I write romantic suspense and warm, family relationship type novels, often with a touch of humor. Many of my books have featured animals as key players--dogs, cats, llamas, cockatiels, horses...even our son's pet albino corn snake, Sssssid, who appeared in my first Superromance back in 1999.

Animals have been a big part of my life since I was a child. How about you? I hope you'll become a "blog follower" here (see the right-hand column for a place to click) and will come back often. So...let's talk about our pets!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

This really IS a creature! What is it?!

This blog is about all creatures great and small  (at http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com if you are reading this on Facebook) though that usually means pets, horses, and other familiar animals.  But this is creature I found on the side of our barn.  Looks like it is related to the dragon flies, given its wings, but it was huge and unlike anything I'd ever seen before...a little over 3.5  inches long.  Do you know what it is?!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Winner!

Rebecca Booth is the winner of  author Delia Latham's drawing.  Rebecca, you can contact her through her website at:  www.delialatham.net to provide your mailing address.

Congratulations!

Roxanne
The  "All Creatures Great and Small"  blog
http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Deborah Raney...pets galore!! And her latest book-- Almost Forever

by Deborah Raney

Growing up on a farm, I've owned and loved my share of cats. I
married a man who wasn't so crazy about those of the feline
persuasion--that is until I manipulated a birthday gift of a tiny
black kitten from a friend. My new husband couldn't say "no" to
that, could he? Ebony soon won Ken over, and we've loved a string of
housecats through our thirty-some years of marriage since.

But after moving to a house with a fenced-in yard outside the city limits five years ago, we accumulated some cats––eleven to be precise! Our now 16-year-old tomcat, Frosty, made the move with us and happily took up residence in the big doghouse on the back deck.

Then one morning just after we got settled in, a gorgeous calico cat showed up on our front porch. When she was still there a few weeks later, we claimed her and named her Biscuit. But we soon realized Biscuit's roly-poly figure was due to more than the generous portions of cat chow we were serving her.

We moved her to the back porch and hoped Frosty (who was not the kittens' father) would be a gentleman and share his comfy home. Nothing doing. End of discussion. We were disappointed in his manners, but with the arrival of kittens imminent, we fixed a cozy box under the eaves for Biscuit and filled it with warm towels ready to receive kittens.

One morning late that March, I went out to the deck to find the two cats had traded homes! I have no idea how those negotiations went down, but the following morning I found Biscuit, snug in the
doghouse, licking a precious miniature of herself. By noon "Gravy" had two sisters and a brother.

We enjoyed every minute of the ten weeks those kittens lived with us. Frosty was so attentive you'd have thought he'd fathered the kits. It wasn't easy to say goodbye, but we found good homes and got
everyone settled in with their new families. Wouldn't you know it, several days before Biscuit's vet appointment to be "fixed," we
started to suspect she would be blessing us with another bundle of kittens--and soon!

Batch Number Two--five precious little girls--made their entrance into the world two years ago, on July 11. Much to Frosty's dismay, we immediately moved Biscuit and the little ones to the basement where we could make sure this was the last litter. Early that September,Batch Two moved out onto the back deck where they frolicked and scampered and quickly made friends with Frosty. It was a summer full of laughter. A summer to remember forever.

In a perfect world, all nine kitties could have lived all nine lives right here in our backyard. But it's not a perfect world, and far too soon October came, and one by one, the kittens went off to new homes, thanks to my author friend Kim Vogel Sawyer. (Kim calls herself a kitty broker and it's an apt title, since she adopted Maizie, placed Snickers with her parents, and found a home together for two other kittens.)

Every kitten had a home––except a little yellow and white fluffball we called Sundae. Surely we could keep just one? After much begging and pleading (our daughter's) and a few tears (mine), we convinced the master of the house that in spite of lyrics to the contrary, three cats in the yard really does make for a very, very, very fine house.

––Deborah Raney





Almost Forever
by Deborah Raney
A Hanover Falls Novel
from Howard/Simon and Schuster

Unearthing a lost memory may cause her to lose everything she holds dear. but could it also set her free?

Volunteer Bryn Hennesey was there at the Grove Street Homeless Shelter the night five heroic firefighters died at the scene. Among them was her husband, Adam.

Now a terrifying absence of memory has her wondering if she might, in some way, be responsible. Garrett Edmonds' wife, Molly, was the only female firefighter to perish in the blaze. He was supposed to protect the woman he loved.now she's the one who's died a hero. How can he go on in the face of such unbearable loss? And what started the fire that destroyed the dreams and futures of so many? Investigators are stumped. But someone knows the answer...


Deborah Raney books always captivate me! Almost Forever is a beautifully written and enthralling read. It made my heart sing, dance, cry, and turn more than a few flips!
~CindyWoodsmallNew York Times best-selling author


As a fan of the very talented Deborah Raney, I expected a great read and I got it in the richly emotional Almost Forever, a story of faith, forgiveness and redemption.  It began with a gripping scene and proceeded to hold me enthralled to the end.  Don't miss this one!
~Karen Young, author of Missing Max and Blood Bayou

DEBORAH RANEY is at work on her 20th novel. Her books have won the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Almost Forever, first in her new Hanover Falls Novels series, will release in May from Howard/Simon & Schuster. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They are new empty nesters with four grown children and two precious grandsons, all of whom live much too far away.

