Saturday, July 27, 2013


Clean Indie Reads: ANN AND HENRY NOVELS: by Jane McBride Romantic Comedy, LDS, Dogs Book 1: A Little Hair of the Dog When 27 year old Mormon Ann Bixby returns to the sma...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Doggone Blog Hop for charity! June 19-21st


When I decided to start writing books, I chose to put a special dog into the center of the story. He isn't background, he isn't a secondary character. He is a main character. Of course, he can't actually talk, but that doesn't stop him from having a perspective or from occasionally giving his opinion. I hope you will vote for Johann for TOP DOG by commenting on my blog! Two commenters will win e-book or paperback copies of A Little Hair of the Dog and Reigning Cats and Dogs. My charity is The Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love . They are a Great Dane rescue out of North Carolina and have rescued many, many Great Danes. As I said, My book series features a Great Dane named Henry. First is A Little Hair of the Dog and second, Reigning Cats and Dogs. I am working on book three and book four, which will end the series.                                                                                                                  
 I wrote a story about a young single woman who finds herself alone after the death of her father. She decides to move back to the small town of her childhood. She unexpectedly finds herself adopting a dog. And not just any dog-a Great Dane. A 180 pound two year old Great Dane named Henry. She has never had a dog.

The origins of my Great Dane character are easy to trace. When I was a kid, we adopted a Great Dane from a  rescue and my sister Jody named him Johann. He was about two when we got him, and he was a big one. He was 6'2" on his hind legs. He was a merle, grey with black spots. He was sweet, he was protective, he was introspective and if you weren't in the family, he could be down right scary. I don't remember a time when he ever scared me, not once. But some of my brother's friends may tell you a different story. He was an easy choice for my canine main character.
Johann-sucking his blankie
Johann, the inspiration for Henry in my books!

The beautiful Abraham and me, 1996. He isn't a character in my books, but Henry is in possession of Abraham's heart and soul. A couple of his stories have made it into my books, with Henry in the starring role.   
One of my favorite Johann stories is one that I didn't get to witness, but I have heard it from my Mom so many times that I feel like I was there. It's a real gem, and there is NO WAY I wouldn't include it in a Henry book. I found a great spot for it in book three. I come from a small town, and back in the seventies, the gas man and the electric meter man were familiar faces. If they came to read the meter, it didn't matter if no one was home and it didn't matter if the meter was in your basement, as ours was. They would come in, read your meter and leave. The gas man came, entered the house unmolested (no one ever locked their doors) and went down cellar. This was a real dirt cellar, with one hanging light bulb and a lot of dark corners. He read the meter and went back up the steps. He opened the cellar door to find, to his dismay, an extremely large dog waiting for him on the other side. A dog who was not going to let him out. That was Johann. He must have been in the bathroom reading the paper when the meter man came in, and realizing he had fallen down on his job as head of  security, decided to keep the man right where he was until Mom got home. And so he did.
When she finally came home from work, she noticed the gas meter truck-running-in the driveway, and in the house, was surprised to see the dog waiting for her by the basement door. The greatest surprise yet was in store, to hear the plaintive human cry from the cellar. "Hello?" She locked the dog up and let the man out. He had been in our spooky dirt cellar for several hours. He had made a few attempts to get past the dog, but decided his life was valuable and stayed where he was. Johann had no intention at all of letting this intruder get away. The moral of the story is, if you go to a house and see a large Beware of Dog sign, it's probably there for a reason. Also, Lock your doors!
Here are the other authors participating in the Doggone Blog Hop:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bookit!: Interview with Jane McBride

Bookit!: Interview with Jane McBride: Welcome to the Wonderful Jane McBride! Hi Jane, tell us a little bit about you. Well, I live with my husband Don, my two little boys and...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


"Dreams: Dorothy called it Oz, Alice called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME. When an evil shifter takes over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, it falls to 14-year-olds Parker and Kaelyn to stop him. Their only hope lies with Gladamyr, the Dream Keeper, but can they trust a Nightmare to save their world?"
When I was in school, long long ago, there were two distinct classes of people (and then there were others who somehow managed to skate through both groups). I don't think the group I belonged to really had a name. The other group was The Snobs. They were better looking than the rest of us (or so they thought), were better at everything (or so they thought), and were just better overall (or so they thought). They were the worst bullies, the meanest of the mean. Yet, somehow, they still had friends. I always thought the opposite should have been true. The group I belonged to were victims. In The Dream Keeper, they are The Losers. The Snobs are called The Plastics (think of Barbie dolls). Kaelyn has just moved into town and was branded a Loser almost instantly. She's quiet, maybe a bit timid, not stick thin, and not a Plastic. To make things worse, she's an orphan who lives with her Aunt Zelda, who just happens to be something of a local celebrity. She's a popular psychic. School gets almost unbearable for Kaelyn, and then she meets fellow ninth grader Parker Bennett.

I would consider Parker to be one of the skaters. One of the in betweens. He's pretty nice to everyone, well liked by most, considered one of the In Crowd by the Plastics, but also doesn't pick on the Losers. His greatest fear is becoming one of the Losers and he has learned how to walk the fine line of acceptability. He literally bumps into Kaelynn at school, and when his friends see him with her, he feels like he is at the top of the slide down to Loserville. Things get even more uncomfortable when he goes to sleep and finds himself in a dream with Kaelynn. Literally. He does convince himself that it wasn't real, but when she confronts him with knowledge of the dream the next day and tells him they have to go back to sleep-together-in order to save their world and the world of Dreams, he begins to think that the stuff in his favorite video games might be more real than he thought.

