It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Denise Flagg


Klaus's First Winter Flagg

Take a stroll with Klaus the dog through a charming New England neighborhood and meet some of his friends along the way. On this adventure, you will discover, alongside Klaus, how Sally Squirrel, Billy the Eastern Bluebird, and Freddie Frog survive the cold and snowy winter months. Have fun while learning about migration and hibernation on this fascinating autumn morning walk.

Christmas with Klaus Flagg

When Denise and Ernie carry a tree into the house, set it in a stand, and water it, a baffled and curious Klaus wonders why. Klaus turns to his friend Pebbles, who is a dog, too, for the answer. Join in the excitement as Klaus plays in snow for the first time, discovers an ornament with his name hanging from a tree branch and learns about Christmas traditions and the reason for the season.

Denise Flagg

Denise Flagg’s love of books and animals have merged together to create a children’s book series that entertains as it educates. She serves on a volunteer committee for Friends of the Providence Animal Care & Control Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, dedicated to supporting the humane care of the animals in the city of Providence.  For more information about Friends of the PACCC, visit their website.

Denise lives in southern New England with her husband Ernie and their sweet rescue dog Jax. A percentage of her book sales are donated to local animal shelters. She is a passionate advocate for making a difference by adopting at your local animal shelter.

Denise’s books can be purchased at retail stores across Rhode Island or online at Amazon  and Barnes & Noble or directly through her website.

GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a print copy of Klaus’ First Winter to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment below. The winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, September 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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Let Your Heart be Light


Not easy sometimes, that’s for sure. A month filled with sorrow and grief, people divided, senseless acts of violence. How do you lighten a heavy heart during what should be a joyous season?

Stop. No, really. Stop. Still yourself. You have bought enough, baked enough, cleaned enough. Your holiday decorations are beautiful, last year’s sparkly sweater is still pretty and festive. With any luck, you’ve stuck to your budget, but if you overspent, okay. Stop now. It’s all enough.

Last week my friend Karen demonstrated to me the true meaning of Christmas, when she drove a hundred miles to take the ferry from Bridgeport, Connecticut to Long Island, NY. Then she drove to Save-a-Pet Animal Rescue and picked up Tiny Tim, a dog desperately in need of rescuing. Read Karen’s inspirational story.

Karen with Tim and Kimba
Karen with Tim and Kimba

Well, Karen brought Tim home, introduced him to her other rescue pup, Kimba, and helped him get settled in his new home. She kept him clean and comfortable overnight, but Tiny Tim crossed the Rainbow Bridge the next morning. Karen had known his time would be short, yet she put aside the frenzy of mall parking, crap-from-China shopping, over-thinking everything to rescue one of God’s vulnerable creatures. And then she wrote this achingly beautiful piece after he died.

Whether you assist an elderly neighbor, overtip the person who brings you breakfast in your favorite diner, smile at the frazzled department-store employee, dig a little deeper when the collection basket is passed your way, or whatever you can think of to brighten someone else’s day, even for a moment, believe me, your heart will be light.

Wishing you all the comfort and joy of this season, however you celebrate.

 

Meet Author Jackie Bouchard


Jackie Bouchard and Rita
Jackie Bouchard and Rita

An author and her dog! Look at that face (I’m talking about Rita, of course). 🙂 I adored reading Rescue Me, Maybe and have Jackie’s first novel, What the Dog Ate, near the top of my to-be-read pile. You can win the book via a giveaway at the end of this post.

Jackie Bouchard was trapped in the hamster wheel of corporate America for longer than her sanity would say was good for her. She escaped and now writes Fido-friendly fiction. American Jackie, her Canadian husband, and her Mexican rescue mutt Rita form their own little United Nations. They live happily (hopefully ever after) in San Diego.

Welcome, Jackie! I have questions for you! To begin, who is your favorite author? If you have multiples, that’s fine. Tell me why you like them.

JB: I don’t tend to be the type of reader who enjoys a book by an author and then thinks, ‘Now I want to read everything else he/she wrote.’ (Although isn’t that what we hope for as authors?) I think it’s because I’m a slow reader and have amassed more books than I’ll probably ever be able to get through, so I like to jump around and read different works. I’m more inclined to have favorite books than favorite authors, but if I had to pick, it would be:

  • Jane Austen. I’ve read everything she ever wrote. She was a master of character development. She could take a small, quiet story, but make you care so much about the characters; you love this one, hate that one, and pity this other one. Love her.
  • Charles Dickens. Love that he was a great storyteller and could be quite funny. A Christmas Carol is my fave.
  • Ian McEwan. Total genius, and a master of the perfect ending. Love love love Atonement and Enduring Love. On Chesil Beach also was excellent.

How did you make the transition from working full-time outside the house to writing full-time?

JB: The transition was really easy for me. The last time I worked full-time in an office was in 2000 in Philadelphia. When we moved to San Diego, I started telecommuting to my old job in Philly. So, I worked from home for 10 years. Since I was an analyst and wrote our department’s monthly newsletter, I mainly spent my days at the computer doing research or writing. So it wasn’t that much different from researching and writing a novel.

I’m such an introvert that working from home suits me perfectly. I know extroverted writers who go stir-crazy and need to take their work out to a coffee shop, but I have no problem being home alone (with my trusty pooch) for days and days on end. I get out every morning for a long walk with the dog, but other than that, I’m a homebody!

Do you feel you must write every day? And at a certain time?

JB: My writing day in general is not super-structured. When I really get going on a project, I barely stop to get up for a drink of water. I become obsessed and get back and arm pain because I’m practically glued to my desk! (**Remembers she’s been sitting at desk for hours. Stops and stretches, as advised by acupuncturist.**) Because of that, I don’t write every day. I take the weekends off, and on weekdays, I do my chores and errands first, because once I start writing, it’s likely nothing else will get done. Also, I’m one of the odd writers who loves to revise! I find it hard to sit down and write new stuff, but give me something to revise and I’m happy to spend hours obsessing over it.

 

Jackie has offered to gift a digital copy of What the Dog Ate to one lucky winner. Just click on the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of this page.

Connect with Jackie:

Website: http://www.jackiebouchard.com (There’s a sign-up on the home page for her newsletter)

Blog: http://poochsmooches.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/JackieBouchardWriter

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/jackiebouchard

 

What the Dog Ate
What the Dog Ate

When Maggie Baxter, a practical, rule-following accountant, finds out what her chocolate Lab ate, her world turns upside down. Maggie thought she had the rest of her life meticulously planned out, but now she needs to figure out Plan B. With her dog Kona as her guru, Maggie embarks on a funny, heartwarming quest to find tail-wagging joy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway