Amy Shojai Releases Dog Facts Book: The Pet Parents A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia

DogFacts

It’s National Pet Day and what better time to release my latest book DOG FACTS: The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia! If you pre-ordered an Ebook version at my special $2.99 discount it should have already downloaded to your Ereader of choice. Enjoy, and thanks for your “early adoption.”

Today DOG FACTS releases in all Ebook versions (now $9.99) and print at amazon ($24.99) and will soon be available at other stores, too. This is a MASSIVE book, 642 pages and three pounds of everything you ever wanted to know about keeping your dog happy, healthy, and safe.

Advance reviews make my virtual tail wag: “A Must Have for All Dog Owners” and “Amy Shojai has hit a grand slam”

Here’s what’s in the book:

  • An alphabetical A-to-Z listing, with more than 200 entries and 200+ cute dog photos and illustrations, covering everything from abscesses and hair loss to whipworms and zoonosis, holistic care, first aid, and breed health issues (and what to do)
  • Charts that list symptoms for a particular condition, the corresponding home care or first aid, the comparative veterinarian and holistic treatments, and preventive advice
  • A symptoms/conditions table that helps you identify what ailments might be bothering your dog
  • Breed-At-A-Glance chart to compare personality, looks, care challenges and other issues when choosing your purebred dog
  • A comprehensive, easy-to-use index that makes quick reference a snap
  • Contact information for dozens of dog organizations and veterinary resources

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This is a compilation of my more than 25 years as a pet care journalist, incorporating the veterinary advice from hundreds of veterinary experts and thousands of hours of interviews. I’ve tried to keep the cost as economical as possible because I truly believe this book could save dog lives–I want as many pet parents to have access to the book as possible. Heck, instead of getting 3 or 4 of my books, just get this one all-inclusive book! I hope it makes a positive difference for your special dogs.
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I hope you’ll share these links (below) with dog loving friends. Instead of a collection of several books, this door-stop-size book covers all the must-knows from birth to seniors, and I hope is the only dog book a pet parent will need.
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 Could you please do me a favor? SHARE this post with your dog loving friends and let me know how you (they) like the book. I’m not too proud to beg (can you see me sitting up? it’s hissing off the cats…)
Thanks in advance for helping me spread the word! Here are the direct links to the book:

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!


Thriller Thursday: Choice Of Enemies & M.A. Richards

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

THRILLER THURSDAY is a new occasional feature of Bling, Bitches & Blood. As a member of International Thriller Writers and alumni of the ITW Debut Author Program, it is my honor to showcase select ITW authors and books participating in the ITW Bloggers Program. If you love reading great books as much as I do, check out my Spotlight Guest Michael (M.A.) RICHARDS! 

Hey Sweet Peeps! Please pretend it’s THURSDAY. See, my calendar exploded and I missed posting this on time…urk! Apologies for the delay to Michael. But hey, you have even more time to settle down with a great story on Saturday, so enjoy.

M.A.Richards -AuthorBorn in Lowell, Massachusetts, M. A. Richards received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Studies from Connecticut College and his Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. During a career as a Cultural Attaché in the Department of State that spanned more than two decades, he served in Baghdad, Jerusalem, Lagos, Moscow, Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Washington, D.C. He also served at U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu as the Special Advisor to the Commander. He speaks Arabic, Hebrew, Korean, and Russian. M. A. divides his time between Palm Beach and Tel Aviv, where he indulges his passions for motorcycles, photography, and archaeology. Visit www.marichardsbooks.com to learn more about M. A. Richards and Choice of Enemies.

“Loyalty, betrayal, vengeance… Richards captures the contradictions of today’s changing Africa, and America, too.” – David T. Doris, author of VIGILANT THINGS

CHOICE OF ENEMIES - Cover - M.A. Richards

Sunbury Press, Inc; 224 pages; $24.95 Hardcover, $16.95 Trade Paperback, $4.99 Mobipocket

SYNOPSIS: 

