Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: Tuck Tuck and the Door Monster!

Rufus: Just Saying: Tuck Tuck and the Door Monster!
7 December 2016

I love playing in the leaves. Hiding in them, running into them. Hiding my toys in them. But sometimes there are even better games.

I may or may not have told Tuck Tuck there was a door monster. Okay, maybe I did. Really. It’s too easy to fool a kitten.

Tuck Tuck battles the door monster every time the front door opens.

 First thing Tuck Tuck does when the door opens is look at herself in the kick plate. Which is like a mirror when you’re that short. Yeah. She’s cute. And she knows it.

But it doesn’t take long before Tuck Tuck remembers the door monster. Tuck Tuck says a door monster can steal pretty reflections, so you have to get it!

According to Tuck Tuck, the door monster hides on the other side, so you have to stick a paw under and swipe and swipe. The door monster if very big and ugly and looks like an elephant and a wolf and a hippopotamus combined. According to Tuck Tuck.

But pretty soon Tuck Tuck wins, and the monster goes away. Tuck Tuck says, Mom, Zoe comes to make sure you’re okay and hear all about how you scared away the monster.

Got to love brave little Tuck Tuck. I might take her out to play in the leaves. She might like to hear about the leaves monster, which may or may not look like a chipmunk. Maybe.

[All photos used in are the sole property of Kath Marsh. Not for public use. Not to be reprinted.]

Monday, December 5, 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: Time Travel with C M. Huddleston!

Rufus: Just Saying: Time Travel with C M. Huddleston!
5 December 2016

Hello. Ms. Huddleston! My MomPeople tells me you are a Registered Professional Archaeologist! I don’t know exactly what that means.  I hope that means you dig up cool things. I do that too. Do you want me to share any of the stuff I dig up?

Rufus, I think anything you dig up might be gross and smelly. Also they might be quite recent burials. As a Registered Professional Archaeologists, I only dig up things buried long ago, as in thousands of years ago. I don’t use my nose to find them, but instead use my education. I have degrees in History and historic preservation and worked in the field of archaeology for about 25 years.

Could you tell me what an archaeologist really does?

Wow, you do ask hard questions! Archaeologists explore the human past by excavating (digging up) things man left behind in the soil.  We use scientific methods to determine where and how humans once lived and to interpret what we find. For example, on a site where American Indians once lived we might find bits of pottery, projectile points (arrowheads and spear points), the remains of a fire, and even sometimes burials.  On an historic site we often find bits of glass, pottery, bricks, buttons, coins, foundations, roads, sidewalks, etc. . . .

The only history I know is about White Hall Historical site (Green and Cassius Clay’s home) where I found my People one morning when they came to walk around the pond.
MomPeople says you write really good books about history. I’m going to have her read your book Greg’s First Adventure in Time to me. How did you get so interested in history?

Well, I learned about history by reading. The more I read the more I wanted to know.  So I read more books. I own over 300 books and most of them are about history!  I also studied history in college and worked for several years helping to preserve and interpret historic sites.

You’ve written lots of books. Could you tell me the titles?

Adult books: Mittie & Thee: An 1853 Roosevelt Romance and Between the Wedding & the War: The Bulloch/Roosevelt Letters 1854-1860 These two books contain the letters between members of the Bulloch family in Georgia and the Roosevelt family in New York.  Mittie Bulloch and Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. were the parents of President Theodore Roosevelt. There will be one more book in the series.

My three children’s books are Greg’s First Adventure in Time, Greg’s Second Adventure in Time, and Greg’s Third Adventure in Time, which was just released. As you can see, I’m pretty stuck on that title – keeps me from having to come up with a new one! 

Could you give us a blurb from your favorite, and an excerpt?

“So, nothing else to do, I decided to research time travel theories. I mean I have done it—twice—time travel that is, not research it. Once back 3,000 years and then forward to my own time. But I have no idea how.” From Greg’s Second Adventure in Time
Rufus, I chose this excerpt because it has a dog in it!  My dog!
Katy Huddleston!

