Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ANNOUNCING: OAKTARA BOOKSTORE!

Of course, you may purchase your copies of I AM SARGE and I AM DACHSHUND by clicking on the book covers above. 

My publisher, Oaktara, now has a great deal for organizations:  your church, writer's group, book club, bookstore, or other organizations can now purchase I AM SARGE and I AM DACHSHUND at 50% off on purchases of 10 or more.

All you have to do is go to www.store.oaktara.com, click on the Customer Service link, and follow the instructions! Simple and cost-effective!

Thank you for your support!

Monday, June 25, 2012

ONE CAT'S TAKE ON FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Philip and Holly's cat, Piper, who is Shadow the doxie's buddy, isn't too thrilled with flash photography! 

Below are pictures Holly took of him yesterday--he's such a typical cat in many ways, but is also very sweet and loving.  He gives affection freely IF he's in the mood to do so :).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

THE FOUR SEASONS OF LIFE

I'm thankful to live in a place that has all four seasons.  My favorite one is fall, because of the beautiful colors, cooler temperatures, and so much to celebrate in our family:  birthdays, anniversaries, and of course  the anticipation of Thanksgivings and Christmases to come.

Life has its seasons as well.  I've pondered those lately, seeing life divided into the following seasons:

SEASON ONE: LOOKING FORWARD (Spring)
Babies and young children look forward as they grow, change, and see their entire lives ahead of them.  They face the future, which seems interminable to them.  The sunrise has just occurred, and its rays have just peeked over the treetops.



SEASON TWO - LOOKING INWARD (Summer)
Adolescence brings inner searching:  what will I do with my life?  Young adults are starting careers, getting married, raising families, and all of these things prompt them to use their inner strengths in order to fulfill all their responsibilities.  There are also mature adults with a couple of decades of work behind them, children raised, and retirement looming ahead in a decade or so--these are satisfying years, the middle of life--as the sun shines its brightest, straight down on us at noon.



SEASON THREE - LOOKING BACK (Fall)
Those in this season of life have either just retired or have been retired for years.  They tend to look back upon all their accomplishments, successes, and wonder where all those years went!  This season can be a time of introspection, taking up hobbies they had no time for in previous seasons.  The sunset is just beyond, although the sun has not yet reached the horizon.



SEASON FOUR - LOOKING UP (Winter)
The final season can be greatly blessed by what one makes of it.  In looking back over life, reliving many happy times, thankful for all those wonderful memories of shared times, children's laughter, those in the season of winter wonder how they managed to do everything in the summer of their lives!  Muscles and joints don't work like they once did. 

Is this a sad season, this winter of life?  Not at all--Christians have been "looking up" most of their lives, but in this season, faith in God sustains, knowing that heaven will be theirs one of these days.  The sun is nearly set, casting colorful rays over the horizon. 

The journey of seasons is almost over, but the eternal journey is about to begin!


Are you ready?


Thursday, June 21, 2012

ODE TO BACON

Oh bacon, how do I love thee!  Let me count the ways:





Your crunchy, salty goodness sets my tastebuds to dancing! 

You elevate so many foods to stellar status:  BLT sandwiches (how boring those would be without the B), bacon cheeseburgers, wrapped tender scallops, crumbled on casseroles and salads--and of course, with pancakes, omelets, and breakfast casseroles.

I've even been hearing about chocolate-covered bacon, and although I like both chocolate AND bacon, I haven't tried that yet.


Even dogs love bacon--our doxie Duke practically has a conniption (Southernese for stroke) when he sees and/or smells it!


What's your favorite way to eat bacon? 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

SHADOW THE DOXIE ANSWERS READERS' QUESTIONS (UPDATED)

**Below is an interview of SARGE the doxie, which was first published early last year.  Those new to THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES series might enjoy his insights!
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We recently interviewed the precocious dachshund author of I AM SARGE* and I AM DACHSHUND. We promised our readers that we would bring him back to answer some of their questions, so we are pleased to have him as our guest again today.

MDH: You have recently visited several dachshund rescue societies in various parts of the country. Would you like to share a little about those with our readers?

SARGE THE DOXIE: First of all, thank you for having me back. I never miss an opportunity to promote my books! My main thrust in visiting the dachshund rescue societies was to commend the staff for work well done. My doxie buddies, I've found, don't have much interest in books--seems they mostly seek treats--so I focused on putting paw prints on copies of my book for the workers. They are special people, and it is wonderful how they help my fellow wiener dogs find a new lease on life in loving homes.

MDH: Well, then . . . what did you find to be the most fascinating detail about these rescue societies?

SARGE THE DOXIE: As a dog myself, the most fascinating detail for ME in the societies was the dedication of the workers. Dachshunds of all colors, coats, ages, personalities, and health are accepted and loved. It is wonderful to see humans being so accepting of them. If humans want to adopt a dachshund, they should check out the rescue societies first.

