Friday, February 28, 2014

A #PetBox Review & Coupon Code


Hey everybody, it's Truffles! A couple months ago I won a PetBox from my friend Sparkle's blog and I told you about the pawsome stuff I got here. PetBox is a subscription pet goody box where you can pick what goes in your box (treats, toys, or a surprise), and for every box shipped, a rescue animal is fed!

Thanks to another good friend of ours, Angie at Catladyland, we were offered the opportunity to review another PetBox. I told Mommy to say yes ASAP!

Here I am checking out the loot:

What was in my box?
 

1) Kong Naturals Straw Balls. (This is the only duplicate from my 2 boxes, and I'm so glad I got more! I loved my first set so much I pretty much destroyed them. Here's photographic evidence of what one looked like after I was through with it. Mommy took it away from me and said it wasn't safe to play with anymore!)
  

2) Feline Harvest Dental Treats (It is Dental Health Month, after all!)

3) Kong Refillables Hedgehog

4) Kong Naturals Catnip

5) Zuke's Natural Purrz Tuna

6) Kong Flip Funster

7) Yeowww Tin of Stinkies, 3 in a Sardine Tin

I immediately tore into the straw ball and Kong catnip. There's catnip all over my head LOL!!!
 

Help me pick out a sardine, Mommy!
 

Ahhhhhhhh.....
(Look, there's still catnip all over me!)
 

So far I've loved everything I've tried out, and can't wait to have fun with the things that I haven't played with yet. (Mommy always introduces new toys to me a couple at a time. If I get too much stuff at one time I have a tendency to get overwhelmed and ignore everything!)

Would you like to join/order a PetBox of your own? Use the code "TRUFFLES20" at checkout for an extra 20% off.

Check out PetBox on their social media accounts: FB, Twitter and Instagram

Full Disclosure: We received a complimentary PetBox for review. All opinions are our own.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Heart Disease in Cats: A #Trupanion Study


Many of you know that I lost Tara to congestive heart failure (CHF) last July following a 10 month battle. I learned so much through her illness, but the main thing I can't stress enough is the importance of being proactive with regards to your pet's health. The summer of 2012 was brutally hot here in Vermont. Tara always minded the heat terribly and rarely left her spot right in front of the air conditioner. Mid-summer I noticed her breathing harder and every now and then open-mouthed breathing as well. I chalked it up to the heat. But when it got to the point that I could actually "hear" her breathing (a raspy, huffing sound), I knew it was time to seek help. In late August she was diagnosed with the CHF and an enlarged heart. Fluid was removed from her chest cavity and she was put on a regimen of diuretics, blood thinner, ACE inhibitors and pimobendan. After 3 months her cardiologist was surprised that she was still with me, then another 4 months went by, then another 3.

I know that her heart disease would have taken her from me regardless, but I can't help but wonder if I hadn't let those precious weeks pass by blaming her symptoms on the heat, maybe we would have had more time together.

In recognition of American Heart Month, I recently received an email from Trupanion Pet Insurance with the results of a feline heart health study. I found it to be extremely informative and with permission I'm reprinting it here today.

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KNOWING YOUR PET: THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE IN CATS

Trupanion provides data on heart health cats for American Heart Month

While American Heart Month is a great time to discuss heart disease in humans, it is also a great time to look into the heart health of other members of the household—pets. Like with humans, cats commonly live with heart disease. Knowing each pet’s risk of heart disease and being aware of the symptoms can help pet owners avoid medical emergencies in the future. By taking action to reduce their chances of developing a condition early and treating diagnosed heart disease with the help of a veterinarian, cat owners can significantly improve the life of their feline companions.

As is true with humans, a cat’s age, genetics and lifestyle have a huge influence on their risk of heart disease. Age is one of the most influential factors—as a cat gets older their chance for diagnosis increases significantly. According to data from Trupanion, the frequency of heart claims rapidly increase starting at 9 years old and continue to increase as the cat ages.

Heart disease in pets is often genetic and affects certain breeds of cats and dogs more often than others. Knowing the breed of the pet can help predict their chances of having heart disease. Among cats, Bengals and Sphynx are 3.5 times more likely to receive heart care. In general, Trupanion receives 50% more heart claims with cats than dogs.

Lifestyle also plays a factor. Talk with your veterinarian about the best diet and exercise regimen to keep your pet healthy. In addition to diet and exercise, heartworm prevention, dental care and yearly checkups are essential for maintaining your pet’s health.

