Max the Mischievous Muse by Caroline Clemmons
Years ago, I had a gray tabby named Delilah who stayed by my side most of the day. She sat to the right of my keyboard much of the time and napped while I wrote. When she died at the age of sixteen, my husband and I were devastated. We love our pets and feel they’re family. As much as I love our cat, Sebastian, he is not cuddly unless he’s in the mood, never when I am. So, I’ve seriously missed my little cat muse sitting beside my keyboard. Not only did I miss her, but Sebastian also appeared to miss her.
Sebastian is a beautiful tuxedo cat, extremely long and sleek, who is now seven. He follows me from room to room to keep me company. When I write, he usually sleeps on a floor cushion nearby or in the next room on our bed. That’s the bed of my husband and me, not Sebastian and me. ☺ Although, Sebastian and our dog, Webster, also sleep with us. But I miss Delilah daily.
At Thanksgiving, our youngest daughter brought me an approximately four month old Manx kitten she’d found in her backyard and named Max. He is full of energy and mischief and livened up our household. And—what a joy—he likes to sit beside my keyboard. He also loves watching the cursor move across the monitor. Yes, he tends to walk on the keys at times, but that’s a small price to pay for a cuddly muse/companion!
The first week we had him, Max locked me out of the house. I started to say “accidentally,” but I don’t know that. We have a sliding glass door from our family room to the patio. Although there’s one of those modern locking pins at the top, there is also an old-fashioned sawed off broomstick that slides into the door runner channel to block the door from opening. I took Webster out for his morning constitutional and closed the door. When we tried to come back in, there sat Max staring through the glass.
Of the blocked door.
Mischievous Max had rolled the broomstick into the channel. Whew, who knew a kitten could figure out that one? I had no keys, no cell phone, and was dressed in the weird garb many writers wear when they plan to stay in their writing cave where no one but a forgiving spouse will see them. We only moved here a few months ago and I don’t know many neighbors. The ones I knew weren’t home. To make a long story short, I waited on the patio until my husband arrived back home to rescue me.
My husband gave me a lecture about never leaving the house without keys and a cell phone. What could I say? Early in the morning two days later, I heard banging on the window. Yes, Max had struck again and my husband and our dog were locked out. Did I say I told you so? No, I didn’t have to. Embarrassed, my husband apologized profusely for having criticized me. Now we keep that broomstick half a room away until we humans are ready to lock the door.
Max has learned to hate Mr. Water Spray Bottle, and is becoming a model cat. He and Sebastian—in spite of their age difference and both being male—are good friends who play and nap together. Our bed is getting a bit crowded with two humans and three pets, but the humans and fur people are happy with the situation. Fortunately, we have a king-sized bed.
The wonderful thing is that, once again, I have a cuddly cat who wants to be my companion while I write. He may not give me plot ideas, but he definitely adds to my writing pleasure. Now, if only I could teach him to edit.
Title: THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP
Publisher: Caroline Clemmons
Date Published: October 30, 2013
Genre: western historical romance
Word Count: 70,000+
Storm Kincaid wants justice; Rena Dmitriev wants vengeance.
When Storm’s best friend and the friend’s wife are murdered, Storm secures a temporary appointment as Federal Marshal so he can capture the killers. He follows them to twenty one year old Rena’s home, which is in flames when he arrives. She has survived by following her elderly husband’s strict instructions and watched in hiding while the men murdered him. Storm intends to take her to the nearest town where she will be safe. She can identify the men who killed the person who had been her husband in name only and like a grandfather to her, and she vows to kill at least one of them. Whether or not Storm allows her to accompany him, she assures him she will go after the murderers. She is the only person alive who can identify the evil foursome whose policy has been to leave no witnesses. Storm agrees to take her with him. She’ll be safer with him to protect her than she would riding alone.
As a powerful and passionate love blossoms, they unite to rescue three orphaned children, fight the elements, and encounter the killers. Will their love be enough to protect them?
She emerged from the brush straightening her trousers and shoving her pistol back into her waistband. “Where do you think those men are going?”“Indian Territory. They’ll steal all they can before they reach the Red River and leave no survivors to identify them. They’re selling off the stolen stock along the way, so that will slow them some.” He wondered if she knew how to use the gun.“But I saw their faces.”He sent her what he hoped was a frightening stare. “If they knew that, you’d be dead for sure.”She shivered, but glared at him. “Do not think to frighten me. I will do everything I can to kill these men and reclaim my gold and my mother’s locket. It is not that I care about the jewellery that once belonged to Abram’s wife. But to him, it meant a great deal, and I want it because he gave it to me.”Storm wanted to shake her. Not that he hadn’t lived all his life with stubborn women. At least his oldest sister Pearl made sense. He’d worried about shy Sarah, especially when she’d appeared head over heels with a con man. Now that Sarah and Nate were married, she had life figured out. Nate had surprised everyone, even himself. Storm suppressed a smile and worked up his anger again at his traveling companion.“We can be in Llano by nightfall. We’ll get a couple of rooms there and you can rest.”She shot him a suspicious glare. “You think to abandon me in that town. If we stay somewhere, we will be in the same room so I can watch you.”
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Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. Her latest release is THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP, book three of her popular Kincaid series. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
Caroline is a member of Romance Writers of America, Yellow Rose Romance Writers, From The Heart Romance Writers, and Hearts Through History Romance Writers. Her latest publications include the acclaimed historical Men of Stone Mountain series: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and BLUEBONNET BRIDE and the audio book of BRAZOS BRIDE.
Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets—Shih Tzu Webster, huge tuxedo cat Sebastian, and Manx cat Max. Prior to writing full time, her jobs included stay-at-home mom (her favorite), secretary, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, bookkeeper for the local tax assessor and—for a short and fun but unsuccessful time—an antique dealer. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, getting together with friends, and enjoying watching the birds, butterflies, and squirrels wandering through her back yard. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
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