Turkey’s of Thanksgiving Past

 

My intention was to do a post about Thanksgiving and family but this year my family is scattered and it looks like it may just be Ken and I. Since I won’t have current experiences to share I decided to take a trip down memory lane.

 

 

I come from a large family who in the past got together for family dinners but the family is so large now that the group tends to break up into individual family units for the holidays. My individual family unit happens to be scattered across the globe at this point but I have a lot of fond memories of Thanksgivings past. The photos on this page are from one of the huge family meals I prepared at my home in Tahoe. We had 40 people to dinner that year. Yup, it was a lot of work and a lot of cooking.

 

Of course my favorite parts about my family Thanksgivings was always the game of Trivial Pursuit that followed dinner. It was pretty much assured that whichever team got Ken won since he is the sort of person that remembers every thing he ever saw, read, or heard. I on the other hand, am a fast learner but tend to be a fast forgetter as well.

I suppose that as we age things change. I look back on the family celebrations we used to have with warm feelings but to be honest I’m not sure I’d have the energy to cook a meal for forty people any more. In fact crashing one of my sisters family dinners seems just about perfect.

 

 

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Character Interview part 2

 

A couple weeks ago I did a character interview. Here are the questions from part 2.

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From Peggy H: Shredder – Kathi recently mentioned she was thinking about doing more cross-overs with her characters and your name came up. How would you feel about leaving Hawaii and helping her other characters with their mysteries?

Shredder: I’m the sort of person who never stays in one place for long. It is vital that I live my life in the shadow never really coming into the light. I have enjoyed my time in Hawaii, and I value the friends I have made, but I know that, like life, my time here is fleeting, and as the tides change so must I.

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From Joanne K. – Jack and Jill – Are the cold cases you’ve been stumbling upon becoming increasingly more complex?

Jack and Jill: It would seem that way at this point, although in investigation as in life, the natural flow of things would find times of great intensity to be followed by times of slow awakening.

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From Rita D. – Jill – do you think you and Jack will be together forever?

Jill: At this point it is a little early to say for certain but I will say that the idea no longer feels stifling to me so I guess we’ll just have to see how things work out.

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From Connie C. – Alyson, now that the men who have been chasing you are dead will you return to your old life?

Alyson: It is hard to know where life will take me. For the first time in a long time I actually have choices and a future. In the time I have lived in Cutter’s Cove I have loved my life as Alyson, but there are things about Amanda that I miss as well. I guess at this point all I can really say is that I’m in no hurry to make a change and will try to keep an open mind as I navigate the future.

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From Deb L. – Lani, now that you are going to open a detective agency with your father will you quit your job at the resort?

Lani: Absolutely. The chance to not only work with my father but to get to know him better is absolutely priceless to me. I intend to commit my full energy to making a go of it.

 

If you have any character questions for a future blog post feel free to ask them below.

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Finding Justice

 

OMG, I am so thrilled that Finding Justice has finally seen the light of day. I think I have procrastinated with this story more than any other story in the history of my career. I wanted something a little different but still with plenty of cozy to go around and I think I found the right combination. I hope you love it as much as I do. For those of you who haven’t taken the plunge and committed to the new series here is a preview.

 

 

There are people in the world who insist that life is what you make of it. They will tell you that if you work hard enough and persevere long enough, everything you have ever desired will one day be yours. But as I sat in the fifth dingy office I had visited in as many months, and listened as the fifth pencil pusher in a dark suit and sensible shoes looked at me with apologetic eyes, I finally understood that not every dream was realized and not every wish granted.

“Ms. Carson, do you understand what I’m saying?”

I nodded, trying to fight back the tears I absolutely would not shed. “You’re saying that you can’t consider my grant application unless I’ve secured a facility.”

The man let out a long breath, sounding like a wheeze, which I was sure was more of a sigh of relief. “Exactly. I do love your proposal to build an animal shelter in your hometown, but our grant is designed to be used for ongoing operations. I’m afraid without a physical presence we really must move on.”

I leaned over to pick up my eight year old backpack. “Yes. I understand. Thank you so much for your time.”

“Perhaps next year?” the man encouraged with a lopsided grin.

