Monthly Archives: April 2012

Dog Sitting Inspirational

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If you’ve read the first two books of my Frenchie series, you’ll know that Ethan ( the 13 year old main character) gets into some crazy and hilarious predicaments in his quest to become a Frenchie dog owner. The inspiration for the first novel in the series came from dog sitting my Frenchie grand-dogs and trying to convince my son to write a blog about his misadventures as a dog groomer. This didn’t happen, so my imagination took over and the story evolved as Ethan plotted with his quirky, conniving Grandma to  gain ownership of a Frenchie without his overworked, single mom suspecting a thing. He entertains his friends and Frenchie followers on his nightly blog, “Frenchie’s Best Friend.”

My sons’  Frenchies- Bert and Cecile were named after their grandparents. (I still find that just  a little weird!)  They are both adorable with their unique personalities and behaviours.  Bert is a macho Bulldog with attitude who simply expects to be fawned over and loved.  Cecile, on the other hand, doesn’t quite get that she’s actually a dog.  She seeks cuddling and attention through her cute little girlish antics.  No one can be around either puppy and resist them!

This week of dog sitting Cecile has been as entertaining, as usual. She gives me all kinds of new scenarios to think about and work into my novels. Like the raincoat situation, for instance. Its been of week of constant rain and fog. Cecile takes one look at the raincoat coming out and lays down.  When I coax her to come and get her raincoat and bra harness on, she slinks forward, ever so slowly, on her tummy with her head down. We finally make it out the door and she puts the brakes on.  That’s right, she isn’t going to get her toes wet in the rain, even with a slicker on!

And then there are her acrobatic moves.  Who would ever imagine the pint-sized runt of the litter could jump over stair gates?   That’s right, she just bounces over any kind of barrier.  Her latest feat was jumping onto the back of a leather armchair (in close proximity of the dining table) and leaping across to the table top to see what was on my computer screen.  Yes, she is  curious!

As I spent my week up on the mountain in Port Moody dog sitting, my third novel in the series started to take shape. Think in terms of canine stars and you might have a hint of where this is going. Chapter Eight was written today. I’d say the week was worthwhile and, once again, these Frenchie grand-dogs are providing the inspiration.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Frenchie’s Best Friend -Follow the Blog or Frenchie X2 -Follow the Blog in eBook or paperback format, go to my website at http://www.twocandobooks.com for links.   It’s a great family read for people who love their pets and enjoy humor!

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Frenchie’s Best Friend Give Away in the Mail

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It was so great to receive the following response when I emailed the winner of the draw from the Author’s in Bloom Blog Hop!  It is obvious that Mel and her family are dog people and that they’re keen to read the humorous stories about Ethan (the 13 year old main character) who embarks on a devious scheme with his quirky grandmother to own his very own French Bulldog (unbeknownst to his overwhelmed single mother)!  I hope that the first two books of the Frenchie series provides the family with belly laughs and helps to ease the pain of losing their Krunchy.  Who knows?  After reading the novels, they may be just as Frenchie crazy as many of us are and decide that a French Bulldog is what they actually want!

Mary,
YAY!! Thank you!  I told my boys about Frenchie’s Best Friend and they are sooo excited.  I even showed them your blog!  Isak and Riley can’t wait to read about Frenchie. We are BIG dog lovers.  Literally! Both of our dogs are very large.  Krunchy was a shephard/chow mix and Hemi is a pit bull/chow mix.  Both were rescues.  We just lost Krunchy after 12 years.  It has been the hardest on Isak.  He is also the most excited about reading the Frenchie books. It is so neat because we are looking to adopt an English Bulldog this summer.  I can’t wait to read them with the boys.  I can’t thank you enough!!!
 
Thank you!!

As I write this, I am just about to load a ferry over to the Lower Mainland and dog sit my Frenchie grand-dog, Cecile, for five days.  Could anyone resist this little cutie?

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop Announces Winners

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Thank you so much for participating in the  first annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!  I hope you had a blast gathering all those phrases to enter your name for the Grand Prize, as well as adding to your recipe and gardening tips files!  All of the authors involved enjoyed receiving comments from our visitors to our blogs and websites. It was such fun knowing that readers were out there discovering our books and blogs!

The winner of the Draw Give Away for the first two novels from the Frenchie Series (Frenchie’s Best Friend-Follow the Blog and Frenchie X2-Follow the Blog) goes to Melissa.  My humorous books (a fun read for anyone who is “gaga” over their pet) will be mailed out to Melissa immediately.  I hope she and her family enjoy the reads!

And who was our Grand Prize Winner for the eBook Reader and the $25. Gift Certificate? Congratulations to YJ! For a full list of winners from all of the Author Sites, check out A Cozy Reader’s Corner where Tiffany has compiled the list.

Thanks again for checking out my novels and hopefully you’ll return to my blog and website occasionally. HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

                                                                   

Sense of Community Alive and Well in Nanoose Bay

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At the first sign of SPRING, everyone has projects that they’re dying to get underway.  My Ryan needed/wanted/ pined for… a garden shed.  He had worked diligently over the winter months perfecting the design of his coveted SHED, by dusting off his Auto-Cad skills and then ultimately hired a professional, after all, to adjust the plan to comply with district building regulations. (Let’s just say after plans were created for the ideal SHED, reality hit! Apparently there are district size restrictions and the SHED became far less grandiose in size!)  Seriously, I think the man had secretly been planning a “MAN CAVE” complete with lazy boys, beer fridge and a flat screen TV.  Nope, that wasn’t going to happen in the shrunken version that he was forced to build!

Now my Ryan is one of those guys who must be a “do-it-yourselfer”.  So the minute there was an opportunity (without rain for a day and a temp. above 0 degrees); the cement pad was laid.  At this point, our neighbors became involved.  They would wander by and politely inquire about the beginnings of an obvious project. (Very difficult NOT to notice the hubbub of activity in laying concrete and the load of piled up lumber blemishing our not so pristine yard!)  And Ryan, being a man who believes everyone will want to know the intricate details of his plans, elaborated on his scheme to anyone who innocently (and kindly) queried and listened.

Where is this leading, you may ask yourself?  Well Mary and Ryan learned the true sense of community this past weekend when four of those polite inquirers were called upon to help put up the trusses for the very steep roof of the SHED.  These incredible individuals agreed to come and help (taking pity on Mary who they knew was NEVER going to be have the muscle power to assist). Well, let’s just say what actually was only supposed to take a couple of hours to complete, ended up a full day of labor as they continued to put the roof and sides on the frame of the SHED. Of course, the project ended up with 5 pros who gave up the first true day of sunshine in Nanoose Bay to make Ryan’s dream SHED a reality.  By evening, Ryan had his SHED!  Of course we proudly emailed pictures of the “beauty” to everyone we thought would be interested.  The only replies we received were comments about the size: “It’s so BIG! Why did you make a 2 story SHED?”

We don’t care.  Ryan thinks it’s a “work of art” and he’s already moving tools into his SHED! Our lovely neighbors will be invited for a “SHED Christening Barbecue” to celebrate their remarkable achievement to “RAISE A SHED”!

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Authors in Bloom Blog Hop: Recipes, Gardening Tips, Give-Aways and a Grand Prize

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Just a reminder to readers of the fun AUTHOR’S in BLOOM BLOG HOP.  Don’t delay visiting all of the sites below to meet new authors, gather recipes and gardening tips for spring, and enter into give-away raffles at each site.  And the best part of all is collecting a phrase from each site and creating a traveling story that must be pasted into a form on www.acozyreaderscorner.com to enter in the draw for an eReader of your choice and a $25.00 gift certificate.  Don’t miss out on the fun! Follow instructions below.

ENTER TO WIN the FIRST TWO NOVELS of the FRENCHIE SERIES

Frenchie’s Best Friend- Follow the Blog & Frenchie X2- Follow the Blog

WHO CAN ENTER the RAFFLE for the FRENCHIE BOOKS GIVE-AWAY?  US/CANADA PARTICIPANTS ONLY (My apologies to international participants, but it gets too complicated with international giveaway laws and stipulations.)

