Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Rabbit is Free

Release Day -- Yesterday

I finally released the rabbit. Couldn't write about it until today. I guess I got more attached than I thought I would. Anyway, I couldn't think about him yesterday without crying.

Anyway, we did a soft release, which means early in the morning, I took the rabbit's cage up to an area near our pond that has a lot of cover, some trees, and some good grass. I've seen rabbits up there on the wildlife camera we have, so I figure it is a good area. And it is only a few yards away from where we think the rabbit's nest was.

So, I placed the cage near some thickets and walked away. Well, not really. The rabbit didn't want to get out, and I couldn't resist saying goodbye, so I picked him up and gave his soft ears a final rubbing (he loved that) and placed him back in his cage to let him make the decision, himself, about when he wanted to leave.

Later that afternoon, I checked the area and there was no sign of him. But I left the cage there overnight in case he wanted to get back inside. I doubt he did, but at least he had the choice.

I guess that's it. I hope he finds other rabbits and has a good life. It's hard to think of him out there, alone. I keep thinking about all the hawks, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, snakes, feral dogs and cats, and other critters out there who would find him a tasty snack. And I can't for the life of me understand how people can abandon pets out in the country (they abandon them at our mailbox all the time because they think the area is just agricultural fields), not thinking about the starvation and terrors their pet will face.

At least I know the rabbit is back where he belongs and will probably find a mate (or two) and hopefully thrive. I'm hoping for the best.

It was a wonderful experience even if it does make me cry a little now that he's on his own. Wish him luck!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Chicken Tractor for Rabbits

I used to raise chickens (and probably will do so again in the future) and was always interested in the chicken tractors which is basically a chicken house you can move around your yard to let the chickens browse fresh/different areas of your yard.

Well, as my past blogs have mentioned, we have this baby rabbit we're trying to raise until it gets old enough to release. And because I have no intention of becoming a rehabber, I wanted something for the rabbit to use that gave him slightly more room than the pet carrier we are using as his home, and which could be placed outside for him to get acclimated to the weather and natural environment.

Because he'll probably be released in 2 weeks, I also didn't want to buy some elaborate rabbit hutch.

The Rabbit Tractor

The rabbit running around the rabbit tractor

Detail on the door. I cut a panel for the door itself and cut around the latch so that it could be open and shut, but the mesh still goes to the ground to keep the rabbit safe inside.

Another view of the rabbit tractor, showing the cardboard box for the rabbit. The rabbit is just outside the cardboard box.

I built the rabbit tractor after I remembered we had an old wire kennel for our Jack Russell Terrier.  I removed the bottom tray, revealing a pretty much open bottom that would let grasses and clover come through to be available to the rabbit. Except the bars were too far apart to keep a small rabbit safe and enclosed. So I got some hardware cloth and wrapped it around the cage and secured it with wire where the rabbit could reach and plastic zip-ties where he couldn't reach. I carefully attached panels to the doors so I could still open the doors.

I also put in a small cardboard box and scrap of fabric for a little hutch where he could go and sleep/be protected.

And now the bunny can spend a few hours outside and collect his own food, while still being safe inside his "hutch."

Turned out that he was afraid of the wide-open spaces (no wonder, really) so I took a few linen towels and drapped the hutch to give him some shade, privacy, and a sense of security. It seems to be working fine.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Update to Rabbit Rescue

The rabbit rescue continues, and The Little Squirt is now sending us out into the yard searching for appetizing greens to fill his little bowl. I can't believe he's managed to survive a week in our care. We weren't able to find any rehabbers to take it and could never find the rabbit's nest to put the baby back. So we're stuck with him for a couple more weeks until he is old enough to be released.

So far, his favorite food is clover, followed by young dandelion shoots and purslane. He likes new leaves, old leaves--not so much. The bad news is that he likes me, and whenever I put my hand in his cage to put in some food, he nuzzles my hand and wants to come out and sit in my lap (where he simply goes to sleep). He's not supposed to like me. He's supposed to be afraid of me so that he will survive when we release him.

But from what I understand, he'll soon be afraid me of, too, it's just a matter of time.

Anyway, I wanted to let folks know that The Little Squirt is still alive and seems to be thriving. So far, so good.

