Tuesday, September 18, 2018

3 weeks to The Little Book of Cat Magic Giveaway

*looks at calendar* *does double take* WHAT?

Holy crap! How is it the middle of September? I meant to do a post at the beginning of the month, reminding everyone that The Little Book of Cat Magic was going to be out in a month. Except, well, I went out of town, and things got away from me, and now we're THREE WEEKS AWAY! (Insert Kermit flail here.) October 8th is right around the corner.

So Harry Dresden and I put our heads together and came up with a fun cat-themed giveaway full of goodies.

No, the cat is not included. Why do you keep asking me?
There's a cute stuffed cat (the paws come in various colors), three different bookmarks, a witch's broom pen, a cat rubber ducky (would that make it a rubber catty?) and a cool Siamese cat candle holder.

To make up for missing the one month mark, I'm actually going to give away TWO sets of these--one here, and one on my Deborah Blake Author Page on Facebook. So feel free to enter in either place, or both. I have a few more cool things planned for the weeks ahead, because man, I'm SO excited about this book! I hope you are too. (I know Harry doesn't look excited, but really he is.)

As always, no purchase is necessary (although I'd love it if you'd preorder the book, of course) and all you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Yes, you get credit for things you've already done, like signing up for my newsletter, or following me on Twitter. Extra karma points for spreading the word!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Best Mini Vacation Evah

So last weekend I took a couple of days off and went to visit my friend Terry at her new home in Stuart, Florida. (She had to move there because of her job, and her hubby and original two cats are still back in Connecticut. So she REALLY wanted me to come visit.) I was there from Friday through Monday morning, although Monday really doesn't count, since I left her apartment for the airport at 8:30 am and got home at around 6 pm. SIGH. (Although I did get to spend time with my sister Sarah, since she was kind enough to pick me up at the Albany airport and drive me home to Oneonta.)

But reader, I had the best time! If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you might have seen some pictures of the amazing seafood we ate (there are no pictures of the wine we drank, but you can assume there was some). Stuart was a lovely little town, and I actually did a lot of research while I was there, since I'm working on a Women's Fiction novel with a setting based on it. Cute, quirky shops (I still wish I'd taken pictures of the shop fronts, because they had the cleverest names), fabulous restaurants, including our favorite which was right on the water, a boardwalk, and fun places to visit. But the best part--besides being with my friend--was the sky. It was amazing. These pictures are real, I promise.

This was at the beach about 20 minutes from her house.
 We only got to spend about 25 minutes at the beach Saturday and Sunday (Saturday we got there at 8:30 in the morning and it was already 90 degrees out), but it was really beautiful.

The clouds were incredible every day I was there.

High tide, around 9 am. All those outcroppings are actually coral.

On the main drag where all the shops were.

Terry, on the pier we visited Saturday afternoon.

 As you might predict from one of my friends, Terry didn't last long without getting a couple of cats to keep her company in her new place. Above is little Murphy (she's probably a Bengal, and this might be the only time I saw her sit still!) and below is Lily, who actually slept with me one night.

 This was the small, fairly hidden beach about 20 minutes from Terry's house.

Saturday afternoon, we went to the McKee Botanical Gardens. Fabulous plants and a bunch of cool life-sized metal sculptures. (Also a very nice gift shop, where I did some damage.)


Then Sunday morning, back to the beach briefly. There were so many shells there, the "sand" was actually made up of tiny crushed shell.

Then we went to the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, which was very cool. And educational.

Terry, showing off all the fish.
 They had sea turtles. And small sharks. And I got to feed a manta ray (all the little kids were doing it...)

Then it was back to our favorite restaurant, the Stuart Boathouse. We ate there Saturday, and it was so great, we went back for our last meal together on Sunday night. Of course, not only was the food amazing, but this was the view from our table!

My new happy place
Now I'm back to reality, and catching up on all the stuff that piled up while I was gone. But I really needed the break, and I'm grateful for good friends, good food, and of course, OCEAN.