Monthly Archives: October 2015

Book Tour – Gnomon

Title: Gnomon
Author: Luchia Dertien
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: DSP Publications
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Emile Delaurier is a beautiful militant revolutionary, a living beacon of righteous justice for the world. For Renaire, an artist in a constant battle against the demons in the bottle, it was obsession at first sight. His devotion led to two years of homicidal partnership as Renaire followed Delaurier in his ruthless quest for equality through the death of the corrupt, like a murderous Robin Hood.

Then Delaurier breaks his pattern, leading Renaire into Russia to kill a reporter with no immoral background, and gives no explanation for his actions.

When Interpol contacts Renaire, he already has enough problems―keeping Delaurier alive, dealing with the shift in their relationship, and surviving the broken past that still haunts him. But when he learns what Interpol wants from him, Renaire must face the truth about Delaurier: that a noble man isn’t always a good one. He’s left with a choice no man should ever have to make―to follow his heart or his morals.

Gnomon is available for order at  



Luchia Dertien is a 27-year-old white cis female living in the United States. She desperately wants to be petting a dog right now. Writing genuinely is her passion, which she has been doing since the age of 3. Her first written work is titled “Castle Castle” and is generally considered to be the greatest piece of literature she’s ever produced. In middle school, she wrote a story called “Death By Mud,” which is her second best piece of literature. “Gnomon” is usually ranked somewhere near 13th.

 For More Information

Visit Luchian’s website.



Book Tour – The Drago Tree

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The Drago Tree

All over the world, anywhere of historical interest or natural beauty that lends itself to development, has been given over to tourism. The setting for The Drago Tree, Lanzarote, a Canary Island off the coast of Morocco, is no exception. Tourism is a major theme in the story as protagonist, Ann, struggles to come to terms with the impact of tourism on the island. She sets herself apart, and longs for a place far from thrill seekers.

Often tourism decimates local cultures and environments: traditional land given over to golf courses, rivers and lakes to swimming pools. Farmers cash in and open a restaurant. Local businesspeople and governments sign lucrative property deals. Soon hotels are everywhere, and whatever there was of ‘local’ is subsumed and struggles to survive.

On Lanzarote, tourism has spawned a new wave of colonisation, that of ex-pats, as (mainly) the British seek a place in the sun.  It’s an odd situation, in that Lanzarote’s economy has boomed.  Further, many of the ex-pats feel as strongly as Ann about the island. And as strongly as some notable artists, such as César Manrique,  who developed sites of natural beauty and turned them into works of sculpture. His legacy means there are strong restrictions on all development and much of the island has been preserved in its natural state, or prevented from decay. Forts have become museums. There’s an ever growing and universal sense of civic pride.  Still, Ann doesn’t know all this. Her view is throughout the book staunchly anti-tourist.

As with every story, parts are culled, for no other reason than a lack of fit, or something similar has already been said and to say more would be overdoing it.

Here’s an extract that didn’t make the final draft, but it gives a good indication of the tone of The Drago Tree and Ann’s feelings about tourism.

‘This island, set to become as trodden over as Bali and Benidorm, was for Ann an idyll of igneous rock. Ann, the geologist, ought to know. Tourists only ever see the surface, only what they are told to see, look here, look there, taking it all in with the limited understanding of the pocket-book guide. Here on Lanzarote, humankind can view the earth’s subcutaneous layer smeared upon its skin. It baffled Ann that tourists should want to come here. Perhaps, like her, they hankered to be as far from the pastures back home as the moon.’

The Drago Tree

Haunted by demons past and present, geologist Ann Salter seeks sanctuary on the exotic island of Lanzarote. There she meets charismatic author Richard Parry and indigenous potter Domingo and together they explore the island.

Ann’s encounters with the island’s hidden treasures becomes a journey deep inside herself as she struggles to understand who she was, who she is, and who she wants to be.

Set against a panoramic backdrop of dramatic island landscapes and Spanish colonial history, The Drago Tree is an intriguing tale of betrayal, conquest and love in all its forms.

“This beautifully constructed novel reveals the complexity we invite into our lives when we open our hearts to passion.” Robert Hillman, The Honey Thief

Isobel Blackthorn was born in London and has lived in Spain, Lanzarote, (Canary Islands), and Australia. She’s been a teacher, market trader, project manager and PA to a literary agent. Isobel received her PhD in Social Ecology in 2006. She now lives in rural New South Wales where she follows her passions for social justice, philosophy, current affairs, books and art.

