A new Column below!
The last of August and September have been wild down here at the farm. The weather has been insane. Almost three weeks of 95+ degrees with no hint of rain. This is killer heat and will impact the hay production. Piper and Flicker are looking worried! At least the horses have fans in the barn and good ventilation, but it has been way, way too hot. For horse and human. The dogs and cats are piled up in the house under the air conditioner and they are not even inclined to go outside for anything. We are just gritting down, waiting for the summer to finish up, and hoping we avoid a hurricane this year.
The searingly hot weather has been good for books! Lots of books! Book news everywhere, and first and foremost is the publication of the 11th Trouble, black cat detective, book. TROUBLE MOST FAIRE, by Jaden Terrell, is available for pre-order now and goes on sale October 7. And as a little bonus, FAMILIAR TROUBLE, the first book in the series, is free. If you haven’t tried the cat books yet, you can meet the black cat sleuth. Or if you have already read it, please let your friends know it’s free today. And then I’m sure you’ll want to follow Trouble to the Ren Faire in Sherwood, TN where murder most foul has been committed! The superior (and sarcastic) Trouble is assisted in solving the mystery and saving the bipeds by Tuck, a pig that will steal your heart! It’s a fun mystery with a twist of romance and a bit of whimsy.
Jaden (who I know as Beth) is a fine writer with a series of darker detective stories featuring PI Jared McKean that are just excellent. And she’s turned her storytelling talent to the world of Renaissance faires—a world that was new to me and very interesting.
This is Beth’s first book in the Trouble series, following on the heels of Susan Y. Tanner’s exciting TROUBLE IN ACTION. So nab a free copy of FAMILIAR TROUBLE and meet the Wetumpka, AL black cat who watches way too much Benedict Cumberbatch on the telly. Then pre-order Jaden’s book and kick back and wait for the heat of summer to finally pass.
And be sure and mark your calendars for a special three-day FB event that the MadCatters are hosting October 5-7! TROUBLE MOST FAIRE BOOK LAUNCH CELEBRATION. We will host the event on that page from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. CDT each day. It will be a fun-filled three days featuring us MadCatter authors who will be hosting contests, games, chats, and giving away prizes. And there is a free Trouble Christmas novella by Susan Y. Tanner (it is so wonderful) for those who sign up for the MadCatters’ newsletter or participate in the FB event. Remember, Trouble is watching—and he really does have a naughty list!
As Halloween approaches, A VISITATION OF ANGELS, my new Pluto’s Snitch book (#4) will be out. When you pre-order now it will pop up on your e-reader in SIX DAYS. Just in time for Halloween. All proceeds from the sale of this book goes to Good Fortune Farm Refuge, the animal rescue. We have 20 animals living at the refuge, and we also do our best to help spay and neuter animals for those who need a little help. Vet care is just so incredibly expensive these days.
It’s been two years since I had a Pluto’s Snitch book out—man, time gets away from me. But this one is set on Sand Mountain, AL in the fictional town of Mission—a place that’s not exactly hospitable to free-thinking women. Elizabeth Maslow hires Raissa and Reginald to help her save a man from being hanged for a murder she says he didn’t commit. Elizabeth knows Slater McEachern is innocent, because she dreams the truth. She also believes her child, little Callie, born with webbed hands and feet, was fathered by an angel. It’s a dark, dangerous, and mysterious case that Reginald and Raissa must resolve before someone else dies.
Right now I’m writing A GARLAND OF BONES for Christmas 2020! I’m waiting on edits for THE DEVIL’S BONES, which will come out in May of 2020. This is a crazy life!
I’ll be at the Hattiesburg Public Library October 2 for a luncheon with authors gathering. I went to college in Hattiesburg and worked for the local paper there while I was in school. My Aunt Sis and Uncle Cal Calhoun lived there and I spent a lot of wonderful hours with them on West 4th Street. It was a gracious street of comfortable houses and large oaks when Aunt Sis was alive. I had some wonderful years in Hattiesburg, and I always enjoy going back.
We had a Full Harvest Moon on Friday 13th, so my niece, Jennifer, and I went ghost hunting. We drove out to KaliOka Road and Cry Baby Creek, which has reported sighting of “a tall man” (who was lynched by evil doers) walking the side of the road, and of course, the sounds of a poor baby crying moments before she is drowned. The story goes that a young woman—a brand new mother—during the Civil War found out the Yankees were coming and she grabbed her baby and ran to the creek to hide under the bridge. The soldiers pursued her, and the baby started crying. She knew they would both be caught, and she drowned her baby because she couldn’t quiet her. The legend goes on that she is doomed to haunt the bridge for eternity as she searches for her poor baby. We didn’t hear the baby—though Jennifer and I actually climbed over the bridge railing in the dark and scooted down a steep incline to get under the bridge to listen. (Getting back up was a kind of Three Stooges episode!) But we did find a whole lot of orbs, light streaks, and diaphanous images near the old plantation. See the photos! We posted a bunch on my FB page.
The critters are doing good. It’s too hot to be bad.
Here’s a tune from one of my heroes in the music world. It’s from maybe the best album of duets ever made. Enjoy! In Spite of Ourselves
Happy autumn (please get here!)
Carolyn and the critters
I will give it to you straight. My husband and I have 2 sons. They are beautiful, wonderful, healthy kids who are the delight of our lives. We agreed before marriage that we wanted only two kids, so after my second pregnancy, my husband underwent a vasectomy. However, I want a third child. A daughter. I’m 37 years old and it’s not too late! There’s a screening step in the IVF cycle where the sex of a baby can be selected. My husband doesn’t want a third child. And he also doesn’t want to reverse his vasectomy. (He’d be under anesthesia, no pain!) We get into squabbles about this off and on. I don’t think I ask for too much. I homeschool our boys, keep the house maintained, greet my hubby at the door with a kiss, and serve him a hot meal every single night. Being a boy mom is awesome, but I often wonder what it would be like to have a little girl. What do you say Jitty? Should I let it go? If not, what do you recommend I do to get my way? My mom says I am being pig-headed about this but it’s easy for her to say, since she’s never been in my position. Any advice to get me out of my mopey state of mind would be helpful.
Dear Boy Mom,
Now you know Jitty is all about Sarah Booth havin’ a baby so I have someone to haunt. You already got TWO babies! Give it up, girl. You have a bounty of riches—two healthy boys, the time to be at home and raise them. You got a dream life. And you made a deal. I hear you about wantin’ a sweet little girl, but what you’re proposing sounds a little too sci-fi for old Jitty—and a whole lot wrong in regard to the man you married. You made a deal. Now you want to change the whole game? I’m not seein’ this as a good decision.
But—I have a solution! Rather than risk a medical procedure that could result in something you really don’t want to happen, why not consider fostering? There are precious baby girls out there who would love a mama who wants to dote on them.
I don’t know that this would appeal to your man, but remember, this has to be a mutual decision. No going back on a deal. Sure, people change their minds. It happens. No one knows who they’ll be 20 years down the road. But you want to be the person who honors a deal. Even when it’s a deal you no longer like.
Talk to your man about fostering. He may be more amenable to giving a home to a little girl who desperately needs one. If it works out, you could move to adoption. You could get that little bundle of joy AND make the world a better place.
P.S. For everyone reading this, let me guide you honey chile. Get some advice by writing me at DearJitty@yahoo.com