Everything You Wanted to Know About Wolves

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I had already planned to write NEVER CRY WOLF and was starting to research wolves when I had the opportunity to participate in a Wolf Ecology Workshop in Wisconsin.

There I met a couple of “wolfmen” who resemble my hero, Donovan Wilde. They were dressed in skins wearing mocassin-type boots and head coverings made from a coyote or fox, which included the heads. They taught participants to trek through the Wisconsin snow-covered woods on snow shoes and look for signs of wolves. We learned to re-create wolf prints (I still have mine), and we examined collars and telemetry equipment and learned how they worked.

Here are some fun things I learned about wolves…

A pack consists of an alpha male, an alpha female, biders waiting for an alpha position and dispersers who will leave to try to start a pack of their own. There are also omega males or females, hanging at the back of the pack. Only the alpha male and female mate, but the whole pack takes care of the pups and yearlings.

Wolves can hear sounds at six miles, while humans can hear noises from a mile and a half at the most. If two wolves howl on the same note, one will change octaves and make it sound like three are howling.

What do wolves eat? In Wisconsin, 55% deer, 10% snowshoe hare, 15% beaver, 19% miscellaneous. Wolves hunt in pairs. A wolf can go for a week without eating, then can ingest one third of its body weight and bring it back to the pack. To share. The whole pack returns to the den after hunting to feed the pups. Pups are weaned and leave the den at 6-8 weeks.

DNR (Department of Natural Resources) state trappers trap and collar wolves to determine where they are traveling within a territory. Wisconsin is broken into blocks for volunteers to do howling surveys and tracking. Howling is a research tool, revealing how many wolves there are in a pack as well as their ages.

Wolf traps that are used to catch wolves to collar are set under soil. They consist of a chain and grappling hook and 3 grapples. “Stink bait” or urine from a different pack is used to draw them to the trap, which is checked twice per day. They are modified with metal ‘knobs’ so the trap doesn’t cause injury. The wolf’s paw is larger than its leg bone and therefore it can’t get its leg out of the trap.

A trapped wolf is tranquilized for an hour and a half. Blood samples are taken for genetic and disease testing. The trapper might pull a tooth and split it open to determine age, then collar and tag the animal’s ear. In Wisconsin, they use planes with telemetry to follow and see the wolves below.

A trapper can determine how many wolves are in a pack through their tracks. All wolves will walk in same line down the road. Their front feet are bigger than the back. One of the trappers teaching the workshop said he was able to distinguish nine wolves from one line of prints.

 

The wolf ecology weekend was a really special research event for me since I am a staunch animal advocate. I came away knowing more about how wolves operated in the wild and was able to use some of those details in NEVER CRY WOLF, and later in WOLF MOON. I hope you enjoy Donovan Wilde and his psychic connection to the black wolf that saved him when he was a child lost in the northern woods…

NEVER CRY WOLF is available at Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, BN and Google

https://books.pronoun.com/never-cry-wolf/

Patricia Rosemoor
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor has had 99 novels, 8 publishers and more than 7 million books in print. Patricia writes dangerous love, romantic suspense or paranormal romantic thrillers. Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she taught Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing at Columbia College Chicago.

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Do You Have a Bucket list? #Inspiration #lifegoals #mgtab @jacqbiggar

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Do you have a bucket list?

The older I get, the more I dream about things I’d like to do before I leave this earth.

Here are my top five:

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I love the idea of sailing. A bottle of wine, the perfect companion, billowy white sails, it doesn’t get much more romantic than that. 🙂

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I’m amazed by architecture and sculptures. Some of the oldest and most intricate pieces reside in Italy. I could spend weeks in this beautiful country.

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Is there anything as amazing or beautiful than our oceans? I’d love to scuba dive off the Caymen islands or Australia one day. To see the coral reefs and marine life would be a true dream come true.

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I’m not sure about white-water rafting, but I would love to visit the backcountry of Canada and this would be a fun way to do it!

And number five:

I dream of seeing my books on the shelves in book stores and libraries. That would be the ultimate thrill and verification that I’ve made it as an author.

Who knows, maybe none of these will ever happen, or maybe all of them will.

It doesn’t hurt to hope!

