What Did the Cat See? #1

Cat rank 1I’m so excited… What Did the Cat See? was the #1 free cat book on Amazon today! Yes, I know it’s the top of a free category but I am still thrilled.

Thank you to everyone for all the shares, likes, tweets… the book was so much fun to make and so much to work with afterwards I will definitely be doing this again :)

Still free for one more day :)

Cat rank 1 word


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Puppypalooza for Alaqua Animal Refuge This Weekend!

Puppy Poster smallThe first annual Puppypalooza to benefit the Unconditional Love Program of Alaqua Animal Refuge will be held at Aaron Bessant Park in Panama City Beach on September 20 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Panama City Beach Police Department and Alaqua have worked together to plan this major event.

Puppypalooza will feature a DJ, inflatable bounce houses, retail, beer, wine, and food booths, a huge raffle, a jail, a dunking booth, dog agility shows, Unconditional Love Program dog performances, face painting, and tons of games for children. Beginning at 6:00, Cadillac Willy will rock the park. Bring your own blanket or chairs and relax with your family in the park.

Puppypalooza Sponsors are the Panama City Beach Police Department, The City of Panama City Beach, Ink Trax, Ron John Surf Shop, WorkSource, The Geo Group, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Pineapple Willy’s and Chaste.

Food vendors include Shore Dogs, Smokin’ Butts, Dovalina’s Wood-fired Pizza, Sweet Henrietta’s, Fishale Taphouse and Grill, and Captain’s Lady Café and Sno Balls. Retail vendors include Pink Narcissus (Lily Pulitzer), The 30A Gear Truck, Cedar and Cypress Woodworks, Peaches to Beaches, Jam Berry Nails, Thirty-One, Scentsy, 30a Beach Girl, Ron John Surf Shop, Glas Designs, For Tails Only, Tastefully Simple, What’s Up Dog?, Shabby Wraps, Magnabilities, Beach Zinnia, Pure Romance, and more. Alcohol vendors include Pabst Blue Ribbon and CHASTE No. 850.

Since 2011, the Unconditional Love Program has provided inmates in local jails and prisons the skills needed to train and provide care to Alaqua’s canines. Two of our three prisons are located in Bay County, and the majority of the dogs from the program are pulled from Bay County Animal Control. We choose dogs that may otherwise have a hard time getting adopted.

This program adds value to the inmates’ institutional lives and provides job skills as they prepare for re-entry into their communities. The inmates learn empathy, patience and respect while teaching the dogs basic skills and potty train them. After graduating, canines are either adopted as family pets or continue on into a second phase and become therapy dogs that we give away free of change to individuals or families who could benefit from one.

Alaqua Animal Refuge is a no-kill animal refuge located in Northwest Florida. The refuge has placed over 10,000 animals of all kinds since it’s inception in 2007, and has grown to become a recognized leader in animal welfare and animal cruelty prevention. The refuge is located about 20 minutes north of the Emerald Coast’s sugary white beaches, which each year draw millions of visitors from around Florida and surrounding states.

What Did the Cat See? is free on Amazon until Sept. 18!

Available now exclusively on Kindle!

Available now exclusively on Kindle!

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Signing Books in Niceville

fan 15 I’m not big on book signings, but I volunteered this weekend to help a good cause: Friends of the Niceville Library. I’ll be signing copies of End of Mae and donating 100% of the proceeds to Friends.

They raise money all year to help support our local library, which promotes literacy. Of all the causes I can think of to support, building literacy, is in my mind, the best.

Literate people are not hateful, prejudiced nor do they act blindly and in fear. Books teach us that anything is possible, anything is lovable and we all carry the seed of greatness. How could I not support that? Here’s the scoop:

The Friends of the Niceville Library would like to invite you to their annual book sale. They will have a wide selection of gently used books and most items are $1 or less. The sale will be held in the Niceville Community Center 204 Partin Drive N. adjacent to the Library.

Friday, September 19, Presale for Friends of the Library Members is from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Non-members may join at the door to take advantage of the presale.

I’ll be on hand signing books from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, September 20, 100% of sales of my books go to Friends of the Niceville Library. The Public Sale is from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday will include an amazing bake sale. All proceeds benefit the Niceville Public Library.

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My Newest Book: Free Tonight

Available now exclusively on Kindle!

Available now exclusively on Kindle!

My writing life abruptly changed a few months ago one night at the Dunkin Dounts in Crestview. Robin Wiesneth and I had planned on hitting a poetry slam there and we’d missed it.

