Rosie and Stripe: The Untold Story

In my last post I introduced you to Santa’s Little Helper, one of the most unique, playful and annoying little buggers we ever rescued. We love him to pieces, but when his buddies Dutch and Floppy died within a year of

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As you can see, Santa’s Little Helper was a bit needy

each other, Santa’s Little Helper became needy to the point where I couldn’t write a complete sentence before he was itching to get on my lap.

Santa’s Little Helper wanted a friend and he chose me. That needed to change.

I approached my husband about adopting a standard Greyhound. I’m sure you’ve heard of their plight; how they’re tossed aside once their racing days are over. Hubby agreed and did some research. Next thing I know we’re driving to New Jersey to look at two Italian Greyhounds.

His reasoning? I wanted to rescue one regular-sized greyhound, but instead we’ll rescue two smaller ones. For some reason, at that time, it made perfect sense to me.

Rosie and Stripe were from a breeder who’d passed away. They were in a home with 13 or so other Iggies (short for Italian Greyhounds, for

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Rosie and Stripe

those ‘in the know’) when they were rescued. The people who ran the Iggy rescue noticed that the ‘supposed’ brother and sister did not want to be separated. Ever. So that’s how the decided to adopt them out. Together.

And that’s how I wound up with two Italian Greyhounds, instead of one standard.

 

At first Rosie and Stripe were less than enthusiastic to let Santa’s Little Helper into their little circle.

 

Cuddly dogs

 

But eventually he wore them down and they let him in.

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An Iggy Choo-Choo Train

So Santa’s Little Helper got his buddies, and I was finally able to get back to my writing!

Happy Holidays!

~Maggie

 

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The Other Santa’s Little Helper

Many years ago my son worked for a local pet store. Every now and then I’d go to visit him, because I missed him soooo much–and, I mean, I was there, so why not play with the puppies? Ya know, just to pass the time.

So after a few months of “going to visit my son because I missed him so much” I noticed a new arrival. He stood out because he was an Italian Greyhound, and they weren’t a very typical breed in the pet stores at that time. Oh, plus he was wearing aSLH2 cast.

Kinda stands out, doesn’t it? I asked my son what happened to him. He said they “think” he broke his leg in transit to the store. He also mentioned the six month old puppy was no longer salable because he was broken (if you knew my son, you’d understand his humor) and they were looking for someone to adopt him free of charge.

At the time we already had two dogs, so I thought my husband’s friend might want him. But when I spoke to my husband about it, I barely got the words “Italian Greyhound” out before he declared, “We’ll take him!”

Apparently, my husband had been in love with this breed for years. I was less than happy about the idea, so I told him we would take the broken pup on one condition. I get to name him. And if I were to take on yet another rescue, his name, henceforth would be known as Santa’s Little Helper. Yes, the same name as the dog from The Simpsons.

Once we got him home, and his cast came off, he quickly lived up to his namesake. SHL and Dutch

I mean, who can sleep like that? From the moment we brought him home eleven years ago, he has been an endless supply of entertainment. He’s a loving, weird and pushy dog that always finds a way to make us smile. So keep coming back for tales and pictures of this crazy dog. Next time we’ll meet his equally quirky sister, Rosie.

~Maggie

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Leveling the Playing Field

Come visit me at Hilary Grossman’s blog and learn about how I leveled the playing field.

~Maggie

Posted in Crazy Little Thing Called Matchmaking, humor, Love and Laugh in Seashore Cove, Maggie Van Well, Ruby's Letters | Leave a comment

Always Remember

I will forever remember the first time my friend from New Orleans came to visit me in New York.  Since I didn’t live that far, I was thrilled to show them around the city. We did many things, went to the usual touristy places. My favorite was the day we went to The World Trade Center.

I’ve lived on Long Island all my life yet had never visited the observatory at the Twin Towers. I had always been partial to the Empire State Building. I thought it was much more interesting to look at, more iconic. Plus, its history was much more interesting.

But by the end of the day, I was saying to my friend, “Thanks for making me come here. I have to bring my husband and kids here one day soon!”

That date was August 11, 2001. I would never get the chance to share the wonderful experience with my family, because exactly a month later, the towers were gone. I never realized how much I would
miss those towers until they started to fall.

