Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Daisiemae

We've had a lot of loss this year. We've lost beloved family and friends. I wasn't prepared for the loss we had this morning.

Ten and a half years ago I decided to get a dog. My mother had recently bought a Shetland Sheepdog, and she was the cutest thing I had ever seen. When I noticed that there was an ad in the paper selling three month old Shelties for the right price, I immediately called and made an appointment to check them out. I dragged my cousin along with me and we hightailed over a hundred miles away to look at these dogs.

I had always had good luck with male dogs, so I had decided that I was better suited for a male than a female. When we arrived at our destination and the breeder took us over to the puppies, I had four of them to chose from. I immediately grabbed the male and started petting on it. My cousin reached down and grabbed the runt of the bunch. She was obviously terrified of him because she shook like a leaf, but as he stroked her baby soft fur she became relaxed and settled down. Even though I had the male dog in my arms, my attention kept going over to the puppy my cousin was holding. She looked at me with these big brown eyes and my heart was lost in that instant.

I put down the male dog, grabbed her out of my cousins arms and the rest was history.

I named her Daisiemae and she has been my constant companion throughout the past almost 12 years. We've been through a lot together. Through good and bad times, I've known that Daisie was the one thing I could depend on. Even when I met my husband for the first time, I knew if he didn't have Daisie's approval he would not be the one for me. Lucky for Daisie and I, it was love at first sight for both of them.

She's been a huge part of who I've been in the past several years. When I couldn't think of a chatname or an identity for goodreads, Daisie's name came to mind. I've been known more for being Daisiemae than I am my own name and that's been fine with me.

She was my shadow. Wherever or whenever I got up and went, she was there following me. She was my best friend, protector and the child that my husband and I could never have.

Daisiemae has had kidney problems for the past year. As an eleven year old Sheltie, there really wasn't much we could do for her, except love her and keep her as comfortable as possible. I noticed that last week she stopped eating. I didn't think much of it until the past 72 hours. Her body started to shut down and I kept by her side the whole time.

This morning about four a.m. Daisie had a horrible seizure. All I could do was hold her and help her through it. When Chris came home from work at six, I knew her time was coming to an end. He picked her up, told her he loved her and how much he would miss her, and left the room. I had always heard that dogs wait or go off somewhere so they can die alone. She looked up at me with eyes that said, "I'm tired, Momma. Is it time for me to go?" I kissed her and told her it was okay to let go. She'd been the best child we could have ever had. She'd done us proud and I would think of her everyday until I took my last breath. I told her that the loved ones we lost were waiting for her, and that she was needed there. I kissed her one more time and walked out of the room. I peeked in less than two minutes later and she was gone.

We wrapped her up in her favorite blanket with her favorite toy and buried her at her favorite place in the backyard.

I'm overwhelmed with grief right now. I know time heals all wounds, but my heart is truly broken. I thought we had more time with our girl. She would have been 12, January 9th, and I was really looking forward to this birthday.

This Christmas is going to be sad, but she would want us to do our best to enjoy it. That was the way she was. She brought joy and happiness to all of the people who got to know her.

She was my heart. She was my protector. She was my Daisiemae and I'll miss her.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just another lazy day

What crazy weather we have here in Arkansas. One moment it's in the 20's and we're freezing to death, and then today it's in the 60's and absolutely gorgeous outside! No wonder everyone seems to have the sniffles!

I'm feeling lazy today, but I'm bound and determined to get some writing done tonight. Plus, I had to read "Ticket to Ride" by Shawn Lane. Oh my Gosh! It's so good! Once again, Shawn really did a great job in making me fall in love with her characters. It really has a great suspenseful storyline, too. Shawn should write romantic mystery/suspense more often. It was great!

I really think I'm going to put a hold on the book I've been working on, and continue Ryan and Blake's story while it's still fresh on my mind. It will be good to write about them again. I really do love them!

I hope everyone has a great Monday! Take care!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This week at a glance

I'm finally able to sit down and relax. As you know, it's been an emotional roller coaster this week at our home. We buried my husband's beloved Aunt this week. The funeral was hard because of not only saying goodbye to Aunt Bonnie, but watching Chris grieve was very difficult to take. I really felt very helpless through it all. All I could do is offer comfort and keep reassuring him of how much she loved him and how proud of him she was.