Isobel is the author of a collection of short stories, All Because of You (Ginninderra Press), and the novel, Asylum (Odyssey Books). Her writing has appeared in e-journals in Australia and the US. Her second novel, The Drago Tree, was released by Odyssey books on 1 October 2015.







Book Tour – Wind – Drachengott Book 1


Wind – Drachengott Book 1

by KJ Taylor


GENRE:  Fantasy



Wendland is a land of dragons, and of magic. The mysterious Drachengott grants magic to his worshippers – but is he truly a god? Rutger von Gothendorf is only a simple furrier, but he has become his village’s local eccentric, thanks to his obsession with the murder of his brother by the Drachengott’s servants. He holds onto the vague hope that he will one day have the chance to fight back against them – until one day a mysterious and beautiful woman named Swanhild comes into his life. Rutger is instantly smitten – but Swanhild knows more than she says, and a web of lies and deceit threatens to sour the love beginning to grow between them.

And all the while, the Drachengott waits …




The wind whistled through the darkness, shaking the branches all about and putting a chill into the air. It carried a scent with it, straight to Rutger’s nose. He took it in and immediately tensed.

‘Did you smell that, Horst?’ he hissed, snatching his older brother by the arm.

Horst shook him off. ‘Not now, Rut — we’re in enough trouble without worrying about funny smells.’

‘But it smells like rotting meat!’ Rutger insisted. He paused, ignoring Horst’s impatient look, and breathed in deeply. The smell hit him again — worse, this time. He retched slightly. ‘Can’t you smell it?’

Horst, big and muscular, turned his head in the gloom and sniffed. A moment later, he grimaced. ‘You’re right: something’s dead out there. Come on, let’s move on before we find out what.’

He strode off, Rutger hurrying after him. ‘You don’t think it’s spiders, do you?’

‘Could be,’ Horst said shortly. ‘Keep your eyes open.’

Rutger swallowed and put a hand on the hilt of the long dagger looped through his belt. He had never seen a giant spider before, and he wanted to keep it that way. Silently, he wished he had never asked to come out here into the forest with Horst. But it had all seemed so harmless — just a quick stroll through the forest to check Horst’s mink traps. But then they hadn’t been able to find the last trap, and now they were lost.

I really am the unlucky seventh son, he thought glumly.

If Horst was as worried as his brother, he didn’t show it. He walked slightly ahead, dead mink swinging from his belt. A big old woodaxe hung on his back, brought along for protection. Night was falling now, and the sooner they got out of here the better.

The forest all around was dense and looked threatening, its spiky pine needles sighing in the relentless wind. Night always seemed to come early here. But at least the putrid smell had gone away.

‘How close do you think we are now?’ Rutger asked in a low voice.

Horst shook his head. ‘Not sure — I think there’s a clearing up ahead, though.’

Rutger came to his brother’s side, and the two of them climbed a small rise into the clearing. The instant Rutger left the shelter of the trees, it hit him again: the hideous stench of rotting meat slamming into his nose, so powerfully that his eyes watered. Beside him, Horst had stopped. Rutger heard him swear softly. He looked up, intending to tell his brother that they should go — and then he saw it.

Ahead, in the clearing, a faint light began to glow. It shone on the dark, lumpy shapes which hung from the trees at the far side. Some could have been animal corpses, but the rest . . .

Horst wrenched the axe down off his back. ‘Get behind me, Rut,’ he said sharply. ‘Get out of here. Now.’

‘What—?’ Rutger started to say — but too late.

As the light brightened, two of the hanging shapes dropped to the ground and stepped forward. They wore rough leather tunics with hoods which covered their heads, but on each of their chests was a pair of red gemstones, set into an amulet. They glowed faintly in the light, making a halo over each of the two men, like a pair of glowering eyes.

‘Jüngen!’ Rutger heard himself say.

One of the pair pointed accusingly at them. ‘How dare you enter this sacred grove?’

Horst started to back away, axe raised.

The two Jüngen joined hands, and the light around them intensified as their linked hands rose. An instant later, a great flash blinded Rutger. He cried out as he fell back, but his voice was drowned out by a screeching roar from above.

