?
  5. Does someone keep time so each person is ensured an equal time slot?
  6. Is there a limit on number of pages a writer can bring?
  7. Where does the group meet? Some meet in homes. Some get together in a public place.

Usually, there’s a facilitator and I’m a big believer in that. Besides tasks like sending meeting reminders and keeping a waiting list, the leader should ensure constructive feedback is given. We learn nothing from harsh comments. We are hard enough on ourselves as it is.

If you have further questions about writers groups, leave a comment on my Contact Form and I’ll get back to you promptly. Happy Writing!