And, on the book front, A Stolen Rose, a traditional Regency, has been released and is now available.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Poor Little Bunny

I was hesitant to write about our little orphan, but he's made it for almost 5 days so maybe this won't jinx the whole thing.

So, last Friday, I was walking the dogs when my little Jack Russel stopped in the middle of the road. I went back and, well, she had a bunny in her mouth. I made her drop it, and the poor little thing appeared to be unharmed except for being in shock.

My husband and I took the dogs and scoured the entire place, looking for the rabbit burrow to put the bunny back, because it hadn't even opened its eyes yet. Baby bunnies have a very low survival rate if you take them away from the rest of the litter, and I didn't want the poor little thing to die. No luck, although we searched and kept trying to get the dogs to show us where the bunnies were.

Finally, we had to give up for the night and take the poor thing home. We called a bunch of rehabbers because you're not supposed to keep wild animals, and I wanted to give the thing a chance. No luck. You see, 90% of orphaned bunnies die. Most of the rehabbers had too many other animals and didn't want a baby bunny that was sure to die.

We looked again on Saturday for the burrow. We even tried to find someone who had domestic rabbits with a litter, hoping to slip the baby in with the others. Mammas are great about accepting "strangers."

No luck. So we found the bunny org and because my husband is a wildlife biologist, we looked up rabbits in his literature. Between all the sources, we decided that goat's milk for puppies/kittens plus a bit of heavy cream (8 parts goat's milk to 1 part cream) warmed up would do it. So I went to the Seed & Feed and got goat's milk and a tiny feeding bottle, then got some cream. We prepared everything the way you do for a human baby and fed the beast.

Bunny likes the milk mixture a little on the warm side, but at least he ate. And I rubbed his bottom as recommended to get him to pee and poop, although he seems perfectly capable of pooping on his own because there were droppings in the bucket where he lived in a nest of microfiber rags.

Oh, we kept him in a big bucket hung from the rafters to keep the dogs and cat away from him. It worked for the first night. Unfortunately, he jumped out the second night and roamed around our living room all night. Oops. Fortunately, none of her animals found him. And although he was cold, we fed him and got a cat carrier for him. And I took one of those horseshoe shaped pads you heat up in the microwave for for shoulder/neck muscles and put that in the cat carrier to keep him warm.(Heat lamps are too dehydrating.)

We were trying to mimic his natural environment, which means no heat lamps or anything like that, but a gentle source of warmth like that pad did the trick. He likes it, but frequently hops away from it if he gets too hot And although we were feeding it twice a day, 1.5 tsp (approx), since the mamma rabbit only visits the den rarely to feed her kits (evening and morning) to avoid leaving a scent trail that might lead predators to the den, we did feed our kit a extra time after his "adventure" on our floor, so he got breakfast, lunch and dinner.

So far, (we found him Friday and it is now Tuesday) he seems to be doing okay. We don't mess with him except when I take him out to feed him. Sunday, I started adding probiotics to his bottle in preparation to moving him to greens. Baby rabbits have sterile digestive systems and normally eat their mamma's night poop to get the right flora in their bellies, but we have no mamma, so we're using probiotics.

He started opening his eyes Sunday night and Monday. Today, his eyes are pretty well open and his ears are twitching and upright. That means he's close to being ready to start on greens collected from the yard. He's also getting more nervous of me, which is great, because he needs to be afraid of humans and everything else out there when we release him in 2 - 3 more weeks.

I hope he continues to thrive. We're doing the best we can. I'd like him to be in that 10% of bunnies who do manage to live long enough to be released, and I hope I haven't just jinxed him by writing this. He's a tough little bugger and obviously wants to survive. Today, I'm going to sprout some oat and alfalfa seeds I got for sprouting (I eat a lot of sprouts, myself) as well as sorrel, clover, plantain, sumac, and other goodies I collect around our property. That should give him a variety of things to try as we move him to his normal veggie diet.

I'll update this as he progresses. Let's hope the update(s) don't include a bunny funeral. I can't quite believe he's made it this long after everything that has happened to him. I wish we could have convinced a rehabber to take him (they are all volunteers, unpaid, and overwhelmed this time of year). I'm always afraid I'm going to find him cold and stiff in the cat carrier.

I'm also hesitant to name him because, that also seems like tempting fate, but I think of him as The Little Squirt. And The Little Squirt really wants to live. He's been through a lot and is still hanging in there.