A pitch-black dragon was hovering over the Jüngen’s heads, its eyes glowing red. Light crackled over its wings, and it roared again.

The Jüngen let go of each other, and the second of the two spoke to the dragon. His words were a short, cold command.

‘Kill them.’





K.J.Taylor was born in Australia in 1986 and plans to stay alive for as long as possible. She went to Radford College and achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at the University of Canberra, where she is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Information Studies.

She published her first work, The Land of Bad Fantasy through Scholastic when she was just 18, and went on to publish The Dark Griffin in Australia and New Zealand five years later. The Griffin’s Flight and The Griffin’s War followed in the same year, and were released in America and Canada in 2011. At the moment, she is working on the third set of books in the series, while publishing the second.

K.J.Taylor’s real first name is Katie, but not many people know what the J stands for. She collects movie soundtracks and keeps pet rats, and isn’t quite as angst-ridden as her books might suggest.

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KJ will be awarding an eCopy of Wind to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a copy of the book – a Rafflecopter giveaway



KJ, Thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you. 

I’m currently 29 years old, and signed my first publishing contract when I was 18 (I didn’t tell the publisher I was just a kid – they had no idea until well after the contract was signed, and boy were they surprised). I live in a yurt with my pet rats and two canaries, and when I’m not writing I have a job as an archivist. I also collect movie soundtracks, and love video games. And I designed every one of my tattoos myself!

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

Sometimes just the fact that I need to get to work on time! But on writing days I get up because I know it’s time to head off and work on another book! I can keep writing all day without taking a break, and I love it.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

I’d like to hang out with a movie director while they were on set, and watch them at work. Movie making has always fascinated me, and seeing it in action would be awesome! I’m not sure which director I’d pick – one of the nicer, more patient ones, probably! Or Tarantino, because he’s just awesome.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

I wanted to write a story where the main character is the mysterious seer – and I also wanted to do something with an old idea I’d had about a dragon the size of a mountaintop. So I put the two of them together. I decided to make the setting Germanic partly because I was taking German classes at the time, and thought it would be a change from the more British kinds of settings I usually go with. The German words used in the series are all real, and I got my tutor to check my grammar for me!

Tell us your writing process

It’s pretty straightforward. I don’t write out a plan beforehand, unlike some; that approach has never worked for me. But I do have the basic shape of the story in my head when I start out. When I’m ready with a new idea I sit down and write it. Sometimes I have to stop partway through because I hit a point where I realise I’m not ready to continue, and when that happens I go off and work on something else until I’m ready to return. With the Drachengott series, I left the fourth and final book unfinished – thinking “oh, I’ll finish it if the series gets picked up”. It was, and I had to hurry back and write the last half of the book ASAP!

Do you have any tips for other authors who want to get the word out about their work? 

These days it’s pretty much mandatory to use social media. I joined Facebook purely because I realised it was the best way to connect with readers – which turned out to be correct – and I got a Twitter account for the same reason. Personal websites are more useful for providing people with links to buy your books, extra material about your series, and things like that. If you can get yourself a spot as a guest at a convention like Supanova, that’s a great way to get your name out there. And you should ask your publisher to have some promotional posters and leaflets made up which you can hand out or leave at libraries, etc.

Finally, it’s a good idea to create an author profile for yourself on Amazon – it makes you and your books a lot easier to find.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was a big reader as a kid (other kids called me “bookworm” all the time), and first started writing short stories and poems when I was in primary school. When I was about thirteen I began trying to write full-length novels, and shortly after that I decided I wanted to get published more than anything else. So I threw myself into it headfirst, and eventually succeeded. It’s been more than ten years since I signed that first contract, but I can still remember how happy and excited I was!

Tell us about your main character:

The protagonist of the first book, Wind, was originally going to be Syn the dragon. But in the end, Rutger von Gothendorf was a better fit. I quickly took a liking to him while I was writing. He’s a young man who works as the village furrier – he traps mink and other animals, tans the hides and makes them into clothes and other things. He’s lived under the threat of dragon attack all his life, and when he was a boy his brother was killed by one, right in front of him. He never got over that and eventually got the local blacksmith to make a sword for him, with a handle made from the dragon’s broken horn.

