Woof! Snow! Wow! Woof.

 I love the snow.

               Maybe because I was born during the month of February in a cold and windy place known as Illinois. The first two years of my life I bounced around between there and the farm in Medina, Ohio that became my permanent home. From my prospective, the deeper the snow drifts the better!

As you can see, I am equipped to play in the snow. I do, however, live in the house with my human parents. Mom limits my playtime in the frigid temperatures, so I try to make the most of it. Catching snowflakes on your tongue is a refreshing activity, as is stretching out in a big snowdrift to take a snooze. A short nap in the fluffy white stuff is called for after chasing my equine charges around the pasture to make sure they get their exercise.

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My paws have a lot of hair around and between the pads, and they function much like a snowshoe. The down side is that when I go inside I have ice balls that need to be removed. Mom uses a warm blow dryer to melt the ice, and a fluffy towel to dry my thawed paws as well as any dampness from my coat. I could pull the ice balls out of my paws on my own, but I have to admit it takes a long time, and my paws get a little ouchy!

 

            This is Cali.

Cali

            She’s not enthused at all about the winter. She just goes out long enough to make yellow spots in the snow then hightails it back to the house. She doesn’t have much hair, and none at all on her feet!  She just sinks in the deep snow. Mom is talking about getting her a doggie coat. The doggie coats that I’ve seen look much like the blankets the horses wear during the winter months.

 

Woof! Different likes for different pups. I’d call her a sissy, but I’m a gentleman. Cali is a rescue dog, and has had some bad experiences, so I cut her some slack.

Our neighbor has one of those funny looking dogs—at least I think it is a dog—with the squished face.He gets carried most of the time even though he not only  has a doggie coat, but a matching  hat and boots. Last Monday, Christmas Eve, the poor little fellow was dressed up like Santa! Four days later,  he is still wearing the red suit and black booties. I can’t tell you his name because I don’t know it. He isn’t allowed to talk to us. I guess his owner is worried we might eat him or do something else terrible. She keeps him inside her house, and shovels a patch in the snow for him to attend to his business. She carries him out, waits for him to finish, then she picks him up and takes him back into the house. Well I guess it’s better than the poor dogs who don’t have anyone to love them, but I sure am glad I’m a farm dog that is too big to be carted around. The worst I have to put up with is my jingle bell that I have to wear for a couple of weeks every year. The trade off is that I get to test all the broken Christmas cookies as they come off the baking sheets. Am I a lucky dog, or what? This year I had to share some of the cookies with Cali.

 

Meet QT.

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She lives in the horse barn, and she stays inside where it is warm and dry when we have a heavy blanket of snow. Most of the time she is alone, but every winter she has some company for a few months. One or two cats move in for the winter to share her food, water, and find a cozy spot in the hayloft over the horse’s stalls.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, Woof, woof, meow! All the best to your family from ours.

I’ve been a little under the weather, but I promise to nag Mom into helping me with my blog more often.

Stop back and visit me in 2013.

WOOF! Bye for now,

Buddy

Thoughts from Jackie

Winding up 2012

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             I want to thank all the fans of my Backyard Horse Tales Series for their support and great feedback. It is a real joy to talk to my readers when they stop by at book signings.

Fans Vs Beta Readers

As I’ve mentioned in previous “Thoughts from Jackie” posts that can be found on my A To Z Reviews blog  http://bookreviewsbyjackie.com Beta. Readers are critical to the evolution of a good book. And many of the betas have become loyal fans, but it is the feedback from folks that have parted with their hard earned dollars that tell an author whether or not they have succeeded in creating a tale that can capture a reader’s attention and stimulate their imagination.

2012 Backyard Horse Tales came to life. First was Sox’s tale that is off to a great start with multiple five star reviews, accolades from book purchasers, and winner of the Mom’s Choice Award of Excellence for Family-Friendly Media.  Then came the first four chapters of BYHT 3 as and e-book.  This was to pacify fans of the real life Love who were impatient for her story while I worked on BYHT 2. Once again it was the input of my growing number of fans and their feedback that helped set my course for 2013.

