Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Sick Kitty :( #cats #pets #cat emergency

Jinx (sitting) and Max (lying down)
Writing is my outlet, and it often helps me to deal with emotional situations.  So instead of the happy post I thought I'd be writing today, detailing our recent trip to Punta Cana, instead I'm sharing my anxiety over finding my cat extremely ill this morning, and then having to leave him at the Emergency Animal Hospital, in the hopes organizing my thoughts will help calm me down.

First off, I'm blaming myself, because the stress of being left with an unfamiliar pet sitter may have led to this, according to the vet.  But it's unrealistic to never take a family vacation, and we've certainly gone away before in the two years since we adopted a pair of brothers named Max and Jinx.  This isn't the first time we've had someone stay at the house, either, since we also have a high-maintenance (read: timid/fear-aggressive/high energy part-border collie) rescue dog.  But this time, I guess a combination of factors led to Max's illness, which has been diagnosed as FLUID, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.

We arrived home late Friday night, around midnight, and the cats seemed fine...although I didn't spend a lot of time with them since I was exhausted. The next morning all seemed basically okay, and the cats were excited to go out in the yard for the first time in a week, since the pet sitter did not want to let them outside while she was responsible (understandable...I wish the two cats were happy indoors all the time, but they are not, and we compromise by allowing them out for a few hours a day.  Somehow this actually works and they don't go far).

But when Max came in, he didn't want any food, which is very unusual. Both of them usually eat quite a bit.  As the night wore on, I noticed he still wasn't eating much, although with two cats, it's sometimes hard to tell who is doing what--especially in terms of litter box activity.  But Max did let out a few plaintive meows, when normally he's much less vocal than his brother.

In the morning, I couldn't find him, and my husband just assumed he was sleeping in one of our sons' rooms.  But at that point I had pet-mom's intuition, and I absolutely knew something wasn't right.  I raced around the house, looking in all the regular hiding spots, terrified I would find a worst-case scenario.  I finally found him someplace he never is, lying against a wall behind a table in the basement, and when I touched his abdomen, he mewled in pain.

Of course this would happen on a Sunday, when our beloved regular vet is not in, so I raced Max to the closest 24-hour Animal Hospital, which was still a half-hour away.  It was $500 to even get in the door, but my gut was telling me this was an emergency, and I was right.  I told the front desk I felt like he might have a bladder infection, since I remember one of our childhood cats having similar symptoms.  They said that absolutely is an emergency and whisked him away.  But it was even more serious than an infection--he had a complete blockage, which meant he was unable to urinate at all.  Left untreated, he would die.

The first line of treatment was to prepare him to be catheterized, so they sedated him and also administered medication for the pain.  I was able to see him after that, and he appeared very calm for a cat who is usually quite skittish.  But I think he knew he was getting help, and certainly the drugs already flowing into his legs were helping.  I gave him a kiss and said goodbye.

Max and Jinx - Jinx and I and the rest of the family
can't wait for him to get home

The vet will work to eliminate the blockage and drain his bladder tonight, while also checking blood work and urine for infections.  Best case scenario is that Max will be able to urinate on his own tomorrow, after the catheter is removed, and I can bring him home in the afternoon.  A diet change may help to keep this from happening again, but apparently he will always be susceptible.

I don't want to think about anything beyond best case right now, but worst-case involves kidney damage, which would be awful.  From the initial tests, his levels are off-the-charts (bad), but that could come down with time if there's no permanent damage.  I also can't think about the already enormous bill, because I love my pets and there's no question I have to do whatever I can to help him, even if it causes some hardship in other areas for a while.

So all I can do at the moment is wait to hear, and say some prayers, and ask for prayers or good thoughts from anyone stopping by.  I'll post updates at the bottom once I get any.  And now I'm off to scour the internet for more information and the best ways to keep this from happening again.  Thanks for any healing prayers you can send!  

Friday, April 14, 2017

Why #EasterSunday Moves Around ~ #Easter #EasterWeekend

I enjoy learning about the reasons behind traditions and beliefs...for example, I've done popular posts on Why 13 is Considered UnluckyThe Origin of Halloween, and Why People Fear Black Cats.  As you may notice, these topics have a common element--the paranormal--one of my favorite subjects, as well as the inspiration for my novels.  My two #1 Kindle Bestsellers, SILVER LAKE and GULL HARBOR, as well as my new release, HAUNTED SOULS, combine steamy romance with spooky hauntings.

