The BarkBox has Arrived!

IMG_4813 (Edited)

Treat Time for Levi, Clive, Pepper, and Georgia

It arrived! Woof! This month the theme of the BarkBox was all about CHEWRASSIC BARK. I kid you not!


All these yummy goodies. Note the paper wrapped around the treats? All keeping with the theme, because they can read. Am I right?IMG_4935IMG_4937

This is our second shipment and the fur babies are loving it.

The Woolly Mammoth is fluffy and squeaks. Airborne Archie is The Pterodactyl. It’s made to make a crinkle sound and also has a squeaker inside.

With four dogs, one who is a puppy, (Levi) we need all the busy toys we can acquire to keep him busy.  Momma needs to write!

Here are some incredible BarkTastic Industry facts:

According to American Pet, the U.S is spending $BILLIONS every year in the Pet Industry Market!

Pet Industry Market Size & Ownership Statistics 

U.S. Pet Industry Spending Figures & Future Outlook

“The following spending statistics are gathered by APPA from various market research sources and are not included in the organization’s biennial National Pet Owners Survey.

Total U.S. Pet Industry Expenditures

Year                 Billions of dollars

2017                 $69.36 Estimated
2016                 $66.75 Actual

Estimated 2017 Sales within the U.S. Market

For 2017, it estimated that $69.36 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S.

Estimated Breakdown:
Food                                                               $29.69 billion
Supplies/OTC Medicine                           $14.93 billion
Vet Care                                                        $16.62 billion
Live animal purchases                              $2.01 billion
Other Services                                           $6.11 billion

As you can probably tell from the photos, my family and I are helping to contribute to this figure. How much are you willing to spend on your beloved pets?


Let the Games Begin

This coming year is going to be quite busy. Lots of learning.  And being active on social media.

I’m still getting the hang of changes to my website theme. has evolved in many beautiful ways.  So many buttons and widgets, customization has become easier.

Lots of learning about adding my own artistic touches. I’ve been having some fun with So many lovely photos to choose from.

Old books on wooden table


By using my mouse, I can write my name, but my hand is a bit too shaky.


Old books on wooden tableJust when I started to get the hang of it, I found out that I can add more layers by using Canva.




Just remember to SAVE it before you change to the next best thing to learn.

And one last thing that I dearly love. Grammarly. It works in the background, especially on social media. It’s like a little fairy, watching over those fat-finger typos that tend to slip by.

Time is of the essence, I must remember to click on save before heading on to the next rabbit to chase.I’ve three books coming out in 2017. I think time management will need to be on my To Do List for 2017. I’ll let you know if I find anything new.




Never Give Up, Even When Everything Else is Pointing You to the Exit Door

I haven’t really been able to sit down and write like I used to for, ‘Oh, at least a fricken year.’ And even now, this post comes about because I thought I should update my blog. Good grief! Time really took off without me. And it happened while I was looking.

I know we are supposed to treat writing as a job, a career, accepting that our dream requires effort. I know we are to apply our seat to the chair, glue our fingers to the keyboard. Even though our lives are flying apart like so much shrapnel, we are to harness our creative brains like little hamsters on an exercise wheel.

This hamster loss her momentum. The harness broke. I don’t know. Maybe I should have used duct tape instead of Elmer’s glue. Nothing stuck. Not even my seat. Definitely not my brain.

Sometimes it might seem like it would be easier to give up on a dream, instead of fighting for it. At least that’s what I tell myself while I’m licking my wounds. But deep down, I know that there will always be that voice that whispers, “What if?”

My DH always talks about when he was a kid they could call out a do-over during a game of baseball. How cool would that be?

So, today, I forgive myself for not writing as I should have. I allow myself to grieve. I look to today and tomorrow, taking the steps, moving forward in hope. One step at a time. I think I’m ready to call out for a do-over. How about you?

Had I Known Then


Had I known the title of my blog had more truth than fiction, I would have changed it to something like She Who Writes A LOT!  Instead, I have C.C. Wiley’s Life Between Words. Believe you me, there was a lot of life shoved between the words. Last year brought everything from floods, pestilence, publication, and marketing.

January 2010 brought rain that fell in epic proportion. It was like God decided to end Global Warming with a biblical firehose from the sky. And with that torrential downpour came brown water seeping into our home. We saved the home office by building a sandbag wall around the backyard. The ground was so saturated we sank to our ankles in mud. I get it. No big deal you say. But anyone who has ever tried to dig a hole of any proportion in California during the hot summer months will recognize that this is major rainfall. The baked earth that can defy the force of a two hundred pound person wielding a pickax was now sticky sloppy goo.  