Finally, I don't mean to "pollute" this with crass talk of books, but September/October are exciting months for me. A Lady in Hiding is out, and both A Stolen Rose and Her Vampire Bodyguard will be out in October. So what with The Little Squirt and writing, this fall has been really busy so far.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What I've Been Up To

What have you done for me, lately?

Sorry, I couldn't resist writing that as if folks wanted to know. Anyway, you might well ask what I've been doing.

I've been writing. And I've got several new books published this month and over the next couple of months. And I'm developing plans for a couple of new series, as well. And here they are.

A Lady in Hiding

A Lady in Hiding (previously published as The Bricklayer's Helper) has been re-edited and was just released this month. I got the germ of an idea for this book from an article I read about a girl who was orphaned and instead of living on the street, she disguised herself as a boy and went to work at a series of jobs, including a bricklayer's helper and a footboy, before her identity was discovered and she exchanged her trousers for a dress.

Of course, A Lady in Hiding is entirely a work of fiction, but sometimes readers ask me where I get my ideas, and in this case, that true story is where I got the idea.
A Lady in Hiding - Available now!

 A tragic case of arson sends Sarah into hiding to escape the terrible fate of her family. She works as a common laborer, and is safe for thirteen years, until she receives an ominous note. The killer has caught up with her. Despite her disguise, she is once again in danger from a man determined to silence all echoes from the past.

William, an inquiry agent, is consumed with curiosity when he meets Sarah, and one look into her gray eyes has him hooked. Even though the evidence is scanty after so many years, he promises to assist her, unaware how events will challenge him as both a man of honor and an investigator.

When a second attempt is made on Sarah's life, William is forced to follow a treacherous path through the twisted, dark past. And his growing attraction to the independent woman proves just as dangerous. He needs a clear head to sift through the ashes of the old tragedy, with its hints of corruption stretching back to the Napoleonic wars and reaching into the highest levels of Society. Above all, he must protect Sarah, regardless of personal cost.

Love must find a way to bring the two together and thwart a desperate arsonist, or the last survivor of the long-ago fire will die.

A Stolen Rose - Available for Pre-Order now at $0.99

When the Earl of Wraysbury rescues a young woman from a carriage accident, he can't resist her laughing eyes and wry sense of humor, even though their families have been locked in a feud for generations.

Anemone may be achingly lonely but she's loyal to her family. When she wakes up after an accident in the strong arms of a handsome stranger, she's immediately drawn to him, and appalled  when  she discovers he's her family's sworn enemy, the Earl of Wraysbury.

Neither Anemone nor the earl is prepared for the flaring attraction they feel, or for the escalation of the war between their families when a 40-year-old mystery triggers accusations of murder. Loyalty and the threat of a dangerous duel are destined to tear the lonely lovers apart unless they are willing to defy their families and take a chance on love. 

Regency Romantic Mysteries Boxed Set - Available November 1

A boxed set containing The Unwanted Heiress, A Lady in Hiding, and The Earl's Masquerade with a bonus book, Love, The Critic, will be available November 1. This set has the first three of the Archer Family Regency Romances and will be $4.99, which is much cheaper than buying the individual books.

Her Vampire Bodyguard - Available December 1

Her Vampire Bodyguard (previously published as Vampire Protector) will be available December 1.

Gwen can't afford to trust anyone. She has a horrifying secret only half-remembered. But she knows she's not the young woman she appears, and her nights are filled with terrifying nightmares. Her tenuous peace is shattered when a mysterious letter arrives, hinting that someone knows her secrets and driving her to uncover the truth at her long-abandoned home.

But she doesn't go alone.

Although frightening secrets plague John, he has a duty to protect Gwen from the unknown dangers surrounding her. She seems unaware that there is an artifact in her old house that others will kill for, so he's determined to accompany her when she returns home.

Unfortunately, their seemingly casual visit unleashes an ancient evil that threatens them both. Despite their growing love, they soon realize that if don't learn to trust each other and face their deepest fears, they will die.

Only trust and their growing love can give them the strength to overcome the ancient evil waiting for them in the shadows of their past. 

Future Series

Once all those books hit the streets, I have a mystery, Time, that will come out in 2016, and then I will start on a new series of romantic cosy mysteries featuring the Harmony sisters. Oh, that doesn't mean there won't be any more Second Sons Regency mysteries or Archer family Regency romances. In fact, I'm writing another Archer family Regency romance, Fencing for Ladies, right now. But I am also working on the Harmony sisters.

