Signing on the dotted line….


I’ve been out of the loop for a few weeks now mostly due to the entire family’s bout with the flu (on spring break believe it or not). Then the flu again once we were home. Then strep throat, then full body rash accompanied by a recurrence of strep throat – these last few were all suffered by my poor six year old ūüė¶ Fingers crossed we will be returning both children to school tomorrow. But I have news….I am officailly signing my contract with a literary agent as we speak!

I am so thrilled to have come to a place where I will have someone advocating on my behalf. Kind of ironic since I have spent years as a lobbyist advocating for others.¬† Even if nothing happens I feel a small personal triumph. And no, it’s not a huge NYC agency, but perhaps more importantly for this unpublished author, it comes highly recommended from a friend and fellow attorney who has been in the publishing industry for nearly 30 years. The honest, personal recommendation meant a lot to me, in addition to the fact that this agent totally gets my book and thinks combining animal issues with a modern mystery is a great idea. I think so too ūüôā

The best part of my news is that it has truly freed me to focus on my sequel which is finally in the works. It took me a while to find motivation (I am a professional procrastinator)¬†but now I have a new plotline (well almost), and have some research ahead of me, which is what I love to do. After working for years on my first book, it’s a welcome relief to move onto something else. I honestly don’t know if I could have reviewed that darn thing one more time!

I’ll post more news if and when I have it, and will keep updates going on my books.¬† I’m getting more and more attached to Eden Hayduke, Animal Cruelty Investigator¬†and of course her best friend/Siberian husky Buck (aka Cato) each day.¬† This is a new world for me so who knows what changes lie ahead?¬† Just hope that someday I’ll be able to post a link where you can purchase a copy of my first novel Warning Signs!¬† And if not, I am sure I will be happy to email copies to those who have a few spare hours on their hands.¬† Just like other things in life, hopefully the first time is a great learning experience, and the second time is…at least better written and more interesting???!!!

Happy April 24th!

In a weird way, I should thank whoever abandoned my lovely Siberian husky Luna…

At times I can’t imagine how anyone could abandon a dog.¬† I’ve heard so many stories about dogs being left on the side of the interstate, dropped off at vets and never reclaimed, and of course brought into animal shelters.¬† I know many times there are good reasons, just like putting a child up for adoption.¬† But I’d always wonder how you could just leave an animal somewhere like a parking lot?¬† well that is what happened to my lovely Luna…

After¬†Cato, my first Siberian husky, it took me a long time to think about another dog.¬† We still had Solo who was a stray that was bottle fed from birth after being rescued by some loyal animal lovers who were trying to capture his stray mother.¬† I was always drawn to the Siberian husky breed and realized I had become kind of a crazy husky person – yes even a guy at my local wine store called me the “husky lady” because I always asked about his husky who lived in our neighborhood.¬† You could say I was sort of obsessed…¬†

So after about 2 years I decided I was ready for another dog, and began looking for huskies.¬† To be honest, it was very difficult at first.¬†¬†Even after I found Luna I experienced a definite high then low.¬† Because it wasn’t Cato.¬† I could never replace Cato.¬† But that wasn’t the point.

Someone left Luna, a beautiful husky female in a Wal-Mart parking lot outside of Jackson, TN, 2 hours from Nashville.¬†¬†The shelter named her Lollipop because they just had run out of names after taking in so many dogs over the years.¬† Earlier tonight, as a friend marveled at Luna’s beauty and calm nature, I relayed her story.¬†¬†I told her how the animal shelter found her, 10 pounds light then she is now, malnourished, and very skittish.¬† We weren’t even sure she would work out after we brought her home because she fought with Solo over food and attention – it was obvious she was used to scrounging for food and wasn’t sure where her next meal was coming from.¬†¬†But as strange as this sounds – I should thank the person who left her.¬† Because the person who left her obviously would NEVER have provided her with the life she deserved.¬†Maybe they couldn’t afford a dog, who knows, but thank God that shelters like the Carroll County¬†Humane Society¬†exist.¬†

It was a beautiful full moon the night we adopted Luna – January 24, 2008 – which is why we named her Luna.¬† So tonight as I gaze¬†at another beautiful full moon, I thank whoever left Luna and all the other dogs who have found loving homes.¬† Our dogs all deserve better and now they’ve found it!¬† I just wish there was a home for each and every one of them…

Who knew my golden retriever had a thing for lavender soap???