As we all know, the sun will eventually break through the clouds. The winds will eventually drive the storm away. Who’s to say what changes it will bring? When it was all said and done, the winter storms of 2010 brought new floors in two bedrooms, a redesigned drainage system, repaired fencing, and a pond in the backyard complete with ducks that were willing to find any port in the storm. Too bad the dogs stamped their passports and sent them on their way.

The home office was safe. The writings. The books. The computers. All safe. And then the water heater broke.

With the rain came the joy. Our daughter returned home from college. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, she was making plans for the future. These plans included moving back home, getting to work in the real world and planning for her wedding in June. And two more dogs were added to our household.

I like to think of myself as being that calm boat that skims through life and stays balanced even during some rough seas. So having so many dogs in one household is not that big a deal when life is easy and your bedrooms are not occupying the living room and dining room while the drywall in the bedrooms dries out. We have great dogs. All six of them! However, when the rainfall totals start hitting 20 inches in about a month the mathematics of mud begins to increase: 6 dogs X 4 muddy paws = a whole lot of paw prints.

But I digress.

One spring morning the rain finally stopped, the sun came out, and we discovered our car didn’t run properly. It backed up five feet and then all the lights and bells the Lexus manufactures put in the car went off like a night at the local casino. It was just another day of not going to work. Another day of Life Between Words. However this time I could at least say that it was my first time to ever ride in a big rig to a car dealership. We were certain it was faulty manufacturing. Right? Wrong. A varmint of the toe-nailed-long-tailed-furred-critter-type had decided to sharpen its too pointy teeth on the wire harness things that hold the fricken’ engine in place. Hello! We have fruit and nut trees in the garden! Go eat those things! Instead it ate a meal that cost us over $500 for the repair and another $100 for my peace of mind. We now have the electronic pulsating things that plug into the wall sockets on every wall in the garage. 

Just more life between words. Right? Time to plant my butt in the chair and write. Instead, I’m busy in reader-loops, blogs, and email. I set up Facebook and Twitter accounts, placing an ad in RT magazine, tweak my website. Marketing.  It’s a necessary element to the published writer space, but who know that it would take so much time? It’s simple. I should have.

I look at the calendar. There is more good stuff happening. Our daughter’s fiancé graduated from college in May. In one week, he graduates from college, his parents throw them an amazing engagement party, the kids move out of their apartment and they head for California.  The plan is they will stay with us until they find a place of their own. Our spectacular daughter is a June bride! She’s made it easy on her parents. The all-inclusive resort is amazing!  All we have to do is show up for the wedding in the Riviera Maya. So far it’s been an easy job for me, the mother of the bride. Our daughter is the picture of the most efficient bride. We’re moving along. I’m not writing very much because, hey, I need to exercise and lose weight. There’s a lot riding on this. I have to find a mother of the bride dress and I have to look good in a bathing suit. How hard can it be? I’ve been working on losing weight but we had a so many reasons to celebrate. (Yes, that means with amazing food and wine).

The first week of June we attend a lovely book signing and then head for the wedding dress fitting. It was a fabulous day. My friend’s book signing inspired me to start writing again. It was time for me to shake off the change at the publishing house and write something new.

And then, more life came between words.

I broke my foot two weeks from the wedding. It is nine whole days before I’m ready to admit that ‘Houston, we have a problem.’ It is another couple of days to get to a specialist and the clock is ticking. Someone has gummed up the works and everything I have planned to do before our trip is now in a mess.  Soon I was no longer frantic and in pain. Now my productive life in between words had slowed down to a trickle. I was in a purple haze of pain reducing medications.

The resort offered me a wheelchair, but really, who wants to look that pathetic? Besides, the World Cup was on. Everyone would forget me in the corner of the bar. Crap. Even though my foot is swollen and I look like I can barely make it back to our room I decided to stop taking the meds. I refused to lose this time in a blur. Our daughter’s wedding is a memory that I will always cherish. And the broken foot will forever be a part of the photos from that glorious trip. Or at least until I can figure out how to use Photoshop. Maybe while I’m at it I’ll remove some inches from my waistline and ass.

July brought both the bitter and the sweet. I planned to celebrate the publication of KNIGHT DREAMS by attending the RWA Conference in Orlando, Florida. And that’s when my life stepped between me and the words. 