Even when taking precautions, pet owners need to be aware of the symptoms of heart disease.

“Pet owners should take their pets to a regular checkup and look out for coughing, a swollen abdomen, changing behavior, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, and significant weight changes. If your pet starts to show these signs, it’s best to have them checked right away by a veterinarian,” said Trupanion’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Kerri Marshall. “Early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference.”

This month, think about what you can do to improve the heart health of your feline companions. A few small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in maintaining a healthy heart and living a long, active life.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Truffles Interviews...Yoshi & Gatsby from the Petectives Mystery Series (w/Review)

Truffles:  Hi everybody. Today I’m interviewing Yoshi and Gatsby the two cat detectives from the Petectives books. Hello Yoshi and Gatsby. Can you tell us about yourselves and how you came to live with your family?

Gatsby: I’m a handsome, smart and funny orange cat. Actually you’re pretty cute yourself. Are you named after the chocolate? I’ll bet you’re just as sweet.
Yoshi: Gatsby! Restrain yourself. Truffles is here to interview us, not be subjected to your cheap advances. If I may answer the question, I am a black cat who enjoys reading and napping. Our humans brought me home from a pet store eight years ago when I was a kitten. Gatsby?
Gatsby: I’m an orange cat who was born in the woods as a member of the Lightning Clan feral cats. I was declared their chosen one and am destined to rule over all –
Yoshi: Gatsby!
Gatsby: OK, OK. Our family picked me up at the Pets without Parents animal shelter three years ago. Before that I was a street kitten. Which must be where I picked up my street smarts and roughish charm.
Truffles: I see that your stories are written by Robert J. Smith. Is Robert your daddy?

Yoshi: Daddy? Actually we think of Robert as more of an annoying roommate. In human years, I’m almost fifty years old; I’m hardly going to refer to him as ‘Daddy’.
Gatsby: But what about his wife? We call her Mommy, don’t we?
Yoshi: Well of course she’s Mommy, don’t be silly.
Gatsby: Rob’s very useful though. I can tell him about our cases and he’ll write them up and publish them for me.

Truffles: Why did you guys decide to be detectives?

Yoshi: We both find the life of a housecat to be a bit on the boring side and need the stimulation that detective work provides. I enjoy the mental aspects of the work while Gatsby craves the physical parts of the job.
Gatsby:  Actually he sends me out to go out and do all the work while he sits at home and thinks about what I dig up. Yoshi’s definition of thinking consists of sleeping and reading books. Anyway, cat detectives are definitely needed where we live. We’re in a nice suburban neighborhood but you can’t imagine all the bad stuff that goes on in the animal community. Everything from extortion to attempted murder. But when a pet around here gets into trouble, they know who to call.
Truffles: Yoshi, I’ve heard that there’s prejudice against black cats. Have you experienced any of that?

Gatsby: Oh boy, here we go.
Yoshi: I’m glad you asked that. I’m sick of the human’s irrational, superstitious fear and loathing of black cats. It’s probably based on jealousy of our sleek, regal appearance. But no matter the cause, during the weeks preceding Halloween, I’m afraid to step a paw out of my house for fear that some demented human will harm me!
Truffles: But I understand that you never leave your house at any other time of the year.
Yoshi: Certainly not. I have food, books and a nice warm place to nap. Only someone with the subnormal intellect of a dog would leave the comfort of their home for any reason whatsoever.
Gatsby: Hey wait a minute! You’re constantly sending me out of the house.

Yoshi: That’s true. So Truffles, do you have any other questions?

Truffles: Let’s talk toys. Do you guys prefer catnip mice or a laser light?
Gatsby: Laser light. Catnip doesn’t have much of an effect on either of us but chasing something down is right up our alley.
Yoshi: Speak for yourself. I prefer a good book.
Truffles: Well Yoshi, this is a book friendly blog. What are you currently reading?
Yoshi: Right now I’m in the middle of the latest No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novel, “The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon” by Alexander McCall Smith. I’m also reading “Hallucinations” by Dr. Oliver Sacks. It’s another of his fascinating examinations of the human brain.
Gatsby: Those sound incredibly boring. Look, let’s be honest. Nobody should read anything but Petectives books. They’re brilliant, they’re funny and I get a decent cut of the profits.
Truffles: Is there anything else that you guys want to say?
Gatsby: Buy our books! Buy five or six copies of each! I need treat money!
Yoshi: From now on, I‘ll be doing these interviews by myself.
Truffles: Thanks guys.                  
Petectives: Under Fire

Blurb: It's the 4th of July and the Petectives are feeling the heat! In the midst of a sweltering heat wave, feline detectives Yoshi and Gatsby get word that an old enemy is back and running a protection racket in their neighborhood. When an attack lands Gatsby's girlfriend in the veterinary hospital, he gets hot under the collar but it may take Yoshi's cool logic to shut down a gang of animal criminals and clear a dog from a horrible accusation. The Petectives are back and there's going to be fireworks!