Believe it or not, one of the best things happened to Chris at the funeral. There were several people from Bonnie's work that came. After the funeral was over, they approached my husband and I and immediately started telling him that they recognized him from all of the photographs of him (it was our wedding pictures) on her desk. They called my husband by name, and told him how proud and how much Bonnie talked about him. They told him how much she loved him, and that he was always the apple of Bonnie and David's eye. I watched my husband take a deep breath and the weight of the the world was lifted off of his shoulders. It really was a nice way for him to have closure.

I actually finished Christmas decorating today. Tomorrow I plan to start the continuation of Ryan and Blake's story. But, I've been anxious to read Shawn Lane's newest book Ticket to Ride. I'll have to read it before I can get started! She's been teasing us all with it on her blog and I've been dying to read it!

Thank you to all of my friends here. Your well wishes and kind words meant the world to me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thank you for your kind thoughts and words

Some of you might have noticed my absence. In a previous post I told you about my husband's Aunt being in a coma, and the doctor was calling in a specialist to see if she had any brain activity or not.
Unfortunately for Aunt Bonnie, they didn't find enough brain activity that would make her able to breathe on her own, or even be aware of the world around her. Her sister opted to take her off the respirator despite some of our protest, and she's gone onto a place where she's with her beloved husband.

One of the amazing things about Bonnie was she was not a quitter. She had suffered from polo almost all of her life. Despite being in pain, and walking with the aide of crutches and braces on her legs, she insisted on taking care of herself. She never used a handicapped license or parked in a handicapped zone. She always did as much as her broken body would allow her. My husband's Uncle David was immediately smitten with her the minute they laid eyes on each other, and they had happiness together for over thirty five years.

One of the things I will always remember about Bonnie and David is they both had a very contagious laugh. Both of them laughed frequently and when they laughed it was a whole body laugh and you couldn't help but laugh with them. I loved it.

Since they couldn't have children, they kidnapped Chris when he was a teenager almost every weekend and spoiled him rotten. Chris has always considered them his "adoptive" parents. Chris has said one of his favorite memories is introducing his Aunt Bonnie to Sir Mix Alot's, Baby Got Back. He said they both wore out that song on his cd from playing it all the time.

When David was diagnosed with Cancer, neither one gave up hope. David died less than a month after his diagnosis, and Bonnie hasn’t' been the same since. Her sister had been staying with her, and according to her sister they had an argument. Three days later they found Bonnie unconscious, with bruises all over her face and neck and laying on the floor. There is an investigation, and hopefully we'll find out what really happened to our Beloved Aunt.

Her funeral is Thursday. I told Chris that she'll be right where she wanted to be; right at David's side.

I'm not going to pretend that today hasn't been a difficult day. Both Chris and I have been in a funk, but seeing how some of my friends have embraced my book made me realize how much even my online friends mean so much too me. I was happily shocked how much y'all like Ryan and Blake and how they met. I loved them and I have every intention of continuing their story. Thank you for taking a chance on a very green author and reading my book. I'm hoping the next book will be even better.

Thank you for being there.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Got Mistletoe is released!

Yay! My Christmas story, Got Mistletoe, is now released at Dreamspinner Press! I decide if I'm more nervous or excited about it's release!

Here is the URL if you are interested in purchasing Got Mistletoe?


Got Mistletoe? Excerpt:

“OHHH… the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is sooooo delightful, and since we’ve no place to go… let it snow, let it snow, let it snooooow….” Ryan sang as he grabbed the last of the small boxes of twinkling lights and started stacking them neatly on the shelf.

“Ryan! Spare me, please!”

Ryan laughed as he slowly spun around to face his best friend, carrying yet another huge box of lights to be stocked on the already overcrowded shelves.

Angela was always a sight for sore eyes, even if she was being grouchy. Her long brown hair was put up haphazardly with a sparkling red clip. Her sweet, round face always had a rosy flush to her cheeks, and her dark eyes glittered with mischief.

Ryan took the box from her arms, set it down, and grinned at her as she put her hands on her ample hips. “Angel babe, you know you love my singing,” he said as he puckered his lips and made kissing noises at her. She laughed and shook her finger at him.

