Patches is Live!! (and about That Contest)

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First the great news!! Patches In The Rye is live!!!

Anyone who scored an ARC through my newsletter or street team, I would appreciate a review (links below).

Second, the contest program somehow neglected to collect names, so I can’t readily announce our winner. The email address starts with shirley, so if this is you, please check your email (including your spam folder). Thanks!!

Patches In The Rye, A Marcia Banks and Buddy Mystery #5:
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Nothing about her new client is what service dog trainer Marcia Banks expected—from the posh house that says family money to his paranoid preoccupation with his sister’s love life—but when he dangles a thousand dollar retainer under her nose, she can’t resist his request to play private detective.

In between training sessions with her client’s new service dog, Marcia learns the sister’s boyfriend has a sketchy past. He seems to have turned over a new leaf, but as she digs deeper, more disturbing and confusing questions arise. How is a disastrous frat party five years ago linked to blackmail, prostitutes, and murder today? And who is behind the wheel of the black SUV that keeps trying to turn Marcia and her canine companion Buddy into roadkill?

Marcia can’t let it go, not when there are innocents at risk who are depending on her to find the truth. But the deepest, darkest truth is one she wishes she never uncovered.

Available Now for $0.99 for a limited time!

AMAZON    NOOK    APPLE    KOBO

Paperback will be out soon!

Patches available for Preorder, and A Buddy Contest!!

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Finally, Patches In The Rye is up for Preorder, releasing on 7/24/18!!
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Patches In The Rye, A Marcia Banks and Buddy Mystery #5:
.

Nothing about her new client is what service dog trainer Marcia Banks expected—from the posh house that says family money to his paranoid preoccupation with his sister’s love life—but when he dangles a thousand dollar retainer under her nose, she can’t resist his request to play private detective.

In between training sessions with her client’s new service dog, Marcia learns the sister’s boyfriend has a sketchy past. He seems to have turned over a new leaf, but as she digs deeper, more disturbing and confusing questions arise. How is a disastrous frat party five years ago linked to blackmail, prostitutes, and murder today? And who is behind the wheel of the black SUV that keeps trying to turn Marcia and her canine companion Buddy into roadkill?

Marcia can’t let it go, not when there are innocents at risk who are depending on her to find the truth. But the deepest, darkest truth is one she wishes she never uncovered.

Available Now for PREORDER ~ Goes LIVE on 7/24/18

AMAZON   NOOK    APPLE    KOBO

AND I’m doing ANOTHER CONTEST, to celebrate the new release!

Click HERE to enter now* (Password is Buddy)  to win THREE signed paperbacks, one of each of the first three books in the Marcia Banks and Buddy Mystery Series! PLUS, a dishwasher magnet, a mouse pad, and an 8″ stuffed Black Labrador (for the child in your life, or the child within you!).

The winner will be announced on July 24, 2018!

*U.S. residents only; international winner will receive ecopies of the books and a gift certificate worth the equivalent of $15 US dollars.

Contest Winner!

Drumroll please!! The winner of my contest is Linda Kish. Congrats, Linda!!!

Please email me at lambkassandra3@gmail.com to claim your prize. I will need your snail mail address and the name and inscription you want on the signed paperbacks. Thanks!!

Everyone else, stay tuned! I will be doing more contests, about every 4-6 weeks through the summer.

 

 

Contest!! Win some cool swag and signed paperbacks

Hey folks, I’ve got a contest running through 5/20. Jump on over to that page and enter to win these swag goodies and signed paperbacks.

The contest page is password-protected because this contest is just for my true readers. The Password is KATE.

Good luck!
http://kassandralamb.com/giveaway/

Prizes include a cute mug with a flow chart to decide if you need a new book (of course, you do!) and an 8gb flash drive.

Contest ends 5/21/18 — Winner will be announced 5/25/18!!

5 (+ 2 Bonus) Tips for a Fun and Fit Dog Walk—and Books for Dog Lovers!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, as I’ve observed that my style of dog-walking is a bit different from most people’s. Too often the dog walks I see are really dog “strolls” with frequent dog “stops.”

I spend a lot of time sitting at my computer developing what we authors not so lovingly call “writer’s butt.” So I’m always looking for fun ways to get more exercise.

dog sniffing grass

Watson NOT going in a straight line!

One of my favorites is taking my dog Watson for long walks—partly because he loves it, and it gets me outside in the fresh air.

The main goal, however, is to get some aerobic exercise for both of us. Therefore, I need to keep moving at a steady pace, and I need to keep my dog moving too (although he may not always do so in a straight line).

So here are my tips for getting the most out of your dog walks!

Tip #1: Bathroom break first.

A longer dog walk isn’t about going to the bathroom; it’s about fun exercise. So let your dog out into the fenced yard or take them on a short leash to their favorite latrine area first, so they can do their business before you start your exercise walk.

Of course a male dog will still feel the need to mark most bushes and trees but those will be short stops, not prolonged ones, if his bladder is mostly empty before you begin.

Tip #2: Use a harness for maximum control.

pic of front-hook harness

Bonus Tip: If your dog tends to pull a lot, use a front-hook harness. When the dog reaches the end of the leash, their forward momentum just turns them around in a circle. This is a nice one I found on Amazon.com

A harness makes it much easier to control your dog without having to pull on their neck or throat.

(Note: for convenience, I’m following the newer convention of using “their” or “them” to refer to a single dog of either gender.)

Tip #3: Use a long leash.

I prefer a retractable one. I know, a lot of people hate them because they can break and come flying back at you causing injury.

For that reason, it’s important to make sure the leash is sturdy enough for your dog. Watson is medium height but weighs 63 pounds, most of which is pure muscle. Therefore, I like a little overkill in the leash department; I use one that is rated for a 100-pound dog. Also it’s a good idea to replace the leash every couple of years, especially if it is frayed at all.

But if you don’t like retractables, a 12 to 15-foot regular leash is fine. The goal here is to let your dog lag a bit behind to smell his “pee-mails” or trot a bit ahead, while you maintain that steady aerobic pace (fast enough that you are breathing just a little bit heavy after about 10 minutes).

Watson again. :-)

Bonus Tip: When using a retractable leash, always use the safety strap that comes with it, so that if the harness comes off the whole thing won’t come flying back into your face (and you still have control of the dog). Here’s Watson modeling our favorite harness, with the leash’s black safety strap looped through his collar ring.

Tip #4: Give a gentle tug when the dog is nearing the end of the leash’s length.

If the dog has fallen behind, accompany the gentle tug with a verbal command such as “Come on.” After a while, your dog will come most of the time when you just give the verbal command. Again, the goal is that you do not have to stop while your dog investigates that bush or interesting smell. (Of course, if the smell is particularly fascinating, you may still need to add the gentle tug.)

If your dog is trotting ahead (or flat-out running as Watson sometimes does), a gentle tug before they hit the end of the leash will lessen the risk that either you or your dog will be yanked off their feet.

Tip #5: Vary your route.

One of the things I hate about exercise is it’s boring.

To lessen that boredom, I have several routes that I can choose from, so that I’m not looking at the same scenery and my dog isn’t smelling the same smells every time. These routes are of varying lengths, for 20-minute to 45-minute walks.

A brisk walk, averaging 30 minutes a day, is a great way to help keep yourself and your dog reasonably fit.

Oh, and don’t forget to take a poop bag, just in case!

And here are some great books for dog lovers (and a couple of special bargains)!

Authors Of Books For Dog Lovers April Promo

Please visit our Books For Dog Lovers page for book descriptions, Amazon reviews, and links to purchase April’s featured books. If you would like to learn more about the authors in our group, please visit our Meet The Authors page.

Here are the books with special pricing in April:

FREE
Keeping Your Dog at a Healthy Weight
By Rachele Baker, DVM

ON SALE for 99 cents April 15-22
Trouble At The Kennel: A Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery
By Dianne Harman

And of course, To Kill A Labrador is just $0.99

OOPS! Word Press Just Outted Me

Hi all! You may have gotten an email earlier today with a post that perhaps shocked you. I was trying to figure out how to make that post private, for a particular blog fest I’m participating in next week, and I accidentally posted it.

You Did What meme

meme created via imgflip.com

So now that the news is out there, let me make the announcement I was going to make next month, when I had one more book out by Jessica Dale.

I’ve been leading a double life lately.

I woke up a few months ago with an entire new story in my head, with totally different characters from either of my mystery series. This story shocked me on many levels. One, it was a romantic suspense story. Two it was borderline erotica.

But my muse haunted me and wouldn’t let me ignore it, so I finally wrote the story down just to get it out of my head. And then I decided it was (1) a good story and (2) an important cautionary tale.

head shot of Jessica Dale

My alter ego, Jessica Dale

So I toned down the graphic stuff some, although it’s still pretty intense. And I published it under a new pen name, Jessica Dale.

Since then I’ve started another series under that pen name, called the Unintended Consequences romantic suspense series.

If you like my Kate Huntington books, you will probably like the Unintended Consequences (I should have come up with a shorter name!) stories as well. They have about the same level of on-screen sex and violence (and the occasional curse word).

Payback cover

(Book 1 is a rewrite of a Halloween story I wrote years ago, Echoes).

If you’re more a cozy mystery reader because you don’t like sex and gore on the written page (or swearing) then you may not like any of Jessica’s books, and you probably DON’T want to read Binding Choice and its prequel I’m currently working on. (But if you don’t mind the more graphic stuff, check it out.)

My deepest apologies to anyone who was offended by the earlier email re: the “oops” post (which I’ve since taken down and made private as I originally intended).

embarrassed meme

meme generated via imgflip.com

P.S. I am still most definitely writing mysteries too! I’m about halfway through the first draft of the last Kate book, POLICE PROTECTION. And I will be starting on the next Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy soon!

A Dog’s Dictionary to Describe the World

I took my dog for a walk the other day.

(Note: those of you who helped me pick Murphy as the name for my new dog, sadly I was reminded a few days later that a dog of that name bit my brother several years ago. So I had to go back to the list. I selected Watson, which also fits this dog’s rather goofy personality.)

So anyway, I took Watson for a walk the other day. And as I was dragging him away from his fascination with a crumpled leaf in the road, I thought about how the world must seem to our dogs.

As we walked around the neighborhood, this “dictionary” of doggie views of the world came to me.

1. Those brown, crunchie things all over the ground (dried leaves) – definition: something that might taste good.

2. Those tall green thingies (bushes) – definition: my favorite place to pee.

3. Those gray clumps of stringy thingies (Spanish moss that has fallen from trees) – definition: my second favorite place to pee.

4. That delicious-smelling pile of gooey stuff that makes Mom yell “leave it!” (three-day-old roadkill) – definition: something that definitely will taste good.

5. That black round, tall thingie (trashcan) – definition: one of several things Mom mysteriously will not let me pee on (I’m pretty sure my neighbors would not appreciate their garages smelling like my dog’s pee when they bring their trashcans in.)

6. Those shiny round thingies with black tubes around them (car tires) – definition: another thing Mom won’t let me pee on (ditto explanation from above).

7. That running lady who smells so good (sweaty, jogging neighbor) – definition: my new best friend if Mom would only let me sniff her in the appropriate places.

8. That interesting spot in the yard that smells so good (skunk spray) – definition: my favorite place to roll.

9. Those funny-looking cats with bushy tails (squirrels) – definition: demons from hell that must be chased up a tree or over the fence.

Any definitions you think your dog would like to add to this dictionary? 😉

Happy Holidays from Watson and me!!

(A friend managed to snap this pic by bribing him with a treat!)

And if you haven’t already done so, grab yourself a copy of my fun Christmas novella, A Mayfair Christmas Carol.

Just $0.99

A Christmas extravaganza in Mayfair, Florida, complete with an ice skating rink. What could go wrong?

When excavation for the skating rink uncovers a decades-old skeleton, its secrets threaten more than the town’s Christmas plans. Worried about her friends in her adopted town and feeling responsible since the let’s-attract-more-tourists idea was hers initially, dog trainer Marcia Banks is determined to help her police detective boyfriend solve the mystery—whether he wants her help or not. Perhaps she can wheedle more out of the townspeople than he can.

But will she and her Black Lab, Buddy, be able to keep the ghost of Christmas past from destroying what is left of Mayfair’s founding family, or will her meddling make matters worse?

AMAZON    APPLE    NOOK    KOBO

A Mayfair Christmas Carol is Live!!

 

Yay!!  A Mayfair Christmas Carol is live!

Treat yourself to an early Christmas present ~ JUST $0.99

 

A Christmas extravaganza in Mayfair, Florida, complete with an ice skating rink. What could go wrong?

When excavation for the skating rink uncovers a decades-old skeleton, its secrets threaten more than the town’s Christmas plans. Worried about her friends in her adopted town and feeling responsible since the let’s-attract-more-tourists idea was hers initially, dog trainer Marcia Banks is determined to help her police detective boyfriend solve the mystery—whether he wants her help or not. Perhaps she can wheedle more out of the townspeople than he can.

But will she and her Black Lab, Buddy, be able to keep the ghost of Christmas past from destroying what is left of Mayfair’s founding family, or will her meddling make matters worse?

AMAZON    APPLE    NOOK    KOBO

 

Merry Christmas from me, Kate, Marcia and Buddy!!

I’ve Got a Christmas Novella For You!

Hey everyone, I got inspired and wrote a Christmas novella for my Marcia Banks and Buddy series — A Mayfair Christmas Carol

It’s available for preorder now! Releases on December 2nd!

JUST $0.99

A Christmas extravaganza in Mayfair, Florida, complete with an ice skating rink. What could go wrong?

When excavation for the skating rink uncovers a decades-old skeleton, its secrets threaten more than the town’s Christmas plans. Worried about her friends in her adopted town and feeling responsible since the let’s-attract-more-tourists idea was hers initially, dog trainer Marcia Banks is determined to help her police detective boyfriend solve the mystery—whether he wants her help or not. Perhaps she can wheedle more out of the townspeople than he can.

But will she and her Black Lab, Buddy, be able to keep the ghost of Christmas past from destroying what is left of Mayfair’s founding family, or will her meddling make matters worse?

AMAZON      APPLE      NOOK      KOBO

 

 

 

 

I’ve got a new dog! Help me name him.

(Note: If you get this post twice, my apologies. I recently moved my site to a new host and I’m testing some things.)

Hey, Everyone. I’ve got a new pup at my house. Well, he’s two so not so much a puppy anymore.

Pop on over to my Facebook page and vote for your favorite name for him. My original options were Toby, Sherlock or Copper. But many of my readers have offered other cool ideas.

 

At this point, the top runners are Toby, Sherlock, Rascal and Charlie Brown. But I’m still open to suggestions. Click HERE to join the fun!