Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Peppermint Tree is now available wide

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗣𝗲𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘁 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗲 is a contemporary western romance long novella. (Note: it was previously published in the Amazon-exclusive anthology 𝘈 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘮𝘢𝘴 𝘊𝘰𝘸𝘣𝘰𝘺 𝘛𝘰 𝘒𝘦𝘦𝘱 but is now available at all eBook platforms.)

Heat Level: 5/5 (but the excerpt is 1/5)

𝑳𝒂𝒘𝒚𝒆𝒓 𝑺𝒌𝒚𝒆 𝑴𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒓𝒚 𝒓𝒆𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒔 𝒉𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒅𝒖𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒏 𝒖𝒏𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒘𝒃𝒐𝒚 𝑱𝒐𝒆 𝑪𝒂𝒓𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒂𝒏 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒘𝒂𝒚.


Joe Carrigan watched as the red taillights in the distance slid from left to right and then right even more, finally stopping. He’d been following the Prius for a while, and the driver had been conservative, but their luck had just run out. He was in his Bronco—the same one he’d driven in high school on these very roads—and it could still be trusted in bad weather. He’d been able to afford better cars over the years, but he still had a habit of jumping in this one, especially on a night like this.

He checked his rearview mirror. Thankfully, no cars behind him. He slowed the Bronco and guided it as far to the right as he could without getting stuck.

Stepping out of his vehicle, a blast of cold air hit him as heavy snowflakes engulfed him. He really shouldn’t be out in this, but he’d agreed to meet Oliver and Celeste and a friend of Celeste’s, a blind date he’d been badgered into. His life had been too busy of late for a woman, but it didn’t mean he actually needed or wanted one in his life.

He reached inside the Bronco and grabbed his heavy canvas coat, quickly pulling it on and zipping it to his neck. The snow crunched beneath his boots and his breath came out in white puffs as he crossed the beam of his headlights and approached the Prius. He tapped on the driver’s window, the shadowy figure of a woman on the other side. She hesitated a moment then rolled the window down.

“Are you all right, miss?”

As the woman’s face became fully visible, he did a double-take. “Skylar?”

Her forehead pinched into hard ridges, and her eyes registered a flash of outrage. “Carrigan?”

As if a freight train had hit him, he uttered, “It’s been a long time.”

Copyright © 2020 K. McCaffrey LLC

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Monday, January 13, 2020

An Update On Marley The Rescue

By Kristy McCaffrey

Another year with our sweet boy Marley has flown by, so I wanted to let you all know how he was doing. Since I shared the details of his rescue in my post from last January – Marley The Rescue – I won’t rehash it here. (Click the link in case you missed it.)

We’ve had Marley for two years and he’s doing well. His age is still a mystery. My husband, youngest daughter and I frequently try to guess (maybe 12 or 13 years old?), but the truth is we have no idea. His body moves like an old man, but his mind and temperament are full of the verve and excitement of a much younger dog.

Marley on his Gotcha Day, January 2, 2019.
We consider this his birthday.
At first he didn't like the car, but now he enjoys
going for a ride.

Marley will often take his stuffies outside with him.

He frequently sleeps perfectly inside the boundaries
of his bed, probably a remnant of his time in a cage.

He’s a creature of habit and loves his routine. Each morning, my husband rises very early and let’s Marley and our 12-year-old chocolate lab, Lily, outside for bathroom duties. After that, they return to our bedroom (Marley on a dog bed on the floor and Lily in bed with me) until a I awake a few hours later. They’re always very excited when I head to the kitchen since that means it’s time for a small breakfast. They also receive their medication—Lily for low thyroid and valley fever (the unfortunate circumstance of living in the desert) and Marley for his bad hips. A year ago the veterinarian showed me an x-ray of Marley’s pelvic region and regrettably it’s bone on bone. He receives pain medicine, glucosamine supplements, and CBD oil twice daily. I want to make him as comfortable as I can without drugging him to the point where he sleeps all day. While I don’t know exactly how he feels, or how much pain he might be experiencing, he appears more relaxed and happier now. He still can’t walk far, but he enjoys his time outside and loves to sit and enjoy the fresh air, the birds, and the sunshine. Luckily Arizona has more than its share of sunny days.

Early last year the vet discovered that Marley’s prostate was enlarged. This was, as you can imagine, very concerning. Our first step was to have him neutered, something I hadn’t planned to do (I didn’t see the point – he was too old to go carousing) but we hoped that this was the cause of the enlargement. Thankfully, it was! Since the procedure, he’s had no further problems with this issue.

