The entire planet is feeling the squeeze of high prices. It’s not just the US. We are, in fact, in a better position than many other countries. As my grandmother (or Aunt Loulane) would remind me, “less is more” and “the best things in life are free.” You guys all know I’m often on my soap box about over-consumption and wasting food and resources. Now may be a really good time to re-evaluate old habits. Good for us and good for the planet if we can cut back. I’m not making light of the hardships many families face but take a different perspective and see if it doesn’t boost your attitude.
Here’s a little good news for pinched book budgets! BONE TO BE WILD (e-book) will be on sale for $2.99 at any e-book store for the whole month of August. On top of that, A GARLAND OF BONES will also be on sale for $2.99 all of September! Thank you, St. Martin’s Press.
Worries of a farm girl: feed prices are up, but hay is going to be out of sight this fall. Unlike gas, where big oil and gas are price gouging, farmers are working hard to make ends meet. Their costs have skyrocketed, and if the weather cooperates and there is hay, it is going to be expensive. When I first moved on the farm, I was paying .75 cents a bale. Now it is $7-8. And that is barely covering the farmer’s expenses. I’m not complaining. I’m re-evaluating and trying to see what I can cut from my daily expenses to save up a little this summer for the fall when I need to fill the barn for winter.
My daddy was a man ahead of his time. In the 1970s he talked to me about limited resources and waste. Yeah, at 17, I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted so many things. I’ve never minded working for what I want, but I didn’t want to hear how buying things—even with cash—was a bad vice. He believed the planet had been entrusted to us to protect and keep, not abuse and deplete. Excess, of any sort, was distasteful to him. Now, I’m older and there are not many things I want other than to take care of my friends and the animals. I think about my dad a lot these days as the shortages he predicted are now upon us. I realize I am just like Roy Haines. I hope he’s proud of me.
A million years ago riding with my friend Leslee John.
My solution to difficult days—find a good book and read it!
With that in mind, I want to remind all of you that LADY OF BONES and SUMMER OF THE REDEEMERS are both available now. Reviews are always appreciated. Keep in mind that SUMMER is a Southern gothic, not a cozy. It’s a tough story. It was the first novel I published, and it was the beginning of a different writing career. Prior to that, I’d written romantic mysteries for Harlequin Intrigue. I loved writing them because the people were good and noble for the most part. That is not true of SUMMER. Elaine Koster, who was an editor at Dutton, read the book while she was on jury duty and called my agent from the courthouse and made an offer on SUMMER and one more book, which turned out to be TOUCHED. The second Jexville book, TOUCHED, will release August 15. JUDAS BURNING, which completes the Jexville trilogy, will be re-released in September.
I want to give a big shoutout to Priya Bhakta, my partner in literary crime, who designed the interior of these books. And big thanks to her sister, fab photographer and designer, Nikkita Bhakta (whose artwork was flown into outer space on the Space Shuttle Atlantis), who created the book covers. I hope you enjoy reading it – and I highly recommend getting the hardcover edition of this book. You can get the hardcover on Amazon or by ordering it at your favorite independent book store – these are lovely case laminate editions. I’ve listed this book with Ingram which means every bookstore will have the ability to order and ship it to you. So please show this hardcover book some love!! You can also request your local library to add this book to their inventory so you can borrow it! The ISBN is: 9781733016957 (Let your friends know about this! I truly want to get this new 2022 edition of this book in the libraries). Every penny earned from this book gets donated to the Good Fortune Farm Refuge – helping abandoned pets get loving homes and medical treatment). Make sure you give libraries or bookstores the new ISBN so you get the 2022 edition of this book.
These books are set in the fictional town of Jexville in 1953, 1926 and the early 2000s respectively. They follow different members of the McVay family. I’m very proud of these books, and I hope you’ll enjoy them. AND—all proceeds go to Good Fortune Farm Refuge. I have to keep Dick Cheney in kibble and drugs or he may eat my face off!
Speaking of Dick, he is really doing good. He has gained even more weight. He loves to watch TV sitting beside me or in my lap. He hasn’t beaten anyone up lately, but I watch him closely. Puss, Pearl, Cup and Nut are living large. Nut had to have a lot of teeth removed but he has recovered nicely. These were all my sister Susan’s pets who lived in an apartment in NYC before they came South to live with me when she died. It’s been six months and I think they have adjusted to her absence. I know they miss her, as I do, but they are building relationships with the other critters and me.
David’s cats are doing good, too. Two are still very feral, but they are slowly coming around. Rachel sniffed my fingertips this morning and didn’t bolt. She is so afraid. I’m just letting her come around at her own pace. I sit and talk to her, but I don’t try to force her. I’m not a patient person, so this is good for her and for me.
Flicker turned 20 on July 17. Her health isn’t terrific, but she is doing okay. Piper, her sister, is frisky and sleek. She had her 18th birthday March 23. The turning of the calendar leaves brings us all closer to another birthday.
The dogs are living large. Pork roast, potatoes, squash, broccoli. I mashed it all together. Are they spoiled or what?
I bought a golf cart so I could ride the dogs around the farm (it is too damn hot to walk). Lily, Tundra, and Sorrow love the golf cart. Casper and the littles like it okay, and Eudora tolerates it but isn’t crazy about it. I thought I’d get Leroy used to riding in it. I figured he’d love it because they all love riding in the truck. Not such a great idea. I had Leroy sitting on the seat with me, but as we were putting around the yard, he got down on the floorboard. He is a big, long dog that looks like a cross between a Basset hound and a pony.
He was enjoying the ride—until he sat on my foot on the gas pedal. He weighs about 100 pounds, and he pressed that pedal to the floorboard. We were flying around the yard with me trying to avoid trees and obstacles. I was attempting to pull him off my foot because golf cart brakes are not all that terrific when the gas pedal is pressed to the metal. Anyway, I took a sharp corner and Leroy kind of tumbled/jumped to the ground and I stopped the cart. Who would have thought Leroy wanted to be a race-cart driver? So, I learned several valuable lessons. Keep the dog on the seat with me. Golf Cart brakes are iffy. But all is well that ends well. I’ll give it another try later this week. (I know, a fool born every minute.)
You guys have a good August. The heat is pretty tough down here in lower Alabama but we have been lucky to have a lot of rain to cool things off.
Here’s one of my favorite songs. California Dreamin’. Yes, I’m California dreamin’ and winter dreamin’.
I have to go. Puss demands that I stop typing and hold her. I live to obey!
Until next month!
Carolyn and the critters
P.S. I love hearing from my readers, so please feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.P.S. I’ve teamed up with Writerspace to host another book giveaway: July Contest