REQUIREMENT for ENTRY in the GIVE-AWAY RAFFLE for the first 2 books of the Frenchie Series:

1. Leave a comment on my blog site (https://twocandobooks.wordpress.com).  Please include your name and email address in the event that you are the winner of the Frenchie give-aways.

2. If you enjoy my blog posts, please visit my website at http://www.twocandobooks.com

SUBMIT your GRAND PRIZE ENTRY to win a Nook or Kindle:

All participating authors have posted a phrase for the traveling story, “Women in Bloom,” which you will collect by visiting each author’s site.  Those who collect all the phrases (99 lines in all) to complete the story will be entered to win the Grand Prize: a Kindle or Nook and $25 worth of books!!!  (Winners choose which eReader) All entries must be submitted on the grand prize landing page at www.acozyreaderscorner.com by using the form provided (top right hand side) before midnight on April 18th! Only those who collect each phrase and complete the story will be entered into the drawing for the E-reader of their choice.

MARY’S PHRASE for the VIGNETTE:   LINE 64: INDULGE in the SUNSHINE.

DON’T FORGET to VISIT the OTHER AUTHORS INVOLVED in the HOP, conveniently located on the link below, to collect the other phrases:

1. Dianne Venetta 2. YA Author PJ Sharon
3. Vickie Taylor 4. Alexa Grace
5. Marilyn Brant 6. Celebrating Spring
7. Diana Layne Blog 8. *lizzie starr
9. Darcy Flynn 10. Off Kilter
11. Marci Baun 12. Amber Kallyn
13. Sarah Gilman 14. Renee Pace
15. A Cozy Reader’s Corner 16. Children’s Author Maria Dismondy
17. Indie Author How-To 18. Deb Sanders
19. Fresh Start Stories with Beverly Nault 20. Aris Whittier
21. Darcyholic Diversions 22. Once Upon a Time: world of symbols
23. YA author Katharina Gerlach 24. Chick Lit (Bridget Jones’s Diary meets The Office)
25. Beate Boeker 26. Jessica Chambers: Straight From The Heart
27. Gotta Have YA 28. Karl Fields
29. Sally Clements 30. Dina Silver
31. Sybil Nelson 32. Priscilla the Great
33. Nina Benneton 34. Caron Rider, YA Author of Silver Knight
35. Tara Woolpy 36. J.M. Kelley
37. Susan Mallery Cooks 38. J.L. Campbell
39. Amy Saunders 40. Kaira Rouda
41. Michael Scott Miller 42. Samantha March
43. Marika Christian 44. Elena Aitken
45. No Hope for Gomez! 46. Nearly Brilliant
47. WHO GOT LIZ GARDNER 48. Amy Lignor – Until Next Time: The Angel Chronicles
49. Jolene Perry – Night Sky 50. ShaynaGier.com
51. DeeSWhite-Author, Inspirational Speaker, Vocalist 52. Tracy Marchini – Hot Ticket
53. STAY TUNED – Lauren Clark 54. TwoCanDo Books Mary Laudien’s Website- Follow the Blog!
55. Maria Geraci 56. Patti Callahan Henry – Wildflower Wishes App
57. Pandora Poikilos – Peace from Pieces 58. Christina Wible
59. ALMOST HUMAN – venomous vampire series 60. Walking with Justice
61. Author Darien Gee and the Friendship Bread Kitchen 62. K.E. Saxon
63. Cynthia Vespia Author of Thrills and Chills 64. Louisa Mack – Cooking Up Trouble
65. Cheryl – Books, Products and More! 66. Sloane Wolf – Margay Leah Justice
67. Daddy, Come & Get Me 68. Author Mia King (Good Things, Sweet Life, Table Manners)
69. Welcome to the Woods 70. More Than Words-S.Carol Crovo
71. But What Are They Eating? 72. Sheila Seabrook – Tripping My Way Through Life
73. Alicia and Roy Street 74. Indie Pub Promos
75. RS Author Stacey Joy Netzel 76. Doing Italians, Oops!, Italy

I hope you all enjoy the contest and gather scads of awesome recipes and gardening tips along your journey to all the author’s sites during the Authors in Bloom Give Away Blog Hop! Thanks for visiting my blog! BONNE CHANCE!