Excerpt from Greg’s Second Adventure in Time
Saturday, 13 June 2015
I remember waking up to Mom’s cell phone ringing somewhere in the house and wondering if it was Dad. I hadn’t talked to him in weeks. He had to call soon, right? Mom didn’t seem the least bit worried he hadn’t called. I turned over to catch a few more minutes of sleep.
Before I could doze off again, Mom knocked on my door and told me to wake up and get dressed as we had to make a stop before we went to the dig site. Some kind of “archaeology emergency.” That usually means someone has uncovered a skeleton. Part of Mom’s job included checking out such finds. People report them to local sheriffs or police. They call the Office of State Archaeology at the University of Kentucky, and they send an archaeologist to check it out.
I could tell the day was going to be a hot one, and here I was dressing in wool trousers! Mom had purchased an authentic leather knapsack, which I filled with my pocket knife, compass, sneakers, the Daniel Boone book, and a few Cookies & Creme candy bars, my favorite. I always plan ahead where food is concerned. I put some other things in my pockets, just in case I might need them. Besides, I always carry my cell phone.
At the last minute, I tied the sleeves of the costume’s jacket around the straps of the knapsack. I doubted I would need a jacket but Mom worked so hard on it. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. Also, the volunteers planned a barbeque for the end of the re-enactment. Sometimes it turned cool in the evening.
Mom and I drove to a place about three miles north east of the Martin’s Station excavations. Sure enough, I was right. There stood a sheriff’s car, a farm truck which held an irate Australian Shepherd dog, and a couple of large tractors. The sheriff, several men, and a boy, a little older than I, stood in a group near a grove of trees along a rock-bottomed creek filled with slowly running water. Mom and I walked toward the men as they approached. We listened to their story about how the skeleton had been uncovered.
Using a cultivator pulled by a tractor, they had been working to turn over the rich soil near the banks of the Hinkston’s Fork. They planned a late corn crop for this bit of bottom land. The farmer’s son had been driving the tractor and had glanced along the creek as he was driving. I think driving a tractor around in circles must be pretty boring. That’s when he saw the dog pulling the jaw bone out of the creek bank.
I stopped as we neared the truck to pet the dog, actually a half-grown pup. She was a beauty, a red-tricolor named Katy according to the tag on her collar. She vigorously wagged her  backside—Aussies don’t have tails—as I approached the truck. The boy yelled up that she was friendly, but not to let her out. It seemed she had run all over the field with her treasure before they had managed to catch her and take it away. She was still panting heavily, drooling all over the seats and my hand. She had a bowl of water with her on the truck’s seat, but didn’t seem interested in drinking. I guess she wanted to explore for more bones. I didn’t dare open the truck door since she would have tried to escape, so I petted her through a half-open window.
After a short while, Mom yelled for me to bring her equipment pack. It always contains her favorite trowels, a camera, measuring tapes, levels, maps, note pads and pencils, Sharpies, bug spray, and artifact bags. Figuring we would be here awhile and not having had much breakfast, I grabbed my knapsack as well and slung it over my shoulder. I guess I looked kind of funny dressed as I was, because the sheriff, the men, and the boy all stared. So, I swept my arm out to the side and bowed from the waist. My hat fell off. Darn.
Mom proceeded to shoo them all away from the discovery and carefully went to work. Mom is not trained as a physical anthropologist, but she can recognize an old skeleton and tell it from a more recent burial. This one had an arrowhead buried in the right shoulder and one in the breastbone—a dead give away (pun intended) it was an ancient burial. Not many people are shot with Indian arrows nowadays!
Mom photographed the entire site before drawing a sketch map and marking the site on a quadrangle map that showed we were on Hinkston’s Fork of the South Fork of the Licking River. She took a GPS reading with her phone and marked the info on the map as well. Next, she would call the State Archaeologist’s office and report the find so it could be examined more thoroughly. Maybe she would excavate here next. Who knows?
Meanwhile, I took some pictures to send to Rose and Dad with my camera phone, waded barefoot in the creek, ate a candy bar, and tried to skip rocks. The water wasn’t very deep. Basically, I was bored. I had just picked up my shoes and finished lacing them back on when I noticed what I thought was a deer hide sticking out of the bank near the skeleton. I walked over to point it out to Mom. She continued to be distracted by her maps and the skeleton and paid me no mind. So I reached down to brush off some of the dirt and rotted leaves. I bent lower to examine my find and had just touched the hide when it happened.
I time traveled - AGAIN