September 5, 2017 will see the release of my twelve novel, Tempted by Mr. Wrong. I’ve always been fascinated by the dynamics in blended families. How do they learn to live together, trust each other, grow together? What about if the children aren’t really children at all? And what if they gain feelings for each other?

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Tempted by Mr. Wrong

How can something so wrong, feel so right?

Falling for her step-brother is a mistake T.J. doesn’t want to repeat, but one look into those sapphire blue eyes and she’s ready to give him whatever he wants.

Tammy-Jo Hawthorne’s marriage was floundering, but she never expected her husband to make her the laughing stock of Magnolia.

And she definitely didn’t expect to trip over him in their front yard after he’d been murdered.

Jason McIntyre was forced out of his home and the love of his life by the man who’d haunted his nightmares for ten long years.

Now Jason’s back–and he wants revenge.

http://a.co/eHqYH64

International link: http://books2read.com/TemptedbyMrWrong

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35609451-tempted-by-mr-wrong

Jacquie Biggar
Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
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Three Weeks of Heaven

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Oh how quickly our lives can change. My last bog post bemoaned my two plus weeks of hell—otherwise known as MOVING to a new house. Having escaped from hell, my angels apparently decided that they owed me three weeks of heaven and sent me to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Neither my hot guy nor I had been to the colonial hotbed of San Miguel. In former lives we both had sampled the usual vacation hotspots in Mexico—you know the ones that government warnings are cautioning us to avoid. No such warnings should or could be issued for San Miguel. It was an astonishingly welcoming and safe city. This is above all a walking city. Narrow cobblestone streets have nary a stop sign or traffic light. Instead, the traffic, both pedestrian and motorized, obeys an unwritten code. Motorized traffic abides by the “one by one” rule. Even taxis take turns with each other no matter how busy they are. And pedestrians rule. Walkers, like me, absolutely have the right of way. It took me a couple of days to believe that I could stop four- way traffic simply by stepping off the curb.
More than 2000 colonial homes fronted by a rainbow of multicolored doors populate the historic center city. I never ceased to be amazed to discover that behind those narrow doors were extraordinary patios, flourishing gardens and two hundred year old colonial homes. The city is a hotbed for artists, musicians, writers and history buffs. And given that my guy and I are devout foodies, fabulous restaurants. Everything was fresh with a huge emphasis on organic products. Our days began with calorie-laden breakfasts which I would never eat at home, followed by three to four hours exploring. In that I’m addicted, I headed for the gym while my more reasonable man went back to our rented colonial home to read on one of the three patios. He liked the roof top one best. Our evenings included a happy hour, great food and some kind of music or dramatic presentation.
Perhaps the highlight of our visit was the beautiful two hundred year old house we were lucky to rent. It was truly wonderful. It was filled with beautiful, lush gardens, and three separate patios. Best of all, like everything else in San Miguel, it was surprisingly affordable. Seriously, we had six course tasting menus accompanied with a bottle of wine for less than $50 for the two of us. Easily would have cost $100++ in the states. If you ever have the chance to go to San Miguel, take it! Perhaps the fact that we rented the same house for the full month of August 2018 says it all. We can hardly wait! P.S. Plan on me publishing a Mexico influenced romantic suspense series next year!

Taylor Lee
USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance.

In the five years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than forty books. Her eight, series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there.

Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys and gals” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out.

My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?

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Womb Mates

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Dear Mom: Although it’s been a while since I’ve written you a letter or sent you a card, I have some great news to share with you today. You’ve always encouraged me to write about what makes me feel passionate, or what gets get my blood boiling. I also wrote an article called Have a Great Navy Day when you and I traveled to Fleet Week to visit Don in San Fran, but that’s another story to share…

For the past eight years since we’ve last seen each other, I’ve been doing what seems to come naturally. Do you remember when I was about ten or eleven and Grandma gave me that old Underwood typewriter? After I got the hang of typing, I became the youngest publisher/editor you’d ever known, by starting The Hill Weekly. I used carbon paper to make duplicate copies of my little neighborhood newspaper, which was actually an unsophisticated gossip rag. I wrote the happenings of the week regarding what was going on with those that lived around us. I sold each copy for a dime.

You’d sent a copy of the Hill Weekly to President Kennedy and, in return, he gifted me for real autographed photos of himself and his family. I still have them tucked away in my high school yearbook, all these decades later.

