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Thriller Thursday-on Saturday! Michael Niemann Releases ILLICIT TRADE #ITWBLOG

Thriller Thursday-on Saturday! Michael Niemann Releases ILLICIT TRADE #ITWBLOG

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 Niemann!

Hey there Sweet Peeps! Yes, I know it’s SATURDAY but I got behind on “schtuff” and didn’t want to wait any longer. Let me introduce you to Michael Niemann and his new thriller ILLICIT TRADE–for fans of John Le Carre and Len Deighton.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK

“The unexpected resourcefulness that Vermeulen and Jackson each display in dealing with dangerous foes in their respective quests is highly entertaining.” Publishers Weekly

“Niemann is an excitingly original voice in the genre.” Michael Stanley, award winning author of the Detective Kubu mysteries

“A good read!” Clive Rosengren, two-time Shamus Award finalist

Michael NiemannAUTHOR BIO

Michael Niemann grew up in a small town in Germany, ten kilometers from the Dutch border. Crossing that border often at a young age sparked in him a curiosity about the larger world. He studied political science at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität in Bonn and international studies at the University of Denver. During his academic career he focused his work on southern Africa and frequently spent time in the region. After taking a fiction writing course from his friend, the late Fred Pfeil, he switched to mysteries as a different way to write about the world.

Connect with Michael

http://michael-niemann.com
Twitter: @m_e_niemann
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelNiemannAuthor/

Niemann Illicit TradeILLICIT TRADE . . . THE STORY

Two poor Kenyan men visiting the U.S. are found dead, one in jail, one on the street. Both used forged United Nations documents to enter the country. Valentin Vermeulen’s superiors have no interest in the plight of undocumented immigrants, but they want him to stop the fraud. The clues take Vermeulen from New York City to Newark, where he riles a woman known as “The Broker,” then to Vienna.

Earle Jackson, a small-time hustler and the last person to speak with one of the dead Kenyans, has taken the man’s passport and money. He also finds a note listing an address in Newark, where his efforts to cash in on the situation go awry. Fleeing for his life, Jackson flies to Nairobi using the dead man’s passport.
Vermeulen and Jackson have chanced upon a criminal network more extensive and vicious than either could have imagined. To survive, Vermeulen must do more than sever a few links. He must find the mastermind at the top.

GET THE BOOK

READ MORE ABOUT ILLICIT TRADE

MICHAEL SAYS, “There is a little foul language and people are killed. No sexual situations.”

 


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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:  Just Fall…for Nina Sadowski #ITWBlog

Thriller Thursday: Just Fall…for Nina Sadowski #ITWBlog

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 Nina Sadowski! 

Hey there Sweet Peeps! Let me introduce you to Nina Sadowski and her new psychological thriller JUST FALL–for fans of Gillian Flynn.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK

“What a terrific novel! JUST FALL arrived in the mail this morning and I read the book at one sitting, which I haven’t done in years.  Nina Sadowsky’s premise is original. here voice is clear, her storytelling skills are remarkable, and her pacing is perfect.  I may have to sit down and read this one again.”  Sue Grafton, New York Times #1 best selling author

“Character rich and compulsively readable, Nina Sadowsky’s JUST FALL is a marvelous surprise. Exploring the universal need for family and human connection and the cost incurred when those bonds are severed, JUST FALL takes the reader on a wild ride through the psyches of two damaged people who hope to find redemption in one another.  This novel is a winner.”  Diane Keaton, actress and author

“A devilish tale of love, lies and betrayal. Sadowsky twists our most cherished romantic fantasies and exposes them to be frightening facades hiding terrifying secrets.  Prince Charming, dream weddings and “happily ever after” are never what they appear to be in this wickedly fun crime drama. GONE GIRL meets BODY HEAT, packed with all the sex intrigue you want but never in the way you expect!” Ted Sullivan, writer and producer REVENGE, SUPER GIRL

Sadowsky headshot 2015 high res

AUTHOR BIO

Nina R. Sadowsky is an entertainment lawyer (in recovery) who has worked as a film and television producer and writer for most of her career.  JUST FALL is her first novel.

She has written numerous original screenplays and adaptations and done rewrites for such companies as The Walt Disney Company, Working Title Films, and Lifetime Television. She served as President of Production for Signpost Films, a film financier and foreign distributor, where she worked on such projects as the Academy Award nominated “The House of Sand and Fog.”

