February is the month of dat big, big rodent, Pupsatawny Phil, a groundhog. He not look anything like a hog to me, more like a beaver because his has big teeth and claws. I never have seen one in my yard but Daddy says there is a place near by dat has them little prairie dogs. Mama say not look like canines but they make a barking sound. Dis puppy think that sounds confusing, Can I go and see these prairie dogs. NO. Not fair at all.
Just look at the next picture. The bane of a terrier’s existence. Squirrels are evil. See, it have beady little eyes! Dat smart-alecky, flippity bushy tail! Look hard at dat face. Squirrels. Are. EEEEEvvvvvilll. I am right. They need a good chasing around my property.
They flick their floofy tails and tease me. Dat is not very nice. I can only holler at them from the sofa. Dey sashay to and fro, and say, “You can’t get us, Smudge. Ha! Ha! Ha!” It is a challenge and I accept! For all terrier kind, I will git you.
Mama and Daddy keep me on a leash so I can’t teach dem evil critters a lesson. At the very least they could play chase wif me. What do you pups and kitties think? What evil critters are in your life and what do you do? Smudgie wants to know.
Hugs and puppy kisses to all ( except the rodentia),
I hope everyone had a nice Thanks-to-be-giving day. Mama cook all afternoon and the house soon smell like that Big Bird she put in the oven.
It been rainy wif some cold weather down here in Texas. I likes it! More energy ! Mama say it’s hot chocolate and mulled wine weather (whatever that is).
I wanted to tell everyone about this place in case you not know about them. If you are looking for doggie friendly hotels and travel directory we use BringFido https://www.bringfido.com/ Mama and I hope it will help you.
Dis is my Christmas Card to everyone. I loves you all and wants you to be safe. Happy Howlidays!
Autumn? Fall? Hey! Are you listening? Dis is Smudge MacRuff. Where are you? Mama’s phone say it is 80 degrees outside. DAT NOT RIGHT!
I wants the cool weather because it make me friskier. I am a Cairn terrier and we come from the Isle of Skye. It not 80 degrees there. Mama wants me to wear a doggy coat this winter. I not like clothes. Dis terrier likes to be nekkid and free in my fur. I got lots of growlies saved up if she do that to me.
Autumn, if you come soon I will share my Milk-Bones wif you. My part of Texas needs cold air so Mama can have hot chocolate and wear her writer’s sweatpants. She might even feel good enuf to make Guinness Beef Stew.or that Julia Child’s recipe of Bouef Bourgeon-thingy she was talking about the other day. Mama finally have that Julia lady’s two cookbooks. All I care about is if I get anything from it.
Experience the deliciously robust flavor of this world famous stew! You can make it on the stovetop or in your slow cooker.PREP TIME20 mins COOK TIME 2 hrs 30 mins TOTAL TIME2 hrs 50 mins SERVINGS6 servings
6 ounces bacon ,diced
2 pounds beef chuck
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 medium-large yellow onions ,chopped
3 cloves garlic ,minced
4 medium firm ,waxy potatoes (e.g., Yukon Gold), cut in 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots ,chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
2 ribs celery ,chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1 large parsnip ,chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 bottle (1 pint 16 oz) Guinness Extra Stout
1 cup strong beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoons dried and ground porcini mushrooms (optional and not remotely traditional, but oh so amazing)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the beef across the grain into into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper and the flour and toss to coat the pieces. Set aside.
Fry the bacon in a Dutch oven or heavy pot until done then remove it with a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan.
Working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the pieces, generously brown the beef on all sides.
Transfer the beef to a plate and repeat until all the beef is browned.
Add the onions and fry them, adding more oil if necessary, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the Guinness and bring it to a rapid boil, deglazing the bottom of the pot (scraping up the browned bits on the bottom). Boil for 2 minutes.
Return the beef and bacon to the pot along with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. (**At this point you can transfer everything to a slow cooker if you prefer. Follow the remaining steps and then cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.)
Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with some crusty country bread or Irish soda bread. This soup is even better the next day.
Mama was excited to have Colleen on the Bloggy. She say Colleen is one of her favourite Romantic Suspense authors and wanted to introduce yew to her books.
Smudgie was very interested to hear about Frio He is adventurous, brave chi-chi. As a terrier, I understand these kowallaties. Frio must be a chi-chi wonder dog. I think we would be frens if we ever met.