I smiled in return. Granted it was a weak little smile that did nothing to conceal my feelings of defeat. “Thank you. I’m certain we’ll be able to meet your criteria by the next application cycle.”

“We begin a new cycle on June 1. If you can secure a facility by that time, please feel free to reapply,” the man encouraged.

I thanked the bureaucrat and exited his office. I tried to ignore the feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach and instead focus on the clickety-clack created as the tile floor came into contact with the two-inch heels I’d bought for just this occasion. Had I really been working on this for more than two years? Maybe it was time to throw in the towel and accept defeat. The idea of building an animal shelter in Rescue, Alaska, was a noble one, but the mountain of fund-raising and paperwork that needed to be scaled in order to make this particular dream come true seemed insurmountable at best.

I dug into my backpack for the cell phone that rang just as I stepped out of the warm building into the bracing cold of the frigid Alaskan winter. I pulled the hood of my heavy parka over my dark hair before wrapping the bulk of my down jacket tightly around my small frame.

“So, how did it go?” My best friend, Chloe Rivers, asked the minute I answered her call.

“It went.”

“What happened?” Chloe groaned.

I looked up toward the sky, allowing the snow to land on my face and mask my tears. “The grant is designated for operations, so we aren’t eligible until we have a facility. The problem is, we have no money to build a facility and no one will give us a loan for one unless we have capital for operations already lined up. It’s an endless cycle I’m afraid we can’t conquer.”

“We can’t give up. You know what you have to do.”

“No,” I said firmly. “We’ll find another way.” I knew I sounded harsh, but I had to make Chloe understand.

“Another way?” Chloe screeched. I listened as she took a deep breath before continuing in a softer tone. “Come on, Harmony, you know we’ve tried everything. There is no other way.”

Chloe’s plea faded as an image flashed into my mind. I closed my eyes and focused on the image before I spoke. I knew from prior experience that it was important to get a lock on the psychic connection before I said or did anything to break the spell. Once I felt I was ready, I opened my eyes and tuned back into Chloe’s chatter. I was certain she hadn’t missed a beat even though I had missed the whole thing. “Look, I have to go,” I interrupted. “Someone’s in trouble. I’ll call you later.”

After hanging up with Chloe, I called a cab and then called Dani Mathews. Dani was a helicopter pilot and one of the members of the search-and-rescue team I belonged to. She’d offered to give me a lift into Anchorage for my meeting today and I’d taken her up on it.

“Someone’s in trouble,” I said as soon as Dani answered.

“I was about to call you. I just got off the phone with Jake.” Jake Cartwright is my boss, my brother-in-law, and the leader of the search-and-rescue team. “There are two boys; one is fifteen and the other is sixteen. They’d been cross-country skiing at the foot of Cougar Mountain. Jake said they have a GPS lock on a phone belonging to one of the teens, so he isn’t anticipating a problem with the rescue.”

The cab pulled up and I slipped inside. I instructed the driver to head to the airport, then answered Dani. “The boys dropped the phone, so Jake and the others are heading in the wrong direction.”

I slipped off my shoes as the cab sped away.

“Do you know where they are?” Dani asked with a sound of panic in her voice.

“In a cave.” I closed my eyes and tried to focus on the image in my head. “The cave is shallow, but they’re protected from the storm.” I took off my heavy parka and pulled a pair of jeans out of my backpack. I cradled the phone to my ear with my shoulder as I slipped the jeans onto my bare legs.

“Where’s the cave, Harm?”

I closed my eyes once again and let the image come to me. “I’d say they’re about a quarter mile up the mountain.”

“Are they okay?” Dani asked.

I took a deep breath and focused my energy. There are times I wanted to run from the images and feelings that threatened to overwhelm and destroy me, but I know embracing the pain and fear is my destiny as well as my burden. “They’re both scared, but only one of them is hurt. Call Jake and tell him to check the cave where we found Sitka.” I referred to our search-and-rescue dog, who Jake and I found lost on the mountain when he was just a puppy. “And send someone for Moose.” I glanced out the window. The snow was getting heavier and it wouldn’t be long before we would be forbidden from taking off. “We’re almost to the airport. Go ahead and warm up the bird. I should be there in two minutes.”

