Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Midweek Mish Mash

Well, folks, I have a few different things I want to let you know about, so I'm giving you a Wednesday quickie! ;)
1. Books!

First, I have to do some friendly promotion. My friend and mentor, Deb Ledford, has just released her second novel in a series. 
Deb was one of the first people to encourage me to write - not only that, but to take it seriously, and to treat my writing professionally. I am indebted to her for her guidance and enthusiasm regarding all aspects of my writing, as are the other members of the Scottsdale Writer's Group, of which she is the moderator. 
I was honored to have been a part of Deb's editing team, and proud to see my mentor reach her goal of publication. And now, as a cherry on top of her sundae, not only is she published, but has been honored with an award nomination! For anyone out there who likes a good, tight mystery that keeps you up at night turning pages, please take a look at Staccato and Snare, by Deborah J. Ledford, available through AmazonKindle, and Second Wind Publishing.

The first, Staccato, is a thriller set in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and follows a piano prodigy as he pieces together the clues to find his girlfriend's killer, and the deputy who is trying to solve the case.
“Deborah J Ledford's thriller tears through mountains and music with a steady rhythm in perfect time with the maestro Alexander's music room metronome ... as readers turn STACCATO's pages, quickly, crisply, sharply throughout Ledford's Toccata-like virtuoso performance.” 
    ~ Malcolm R. Campbell, 5 star review: “Knight of Words” Book Reviews
The second book, Snare, follows the same deputy, Stephen Hawk, as he helps a Native American pop star find the person who is trying to kill her. Snare has been nominated for the Hillerman Sky award:
"Performed against the backdrop of the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and New Mexico's mysterious Taos Pueblo Indian reservation, SNARE is a thriller fans of Tony Hillerman will appreciate."
"White-knuckle suspense at an electrifying pulse." ~ Suspense Magazine
"Deborah Ledford's expertly crafted SNARE is a gripping story of the price of fame and the haunting and deadly power of long buried secrets. It’s also a valentine to the landscape and people of New Mexico’s Taos Pueblo. A terrific read."  
        ~ Dianne Emley, L.A. Times bestselling author of Love Kills
They are both great reads and I highly recommend Staccato and Snare for you and the readers in your life.

In today's tumultuous publishing environment, getting a book sold is more difficult than ever. Please support up-and-coming authors. I have provided a link to published friends on my left sidebar.

Disclosure - I receive nothing for promoting Deb's books, other than good karma.

2. Update!

Second I wanted to give you an update on Chroi's icky dermatitis condition. It had gotten to the point to where it was bothering her so bad that she was kicking her foot on the ground, and hurt herself. I think she bruised her hoof. Yes, that can happen. None of the idiot home remedies that I tried worked, and the itchiness and scabs just got worse. So the vet came out, and his recommendation, which I had feared, was to clip her feathers.
I know. Ugh.
So here's what a Gypsy Horse looks like with shaved legs:
who wears short shorts?

Awww. 

Luckily we just had to clip the feathers on her hind legs because she didn't have any issue on the front legs. In addition to clipping, I have to wash her legs with a prescription-grade anti-fungal shampoo, and gave her antibiotics twice a day for five days. If any of you ever have to give your horse medication, here's a good method: 
  • dissolve the tablets in a couple tablespoons of water, 
  • mix with a couple handfuls of sweet feed (oats and grains mixed with molasses) 
to make it extra yummy, follow Mary Poppins' advice, and (see below)
  • add a generous spoonful of brown sugar. 
For Chroi, this worked so much better than trying to force the medicine down her throat - she actually loved it!




So she's feeling much better, her infection is clearing up and even though she's lost some feather, it will grow back. And she still looks pretty.


3. Baby Watch!


Which brings us to our next subject: BABY!!


 Chroi is due to foal in two weeks! She's getting super fat, uh, I mean, great with child. As we get closer to the delivery day, her body shows signs that she will be ready:

  • Udder filling up with milk (already happening)
  • "waxing" of the teats, which just means some of the milk is starting to flow.
  • softening of the pelvis, right above the tail
  • slight decrease in appetite, which is a big one, especially for a pig like Chroi. When she's not hungry, I know something's going on!
I will keep you posted. Last time we had babies, they were both born during a rain storm, so we will also be keeping an eye on the weather.

Now, I just have to think of a name... any suggestions?
***

Chroicoragh is a perfect example of how "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." I loved Mary Poppins as a kid. We had the soundtrack on vinyl, and used to sing along to it all the time. I miss the days when Disney just wanted to put out great films. And I mean how can you top Julie Andrews? She's the best. Enjoy!

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