Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My own "best of" list

one of my "power" places
Tanzer has a hard life forced to hike every day
Been out snowshoeing lately. Not much snow, but glorious weather. Unfortunately, I don't have my camera when the sun shines through the hoarfrost on the branches turning the whole world into awesome.

Shannon had a great idea on her blog listing her most popular posts for 2010. Personally, I tend to blog in sporadic fits. I read and catch up on what's going on for a couple days, then I get busy and miss lots.

So, in case you missed them, I'm listing my favourite posts this year.

1. On Passion
2. What Fills Your Soul Up?
3. Ever Wanted to Mush a Dog Team?
4. Wildlife Shots
5. End of Summer Adventure Photo Collage

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A few random things before Christmas

photo credit pets

1. We had our Christmas last week - step families get to have TWO Christmases. And I'm in love with my new Kobo Reader.

2. I plan to finally get some snowshoe adventuring in during the Christmas break. Photos to come.

3. Don't forget the DOGSLED DREAMS giveaway here. Merry Christmas to all!

4. I don't think I'm going to make the 100 book reading challenge, but I did read 75 books. Check out my list here.

5. I've been up to my eyeballs in promotion prep for DOGSLED DREAMS. My amazing publicist has made a snazzy little booklet that includes the first chapter, reviews, and info about a secret junior musher video contest that I'll be announcing shortly. If anyone wants booklets they could use to help me with promotion, please contact me.

6. The Book Dads have reviewed Dogsled Dreams. Check it out here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

DOGSLED DREAMS book giveaway

It's finally here - the contest you've been waiting for!  I'm giving away a signed copy of DOGSLED DREAMS. Here's the deets:

Fill out the form
Contest ends December 31
Open to everyone
Two random draws

I'm asking for you to do at least ONE of the following to help out with promotion of my debut novel. You are most welcome to do more than one - they are all simple and cost nothing but a tiny bit of time. There are no points involved here, just goodwill between bloggers.

1. Add DOGSLED DREAMS to your Goodreads list

2. Post the cover anywhere on your blog

3. Ask your local library to order a copy of DOGSLED DREAMS,
     ISBN-10: 0982642342 
     ISBN-13: 9780982642344

4. Post a link to the Dogsled Dreams page on Facebook

5. Tweet about this contest


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Junior musher inspirational video

I had to share this video by The FilmDailies about 15-year-old Krista Halnses and her sled dog racing career. It's longer than I usually post - five minutes, but just watching her with her dogs for a few seconds will mesmerize you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Giving back for December

It's been a little chilly around here lately - minus twenty Celcius. But this morning, it's much warmer - which usually means SNOW!

first day of freeze-up

settling in for a long winter's rest
 Here's a little GIVING BACK post to warm your heart.
The New York Lit.World is accepting donations for children's picture books in partnership with The International Book Bank. The books will be shipped to Liberia and Sierra Leone to find children who may never have had a book of their own - some never have seen a picture book before.

Ambassador Kimmie Weeks reading aloud from book donations
About LitWorld: LitWorld is a non-profit organisation that advocates for global literacy. LitWorld believes stories are life-changing and sharing stories will create connections that have the power to change the world.
About The International Book Bank: An organisation that has been delivering free books and educational materials to developing countries since 1987, with the goal of increasing literacy and advancing education.


LitWorld and The International Book Bank would like new or gently used favorite books to be mailed to:
LitWorld Holiday Book Drive C/O
Deacon Sharon Brennen
Christian Pre-School
Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church
43 Ashford Ave
Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522


Monday, December 6, 2010

Kate Messner in the house

Welcome to the blog the fabulous KATE MESSNER as my first ever guest! Kate is the author of a little book you may have heard of - THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. Yeah, that's right. I've got a famous author on my blog!

Today she's here to talk about winter! And her latest book, SUGAR and ICE, a middle grade novel about a girl athlete with a dream about a winter sport. And who doesn't love books like that?

