Honoring a Beloved Dog & Cherished Rabbit with Book Awards & Online Interviews
There's been a lot going on since we last connected. Dog at the Tinsel Tree: Susie's Story has won its second and third book awards!
It was awarded Distinguished Favorite in the Gift Book category of the 2024 Independent Press Awards and Bronze in the Holiday category of the Illumination Book Awards. I can't believe it!
First Book Award for Dog at the Tinsel Tree!
I'm thrilled to share some exciting news with you! Dog at the Tinsel Tree: Susie's Story has won its first book award: Finalist in the 2024 Feathered Quill Book Awards: Animal-Adult category!
Rabbit at the Sliding Door: Chloe's Story also placed as a finalist in the same category last year. Even though I didn't place first, second or third, I am grateful and even more motivated to climb higher. (I am a Capricorn, after all. Once us goats climb one mountain, we're ready to climb the next!)
There's a quote in Henry Winkler's new memoir Being Henry that will always push me to keep going when it seems hopeless. He shares his actor's journey in a way that will inspire anyone chasing their dreams. He says, "If you stay at the table long enough..." whatever is meant for you will happen if you keep the faith.
Remember to Rest
I woke up this morning, after sending yesterday's newsletter, and remembered that I had a photo of my feline office assistants basking in the spring sun by my window. It was taken in April of 2022. My, how time flies!
I suppose because cat accessories are all around me, I didn't realize how much more luxury these three enjoy than just two cat caves and fluffy towels. See that two-tiered cat condo in the photo? Well, there are actually four in the house, situated in their favorite locations. Blankets on two beds and one sofa make for other cozy options. Cat scratching posts of various textures satisfy indoor cat needs (and save the furniture from destruction.)
In 2024, You Have the Power!
You may be wondering, why is Denise showing me a photo of a cat cave? She must still be tipsy from New Year's Eve celebrations.
I bought this pet bed for my feline office assistants. Actually, two caves for three cats to use, because there are two equally comfy spots on fluffy towels on wooden stands by my office window. That seemed to me like enough luxury accommodations for three cats, but you should see the look of disappointment in the eyes of the one who missed her chance to settle in a cat cave before the others and is forced to move to the towels by the window. Cat owners, you know. To them, it ain't the same.
This pristine feline cave with a plush, sherpa interior was the "purrfect" retreat for my three, furry office staff. That was my opinion. Turns out, it was not Mindy's.
Spreading Holiday Joy with Susie's Story
Isn't it wonderful how a room filled with holiday decorations does something to the soul? It instantly lifts our spirits by its beauty, brings back fond memories of past Christmases, and gives us renewed hope.
I participated in a holiday craft faire this past week. When I arrived and saw that I was assigned a table right in front of the gorgeous Christmas tree, I was ecstatic! It was the perfect location for a holiday-themed book.
Book Release Day!
No more waiting. The time has come! The dog in the photo was first in line to purchase a copy of Dog at the Tinsel Tree: Susie's Story and wants you to know that it’s a page-turner!
It IS Possible!
You know how I keep trying to inspire you to take that first step? To pursue your dreams no matter how impossible you think they might be to achieve?
Believe me, if you only knew how many balls I have in the air at this time in my life, you'd realize that you CAN accomplish anything, as long as you keep making even the smallest of moves forward.
Bronze in Memoir - Award #14!
Another Book Award? Yes, #14. I can't believe it either! Rabbit at the Sliding Door: Chloe's Story won bronze in the memoir category of the Northern California Publishers and Authors Book Awards (NCPA) contest. This book awards contest was the last one that I was eagerly awaiting results. You see, NCPA is where it all began.
Winner in the 2023 National Indie Excellence Book Awards!
The National Indie Excellence Book Awards presented Rabbit at the Sliding Door: Chloe's Story with Winner in the Gift Book category and Finalist in the Animals/Pets category. Maybe all I'm supposed to do today is show by example that what God has in store for you is waaaaayyyy greater than you can imagine!
Finalist in the 2023 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Contest (Gift Book Category)
Book award #12 for Rabbit at the Sliding Door: Chloe’s Story from Next Generation Indie Book Awards! I am continually both amazed and deeply grateful when another book award announcement arrives in my in-box.
Thank you for allowing me to share this honor with you. Reach for the stars, my friend. Rewards, like this, can happen for you!
Happy Mother's Day!
