Showing posts with label Dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dogs. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Thoughtful Review of Sheer Panic

One thing I can always count on from my Argentinian writer friend, Marta Merajver is that she sees the true and deeply seated meaning of my writing. Sometimes I refer to my works as 'fiction with a conscience' because there is always a message about the ills of society in them, although it's not always clear. Thank you so much, Marta!

I was thrilled to get this review for my novella, Sheer Panic.


A young woman who leads a quite ordinary, unadventurous life suddenly finds herself in the middle of a nightmare. Someone is stalking her, and she has good reason to suspect four men. The novel unravels at a brisk pace to a surprising end.
  
If read lightly, Sheer Panic could be classified as a thriller. However, it brushes on profound contemporary issues. Ms. Jackson does not spell them out for you; it’s up to the reader to stop at the landmarks and reflect. In the 21st Century, women seem to be as helpless as ever before when it comes to men’s brutality. Social networks can be as dangerous as weapons and even more effective. Children are caught in a revolving door that fails to separate innocence from the complexities of adult life, which they experience vicariously but do not understand. There is much more, of course.

   Readers that enjoy an appealing subject matter, true to life characters, and terse language will appreciate this novel as much as I did. 

Sheer Panic is available from Amazon at 99c.

Monday, May 16, 2016

FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME

I'm taking advantage of KDP Select's five day free option and offering a FREE download of my psychological thriller SHEER PANIC from May 15th through May 19th only. 


This is a novella and is only 112 pages. Please feel free to hop over to Amazon and you'll see it is priced at $0.00. (You'll need an Amazon account, which is free.) Click on 'Buy Now' and if you don't have a Kindle, Amazon will lead you through it. They have apps that will allow you to read Kindle files on your PC or tablet or phone.

It's kind of a mix between dark and sweet, which is what I like to do. Just when things seem to be all bad, something uplifting takes place. And of course, I like to feature animals.




What would you do if someone came into your house and moved your stuff while you were sleeping? Breanna Benton's denial morphs into terror when she finally has to accept the truth, but which one of the three men who harass her is the stalker? 

The maintenance man at college makes her edgy and uneasy when he accosts her with inappropriate comments; Dorky Dorian seems to be following her everywhere she goes, and it troubles her to think he may have tampered with her car; hunky Joaquim at the stables where she keeps her horse takes his flirting to a new level, awakening terrifying and exciting emotions all the way to her core, but did he copy her house keys? 

And then Lance, the boy she had a crush on at high school friends her on Facebook. He never noticed her before. She's ecstatic, but a little scared. 

She draws comfort from the only stabilizing factors in her life—her niece, Shari, and the elderly neighbor Mrs. Stanley and her dog, Panda. 


Here's the link:  Sheer Panic

  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Suspense vs Mystery

Back in the day identifying a fiction book genre was simple. The choices were limited to romance, suspense, mystery, comedy, historical, western, etc. Most were identified with one word. Now, it is almost impossible to classify a book's genre using only one word, as so many sub-categories have been created, originally to facilitate search engine keywords.

A lot of people don't seem to know the difference between a suspense thriller and a mystery, so here it is:

In suspense, the reader knows what the bad guy (antagonist) is up to before the protagonist knows. The reader's inside knowledge that someone is lying in ambush waiting for the unsuspecting character creates suspense.  The actual ambush makes it a thriller.

In a mystery, the reader only knows what the primary characters know. If they're hunting for a clue, you don't know where they may find it, and if someone is going to ambush them, you won't know until it happens.

My Redneck P.I. Mystery Series are romantic mystery/comedies.



My Zodiac Series are romantic suspense/thrillers.


Animals always play an important part.

FREE downloads for Kindle or you computer -- http://www.trishjackson.com/#!free-stuff/cjci

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sometimes Karma's a Dog

Karma's a bitch--we've all heard that saying before, but this short story is a little different. 