By Kate Messner:
When you live where I do, outdoor winter sports are a part of life in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s not that we don’t feel those –30 degree wind chill temperatures; it’s just that most of us know how to bundle up and appreciate the brighter side of bitter cold.
My new figure skating novel for young readers, SUGAR AND ICE, takes place in Northern New York State and is about a girl from a small-town maple farm who earns a scholarship to train with the elite at Lake Placid’s Olympic Center. Before the action turns to drama on the ice, though, there’s a scene set on the family’s maple farm, where Claire has grown up skating on the cow pond with her cousin.

Some people who have read early copies of SUGAR AND ICE have asked if we really skate on the frozen ponds and lakes in the winter time, and the answer is… well, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Not only do we venture outside on some of the coldest winter days; we long for those temperatures to drop when winter arrives. It takes the perfect mix of bitter cold overnight temperatures, still winds, and a few days without much snow to turn Lake Champlain into a giant skating rink.

Sometimes, it’s a rink that needs shoveling, but it’s well worth the effort! Later on, when the snow is too well packed to be swept away, we turn to cross country skiing past the ice fishermen, a scene that Claire would appreciate, I’m sure.

Readers of my blog shiver, I know, when I share some of these pictures. “How can you go outside in that?” my California friends write. But take a look…

If winter looked like this where you live, wouldn’t it be hard for you to watch it pass by from inside? I feel like Claire and I are kindred spirits in a lot of ways…waiting and waiting for that first good freeze so our seasonal rinks can open for business.

Want a personalized, signed copy of SUGAR AND ICE?
The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid is hosting a SUGAR AND ICE launch party from 3-5 pm on Saturday, December 11th, so please consider this your invitation if you live in the area! If you can’t make it but would still like a signed, personalized copy, just give the bookstore a call at (518) 523-2950 by December 10th. They’ll take your order, have Kate sign your book after the event, and ship it out to you in plenty of time for the holidays.


Junior Library Guild Selection

For Claire Boucher, life is all about skating on the frozen cow pond and in the annual Maple Show right before the big pancake breakfast on her family's maple farm. But all that changes when Claire is offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity-a scholarship to train with the elite skaters in Lake Placid. Tossed into a world of mean girls on ice, where competition is everything, Claire soon realizes that her sweet dream-come-true has sharper edges than she could have imagined. Can she find the strength to stand up to the people who want her to fail and the courage to decide which dream she wants to follow?

Thank you, Kate, for your great photos and post!

Check out Kate Messner website HERE

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

celebrating snow, reviews, and 200 followers!

our deck - gateway to winter wonderland
We finally got our snow, the lake is making ice as I write this, I've got 200 followers! And Dogsled Dreams continues to get good reviews! So much to celebrate! What should we do?

First, let's make fun of my step-daughter's little Remmington, and his snow ball plight.

little dog likes to tromp through drifts like the big dog but doesn't have the fur for it!

Now, let's announce that NEXT WEEK, author Kate Messner will be stopping by to talk about winter, and her latest book SUGAR AND ICE.

Next, I'd like to share a review Dogsled Dreams received from a famous musher and author.

Dogsled Dreams by Terry Lynn Johnson is a story that demonstrates the bond between mushers and their dogs, the devotion mushers feel for their dogs, and the lengths to which they will go to ensure their dog’s health and well-being.

The most important lesson in this book is that it shows a young person being responsible and treating animals humanely and that this behavior is admired by their peers.
This story also truly shows that mushing is a family sport that enhances family connections and one that bring joy to humans and canines. People of all ages will enjoy reading Dogsled Dreams.
--Pam Flowers, Author of Alone Across the Arctic: One Woman's Epic Journey by Dog Team

All this great news - makes me feel like giving away signed copies of DOGSLED DREAMS! Any cool ideas out there on how to make it fun?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

To Gee or to Haw, that is the question

Bark River Racing team photo

Find out how tuned in mushers are with their leaders in the latest FUN FACT #3 on the website HERE.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Next Fifteen Minutes by Kim Kircher

CONGRATULATIONS to Kim Kircher for signing with Behler Publications for her debut memoir, THE NEXT FIFTEEN MINUTES.