My Young Adult novel, DIVINE FALL, is a little different.  When my children were younger, I taught Sunday School, and a passage from the Book of Genesis inspired a new supernatural idea.  Divine Fall is the story of the only surviving Nephilim--the offspring of heavenly angels and human women who roamed the earth before the Great Flood.  

As a Sunday School teacher, I was asked unusual questions, which I didn't always have the answer to.  Kids are unbelievably insightful sometimes.  Why, they wondered, was Christmas always December 25th, while Easter moved around?  Excellent question...and not a particularly easy one.

According to documents from the 3rd and 4th centuries, Christians relied on their Jewish neighbors to determine the week of the Unleavened Bread; the Sunday that fell within that week would be Easter.  Following the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, the date of Easter was separated from the Jewish calendar and its computations for Passover.

Since then, Easter Day is always the Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or after the Northern spring equinox, which is based on an ancient ecclesiastical computation, and does not correspond to the astronomical equinox.  The church defines the spring, or vernal, equinox as falling on March 21st.  Easter falls on the Sunday following the first full moon after the equinox.  This full moon will occur somewhere between March 21st and April 18th, inclusive.  Therefore, Easter cannot be earlier than March 22nd or later than April 25th.  In 2008, Easter was particularly early, falling on March 23rd.  That hadn't happened since 1913, and will not happen again until 2160.

Of course, there are handy tables available to find the date.  But those tables are derived from something called "The Golden Number" and "The Sunday Letter".  The Golden Number is computed by taking the year, dividing it by 19, and adding 1 to the remainder.  For example, 2014 divided by 19 gives 106, with a remainder of 0. Adding 1 to the remainder gives a golden number of 1.  Finding the Sunday Letter involves determining the first Sunday of the year, with the choices ranging from A through G.  For example, if the first Sunday in January falls on the 1st, that year is an "A" year.

There are more computations, explanations, and nuances surrounding leap years, but for the purposes of the kids in my class, my summation was enough to explain the phenomenon.  The short answer, really, is that Easter moves around from year to year in order to maintain the connection between the astronomical events (the phase of the moon and the season) which would have occurred during the Resurrection and the annual date on which we celebrate this holiday.

Whatever spring holiday or event you celebrate, I hope it's filled with family and happiness.  Take some time to enjoy nature's resurrection--the new life, strengthening sun, and longer days that characterize this season.  And if the Easter bunny visits (that's a whole 'nother post for next Easter maybe?), remind him to put some paranormal romance reads in your basket!

SILVER LAKE ~ A haunting, an old flame, 
and secrets from the past

GULL HARBOR ~ A dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend await psychic Claire Linden in Cape Cod's Gull Harbor

DIVINE FALL ~ Revenge, Romance, and 
a Rogue Fallen Angel (YA Paranormal Romance)

HAUNTED SOULS ~ A damaged soldier, a secret baby,
and a haunting mystery
Easter moves around from year to year in order to preserve its relationship to the astronomical phenomena (i.e., the season of the year and the phase of the moon) that would have occurred at the time of the resurrection (traditionally reckoned as having taken place in 30 A.D.).

Easter moves around from year to year in order to preserve its relationship to the astronomical phenomena (i.e., the season of the year and the phase of the moon) that would have occurred at the time of the resurrection (traditionally reckoned as having taken place in 30 A.D.).

Easter moves around from year to year in order to preserve its relationship to the astronomical phenomena (i.e., the season of the year and the phase of the moon) that would have occurred at the time of the resurrection (traditionally reckoned as having taken place in 30 A.D.).


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

#HAUNTED SOULS in Cape Cod Times #Books Page! #CapeCod #ghosts #romance

Although I see a great deal of national news online, since I'm on the computer so much, I do still really enjoy reading the paper--the actual physical paper that gets delivered--to get more information about what's going on in my corner of the world.  I'm so busy, though, that I probably do it backwards...instead of reading the paper with my coffee first thing in the morning, I usually sit down with it at night, usually with my glass of wine and one or both cats vying for attention.

Sometimes, the cats win, and I can't get to actually reading the paper because they're lying on it in my lap.  Or, exhaustion wins out, and nod off before I can get through the whole thing.  So I do get behind.  And I had not read Sunday's edition of The Cape Cod Times by Monday morning.