What is so special about the Harmony sisters? Well, each of the sisters will have her own story (and romance) and they manage to solve some puzzling murders in the small town of Peyton, NC. The sisters run a business called Total Harmony that is a lifestyle center helping people outfit their homes and themselves to bring harmony back into their lives. The concept that colors, decorating styles, scents and event cosmetics can be brought into harmony to improve a person's mood, and therefore, life. Kind of Feng Shui mixed with color theory and scents.

I've gotten into a lot of DIY (do it yourself) projects lately, including developing my own sourdough starter to bake all my own bread, pickling, and more recently, making my own hair rinse, cold cream, and face cream. I like having more control over the ingredients and freshness, and I've seen minor improvements in my own life through these efforts.

For those interested in having more control and like small DIY projects, here is a face cream I use and really like. I had some small red spots/scars on my forehead and this cream has really helped me with those spots. It is a little oily at first because it takes longer for the skin to drink it in, but as I am older, I find I'm okay with that because of the sense of accomplishment, control, and skin improvements I'm seeing.

Mature Skin Face Cream

2 Tbsp Almond base oil
2 tsp Rose Hip Seed base oil
1 1/2 tsp Beeswax
1 Tbsp distilled water
Contents of 1 vitamin E capsule
10 drops Rosemary essential oil *
5 drops Carrot essential oil *
10 drops Neroli essential oil *

* Essential oils are optional, but these 3 are good for mature skin, so I tend to use them. And I like the way it smells, particularly the rosemary. I use rosemary a lot.

In a large glass measuring cup, put the base oils and beeswax. Microwave in 30 sec increments (about 1 min, 30 sec) until the beeswax melts. In a different small bowl, microwave the water for about 30 secs.

Let the oil/beeswax cool a little (until the glass container is warm to the touch, but not hot) and using a wire whisk, whisk the warm water into the oils. Whisk for about 3 minutes, until a creamy, pale yellow cream forms. Pierce the vitamin E capsule and squish the contents into the cream. Add the essential oils (if using), and continue whisking for another 4 minutes or so. The cream should be thick and a little shiny.

Scrape the cream into a very clean glass container (I use the canning jars meant for baby food).

This makes quite a bit and generally lasts me more than 1 month, so I keep it in a small refrigerator, along with my collection of base and essential oils. That way, it stays good for several months. It will last about 1 month without refrigeration, though.

To use: you don't need much, and you may wish to rub it between your hands and then apply to your face and throat. (I prefer just to massage it into my neck and face.) You don't need much. A little dab will do you (to re-use that old ad phrase.)

So that's one of my recipes that will be appearing in the Harmony sisters mystery books. Stay tuned--there is a lot coming up.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Malice Domestic 2015 and Dark Shadows

Just got back from the wonderful writers and readers conference, Malice Domestic, held in Silver Spring, MD. What a great conference--lots of fun--and a lot of wonderful writers to meet and discover. I didn't do any sessions this year, I went strictly as a reader, but I sure attended a lot of interesting sessions about mysteries, such as police procedurals, British historical mysteries, and even humor in mysteries. That last one, humor in mysteries, featured a moderator I couldn't wait to meet: Kathryn Leigh Scott. For those who find the name oddly familiar, well, she played Maggie Evans/Josette in the original Dark Shadows.

Although I've meet a lot of famous authors or famous people, there are only two who ever meant something to me.

Back in the 80's, I was wandering around the gardens behind the Governor's Palace in historic Williamsburg when low and behold, I saw someone I instantly recognized: Isaac Asimov. I couldn't believe it. I was so amazed and in awe that about all I could do was to introduce myself and mumble, "I've read every book you've ever written!" He was so kind and gracious, even though I'm sure the last thing he wanted was to be accosted while trying to enjoy the formal gardens. To this day, I wish I had had my wits about me and had taken his picture.

For years, I felt he was the only meaningful famous person I'd ever met.
Until the Malice Domestic conference.

I attended the session on humor in mysteries specifically because I saw that Kathryn Leigh Scott was to be the moderator.  And I wasn't disappointed. It was a great session and even better, I got to listen to "Maggie Evan's" lovely voice again.