Sadowsky served as executive producer for the hit film “The Wedding Planner,” starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, produced “Desert Saints,” an independent film starring Kiefer Sutherland,  produced the supernatural thriller, “Lost Souls,” which marked the directorial debut of Academy Award winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminsky for New Line Cinema, produced the telefilm “Northern Lights,” starring Diane Keaton for The Disney Channel, and served as executive producer for the animated half hour comedy pilot, “Quints” for UPN.  She also produced “Jumpin’ at the Boneyard” starring Tim Roth, Jeffrey Wright and Samuel L. Jackson, which was featured in the Sundance, Montreal and Torino film festivals.

She serves as adjunct faculty at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts program, teaching both writing and producing.

Connect with Nina

JUST FALL…THE STORY:

JUST FALL is a psychological thriller that explores what happens after “happily ever after,” as a young bride discovers on her wedding night that her perfect husband is a killer; it is a metaphor for the perils and pleasures of intimacy and the fears we all have about revealing our “ugly sides” to those we love.

THENJust Fall final cover

Ellie Larrabee’s life is perfect. She’s thriving at work, living in a fabulous apartment, and engaged to the man of her dreams. To all appearances, Ellie and Rob Beauman are a golden couple—blessed with good looks, success, and romantic chemistry that’s off the charts. Surely their future together promises nothing but happiness.

But on what should be the most wonderful day of her life, moments after saying “I do,” a shocking secret threatens to shatter Ellie’s happily-ever-after. She learns that the man she just married and loves with all her heart hides a dark past beneath his charismatic exterior. And the more harrowing truth she uncovers, the deeper Ellie is swept into a vortex of betrayal and uncertainty from which she may never escape.

NOW

On the island paradise of St. Lucia, Ellie isn’t basking in honeymoon splendor—she’s grappling with the chilling realities of her violently derailed life: Rob has blood on his hands and some very dangerous people on his trail, and only Ellie stands between him and the lethal destiny he’s facing. Rob never dreamed that Ellie would be dragged into the deadly world he’s trapped in—or used as a pawn against him. And Ellie could never have imagined how far she’d be forced to go to save the man she loves.

GET THE BOOK

(Note the story contains “plenty of sex & violence.”)


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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!

Catnapped? Shadow to the Rescue!

Hide_Seek(2)Catnapped? Shadow to the rescue, in HIDE AND SEEK. And then YOU to the rescue for this pet writer. Wow…

I want to THANK YOU (yes, I mean YOU!) for adopting my debut thriller LOST AND FOUND back in 2012 when it first released, and again this past week when all the Ebook formats dropped to free.

Yes, free. It’s still free, and will remain free for the foreseeable future. 🙂  I announced this last week in this post (with the other links to the book), and as a result, this week the book ranking EXPLODED!

#1 Thrillers, #1 Suspense, #1 All Free Books

Why would I make the book FREE? I want more readers to discover the book and possibly read and enjoy the series. A book needs to be read…But I had no idea the book would take off like this. UPDATE: It’s 11:00 pm on Tuesday night and still holding at #2 Thrillers, #1 Suspense and #7 Free…absolutely amazing.

It would not have happened without YOU becoming a cheerleader, adopting and sharing the book. You have made this pet writer’s dreams come true. I am truly blessed.

By the way, you can get a SAMPLE of the free book by texting the word THRILLS to 44222.

So…I asked my editor and we agreed to put HIDE AND SEEK (Book #2).

I think the sale goes away the end of the week, so don’t wait! You can get it on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBookstore and others. And yes, you can share with whoever loves edge-of-the-seat pet-centric stories. I know you particularly love Shadow…but to answer reader requests (yes, I always listen to you!), HIDE AND SEEK has more Macy-Cat in the story (along with assorted mayhem).

This is a “kitty in jeopardy” story (well, September and other pets, too), but you know me…the pets always come out ahead.

A mysterious contagion will shatter countless lives unless a service dog and his trainer find a missing cat . . . in 24 hours.

Again…THANK YOU! And please take advantage, and get your sale copy of HIDE AND SEEK.

I’ll be at the OWFI Writers Conference this weekend signing print copies of all three thrillers (as well as the Cat Facts and Dog Facts books). If you’re there, please introduce yourself, I’d love to connect.

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Please note that I earn a small percentage from affiliate links to books or other products which are mentioned from time to time in my posts. 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!