I don’t have a captivating story about September 11, 2001. The only clue I had that something was amiss that morning was I couldn’t get my favorite radio station to tune in.  Not uncommon, since we were so far from the city where the station broadcast from. The phone rang. It was my husband. No greeting, just “Now they’re saying a second plane hit the second tower. Can you see anything on TV about that?”

I was stunned into silence for a split second before I said, “What the hell are you talking about?” He response was simply, “Turn on the TV.”

I did. And it didn’t go off again for three days.

On September 11th, we truly understood what it meant to live on an island. My husband’s destination that day was Connecticut. He’d been on the Throgs Neck Bridge when the first plane hit. He didn’t
see it. He was heading north, and he was already past the city skyline at that point. The problem was getting him home.

Everyone talks about the heroes that day: the FDNY, NYPD, EMT’s and, of course, the citizens on flight 93. Well deserved, of course, but no one talks about the boats. I recently saw a video on Meg Cabot’s blog, and it made me smile, shed some tears and be very grateful to live in this country.

When Mayor Giuliani shut down Manhattan Island, he shut down the main route for my husband to get home. Hubby’s only other choice was to take a ferry, but the Bridgeport CT Ferry was so booked,
they couldn’t fit one more person. His last option was New London, which was much further, and he worried he wouldn’t get there on time to hop on the last boat.  He did make it, of course, but it was a very solemn trip.

In the end, it took my husband nine hours to get home that day. Most of that time I didn’t know where he was or if he could even make it home. Cell service was little to nothing, especially after the towers fell. Communications with everyone was sketchy that day. It’s a very eerie feeling to try to make a phone call from a landline and receive a busy circuit signal.

I don’t know if the Long Island ferries worked overtime that day, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. The country came together in so many ways. People (like those in the video) who never thought
they would be heroes, or would ever need to be, stepped up to the plate and didn’t leave until the job was done. And, for that, I thank you.

09/11/01: Never Forget.

~Maggie

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Read a Romance Month

The Joy of Romance

For me, the joy of romance is the chemistry between two people. It’s easy to get caught up in outward appearances. Anyone can notice that she’s beautiful or he’s sexy. It’s the details that make the romance in a novel work for me.

Too many times I see authors stress on the obvious. His masculine chest and tight buns, her hefty bosom and legs that go on forever. All good things, sure, but I see those as bonuses, not something that has to be there. Show me how his eyes crinkle at the corners when his smile is genuine and how that sends a shock of awareness through her system, or how she unconsciously bites her lip when she’s reading something and how he longs to brush his thumb across that soft skin.

As a reader, I want to feel that tension. I want to know that even when they’re not in bed together, the connection between them is so intense it can start random fires. That’s how to get me to believe this couple will last long after I close the book at The End.

Questions
When was a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy? I’ve had four. I’m sure every parent knows what I’m talking about. The birth of each of my children were moments of sheer joy for me. They are still the reasons for my joy.

Montauk Point, NY

What is a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a moment of joy? Anywhere near the ocean.
I love the ocean. There’s something very peaceful and serene about it. One of my favorite places to visit is Montauk Point, driving distance from my home. How awesome is that?

My Crazy Kids

What sound brings you joy? Hearing my kids sing in the shower. I know, weird, right? But think about it. They sing at the top of their lungs, without caring if anyone hears them or not. It’s sounds beautiful and joyful. How could that not bring me joy?

A Knight in Shining Armor

What book have you read in your life that has brought you so much joy you haven’t forgotten it? Why? This is a tough one since I love the Harry Potter series so much, but I think I have to go with A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. This is one of my all time favorite romances, but it has a special place for me because it was the book that changed
my relationship with my grandmother from grandparent to friend. We both loved Jude’s books and would often get together just to discuss them. I miss my grandmother terribly, but whenever I think of this book it makes me smile, because it’s the story that started it all.

Which Chris (Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans, or Christopher Plummer) brings you joy? Wow, this is a tough one. But I’d say it’s a tie between Chris Pine and Chris Rock. I adore Star Trek and Chris Pine is Captain Kirk. Need I say more? As for Chris Rock, I love a man who can make me laugh, and he does. Every. Time.