What made Rutger particularly likeable for me was the fact that other people laugh at him. He has some vague notion of one day using his sword to fight dragons and the Jüngen  who summon them, and he secretly practises with it every day. But everyone else knows about it, and he’s viewed as the local eccentric – a poor dope who thinks he’s a great warrior in the making.

Later on it also interested me to see how his hatred of dragons and Jüngen is actually a tad on the irrational side – he unknowningly tells a dragon that “the only good dragon is a dead dragon”, and is puzzled when she takes offence. In his mind, wiping out an entire species is absolutely fine – even though he knows full-well that the dragons are being controlled by their summoners, and the Drachengott himself. (Note: “Drachengott” is German for “Dragon God”)

What are you working on next?

I’ve already written a fifth Drachengott book, and made a start on a sixth. At this particular moment, however, I’m preparing to get back to work on a new book. Its working title is Roost, and it’s about a couple in love who are forced to become enemies. It promises to be one of the most tragic – and brutal – things I’ve ever written.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I once wrote an entire 150 page novel in four days. Afterwards I was so burned out that I barely recognised my own father. But still – four days!

I also design and sew stuffed toys as a hobby (and make them on commission for other people from time to time). And I have a pretty decent singing voice.

Who are your favorite authors?

Rather unusually for a fantasy author, I don’t actually read a lot of fantasy. My favourite authors include Clive Barker, China Mieville, Brian Masters and William Horwood.

What do you like to do with your free time?

I like going to the movies, and I enjoy long walks and making little craft items. I also like drawing – I draw my characters just for fun, and I draw maps for each new series, partly because it’s very useful to have one handy as a guide while writing, but also because fans want to see it in the book later on!

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.

I currently have a new trilogy called The Rebel Lion, which my agents are looking at. I also plan to write more Drachengott books, and am currently in the process of publishing a series called the Cymrian Saga (the first six books are currently published – the first of them is called The Dark Griffin – and a companion book called Tales of Cymria has just been released). And I have a couple of standalone books currently looking for a place, and a YA series being looked at by publishers. So as you can see I’m pretty busy!

Where can people find you on the web? 

My author page on Facebook –

The official Drachengott page –

My personal website –

My YouTube Channel –

My Twitter handle is @WorldStitcher

Any final thoughts?

Professional writing is a tough business – very tough, sometimes. But it’s worth it. It really is. If you write because you love it, then that should be enough. Never let it be about the fame or the money. Do it for love. That’s why I do it, and it makes me happy. It makes my life worth living.

Book Blast Tour – The Diamond Grenade

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The Diamond Grenade
by Daniel Juliane


GENRE: Literary Fiction



The Diamond Grenade is the story of a family line and a revolution told in five novellas – a complex tale told simply.



Book I: A Father’s Fate

At one point, on the banks of a confluence where two rivers ran together like closing thighs, there was a certain boatman. This boatman, name of Gur, had a fine long pole (not too bendy, not too strong) with which to move his long wide boat upon the water. Gur slept with his pole, lest it go missing. Then one evening while he was ferrying a few paying passengers from one put-in to the next, Gur’s pole got stuck in thick river-bottom mud and muck and he lost his grip and the pole sank out of sight. Cursing, Gur leapt into the water and dove for the pole. Long minutes passed and Gur’s nubile daughter Guri, at the prow of the boat, began to wail. Gur did not come back up. They found him later downstream. This is how the girl Guri became a very young boatman with a shoddy pole.

The thing about Guri is that she knew everybody. All the fares on her boat. They didn’t necessarily know each other all too often, but everybody knew Guri. And somehow she knew everybody back. She just had a mind for it. Who went with whom and how the families fell out. Names. All the names Guri knew. But only one name made her sing: Tuc. Tuc drank and threw dice, but early in their acquaintance he’d made bold to say that Guri would make a good mother. This observation of Tuc’s about Guri had won her over, so she sang his name in the dark. One syllable songs are short, but carry on the water.

Guri’s favorite disgruntlement was that there was no word for girl boatman. It was poling-upriver hard to get more than a grunt out of half her older passengers, because they didn’t see clear to it being right for her to be doing a man’s job. Tuc suggested ‘boatwoman’, but Guri allowed as how that was more the busty mascot off the bow of a ship than a person who poled for a living. Tuc took to riding with Guri quite frequently. Then one night, he brought her a new pole, and it was a good pole.