Dogs & Cats & Bad Guys, Oh My! LOST AND FOUND is FREE

Dogs & Cats & Bad Guys, Oh My! LOST AND FOUND is FREE

Amy Shojai's Lost And Found Thriller

The 1st installment of Shojai’s dark, female-driven domestic thriller series featuring pet-centric plots

LOST AND FOUND is FREE!

James Rollins said, “Riveting, heart-wrenching, and brilliant, here is the debut of a stunning talent.” 

I’m delighted to announce that LOST AND FOUND is now available for FREE for your reading pleasure. You can find the FREE Ebook version at these great sites:

Kobo

A young woman races a Texas blizzard to save her autistic nephew from a deadly secret others will kill to protect–and the service dog she’s trained finds his true purpose, when he disobeys.

Animal behaviorist September Day has lost everything–husband murdered, career in ruins, confidence shot–and returns home with her trained Maine Coon cat Macy to Texas to recover. She’s forced out of hibernation when her nephew Steven and his autism service dog Shadow disappear in a freak blizzard. September and Shadow forge a stormy partnership to rescue the missing … But can they also find the lost parts of themselves?

Again, get your free copy at the links below–Dang, I hope you like it! With 75+ positive reviews, lots of folks have already enjoyed this dog-centric story as well as the following stories, HIDE AND SEEK and SHOW AND TELL. Please SHARE this post with anyone who enjoys a pet-centric roller-coaster suspense!

Kobo

p.s., If you prefer nonfiction, don’t forget to enter the give-away for DOG FACTS and CAT FACTS 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?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

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:

Websitemarichardsbooks.com
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!

Vote for Name That Dog!

Stella

Image Copr. Yulia Schoeman

Yes, the day has come. I am delighted at the outpouring of interest in naming dogs who appear in the forthcoming dog viewpoint thriller HIDE AND SEEK, the sequel to LOST AND FOUND.

There were 15 total suggestions for canine character names–and I’ve included them all for you to choose. Two canine characters, both “hero dogs,” will be named based on your votes. (Watch for Friday for the kitty poll picks!).

The winner’s names and why they chose their selection will also be included in the book, and winners will receive an advance copy of the book.

Just who ARE these canine heroes?

  • A therapy dog that lives at an Alzheimer’s unit. The dog belongs to the administrator but prefers to spend all his/her time with one of the patients, Molly Williams (Teddy’s wife, for those who read LOST AND FOUND). The dog stays by Molly’s side when she “wanders” and disappears from the facility.
  • A dog that Teddy Williams and his wife Molly had years ago, and is the reason why the therapy dog strikes such a chord with Molly.

Does your dog’s name embody the essence of these doggy characters? Love, devotion, fearlessness, great heart? Looks don’t matter, neither does breed or age or even sex–everyone knows that all dogs have the heart and soul and devotion of heroes, so make your choice and follow your heart!

DEADLINE IS FRIDAY NOVEMBER 15th!

WINNERS ANNOUNCED MONDAY NOVEMBER 19th!

The poll below allows you to choose THREE (3) of your favorites. You can come back and vote again as many times as you’d like–and I hope you’ll encourage family and friends to champion your cause and also vote.

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, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Don’t forget to vote for your NAME THAT DOG/CAT character choice in the forthcoming HIDE AND SEEK!

Guest Post at Sheila Bonham’s Blog

drop dead indd_final (519x800)Yesterday I was bad. *hanging head* I almost forgot to send my guest post to the amazing talented dog mystery author Sheila Bonham’s WRITING ON WEDNESDAY blog.  It’s been crazy, and I’ve had soooo many guest posts and special blogs scheduled that if she hadn’t sent me a gentle reminder, I’d have missed out altogether. So even though it’s a day late, I like to return the favor by a shout-out of warm wags and suchlike and send you to visit her terrific site.

Sheila writes the new Animals In Focus mystery series, with the first book Drop Dead On Recall just recently released. I’ve known Sheila and admired her dog writing work for many years–we both started out with nonfiction and are members of the Dog Writers Association of America–and now International Thriller Writer debut authors. Anyway, my guest post is all about 7 TIPS FOR ACCIDENTAL WRITER SUCCESS.