I hung up the phone and placed it on the seat next to me. The driver swerved as I pulled my dress over my head and tossed it aside. I knew the pervert was watching, but I didn’t have time to care as I pulled a thermal shirt out of my backpack, over my head, and across my bare chest.

“What’s the ETA to the airport?” I demanded from the backseat.

“Less than a minute.”

“Go on around to the entrance for private planes. I have the code to get in the gate. My friend is waiting with a helicopter.”

As the cab neared the entrance, I pulled on heavy wool socks and tennis shoes. I wished I had my snow boots with me, but the tennis shoes would have to do. The boots were too heavy to carry around all day.

As soon as the cab stopped, I grabbed my phone, tossed some cash onto the front seat, and hopped out, leaving my dress and new heels behind.

“You’ve forgotten your dress, miss.”

“Keep it.” I said as I flung my backpack over my shoulder and took off at a full run for the helicopter.

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Character Interview

 

A couple of weeks ago I asked the gang on my Kathi Daley Books Group page to ask questions of the characters in my books. Here they are.

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Sally Hannoush asked: Zoe, how many kids do you and Zak want to have?

Zoe: If you ask Zak he will say at least five but for now I’m focusing on Catherine and the big changes I know she will bring to my life. We do have a huge house however, and it is sad to have so many empty rooms, so….

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Taryn Lee asked: Cait, have you always been drawn to cats or did your attachment begin after they started showing up to help sleuth out your latest mystery?

Cait: I have always loved animals but honestly, prior to Romeo showing up and changing my life, I was more of a dog person. I’m athletic and love to run and bike and a dog can run along with you. Of course my Aunt Maggie runs a cat sanctuary, and I have always helped out so I had access to cats pretty much every day, which is probably why I chose a dog as a personal pet.

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Judy Tucker asked: So Zoe, will you be thinking twice about chasing after the bad guys?

Zoe: Nope

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Pam Spalding Paterakis asked: Zoe do you think your two best friends and their family will always live next to you?

Zoe: It’s hard to know where the passage of time will take you but I hope they always live next to me. Levi and Ellie are not only my best friends but they are family. I know that wherever we all end up they will always be a very important part of my life.

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Dana Barrentine asked: Zoe do you want a boy or a girl?

Zoe: Well since I know that I am going to have a girl I guess I’d better say girl, but even if I didn’t know for certain, I think it would still be a girl I would wish for.

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Donna Fuller asked: Tj, if you end up marrying Kyle do you think you and the girls will move into his home of do you think you’d choose a new home together?

Tj: We’d definitely move into Kyle’s home. I already feel that a piece of that home belongs to me. Kyle lives there now but the home has been my life a lot longer, so I feel like I own the history. Even though Kyle has redecorated, I can still see Zachary sitting in his favorite chair or walking the dark halls. I can see his grin when I solved one of his puzzles or his look of anticipation when he thought he’d stumped me. I love the idea of raising a family in the home where Zachary showed me the magic of imagination.

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Sandy Swanger Bartles asked: Kyle do you see marriage in the future for you and Tj, and if so would you adopt the girls?

Kyle: I have loved Tj from the first minute I saw her. The journey we needed to take for her to realize that she loved me has been a long one, and I feel that she might still want to take things slow, but yes, it is my greatest wish and heartfelt dream to one day make her my wife. And as for the girls, I already love them like they are my own, so yes, I would love to adopt them but the decision would be theirs.

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Sharon Brasswell asked: Blackbeard where do your sleuthing powers come from?

Blackbeard: Now if I told you that it would spoil the fun.

 

If you have a question for a character ask it in the comments below and I will try to answer it in a future blog.

 

The winner of the $5 Amazon gift card from last weeks blog is Rich. Email me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your prize.

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Character Guest Post

 

As part of my launch for Fireworks in Paradise I had to do a few posts from the perspective of the character. Here is a fun one I wanted to share for those who missed it. Basically it is a complaint form which characters use if they want to issue a complaint to the author.

