Monday Mentions: Odd Couples & Bloomin’ Creativity!

Roses

Robin Hood pink clusters on each side of the overgrown path offer contrast to the Martha Gonzales crimson in front. Even the weeds look good! Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

That picture is from last year’s garden, but this year promises to be even more spectacular. The roses have just now begun to bloom, and the wildflowers–blue bonnets and paintbrush–cover the banks along highways. All of Mom-Nature’s creativity has me inspired to create, too. How about you?

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo writer links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Check out the amazing videos below, too! For new followers to the blog, welcome! and you can expect more cat and dog specific schtuff later in the week on Wednesday and Friday.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

 London Book Fair Recap

Writer Beware: Kerry Jacobson this so-called “book publicist” has stolen from lots of writers!

Open Letter to My Boobs just a wonderful post by a gifted (and brave) blogger

Misadventures in Research from Robert Liparulo, a fun (and scary!) quick read

Writer Beware: Silver Publishing Gone

PET-ASTIC SCHTUFF

CAT RABIES VACCINE ALERT! Production of Merial’s PureVax Feline Rabies vaccine has been put on hold due to a manufacturing discrepancy. The dry material of the vaccine comes in tiny vials that must be reconstituted (liquified) before injection, and some of these instead turn into a gel-like consistency or include precipitates (floating solid material). These vaccines should NOT be used–your veterinarian will have been advised about the issue. However, since PureVax is the only non-adjuvant “recombinant DNA” vaccine (in other words, one that greatly reduces the chance of injection-site sarcomas in cats) it’s often the vaccine of choice for our kitties. That’s the only one I want my cats to get. The vaccine is on backorder for 6-8 weeks probably until mid-summer. So check with your vet about alternatives to be sure your cats are protected, since rabies vaccination is often a matter of state and/or local law.

Bark & Paws 2014 in Denison Texas bring your pooch for this all day fun event!

Stem Cell Therapy for Feline Stomatitis

Unite To Fight Pet Cancer from the awesome Morris Animal Foundation–honor your cats and dogs and save the life of future pets. Blue Buffalo will match funds for the “virtual walk” up to $50,000–see the video, below.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Do you have a new kitten and need answers? I’m a new Brand Ambassador for The Honest Kitchen and you can get FREE samples here, check it out! (Karma loves this!). Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Monday Mentions: Coyotes, Tigers & Green Dawgies

StPatsDog

“Am I an Irish Sitter now?” Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY! With my Scotch-Irish heritage, I’ll be speakin’ with a bit of a brogue and/or lilt to me voice and wearin’ a wee bit o’ green. Magical-Dawg offered to help out with the “greening” of the blog. And he’s not taking any blarney from $%^&*(O! coyotes.

CoyoteThat picture on the left isn’t terribly clear, but is a view out my back patio window yesterday late afternoon. Remember the path that little Karma took to find his way to our home? Well, a pair of coyotes trotted down that same pathway, beautiful, elegant–lethal. This one stood looking back at me for several minutes, long enough for me to snap a couple of pictures through the doorway.

Living on 13+ acres in North Texas gives us a close-up view of wildlife. And as much as I admire the hummingbirds and deer, feel aggravation toward the armadillos digging up the roses, and appreciate the raccoons, bobcats, owls, hawks and even snakes, I have a healthy respect for the predators. We share this ecosystem and I can’t fault them for their nature–to survive at all costs. But I also must respect that they can make a snack of my cats and possibly Magical-Dawg if he’s lured out to where several of ’em can gang-attack.Raccoon

For puppies, small dogs, and kittens, the threat is even more apparent. Be aware that a fenced yard may not offer the safety needed. Pets have been snatched with owners only feet away. You can learn more in this article I wrote for my puppies.about.com site on animal attacks. (It applies to any small pet, including cats.).

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo writer links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Check out the fun video below, too! For new followers to the blog, welcome! and you can expect more cat and dog specific schtuff later in the week on Wednesday and Friday.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Platform vs Brand, Which Is Better?

ITW Round Table Discussion: Moral Protagonists–Rebels or Visionary?

How To Buy Your Way To Bestseller-dom!

Discoverability (Again) on Samples from The Biz Rusch

HILARIOUS Book Covers! such as “Castration: The Advantages & Disadvantages” and “The Practical Pyromaniac”  (c’mon, gang, hit me with your best/worst potential titles in the comments!)

Amtrak Residency Program Examined by Author Beware

Tiger-UCDavis

Tigers get lymphoma, too. Check out this incredible story from UC-Davis

THIS SATURDAY, 7 pm is the FREE Table Read for STRAYS, THE MUSICAL! at the Honey McGee in Sherman, TX

The Fussy Librarian today features COMPETABILITY(CATS)

FREE FOOD for Slimming Pudgy Pets

5 Foods Deadly to Pets

LET IT GO sung by all sorts of characters–PAW-some!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Do you have a new kitten and need answers? I’m a new Brand Ambassador for The Honest Kitchen and you can get FREE samples here, check it out! (Karma loves this!). Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Monday Mentions: Mind Games, Doggy Brain Scans & ACX Royalty Reduction

Karma-Seren

“Yes, I wrote ALL those books,” says Seren. “And NO, Karma, I do NOT want a smooch–you’re covered with dawg spit!” Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

Karma continues to woo Seren, and Seren maintains her dignity–and her distance. But small progress is being made. For the past several days now, I’ve been able to work while ALL were out and about. Karma has claimed a couple of fav resting spots, and Seren seems fine with that as long as he doesn’t get chummy with her blue bed.

Next on the to-do list: a halter for Karma, so we can go out when the roses bloom. They’re already sprouting leaves, so flowers can’t be far away.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo writer links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. For new followers to the blog, welcome! and you can expect more cat and dog specific schtuff later in the week on Wednesday and Friday. Hopefully I’ll be back up by then.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Mind Games a great post from Kristen Lamb on how you may sabotage your success

Discoverability: Social Media Part 2

Self Pub Market in India fascinating facts re: demographics and pricing especially

Vaccine for PTSD? it has nothing to do with writing, other than my main character in LOST AND FOUND and HIDE AND SEEK suffer from PTSD and…it’s my blog. 😛 (no, not the dog…although dogs CAN suffer from PTSD)

Win $2000 Pub Package from Firebrand  This is a new company (formed in 2013) so there’s not a big track record but could be a good option for folks wanting a turn-key self pub solution. Some of their fees seem quite reasonable, others not–and of course, execution is the make/break for this. For instance, the ISBN charge of $29 is great (Bowker charges $125), but they charge $79 to copyright, when the US Copyright Office charges $35. The chance for a “free package” though may be worth your while. Deadline 3-10-14.

Amtrak Writer’s Residency wow, I’d go for that!

ACX Royalty Structure Changing from a 50% cut to 40% (still a dang fine percentage, don’t you think?) plus they’re raising the “bounty” from $25 to $50 to the rights holder when their audio book is a first purchase. So …BSP…I just gave away a boatload of audio books via my Pet Peeves newsletter this weekend (you need to subscribe–top right corner of this blog *s*). Check out my nonfiction pet books and HIDE AND SEEK audio titles here!

Author Reaction to ACX Change and here’s insight from the VO Pros on the change

PET-CENTRIC SCHTUFF

Squirrel Vs Dog  a fun post from Susie Lindau

Allergy-Friendly Pets? I’m not sure that I agree with this list, what about you? where are the Siberians? and Labradors on the list because they “swim more frequently?” Hmnnn.

22 Crazy Animal Laws some of these have got to go in a book plot!

Cats Forecast the Weather, here’s how

When A Rescue Really Isn’t some surprising and shocking info–you need to know this!

Dog Brain Scans Reveal…we’re more alike than we think!

Enjoy this fun video, thanks to GloGirly who shared this on her PAW-some blog.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Do you have a new kitten and need answers? I’m a new Brand Ambassador for The Honest Kitchen and you can get FREE samples here, check it out! (Karma loves this!). Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Monday Mentions: Book DNA, Plagiarism Fix & Badware Blog Hijack

The DNA of a Successful Book

by NowSourcing.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

The past two weeks or so, this blog has had a bug. Who knew someone would want to HIJACK the Bling, Bitches & Blood Blog off to phish-land. Never fear, those who arrived via one of the direct links or subscription never saw this and I wouldn’t have known except a friend “googled” my name and the blog came up listed as “#1 Financial Answers!…” It seems that some two-legged jerk with too much time on his virtual hands figured a way to re-direct some of my blog posts to a phish-scheme site, to the point the blog got black-listed by Google. YIKES!