Giveaway
To celebrate the joy of romance, one lucky commenter will receive a free eBook copy of my latest release Crazy Little Thing Called Matchmaking (Book One in the Love and Laugh in Seashore Cove series)

Recommendations 
I love reading romance. There are so many authors I adore, I couldn’t decide how to narrow it down. I already mentioned Jude Deveraux, so here are two other authors I recommend.

Pamela Hearon 
Pamela writes for Harlequin Superromance. Her stories take place in small town Kentucky, and are warm and fun with a touch of sizzle. 
  
Tina Beckett
Tina writes for Harlequin Medical Romance. Her stories are intelligent, heartwarming and clever. I love how changes the sterile medical world into something you can fall in love with.

I’d like to thank Lorelei’s Lit Lair for this opportunity and Jolyse Barnett and  for adding me to her recommendations list  and for inviting me to be a part of READ ROMANCE MONTH. I highly recommend Christmas Light, Book Three in the Christmas in New York series, as well as His Kiss (summer in New York, Book Two). Both awesome reads by Jolyse! 

Until next time, eat healthy and happy writing!

~Maggie   

Posted in Crazy Little Thing Called Matchmaking, Jolyse Barnett, Jude Deveraux, Long Island, Love and Laugh in Seashore Cove, Maggie Van Well, Pamela Hearon, Read-a-Romance month, Tina Beckett | Leave a comment

Read a Romance Month

The Joy of Romance

For me, the joy of romance is the chemistry between two people. It’s easy to get caught up in outward appearances. Anyone can notice that she’s beautiful or he’s sexy. It’s the details that make the romance in a novel work for me.

Too many times I see authors stress on the obvious. His masculine chest and tight buns, her hefty bosom and legs that go on forever. All good things, sure, but I see those as bonuses, not something that has to be there. Show me how his eyes crinkle at the corners when his smile is genuine and how that sends a shock of awareness through her system, or how she unconsciously bites her lip when she’s reading something and how he longs to brush his thumb across that soft skin.

As a reader, I want to feel that tension. I want to know that even when they’re not in bed together, the connection between them is so intense it can start random fires. That’s how to get me to believe this couple will last long after I close the book at The End.

Questions
When was a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy? I’ve had four. I’m sure every parent knows what I’m talking about. The birth of each of my children were moments of sheer joy for me. They are still the reasons for my joy.

Montauk Point, NY

What is a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a moment of joy? Anywhere near the ocean.
I love the ocean. There’s something very peaceful and serene about it. One of my favorite places to visit is Montauk Point, driving distance from my home. How awesome is that?

My Crazy Kids

What sound brings you joy? Hearing my kids sing in the shower. I know, weird, right? But think about it. They sing at the top of their lungs, without caring if anyone hears them or not. It’s sounds beautiful and joyful. How could that not bring me joy?

A Knight in Shining Armor

What book have you read in your life that has brought you so much joy you haven’t forgotten it? Why? This is a tough one since I love the Harry Potter series so much, but I think I have to go with A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. This is one of my all time favorite romances, but it has a special place for me because it was the book that changed
my relationship with my grandmother from grandparent to friend. We both loved Jude’s books and would often get together just to discuss them. I miss my grandmother terribly, but whenever I think of this book it makes me smile, because it’s the story that started it all.

Which Chris (Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans, or Christopher Plummer) brings you joy? Wow, this is a tough one. But I’d say it’s a tie between Chris Pine and Chris Rock. I adore Star Trek and Chris Pine is Captain Kirk. Need I say more? As for Chris Rock, I love a man who can make me laugh, and he does. Every. Time.

Giveaway
To celebrate the joy of romance, one lucky commenter will receive a free eBook copy of my latest release Crazy Little Thing Called Matchmaking (Book One in the Love and Laugh in Seashore Cove series)

Recommendations 
I love reading romance. There are so many authors I adore, I couldn’t decide how to narrow it down. I already mentioned Jude Deveraux, so here are two other authors I recommend.

Pamela Hearon 
Pamela writes for Harlequin Superromance. Her stories take place in small town Kentucky, and are warm and fun with a touch of sizzle. 
  
Tina Beckett
Tina writes for Harlequin Medical Romance. Her stories are intelligent, heartwarming and clever. I love how changes the sterile medical world into something you can fall in love with.

