Sunday, February 27, 2011

Giant huskies, flying toilet seats, and a little moment

This weekend I went to the Cannington Sled Dog Races. Sadly, the actual race was cancelled due to lack of snow. But the festival drew huge crowds - about 5,000 hardy souls participating in events like the grapefruit fling, big-foot obstacle course, and the toilet seat toss. (I mean, really, if you can't have fun with a toilet seat, you may as well stay home.)

I managed to find a stray mutt wandering around and lured him over with cookies.

Cannington Sled Dog Races mascot poses with DOGSLED DREAMS

The Brock Library event went well. I brought along a dogsled, harnesses, dog booties, gangline, musher gear, and lots of stories. At the end of the presentation, three little boys approached and asked me to sign their booklets, and one showed off his new knowledge by naming all the dog positions in the team. He was listening! It completely made my day. 

And the weekend just kept getting better. On my way home, I stopped in at Chapter's Bookstore and found my book. Face out. On the shelf. What a moment that was!

cell phone picture. Little fuzzy. But real.
And the placement isn't too shabby either! Look at the little book I'm sharing shelf space with!

Thank you everyone, for all your suggestions for my library reading! Two more stops left.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Northern living

It was Family Day yesterday - a new holiday. And what better way to spend it than going to the city to skate on the lake?

One little detail - it was minus thirty-two with the windchill.

cold noses, warm hearts
 So you would think that we'd be the only crazy family out there - but no. This is northern Ontario! There were many people out - playing hockey or just getting blown around. The skate up the lake was challenging, but the ride coming back down with the wind at your back was FUN!

And more fun: I'll be heading to CANNINGTON, Ontario this weekend for another sled dog race and book signing of DOGSLED DREAMS. I'm also doing a talk/reading at the Brock Library on Friday, Feb. 25.

THIS time, I hope to have photos/video to share when I get back.

Don't forget to enter my Mega Elevensies Book Giveaway in the post below!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Insanely Mega Elevensies Debut Giveaway

My debut DOGSLED DREAMS, has been out for six weeks. I'm grateful to those who have helped spread the word or took the time to review it on Goodreads, blogs, or at Amazon sites. I'm also feeling blessed to be receiving amazing emails from readers that touch my heart. YOU are definitely the best part of being an author!

I want to give back.

So. Up for grabs

HAVEN by Kristi Cook
SO SHELLY by Ty Roth
RIVAL by Sara Bennett Wealer
UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand
THE IRON WITCH by Karen Mahoney
HEAD GAMES by Keri Mikulski


I feel guilty that other ELEVENSIE DEBUT books I've purchased are on my beloved KOBO reader. Sadly, I've just discovered the one downside of my ereader, and that is I can't share the fabulous books from it.

But seriously, you need to read:

WARPED by Maurissa Guilbord
VESPER by Jeff Sampson
XVI by Julia Karr

To make up for these missing books, I'm going to also giveaway the following

PERILOUS by Tamara Hart Heiner
DOG GONE by Cynthia Chapman Willis


Not many rules. I just want to try to get these great books into the hands of readers. NINE winners!

1. Please fill out your preferences in the entry form. I'll look at the entries and try to match you with your book choice. If more than one person wants one title, I'll do a random draw for that title.

2. You don't have to be a follower, or have read my own book, DOGSLED DREAMS, but it would be lovely if you did!

3. Please tweet, blog, or facebook about this contest. Again, not necessary, but nice.

4. Open to Canadian and US residents. Closes March 18.


EDIT NOTE: Like a norbert, I accidentally left a "sample question" on the end of the entry form, and I just wanted to say I'm loving the random comments I'm getting on there. You guys are so creative!
Write whatever you want in there or leave blank.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Maxwell Medallion of Excellence

Big announcement!

I've been notified that I have won FIRST PLACE in the Dog Writers Association of America covetted awards


I am truly honoured. (okay, and freaking PUMPED that it's from the DOG writers association)

A fellow Dogs in Canada Magazine writer accepted the award on my behalf at the Annual Awards Banquet in New York at the Affina Manhattan hotel.

Monday, February 7, 2011

book signing update - Dogsled Races

photo by Peter Hellman

The good news:

 I've survived my first book signing on my book tour!

  • 30 copies of DOGSLED DREAMS were snatched up!
  • I made a pack of new friends. (Waves at 11-year-old Martina the avid reader, eloquent speaker, and sled dog enthusiast.)
  • And I learned a ton about how to move your book at an event. Namely - you actually have to talk about yourself. Unabashadly. The natural (Canadian?) tendency toward modesty must be left at the door. How else are people going to know your book was selected as a Recommended Read by the Iditarod Education Department, unless you tell them?

Photo Peter Hellman

Photo Peter Hellman
 I LOVED being around all the amazing mushers and sled dogs! 100 howling dogs outside my motel door each evening and morning. Too beautiful for words. I choke up just remembering what that sounded like.

photo by Glen Milligan
The bad news:

I really really wanted to get videos of the start of the races. I wanted to share the absolute joy of the dogs before they run. I taped amazing shots of crazed dogs running past, full teams screaming and lunging on the ganglines. Mushers slipping and wrestling to the start line. It was all so AWESOME!

Then I came home to watch and edit for you and ... AND ...

photo Glen Milligan

I had the recorder off when I thought it was on and on when I thought it was off.

I've got brilliant shots of my feet running in the slushy snow with insane barking in the background.

I didn't get even one photo! (luckily, some did, thank you Peter and Glen)


Photo Charmaine Collins

But - I'll be doing all this again on my next stop in CANNINGTON, Ontario in a couple of weeks. My man will be coming this time. He has graciously volunteered his skills to do the video taping.

Photos are nice - but to really feel the energy and buzz, there's nothing like actually hearing 200 + dogs screaming to RUN!

Thank you to all who purchased my book!