Saturday, June 12, 2010


I’m Zipper Strout, Call me Zip for short. I’ve been in the family the longest, so I should have blogged first. Growing old really sucks. My hips don’t work like they should and I can’t see like I used to. I don’t think my hearing is as keen either. The only thing that still works is my voice. When I yowl, everybody’s hair rises on their necks. My Dad, who used to love me to death, now yells at me and squirts me with water if I talk too much. He says it hurts his ears.

It takes all my energy to maintain the No. 1 status in the house. I don’t worry about Hunter. He wouldn’t know what to do if he had to be the head honcho. But Percy and the other cat are starting to test me now. I’ll hang on as long as I can.

Oh, the stories I could tell you of my youth. Damn good thing cats have nine lives. One night back in my prime, I was outside prowling at midnight when this huge black thing lumbered across the grass. The other cat flattened herself to the ground and watched. Not me. I’m an Alpha cat who takes command so I charged this giant monster and jumped on its back, wrapping my front legs around it’s chest so it couldn’t get away. YEEOW. Hundreds of needles sank into my face and chest. Somehow instinct guided me home. I scrambled up the posts to the upstairs porch and screeched bloody murder until mom opened the door. The night went down hill from there. My mom stuffed me into a box and drove forever to get to a vet. Don’t remember much until I woke up at home with this god-awful cone thing around my neck. My advice to all you cats out there...don't mess with a porcupine.

Needless to say, since that night I haven't been allowed outside at night.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Percy here. I’m the “other” dog, as the black Lab calls me. I joined the family two years ago. I had been sitting on death row in Florida waiting for the deadly needle when Chesapeake Safe Harbor in Maine offered to take me because the guy who dropped me off at the shelter said I was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I gotta say that’s stretching it a bit. Granted, there’s some Chessie in me, but it takes a good eye to see it.

I made sure to behave on the long relay ride up the East Coast. Every driver praised me. Let me tell you, I learned through the school of hard knocks when to be an exemplary example of a good dog. It’s saved my life more than once. Now that I’m secure in my new home, I slip a little, but I’m a quick thinking animal and figured out how to gloss over my errors. When we're on a walk and the woman starts her “bad dog” routine, I hang my head in shame and come to her. Then I heel all the way home. Works like a charm. By the time we get to the house, she’s forgiven me.

I waited six months before I got on the furniture. She tried to break the habit, but eventually gave up. I knew she would. So the black Lab sleeps on the floor and I get the couch. SWEET DEAL.

Got to admit it’s hard to put up with the black dog. He still thinks he’s a puppy and runs circles around me, nipping at my ears because he wants to play. I’m too old for that crap. I do my best to ignore him, but sometimes I lose it and drag him around by his collar. That doesn’t go over well with the woman.

The day I arrived at my new digs, I couldn’t believe my luck. Two fur balls sat on the porch. In my world, god created cats for dogs to chase. I jumped outta the truck and took off like a jet fighter. Surprise! They didn’t run. A look passed between them right before one jumped on my back. The other landed on my head. Thank god, the man and woman rescued me. I learned a lesson that day. Never tackle both cats at once.

I bided my time. Waited until I caught the BIG one walking down the driveway alone. Before the woman could yell my name, I was gone. I thought it was my lucky day ‘cause the monster ran in the woods. I tore after him. Then he stopped short. I plowed into him and all hell broke loose. That was the day I decided to leave the cats alone. I don’t like them, but it looks like they aren’t going anywhere. Gotta respect their determination though. They should be declawed. Then I might stand a chance.

Until the next time…hope you get to gnaw on a lot of marrow bones.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's a Dog's Life

My Black Lab, Hunter, came up with the idea of the animals taking over my blog for a while. Since he thought of it, he gets to be first.

Hi everyone. I’m a goofy black lab called Hunter. Have no clue why my mom chose that name. The only thing I hunt is dead animals. I’m good at it, too. It’s impossible to express the ecstasy of rolling in rotten meat. What’s even better is eating what’s left on the carcass and then chewing the bones. Of course, I get sick. Think anyone offers me sympathy? Think again. None. Nada. So I suffer in silence while I listen to “bad dog” said so many times I lose count.

You’d think I’d learn, but I don’t.

Hanging my head in shame, I admit I am not an alpha dog. There’d be no place for me in the books my mom writes. She likes the macho hero types. It’s always been my philosophy if the other dog wants what I have, then what the hell? I can live without it. Er…I don’t just cave to the other dog…I kowtow to the cats, as well. Especially the BIG one. He’s about as mean as they come. A dog would have to be crazy to mess with a twenty pound cranky Siamese. I’ve experienced his temper first hand. Still have the scars. Even the other dog walks a wide birth around the meanie. There’s a pecking order in our house. Bet you can guess who’s at the end of the line. Yep! That'd be me.

My mom and dad say I’m a wimp. I’m not…well, maybe just a little bit. I mean it’s a scary world out there. I live in the woods, you know. Who’d want to tangle with coyotes or bears? Not me.

