Monthly Archives: April 2014

Literate Fur Kids


As a novice gardener, I find myself continually dropping by nurseries these days. When I say novice, I mean it.  The following 3 photos demonstrate the progression from creating a raised garden bed, putting soil in the bed, planting the veggies and VOILÁ!  There are actual little plants germinating in that garden plot!  Simply amazing! Are you amazed?  Tell me you are!

garden Garden 2










veggiesCan you see those little veggies poking out of the soil…. hmmm …. I KNOW YOU CAN! Anyways, I have digressed. Is it obvious that I’m becoming a proud gardener?

So, as I was saying, I seem to be hanging out at a lot of nurseries these days and I found something astonishing. I had no idea that dogs can actually read, but the nursery had it covered for both large dogs (sign attached to the fence) and short dogs (sign on the ground of the entrance).  And you know what, it appeared that  the dogs actually are literate, as there wasn’t a single dog in the vicinity of the  nursery!

nursery dog signnursery sign small

What about you?  Do you have any examples of DOGS as READERS? Please share!  I never seem to be disappointed by the talents of our FUR KIDS.  How about you?




I thought that I was the only person who had ever coined the phrasePuppy- Napping” in my latest TWEEN novel, Frenchie Diva- Follow the Blog.14549732_Frenchie Diva Cover JPG( 4341595 ) copy

In this 3rd book of the Frenchie Series, Ethan receives threatening emails from someone in his high school, like the one here:

Listen you Frenchie freaking mama’s boy, you better watch those bulldogs of yours ’cause you NEVER know what can happen …

My novels are contemporary fiction and I couldn’t believe that pets in real life actually do get kidnapped! But then Global News followed a Frenchie Puppy-Napping story last week where a woman came into a tattoo parlor in Vancouver and asked the owner if she could cuddle her puppy.  The owner gave her permission and the woman walked around with the puppy in her arms until she got close to the door and then she raced for a waiting car with its license plates removed and drove off with the little Frenchie.  The Tattoo Parlor had a surveillance camera and they posted footage on TV and social media.  A few days later the puppy was recovered from Abottsford by police. REALLY!  I just can’t believe that anyone would take off with someone else’s  precious  pet, no matter how adorable the Frenchie might be.  I guess the old saying holds true, “FACT IS STRANGER THAN FICTION.”

A face this cute is obviously too hard to resist for some people!

tease4Grand-Dog Bert in X'mas Hoodie

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop Winners Announced


Books - it is our memory conceptThe annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop is over for another year! Thanks so much to all of our participants that visited each and every one of our 80 sites.  You are amazing!  Hopefully you gathered some worthwhile recipes and gardening tips along your journey. (It was wonderful to receive some tips in return from our visitors.) Maybe you even encountered some special sites or blogs that you have chosen to follow.

The GRAND PRIZE WINNER visited each and every site and will be receiving a new KINDLE FIRE and a $25.00 Gift CardCONGRATULATIONS Savannah Miller!  And this year’s SECOND PRIZE WINNER  of the other    $25. 00 Gift Card goes out to Mary Preston!

iPad 2

The winner of TwoCanDo  Books’ GIVEAWAY DRAW PRIZE  will receive a FRENCHIE iPAD COVER.  Congratulations to Alisha Sienkiel.  She’ll be thinking of this particular blog site @ when using her new iPad cover. Just remember Alisha, Mary Laudien writes an entertaining Middle Grade Frenchie Series, suitable for all TWEENS, as well!

14549732_Frenchie Diva Cover JPG( 4341595 ) copy

This is Book #3. All three novels are available on Amazon:

Frenchie’s Best Friend – Follow the Blog (BK. #1)

Frenchie X2- Follow the Blog (BK #2)













You might enjoy a few photos featuring the inspiration for the Frenchie Series:

Harley3 copyDSCN1721

Win a KINDLE FIRE OR NOOK- Join the Blog Hop


Books - it is our memory concept

Welcome to my Author Blog Site!  I am so pleased to have you participating in the contest and visiting all 79 of our sites between April 7th at 6:00 am EST through to April 16th at midnight EST. You have 10 days to visit each and every site and leave a comment and email address to qualify for the GRAND PRIZE  (a Kindle Fire and a $25. eBook gift card) or a SECOND PRIZE (a $25. eBook gift card).


You have 10 days to visit each of the author blog sites that are listed and linked at the end of each contest blog sites, for your convenience. When you visit each site, you’ll be able to pick up gardening tips (from the talented green thumbs) and/or recipes (from the foodies).  As well, if you leave a comment and an email contact at each site, you have opportunities to win give-aways and you’ll be entered in the Grand Prize Draw for a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) and a $25. gift card for eBooksPlease don’t forget to leave a contact email in your comments so that the Rafflecopter can choose the Grand Prize winner and  individual authors/bloggers can contact give-away winners.  We will want to mail your prize/s out to you ASAP. Remember:  In order to qualify for the Grand Prize and Second Draw prizes, you must visit all 79 sites.

