Sunday, July 15, 2012

Please go to my new site

I am combining my website and blog into one.  Come on over!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Read aloud to your dog? Emerging readers do!

The first dog I ever owned was after I was 50, so I was a complete dog novice, but when I saw Ollie in the cage at Petsmart he was looking right at me and clearly was more connected to people than other animals.

I hadn't gone in to get a dog. I needed cat food. But I came home with a dog, all the same. And I never looked back.

This people pleasing trait led me to go in to my local hospital when they put out a plea to members who had dogs to become therapy dogs. Turns out there are multiple therapy dog programs in the world. Because the hospital used Therapy Dogs International, we did,too.

Now Ollie loves people in general, but has always had an affinity for children specifically. He stands about 15 inches high and at 20 pounds is big enough to be safe with uncoordinated toddlers, small enough to cuddle. When I met another member who was getting volunteers to go to local libraries I was intrigued. My first graduate work was in elementary education, and in my work with people with disabilities I have seen lots of ideas around motivating people to read. The basic fact is, to learn to read you have to READ.

In this program Ollie sits or lays next to a child while they read a book out loud to him. I keep my mouth shut and encourage parents to not interrupt what is happening between the child and the dog. No corrections! The child often self-corrects because s/he wants Ollie to understand the book.

In this loving, no judgment opportunity to read books out loud, the children improve their fluency, learn to decipher the book from picture and word clues, and go way beyond sounding out words alone. And they LOVE to read because they love my dog.

My dog was on the front page of the paper a few weeks ago. Well, his photo was in the banner teaser for the front page of spotlight section, anyway. Here is are links to that great photo and another featuring my boy, both by Bee photographer Mark Crosse.

The wonderful article that accompanied the photos is by Rick Bentley, and is found at

As a result of my love for my dog and this kind of volunteer work, I have written therapy dogs into my third book, Return of Joy, scheduled for release in October from Desert Breeze Publishing under my writing name, Lynette Endicott.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How smart IS that cat?

I love my pets. I didn't really have pets until in my 50s, when my daughter asked why we let her father decide whether or not we had animals in our lives. We adopted two cats almost immediately. Those two , Sprite and Dr. Pepper, show up in my first book, More Than A Job. The black and white cat is Pepper. Slainte' (pronounced slawn' cha) was an abandoned, injured adolescent when I found her outdoors at a local  bakery shop. She was hungry and thirsty and the forecast for that day was over 110 degrees. They said to me, "Oh, don't give her food or water. We want her to go away." I made the mistake of picking her up, found the place where her leg was torn, and knew if I put her down there she would die that day. She was thin, pitiful, and yet let me pick her up. I didn't have a box or anything so I took her to my car. She ran around in the car a couple of times but got over her panic in seconds and laid next to me on the seat. I carried her into an animal hospital.  It is expensive to rescue a cat on your own. The shelter doesn't charge full price for the medical care. Slainte' needed to be spayed, had to have some of the dead tissue around her torn leg removed and then the leg sutured, needed de-wormed, and antibiotics to address the infection in her leg. I had just been laid off so had no regular income. What was I thinking?

But as soon as I picked her up I was committed. And she has definitely been worth it. Once she acclimated to the other cats, life settled in and we learned that we had added a very spunky, snuggly cat. She is the model for Dr. Al's cat in Animal Instinct. While my little calico has never saved my life or revealed ancestral secrets, she is a very positive part of my life. When we added a dog - Ollie - she and he vied for the top position in the house by sitting back on their haunches and boxing of all things. Today, though, they curl up together on the bed or on the pet bed in my office.
When my daughter and her husband added a beagle/basset puppy, she let Molly know who was boss, and is the only animal that Molly doesn't attempt to tromp.

Amimal Instinct will be available August 21.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How do two writers work together?

Tami Dee and I are pleased to showcase the cover for the first book in our Time After Time Saga, a series of six books that follow (erratically) the lives of the women of the Heartmark, those who have been marked by an enemy determined to pursue them through time and destroy their happiness.

How did we come to write together? Good question, since we have only met twice in person, and not for long either time. I met Tami in an on-line critique group and because we really enjoyed each others' stories we stayed in touch. Tami was the one who reached out to me a year ago and asked, "Have you ever submitted those books I read?" and urged me to contact her editor. My three contracts and counting with Desert Breeze Publishing are a result of that contact.

Tami has published a time travel series, so when the first thoughts that became this set of books began percolating in my head I dropped her a note, asked her thoughts and in the email back and forth that followed, the ideas for a series came tumbling out.

I know that working with another author keeps me writing and keeps me accountable. We share each work as it unfolds, so although one writer takes the lead, both are involved in crafting the story line and in connecting the book to the others that are coming in the next couple of years.

So join us in celebrating our first cover for this series. The book will be released August 21.                    

Buy link at Desert Breeze Publishing:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Read this and you will want more! The Up Side of Down

The heat from the midday Texas sun seeped through my dark gray sweats, my standard uniform of late, bringing my body temperature to the boiling point. 
After trying the door of the Lexus, I realized I'd locked the keys inside. The alarm system was armed, the cats had returned to their roosting place, and something strange was wrong with my eyes. They'd begun to sting and water leaked from them. 

Tears? Oh no, no, no, no, no. 

It had been almost two days since I'd shed a tear over my pitiful situation, and I was not about to start that up again now. 

I began walking as fast as I could down the gravel road leading to the water tower, where the local high school kids used graffiti to proclaim their date with freedom. I'd reached the half-way mark, when I heard the noise of a vehicle quickly approaching behind me. From the sound of its engine, I guessed it was at least the three-quarter-ton variety. 

