The Bleak Midwinter

on February 23, 2021

Dear Reader,

I don’t have a lot of perky news this month—and I missed last month. Normally I really enjoy writing my newsletter and staying in touch, but I’m dealing with a very serious family illness and I am consumed with that. Not to mention way, way below average cold right now, COVID, a book deadline that is disappearing in the rearview mirror.

But Spring is on the way. Cold weather makes everything seem harder to me because I worry about animals without protection—and people too. If I had a magic wand, everyone on the planet would have what they needed for a good life. And no one would be a glutton or hoard far more than they can ever use. But that’s my idea of a good planet.

Please celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a wonderful short story by Claire Matturro in the YEAR-ROUND TROUBLE anthology. 14 authors—14 original mystery short stories each featuring that sleek, savvy, and sophisticated black cat detective, Trouble.

I’ve finished the first draft of TROUBLE RESTORED, so we hope to have a new Trouble book out very soon. The Madcatters have all been laboring under a lot of personal issues and the dark cloud of COVID, so we are behind schedule with our planned books, but I hope 2021 sees several new Trouble titles for you.

And in some really good news, I signed another contract with St. Martin’s for more Sarah Booth! That is always something to celebrate. INDEPENDENT BONES will be released in May, and I’m already working on the book for 2022. How strange that sounds. It was only 10 minutes ago that we were celebrating the turn of the century. Now, we’re about to mark a quarter century. You can pre-order INDEPENDENT BONES right now, and it really does help an author if there are pre-orders and anticipation for a new book. This story resolves an issue we have been waiting on for 3 years. Ha ha ha. Yes, that’s a teaser.

I have trapped 4 feral cats, because I gave my word I would do it. 3 are in the sunroom, terrified of me. The 4th one is in a big kennel. He is also terrified but he is also aggressive. I am hoping he will calm down and if anyone has any tricks, please let me know! I’ve had a lot of feral cats, but I’ve never really dealt with one that leaps at my hands or face when I’m trying to give him food. He is a big, beautiful yellow Manx. I am assuming he is a male because yellow cats most often are. And he is muscled up like a male. In his defense, coming into a home with 7 dogs and 14 cats (counting him) is a bit of a change. The thing these cats have to realize is that time is on my side. I shall win them over!

You guys stay warm and safe. I got my first COVID shot this month. The second is due March 2. Keep a good thought for me and my family. Get vaccinated when you can. Let’s look forward to a big party in the fall.

Keep it in the middle of the road,
Carolyn and the ever-expanding list of critters

P.S. Enjoy this tune from Libby Rae Watson, who happens to be the niece of my “cousin” Lucille Armstrong. This is from the Oxford Blues Festival. Darkness on the Delta

P.P.S. I’m giving away a digital copy of The Trouble with Cupid. It’s a Valentines anthology of 10 short Trouble cat detective mysteries spiced with romance: February Contest.

Scooter sits in the window looking out over the frozen yard thinking, “Why doesn’t my lazy human get out there and warm up the grass so I can stroll comfortably?”