Monthly Archives: January 2014

Creating Blogs People Want to Follow

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I don’t know about you, but I follow some blogs that keep me both entertained and informed, so that I want to continue to follow them on a daily basis. It makes me want to analyze why I will spend the time following them and how to translate this to my personal blog. Some of the characteristics that they have in common, include:

  1. something valuable will be learned or gleaned from the post
  2. concise (short paragraphs) and well-written material with a personal, and often humorous voice
  3. entertaining and fun to read
  4. visual-pictures and videos (often crazy funny ones or those aesthetically appealing) are embedded in the post or images created in one’s mind. Video is also engaging on posts.
  5. regular posts and guest bloggers invited
  6. engages readers with posts and seeks feedback by having them leave comments

I purposely host a blog as a means to connect with tweens interested in blogging. Tween writers could benefit from analyzing Ethan’s FBF posts  (the 13 year old main character of my Frenchie series) for style strengths and ways to improve.  Since Ethan writes a nightly blog post (FBF- Frenchie’s Best Friend) to his French bulldog fans, he is demonstrating how a blog may (or may not) be of benefit to a tween. Middle grade educators, librarians and parents could benefit from using the blog posts from https://twocandobooks.wordpress.com as well, with their tweens.

Book #3 of the Frenchie Series is available now (Frenchie Diva- Follow the Blog) in Canada: from https://www.redtuquebooks.ca

or  https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00GXIW57E

in the USA from:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GXIW57E

Please enjoy a sample blog post from    Image

Pierre Strikes Again

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 If I counted all the strikes Pierre has against him, he’d already be sent back to the French Bulldog Rescue Society. This one was the worst yet!

We were having our usual Sunday morning get together with Mr. Cooper and his English bulldog, Prince Harry, at the doggie park, when Pierre disappeared. I finally caught up to him down by the water’s edge rolling around on the back of his new playmate – a rotting, dead seal’s corpse!

Mom wouldn’t let us in the car with our distinctive (more like disgusting) odour, so I had plenty of time, walking home, to figure out how I was going to handle this one. Let’s just say, Mom was completely hysterical over it. Of course, walking was nothing; it was our stench that was problematic. People along the sidewalk were disgusted with the sickening stink invading their nostrils as we approached. Rather than the usual adoration and fawning that Pierre normally attracts, horrified pedestrians quickly avoided us the minute they figured out that we were the source of the foul smell!

While we walked home, Mom and Mr. Cooper had taken charge and set up plastic tubs and pails in the backyard. Pierre and I were forbidden to enter the house or go anywhere near Sissy and Prince Harry. Lucky for us, the day wasn’t as cold as March can be, and the sun was shining. They cornered the market on tomato juice on their way home, and both Pierre and I bathed in the stuff. Everyone knows tomato juice neutralizes the smell of skunk spray, but who knew it would work on seal rot? Mom wasn’t taking any chances. As insurance, they also bought some heavy-duty Stink-Be-Gone product from Pet Mart to rid us of our repulsive death smell. 

So Pierre and I took two different outdoor baths. It’s totally weird to soak yourself in tomato juice, and Pierre was at his squirmiest. Not only were we covered in the red stuff, but Mom and Mr. Cooper were doused in it, as well, when Pierre decided to shake it off. And they had been keeping their distance! The commercial body wash smelled a lot better. It was probably perfumed to mask our disgusting smell! Whatever! I was just relieved to lose the stink.

Mom wouldn’t even discuss washing my foul clothes. They became instantly disposable and were double bagged and set outside for the garbage trucks to take away.

I had to laugh at the way Mr. Cooper, with Prince Harry in his arms, abruptly dashed for his truck the minute Pierre and I finished our baths. You could see the urgent need to escape in his eyes. He wasn’t sticking around in case the smell lingered, and he certainly wasn’t going to let Pierre anywhere near his bulldog!

Life is never dull since my little man joined the family. And prissy Sissy avoided us for the rest of the day, even though the smell really had left us, I think. (Or could it be we were just getting used to it?)

I keep waiting for Mom to lose it with Pierre, but after the putrid crisis was over,even she managed to chuckle over our latest bizarre puppy episode. I swear; she really is lightening up. Go figure!

-Stinky Frenchie’s Best Friend

Did this post meet any of the criteria mentioned above.  What are your thoughts?  Please leave a comment offering your opinion.  This is how writers improve their craft and I am seeking your feedback; it’s valued!

Free eBooks of Frenchie Series- Bks. 1 & 2

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Accept the gift of the first two eBooks of the Frenchie Series.  The books are available at

https://www.smashwords.comuntil Feb. 14, 2014 for free.

FRENCHIE’S BEST FRIEND- FOLLOW THE BLOG: Enter the Coupon Code DC85B before completing checkout.

Free Download (June 11th-June 18th) Happy Father's Day

Free Download (June 11th-June 18th)
Happy Father’s Day

FRENCHIE X2- FOLLOW THE BLOG:Enter the Coupon Code GZ32U before completing checkout.

Frenchie X2 Cover

Who enjoys reading the FRENCHIE SERIES?

·                           tweens (ages 9-12)

·                           librarians

·                          teachers

·                         parents

·                        grandparents

·                        pet lovers

     If you like a family-read that entertains and makes you laugh aloud, then the FRENCHIE SERIES are the   books for you!

Once you have enjoyed Books 1&2, Mary Laudien is hopeful that you will be keen to read her newest release: FRENCHIE DIVA- FOLLOW THE BLOG.

FrontPurchase Book #3 at:

Canada   https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00GXIW57E

US    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GXIW57E

Frenchie Diva is available all over the world through Amazon. 

Happy Reading!