Enter to Win an eReader and Give-Aways in the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

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You have until 11:59 p.m. on April 18th to enter the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop.  Remember, not only will you collect spring gardening tips and recipes at each author’s site, but you’ll enter for give-aways at each author’s web or blog page. At my site you just need to leave a comment on my April 8th blog (Author’s in Bloom Giveaway Hop  Enter to Win a Kindle! Enter to Win a Nook!)and leave your name and email address so that I can get hold of the winner when the prizes are announced after April 18th.  What will the  US/Canada winner receive?  The first two books of the Frenchie Series!  Funny and entertaining reads for all family members who are “doggie people” or “doggie owner wannabes”.

 

To enter the grand prize, you need to collect all the phrases for the traveling story (hint: the line I have is below) by visiting all of the OTHER AUTHORS, and then you submit the completed story with all the lines on the grand prize landing page at A Cozy Reader’s Corner by using the form provided there. Only those who collect each phrase to complete the story will be entered into the drawing for the eReader of his/her choice and the $25 gift card. Good luck, everyone!

Line 64      Indulge in the sunshine.

Have fun participating in the Authors in Bloom Spring Blog Hop– it should be a blast!  And if you want more info about my Frenchie books or me, please visit my website at http://www.twocandobooks.com

AUTHORS IN BLOOM GIVEAWAY HOP Enter to Win a Kindle! Enter to Win a Nook!

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Thanks for visiting my blog to enter the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!  What a great way to celebrate SPRING! I have included 2 simple and tasty recipes that I think are yummy for informal gatherings out on the patio.

HOT CRAB and ARTICHOKE DIP

1 pkg (125 g/4oz.) cream cheese light                                     30 ml (2 tbsp) mayonnaise

1 clove garlic                                                                                 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

2 ml (1/2 tsp) Tabasco sauce                                                    2 ml (1/2 tsp) horseradish

2 ml (1/2 tsp) dry basil                                                              60 ml (1/4 cup) grated mozzarella cheese

2 ml (1/2 tsp) onion powder                                                    45 ml (3 tbsp) red pepper, diced fine

1 can (170 g/6 oz.) crabmeat                                                    45 ml (3 tbsp) green pepper, diced fine

1/2 can (398 g/14 oz.) artichoke hearts chopped                45 ml (3 tbsp) green onion, diced fine

1. In a mixer bowl or food processor, blend cream cheese, garlic, onion powder, salt, horseradish and Tabasco sauce until creamy and well-mixed.  Drain and rinse crabmeat.  Add remaining ingredients and hand stir (do not process) until combined.  Garnish should be crunchy and visible.

2. Heat in the microwave for approximately 2 to 3 minutes until bubbly around the edges.  Remove, stir and if cheese is not melted enough, return for another minute only.  Can also be heated in an oven-proof dish at 175 degrees C/ 350 degrees F for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

3. Serve with your favorite crackers, slices of baguette or sliced raw vegetables.

LIME VINAIGRETTE  (Dressing  enough for  6 to 10)

This is a refreshing dressing and especially good for those of us who love LIME!

60 ml (4 tbsp) fresh lime

15 ml (1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil

10-20 ml (2-4 tsp) liquid honey

salt and pepper to taste

ENTER TO WIN the FIRST TWO NOVELS of the FRENCHIE SERIES- US/ CANADA PARTICIPANTS ONLY

Frenchie’s Best Friend- Follow the Blog & Frenchie X2- Follow the Blog

WHO CAN ENTER the RAFFLE for the FRENCHIE BOOKS GIVE-AWAY?  US/CANADA ONLY (My apologies to international participants, but it gets too complicated with international giveaway laws and stipulations.)

REQUIREMENT for ENTRY in the GIVE-AWAY RAFFLE

1. Leave a comment on my blog site.  Please include your name, address, and email address in the event that you are the winner of the Frenchie give-aways.

2. If you enjoy my blog posts, please visit my website at http://www.twocandobooks.com

How do I submit my grand prize entry and be entered to win a Nook or Kindle (my choice)?

