Puppy gets a taste of freedom . . .

Today at 8:30 I started whining to get Anne to take me for a walk.  She has listened the past couple of mornings and today is no different.  I get my leash on, and as soon as she opens the door, I pull away and run to the front bush.  Then I take off down the sidewalk at full speed which is around 7 miles per hour.  I hear her calling, “Wait, Puppy!” so I do.  She grabs my leash and we both take off running.  We turn the corner and keep going, but I’m slowing down now.  I stop to sniff some gravel next to a light post.  We continue on.  In the distance, I see him, a pug.  He lives at the end of the block and whenever I come near, he starts racing up and down the chain link fence around his back yard.  He’s a real showoff.  Thinks he can run so fast.  I always bark and pull toward him, but Anne always says, “Come on Puppy, good boy.”  Today I had a big surprise.  She let go of my leash!  I ran over there and tried to get him to stop and sniff so we could get acquainted, but he wouldn’t.  He just kept racing back and forth. I raced back and forth for a minute, but got bored.  How are we supposed to be friends if he won’t stop and sniff?  We went on home, but I got to run free today.  It was fantastic!

Two independent authors whose books I enjoyed recently . . .

While surfing around looking for self-published people’s inspiration and ideas, I came across Laura Canetti books.  I liked how she did her Facebook page and thought it would be fun to read her book, If,  and review it, so I did.  Then she did the same for me, and I feel like I made a new friend.

Here is my review:

Title: 5.0 out of 5 stars My grandchildren shouted, “Again, again” when their dad finished reading,

Your 3 to 5 year old will be totally engaged as you read this beautifully illustrated little book. The book asks the question, “If you were a butterfly . . .” and then gives two rhyming options for the child to choose. By the third time my son read it to his children, his 5 year old daughter was supplying the rhyming options and the 3 year old was giving his preference of option. The beaming grandmother enjoyed watching the children have a happy book experience with their dad.

Another book I found is called “Dachshunds in Moccasins” by Nadine Poper.  I found this one when searching for my own book by using the keyword “dachshund”.  The sad little face of the dachshund on the cover looked so much like my own dog, Puppy, that I was compelled to buy the book.  Plus it’s reasonably priced!  Then I reviewed her book too. This may become a habit for me, especially if I can get my ipod to be an ebook reader.  I think this is possible, but don’t know for sure.   Back on topic, here is my review of Nadine’s book:

Title:  5.0 out of 5 stars Appealing Dachshund Touches Your Heart

Within the first two pages of this sweet story, the main character dachshund, Hamchinpolelly, had me rooting for him. The illustrations perfectly depict his sad, little face which tugs on your heartstrings. All dog loving children will enjoy the story, and dachshund lovers in particular will see their own dog in Ham. I’m happily adding this book to my grandchildren’s little library.

I don’t know how much good a review by an unknown customer does, but at least it shows that someone is reading your book!


Ode to the Illustrator, Sonny Heston

When you ask a child what he or she likes best about the picture book you just read the answer will be, “The word choice”, or “The organization,” or perhaps, “The sentence fluency”.  No, we all know what the answer will be, “The pictures.”  Without pictures, a children’s book is a skeleton with a few bones for a plot, a few bones for a description of the characters, and a few bones for the setting.  With illustrations it becomes a totally fleshed out entity with the pictures answering all the questions in the reader’s mind.

See what I mean:  “So life went on, until one morning Puppy was watching TV with Lucy.  It was a news interview with Barracuda, a dog on a Navy Seal team.  Puppy was transfixed.  When the interview was over, Puppy was inspired.”

By now the child is trying to turn the page to see what’s next. But with the picture next to the text, you keep his interest.

Puppy and Lucy watching the Barracuda interview

The best thing about my book, “Puppy, the Navy Seal Dachshund” is the illustrations.  They make my animal characters appealing and entertaining as they make the text understandable to the reader.

Puppy and Roy training

The illustrator contributes the most and gets the least credit.  He draws for the benefit of others more often than his own.  He’s the hero of the picture book world.  With this I salute the illustrator, Sonny Heston..

Please opine on my press release!

