Thursdays with Jake. It’s a wild kingdom!

And I like it this way!

So I’m sitting at my computer, which is in the kitchen near the open back door, and when I say open back door I mean actually open so Jake can let himself in and out – the wall is a bank of windows anyway with a glass sliding door so there’s tons of light.

Anyway, he’s laying? lying? (I ain’t lookin’ it up) right next to the open door and Whoosh!  Blam!  Ka-Pow!  A hawk and a crow crash to the wooden deck six inches from him.

Yikes-a-loo!  Jake and I leap to our feet but before either of us can get out the door both birds fly off in opposite directions.  I try to see where they’ve gone but both have vanished.

Apparently they were uninjured, or at least well enough to fly away.

Cooo-el!  How often does that happen?  It was a red tail hawk.  I’ve had my eye on him for a few days.  He’s been hanging out in our redwoods and in the neighbor’s palm tree.

The Weekly Jake List:

A tragedy– I watched the mama and papa robins build their nest with such care.  Found it on the ground beneath the redwoods this morning.  Found the smashed egg on the sidewalk.   So sad.  Now the robins have flown off.  I bet the culprit was either a crow or a jay.

Robin's Nest.

Robin’s Nest.

Poor little egg...

Poor little egg…

Don’t worry, bee happy!

Thousands of honey bees, bumble bees, native stingless bees– see here.

Jake and I keep finding bees performing honey dances on the basketball court. They are sucking the nectar from these plants like there’s no tomorrow.  I only know the jasmine and the lavender.  Haven’t a clue what the white and pink giant flowering shrubs/trees are:

Spanish Lavender

Spanish Lavender. French Lavender will be blooming soon!

White Jasmine.

White Jasmine.

Pink flower giant shrub.

Pink flower giant shrub.

White flower giant shrub-tree

White flower giant shrub-tree

Another white flower giant shrub tree

Another white flower giant shrub tree

The beach!

We had a great time.  Watched the surfers.  Picked up a couple big crabs and carried them back to the tide pools.  Checked out some beached jellyfish.  Jake ran, dug, chased, said ‘hey‘ to other dogs, and I got a little haul of carnelian, jade and sea glass.

my semi-precious stones.

my semi-precious stones.

The Mountain Lion.

So Tuesday was Jake’s first day back on the hiking trail after torquing his toenail while climbing a cliff.  The vet removed his entire toenail.  Ouch!  He’s doing fine – still kinda bugs him but he’s a trooper.

Anywhoo, we headed down the back side of the park and I figured I’d take a couple photos of the spot where we saw the mountain lion.  And I did take a few photos.  Which I lost for reasons which shall be made clear.

So… I’m taking photos, right?  And we hike just past the point where I’d previously seen the cougar and the buck deer.  Jake’s in front of me at the end of his leash, nose to the ground.  I catch movement out of the corner of my eye — up the hillside to my left.  Maybe 100 yards away?  And this mountain lion stands up in the tall grass, front legs spread as if standing over a kill, and it stares at me.

I stop dead.  Because the last thing you want to do is run.  I call Jake back to me because I want the mountain lion to see I am not alone.  I’m with a big and bad German shepherd.  Jake comes and he sees I am staring at something so he stares.  Now we’re all three staring.  It’s the same cat we saw before.  It’s a young cat.  A little darker tan in color than I’ve seen before.  Definitely not sandy-colored like the humongous mountain lion I used to run into at this park.

This color.  Not my photo.

This color. Not my photo.

Okay… okay.  I’m a little concerned now because I can’t go back up the hill – it’s too steep.  The mountain lion already commands the high ground so he has the advantage.  If I go on down the trail he still commands the high ground and he can follow behind me and stay above me, which is a scary thought, but the area is a little more open, a little less forested.  And I’ll be getting closer to the more frequently traveled sections of the park.

I decide to try and scare him off, so I jump up and down, wave my arms, and yell, “Git!  Git!  Hey you, git!”  Yeah, right.  He doesn’t move.  We’re still locked in this three-way stare-down.

I’m wondering if I should call someone, like the police or Penny Watson so she can freak out and call the White House or maybe Tom Stronach in England.  I pull my phone out of my pocket only to realize I no longer have the police on speed dial.  I can’t look up Penny’s number because that will mean taking my eyes off the cougar, and damn it, my hands are shaking so bad I drop my phone.

While messing with the phone I lost all the photos.

At last the cougar lay back down in the grass.  I decided he’d decided I was neither threat nor prey so Jake and I moved off down the hill – not running, not in a state of panic.  Using the eyes in the back of my head?  You better believe it.

When I got home, my daughter said I had to call the Parks Department and let them know.  I was very reluctant.  I don’t want this mountain lion shot.  But she pointed out I would feel terrible if a little kid got hurt or killed.  And I would.  Besides, this lion doesn’t seem too awfully afraid of people and that’s a problem.

I did call the Parks Department, told them I’ve seen the cougar twice in two weeks, and I suggested they at least post a sign.  They didn’t seem very interested.  No sign’s been posted.

That’s bureaucracy for ya.








Some Assembly Required.

Lately I’ve been thinking I should post an explanation, or rather  a breakdown, of my books according to genre and relation, or interrelation, i.e., series.

Right off the bat you should know I’m not ‘branded‘, as in I don’t write in one specific genre.  Which is not a good thing for an author, or so I’ve been told.  Branded authors sell better.