Marketing: Working with a Publicist

 

            I love creating stories, but marketing the resulting books can be very time consuming and frustrating, Early in the year I had some real success with a local newspaper interview. Postcard mailing was relatively successful, around ten percent of the mailing resulted in purchases of my book.

Mid year I had my first virtual book blog tour. It was good exposure, and resulted in some excellent reviews, but not much in sales. I created a newsletter to connect with the folks on my growing e-mail list, and sent it out quarterly, Then I created a Fan Page on Facebook for Backyard Horse Tales, and a separate Fan Page for my adult novels. Promoting the Facebook pages is a slow process, but it is getting there.

This was all taking too much time away from my writing. I met an online publicist while interviewing other authors on this blog site, and began talking to her. Working together she has gotten my book exposed on blog sites and in publications that I could never have reached. She also set up a radio interview for me in January.

                 

2013?

Frosty Trial Cover #3

 

            Frosty and the Nightstalker the second of the Backyard Horse Tales’  print version will be released in March. Early reviews of the e-book are wonderful and very gratifying. Frosty’s story has piggy backed on the publicity generated by my publicist for Sox’s tale. It looks like the online marketing will be pretty much covered.

Although I have four works in progress, two really close to being finished, I am going to focus on the promotion of the three books already in print for the bulk of the year. In addition to the online retailers, I have two storefront retailers where my books are shelved for their customers. My goal this year is to expand the bookstore exposure. Back to the Books in Manitou Springs, Colorado has a lovely bookstore in the famous tourist town. They also have an online bookstore that you can link to from here.

Expanding availability of my Backyard Horse Tales to include availability at more tack shops. Valley Tack Shop in Valley City has autographed copies of my books on their shelves.

One other avenue to explore this year is readings or talks at Schools, Libraries, and book fair events.

This Blog

 

         Stay tuned for some interesting guest blogs, updates and the resuming of Buddy’s Blog and Bella’s Journal beginning January 2.2013. Also check out the A to Z Reviews for new book reviews and book blog tours with chances to win great gift certificates for commenting on the book on tour. Increase your chances for winning by following the tour and commenting at each stop.

Happy Holidays everyone, and all the best in the New Year!

Mr. MaGoo’s foul weather tips!

Are You Prepared?

“Woof!” Have you all heard about the terrible, terrible weather our country has been having? Well, I certainly have. And let me tell ya, folks it is really, really bad out there. Rain, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes. Woof, gets my fur a shakin’ just thinking about it. And if that wasn’t bad enough, mom’s been telling me about the poor pets that have been left behind during these horrible events. Grrr! Don’t they know that without us, they’re nothing? Huh? Who’s gonna wake them up in the morning? Alert them to the mailman or sit by the door until they arrive home? Us pets, that’s who!

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Once the hackles on my back started to lie down, I went to my trusty laptop and began researching how I can help you, help your pet in a natural disaster. Once again, it’s Super Magoo to the rescue! Here are five tips that I came up with that I want to share with you. Because that’s what I do.

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1.  The first thing you should do make sure you have a plan of action.

2. Make sure you have all you need before disaster strikes. Like have your Mom buy waterproof containers to keep your records, contact info and photos of you in. Also, make sure you pack any medications your pet may need. In this house, that’s a whole pharmacy!

3. Be sure you have lots of food and water on hand, plus a first aid kit and extra supplies such as leashes, collars, halters, leads, and food bowls etc.

4. Have your veterinarian update us on all of our shots. As well as have your contact information in place. This includes our tags and microchip information.

5. And of course, the most important one of all. Make sure you take us with you when you evacuate.

Do you have a natural disaster plan in place?

Yours truly,

Mr MaGoo

www.realdogsdontwhisper.com

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A note from Jackie:

Mr. MaGoo and his human coauthor are hard at work on another doggy tale. I hope you have enjoyed their unique guest blogs and will check them out at Real Dogs Don’t Whisper.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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