Not long after the new pole, Tuc convinced Guri to elope with him a ways downriver to a town where he had prospects. When they got there, they traded the boat and pole for two goats. Guri was better with people than with animals, so Tuc tended the herd while she met and memorized every person she could find. Soon she had so much work taken in to do for folks that what with going to the big, clean houses to perform services inbetweentimes, and attending in good turn to the day’s worth of all the waiting piecemeal work filling their modest house, Guri was too busy to make a baby.

Guri got fed up with being too busy to make a baby and made a baby. Tuc split. Guri’s popularity made her fatherless child the ward of the town. Everybody parented him. That’s why he grew up angry. His name was Gur, after his grandfather. Boy did he have a chip on his shoulder about being told what to do. Everybody told him when and where to jump. Only Guri could make him ask how high. Usually his answer would be jump why? The thing about having a whole village full of parents is that they are going to contradict each other and some of them are bound to be weird people.



As in medical school, praxis then practicum: I saw one, did one, taught one… now I do one after the other. One novella after another I mean. And they’re good. I saw novellas while acquiring my Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature/Letters with a minor in Psych at Indiana University in the mid-nineties, I taught and did novellas a few years later while pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Lit. at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and I have done a fancy set of five well here now (as I pursue an AAS in Accounting at a community college, btw). For more about me, check out

Try not to evict me from my little party of self-congratulations about this piece.

A set of five good serial novellas. Hope you find the time to enjoy them.

Please help spread the word.

Find texts through:

The book is free and can be downloaded here:



Daniel will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to five randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win one of five $15 Amazon GCs – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Tour – 10 Bits of Wisdom from the Shoe Shine Guy


About the Book

Title: 10 Bits of Wisdom from the Shoe Shine Guy

Author: John Early

Genre: Spiritual / Inspirational

John Early worked in the corporate world for over 25 years. From the outside looking in, it seemed as though he had it all: the beautiful family, the magnificent home, the nice cars and great vacations, the fabulous income with the big 401k. He had what most would consider the American Dream. This was John’s idea of a dream, and this dream was all about him. Then suddenly, in an instant, like the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, John had an encounter with God that transformed his life forever. John takes the reader through that transformation and the total impact it had on not only his life, but on the lives of those around him, especially those closest to him-his wife and children. He lays out the 10 key bits of wisdom that were instrumental in reconciling and rebuilding those broken relationships. His road on this journey is paved with: Knowing your purpose, Character, Attitude, Goals, Teamwork and Trust, Respect, Courage, Regrets, Reconciliation, and Grace. This book shows all of us, no matter our circumstances or how dark our days may seem, that God is brighter still. Let God start to transform your life.




It was a cold, crisp, sunny day in January—January 12th, 2008, to be exact. I was driving down the road on one of the main highways that run east and west, a few miles north of Detroit, I-696. I had just finished playing about three hours of handball in Clinton Township with some of my handball buddies. This had been my regular Saturday ritual for years. I would get up on Saturday morning and make the 35-mile-or-so journey out to the club where all the guys met, and we would play for hours.

I loved handball. Not just for the exercise, but for the camaraderie and the competition as well. The games could be grueling and fearsome. There were no easy games where we would just lob the ball back and forth for the fun of it. Every game was a battle to the end. We tried to annihilate our opponent and take no prisoners. It was so much fun!

After playing on that particular Saturday, I was spent. I sat around and talked to the guys for a while, about what I can’t remember (usually it was about who had the greatest shots of the day, which were very seldom any of mine), then I showered up, got into my car, and started the drive back home.

Being totally exhausted and relaxed can have a cathartic effect on a person. I was just heading east on this particular highway, I had the cruise-control on, and my thoughts were wandering… How good it felt to be so relaxed after such a hard workout. What a beautiful day it was outside—cold, crisp, a little sunshine. How great it felt to be alive, and then, BAM!!! I started bawling like a little baby. I wasn’t sure what was happening at first; all this emotion was welling up inside of me, and I wasn’t a real emotional kind of guy. And then I felt it and heard it. I felt God’s presence, the Holy Spirit, fill me up, and I heard myself saying out loud, “I am ready Lord, if you will have me.”


