February is a month I truly, truly do not like. August is another unpleasant month. My dislike is based a lot on weather, but not totally. They are always just difficult months.
If I had set up the world, all beings would fall deeply asleep Feb. 1 and Aug. 1 and sleep until the conclusion of each month, when they’d awaken refreshed, revived and filled with compassion.
Too bad I don’t run the world, right?
My sister, Susan Haines, who lived in New York, died recently. Her death came directly on top of my brother, David’s, death of 2/22/21. A year ago yesterday.
Susan was a city girl through and through, and though I urged her to move down here where we could look out for each other, she stayed in the place she loved. We shared a number of traits. We both loved animals, and her 5 adopted pets have been transported here to Mobile to live with me on the farm. Susan was compassionate, kind, and always ready to fight for the underdog. She wasn’t loud, but buddy if you hurt someone she cared loved, you’d hear about it. We shared exactly the same political beliefs, though we didn’t grow up together. Her mom lived in upstate New York and that’s where Susan grew up.
My sister’s pets just arrived from New York.
She had a career at ConEd for many years and was highly regarded by the union and employees. She was a ground breaker for women in that leadership role. If there was a dispute, you wanted Susan at your back. She was smart as a whip. She got a master’s degree in psychology and she used it to study people and figure them out.
My brother, David, was a different kettle of fish. He and I were raised in Lucedale, and we had that golden childhood of riding bikes, swimming at the creek, and camping in the woods. David was kind, tender hearted, so much smarter than he ever knew, and generous. He died last year with a chronic illness (not Covid) in the middle of the worst Covid wave.
My friends around here were lucky enough to know David and his insane sense of humor. He played tricks on everyone, and he was so much fun. He told the very best stories—much better than mine. And he would do anything to make someone laugh.
He was a Biloxi, MS businessman for 35 years. He owned and operated Pass Road Tee Vee. He worked hard and played hard. We didn’t agree on politics, but we shared a love of animals, horror movies, and pranks.
I can only hope that Susan has him by the ear and is making him behave right this minute.
There have been too many other deaths in my family and for so many others. Before I have you all sobbing in your whiskey, let’s talk about books.
At long last, we are close to republishing the JEXVILLE TRILOGY. Priya, who formatted the book once and then had computer failure, had to do it again and the file was corrupted to the point she had to read it line by line. She wouldn’t let me help because she knows I suck as a proofreader and that I am impatient like a child. I’ve been working on being kinder to people. Not I have to add patience to my work list. And not so many years ago I thought I was perfect! WTH happened?
These books are very special to me, and I so hope you’ll enjoy them. They were originally published by Dutton, reissued by River City Publishing, then F&W Media, and now I’ll do it. All proceeds from each book will go directly to Good Fortune Farm Refuge. GFFR some projects we want to get after, and we need the funds to do it. So, this brings back to life three books I really loved writing and republishing them will also help critters. Win-Win.
Susan Y. Tanner’s latest black cat detective book, TRAIL OF TROUBLE, is getting great reviews. Here’s what one reader has to say in a review posted on Amazon: “Trouble the Black Cat Detective is on the trail of a murderer! Horsewoman Sara Anders is living with author Jackson Cantrell and runs a trail riding business in Oregon. When Jackson is found dead at the bottom of a slope, it’s ruled an accident. But Sara and Trouble thinks otherwise. Jackson has requested that his ashes be buried beside his wife so a funeral cortege of his closest friends start out a six-day trail ride. But one of these “friends” is a murderer. Can Trouble sniff out the murderer before Sara is killed? This is another winning book in the Trouble series.”
And last but not least, Sarah Booth is about to ride back into town. LADY OF BONES (available for preorder and will release June 14). And guess what? Today my publisher is giving away 25 ARCs (Advance Reader Copies). Click this: 25-Book Giveaway. If you’re one of the lucky readers who wins a copy, I hope you will post an honest review on a book site of your choice. I’m trying increase my readership and reviews written by you make a difference. I am very thankful a reader of mine takes the time to post a review – it makes my day. Some of you have been curious about why ARCs exist. Publishers give out ARCs for the sole purpose of drumming up interest and reviews for the books they publish. I’ll be running a similar book giveaway on my Facebook Author Page. I’m trying to come up with a really wacky contest. I’m open to suggestions. You can write me at Carolyn@carolynhaines.com and let me know your zany ideas.
The next installment of the Delta mysteries will be BONES OF HOLLY, which will drop Oct. 11. So it’s a double whammy of the Zinnia gang!
I’m off to finish up the synopsis for the NEXT Bones book. Do you know how much trouble I could get into if I didn’t work all the time? But work is very good!
Here’s a little February music. When I was very small, I thought my grandmother was going to marry Tennessee Ernie Ford. I suspect my mother, who was way too devilish for her own good, told me something to make me believe that. I remember being with my grandma, her hand stroking my hair or some other wonderful attention. Grandma would listen to the singer on the radio and she loved his voice. And I sure can see why. Enjoy! Click this: Tennessee Ernie Ford 16 Tons
ALL the critters and I will be back next month.
Until then, puppy kisses!