Saturday, September 11, 2010

East, West, Home's Best

I’m an inveterate traveller. I’ll put it down to growing up in the middle of the Australian desert. From the age of six weeks I was carted from coast to coast to visit and be shown off to distant relatives. As a child, I felt confined by the wide open spaces around me, so those twice yearly flights to civilization, must’ve given me a thirst to explore new horizons. Since there was no television service, I buried myself in National Geographic magazines, dreaming of travelling to places with exotic names like Mystic and Nantucket, Middlesex (where I seriously thought hermaphrodites lived) and Moosejaw, Kathmandu and Kabul.
I’m so desperate to see new places that if there’s an alternative route to return from that destination, I’ll take it!
However, an insidious realization has been nagging at me lately, and that is, that in spite of the beauty or benefits of travelling, I really miss my own bed, my own loo, my own shower.
Recently, I travelled around the south of England researching Jane Austen, where we stayed in the filthiest B&B you could imagine. The beauty of Winchester, where Jane died and was honored by being buried in Winchester Cathedral was tainted considerably by this experience and I’m annoyed with myself for letting this be so. It’s happened in other places too. Perhaps I need to consult a travel psychologist who’ll prepare me for the worst, so that I’ll be pleasantly surprised when it turns out to be better.
Now I’m on Corfu, an idyllic Greek Island, but again the accommodation is lacking. If we were paying half what we are, I’d put up with the less than clean bathroom, the un-mopped floors, the miniscule shower (18x24 inches!) the rock-hard bed and the dodgy electrical connections.
But what’s really upset me are the stray cats and dogs roaming the island. We’re presently feeding three kittens who’ve adopted us, bleating plaintively for food morning and evening. But what will happen to them when winter sets in and the tourists dry up? There’s no government run animal shelter on the island and the council controls dogs in some areas by baiting them! How inhumane is this? How sad that a civilized country’s answer to animal control is to allow them to roam free begging for food, or poisoning them? No doubt the female kittens will be pregnant as soon as they’re in season – provided they survive the winter. Although two of “our” kittens are quite wild, the smallest is friendly and sweet natured and would make a lovely pet, but there’s no such thing as animal adoption here.
However, I’ve discovered there’s a wonderful group of people who do their best trying to raise money to de-sex as many of the females as possible and set up feeding stations in various areas to try and tide the animals over the winter months. It’s a pity every visitor to Corfu and the other Greek Islands isn’t asked to donate five euros towards a non-profit fund for animals. I’m donating to have a female cat neutered and placing the Agni Animal fund website as my homepage, for which they’ll receive two British pounds per month (at no cost to me) for each of our family’s pc’s that has their site as our homepage.
So although this started as a whinge about how great travel is, but how much greater it is to get home to my own creature comforts, it’s ended as a plea to help those four-legged creatures who sleep on the streets and beg for food because there’s nowhere else for them to go. No warm lap to sleep on, no leg to rub up against, no human to call their own.
If you’d like to help, here’s the link to their website where you can read about the good work they do –
And here to make them your homepage -
Meantime, I’m dreaming of getting home to my own comfy bed and a loo and a shower that I know are clean. But most of all I’m looking forward to getting home to my own four-legged friends and giving them an extra big hug.
Til next time…

Thursday, September 09, 2010


I love September for so many reasons. The kids are back in school. :) The weather starts getting cooler. Autumn, my favorite season, is getting closer. And this month, SINGLE DAD SHERIFF hits the shelves! As I blogged last month (still can’t believe that I actually remembered) this book is very special to me because one of my secondary characters totally stole my heart.

I can’t neglect my hero, though. And Sheriff Chance Drayton is quite the hero. I love a man in uniform and lawmen in particular. The first book I sold was about a small town deputy. That book, RETURN OF THE LAWMAN, was reissued last month in the Men in Uniform special series.

So let’s talk lawman heroes. I grew up watching westerns with my dad and probably saw every Gunsmoke episode ever aired, including the black and white ones. So Marshall Dillon is definitely a favorite of mine. Any movie with John Wayne as a lawman – especially Rio Bravo. Actually I think I loved that one so much because of Dean Martin. I love me some flawed heroes! My more recent lawmen heroes are everyone on Third Watch (still can’t believe they cancelled that series) and Mac and Danny on CSI:NY. I could actually go on and on because I have several more favorites, but I want to hear about yours now! I’ll grab a couple of winners from the comment section for autographed copies of my Citizens Police Academy series.

Happy September & Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Okay, I think I used this title for last September's post where the theme was Autumn. But face it: this is the month of change. Children going to school, older kids going to college, houses getting that big fall cleaning before the holidays, the weather cooling off, rains coming, leaves turning. Birthdays happening.

Not mine this month, not yet, but many of my family's. Do we love birthdays for the happy occasions they are? Or dread them for the changes they signal? Is it really "just a number" when it's you? LOL I'm job hunting--another change--as the indie bookstore I've been at for five years is closing. It's been a town institution for almost 19 years and there's much sadness and nostalgia. As an author, I look at this from an industry standpoint as well as from the booklover and employee view.

But on the job front I have to think, who wants a woman of XX years' experience? Am I defined by my age? Yes, to some extent. But not confined. When asked in a recent job interview why the person should hire me in particular, I could say, I'm mature and reliable--a nicer way to say "old." And laugh about it. I'm in a pretty good place and feeling pretty valuable as an employee. (Check with me in three months when I'm still job hunting to see if this view changes, too.)

I'm also starting a new book, which is a major happy change. The research part is ongoing, but the bulk of it is behind me.

So, what changes are you all dealing with? I hope you're taking them in stride and with a smile inside.
Megan Kelly
The Marriage Solution, May 2011

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Putting It On the Line

For any of our readers who want to write contemporary series, the MORWA Gateway to the Best contest is low on entries in that category. Our our Laura Barth, assistant editor for HAR and Blaze, is the final judge.
Romantic suspense is low on entries also. There are only FIVE days left to enter.
I entered and finaled in many contests in my pre-published days. I'm a huge believer in feedback helping one to write better.
FMI on the contest, visit

Megan Kelly
The Marriage Solution, May 2011