Saturday, April 15, 2006


We took Tia to another vet yesterday for an ultrasound. Dh was still hopeful the mass was pancreatits, or something treatable. Decided not to wait a full week, because we couldn’t stomach the wait, and if it was something treatable, we needed to get her help asap. Deep down, I knew it was bad news.

The doc did the ultrasound, the poor dog lying on her back with the cold alcohol over her tummy. And he pointed it out… and my heart just broke. We took her back to the room and he told us, (he was a very nice vet, having accomodated us at the last minute) that it was a tumor on her liver, there were white spots on her liver and an enlarged lymph node.

He said the only way to tell what kind of tumor it was was to do surgery. If it could be cut out, then it would, and maybe she’d have a year. If not, she had maybe weeks (about 12 at the most, maybe”)

He told us to go see our regular vet, who does surgeries. And he was very sorry he didn’t have a better prognosis for poor Tia. He's an oncologist, and when he told us she had weeks left, I knew there were no other options left.

When he left, Frank just held Tia and broke down. I held Frank. Then we managed to get back into the car. I told Frank I don’t want surgery. I don’t want my baby to have any more pain, or suffering. What’s the point? I just want her to be happy. She hates the vet. She hates hospitals and when she had her eye operated on, she was miserable.

We’re taking her to our regular vet Monday to find out what our options are, meaning, what meds she can go on to make her comfortable, and if we need to put her down when she gets bad.

Frank is very upset when I talk of putting her down. He had to put down his last dog, and it killed him. He’s hoping she’ll go peacefully in her sleep. Me too, but I don’t want her to suffer. The irony of losing my dog to cancer is this…a month after mom died of cancer spreading to her liver, frank bought me Tia to comfort me. A cute little six week old puppy we nicknamed Ewok because of her black mask and brown fur. We brought her home and she chased Tiger around the living room table joyfully. He was petrified of her.

And now Tia is dying of liver cancer. Ten years later. Tiger is confused. He keeps sniffing her, and wanders around the house. He knows something is wrong. I keep petting him and trying to assure him all will be okay. Even though it won't be okay

At home yesterday, she was our regular Tia. She went for a walk, ate a dog biscuit, jumped on the couch for a while to watch TV, laid in my lap. She even went into “her” chair and was howling at invisible squirrels, wagging her tail, her “defender” mode. The Shih Tzu who would defend her home from intruders by licking them. She ate some food, but not much.

She got up a couple of times in the night… and once she just sat there, quietly looking at me. I held her in my arms and she licked the tears off my face. I’m having such a hard time trying to act normal around her. Anyone who says dogs don’t sense emotions never met my dog. She knows me inside out. She knows when those snuffling noises come, it means mommy is very upset. So I try to cry in private, not around her. All I want to do is hold her, and comfort her.

I just can’t stand this…DH says we’ll get through it together, like we have with every other tragedy in our lives. Liver cancer…it’s…too much.

I don’t know how long she has… I’m guessing a couple of months at the most without surgery. A week from tomorrow is my birthday… and tomorrow is Easter. We’re not going to church. I don’t think God listens to my prayers.

I don’t know why this is happening. Why cancer? It is like a kick to my gut… I’ve watched friends and family die of cancer, and now my beloved Tia? It’s not right…

I can’t stop crying. I stop and then start all over again. I’m on the Bad News diet… haven’t eaten since Wed. afternoon, just a slice of bread to calm my stomach so I can take Advil for the massive headache I have from constantly crying. I’ve lost five pounds since Wednesday.

Tuesday they are finally starting work on the roof, six months after the hurricane dumped the tree on it. I have to take the dogs to my FIL’s because the pounding on the roof will drive them nuts. Tia likes it at my FIL’s, so that is good. I guess I’m going to have to take it one day at a time, cherishing every day she’s still with us…in fairly good spirits, roaming the back yard as she did yesterday, hunting through the garden railroad, sniffing out bugs and lizards. My Tia, who gives so much love and wants so little in return.

I have to believe there’s a heaven that lets dogs in…and when she goes, she’ll be there with my mom and the babies I lost through miscarriage, and my mom, who never was a dog person, will take her for the long walks she loves, feed her tons of dog biscuits, let her roam around a huge yard, greet everyone she sees with a wildly wagging tail, and howl/talk just like Frank does now. And there's no suffering or pain, just dog treats, lots of love and cuddles, and everything she deserves, this good dog of mine who gives me so much love.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

my dog is dying

back from the vet, bad news. Tia, who's been sick, has a massive tumor. the vet is sending her to an ultrasound to see how bad it is... but he told us she has cancer and has maybe, at the most, six months left.

i went through this with my mom. somehow, i just knew.

I can't stop crying. next week is my birthday. i don't think it will be a very happy birthday. tia is like my kid, she is the dog featured in my photo. she always jumps on my lap when i'm writing, licks my tears away when I cry...

i can't write anymore.

i'm going offline for a while to try to deal with this. i always knew i was going to lose her someday.

i just didn't think it was going to be like this... I might delete this blog. It's too painful to see her photo here...

Monday, April 10, 2006

FINISHED The Sword & the Sheath!!


Book will be mailed today to my editor. I'm giddy with relief. And sad. Always get sad when I finish a book, like saying good-bye to friends. I really, really like this one... Tarik and Fatima are so well matched, and the struggles she faces between being a warrior and keeping her feminity are fascinating.

Now Blair has edits for her werewolf book due to her editor at Ellora's Cave. Will tackle those this week.