What to do? well, after much tooth-gnashing, I did a number of things:

  1. Updated the WordPress software
  2. Deleted unused WordPress themes
  3. Un-installed and then re-installed current theme
  4. Contacted my service provider, and they referred me to http://google.com/webmasters to get the site white-listed again. Further info here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/08/hey-google-i-no-longer-have-badware.html
  5. Searched HTML code on server for code, especially plugins, headers and footers (found nuthin!)
  6. Deleted several plugins and then re-installed. Still nuthin. By now my eyeballs are bleeding…
  7. In my google search for help, ran across Sucuri.com, paid them $89 (good for a year and re-do’s) and within three hours, the blog was CLEAN! Hallelujia!
  8. Followup: installed the free Sucuri Security wordpress plugin that came with the fee
  9. Installed auto-backup
  10. Changed ALL passwords. Within two days, Sucuri caught half a dozen failed attempts at logins from all over the world.

Whew! But wait, there’s more!

Remember that case of plagiarism? It’s been resolved. I sent three notices (comments on the site) with no result, and finally went to my colleagues and ask for help contacting the person. Within ten minutes I had the Facebook account of the offending author, messaged her THANKING for the mention and link back but explaining the situation. She immediately responded, thanked me for the note, and removed the article. And we just “friended” each other.

See? It pays to play nice and be cordial. She noted having received an email from someone with the links/info and I suspect it may be a case of a PR rep not being clear in a message. Hoo boy.

There’s a lot going on here in Shojai-Land, so stay tuned for the rest of the week’s furry-licious content. For those in the Sherman-Denison area, I’ve a book signing scheduled next Saturday at the Sherman Town Center Petco from 1-3:30 (watch for more details on Wednesday). And on Friday, I hope to have some WAY KEWL kitty news to share.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo writer links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Check out the skate-boarding cat, kitty-love and fav Super Bowl videos at the bottom, just for fun. For new followers to the blog, welcome! and you can expect more cat and dog specific schtuff later in the week on Wednesday and Friday. For now…enjoy the YouTube cute-icity at the end!

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

 Author Beware: Agent Artury

Writers League of Texas Manuscript Contest

 Sizing Facebook Images from the terrific Lisa-Hall Wilson

Marketability & Readers from The Business Rusch if you’re a writer, you need to subscribe to this blog!

Facebook Usage Data from Pew Research

The Reality of Hybrid Publishing

Indies Reaching NetGalley Reviewers

Publish American Changes Names to America Star Books good info from Author Beware

Getting That Twitter “Blue Check” from the always enlightening Susie Lindau

 International Markets for Your Books

PET-CENTRIC SCHTUFF

Red Flannel Cat Food Recall!

Hero Cat Summons Help for Stroke Victim

Cat Allergies?  Study Recruiting Participants

Contagious Cancer in Dogs Leaves Prehistoric Paw Prints

Dental Implants in Pets? UC-Davis Vets Say “No!”

The Body Against Itself: Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia a Webinar Feb. 11 from Morris Animal Foundation

 

http://youtu.be/uQB7QRyF4p4

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. 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, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

 

Monday Mentions: Publishing Scam, Puppy Glam & Dancing Jam

BelgianTervuren-TeotiAnderson

Meet “Echo” and read about the Belgian Tervuren in this article (click the picture). Image Copr. Teoti Anderson)

I’m hacked off. With the new year come new ways to lure in unsuspecting writers to scams that serve only to line the pocketbooks and fleece the authors. I’ve written about some of these before, but it’s good to have a reminder. Heck, in my early years I got “taken” by some of these folks, too, so don’t feel bad if you got tempted by the promises and paid–just learn and avoid snakes in the future.

