Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Showstoppers

Showstoppers, the second book in my series of The Returns is set to debut in a few days. It is the continuing story of four men who were killed before their time. They are ‘returned’ to Earth in the bodies of dogs. The dogs are not reincarnated per say, the men maintain their human abilities and personalities. They drink coffee, eat junk food, and solve crimes with the help of an FBI Agent and their rookie Guardian Angel. It’s a story that asks you to let your imagination take you for a fun ride. I think the majority of pet lovers give their dogs and cats our human attributes. Most people speak for their pets in various situations, saying what they feel the animal is saying. I just take mine a little further up the human ladder. In the new book, the gang goes undercover at a dog show to catch the villains who are stealing the top dogs. I hope my readers enjoy this storyline as much as I did writing about it.
When I began writing, I certainly didn’t set out to become the next Shakespeare. (Not a worry) I just wanted to make people smile and forget some of their troubles for a while. Besides, Shakespeare doesn’t make me laugh and I love a book that tickles my funny bone. I also wasn’t going out of my way to pen a book without profanity or sex. These characters just don’t have the personalities that would do either. In a world where many books are inundated with graphic sex scenes and harsh language, I wondered if people would accept a feel-good family story. Luckily, I’ve had some wonderfully positive reviews from readers. I am certainly not condemning or demeaning any books that contain sex or profanity. I’ll admit to having more than my share of them and thoroughly enjoy them. I tried my hand at writing that type of book but it just didn’t work for me. It felt awkward and I kept thinking, “What will my mom think when she reads this?” I still cringe to think of her opening some of the titles on my Kindle. I will just stick to the excuse “It’s for research.” That’s sound convincing...doesn’t it?
The animal characters in The Returns books are based on my own pets. Many have sadly passed away but it is fun to be able to bring them back to life so I can enjoy and play with them once again. All of the characters from The Returns are back and just as silly as ever! You'll also meet a redneck Australian Shepherd, two mixed breed New Yorkers, and a beautiful female German Shepherd. I think you'll fall in love with them as well.
Both books, The Returns and Showstoppers are simple funny fictional stories promoting the value of friendship, treating everyone with kindness, accepting our differences, and loving one another. I am not making any political statements nor am I trying to convince readers about any religious beliefs. My purpose in writing these two books is to entertain, make you laugh, cry just a couple of tears, and forget about all of the daily worries in our world. My intention is not to change the world, only to make you smile and share a few laughs while the gang goes about the business of solving crimes. If I can accomplish that, then I have done what I set out to do.
I am supposed to have a target audience in mind when I write. While I don’t have a specific age group, my books are aimed at anyone from 12 to 112 years old with a great imagination, sense of humor, and a love for dogs or cats. So get ready to welcome The Returns 2 – Showstoppers!! Book cover and release date coming soon!


**Recipe of the Day**

Sweet Potato Pie
http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/

Ingredients
50 NILLA Wafers, divided
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted, divided
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/4 lb. cooked sweet potatoes (about 2), peeled, mashed
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup dark corn syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows

Directions
HEAT oven to 325°F.
CRUSH 40 wafers to form fine crumbs; place in medium bowl.
Add 1/4 cup butter and 2 Tbsp. sugar; mix well.
Press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate.
Coarsely crush remaining wafers; mix with remaining butter. Reserve for later use.
BEAT all remaining ingredients except marshmallows with mixer until well blended; pour into crust.
BAKE 50 to 55 min. or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Top with crumb mixture and marshmallows; bake 5 min. or until marshmallows are puffed.
Cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Substitute
Prepare using 1 can (40 oz.) sweet potatoes, drained and mashed.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute
Here's an easy way to make your own. For each 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice needed, just combine 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground allspice and 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg.


**Pet Tip of the Day**

I am usually skeptical of pet products claiming to do miraculous things. While waiting in the vet’s office one day, we watched a video on the tiny television of an infomercial on the FURminator. A hair remover resembles a small brush and claims to reduce shedding up to 90%. As the owners of a Golden Retriever and a Basset Hound, both heavy shedders, we shook our heads and laughed. We continued to watch as the actor brushed tons of hair from the dog (Golden Retriever) on the tiny screen. By the time the vet called us back to the exam room, we were intrigued at the prospect of the miracle FURminator. When we checked out, I took the plunge and forked over $35 for the gizmo. When we got home, I took the dogs outdoors with a plastic bag and began to brush their coats. WOW!! Not only did it do exactly what it claimed, the boys didn’t seem to mind the grooming at all. I use my FURminator on Bentley the Basset every day and it really has cut down on his shedding. If you have a dog that is making your house a hair haven, I strongly urge you to invest in one of these grooming aids. The product comes in a variety of sizes and is available for cats too. It is an investment that I am thrilled I made and I give the FURminator FIVE STARS!!! Here is the website so you can check it out: http://www.furminator.com/

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