Dream Big, Be You: What Do You Want To Be?

I didn’t start out to be a writer, so how the @#$%^&*! did I end up here? I just heard from the Cat Writers’ Association that my fiction book HIT AND RUN just won a Certificate of Excellence Award, with consideration for a Muse Medallion. I always wanted to write fiction, but it only happened when forced to reinvent myself and dream big. What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to be remembered for? What will your legacy be?

what do you want to beThe Accidental Writer

I’ve written about my journey several times and have blogged off and on for 20+ years. But the blog only gained traction about ten years ago when I took an Email course on branding and social media from Kristen Lamb (read her blog!). She asked lots of “thoughty” questions:

What do you (want to) write? What are your interests, besides the writing topics—because we are so much more than (fill-in-the-blank). Who do people “see” when they look at you? Is that the BRAND you desire to create? It must be the real you—pretend won’t cut it. People see through the phony-isity of such things. As an actor, someone able to put on a persona for different people or events, that struck a chord with me.

Taking Off the Mask, Being YOU

Okay, she didn’t use those words, but you get my drift. I had an acting coach tell me the same thing, and I wrote about it in another blog, that you are enough. Bring YOU to the table—that’s enough.

And that’s scary! Dang. And it leads me to another question–what did YOU want to be when you grew up? Kids seem to know and show even in the games they play what path they’ll take through life. Me? I wanted to be an actor because they were glamorous, people liked them, and they never laughed too loud or were at a loss for words. I could be whoever I wanted, and if folks rolled their eyes, it wasn’t about me, but the persona. Being real, though–EEEK! Then if they don’t like you (or your work), what then?

writing advice what do you want to be

“I own this content!”

What Do You Want to Be…?

As a kid, my brothers and I put on plays in the basement, and directed marathon “let’s pretend” soap operas. The recurring kid, horses, dogs, and cat characters and stories were so real, they had us in tears—and made my folks roll their eyes.

I never played with dolls, much to the dismay of my grandmother. Nope, it was stuffed animals and best-bud pretend pets who could “really talk!” Mom always said, “When Amy grows up she won’t have babies, she’ll have puppy-dogs and kitty-cats.”

Mom knew.

Write Your Passion—Be YOU, Not Someone Else’s Idea

Early in my writing career, people constantly questioned why I didn’t write about more important topics, like starving children or world peace? And was cautioned, “You’ll never make a living writing about just pets!” Thpbpbpbpbpbpbpb! (insert raspberry sound effects!)

I write about pets because that’s me. It’s what and who I am, and I am enough. No, it’s not ALL that I am, but it’s a big part. I’m not on Broadway–yet! But all my stage and tv experience serves the pet writing causes. I listened to my furry muses. And I have the bling ready for when the big moment comes.

publishing tips

Writing about dogs (and cats) is serious business.

Becoming My Best Self

Something unexpected happened along the path to becoming Amy. I’m no longer at a loss for words—and instead I have to work at NOT jumping into every conversation. The animals taught me that. I don’t need to bark, howl, wag my tail (no wise cracks!) or hiss all the time to get ahead. I’ve never found being a “whisperer” to be particularly effective.

I’ve learned to be a pet “listener.” If you listen with your eyes and your heart, animals tell you what they’re thinking and why they’re acting in certain ways. Works with humans, too.

When I was a kid, I wanted to wear sparkles, tell stories with happy endings, and have bestest-bud animal friends who really talk. As an adult, when a career on the stage seemed out of reach, I turned to writing as a creative outlet, and it turned into an extraordinarily rewarding career. What did you want to be when you were a kid? Are you there yet?

what do you want to be remembered forWhen I Grow Up…

I always wanted to write fiction but at first, only made headway with nonfiction. My childhood dream came true only happened when I lost my grownup nonfiction writing career ten years ago and gave up writing to teach high school choir.

For the first time in years, I had nothing to prove and nothing to lose. So I wrote the novel I’d always wanted to READ in twenty-minute increments: before work, on lunch breaks, and after classes.

I don’t have two-legged kids. My legacy will be my written works, and I hope I will be remembered for helping cats and dogs and those who love them. And now and then, helping fellow writers with tips that helped me, like this webinar on beating writer’s block.