In the meantime, Mom:

Joe and I recently traveled to Virginia for a family reunion and to visit friends. Your sister is about to turn 87 years young and we were also going to celebrate our cousin’s milestone birthday. I felt crazy excited to be going, because I hadn’t seen Aunt since 2009, shortly after you passed.

Over the course of the weekend, Aunt and I shared some spirited conversations about life in general and what we’d been doing since last we’d met. However, comments she made most mesmerizing were sharing how it feels to be the surviving twin, once a beloved sibling is gone. Aunt has always referred to Mom as her Womb Mate. Mom was a dependent kind of woman, while Aunt was independent and a doer. She stood close by her sister and took care of her, emotionally and financially, especially after my parents divorced. Whenever Aunt visited us, she used her gifted wit to keep us all laughing. I can’t remember a time that Aunt didn’t have Mom peeing her pants with her outrageous sense of humor.

They were two of a kind in that department, and although Mom was needy, she never lost her own good humor, or the ability to love and be loved. Mom was also a talented artist and her paintings grace the walls of every family member’s homes. That she relied on others bothered no one, because she was a shining star in her own right. So, when we arrived at my aunt’s house, I was totally taken aback with her resemblance to Mom, perhaps for the first time ever. Mom and Aunt are fraternal twins, but as they grew older, their mannerisms and speech patterns became nearly identical. It was like seeing my mother once more. The visit we had shared proved to be a powerful reminder of how much we both loved and missed Mom.

Aunt is now half of a whole and I think she may miss Mom more than I, if such a thing is possible. Those two had a special bond not everyone has the pleasure to share. They were conceived and born of one woman’s body. This makes them Womb Mates. And that’s kind of cool, when you think about it…

This is dedicated to many people, especially my mom, and for those who’ve welcomed me into their professional families as an author. I told Jacquie a few days ago our set Sweet Heat: Where Love and Suspense Meet is going live on Mom’s birthday in a few weeks. I know she’d like to shake your hands, ALL of you. Many thanks!

Susan Jean Ricci
A late bloomer to the writing life, Susan Jean Ricci’s been mighty busy the past six years. The award-winning, internationally read, From Women’s Pens author and humorist, Susan’s best known for her series of works titled Cindy’s Crusades that includes two novels, Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems and The Sugar Ticket, the short chronicle Twilight and Chickadees, and a collection of short stories titled Heart Marks the Spot.

Susan’s novel Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems is a Multi Award winner. Its Sequel The Sugar Ticket placed first for Outstanding Women’s Fiction category in the IAN 2016. The sassy My Sexy Chef won a second place award in the novella category via the Global Ebook Awards 2016, and has inspired the hot sequel Chaos in the Kitchen.

Susan also specializes in short stories and novellas. Included are Christmas shorts, but she favors the romantic or humorous side of the equation, and that’s what you’ll find about her writing the most.

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Seven: the divine number

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Seven; the divine number

Seven words that took me to writing heaven.

It feels great to be able to write again, seeing the words flow on to the screen. I have written before on this subject. However, now, I can add positivity and joy to the aftermath of a devastating illness. I still have the condition, but now I know or hope I can contain it. During my illness, an author, a very dear friend emailed me, saying she never knew how I managed to do so much, writing, promoting and joining in the box sets without a PA. At the time, I was in the down stage; my thoughts were at their lowest ebb and the humour I often instilled in my characters, a distant memory.

My friend’s remarks gave me pause for thought before making any final decision.  I knew I needed help. I just couldn’t face the thought of writing, editing; proof reading, followed by promoting, building up viewers on social media; advertising with so many outlets and checking sales, and so on. As every Indie writer knows the list is endless. I decided it would be easier to join a couple of knitting clubs. I mulled over my friend’s words. PA? Could I afford one? Was it possible financially?  The books were dropping down below the 500,000 rank.  My ideas for novels were virtually non-existent.  I needed time to mull over contacting a PA for help.

