Saturday, June 29, 2013

Joggin' For Frogmen

My new shoes
I'm not a runner. I ran a little when I was in college. I ran when required in a Crossfit WOD just because I wasn't going to give up. But I didn't like it much. Well...

I just bought a pair of running shoes.

Why?

In less than a month, I'm going to San Diego. The last day of my visit happens to coincide with a a 5K called Joggin' For Frogmen that benefits The Navy SEAL Foundation and The 31Heroes Project. So a friend (a fellow Soldiers' Angel) and I registered for the race.

I've never run that far.

But I'm going to give it my best shot!

I have a fundraising page if you care to help me support our fallen heroes and their families. Click here.

I can always run/walk if need be, but I'd really like to jog as much of it as I can. For the past week I've been training using an iPhone app. So far so good. I think the swimming I've been doing since April is helping the training. My swim clinic coach, who is a triathlete, has been very supportive and helpful. Just wish I had decided to do this 8 weeks before the race (that's how long the training app is for). I've got a little over 5 so am going to have to kick things up a notch soon.

My jogging amuses my family to no end. But this is the least I can do for those who did so much for our country. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Operation Red Wings

Picture from SEAL of Honor Facebook page
Today is the anniversary of Operation Red Wings. For those who may be interested in learning more about what happened eight years ago in Afghanistan, Marcus Luttrell's book The Lone Survivor tells the story. They are currently making a movie of the book, too. I'm looking forward to seeing that.

Never forget the men, the heroes, who lost their lives eight years ago. 

Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y.

Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew G. Axelson, 29, of Cupertino, Calif.

Machinist Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Eric S. Patton, 22, of Boulder City, Nev.

Senior Chief Information Systems Technician (SEAL) Daniel R. Healy, 36, of Exeter, N.H.

Quartermaster 2nd Class (SEAL) James Suh, 28, of Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny P. Dietz, 25, of Littleton, Colo.

Chief Fire Controlman (SEAL) Jacques J. Fontan, 36, of New Orleans, La. 

Staff Sgt. Shamus O. Goare, 29, of Danville, Ohio.

Chief Warrant Officer Corey J. Goodnature, 35, of Clarks Grove, Minn.

Sgt. Kip A. Jacoby, 21, of Pompano Beach, Fla.

Sgt. 1st Class Marcus V. Muralles, 33, of Shelbyville, Ind.

Maj. Stephen C. Reich, 34, of Washington Depot, Conn.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Russell, 31, of Stafford, Va.

Chief Warrant Officer Chris J. Scherkenbach, 40, of Jacksonville, Fla.

Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Erik S. Kristensen, 33, of San Diego, Calif. 

Electronics Technician 1st Class (SEAL) Jeffery A. Lucas, 33, of Corbett, Ore. 

Lt. (SEAL) Michael M. McGreevy Jr., 30, of Portville, N.Y.

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SEAL) Jeffrey S. Taylor, 30, of Midway, W.Va.

Master Sgt. James W. Ponder III, 36, of Franklin, Tenn. 

(List of names from the Summary of Action at NSW/www.navy.mil)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mount Hood Rescue

My Hood Hamlet series of books deal with volunteer mountain rescuers on Mount Hood. Right now, there is a real life rescue mission going on up there. The missing climber, Kinley Adams, happens to be my parents' dentist. A very nice guy, according to my mom.

Unfortunately weather has been hampering the rescue efforts, but they may get a break up there soon. I can only imagine the frustration of the rescuers when Mother Nature gets in the way.

One rescuer who helped me with research questions for most of the books was quoted in the media. A friend, an associate member of the group who answered questions for me when I wrote the first Hood Hamlet story, let me know her husband was heading up there. There are many others who are (or will be heading) up there.

Please pray for all involved and their families, too!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday

For once I woke up on a Monday morning fully rested. That took falling asleep early. Unplanned, of course. I'd been writing last night. I remember closing my eyes for just a minute. The next thing I knew hubby was taking my MacBook Pro off me and my glasses. I'd been asleep for two hours.

I got up, changed into jammies, brushed my teeth and went straight back to bed. Even the puppy behaved himself this morning and waited until after 5 am to want out. Amazing how nice even a Monday morning looks when you're not tired!

We had a great weekend. Swim meet all three days and soccer on Friday. A good thing I'm rested because it's going to be a busy week with a soccer Jamboree tonight and a three day tournament this coming weekend, not to mention a dance recital. All of those are for one kid too, our youngest!

But once the recital is over, no more dancing. She had the choice of playing rec soccer and continuing her dance class or playing club soccer and not dancing. She wanted to play at the competitive level so we can scratch one activity off her list!

