Monday, August 24, 2015

Special Report from Auggie Doggie

     Since it’s the Dog Days of Summer and my true name is August, it’s time for my special report. As you know, I have a very important job. My human mom, Marilee, writes books and I’m her muse. In other words, I’m supposed to be her source of inspiration. It’s a hard job because she has a bajillion ways to actually avoid writing. The woman never runs out of excuses.

“Oh,” she says. “My computer screen needs cleaning.” Out comes the spray bottle and cleaning rag. Squirt. Wipe. Repeat. And it doesn’t end there. Suddenly, the printer needs dusting, the trash emptied, the bookshelf re-arranged. She also needs what she calls thinking time. Looks a lot like naptime to me, but what do I know? I’m just the muse.

Now for my favorite excuse. She says,“Is that a spider on the ceiling? It might fall into my hair, make a nest and deposit a bunch of spider eggs. I can’t possibly work under those conditions.” If I had the ability to speak, here’s what I would say. “Hello! You have a laptop. Move it to the kitchen.” Instead, I just sigh and look reproachful. If that doesn’t work, a cold nose nudge on her bare leg does the trick.

There are days when I must be doing a great job, because she gets a certain look in her eyes, plops down in her chair and writes for hours. When that happens, I curl up in bed and think deep thoughts. I call it napping.

I guess you can tell my line of work is exhausting and requires special snacks, namely liver treats along with an occasional slurp of frozen yogurt. All in all, not a bad gig. A muse’s job is never done. Just saying . . .

Until next time, Auggie Doggie, signing off.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

After a long stretch without a new book, I’m pleased to announce I’ve signed a contract for Affliction. The book, intended for adult readers, is a mash-up of several genres. It’s basically romantic suspense but also has a touch of fantasy since my protagonist, Honor Melanie Sullivan (Mel), has the ability to read souls. In addition, it is targeted for a genre called New Adult. New Adult features characters in their early twenties who are away from home for the first time. After a brush with the law, Mel leaves her home in Southern California and travels to Bend, Oregon where she meets Harley-Davidson riding William McCarty (Billy the Kid) and stumbles upon a human trafficking/baby selling scheme involving foreign girls from Kazakhstan. As with most of my books, there’s never a dull moment. I’ll soon begin the editing process for Affliction and will continue to share information about the book on my Facebook author page:

Great Summer Reads

Need a good book? I asked my friends what they’re currently reading and, wow, did I get a great response. So, if you’re looking for something new, read on!

Writing coach and editor extraordinaire, Pat Van Wie, just finished True Colors by Judith Arnold and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

Rach Lawrence recommends two books by author Suzanne Bierman Laqueur, The Man I Love and Give Me Your Answer True.

My writer friend, Donna Scofield, is reading Sherwood Nation by Benjamin Parzybok, a post apocalyptic novel set in Portland, Oregon.

Belle Book author, Skye Taylor, just finished Call Sign Karma by Jamie Rae

My Montana friend, Jean Brubaker, is enjoying All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Virgin of Small Plains, a mystery by Nancy Pickard and Hello Love by Karen McQuestion (a happy dog story).

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein is on Vivian Carl’s reading list. You might remember his first book, The Art of Racing in the Rain.

British author, Sue Roebuck, now living in Portugal, says she couldn’t put down Look Behind You by Sybil Hodge. Sue latest book, Rising Tide, is currently in the clutches of Chef Jean Denham’s.

My bookaholic sister, Beth Cazel, is also reading All the Light We Cannot See, as well as Radiant Angel by Nelson DeMille and Handle With Care by Jodi Piccoult.

From my longtime friend and high school classmate, Sharon Van Rooy McCagg – Ordinary Grace by Kent Krueger and A Man Called Ove by Bachman.

As for me . . . I’m on a David Baldacci kick. I’m currently reading Memory Man, but also recommend the John Puller series, Zero Day, The Forgotten and The Escape.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Are Your Spidey Senses Tingling?

Okay, I admit it. I have a little problem with spiders. Yes, I know they’re good, veritable champions of the insect world who eat all the bad bugs. To this, I say, “Hurray for you! Please, just stay in your own habitat away from my personal space. My home. My bathtub. My car.” This probably makes me a terrible person, but there's something about those eight legs that creep me out. I’ve been told how wonderful spiders are many times by my husband who, upon hearing me scream, “Spider!” captures the little bugger and releases it into the wild (our back yard).

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Not long ago, I was a passenger in the back seat of my car along with my thirteen-year-old granddaughter, Madelyn, and her friend, Olivia. My husband (the spider lover) was driving. Our son (father of granddaughter) was riding shotgun. Madelyn yipped in alarm. A tiny orange spider was clinging to the passenger door. Tiny? Orange? Who cares? Shrieks of terror and foot stomping ensued (mine included).

But, I’m the alpha female . . . right? I had to save my girls. It’s entirely possible orange spiders are poisonous. I reached for the laminated map of Washington State and commenced whacking. One of the girls pointed at the passenger door. “You got it. It fell into the side pocket.” I handed her a tissue. “Make sure it’s dead.” She dipped the tissue into the pocket and lifted it up. It held the smushed remains of the orange spider. I said, “Throw it out the window.” Sweet, law-abiding Olivia said, “But that’s littering and Madelyn’s dad is a police officer!” I said, “Give it here.” She handed it over. Window down. No more spider.

And what were the two men in the front seat doing all this time? Despite the fact he received two glancing blows on the back of his head from the laminated map, hubby kept his eyes glued to the road. My son, after an amused glance at the hysterical females in the back seat, continued chatting with his father. He's my youngest and knows better than to mess with Mom.

Good thing I was on the job.