Oh, and to top off this thrilling Thursday theme and in time for the holidays, sign up for a book give away (below). Happy to paw-tograph to the winners. And looky, there’s only a few signed up so far so your chances are pretty good.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lost And Found by Amy Shojai

Lost And Found

by Amy Shojai

Giveaway ends December 25, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, 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: Kurves, Swerves & Nerves

Happy Monday! The temperatures are doing jumping-jacks in North Texas this week–up/down/up/down–and I’m doing my best to stay healthy for performances this coming weekend of KURVES, THE MUSICAL. This is the original show Frank Steele and I wrote and produced last March, back by popular demand October 11, 12, and 13 at the Rialto. Yes, in another life I sing and “act sparkly” for fun and profit *s* and I’ve even included a short video of the awesome actors singing a few of the original songs. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll stop by–you can learn more about the show here.

On the writing front, I’m delighted that my swerves into fiction  LOST AND FOUND has struck a chord with readers and already received lots of flattering reviews. You’ve made this writer’s “furry” dreams come true! I’m still discussing the book for another week over at the DogRead virtual book club so I hope you’ll join the conversation–it’s free, come-and-go, and you can even lurk if you wish (and maybe even find out some super-secret background about the book). There’s also still time to get your name in on the drawing for three free autographed copies.

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. I have  bunch more–but the Verizon gremlins are getting on my nerves and won’t let me access my saved email. Color me less-than-impressed and verging on fed-up-entirely! If I can get at the other awesome links later, I’ll update the post as I can.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Cat Writers’ Conference November 1, 2, 3 and it’s our 20th anniversary! Yes, I’ll be speaking. *s* and it’s not just furry writing, it applies to all writers

Writing A Bipolar Character? here’s what you need to know.

Gotta Have Java? boy, I do…that’s part of my writer-ly routine. But here are some kewl coffee myths debunked.

FUN PET-ASTIC SCHTUFF

Zombie Bees, Hijacked Minds it’s not sci-fi, it’s real…and would make a great plot!

100 Weird Pet Names

Hero Cat Rescues Family!

Amazon Cares Prosecutes Abuse Case in Peru in a precedent-setting trial

Petties Awards! Friday October 12…check it out!

AVMA Says Pet Ownership Decreasing in US

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, 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: Birdy Dancing, Co Dreaming & PUB DATE!

.

Maurice, the dragon wordsmith of all things writerly.

All this inspiration worked. My thriller LOST AND FOUND was conceived, plotted and finished during previous trips and I just found out the pub date:

September 20, 2012!

I will let you know just as soon as pre-orders are available. It will be published in print and all Ebook formats, woot! I just got my copy edits back in time to input the results of the “name” contest–will it feature your cat or dog favorite name? You’ll want to check out the voting for NAME THAT DOG and NAME THAT CAT polls. So far the dog names Dakota and Bruno are nearly neck-and-neck, while cat names Macy and Karma are top contenders. Votes close July 31.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Social Media Vs Big-A$$ Book Reviews which sells more books?

Bloomsbury Ebook Sales Up 70%

James Scott Bell Writer Workshop in Nashville Aug 11-12

Top 10 Brain Myths fun stuff!

Facebook “Page” vs “Profile” some good info and tips

Ebooks Now Dominate Fiction Sales

Penguin Buys Author Solutions   will they continue the program or kill the competition? Hmnnn.

Job Opening: Senior Editor Petside.com

Discoverability & Marketing Conference

CRITTER SCHTUFF

Cat Is The Mayor

Behavior Express Tour “Keep LOVE Alive” coming to city near you? Solving pet behavior problems, expert help.

Hero Dog Awards Announced! wow, what amazing canines

Feline Husbandry the book by Neils Pedersen now available in PDF (free!)

The Ecology of Disease scary and true! Bats to pigs to people? Oh my…

White Nose Syndrome in Bats

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Don’t forget to vote for your NAME THAT DOG/CAT character choice in the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND!

Feline Friday: VOTE for NAME THAT CAT!

Yes, the day has come. I am delighted at the outpouring of interest in naming cats who appear in my forthcoming thriller LOST AND FOUND. There were 39 total suggestions for feline character names, me-WOW!  I ended up choosing four or five of my favorites from your suggestions and then drawing the remainder out of a fish bowl. Two feline characters will be named based on your votes. (Check out the Woof Wednesday for the doggy poll picks!).

The winner’s names and why they chose their selection will also be included in the book, and winners will receive an advance copy of the book.

Just who ARE these kitty characters?

  • A sable and white Maine Coon “clicker trained” kitty is devoted to the main character, September. He is instrumental in saving September’s life and capturing the bad guy at the climax of the book.
  • A senior citizen domestic (no particular breed) kitty who comforts a family when his/her human becomes a victim of the bad guys–now that’s heroic, right?