Not being branded is fine for me.  It’s like this, when you are as ADD-ish as I am, easily bored and have an interest in all kinds of literature… I mean, what else am I supposed to do?  I like my stories to come in all shapes and sizes so I write Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance and SFR or Science Fiction Romance- all with some overlap.  And I throw in a few short stories, some of which have nothing at all to do with Romance.

I plan to expand into plain old Science Fiction/Fantasy and Lit Fic.  Because that’s where I began.  All things eventually return to their roots, at least that’s what I believe.

(Oh, by the way – my dad is doing much better.  He’s turned a corner.  Thank you god, gods, fates, doctors… everyone.  I’m feeling optimistic for the first time in a month, and more important, so is he.)

1.  Contemporary Romance:

Beauty and the Feast – which is also a bit of a Romantic Comedy and definitely erotic.

Pushing Her Boundaries – another Contemp that is weighted pretty heavily toward erotica.

Come Back to Me – which overlaps into the category of Romantic Suspense in addition to Women’s Fiction and Coming of Age.

Anytime Darlin’ – another Contemporary which also fits into the category of Romantic Suspense.

My Everything – ditto!  Contemp and Romantic Suspense with a Special Forces theme.

2.  Paranormal Romance:  A progression of the dead, ghosts and heavenly hosts~ all three can also be considered Contemporary Romance and works of Romantic Suspense.

Incorporeal, Book One, The Soul Series.  

In the Flesh, Book Two, The Soul Series.

Stay, Book Three, The Soul Series.

The Soul Series Special Edition – contains all three of the above books.

3.  Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance (SFR):

Captured – Writing this book was fun.  Tops my list of writing experiences.  I will eventually revisit the world of Mari and Ekkatt.

One Four All – my foray into the world of Menage – had to make it sci fi in order to stop giggling.

Daughters of Perserphone, Book One, Exile.

Daughters of Persephone, Book Two, Return.

Coming soon -

Daughters of Persephone, Book Three, Reborn.

Daughters of Persephone, Book Four, The Red Demon.

I’ll probably release an anthology containing all four books as well.  The Daughters series began as a self-challenge and ended as a very satisfying Space Opera.

Oh yes, almost forgot – I have a book of poetry out:

Poems of Love and Hate.  I’m a big fan of poetry.

4.  Shorties:

Is It Spicy?  (Non-Romance)

You Might Just Get It.

Liz and Me.

The Artist.

So there you have it.  Can’t wait to get to the next book – Kerosene!

Lawrence Ferlinghetti I ain’t.

But I do have a FREE BOOK for you!

My son’s tribute to Ferlinghetti:

i’ve seen on my pa
and in
my dreams:
retro spect 

I’m hoping that by Saturday afternoon my book of poetry, Poems of Love and Hate, will be available for your Kindle!  Yes!  I’ll post a link as soon as the book is up.  (Should be active now.)

I could not have completed this small yet gargantuan task without the help of J. W. Manus.  First, she created the cover.  Second, her persistence is beyond belief; poetry is tough to format for an ereader.

Plus my short Cougarish short story, You Might Just Get It, is free from March 10-15.  If you have a Kindle, please enjoy.

Kate has locked herself out of her new apartment building for the third time in a week. She’s on the stoop in the rain, barefoot, shivering and soaked to the skin. Her neighbor, Eric, arrives home in the nick of time and lets her in. That’s twice now he’s saved the day. When he invites her for a quick supper, how can she say no? 
Eric has been waiting for an opportunity to get to know Kate. His kitchen window faces hers across the courtyard and he noticed her right away. How could he not, with her lovely halo of short curls and her beautiful smile? When he finds her stranded on the stoop, he gets to play the hero. When she agrees to his dinner invitation, he hopes he’ll get to play a lot more than that. 

I am reading two, count ‘em, two dynamite books – Sunshine, by Robin McKinley… which I am totally excited about, and Coming of Age in Mississippi, by Anne Moody.  I hear this nonfiction book is great, and it will help assuage some of my disappointment with The Help.

I’m in love with Wolf Hall.

Lately, when I read a new book, it’s one and done. By that I mean one chapter or even one single page  and I’ve already come to the conclusion that the book is a DNF. Yeah, I know, there’s nothing new under the sun. But there are new ways to tell old familiar tales.

I am loving Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel, winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize. This is the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn as told through the eyes of their contemporary, and their very much doomed, Machiavelli, Thomas Cromwell. Ms. Mantel hooked me with her very first sentence:

“So now get up.”

Six hundred and four brilliant, shining pages, and I am savoring every single word.

As you know, you have until midnight Sunday, the 18th, to participate in both the Stuff Your Stockings Blog Hop and my own giveaway, so be sure to leave comments and your email contact.

Blog Hops and Free Books!

I’ll be in and out for the next few weeks.  I mean there are the holidays, there are the kids, and there’s my dad getting a new knee for Christmas so I’m heading up to help out next week.

In the meantime, you can get some killer books by following this (see the Stuff Your Stockings button on left) Blog Hop.  Here is the link.  Each author is running his/her own giveaway.  If you leave me a comment and an email contact, I’m giving away one print copy and one e-copy of Captured, my award-winning Science Fiction Romance.

Also, I’m running my own giveaway through the 18th as well.  Leave me a comment and you can win a tote containing one copy of each of my print books.  International readers can win a pdf copy of my entire backlist.  Unless of course you’d prefer the pdf copies.  Same thing – a comment telling me which you are entering, or both, and an email contact address.

Happy Holidays and good luck!