Category Archives: Frenchie’s Best Friend-Follow the Blog

TENDER TUESDAYS

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MEET INSPIRATION

AN APOLOGY TO MY FOLLOWERS: I know this isn’t Tender Tuesday or Wacky Wednesday, and not even Theatrical Thursday… Please accept my apology for publishing this on Freaky Friday! (I’ve been a little busy….)

Many of you may not be aware that I’m in process of publishing my first Picture Book! I waited for months to have the carefully chosen publishers respond to my query and tell me how anxious they were to get the project to print. I dreamt of bidding wars over my manuscripts- seriously! You’re shaking your head right now, thinking another disillusioned novice gets a dose of reality. Not exactly! I have had some experience with publishing in a former segment of my life and after retiring from my full-on career as an IB principal- threw myself into writing 3 humorous Middle Grade novels (the Frenchie Series). (I’m being cheeky here and pointing out that they’re listed in the blog roll to the right of this post with links to Amazon and Red Tuque Books- just in case you’d like to check them out… ha!)

I was in a BIG rush to break into the book publishing world at that point and just couldn’t wait around for publishers to acknowledge receipt of my manuscript (MEANING: those that would even consider glancing at an unsolicited manuscript). That’s right, I never looked too hard for a literary agent. I figured I had researched enough and through my amazing educational career with literacy, knew which publishers would be ideal for my books. Well, wasn’t that a bit of a shock when they didn’t immediately call, upon receipt of my query packets, to offer a contract?

At that point, I thought I could make it work on my own, so I published with CreateSpace (self-publishers associated with Amazon). Let’s just say, I’m not sure anyone actually found my novels, even though they promised great distribution, if authors did all the right things. I totally worked diligently, booking readings, setting up a website, blog , twitter accounts, and Pinterest boards. I put my ebooks out on Smashwords, as well as Kindle, so that it would be available on all e-reader platforms. I found a Canadian Distributor (Red Tuque Books) and purchased ads for catalogues and literary newspapers, etc. I set up tables at X’mas and summer markets, and the list goes on…

What was the lesson learned from all that effort? THE BOOK BUSINESS is a difficult one to break into (near impossible, in fact, no matter how many webinars you watch, How To books you buy, subscriptions you have to Writers Digest, Book Baby, Canadian Children’s Book Center, etc.). However, in spite of all that, I still had to listen to my inner voice that was saying, “Hey Mary, do you think you’re a writer?” The answer is YES! And I had one particular story going through my mind, ever since I started sailing the Pacific North-West in my late 40’s on our TwoCan Catalina sailboat. I knew I had to publish it, and as I wrote this picture book, at the core of the inspiration were the delightful cartoons that were created and published monthly by Pacific Yachting Magazine’s COCKPIT CONFESSIONS’ cartoonist. Each vignette for this repetitive language picture book, had to have an amusing twist that would engage children, as well as parents and grandparents, and the entire boating community. The day I set up a meeting with Dave Alavoine in Starbucks in North Vancouver, was a day I’ll never forget.

Dave and I gave each other hints for how we’d recognize one another. (I had already been on the web looking at his past shows of his political cartoons, so I assumed I had a bit of an advantage.) But no, he was the one who figured out it was me- could it have been the meeting agendas laid out or the stack of my Frenchie novels, that gave me away? I chuckle to myself when I reminisce about that first meeting. I left it feeling like I was walking on air. He was such a lovely man and could visualize what I was looking for in the cartoons as we went through the text (which laid the context) and the action and dialogue I envisioned for each of the 23 images. Although, he was already committed to another book deal (Learn to Sail the Hard Way) and, of course, had monthly commitments with Pacific Yachting Magazine, he agreed to collaborate with me on OUR project, WHO’S the CAPTAIN?

This is the image that will be used on the cover of our book (I thought you might just like to have a sneak preview …)

Cover_004In my next installment I’ll explore more of the “tender moments” that transpired between Dave and Mary in their collaboration process of this awesome picture book that is on its way to becoming a reality! The core element to the success of this project has been INSPIRATION!

I know many of you who read my TENDER TUESDAYS have inspirational stories of you own. I would be so grateful if you would click on LEAVE a COMMENT below this post and leave your story. I promise to respond to all comments that are left. It enriches our experience, when one shares their thoughts with us. Please do!

 

 

SUMMERTIME IS BOOK TIME

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If you’ve been perusing the titles of books on Amazon, you will see the tag, “SUMMERTIME IS BOOK TIME” at the bottom of each of the titles’ ads. Like most people,we carve out more leisure time to read in the shade, poolside, or at a beach during the summer months. It’s also when you sign up your kids/grandkids into a Summer Reading Program at the library. As an author, its the perfect time to promote my Middle Grade Frenchie Series! These novels inspire tweens (ages 9-12) to read for entertainment. Readers relate to Ethan’s antics and scheming to own a bulldog, and realize that they too can write blogs about their passions.