   Romney Richlieu cursed. Bad luck followed her as usual.
   Her whole life had been one giant screw up, and now this.
   She mimicked Mrs. Breiton's words. "We're so sorry. It's nothing to do with your leg, Romney. The company is in financial difficulty and we have to let a few people go."
Sorry, my ass. I don't know why they hired me in the first place. I didn't hide my leg. It's all skinny and ugly and it's totally obvious my shoe is built-up. They could see that from the time  I  went for the first interview. I suppose it's because of that silly woman with the Chihuahua in her purse. How was I supposed to know it was there? I like animals. I wouldn't have put the file on top of the purse if she had told me it was there. And anyhow, the dog is fine.
   She dragged her personal items from her drawer and tossed them all in the trash can. Like her life, nothing in there was worth saving.
   She walked out of that place with her head held high. It wasn't totally a normal walk, but she didn't limp so much these days with the new orthotic shoe. So now what? She couldn't even claim on unemployment because she hadn't been there long enough. Maybe next time she should wear long pants to the interview and they wouldn't see her leg. But these days with the recession, it seemed that the only way she could get a job was because of the sympathy factor. The poor crippled girl. We should be nice to her.
   Romney stopped in the park and flopped onto a bench. She hadn't allowed herself to think about her circumstances, but now fear clutched at her stomach. How will I pay the rent? Will they kick me out? Oh God. I wish I could just die." She held her head in her hands and cried quietly.
   "What the . . .?" She looked up sharply when something wet made contact with her arm. A dog—and he was licking her.
   "What are you doing?" She pushed him away. He stood there and wagged his tail—and his whole butt wagged with it. He showed her his teeth. But he wasn't snarling. He was smiling. The mutt was smiling at her. She tried to keep the stern look on her face, but he looked so funny with his butt wiggling like that and the goofy grin, she laughed out loud. Then she noticed his leg. One of his back legs was all shriveled up, the muscles useless and wasted like hers, and he held it up off the ground.
It didn't seem to bother him. He wasn't pissed off with life. In fact, he looked epically happy to see her. His  matted, dirty white fur clung to a bony frame. He wasn't wearing a collar. She reached out and patted him on his head and his butt wagged harder than before. He made a whining kind of noise.
   "I do believe you're talking to me," she said. "You must be a stray, and yet you look so frikkin' happy despite your bad leg, and you probably haven't had a square meal for a while."
   She jerked and blinked. An old lady perched on the other end of the bench. Where had she come from? She smiled at Romney and petted the dog. "This is Andy," she said. "He was mine, but I passed, and he was left to fend for himself. He's yours now." Before Romney could even open her mouth to reply, she was gone.
   Was she really ever there?
   Romney shrugged and smiled down at him. Smiling did something to her. It made her feel hopeful.    "Well, Andy, let's go see what we can do to get back on our feet. The first thing I'm gonna do is get you a square meal. I feel like our luck has just changed."

   Andy barked twice, and they limped out of the park together.

I grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe, Africa, and lived through some crazy adventures that sparked my imagination; including having to keep a loaded UZI by my side every night in case of an attack by armed insurgents. I love all animals and don't seem to be able to keep them out of my stories, which usually take place in small, country towns.  Find out more at http://www.trishjackson.com .

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Petiquette -- Teach Your Kids to Treat Pets Kindly

Last night I watched an episode of  'My Cat From Hell' that was of particular interest to me. Teaching kids to treat their pets with respect. 


The episode showed a family with two cats, one that was so laid back it didn't seem to care what the kids did with it. It just flopped about in their arms and allowed them to tip it upside down and one kid ever tried to put it into the refrigerator. Basically, the child treated it like it was a stuffed toy. The other cat, understandably, was terrified of the kids, and scratched and spat whenever anyone reached out a hand toward it--or a foot as one of the children did, threatening to kick it.

My peeve is that some parents don't seem to notice, as was the case with this family. I don't imagine for one second that they would deliberately be unkind to animals. They're just uninformed. The cats or dogs either submit to a life of hell, or rebel, and get sent to the shelter or euthanized because they are considered dangerous.


I commend the cat whisperer, Jackson, for his patience and consideration in this episode, in which he admitted he knew nothing about kids or how to get through to them, but he did, in fact, achieve this. He even took the time to visit the children's school and teach their classmates how to treat animals--what to do and what not to do and how to pet them. By the end of the episode the problem cat had gone through a surprising transformation, and obviously realized the children were no longer going to hurt her.