(Of course, after perusing my humorous blogs that serve as samples and tips for writing entertaining blogs, you may even wish to subscribe to my blog: I’d love that!)

Win a FRENCH BULLDOG IPAD COVER ($20. value) as my site give-away prize. Any participant in Canada or the US is eligible for the draw at the end of the blog hop.  You may be asking why an IPAD cover?  Well, the picture of the Frenchie on the cover reminds me so much of one of the puppy characters in my Frenchie TWEEN series.  Everyone needs a cover for their eReaders and whenever the winner uses this cover, they will think of Pierre from my 3 novels: Frenchie’s Best Friend- Follow the Blog, Frenchie X2- Follow the Blog and the latest published – Frenchie Diva- Follow the Blog.  Hopefully, your tween/s (daughter, son, grandchild) will enjoy these madcap novels about humorous pet ownership, teen-age angst, and pursuing the possibilities. They are available on and Check out my website for more information about my books and author visits/ blog writing workshops:  

iPad 2

You KNOW you want this iPad cover make sure you leave a comment with your contact email (and maybe even subscribe to my blog-YES!)  And never hesitate to forward my site to any Middle Grade reader, parent, or grandparent, or simply anyone who is “gaga” over their pets for some fun, humorous reads!


I don’t have a gardening tip, but I do have a quote from an exceptional novel that I believe has inspired me to want to garden.  Read BLACKBERRY WINE- A NOVEL by Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat).

“The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.”  (P. 313)

Since I don’t pretend to think of myself as a knowledgeable gardener, I am providing you with 2 recipes, instead. Don’t forget to copy these recipes:

The Tabbouleh comes from COOKING SCHOOL MEDITERRANEAN.  We are fond of quinoa and the veggies and herbs in this make a refreshing  salad. It serves 4.

generous 1 cup quinoa , juice of 1/2 lemon

2 1/2 cups water , 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

10 vine ripened cherry tomatoes, halved , 4 tbsp chopped fresh mint

3 in. piece of cucumber , 4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

3 scallions, finely chopped , 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper


The Key Lime Pie recipe is from Weightwatcher’s 50th anniversary cookbook. I often travel in the US and love sampling the Key Lime Pies of the Southern States. Last year’s piece was superb in Charleston and 2 months ago, the tart taste in Key West was a welcome joy on a blistering hot day!

Crust: Combine 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs with 1/4 cup melted butter. Press on bottom of 9 in. springform pan.

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (smaller key limes from Florida Keys are preferable)

2 tsp unflavored gelatin

1 (14- ounce) can sweetened condensed mill (I use the light.)

2 tsp grated lime zest

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 small lime, thinly sliced.

(I like my pie super tart and limey, so I add about 1/4 cup of lime curd to the mixture.)

1. Pour the juice into a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let stand until the gelatin is softened, 5 minutes. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring, until the gelatin dissolves.

2. Stir in the condensed milk and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes longer (do not boil). Remove from the heat and let cool 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes, or until the mixture starts to set.

3. Whisk the thickened filling until creamy and smooth ; stir in the lime zest (and LIME CURD, if you want it). Using a a rubber spatula, gently fold in the whipped topping until combined. Pour into the pie crust and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Garnish with the lime slices just before serving.


Visit each author on the list for the Authors in Bloom Hop! And don’t forget to leave a comment and your email contact on each site to qualify for the Grand Prize Raffle and individual author give-aways! Thanks for the visit!

