Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Book give away contest!

A Few Random Posts

Favorite Reads 2009
Caroline has a great list of her favorite reads for 2009 and I was inspired to do the same. Here are my top 10 books read in 2009 - not in order.

1. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
2. On Writing by Stephen King
3. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
4. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (I LOVE ENZO!)
5. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyers
6. Julie of the Wolves by Jean George
7. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
8. The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
9. Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
10. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Reading Challenge
I have joined J.Kaye's Book blog reading challenge 2010 to read 100 books this year. Whew. I'll be posting my finished books as I read them. I'm starting this week with the following:

The Maze Runner
Hush Hush

and from my Inde-debut group, books that are coming out in 2010:

The Invisible Sister - Amy Allgeyer Cook
Owen and the Dragon - Carla Mooney
Brigitta of the White Forest - Danika Dinsmore
The Golden Pathway - Donna McDine
The Bug that Plagued the Entire Third Grade - Lori Calabrese
The Flute and the Dagger - Miriam Forster
Mice Don't Taste Like Chicken - Scott Heydt
Connection - Jo Ramsey

To celebrate my awesome year which included:
finally attempting to write a book
finishing the book
getting a publishing contract for the book - DOGSLED DREAMS, 4RV Publishing LLC, 2011
starting a blog
being blessed with 56 blog followers - I'm having a contest! Yeah book give aways. Here's what you win:

Here's how you enter:

Be a follower - 1 entry
Leave a comment - 1 entry
Suggest a title for my new YA dogsledding adventure - 1 entry

When Victoria, a determined 15-year-old, gets lost with her dogteam, she finds an injured snowmobiler with a secret. With their food gone and the temperature dropping, she'll have to trust him as well as her dogs if they hope to survive.

Contest closes January 30, 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

holiday frolicking

Still partying over here, but wanted to quickly post some of our family fun.

Mom spent most of her time on the ground, but she kept getting back up!

My man looking for GQ scouts, perfecting his smouldering gaze.

Tanzer dog wondering why toys only last five minutes.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Minus 25 snowshoe

Went snowshoeing this morning. Gorgeous sun, but little chilly. Awesome.

I'll be scarce here this week while I party and wrap and unwrap and bake. BWAhaha, okay, you got me there. The baking will be by the PRESIDENT himself - he makes good CHOICES. But you should see me creatively arrange the plates!

(I've just had someone explain to me that my US friends may not get President's Choice products and will wonder what the heck? Take my word for it - they've got really decadent brownies)

Hope everyone has a wonderful family Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kayak expedition can't find a home

My man paddling the Wikwemikong coastline. July 2009.
I'm having trouble with the article I wrote about our kayak circumnavigation of Manitoulin Island - the world's largest freshwater island. We completed the trip in July and I set to work immediately writing the story to sell to a magazine. I also have evocative photos to go with it that I have refrained from posting here so I could sell them as unpublished.
Alas, it was rejected by the first kayak magazine right away. Then it was sent back by the next kayak magazine requesting a rewrite. And the rewrite has just been rejected.
This may be a lesson on writing about something too close to you. Perhaps the vividly exciting and terrifying events need time to mellow in my memories. Or maybe it's just like being held captive for 3 hours looking at Aunt Mildred's vacation shots. SHE certainly thinks they're exciting.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Site for writers

Thanks to a comment from fellow dog writer Mayra Calvani on my last post, I've discovered another excellent blog. Suspense novelist Alexandra Sokoloff's blog has free articles on elements of a novel including a handy checklist of what should go in each part of a novel. Great stuff even for someone who doesn't write suspense.

Also, you can now read my article Frozen Turd Wars on the Dogs in Canada website. Each month they feature an article from their recent issue and this month, mine was selected! You can vote for it too. The best part for me is the exceptional skill of the illustrator who brought Apollo to life. He even nailed Apollo's demonic stare.

Monday, December 14, 2009

first draft done!


Last night I finished the first draft of my still untitled, dogsledding YA novel. My rockin' beta reader Jackie White patiently read the entire thing. I'm slightly concerned this only took me a month. Is anyone else this obsessive once they start? I suppose all the winners of NaNo can hold up their hands. Now the real work begins - adding the brilliance.

To start with, I lay out a pile of events that I want to happen. When I write the actual scenes, my characters end up doing things I hadn't planned and it leads to more scenes. My biggest fear is getting somewhere in the middle, and have it not work like I envisioned. Such a sense of relief to know it's completed.

Does anyone have a completely different method? How about a title for a dogsledding adventure?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

When inside dogs go out

Poor little Remington thinks he's a big dog. He runs outside with the big dog. He burrows through the snow and pounces on deep drifts like the big dog. But his little dog hair betrays him every time he tries to stay out longer than ten minutes. He's now on the market for a full body snowsuit and booties.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New look

To celebrate my upcoming release, DOGSLED DREAMS, I've done some renovations to my website. While I was at it, thought I'd update my blog. I welcome any comments! Easier on the eye to read? I would love if you could click on the link to my website on the top right and take a quick gander at that too.

I purchased this royalty-free image from Getty Images. Very inexpensive. All the other photos are my own including the header for my blog and the website is a free one from Webnode. Once my second book sells I may splurge and get a webdesigner.
I'm interested, did you do your own website or did you get a webdesigner?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

sled dog blog

You seriously need to check out the awesome blog I've just found.

Karen from NorthWapiti Kennels emailed me to say she liked my latest article in Dogs in Canada, Frozen Turd Wars. And when I followed her link, I discovered this gem of a blog.

No wonder she liked my article, she's probably dealing with her own frozen somethings...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blogger Award

I received another blogger award! This one from Caroline Starr Rose. She used to be a teacher, but quit her job to write full time! That's my kind of leap of faith! Check out her blog. She runs an after school book club as well and has some great insights.
Seven things about me sounds a little boring, and you already know way too much about me. Since this is a creative award, I'm going to tell you seven things about my MC from my upcoming book, Dogsled Dreams.
1. Her name is Rebecca
2. She's 12 years old
3. She wants to run a dogsled race alone with her dogs
4. She secretly loves to sing, especially anything by the Pussy Cat Dolls
5. Her favorite dog is Doppler, who she's trained since he was a puppy
6. Sometimes, Rebecca worries she's not a good musher
7. And something that's not in the book - when she was younger, she used to pretend she was Mogli and crawl through the woods with the puppies and get covered in mud...wait a minute, or was that me?
I'm passing this award on to Mary over at Writers butt does not apply to me. She is halarious and fun.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Inde-debut group - small presses rock

Thanks to Amy Allgeyer Cook our founder, and Lori Calabrese our blogger guru, I'd like to introduce our new Inde-debut blogsite. Our group is made of authors whose books are being published by small presses in 2010 or 2011. Our blogsite is a great source of information on small and independent publishing presses as well as writing tips and other cool stuff.

Check out the "about" page for a quote from Business Week about how small presses are finding unique ways to market their authors.
Also check out the member links on my sidebar and perhaps discover a new favorite author.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I had the whole afternoon to myself today to work on my manuscript. I wanted to share with you the awesomeness that I managed to resist. One quick walk and then back inside to type. The good news, I'm now on chapter five and as a reward, I can take Catching Fire to bed!
Other news: I received an amazing email from someone who read my latest article, Frozen Turd Wars in Dogs in Canada. She took the time to write and tell me she laughed until she cried. That she couldn't wait for my book, Dogsled Dreams to come out. This complete stranger totally made my day! What a feeling!