River Road Books & Mostly Shepherds!

Okay, so I guess I shouldn’t promise to post something “tomorrow” ever again, because my version of tomorrow takes half a week, apparently.  But oh, my goodness, I loved doing the STAY event at River Road Books in Fair Haven, NJ.  I’m still smiling about it!  Such a great group of people and wonderful dogs!

River Road Books is a beautiful book store run by a great group of book loving ladies!  They’re such a vital and vibrant part of the community, offering a summer reading program for kids, writing workshops, and other events.  It’s nice to see an indie bookstore that is thriving!

I read from STAY, answered questions, and signed books.  Libby Cook from Mostly Shepherds talked about her amazing rescue organization, and showed off a few of the adoptable animals at Mostly Shepherds.

Me & Gidget
I love dogs in general, although I tend to be more of a big dog person, but I fell hard for Gidget.  She’s a Jack Russell/Pug mix (or “Jug”) who acts like a big dog in a twelve pound package.  She’s so sweet and funny and I had the hardest time resisting the urge to smuggle her home in my handbag.  Her listing is here, complete with an adorable video of her playing with a tennis ball that’s almost as big as her head.
Libby had Magnum, a super smart German Shepherd with a long stock coat (like Argo’s), do a few tricks for the crowd.  He’d only had two obedience classes before the event and he was already performing like a pro.  You can see a video of Magnum working on his obedience training on his listing here.  He was so calm, considering the crowd of people!
Magnum & Libby
One of the people at the event was a lovely woman who had adopted a German Shepherd from Libby about ten years ago.  She got up and talked about how her dog changed her life.  It was so moving!  She also said that German Shepherds are one of the more frequently abused breeds.  New dog owners mistakenly think that because German Shepherds are big, powerful dogs, they need to be handled roughly, but the most important thing an owner needs to train a German Shepherd is love.

What she said has stuck with me, because it’s so true!  Positive reinforcement goes a long way with German Shepherds.  What they want most is to be a part of a pack.  When you love them and bond with them and make sure they know they belong with you, they will do everything they can to make you happy.  Giving them the opportunity to succeed goes a lot further than any kind of harsh correction ever could.  I think it’s also important to note that herding dogs are wired a little differently from other breeds, and even if you’re an experience dog owner, if you’ve never had a herding dog, doing research and talking to people with herding breed experience will be incredibly helpful.
It was so nice to spend time chatting with people who love books and German Shepherds as much as I do!  If you’re in the New Jersey area and are thinking about adopting a dog, get in touch with Libby and Mostly Shepherds.  She’s very mindful of matching the right owners to the right dog, and is a genuinely beautiful and inspiring person.  It was an honor to meet her.
There was also a kitty in attendance, but I believe she’s been adopted.  However, Mostly Shepherds has a few more adoptable cats listed.
Roberta Van Anda from the Rumson-Fair Haven Patch was there and posted about the event, so you can read more about it, and see more pictures here

Before the event, I had a great little walk down memory lane Broad Street.  I lived in Red Bank, NJ (right next door to Fair Haven) one summer in the late nineties, and it was also just plain cool to have the opportunity to bum around downtown again.  I expected everything to be different. It’s been over a decade since my last visit, but Red Bank is still hopping.  So many of the local stores and restaurants I loved when I lived there are going strong, like The Bistro (where I once accidentally wore my brand new summer dress to dinner inside out), The Downtown (where one of my roommates and I played along with the band leader at a swing show and pretended to be Swedish Swing Dance Champions . . . long story*), and, this place:

Now I’m back home, doing some writing, gearing up for my event in Batavia at Present Tense Books next week, and cuddling with my German Shepherds.  
I was only gone for a night, but they get pretty clingy when I’ve been away.  
Oh, and if you haven’t already entered, I’m giving away five copies of STAY plus gourmet dog cookies!

*No, actually, it’s not a long story. That’s pretty much the whole story right there.  A good time was had by all.

Things that have happened – The Epic List Post

Wow, I’ve had blog back up syndrome.  There are too many things I’ve been meaning to blog about, but I haven’t gotten around to blogging, because I feel like I need to address the things I should have posted about before I get to current stuff.  So here is an epic list post to catch you up.  With pictures.  Because pictures are good.
A few weeks ago, there was an airshow that seemed to happen directly over our house ALL weekend.
Stella was terrified.  Argo was curious.  Not about the planes.  He didn’t notice them, even when the windows rattled and the ground shook.  Argo was curious as to why I was lying on my back with the camera in the back yard.
I made a video.
I went to an awesome book club that Steph the Bookworm organized! And had such a wonderful time chatting about STAY and other books we love!
I wrote a lot (no pictures).
STAY came out in paperback, and to celebrate, I did a reading at the Greece Barnes & Noble, and spent a lovely afternoon at the Syracuse University Bookstore Book Fair for the second time, signing books with David Klein and Joan Ford.

And got to visit with my favorite Bigfoot novelist.  After the fair, I had dinner with The Other 1/4, and no cars were lost.

I had a blast hanging out with dog lovers at a STAY signing and Bark-B-Q at A Barker’s Dozen, and got to meet Lucky, who is a super sweet adoptable Giant Schnauzer mix.  Lucky will be listed with Going to the Dogs Rescue after he gets a little extra training from Tails of Success.

Last week, I went to Edison, New Jersey to shoot a segment for The Pet Stop on New Jersey 12!  The segment aired last weekend locally, and I’ll be sure to post it here when it’s up on YouTube later this month.

And I just got back from my second trip to New Jersey for an event at River Road Books.  More on that tomorrow!

Book Club!

Last night I have the pleasure of hanging out with the lovely ladies of the Holy Trinity Church Book Club in Webster, NY.* They’ve been together for about three years and have an impressive list of books they’ve read and discussed. They’re insightful, warm, and welcoming, and I am thrilled that they chose to read STAY and invite me to their book discussion. It was my first book club visit and it was so much fun!

We had such a great chat, and it means so much to me to have had the chance to talk with them. They asked about my writing process, and what my day to day life looks like. We talked about what it feels like to have a girlfriend who always seems just a little more perfect than you are, why Van felt the way she did about Diane, and what Peter was really about to say when he was interrupted. One of the ladies said she enjoyed watching Van grow as a person. Then another chimed in to say that she felt like she grew as a person reading STAY. She said that she had instant opinions about Diane, Janie, and Peter, and as she read further and learned more about the whys of who they are, it changed how she felt about them. This made her think about how sometimes we’re too quick to judge people without trying to figure out where they’re coming from.
I am honored by what she said, and everyone’s kind words about STAY. I think the biggest gift of being a writer is to hear that what I wrote means something to readers, and I am so thankful for this.
It was a wonderful way to spend an evening! And they sent me home with treats for all of my furry friends and a lovely plant that is brighting up my office so much on this dark and dreary day! So sweet!
Thank you so much, Holy Trinity Book Club!
*Fun trivia: The “tagline” for the town of Webster, NY (which is, admittedly, quite lovely) is “Where Life is Worth Living,” and it has always amused me. Apparently, it’s not worth it elsewhere. I guess we’ll have to move. :)