Spring is just around the corner!! Hang in there. Don’t listen to Punxsutawney Phil.

We celebrated Finn’s second birthday on February 13th. He’s almost a Valentine’s day boy. Nebraska hasn’t seen any big snowfalls since his arrival, but this past week we had about eight inches. It was quite the adventure for him. He actually didn’t know how to move in snow higher than his belly. We shoveled a maze of trails in the backyard. Westies are big imitators, so it didn’t take Finn long to figure it out.

I hope your February has gone well. I’m still writing and editing MIDNIGHT CREED. I’ve been taking breaks to watch NCAA women’s basketball and hoping my Huskers make it into the tournament.

On to other fun stuff.

WINTER BOOKLOVER DEAL

We have a few left from our winter special. If you haven’t read FALLEN CREED yet or you’re looking for a gift idea, check this out. You can get our VIR crime scene scarf and a signed hardcover or if you prefer, you can choose the ebook edition. Plus, we’re including some Ghirardelli’s chocolates for you to enjoy while you read.

Learn more here: WINTER BOOK LOVERS DEAL

3 THINGS WE DO THAT CONFUSE OUR DOGS

This is according to a study by the Sydney, Australia School of Veterinary Science. There’s a much longer list, but I chose three that I’ve recognized over the years with my dogs. Maybe you’ll recognize some of these, too. Here are some things we do that confuse our dogs.

1) We like to hug.
Dogs grab at each other when they play, but to be pinned by another dog is considered threatening. If your dog doesn’t like to be hugged, try getting down on the floor and doing a loose, one-arm hug. Or better, yet, let your dog initiate the show of affection. Chances are it’ll be more licks and head-butts than rubs and hugs.

2) We constantly change our shape and smell.
Have you ever put on a ballcap and your dog barks at you? How many times have you come home after petting another dog or cat, and your dog wildly starts sniffing you. You can almost hear them shouting, “Where have you been? Why do you smell so different?”

3) We leave them alone.
Dogs are born socialites. Puppies love to spend time with other dogs, people and pretty much any species that will interact with them. They don’t understand why we leave. And not until they experience dozens of our returns do they understand that we actually will return. If you have a dog with abandonment anxiety it’s not because he’s a bad dog. It’s simply his nature to want company.

3 THINGS WE DO THAT CONFUSE OUR CATS

I couldn’t find a similar study for cats, but Deb keeps reminding me we have many readers with cats. So, I did some research. Here are some things we do that confuse our cats.

1) We don’t allow them on counters and tables.
It’s not just to check for food. Cats are naturally curious. Also, they have the ability and instinct to jump to an elevated space. Sometimes to retreat to a safe spot or simply for a great vantage point.

2) We talk too much.
According to anthrozoologist John Bradshaw, cats have learned to meow to communicate with humans, but don’t so much with other animals. Cats more naturally purr to relay emotion or use body language: a swish of the tail or full body rub against their human’s leg.

3) We take showers and get into bathtubs, and we do so, willingly.
When wet, a cat’s coat weighs more than normal and takes longer to dry. It limits their movement and reflexes, so instinctively it makes them feel more vulnerable. However, cats do like to feel clean and can spend as much as 50% of their day grooming themselves.

ALEX AND DEB RECOMMEND

While you’re waiting for MIDNIGHT CREED, here are some books Deb and I just read that we enjoyed.

THIN ICE & COLD WIND by Paige Shelton
These two are the first in a series. I love the setting, the characters, and the premise.

After a thriller author is stalked and attacked, she escapes to a small Alaska town without telling even her mother where she is. But she also can’t tell anyone in Alaska her identity, because she’s hiding from her attacker who’s still on the loose. There are four books in the series so far.

THE LAST ORPHAN by Gregg Hurwitz
Both Deb and I are huge fans of Gregg’s and love this series. If you haven’t read it, I recommend starting with ORPHAN X. THE LAST ORPHAN is #8 in the series.

From the jacket copy: As a child, Evan Smoak was plucked out of a group home, raised and trained as an assassin for the government as part of the Orphan program. When he broke away and went deep underground, he left with secrets in his head that the government would do anything to make sure never got out.

Code-named, Orphan X he has always been several steps ahead of his pursuers. Until he makes one little mistake…

LOOKING FOR MORE GREAT READS?
Deb posts new book recommendations every Friday on my VIR Club’s Facebook page. If you’re not already a member, please consider joining. This is a private FB page (A NO TROLL ZONE). You can submit a request to join HERE: ALEX’s FB VIR

ENTER TO WIN THIS MONTH’S CONTEST

The winner from the last eNewsletter giveaway is: Kimberly Burgstahler!

Deb found this amazing booklight, and I absolutely love it! It’s made by Vekkia. The amber light (NOT STARK WHITE) has three levels of bright. The clip is solid without leaving a mark on your hardcover (yes, I’m picky about marring my books) and the gooseneck lets you smoothly position the light to exactly where you want it. It’s also rechargeable.

So, we’re giving one away this month, along with two of the hardcovers we recommended above plus a signed copy of FALLEN CREED.

To enter, send an email to contests@alexkava.com and tell us – Do you prefer books with happy endings or more dramatic endings and why?

Oh, and if you can’t wait to win one of the booklights, here’s where you can buy one: AMAZING BOOKLIGHT

As always, thank you for reading my books. Oh, and here’s another photo of Finn, birthday boy.