Friday, June 19, 2015

Dear Abby: On the Delicate Matter of Puppy Potty Pads

Dear friends,

I have been excited all week about chatting with you here.  I will be sitting down each Friday to answer a question readers have sent.  If you have a question you would like me to answer, please ask in the "comments" section below.

Mary wrote and asked this question:  "A friend of mine has a really bad problem with her little boy Maltese who is named DD. DD doesn't like to go outside to potty. He prefers to potty on drapes, shoes, or behind chairs. My friend bought DD some potty-training pads but DD doesn't like to use them. What should my friend do? Thanking you in advance."

Dear Mary,  I am sorry that DD doesn't like to do his business outside.  I enjoy my constitutionals with time to keep track of all the neighborhood news and visit with friends.  I have puppy potty pads for "just in case" times when weather makes it dangerous to go outdoors - ice or thunderstorms.  (I certainly would not want to venture out when it is loud and stormy!)  My advice for training DD to use the potty pads is the same thing I would do to train a pup to potty outdoors.  I would advise keeping DD right by your side constantly, with his collar or harness on.  Then, at frequent intervals (starting at an hour, then 2 hours, etc.), I would snap his leash on and get him either outside to potty or to his potty pad.  I would make sure he knows the word "potty" - and I bet he would like a little bit of kibble or crunchy treat when he does his business like he is supposed to.   Please keep us posted how this goes!

If other friends have suggestions for DD, please leave them in the comments as well.  Thank you!

I'll close for now, but will leave you with a little vintage doggy humor, courtesy of an old postcard.  It is apropos for the blog theme today!
Have a great week and talk to you again next Friday!


Book Review and Giveaway: How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir

Book Description:

Transform Your Blog into a Book!

The world of blogging is rapidly changing, but it remains one of the most efficient ways to write and share your work with an eager audience. But how do you purposefully hone your blog content into a uniquely positioned book that will be noticed by an agent or a publisher?

How to Blog a Book Revised and Expanded Edition is a completely updated guide to writing and publishing a saleable book based on a blog. Expert author and blogger Nina Amir guides you through the process of developing targeted blog content that will increase your chances of publication and maximize your visibility as an author.

In this revised edition you’ll find:

• The latest information on how to set up, maintain, and optimize a blog
• Steps for writing a book easily from scratch using blog posts
• Advice on how to write blog posts
• Tips on gaining visibility and promoting your work both online and off
• Current tools for driving traffic to your blog
• Extensive information on how to monetize your existing blog content into a book or other products
• Profiles with authors who received blog-to-book deals, including four new “from blog to book” success stories

Book Review:

I am a blogger and a creative writer, so the title of this book immediately caught my eye.  This is a wonderfully practical book full of useful tips and advice.   To give you an idea of what the book covers, the chapter titles are:

Book Blogging Basics
Why Blog a Book?
How to Prepare to Blog Your Book
Your Book’s Business Plan
Creating Your Blog
Writing Your Blogged Book
How to Blog a Book
Driving Traffic (Readers) to Your Blog
I’ve Finished My Blogged Book, Now What?
How to Repurpose Your Blog Posts for Profit and Promotion
Blog-to-Book Success Stories

I found this book very helpful because it truly takes bloggers step by step in the process.  It answered all my questions in a thorough, clear, and helpful manner.

The tone of the book is upbeat and inspiring.  It features success stories.  I finished the book feeling that yes, I could blog a book.

I would recommend this book to other bloggers, to creative writers, and to anyone who has considered writing a book.  It will inspire you and give you lots of positive, practical information. 

Author's Bio:

Nina Amir, the bestselling author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, is a speaker, a blogger, and an author, book, and blog-to-book coach. Known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach, she helps creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and positively and meaningfully impact the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. As a hybrid author she has published 15 books and had as many as four books on the Amazon Top 100 list at the same time. 

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Where to buy the book:
Win one of 7 books How to Blog a Book, one winner will also win a $25 Amazon gift card and another winner will win a free course from the Non-fiction Writers University (Open to USA & Canada) Ends June 27
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I received this book from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Author Interview and Giveaway: Footprints in the Frosting by Laura Pauling

Cheesecake, Love, and Murder!

