Saturday, December 17, 2011

Contest! Contest! Contest!

Today, Susan Muller is giving away an e-copy of her book, The Secret on Forest Bend. And to make it even better, I’m also giving the winner a copy of any of my backlist. So make sure you leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of Susan’s and any of my books. It can be my romances or my YAs.

I have a treat for you guys today. I would like to introduce you to a dear friend and another writer who’s friendship is proof of just how small our world has become. It’s also proof that when the universe wants you to meet someone, it will keep throwing you together until you finally connect.

Susan Muller is my walking buddy, who isn’t walking right now. (You’ll read more about that in her blog.) Susan and I met at my local chapter’s Romance Writers of America meeting. Well, that’s where I thought we met. Shortly later, she informed me that we’d met earlier. That we had waved and spoken while I was walking in her/my neighborhood. Cool, we lived in the same neighborhood. I had to apologize and told that when I walk, I’m in my own little world and seldom recognize anyone.

We shortly learned that she lived on the street back behind my house. However, little did we know at the time, we had other connections. I was in her backyard and peeked through her fence and said, “Damn! That’s my backyard.” We’d shared backyard fences for almost 20 years and didn’t know it. Yup, now we can put a ladder against the fence and have a conversation. We’ve actually passed manuscripts, oranges, crawfish, and fresh grown tomatoes over that fence. Ahh, but it gets even stranger. Because not too long after we started walking, she introduced me to her dog. Right then, I knew Susan’s version of how we first met was as wrong my had been. The woman, didn’t just live behind me, she’d been in my house. I’d saved her from a heartache and she didn’t even know it.

Years earlier, while I was walking, a black lap who looked just like my black lab--even had the gray snout and everything--came up to me on my walk. For a second, I thought it was my Jake. But he was a tad bigger than my ol’ boy. Nevertheless, the dog decided I was a sucker and he followed me home. Not wanting the animal to continue to the main road that had a lot of traffic, I took him into my house. I looked at Jake and the other dog side by side, and darn if other than a few extra pounds on her dog, the two dogs were identical. I called the number on the tag. The owner quickly came to pick up the dog. While I didn’t recognize Susan as the dog owner, I recognized her dog. So actually, our lives were connected even before we knew it. Who knew she was also a writer? Well, all I can say is that it’s a small world. And I’m glad after several times of having our paths cross, we finally took the message the universe was telling us and became friends. So here’s Susan, and a bit about her book.


I’ve been thinking a lot about walking lately. Mostly because I can’t. Several weeks ago I developed a stress fracture in my foot. The doctor instructed me to stay off my feet and wear a lovely black boot with Velcro straps that cost as much as a pair of Jimmy Choos. The next week was my high school reunion. Show of hands here, how many think I wore the black boot to my reunion? Of course I didn’t. Which may be why I still can’t walk without limping.

But limping isn’t my problem, walking is. For years, I’ve worked out plot holes and writers block while walking my dog around the neighborhood. Buster is a 120 pound black lab, and he was well into middle age when I found him five years ago. At first we walked about forty-five minutes, but as he aged we cut it down to thirty minutes, then fifteen. The last time I took him around the block, I had to sit on the curb and let him rest.

Luckily, on one walk about a year and a half ago, I passed Christie, walking the other way. Shortly later, we’ve walked together four or five days a week. We walk twice as long and twice as far and I’m half as tired, because Christie can tell a good story. You knew that, right? After all, she writes three to four books a year. You’ve probably heard her mattress story, and the one where her husband set the lawnmower on fire. Those are just the stories she can tell in public. We brainstorm and bounce ideas off each other and she’s improved my writing 110%. Since I’ve been sitting with my foot propped up, my writing output has slowed to a trickle. I may never get this next book finished. I miss walking with Christie.

Buster’s way too old to go for power walks these days, but he does love a ride in the car. When Buster got too old to jump in the back of our Explorer, and too fat for us to lift him, my husband bought a smaller car. Oh, he’ll tell you that he bought the car for better gas mileage, but I’ve known the man for many years, and he bought it for the dog. Even with the smaller car, we have to back up to the curb and help Buster in.

In my novel The Secrets on Forest Bend, the hero, Adam, has a yellow cat named Rover. Rover was the terror of the neighborhood when he decided to adopt Adam seven years ago. He’s bigger than most dogs and twice as mean. Lately, Rover has developed diabetes and Adam must give him a shot twice a day, something that’s not always convenient. Adam’s a big, tough police detective, and he claims Rover is just his roommate, but you read the following excerpt and tell me, if this isn’t love, what is?

The sky was still dark when Adam rose on one elbow and nuzzled Jillian’s ear. “You’re going to hate me, but I have to go.” He nibbled her shoulder and felt himself come awake again.

