Tag Archives: librarians




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!


Creating Blogs People Want to Follow


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:


Please enjoy a sample blog post from    Image

Pierre Strikes Again


 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!

Librarians/ Educators – Book an Author Visit with Mary Laudien


Juvenile Novels:  Frenchie’s Best Friend- Follow the Blog  and  Frenchie X2- Follow the Blog 

Synopsis of Mary’s Books:  Society is “gaga” over their pets. In the first book (Frenchie’s Best Friend-Follow the Blog), Ethan enlists the aid of his quirky, scheming Grandmother and a following of bloggers to realize his dream of becoming a French Bulldog owner. The story is a covert operation of misadventures processed on his nightly blog, “Frenchie’s Best Friend” unbeknownst to his over-stressed and somewhat oblivious single mother. The journey is both humorous and unnerving, as Ethan sets up a bargain “doggie wash” business in his mother’s laundry room. The story has all kinds of appeal to readers who are dog crazy themselves or are looking for a book that keeps them turning pages with each new chaotic and comical challenge Ethan faces in his subterfuge journey.

         Two adorable Frenchie puppies “had Ethan and his mother at first lick”. Well, at least they had Ethan…  A must read for anyone who has ever brought home a brand new puppy X 2 for the very first time. The sequel- Frenchie X 2- Follow the Blog takes the surprise ending from the first novel and sends Ethan and his Mom into the realm of puppy ownership with not one, but two adorable and very different Frenchie puppies.

Juggling the responsibilities of caring for and training not one new Frenchie puppy, but TWO, while simultaneously keeping his reluctant, bamboozled mother on side is full on!  To say nothing of monitoring his conniving grandmother; who knew she would start playing cupid and encourage his mother to start dating? And through all of this chaos and craziness, Ethan tries to maintain friendships, balance schoolwork with his Doggie Wash business, lead a major school fundraiser, and most importantly, continue chronicling his journey on his nightly blog.  His constant struggle with trustworthiness (partially due to the modelling and meddling of his somewhat devious Grandmother) continues to put Ethan into crazy situations spiralling out of control that the reader expects to blow up in his face momentarily.

 About Mary Laudien             

Mary recently retired from her position as Principal of West Bay Elementary and Cypress Park Primary (International Baccalaureate World Schools) in West Vancouver, British Columbia.  With her newfound freedom and the gift of time, she is happiest when writing her own books for the students with whom she spent her career. She is convinced that they’ll enjoy reading her novels just as much as she has fun writing them. In actuality, she had such a great time with Ethan (the thirteen year old main character) and his Grandma Sis’ covert scheming and crazy predicaments, that Mary constantly found herself chuckling aloud while she wrote. She is loving the feedback she receives from her readers of all ages when they describe the “belly” laughs they’re experiencing while reading the first two books of her Frenchie Series.

 Mary’s grown-up sons both have French Bulldogs. They are passionate about their “Frenchies”-Bert and Cecile! Mary’s “grand-dogs”, with their big personalities, comical antics, and adorable dispositions, were the creative stimulus for this novel. The story has all kinds of appeal to readers who are “dog crazy” themselves or are looking for a book that keeps them turning pages with each new chaotic and comical challenge that Ethan faces in his covert plan.  However, Mary cautions her readers from trying any of Ethan’s techniques in pet grooming!

And remember, if you aren’t yet totally “gaga” over “Frenchies” before reading this novel, you will be by the time you finish it… GUARANTEED!


 It was wonderful to have you at the school and to be such an inspiration to the kids. I’m looking forward to the continued adventures of Ethan in Frenchie X 2.  -JH

 Thank you very much for the visit Mary!  You completely captured my 6/7 class’ attention this morning. – A


 Pet lovers and wannabe dog owners are sure to be captivated by Frenchie’s Best Friend: Follow the Blog as they follow Ethan’s crazy adventures in his covert dog grooming business.

Teachers, consider this book for your literature circles as rich discussion can occur about commitment, being principled and multiple intelligences. Today’s tech savvy kids will relate to the mix of traditional text and Ethan’s communication via his blog. You might even be inspired to have your students respond to this book in a class blog of their own.

Recommended for grades 5+

IB PYP Teacher-Librarian

West Bay Elementary School  (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program World School)


 I finished your first book and could not wait to start the second one.  Your perfect ending in Frenchie’s Best Friend resulted in me picking up Frenchie X2 right away and it is so funny!  I think this is a great read for an adult too and can see teachers enjoying reading this book to their students.

I enjoyed every moment of Frenchie X2~~ so funny and so real life.  You are such a creative writer. So when does the third book come out?  I am looking forward to the next in the Frenchie series.

There should be enough copies of these books in every classroom with teachers’ hopefully incorporating literature circles. Imagine the discussions taking place between children!!!!  I would love to be a fly on the wall! What great fun!

My Masters in Ed was on literature circles and I gave workshops all over the city of Calgary. It was my dream to see this process happening in every classroom. Your novels are perfect for engaging and exciting readers.

R. W. (Retired Assistant Principal of Abbeydale School, Calgary)

Mary Laudien would love to visit you at your school, library, or book club- absolutely anywhere that middle grade readers enjoy FUN and HUMOR!

All Middle Year’s Author Visits (appropriate for Grades 5, 6 and 7) include a prompt to provide a personal connection to her books, readings from Frenchie’s Best Friend- Follow the Blog and the sequel Frenchie X 2- Follow the Blog, discussion of what inspires her books, tips on writing entertaining blogs, an interactive blog writing challenge, and answering questions regarding the writing and publishing process. Her student workshop is presented over 50 minute blocks.

Mary is an educator, recently retired as a Principal. She is happy to present to groups of up to 75 students. Her approach keeps the students engaged and participating. A copy of each book is donated to the school’s library with her author visit.

Mary’s paperbacks are reasonably priced so that they are affordable for all. Her first book is priced at $6.99 and Frenchie X 2 is priced at $9.99. Mary is anxious to continue her work with “Making a Difference” that she was involved in as a principal.  Thus, she reimburses 15 % of all book sales at schools and libraries to go towards their favorite charity or PAWS for a CAUSE (SPCA).  There is a chapter or two in Frenchie X 2 that deals with fundraising through the Kielburger’s initiative of “ME to WE” and thus is a motivating connection for the students.

To inquire about availability and expense rates:

Email: mlaudien@telus.net    Website: www.twocandobooks.com