It’s the Grand Opening for Holly Hart’s new business, Just Cheesecake. When footprints in the frosting lead to a body facedown in one of her cheesecakes, Holly becomes a prime suspect.

With her opening day delayed, Holly deals with a nosy no-good reporter and the local cop, the handsome Officer Trinket, as she puts her sleuthing skills to the test to save her business and her name. With the help of her dog, Muffins, she needs to find the real murderer, before the killer looks to frost someone else. 

View from the Birdhouse Interviews Laura Pauling 

Birdhouse: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Laura: I’ve always loved to read. The only time I didn’t read a ton for pleasure was during my college years, because I was too busy. I didn’t realize I wanted to be a writer until about ten years ago, but the seeds were there. I was an elementary education major, so obviously I enjoy working with kids. But the other aspect I loved about teaching was the curriculum. It was fun and exciting to put together creative units. That aspect completely transferred over to the plotting process of writing. It wasn’t until I was home with my kids, reading them books, that I got the bug. Honestly, it was only a matter of time. Most writers I know love to read, so the next step is creating a story of your own. I never looked back.
Birdhouse: What was your favorite book as a child?
Laura: I remember reading a lot of Nancy Drew. I remember Roald Dahl. I was obsessed with the Black Stallion series. Today, a couple of my favorite children’s books are Holes by Louis Sachar and James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, but I love reading any and all humorous mysteries at the middle grade level.
Birdhouse: What is your writing day like?  Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Laura: I start my day by slamming my alarm clock off and mumbling, “Time to make the lunches.” In all seriousness I start my day seeing my kids off to school and then I get to work. My day is very scheduled, but I’m always flexible. That’s one aspect I love about being self-employed and working from home. If I want to have lunch with my parents, I can. If my kids are sick, I’m here. The morning hours I reserve for writing first drafts. Then, I take a break and run or walk and then clean. In the afternoon, I work on publishing/marketing. I might format books, edit, proofread, brainstorm new ideas, or beta read for my friends. I don’t think have writing quirks that are too different from other writers--like staying in my jammies until noon. J
Birdhouse: What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating this book?
Laura: This is a good question. Maybe not just this book, but in creating the Holly Hart Cozy Mystery series, I learned that it’s all about the mystery and the characters and emotion. A cozy mystery is not the place to pull out all your purple prose and beautiful description. The best cozy mystery writers make it look easy. The prose is straightforward with simple writing, yet you want to keep reading. This style of writing may look easy, but it’s not. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.
Birdhouse: Who are your favorite authors?
Laura: That’s a really tough question because I have a lot, but I’ll name a few. I really like Denise Grover Swank and the Rose Gardner Mysteries. I always pick up the newest Sophie Kinsella romantic comedy. I’ve enjoyed many of the newer cozy mystery series independently published. I’ll be honest. Even though I always read my tried and true authors. My favorite thing to do is discover new books and new authors and new writing styles.
Birdhouse: What is your next writing project?
Laura: I have the first four books in the Holly Hart Cozy Mystery series completed, even though the fourth won’t be out until October. Right now, I’m experimenting with the start of a new mystery series and hope to have the first one finished by the end of June, but it will have to wait its turn to be published--as in next year some time. I’m still debating about this summer. I enjoy having my kids home, so I write early in the morning and that’s about it. I’m debating between two different YA humorous romantic mysteries, or I might write the next Holly Hart mystery. I’ll have to wait and see!

About the Author
Laura Pauling writes about spies, murder and mystery. She’s the author of the young adult Circle of Spies Series, the Prom Impossible Series, the time travel mysteries, Heist and A Royal Heist, and the Holly Hart Cozy Mystery Series: Footprints in the Frosting and Deadly Independence with more coming.

She lives the cover of a suburban mom/author perfectly, from the minivan to the home-baked snickerdoodles, while hiding her secret missions and covert operations. But shh. Don’t tell anyone. And she may or may not actually bake cookies. You decide.

Visit Laura at to sign up for her newsletter and receive a free Holly Hart cozy mystery novella.

Author Links

Purchase Links
Footprints in the Frosting
: Holly Hart Cozy Mystery 1
Deadly Independence: Holly Hart Cozy Mystery 2

Prize:  $15 Amazon Gift Card

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