Another confession. I never uttered a bark until the other dog came to live with us and taught me how to do it. Who’d have thought I could make such a loud noise. Scared myself the first time I did it. Now I’m as good of a watch do as the other dog.

I had a wild experience the other day. My mom and I went for a walk to the bog. Half way down the hill I saw IT. A vision to behold. I didn’t know what IT was, but IT beckoned me. I took off at high speed and pretended not to hear my mom yelling at me to come back. I skidded to a stop at the thing. I recognized the smell. Turtles lay eggs in our yard all the time, but let me tell you this one was HUGE. It made my head look like a tennis ball. I crept up, cautious now, and jumped four feet back when it lunged and hissed at me. Hmmm…the small turtles’ heads disappear, and I can carry them around in my mouth. Not this sucker. After a few laps around it, carefully avoiding all contact, I knew I’d tackled more than I could handle. “Coming Mom. See what a good dog I am?”

Until the next time…may you not only chase rabbits in your dreams, but catch them, which is something I can't do.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Last week, my brother, Andy, and his partner, Judy, lost a very special friend. Moose lived a life most dogs (and many people, too) only dream about. A cross between a Brittany and a Golden Retriever, Moose received the best qualities from both breeds. He proved to be a fantastic bird dog and loved the water as if he were born there.

I remember Moose as a puppy. He overcame many health problems, and this tenacity showed us what a super dog he’d become.
This is a bit embarrassing to admit…I envied Moose’s lifestyle. Andy, a Master Maine Registered Guide, spends the majority of his time in the woods or in a boat. Many summer days at work, my mind wandered to Andy and Moose trolling around a wilderness lake fishing. I could picture Moose sleeping in the bottom of the boat, soaking up the sun or standing in the bow, enjoying the wind in his face. Yeah, that’s where I wanted to be. Now I know the true meaning of “lucky dog.” What dog wouldn’t give up his special toy to trade places?

Moose enjoyed a long life where he brought joy and love into Andy and Judy’s lives. In turn, they adored him and made his time on earth a special one. Right now there’s a hole in their hearts, but in time, Moose will sit gently in their minds, and his memory will bring smiles to their faces. Moose’s spirit now runs free. He’ll hunt birds, sit on a peaceful lakeshore and swim a few laps to cool off in the summer’s heat. I’m sure he’ll also find something smelly to roll in.
Farewell, Moose. You’ll never be forgotten. You can bet this special dog will be in one of my novels someday.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

VOODOO BONES by Melanie Atkins

I’ve always been fascinated by the French Quarter in New Orleans. It evokes an anticipatory thrill of terror any mystery inside my chest. The city's popularity for fiction writers, especially the romance genre, hasn’t waned over the years. I can remember reading many historical romances in the 70’s and 80’s set in New Orleans.

When Melanie Atkins advertised her novella, Voodoo Bones, I knew I had to read it. And I wasn’t disappointed!

Voodoo Bones puts the reader there in that mysterious, haunting section of New Orleans. I smelled the area’s scents and felt myself living behind the voodoo shop with the heroine. I even found myself urging the heroine to move out of the place. LOL.

Noel Galliano meets Detective Mathieu Bergeron when a dismembered body is discovered upstairs from Noel’s Voodoo Shop. The developing relationship between these two very likeable characters enhances this novella’s suspense. I read plenty of romantic suspense novels, but few give me shivers and make me uneasy when I read them in bed at night. This one did!


Saturday, June 28, 2008

BLIND LOVE by Nina Pierce

A Liquid Erotic Romance from
Liquid Silver Books

Blurb from Author's website

In BLIND LOVE, the first novella in the Tilling Passions series, uptight CPA and oldest sister, JULIE TILLING, is the glue that binds her family. Everyone, including her parents, depend on her to do the right thing. But when her friend from high school dies and Julie is the only one who believes he didn’t commit suicide, she takes it upon herself to investigate his death. Her search for answers finds her flirting on the fringes of internet pornography. But Julie’s desire to find a killer and experience a sexual awakening may push her moral boundaries to the breaking point.

DAMON COREY didn’t come to Maine to become shock jock, Demon Jones. But when his dream career of becoming a concert pianist seems unobtainable, the radio station’s offer is too good to pass up. Besides, being a radio celebrity has definite advantages with the ladies. When mysterious brunette, Jewel, hooks up with him at the night club run by a college frat brother their one night fling wraps around his heart and won’t loosen its talons.

Julie and Damon feel the heat of passion from the moment they meet, but will their secrets unravel the tenuous threads of their relationship? Can Damon expose his inner soul without pushing Julie away or will his enigmatic Demon Jones persona become Julie’s sexual undoing and reveal him as the missing piece that solves the puzzling questions surrounding her friend’s death?


Whew! Ms. Pierce knows how to heat up a novella! I was a bit wary of reading this as it appeared it might be on the "dark side", but Julie, the heroine, created plenty of "light" and complemented Damon, the troubled hero, extremely well. They created a harmonic balance that left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling at the end of their story. I'm anxious to read Books Two and Three of this trilogy.

Keep them coming, Nina!

Highly Recommend