We decided to drown our disappointment in crullers and coffee. I may be remembering it wrong, but the pivotal moment comes back to me like this:

Robin: You should try writing a children’s book.

Me: (munch, slurp, munch) Yea, sure. If I have any ideas I’ll let you know.

Robin: Cool, do that. (munch, munch)

A few nights later an idea did indeed surface, and soon after Robin and I were collaborating on Baa Baa Yaga, an impending work of dark whimsy and bad knitting. Robin had awakened a monster in me and I found myself reluctant to work on my ‘adult’ projects.

Not long after Baa Baa was conceived and developing, another midnight idea went traipsing through my mind, scaring away sleep and giving me fits until I finally relented and scribbled it all down. I showed it to an illustrator I had recently met, Mary-Anne Leslie, and she said she wanted to illustrate it. Monsters Are Everywhere began it ascent from the depths of dark imagination to show itself to decent folk.

Both books are going to be brilliant and I can’t say how honored I am to have two such talented artists agreeing to bring my words to life on the page. I’m new to this children’s book thing, but without images such as these two ladies are producing, I think my words are going to fall flat. One thing I love about kids, the only thing they sugar coat is their cereal. If the book doesn’t enthrall, they will cry, yawn or ignore. Their honesty is beautiful.

Anyone who knows me also knows that once I get something in my mind, I start to obsess and I have to try every aspect. Last week I received an email from Amazon about their new Kindle Kid’s Book Creator. I wanted to try it, but with both my favorite illustrators busy on other projects, I had to be innovative.

WDTCS 15I’ve been learning a lot about photography on my job at the newspaper, and I’ve always thought virtual worlds like Second Life are an untapped resource for images. All the stars lined up, I wrote up another story and hopped inworld to collect images. The result, What Did the Cat See?, is available exclusively on Kindle at the moment. Starting at midnight tonight, I’m offering it free! The free price will end at midnight Sept. 18.

I’m excited by this new genre I find myself in. Kid books are refreshing, humorous and there are few taboos. Imagine a paragraph about farting in your typical vampiresque novel and you catch my drift.

I hope my old fans have all had kids by now and will follow me along a new path. This one will still have dark corners, creepy scissors and monsters, perfect for your children, I promise.

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September Win Reminder

milksplash-500x500Cereal BowlI’ve been so busy at the day job lately I’ve not only neglected my blogging but I’ve forgotten to share the September contest for a magical, guaranteed, no-soggy-cereal Obol and a hardback, signed copy of Robin Wiesneth’s Tails of Imagination.

Entering is easy with the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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iPad Fixed

My portable writers' rave.

My portable writers’ rave.

A month or so ago I broke the iPad screen.

This was the second time since I’ve owned it. The first time was just me being clumsy, the second time was faulty design of a special bag I bought to protect it. Yes, I was aware of the irony.

The screen was cracked, but it worked fine otherwise. I no longer carried it with me, though, so as to not risk killing it completely. Then I stopped working.

Recently I’ve been looking at replacing the loyal iPad and have been shopping around. Prices on tablets have really gone down but I was still hesitant to drop $200 for something decent.

Then today I got a whopping (for me) $90 royalty check in the mail and I decided to splurge. I determined it was finally new tablet time. The problem is, I love the old one. A Mother’s Day gift from Kyra, not only is it sentimental, but it works great and I have it set up with a great, lighted keyboard. I like working on the iPad set up more than FrankenPC.

I decided to splurge on fixing the one I had and took it to Sarge’s Cellular Repair in Valparaiso. iPad back, better than new, in just a few hours for a fraction of the cost of a new one. I’m once again a happy and productive camper.

I did have a small splurge though. I treated myself to a lighted, color change speaker so I can listen to Pandora while I work. With the lights off, it looks like a rave in here. Just the way I like it :)

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Publix Saves Me Money & Time

266I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. I enjoy it if I ever have the time… but I never have the time (so therefore, I never enjoy it.) I am always thrilled when I can find healthy, easy meals that keep me out of the kitchen without making us broke. Spending time in the kitchen means less time making books. Pfffft! Who needs the kitchen?

Publix is awesome for offering healthy and easy meal options as great deals and we are fortunate to have one just a few blocks away. I look out for their savings and coupons, both instore and out, and always find things I can use. Just check out these these exclusive savings at Publix starting September 11:

In-Store Savings

Coupons available in-store, look for the Flavor Excursion display with products at your local Publix. Display will be available in most stores between 9/11 and 9/24. Savings available with coupons:

•Save $2 off Publix® Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts when you buy Any Four (4) participating products. Participating products: Progresso™ Bread Crumbs, 100% Natural Broths, Beans, KRAFT Salad Dressing (16oz), Natural Shredded Cheese (6-8oz), Hunt’s® Diced Tomatoes (14.5oz or larger).