Author Bio

J EARLY PROFILE PICJohn moved to Houston, Texas in 1980 at the age of 21. He worked in sales for a manufacturers rep firm selling oil equipment. Sales territory was most of South Texas, driving 4000-5000 miles per month. John had the opportunity to call on customers that were located in remote areas of South Texas as well as the corporate offices of some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world located Houston, Texas.

In 1986 he moved back to Michigan and went to work as a mortgage consultant for a small mortgage company, Tranex Financial and worked there for 13 years. Starting out as a mortgage consultant he moved into training then became an officer of the company and eventually bought the firm. In 1998, he merged Tranex into the Hantz Financial Group.

He worked with Hantz Financial as a Vice President and financial consultant until December of 2010 focusing on marketing and client relationships. His team assisted high net worth clients with their tax planning, estate planning, investment strategies and business owner concerns. Providing advice to clients who needed sophisticated financial planning. While at Hantz Financial the company grew from 100 employees to over 500 and John was able to help build one of the largest practices within the firm.

In April of 2011 he created The Shoe Shine Guys. A mobile shoe shine service that started with an idea, one truck and a handful of clients. He now has three vehicles, a full service cobbler store and hundreds of clients. His company continues to add new clients every month and receive calls at least once a quarter about expanding to other parts of the country.

John attended Saginaw Valley State University. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Janet, for more than 32 years and they have two grown children, a son in law, and a grandson.

A sports enthusiast, John was an avid handball player for over 20 years (new titanium knee and work have sidelined him for a while) and was the Canadian national doubles champion in 1999.













Book Expo Australia – Wrapup

Although we were not able to get to the Book Expo in Sydney this last weekend, we did manage to get a selection of books on the display stand.

We heard the weekend went smashing well, so here’s hoping they can do one in Melbourne next year 🙂

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Fantastical Kitchen Creations :)

So.. Out comes the chef in me with these creations… Enjoy 🙂

First up is my Strawberry, Blueberry and Banana Smoothie.

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Next is homemade raisin bread


For the smoothie recipe, leave a comment

Book Tour – Animals Have Feelings, Too!

Animals Have Feelings Too banner

Title: Animals Have Feelings, Too!: Exploring Emotions From A to Z
Author: Karen Lee Stevens
Publisher: All for Animals
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Filled with humor and whimsical illustrations, this enchanting and educational A to Z guide takes young readers on a journey through the alphabet with a lovable Labrador retriever named Sandy, who shows kids that animals and people share many of the same feelings. From A is for Affectionate to Z is for Zonked, Animals Have Feelings, Too! helps children to understand and express their feelings and to treat animals with kindness and respect.

For More Information

  • Animals Have Feelings, Too!: Exploring Emotions From A to Z is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

Hi Kids,

My name is Sandy and I’m a yellow Labrador retriever. Most of the time, I’m a happy-go-lucky pup, but once in awhile, I feel lonely or grumpy, too. Just like you, I experience lots of different emotions (that’s a BIG word for feelings).

When I’m happy, I wag my tail and let out a soft ruff-ruff-ruff as if to say Let’s play! When I’m annoyed or frightened, I may grumble and growl, meaning Back off, buddy! Stay away!

My feline friend, Willow, likes to remind me that I’m not perfect, but I love her anyhow. And that’s why I’ve asked her to help me introduce you to my very favorite feeling words. I hope you’ll share them with your human family and, of course, your furry and feathered friends!



Animals Have Feelings Too

About the Author

Karen Lee Stevens

Karen Lee Stevens is the founder and president of All for Animals, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a compassionate world for animals and children through humane education and literacy programs that nurture the human-animal bond.

Karen is also an author and a Certified Humane Educator who, for the past 14 years, has given presentations to thousands of elementary school children and has helped them learn how to treat animals with love and respect.

In February, 2013, Karen launched ARF! (Animals + Reading = Fun!), a unique literacy program that gives children from all walks of life an opportunity to improve their reading skills and inspire them to become life-long readers by reading aloud to specially trained therapy dogs.

Her latest children’s picture book is Animals Have Feelings, Too!: Exploring Emotions From A to Z.