CHOICE OF ENEMIES is the first in a series of espionage novels featuring Nathan Monsarrat, a retired Central Intelligence Agency deep cover operative with an extensive knowledge of black gold and expertise in weapons, women, and Benjamins. Light sweet crude is the mother’s milk of the Niger Delta. As the price for each barrel of oil rises on the international markets and the stakes for securing the black gold increase, a consortium of American oil companies and the Central Intelligence Agency plot to secure the flow of the crude. In Africa, though, plans unravel as quickly as cheap socks, and promises between partners have the lifespan of a mayfly. Nathan, now a Dean at a small college in Massachusetts, is visited by his former mentor at the Agency, who offers him a blunt choice: either travel to the Dark Continent to lay the groundwork for the coup d’état, or condemn the woman who saved his life to a brutal execution. Out of options, he returns to Africa, where he discovers that the Agency plans to reward his services with an oil soaked grave. Assisted by a coterie of new and old allies, including a beautiful vor with a thirst for power and a yeshiva bocher with a fondness for Armani suits, as well as his own sharp intelligence, considerable wit, and substantial charm, Nathan parries the Agency, circumvents the consortium, and exacts his own vengeance. In doing so, he learns that his choice of friends is as important as his choice of enemies. NOTE: Contains strong language, violence, sexual situations.

READ AN EXCERPT HERE: IN THE COOL OF THE AFRICAN DAWN

STALK FOLLOW THE AUTHOR HERE:

Twitter:          twitter.com/marichardswrite
Sunbury:       sunburypressstore.com
Amazon:        amazon.com/author/marichards

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have anew kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Pets Peeves? Join Amy’s Newsletter Tribe!

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Love Cats & Dogs? You’ve found your TRIBE!

AMY’S PETS PEEVES NEWSLETTER

& A FAVOR…

I can’t thank y’all enough for visiting my blog, sharing the content and (I hope) benefiting from some of the info-tainment. You’ll find even more pet-astic information (and free books and discounts!) in my Pets Peeves newsletter.

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs my next big project will include cat and dog behavior webinars, and also a series on writing and publishing with step by step DIY info on Kindle-ization, using images, audio books, nonfiction (and fiction) proposals & pitches, recommended products and free URLs that have been invaluable to me.

And yep, I’ll most certainly announce such things here, on the blog. But the first notice always goes out to my Sweet Peeps, my Pets Peeves newsletter subscribers, along with early discounts and (very often) freebies not available anywhere else.

HERE COMES THE FAVOR…

So…my next book DOG FACTS releases this next Monday, April 11, 2016 (HURRAY!!!). The Ebook versions are available for preorder now (with color pictures!), but the print book goes “live” on Monday everywhere. I really REALLY want this book in as many dog lover’s homes as possible…I think (pray) it will help ’em out a bunch. So I need your help to spread the word.

And as a thank you treat (hey, dogs are the ONLY ones who love treats), I’ve planned a neato give away plus discount codes to share. Those will go out on Monday to my Pets Peeves newsletter subscribers for a very limited time. If you’re already a subscriber–YAY! Watch for that to come to your in-box sometime on Monday.

If you’re not subscribed but willing to help me out–now’s your chance. *s* Yes, I’m not too proud to sit up and beg!

You can always unsubscribe after Monday’s treats go out (but I hope you’ll stick around for other goodies). Anyway, you MUST be subscribed before April 11, so don’t delay. Share this post with other pet parents who might want to help out (and get some discount codes, too).

Thanks in advance…Subscribe below! OR… got your phone handy? just TEXT the word TREATS to 44222 (I’ll send you some training tips, too).


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give-aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

 

Cat Writers Association Interviews AAFP

Many of y’all know that I’m a member and one of the founders of the Cat Writers Association. This year, I’m also helping with organizing our annual conference, which this year will take place in conjunction with the BlogPaws.com conference in June. And yes, YOU ARE INVITED, ya don’t have to be a member of either or both organizations to attend. Lots of great writerly and blog-istic learning ops, as well as many dogs, cats ferrets and other companion animals in attendance.

Cat Writers AssociationA highlight of the CWA conference is the awards banquet for the best published cat work of the contest season, and the AAFP — American Association of Feline Practitioners — is one of our sponsors.

I’m delighted that our CWA president Marci Kladnik took the time to interview CWA member Dr. Elizabeth Colleran about the AAFP, cat friendly practices, working with CWA members, and getting some cat-astic info out to writers to share with their cat loving peeps. Dr. Colleran will also be a panelist at the CWA Conference in June but here’s a preview taste. Enjoy this 30 minute video interview (and yes, I couldn’t resist…I added a few questions myself).