My Review: Each book in the Petectives mystery series has been more fun and adorable than the last, and Under Fire is the best one yet. A local Pomeranian, Sophie, has been viciously attacked in her own yard and Percy the pit bull has been blamed. On top of this, a ghost from the past has returned to Yoshi and Gatsby's neighborhood and is running a protection racket! When Gatsby's girlfriend Molasses gets caught in the crossfire, our crime-solving duo put their paws down, determined to solve their latest case.

The scene stealers for me in this book are Sophie's two neighbor cats, Willy and Sunshine. Willy spends every moment watching the world go by from his front window, but says he was eating when the attack took place and didn't see anything. (He admires Yoshi, Gatsby, and Dog Patrol leader Duke so much that he's made action figures of them!) Sunshine is a "hippie tortie" and amateur gardener who also points the finger at Percy. Willy and Sunshine are two of the best written feline characters you will ever meet.

You simply can't go wrong with any of the Petectives books. Each one is an absolute delight.

Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author with the request for a review.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Release Day Book Review: A Taste Fur Murder by Dixie Lyle

A Taste Fur Murder


Blurb: Introducing an animal-loving Gal Friday with a telepathic cat, a shapeshifting dog, and a ghost of a chance of solving supernatural crime…

Meet Deirdre “Foxtrot” Lancaster. Trusted employee of eccentric zillionairess Zelda Zoransky, Foxtrot manages a mansion, a private zoo, and anything else that strikes her boss’s fancy. Her job title is Administrative Assistant, but chaos handler would be more accurate. Especially after she glimpses a giant ghost-beast in Zelda’s pet cemetery. For some strange reason, Foxtrot is seeing animal spirits. And, ready or not, in this mystery from Dixie Lyle, the fur’s about to hit the fan…

Still reeling, Foxtrot comes home to find her cat Tango—her dead cat Tango—alive and well and communicating telepathically. But that’s not all: There’s an ectoplasmic dog named Tiny who changes breeds with a shake of his tail…and can sniff out a clue like nobody’s business. So when a coworker drops dead while organizing closets, Tiny is on the case. Can Foxtrot and her new companions ferret out the killer among a menagerie of suspects—human and otherwise—before death takes another bite?

My Review: The moment I first laid eyes on the cover of this book with the creepy house shrouded in fog and the cat in the graveyard, I was practically counting down the days until I could hold it in my hands. This is a paranormal cozy unlike anything you have ever read.

Deidre "Foxtrot" Lancaster is the Personal Assistant of eccentric billionaire Zelda Zoransky (ZZ). Foxtrot's favorite place to escape from the craziness of her workday is the pet graveyard on the property. Her life is forever changed when one day she spots a gigantic ghost/beast in the graveyard and then goes home to discover her dead cat Tango has returned (on her 7th life) and they are able to communicate telepathically. Furthermore, she is introduced to Tiny, a ghost dog with the ability to change breeds at will. They explain to her that she has been chosen as the "Guardian" of the graveyard...a murder is about to take place, and presumably ZZ will be the victim, as the death will put the graveyard in jeopardy. When a maid dies while organizing closets it's written off as a heart attack or stroke, but Foxtrot has to wonder if the maid was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and if ZZ may still be in mortal danger.

There is a poignancy to this mystery novel that is immediately apparent. The pet cemetery is actually a portal for deceased animals, obviously a take-off on the famous Rainbow Bridge story. At several points during the book various characters discuss the unbreakable bond between humans and their pets, some of which were real tear-jerkers. I really hope that in subsequent books we get to learn more of the back stories of the various animal spirits.

The human and animal characters are both well-developed and unique, from the zany ZZ to the snarky Tango. Tango and Tiny's interactions are absolutely hysterical. One of the most memorable characters was actually a real-life figure. Have you ever heard of Topsy the elephant? I never had and immediately sought out more information about her. The abused elephant was electrocuted in 1903 by Thomas Edison at Coney Island after she was deemed dangerous because she killed one of her tormentors. Her story is horrific yet fascinating, and her fictional interactions with Foxtrot are captivating.