September 25, 2020 Issue 4
Nearly all of my thirty-some publications—most of them romantic suspense novels—feature a pet (95% dogs, you’ll be glad to hear, Smudge! Mainly because this author is allergic to the kitties.) In my recent release, Deadly Texas Summer (Harlequin Romantic Suspense, March 2020), the heroine, a wildlife biologist trying to solve the suspected murder of her assistant takes her golden retriever mix sidekick River with her everywhere. Beneath the towering wind turbines dotting a vast South Texas ranch, they face some harrowing scrapes together…on the way to love, of course! My books can be purchased at Amazon, eHarlequin.com, or pretty much wherever books are sold.
2. When I write, my little dog, Frio, a delightful chihuahua mix we rescued off the streets, is always close by supervising my production. He makes certain I don’t ever feel alone by sneaking up beside me now and then for a quick cuddle and helps remind me to periodically focus my eyes on something other than the screen—important to a writer’s vision—and get up out of my chair every so often—important to a writer’s back health– by enticing me to throw his Lambchop toy, chase him around the dining room table, and let him outside to go yap at the villainous backyard squirrels.
3. I’ve tried my hand at several genres other than romantic suspense already, including fantasy and historical romance. If there were one other I were to delve into, it might be science fiction, which I adore. But that’s an entirely different skill set and learning curve, and I’m pretty heavily invested in the mystery/suspense side of things, so that’s unlikely to ever be more than a daydream.
4. Outside of writing (and reading, of course!) the hobby I’m most obsessed with, as most of my friends know, is kayaking. Whether it’s my husband and I, or I’m out solo, I always bring my trusty sidekick, who with the addition of his life vest, transforms into Captain Frio! (He’s actually named for the Frio River, my favorite Texas Hill Country waterway.) We’d spent many happy hours paddling in those clear, cool waters—where I’ve had to fish him out more than a few times after he’s jumped in trying to chase a fish or turtle!
Thank yew, Colleen for being a guest on the Doggy Bloggy, Colleen. Thank yew Frio for letting your Mama come and visit.
Mama have your books on her bookshelf. She have two of your books on order from that Ammyzon place. Hoomuns should go there and buy your book too. Good books = happy place!
Smudgie, think maybe you can write short science fiction story wif Frio as the hero. He sound like he brave like us terriers. Him needs a story. He really, really do.
Mama loves Colleen’s romantic suspense and her historical romance and she say, “Why choose? Get both!”. She want to write for them HarleyQwinn book peoples like Colleen. Go buy, Colleen’s books! Mama say they are keepers.
Dis is the first guest post and I am thrilled to kibbles and bits to have The Duchess of No on my bloggy.
Duchess have da most exciting adventures! I think she also is the Duchess of Gnawty. I am in awe of her. She is a bootiful wire fox terrier.
Smudge Alpin MacRuff is proud to present The Duchess of No.
The Duchess of No
My name is the Duchess of No, me is 4 years old and me is a Wire Hair Fox Terrier. My mentor was a great gal named Daisy Dammit and she taught me the ropes about being naughty and how to give mommy a bad time. People ask all the time if dammit and no are used and truly, mommy uses them on a daily basis and that is how she got her name Grumpy Lady. If you had someone yelling no and dammit all the time, you would think she was grumpy too!!
Life is an adventure and me loves to make an adventure wherever we go, if you don’t take advantage, it is going to pass you by and life is too short for that. Me loves a good chase, whether it is chasing some pesky squirrel or having Grumpy Lady running after me. Me had great fun recently when me dashed out the door and had that Lady in hot pursuit. A second favorite of mine is eating, me loves to eat everything, dog food, people food, tin foil, wood bark, you name it, me eats it.
Me likes most of all meeting other dogs and making new friends but please remember, me no gives out free sniffies, BOL!!
Her Grace, Duchess of No
**BOL, it mean bust out laughing. – Smudge
I asked Duchess if she would tell you one of her adventures. She say okay. Dis story is ex-clue-sive! When you read dis, you will see why I am in love wif Duchess.
Duchess of No here….. it is not a holiday weekend until me has scared the you know what out of that Grumpy Lady! We were out for a walk in the morning and there were lots of people and dogs. Me got so excited that me pulled real hard and that Lady was not holding on to the leash tight enough and….. me ran off! Grumpy Lady is running after me screaming like a crazy woman, Grandma is running behind and yelling at Grumpy Lady. Some lady saw what was happening and decided to put an end to my fun and stepped on my leash. That Grumpy Lady was going on with blah, blah, blah and Grandma was upset with Grumpy Lady for not holding on tight enough to her precious grand dog but me had so much fun, it was worth the drama!