Trotting by to wish every human and animal mom, or combination of the two (referring to my fellow pet parents), a special day of celebration and remembrance.
Where would we be without our mothers? I owe my love of books to my mom. Every afternoon when I was a little girl, my mom asked me to choose a book from my collection of children’s books and she’d read it to me. I wonder how many of my favorites she had to read more than once!
Finalist in the 2023 Christian Indie Awards
Book award #11! First Place in the 2023 Christian Indie Awards (Gift Book Category.) I haven’t entirely figured out why God keeps blessing me with these awards, other than to say I believe He’s showing me that I’m right on track. Keep going! Keep improving. No matter how hard life can get at times, this is your purpose. You are destined to do great things.
Winner in the 2023 Book Excellence Awards Contest (Gift Book Category)
Book award #10! Winner in the 2023 Book Excellence Awards Contest – Gift Book Category. Are you as shocked as I am? I can’t believe it, and yet I feel validated. During the big gap (twelve years) between book number one and book number two, I worked hard at honing my craft. I attended countless writing and publishing conferences, meetings, and webinars. I read books on the subject, and I wrote…and wrote.
Blessings of Opportunity
I have some exciting news to share with you since my last newsletter. I’ve joined the PNP team and was interviewed by a fellow author about writing animal stories!
PNP is the acronym for Pilots N Paws, a 501 (c)(3) charity that provides free flights to rescue and service animals, as well as injured wildlife. Pilots provide emergency response in natural disasters, flying animals out of harm’s way. All flights are done by volunteer pilots who donate their planes and flight costs to rescues. Many animals saved are flown out of high-kill shelters across the country for a second chance at finding a loving home.
Distinguished Favorite - 2023 Independent Press Award
Rabbit at the Sliding Door: Chloe’s Story has won Distinguished Favorite in the 2023 Independent Press Awards: Animals/Pets category. I can’t believe that I’m hopping back by to let you know about book award number nine! I’m grateful for each award as the recognition can help me support animals all over the world.
Finalist - 2023 Feathered Quill Book Awards
Rabbit at the Sliding Door: Chloe’s Story has won Finalist in the 2023 Feathered Quill Book Awards: Animal-Adult category!
I am overjoyed to receive this eighth book award in Chloe’s honor and to share it with you. I want you to be inspired by each book award, because I hope it proves anything is possible when you take that first hop.
Thanks again for joining me on this journey and supporting my passion to help animals in need.
It's Rabbit Binky Time!
When a rabbit is very happy or excited, it will jump in the air while slightly twisting its body and head. That’s called a “binky”. I can still see Chloe jumping, twisting, and kicking her feet high in the air when she was super happy. She made me smile with glee and even chuckle at her exuberance. Her joy was contagious!
Rabbit at the Sliding Door: Chloe’s Story has won its seventh award! Judges in the 2022 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Contest presented me with awards from three categories: Second Place in Coffee Table & Gift Books and Honorable Mention in Animals/Pets & Holiday! I share my awards with you, because I want to show you that with hard work, perseverance, and faith, anything is possible.
Freedom's Spirit Lives On
I can’t let a year pass without sharing this photo of Freedom in his Santa hat. It warms my heart every time. Not only does it make me smile (because he really didn’t want that floppy red cone with a white pompom on his head), it makes me wish I could hug the thick, winter-hair around his neck and thank him.
If it weren’t for you, Freedom, I wouldn’t have found the courage to write your story. If it weren’t for you, Freedom, I wouldn’t have been given this amazing writing gig that allows me to help animals all over the world. If it weren’t for you, Freedom, I wouldn’t have found my purpose.
Paying it Forward: A Rabbit's Impact on the World
If only a sweet little bunny, named Chloe, could have understood the reason God showed her the way to my sliding door that warm, summer morning. It’s because of her impact on my life that her story is now memorialized in a book, so she can help other abandoned animals and those who’ve had to flee wars, wildfires, and hurricanes.
Bronze Medal in the 2022 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
Believe in you! Believe that no matter what anybody says, your dreams can be achieved. Believe in what your heart is telling you to do. Anything is possible. You must believe it, my friend.
I had no guarantee my dream of publishing Rabbit at the Sliding Door as a hardcover book with color photos would work. This venture would mean high print costs, higher list price, and deep wholesale discounts for third-party vendors, which could leave very little for animal rescue donations.
All I had was my vision and faith. I believed everything would work out. And you know what? That’s all you need.