I’m not sure about the timing of this, but I’m working on a press release for my picture book, “Puppy, the Navy Seal Dachshund“.  Stepping out of my usual habit of just plunging ahead, I have been researching the topic and found this concise article in the Alliance of Independent Authors which helped me get started.  Thanks so much to Bronwyn Hemus for making it seem doable!  Here is what I’ve come up with and I’m hoping I may get some feedback!

Dachshund Becomes Navy Seal Dog!

Is the headline that Puppy, a beloved pet from Peoria, Arizona hopes to see in his local newspaper. Puppy’s journey is the plot of a whimsical children’s picture book by local author and dog lover, Anne Milstead.

Anne is a retired Tolleson Elementary teacher who spent 19 years reading, teaching, and loving children’s books.  In this book, she hopes children will love her animal characters who are actually her own pets, along with a rabbit who has decided to live in her back yard in spite of the dogs.

There is a lesson to be learned by watching the efforts of an irrepressibly ambitious pet dachshund who dreams big and works hard to reach that dream of becoming an elite Navy Seal dog. Anyone who has ever “gone for it” will be encouraged by the result.

“Puppy, the Navy Seal Dachshund” is available at Authorhouse, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite on-line book seller in soft cover or e-book format.

Anne would love to hear from readers and may be contacted at anne.milstead0@gmail.com.
Blog, http://www.puppytd.wordpress.com

Anyone?  Anyone?

Thanks to K.M. Alexander I Know what to do next!

I have really enjoyed getting in at the start of K.M. Alexander’s release of his new book, “The Stars Were Right”.  When he first announced the book’s publication, it was exciting.  Then he shared his feeling of worry as to how the book would be received.  Today, he is sharing glowing early reviews!  You can’t help but be happy for him with his enthusiasm and optimism.  So, whatever K.M. does, I will too!

I, too, have early reviews of my book “Puppy, the Navy Seal Dachshund” on Amazon.com.

Here are excerpts:

By N Fine on September 28, 2013

Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase

Pet loving children will delight in reading about the efforts of Puppy, a dachshund pet, to join the ranks of elite dogdom by becoming a Navy Seal dog. This is the story of setting a goal, making a plan to attain it, and how it all worked out. It should appeal to school children in the lower grades. They will find in the text words which will enrich their vocabulary.

By Cheatiebo on October 5, 2013

Format: Paperback

I have just finished reading “PUPPY, THE NAVY SEAL DACHSHUND” by Anne Milstead. I received my copy within two days, thank you AMAZON! The personification of Anne’s pets Puppy and Lucy is “story-book creativity and fairy-tale endearment” at its finest. Due to Anne’s brilliant intuition and lengthy tenure in the classroom, she cleverly infuses this delightfully illustrated tale with lessons on avoiding instant gratification, the value of lofty goal setting, and the benefit of creating a habit of industriousness early in life.
Naturally, I’m thrilled with the two reviews and now I know that it’s a good idea to share them on my blog.  Thanks K.M. Alexander!

Would it be pointless?

I’m sure we all feel the same when we hear people like Bill O’Reilly update everyone about the status of his current bestseller.  He may be a great writer along with his partner Martin Dugard, but what he has that very few other authors have is his national exposure.  He gets to advertise his book for free every day to millions of potential readers. 

Has anyone ever tried sending him an email with the title of their book slipped in?  You would have to get his attention by commenting on his book.  What about:

Dear Mr. O’Reilly,

Congratulations on the success with your new book, “Killing Jesus.”  Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  With that in mind, I say, “Everyone should buy your wonderful book!”  Would you care to reciprocate, Bill?  My book is, “Puppy, the Navy Seal Dachshund.”

So what do you think?  He would never read it.  It would just be another waste of time!

Less subtlety and more directness!

This morning I read K.M. Alexander’s announcement about his new book,  “The Stars Were Right”  and I really liked how he showcased the book in an exciting way and encouraged his readers to buy a copy.  He wrote a good book and he’s not timid about asking people to buy it.  I am, however, and it’s silly and actually dishonest.  It’s like, “Here’s a little children’s book I wrote, and oh, here are some teaching activities you might like, and I’m sorry it’s so expensive, but maybe you can just download the ebook.  Well after admiring K.M. Alexander, a professional writer, I now say this:

Announcing a charming book about talking dogs that is sure to please any child, “Puppy, the Navy Seal Dachshund”!  See how Puppy strives for greatness with the aid of his best animal friends and how hard work makes dreams come true.