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Trials of a Debut Author

From Mia Marlowe...

Actually, I got incredibly lucky when I was a debut author. That's when I first met Connie Mason. I had dinner with her and her beloved husband of many, many years and she graciously agreed to give me a cover quote.  She really liked my writing style. It was the beginning of a beautiful partnership that has resulted in SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER, and later this year LORD OF FIRE AND ICE. I'm thrilled to confirm that Connie and I have just agreed to do three more collaborative novels for Sourcebooks. 

Watch for The Royal Rakes series in 2013!

My next guest blogger is Samantha Grace, a new author with a release coming soon. However, her trials and tribulations have less to do with her upcoming book and more with her wacko dog. Where's the Dog Whisperer when you need him?
Hi, I’m Samantha Grace, a debut author new to the Casablanca Authors blog, and I’m thrilled to be here. What better way to ring in the New Year than to celebrate the release of Mia’s and Connie’s book SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER? Men in kilts! It’s the gift no one returns.

These first few days of the New Year are going to be challenging. We’re hosting a late family Christmas celebration this weekend in addition to having five teenage boys over Friday night to celebrate our son’s birthday. I’m also blogging three times this week: twice here and once at Lady Scribes. Still, these things seem easy compared to figuring out what to do with our 70 pound, neurotic dog when we leave for vacation in two weeks.

Usually my husband’s mother comes to our house to check on her a couple times a day when we are gone, but she had surgery last week and can’t drive. Boarding Dani is out of the question, as is having a stranger come to the house, or anyone wearing a hat. She doesn’t even recognize her own family in hats.

We’ve never figured out the origins of her anxiety. Traditional psychotherapy just didn’t work, but she liked lying on the couch. She also enjoys standing in the middle of the dining room table on occasion, which leads me to believe she was a dancer in a former life. Either that or a cat. Actually, the reincarnated dancer hypothesis makes sense now that I think about it. Dani tap dances for her supper. And she sneezes as a finale. It’s a strange act, but effective.

It used to be too successful, because she would trick us into feeding her more than she needed. She would tap dance for me and I would feed her. A few minutes later my husband would come into the kitchen, rat-ta-tat-tat, she’d be fed again. Then our daughter would get the dance and then our son… We finally caught on when Dani began to lose her svelte figure.

We tried to kennel her when we first brought her home, but she broke through two dog crates after nervous-drooling all over the place. This is what the vet called it: nervous-drooling. Thank goodness, it seems to be limited to dogs. Public speaking is nerve wracking enough. Can you imagine if you had to worry about drooling, too?

Despite her oddities, she’s a great dog. She’s never been destructive, unless you count dog crates, paper towels, and baggies filled with cookies. (Hey, I’ve been guilty of the cookies myself.) Best of all, she loves her family. When our daughter was three, Dani placed herself between our little girl and a neighbor walking up our drive. I have no doubts she would have taken him out if he’d been looking for trouble. Maybe that type of loyalty deserves a bag of cookies sometimes, and the option of staying in the comfort of her home while her pack is on vacation.

What odd or funny habits does your pet have? (Two readers will win their choice of a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card. Please include your email address with your comment to be entered into the drawing.)

Samantha loves to hear from readers. You can find her on Twitter!/SamGraceAuthor, Facebook , and Goodreads To learn more about Samantha’s books and appearances, you may visit her website

Mia: Thanks, Samantha! I used to have a little poodle mix who went into spasms if she saw someone in a cap. She was a rescue dog, so obviously, there's a meany-head out there in a ball cap. 

In addition to Samantha's generous offers, I'll pick a winner who'll receive her choice from my backlist. While you're at my website checking out the books, be sure to pop over to the Contest page and enter to win a new KINDLE!


  1. I'm looking after my son's dog for a few months. Her crafty little trick is to get a treat every time she goes outside for a #2. I've never known such a little dog to poop so much. By this, I mean she spreads it out and manages to go around 4/5 times a day. I think she just squeezes out a little bit at a time just to get a treat.

    Thanks for another amazing review.

    dpd333 (at) aol dot com

  2. Great to meet you! Welcome aboard.

  3. My Cat likes to take full blown showers, not just the trickle but out right gets in and takes the brunt of it

  4. Diane,

    That's hilarious! Sounds like a smart little dog. It's amazing how they figure us out. And how nice of you to dog sit for a few months. :D

  5. I was laughing reading about your dog. I'd love to see her tap dance!

    My dog loves to burrow in our gardening patch. We have a bean vine growing & no matter what we do; whether it's putting up a barrier of bricks, sticks or whatever she still somehow manages to get around it & destroy the poor bean vine. She'll dig up a nice doggy shape burrow & sleeps there whenever it's hot (I live in the tropics & it gets HOT).