The first week back from our daughter’s wedding along the Riviera Maya, we found ourselves back in a medical facility. This time, my darling husband sat by my bedside as the surgeon wheeled me into the operating room. Mind you, I still have a lovely boot on my foot that I had started to call Black Beauty. However this little surgical procedure wasn’t for the broken bone. Nope that was just a side trip. This little procedure was to remove a two-inch benign tumor.  Normally I would try to ignore the thing, but it was in my ribcage and burrowing into the chest cavity. It was beginning to look like I had a side boob. Thank God it was benign. Thank God the three-inch scar is hidden. However wearing a bra became a challenge. I usually don’t mind going braless at home. Who doesn’t, right? How about the mother of the newlyweds. Let’s face it. The new son-in-law doesn’t want to see his mother in-law’s ta-tas. Mind you, it is now summer time. The temperatures in the valley occasionally reach 100 degrees. A heavy sweatshirt is not my friend. A loose swimsuit? Oh yeah! However, I still had to go to the writers’ conference in Florida. Have you noticed most airlines frown on bathing suit clad travelers? I made it there. No, not in the bathing suit. Nor did I wear Black Beauty. Thank God! I groused and whined the whole way there. My wonderfully patient travel friend can attest to that. I should put her name on an application for sainthood. Or at the very least erect a statue somewhere notable. A lovely, peaceful park maybe. I think I might even bury Black Beauty there.

In comes August! My novel, Knight Dreams, comes out in Print! Fanfare! Throws confetti! Blows the horn! Yay! Surely my new editor will love the changes to the second book. Sadly, she doesn’t. Perhaps the next one will.

I visit my parents. They’ve had their own adventure in 2010. It actually started on Christmas Eve, 2009. This adventure has kept them fighting to save my father’s feet and his life from the devastation of Diabetes. The battles have worn them down, exhausting the most stoic and stalwart of heart. We quit counting and kept praying after the number of medical procedures my dad had endured hit at least fifteen in the past year. They continue the fight. My mom and dad never give up. Not even when the rehabilitation facility makes his health worse. 

And reality of more life steps in.

I’m back to my preschool job and am dancing around twenty 3 years-olds on any given day. I’ve now been a published author a little over a year. The digital eBook publication released on October 2, 2009. The Print version released on August 2, 2010. And I’m struggling to remember to celebrate the accomplishment. On October 22, I have my very first book signing. It is amazing. To feel the love. To feel my family and friends’ admiration. To feel the good wishes of complete strangers. I am reminded that people whom I never met have purchased my novel, read the words, and care for the characters in the story.  And we celebrate. Finally. Days later. I really, really, celebrate and then I wonder what’s next. I can’t give up. It is time to write. To edit! To move forward. Don’t look in that rear-view mirror.

And life just happens to step in between those words again.

This time I saw it coming. I braced. And that, I’m learning, is not a good thing when your car is rear ended. Whiplash. Until that one afternoon, it’s a word that never really meant too much to me. And then the words slowed down because I couldn’t hold my head upright without feeling like a bobble head doll. The preschoolers seemed to speed up because I couldn’t turn my head fast enough to keep up with their busy minds and bodies. I hung in there. I’m like my parents. I don’t give up.

The holidays have come and gone. With the end of the old year comes a bright and shiny new year. Hopes remain high. Our daughter and son in-law are now in living in their own home and they celebrated their first Christmas as a married couple.  My dad’s health continues to improve and prepares for skin grafts. And I’m reminded that writing about hope and love is a blessing. God’s greatest gift to me is His love. It’s up to me to share that message of hope, love and joy. I’m grateful for the opportunity. And in this beginning of the New Year, I begin again. Because there really is life between each word that I write.   

What is your dream? Which path are you choosing to take next?

The Dog Daze of Summer

Harley (Smaller) (2)The summer of ’09 will live in infamy as the summer where lives were held on a razor’s edge. Jobs were lost, savings and lives were altered. Then hopes and dreams began to rise from the ashes and in the midst of it all, I sold my first book KNIGHT DREAMS to Samhain Publishing. I had a deadline to meet.  I vowed no one would keep me from my appointed mission.

Then our daughter and her fiancé came home from college and brought two dogs to add to our already thriving four-dog-pack. Okay, I’ll back up here. Yes, we have four permanent dogs that reside in our home. All but one is a rescue. Our daughter has taken up the charge with fervor and both of her companions are rescue dogs. Of course, she had to bring them with her. 

As I struggled to fit editing into an already teeming schedule, I came to enjoy the many different characteristics portrayed in each dog. I began to study them as I would characters in a medieval story. 

Mercedes, the matriarch and once beautiful queen, still tries to rule over her inner circle, if not her world. Though nearly blind and deaf, she sits and dreams of the power she once held in her paws and wonders where it went.

Ben, the jester, grows old and feeble. His antics, once funny, no longer works for one so toothless. Yet, his sweet demeanor cannot be ignored. He balances on arthritic hind legs. His chocolate eyes reveal secrets, tales untold.

Harley, the knight, is strong, powerful and has a heart of gold. Though nearly beaten by the dragon-beast cancer, he rises from the battle, a zenith in each day, soaring higher than the day before. He stands down for no one but his master king.

Pepper, the impish princess, flits, bounces, swoops and pounces. Adoration enfolds her character. She, who turns not from confrontation, stands her ground until called down. Then she sleeps, her power exhausted.