1. Dianne Venetta ~ Cozy Mystery/Romance (US) 41. Stacey Joy Netzel
2. Rose Anderson 42. Deb Sanders
3. Alexa Grace 43. Janette Harjo
4. Katharina Gerlach, YA Fantasy author 44. J.L. Campbell
5. Jennifer Lowery 45. Lorraine Paton (INTL)
6. Catheirne Chant (US) 46. Amy Saunders, Chick-Lit Mysteries (US)
7. S.D. Bancroft 47. Jencey Gortney
8. J.D. Faver ~ Bad Girls Need Love Too…(Intl) 48. Sandra Cox
9. Tara Manderino (Intl) 49. Alisia Compton
10. Judy Baker, Cowboys and Indian Romances 50. Cate Dean
11. Sharon Kleve 51. Lisa Lickel
12. Sara Walter Ellwood (US) 52. Iyana Jenna
13. Anna Patterson 53. Jesse Kimmel-Freeman (INT)
14. Karl Fields (Intl) 54. Sheila Seabrook
15. LENA HART 55. Rose Cooper
16. Janice Seagraves, author 56. Halimah bint David
17. Lakisha Spletzer 57. Grace Peterson
18. Gemma Juliana 58. Nancy Pi-Sunyer
19. Victoria Adams 59. Elena Williams
20. Daryl Devore 60. Scandalous Stories
21. Jeana E. Mann, New Adult Romance 61. Lisa Orgler
22. Not Neccesarily In That Order 62. L.A. Sartor
23. Brenda Maxfield’s Smart and Sassy Teen Reads (INT) 63. BloominThyme
24. Elizabeth McKenna 64. Margarita Matos (UF & Romance)
25. H. A. Somerled 65. Lisa Chalmers
26. Susana Ellis 66. Diane Burton
27. Aileen Fish 67. Rebecca J. Clark
28. Cheryl Bolen 68. Victoria Pinder
29. Elizabeth Rose 69. Zelda Benjamin
30. L. Alison Heller 70. Liz Allen (US)
31. Eleanor Moran 71. Stacy Juba’s Characters at a Crossroads
32. K C Maguire 72. Jennifer Conner Romance Author
33. Patricia W. Fischer 73. I Am A Reader
34. Mindy Hardwick, Author 74. Darcy Flynn (US)
35. Melanie Macek 75. Joanne Jaytanie
36. Karen McCullough 76. Cassandra L Shaw
37. Michelle Abbott 77. Janette Harjo
38. Mary Laudien 78. Louisa Mack
39. Aubrey Wynne 79. Tiffany Schlarman
40. Kimberly K. Comeau

Grand Prize: KINDLE FIRE or NOOK


Books - it is our memory concept

Get ready for some fun, tips, and prizes!  You’re invited to participate in an Author Blog Hop.  The tour begins on April 7th at 6:00 am EST and finishes on the 16th at midnight EST, so mark your calendars!

Readers will have 10 days to enter each author’s individual contest (giveaways) and submit their entry for the GRAND PRIZE (a KINDLE FIRE or NOOK and a 25 dollar gift certificate for eBooks). Visiting 7-8 author sites per day and leaving comments and your email address will enter you in author site give-aways and also provide you with 79 chances to win the Grand Prize and Second Prize (a 25 dollar gift certificate for eBooks). Only those visitors who visit EACH and EVERY stop are eligible for the grand prize ereader and gift card As well, each author site (79 in total) will also post a giveaway and either a gardening tip or a recipe. (I know I’ve got my recipe all ready for you, and you won’t want to miss it!)

It’s going to be a blast getting acquainted with all 79 participating authors and bloggers and YOU may just finish the contest by winning the GRAND PRIZE!

Please forward this message on email or retweet to anyone who you think would enjoy gathering recipes, gardening tips and competing for giveaways and the Grand Prize.

           Mary’s Blog:




Book Mary Laudien for Morning/ Afternoon Author Workshops 

Author Picture DSCN2250a

Mary Laudien is a retired International Baccalaureate World School principal from West Vancouver, B.C. She now divides her time between writing her Middle Grade Frenchie Series and volunteering as an International Baccalaureate Recognition Ambassador. Mary’s life long passion for KidLit makes entertaining readers with her own humorous novels such fun! Missing the day-to-day contact with students, author visits inspiring students to write powerful blog posts is an added treat. Mary believes in making a difference and encourages schools and book stores to fundraise with her novels to support their local SPCA.

All Middle Years Author Visits (appropriate for Grades 5, 6 and 7) include a prompt to provide a personal connection to her books, sample blog readings from her three novels, a discussion/video of what inspires her writing, tips on writing entertaining, powerful blogs, an interactive blog writing challenge/ contest, and answering questions regarding the writing and publishing process. Her student workshop is presented over 50 minute blocks.

As an educator, Mary is happy to present to combined grade groupings (e.g., 4/5’s, 5/6’s or 6/7’s). She is flexible and would be willing to run 2 or 3 workshops in the half day.

She charges only $150. per half day to cover her expenses and encourages the students to raise funds for their local SPCA by giving back 15% of all sales. (This must be well-communicated by the school, in advance of her visit, so that students come prepared and know that they are raising funds for a worthwhile cause.) There are a couple of chapters in Frenchie X 2 that deals with school fundraising through the Kielburger’s initiative of “ME to WE as a motivating connection for students.

Mary’s paperbacks are reasonably priced so that they are affordable for all. Her first book is priced at $7.50.

Frenchie X 2 and Frenchie Diva are priced at $8.99.

14549732_Frenchie Diva Cover JPG( 4341595 ) copyFBF without SpineFrenchie X2 Cover

Mary is setting up local bookings on Vancouver Is. and the North Shore (West Vancouver and North Vancouver) for April & May, 2014. Contact Mary by email to set up your author visits.


Website: (Discussion Guides available for novels #1 and #2)

Blog: (Examples of humorous blog posts and blog contests.)