Writers who do research on psychopaths will often include an episode in which their antagonist does something to hurt an animal, although it is not recommended that you go into any great detail. Readers find it easier to read about people being tortured than animals. Perhaps our empathy for animals comes from their innocence--and the same goes for children. No animal--or child--is born with a cruel and nasty temperament. If they become aggressive, it usually has something to do with the treatment they get from the humans around them.

If ever I visit a home in which children don't seem to understand and have never been taught how to treat animals, I am quick to take them aside and explain to them that animals have feelings too. I hope you guys reading this will do the same.

(I am an incurable animals lover, and always try to include them in my stories. In the Redneck P.I. Series, Twila's rescue dog, Scratch rides on the back of her Harley with her in a special metal basket fabricated by Twila's Pops. In Aquarius Addiction, Arlette Xylander's crazy black cat, Marbles seems to know what's going on when the Voodoo queen performs a ceremony to find out what secrets the old mansion holds in its walls.)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chocolate, Romance and a Little Wine

Valentines Day is here once more. A time for romance, chocolates, wine and roses. And how about a good romance novel?


In Virgo's Vice, Lexie King and cowboy Billy Murphy find themselves among the players in a Survivor type of reality show.

Talk of a monster makes Lexie glad she has the protection of chocolate lab, Jake, who parachuted into the remote part of Zimbabwe, Africa with all of the contestants and the two camera operators. Billy romances her with sunsets and stargazing, and then everything goes to hell . . .

But today is for romance, and these pictures tell a little bit of the story. You can read more at my website at www.trishjackson.com where you will also find free downloads of a few fun short stories.




So Happy Valentines Day to y'all. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Review -- It's Bad Business by R.L. Cherry

This is the second story featuring detective Morgana (Morg) Mahoney, a captivating character who has an insouciant sense of humor and enjoys a Jameson whisky, (or two) on the rocks.  


In this story, we go back in time to when she graduates from college and starts working as a private investigator. One of her cases is tied up with the Mexican Mafia—La Eme. She blames them when a special friend is murdered, but is unable to prove her suspicions. 

Fast forward fifteen years and Morg's past catches up with her. . . and maybe she'll finally solve the mystery and bring the killer to justice.


A mystery that will keep you guessing all the way to the end.  The characters are intriguing, quirky and disparate, and I particularly enjoyed Morg's sidekick—a Border Collie named Sam.

Here's where to purchase It's Bad Business

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bye Bye 2015

I can't believe I haven't updated my blog for so long. My excuse is that I went to South Africa to celebrate my amazing mother-in-law's 96th birthday, and then when I got home the 'silly season' was in full swing. 


That's all in the past now and 2016 looms on the horizon. I'm hoping it'll be a great year for writers in general. My wish is that you all have something good to celebrate next year.

2015 was a good year for me as a writer. I had two books published and a short story. As always, they include delightful animal characters and romance, plus a message to educate people about the evils of our world.

Sheer Panic is a novella I published myself. It's my first attempt at a psychological thriller. 

Breanna Barton has no love life until the guy she had a crush on at high school shows up unexpectedly on Facebook and wants to get together. After several strange and terrifying incidents, she comes to the realization that someone is stalking her. But it can't be him. He lives in another state. 
Her eight-year-old niece, and Panda, the little black and white mutt who belongs to her elderly neighbor rescue Breanna in more ways than one.
Sheer Panic on Amazon


 Virgo's Vice, the third in my Zodiac Series, was released by Soul Mate Publishing late in the year.

Camera operator Lexie King has a good reason to work out of her comfort zone in Allan Dockery's new survival-style reality show in Africa. She is determined to overcome her PTSD and make something of herself, but she has no way of knowing he would be there. The monster who molested her repeatedly as a child.
Jake, the producer's chocolate lab, and sexy cowboy contestant Billy Murphy are her only hope, but can they do enough to save her?  

Virgo's Vice on Amazon


Lexie's Story is the prologue to Virgo's Vice. I self-published this on Smashwords and it can be downloaded totally free in any format.

   Lexie KIng's childhood sucked. When she wasn't lying in in her bed at night waiting for 'the monster', she was hiding from the bullies at school. It was like she had a sign on her forehead that said "Abuse Me."
   Lexie's parents died in a car crash when she was too young to remember, and Aunt Jess refuses to believe that her live-in lover, Phillip could be molesting Lexie. 
   An ugly mutt named Candy -- a cross between a boxer and a standard poodle -- is Lexie's only friend in the world.