Which snakes? There are many. IPR License is one of the newest, and wants authors (and also editors and agents) to join for a fee. Authors upload their books and available licensing, and editors/agents get to “shop” for properties they want to publish, represent, produce in films. IPR License is for “showcasing your work to over 50,000 publishers and agents in over 90 countries.” For authors, the “initial annual membership is  £99 (+VAT) and for others, there are “price bands” as follows:

Under (£) 500K turnover        £249
(£) 500K – 1M  £599
(£) 1-5M   £999
(£) 5-10M   £1,499
(£) 10M+ £1,999

 

 

 

 

Why would publishers list with this service? Honestly, I’m not sure–for those fees? Author members get listed on the website. But wait, there’s MORE! They also produce a newsletter (for subscribers) and a catalogue that goes to the major national book fairs, yada yada yada. Sorry, if you attend BEA as a publisher, will you spend time paging through their publication to find your next breakout book author? Oh, and I’m NOT a member–yet half a dozen of my books are listed. For me, this is a “I don’t get it” moment, and when that happens, it’s a major pass.

The most recent in my in-box come from GLOBAL TALK RADIO, and I get these offers several times a year. It purports to produce 5- and 10-minute professional interviews for their “top rated IN THE NEWS” program. They list all kinds of added perks for “this week only” and shout about a reduced rate for these offers, and there are “only 5 spots left!” Here’s the offer, taken from the website:

50% DISCOUNT — FIRST 5 APPLICATIONS ONLY!! — Interviews are available on a first-come, first-served basis at a low, fixed price!  5-Minute interviews are $97 (regularly $200) and 10-minute interviews are only $147 (regularly $300).  This special package price includes:  a professional interviewer, studio engineering, web hosting and streaming of the archive, a downloadable MP3 copy of your interview, and a FREE thumbnail ad (your picture or graphic) promoting your interview on our home page!  OFFER ENDS FRIDAY, JANUARY 10th!

Oh darn, the offer has ended. Woe is me. What’s wrong with this offer? YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF FOR FREE! They have NO added marketing push that is helpful to an author/business person–yes, it stays online forever, but so what? Who sees it? Is GLOBAL TALK RADIO your go-to source for learning about the latest book, business, etc? And if you do want radio (aka Internet Podcasts) you can find many more online with a targeted listenership for your topic, they often give ALL these perks as well…and they don’t charge you a dime! Most are hungry for great guests. My own Pet Peeves radio podcast is still online with 80+ shows archived, and today the network hosts 60 animal topic shows (and no guest is charged). That’s just one example.

Deeeeeeeeeeeep breath. I need a puppy-licious fix! Click that picture up above to read one of my newest short articles on my Breeds At A Glance series. I’ve also got new ones on the Malinois, Basset Hound, Beagle and more (all with cute pix!).

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo writer links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Check out that DANCING VIDEO at the bottom, just for fun. For new followers to the blog, welcome! and you can expect more cat and dog specific schtuff later in the week on Wednesday and Friday. For now…enjoy the YouTube cute-icity at the end!

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Your Book Rights & How to Exploit Them

Social Media & Avoiding Drama from the always cordial Carol Bryant

Facebook Marketing Tools & Tips

Author Beware: Scribd an interesting development, you’ll have to decide for yourself. Possibly a new venue for indie publishers?  (and yes, I’ve found some of MY books illegally there).

Writing Fiction Dialogue Tags here’s a great concise blog on the subject.

Buying Fake “Clicks” & Facebook “Likes” I wish this surprised me, but it doesn’t *sigh*

Resurgence in Bookstores? The “New Hybrid Reader” very interesting article!

And the opposite–Texas Library Has Only E-Books!

Astroturfing “Memes” in Publishing from the always entertaining David Gaughran

Blogger Jailed Over Free Speech Issue oh, my…Thanks to Darlene Arden for sharing the link

PET-CENTRIC SCHTUFF

Media Kit for Bloggers (And Others) hey, this works for pet writers or ANY writer, great tips! And yep, I gotta do this…

New Years Resolutions for Dogs from Carol Bryant and Dexter

Tips For Feeding Pets & Preventing Illness from the CDC (how many of these rules do you break? 🙂 )  And here’s also a list of all the pet food recalls/withdrawals for 2013. Paws crossed, non yet for this year!

Sharing Special Moments with Kitty from one of my all-time fav bloggers, Ingrid King (seriously, you need to follow her blog!)

How To Know “It’s Time” my friend Rumpy Dog, a question we all struggle with

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. 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, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!