Does your cat’s name embody the essence of these kitty characters? Love, devotion, fearlessness, smart as only a cat can be? Looks don’t matter, neither does breed or age or even sex–everyone knows that all cats are heroes at heart when they snuggle with us or bring smiles to our faces when we are at our lowest,  so make your choice and follow your heart!

The poll below allows you to choose THREE (3) of your favorites. You can come back and vote again as many times as you’d like–and I hope you’ll encourage family and friends to champion your kitty cause and also vote.

DEADLINE MONDAY AUGUST 30TH!

[polldaddy poll=6379790

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Don’t forget to vote for your NAME THAT DOG/CAT character choice in the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND!

Monday Mentions: Packing, Parenting & Problems

On Thursday I depart for THRILLERFEST! Yay, I can’t wait! I have a bunch of postcards printed with information about my debut thriller Lost and Found and plan to hand ’em out to readers interested in an “advance look” with an eye toward reviewing the story. If you’re interested, let me know–I’ll keep a list of emails/contact info from the comments section on the book page.

Just so’s ya know, the month of July also will be head-down busy dealing with some angst-icity challenges. One of the problems with being passionate about causes and organizations is that sometimes folks don’t agree with each others’ opinions. That’s perfectly understandable. But it can cause hurt feelings when intentions and/or responses are misinterpreted and unexpected hurtful reactions come from people you respect, admire, or even believe to be friends. Treat Sweet Tweets Right–er, Write, the Hospice Way from awesome blogger Piper Bayard really helped me with this–and maybe it will help readers if/when you find yourself in similar situations.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. And I’m nobody’s parent–except for the fur-kids, of course. But after some public “doing what’s ethically right” stands in three very different recent situations and being misunderstood,  I’m taking a break from angst long enough for the bruises to fade and am reevaluating such things. Meanwhile, I’ll be busy brainstorming next thrillers–make believe thrills appeal to me at the moment!–as well as preparing for the next play production(s) (yes there are TWO in the works!), so stay tuned.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Lots of fun videos today, too, including some PARENT stuff! Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all. PLEASE add your suggestions to the “Name That Dog/Cat” contest because next week the voting begins!

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Designing From Bones on cannibalism, awesome post from Gene Lempp

CJ Lyons Indie Success! and you can’t even hate CJ, she’s an awesomely nice person!

WORST Book Covers EVER! a hilarious blog from Colin Falconer

Marketing for Romance Writers with some free online classes, too

Publishing Predictions Score, an interesting evaluation

New Suspense How-To Blog from the awesome Rebecca York, something for all writers!

The Perfect Blog Post template anyone?

Top 25 Free Mysteries & Thrillers from iTunes

Authors Guild & Writers from David Gaughran

Global Book Awards Finalists

Neato writer conference over Labor Day (see video below) and my publisher Bob Mayer (plus many others!) will be there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu2jcSFw5kc

PET SCHTUFF

Dog Nurses Orphan Kitten

Pets In Nursing Homes–lower infection risk!

Ape Intellect another great shared link from Jane Miller

Pet Funeral Industry Changes

Dog Memoirs…but where are the cat books?

Kangaroo Paw Preferences–are they right-pawed or left-pawed?

Top 25 CAT Bloggers of 2012!

A couple more videos on ‘parenting’ enjoy!

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter . Don’t forget to check out the NAME THAT DOG/CAT character in the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND!

Monday Mentions: Thriller Unveil, Chicken Soup-icity & Writer Beware!

COVER UNVEIL! You like? Boy, I do too–and click on the cover to learn more about the book as well as the ongoing NAME THAT DOG and NAME THAT CAT contest. By the way, a special shout out to the Magical-Dawg’s breeder Gillian Salling for sharing her gorgeous cover dog, USCHI VON FERNHEIM, TD. (That “TD” stands for Tracking Dog title this dog acquired at six months of age.)

LOST AND FOUND is about the future. My nonfiction books are the present, of course. But today’s blog also revisits the past.

Several years ago I was fortunate to be a co-author on two books, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul with awesome peeps Dr. Marty Becker and Carol Kline. These books were incredibly popular and sold extremely well–authors LOVE books like that with great royalty payments! Unfortunately for the authors, though, the founders of Chicken Soup decided to sell the brand–the company became Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing (CSSP) in 2008. And when that happened–POOOOOOF!–all the co-author royalties suddenly disappeared. That’s because the first publisher Health Communications Inc (HCI). decided to sue CSSP, and so CSSP returned the favor–to the tune of millions of dollars spent on attorneys.