Visit Deb on the web at www.deborahraney.com
Order her books here: http://snipurl.com/raneybooks

Note from Roxanne:  If you are reading this on Facebook, come on over to the All Creatures Great and Small Blog for  lots of great posts and pet stories from your favorite authors!   http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pure Animal Instinct and trust...

by Delia Latham

My husband, Johnny, trudges across the front yard in his overalls and beat-up felt hat. Behind him, tails high in the air, three cats tag along in single file. Watching this little procession through my office window, I can’t help a burst of laughter. Isn’t it puppies who are supposed to “dog” your footsteps like little four-legged shadows? I half expect one of the hoity-toity felines to let loose with a yappy bark at any moment.

Sunny, O’Malley and Bo are their names. They’re ornery creatures, but we get a kick out of watching them. O’Malley, who is at least partially Siamese, loves to torment the birds—cardinals, robins, chickadees, woodpeckers, blue jays, and scissortails—who hang out on our feeders. He never quite catches them, but he seems to get a tremendous amount of pleasure out of scaring all my favorite winged creatures away from the big oak right outside my window. (Most likely, he does it because he knows I get such pleasure out of watching them. I tell you, cats know these things!) Sunny is the lazy one. If Johnny’s not outside for to hang out with, he can usually be found stretched out on the lawn, wherever the widest swath of sunshine appears. Bo does his own thing. We’re not sure where he is when he isn’t at my husband’s heels, but I can guarantee the haughty creature is up to no good!







Gardening is a real challenge. If Bo’s not off doing…whatever it is that Bo does on his forays of independence…he’s pushing himself under our hands, wanting to be petted. It is in our best interest to take time to do that, because if we don’t, he proceeds to attack those same hands—claws completely unsheathed. Apparently he thinks we’re kneeling there in the flowerbed solely for his entertainment. Of course, by the time we convince Bo to find something else to do, Sunny and O’Malley come to help us garden, as well.

I have to be honest, okay? The cats are Johnny’s—if cats can be said to belong to anyone. I’ve never been the animal person in the family. But I’ve learned a lot over the years, just watching him and my four children (yes, they’re all pet lovers, too) with their pets.

What amazes me most is the cats’ total, uncomplicated trust in my husband. He feeds them, sees that they have a place to shelter from the elements, and provides them enough attention and human kindness that they know he cares about them. They don’t necessarily appreciate it when he refuses to let them in the house (most of the time, they pile up together in a furry heap right against our glass storm door, where they can peer inside and make us feel guilty). Still, they accept it. I suppose, since cats are known to have minds of their own, that they might prefer their canned food to be fish flavored rather than chicken or beef on certain days. But they accept what they’re given, apparently trusting that the nice man in the beat-up hat does what’s best for them.

In return, they do a fine job of keeping our three acres mostly free of rodents. What more can we ask?

How is it that we human beings, who purportedly have higher intellects than animals, have yet to learn the art of pure, unadulterated trust in our God? It isn’t exactly rocket science, the knowledge that He loves us more than we could possibly love the pets we adore. He’s never locked us out of His house, and never will. We’re welcome inside, on the furniture, cozied up beside Him. In every aspect of our lives, our Father cares for us.

The heroine in my new release, Yesterday’s Promise, survives excruciating emotional trauma only because of a simple but profound trust in her heavenly Father. She’s human, so yes, there are times when she wonders why. Why didn’t God stop her from marrying a man she’d known too briefly? Why did her bridegroom disappear after their wedding night? Why didn’t God stop him? Why did she have to leave her family and her home and start over in a strange town where she knew no one? Why must her adorable little boy have to grow up without a father?

Ultimately, however, Hannah knows in her heart of hearts that God has a perfect reason for every tiny occurrence in her life. And after she throws her little spiritual tantrums (like we all do) and whines a bit about how hard her life is (don’t we all?), she inevitably concedes that He only wants the best for her.

So she yields herself to His will. She trusts Him. And God comes through. He always does. He always will.

Our role is simply to follow Him (like my husband’s trio of four-legged shadows). We’ll probably get in His way now and then (much like Bo in the flower bed). Most likely we’ll pout at times (like the fur heap outside our storm door). But through it all, it’s important to trust Him, never forgetting that the Savior with the scars in His hands is our God, and He’ll do what’s best for us.

The author is offering a beautiful journal as a prize in a drawing, to be selected from the blog readers who post a comment!  Here it is!  Just remember to stop back on Monday to find out if you won!






About the Author:

DELIA LATHAM is a born-and-bred California gal, recently transplanted to Oklahoma where she lives with her husband Johnny. She’s a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend—but above all, she treasures her role as child of the King and heir to the throne of God. Delia enjoys big, loud, happy family gatherings and quieter times with just her own four children and grandchildren. She loves to play piano and sing, read, drink in the natural beauty of her surroundings, design marketing products for authors, and write. Delia’s inspirational novel, Goldeneyes, was released in March 2008. Yesterday’s Promise released through White Rose Publishing in March 2010. A children’s book, Adam’s Wings, will be available in December 2010. Find out more about this author and her books at www.delialatham.net.

Newsletter: The Bookshelf
Interviews & Reviews:  My Book Bag
Blog:  The Melody Within

Purchasing Information:
Yesterday’s Promise is available (in e-format only) through Amazon and White Rose Publishing.

____________________

Welcome to the "All Creatures Great and Small" blog, if you are reading this on Facebook! 

I'd love to have you stop by--there are lots of blog posts about the furry, finned and feathered friends of authors and readers, as well as a good number of tales from The Old Horse Trader.

The title of the blog was taken from the old hymn, and though it was also used in the James Herriott books and serialized TV show, it sure fits the topics you'll find at this blog!

With best wishes to all,
Roxanne Rustand
http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com