I have a summer gift for you. I’m offering Novel #1 of the Frenchie Series, Frenchies Best Friend: Follow the Blog in a FREE E-BOOK PROMOTION for 5 days. From July 10-14, go to : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0053HQ0AO or http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0053HQ0AO . If you don’t have a kindle, no worries! You can download a free kindle amp onto your iPad or any other eReader devise.

Order FREE eBook -  July 10-14

Order FREE eBook –
July 10-14

Frenchie’s Best Friend is a quirky story of a determined tween-aged boy and some adorable Frenchie puppies. For fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, this heartwarming, contemporary novel is a madcap mash-up of deceit, pet ownership, family, and friendship drama. It’s a double helping of fun and laughs!
Remember: SUMMERTIME IS BOOK TIME! Enjoy a fun family read together!

If you do choose to participate in this FREE e-Book promotion, and would like to recommend it to others, please leave a comment on Amazon and don’t hesitate to send this blog link to other readers: http://www.twocandobooks.wordpress.com

paperback: Amazon or http://www.redtuquebooks.ca

paperback: Amazon or
http://www.redtuquebooks.ca

SCHOLASTIC SURVEY: WHAT TWEENS WANT IN BOOKS

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Nanoose Library X'mas Sale

Nanoose Library X’mas Sale

It’s that shopping time of year when you’re looking for some fun, engaging reads for your TWEEN-aged (9-12 year old) kids or grand kids to enjoy over the holiday season. SCHOLASTIC has a report coming out in the new year, but they released a chart recently that summarized their findings.  This is what kids aged 6-17 said they want from the books they read:

1.  MAKE ME LAUGH      (70%)

2. LET ME USE MY IMAGINATION        (54%)

3. TELL ME A MADE-UP STORY        (48%)

4.  HAVE CHARACTERS I WISH I COULD BE LIKE BECAUSE THEY’RE SMART, STRONG, OR BRAVE        (43%)

5.  TEACH ME SOMETHING NEW          (43%)

6.  HAVE A MYSTERY OR PROBLEM SOLVE          (41%)

Kids (9-11) want books that have a mystery or a problem to solve.

Kids (12-14) want books with smart, strong or brave characters.

This is useful information for parents, grandparents, and teacher librarians that continue to promote the reading habit with their tweens and young teens, after the primary years. As the author of the Frenchie Series, I felt validated knowing that my three Middle Grade novels fit the criteria for what TWEENS are looking for when choosing books that will entertain and hook them in. This age group can relate to Ethan, the main character, who would do ANYTHING to own a French bulldog. These contemporary fiction novels have tweens chuckling aloud as they join Ethan in his misadventures and schemes through his nightly Frenchie’s Best Friend (FBF) blog followers who are as “gaga” over Frenchies, as he is!

The Frenchie Series is a timely read for the holiday season for all TWEENS (aged9-12).  If your tweens are reading eBooks- you may want to check out the Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon for Bk. #1 – Frenchie’s Best Friend- Follow the Blog (the ebook has been reduced from $2.99 to$0.99 from Dec. 12th-Dec.19th) .Paperbacks are also available at all Amazon sites:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0053HQ0AO

FBF without Spine

The Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon for Bk. #2Frenchie X2- Follow the Blog (the eBook has reduced from  $2.99 to $0.99) from Dec. 19th to Dec. 26th):

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007BG2ETG

Frenchie X2 Cover

Bk. #3 of the Frenchie Series: Frenchie Diva- Follow the Blog is available in Kindle eBook and paperback format from all Amazon sites:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GXIW57E

14549732_Frenchie Diva Cover JPG( 4341595 ) copy

Anyone wishing to purchase the paperback series in Canada can order directly from my Canadian Distributor: http://www/redtuquebooks.ca

HAPPY HOLIDAY READING with your TWEENS!

Knowing your TWEEN’S reading preferences, as you do, are you in agreement with the Scholastic survey summary?  I’d love to hear your opinions or those of your children/grandchildren/ or students.  Please leave me a note in the comment section.  And if you should take advantage of the Kindle Countdown Deals and purchase the Frenchie Series, please do leave a short review comment on Amazon for other readers to find.  I’d love to hear whether you agree with me that the series meets the criteria of what tweens are looking for in the books they choose!