She turned to face him, sleepy-eyed. “Go? Can’t you leave for work from here?”

How bad would it be if Rover missed one round of medication? He lifted the sheet and gazed at her body. Damn he wanted to stay longer, but if he didn’t leave soon he wouldn’t be able to stand up. “No. I have to give my cat a shot.”


What about you? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for an animal?

Check out more about Susan on her Web site:

And here’s here back cover blurb. It’s an excellent read, guys. So make sure you snag your own copy.

Another day . . . another dead body.

When Detective Adam Campbell learns that a WWII gun is connected to several murders he’s investigating, he hopes that tracking down the killer will be as easy as tracing the gun’s history. When he meets Jillian Whitmeyer, the last known owner of the weapon, the case becomes anything but simple.

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Adam soon learns that people who get close to Jillian have a bad habit of turning up dead. Jillian claims that the spirit of her sister, accidentally killed with that same gun, is responsible for the deaths. She warns Adam that he is likely to become the next victim. Adam’s been a lousy judge of women in the past and this one’s obviously a nut case. Or is she? How does a just-the-facts detective deal with a ghostly serial killer and the sexy-as-hell sister she won’t set free?


krisgils33 said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing! We once had a cat who had diabetes. She was about 13 at the time and I'm completely squeamish, so the duty of twice daily injections fell to my husband. It does really alter your life.

Christie Craig said...


Thanks so much for stopping in with us today.


Christie Craig said...


Thanks so much for stopping in with us today.


Susan M said...

Christie, thanks for hosting me today. It was fun to visit you in your 'second home.'

Anonymous said...

I love each story: how you met, the animals and of course what I got to read from the book. It is such a small world we live in. I keep my eyes wide open to everything. Maybe one day I'll have a lovely story to share like you did. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post!

I loved The Secrets on Forest Bend.

Susan, I hope you're back in your walking shoes soon, dear!!!!!

Meb Bryant said...

Susan, I've read your earlier work and really enjoyed the story. I look forward to reading THE SECRET ON FOREST BEND.

What's the strangest thing I've ever done for a pet? My six-week-old Pomeranian got stepped on while inside a sleeping bag. He yelped frantically and died. I'm looking at a puppy (worth $250) who has become priceless to me in the three days I've owned him.

So, I gave him CPR three times and rushed him to the vet.
My best friend Duke died last summer at 16.75 years-old.

Don't enter me in the contest, I want to purchase your book and I already have Christie's books.

Susan M said...

Krisgils, a friend had a cat with diabetes and he was the inspiration for Rover's problems. Her husband had to give the shots also.

I've given plenty of pills to dogs. I even had to give my husband shots one time, but he knew not to move. Don't think I could give one to a cat. Your husband is a hero in my book.

Loretta Wheeler said...

Good mornin' Susan and Christie:) What a delicious treat to wake up to!:) Loved all the tales (tails) you shared:)
I've had a lot of wonderful moments with my furred friends, but the most current happened last night with Lil' Dickens, my cat. (I asked God for this cat btw, and received a call two days after with a woman from my past who accidentally found my number from a year ago and phoned me, in hopes I would consider adopting Lil' Dickens) Dickens wasn't named at the time I picked him up, but answered to it when I tried the name on him. He ignored the first choice, but answered to Lil' Dickens:)
Last night, I went to the four poster he sleeps on, to tell him goodnight. He loves this, but last night was different. After I patted him, he reached up with both paws and held my hand on his chest. When I bent down to give him a cat-whisper, he raised up and placed his nose on mine and then his mouth on my cheek,while still holding my hand. He's the sweetest natured cat I've ever of things I asked for when I told the universe I was "ready" again for my new fur person.
There's my little glimpse inside a lovely fur-story:)It fits for Christmas, doesn't it?:)
Now, as for me, if I win ANY of these books, I WANT THEM!LOL If I receive a repeat, not to worry, I have a mother and a granddaughter eager for all of them!
Great blog,gals:) Love you both:)

Callie said...

Secrets of Forest Bend sounds great. It's on my list of 'to be read soon.'

I had a sad thing I did for my boxer, but I'll skip that, and add that my husband used to 'rescue' our kitten from where she was perched on the fence in the back yard because she didn't like to walk in the snow.

Susan M said...

Hi, Cha-Cha. What a wonderful attitude toward life. Always keep your eyes open and you won't miss whatever the future holds.

Susan M said...

Tess, if I pass my x-rays, Wednesday is the day. Hmmm, what shall I wear?

Susan M said...

Meb, now that's true love.

Susan M said...

Lo, that's the sweetest story I've ever heard. It touched my heart.

Susan M said...

