I hope your holiday season is off to a great start.

I’m watching our first snowfall as I write this. Actually, it’s a pathetic attempt at snow. Maggie hardly has enough to roll in. Her roll could be a dog’s version of a snow angel, except she dives in face-first.

At least the cold, blustery weather has kept the squirrels away. Let’s just say the Westie Squirrel Patrol has been busy all fall and not just with squirrels, which leads me to our “possum encounter.”

If you’ve dealt with these rascals, you know they’re mostly harmless. About a week ago, the pack cornered one in our backyard. At night. In the darkest corner of the yard. I had no idea what it was until the flashlight beam landed on that snarl of teeth. The possum was anchored in the corner. Ready to stand his ground. Not about to move.

All I had was a broom and three barking Westies telling me they could do a better job. The possum tried to move but got rolled. I told him to stay put. I promised him I had this. I give him a lot of credit. He listened to me better than the Westies.

Finally, Deb was able to come out and peel away one Westie at a time, taking them inside. None of them was bloodied by the encounter including the possum.

Today I put up a squirrel feeder. Far, far away. On the other side of our fence. On a big old hackberry tree at the edge of the woods. Maybe they’ll get the message.

We also put up our backyard Christmas decorations. Yes, you heard right. Backyard. We decorate the back corner, so we can enjoy it from our family room. The reindeer herd doubled last year thanks to some early on-line shopping at Home Depot. Maybe the extra lights will keep the possums away. Oh, and if you look closely at the photo below, you’ll see that Huck left his “scent” to help ward off the critters.


You can get FALLEN CREED in paperback at my website: Fallen Creed Paperback and on Amazon. It’ll be available on-line at Barnes and Noble and other retailers in the coming weeks. Don’t forget, you can now buy ebook versions (as well as hardcover and large print) on my website, too. Use promo code: DEC22 to save 25% off your total order.(*except for sale items!)



I learned something new. You know how Ryder Creed and Jason always prefer to use a missing person’s shoe for their dogs’ scent object? I thought it was because shoes don’t get laundered as much as clothing, so they retain more scent. That’s true, but there’s more to it.

Turns out our feet top the odor chart. Sebaceous glands on the soles, sides and top secrete fats and cellular debris. That’s a technical way to say our feet sweat…a lot. It’s a mixture of that scent, unique to each individual, that drives dogs.

And here’s another thing. Shoes don’t prevent the odor from spilling out, into socks, onto the pavement, or grass. No matter what we’re doing, our feet are producing a steady stream of smell.

So, when your dogs steal your sock or shoe, partly it’s because it smells wonderfully of you. And partly, it’s because leather is really fun to chew.


The winner from the last eNewsletter giveaway is: Mary Lou Pizzioflaa.

This month you could win this very cool wreath. My cousin, Danine Tworek makes all kinds of these, and the dog ones are some of my favorites. To enter, send an email to contests@alexkava.com and tell us about your favorite Christmas tradition.

Speaking of Christmas traditions, here are some of mine: baking and decorating cookies (including a special batch for the dogs); binge-watching holiday movies (DIE HARD is still my favorite) and Christmas music every evening while we eat dinner.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with everything and everyone you love. This time of year, I am extra grateful for my readers. Thank you so much for allowing me to share my stories and characters. I look forward to telling you what’s in store for 2023.

Take care,