I’d like to thank Jolyse Barnett for adding me to her recommendations list  and for inviting me to be a part of READ ROMANCE MONTH. I highly recommend Christmas Light, Book Three in the Christmas in New York series, as well as His Kiss (summer in New York, Book Two). Both awesome reads by Jolyse! 

Until next time, eat healthy and happy writing!

~Maggie   

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Charater Interview Blog Hop – Heroines – Kate Henderson

Hi, and welcome to my character interview! I hope you had time last week to meet Elizabeth’s heroine, Rebecca Simmons from When Cupid Came to Town. If you haven’t, you’re missing out! Go there now. I’ll wait 🙂 And while you’re at it, here’s some info about Elizabeth:

Elizabeth D. Spencer lives on Long Island, New York with her husband, three children, and two energetic Sheltie puppies, Brinkley and Carson. (Named for the dog from You’ve Got Mail and Downton Abbey’s very own Carson, the butler.) She shares a love of history with her family and a love of books.  Her days and nights are spent writing. When she is not writing Appellate briefs for the day job, she is busy writing historical romance novels. The greatest challenge has been learning to balance it all.  Coffee has been a tremendous help!

Okay, back to me 🙂
I was really looking forward to interviewing Kate Henderson, the forty-year-old widow and mother of two teenage sons from Crazy Little Thing Called Matchmaking– Book One in the Love and Laugh in Seashore Cove series. From what I’ve heard, she’s a lot of fun, but a tad stressed these days.

Inspiration for Kate’s home in Seashore Cove

It took me over an hour to drive out east to this interview. Seashore Cove is a small hamlet nestled amongst the many Hampton towns on Eastern Long Island. The drive, although long, was pleasant enough. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by beaches on this warm summer day?

I quickly discover, however, that Kate’s home is not on the beach like I’d hoped, but it’s still very impressive. That’s it there…well, not the exact one. But pretty close.

A young man of about thirteen greeted me at the door. “Well, hello, madam.” He bowed rather gracefully for a gangly teenager.  You’re here to interview my mom, aren’t you? You’re early.”

Before I could answer, another young man entered the room. “Dude, you did not just say that.”

“What? She’s like twenty minutes early. Mom is busy.”

I check the time on my cell. He’s right, I am much too early. “I’m sorry. Should I come back a little later?”

“Hang on a sec.” The ‘dude’ turns away (thank God) and screams, “Mom! The interview lady is here. Can she come in or should I send her away ?”

“Holy sh–” The older boy glanced at me. “Err, crap, man, Mom’s right in the kitchen, not up the friggin block!”

“I know that, Alex, but before, I asked if I could borrow the car and she just nodded, so she’s clearly not paying attention.”

Despite the ringing in my ears, I heard a much softer, yet clearly agitated, voice answer. “Drew, for goodness sakes, let her in.”

With a smile as loud as his voice, the boy I now know as Drew stepped aside. “M’lady,” he said and with a sweeping gesture, pointed me in the direction of the kitchen.

The older boy just shook his head. I entered the huge center hall, amazed at its high ceilings and majestic oak staircase. “Sorry if my brother ruined your hearing. This way.”

I followed Alex into an enormous kitchen that would bring any good chef to his knees and focused

on the blonde woman sitting at a small kitchenette. Paper and mail were spread out in front of her, a half-filled coffee mug by her side. She held what looked like a bill in one hand while she pecked at a calculator.

“If this is a bad time, I can come back.”

Inspiration for Kate

Kate shook her head and pushed the papers aside. “I can take a few minutes. These bills aren’t going anywhere.” Her smile was genuine, but the bags under her eyes made her look older than she was.

After my eager acceptance for a cup of coffee, Kate sat down. “Let’s get to it then.” I pulled out my writing pad:

What is your greatest fear?

Instantly, her eyes glazed over, but she forced a smile. “Wow, you really do jump right in, don’t you? I’ve already lived my greatest fear. Losing the love of my life, and then having to tell his children their father was gone.”

I’m so sorry. Let’s move on to something more upbeat then. Aside from your children, tell me one person who’s made a positive difference in your life.

Inspiration for Dr. Jake Harris

Kate glanced down at the slew of bills covering the table, a slow blush rising up into her cheeks. Hmm, looks like I hit a nerve. “Jake. My boss. He’s a lot younger than me, but he’s helped me
become a stronger person. And, if you listen to my friend, Gladys, a happier person.”