FREE Download of Lexie's Story

See you all next year.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Why Dogs Rock

I was on Facebook the other day when I got one of those postings pointing out that ‘dog’ spelled backwards is 'god'. As always, I smiled and wondered where people come up with that kind of stuff, but it got me thinking. Most dog owners love their dogs, think of them as family members, and mourn them when they die. I did some research, found some interesting info, and decided to use it for my post on the Write Room Blog.

Dogs and Protection
A dog’s mantra is to protect and serve, and some dogs will risk death to save their owners from danger, even little pet dogs. This inherent desire has been put to good use for law enforcement purposes. German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Dobermann Pischers and other breeds that exhibit fearless and potentially aggressive natures are used as canine police officers, trained to attack and apprehend criminals and back up their handlers. Military dogs perform a wealth of different functions including scouting, detecting land mines, detecting explosives, and more, and dog handlers develop a very special bond with their charges. The US military has its own breeding program, and the Department of Defense Military Working Dog School asks regular civilians to foster puppies aged from 6 weeks to 7 months for five months to socialize them. Here’s a link to a program in Texas.  http://www.37trw.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-120611-022.pdf

Dogs and Rescue Operations
Dogs are far superior to humans when it comes to search and rescue, and it has been said that one dog can do the job of 30 humans in search and rescue operations. When we think tracking, Bloodhounds are the breed that automatically come to mind, because they are equipped to do the job more effectively.  Their long ears and the folds around their faces are designed to trap and hold onto scents. Specialized tracker dogs are not limited to Bloodhounds, though. All breeds of dogs, including mongrels or mutts have a superior sense of smell when compared with humans, and are often employed to sniff for people who may be trapped under rubble, snow or mud after natural disasters and terror attacks. Cadaver dogs are used to find dead bodies, thereby helping their loved ones to find closure.
Specialized breeds like Newfoundlands are often used for water rescues because of their strength and swimming skills, aided by webbed feet. We’ve probably all heard of St. Bernards and how they were used for centuries by monks in the Alps to find people lost in the snow. The work was hazardous and so many of these dogs died that the breed came close to extinction. Thankfully a breeding program saved them, but they are no longer used for rescues.

Dogs can be trained to sniff just about anything, and they may be used to detect drugs, bombs, stolen money, or murder weapons.
This post would not be complete if I didn't mention the wonderful canines who assisted in finding people after the 9/11 attack in New York. Said to be more than 900 in total numbers, and made up of different breeds, they came from all over the country and worked for anything from 12 to 16 hours at a time in chaotic, dusty, smoky and acrid conditions for around 10 days. Sadly, most of them have passed away now, but they will always be remembered as true heroes.

Dogs and Human Health
Humans with physical disabilities rely on dogs to help them with their everyday tasks. Guide dogs empower the blind and hearing-impaired, and dogs can be trained to check if their owners are going into a diabetic coma or an epileptic seizure, sometimes waking them up every hour through the night. If the dog detects a problem, it is trained to press a button that calls for help.
Therapy dogs have been called ‘professional comforters with fur.’ They are taken to hospitals to visit and interact with sick adults and children, who often show marked improvement in their health just from cuddling a dog and feeling their warm, wriggly bodies and their slobbery doggie ‘kisses.’
Autistic children and mentally challenged children and adults, and soldiers with PTSD gain comfort and healing from interacting with dogs. Dogs are used in prisons as therapy and rehabilitation for prisoners, who take care of them and train them, thus learning responsibility and self-esteem.
This is a link to a true story about an autistic boy and his shelter dog—a case of the rescued dog rescues the human, which happens more often than you might imagine. http://www.today.com/pets/shelter-dog-helps-boy-autism-hug-his-mom-first-time-t17686
Some exceptional dogs have displayed an ability to sniff out cancer. This is now being expounded upon, and dogs are being trained in the early detection of cancer using samples of peoples’ breath saved in a test tube, and displaying an unprecedented  98% success rate. This research has exciting and far reaching possibilities. Dogs are being used to aid in mammograms that are hard to read because of dense breast tissue, and to provide a simple (not to mention painless) screening method of cancer detection. (Ref: InSitu Foundation www.dogsdetectcancer.org )

Dogs and Herding
Collies and shepherd dogs of all kinds have an instinctual herding instinct and have been used by shepherds for hundreds of years. Herding dogs can also be quite fierce and protect the animals in their charge against predators. The Great Pyrenees are big, strong dogs that fit into that category. Corgis, Queen Elizabeth’s favorite breed, may look cute, but they were originally bred to herd cattle and other animals.