 

Win a French bulldog iPad Cover

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Who Can Enter?

Anyone who has read the Amazon Kindle version of Mary Laudien’s latest release: FRENCHIE DIVA-FOLLOW THE BLOG and lives in North America.

Where is FRENCHIE DIVA- FOLLOW the BLOG (kindle version) available?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GXIW57E 

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00GXIW57E

Why choose to read Frenchie Diva- Follow the Blog?

      IT’S a TWEEN NOVEL (and a fun family read…)

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SYNOPSIS of FRENCHIE DIVA- FOLLOW THE BLOG

Will Sissy become the next canine celebrity sensation?  Ethan and Grandma Sis are counting on it! In fact, Sis (the 72 year old CHER look-alike) is convinced she’ll be discovered. (After all, her horoscope confirms that this is her year to soar creatively!)

 Nothing in Ethan’s tumultuous teenage world ever unfolds accordingly. His FBF blog followers continue to be entertained (and alarmed) by the humorous Frenchie drama Ethan gets caught up in with his showboat Sissy and rebel Pierre, his eccentric family members, his mostly accepting friends, and an intolerable school year heading south fast. LOL

Review by Colleen Ruttan for Raindance Catalogue

                                                                        (Young Adult Fantasy Writer)

YOUNG TEEN ETHAN Larimour sets out with his eccentric grandmother to train one of his two Frenchie puppies for a career in film. A story which well captures the angst of being a young teen – not to mention all of the work involved in owning two mischievous Frenchie puppies! – This book would entertain readers in the 9-12 age bracket.

Who should download the Kindle version of this book or purchase the paperback?

  • tweens (ages 9-13)
  • librarians
  • teachers
  • parents
  • grandparents
  • pet lovers

 

What is the Contest?

You can access Mary Laudien’s kindle version by clicking on the links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GXIW57E   

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00GXIW57E

Read this fast paced, madcap Middle Grade book and then offer a comment/short review about the novel.  Comments can be made on the Amazon site where you purchased the eBook or on my blog sitehttps://twocandobooks.wordpress.com. The contest ends on Jan. 23rd at midnight (PST).  The names left with your comments on my blog site or amazon pages, will be entered in the draw.  Be sure to leave your email address so that the winner can be notified. Once confirmation of the winner’s mailing address is received, the prize will be mailed out.

The prize is something to remind you of Mary Laudien’s Frenchie series, each time you pull out your eReader or iPad.  Happy Reading and Good Luck!

                                                LOL

iPAD Frenchiephoto

Cyber Shopping Blog Contest

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Did anyone notice during the holiday season this year, just how inundated one’s Inbox was with the push for online sales?  Every day one had to slog their way through excess emails to find one’s personal gems that were only to be found after deleting the ads.  If it wasn’t Black Friday, it was Cyber Monday. If it wasn’t the countdown to Christmas, it was pre-Boxing Day Sales and of course, followed up with post Boxing Day Sales.  With three devices, the amount of time deleting unwanted ads became time consuming, to say nothing of the distraction …

The question is:  Did we all simply delete them and continue to shop conventionally in stores? Evidently, not everyone disregarded the stream of email ads. In fact, cyber sales were much higher this year and enticed reluctant physical shoppers to let their fingers do the shopping.

One such person (an experienced Shopping Channel shopper) had a humorous twist to her cyber shopping!  Knowing that I’m the author of the Frenchie series, she thought she’d surprise her French bulldog crazy sister-in-law with an outside doorstep figurine of a Frenchie.  On Christmas Eve, the UPS delivery man finally arrived at her door at the last hour. She had hysterics!  Instead of the large box she expected to quickly wrap and stash under the tree, she was handed a tiny plastic bubble envelope! Ripping open the envelope uncovered a minute plastic figurine of a French bulldog. Her shocked laughter echoed throughout the neighborhood! The unsuspecting UPS delivery guy was totally baffled over what had set her off.  Of course, when she finally caught her breath, she explained. Obviously she misjudged the size of the figurine from her computer screen.    (Perhaps some things are better shopped for in the conventional way.)

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As an author with a recently published third book in the Frenchie series, I found myself feeling smaller and smaller and more insignificant by the hour as I deleted all those enticing email ads. When one saw what was being promoted in a constant stream over social media, one had to question how anyone would find my lonely Middle Grade treasure.  A conscious decision was made to NOT promote my novels during the festive season.  Rather, let the holiday season pass and then offer some fabulous contests to get my readers interested in this entertaining and hilarious Middle Grade book.  Many librarians, teachers, parents, grandparents and tweens received eBook readers or iPads, etc. for Christmas and they will be seeking good books that aren’t too costly.  January is the perfect time to introduce Frenchie Diva- Follow the Blog to all those potential eReaders.

The contest is open to anyone in North America.  You can access my kindle version by searching in the http://www.amazon.ca or http://www.amazon.com Kindle eBooks: Frenchie Diva-Follow the Blog by Mary L. Laudien. Read this madcap Middle Grade book and then offer a comment/short review about the novel.  This can be done on the Amazon site where you purchased the eBook or my blog site (https://twocandobooks.wordpress.com).

 

The contest ends on Jan. 23rd at midnight (PST).  The names left with your comments on my blog site or amazon pages, will be entered in the draw.  Be sure to leave your email address so that the winner can be notified. As soon as I have confirmation of the winner’s mailing address, the prize will be mailed out.

Would you like to have a sneak peak of what the prize is?  (It’s something to remind you of my Frenchie series, every time you pull out your eReader or iPad.) Good Luck!

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I love to hear from my readers, so if you have personally had some crazy and amusing cyber shopping experiences you’d like to share, please leave a comment.