The kicker? They decided that the co-authors should foot the bill for their lawyerly shenanigans. In other words, instead of continuing to earn substantial income, suddenly our royalty indicated each co-author OWED the new publisher in excess of 5 figures. No, we didn’t have to pay them–this just meant they didn’t have to pay US as long as that column remained in the negative column. Funny how a simple contract can be re-interpreted the way they want. My friends Marty and Carol have many other Chicken Soup books, and there are a number of other authors in the same soup-y situation.

So I was pleased to see that the two companies finally settled their dispute. And I quick-like-a-bunny emailed ’em to find out what this means for the co-authors. I first emailed Kim Weiss, director of communications for HCI and she said they’d been told to have us direct questions to Amy Newmark, the publisher of CSSP, and here is Ms Newmark’s reply:

Hi Amy.
We received no money in the settlement.We will start publishing the backlist books with new ISBNs in July and we hope to generate royalties for the coauthors later this year as a result.
Amy

I’ll give you three guesses (and the first two don’t count) how long I’ll hold my breath to see income on THAT new deal. The settlement means nothing for the co-authors. Nothing. It means NOTHING. It only means CSSP now owns the HCI backlist and gets to publish it and continue to perform creative bookkeeping to keep any/all income made possible by the blood-sweat-teeth-gnashing of co-authors.

Bitter, much? Uh…yeah. So from me to you–WRITER BEWARE OF HCI AND CSSP. They have in the past and most certainly will in the future interpreted contracts any which way that pleases them, to the woe of those who trust them to be ethical.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Book Passages Mystery Writers Conference July 19-22, with some awesome speakers including the awesome Doug Lyle, forensic specialist

Types of Social Media Users–what type are you? (“Sparks” here…)

Publishing Syndicate call for submissions

5 Ways to Promo Your Books

Amazon Buys Dorchester Pub Assets

PET SCHTUFF

Our Animal Natures asks (and answers) the question, Why don’t we human doctors routinely cooperate with animal experts?

Pedigree Canned Dog Food Recall little blue plastic pieces in the food could choke your dog, please be careful!

Winn Feline Foundation Announces  2012 Media Award presented to awesome pet writer/author Darlene Arden!

6th Annual Planet Dog Foundation Fundraiser to Benefit Maine Medical Center’s Therapy Dog Program. I love this company! Not only does Magical-dawg love their products, they do good schtuff for dogs…check out the video, below.

How Animals Talk–Vocal “Matching” in Animals and a related article on how goat moms recognize kid bleats even after they grow up!

Responsible Dog Ownership Day turns 10 Celebrate with your dogs on September 22.

Planet Dog Offers $25,000 In Grants. Since 2006, PDF has contributed over $875,000 dollars in cash and in-kind product donations to exemplary canine service programs. $25,000 in grants go to this year’s grant recipients:  Austin Dog Alliance, of Austin, TX; Central Lakes Search and Rescue, of Garfield, MN; Champlain Valley Search and Rescue K-9 Unit, of Keeseville, NY; Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, of Norfolk, VA; Freedom Service Dogs of Englewood, Colorado; New Jersey Search and Rescue, of Mahwah, NJ; Service Dogs of Virginia, of Charlottesville, VA; and Susquehanna Service Dogs, of Harrisburg, PA. Check out the awesome video.

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter . Don’t forget to check out the NAME THAT DOG/CAT character in the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND!

Feline Friday: Name That Cat!

IMG_3752

Does your kitty friend have “star” power? (Copr. Missy/Flickr

How does the kitty do this? Aw c’mon, you have to KNOW that a cat could outwit, out-maneuver, out-do any bad guy on the planet, right? This lovely kitty, though, also has been trained by the animal behaviorist main character. You never know when a kitty “trick” can be turned to your advantage. 🙂

My blog followers, Facebook friends, nonfiction book readers and pet writing colleagues have been so much a part of this fiction journey, I want to include YOU in the book, too. This Maine Coon kitty has a major role in the book but there’s also a second feline mentioned as well as a number of other dog mentions.