Here is a story from da legendary Daisy Dammit. She is over da Rainbow Bridge now but I think she know how much she is missed and feel all the love when we thinks about her.
Daisy Dammit here….. Grumpy Lady had made baked ziti and left it on the kitchen counter thinking it was safe, BOL! Those two Darn Cats got on the counter and decided to eat the cheese off the counter and me thought that was not fair so in order to keep me quiet, those Darn Cats threw me down the wooden spoon with some cheese on it and boy was that spoon tasty. You should have seen the look on Grumpy Lady’s face when she came down in the morning and saw a half-eaten wooden spoon on the floor and all the cheese eaten off the pasta!!! Of course, those stupid cats took the heat for that one!
Duchess, thank yew for being my first guest and please thank your hoomun, Audrey Richards for all her help wif da hoomun stuff.
Mama came back from da store today and bought me some sardines. I never had dis before, but she say I will like it since I try to make her give me all of her tuna. She melt like a butter stick on da sidewalk in summer when I give her da sad, pityfull puppy dog eyes.
She told Daddy he might have to put it in my kibble cause she not sure if she can do it. Mama wrinkle her nose and say yuck, den she say it good fur me. Dis terrier is cornfused. Butt, if you wants your hoomun to feed you sardines here is an article that tells you why it good for doggies and how much to give us.
I usually associate sardines with Garfield cartoons, but I have major news: That can of sardines that’s been hiding in your cupboard for months is actually amazing for your dog.
Sardines are loaded with nutrients like omega-3s, vitamins D and B12, amino acids (the stuff that makes up protein), and coenzyme Q10. You already know that dogs can benefit from many healthy, human grade foods we put in our diets, and sardines are no different. Simply adding a few sardines to your dog’s regular meals once a week can help develop muscles and other connective tissue, boost his immune system, increase dental health, and protect against kidney disease. They’ll also keep him looking dapper, as omega-3s help fur stay nice and soft. Small fish, big benefits.
What sets sardines apart from other fish? These babies are small, which means they have less mercury content than other fish, diminishing the risk of poisoning. Sardines are also soft-boned, so you can usually feed them to your pup whole, which makes for added convenience. Just pop the can (as long as it’s salt-free and packed with water or a natural oil like coconut, olive, etc.) and add a couple to your dog’s bowl. A few sardines a week (one for smaller dogs and two a day for bigger breeds) is plenty. If you happen to have fresh sardines lying around, good for you! Just watch those bones, as your dog will have a hard time chewing and digesting them.
Have you ever given your dog sardines?
Pets and peoples be safe! Wear your mask pawperly! I knot want to see your nostrils. Woof. Grrrrrrrr!
Do you have any books that have animals in them? If so, what are the titles and where can they be purchased?
I have written two complete novels, and have several dust bunny manuscripts, as well. The only one I have actually published thus far is Blue Stranger. Blue Stranger is the story of a rock star whose twin sister is kidnapped — stolen from him at the age of two. Because he is her twin, he can feel her heartbeat. Very few people believe him when he begs anyone who will listen that she is alive, and they need to find her. He is determined to make something of himself to earn the money to find her. He realises early on that it’s going to take a lot of spending power to find his sister and bring her back home. The hero’s name is Keith Lionel Sheffield. His sidekick is a little blonde Cairn terrier mix named Sparky Lionel Sheffield, and he’s a Daddy’s Boy. Keith does dig his way out of poverty in time, and becomes a hugely successful rock star. Sparky the rich rock star doggie lives in a mansion, and travels around in his private plane. He basically owns the tour bus and everyone in it, and lets no one forget it. He’s absolutely the man in charge.
My second completed novel is an early draft, so it is still being moulded and shaped, and nowhere near ready for prime time. I am not a fast word sculptor by any stretch of the imagination. I am still learning the craft, and things that are second nature to most authors are not quite at that stage for me, yet. I’m still a manual transmission. The other books are still dancing around in my head and disturbing my dreams, knitting themselves together in my subconscious at their own snail’s pace. I really am enjoying my current manuscript; the research is incredible!
