Monday, April 21, 2014

A to Z Challenge: R is for Repellent (and Raham and Resau and Ryan and "Running from the Devil" by Jamie Freveletti)

Eight more posts to go after this one. We're heading into the final stretch. I don't know about you, but I'm running out of steam. I'm still getting the posts written, but I've slowed down on the number of new blogs I'm visiting. I'll try to do better this week.

I couldn't pick just one author today, so I pulled three authors of books for kids and young adult readers out of the northern Colorado pool of outstanding writers.

Featured Authors:  Gary Raham, Laura Resau, and Amy Kathleen Ryan

Gary earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology at the University of Michigan and taught biology to middle and high school students. He has written 17 books, several video scripts, and award-winning articles for Highlights for Children, Cricket, Read, and other magazines, as well as some short SF stories. He also is known for his science illustrations.

Laura earned a B.A. in Anthropology and French, then decided she wanted to go somewhere far away, so she got certified in teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) and sent job applications around the globe. She has has written several novels for YA and younger readers. Her first, What the Moon Saw, was set in Mexico. Others have been set in Ecuador, Guatemala, and Aix-en-Provence, France.

Amy Kathleen Ryan attended college in Omaha, Nebraska, and Madrid, Spain, before she finally ended up at The University of Wyoming, where she studied anthropology and Spanish language. She began her writing career with YA standalone novels, then jumped into the YA sci fi genre. Flame, the third book in the Sky Chasers series, was released January 2014.

Featured Book:  Running from the Devil by Jamie Freveletti

I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie at Bouchercon 2009 in Indianapolis when she was a debut author with her first release, Running from the Devil. The beginning of the synopsis from Jamie's website:

"Emma Caldridge, a chemist for a cosmetics company, is en route from Miami to Bogotá when her plane is hijacked and spins out of control into the mountains near the Venezuelan border. Thrown unhurt from the wreckage, she can do nothing but watch as guerillas take the others hostage."

Don't you already want to read more? The Emma Caldridge novels are fast-paced and exciting, and the author is so good she was invited by the Estate of Robert Ludlum in 2011 to write the next in the Covert One series. That novel, Robert Ludlum's The Janus Reprisal, released on September 11, 2012.

Word of the Day:  Repellent

I've had a terrible time keeping the neighbor's cats out of our yard, my raised vegetable garden beds and the flower pots close to the front door. In addition to the cats driving my own kitty crazy (she's fiercely territorial, even though she's inside and they're outside), the thought of cat poop in my vegetable garden is disgusting. The neighbor cats are nice kitties, but they're allowed to roam (which by the way is against the law in our town but I guess no one enforces it).

I tried using orange rinds scattered around the garden area because cats don't care for citrus, but the peels dried out too fast. I couldn't eat enough oranges to keep all four boxes covered with fresh rinds.

There was an anti-pet spray intended for use inside and out, so I sprayed it all around my garden boxes. It reeked so bad the first hour, then dissipated. Didn't help at all.

Finally I bought a bag of powdered repellent to use to establish boundaries against cats and dogs. It contains dried blood and red pepper. I sprinkled it around the four boxes and dusted the frames a couple of days ago, plus sprinkled a bit outside the gate that the cats usually climb over. Then Saturday, after I'd prepared the second box for planting and put seeds in the first box, I reapplied the repellent around the four boxes....just as a little breeze came up and tossed a dose of the stuff in my face. It took me four powerful sneezes to get over it.

If I were a cat, I'd find a new place to poop.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry! Hope the repellent works. On something other than you, of course.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Oh, it's so hard to deal with a problem like that. You don't want to really hurt the cat, but.... I hope that that repellent works.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I read RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL awhile back and really enjoyed it. :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

Donna Volkenannt said...

RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL was an enjoyable thriller.

Have you tried moth balls to keep the cats away? I've heard they work.

Trisha F said...

Every time I read about what degrees people have attained, I think "If I had done that degree I would have lots of new stuff to write about!" As it is I loved my own degree - arts majoring in English and History - but I am still aware of how much I DIDN'T learn because of what subjects I didn't choose. ;)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Too bad your neighbors aren't more responsible. I use repellant to keep groundhogs and deer from eating my plants. It's a constant battle.

RichardK said...

I could do another 26 posts. Of course, they would be a list of words starting with the letter of the day, but at least I'd be creating material.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alex and Margot -- I haven't seen the cats in a couple of days, so I have my fingers crossed. Now if I can just work in my garden boxes without sneezing....

Madeline and Donna -- Jamie does know how to keep a reader turning the pages! And Donna, I hadn't thought of moth balls. I'll keep that in mind.

Trisha, I agree. I keep thinking I should have majored in the criminal science specialty in the sociology department, among other things.

Susan, I don't know why one wants to have a cat if they keep them annoy the neighbors?

Richard, there are indeed easier ways to do this challenge. I try something new each year.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. sorry about the cats - they are just impossible to get rid of - without an outdoor cat of your own .. which as you say is theoretically not allowed ..

Good luck - and I like the sound of all your authors with their qualifications and interests ..

Good luck with your veg et al .. cheers Hilary

Dean K Miller said...

I've had the distinct pleasure to me Laura and Amy. Wonderful ladies and writers indeed.

So Gary, when do we get together?

I promise Pat, I'll be staying out of your raised garden boxes as well!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Hilary -- I do think there's something special about Colorado that attracts and/or inspires authors. Musicians, too, but that's another story.

Good morning, Dean. Gary is a very interesting guy with all kinds of talent. You'd enjoy talking to him. P.S. Thanks for staying away from my garden.

Grammy Staffy said...

Oh dear.... good luck with repelling the cats. The repellent I need is for mosquitoes. We live on a bluff above a river and mosquitoes drive me crazy. They love me and will fly a mile just to bite me. I have to bathe in repellent when I go outside in the evening and before going to bed. Otherwise I will be up all night covered in welts and itching. Repellent is important on my R list too.

Crystal Collier said...

I'm totally with you--running on fumes, but we can do this! It's not much longer!

Whew! Potent stuff. I'm wishing you and your gardening much success and cat-free-ness. =)

True Heroes from A to Z

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Patricia, hope the repellant works and you have a cat free garden.

Jan Morrison said...

I like all animals but the cat thing is getting out of whack in North America, isn't it? I tried to find out what would repel deer back home in Nova Scotia. Most of it makes your garden smell so bad you don't want to be there which is rather pointless. A bar of Irish Spring soap did help but yuck! Good luck.

Eileen Goudge said...

If it's not cats, it's deer. They can totally decimate a garden. I hope your kitty repellant does the trick. If not, get a dog.

John Paul McKinney said...

Pat, Thanks for the reminders of outstanding Northern Colorado writers.