I’d like to give y’all the opportunity to name those kitty characters–name them after YOUR furry wonder, for instance, or a beloved pet that has passed on, or a friend’s dog or even a human relative–your choice. Many of y’all already subscribe to my Pet Peeves newsletter, which hasn’t gone out in a while due to other deadlines :) . I’ll post a reminder in the next several blogs about this to subscribe to the newsletter for your chance to NAME THAT CAT in the forthcoming Lost And Found thriller.

Those who win the naming opportunity will also receive a free copy of the book, and a mention in the acknowledgements. Oh, and let me know in the comments–does your cat do tricks? My kitty hero in the book will sit, sit up, wave, walk on leash, leaps to the top of the refrigerator on command, and will “kill it” (a toy…or bad guy!). The cat was clicker trained.

So please suggest names. Tell me why YOUR cat should be the “hero” feline, or describe what makes your kitty name the purrr-fect choice?

UPDATE

Here’s how I’ve decided to choose the winner(s). Depending on the response, I will select (random drawing) 10-15 dog names and 10-15 cat names, and YOU WILL VOTE (get your friends to campaign for you!) to select the final names to appear in the book.

Those who win the naming will not only get furry bragging rights, and an ADVANCE FREE COPY of the book, but also an acknowledgement in the book itself with a tidbit about your pet who shares that name. Sound good? Be sure to post your suggested name asap–I’ll need to send final edits to my editor probably by the end of July!

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter for your chance to NAME THAT DOG character in the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: Name That Dog!

Uschi with toy
Some of y’all know that my debut thriller LOST AND FOUND will be published this fall. Last night I sent back edits to my publisher and now we’re working on cover design. It’s a challenge because–well–it has to be right!

Why do I talk about thriller fiction in a Woof Wednesday blog? Because a main character in the book is Shadow, a nine-month-old German shepherd being trained as a service dog for a young boy. Like most authors, I truly KNOW what my characters look like, how they talk and act, and what they feel.

Even Shadow, the dog. Especially Shadow. He is, in fact, one of my viewpoint characters. At a recent writer’s seminar on pitching (a shorthand way of describing the book) I described the book like this:

“In LOST AND FOUND an animal behaviorist and service dog must find an autistic child lost in a blizzard in this adult thriller with the medical tension of Robin Cook and the heart of The Art of Racing In the Rain.”

Hey, I can dream that readers will agree!

Meanwhile, tomorrow I have a photo shoot with a potential cover-dog model for the book. You see, many of the stock photos available of German shepherds either aren’t the right color (black) or the wrong age. And nope, Magical-Dawg is too big/mature for the right look (shhhh, don’t say that out loud or you’ll hurt his doggy feelings!) but one of his relatives might have the right look. Get a load of this gorgeous GSD, already with a tracking dog title at 6 months old, wow!
Chew toy

My blog followers, Facebook friends, nonfiction book readers and pet writing colleagues have been so much a part of this fiction journey, I want to include YOU in the book, too. Shadow is already a main character in the story. But there is a second tracking dog featured, as well several other “relatives” of that canine that are mentioned.

I’d like to give y’all the opportunity to name those dog characters–name them after YOUR furry wonder, for instance, or a beloved pet that has passed on, or a friend’s dog or even a human relative–your choice. Many of y’all already subscribe to my Pet Peeves newsletter, which hasn’t gone out in a while due to other deadlines 🙂 . I’ll post a reminder in the next several blogs about this to subscribe to the newsletter for your chance to NAME THAT DOG in the forthcoming Lost And Found thriller.

Those who win the naming opportunity will also receive a free copy of the book, and a mention in the acknowledgements. Oh, and let me know in the comments–have you ever won a similar “naming” contest? How’d that work out? I know that the Thrillerfest folks auction off naming characters as ways to raise funds for charity but this time around, I want it to be free–and fun for you, too. How should I pick the winner? Please weigh in with your thoughts.

UPDATE

Here’s how I’ve decided to choose the winner(s). Depending on the response, I will select (random drawing) 10-15 dog names and 10-15 cat names, and YOU WILL VOTE (get your friends to campaign for you!) to select the final names to appear in the book.

Those who win the naming will not only get furry bragging rights, and an ADVANCE FREE COPY of the book, but also an acknowledgement in the book itself with a tidbit about your pet who shares that name. Sound good? Be sure to post your suggested name asap–I’ll need to send final edits to my editor probably by the end of July!