And today, my peers have honored my fifth book, HIT AND RUN, (complete with puppy-dog and kitty-cat characters), something I never could have predicted.

What do you want to be? There’s still time!

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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? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. 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!

 

Counting Thanksgiving Blessings, the Pet Writer Way in 2020

It’s days before Thanksgiving 2020 and time again to count my furry blessings. This year, Thanksgiving looks very different. I yearn to visit my parents, and my brothers’ families, I’m thankful they’re all healthy, and safe. I’m grateful this year more than ever that although my human family lives miles away, we remain close-knit and loving.

thanksgiving

Counting Thanksgiving Blessings

I’m thankful for veterinarians who make life better for the pets we adore. I’m thankful for researchers who work to find diagnoses, treatments, and cures for our ailments, both for pets and for people. I’m thankful for the animal welfare volunteers who do the work of the angels when others somehow let pets down.

I’m thankful that I have the best job in the world, sharing information about the cats and dogs that have become so important to our emotional and physical health. I’m thankful for publishers, editors, magazines, newspapers, TV and radio shows, websites, community theaters, bloggers, and email lists that share these important resources to benefit cats and dogs and the people who love them. And I’m thankful to writing organizations, teachers, agents, and all those who promote the craft of good communication and help others pursue this rewarding craft.

Karma a week after he arrived, at about 8 months of age.

Counting Pet Blessings

I’m thankful that we found a dumped kitten several Februaries ago and brought him into our home. I’m thankful that Karma-Kat dodged coyotes, cars, and who-knows-what to find our patio. I’m thankful that Magical-Dawg heard his meow-SOS, and that the little, dumped kitten trusted me enough to come when I meowed back.

I’m grateful that nobody claimed Karma—although shame on whoever dumped him!—and that he and Magic became best buddies. I’m thankful that Karma turned back the age-clock for both Magic and Seren-kitty in their last few years with us.

baby gates

Magic at about 16 weeks with Seren (age 11) learning to accept each other. Awww….the memories!

I’m thankful that we found Bravo-Dawg the Bullmastiff at just the right time. He helped Karma-Kat (and us) emerge from deep mourning after we lost Magic and Seren. I’m thankful Karma and Bravo have become inseparable friends—even though their antics threaten the safety of our fine breakables.

puppy training

Bravo at about 12 weeks of age, his first days with us.

I’m thankful for responsible breeders who ensure purebred dogs and pedigreed cats have a healthy paw-start in life. I’m thankful that we had Magical-dawg for eleven years, and Seren-Kitty for more than 22 years.

I’m still missing them, and always will. But now can smile about the water-hose-tag, Bear-toys, Frisbee-tag, Seren pester-sessions and a Karma-Kat buddy that made their last years bliss.

Shadow Bravo Bones

Bravo doesn’t let the loss of a leg slow him down–and Shadow keeps him on his toes!

I’m thankful that modern veterinary medicine helped diagnose and treat Bravo-Dawg’s osteosarcoma during this @#$%^!! pandemic. I’m grateful that a dumped puppy became Bravo’s Shadow, a beacon of hope and good cheer during an incredibly difficult time. And I’m grateful Bravo today remains happy and now more healthy than ever!

Evenings at home–Bravo and Karma sharing quality time. (Shadow-Pup at my feet in the next chair).

Counting Chosen Family Blessings

I’m thankful that although he never grew up with pets, my husband loves Bravo, Karma, and Shadow, and that he mourns our past pets. I’m even more thankful they adore him back (that could get awkward!).

I’m thankful for my church family—pet lovers or not—who also support my furry notions. I miss them deeply, as we’re not able to gather in person during these scary times.

I’m thankful for the gift of music and theatre I get to share with colleagues who have become wonderful friends. I’m thankful for the ability to stay connected via tools like Zoom, and share *virtual hugs* until we can meet in person. And I’m  thankful for my partner-in-play-writing-crime who helped make our theatrical dreams come true.

Thankful for YOU!

Finally, I’m thankful to you—yes, those who read this column, the cat book lovers, and the dog book lovers, and folks who have “adopted” my thriller series. And those who offered awesome applause and support any of the other venues mentioned.

