I’ve always suspected I was a little bit psychic. Not in any organized way and certainly not strongly enough to be of any earthly good to anyone, but every now and then something happens that makes me go “Hmm…”

Susie in a sweater (2)For example, when I was a kid, I started doodling a little black dog all over the margins of my papers. I never had a scruffy little black dog. Didn’t know anyone who did. But the image seemed to latch onto my psyche and I doodled it for years.

Then in 1998, I went to the pound, looking for a dog for my parents who’d just lost their beloved pet. And wouldn’t you know it, there was an eight pound ball of fur that so strongly reminded me of my doodle, I blurted out, “It’s my little black dog.” According to the pound workers, the dog had spent the week since it arrived cowering in the corner ignoring everyone. But when she saw me, she came running, reared on her hind legs and pawed the air like a tiny stallion. I took her home and Susie Belle was my constant companion for the next 12 years. 

So when I dreamed about a little white dog a few months ago, I told my DH about it. Just to give him fair warning that I was expecting a very dirty, very hairy little white dog who would need our help. I felt sure the dog would appear eventually, but I was in no particular hurry. After all, it had taken decades for my Susie Belle to show up.

The dog appeared this weekend.

We were in northern Missouri to sing at the memorial service for my dear Uncle Charles. He was lovely man who was devoted to his family, music and animals of all sorts and we mourn his loss terribly. When we came out of the church after the service, my cousin Jan was holding the filthiest little white dog. He’d been running around in traffic and had nearly been hit a couple of times already. He had no collar and his shaggy coat was a snarled mess of matted hair and cockleburs. Under all that hair, his boney spine and ribs could be easily felt. He’d obviously been on his own for some time.

My first thought was, “It’s my white dog.”

SAMSUNGBut I didn’t know how it could be. We were well over 300 miles from home and staying with relatives who might not welcome a strange little animal into their very clean home. When my cousin said she was going to take him to the pound so his owners could claim him there, I was half relieved, half crestfallen.

Then a few minutes later, my cousin came back with the dog. The pound would NOT take him. That settled it. Once I made sure my aunt was ok with a four-legged visitor for the night, I said we’d take him.

The whole family was relieved. Everyone wanted to help him, but for one reason or another didn’t have room for him permanently. My sweet cousins, Jan and Jill, painstakingly cut out the worst of the cockleburs and matting while my DH held him still.

SAMSUNGWe had to look closely to see if he had both eyes because of all the hair hanging in his face. Contrary to what it looks like in this picture, the dog is not in pain. He’s just panting because some of the burs had attached to…a very sensitive area. But my cousins were patient and gentle and he got some much needed relief. This experience caused him to bond with the DH and he follows him around constantly.

Anyway, a bath, fresh water and a little kibble made him a very happy boy. And as for his name…the whole family decided he should be called Charlie after my dear uncle. He’s already started answering to it.

He was a wonderful traveler and seems to be housebroken. Tomorrow, Charlie has an appointment with the vet to update all his shots and schedule a time for him to be neutered. While Charlie and Mack, our beloved terrier, are getting along famously, Mack gets a little tired of having to defend his virtue when they wrestle!

SAMSUNGThen Charlie will be off to the groomers for clean cut. We did our best, but he still has some stubborn matting and a few deeply embedded burs. I can’t wait to see what a handsome little fellow he’ll be. Of course, I’ll share the “After” picture!    

And we’re not the only ones who already love Charlie. He’s wrapped my dad around his little paw too.

I love this picture. Isn’t he adorable? And the dog’s cute too!

Near the end of my Uncle Charles’ service, the pastor shared Hebrews 13:2 “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

Charlie is the little stranger in our midst, though he’s quickly carving out a place for himself in the family. Fingers crossed that he doesn’t have a microchip. Once we know that, we’ll know if our “entertaining” is for the short term or long.

Is it selfish to hope he doesn’t have a family looking for him?

???????????????????

P.S. A couple of days have passed. Here’s an update to the Charlie saga.

  • No chip was found so he’s our forever little boy.
  • He’s negative for heart worm and is now up to date with all his shots.
  • He was almost unrecognizable when we picked him up at the groomers, but he was so happy to see us, we knew it was him.

Isn’t he a sweet little fellow?

 

Once upon a plaidWhen I took a writing class in college, my prof said to me, “Your writing is lovely, dear. The problem is theme. You don’t seem to have one.”

Well, Dr. Barclay would be proud of my upcoming release, Once Upon a Plaid. It was founded on a theme.

I decided to tackle the issue of childlessness after my sister served as a gestational surrogate for a couple who could not conceive. (If you follow me on Facebook, you rode the roller coaster with us through the final difficult days of her high risk pregnancy and difficult birth.) Infertility is a difficult enough issue in the twenty-first century, when we have access to in vitro fertilization technology and a host of other options. It was devastating in the sixteenth century, when there was no help for childless couples at all. But no matter the time period, the emotional pain is the same and my heart goes out to all who grapple with infertility.

I’m sure some readers will wonder why William and Katherine didn’t simply adopt a child. Unfortunately, there was no such thing then. Fostering was common, and noble houses would accept wards, but there was no law governing legal adoption in the United Kingdom (including Scotland) until 1926. Bloodlines were paramount to the laws of inheritance, so even if adoption were legal, adopted children still wouldn’t be able to inherit.

Hope you’ll look for Once Upon a Plaid when it comes out next week on October 7th! You can read the first 3 chapters here or pre-order it today, if you like.

Emmaand Lucas

Oh! Back to the “rest of the story….”

After a challenging surrogate pregnancy that ended in a difficult delivery, my sister gave birth to healthy twins, a boy and a girl. And then she put these precious gifts into the arms of a grateful couple.

The twins’ parents have been terrific about sending pictures and keeping in touch with my sister. This darling photo is from their first Christmas.

Is my sister heroine material or what?

Plaid to the BoneI just discovered that Kensington is running a limited time special on my Spirit of the Highland series! Right now, you can get my Scottish novella, Plaid to the Bone FREE!

Available at these fine etailers:

Kindle | Kindle UK | Kindle CA | Kindle AU

Nook | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay

“Plaid to the Bone and the Spirit of the Highlands series by Mia Marlowe is the perfect read-a little humor, a little romance, a little sex and a little mystery all rolled into a tale of the Scottish Highlands.” ~ The Reading Cafe (October 2013)

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Plaid TidingsAnd Plaid Tidings, the novel that was named a Rita Award finalist, is being offered at only $2.99–a whopping 63% off the print price.

Also available in the following formats:

Kindle | Kindle UK | Kindle CA | Kindle AU

Nook | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay

 

“Marlowe has penned a wonderful tale, rich in romance and wit. Replete with memorable characters and a touch of Scottish legend, this well-written romance is both poignant and highly entertaining. Not to be missed by fans of Scottish Regency.”

~ Kathe Robin/RTBOOKReviews, 4 1/2 STARS! (October 2013)

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I don’t know how long these offers will last, so please hurry! I’m so excited to bring these two stories to you at such a great value. If you like these books, you’ll love my upcoming Once upon a Plaid (October 2014). This Christmas story truly is the “book of my heart.”  You can pre-order it now, or if you’d like to be notified when it’s available, please sign up for my newsletter! Happy Reading!