Despite all the years since Dark Shadows was on the air, she hasn't really changed. She's still just as beautiful as she was as Maggie Evans, although her hair is a bit lighter (her picture is on the right). And what was really interesting was that Kathryn Leigh Scott was just as warm and kind as her character had been all those years ago. What a nice lady.

The other authors seemed like a lot of fun, too, and I had to laugh when one of them, in talking about how she includes humorous elements, mentioned an incident that had happened to her in real life. Seems she was vacationing in a a remote cabin in the woods when a snake dropped down from the ceiling to land next to her. Surprise, surprise.

I didn't raise my hand, but I could top that story. I live in a log home every day and can't tell you how many snakes I've had to remove. Thank goodness my husband has snake tongs. Rat snakes, particularly young ones, love to climb and seem to particularly love log homes and cabins. I suspect that that is what dropped in on the author.

A few years back, I got up early to go to work and glanced over at my sewing machine in the corner of my bedroom. After one look, I shook my husband's shoulder to wake him up.

"Sorry to wake you, honey, but there's a snake trying to use my sewing machine. Can you remove it? I have to take a shower and get to work," I said.

You see, I didn't want the snake to escape, hide in the house, and then later show up in some inconvenient place. Like our bed.

And then there was the cow I found munching the grass around our mailbox. And the barracuda in the middle of our road, sixty miles inland from the coast.

Yeah. Lots of stories.

People have no idea what it's like to live in the country.

Anyway, after the Malice Domestic session (picture on the left), I got on my Kindle and bought the first book in a series Kathryn L. Scott is writing (the Jinx series). The first book is called Down and Out in Beverly Heels and I enjoyed it a great deal--I read it in two days. While most of it is written in present tense, I forced myself to overlook that (I loathe present tense--it throws me right out of the story) and I enjoyed the story about a mature actress struggling to get her career and life back on track after her husband takes her for everything she's got and then disappears.

Ouch. I can only hope Kathryn wasn't writing from personal experience. :)

Although the mystery is less of a who-done-it than a humorous, caper story where the hapless heroine tries to find her husband to see if he's really alive or dead. A few people die along the way and the ending has a nice surprise, so it does have mystery elements. Above all, it works, at least it did for me.

So...the conference was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it to mystery readers and writers. It's not too big and a lot of really interesting people usually show up.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Honeymoon with Death is released

The latest Second Sons Inquiry Agency Regency mystery series is out: Honeymoon with Death! This is the fifth book in the Regency mystery series and the third featuring Prudence Barnard and Knighton Gaunt. For those interested in Pru and Knighton, the previous two books were:
The Vital Principle
Dead Man's View

The books don't have to be read in order, but That is the "proper order" for those interested.

Since I'm snowed in at the moment and am suffering from writer's block with the book I'm currently writing, I figured now would be a good time to tell everyone about the book.

On their honeymoon trip through Europe, Prudence and Knighton Gaunt take a brief excursion to see the triple falls on the river Velino on their way to Rome, little knowing the chain of events this will precipitate.

The couple sends their own carriage and servants on to Rome to reserve rooms and joins a small group of travelers in a hired coach. Unfortunately, before the group reaches the triple cascade, their carriage breaks down on a remote road. A band of ruffians ambushes them, and their only safety seems to lie in a ramshackle, old inn reputed to be haunted.

The party of travelers spends one night only to discover one of their group dead the next morning. The body lies in a ravine near the area where they were attacked, casting suspicion on the bandits.

But why had the passenger returned to such a dangerous spot in the middle of the night, and why was the victim wearing another traveler’s cloak?

As Knighton and Pru investigate, they discover the other travelers were not all the strangers they seemed to be. Mistaken identity, revenge, envy, and frustrated love vie as motives, and Knighton is pushed to desperation when Pru disappears as well. He must use every ounce of logic and intelligence to find her—and identify the killer--before there is another death on the road to Rome.


In this excerpt, the carriage Pru, Knighton, and several other passengers are riding within suffers a terrifying accident on a treacherous mountain road. None of them realize that their difficulties are only the start of even more trouble.

A loud crack shuddered through the coach. The vehicle lurched to the right and then tilted abruptly. Pru would have fallen to the floor if she had not caught her husband’s strong, outstretched hand. Mrs. Ruberry was thrown forward and only the lieutenant’s outstretched hands kept her from landing in his lap.