One of my dust bunnies houses a villain so terrifying, he gave me chronic nightmares, and had to be set aside until I can handle it. That is why it is still incomplete. This current story is a whole lot nicer to me in my dreams.
When you write does your pet/pets help you? A doggie that warms your lap or a cat that rebutts your laptop.
Mercedes fancies herself the Great American Novelist. When she was a kitten, she tromped across my keyboard and in the great mess of gibberish, the word “read” was actually spelled out in the middle! Brilliant kitty. The three of them fight over who Mama’s true mewz really is. They are all mewzes, each with his or her own special style. If I write from the recliner, Mercedes lays on the arm to my left. Kiki attempts to lay on the keyboard, but will begrudgingly accept the right arm of the chair. Poor Kaelan tries to figure out where she goes in this scenario, but it depends on what space is available. If she ever figures out that the headrest at the back of the chair is comfy, the triad will be complete. She’s always welcome, but she still thinks she’s a third wheel. Poor Kaelan.
My pets. Ah, my fuzzy babies rule everything around here. Mercedes, the eldest, is the Queen of Everything in Existence Past, Present, and Future. She feels like an Angora bunny rabbit. She was a rescue, so we have no idea of her lineage, but suspect that at least one of her parents or grandparents may have been an Angora cat. And then there is Kaelan, who is The Princess. She is Mercedes’ shadow, which sometimes gets on the Queen’s nerves. But she is the baby; she is so very sweet. Her brother Kiki is The Crown Prince Imperial and spoiled rotten. These are my babies taking over a brand-new recliner I got they got for Christmas; I am working on a painting from this photograph, but this about sums up who they are. They are the Masters of the Universe, and they know it.
They graciously let me borrow the recliner from time to time.
Is there a genre of writing you haven’t tried but would like to?
I am working on a new genre now. I had never tried an alternate history/parallel universe approach before, but that’s what I’m working on at the moment. It’s a blast!
Writers always have favourite authors that have inspired them. Who are yours?
Stephen King, Erma Bombeck, Robin Cook, Tom Clancy, Nelson DeMille
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of writing?
I draw and paint daily. I am 100% digital now, and still sort of in intermediate amateur status. I really enjoy it. I have online portfolios at Fine Art America and at Society 6. I love to create items from Zazzle and Café Press when I can. I also love to cook, but don’t do that often, because then I’ll eat. Too much! I have a side hustle of online transcription and closed captioning editing, which is pretty fun and helps to feed my raging Amazon habit.
Thank you for including me in on this. I am most honoured. I am still at a hobby level as an author, and I have sooooooo much to learn. It’s a good thing I love to research and study. Yeah, I was that nerd in school.
I would like to add one more thing, and then I’ll get out of your hair.
My favourite author of all time has a sweet Corgi mix mutt called Molly, a.k.a. The Thing of Evil.
The Doggy Bloggy reminds me a LOT of Stephen King (the Master of the Macabre) and his favourite muse. If Smudge is ever in Maine, he might just be interested in meeting a lovely Yankee girlfriend over a nice Puppaccino, wiling away the afternoon discussing literature, cats, the best moon to howl under, and the principles involved in the fine art of butt sniffing.
Here are some things on how I help my Mama when she writes.. Authors sit on their butts too much. They should run and play in the yard. If you are a muse to your hoomun you gots to take care of them. They buys the kibble and treats and we not have any thumbs. Dis is some of the things I do because I am a little bit of a gnawty terrier.
Number 1. When she get up to make a cup of hot tea I wait until she is at that thing that spits out hot water. Then, I run to her sitting place and grabs her pen or the telebision remote and RUN. It takes both hoomuns to catch me most of the time.
Dis is a fun game. I don’t unnerstand why Mama gets all grumpy. We terriers know how to live. EVERYTHING is a game. Hoomuns could learn so much from us.
Number 2. If the hoomun leaves flippity-flops on the floor. It fair game for the doggy. A shirt or a pair of socks, dey are mine, too.
I am helping. Mama has fy-bro-my-algae, or something like that and chronicky fateague. She needs to move her arse and if she have to chase me she is moving around. Bonus is bribery because I get a Milk Bone or MarrowBone treat if I refuse to drop it.
Just like Doctor Who, I am clever. “What’s your name?”, “Rose Tyler.” “Nice to meet you, Rose. I am Smudge Alpin MacRuff. RUN!!!!!!”