Wow! That’s very cool. Katy is very cool, beautiful! Thank you, Ms. Huddleston! Rufus

C. M. Huddleston
Award-winning Author
host of Monday Morning Indie at

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: Santa’s NOT Coming?

Rufus: Just Saying: Santa’s NOT Coming?
3 December 2016


Zoe and Tuck Tuck
Santa is going to come to me. I hope. I’ve been a Very Good Dawg. Like when I alerted the Mom and DadPeople to the little mom cat Zoe and her kittens Tuck Tuck and Ratchet. They are no longer homeless because of me! Ratchet lives next door with CoreyDawg and his People. And, sigh, Zoe and Tuck Tuck live with NikkiCat and me.

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to help out Zoe and Tuck Tuck. They are very naughty! And I don’t think I should  be blamed for that. I am very good down in my Dawg/Man cave. Especially now that it’s football season and DadPeople and I watch football on the big TV. 

Nikki Cat watching.
But NikkiCat says the two new cats give him a headache, and they are very naughty. 
They scratch on the furniture. 

They get into the potted plants that have to live indoors during the winter.
They knocked over two lamps and one clock, took the door off the dollhouse.(I think Tuck Tuck got inside it.)


And then there’s the upstairs Christmas tree. I am very good with mine down in DadPeople and my Dawg/Man Cave. I don’t pee on it or anything. MomPeople got a little tree to test to see if Tuck Tuck would behave. Tuck Tuck is tricky. She took a swipe then ignored it. So myPeople put up the big tree. AND THEN ….

Tuck Tuck started climbing up the tree!  That’s very bad! DadPeople asks MomPeople every morning if the tree is still standing upright.
Santa might not come because of naughty cats, and NikkiCat says it’s all my fault!


[All photos used in are the sole property of Kath Marsh. Not for public use. Not to be reprinted.]

Monday, November 14, 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: The Twelve Days of Christmas in Kentucky

Rufus: Just Saying: The Twelve Days of Christmas in Kentucky
14 November 2014 

Rufus: Hello. Dr. Evelyn Christensen, I only know two doctors. One is Professor Daughter, my People’s daughter, and the other is my veterinarian who gives me shots. Which kind are you?

Evelyn: I’m so glad to be here with you, Rufus. Thanks for inviting me. No, I, for sure, don’t give shots! I’m like Professor Daughter. I was planning to teach big people (probably like she does), but I decided my favorite age was little people, so those are the ones I mostly taught.

Rufus: Whew! Do you have a dog or cat? I live with a cat. He’s very bossy.

Evelyn: No, but my youngest son and his family have two cats and two dogs, and we love to visit them. (I’m allergic to cats, so I just take antihistamine while we’re there.)

Rufus:  Does anty-hissymean taste good like bologna? Christmas is special to me. Professor Daughter comes to visit my People, and I might even get a new rubber toy! I love tug-o-war while MomPeople holds my rubber buoy.
And Kentucky is special to me, since I’ve always lived here. And because I adopted my People out at White Hall Historical site (Green and Cassius Clay’s home) when my People were there one morning to walk around the pond.
What is special about Christmas in Kentucky?  