Through the open windows next to Pru, a terrifying view of a mountainside scattered with sharp rocks, ravines, and dark pine trees slanted down toward a misty valley below. It was a dizzying and frightening sight as they teetered on the very edge of a long drop down to scattered boulders and rubble.

“I’m falling!” Miss Demaretti screamed as she cast a frightened glance out Pru’s window and threw her arms around Mrs. Ruberry. “We must escape, Violet, the carriage is slipping—I can feel us falling!”

“No one is going to fall,” Knighton said curtly as he fumbled with the carriage’s only door next to Pru.

When he opened it, the door swung out loosely over the abyss, showing only a narrow edge of the road immediately under the carriage. A bare six inches of ground lay between them and disaster.
Pru hooked her right arm through the window to keep from falling out and held on to Mrs. Ruberry’s shoulder with her left. “Is there any room to climb out?” Her voice sounded breathless, and she sucked in a sharp gasp when there was another crack.

Her breath caught in her throat. The carriage tilted alarmingly toward the ravine, top-heavy as it was with baggage. She could hear thumps and slithering from the roof as the two men who had been forced to rid atop due to the already overcrowded interior scrambled to hold on.

“Yes,” her husband grunted as he caught the edge of the door for support before leaning out a few inches. “There is just enough room if we are careful. You men, shift your weight toward the opposite side when I climb out. I will assist the ladies to exit first.” He glanced apologetically at Pru.

She nodded quickly, knowing what he needed from her. “I’ll help Miss Demaretti and Mrs. Ruberry and then follow them.”

Knighton depended upon her to keep her head and help the others. If only she felt as calm as he sounded. She turned her head away from the window, ignoring the pull of the terrifying ravine. Her weight, combined with that of the other men, would provide stabilization while Miss Demaretti and the somewhat portly Mrs. Ruberry scrambled out.

The carriage shook. Rocks cascaded down the mountainside, dislodged by the carriage. The coachman spoke sharply to the horses in an attempt to control the frightened animals. Every movement made the coach shudder and created another cascade of rubble.

Knighton as he climbed out and clung to the door and coach fender. The two other men quickly slid toward the opposite side as the conveyance trembled and groaned.

A few rocks from the verge rolled over the edge, clicking and rattling their way down the hill. The noise went on and on, and they all froze, listening with tense faces until the sounds of the tumbling stones faded away.

“Come, Miss Demaretti, you must go first.” Pru stretched her arm across the trembling body of Mrs. Ruberry to catch hold of Miss Demaretti’s wrist.

“Careful!” Mrs. Ruberry’s shrill voice cut through the tension, immobilizing the others in the coach.

“You’ll send us all down the mountain to our deaths!” She twisted as if to push her way past Pru’s arm, but when she caught her glance, the older woman thrust her hand against her charge’s back and literally pushed her toward the door.

“Excuse me, Miss,” Captain Marshall said apologetically as he braced Miss Demaretti with his hands around her waist and lifted her through the door. He held on to her until Knighton caught her and eased her around the rear of the coach to the road.

The conveyance swayed as the weight shifted, and another shower of stones bounced over the side.
In a state of panic, Mrs. Ruberry climbed past Pru, elbowing her aside and nearly kicking her in the face in her haste to follow the girl out. Knighton caught her and ignored her wild words as he swung her around the fender and pushed her onto the road next to Miss Demaretti.

Without the plump woman’s weight, the coach wallowed and lurched, sending more and more rocks down into the ravine. The narrow edge of the road crumbled under the broken wheel. The coach leaned further over the ravine. The horses, restive and terrified by the sounds, snorted and whinnied, jerking the conveyance even more, despite the driver’s attempts to calm them and keep the vehicle stable.

Pru squeezed her eyes shut. Despite her efforts to remain calm, her mind feverishly flashed terrifying images of the coach tilting over the edge. Tumbling and crashing against the rocks, they would be smashed into pieces and scattered over the scree at the base, like so many crushed porcelain dolls amidst the wooden debris of the coach. She clutched one of the leather straps as the conveyance shifted again.

If you are interested, here is the link for the book on Amazon, followed by my web page which has links to other sources for the book.
Honeymoon with Death on Amazon
Honeymoon with Death web page

Happy Reading!