This book is an intricately plotted mystery, but not so much as to distract it from being a real page-turner. I was completely stumped until the very end who the real killer was. If you love whodunits, the paranormal, animals, and especially well-written stories, I guarantee that you will love this book as much as I did. The crime-solving trio of Whiskey, Tango and Foxtrot has completely won this reader's heart and imagination.

Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher with the request for a review.




Monday, February 24, 2014

5 Reasons Truffles Loves Winter

Raise your hand if you're sick of winter. Everybody's hand is up, right? Even though I prefer cold temps and snow to summer heat, even I admit this has been a brutal one. Here in northern Vermont for the most part we've escaped the worst of the heavy snowfall, but we've definitely had our share of sub-zero temperatures.

This is Truffles' first winter with me, and I'm already getting the impression she's a summer girl. Spring fever seems to be taking it's hold on her as she gazes longingly at the sun coming in the bathroom window and seems to be asking me when the screen window can go on so she can soak up some rays!

So how has Truffles been spending her winter? I actually think she's been enjoying it! Here's why:

1) Extra nap time on her Peach Industries lounger:


2) Extra nap time in her snuggler bed:


3) Extra nap time in the big girl bed:


4) Extra nap time in her donut bed:


5) Extra nap time on Mommy's lap:


Are you seeing a theme here? Yes, Truffles has definitely settled in for a long winter's nap and is plenty rested up for spring and summer.

She's daydreaming about extra nap time in sunny windows:



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Book Review: Tails of My Rescue Dog by Dawn Starek

Tails of My Rescue Dog


Blurb: As a self-proclaimed "crazy cat lady", I never had any intentions of owning a dog and disrupting my feline household. Much to my own surprise, I found myself wanting a dog and decided to save a life by rescuing from a county shelter. Mindy was everything I wanted in a dog, but she had a tough life in her former home. Her behavioral quirks presented many challenges to this first-time dog owner (as well as her feline siblings). Loveably neurotic, Mindy captured our hearts and will capture yours too. Tails of My Rescue Dog is a short story that details the beginning of our journey affectionately known as the madcap adventures (and misadventures) of Mindy as she learns to adapt to her forever home.

My Review: I met author Dawn Starek via the BlogPaws Community and was offered the opportunity to review a copy of her Kindle short story ebook. I was intrigued by the blurb where Dawn described herself as a lifelong cat lady who found herself wanting to adopt a rescue dog. Although cats are the animal of my heart and soul, every now and then I entertain the idea of bringing a dog into my life one day.

This is a book that will appeal to animal lovers everywhere. It begins with some stories of the cats in Dawn's life, and then we are introduced to Mindy. Mindy is a challenge to say the least, yet completely lovable and unforgettable. While reading this at times I had a lump in my throat, and then ended up laughing out loud at Mindy's antics. And the best news is, this is a happy story, not one where the dog dies in the end! As a matter of fact, Dawn just told me that she's planning to write a sequel!

This story is written in a conversational style that made me feel as though Dawn was relating her adventures with Mindy to me over a cup of coffee. Her love and devotion to her four-legged companion is obvious in every word she writes, and I can't wait to read the next chapter in their life together.

Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author with the request for a review.



Cat's Meow Mews & Mailbox #24





Cat's Meow Mailbox is inspired by the great weekly recap book memes (Mailbox MondayWaiting On WednesdayIt’s Monday! What are you reading? and Sunday Post)











Last week on Mochas, Mysteries and Meows:

Won/Gifted:
Grey Expectations Dogs Don't Lie Kitty Hearts Doggy Little Gift Book

Bought:
Organized for Murder

NetGalley:
      

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Caturday Art: Trackside Truffles

Who's that driving the 4 car?

TRUFFLES!!!

What did you do with Kevin Harvick???


Happy Daytona 500 weekend everyone!!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Protect Your Pets with #PetHub: Review & Giveaway

I received a PetHub ID tag and Pet Protect 360 DNA kit in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.


Only twice in my life have I not known where my cat was, and anyone who has ever had a pet go missing knows it is one of scariest things you will ever go through. The first time was with my childhood cat Patch. He was scared to death of my Uncle Bob, a big, boisterous man. One day after my uncle's visit where we had been in and out of the house all day, Patch was nowhere to be found. I was no more than 7 years old but I remember how terrified my mother was. After scouring the neighborhood we ended up finding him hiding under the bed!