I learned some fun stuff about cats that surprised me–take a minute and post your surprises in the comments, too. Oh, and feel free to share the video! Don’t the cats deserve to get their story told? 🙂

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have anew kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

How to Deal With Copyright Infringement

"I own this content!"

“I own this content!”

Copyright infringement? Sometimes crappiocca happens when you’re writer, and some of the most angst inspiring have to do with copyright infringement. Whether you’re a new blogger, an established writer, or even a well known author, it’s a given that work will be copied, stolen, pirated and/or used illegally at some point in your career. Sometimes this is done by the clueless–if you’re a writer/blogger, please educate yourself!–but other times, individuals or companies know it’s illegal but infringe your copyright anyway because they rarely suffer any consequences. After all, how many writers have extra funds to hire a lawyer?

As it turns out, I had to resort to that. Read on for a bit about what happened…but meanwhile, there are some no-cost ways writers and authors can fight back.

Writing about dogs (and cats) is serious business.

Writing about dogs (and cats) is serious business.

BOOK PIRATE SITES

Pirate sites may be the bane of authors and I hear many complaints from colleagues. They steal entire books, upload to “torrent” sites that offer free downloads or charge fees for access. That’s the same as if someone stole all the keys from a car rental company and gave them out for everyone to use. Hey, nobody would be surprised if some other professional (a plumber, for instance) objected to giving away work for free–yet artists are somehow expected to be “flattered” when work is stolen.

All my books are given away free in various places. I even give away a book when folks subscribe to my newsletter, but that’s MY choice!

I no longer pay attention to these pirate sites because most also are phishing schemes eager to get credit card info, or inject Trojan infections for visitors. Those who seek out my books for free wouldn’t buy them anyway, and if they get a virus, well…sorry, I have no sympathy.

ONLINE CLUELESS COPIES

There is a perception that if it’s “online” and free to read, then it’s up for grabs. Nuh-huh. And you do NOT need to file paperwork or pay a fee to “copyright” your work. From the moment of creation, the creator owns copyright in the work, which means the creator has all say in how that material is used, displayed, and distributed. You don’t even need to include that little C-in-a-circle or “copr.” notice.

It’s very easy with the Internet to cut-and-paste and post material somewhere else. And if you don’t mind, that’s fine–simply make a public statement to that effect, so it’s part of the cut-and-paste that’s sent around. But if you do want to control your content (and honestly, that’s the smart thing to do), it’s easy enough to “google” and find out your rights.

I’m not a lawyer and don’t even play one on TV 🙂 but have learned all I can about copyright law to understand my business and protect my intellectual property. I worked as a legal assistant for several years and read and helped write countless contracts, which came in handy while vetting my own writing assignment and book contracts later. Here’s the deal: unless you have a contract granting another party the right to use your content in agreed upon ways, nobody but you can use your material. It doesn’t matter if they charge money, or offer it free of charge, they’re violating your copyright without that contract.

"Want to use my content? Get permission in WRITING!"

“Want to use my content? Get permission in WRITING!”

AMY’S EXPERIENCE

DEALING WITH

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

I’ve debated since January whether or not to go public about my recent experience, and decided to share what might be helpful to others. My situation is a bit different, as it entails several kinds of infringement all stemming from a contract dispute that is ongoing and not yet resolved. Therefore, for now I choose to redact the name of the parties involved–but may, indeed, “out” them in the future–and simply offer what has thus far worked to resolve the situation and how you may be able to benefit from these tips. This is the short version.

I was notified in early December 2015 that my contract with REDACTED would be terminated as of January 2, 2016. Further, I was assured the cancellation clause would be followed: my materials would be removed from the website(s) and no longer used in promotion of the company/products. They further informed me that they would not honor the termination payment portion of the contract. Of course, I objected, and requested they honor the terms of the cancellation clause in its entirety.

January 2 came…and went…and none of my material was removed, as they had promised and as the contract stipulated. My repeated requests to have my materials removed were met with excuses, and finally silence. In late February I hired an attorney who repeated my demands, whereupon REDACTED suddenly claimed they had decided to cancel the contract’s termination, so therefore I was still under contract and they had the right to continue using my materials–but without paying.

