August 2022 Newsletter Reprint – Home is Where the Heart is…
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Helloooooooooo, and welcome aboard my camo jeep.
So very good to have you close again. It’s always my delight to share my adventures with you.
As we cruise through this majestic game reserve where dusk holds fast to lavender and orange skies, let’s keep an eye out for the sleeping-places animals call ‘home’.
Want to know more about the complex burrows and chambers of adorable meerkats? Read “Zebra” and learn from Papin how these adorable animals protect, work and survive together in their underground burrows.
Look high up to the top of the cliffs to precarious precipices. There massive eagles’ nests balance in impossibly high places. Talk about rooms with a view!
How about the dassies–interestingly and based on DNA, these 2ft long, 10-pound robust African animals with no tail, are closest living relative to the African elephant? They live happily and safely in rock crops.
Check out termites’ high rises—now that’s what I call condo living. How about beavers’ complex homes – what exquisite water views!
Look up the tallest trees and watch the baboons settle in for the night. They climb as high as they might, to avoid hungry leopards.
Needing a safe place to lay your head is a basic need for animals and humans alike. Being a long-time Realtor, I know how important it is to have a place to call our own.
As they sky turns navy and the air whips up a South African evening chill, cuddle down into our comfy jeep seat, zip up your jersey and enjoy this gorgeous video on animal architects.
Speaking of houses, my new 747 series is set in Hull, Massachusetts, in a home we had the privilege of calling our own for nine too-short months.
A small Frank Lloyd Wright-ish style 5 story (including the stilts, widow’s walk and the twenty-foot ceilings in the living area) next to a nature sanctuary and over the street from the ocean.
As I write this series, I’m reliving the joy and the minute-by-minute awe the house gifted me with its angular beauty and breathtaking vistas.
When I die, my heaven will be that very house, with chocolate fountains on each floor, as my beloveds surround me, making me laugh.
As an author, I subconsciously tap into bits of my own life to find empathy for my characters.
New series protagonist, Lucky – who owns the home in Hull – is a Super Smeller. Her nose is her business and her burden. Aroma’s pull Lucky back to the various lives she’s lived. One such life is that of The Scarlet Woman in the Middle Ages.
Sorting through an old file, I found a newspaper clipping reminding me of when I played The Scarlet Woman in a dance theater performance. I well remember slipping into that role and feeling the hatred of the women surrounding me, and at the time I remember smelling the spitting flames of a fire that was to be my imminent destiny…
Speaking of author business, I’m dying to introduce you to my new author-crush… Cassandra Chandler. She has not one, not two… but an OMNIBUS of darkly evocative Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Romances. Fast-paced and funny, lighthearted or dark, her stories will introduce you to characters you’ll fall in love with and worlds you long to explore.
The greatest gift a reader can give an author is to post a review.
An unexpected present, one that’s hidden under your pillow when the last minute of your birthday is about to expire, and you find it there…is an email from a reader who appreciates your words.
I had such a present via email a couple of weeks ago…
I picked up Zebra at an estate sale and was so pleased to see your handwritten message to Holley on a first edition. As an avid reader, i just couldn’t lay your wonderful book down! The surprise ending just took my breath away! I felt moved to write you and thank you for adding this story to my life. Thank you for writing this book…also voted on it as a 2021 best book!
Warm Regards, Donna
The first home I ever sold was in a poor Chicago neighborhood.
I was a brand-spanking-new Realtor and my walk-in clients were a South American family longing to buy their first home.
I arrived home in tears. “However will I sell a house to somebody when I wouldn’t want to live in it myself?” I agonized. “I saw bullet holes in the windows.”
Athol, always my Rock of Gibraltar, my calm in a storm, my sense when sensibility eludes me, said “You must see homes through these folks’ eyes. They have never had a home to call their own. Now they have a chance to own a slither of America. The house you’ll find them, bullet holes and all, is worth what a mansion on Orchid Island might be to others.”
What a lesson.
So, I don’t sell homes. I unearth my clients’ real estate desires, and when my eyes adjust to theirs, we go out and fulfill those very needs.
On our first day together, I urge “I don’t care how long it takes to find your perfect home. It’s imperative you fall in love and don’t just settle.”
I mean it and can honestly attest. I can honestly attest to watching babies in my car drinking mothers’ milk, slowly becoming old enough for a mini burger in the back seat during a quick reprieve, while we’re house hunting for the home he’ll grow up in!
“Houses are like soul mates,” I tell my clients. “We’ll search until you find ’em. And don’t worry, you’ll know ’em when you see ’em!”
Inevitably, they do, and exhilaration imbues both of us.
It’s the reason I do this job.
This month I wish you a safe place to lay your weary head. I wish you a sanctuary where you can discard your clothes, your
worries and your angst.
I wish you a gloriously happy home, whatever, wherever it is.
Check out these books I think you’ll love
Stephanie Harrell writes curvy girl, steamy, contemporary romance with fairytale elements. Her new release Second Chance for Mr. Alden is a second chance, opposites attract, bodyguard romance.
Kerry Evelyn’s Celebration on Ice is a second chance, sweet, hockey romance. Book 3 in her Palmer City Voltage Series. Can Jason win the playoffs and the love of his life? Find out September 12, 2022.
Dollars to Donuts to Dead by Natalie Palma finds PI Madison Law in a sticky situation. Will she be able to solve the mystery in time and save her partner?