A couple of weeks went by and my strength began to build, there were glimmers of hope. Yes with a PA, I’d have the time to think, to ponder, build plots; she or he would save me days of writing; time lost in promoting. I could write instead of pulling out my hair searching for more sales outlets, and promotion companies; no more trying to conquer Mailchimp and build up my Twitter and Facebook followers; the fever of trying to get a street team together would be gone. I would be free – free to write. So I reached out and found this wonderful PA, Sylvia Kerslake, sylv@sylv.net. My heart thudded as she emailed a concise and easily absorbed plan outlining the work she would undertake for me and a list of her fees. I was shocked to see just how reasonable it all was. Yes, I could afford it, and have my hair done!!

I felt an over-packed rucksack lifted from my back; a potent vitamin drink poured down my throat, reinvigorating and rejuvenating my brain; the handcuffs were taken from my wrists, allowing me the freedom to type. All the tasks of promotion were taken away, all the day and night advertising and working out different world times gone. My PA built a path through the jungle of social media; no more proof reading or editing.  I could type away, the words flowing, filling the screen.  Instead of tramping mind and foot sore through website after website searching for outlets I could sit in my cosy study with my lovely dog curled up over my feet, as I built vibrant characters, created scenes, dreaming of plots over a luscious coffee.

All the worries lifted from me as Sylv said those seven magical words. ‘Just write – leave the rest to me.’ And as you can see from here, I’m flying, and the books are rapidly rising in the ranks; some were originally published on Kindle in 2011. I started on my new book writing seven thousand words so in three days – not bad!!

On top of all this professional help, Sylv’s partner, Joe, is an ex-film maker working with big names. He builds incredible websites as well as book trailers and teasers, my new website is about to be born with the ability to embed videos, reap loads of followers and sell my books from the site if I so wish. My PA will arrange and do all that for me.

So I speak, as an author who shuddered at the cost of having a PA, which I can afford. Now I couldn’t do without Sylv.  As an example, when I finish writing this article, I will pop it in the Dropbox, and Sylv will do the rest.

Oh one more thing, I did join a knitting club, but only for tea and a chat, really, with other ladies; an outlet from the solitary life of a writer. That was also another tip I learned after reading one of my dear friend’s’ top selling novels, ‘Perfect for Him.’

Sylv@sylv.net

 

 

Katy Walters
Katy lives on the South coast with her husband and a loving hyper friendly dog who likes to greet and lick everyone on sight. She has a BA Hons (Psych) BA Eng.Lit. MA in Religion and Mysticism and a Hon Dr. Science for research into pain control.
She was a psychologist and hypnotherapist before changing direction for full time creative writing, Her main genres are historical romance, crime and science fiction.
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Solar Eclipse Mania and Aliens

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On Monday, August 21, I’ll be in the path of the total eclipse of the sun. Big deal. Well, really it is.
I’m sure other areas of the US are going through the same craziness as Oregon is. For over a month now, the front page of the local paper has featured at least one story about the solar eclipse and the impact it will have on the local residents.
Okay, not so much the eclipse itself, but all the eclipse watchers. Highways are predicted to slow to a near standstill between Portland – the nearest major airport – and throughout the Willamette Valley with the influx of over a million visitors. Backyards and open fields will be turned into temporary tent or camper cities (already happening). Public water and septic systems will be overtaxed (not likely). Food and gas supplies will run out or low (no telling). The local economy will boom (hopefully).
Because the traffic is expected to be horrible, garbage pick up has been delayed one day, many local businesses have given employees time off, and non-essential government workers are taking leave (or whatever they call it).
Right now, roads are blocked off in towns around here, not for safety, but to cordon off city blocks for vendors, events, and parties. I don’t know if they planned it this way, but a huge three-day country music extravaganza is going on right now in the Willamette Valley. If these folks came from far away, I doubt they’ll be in a hurry to leave Sunday night. Or if they are, they’re in trouble. I just hope the weight of all these extra people doesn’t cause a major earthquake!
What do people expect out of the eclipse besides a long weekend of partying? Some are saying it will allow the world to see the extra sun (or is it a planet?) that’s been hiding behind the sun.

Here’s a recent picture taken in Dallas, Oregon by Ashleigh Sawicki. Her aunt saw the same thing in Florida as did my friend in Alaska. It’s not exclusive to the United States, either. I hear it’s been sighted in South America and Europe, too. Oh, and if you say it’s just the camera, why would someone take a picture of the sun? Had to be something strange to want to take that shot.
I guess we’ll find out what all the noise is tomorrow. Unless the aliens attack or, gasp, they take out our internet.