  6. I love Danni and so does my oldest son. I do think she was a dancer in a former left she is just lean and graceful. Danni is lucky that she was adopted by a family that loves her so much. I want to wish you so much success as author.

  7. Misty,

    That's wild! One of our cats was stuck in the bathroom when I was taking a shower once. When I didn't get out to open the door for her, she ran in long enough to bite my ankle. It was a desperate move, because she hated the water. :)

  8. When my cat was younger, he'd get so excited he would do a somersault! He'd put his head down and flip himself over, then just lay there waiting for me to give his tummy a rub.

  9. Linda,

    I should try to catch her on my iPhone some time. It's so funny! It's the sneeze that cracks me up.

    So why do y'all keep putting that bean vine up in your dog's favorite spot? ;)

    Thanks so much for stopping by tonight.

  10. Thank you, Meme!

    I'm so glad you stopped by. Danni loves your son, too. :)

  11. Cat,

    How cute is that?!? Cats really do the funnest things. Our cat hates to have her belly touched and lets us know it. :)

  12. Hi all . My friends dog loves to eat vegetables so much n everytime we eat salad he will come to ask for salad. The problem is he will get bellyache after he ate the salad. I think this is quite a funny habit:). Aretha zhen,

  13. My dog loves to take the scrunci out of your hair and he can do it without pulling your hair too. He is very gentle
    cstironkat (at) aol (dot) com

  14. Aretha,

    That IS an odd habit! I can't see my dog ever stealing a salad off the counter, but she did take 1/2 a NY Strip Steak once when I went to answer the phone.

    Thanks so much for stopping by tonight.

  15. Cstironkat,

    Hmm... Do you think your dog was a lady's maid or a scoundrel in his former life? ;D

    I'm loving these stories! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Sadly the only pets I have are a couple of fishies that Hubby and I bought for our boys... And we already lost 2 out of 8 =/

  17. Hi Samantha - I feel your pain, as we have a problem leaving our dog as well. She is such a part of the family, and I actually worry about leaving her months in advance.

    She has many tricks, but she always gets her treats in a Kong, and throws it at people to have them fill it. When we first got her she unexpectedly jumped in the bath with our daughter.

    Can't believe it almost time for your book to come out, are you excited?

  18. Our dog likes to sleep with the chickens... don't know how it happened, but one day there it was and now they take naps together:)

  19. At the moment I don't have any pets, but I previously had three cats (lost the last one last year). I'm planning on getting a couple more soon, and I hope they're like my feisty, lovable kitty, who used to play fetch. She'd run and get a toy tossed to her, bring it back and wait for you to throw it again, just like a dog.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  20. Wow...

    I had a puppy when I was 10 yrs old... still have VERY fond memories of him even now...

  21. I don't currently have a pet but we had a hamster when I was growing up and it was a master escape artist. Once we didn't find her for a week and ended up discovering she had taken to living in our plastic bad drawer. That was the third drawer up from the ground.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  22. Great post, and I wish you good luck with your first book! I do like the cover.

    I have a parrot as a pet, a secondhand one, as it's older than I am. He/she really gets balistic everytime I grab something with a stick: the vacuumcleaner, the mob, the duster. Apparently, when that was still allowed, it was caught in the wild with a stick with glue out of its nest. But I know, in summer before I start my cleaning, I put cage and bird outside to protect my ears. Also, the screaches are louder than my radio can go. (Tested that when the neighbours were away ;) ).

    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

  23. My foster dog is a Golden Retriever and he loves to sit on my lap, plus I think he has some cat DNA, because I have never met a dog that loves to cuddle as much as Sam

  24. ouch i don't have pet ;(

    but i had a story from my friend's dog, golden dog and her dog like to steal and keep the right shoes of guest who came to their house and then show that his innocent face as he don't know anything ;). her dog is very naughty =D

  25. Emily,
    We never had much luck with fish either, all except one goldfish named George. I made up a silly song that I sang to our son every night about his fish. He'll be fourteen this weekend, and he still claims it as his song. :)

  26. Hi Gayle.

    So good to see you here. Thanks for stopping by. I am getting excited about my release, but I think it's been good to be busy. I haven't had time to get nervous. :)

    How funny about your dog throwing things to make you give him a treat! I have to look up a Kong. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm guessing it's one of those rubber things you put the treat it to keep them entertained.

  27. That was a great post. We have had Great Danes for over 25 years now and they are a hoot. Think Marmaduke and Scooby-do. They really do all that stuff. Good luck finding a someone to take care of her.