Dogs and Sport
Dogs have been used for man’s recreational purposes for thousands of years, from beagles, fox-terriers and foxhounds, bred to hunt foxes (tally-ho), to Rhodesian Ridgebacks (where I come from) that were bred to hunt lions, and Karelean Bear Dogs. Modern hunting dogs in the US, mainly hounds, wear tracking collars so their owners can easily follow or locate them in the dense eastern and northern forests.
Pointers find where the quarry is hiding and 'point' it out to their owner, Retrievers fetch birds their owners have shot, often having to swim to complete their mission. Sight hounds—Saluki, Whippets and others were bred for their superior speed and vision.
Apart from hunting, dogs show amazing agility when they compete in sports like Frisbee-catching events, canine agility competitions, dock-diving, herding contests, and more, and  Greyhound and lure racing, which has been taking place for literally hundreds of years.
The Iditarod is one of the most grueling races in the world. Teams of dogs compete to pull sleds some 1,100 miles through snow, ice, and sub-zero temperatures. Only northern breeds of dogs, primarily Siberian huskies and Alaskan Malamutes are permitted to be used because other breeds have proven to be unable to withstand the harsh weather conditions. The race can take anything between 9 – 15 days, and is one of the toughest of all competitions in the world. When the race starts, a red lantern is lit, and is awarded to the last team to cross the finish line in recognition that the race is not over until everyone is off the trail.

Dogs in History
It would be an impossible task to choose one most famous dog, but there are a few who deserve a special mention.

While dogs belonging to presidents and world leaders may have been given their share of airtime, Lassie, although fictional, must be one of the most recognizable dogs worldwide. Her part was first played in the movie 'Lassie Come Home' by a male Rough Collie named Pal in 1943. Pal was not the first choice because he was a male—he was originally hired to do the stunts. He performed so well in one particular scene that it was decided he would replace the original highly-pedigreed female star.
Rin-Tin-Tin, on the other hand, was a real dog (not fictional), and starred as himself in movies, and has been credited with bringing Warner Brothers out of bankruptcy in the 1920's.
Laika, the first dog in space, was one of three strays picked up on the streets of Moscow.  She had the misfortune to be chosen from the three to orbit the earth in Sputnik 2 in 1957. Technology at that time was limited, and it was not possible to bring the spacecraft back to earth in one piece. It was reported that Laika would eventually run out of oxygen and die an easy death after a few orbits, but sadly, it is speculated that she died soon after takeoff due to overheating. A statue of her stands as a reminder of her sad mission.

Sinbad, a dog of indeterminate breeding, signed his enlistment papers for the US Coast Guard with a paw print, and received his own identification number. He must be one of the most decorated dogs in history, having been awarded the American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Occupation Service Medal.
Then there was Able Seaman Just Nuisance, a Great Dane who was the only dog to be enlisted in the British Royal Navy. He got into trouble for constantly boarding the trains to Cape Town from the naval base near the southern tip of Africa, without a ticket. Sailors were allowed to travel free, so he was enlisted to alleviate the problem. His name was given as 'Just', last name 'Nuisance', and his trade 'bone crusher', while his religious denomination was listed as 'Scrounger.' His statue can be seen in Simonstown, South Africa, and a movie about his life is currently in production.
On a final note, consider this. Simply stroking any pet can decrease levels of stress hormones, regulate breathing, and lower blood pressure, but dogs are the only ones that watch and wait every time we go out, and greet us with a happy dance and a wagging tail when we return. We are currently 'between dogs' in our household—not for long, I hope. It's the first time in my life I haven't had a dog, and I love our cats, but that special welcome is what I miss the most.