Hope you had a nice weekend! Enjoy your Monday!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Swim Meet

For the second Friday in a row, I'll be at a swim meet. The kids are now in two different age groups which means they don't always swim at the same meets. It gives me more time to wear my swim mom cap!

Not that I sit glued to the races. Lots of down time in between heats to write. Of course the sky is gray and I have a feeling it'll be wet so I'll leave the electronic devices at home and go old school. Pen and paper.

Do you have any plans today?


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Giveaway!

I'm over at Harlequin Junkie today talking about my dog book aka The Man Behind the Pinstripes. The focus of the interview is my hero, Caleb Fairchild. I was asked some interesting questions about him and the story!

I'm also giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to celebrate the release of the book this month so click here to pop on over there and enter.

Thanks!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Life Imitating Art

Becca Taylor, the heroine in my current release The Man Behind the Pinstripes, is a dog handler. This weekend I got a taste of what she does.

On Saturday, I took Grand Finale, a beautiful Norwegian Elkhound, into the ring.

Yeah, not what I planned on happening. I'd brought ring clothes just in case, but figured I'd just be holding leads. And it turned out exactly how you think it would.

Pretty much a nightmare.

I've been to handling classes with my daughter, but just to help out. I don't know how to stack or do much.

But there I was.

Did I mention it was a nightmare?

Poor Grand Finale.

But we survived.

She got lots of chicken.

I didn't trip or fall.

Hubby took a video of me in there but I haven't watched it yet. I lived it, no reason to see it again. But maybe I'll watch it someday. Then again, maybe not!

Hope you had a nice weekend!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Wishing all the dads, grandpas and stand-in dads a very Happy Father's Day!

Being a dad is such an important and huge job. Thank you for all you do for your kiddos!

Hope all you dads out there have a great day and are spoiled rotten by your minions.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dog Handling Class

My children dragged me into the world of dog showing a couple of years ago. Until then, the only things I knew about the show dogs I learned from watching the movie Best In Show (actually pretty tame compared to the real thing) and the Westminster dog show on television. That is to say I didn't know much!

The descent started innocent enough...the 4-H dog program. Next came AKC Junior Handling. Then the oldest stepped into the breed ring.

To show for their dog showing efforts we now have lots of pretty ribbons, pictures of the kids and the dogs and judges on a podium, a few prizes and some fun memories spent at dog shows. I also have a book, my current release THE MAN BEHIND THE PINSTRIPES, that was inspired by my time spent at dog shows and much of it written at shows I attended last year.

The one thing I've never wanted to do (we're talking not ever) was show a dog myself.

For the past month (well, the last three weeks out of four), Mackenna and I have been attending a dog handling class to prepare Cato for his first dog show that's coming up. The instructor is a professional handler, dog behaviorist, and, I believe, breeder. She's a total dog person and really knows her stuff. Mackenna loves going. Given all the Norwegian Elkhounds that have been showing up for class (Cato, Nash, Chaos, Maia, Astra, Espen, Axel depending on the night) we've needed extra handlers. One of them has been me.

To say I'm uncomfortable doing this is putting it mildly. I'm not even sure I'd feel comfortable showing a cat!

But I'm a mom and mom's help out when called upon. Even if they have no idea what they are doing and probably look like they have two left feet when running around the ring!

Last night at the class, I was working with Chaos. It was my turn to stack her for "judging" then lead her around the ring and back to the "judge" again. Thankfully Chaos, who loves to be in the ring, knows what to do so I was just there to hold the lead. When we'd finished, the instructor said she'd make a handler out of me one of these days.

Most likely not, since I still have no clue what I'm doing, but it was nice of her to say!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kitten Season

In my current work-in-progress THE BILLIONAIRE'S NANNY, my heroine is fostering a cat named Blossom. I fictionalized a real life event that happened at my local animal rescue shelter, a broken pipe flooded the cat house, in order Blossom to need a foster ASAP. But the truth is, even without a broken pipes, most shelters and rescue groups are looking for fosters.

Especially now.

This is the time of year when rescue shelters find themselves overwhelmed by kittens. Kittens are oh-so-cute, but when they are only days or weeks old, they live in foster homes. This puts a strain on shelters to find space for them. Kitten season lasts for months, so many shelters need extra fosters to get them through this crunch time.

If you've ever thought about fostering cats for a shelter or rescue group near you, now is a good time to make the call! You don't have to foster kittens. Older cats need foster homes, too. I can't speak for all shelters, but my local one provides all the supplies a foster needs, including covering medical expenses for the cat(s.) The foster provides the space and care and love. A win-win situation.