Callie, Houston doesn't get much snow, about once every ten years, but last year was the year. Poor old Buster. He kept his legs crossed for about twelve hours, but he finally tiptoed out.

Rebekah E. said...

Right now I'm dealing with a very grumpy dog that just had to have surgery on his leg. So of course he is getting very thing that seems to make him happy. He is a very pampered pup. He has become the world to us since we adopted him from a shelter. Poor dog spent most of his life in a kennel because nobody wanted to have him. Which just amazes me because he is the sweetest dog I have ever owned. How can you not love an animal that won't leave your side and follows you every where.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan

I have four dogs and a cat so guess I qualify as a fur-babie lover;) I am currently reading your book and enjoying it ver much.
Congrats on your release and all the best in 2011

Susan M said...

Hi, Rebekah. Sounds like your dog was lucky to land in your life. Hope he feels better soon.

Susan M said...

Hi, BJ. While we are down to only one dog now, we have at times had two dogs and a cat. That’s not to mention various fish, gerbils (escape artists every one,) a caiman, and a boa. Since we couldn’t always find white mice to feed the boa, we sometimes bought more than one, and--surprise, surprise--they turned into a whole flock of mice. Then the mice escaped, but that’s a story for another day.

Anonymous said...

Great blog, ladies. How funny that you knew each other before you knew each other. My husband and I have a similar story, except no dogs were involved. There was a can of green beans, however.

Susan. Many happy successes. And take care of that foot!

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Susan, this sounds wonderful! I LOVE cop heroes...the first book I wrote (and the follow up) features a big, sexy cop. And I can't think of a hero more enticing than one who would give up sex with a beautiful woman to hurry home and give his cat a shot. LOL

What's the craziest thing I've done for my dog? Well, I have an almost two year-old black lab/Shepherd mix who has a butter fetish. I leave the wrapper on when I put butter in the dish, and if it's left too close to the edge of the counter, she'll help herself. And let's just say, the wrapper doesn't really break down on the way out...LOL My kids come rushing in the house one day screaming, "Mom! Sassy has something sticking out of her butt!" So I had to chase her down and have the kids hold her while I removed it. Now aren't you glad you asked? ;-)

Susan M said...

Jenn, that sounds like an interesting story. Tell me, tell me.

Susan M said...

Donna Marie, yes, I am glad I asked. I'm still laughing!

Mandi Casey said...

Thanks for such a great post, I can't wait to read you novel! Oh, and my pup? She has figured out how to use the icemaker on the fridge so now she gets all the icecubes she wants, lol

donnas said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing today!

I think we do a lot of things for our pets. But I dont know that any are really really crazy. Unless you count making yourself uncomfortable but sitting in a different spot or laying on the wrong side just to not disturb them when they are sleeping. Ok I guess that might be a little crazy. But they are so cute when they are asleep.

Susan M said...

Oh Mandi, that's one smart dog.

Susan M said...

Donna, they are sweet when they're sleeping.

Patricia said...

Adam, Jillian, and Rover - nice trio of characters in that excerpt. And I loved the story of how you two authors met. Really cool.

traveler said...

SOunds wonderful! My two dogs are treated like humans. When one of them was attacked by a huge dog, I gathered him up, drove to the vet and held him tight until he was able to walk and then took him home to spoil. Slept with us, ate with us and was a star.

Susan M said...

Patricia, Adam's partner, Ruben, is nice also. Jillian's sister, Heather, is something else. Being dead is only one of her problems.

Travler, your dogs were lucky to find you.

Dianne G. Sagan said...

This sounds like a story I don't want to miss!I had a cat named Chester who would come and sit on the bedroom window sill at night and "talk to me". I had to get up and go to the front door, whistle for him like a dog, and he would run around the house and hustle in the door. It was a nightly routine.

Susan M said...

Dianne, Chester would be out of luck at my house. I can't whistle. My cat came flying over the fence when I stepped outside and rattled the box of Meow Mix.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Guys,

Thank you everyone for stopping in and visiting us today.

I'll be announcing the winner tomorrow around noonish, So make sure you stop in.

Thanks again.


Sandy said...

What a wonderful story. So glad you two met up.

The excerpts were really fascinating.

Robin Kaye said...

I love the story of how you two met. It is indeed a small world! I have a crazy three-legged bengal cat at home who has me well-trained. There's a doggie door he's more than capable of using, though he insists on having a doorman--usually me. He also knew how to turn on all the faucets, but never turned them off, and plays in the toilet bowl, flushing it frequently since he likes a fresh bowl. So far we've replaced all the faucets and toilets so he can't turn them on or flush them. He's an expensive cat!

DJ said...

Awesome! Thanks for all the great work you do! :)