¬† Ever since our golden retriever – Rudolph – was a puppy he has gotten into trouble.¬† Here he is pretending to be a human child sitting in my son’s booster seat.¬† He looks so innocent ūüôā Brief history of his problem:¬† At age 3 months he had an endoscopy for swallowing whole a hot pink rubber centipede that he found in my son’s room.¬† The problem is our doors do not shut well in this house so it is so hard to keep him away from things he shouldn’t chew, although believe me we try our best.¬† Now at age 2 he can push open any door in the house with his nose, including our glass shower door which swings in and out.¬† So he is never left alone in the house, but he somehow manages to slink away when we’re here and find something new, something unpredictable to chew on.

Last winter it was bike seats.¬† Yes, he ATE my boys’ bike seats while still on the bike.¬† Again, our fault, we left our bikes out under our porch during the winter since we don’t have a garage.¬† He and¬†my Siberian husky enjoy our fenced in yard a lot while we’re at work or away since we can’t leave them in the house or he’ll chew something.¬† So¬†now outside has to be kept free of toys as well.¬† Impossible to do with¬†5 and 7 year old boys!¬†

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.¬† I find my new bar of lavender soap on my bedroom floor with tooth marks.¬† No dog in sight.¬† Since it was brand new I just decided to wash it off and put it back in the shower.¬† Two days later it’s gone.¬† My husband thought I threw it away, but nope.¬† Later when we relayed this story to our friends over a few¬†glasses of wine, Rudolph actually entered the family room and dropped a NEW bar of soap on the floor in front of us just as we were telling the story.¬† SO is he brilliant and knew what we were saying?!¬† He obviously was turning himself in.¬† Guess he wasn’t too afraid of receiving any punishment.¬† (He does sleep on our bed so may be a tad spoiled.)¬†¬†¬†

Then again this week the soap disappears AGAIN.¬† Ugh!¬† Checked in with vet and there is no harm to him – he has been unphased with absolutely no evidence of stomach upset or digestive issues.¬† Luckily we buy all natural soaps so there shouldn’t be too many chemicals in them.¬†

So my question of the day is – what type of soap will he find unappealing????!!!¬† And what’s the next item that I could never predict that he will chew???

How a Siberian husky and baby girl names inspired this mother of 2 boys…

Strange to think back on the first time I laid eyes on¬†my Siberian husky Cato.¬† I was a second year law student, desperate to adopt my own dog.¬† Despite my parental warnings to not bring a long haired dog home for the summer, I saw an ad for a blue-eyed siberian husky.¬† Curious, I went to see it.¬† Of course, by the time I opened the door¬†the deal was sealed.¬† Brutus as he was named, was a a six-week old husky, already potty trained and eating big dog food.¬† He went home with me and was renamed Cato – after the Pink Panther character who attacked Inspector Clouseau each time he came home.¬† That’s the greeting I would get and I loved it!

Fast forward several years.  My husband and I are starting to plan a family, searching for baby names.  One of my all time favorites was Eden.  Boy names were harder, but Eden was it for me.  While we were lucky to have two beautiful healthy babies Рthey were both boys.  So Eden never quite fit!  But the name meant so much to me. 

Once I started writing my novel, it made perfect sense that my protagonist would be Eden.¬† So I did give birth to an Eden after all!¬†ūüôā¬†¬†¬†

My hook combines two of my passions Рanimal advocacy issues, and quick, easy-to-read (some might say cheesy) mystery novels.   

Eden is not the average detective or coroner you find in a mystery/thriller.  She is so much more Рan animal cruelty investigator who spends her time defending and protecting animals.  Which, of course, leads to the second part of the story.

The other missing link¬† – her dog.¬† It’s the only plot item I will never change – Eden MUST have and love a Siberian husky…

Funny how events in your life, separated by years, can later have such an impact.