We know little of what his life was like before we got him except that he’d been caged in the months leading up to our finding him. The state of his teeth, however, has told us a different story. Unfortunately, the vet had to pull two of his canines, top and bottom on the same side, because of abscesses. There were notches in the teeth indicative of extreme cage chewing, something that had likely gone on for a long time, longer than we’d initially been told. It broke my heart to pull those teeth, but I hope that his mouth feels much better now. He’s been a real trooper through these extractions. He never lets anything stand in the way of mealtime. Or treat time. Or food-of-any-kind time.

He’s very playful. He loves his stuffed animals and collects them on his dog bed. It’s quite adorable. He loves chew bones. He loves any type of treat, actually, so I have to be careful with his weight since he’s not able to exercise anymore. He enjoys playing with Lily (it took many months for him to feel comfortable with her), and the two of them are now good buddies. They especially enjoy the timeless game of ‘steal the bone.’

Halloween 2019.
Lily was a shark and Marley was a stegosaurus.

Over the holidays our family went on a ski vacation and we left Lily and Marley with my mom and dad. He knows them well, along with their three dogs, and he’s previously been to their house, but leaving him was still difficult. My mom said he was depressed for the first few days and wouldn’t eat any treats. I was so sad that he might have been thinking we’d gotten rid of him, but once he became accustomed to the new routine, my mom said it got better. Still, we were so happy to return home, give him a big hug, and get him settled back into the groove he’s come to rely upon.

When I rescued him two years ago, I had no idea how long we would have with him, and I’ll admit that I never anticipated having two years with him. But he’s happy, alert, and still curious about the world. The last two years have been a blessing, and my family and I cherish each day forward we have with him.

Marley has an Instagram account which my daughter and I run together. I hope you'll check it out: marley_therescue.

Friday, January 3, 2020

My Writing Schedule For 2020

By Kristy McCaffrey

I always begin the new year with much optimism and ambition in regard to my writing/publication schedule. I sincerely hope I can stay on track, because I’ve been known to get lost in research piles along the way, or sometimes sidetracked by a shiny new publishing venture (group projects – always a welcome challenge and great fun).

But here’s where my head is at the start of 2020.

I’m currently in revision mode of ANCIENT WINDS, Book 3 in my Pathway series. I wrote a first (very rough) draft in November, and then spent December reading, reading and more reading to figure out my characters in more depth. I’m happy to report that I’m starting to uncover what makes archaeologist Brynn Galloway and physicist Dr. Tristan Magee tick. This is my “Indiana Jones” meets “The X-Files” story, so expect adventure alongside some weirdness (ancient aliens anyone?). Stay tuned! I’m hoping to have it out by March or April.

Once I finish Brynn and Tristan’s story, I’m planning to write COBALT SEA (Book 4), which will star Chloe Mann (Grace’s sister – Grace was in DEEP BLUE) and Nick (he doesn’t have a last name yet). Chloe, like Grace, is a computer programming wunderkind and she’s working on deciphering the language of Sperm whales. She’ll travel to Dominica (a Caribbean island that has a year-round population of Sperm whales) where she’ll meet Nick, who runs the program that studies them. I can’t wait to write this one! Anyone who knows me can attest to my deep love for the whales of this world. I’m really hoping I can have this one completed by August or September.

I’ve been focused on the Pathway series for the past few years because I wanted to give it a chance to find a readership before I went back to my westerns. (Thank you so much to my western readers for being patient.) Since COBALT SEA will give me four novels in the Pathway series, I’m planning to pen the first book (a full-length novel) in a new historical western romance series in the fall. Tentatively titled COPPER CANYON, it will be set in southern Arizona in the late 1870s (my favorite old west time period) and will feature three brothers (not blood-related but adopted together) and the women who tame them. The stories will be filled with colorful characters, gritty settings, and steamy romance. I’m not sure if these will cross over with my Wings series – still trying to figure that one out.

Despite my ambitious schedule of producing three novels this year, I’m also hoping to carve out time here and there to add to the Pathway short stories. I’ve got several about Grace and Alec from DEEP BLUE in mind, and another climbing adventure for Lindsey and Ty from COLD HORIZON. Fitting them into the timeline is proving to be a bit tricky, so I may hold back on publishing them until I get the new novels completed.

I would also like to add to my Wings of the West series, as many of you have requested more stories (although the series itself really came to an end for me with THE BLUEBIRD). However, I’m exploring the possibility of side stories. I’ve had a long novella called THE SONGBIRD on the backburner for a while, and hopefully I’ll have a chance this year to spend some time on it. Stay tuned.

I really want to thank the readers for embracing my work – for reading and sharing and posting reviews. Please know that your support is so appreciated and helps tremendously in keeping my small business (with one employee – me!) going.

I wish you all a fantastic 2020!!

“I simply do not distinguish between work and play.” ~ poet Mary Oliver