No matter what happens, enjoy the life you have, and if it needs improving, be the one to make the changes.

In the meantime, here’s some great diversion. Romance box sets in different flavors!Feeling like a sweet story? Sweet & Sassy is perfect. Need some suspense? Dangerous Encounters and Risky Encounters. Historical fiction: Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics. Paranormal or time travel? Mystic Lovers. Check them all out! All but Love, Christmas are available to read for free with your Kindle Unlimited account. Don’t have KU? Try it for free for 30 days. See Amazon for details.

Follow me on Amazon: http://bit.ly/dhAuthor 

Dani Haviland
Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
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Choose a Man: Navy SEAL or Fire Fighter

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Two twenty-something women are sitting in a bar in San Diego or New York City. In the lounge of PF Chang’s or Ruth’s Chris Steak House. One of these women is you. You’re wearing four point five inch glossy red strappy sandals, one leg crossed over the other so your black and white polka dot skirt is halfway up your thigh. You’re chatting with your friend and she’s wearing light pink matte lipstick, a three-inch wide pink Bakelite bangle bracelet and her blond hair in a high ponytail of cascading waves.

You know you both look hot, but you always do. So, it’s no big deal. Another warm summer night out in the city. You feel the attention, but it’s like a second skin—always there. Music, clinking glassware and slightly tipsy conversation surrounds you while you take your second sip of your Singapore sling then exhale to relax after your initial catch-up with your friend.

Now you look around. At the men. And there are plenty of them.

Are you in the neighborhood pop-spot near the Coronado Navy base filled with newly inducted warriors?

Or are you in the neighborhood hot spot of a downtown Manhattan Firehouse frequented by hot-off-their-shift lifesaving men?

Do you want the kind of man who would kill to protect you?

Or do you want the kind of man who would run into a fire to save you?

Don’t worry, there is no right or wrong answer—unless you say neither. (But what woman would say that? Honestly?)

You might say either would do, but I think most would have a preference, most of us would see the subtle distinction and maybe come down on one side or the other.

Me, you ask? I’d go for the Navy SEAL. Don’t ask me why.

But I’m going to ask you (fair or unfair) which you would pick and WHY?

Go ahead—tell me.

In the meantime, I’m working on a few stories starring two best friends. One is a Navy SEAL and the other is an FDNY Fire Fighter. Coming soon…

Catch up with me and my progress on these stories at www.StephanieQueen.com.

 

 

Stephanie Queen
About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen
A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she’s lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.
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Reading versus Listening

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Like most of us, I am busy. Sometimes so busy that I can’t read. My job is writing stories. Editing stories. Reading stories. It used to be that relaxing meant curling up with a good novel and a cup of tea, or wine, and delve into another world. Now, because of my constant eye on the screen, I just can’t relax by picking up a book. I am so grateful for Audible, and audio versions of books I’ve wanted to read.

My goal for 2017 was to read more, to connect more with what is out there. Audio books have allowed me to do that. My favorite stories are historical fiction…of the last 10 books I’ve listened to, 8 of them have been historical. I love Christopher Moore–the Serpent of Venice. Alyssa Maxwell and her Newport murder series, Julia Quinn, Margaret Atwood, David Morrell. Right now I’m listening to Amy Snow by Tracy Rees.  I love a little mystery, and listening allows me to turn off my inner editor. Although sometimes I will make a note to self regarding a sentence, and how it could be stronger in the narration. Usually I am too caught up in the story to notice, which is nice.

The bad part for me with audio is not being able to turn back to a page that might be confusing. You can’t just put it down to pick right back up again when people insist on talking to you, lol. You need headphones, which can drop into the sink when you aren’t paying attention. The terrific part is that I listen when I exercise, so sometimes I do an extra lap to find out what happens next.

Do you have a favorite way to get your story fix? I love the story. I love being carried away, and I will do whatever I must to satisfy that craving!!!!  I have a few free downloads to offer for my first contemporary romance, Ambrosia by the Sea. If you’d like one, or to try out the first book in the series, email me at traciella@aol.com

Traci

www.tracihall.com

 

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Traci Hall
With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it’s a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.
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