Originally posted on The Write Room Blog http://www.thewriteroomblog.com 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lexie's Story -- Free for a limited time.

I am excited  -- I published Lexie's Story today. This is the preview to Virgo's Vice, the third novel in my Zodiac Series.


It seems to Lexie King that she has a target on her back--or a sign on her forehead that says 'Abuse Me.'

Lexie's parents died in a car crash when she was too young to remember, and Aunt Jess refuses to believe that her live-in lover, Phillip could be molesting Lexie. 

An ugly mutt named Candy -- a cross between a boxer and a standard poodle -- is Lexie's only friend in the world.

She sometimes thinks about ending her life, but revenge would be so much sweeter.





This short story is totally free. Get yours now.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway -- Capricorn Cravings

Capricorn Cravings was published in print format 10 months after it first hit the Kindle market, and with two new books being released over the holiday season I am only just now scheduling a giveaway.

Riley Shaughnessy has the perfect life. Her veterinary practice is thriving, and she loves living in the small town in the Colorado mountains, where no one knows the shocking secret of her past. She loves to gallop her palomino mare across the vast expanse of public land bordering the town, and after a long period of self-denial, she has even committed to a date with handsome horse wrangler, Randy Hansen. But now, she knows her assistant, Jamie, would never willingly abandon her child, so why has she disappeared? Something dark and sinister is taking place, and it all started on the day hunky Powell Stewart, with the piercing blue eyes, came into her life in a strange and unexpected way. Her inner voice tells her to stay as far away from him as she can...

Here are the details of the Giveaway:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Capricorn Cravings by Trish Jackson

Capricorn Cravings

by Trish Jackson

Giveaway ends March 20, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, January 30, 2015

It Matters Radio - Trish jackson

Last night I had the privilege of being interviewed by Ken Weene on It Matters Radio, about my new Redneck P.I. Adventures book, Backwoods Boogie.


First I have to thank all three presenters -- Ken, Monica and Kerry. They are so warm and friendly, it's like being invited into their homes. There's even a cat called Punky who manages to get into a lot of the coverage, which made me feel more at home since I love animals.

We discussed the salient points of Backwoods Boogie -- first about the unlikely Picadilly Tearoom -- a British tea room in a little redneck town in Alabama called Quisby.  Ken asked what they were serving I said probably cucumber sandwiches and scones with strawberry jam and thick cream. Of course the interview took place at my time 9:30 pm so I actually had a glass of wine in front of me. Monica was in central time, and hour behind me, and Ken was in mountain time, and Kerry in Pacific time. Before my interview, a very talented musician, John Cee Stannard was the musical guest, broadcasting from London, England where it was some ungodly hour of the morning.

Some of my family members and friends attended and I wished I could have interacted more with them and the others who were there. 

We talked about Twila's mission to rescue almost 100 abused and mistreated dogs from an illegal puppy mill, and her venture with biker Bart and his vigilante's gang to take down a dog-fighting ring. It just happens to be Superbowl weekend and we discussed the fact that Godaddy agreed to remove their ad from the Superbowl because it depicted puppies being sold over the Internet -- which is how a lot of puppy mill dogs are sold.

Then we discussed my newest book, Aquarius Addiction, which had just been released the same day. 


Here's a link to the show: http://www.spreecast.com/events/talent-of-john-cee-trish-jackson/clips/fun-time-from-talent-of-john-cee-trish-jackson

Backwoods Boogie on Amazon

Aquarius Addiction on Amazon


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Goodbye to my Brave Little Girl

My beautiful little Yorkie Purdy went to rainbow bridge on November 14th 2014, when I took her to the vet and had her put to sleep. It was a heartbreaking decision, but I knew it was the best thing for her.

Purdy was rescued from an illegal puppy mill in Arkansas in 2006. She was suffering from heartworm, and many of her teeth were loose due to poor nutrition and a calcium deficiency, and had to be extracted. She was so horribly emaciated that they guessed her age to be 12 when she was actually probably only six.

After being treated and spayed, she was transferred to Jacksonville Florida where she went into a foster home.

I could hardly contain my excitement when my husband and I went to fetch her, and the thrill of the first time I held her in my arms will always be with me. At that time I had no idea what far-reaching effects the neglect and abuse would have on her health. She quickly made friends with our Yorkie boy, Frank and they played tag around the dining room table.