My attorney’s intervention ultimately resulted in removal of my author picture, reviews and videos from the site(s). However, all the articles/blogs and photos remained fully visible and promoted as Amy’s continued endorsement of the company/products.

These blogs and articles only came down last week, a full three months’ worth of copyright infringement, and not by their choice but due to a DMCA take down notice I filed. As I said, the contract dispute continues but at least (most) of my material has been removed–it’s still being used other places, but that’s a topic for another blog, perhaps.

Here’s how I finally got the blogs/articles with their photos removed.

DMCA TAKEDOWN NOTICE

It’s of course ALWAYS better to contact the infringing person/organization and 1) explain you own the material in question and 2) request it be removed. As I mentioned above, not everyone knows or understands (although ignorance does not excuse breaking the law). You may be satisfied for the infringement to simply be removed, or for most to be deleted and a link to YOUR site with the remainder to be provided. That’s up to you.

When the person/organization refuses to remove illegal use of your content, you can request that their internet host take steps to remove that content. DMCA is a part of US Copyright Law but also works with hosting companies in foreign countries. Remember, it’s the HOST and not the “registrar” of the website name. Here’s what you can do.

FIND INFRINGED MATERIAL

Don’t be a copy cat!

There’s a neat site I like where  you can check and see if your material has been copied and published illegally (or a part of it used elsewhere). A limited service is free, or you can purchase a premium account which is very economical. Simply copy and paste the content in dispute into the screen that comes up, and it will search for duplicates. Check out CopyScape.com — this is also helpful for folks who write a lot of material and you don’t want to plagiarize yourself!

UNCOVER THE WEBSITE HOST

There are a number of “whois” sites that will help you find information about a particular website, from the name of the person who filed the name, what company registered the URL, term dates and more. I typed in the url of one of the websites and discovered the name was registered through GoDaddy. After I contacted their complaints page, I received an email back referring me to discover the hosting company by looking it up on http://domainwhitepages.com/  I suspect there are other services that work well, too. You will find an email contact to send claims or disputes. Here’s a template that you can use. Just fill in the details pertinent to your situation.

Note: After I sent this, I was requested to be even more specific because in some cases, the blog text was my work but the image was not, while in other cases both were my work. I ended up sending the direct URLs to every infringed page on the two websites (more than 80 individual instances).

DMCA TEMPLATE

Attn: Copyright Agent, [company name here]

Pursuant to 17 USC 512(c)(3)(A), this communication serves as a statement that:

  1. I am [the exclusive rights holder | the duly authorized representative of the exclusive rights holder] for [title of copyrighted material being infringed upon, and, if possible, additional identifying information such as ISBNs, publication dates, etc — or, if the material is a web page, the URL];
  2. These exclusive rights are being violated by material available upon your site at the following URL(s): [URLs of infringing material];
  3. I have a good faith belief that the use of this material in such a fashion is not authorized by the copyright holder, the copyright holder’s agent, or the law;
  4. Under penalty of perjury in a United States court of law, I state that the information contained in this notification is accurate, and that I am authorized to act on the behalf of the exclusive rights holder for the material in question;
  5. I may be contacted by the following methods (include all): [physical address, telephone number, and email address];
I hereby request that you remove or disable access to this material as it appears on your service in as expedient a fashion as possible. Thank you.
Regards,
[your full legal name]

FINAL THOUGHTS…

This has been a horrible experience for me, in part because I never would have worked with this company had I not trusted them to be honest and forthright.

Having contracts cancelled is a normal part of business. That never bothers me. Schtuff happens, and most contracts have a termination clause to address this. That clause, though, is just as enforceable as the rest of the contract.

I don’t know what will happen going forward, and am relying on my attorney to guide any next steps. I spent half of today searching my own blog for references to REDACTED and removing them…yes, I promoted them and their products here on nearly every blog while under contract.

Doh! Never again.

My reputation and my intellectual property is something I must fiercely protect. Nobody else cares as much about your work as you do–and nobody can do what you do as well as you. Never sell yourself short, or settle.  Be sure you know your rights, and understand any contract you sign.

Unfortunately, not everyone abides by contracts, even when they write the contract terms themselves. You can be sure I’ll be even more diligent in any future agreements. Today, though, I’m very grateful to have found a terrific advocate.

Heck, this may make it into the next thriller. Hmnnnn.


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!