For More Information


Karen Lee Stevens - CA Milson

Byline: Karen is the Founder & President of All for Animals, a nonprofit organization in Santa Barbara, California. She is also the author of two books, including Animals Have Feelings, Too!, a children’s picture book that takes young readers on a journey through the alphabet with Sandy, a lovable Labrador retriever, who shows kids that animals and people share many of the same feelings. Learn more about Karen, her books and her organization at

Tell us about you…

My resume would tell you that I’m the founder and president of All for Animals, a nonprofit organization in Santa Barbara, California. It would also tell you that I’m a Certified Humane Education Specialist and the author of two books including Animals Have Feelings, Too!, a children’s picture book.

What my resume wouldn’t tell you is that I am someone who is equally comfortable speaking to an audience of 1,000 people as not speaking for days on end at a silent retreat. I’m energized by the music of Pit Bull and soothed by the sounds of Enigma. I’m someone who will usually remember your dog’s name before I remember your name and I have a long-standing tradition of watching the same five romcoms during the holidays (Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Serendipity, The Holiday, and Return to Me).

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

Well, my cat, Miss Bella, makes it easy to wake up each morning as she uses one of her paws to pull the covers off my head and then proceeds to kiss my ear until I start giggling… better than any alarm clock! As far as inspiration… the knowledge that I get to run own nonprofit organization and make a difference in the lives of animals and children… that’s what inspires me every single day.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

And the winner is… Oprah! I actually had the pleasure of meeting Oprah at her 60th birthday party in Santa Barbara and she was the most gracious (and, might I say, well-dressed) hostess! She came from such humble beginnings and she has made such a beautiful life for herself and for others, especially children. Plus, she has several dogs and any day spent in the company of a canine companion (or three) is a good day!

What’s the story behind your latest book?

How much time do you have?! I’ll attempt to give you the Cliff Notes version: The idea for a children’s book came from my desire to come up with something fun to do for my 50th birthday. I mulled over several ideas including throwing a party, taking a cruise and indulging in spa day (in that order).

While all these ideas sounded enticing, what actually happened was that I was struck by one of those AHA! moments, where a voice in my head said, “You need to write a children’s book. And, by the way, it should be called Animals Have Feelings, Too!” (Seriously, this really happened!) I’d never had such a surreal experience and, thankfully, I listened to my inner voice, because seven months later, my children’s book was “born.”

(Speaking of giving birth… I have a fun video I shot the day I received the proofs to my book… Check out the link below.)

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Since I was a youngster hanging out in a tree house my dad built in our avocado tree, I’ve enjoyed writing short stories. It wasn’t until my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Frye, read one of my stories aloud in class and told all the kids that I would grow up to be a writer, that I began thinking of myself as a writer.

Tell us about your main character:

Sandy is a “real” 10-year-old Labrador retriever, who belongs to my next door neighbors. Most people are more than a little surprised to learn that Sandy isn’t my own dog because they see us together so often. I always joke that Sandy is my “timeshare doggie,” which always elicits a lot of smiles. We have visited every elementary school and children’s organization in our community at least once and Sandy is always a HUGE hit with the children!

What are you working on next?

I’m working on expanding All for Animals, the nonprofit organization I founded 14 years ago. We have an extraordinary read-to-a-dog program called ARF! (Animals + Reading = Fun!), which inspires children to become better readers.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

Hmmm…  Does lifting my left arm over my head count as a special talent? I mention this because I spent the last 18 months suffering from a condition called Adhesive Capsulitis, which is a fancy name for “frozen shoulder.” With the help of a brilliant physical therapist and a newfound mindful meditation practice, I have been able to eliminate about 95% of the pain and regain my strength and range of motion.

Who are your favorite authors?

I’ve always been a fan of popular authors like John Grisham and Elizabeth Gilbert. Most recently, I’ve been reading several “channeled” metaphysical books such as the Seth Material by Jane Roberts and the Abraham books by Jerry and Esther Hicks.

What do you like to do with your free time?

Lucky for me that my work feels like play so you can most often find me writing, giving presentations at schools and libraries and getting together with my volunteers (both two- and four-legged!) for tea or lunch dates. In my truly “free time,” I enjoy reading (no surprise there!), catching up on reruns of Sex and the City (the main character is a writer, after all!), puttering in my garden or just chilling with my cat.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.

I’m in the research phase on a book about mindful meditation for children.

Where can people find you on the web?

Thank you for asking! You can find me on the web at

Any final thoughts?

Yes, it’s a phrase by that wise children’s book character, Dr. Seuss, and one I always use to end my presentations. It goes like this:  “The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”




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