Too late, I realized I was standing in the middle of the road close to a sharp, ninety-degree corner fittingly dubbed 'Dead Man's Curve'. I managed to vault for the ditch just as the truck's driver spotted me. To his credit, he gave it all he had in an effort to avoid hitting me. Unfortunately, this landed his vehicle in the opposite ditch. 

It took us both a minute to come to terms with our situation. We'd both been lucky that there wasn't a crash and no one was hurt. My pride was a little bruised, but I'd survive that. 

I watched as the man in the truck got out and looked around in a daze. "Are you all right?" he asked, as he crossed the road to my ditch. 

"I'm fine. Sorry about the near miss. It doesn't look as if anything's hurt, though. You should be able to drive right out of that ditch." I glanced at the huge black four-by-four truck he drove. Not that uncommon for this part of Texas where everything was larger, including the vehicles we drove. 

He ignored my observation. "Did you have car trouble down the road?" I could feel him looking me over. By this point, I was perspiring like crazy. My face was shiny with sweat, and he was staring at my hair. My hand went up to it automatically. For the life of me, I couldn't remember if I'd brushed it today or not. Or for that matter, this week. 

"I'm fine. Thank you for stopping." I turned to continue going wherever I was going before the run-in, when he stopped me. 

"Wait. Can I take you somewhere?" He looked around the deserted area in confusion. "Do you live around here?" Now there was the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question I'd been avoiding since I'd arrived in Down two weeks earlier. 

"Um, sort of." I could tell my answer only served to pique his curiosity. Maybe he was imagining me as the neighborhood burglar, or the town's only homeless woman. 

He reached for his wallet before awkwardly asking, "Do you need some money?" 

Shocked by his assumption, I was unable to do more than stare back at him with my mouth agape. Do I look that desperate? I thought about how embarrassed poor Thelma, the champion of the less fortunate, would be if she could see the pity in this man's eyes. 

"Here." He shoved some money into my hand and headed back toward the Black Beast. "Get yourself something to eat and maybe a change of clothes." 

He easily maneuvered his truck out of the ditch and waved politely as he drove away. I glanced down at the money in my hand in shock. He'd shoved a hundred dollar bill into it. 

Learn more about Mary at, check in with Mary on Facebook  and buy today at 

Review: Mary Eason's The Up Side of Down

Blurb: Laney Winters is living the life she thought she’d always wanted—perfect home, wealthy husband and a successful, if somewhat mediocre, romance writing career. At forty-one, Laney discovers she’s expecting her first child and can’t wait to rush home and surprise her husband with the great news. Her husband, Tom, has a surprise of his own waiting for her. She walks in on him with his much younger secretary. He wants a divorce and wants Laney out of his house. Having signed a prenuptial agreement, she has little choice other than her oft-imagined revenge scenarios.

My reviewMary Eason turned the light of humor, warmth and values onto the subject of divorce through her heroine, who returns to her small hometown and eccentric aunts pregnant and on her way to single. The characters are well-drawn and interesting, and I couldn't put the book down. The Up Side of Down will take you through the tears, frustration, anger and craziness of the life of Laney, an author whose success is put on hold while her life falls apart and then, with the love and support of her wacky family and the caring warmth of more than one friend, begins to come back together again. You will love this book! 

Mary Eason grew up in a small Texas town famous for, well not much of anything, really.Being the baby of the family and quite a bit younger than her brothers and sisters, mary had plenty of time to entertain herself. Making up stories seem to come natural to her.

As a pre-teen, Mary discovered romance novels and knew instinctively that was what she wanted to do with her over-active imagination. She wrote her first novel as a teen, (it's tucked away somewhere never to see the light of day), but never really pursued her writing career seriously until a few years later, when she wrote her first romantic comedy and was hooked.

Today, Mary still lives in Texas, and still writes about romance. In fact, she can't think of anything else she'd rather do.

Check out all Mary's books:
Follow her on twitter

Friday, July 6, 2012

Check out more of Anne Patrick's great books!

Single mother, Jenny Holloway, has her hands full running a 1200-acre ranch, and keeping her daredevil son out of the emergency room. So when her foreman suggests she hire on his son Gil Montgomery, who just got home from the war, Jenny jumps at the opportunity of having another skilled cowboy around. 

Gil was used to taking orders, even from women. What he wasn't prepared for was the feelings this little firecracker of a woman triggered in him. Jenny is a lot like the bronco she's rescued and is now trying to break. The unexpected death of her husband has left her jaded and afraid to risk her heart getting broken again. Somehow, he has to gain her trust and prove that he isn't going anywhere. 

Fire Investigator Sadie McGregor has been called to her hometown of Emerald Point, Missouri to investigate a suspicious fire which claimed the life of a local college student. By appearance the fire looks like the girl was just careless. What Sadie and Sheriff Quinn Harrington discover will not only affect those close to them, but will rock the entire community of Emerald Point and put Sadie's life on the line. 

Sadie's life isn't the only thing at stake. Struggling with the guilt of having been responsible for the fire that killed her family, when she was only seven, Sadie doesn't feel she's worthy of God's love and forgiveness. Will Quinn be able to prove otherwise before it's too late? 

District Judge Katie McKinley takes her career very seriously. No one knows that better than her old childhood friend and first love, Graham Bishop. Her ruling cost him his family’s ranch. So it’s no surprise when an attempt is made on her life that the sheriff turns his suspicions to Graham. 

Katie feels horrible knowing what her ruling cost her old friend, and knows his outburst in her courtroom gave the sheriff every right to suspect him. But the Graham Bishop she grew up with would never harm her. Even when all the evidence points to him she refuses to believe it. Could she be wrong? Download today:

Anne Patrick
What is Anne Patrick (Dame Tourmaline) up to now? Find out at Join us for monthly book giveaways and our July Anniversary Giveaway Galore!