I realize some people aren't in a position to foster at the moment. One of those people is me. With two sick cats, I can't take in another right now, but we can still find ways to help. Just check in with your local rescue group to see what ideas they have on ways to get involved outside of fostering.

I know fostering doesn't appeal to everyone. I've heard the following from more than one person: how could they foster a cat, get attached then have that cat adopted by someone else. They say having to give the cat up would hurt their hearts too much. I always shake my head at this because that means these so-called cat lovers would rather protect themselves than help an animal in need. Sure, you get attached. Yes, you will miss them. And there have been lots of foster failures (raising hand, because we ended up adopting Miss Mousie.) But aren't some tears and a tight chest better than having a cat turned away from being rescued because there isn't room for them? Sure, some people will take in strays (we've done it), but adoption events and online adoption databases are better ways for a cat to find a forever home.

Every cat needs a forever home and their own person or family to love them!

And dogs, too! If you prefer woof to meow, dogs need fosters, too!



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Random Tuesday

A snippet from my current release!
At 8:00 am (Pacific time), Teaser Tuesday will be going live on my Facebook page. Part of the teaser or snippet from The Man Behind The Pinstripes, I put on the graphic to the right. I've tagged ten other authors, from various romance genre who are participating. Check one or all out, you might find a new book to read.

My two youngest finished their alternative school, now it's time for them to finish our courses at home. I know they want to finish by the end of the month so they can have two months off (minus some math and spelling.) We'll see...

Yoda was diagnosed with HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.) It's a mild case right now. He'll be monitored and return to the cardiologist in six months for a repeat of the heart ultrasound. Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes. I have a lot to learn about feline heart disease!

Last night we watched Monsters & Aliens to celebrate the end of school. I remember seeing the previews but had never seen the flick. We enjoyed it.

Hope you have a great Tuesday! Anything random in your world?


Monday, June 10, 2013

Last Day of School

Today is the last day of school for the two youngest kidlets. They only attend twice a week, but they are so looking forward to being off until September. Of course, the last day means class parties!

Finn brought a tray of berries to share with his classmates. Rose is having a culture party (they each studied a different country) so she brought a plate of "tapas" consisting of olives, manchego cheese, chorizo sausage and a sliced baquette. Not sure how adventurous her classmates will be though!

Hope you have a great Monday!

Friday, June 07, 2013

Hai! Yoda iz Back!

Yoda the Ninja Cat
Iz been too buzy being a ninja to blog for MomE. But she iz worried about me. Iz helping her.

A lady in the white coat sayz something iz wrong with my heart. She sayz Iz need to see heart doctor. We go today.

Iz tellz MomE I only 3 1/2. Iz a Ninja Cat. Iz adorable. My heartz good.

She still worry. Put away little red light thingy I chase.

So we will go to see this heart doc.

I wantz red light thingy back.


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Summer Take 2

The sun has returned to the Pacific Northwest. After all the rain and gray skies we've had, temperatures soared above ninety yesterday. Our second glimpse of summer this spring! Fingers crossed it continues. I'm tired of rain!

I love grumpy cat. Feeling a little grumpy myself this morning, but I hope it passes. I have lots on my To Do list including attend my swim clinic class. I'm now on the 3rd session. Now to build endurance so I don't die when we have to do 50m or 100m. I much prefer 25m at a time!

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Release Day!

The paperback version of my June book, The Man Behind the Pinstripes, goes on sale today! Now both formats are available!

I limit the reviews I read of my books, but I always check RT Book Review. I did this weekend, and I'm thrilled with what they had to say about my "dog" book. That's what I've been calling this story from the time I brainstormed it!
THE MAN BEHIND THE PINSTRIPES (4) by Melissa McClone: Caleb Fairchild, CEO of a skincare company, has always been cautious with women and careful about maintaining his professional image. But there’s something about Becca Taylor that makes his pulse race. Becca is trying to turn over a new leaf and erase her bad girl image when she is hired as a consultant for Caleb’s billion-dollar business. The two quickly butt heads, but both learn that life is all about taking risks in business and in love. Clearly, McClone is a fan of four-legged friends and she portrays their significance in this tale beautifully. Her latest is well written with likable characters — and canines.
Reviewed By: Jaime A. Geraldi
Chaos and Nash
I love that the reviewer mentions the dogs since they are secondary characters in the book. Chaos and Nash agree! I have a feeling that's because there's a Norwegian Elkhound in the book named Maurice. There's also many other types of dogs, too.

I'm planning to get a newsletter out soon. This will be my first in many years so if you want a copy there's a signup link in the right sidebar. Be assured, I won't be sending out lots and lots of newsletters. Just ones to announce releases or any big news.

Hope you have a nice day!