Purdy bonded with me immediately. Whenever she sat on my lap, she would face me and stare into my face. If I spoke to her, she would push her head into me and snuggle to show her love. It was always such a humbling experience to be the object of such adoration.

She couldn't jump. The muscles in her hind legs were too weak from living in a small cage all her life, so I placed her bed on the floor beside me. I wanted her to be free to get up and move around in the night without having to wake me and have me lift her off the bed. She soon learned that a cold winter's night all she had to do was groan and I would reach down and cover her with the blanket.

Purdy's liver was badly damaged from years of neglect and poor nutrition, and subsequently her immune system didn't work properly. Flea control is a must in Florida, but she was allergic to the flea medication and it caused her to throw up and scratch even more. It became such a nightmare and I felt so desperate I sometimes sat up all night just holding her so she could have some relief. We also had  to stop giving her the heartworm preventative most dogs need in Florida. Her little body just couldn't handle the poison in it.

We fed her a diet of kibbles and chicken thighs that I cooked especially for her, but when she landed up on a drip in the veterinary hospital with pancreas problems, we learned that she couldn't ever eat any fat of any kind. I changed her diet to skinless chicken breasts, but every now and then she still suffered from pancreatitis attacks, which were very painful, and all we could do was give her medication to ease the pain and wait helplessly for the attacks to run their course.

Purdy was allergic to shampoo. Whenever she had a bath she vomited and broke out in hives. I tried human baby shampoo but it made no difference. I eventually figured out it was the sulfates causing the reaction, and I had to bathe her in pure soap with no additives. It took years to get rid of the dirty marks that were ingrained in her skin from lying in her own waste in the puppy mill.

The flea pill was a great help to her at first, and for a while it seemed to be safe for her. Eventually it must have accumulated inside her, though, and she became more and more resistant to taking it, and started throwing up more and more often.

My veterinarian suggested I try a tiny dose of Prilosec for the nausea and indigestion, with disastrous effects. Purdy vomited all night and pooped blood. I was terrified she would die, and that was when I decided she couldn't ever have any sort of medication again.

Fleas were still a problem, and I decided to try cat flea powder on her. It seemed to help for a while and the constant nausea abated. Purdy started eating better and she actually managed to put on a little weight. I was immensely relieved.

My relief was short-lived though. Purdy's hind legs started giving her problems. They seemed to collapse and jerk around uncontrollably. This happened at any time day or night and for a while it became a very worrying and frightening problem. My veterinarian had not witnessed anything like it before and anyhow, any sort of medication was not an option. I figured out eventually that it was probably the organo-phosphates in the cat flea powder that were having a bad effect on her nervous system. I stopped using it. The problem slowly seemed to get less and less after that.


I was thrilled when I finally found Flea Free, an all natural liquid that I added to her water. Finally, Purdy's digestive system and flea control seemed to be under control and life eased a little.

That was when her front legs started to develop arthritis. There was no chance she could take any sort of medication for it and we could only watch it get worse and become more and more of a hindrance to her until she could hardly get around, and she started losing her footing and falling. That was when I knew I would have to make the decision to put her to sleep.

I was determined to be there for her to the end. I couldn't control the tears, but I'll always treasure the precious few minutes I held her in my arms for the last time, and I'll never forget how tiny her little body looked after she had gone.

It's been over a month now and I miss Purdy every single day and tears come to my eyes without warning when I think about her. She had a very hard life all caused by the inhumane treatment she was given at the puppy mill.

If you are reading this you are probably a dog or animal lover. Pet shops in the USA often obtain their puppies from illegal puppy mills and you would be helping dogs all over the country just by warning your friends not to purchase a puppy from any pet store without first verifying that they came from a legitimate breeder who takes proper care of their dogs.

Although it is primarily a romantic comedy, my most recent novel, Backwoods Boogie is designed to create awareness and to send a strong message against illegal puppy mills. I've dedicated the print version to my wonderful, loyal and brave little companion who will always hold a place in my heart.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Backwoods Boogie Countdown...