More good news...six months after Hurricane Wilma toppled a tree onto our house, WE ARE FINALLY GETTING A NEW ROOF! yay!!! They expect to start in the next 7 days. The contractors are tearing out the Florida room as I write this, and hopefully we will have a new Florida room in the next 2 months as well!

I love happy endings, both in romance and real life.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Writer's Viagra

I swear, I think the more books I write, the more love scenes I add to my writing. They're growing exponentially, like that alien thingie in The Andromeda Strain.

The Falcon and the Dove, my first book, had two (I think). Tiger & the Tomb had six (or was it five?) Cobra had about six? The Panther & the Pyramid has eight love scenes.

The Sword & the Sheath, the book I'm writing now to turn in next week, has ten. Ten love scenes. And of course, the papaya scene where he demonstrates oral sex to her.

Erotic romance, is, pardon the pun, hot right now. Major publishers are doing erotic romance lines, following in the spike heeled footsteps of Ellora's Cave. Sales of hot books, especially paranormals, are soaring.

So what's my point? ::shrug::: Am I writing this book with ten love scenes purposefully because I want to follow the crowd? No. I've never followed the crowd, thus the reason why I write obscure Egyptian historicals. I just like writing sexy stories. But mainly, this story lends itself to all the love scenes, with Tarik and Fatima's as equally matched warriors, in bed and out of it.

It's not easy writing a love scene, not for me. I adore writing them, but I sweat. I strain to find the right word. When I'm relaxed and not uptight (lol) it's much easier to perform. When I'm stressed, like now, I get writer's performance anxiety. I need writer's Viagra.

Plus there's the interruptions. Like tonight. I'm typing away, glossing Fatima's rosy skin with perspiration as she's riding atop of Tarik. She's breathing heavily, her eyes are darkened, she feels it, oh yes, right there, right there...


The dog must go outside. Under the vet's orders, I have to follow her and make sure she doesn't lick a toad, eat a snake or do something equally dumb to make her sicker.

He also wants me to go outside and watch her poop.

So I leave my heroine gasping and frantically reaching for that blinding climax... as I go outside to watch my dog. Is the moment ruined? Oh yeah. Must I get back into it when Tia is done because I have to turn in this book in less than a week? Yup.

Tia's sleeping right now. So is hubby. So is Tiger. It's just me and the computer, my characters in bed, and a love scene to finalize. I'll finish it. I'll think about the intense love Tarik has for Fatima, to the point he's willing to die for her. I'll think about how Fatima wants him more than her next breath. And I'll bring them both to shattering completion.

Excuse me. I have an orgasm to write. :-)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mr. Manhood

Tia, my dog, is sick. Took her to the vet. Have to take her for an xray if she's not better by Thursday. I'm crossing my fingers the meds do their trick. In the meantime, I'm trying to write/edit love scenes in the book due next week. How many terms can one use to describe a penis?

Love sword
Towering shaft of Ra
Purple warrior of love
Mr. Manhood
Big Boy (this is actually the name of a train DH saw this weekend at his train show. It was a huge engine!)
Quivering arrow of paradise (sounds like an archery competition winner)
Mr. Happy
Mr. Sad (needs viagra)
Pleasure rod

Anyway, since I'm pressed for time, I'm posting an excerpt from my September release, THE PANTHER & THE PYRAMID. This is a desert scene where Graham shifts into his warrior mode.

(copyright 2006 by Bonnie Vanak)

An hour after his hasty departure, her husband returned. Bare-chested, he strode into the tent, flinging shirt and binish to the carpet. Graham unbuckled his sword and dagger and laid them gently on the table. Jillian studied his tight jawline. Sweat glistened on his powerful chest.

“Did you have a good time?” she asked, uncertain.

He glanced at her and gave a derisive snort. “Warriors don’t train for a good time, Jillian.”

Filled with enormous daring, she pointed to the scimitar. “Show me how a Khamsin warrior uses it during training.”

Startled, he narrowed his gaze. She smiled sweetly.

“It is forbidden for women to visit the training grounds for warriors. They are sacred.”

“Then demonstrate it to me here, Graham.”

“Do you know why the grounds are forbidden to women? After training, a man is filled with the excitement of battle. The savage need for a warrior to conquer shifts into a different need, in which all he desires is a woman, to feel her soft body beneath his yield in surrender.”

Her own body tightened pleasurably at the challenge heating his dark eyes. “Show me, Graham,” she repeated.

His nostrils flared. The air inside the tent heated suddenly, filled with an enticing, masculine scent of horses, leather and sandalwood. He had changed, the refined duke shifting into a dangerous warrior. The weapon he had carried reminded her of the perils of this land, where men fought each other, not with foils in gentlemanly sport, but in battle.

The change alarmed her before. Now it only served to excite her. Graham slid the long scimitar from its sheath. An awed gasp of admiration slipped from her as he sliced the air with the sword. Muscle and sinew bulged and rippled he swirled the scimitar in a series of intricate moves.

Where did he learn? Jillian held her breath, not daring to ask as he sheathed the sword, placing it on the table.

Unsmiling he faced her, sweat beading his forehead, glistening on his sculpted chest. Her hand splayed against the wealth of dark hair there, feeling the firmness against her stroking fingertips. A harsh groan rippled from his lips.

A surge of feminine power filled her as she reached up, sliding her hands around his neck, dragging him down for a kiss. Her lips softened beneath the crushing pressure of his, accepting the deep thrusts of his tongue. Jillian pressed herself against him, cradling the hard bulge of his erection. The soft cotton blouse rubbed against her aching nipples.

Graham tore himself away, panting. Hot desire tightened his face. She backed away slightly, enormously excited at having pushed him into this, a bit scared at his dark intensity. Could she handle him?