This Thanksgiving–give yourself some love and WAY TO GO! It’s been a long, hard haul, with more challenges likely ahead. But we will get through this, and it helps me to count my blessings. You, dear readers, are one of my most cherished blessings.

Without you, I would not have a career, and my life’s passion would remain unfulfilled. Without you, your pets wouldn’t have the wonderful love and care you provide. Without you, there wouldn’t be any reason for this heartfelt—THANK YOU.

Please SHARE this post with anyone who might need some furry WAY TO GO love. *s*

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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? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. 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!

Beating Writers Block & Feeding the Muse

I’m all about beating writers block and feeding the muse. You’d think with the lockdown, I’d find more time to write. Truthfully, my motivation these days sucketh. I never suffer from wondering what to write. In fact, I’ve put together an on-demand webinar for beating writers block (currently free).

But for me, and I suspect for many others, the motivation part as well as overcoming blocks comes through inspiration. No, as a professional fulltime writer, I can’t wait around and wait for the Muse to strike. But feeding the Muse regularly does help.

So many of us get inspiration and motivation from writer conferences, but of course, this year, many have been canceled. *sigh* I’ve updated this post, based on a long-ago speech I shared at Cat Writers’ Association.

writers block

Dogs don’t care about writer’s block. They’re eager and willing to inspire your Muse.

Beating Writers Block & Feeding the Muse

I live with two furry muses, and three more live in my heart. These days my Muse whispers, demands, and sometimes screams for attention, like an itch in that impossible-to-reach spot in the middle of your back. Once you finally start scratching it feels soooooooooo good you don’t want to ever stop.

I’m bad at promising to scratch the itch “as soon as…” (fill in the blank) which is why I’m so far behind on my next thriller HIT AND RUN. The truth is, the Muse doesn’t care that we’re busy with real life and a pandemic, or that we only have 10 minutes to spare in between grocery runs (at a safe distance) and home-schooling, plus running a business from the second bedroom. The Muse just gets hungrier and more demanding the longer we ignore her gentle taps on the shoulder–sort of like a dog pawing your leg. And if ignored too long, you’ll get a thwack upside the head that wakes you from a sound sleep.

Sort of like a cat.

beating writers block

Furry inspiration offers great gifts.

 

Feeding the Muse Wherever She Strikes

A muse doesn’t care if we scribble on napkins, type with a keyboard, twitter or fritter our litter-ary time with print or Ebooks. She wakes us at 3 a.m. and demands to be fed, she sinks dagger claws into our heart and soul. The muse pushes that soggy nasty ball into our lap, urging us to throw-throw-throw with all our might, promising how good it will feel and to return that ball to our willing hand time after time after time.

She won’t relent until we give in to the urge. The urge to write. To create.

Publishing During Plague

Some of y’all know that we have had as many as 700 rose bushes surrounding our home. Over the years, the roses have been attacked by grasshoppers, leaving nothing but Addams Family stems; bulldozed by armadillos so that the tender roots fried in Texas sun; and over-pruned, which killed or crippled the plant.

More recently, we lost nearly all of our beautiful flowers to rosette disease, a plague that infects, maims, spreads like wildfire, and kills both tender new plants and healthy ancient individuals. Sound familiar?

But the grasshopper-eaten roses with viable roots produced fresh, healthier growth. Even ‘dillo-dozed roses survived—with scars, to be sure, but still produced stellar blooms. And the fraction of roses immune to the plague or protected by a safe location, now provide a roadmap for a reimagined, reinvented garden–a new normal.

Stay with me, folks, there’s a rose-thorn-sharp point to be made . . .

Perfect Time, Perfect Place, Perfect Prose — Perfect Hogwash!

As an over-zealous pruner, I’ve learned to restrain my instincts and appreciate the thorny, hardened portions of established bushes. This was a hard lesson to learn. See, if they’re cut out completely, there’s no scaffolding to support fresh growth, and the blooms fall in the dirt and are trampled–and the whole bush becomes mulch.

Embrace the battle scars of your writer-icity journey. We rarely appreciate what comes easy, and the struggle itself brings its own joy. After all, only harsh extremes of nature bring forth diamonds. The strain still sucketh–but by embracing and making the negatives a part of the process, we can–we must–endure.