The world of Dreams is a real place, created by mortals and their sleeping thoughts. Favors are the purveyors of good dreams, Mares, bad dreams. Gladamyr was born a Mare, the Heart of Mares, in fact, but he hated being evil, was never able to accept that he was meant to be bad, used to scare children and adults alike. His mentor Allyon finally convinced him that he could make the choice, and Gladamyr chooses to be kind rather than evil. He becomes a Dream Keeper, one who guides mortals through their dream state. Some of them have nightmares, some of them have dreams, but Gladamyr is determined to be a comfort to those who have nightmares.

Mega-Bad Guy and Head Mare Fyren has gotten rid of Allyon, taken over the council and is on the hunt for Gladamyr. He puts a halt to all dream keeper activity and this is a bad thing for the world of mortals. Mortals require REM sleep, or dream sleep, and without it, we go insane and would eventually die (that's true-I heard it on Star Trek). Fyren wants to tip the balance between Mare and Favor in favor of Mare (had to say it). His reasons for wanting Gladamyr in particular are unclear, but Gladamyr knows that if he is to save the mortal world and the world of Dreams, he is going to need help from mortals. He had accidentally kept the keys of two mortals after their last dreams, and now he needs to use them. The Dream Keeper who holds a mortal's key guides that mortal's dreams when they are asleep. The two keys belong to Kaelyn and Parker, and Gladamyr has no one else to turn to when Fyren takes over Dreams, tortures Dream Keepers and holds them hostage, sets the evil Mares loose to wreak havoc, and will not allow mortals to dream.

Kaelynn and Parker find out that they are not Losers at all. They are strong and courageous, and even find special powers of their own to help save the two worlds. They pledge their help to Gladamyr and his friends Cerulean, Felix, and Pirate Cap'n Loofin Bootie in Dreams. They enlist the help of some very special fellow mortals, and Gladamyr is forced to face his evil past in order to defeat Fyren and restore balance to Dreams.

I found the story to be uniquely imaginative and very creative. It was well written and the feelings of ninth graders was right on the money. I will be recommending it to all my middle grade and young adult friends! 

Paperback Create Space:

Mikey Brooks is a small child masquerading as adult. On occasion you’ll find him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is the author/illustrator of several books including BEAN’S DRAGONS, the ABC ADVENTURES series, and author of the middle-grade fantasy-adventure novel, THE DREAM KEEPER. He spends most of his time playing with his daughters and working as a freelance illustrator. Mikey has a BS degree in Creative Writing from Utah State University. He is also one of the hosts of the Authors’ Think Tank Podcast.
Twitter as: @writtenbymikey


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My review from Ingrid Hall!

Ever see something cool and think, "Hey, I wanna do that!" Well, I saw author and blogger Ingrid Hall doing interviews and book reviews, I said, "Hey, I wanna do that!" I was really excited to see it today, and it's a pretty good review! Go check out Ingrid's blog and her books!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bad Grammar-Is It Really Bad?

     Well, I have gone and done it. I have gone and written and published a book that is full of good people who are smart and educated and drive cars and can go on dates and read books and everything, but their grammar-is bad. Not all of them, and not all the time. Some of them do it all of the time, and most of them do it some of the time, but what is really going on? Were they not paying attention in English class when their teachers rapped their knuckles with rulers and drove home the point, "Mother, may I?"

       In the last couple of years that I have been writing, I have been thinking about this issue, I'm sure, a lot more than most people do. Since I decided to write the way people actually speak, I had to start listening. Really listening. I really listen to myself more, and since I was writing about Western New Yorkers (state, not city), I was mostly listening to them while I was living back there a couple of years ago. I live in Utah now, and when we first came here, people would say that they could tell I wasn't from here or that I was from back east. Sometimes speech alone can make us feel like we have landed on another planet. I remember years ago, being in the car in Tennessee when my father was trying to find the house of someone named 'Brown.' He actually stopped and asked someone. "You lookin' fer Bray-own?" the man said, to my father's blank stare. Finally Dad said, "Did you say 'Brown' or 'Bray-own?'" "Bray-own," the man answered. "Bray-own? I'm looking for Brown," my father said. "Yeah, Bray-own," said the man. This conversation might have gone on indefintely if I hadn't gotten out of the car and whispered to my Dad, "He's saying Brown." To this day, I don't remember if we ever found Mr. Brown, but I will never forget that conversation. My father came out of that interaction thinking that the man must be an idiot, and the man probably thought the same thing about him. It was truly a language barrier.

       But people from the south are not the only people with accents. Everyone has an accent. If you speak, you have an accent. And so I move on to the question of grammar. Southerners use the term "y'all" to refer to several people. Where I come from, we don't use y'all-we say "yis," "youse," and "youse guys." It means the same thing. If you don't want to go someplace, you might say, "I am not going." If your friends insist and you still don't want to go, you can make a more powerful statement by saying, "I ain't going!" It might be improper grammar, but it's also more forceful. The guy who says 'ain't' knows he ain't supposed to say ain't, but its use doesn't make him stupid. It's part of the way we speak there, if we choose to. If you go walking through my small town of Medina, New York and just listen, you'll hear it. You'll hear ain't, and glorious double negatives like "ain't got no," "don't have no," and the wonderful "don't want no." Do you shower or do you take a shower? Do you use a drawer, or do you, like my Grandma, keep your clothes in a draw? If you accidentally hit your thumb with a hammer, would you let out a string of swear words that would be familiar to most, or would you say, "MINSKYA!" which is heavily in favor in my region of New York (and do you know what it means?).

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Julie Coulter Bellon: First Page Friday

Julie Coulter Bellon: First Page Friday: This week's entry had an interesting opening from Wikipedia.  I couldn't wait to see what Ms. Shreditor said about it. Thank you t...