Where do you go when you need time to yourself?

“My bathroom.” At my perplexed look she laughed and went on. “My husband, William, designed this house. He took pride in everything he did, but the master bathroom was his best work. It has a wonderful Jacuzzi tub that I soak in. It always helps me forget my problems…at least, for a little while.”

Do you have a secret? And, if so, why do you feel the need to keep that secret?

Kate stared into her cup of coffee, gripping it as if doing so would keep a grip on her emotions. “Chances are I’ll have to give up this house. I’m not looking forward to the day I have to tell my sons that we have to leave the only home they’ve ever know. Their father built this home, but he wasn’t very cautious with money. William handled all the bills and I was happy to let him be in control of it, never questioning anything.She gripped the mug tighter. “He left us with practically nothing and I am so angry at him for that.” She let out a humorless laugh. “I guess that’s two secrets.”

What one action from your past are you most ashamed of? 

“Allowing myself to be put in the position I am in now. I never questioned where our money was going. I always trusted that William had everything under control. Never. Again.”

I closed my pad and pasted a smile on my face as I stood. This poor women. “I think I’ve tortured you enough. Thank you so much for agreeing to this.”

Kate stood also and held out her hand. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

As I waved goodbye, I offered a small prayer that Kate would find a way to keep her home. I also prayed she’d allow herself to fall in love again.

Next week’s Character Interview will feature Elizabeth D. Spencer’s heroine, Rebecca Simmons from her Historical Romance, WHEN CUPID CAME TO TOWN. You’ll find that interview on Elizabeth’s blog – HERE – See more at: http://www.deboradale.com/character-interview-blog-hop-heroines-eden-widow/#comment-13144

Next week’s character interview will feature Gwen Petrarch’s heroine, Sirah from her Romantic Paranormal Erotic suspense, Masquerade. You’ll find that interview here

Gwen began writing in the womb, much to her mother’s chagrin (doctors thought it was gas).  The epiphany that Gwen should spend the rest of her life telling sexy, romantic, thrilling stories came a number of years ago.  She woke, set her intention and then six days and six hundred pages later ‘House Husband (soon to be released) was born.  And she hasn’t looked back since.  Call her a late bloomer… (she’s no longer in the womb and has had a couple of kids of her own) or just a girl amassing a lifetime’s worth of fodder to draw her stories from.  Whichever.  It’s all about the love of the craft, just like everything else, do a thing because it fills you with joy and hope that you can share and fills your soul with every good thing.

Next week’s Character Interview will feature Elizabeth D. Spencer’s heroine, Rebecca Simmons from her Historical Romance, WHEN CUPID CAME TO TOWN. You’ll find that interview on Elizabeth’s blog – HERE – See more at: http://www.deboradale.com/character-interview-blog-hop-heroines-eden-widow/#comment-13144

Until next time, eat healthy and happy writing!

~Maggie 

Elizabeth D. Spencer lives on Long Island, New York with her husband, three children, and two energetic Sheltie puppies, Brinkley and Carson. (Named for the dog from You’ve Got Mail and Downton Abbey’s very own Carson, the butler.) She shares a love of history with her family and a love of books. Her days and nights are spent writing. When she is not writing Appellate briefs for the day job, she is busy writing historical romance novels. The greatest challenge has been learning to balance it all. Coffee has been a tremendous help! – See more at: http://www.deboradale.com/character-interview-blog-hop-heroines-eden-widow/#comment-13144
Elizabeth D. Spencer lives on Long Island, New York with her husband, three children, and two energetic Sheltie puppies, Brinkley and Carson. (Named for the dog from You’ve Got Mail and Downton Abbey’s very own Carson, the butler.) She shares a love of history with her family and a love of books. Her days and nights are spent writing. When she is not writing Appellate briefs for the day job, she is busy writing historical romance novels. The greatest challenge has been learning to balance it all. Coffee has been a tremendous help! – See more at: http://www.deboradale.com/character-interview-blog-hop-heroines-eden-widow/#comment-13144
Posted in Character Interview Blog Hop - Heroes, contemporary romance, Crazy Little Thing Called Matchmaking, Heroines, humor, Long Island, Love and Laugh in Seashore Cove, Maggie Van Well, romance, small town series | 9 Comments