Each author who participates will post a phrase of our traveling story, “Women in Bloom,” which you will collect by visiting each author’s site.  Those who collect all the phrases to complete the story will be entered to win the Grand Prize: a Kindle or Nook and $25 worth of books!!!  (Winner’s choice which ereader)

All entries must be submitted on the grand prize landing page at www.acozyreaderscorner.com by using the form provided (top right corner of the site).  Only those who collect each phrase and complete the story will be entered into the drawing for the E-reader of their choice.

Remember, readers must copy each short phrase posted on each author blog post and assimilate them into the complete passage: “Authors in Bloom,” a vignette about a woman’s personal growth and empowerment.  Once you have gathered all of the phrases (99 lines in all), you can enter for the Grand Prize ( a Kindle or a Nook and a $25. gift certificate).  The winner will be announced on the Authors in Bloom Blog Site after April 18th.

Mary’s AUTHORS in BLOOM  PHRASE for the Traveling Story:

                                   LINE 64: INDULGE in the SUNSHINE.

DON’T FORGET to VISIT the OTHER AUTHORS INVOLVED in the HOP, conveniently located on the links below:

1. Dianne Venetta 2. YA Author PJ Sharon
3. Vickie Taylor 4. Alexa Grace
5. Marilyn Brant 6. Celebrating Spring
7. Diana Layne Blog 8. *lizzie starr
9. Darcy Flynn 10. Off Kilter
11. Marci Baun 12. Amber Kallyn
13. Sarah Gilman 14. Renee Pace
15. A Cozy Reader’s Corner 16. Children’s Author Maria Dismondy
17. Indie Author How-To 18. Deb Sanders
19. Fresh Start Stories with Beverly Nault 20. Aris Whittier
21. Darcyholic Diversions 22. Once Upon a Time: world of symbols
23. YA author Katharina Gerlach 24. Chick Lit (Bridget Jones’s Diary meets The Office)
25. Beate Boeker 26. Jessica Chambers: Straight From The Heart
27. Gotta Have YA 28. Karl Fields
29. Sally Clements 30. Dina Silver
31. Sybil Nelson 32. Priscilla the Great
33. Nina Benneton 34. Caron Rider, YA Author of Silver Knight
35. Tara Woolpy 36. J.M. Kelley
37. Susan Mallery Cooks 38. J.L. Campbell
39. Amy Saunders 40. Kaira Rouda
41. Michael Scott Miller 42. Samantha March
43. Marika Christian 44. Elena Aitken
45. No Hope for Gomez! 46. Nearly Brilliant
47. WHO GOT LIZ GARDNER 48. Amy Lignor – Until Next Time: The Angel Chronicles
49. Jolene Perry – Night Sky 50. ShaynaGier.com
51. DeeSWhite-Author, Inspirational Speaker, Vocalist 52. Tracy Marchini – Hot Ticket
53. STAY TUNED – Lauren Clark 54. TwoCanDo Books Mary Laudien’s Website- Follow the Blog!
55. Maria Geraci 56. Patti Callahan Henry – Wildflower Wishes App
57. Pandora Poikilos – Peace from Pieces 58. Christina Wible
59. ALMOST HUMAN – venomous vampire series 60. Walking with Justice
61. Author Darien Gee and the Friendship Bread Kitchen 62. K.E. Saxon
63. Cynthia Vespia Author of Thrills and Chills 64. Louisa Mack – Cooking Up Trouble
65. Cheryl – Books, Products and More! 66. Sloane Wolf – Margay Leah Justice
67. Daddy, Come & Get Me 68. Author Mia King (Good Things, Sweet Life, Table Manners)
69. Welcome to the Woods 70. More Than Words-S.Carol Crovo
71. But What Are They Eating? 72. Sheila Seabrook – Tripping My Way Through Life
73. Alicia and Roy Street 74. Indie Pub Promos
75. RS Author Stacey Joy Netzel 76. Doing Italians, Oops!, Italy

 

I hope you all enjoy the contest and gather oodles of awesome recipes and gardening tips along your journey to all the author’s sites during the Authors in Bloom Give Away Blog Hop! Thanks for the visit!