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter for your chance to NAME THAT DOG character in the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Thrillers, Pets & Writing

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the TASTY neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Why Small Presses Fail–and what to watch out for, from Writers Beware

Congrats to fellow ITW Debut Author Donna Galanti. Her thriller A Human Element released this month. This story, like its characters, is a hybrid that combines science fiction, suspense and romance. As a twin myself, I found that aspect of the story both chilling and fascinating. Read more here–and aspiring authors may wish to take a closer look at this publisher, too!

For more thrilling romance from well known authors, check out the upcoming collection. That’s a must-read, to be sure, cain’t wait! PW Starred Review says, in part: “If a person is known by the company she keeps, then the company of the 30 romance and suspense writers in this stellar all-original anthology speaks volumes about bestseller Brown. From Lori Armstrong’s sexy “Holding Mercy” to Vicki Hinze’s sweet “Wed to Death,” there’s romance aplenty. But there’s also loads of suspense, including Lee Child’s “I Heard a Romantic Story” and Cindy Gerard’s “Dying to Score.” Hankering for a flight of romantic fantasy? Take a trip to a bizarre Savannah neighborhood in Dianna Love’s “Deadly Fixation” or to the Chicago of Patricia Rosemoor’s “Hot Note.” The action spans the globe, imparting a real feel for locales as diverse as the Mexican jungle; Halifax, Nova Scotia; London, England; and south Texas. There are familiar characters such as Allison Brennan’s Lucy Kincaid (“Vacation Interrupted”) and new ones readers are sure to want to see more of, like William Simon’s Nicholas White (“Spider’s Tango”). Chockablock with nifty plot twists, these stories aren’t to be missed. (June)”

”More

WEIRD-ICITY & FUN SCHTUFF

You Type, She Says in any language, fun to play.

Middle Eastern Poetry Meets Bollywood & More from my friend Carol Shenold’s blog

Google to End Ebook ReSeller Program

Amazon Ebooks in Spanish

PET-ICITY SCHTUFF

10 New Cat Health Studies Funded by Winn Feline Foundation

Ally Cat Allies Petition Re: Loews Hotels Killing Cats Animal friendly? really…

Cat World Records–most toes, longest whiskers, loudest purrs, oldest (38 years!) and more

ALLEY CAT RESCUE Hosts International Free Feral Cat Spay Day April 27, 2012

Scottie the Flower Shop Kitty

Lost German Cat Returns Home After 15 Years

High Cost of Cutting Edge Vet Care–would you do it?

I covered a lot of this cutting-edge care in my book. And I got my first hate mail as a result from somebody deeply offended that so much $$ might be spent on mere pets. What do you think? Have we gone too far? Or would you go into dept to fund health care for YOUR dogs and cats? Do tell!

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Tuesday Trumpet! Music, Cat-astrophe & Thrilling News!

NEWS-ABOUT-KURVES!

First off, I’ve added audio files to the KURVES, THE MUSICAL page (above) so folks can finally hear some of the songs.

NEWS-ABOUT-CAT!

Seren-kitty had her vet visit yesterday. She’s not a youngster any more and I’ve  been worried about her health since she’s drinking/urinating more. I’ll have a full recap on Friday but wanted to thank everyone for the good wishes. It is NOT diabetes (whew!). It may be early kidney issues (her tests are ‘borderline’ and not yet in failure). We’re expecting Texas A & M results tomorrow or Thursday to let us know about thyroid function. Paws crossed that’s negative…

NEWS-ABOUT-FICTION!

Some of y’all know that I’ve long aspired to write thrillers. Last Thursday, just before I headed out for the KWA Scene Conference, I heard from my editor at Who Dares Wins Publishing that they will publish my thriller LOST AND FOUND probably this fall (date tba). SNOOPY-DANCE-O-JOY!

Animal behaviorist September Day has 24 hours to find her autistic nephew and his service dog before he–and hundreds of other children–become victims of a deadly experimental autism treatment. And yes, there is “dog voice” as well as a highly-trained kitty, along with assorted quirky two-legged characters in the book.

To say I’m thrilled is an understatement. But today I also learned that I’ve been accepted as an ITW Debut Author class of 2012/2013. When I got that email I bawled. With happiness, of course. But that really upset the Magical-Dawg. Any tears upset him. And yes, the hero dog in the fiction came about by channeling my inner dog/cat. *s*

Anyway, I had to let y’all know my news. It’s been an “on top of the world” to “worry-icity” to “floating-again” sort of week. Sometimes you reach for, grab, and actually catch the brass ring.

*humming* If I can do it, you can do it too…

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

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