  28. Yadkny,
    I would love to see a picture of your dog sleeping with the chickens. That's sweet.

    I'm sorry you lost your cat last year. We've had different cats throughout the years, and they become part of the family. A couple of kitties are always fun. I love to watch them play together.

  29. Lil,

    Wow! What a great climber. I never grew up with hampsters, because my mom thought they looked too much like mice. I'm imagining a shrill scream if she discovered a hampster in a drawer. :D

  30. Aurian,
    Oh, poor little guy! I suppose he would have bad memories. LOL on his screeches being louder than the radio can go. That's quite a feat!

    Thank you for the congrats on my debut. It's all very exciting. :)

  31. I have a Bengal cat that likes to fetch like a dog. We can throw toys or drink lids and he will retrieve them and drop them in your lap.


  32. May,
    Thanks so much for stopping by. It's funny how much of an impact pets have on our lives. I still remember my first dog when I was 3 years old. :)

  33. Danny,
    How wonderful that you are a foster provider for dogs. Our dog was in a foster home when we adopted her.

    I love Golden Retrievers! We used to dog sit for our friend's GR, and he was so sweet. He was crazy about our cats, but they didn't like it when licked their heads. LOL. And I love a big dog that thinks he's a lap dog. :)

  34. I had a terrier mutt that would sit back and beg for tablefood. The funniest thing he ever did was see our cat sitting on the table eating her food and he came over to the table edge and sat back to beg the cat for food. The look she gave him was hysterical. He had no clue he'd lost the war between dogs and cats by begging my feline for food. I was laughing so hard I nearly cried.

  35. Sleeping on top of computer monitor.
    Theresa N

  36. Great blog post & great topic! We have a boxer & it's like living with a perpetual three-year-old. She is hours of amusement for us. One of the funny things she does is she likes to take naps on my bed and bury herself in the middle of the decorative pillows. Only her tail and rear end hangs out. She kinds looks like that scene in E.T. where he's hiding among all of the stuffed animals. She is super spoiled but we love her dearly. Have fun on your vacation!


  37. Eli,
    That's so funny! They have those innocent looks perfected. :D

  38. Lol what a funny dog you have. My last dog must have beed an extra on the movie The Great Escape in a previous life. No sooner did we turn our backs then he was tunnelling under the fence. When that didnt work he risked everything by going over it and then he'd trot off down the road, doggy coat flapping in the breeze as he tasted his short moment of freedom. I do miss him.

  39. Ella,

    Two Great Danes? Holy cow! That must be like having two teenage sons to feed. ;)

    I bet they are a lot of fun. I'm so glad you stopped by.

  40. Crystal,

    How fun! We've never had a cat plays fetch. We even have trouble getting the dog to bring back the ball when we play catch. It turns into a game of chase. :)

  41. Oh, I'm definitely the oddball in my family. It's an honor really lol. I'm a neat freak. When it comes to anything really there must be order. I have a change purse that I like to organize my coins by type. Anotehr weird habit is when I read I will place my bookmark depending on the chapter I end at. If it's an even # the bookmark is slid to the top, if it's an odd # the bookmark slides down.


  42. Lauren,

    That's hilarious! Poor pup just doesn't get that cats always have been, and always will be, superior, at least in their minds. :D

  43. Theresa,
    I can relate. One of our cats used to sleep on the keyboard when I was trying to type. He also liked to stick his head in my coffee cup.

  44. Ella,

    Where did I get you have 2 Great Danes? Doh! Well, at least I didn't think you had 25. :D

  45. Nancy,

    How cute! I love Boxers anyway. How can you not love that face??? Thanks so much for stopping by today.

  46. Heather,

    Your dog might have been Houdini in a previous lifetime. Gotta love their innovation. :)

  47. Na,
    I love to learn about people's quirks! You would have your work cut out for you organizing my wallet. ;D

    So good to see you here today.

  48. Ha, so many funny and cute stories! My Dachshund doesn't do anything special, but he has very particular sleeping habits, and you'd better not mess with him, lol!
    He wants to burrow under blankets, summer or winter, but he always wants his butt and hind legs to be sticking out. If you try to cover him all the way up, he shoots right out and grumps and growls, and resets his blanket just right and re-burrows with only half of his body covered again. It's just too funny, lol.
    Thank you so much for the giveaway opportunity! I am having so much fun with this blog bash =)
    Happy New Year!

    Gena Robertson

  49. Gena,

    Haha! What a great story! Dachshunds are the best. They're so little, but they have big attitude. :D

  50. No pets at the moment. But I used to have a cat who, whenever another cat would get close to it, would go up on it's back legs, lift it's paws and make that "Hii-ya!" sound. I kid you not. My sister and I used to call him Karate Cat, and watch out the door for him to attack. It was hilarious :-)



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