From Kim's blog:

My memoir, THE NEXT FIFTEEN MINUTES, takes readers on a wild ride of salvation, finding answers to a scary diagnosis in the oddest places, including the bottom of a snowy avalanche and the cockpit of a Beaver floatplane.

As a ski patroller, I use explosives to prevent avalanches and my EMT training to save lives. When my husband got sick, it was the most important job yet: rescue him. My training taught me how to survive any crisis, even a terrible diagnosis: just calm down and breathe. During the twelve months waiting for the liver transplant that would save him, I conquered my greatest fear by returning to the mountains. I mined our lives spent skiing, climbing, and exploring the wilderness for lessons I could apply to our current dilemma. THE NEXT FIFTEEN MINUTES offers a rare glimpse into the strange and fascinating world of ski area work, where steep terrain and deep snow, the twin fuels that run our business, can teach us how to get through the worst trials just fifteen minutes at a time.

Kim's story sounds truly inspiring, as does her lifestyle of adventure as an avalanche specialist and ski patroller. Go check out her amazing blog! Way to go, Kim! Can't wait to read it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting the snowshoes ready

This is a recycled post from my blog's first year. Thought it was a good time to post again since it's one of my favourite activities and from the forecast, sounds like it won't be long now.

The best thing about snowshoeing is looking behind you. Something about that narrow tunnel stamped into a fresh sheet of white snow makes me feel like an explorer. The sole human visiting a magical place with drooping spruce branches and secretive silence. I was here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What fun can you have with a bucket of bloody chicken parts?

FUN FACT #2 has been posted to my website. Check it out HERE.

Also, you may notice Chapter One of Dogsled Dreams has been officially posted on the top bar.

I've been busy lately considering a CIRCLE SUPERIOR book tour to Thunder Bay and Duluth. I could take in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon and visit my old haunts in Thunder Bay. I've been invited by a Thunder Bay musher friend of Boreal Journeys to join them at the race festivities. Dogsled Dreams is based in the outskirts of the city.

This hasn't been officially decided yet. I have a concern with the road conditions in January. But just in case, are any of my dear readers along this route?

Monday, November 15, 2010

book give away winners!

My giveaway this month has THREE winners! Congratulations to

KIM KIRCHER  - you have won

SUSAN FIELDS - you have won

JENNIFER ROBINSON - you have won

CONGRATULATIONS! And thanks for helping me celebrate TWO MONTHS until release day!

Next contest will be for signed copies of DOGSLED DREAMS!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Meet the Mushers photo credit

The official list of mushers signed up to race the 2011 Iditarod is up on the website. Check out the site HERE to see full biographies and photos of the racers. My secret crush, Martin Buser is running again this year! Good luck to all and happy training!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Put your hands up in the air

This has nothing to do with adventure, or dogs, or outdoor adventure, or writing. And I don't ususally do this here - but seriously, just watch.

Don't forget to enter my book giveaway! Closes on Monday, November 15!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reviews coming in

After the ARC's are sent to reviewers, it's yet another thing to wait for in this business. Will they like it? What if they think it's sucky? Will they write and print a review that it's sucky? What if everyone reads the review and decides not to buy the book because of said suckiness? Really, the waiting can be torture.

With three weeks left till the publisher's deadline for reviews, I still have a while to wait. But, I have received TWO REVIEWS before the deadline and they are most awesome! Someone out there gets the story. They like the writing. Not one mention of sucky.

I was going to wait to share the reviews, but I just can't.

