top of page

Birthday Countdown Continues

(Delicious cake with strawberries – Depositphotos)

Since it has been hot, hot, hot here for weeks, I thought maybe a nice light cake this week. That looks delicious, and perfect for our very summer weather. Just a little over two weeks until my birthday now, and my cake will be ordered this week. It will be an extra-special treat, since it will be a bit of NYC here–since we cannot go there any time soon. Or anywhere unnecessary, really.

Though to be honest, right now, we’re not feeling much like going anywhere. It was a hard week in our house. Our nineteen year old kitty had been steadily slowing down, and the past few weeks, we could tell she wasn’t feeling her best. Our vet came to see her a couple of days ago and confirmed what we had already figured on, and helped her on her way. My hubby was ‘her person’, and she spent most evenings sitting on his chest or lap on the sofa, and curled up with him at night in bed, so he’s really going to miss her, but we’ve had her with us a long, long time. When we got her, she was intended as a companion to a year-old cat we had; he needed a playmate, and our older cat then wanted nothing to do with him, so he needed company closer to his own age. Luckily, we had a friend who fostered kittens for one of the local rescues, and she chose this beautiful fluffball for us as a house-warming gift. Nineteen years is old for a cat–our vet said in terms of human years, she was probably 97-100–so rationally, we know we were lucky to have her so long. Still, we will miss her terribly.

Before I get back to my Sunday cooking, I have a snippet of story to share with you from Freeing Medusa, the third book in the trilogy.


Hunter had to do more digging to find Katharine than he’d guessed would be necessary. It took him several hours and finally a phone call to a friend at the DOT to get her mailing and street addresses. By then it was too late to call or show up at her door unannounced. But he headed there in the morning after checking in at the office to see what Mary Ann had on tap for him. Luckily, he had a couple hours free before he had to meet with a new client.

He debated getting her a gift certificate for a lingerie store to take along, to replace the underwear he’d destroyed, then decided that might be a little much, considering he was still virtually a stranger.

Instead, he picked up a fistful of daisies and drove across town to the address his buddy had given him last night. A neat little one story white house with an attached garage. Two narrow flowerbeds flanked the two steps to the front door.

And a tall guy in black shoved open a window at the side of the house as Hunter eased his car along the street.

Heart pounding faster, he didn’t stop in front of her house as he’d intended, but down the street several houses, and the way the homes were spaced on her street, it was far enough that the guy wouldn’t hear him and automatically assume he was coming to Katharine’s. He left the daisies on the seat and sprinted back to her house, through her neighbors’ yards. He peered around the corner of her house. The side window was open, and there was no sign of the man. He was inside.

Hunter’s pulse quickened even more. No time to call the cops. He stepped up to the front door, noting the alarm company sticker in the front window. He didn’t want to do damage to her door, though, or alert the intruder to his entry, so he pulled a pick out of his pocket and jiggled it carefully in the lock until the latch gave. Then he stepped inside, holding his breath while hoping the alarm would take a few seconds before it went off.

There was silence through the little house. Maybe she hadn’t set the alarm. He shut the door with no sound. Then he heard a low voice.

Good thing he hadn’t given up carrying. He whipped his gun out as he crept through the living room, past the empty kitchen and an office. He stopped when he got to the open door of the bedroom, leveling his gun on the dark man standing over her bed with a wicked-looking, slightly curved blade in his hand. In the open collar of his shirt, a gold pendant gleamed around his neck, something too small for Hunter to see exactly what it was. A few feet from there, the curtain fluttered in the breeze coming through the open window.

“Drop it,” he said evenly, hoping Katharine stayed right where she was, lumped beneath her blankets.

The guy jumped, startled, clearly so absorbed in his own plans that he hadn’t paid any attention to the rest of the house. Good thing for Hunter, and for Katharine. Bad thing for the intruder.

From the corner of his eyes, Hunter saw movement on the pillow, but he couldn’t take his gaze off the intruder to see what it was. He just hoped she stayed in her spot on the opposite side of the bed long enough for him to deal with this asshole.

“Do you really want to stop me?” the other man said in heavily accented English. “From killing this monster?”

“No monsters here, buddy. Drop the knife. Now.” He jerked his gun a little, indicating the rocking chair in front of the closet where the knife wouldn’t be easily reachable again. More movement on the pillow, and this time, it looked like a couple of snakes in his peripheral vision. Couldn’t be. He kept his gaze on the other man. “Do it.”

The other man’s dark eyes narrowed, mouth tightening, his expression furious. “It is my duty to kill the Medusa.”

Hunter cocked his weapon. “If you don’t drop your weapon now, buddy, I’m going to put a very large hole in you. One you will not recover from.”

The dark guy muttered something Hunter couldn’t understand, something foreign, and, after a few more seconds, tossed the blade away, but not where Hunter had indicated. Instead, he threw it over the bed so it stuck in the plaster wall beside the mirror attached to her dresser. When Hunter glanced away from him to be certain that the dagger hadn’t done any damage to Katharine, the intruder leaped out the open window.

“Dammit,” he muttered, striding to the window in time to see the back of the other guy vanishing around the neighbor’s back porch a few dozen yards away. He pulled his head back in and froze.

Those were snakes on the pillow, several of them.

“Katharine,” he said quietly.

“You should go, Hunter.” Her voice was choked, hushed.

He frowned, his gaze still on the snakes. They were in her hair. “Honey, there are snakes–”

“I know. You should go.” She sucked in a harsh breath, and the lump of her under the blankets contracted.

His frown deepened. That couldn’t be. The snakes were not just in her hair, they were her hair.


I think when I get done with my cooking, I’m going to do some reading for fun this afternoon. It’ll be weird without the cat curled up beside me on the loveseat, but I need a little break. What does your week look like this week? Do you have outdoor plans? Or will hot weather keep you indoors with your books? If you need something for a quick read, maybe you want to try Light the Way Home.


bottom of page