So I arrived at the gym where I work to teach a class, and one of the members says, "Good morning, famous person."  Having no idea what she was referring to, I just smiled and said "I wish!"  She then elaborated, telling me my most recent book had been featured in the Books section of the Sunday Cape Cod Times.  Exciting!  Once I got inside, I discovered a few of my ladies had brought in their copies for me as well, so I was able to read the write-up right away.

A number of books by local authors were featured in the article, entitled "Spring Crop: Still Too Cold for the Beach?  Read A Book About the Beach and More".  My latest release, Haunted Souls, a steamy romance/ghost mystery set on Cape Cod, was one of the books mentioned.  The cover was there in color, along with a nice summary and a mention of one of my other novels set on the Cape, Gull Harbor.

And in one more "small world" type of twist, the book underneath mine in the article was written by an author who also writes for my publisher, and I had featured her book on my blog a while back.  They are not only connected by the publisher, but also by a Cape Cod setting, a paranormal plot element, and even a local historical building as a setting: The Old (Haunted) Jail!

What a wonderful surprise for a Monday morning.  I snapped the above pictures of the print edition and have linked the online article below as well, for anyone looking for some Cape-themed reads!  And if you have a Kindle, Haunted Souls is on sale until Thursday night for 99c!  (Amazon link on the blue title directly above)  Thanks for stopping by and happy reading :)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#CapeCod Event - #Fitness, #Beauty, #Psychic Readings, + Shopping! #Mashpee

I'll be participating in a fun Ladies' Night Out coming up on Friday, in Mashpee on Cape Cod, and it's open to all!  I get to combine a bunch of my favorite things: fitness, makeovers, shopping, healthy delicious food, talking to psychic mediums, and socializing with wonderful women, all for a good cause!  I'll be mixing my two jobs (and passions): signing copies of my novels for readers, and also representing the fitness club where I work, which is hosting the event.  If you're in the area, come on by -- it's open to the public, and you can shop local vendors, get a makeover, take a class if you'd like, and sign up for a $20 reading with one of the two mediums booked for the event - they can explore your future with tarot cards or try to connect with your past by channeling spirits!  As someone who writes ghost stories, I've met with several psychics, and almost every time, I've received messages that were so accurate they gave me goosebumps.  I got to speak at length to several psychics when I was doing research for one of my books, Gull Harbor, as the main character is a psychic newly embracing her gift, and one of the mediums was actually distracted speaking to me, telling me spirits of loved ones had something to say. The things he passed along (at no charge) had me 100% convinced some people can connect this world with the next.

If you're interested in joining us for this event, it's at The Fitness Company for Women, 502 Main Street (Rt. 130) in Mashpee, on Friday, April 7th, from 5 pm - 9 pm.  Appointments with the psychics can be made starting at 5 pm.  Beauty appointments, such as makeovers, polish changes, and mini facials, will be first come, first serve.  Our popular "Fit Rev" group fitness clinic will be offered from 5 pm to 6 pm, and a barre class will be offered from 6 pm to 7 pm.  Local vendors will have tables set up for shopping, and I'll have all my novels available for sale and signing (personalized books make great gifts - Mother's Day is coming!).  Healthy food will be provided, and free child care is available.  

While we've done nights like this before, the goal for this one is to celebrate the lives of two members who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last month, and hopefully raise money to donate to their families.  Vendors and psychics will be donating part of their proceeds, and we'll have other fun offerings like raffles for donated items to help raise money as well.

You can find the FB event page below as well as a list of some of the vendors.  Hope to see you there!

Fit N DLite Healthy Meal Prep
Limelight By Alcone Makeup and Skin Care
Cape Cod Nail Company
Wampanoag Shells
Achieve More Fitness Apparel
Partylite Candles
Author Kathryn Knight Book Signing
And more!

Entertainment provided by Shelby Donovan

Free Child Care will be provided.

We will be offering raffles, giveaways and lots of membership and salon promotions!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Final Days #99c Sale! #Romance + #Ghosts #Kindle

** Final days! **  

My publisher has put my latest release on sale, which means the ebook format is available for less than a latte...but the price will be changing back soon, so download your copy now if you want to take advantage of the deal!  

Four years ago, Emily Shea and Staff Sergeant Brett Leeds agreed to part with no strings attached. Sparks flew during their brief affair, but fate intervened, sending Brett overseas. When an unexpected pregnancy derailed Emily’s own plans, her attempts to locate Brett were soon overwhelmed by the challenges of single motherhood. Now, Brett has returned home, and Emily is forced to share her secret.