Life was peaceful in their little castle. It was a canine Camelot. Then the dogs from another land arrived, challenging their gate. Woof! Outsiders threaten to overthrow the castle hierarchy. All stood guard as one by one the strangers came. Peace would reign or blood would be spent. 

Roscoe, the medieval sheriff of the land, brought sanity in his lengthy body and short stride. Never deterred by his long ears and drooping eyes, he kept close watch on his young charge. Then he ate and slept, belly content. 

Dexter, the young squire, filled with passion, energy and fire, trotted out. This land was his! He brought battles over balls and grass. Certain each shoe and bit of leather his, he soon discovered he was wrong and earned his place as dog in training within the castle walls.

Then peace did reign that long hot summer, The Pack of Six, for evermore.

KNIGHT DREAMS: Knights of the Swan, Book 1 releases TODAY!

KNIGHT DREAMS, October 6, 2009

Knight Dreams by C.C. Wiley

ISBN: 978-1-60504-674-7
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Cover art by Angela Waters

For king and country…or the love of one woman?

Knights of the Swan, Book 1

Wales, 1415

Terrwyn, the daughter of a dispossessed Welsh lord, is blessed with unusual talents. Her skill with a bow and cursed ability to dream the future, however, didn’t save her younger brother from conscription into the English army.

To honor a deathbed promise, she sets out to bring him home—and discovers that one of the king’s knights holds the key to locating her brother. Now she must stay close to her sworn enemy…and try to ignore the growing heat between them. A difficult task, when they wind up manacled together.

Sir James Frost, confidante to King Henry V, can trust no one, particularly the young Welsh maiden impersonating an archer within the ranks. With treason brewing, the last thing he needs is the secretive beauty chained to his side. The connection between them, though, becomes stronger than any links of metal.

When an assassination plot places their lives in jeopardy, James is torn between duty and the woman he loves. He must choose where his fealty lies…and Terrwyn must decide if changing Fate is worth the price.

READ MORE at  samhein_link2

Oh, the Marvelous Wondrous Things You Will Find

I’ve been jamming at my desk all day. Sadly, not with creative writing. But it has to be done. Let’s face it, I can’t even think straight with all the stacks of papers on my desk. I’ve been trying to convince myself that it’s my brand of filing system. I know where everything is. Sorta…

After several hours of forced labor, I couldn’t take it anymore and strayed from the drudgery. And oh my, the fun things I found on the Internet that carried me away. There are blogs that make you laugh, friends to find on Facebook, Twitter to make you…tweet, and that doesn’t even count the interesting facts that you wander upon.

Finally, on a whim, I did a Google Search of my name. There it was. Surprise! In several places! And…and…there was my name, C.C. Wiley, along with, KNIGHT DREAMS. Better yet…my book is up on a bookstore website. There it is in all its glory! With the cute little word beside it. BUY!

Whee! I’m all a tingle. If I had wings, I think I’d take off and fly. What a wild feeling to see it come to life.

Learning Curves

winding road

This has been a summer of learning curves.

Change of names. Change of titles. Change of lifestyle.

Change of attitude. Change of plans.

How did all these learning curves come about? It started with a dream.

My first novel, Knight Dreams, comes out in less than a month! When I signed the book contract, I didn’t know it at the time, but a different journey into the writing world had begun. Heck, this was my third completed novel. Surely, it was an easy ride from here. Right? 

The first curve I met was the pen name. Do I keep what I’ve known all my life or am I willing to change it just a bit? Either way, I learned there are consequences. You use your real name and everyone can find you. A pen name may allow you anonymity but a price tag hangs from your peace of mind. It reads: Additional Time and Effort Required.

My second curve was agreeing to change the title. Renaming a piece of work that I’ve had in my head for several years takes some getting used to. Hello, who renames their babies?

My publishing editor brought my third set of learning curves. The edits came and went with the speed of hairpin-turns. At times, they left me teary-eyed and frustrated. Other times, I just knew it was right. By the last round, I had learned to hang on, accept or reject the edits and comments, make the changes and meet the deadlines. I cannot always wait upon the creative muse to make an appearance. I must place my butt in the seat, ignore the self-doubt monkey on my shoulder, and write one word at a time.

The fourth set came as a series of long-rolling curves filled with breathtaking peaks and valleys. These are the hardest curves to maneuver and they require a great deal of balance. It is the change of attitude and lifestyle. My free time was now lost in the ocean of trying to do everything at once and not knowing how to do most of it.  As my heart raced from anxiety and my hips widened from sitting in front of the computer for hours and hours, I realized I have to shift my balance so that I don’t fall.  

I know there are more learning curves up ahead. In fact, I can see them looming as I renovate my attitude about diet and exercise. Although there is a plan forming, I know it will change just as my story plots often change. As long as I keep writing and the learning curves continue, it looks like it’s going to a great journey. 

It’s my life between words.