Evelyn: Christmas in Kentucky is extra special for me this year, because my first picture book, The Twelve Days of Christmas in Kentucky, is out! It’s special, because families get together (like Professor Daughter visiting your People). Beautiful music and special programs in churches and other places and all kinds of lights and decorations make the season festive, and, for those who are Christians, it’s Jesus’ birthday.

Rufus: Why Twelve Days of Christmas?

Evelyn: My book is based on the traditional song by that title. Each day, Marybeth gives her cousin Martin, who’s visiting from out-of-state, a gift to help him remember the special places in Kentucky they went that day. Most of the gifts are pretend. I mean, would you really want seven woolly mammoths on Day Seven?!

Rufus: Hmmm. As long as wooly mammoths are not big cats, maybe I would. Which is your favorite of the Twelve Days of Christmas?

Evelyn:That’s a really hard question, because each is a favorite in its own way. Day Three is my favorite picture. Kent Culotta, the illustrator of the book, did a great job of showing the sharks swimming around Martin and Marybeth. My husband and I visited the Newport Aquarium so I could know how to write about it for the book, and having the sharks and rays swimming really close to us was very exciting!

Rufus: Would you give us a blurb about your new book?

Evelyn: Marybeth is thrilled to have her cousin Martin visit her and her parents for twelve days of Christmas vacation. They spend the twelve days jam-packed with fun, showing Martin all over Kentucky, and each day Marybeth gives Martin a gift. From the first day’s gift of a cardinal in a tulip poplar (the state bird and tree) to the twelfth day with its gift of “12 balls a-bouncing” (because Martin gets to see a basketball game), the gifts are fun tie-ins with some aspect of the state. The book is chock full of interesting information about Kentucky--geography, history, culture, fun places to visit, and activities that reflect life in Kentucky.

Rufus: That sounds really cool! Would you give us an excerpt from your new book?

Evelyn: From Martin’s letter to his parents on Day 4—
Tonight we saw four miles of gigantic Christmas light displays at the Kentucky Horse Park. At the end were rooms full of electric model trains, a petting zoo, and reindeer! I wonder if horses are jealous that Santa chooses reindeer to pull his sleigh instead of them.
Feeling lucky to be in Kentucky, Martin

Rufus: Thank you, Dr. Christensen!

The book is available at--Most Barnes & Noble stores in KY and many independent bookstores, like JosephBeth and Morris Bookshop in Lexington.
--Online at:
Barnes & Noble:


My website has links for all my books.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: Where did they get the steak bone? 30 October 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: Where did they get the steak bone?
30 October 2016

Today is DadPeople’s birthday. Happy Birthday DADPEOPLE. I kind of wish I’d saved that steak bone you brought me yesterday, but  I thought of you while I ate it. Sort of.

I have an idea for your birthday, DadPeople. Why don’t you and MomPeople go back to the Richmond County Library for another Halloween Party? Yesterday you brought me a steakbone when you came home from that party. I didn’t know Halloween parties had steak bones! You should go to a lot of them. I really might share my bones if you do.

If I knew where they keep the bones at the library, I could help bring home lots of them. But I can’t find the bones in these photos DadPeople took.  Can you?
I see MomPeople’s book, and her poster of her book. And the bookmarks, and the cauldron filled with candy treats. Candy treats are not good. Bones are good. How can candy be a treat? No bones here.
MomPeople’s helper, Moriah from Eastern Kentucky University, put tattoos on LittlePeople. LittlePeople like tattoos. They must not know about bones.

I wonder if there are bones on the shelves with the books? Where else could Mom and DadPeople have gotten my bone?

This last photo is of MomPeople signing books on sale at the Lexington Barnes and Noble. I wonder if that store has bones on the shelves somewhere? 


The Lazy Dragon and the Bumblespells Wizard
Barnes and Nobles:
Indigo: J

[All photos used in are the sole property of Kath Marsh. Not for public use. Not to be reprinted.]

Monday, October 24, 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: The Ghost Cat -Book!

