The Canine Connection

What’s the best way to spend an afternoon? Why, playing with dogs of course!


Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the Grand Opening celebration for The Canine Connection in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I’d donated a copy of my latest release, Deadly Ties (set in a dog kennel, so a perfect match), and was on hand to watch the excitement.

If you’re in that part of the world and looking for a place to board, groom, or train your dog, be sure to check them out. I loved the personal attention that both dogs and owners received. And even if, like me, you arrive without a dog you’ll still enjoy VIP treatment and a personal tour of the facilities. Even though it was raining when I arrived, I saw plenty of activity because of the large indoor arenas.  The owner, Valerie Murphy, knows just how to make the kennel experience a happy one for everyone involved.  Whether your beloved dog is a pedigreed champion or the All-American variety kind of dog, Val and her team will treat you like royalty.

In addition to clean and spacious indoor arenas, there’s also a separate grooming area, ample room for boarders, and separate outdoor play areas for small and large dogs. If you’re interested in obedience or agility work, this is the place of you. I had the pleasure of watching Jack (a handsome Australian Shepard owned and trained by Diana Nagel) demonstrate a variety of agility exercises. It was very impressive, and I swear he was laughing (or at least barking) with joy as he went around the circuit.

My sincere thanks to Valerie and Diana for a lovely afternoon!


In search of treasure

Researching my new book Deadly Ties turned out to be a lot of fun—and a bit more exciting than I expected!

I knew I needed some extensive research in order to create the story I wanted to write.  That desire led me out into the woods and deep into caves on the trail of Ozark legends. Now, I admit I was skeptical when I heard some of these treasure stories. In fact, one of the characters in my book feels the same way! But after meeting Phillip Steele and reading his stories, I was hooked. That might explain how I ended up far underground in a place called the Old Spanish Treasure Cave in Benton County, Arkansas.

Well, one memorable day a guide had taken a couple of us through the cave. (A cool place to visit, by the way.) We happened to be the last through and had reached the bottom when the lights went off!  Imagine absolute blackness and complete silence, and you’ll have an idea of what that cave was like.  Now imagine tons of rock over your head, and nothing but a skinny passage way leading you to the surface, and you can probably appreciate that I was breathing just a tad faster than usual!

We made our way slowly upwards and emerged (relatively) unscathed. We later learned an employee had turned off the generator which powered the cave lights, not knowing anybody was still down below.  (Bet he didn’t do that again!)

But the story has a happy ending. We got out safely and I got some terrific material for a book!

You can read more about the background of the book at my website

What about you? What sort of treasure do you seek? And how far are you willing to go in search of that treasure?