MDH: Thank you for giving us insight on that. Now, let's get to our first reader question. This one comes from a dachshund owner named Patrick in Toledo, Ohio, who asks: "You have said that Papa Duke was your favorite character in your books. Since he is no longer on the scene, do you plan on having another favorite in the third book, DACHSHUNDS FOREVER?"


Papa Duke
SARGETHE DOXIE: I'd like to point out that Papa Duke wasn't on the scene when I wrote the first two books, either. You see, in both books, I write about Papa like he is still alive. There are so many family stories about him that this is my way of keeping him with us, so to speak. He loved dachshunds so much.

Regarding the third book, DACHSHUNDS FOREVER, Papa Duke remains my favorite, although I distinctly love all of my characters, most of whom are people I actually know. Papa's friend Sellars is so much like Papa . . . I never actually met him, either, but I've heard so much about him! Sellars passed away a couple of years ago, but hopefully, "the fishing story" in my first book will keep him alive for years to come. That actually happened with him and Papa, you know! I wasn't actually there; other than that tiny detail, the story is true.

MDH: Papa Duke wins hands down, I see. Here's another question from a ten-year-old reader named Reed in Detroit, Michigan: "I read your first book and loved it. We have a red dachshund named Princess, and I believe your stories because she acts a lot like you. Are there be any other dachshunds in I AM DACHSHUND, besides Duke?"

SARGE THE DOXIE: Yes. In fact, I do meet up with my real doxie sister, Precious, in I AM DACHSHUND. This event also happened, you know. Momma Holly met a lady at work who also owned a dachshund, and after talking about us, they realized that the lady's dog and I were siblings! We all had a wonderful time at our reunion, too.

MDH: Thank you, Reed, for a great question. Marlene from Fairbanks, Alaska, poses an interesting question for you: "Shadow, you talk about Alaska quite a bit in your first book. We don't see too many doxies up here. Have you ever been here yourself?"

SARGE THE DOXIE: I'm sorry to say that I've never been there, although I've heard about it all my life. Several of my family and friends used to live there, you know. They all talked about it like it was the best place on earth to live. That's also where Papa Duke and Sellars' fishing story happened. Maybe I'll get up there in the summer--I'm pretty cold natured, so I don't think I could handle an Alaskan winter!

MDH: Here's a different sort of question for you now, emailed to us from Waylon in Louisiana:
"Do you have any animal friends other than dogs and cats?"

Resting with Aslan
SARGE THE DOXIE: Well . . . no. There are so many different dogs and cats in my circle that I've just never really branched out. I stay pretty busy with personal appearances around the country as well. A family friend owns a parakeet named Horatio, but that bird freaked me out, sounding so human. He's always calling me "Pretty Boy." The first time, when I barked back at him to thank him for the compliment, he then said,"'Hey, baby, wanna dance?" and proceeded to make some cool moves around in his cage. I got away from that dude--he was nice enough, but a bit too frisky for my taste.

MDH: One final question for you today--this one comes from Grandma Wilson in Marquette, Michigan: "How many books in the series do you plan to write, and what are your plans after you complete the series?"

Duke
SARGE THE DOXIE: That's a valid question, and an interesting one. Hmmmm. I have DACHSHUNDS FOREVER in the works, but it is getting so long that I will probably divide it and create a fourth book for THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES. My buddy Duke is thinking about "taking up the mantle" when I retire, so I'll leave it at that. I am eleven now, so I don't know how many more books I have in me. Duke is only five, so he's chomping at the bit to get into print. He told me the other day that he's ready. We'll have to see.

MDH: Thank you for your candid remarks, my friend. We've enjoyed "the rest of the story," as commentator Paul Harvey used to say. Unfortunately, we didn't get to all the questions we had slated for today, but we'll save them for another time. How does that sound?

SARGE THE DOXIE: It was my pleasure. Perhaps I'll have some insight about a publication date for DACHSHUNDS FOREVER. I so want finish it soon, since a number of readers have been asking about it. It just might "see the light of day" by fall!

MDH: Readers, please join us next time, and thank you so much for your participation in sending in questions for us. Keep them coming, and when we can nail down a date for this busy doxie to return, we'll have him answer more of them.

Until next time . . .


Saturday, June 16, 2012

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, CLARK AND DAD!

My husband Clark is a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather.  We all appreciate his kindness, selflessness, and handyman abilities, too.  I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  He's literally one in a million, and I love the fact that the Lord saw fit to bring us together over 41 years ago!
Clark and me with our
wonderful grandchildren


I also think of my beloved dad on Father's Day (and nearly every day) since he went home to be with the Lord in October 2000.  He's the Papa Duke in my books, and we all miss his sense of humor, his robust laugh, his zany-but-true stories, and his delicious cooking!

Happy Father's Day to these two men who have made my life so much more than it would have been without them in it.  I am blessed.


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