Kat Stevens is a slightly insecure, mostly bored technical writer who likes her cat a lot more than her boss. She hasn't laid eyes on her great aunt Abigail since she was eight, so she's stumped when she inherits Abigail's house in the small hamlet of Alpine Grove.
Kat's uncomplicated life gets decidedly less so when she discovers the inheritance comes with some hairy conditions: four dogs and five cats that her aunt wanted her to love as her own. Of course, the house smells like a barn--with a touch of antique skunk--and, naturally, has serious roof issues. And that's before the three-legged cat gets stuck in the wall and the shower goes kablooey.
When Kat meets Joel, an unemployed techie type with no love lost for his sister, Kat looks past his obvious flaws, given his timely and desirable skill set: a talent for fixing things (and his own tools).
Despite out-of-control dogs, cat fights, dust dinosaurs, massive spiders and an old grizzled hippie passed out in the yard, Kat discovers the tranquility of the forests of Alpine Grove starting to seep into her soul.
I love animals, so I really enjoyed this book. I also like the characters in this story. There was a little bit of drama and intrigue that made the book interesting. This was a fast read that was well written, if a little rushed maybe. That is the only thing I didn't like about it. I liked the setting of a small town, and would have liked for the book to have explored the town and it's occupants a little more. Otherwise this was a charming book that made me smile.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Susan Daffron is the author of one novel and 14 nonfiction books, including several about pet care and animal rescue. She lives in a small town in northernIdaho and shares her life with her husband, two dogs and a cat--the last three, all "rescues." Her latest book, Chez Stinky (www.ChezStinky.com) is the first of a series of romantic comedy novels that will feature the small town of Alpine Grove.
When she's not writing novels, Susan works as the president of Logical Expressions, Inc., a book and software publishing based company in Sandpoint,Idaho. You can read more about her at her websiteSusanDaffron.com.
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* Paperback - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chez-stinky-susan-c-daffron/1116176389?ean=9781610380195
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Postal Social Hour
by Susan Daffron
One of the things readers of my book Chez Stinky often find amusing is the depiction of rural, small town life. The little hamlet of Alpine Grove that I've created in my novels is based to some degree on my life here in northern Idaho.
Where I live, if you want to see pretty much everyone you know, the best place to go is the local post office. Why? Because you get to spend quite a bit of quality time in line. And in that line, you are likely to see at least one person you know.
For even more fun, you can time your visits around national holidays, such as Memorial Day. If a Monday will be a holiday for the USPS, there is always considerable postal anticipation, which can result in a line that stretches past the stamp machine way out into the lobby beyond the bulletin board. (Take my word for it, that’s a seriously long line.)
Postal anticipation also can lead to small town traffic jams and parking issues. People end up dropping off their passengers and circling the lot in their quest for a parking space. The last time I had this experience, by the time my husband finally parked and joined me in line, I had made it past the stamp machine and was the person with the honor of using my foot to hold open the door to the inner postal sanctum.
When you have whole lot of people in line and a small number of postal employees to help them, chatter ensues. And like I said, in a small town, odds are good that at least a few people in line will know each other and get into deeply involved conversations as the overwrought postal employees deal with the onslaught. Unlike the big city, small town postal employees are often cheerful and nice, but they do have to answer countless questions about insurance, delivery confirmation, and stamps, so each transaction takes a while.
In my novel, spending time in line with the crowd at the post office turns into an embarrassing moment for my main character, Kat Stevens. Half of Alpine Grove learns more than Kat might like about what's going on in her personal life.
But you have to expect that kind of thing when the post office is the social mecca of town.
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