The 2nd time was with Tara just 5 weeks after I adopted her. It was late June and her favorite nap spot was the screened-in bathroom window. I got up for work one morning to find that somehow during the night the window had let go and Tara had gotten out.  Once again my poor neighbors probably thought I had lost my mind, only to come back home and discover that Tara had just sauntered into the bushes mere feet from where she had landed when she fell out.

No matter how responsible pet parents are, accidents happen, that's why I am so thankful for companies such as PetHub.com who specialize in getting pets home fast when the worst happens. 


How does it work?

1) Log on to PetHub and create a free online profile for your pet. The profile can have any information you want, including multiple emergency contacts, license & rabies tag numbers, microchip data, critical medications, and much more.

2) Purchase a digital ID tag. They come in a plethora of sizes, colors, and designs. We chose the Red Dingo Pink Paw design:


3) Link your tag to your pet's online profile.

When someone finds your pet they can get it home in 4 ways:
* scanning a QR code
* typing in the tag's web address
* tapping the tag with a newer smartphone
* or calling PetHub’s 24-hour “Found Pet Hotline”

As soon as the pet’s profile is accessed a lot of things kick into gear:
* A notification email goes out to the owner
* an interactive GPS map is included of where the pet’s tag was scanned
* and $3,000 of emergency medical pet insurance coverage activates

Pet parents can also forward a lost pet’s PetHub.com profile to shelters, pet stores, coffee shops, and individuals within a 25 mile radius of where the pet was last seen (similar to an “Amber Alert” but for pets).

In 2012, 97% of PetHub-tracked pets that went missing were home in under 1 day, 25% of them in less than an hour!


PetHub has recently partnered with DNA Diagnostic Center, a private DNA testing lab, to provide an added layer of protection. Using the Pet Protect 360 program, supplies are sent right to your home so you can swipe your pet's cheek and mail in the sample. In 4-6 weeks you will receive your pet's DNA certificate via email, which can then be uploaded to their online profile.

“I want my dogs and cats to have every chance possible to get home again,” said Tom Arnold, founder and CEO of PetHub, Inc. “They have PetHub ID tags, microchips, licenses, and now their own DNA reports uploaded to their online PetHub.com profiles.”

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I’m partnering with PetHub for two exciting giveaways: one lucky reader will win a DNA kit with tag (like I received), and a second winner will win the PetHub tag of their choice from www.shop.pethub.com. Enter via Rafflecopter below...browse the PetHub shop and tell me in your comment which tag is your favorite, and make sure to leave your email address too!

Also, if you decide to do some shopping, at checkout use the coupon code "Truffles" for 10% off your order!

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Redeemed by a Rebel Virtual Book Tour with Cynthia Woolf



Anybody know why Deadwood was named that? It’s because gulch was lined with dead trees. It’s not that way now but it was then. The town was a settlement on the Sioux Indian lands. It was total illegal. A  no man’s land. There was no law, the government had no jurisdiction there. Men died daily, shot, stabbed or otherwise killed by someone else.
Seth Bullock was the first sheriff of Deadwood. He also owned the hardware store along with Sol Starr, just as it was portrayed in the HBO series DEADWOOD. I can’t say if the love affairs were correct. The HBO series, while being very historically accurate, using real people and such, is also entertainment not a documentary.



I did discover in my research that there were lots of actual people, Al Swearengen, Seth Bullock, Sol Starr and others that were real people. Al Swearengen was the real proprietor of the Gem Theater. Seth Bullock was really the first sheriff. And many more.

I learned a lot by watching the series and even more by reading some of the books that I got when my husband, editor and I visited Deadwood in September of last year. I needed to get the feel of the town and even though much has changed, much has stayed the same.

The town survives on gambling now rather than gold mining, but it survives. I guess that’s the thing that comes through most to me. It survives. Through all the years, Deadwood is still there and I see it being there for a long time to come.




Redeemed by a Rebel 
(Book 1 in "Destiny in Deadwood Series")


Release Date: January 30, 2014                  
Genre: historical western (set in 1876 Deadwood, Dakota Territory.)                                             
Formats to buy: Kindle and Paperback 


Blurb

Jake Anderson killed a man defending his fiancĂ©e from a brutal attack, but lost her and his freedom in the process.  Now he's on the run, hunted by one of her murderers and tormented by the need for vengeance.

