Monday, November 24, 2014

SCARRED HEARTS is now available in Audiobook!!


Claire Montgomery is a survivor. During the War Between the States, her family's plantation was burned to the ground, killing her parents and leaving her scarred, both physically and emotionally. Despite facing extreme hardship, she's grown into a compassionate woman with a heart for helping people. She lives in a small cabin with an old ex-slave and a young boy, who was the lone survivor of a wagon train attack. The three of them have formed a make-shift family that includes a one-eyed cat and a baby fox. Their world changes the day a gunfighter full of bullet holes collapses on their land.


"I enjoyed reading Scarred Hearts. It's got a grand combination of romance, history and the old west, and it works marvelously on all accounts. Scarred Hearts is highly recommended."- Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

"I am so happy to find a new writer of western historical romance. A very good book, well written. She captures the emotions of her characters and delivers to the reader perfectly."- Amazon Reviewer

"I loved the characters and the story. The goodness and forgiveness of people is read in this story. I enjoyed it."- Amazon Reviewer

Scarred Hearts
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pet Health Tip #25- Chocolate Toxicity

The symptoms of chocolate toxicity can range from mild diarrhea and vomiting to seizures and death.  The severity of the symptoms depends upon the amount and type of chocolate ingested.  The toxicity levels are as follows:

Milk Chocolate: Mild signs at 0.7 oz per pound of body weight; severe toxicity at 2 oz per pound of body weight.  In other words, one pound of milk chocolate can cause severe signs in a 20 lb dog.

Semi-sweet Chocolate: Mild signs at 0.3 oz per pound of body weight; severe toxicity at 1 oz per pound of body weight.

Baking chocolate: This one is the most toxic and can cause severe symptoms with as little as 2 small 1 oz squares.

In most cases, you will only see mild symptoms of chocolate toxicity, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.  However, if enough is ingested, it could cause severe symptoms, such as muscle spasms, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, seizures, coma, and cardiac arrest.

It is extremely important to keep chocolate stored away from pets.  If you know your dog has ingested chocolate, then keep in mind the above information when determining whether or not your pet will require veterinary attention.  If it is just a piece or two of milk chocolate, then be prepared for some mild diarrhea.  On the other hand, if your dog ingested an entire bar of bakers chocolate, then you will need to seek veterinary attention.  If you are in doubt about the need to seek medical attention, then call your veterinarian and follow their advice.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pet Health Tip #24- Patellar Luxation

Has your dog ever been running and suddenly picked up one of his back legs and started running on three legs?  Usually, this will be for a short distance.  Then, he will give his leg a shake and go back to running on all four legs.

Your dog is experiencing something called Patellar Luxation.  Sounds complicated, but it is really very simple.  The patella (knee cap) is a small bone that sits in a groove at the front of the knee.  For some dogs, the groove the patella sits in is too shallow.  So, when the patella is experiencing a lot of movement (i.e. the dog is running), it will slip out of the groove and cause the knee to lock up.  The dog will hold the leg up and sometimes give it a little shake causing the patella to slip back into its groove.

Patellar Luxation is a congenital problem caused by the failure of the bone to develop correctly.  It is a common problem for small breed dogs such as Pomeranians, Poodles, and Chihuahuas.  The luxation itself isn't painful.  It is more of a nuisance.  However, over time, the action of the patella sliding up and over the groove will cause “wear and tear” on the cartilage of the knee joint.  Eventually, this will lead to arthritis.

If you have a dog that has a luxating patella, then it is important to make sure they maintain a healthy weight.  This will help slow the progression of the arthritis.  Patellar Luxation can also be surgically repaired.  The surgeon will go into the knee joint and deepen the groove the patella sits in, causing a tighter fit.  Surgery is the best solution, but can be expensive.  Most dogs with Patellar Luxation do very well even without treatment.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

PET HEALTH TIP #23- Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is caused by the abnormal development of the hip joint.  The hip joint is a ball and socket joint.  The head (top) of the femur (long upper leg bone) is the ball and it sits in a socket (acetabulum) of the hip bone (os coxae).  The head of the femur is supposed to sit very snugly in the acetabulum.  It allows a rolling motion, but is not supposed to have a sliding motion.  So, in a dog with Hip Dysplasia the ball is usually too small and the socket is too shallow.  This results in a "loose" joint.  In other words, instead of getting that snug fit, the joint has too much motion.  This can allow the joint to subluxate or "pop in and out".  Over time, this extra motion causes "wear and tear" on the joint and results in arthritis.

The development of Hip Dysplasia is primarily the result of genetics.  That is why it is more common in certain breeds of dogs such as Labs and Rottweilers.  As the puppy ages, the joint doesn't develop correctly and results in Hip Dysplasia.

It is often hard to diagnose Hip Dysplasia in really young puppies.  All puppies have pretty loose joints.  The question is whether they are going to develop normally or abnormally as the puppy grows.  By the time the puppy is about six months old, you will often start to see evidence of hip dysplasia.  The puppy may have a "rolling gate" where you can actually see the hip joint slipping when they walk.  This is often missed due to the fact that puppies are pretty resilient and will ignore the inconvenience of a slipping hip joint.

Typically, Hip Dysplasia is diagnosed once the dog has fully matured and the joint starts to break down.  The dog will have trouble rising or may cry out if their hips are pushed on.  Other symptoms include: trouble maneuvering up stairs, jumping into cars, or onto the bed.

Treatment for Hip Dysplasia is usually therapeutic, meaning we just try to alleviate the pain and slow the progression of damage to the cartilage in the joint.  There are several good medications available to accomplish this.  Passive activities, such as walking and swimming, are also good for the joint.  Additionally, it is very important to keep the dog’s body weight normal.  If the dog is carrying extra weight, it will speed the progression of arthritis.

Hip replacement surgery is also an alternative.  There are several veterinary practices that perform this surgery with very high success.  It is expensive, but it will cure the problem rather than just manage the symptoms.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

5 star review of SCARRED HEARTS by Readers' Favorite

Reviewed by  for Readers' Favorite

Scarred Hearts is a historical western romance written by Billi Tiner. Claire Montgomery lives in a little house outside of town with her old friend and mentor, Tobias, and James, a young orphan. She had been raised on a Southern plantation; her parents were wealthy landowners who had slaves. Claire spent most of her time with the black kids on the plantation and was staying overnight with Tobias and his family when her parents' house was burned to the ground. Claire attempted to save her parents and was badly burned in the process. She's the object of scorn and criticism in town as some gentle ladies feel she should cover her scarred face, but she does have some good friends who care about her. When a badly injured man is seen draped across a horse, Claire has Tobias bring him into the house where she tends his wounds.

Billi Tiner's romantic historical western, Scarred Hearts, is entertaining and fast-paced. Claire is a marvelous character, and the gunslinger, Nathan, is the perfect antagonist for this scarred, self-sufficient woman who thinks no one could ever be attracted to her. I loved the animals that James found and adopted and thought how nice it would be to live somewhere where you could have orphaned bear cubs and foxes for pets. There's more to Scarred Hearts than just romance and animals, however, as Nathan is a gunslinger and is still on a job to hunt a rapist. I enjoyed reading Scarred Hearts. It's got a grand combination of romance, history and the old west, and it works marvelously on all accounts. Scarred Hearts is highly recommended.

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