In the LAPD, Code 7 is a synonym for lunch break or an opportunity to eat. Code 7 is a time to relax, joke, and share thoughts with your fellow officers. Here is what's on my mind right now ...
I’m writing this post on Mother’s Day. This is the second Mother’s Day that my mom hasn’t been with me. She passed away from Alzheimer’s disease.
At first, I thought I’d write a blog about her and what a wonderful woman she was – and she was a wonderful. Take a look:
But I didn’t want to mark every Mother’s Day, her birthday, or holiday with the fact she is no longer with me on Earth. The truth is, she is with me every day…and I talk to her every day.
I’m a mother, too. And my husband and I will be meeting with my daughter and her wonderful family later tonight for a Mother's Day dinner.
But in my day-to-day life, my children now have four legs and fur.
So, in celebration of being the “mother” to our four-legged children, I wanted to let you know about a website called Dog Food Advisor.
This website lists many many dog foods both wet and dry and provides ratings and nutritional info (pros and cons)
for each one.
I was pleased to see that the food we feed our dogs was one of the top-rated brands, but also surprised to see it was a 4 Star rated food. We thought we were giving our dogs the best food available. At this time we’ve opted not to change their food, but that could change if they ever indicate they’d like a change. (Not likely, they’re Labs and will eat anything!)
Not only that, on Dog Food Advisor, you can sign up for email notifications when a dog food is recalled. I’m surprised at the number of recalls there are on dog foods. I don’t find the emails to be a bother at all.
We feed our cats the same brand of food (except it’s their cat products) as we do our dogs. I looked to see if there was a Cat Food Advisor website and I’m happy to say they’re working on it. There is a link, Cat Food Advisor, so maybe by the time you’re reading this the site will be up and working.
If you’ve got dogs (and soon it will be available for cats) check out Dog Food Advisor. They have some good articles and information on there. (I don't receive a thing from Dog Food Advisor or Cat Food Advisor – when I like something, I tell people about it.)
And did you see what I did? I slipped in a tribute to my mom into this blog. She was an animal lover, so I guess it’s fitting.
Until next time,
Many people are on my team to create my books. One of the most important team members is the person who creates my book covers. When it comes to book covers, the old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words,” it’s true.
All my book covers (except for the German language version of A Deadly Blessing) were created by a woman named Donna Casey, who went by the web name of Digital Donna. I’ve recently learned that Donna passed away.
I first "met" Donna at the beginning of my career in 2011. After looking at a list of book cover designers, checking out her website, and then perusing her portfolio, I determined she would be a good fit for me. When I asked her to create a cover for my first book, A Dozen Deadly Roses, I gave Donna a particular idea that I wanted for that cover. After a few days of her working on the cover, she emailed me saying: I just can't find the right graphics. But she also said, I've created something that you might like. And when I saw her design I knew that I should've left the designing of my book cover up to her. In my opinion, it was the perfect cover for that book. And that book quickly became a bestselling e-book.
Another interesting fact about my covers is that the entity that owned the rights to the LAPD badge would not let me use a graphic of the "official" badge for my covers. Donna created her own version of a badge which I've used on all of my books. That's one of the things I loved about her. She always went the extra mile for me.
When it came time for a cover for my second book and the first book in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series, once again, I called on Donna. Because I’m a gal who can’t refrain from offering her two cents, I gave Donna the design idea I wanted for my first book in my Maddie Divine series, A Deadly Blessing. I got a great cover, and this was just as I imagined it would look.
I often wonder if I had let her come up with the ideas on her own, how would the cover look? For each book in the series, A Deadly Justice, A Deadly Denial, and A Deadly Beauty, she took the image I had in my mind and created it.
Here is the cover she did for A Deadly Second Chance, a short story that I'm currently offering to folks who sign up for my newsletter.
It was probably 2013 or maybe 2014 when I learned that Donna was ill. The disease that had taken hold of Donna’s life scared me. As time went on, I quickly realized that Donna was a fighter and a professional and she’d serve her clients as long as she was able. Every time I had a request or needed help with resizing my covers she was there for me. There was no request too large or too small that Donna would not handle. And unlike many people in business today, she'd get me what I needed quickly and usually without any further charge.