Despite feeling betrayed, Brett is determined to forge a relationship with their son, Tyler. As the former lovers battle both their inner demons and their mutual desire, another presence enters their lives—Tyler’s imaginary friend.

Soon, however, the chilling evidence points to a different conclusion: a ghost has formed a dangerous connection with their son. Emily’s attempts to help both a lost soul and a friend in need spiral toward a deadly confrontation, and Brett must race to save Emily before he loses her again—forever.

HAUNTED SOULS, a hot military romance mixed with a ghost mystery, is marked down from the usual price of $5.99 to only .99 cents!  An excellent deal for hours of entertainment, so grab your copy today and escape to Cape Cod for steamy romance plus spooky suspense.  A perfect weekend read! Links below:

Haunted Souls was voted one of the Top 3 Books of 2016 at Read Freely!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A #Supernatural Binge - How was I not watching this?

Admittedly, I don't watch all that much TV, because I often just don't have the time (or patience) to get into a new show.  Reading is my #1 favorite pastime, and then I have to find time to write, then there are the other part-time jobs and of course family members and pets who want attention.  But I do have some favorite shows that I always make time for (or at least time to DVR episodes for later), and they usually involve the things I like best: some romance, hot heroes, some paranormal elements or magic, and plenty of conflict and tension.  I've blogged about several that fit the bill:  Outlander, Vikings, Game of Thrones, The Vampire Diaries, Reign, etc.  In addition, I'm a big fan of spooky movies.

So when a friend recently found out I didn't watch Supernatural, she couldn't believe it.  She had just recently begun watching it, and she suggested I do the same, but I resisted at first.  Too busy to try another show, I decided.  But she convinced me (and made me laugh) by telling me that it was like a "show designed specifically for me".  She went on to say that if a group of writers got together and said, "Okay, how can make the perfect show for this woman who loves hot guys, ghosts, Nephilim, demons, and other paranormal mysteries?", the result would be something like this show.  How could I resist that pitch?

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester

Well, she was right.  I love it.  I'm only on the first season, but Dean Winchester already has my heart.  (I also enjoyed the actor, Jensen Ackles, on Days of Our Lives, but Dean is a much better character than Eric, even if he was a Brady!)  Don't get me wrong, Sam's cute as well...but I'm definitely Team Dean.  Aside from just looks, I absolutely love the actor's facial expressions and the character's personality.

So far the early part of the show has been heavy on ghosts and spirits, which is absolutely my thing, and I'm enjoying the chemistry between the brothers as they begin to work together to find their father.  There's some strong motivation for what they're doing (which is important to me as a writer), since their mother and then Jessica were killed by an evil entity.  In addition, they want to find their father and battle any evil they encounter along the way (take up the family business of "hunting").

Two hot hunters!  Dean and Sam Winchester

I especially enjoyed the "Dead in the Water" episode, as the entire premise followed a theme I often use in my novels: a desperate spirit, unable to rest, seeking...something.  I won't say what here, to avoid spoilers.  But the ghost has motivation as well, as opposed to just haunting/killing for no reason beyond a creepy plot device.

In a few other funny coincidences, the hero of my current manuscript is named Dean.  And I also remembered another tie I have to the show when I began watching...when writing Divine Fall, my Young Adult paranormal romance, I had to come up with some rules about angels and Nephilim (half-angels, half-humans), and my "research" led me to a post about an episode of Supernatural. That post led me to seek more information on an ancient perfume used by Egyptians that supposedly could kill an angel, and eventually the substance, qeres, became part of my plot.  So I look forward to a future episode where Dean and Sam tackle some bad angels (I think it's S4), and to 11 more seasons of my new favorite show!

Friday, March 24, 2017

#99c #SALE! Hot #Romance + #Haunting Mystery #FridayReads #Kindledeals

Short and sweet post today ~ my publisher has put my latest release on sale, which means the ebook format is available for less than a latte!  HAUNTED SOULS, a hot military romance mixed with a ghost mystery, is marked down from the usual price of $5.99 to only .99 cents!  An excellent deal for hours of entertainment, so grab your copy today and escape to Cape Cod for steamy romance plus spooky suspense.  A perfect weekend read!  Links below:

Haunted Souls was voted one of the Top 3 Books of 2016 at Read Freely!