Artists always find a way.

Embracing My Inner Bitch

After more than two decades of writing, I’m a prickly, hardened bitch-of-a-pet writer. I do not flinch at the “B” word, it’s a badge of honor in my world. I know when to show my teeth, and choose my battles wisely. So I have less patience for high-maintenance writers or circle-the-wagons “that’s the way we’ve always done it!” attitudes than in my youth. WARNING: Those grasshoppers are voracious and if your roots ain’t healthy, you’re toast. When the plague of nay-sayers spread negativity that eats away at creativity, the professional writer-gardener knows what, when, how, and who to cull. She also knows what positives to fertilize for new, fresh growth to support glorious future blooms.

Don’t let that fact scare you. I can say that now–you can’t see the head-shaped dent in my office wall from having the pee scared outta me mild concern. Writing is writing, and readers are readers. Publishing has a healthy root system and will survive armadillos, grasshoppers, writing in the time of Pandemic.

My speaking gigs have been cut back–so now there’s Zoom and on-demand webinars. Now my YouTube videos and Facebook Live events provide direct writer-to-reader connections. Print book sales go down, but Ebooks and Audiobook sales become more popular. Theatres close, so many artists can’t perform–and instead sing from windows, and play music on porches, and dance from living rooms all over the globe. I’m taking an on-line audition workshop, and having a ball! And by heaven, I will finish my next thriller one line, one page, one chapter at a time.

Supporting Creatives & Giving Back

Meanwhile, writers—and readers—support each other. Love a book or a writer—say so far and wide! Know a writer struggling with the effort of reinventing themselves? Shine a little color in that corner. That’s what sustains us through the dry spells, the never-ending deadlines, and rejections that nibble us raw. Mentoring each other keeps us sane–that’s the thorny protection that allows us to create our visions and bloom in our proper season.

Now then, listen–shhhhhh! Listen! Can you hear that?–put your hand over your heart and you can almost feel the rumble!? No, it’s not the printer whirring…well, maybe it is. But listen closer—and you’ll hear a symphony of blissful purrs, and the thu-thump-thump of happy wags–the sound of confident, tenacious, and oh-so-proud gardens full of Muses.

Or maybe that’s tummies growling.

So all you Creatives out there, the writers, the storytellers, the painters, the poets, the singers, and musicians, and and and … Go feed your Muse! That’s the best way to fight writers’ block. And if you’re having trouble kicking that writer’s block, maybe I’ll *see* you virtually in the on-demand class here.

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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? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. 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!

 

HIT AND RUN–6 WINNERS for Name That Dog & Name That Cat Contest

Holy WOW, so many votes for the nominations for HIT AND RUN contest winner for dog and cat characters. This has been the most popular one of all. You can see the voting page here.

Those who have followed the September & Shadow pet-centric thriller series know that with each book I’ve held a contest to NAME THAT DOG and NAME THAT CAT character in the stories. In fact, the winning canine or feline not only gets named but often the pet’s foibles are incorporated in the story.

Hit And Run BookHIT AND RUN had 158 cat and 172 dog names nominated!

Here was the prompt–just a bit about the story:

A dog trainer with hidden secrets. A dead body with the keys to the past. Sniffing out the truth could get them all killed.

IA message from the grave propels September on a mission to answer shocking questions about her past. But one by one, her sources die before she can reach them. Now death stalks September to silence her as well. Can Shadow thwart the killer? Will Macy-Cat sniff out the key to unmask a decades-old horror?

For those who have NOT read my thrillers, rest assured that I hate stories where animals are killed for shock value. While my books are suspenseful and thrilling, that is a line I don’t ever cross.

I had planned to feature ONE cat and ONE dog character. But after so many nominations came in, I decided to make that TWO cats and TWO dog characters. However, once all the votes came in, the top three favorites rows heads, paws, and tails above the competition so there will be THREE cat and THREE dog characters in the newest book!

Some of the winning nominees also sent pictures, many provided descriptions, and others offered only the names.

WINNING CAT NAMES: Total Votes: 7,369

Sherlock

SHERLOCK won the contest!