I'm deeply saddened by the loss of my friend Donna. She was my first professional contact in my writing career. Without her beautiful and eye-catching book covers my career never would've taken off as it did. So, thank you, Donna. Thank you. Please rest in peace, and know you are missed.
And thank you for all those eyes you caught!
Which one of Donna's covers is your favorite?
Until next time,
I'm not sure why this text is coming in as red. I've tried to change it numerous times and it's still red. Maybe it's because the message is important.
A few days ago, on Facebook, I saw a posting from a guy who had received a call from one of those scammers who claim to be from the IRS. The Facebook fellow (I'll call him Bob…I don't know his real name) videotaped his interaction with the scammer. The caller told Bob that he owed the IRS $3500.00 in taxes. Bob was wonderful. He told the scammer he'd already paid for his riding lawnmower and there was no way he could possibly owe $3500.00. The caller skipped over the fact that Bob was talking about a lawnmower and continued to tell Bob he owed the money. Bob then took the call in another direction saying he didn't want a standing lawnmower and that he wouldn't pay extra to get the riding one. This went on for a while. I urge you to watch the video. It's a little over 6 minutes long and is quite amusing – be forewarned, there is strong language used on this video. But…you'll also see just how determined these guys are and what motivates them…money. But money for what? The answer comes toward the end of the video.
Then, as luck would have it, later in the day I got a phone call from someone who identified himself as being from the state police. He told me I was under investigation. Remembering the fun that Bob had with his scammer, I thought I should have fun too. I tried to play along as I thought my mother (or some other elderly person) might react. I have to say that the caller's English was horrible and I had a very hard time understanding him. Additionally, he didn't have his headset positioned in a good place for me to hear him, so my constant requests for him to repeat things were real. When I asked him what I was being investigated for he told me that I would first have to be verified. Once I was verified I would talk to his superior who would explain what the issue was. I told him okay. The first question he asked me: "When was the last time you entered the United States of America?" I wasn't expecting that question and I asked him why he needed to know that. He repeated the question again and I asked why he needed that information. He hung up.
I got two more phone calls within the hour from different men but with the same accents and they each asked for women with foreign names. When I told one of the callers that he must have a wrong number, he lowered his voice to a whisper and told me that he was being sent over to have sex with the woman he'd originally asked for eventually hung up when I kept asking him to repeat what he'd said.
Then I got a third call and I was able to play with that guy for quite a while. He asked the same question regarding the last time that I returned to the United States and I told him it was so long ago I really couldn't remember. Then he asked me what kind of a Visa I'd entered with, or did I have a green card? I told him I had a blue card. That stumped him for a few minutes as he kept asking me what color the card was. Then he asked me what country I was from and I told him from Franiztan. If any of you are I Love Lucy aficionados, you'll know that Lucy invented the country Franiztan for one of her stunts she used on Ricky. The caller was very excited to hear I was from the middle east and asked me several times to spell Franiztan. Next, he told me that I would have to talk to his supervisor. Making a long story shorter, I never got connected with the supervisor. That was the last I've heard of them so we'll see what happens the next time they call.
I assume they're trying to figure out additional ways to get into the United States. Or, it was our federal government trying to find out why I've been researching terrorism. (Attention FBI: For a story idea.)
As a side bit of information, the scammers are on to the fact that much of the general public has been educated that the IRS won't contact you by phone. The scammers are now sending out letters.
This image was on Facebook so I would recommend that if you get a letter such as this, that you contact the IRS. Don't call any number that's on a suspicious letter. Look up online or in the phonebook and get a number for the IRS and call them and ask them if the letter is legitimate.
While I've had fun verbally sparring with these clowns who call, it is my opinion that the United States of America is at war. There are people all over the world who are trying to hurt us whether it's financially, physically, or emotionally. The scammers are upping their game and we, as a nation and society, had better wise up. Right now relationships in our country are in some of the worst places they've been in over fifty years. We need to pull together for many reasons, but most important is to fight those who are not United States citizens and who are trying to destroy us. The last time we pulled together as a nation was after September 11, 2001. Fifteen years is a long time.
Until next time,
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