 

OKANAGAN TWEENS READ

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PeachfestKiddieParade

Okanagan TWEENS are readers. The  THE CHILDREN’S PARADE at PEACH FEST  this summer highlighted the array of wonderful, rich stories and novels that Canadian authors have currently published. This picture of TWEENS sharing my 3 Frenchie novels in the KIDS PARADE, made me realize that there are so many Middle Grade readers (ages 9-13) who don’t even know that these titles are available in paperback or ebook format. Red Tuque Books distribute the paperbacks of the three novels in the series in Canada. Just click on: http://www.redtuquebooks.ca

Amazon Stores/Book Links

You only have to click on the country you live and you will have access to Kindle formats or paperback of Frenchie Diva (Book #3) If you want Book #1 and #2- just search for them: Frenchie’s Best Friend– Follow the Blog & Frenchie X2- Follow the Blog

Australia   https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00GXIW57E

Japan    https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00GXIW57E

Germany   https://www.amazon.de/dp/B00GXIW57E

Mexico     https://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00GXIW57E

Italy   https://www.amazon.it/dp/B00GXIW57E

UK    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00GXIW57E

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

Spain   https://www.amazon.es/dp/B00GXIW57E

India     https://www.amazon.in/dp/B00GXIW57E

Brazil   https://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B00GXIW57E

France  https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B00GXIW57E

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

If you would like to order Book #1 or Book #2 in any other ebook format, go to: https://www.smashwords.com

 What do readers say about the Frenchie Series?

One Mom recently wrote: “My daughter has been ploughing through books this summer and discovered your Frenchie ‘s Best Friend novel. She has been reading it to her brother and they are both laughing their way through. I have banned any more pets that poop or have fur in our house. So my kids are liking the book and all the angles to getting a pet.”

One TWEEN wrote: “During the presentation at Okanagan Elementary, I learned Mary Laudien is a very inspiring writer; her books are humorous, smart, creative, and satisfying. Right now I am reading the third book of the series, Frenchie Diva. So far this book is amazingly entertaining, and very relatable.

The book reminds me of when I had a basset hound back in England, called Wellington, for first time (in my life) I saw snow, same for Wellington. It only snowed about an inch but, to me it was like a miracle, and same for my dog! The things he did in it were hilarious, and it was a great experience.”

 One teacher wrote: “I had such fun reading about Ethan’s full-speed-ahead plans for getting his French Bulldog! I loved his crafty ways of dealing with the adults in his life, and his mad-cap solutions to his spa troubles.

The ending totally snuck up on me and finishes this great story beautifully. A fun read for middle year students.”

 Colleen Ruttan (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.”

My challenge to you is to check out the Frenchie series in whatever part of the world you live and in whatever format you prefer to read. The novels make affordable gifts (about the same price as a birthday card) and appeal to everyone mentioned below:

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

 Send the GIFT of READING to all those that you care about. And please, leave a comment on this blog site (http://www.twocandobooks.wordpress.com) after reading the Frenchie Series. I love to receive feedback on the novels, it helps me grow as a writer. So leave your comments… the GOOD, the BAD … and the UGLY!

Dog Friendly Travel Ideas

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Summer holidays are fast approaching and we all seek great ideas for traveling with our families (human kids and fur kids, alike). What you may not know is that http://www.themetrip.com/-dog-friendly.html is a site that offers Travel Tips for everyone, including FUR KIDS.  In fact, the site is so popular that Lorraine Hawley has published a book jammed pack with great ideas for the entire family: Product Details

Explore theme-style activities and adventures. “Themetrips,” are activity ideas that you can use to create your own memorable and interactive family fun while at home or on vacation.

Check out her recent Dog Friendly Post, as there is an AWESOME  SURPRISE!  Frenchie’s Best Friend- Follow the Blog is recommended  (BK. #1 of the Frenchie Series) with suggestions for what makes this novel a perfect vacation read for tweens. Check it out at http://www.themetrip.com/-dog-friendly.html .

Read Tank’s (Lorraine’s fur kid) perspective on the fun read about the 13 year old tween who will do anything to own a French bulldog puppy.  Follow Ethan’s blog posts (FBF- Frenchie’s Best Friend) of daily misadventures, as he attempts to deceive his overworked, single mom by setting a secret scheme in motion to own a Frenchie puppy. Get ready for lots of laughs!

Happy vacationing with your pet-loving tweens! The novels are easily downloaded to Kindle from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007BG2ETG FBF

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0053HQ0AOFrenchie X2 Cover

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GXIW57E 14549732_Frenchie Diva Cover JPG( 4341595 ) copy

 

 

 

 

Let me know what you think of Theme Trip and Tank’s page recommending  Frenchie’s Best Friend- Follow the Blog.  Will you take this series along on your summer travels or send it along with your grandchildren, nieces, nephews or family friends? Please leave a comment, I absolutely love to hear from YOU!

 

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop Winners Announced

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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 @ http://www.twocandobooks.wordpress.com 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)

Australia   https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00GXIW57E

Japan    https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00GXIW57E

Germany   https://www.amazon.de/dp/B00GXIW57E

Mexico     https://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00GXIW57E

Italy   https://www.amazon.it/dp/B00GXIW57E

UK    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00GXIW57E

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

Spain   https://www.amazon.es/dp/B00GXIW57E

India     https://www.amazon.in/dp/B00GXIW57E

Brazil   https://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B00GXIW57E

France  https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B00GXIW57E

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

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

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Grand Prize: KINDLE FIRE or NOOK

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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: https://twocandobooks.wordpress.com