Adventures in Cat Rescue, 2017

**This is NOT a book related post.

On Saturday I was working my day job when I was told that there was a litter of kittens (2-3 weeks old by my estimate) and a momma cat underneath a building beside our pharmacy, where we keep extra building fixtures. The animal rescuer in me couldn’t let it go. So I secured rescue and spent the weekend trying to coax the kittens and mother out from underneath the building with cat food and tuna. No luck.

So I borrowed a drop trap and a live trap from a local animal rescue and, with the help of my sister, managed to trap the mother and one kitten. That left four kittens. We stayed in the grass behind my work building for over 3 hours trying to catch the stinkers. It finally got so dark I couldn’t stay any longer because we couldn’t see to trigger the drop trap.

I had to let the mother cat go because the remaining kittens would need her. I was sad, but determined to come back and try the following night. I took my one trapped kitten home and started bottle feeding. He’s a cutie. I’ve named him Asher, he’s a gray tabby, and the name totally suits him.

Sadly, the momma cat has relocated the other kittens to a better hiding place and I haven’t been able to find them. She is coming back and eating the food I am leaving under the building and also drinking the water. So at least I know she/they aren’t starving. I’m still trying to find them. I’ve contacted the neighbors, and continue to search for them daily. I pray I find them.

But at least I caught one. One kitten that will be fully vetted, and go off to rescue to find a forever home. It won’t have to live the life of a stray/feral and possibly die way too early due to lack of nutrition and appropriate care.

I am exhausted and worried, bottle feedings in the middle of the night, going home in the middle of the day to feed, and still checking to find the rest of the litter and the mother. I would love to get them all fixed, vetted, and off to rescue. I’m not sure if it will happen, but I sure hope so!

The moral of this story is spay and neuter your pets. And help spay and neuter strays. There are so many animals out there that need help.

Interested in keeping up with this ongoing saga? Findme on Facebook, I am posting updates and adorable pictures there.

(below: Asher next to a 16 ounce bottle of water, for scale)




Book Two

I’ve started writing book two in the Coleman Family Legacy series. There have been a few surprises along the way.

First, book 2 is NOT going to be Cass and Tucker’s book. Even I thought it was going to be their story. But Sara is demanding my attention. After many, many hours of plotting/daydreaming I have a full story arc complete and made it possible for Sara to go first.

Second, Sara is NOT going to end up with who I thought she was…. There’s this new guy, Hank, who is rather outspoken. He is insisting that Sara be his forever. And how can I argue with that? I mean, he’s a good guy, even though he’s got a dark and dangerous vibe to him.

I have accumulated a file of inspiration photos and thought I would share those here.

So yep, that’s it for me. Book 2 in progress. Sara and Hank’s story… as of yet untitled. But I am super excited to be working on it and can’t wait to see where they take me.

Oh! And I am hoping for a September 2017 release.

I survived RT, barely.


Happy NationalBoss Day!

My RT recap, kind of.

*Edit to add that this is technically NOT my first RT. I’ve been as a reader, but never and an author.

Georgia doesn’t like me. Let me start there. It never fails, every time I have ever vacationed in Georgia something bad has happened.

Examples include:

  • An anniversary trip with my husband, my house flooded while we were away.
  • We went on a vacation to the Blue Ridge Mountains for hiking in the state and national parks, the government shut down.
  • We tried again on another vacation, I ended up with pneumonia.

So why did I try this again??? I must be a glutton for punishment. My close friend, and fellow author, and roommate for the trip, Amy J Hawthorn, went along for this torturous adventure.

We drove, which is fine. Both of us like to drive so that really isn’t an issue. But the trip started with her having some seasonal allergy related problems and me having a cough and the beginnings of a head cold. No problem. Nothing some Airborne and OTC meds can’t handle right? Ugh. Not so much.

AND, to add insult to injury, two hours into the trip my oil light kept flashing off and on. We stopped at an AutoZone in Lexington, KY. I’m muttering about my bad luck with trips to Georgia and Amy mentioned her bad mojo with vehicles.  At AutoZone a very kind mechanic, NOT an employee, but a shopper, looks at the car and tells me that he thinks it is a pressure switch/sensor problem. Okay then. So what do we do? We continue to drive  all the way to Georgia with a binging sound… we started to get used to it and it became background noise. But there was the constant worry that the car was going to blow up. Lucky for us, we made it to Georgia, and back home, without any actual car trouble.