Becky Finnegan will do anything to escape her drunken father's fists, including slave away at their mine.  Her only hope is to strike gold and make a new life for herself somewhere far, far away from Deadwood.  But then Jake arrives and does the unthinkable...forces her to feel, to hope...and to love.

Jake would give his life to protect Becky, but all he can offer her is a broken heart, a criminal's life, and a past haunted by failure.  How can he save her when he's already lost himself?  When the devil catches up to him, will he destroy everything, or can the beautiful rebel redeem Jake's lost soul?




Purchase REDEEMED BY A REBEL:
 


Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

February 1876

The man was dead. Deader than a doornail in a rotted-out door. Lily Sutter was not going to like this. She supposed she should call her the Widow Sutter now.

Becky looked at John Sutter’s body, splayed across the rocks like the annual  sacrifice to some unknown god. She should probably try and wrangle his body onto the back of her mule, but didn’t really think she could manage the task alone. She heaved a sigh. Time to check and see if Billy was home or if she would have to collect him from The Gem. She hadn’t given him enough gold for the Bella Union.

She’d lied to him once again, only given him part of their gold. If she gave him all the gold, like he wanted, nothing would be left to buy food or the pans and other equipment she needed to work their claim. And then there’d be no gold for him to go drown his sorrows. Sorrows that were her fault, according to him, for having killed her Ma getting born. And then he’d beat her and she wouldn’t be able to work so there’d be no gold and the cycle would start again. Better to lie to him.

Resigned, she grabbed the mule’s bridle. Buster snorted at the small jerk she gave the gear as she started walking downstream along the narrow path that followed the creek. She’d made this path, going back and forth to their claim on a daily basis. After collecting Billy from the Gem, after he’d spent another night of drowning his sorrows. Better there than at their campsite where he’d just complain and then beat her for the hell of it.

She and her father, Billy, originally came from the coal mines of West Virginia. But that was so long ago and there’d been many, many stops along the way. Every time she hoped this might be the place, the one they could put down roots. But it never was. Billy leached the good will from the townsfolk until there was none left and they had to move on. She’d gotten lucky with her education. One of the ladies she worked for took pity on her and taught her to read, write and talk so she was able to get better jobs as time went on.

As for Billy, the fresh air was good for him, made him feel better but him feeling better was a two-edged sword. He felt better so, rather than working the claim, he took their gold and spent it on booze and whores at the Gem in Deadwood. He was smart enough to know he got more booze and whores for his money at the Gem than the Bella Union where they were classier but much more expensive. He was at the Gem so often she had to go and collect him about three nights a week. He’d get so drunk he couldn’t find his way out of the saloon much less back to their claim.

She’d get Dan Dority to load Billy on the mule and then, when they got back to camp, she’d untie him and let him slip to the ground. She used to try holding him up, to slow his fall, but too many times, she’d ended up trapped beneath him until she could shove his heavy body off her. And him, totally ignorant of the whole situation, blissfully sleeping off the effects of his alcohol fueled stupor.

There’d been just as many times she left him at the Gem and let them deal with his sorry ass. Now since she needed to tell someone about Sutter, she figured she’d go ahead and get Billy, too.

Becky got on the mule and headed back to Deadwood. She went to the Gem but rather than collecting her father, she told Dan about Sutter.

“I’ll see his body gets taken care of.  In the meantime you get your father and get out. I keep telling you, this ain’t no place for a girl like you to be seen.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Dan,” said Al Swearengen, owner of the Gem and procurer of flesh. “We could give her a job that’s a lot easier than working that claim.” 

He leaned on the hand rail of the second floor walkway looking dapper in his black three piece pinstriped suit. He wore no tie and his shirt was open at the collar. Becky craned her neck to look upward at him. “Not today, Mr. Swearengen, but I’ll be sure and keep your offer in mind.”

Swearengen laughed. A great rumble from deep in his chest. “You do that. Dan, help load Billy on to her mule.”  He turned away and went back into his office. “See you tomorrow, Becky.” he called over his shoulder.

She nodded, then looked at the fancy women lounging around the room in varying states of undress and silently agreed with Dan. She should get out. She didn’t understand how they could do what they did. She’d rather work day and night in the creek than let a man touch her in that way.



The Author, Cynthia Woolf:

Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write. Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates. She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories. In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.

In 2001, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she'd attend. One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker. Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter's table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing. She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn't looked back.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.


Find more about her at: 




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