Thursday, January 23, 2014

There’s a Mouse Under My Sink

First it was squirrels falling out of the trees. (Maybe they were confused and thought it was the Summer Olympics coming up?)

Now it’s a mouse under the kitchen sink.

How do I know? One recent evening, as we were sitting on the couch in our living room, we noticed a rustling noise in the kitchen. It sounded odd, but it stopped after a moment.

Then it started again.

The first reconnaissance trip found nothing. All was calm, all was peaceful, all was quiet—until a couple minutes after we sat down again.

On the second reconnaissance, I waited at the kitchen doorway until I could hear exactly where the noise was coming from. It wasn’t in the pantry. It wasn’t behind the refrigerator. It was under the sink.

I moved a little closer and waited again. When the rustling returned, I opened the cupboard just in time to see a garbage bag stir as ‘something’ jumped out and disappeared.

No—I didn’t actually see the mouse. Circumstantial evidence, however, led us to conclude that the rustling noise was in fact a mouse.

Fortunately, Señor Ratón hadn’t traveled as far as the pantry yet. I’d been planning to find storage boxes for the pantry—eventually—but this was an emergency. The Christmas candy went in our spare water-bottles, while the rice and pasta moved into a big six-quart kettle. I jumbled the rest the spare glass jars I’d been saving for ‘something’. We emptied under the sink as well, moving the garbage can out and setting everything else on the counter.

Of course, that made more clutter in the kitchen. A couple days later, therefore, I decided to compromise. I put the dishwasher soap and a few other miscellanies back under the sink and left the garbage can out. I figured the miscellanies would be safe as long as I kept any and all food out of the way of Señor Ratón.

About twenty minutes later, as I was reading in the living room, I heard a series of small thumps. Mr. Mouse had found the spare scrubber, apparently, and seemed to be using it for his bowling practice.

After that, the soap, scrubber, garbage bags and all went back on the counter.

We haven’t heard anything since. My guess is that the mouse can get under the sink by squeezing past the pipes. Everything else is sealed, so he shouldn’t go any farther unless we happened to leave the cupboard doors open. That’s just as well, because I’ll feel friendly toward him only until he gets into something important.

Though perhaps the mouse was as confused as the squirrel gymnasts—he might just have wanted to practice his shot putting.

At any rate, there’s a mouse under my sink.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Morning Glory: Cover Reveal & Giveaway

It's that time of year again. People thinking about the past year, making resolutions for a fresh start. Everyone talking about the changes they've seen and the dreams they have for the future. I could do the same myself. I've had plenty of changes in the past year, but instead of ruminating on the past, my first post this year is for a friend who has a couple big events coming up this year—so, welcome to the new year, Amber Stokes!

Back in August, I was part of Amber's blog tour for her debut novel Bleeding Heart. She's been working hard on the sequel Forget Me Not, due out next month, and today she's revealing the cover for a third book in The Heart's Spring historical romance series... Morning Glory.

You can read about how Amber and her cover designer, Lena Goldfinch, came up with the design for this cover on Amber's blog here. And, just for fun—and because they're rather lovely—here are Amber's previous covers, also with a flower theme. (It's hard to say, but I think Forget Me Not is my favorite cover):

For those of you who haven't read Bleeding Heart yet, Amber introduces Myghal, a Cornish miner with a big heart. He might feel out of place in the Nevada silver rush, but he'll still let a girl cry on his shoulder if she needs too, or make sure she has a bouquet for her wedding, even if it's not the traditional happily-ever-after affair.

Back then, Myghal kept in the background, trying to help out both his friend and a lost, very lonely woman—but Amber has more to tell about his own story now. She's still learning the details, but she promises his journey will continue in Morning Glory, and that he's getting his own romance this time, not just helping out a friend's love affair. Myghal was one of my favorite characters, even as a secondary character, so I'm rather excited to see what happens when Morning Glory comes out this summer!

About the Author:

Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a passion for the written word – from blogging to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. After her brief time at college in Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at a time and pursuing her passion via freelance editing and self-publishing. You can connect with Amber on her blog, Seasons of Humility.

In addition to the cover reveal, Amber is also launching two new blogs, the Morning Glory blog for book extras and The Heart’s Spring blog, the home site for the series, as well as companion short stories.
About the Cover Designer:

Like Amber's previous covers, this one was designed by Lena Goldfinch. Lena lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. She writes fiction for young adults, mostly light fantasy with a healthy dose of "sigh-worthy" romance. You can visit her online at

The Giveaway:

As a final bonus, Amber is offer a set of morning glory note cards (pack of four) from Cindy Lindgren and lavender & copper flower earrings from Jaye L. Knight. (Giveaway limited to U.S. residents only.)

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