There were multiple panels that I wanted to attend, parties to go to, friends to see… You get the point. What did I do? Well, the first day I registered and slept. Yep. That’s right. I paid a ton of money to drive down to Georgia and sleep off a cold. After the first day I forced myself to do a panel or two each day, and even made it to a few reader events… and did my best to smile through the signings and not act as if I possibly overdosed myself on Robitussin during the Saturday and Sunday signing. I chugged coffee too, lots of coffee.

Did I have a good time? For the most part, yes. But I was so concerned about spreading this crud to other convention goers, and also frightening off possible readers of my one and only book, that I mostly hid in the hotel room.

On the bright side, I am about ten thousand words into book 2 of the series, so that’s something right?

Poor Amy though. She had to listen to my mouth breathing, nose blowing, yucky self for an entire week. All while not feeling so hot herself. She’s a trooper.

I wish I would have gotten to see more friends, and make new ones. But there is always the next convention right? Speaking of, check out my appearances page if you would like to see where I am going to be. And check out my author Facebook page “Author Darcy Stephens” for pics from the convention.

Release Day Thoughts


Like so many readers I have had dreams of writing my own books. I’ve had stories in my mind since I was a little girl. My mom gets the credit for that… she enabled my love of books. I was a lucky girl. I grew up in a home with parents that loved to read. My Dad had his Louis L’amour books, Reader’s Digests, and Nat Geo’s. And Mom had her Little House on the Prairie and stories of how she read Nancy Drew when she was younger. Mom would take me to the library. And every other week she would let me spend my $10 allowance at the local bookstore “The Little Professor” or at a nearby shopping center that sold Harlequins and other various books.  Back in the day books were only $2.50 – $2.99 each and I could always get three books. And then I would wear those three books out in the two week time frame until I got my next allowance or the next trip to the library. It was reading all of these books that triggered my imagination. I remember going into the library and thinking about how amazing it is that someone had to write all of these books. And if all of these other authors could do it then maybe one day I could too.

So around the age of twelve I decided to try. I wanted to write Sweet Valley High books. Because why not? I filled spiral bound notebooks with my ideas and very poorly written dialogue. But I had the dream. Nothing ever came of these stories. I never showed them to anyone, and to be completely honest I think I destroyed most of them, embarrassed because I knew my writing wasn’t good enough. Even then I was my own worst critic.

Fast forward 17 years (10 years ago) give or take a year. I met a wonderful group of Ladies on a reader’s forum. And out of that group I formed a close bond with many, especially two very special women. We just so happened to live within an hour of each other, how lucky! It took several years before one of these two women admitted to wanting to write. We talked about it. I could tell that she was very serious about it. She had stories drafted and been taking some writing classes on the side. I thought okay, if she can do this maybe I can do it too.  So I tried, and I absolutely hated my writing. Like, throw the notebook against the wall, can’t stand it, hated it. Her writing was beautiful, and still is, filled with emotion and depth. And I would look at all of the authors that I admire, people like Nalini Singh, and wish that I had that type of fluidity. Because damn, that woman has some amazing skill. So, out of frustration, I gave up.

I watched my friend’s career grow. And I was thrilled, over-the-moon, happy for her. She was working her tail off, still does, to hold a full-time job, take care of her family, and write. Holy crap, right? And here I was still dreaming. Then it hit me about two years ago… I think I may have said something to her on one of our trips… I don’t know exactly what it was, but it was like a light bulb finally clicked. I had to write my stories my way. They may not contain the beautiful writing of the authors that I admire, but that was okay. Not all stories are flowery and eloquent. There were likely thousands of texts about writing, hers and mine, and so many phone calls with our friend, who always offered encouragement, helped with plots, and listened when I needed to complain.

Two years ago I started writing seriously. I wrote so many drafts of a story that I loved but could never finish. So I took a writing course, searching for inspiration. That is when I decided to write a few chapters of a non-existent, random story to work on my dialogue and have it critiqued by a course instructor. And THAT was when Aiden and Kendall’s story broke into my mind and heart and wouldn’t let go. There is an entire series in my head now screaming, demanding to be let out. So that is what I did. I gave up on series one that I was attempting. And jumped right in… It has taken a year, but FINALLY the day is here. A day that has been twenty-seven years in the making, my very first release day.

I owe my thanks to many people for helping me get her. My parents, my husband for the nonstop encouragement, and my two best friends, Amy and Inez. I love all of you with all of my heart.