SHERLOCK nominated by Lisa Mahoney won with 44.84%  (3,304 votes).

Sherlock, a rescued feral kitten, proved too savvy for the live trap (hence his name). “He was filthy dirty and quite wild, and wouldn’t let me touch him at first.  But little by little I was able to gain his trust. When I was able to wash him for the first time, I was shocked to discover that this dirty little “grey” kitten was actually pure white. And he had beautiful green eyes.

Over time Sherlock revealed himself to be a wonderfully gentle soul, and was one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever met.  He loved his adoptive mom (me) and liked to hang over my shoulder when I picked him up, and he would always have a paw touching me when I sat on the couch. He also liked to snuggle into my wet hair after I took a shower. He also adored his  wonderful feline big brother Pie, who did a tremendous job helping socialize him.

His “teenage” period was a bit challenging, as he chewed multiple phone cords and shredded my drapes, and was an all-around wild child but I wouldn’t have traded him for anything. Once he outgrew his wild-child stage he became a gentle, loving old soul of a cat whom I’ll never forget and will always be grateful to have had in my life for 15 years.

Sherlock, bonded closely with a young girl “helper” at the Maine Coon cattery, will have an exciting adventure that helps solve the mystery.”

MERIWETHER came in second in the cat voting!

MERIWETHER nominated by Kate Holly-Clark came in second with 28.58%  (2,106 votes).

“Meriwether is a character all right. He’s very Maine-Coon looking (pretty common here in New England) and was a free kitten. He was named after the explorer Meriwether Lewis because he’s INTO EVERYTHING….he’s also a bit of an idiot and a real klutz. He falls backward off couch arms, into boxes, and is constantly trying to climb things and scrabbling hopelessly and sans dignity to make it.  He’s also survived a bacterial infection (twice) that destroyed his red blood cells– once he was down to 10% left– and the outpouring of support we received when he was sick has inspired a pet prayer group for ailing pets called Team Meriwether on Facebook. A cat who is constantly In Trouble would certainly inspire a young girl to heroic attempts to save him.”

Meriwether, a great explorer fellow, protects his breeder from both human and canine threats. He ends up with Theodore “Teddy” Williams (from previous books).

KAHLUA nominated by Darla Taylor came in third with 15.04%  (1,108 votes).

“Kahlua was a cat I adopted after a car accident in 1994 that left me in bad condition. …I adopted Kahlua who was a female black and white Norwegian Forest Cat and she became my unofficial therapy cat. She was three years old when I got her and I lost her when she was thirteen. Kahlua was beautiful and always knew when I was anxious or feeling down. She would climb in my lap and interact with me bringing me out of my mood. Kahlua was definitely my cat and pretty much ignored the rest of the family.”

Kahlua saves a woman from being injured in a fire.

BISHOP, a black and white Akita,  came in first place in the NAME THAT DOG contest!

WINNING DOG NAMES: Total Votes: 35,931

BISHOP a black and white Akita nominated by Cyn Clarke won with 54.72%  (19,660 votes).

He’s a very large black and white Akita that I rescued about 8 years ago. He loves children and became attached to my granddaughter within an hour of meeting her. She’s now 13 and whenever she visits, he won’t leave her side; he even wants to sleep in bed with her. He loves cold weather and snow, and is still a very active dog even though he’s now 10.  Akitas, a Japanese national treasure, are known for their loyalty and bravery.  Bred to hunt bear, boar, and elk,  they are fearless and protective especially of those they deem family. With his thick coat, he would have no problem keeping that young girl warm and toasty.”

BISHOP is a mysterious dog that appears out of a snowstorm. Bishop climbs through the broken car window to keep the young girl driver warm, and later, blocks a police car passing on the road to alert to the accident.

KISMET the Great Dane came in second in the dog voting!

KISMET the Great Dane, nominated by Robert Browning, came in second with 31.24%  (11,224 votes).

Kismet is our beautiful girl a Great Dane we rescued and we named her “KISMET” because it was kismet we got her. She is a real cute girl, placid, calm but bright and she loves nothing more than lying up on the sofa with you and just wants to be your best partner. We got her when she was only eighteen months old and is now 8 in June but still has a very young heart! She also loves all people and animals be it cats or rabbits, sheep or cattle, as I said a real softie at heart with a laid back nature and yet intelligent to boot.