Dogsled Dreams is an inspirational story about a girl learning the rewards of persistence, hard work and bravery. It is much more than an adventure story about a young musher; it is about a girl determined to prove her knowledge, abilities and maturity to her family, peers and, most importantly, herself. Rebecca's experiences are applicable to any young girl ready to emerge from the security of childhood to the freedom of adolescence. Dogsled Dreams is a captivating and exciting debut novel and introduction to dogsledding.

Superior Outdoors Magazine

This is an engaging, often exciting, and sometimes humorous story full of rich details and fascinating information about dog sled racing. Rebecca and her dogs not only came alive, but they brought me along on their adventures.

Cynthia Chapman Willis, author of Dog Gone and Buck Fever

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dogs help you live longer

Last year, Dogs in Canada magazine published one of my articles, WALKING THE DOG. It's now up on the Dogs in Canada website.

The article is about my friend, Alana who has Cystic Fibrosis. Her goofy dogs are keeping her alive. See how by checking out my article here!

Alana’s neighbours grew accustomed to the sight of her pulling a wagon with Magnus sitting proudly. They could set their clocks by the morning, noon and evening walks.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Celebrating Dog Books

A few of my DOG BOOK collection.
  Lately I've been reading some amazing books about dogs. Wanted to share some of my recommended reads with you.

LOST AND FOUND by Jacqueline Sheehan haunts me still. The characters are rich and vivid and the dialogue is amazing. The author wrote me back after I sent her a fan mail!

LISTEN by Stephanie Tolan. A quiet, thoughtful book about the power a relationship with a dog can have. Loved it. This author also wrote me back!

THE BOY WHO SPOKE DOG by Clay Morgan. Interesting that the dog's speak in this story. And they are fiercely loyal.

PUPPIES, DOGS, and BLUE NORTHERS by Gary Paulsen. It's by Paulsen, so what more can I say about this. Loved it.

IZZY AND LENORE by Jon Katz. Katz has a special way of writing about dogs that worms into your brain. I've enjoyed all of his books. And especially SOUL OF A DOG. Just wow.

DOG GONE by Cynthia Chapman Willis. Great story, amazing characters, emotional read. Loved it!

Have you read any good books about dogs lately? I'd love to hear about them.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book Giveaway Celebration!

In Two and half months, my debut novel DOGSLED DREAMS will be released! I can hardly believe it! To celebrate, I'm giving away the following fabulous books. All you have to do is answer one question

What is the main character's name in Dogsled Dreams? HINT: female protagonist
The answer can be found at my website.

Three winners will each win two books. In an attempt to be hip, I've made a FORM. Fill out your preference of book-goodness you'd like to win. I'll compile the information and random-pick the winners. Deadline is November 15 to enter. Exactly TWO months before Dogsled Dreams release.

Enter HERE.

RAMPANT by Diana Peterfreund - hard cover
ETERNAL by Cynthia Leitich Smith - soft cover
AS IF BEING 12 3/4 ISN'T BAD ENOUGH by Donna Gephart - signed by author!
BUCK FEVER by Cynthia Chapman Willis - hard cover
THE ELEPHANT KEEPER by Christopher Nicholson - soft cover
The Writer's Guide to CRAFTING STORIES FOR CHILDREN by Nancy Lamb - soft cover

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Middle Grade authors

Here's a few fabulous middle grade authors with debut books coming out in 2011. They're fellow Elevensies members and from the look of their new websites, their books are going to be fantastic! Check them out

Caroline Starr Rose just unveiled her new website for her novel, MAY B. It's a historical survival story! In verse! How she does that is a mystery to me. But I know I can't wait until September.

Allan Woodrow has a hillarious website. Seriously, go see what his typical book signing looks like. This series will be a riot. The Rotten Adventures of ZACHARY RUTHLESS is available now for pre order.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dog costume fun

What good is a strange, yearly tradition of dressing up to get candy if you don't use the chance to completely humiliate your poor canine companion whose greatest joy in life is to please you?

photos from