•Save $2 off Produce (minimum $2 purchase) when you buy Any Four (4) participating products*. Participating products: Old El Paso™ Seasoning Mixes, Enchilada Sauce, Refried Beans, Taco Shells, Ro*Tel® (10oz or larger), Hunt’s® Diced Tomatoes (14.5oz or larger), KRAFT Natural Shredded Cheese (6-8oz

•Save $1.00 off Any Five (5) Ro*Tel® Tomatoes (10oz)

•Save $2.00 off Any Two (2) KRAFT Natural Chunk Cheese 7-8 oz

•Save $1.00 off Any Five (5) Hunt’s® Tomatoes 14.5oz

•Save $1.00 off Any One (1) Bisquick™ 40oz

•Save $1.00 off Any One (1) Old El Paso™ Frozen Entrée

•Save $2.00 off Any Two (2) KRAFT Natural Shredded Cheese 6-8oz

Looking for an Italian themed dessert? Try Crème Brulèe Cheesecake Bars, find the recipe and a $1.50 off any two Betty Crocker pouch Cookie Mixes coupon on the Betty Crocker display in-store.

Plus… find these items on sale this week. No coupon necessary, available at Publix:

•Green Giant Frozen Bag Steamers 11-12oz on BOGO

•Pillsbury Crescents and Pizza 3 for $6

Printable Coupons

Visit www.ReadyPlanSave.com to print your coupons. Available while supplies last.

•Save $1 when you buy FOUR Progresso™ products

•Save $1 when you buy THREE Old El Paso™ products

•Save 75¢ when you buy ONE BOX Old El Paso® Bold Nacho Cheese Flavored Stand ‘N Stuff® Taco Shells OR Dinner Kit

•Save $0.50 when you buy ONE 20 OZ. OR LARGER Original Bisquick® OR Bisquick Heart Smart® Baking Mix

•Save $0.60 when you buy THREE any variety Green Giant® Seasoned Steamers™ or Valley Fresh Steamers® Frozen Vegetables.

•Save $0.40 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury® Crescent Dinner Rolls

•Save $0.40 when you buy THREE CANS any size/variety Pillsbury® Refrigerated Grands!® or Grands! Jr.® Biscuits

•Save $1 when you buy any flavor or variety of Old el Paso™ Frozen Entrees

Digital Coupons

Visit, https://publix.couponselectionpage.com/offers/all, to find and instantly select digital coupons. Including the following from ConAgra. Available while supplies last.

•Save $0.40 off any TWO (2) ROTEL® products

•Save $1 on any FOUR (4) Chef Boyardee® canned pasta or microwave cup

•Save $1 on any ONE (1) Orville Redenbacher’s® Gourmet® Popping Corn (6-pk or larger)

•Save $0.50 on any ONE (1) Super Snack Pack® 6 pack

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

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Do It Write


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So Many Irons, So Little Fire

profile eyesI hate that I’m not a vampire.

It’s not because I want to be forever beautiful or powerful. Whatever.

I wish I were a vampire so that I ould have the most valuable gift of all: time.

Right now there are so many things I want to do. Ideas crowd my head, making me insane. All of them crowd behind my eyelids, each of them demanding to be the first to be free. See my eyelid twitching? That’s an idea trying to get out.

If I could only live forever I wouldn’t feel my mortal coils quite so acutely. I’d have the luxery of procrastination. So any hungry vampres out there, I’d negotiate for a bite if it gave me enough time to finish off my “To Do List.”

Let’s make a deal ;D

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IMG_20140823_093753_282I stand in the heat
pulling my bow string taut
and for this moment,
as long as I can hold the pose,
I am present.

The target lies ahead,
my future waiting,
whether or not I send my arrow into the bulls eye
is irrelevant.

I can see the past in my last arrow,
still quivering from its quick flight
into a future I’m done with now.
Where it landed, in the mark or outside,
is also irrelevant. That’s past.

All I have now, all I ever have, is now.
This moment, between a stretched bow string
and a target, is vital.

This moment decides where my arrow flies -
I check my breathing, find my anchor point,
focus my mind into the arrow that lies straight and waiting
and when I have this moment perfect

I can release it,
letting my now fly into my future,
becoming one in the instant
this savored moment of mine
takes flight.

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