“Honey, just because you like Dean Martin doesn’t mean you can sing like him! Besides, I’ve never seen Dean Martin wear reindeer antlers while he crooned “Let it Snow” on any of his Christmas specials he used to have every year.” Angela reached up and flicked one of the antlers on top of his head, causing the bells to start jingling.

“And, he’s the lesser man for it,” Ryan teased as he wrapped Angela up in his arms and dipped her backwards, causing her to laugh, just like he intended for her to do.

He heard someone behind him clear their throat.

“Excuse me, I hate to interrupt the newest solid gold dance moves, but could you tell me where the wrapping paper is?”

The smooth and slightly tense masculine voice washed over Ryan from behind. Angela immediately disassembled herself from Ryan’s arms and stood there looking over Ryan’s shoulder with a slightly embarrassed smile on her sweet face.

Ryan slowly turned around, and had to stop himself from gasping with pleasure.

Standing a couple of feet from him was the most beautiful man Ryan had ever seen. At five foot seven inches, Ryan was used to men towering over him, but not like this man. Tall, dark and handsome definitely fit the bill for describing the stunningly beautiful man before him. Beneath a wealth of gorgeous black hair shone the bluest eyes Ryan had ever laid eyes on. They seemed to twinkle from within. His smooth olive skin, tousled hair and five o’clock shadow gave him that sexy, just-got-out-of-bed look that Ryan always found so adorable. He was dressed casually in a worn brown leather bomber jacket, red T-shirt and jeans that were so old and tight, they hugged his muscular thighs and encased a prominent bulge at his crotch that made Ryan want to fall to his knees and worship the ground he walked on. He was gorgeous, and Ryan knew he was totally and utterly in love.

The man’s full lips formed a half-smile and he cocked his head to the side as he looked expectantly at Ryan, as if waiting for something.

Ryan felt himself cringe as he felt the unwanted heat of a flush come over his face and body. Damn! Being a natural redhead definitely had its drawbacks. Ryan knew his face was probably as red as Rudolph’s red nose, which caused him to blush even more.

The man’s crooked smile turned into a full one, causing his blue eyes to light up and small wrinkles to appear beside each, proving that this gorgeous hunk of a man smiled often. Between his brilliant white smile and ocean blue eyes, Ryan found himself immediately captivated with him.

“Can we help you?” Angela asked, apparently not having any trouble finding her own voice.

The man looked slowly from Ryan to Angela, and his smile dimmed a little.

“Could you point me in the right direction of the wrapping paper?”

God, even the man’s voice was amazing, deep and smooth, with a slight Southern accent. Ryan would bet his measly year’s worth of salary that the sexy man standing before him could sing “Let it Snow” and women as well as men would be throwing themselves at his feet to hear more.

“Um, well, I’m not exactly sure where it’s located at, but my associate Ryan would be more than happy to show you where you need to go,” Angela said sweetly as she indiscreetly shoved Ryan in the right direction, bringing him out of his trance.

Feeling totally off balance, Ryan felt himself flush even more as he stumbled toward the man. God, even his feet weren’t working right!

The man reached out and grabbed Ryan lightly by the arms, keeping him from stumbling further into the man himself. Through the warmth of the handsome stranger’s hands, Ryan felt a tingling sensation from the top of his red hair to the tips of his toes. “Are you all right?” that deliciously deep voice asked softly, causing Ryan look up into those concerned blue eyes. Ryan could feel the warmth of the man’s hands through his long sleeved T-shirt as he started rubbing his hands up and down Ryan’s arms, as if to soothe any pain away.

He’s talking to you! Say something, idiot!

Ryan cleared his throat and attempted to smile at the man.

The man smiled back and slowly let go of Ryan’s arms as he took one small step back as if to put some space in between them.

“Ooops! Sorry about that! I must’ve had too much eggnog during break,” Ryan joked, as he shrugged his shoulders and smoothed down his “Got Mistletoe?” T-shirt.

The man laughed.

Oh my God, he’s got a gorgeous laugh too!

“That eggnog will get you every time!” the man said, almost reaching out to touch Ryan’s shoulder but stopping himself midway.

At the sound of the stranger’s joyful laughter, Ryan felt happiness flow through him and a genuine smile come across his face.