Pamela Todd-Hunter is my hoomun author guest today. Welcome to the Doggy Bloggy. Mama show me a picture of your kitty. Your meow is very floofy.
Thank you for being on my bloggy.
Love, Smudge Alpin MacRuff
Author Interview Questions
Do you have any books that have animals in them? If so, what are the titles and where can they be purchased.
So far, my only published book is a Time-Travel romance set in 12th century France, A Breach in Time, the first book in my Coeur de Lion series. I love animals and have grown up with dogs and cats, but the only animals that figure into my book are horses that the characters use to travel through France. The horses are well-cared for since they were vital to people’s lives, whether they were commoners or royalty.
When you write does your pet/pets help you? A doggie that warms your lap or a cat that reboots your laptop.
My cat Grey loves to help out. First, he has to walk across my keyboard to investigate what I’m eating or drinking, then after I delete all the typos, he sits on my lap until he’s tired of human company. He then hops over my laptop and I have to delete all the typos again.
Is there a genre of writing you haven’t tried but would like to?
I write Time-Travel romance set in 12th century France, but after this series is complete I’d like to try romantic suspense set in London in the mid 1800’s, and maybe start a new series in that genre. I would also like to try writing a Gothic romance, or one that involves pirates.
Writers always have favourite authors that have inspired them. Who are yours?
My favourite authors are from all different genres. The first romance author I read was Victoria Holt and then I read historical fiction books written by Jean Plaidy (one of her pseudonyms). I also read mystery authors Anne Perry and Elizabeth George. I love history but was more familiar with English history from the 1400’s on. After reading the Plantagenet series by Sharon Kay Penman I was fascinated with Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine’s history and that of their sons.
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of writing?
I love to travel and hopefully one day will be able to spend a lot of time travelling through Europe. I also really enjoy hiking and camping. I’m a Geologist so I’m always on the lookout for fossils and interesting rocks.
Anything else you’d like to add?
You can purchase Pamela’s book at Amazon and visit her webbysite.
This is the first edition of News From the Chewspaper. A regular feature will be author interviews and Bloggy Guests (who aren’t authors).
Authors if you have pets, read the last entry, you might be interested in being interviewed on the bloggy.
News From the Chewspaper
News from the Chewspaper will be on the bloggy all the time. Mama say dere will be different things like recipes, doggy and pet tips, things to help animals, interviews wif authors and their pets, and bloggy guests.
You know, being a muse to an author is a hard job. I want to know how other pets handle their hoomuns.
Morning Chews for Thought
Most mornings I take my Daddy for walkies. If he gets up too late we do walkies in the evening. I’m a good boy because I walk Daddy about 2 miles. I gots to keep him healthy because he can take me for long walkies. He buys my kibble and treats. I can play ruff with Daddy, too. I play wif Mama but I gots to be gentle.
Anyway, when me and Daddy get finished walking I sit on that place where the cold air comes out from the floor. Ohhhh, it feels so good. Daddy laughs and says, “I see your fuzzy carcass is laying on the air vent.”
What’s a fuzzy carcass?
Doggy Daycare (Smudgie rant!)
I miss Doggy Daycare at Petsmart in Webbyster, Texas. I had so much fun playing wif new friends. In the store I got lots of pettings from everybody. I made them happy and they made me happy.
I want all peoples to be safe so I can meet them, and they can pet me. Wear a mask. Use sanitizer stuff for your paws. It not hard. My leash is 6 feet so I social distance pawperly. You humans need to get your poo piles together. It’s your fault I can’t go to doggy daycare and play.Smudgie Books and Pawmotional Stuff
Mama, you writes too slow. Hurry up and finish our doggy books because I gots fans. We hafta get my pawmotional picture ready. I need to do pawtographs. Set up bloggy tours and do book signings. I needs a literary agent who understands what dis terrier needs. (Dere must be an agent for a cute Cairn terrier.)
*Gives Mama the grouchy face look*
Literary Chews: Author Interviews and Bloggy Guests
I will be having interviews wif authors and their pets.I don’t know how often it will be because I don’t know how many authors will want to visit the bloggy.
The question are like: How does your pet(s) help wif your writing (or not). If your book has animals in it and where can we buy your book.
Bloggy guests are not authors, but they will do sumfing good and fun.
This is it for the first issue of News From the Chewspaper. Tank you for reading my bloggy and for subscribing.
Love and puppy kisses from Smudge Alpin MacRuff