How has your new year been going? I hope it’s off to a great start.
In December I complained about not having snow. We got some Christmas Day! Maggie showed newcomer, Grace how to enjoy the white stuff. It was only a few inches. Fluffy and fun.
Since then, we’ve had about a foot more. Even Grace wasn’t sure what to make of it. Along with the snow came frigid temperatures. In Nebraska we had a week of subzero, down to -19F and -23F. Just when we thought the worst was over, a frozen water pipe burst…in the corner ceiling over my writing room/office. Every booklover’s (and writer’s) nightmare: water shooting out over bookcases full of hardcovers and a credenza with research notebooks and files.
What a mess!
We weren’t the only ones with frozen pipes bursting. I keep reminding myself of that. No one was hurt. Our home was still warm. Everything can be replaced. Well, almost everything. My project and research notebooks might be a lost cause. I still do too much the old-fashioned way with handwriting on paper, and there is no backup drive or iCloud for that.
I haven’t been working in my office since before Christmas when Huck injured his ACL. (Actually, in a dog it’s CCL). I set us up in my bedroom for him to rehab. Even bought him a window bench to look out over the backyard. Because I’ve been working in the bedroom, my laptops and some of my important notebooks were with me and not in my writing room at the time of the flooding. A small blessing for which I’m deeply grateful.
It was certainly not an ideal way to begin a new year. If you’ve had a challenging start, join me in trying to look on the bright side—we have eleven months to make sure something positive happens this year.
AND spring is less than 50 days away!
A HUGE THANK YOU!
It was a working Christmas for Deb and me with MIDNIGHT CREED releasing in the middle of December, so we missed out on a few of our traditions. However, we spent one lovely evening opening Christmas cards, reading your notes and decorating the tree. I love that so many of you sent us cards. Thank you for including us on your list of friends and family. It means a lot to us.
MIDNIGHT CREED’S AUDIOBOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE
If you prefer listening to books, the audio is now available. Here’s where you can find it: AUDIBLE
If you’d like to buy a personalized and signed hardcover, we have extended our FREE BOOKMARK through February and will include it with every hardcover purchase. For more information or to order click here: GET A COPY
If you just want the bookmark separately, it’s available on the WebShop.TEAM GRACE BOOKMARK
Remember, you can now buy ebooks directly from my WebShop, too.
Library Readers: If you still haven’t seen MIDNIGHT CREED available at your local library, please ask for it. I’ve been told that most libraries are very receptive when their patrons ask for specific titles.
ALL ABOUT DOGS:
MOIST HEAT THERAPY
I mentioned that my Huck most likely tore his ACL last month. I’ve gone through ACL injuries and surgery with two of my other Westies in the past. Huck may end up needing surgery, but we’re trying less invasive treatments first. Moist heat therapy is one of the things we’re using.
Cold works great for reducing inflammation, especially in the first 72 hours of an injury or after surgery. But if your dog has arthritis pain or stiff and sore muscles and joints, moist heat therapy may be worth a try. It’s easy, cheap and can improve mobility.
First, it does need to be moist heat. Not an electric heating pad. Moisture allows the heat to penetrate deeper into the tissue. It increases blood flow to the area, which improves circulation. That provides comfort, increased muscle flexibility and can even promote the healing of damaged tissue.I bought this on Amazon, and it works great: https://amzn.to/42qdAkU (NOTE: I don’t use affiliate codes. I’m just recommending it on my own.) This one is sturdy but with a soft material and filled with flaxseed that easily conforms to whatever you put it on. You can easily toss it into the microwave.
You can make your own heating pad using a cotton tube sock. Fill it half full with uncooked rice or flaxseed. Leave it loose enough so it can wrap around the limb. Then tie or sew the end shut.
Eighty seconds to a minute in the microwave is enough, but it’s recommended you test how hot it is by holding it against the inside of your wrist for twenty seconds. If it’s too hot for your skin, it’s too hot for your dog.
Also, make sure the pad’s not too heavy for your dog. You want it to soothe, not encumber. Try putting it on them gently when they’re already relaxing. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes. You can repeat up to every 6-8 hours.
Of course, if your dog says “no,” don’t force it. And as always with anything I recommend, check with your veterinarian.
Enter To Win This Month’s Contest
The winner from the last eNewsletter giveaway is: LORETTA J. from Oregon .
This month’s giveaway gets you caught up on the Ryder Creed series. It includes signed paperbacks of LOST CREED, DESPERATE CREED, HIDDEN CREED and FALLEN CREED along with a Team Grace bookmark and the VIR Club Crime Scene scarf.
To enter, click here to send an email to email@example.com and tell us one thing you’re excited about doing in 2024.
Again, thank you all for reading and sharing my books.