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Candlelight Vigil
Over the summer, I read a newspaper article about a dead
raccoon found on a sidewalk in Toronto who received its own candlelight vigil,
flowers, and memorial. Not to mention, a hashtag and free press! You can read
more about it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/11/dead-raccoon-memorial_n_7776856.html

When my children were young, we used to drive down to Ohio
to visit family. It was about a three hour drive. My children didn’t have
video’s to watch nor video games at that time. Poor kids, right?
So to keep
them occupied we played the regular car games like ABC signs or State license
plates. Sometimes, though we played… Name that Roadkill. Some were easy to
recognize while others were just a guess. While it was a strange game, it did
keep two kids occupied and me sane for many trips.
But when I heard about the Toronto Raccoon, I was a little
ticked. I had already decided on using the roadkill to make a statement. Most
people don’t even pay attention to roadkill as they drive on the roads, but
millions of animals’ lives are ended by cars. I thought that if we dressed them
up, maybe painted their toe-nails…it would make people take a second look and
slow down.
Fast forward to writing Claiming a Cowboy’s Heart. I knew
that I had to have my heroine do something this silly and crazy. Here’s a sneak
peek at the scene where we meet the heroine, Michelle Alt and shows the poor
animal.
EXCERPT:
With her floral shoulder bag hanging from her arm,
Michelle Alt approached the dead raccoon. The smell overwhelmed her. Pinching
her nose, she took deep breaths through her mouth. The full moon illuminated
the intersection across from her school. People should learn to drive slower
on this street. This time a raccoon, someday a child.

She squatted and dumped the contents of her purse
on the asphalt. Removing the cheap dollar-store clothespin from her purse, she
dealt with the smell and closed off her nose. The spring had just enough
strength to press her nostrils together without hurting. With her hands free,
she selected a yellow pair of sunglasses from inside her bag and slipped them
on the raccoon’s face. A smile flitted across her lips.
“That’s a start.” Looking at the pile of junk
sitting at her side, she removed a couple of more items, setting a red plastic
cup with a paper umbrella next to the raccoon’s hand. Last, she inserted a
small bottle of sunscreen between his arm and body then cleaned up the remaining
materials, stuffing them into her bag.
It’s perfect. He looks
like he’s resting in the sun. Another day at the beach for Mr. Raccoon.

How do

you feel about the enormous amount of
roadkill? What fun games did you make up while traveling?

BUY LINK: (Preorder- Available on Nov. 30th)
Claiming a Cowboy’s Heart

Melissa Keir

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