Sunday, September 30, 2012

Musa Publishing First Anniversary - A Blog Hop

Congratulations to Musa Publishing - a young, upstart company that opened its virtual doors just one year ago, and to celebrate, they are giving away a Kindle Fire! Plus more! This is one of the stops in their Anniversary Blog Hop, and to enter, simply leave a comment, and then check out all the other Musa authors who are participating (including me) and giving away great prizes.

Here's how it works: Musa Publishing is giving away the grand prize - a Kindle Fire. Plus a couple of swag bags filled with books and lots more. The complete rules are here:

What is a Blog Hop? Lots of the Musa authors are having contests on their own blogs to give away goodies. And books! So hop around from blog to blog, and for every blog you leave a comment on, you are entered to win the Kindle Fire or Musa's other great prizes. That's a lot of chances to win!!

As for me, I took a chance with Musa when they were just brand new.
They published The Girl Who Remembered Horses in November 2011.

In the past year have also published Six Degrees of Lost

as well as my brand new novel, Walking the Dog.

Now you have a chance to win a copy of your choice of these great novels from Musa Publishing.

This contest is open internationally. Entries from the U.S. and Canada can choose from a print copy or ebook. Other countries will receive an ebook.

To enter, just leave a comment below telling me which book you would like:

The Girl Who Remembered Horses
Six Degrees of Lost
Walking the Dog

And you'll also be entered to win the prizes from Musa Publishing (including a Kindle Fire.)

Beginning October 1, be sure and visit all the other blogs on this hop for more chances to win. (Note: a few have adult content.) Woo Hoo! Get to hopping, and have fun.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Announcing - A New Book!

I am pleased to announce that my most recent novel, WALKING THE DOG, was just released from Musa Publishing.

Jared feels like he's the only one who looks past Sophie's scars to see her for who she is. But can he be a true friend when she desperately needs one?

Jared is smitten when his teacher seats the new girl, Sophie, right next to him. Even with the scar running up the side of her face, Jared thinks she’s the most beautiful girl in the entire fifth grade. But why did she transfer here so late in the year? Rumors say something bad happened to her.

Jared and Sophie become friends while walking the guidance counselor’s new puppy, but when his parents object to this arrangement, Jared fabricates a series of elaborate lies to meet Sophie on the sly. But little brothers can be pests. First Petey lets the orange cat loose at the animal shelter where Jared and Sophie have been secretly walking the dogs. Then Petey turns up missing.

And Sophie's past finally catches up with her.
Walking the Dog is available as an ebook right now, for only $2.99. I hope you'll give it a try. Not only does it features kids working out very adult problems, but also therapy dogs, rambunctious dogs, black dogs, gold dogs, and pound dogs. And of course, there is also - the orange cat.
I hope you enjoy this story. It's one of my personal favorites.

Here are a couple of buy links, and it will be available almost everywhere soon:


Musa Publishing:

Thanks, everyone!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What Fuels the Writer

Oh, you probably thought this would be a post about fresh air, healthy food, exercise or mental stimulation, right?

Nah. What I actual meant was - what gives you your caffeine fix?

Coffee, tea, or soft drinks?

Here's mine:

I like plain old Folgers Coffee. That's what we drink in our house.
No frills, no lattes, no mochas, no whipped cream.

No Starbucks, no green tea, no black tea, no fancy-flavored creamer,
Just plain old black coffee for me.

And these are my favorite three coffee cups. On the left is one I got in Alaska. In the middle, one I got at a beautiful beach in the Virgin Islands. On the right, one I got at a production of Les Miserables. They all hold special memories, which is why they are my favorites.

So tell me, are you a Coffee person? Tea? Coke? What's your favorite pick-me-upper?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Quiet Woods

The deep woods behind our house are so quiet now. After a cold spring and early summer, we're having a lovely Indian summer, with crisp evenings and warm sunny days. I've been taking advantage of the fact that the mud has (finally!) dried on many of the trails I walk. But most of the birds have left already, and all I hear is the rustle of the wind in the drying leaves, or a woodpecker peck-pecking for bugs, or the shrill cry of a Steller's Jay.

Earlier this summer, the forest was filled with bird song. The Swainson's Thrush have the loveliest song, trilling through the trees, but they only grace us with their presence for the months of June and July, long enough to raise their young, and one day are just - gone. South.

Our barn swallows stayed later than usual this year, diligently raising a second brood of babies, but suddenly I realized that they have left also. Even the robins are gone.

We still have our most common birds, which are juncos, chickadees, steller's jays, mourning doves, red-tailed hawks, crows and ravens. Even a few turkey vultures still soar overhead, but they will leave soon also to ride the thermals down to California or Mexico.

I heard the deep Hoo Hoo, Hooo Hooo of a great horned owl in the trees the other night. (Actually, I was pretty sure that's what it was, but turned on my light, found my bird identification books, and checked to make sure I was correct.)

The silence of the woods, the stirring of the dry leaves, and the last brief, warm days of summer all mean that fall and winter will soon be here. Birds will hunker down, the winter wren will take shelter in our barn on the coldest nights, and I will fill the birdfeeder and break ice on our birdbath.

I sometimes wonder about all the people driving their cars so fast on the freeways, hugging someone's bumper, hoping to arrive at their destination a few seconds sooner. Are they even aware of the cycles of the natural world around them? Look up, I want to tell them. That's a red-tail hawk sitting in that big alder tree. Or a kettle of vultures ready to head south. Or a bald eagle, heading to the river to fish. Did you see it?

How about you? What did you spot today? Do you feel the rhythms of the natural world around you?