Rufus: Just Saying: The Ghost Cat -Book!
24 October 2016

I found a book named The Ghost Cat on MomPeople’s shelves. It’s written by my friend Sydney’s MomPeople, Jill E. Bauer. NikkiCat says this is not a spooky book, but because there’s ‘Cat’ in the title, he’s going to read it. And I’m going to listen. NikkiCat is pretty good at picking books.

But I asked what the book was about. In the words of the author:

Benjamin Gordon thought he knew everything there was to know about Pine Top Mountain.  But when his life is turned upside down by a tragic loss, he explores a path his father forbade him to follow and discovers a haunting family secret.

I like mysteries! This sounds like a good one. Read on, NikkiCat.
You can get your own copy on Amazon:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: Halloween Spooky Ghost Witching and my Pal Ranger

Rufus: Just Saying: Halloween Spooky Ghost Witching and my Pal Ranger
October 2016

Rufus: How is everything in Iowa, Ranger? Any new toys you want to share about? Hold on my MomPeople is pulling my tail. I hope she wants to give me bologna treats.
MomPeople says I’m to ask about your MomPeople’s new book.My MomPeople is crazy about your MomPeople’s books. she loved the first book in your MomPeople’s Maggie York series, Ghost Walking.My MomPeople says your MomPeople’s new book is PERFECT for Halloween. Spooky and mysterious. Better than hunting squirrels in the front yard.

Ranger: Oh, wow. You have squirrels? I used to chase them all day...before we moved. I've discovered if you don't have big trees, you don't have squirrels. Darn. I suppose books are okay, but what could be better than hunting squirrels?

Rufus: I know. Kind of hard to believe, but you know how People are.

Ranger: Sorry, I guess I got side-tracked. You asked about toys. I have this new ball thing made of tough rubber and crunchy plastic inside. Makes terrific noises, but is pretty hard to rip apart. Sometimes I multi-task—gnawing on it by the deck doors while keeping an eye out for intruders.

Rufus: Since your MomPeople offers interviewees coffee, I have a pupsicle for you. Yeah, chicken broth frozen in an ice cube tray. Pretty cool, huh?

Ranger: Slurp. It's yummy!

Rufus: Finished?

Ranger: Um, got any more?

Rufus: So, tell me what is the title of your MomPeople’s new book and when can we buy it?

Ranger: Hmm, let me look. She's got the cover on her computer screen. Okay, it's Ghost Witching (A Maggie York Paranormal Mystery)  . And she has October 21 circled on her desk calendar.

Rufus: What’s it about?

Ranger: Ghosts and witches, I suppose. And murder. She always writes about murder. But I don't have time to read her books. I'm too busy guarding the yard.

Rufus: Are there any cool dogs in Ghost Witching?

Ranger: Actually, there is! His name is Scamp. He's a great barker! Ally (my MomPeople) read me that part—probably so she'd get it right. Scamp's an overworked terrier…protects his entire neighborhood!

Rufus: What is your favorite part of your MomPeople’s new book?

Ranger: Scamp, of course. Although I heard her mumbling about a cemetery scene that sounded pretty spooky. She talks to her computer a lot while writing. Sometimes it's not so nice, and I have to cover my ears.

Rufus: Did you help write it? And by that I mean did you keep guard on the house so your MomPeople could write and write? I have to do that  here. Boy, People are exhausting.

Ranger: I ALWAYS guard the house and particularly the yard. So many potential intruders go by here every day. You wouldn't believe it!

Rufus: Ranger, thank you for coming to tell me about your MomPeople’s new book. Let’s go downstairs and get bologna treats. I know how to open the refrigerator! But don’t share that with your MomPeople or mine!

Ranger: Oh, goodie. Let's go! My MP recently cut the treats in half. Vet told her I need to lose a pound or two. Do you see any extra inches on this muscled body?

Rufus:  Dawgs need padding, winter is coming. I’ll go get some pupsicles to wash down our bologna.