Kismet saves Teddy Williams from the killer.

OREO the black and white Border Collie, nominated by Sylvia Finch, came in third with 6.74%  (2,420 votes).  

Our border collie was an extreme people lover. Not being the normal high energy collie, she was calm and wanted to meet every person she met. She even asked in her way to meet new people by looking at me and then looking at them and back at me. Her name was Oreo because she had one black half and one white half of her face and more white than black all over. Our granddaughter (4 years old) was the one to name her.

HIT AND RUN Coming Later This Fall…OCT. 4, 2020

Thank you SO much to all of my newsletter subscribers and Facebook fans. The six “Name That Pet” winners above will each get both an Ebook version and a paw-tographed physical copy of the book when released.

My newsletter subscribers (~~~waving at my Sweet Peeps!) always get first notice of new books, including any special deals. I’ll let everyone know when the book HIT AND RUN goes up for pre-order, and if you want to be the first to know, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter. (Bribe: you get a free book, too, when you subscribe!).

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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? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. 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!

HIT AND RUN–VOTE NOW for Name That Dog & Name That Cat Contest for New Thriller

NOMINATIONS & VOTING CLOSED: As of April 19, there are 158 cat names and 172 dog names nominated, woot!

Avoid copyright infringement by getting permission from authors.

Those who have followed the September & Shadow pet-centric thriller series know that with each book I’ve held a contest to NAME THAT DOG and NAME THAT CAT character in the stories. In fact, the winning canine or feline not only gets named but often the pet’s foibles are incorporated in the story.

HIT AND RUN, Name That Pet!

Now it’s your turn to NAME THAT DOG and NAME THAT CAT!

A dog trainer with hidden secrets. A dead body with the keys to the past. Sniffing out the truth could get them all killed.

I sent out my Pet Peeves newsletter announcing this to my subscribers (they will always get the news first! have YOU subscribed yet?). I’ve already received more than 330 suggestions (some folks submitted many names) but always share on my blog, too.

A message from the grave propels September on a mission to answer shocking questions about her past. But one by one, her sources die before she can reach them. Now death stalks September to silence her as well. Can Shadow thwart the killer? Will Macy-Cat sniff out the key to unmask a decades-old horror?

For those who have NOT read my thrillers, rest assured that I hate stories where animals are killed for shock value. While my books are suspenseful and thrilling, that is a line I don’t ever cross.

writing advice

WILL YOUR PET STAR IN “HIT AND RUN?”

There were so many brilliant suggestions and names, MANY with gorgeous photos plus moving “gotcha-day” or other stories, that y’all inspired me to add a couple more pet heroes to the story. I’ll probably be sharing some of those pictures and stories in future newsletters–you won’t want to miss that! So instead of one dog and one cat, there will be TWO of each.

Ready…Set…VOTE!

The winning names not only will be included in the book, but your name and real pet’s description will be added to the “fact or fiction” acknowledgments in the book, and I’ll send you a paw-tographed physical copy of the book as soon as it comes out.

The top two names in each poll will win the contest. You can vote as many times as you wish, and share the poll with your friends.

NAME THAT CAT (TWO NAMES)

Both cats are PROBABLY Maine Coons, as s/he belongs to Macy-Cat’s breeder. However, often professional catteries also have non-pedigreed kitty companions, too, so I’m open.

One cat has bonded with a young girl “helper” at the cattery. The girl runs, with the cat, when confronted by the killer. The other cat has bonded with the breeder and protects her from all perceived threats–human or canine.

NAME THAT DOG (Two NAMES)

One dog any age, any breed, any size. This mysterious dog appears out of a snowstorm. The dog probably belongs to a local farmer. The same young girl mentioned above runs from the killer and gets run off the road and trapped in her car. The dog climbs through the broken car window to keep the driver warm, and later, blocks a police car passing on the road to alert to the accident.

The second dog, any age, any breed, any size, ends up with Theodore “Teddy” Williams (from previous books). I’m still not sure his dog fits into the story so the inspiration will come from which dog wins the contest.

 

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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? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. 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!