It's not long now before Backwoods Boogie is released by my publisher, Uncial Press on November 14th, 2014.  I will be hosting a launch party on Facebook and I'll give away free downloads of this and the prior books in the Redneck P.I. Series -- Redneck P.I and Kick Assitude.



Redneck P.I. has been off the market for a while in e-book format, and it will come back on the same day as Backwoods Boogie and with a brand new, very fancy cover. I think Twila looks pretty tough in it!



(The print version has not changed and will keep its old cover.)








BACKWOODS BOOGIE is getting not one but two covers. As you will see, in the two years that have passed since Redneck P.I. was released, Twila has grown her hair quite a bit and she wears it in a different style.
This is the third book in the Redneck P.I. Mystery Series.


Redneck P.I. Twila Taunton cannot believe she is working for Jimmie-Ray, the man who stood her up on her wedding day. But she can't allow gentle Pam Taylor to go to prison for a murder she did not commit. Twila sets out to hunt down the real killer, with the help of hacker and mean guitarist Gasser Cunha, her hard-drinking great aunt Essie, and office assistant LaMercy Howard, who reluctantly agrees to go Goth. When she discovers an illegal puppy mill, and a possible dog fighting ring, Twila calls on a vigilante biker gang and her long distance lover, Harland to help. 
Oh… and she might be pregnant. 

20% of the author's proceeds will be donated to the ASPCA to aid in their fight against the disgusting cruelty and deplorable conditions of illegal puppy mills in the US.



Click on the Link below to get your copy:





Monday, June 9, 2014

Do Your Old Dog's Back Legs Collapse?

My little while ago something weird started happening with my dog's back legs. They seemed to almost be collapsing. At first it only happened intermittently and only lasted a couple of seconds before they came right. Then it started escalating very rapidly.

Like all old dogs, Purdy sleeps most of the day. After this started, it seemed that whenever she got up, her legs would twitch. I realized they were making involuntary movements, which were like a kind of kicking motion. She would sometimes not be able to right herself immediately, and floundered around kind of like a fish out of water, dragging her back legs behind her. It was very scary and it started happening more and more often. I was beginning to think I had to make that dreaded appointment...

I went onto the Internet and found several forums where other people had posted about their dogs that had the same sort of problem.

Some of the dogs had been diagnosed with arthritis, and had responded to arthritis medications. Some are really big dogs with heavy bodies and it seems like their legs aren't strong enough to support their weight, but that wasn't Purdy's problem. When her legs were working, they were fine and there was no stiffness or pain.
At some stage during my research I discovered that the symptoms of organo-phosphate poisoning include involuntary muscle spasms and weakness. Of course I checked the label on the flea treatment I was using and bingo.

I stopped using it immediately and washed her really well to get as much of it off as possible. I live in Florida, and we have fleas everywhere. They live in the sand outside, so it's impossible to stop them totally. It is imperative to treat your house first, and there are natural products you can use that do seem to keep the fleas at bay.

I found and purchased Flea Free, an all natural product that goes in the dog's water and food and works by creating an enzyme in the dog's blood that stops the female flea from laying eggs. Somehow the fleas realize this, and jump off. (Male fleas don't bite.)

I also noticed she was always very thirsty when the attacks were at their worst. Old dogs sometimes forget to drink regularly, and they get dehydrated quite quickly. I now make a point of putting the water bowl in front of her whenever I think of it. I also purchased some Pedialyte, and I started putting two cap fulls in each bowl of fresh water.

The improvement has been almost miraculous. The episodes immediately became less frequent, but they still happened a lot at first. It's only been three weeks now, and I truly cannot believe the difference in Purdy. This past weekend she didn't make one mis-step. It's like she has a new lease on life.

I'm blogging about it because maybe it will help someone else keep their dog a little longer.

I'm thrilled that my beautiful little rescue dog has her life back. She was rescued from a puppy mill in Arcansas eight years ago and was so debilitated they put her age at around twelve years. I thought I was buying a senior dog to be company for Frank, who was thirteen at the time. She's never really been able to handle any flea control without frequent vomiting. I guess her immune system was permanently damaged.


Purdy's story inspired me to write my next novel, Backwoods Boogie, in which redneck detective Twila Taunton, and her quirky friends rescue a large number of dogs from an illegal puppy mill.