BLURB for Ghost Witching
Seeing ghosts should make solving homicides easy, right? Not even close.

 When detectives Maggie York and Josh Brandt catch a new murder investigation involving occult rituals, ghosts, and venomous snakes, it seems like a case that could only happen in New Orleans. Not only does the victim's ghost demand Maggie's attention, but three apparitions begin appearing to her…sending the detectives on a search for more bodies. They soon discover the ghostly trio has links to the Witching Hour Society, an organization of self-declared witches with far more going on behind the scenes. Meanwhile, a neighbor believes the victim killed his family with a curse, and the media eagerly sensationalizes the entire story.

 Making things worse, Maggie and Josh have hit a rough spot in their personal relationship. The tension between them is already high when Josh's ex-fiancĂ©e arrives in town…and wants him back.

Soon the violence is escalating, the ghosts grow more aggressive, and the deeper Maggie and Josh dig, the stranger things get. Welcome to murder New Orleans’ style.

BONUS!!! Excerpt from Ghost Witching:
Maggie sat cross-legged in the witches' circle, listening to the night sounds of the Louisiana swamp giving way to a hazy dawn. The sluggish air failed to stir the moss-hung cypress trees, and humidity clung to her skin. It would be another scorcher.
Her candle flickered, and she turned it to allow more of the wax to trickle down the side. How had her life evolved to include this? A year ago the hard-nosed cop in her would have scoffed at the idea covens actually existed. Now she was part of one. Not that she'd bought the whole occult package, but her denials rang hollow in the face of collaborating with a ghost to track down a killer. Nor could she explain away the knowledge her distant relatives, Dalia and Selena, gleaned from the Beyond.
Dalia's hard stare brought Maggie's attention back to the circle of thirteen. Spooky how the quiet, unpretentious woman knew things…like Maggie's wandering thoughts. She raised her candle in unison with the others as Selena spoke the words approaching the end of the blessing ceremony.
In contrast to Dalia's petite form, Selena was larger than life, literally and figuratively. The priestess raised her arms, her long, ashen hair braid falling over her shoulder, the white muumuu fluttering in the morning air like a giant bird about to ascend. Her voice matched her size, echoing around the clearing, bringing Maggie and the other participants to their feet.
Although Maggie wasn't positive the white witch rite actually did anything, attendance at coven ceremonies had been one of Selena's requirements for teaching her how to assert greater control over the ghostly apparitions who were bound to make more appearances in Maggie's future. The old woman had been particularly insistent tonight, piquing Maggie's curiosity. And a little apprehension. Had Selena had another of her visions, possibly foretelling trouble in the near future? When asked, her cousin had given a typically cryptic answer. "Good and evil are always in motion."
Which told her nothing new. Maggie sighed, darting a glance at the focused women around her. No matter. The future wouldn't be changed by worrying. Besides, she had no real objection to being here and supporting the coven's hopes of healing one member's gravely ill four-year-old niece, for a laid-off worker to find a new job, and a universal plea for greater wisdom. They could all use a dose of that.
While calling upon the Goddess to bless and protect them, Selena made a three-sixty turn, her gown billowing as she included every participant. Maggie suddenly stiffened and peered behind her cousin. Had something dark and wispy swooped past? No, of course not. The lifting dawn mist had fired her overactive imagination.
Yet her heart beat a bit faster, and she joined in the final lines of the closing chant with more gravity than usual.
"In calm or stormy days to come, light our pathways safely home.
Gracious Goddess, grant our plea. So mote it be."
Maggie was tempted to add an "Amen" for good measure.
As they blew out their candles, her cell phone buzzed. She checked the screen. Police dispatch. Her real world snapped back into place. While they'd been surrounded by the hope inherent in these pre-dawn gatherings, someone else had committed the most grievous assault upon society…the murder of one of its citizens.

See the trailer at: YouTube link:
Buy Ally Shields novels


Etopia Press: