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Why do summer and winter seem to last forever and spring and autumn zoom by in a blink?

We added a blanket to our bed last night. Every morning starts out with a sweater. The sun has been fighting its way past the smoke more often recently, but every wind change reminds us the fire is still burning. As I write this, the Creek Fire has grown to 333,000 acres and is only 50% contained. It’s now the largest single-incident fire in California history.

But California’s not the only state impacted by natural disasters, and my heart goes out to the people along the Gulf Coast who have been hit hard—repeatedly—by hurricanes. Sending healing, hopeful thoughts to all.

Remodeling update: We’re ready for paint. WOOT!

That sounds simple, doesn’t it? But guess what? Hanging sheetrock, taping, texturing and sanding walls and ceilings is not fun. I didn’t do any hanging or taping, but my shoulder muscles are still complaining about the sanding.😉

But the end result is totally worth it after the “glory boys” spray the primer.

And speaking of “glory boys,” we have to say goodbye to my brother-in-law, Don, who came from South Dakota to join the remodeling “fun” for a few weeks. A retired chef by trade, he not only worked on the job every day, he taught me a couple of new recipes I’ll try to share in coming newsletters.

Here’s our hardworking, amazing team celebrating a job very well done! We’re going to miss you, Donnie.

Lisa Mondello’s CHASING CUPID is the 3rd snippet from our

Lisa Mondello is the reason there is a Cupid To the Rescue anthology. She tossed out the idea of a Valentine’s Day-themed anthology that included rescue animals, and the rest of us jumped in with both feet, seven dogs, and one donkey. 😉

Lisa and I have been friends for many years, but since she lives on the East coast and I live on the West, we usually only see each other at writer conferences. This pic is from an RWA conference a few years ago. (Seeing this photo reminded me of how much I miss conferences. Sigh.)

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lisa Mondello, is the author of over 50 novels and novellas including her popular DAKOTA HEARTS and TEXAS HEARTS series. Her romantic suspense MATERIAL WITNESS, a USA Today bestseller, was also named Best Indie Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews.

For more information, visit Lisa at www.lisamondello.com.



Montana (Tana) Reeves is about to lose her apartment because her ex-boyfriend left her with the rescue dog, Cupid, he'd used to sweet-talk her into their relationship. Losing her apartment over a dog is bad enough, but veterinarian Jett Billings' gentle way and sexy smile melts her heart just as much as the Great Dane does, and Tana quickly realizes that as she was chasing Cupid, she fell in love with both of them.


Chasing Cupid © Lisa Mondello

Chapter One

       Tana continued to hobble shoeless on the concrete path toward the open gate and heard Cupid howling. Then she heard a big splash. Ditching her shoes by a bush, she ran toward the pool gate. That sound could only mean one thing. There was no way she was fishing the dog out of the pool in her best skirt and blouse.
       She dashed through the open gate and felt the heat from the concrete bite into the soles of her feet along with remnants of sand and gravel that had kicked up on the path.

       "What did you just do?"
       She stopped short and gasped when she found Cupid in the center of the pool swimming after a man who was doing laps. Instead of figuring out how to get Cupid out of the water without totally destroying her shirt and blouse, Tana’s mind immediately locked on to how buff the man with dark wet hair was as he swam. With each stroke, his tanned skin rippled as his muscles flexed.
       She blew out a quick breath and ran to the side of the pool. But not before Cupid made his move. The beagle reached the man as he turned underwater to do another lap. Before she could stop Cupid, the dog climbed onto the man’s back wrapping her front paws around his neck, startling him and making him dunk underwater. When he emerged he coughed heavily and looked around with disorientation until he found the culprit who was trying to drown him.
       "Oh no! Cupid get away from him! What are you doing? Get away from him! Oh, my God, are you okay, sir?
       She rushed to the side of the pool and knelt down at the edge, ignoring the grit digging into her knees as she bent over. With her hand cupped like a paddle, she began pushing water toward herself as if she were rowing. The man in the pool swam over to the other side of the pool and grabbed onto the edge, coughing up whatever water he’d swallowed when Cupid dunked him.
       “What are you doing?” the man said, gazing at her as if she were a crazy woman. With her body precariously bent over the side of the pool she couldn’t disagree.
       "I’m getting the dog. She probably thought you were drowning.”
       “I almost did.”
       “Cupid, come here now!" Tana yelled.
       Cupid followed the man.
       "There’s nothing wrong with her hearing, ma’am. Just her manners," the man said. With one swift movement, Mr. Buff pulled himself out of the pool with ease as if the move was nothing at all. No steps, no wading to the shallow end, and no looking like a beached whale as she imagined she'd look if she fell in and tried to climb out the way he did. His muscles flexed and skin glistened under the sun with every movement he made. It took a moment for Tana to realize her jaw had dropped open and she was ogling.
       Warmth that had nothing to do with the sun beating down on her back settled in the pit of her stomach and simmered in all places that made her body hum. Tana was glad his attention was focused on Cupid and not her as she clumsily got to her feet again.
       "Aren’t you going to get your dog?" he said.
       It was only then she realized she’d been staring at him. Cupid was not with him. She glanced around and found Cupid climbing the steps at the opposite side of the pool.
       "Cupid," she muttered under her breath as she rushed over to her. When she reached the dog’s side, she grabbed the wet leash, and said, "Bad dog. Don’t you run away from me like that again."
       "Oh, that’ll do it. I’m sure she’s learned her lesson," the man said, shaking his head in obvious irritation.
       Tana opened her mouth to apologize when Cupid abruptly shook her whole body and sprayed Tana with pool water and flying wet fur. She tried to step away so she wouldn’t get the full force of it but she was tethered to Cupid by the leash.
       "Saw that coming," the man said, his lips twisting with amusement.


Is that a “Meet Cute” or what? I happen to love beagles. What a fun read this is going to be. Pre-order price is only 99¢.

Pre-order CUPID TO THE RESCUE here!

Last week's Q&A was: Do you like to bake? Yes or No?

WOW! We do love our baked goods, don’t we? You’ve inspired me to bake more, and I appreciated the recipes some of you shared. I will be testing them out and sharing in the future, I hope.

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Heidi Sajkowicz
Suzanne Jane

(Heidi and Suzanne congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


This week’s Q&AHave you ever seen the International Space Station fly over? Yes or No.

I ask because on our first smoke-free night of stargazing, we spotted it passing overhead. (From our angle, it looked like it was going to take out Jupiter.) Very exciting!

(FYI: The International Space Station orbits 248 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth, and can be seen from the ground. If you’re curious, check out NASA’s new interactive map called Spot the Station.)

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways:
email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.)

Still no rain. But the tarantulas are on the move and that’s always fun.

Take care and stay well,


Next week: my last UNBOXING (for awhile) + Snippet #4 from Cupid to the Rescue.



Copyright © 2020 Debra Salonen