 

OFFICIAL CHARACTER COMPLAINT FORM FOR KATHI DALEY BOOKS

Date of initial complaint: June 16, 2017
Subject of complaint: Romance

Briefly describe your complaint:
Dear Ms. Daley,
While I have enjoyed working with you these past three years, I feel that when it comes to the area of happily ever after I have been slighted. Zoe and I began working with you within just a few weeks of one another, and while she is happily married to a wonderful man with a baby on the way, I am being asked to endure yet another heartache. I know that it is not your intent to treat any of your characters unfairly, but all I can say is; what’s up with that? I know you are really busy but if you could find it within your heart to find me the perfect match, I would greatly appreciate it.
Sincerely, Tj

June 20, 2017
Dear Tj,
I hear what you are saying and I do feel your pain. It does seem that you have had the hardest time out of any of my characters when it comes to love and romance. I cannot predict the future since in the end it is the characters who write the stories, but my instinct is that love is right around the corner if you are willing to go all in and take a leap of faith.
Hugs, Kathi

July 1, 2017
Dear Ms. Daley,
Wow, when you said take a leap of faith I wasn’t aware that you meant a literal leap but I did as you suggested and I have to say that in spite of everything else that is suddenly wrong in my life I finally believe that love is real and happily ever after may in fact be an actual reality. I will admit to being scared and unsure but I am also hopeful, and most of all, happy.
Thank you, Tj

July 4, 2017
Dear Tj,
You are welcome. I’ve got things started, it is up to you to make them work. You are a brave young woman who is willing to take chances in most areas in your life. Don’t let fear be your guide, because in the end, the only real answer is to open your heart and let love in.
Hugs, Kathi

 

Comment below to be entered to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. The winner of last weeks gift card is Suzanne. No last name was given but I imagine you know who you are. Please contact me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your prize.

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Bring on the Color

 

Fall is finally here. It is a short but brilliant season as most years, by the time Halloween rolls around, the trees have bared themselves in order to make way for the winter snow.

 

While every season in Tahoe has something to offer, it is the fall that I find the most peaceful and relaxing. The crowds have gone leaving our streets clear of traffic, and the restaurants and beaches are left uncrowded. The temperature has cooled to the point where the scent of wood fire fills the air, and the only sound you find when walking along the beach or in the forest is the sound of your own breath.

 

 

I have a huge maple in my front yard and one of my favorite things to do at this time of year is to buy pumpkins as soon as they show up in the store and display them in my wagon under the tree. There is just something about pumpkins and fall leaves that leaves me feeling happy and content inside.

 

 

It is for these quiet moments when I am alone with nature that I long for during the hot and busy days of summer. But I know the beauty of fall is fleeting, and it won’t be long until winter wraps us in months and months of snow. So I cherish every moment granted me until they cycle continues and the beauty of fall circles around once again.

 

To be entered to win a $5 Amazon gift card comment below and let me know what you enjoy about fall.

 

The winner of last weeks gift card is Ruth Nixon. Please email me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your gift card.

 

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Tj is Back!!!

 

The next Tj Jensen will publish on October 10 and I have to say that I am very excited about this one. Poor Tj has struggled to find her place in the worlds more than any of my other characters and with this book I feel like she has finally come home.

The book opens with Tj on an airplane flying home after finding out that her father was in a serious car accident and a good friend has been killed in that same accident. She arrives in Paradise Lake feeling lost and fragile but quickly finds her mojo when she decides to take matters into her own hands and hunt down the low life she was certain caused the accident.

While I very much enjoyed Tj’s trip to Gull Island in Treasure in Paradise, it felt right to see the whole family back together again and Tj finally in love with man worthy of her commitment.

If you don’t have Halloween in Paradise it is on sale from Today through October 11 for only $.99. Henery Press doesn’t put the books on sale very often so now is a good time to grab it if you need it.

http://amzn.to/2xvDjKs

I’ve included the Kindle link but it is also available in audible, audio CD, hardcover, paperback, Nook, Ibooks, and Kobo.

 

Comment below and let me know if you have tried the Tj Jensen series. I will choose one person from the comments to receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

The winner of last weeks gift card is Debra Woloson. Please email me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your gift card.

 

 

 

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