The Shepherds of Donaldson Park has a Facebook Page!

Sojourner McConnell, Zach, Molly, Drew, Morgan,  Hans and I, want to invite you to like the new  Shepherds of Donaldson Park  Facebook page.

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There are a few pictures of some of the main characters in this upcoming contemporary novel. With exciting events planned as we travel on this journey to release. This is my first attempt at humor and romance so I am very happy.

I hope you will join me as we prepare for the official cover reveal and character blurbs. Of course,  I will be posting similar events on this blog, but you know, it is Facebook and that will make it more fun, more interactive and just a lot more of a group event.We hope you will like the new page and follow along on this journey.

Today the manuscript went to the editor for a final edit. I am nervous and stoked at the same time. He is going to find my little grammar errors and my little typos that have skated past the proofreading, the beta readers, and my read through.  Those are so embarrassing, but he is very thorough so I know he will find some.

Today is just an emotionally high day! Thank you for sharing it with me.

Meet the crew:

Morgan Payton : Career woman determined to achieve her newly revised list of goals one item at a time.

Drew Anderson: Thoroughbred horse breeder living on the outskirts of Lexington Kentucky. Learning the horse business from the ground up.

Jude: Best friend to both woman and beasts.

Zach: Black Tri Australian Shepherd with an arch nemesis or two.

Molly: Red Tri Australian Shepherd born to lead and born to run, loves ducks.

Hans: 6-month-old German Shepherd  attempting to keep both ears up and his chewing to a minimum.

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Hans

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Funny Moments from the Beta Reading Process

When I started writing this latest book, The Shepherds of Donalds Park, I knew who two of my main characters were going to be.  They were going to be based on my own adorable and hilarious Australian shepherds. That made my job a little easier. I mean I had the prototypes sitting beside me, right?

Happy B and A

You would think so, but the funniest part of having people read the story  has been that the beta readers believe I write using made-up words.  I do not claim to have invented these words, I am blaming my grandmother, Mama Kate. I know I heard her tell me, “Don’t make a cake of yourself.” Yet, every beta readers so far questioned this term. After much Googling with no success, I might add,  I have removed it and decided, this was a make-believe term for acting foolish. Now I just call the silly dog, foolish. Making a cake of herself actually made me laugh more, but I am rather easy to start snickering at odd sayings.

This one phrase made me question some of the more adorable colorful words and phrases my grandmother said. I am now wondering if an A-Ankle is really a rear end.  She always said, “Be careful you are going to fall and bust your a-ankle.”

This makes me wonder if she made them up or if my Great grandmother Mama McConnell, was  in fact, the initiator of these odd terms.  I never saw my 103-year-old great-grandmother as comedic. Well, not as comedic as my grandmother. I want  to defend her little MamaKateisms, yet, in a majority rules frame of mind, I will remove the sayings and replace them with time-honored euphemisms.

Do you know any odd little sayings that Google has never heard of? I obviously will try to sneak them in if my Beta readers will allow. Let me know in comments.

The Shepherds of Donaldson Park Away From Home For the First Time

Friday began a week of loneliness and insecurity. My little book that has been my constant companion since April 1st is spending the week at four beta readers houses. My little secret project with its lively characters and over the top bad girl behavior is now out being read by strangers.curmudgeon

Before this happened a little curmudgeon in my head kept telling me, throw it out, it isn’t funny, You are going to be sorry if you publish this thing. I do not get along with my mental curmudgeon . I find him overly mean and bitter.

I am a funny girl, how dare I have a mean curmudgeon living in my head. Anyway, I digress, The time came for someone other than me to read and evaluate the shepherds and their people.

Off they went in various forms to be judged, weighed, and measured and hopefully laughed at. Hopefully to be found with redeeming qualities. It is hard to let your little book that has been your closely guarded secret out into the world. But nevertheless, off they went. I am a wreck. I want to defend each little mistake, each little confusing bit of dialog, but I put on my big girl pants and wait to hear where I wrote effect instead of affect and that particularly  annoying word “Then” too many times. I know some of my grammar issues, not all. I wish I had a better grasp on grammar, so I didn’t have to rely on another person to tackle it.
Me, I have stories in my head, several stories at a time, with a complete cast of characters. It is a beehive of activity up there. I have beta readers and editors to help me with the details. Out of it all, I hope you find the lovable story of two people and their three shepherds as fun and alive as I find them in my head.

This is a big step for the Shepherds. I packed them up and sent them out, knowing they would come home a better representation of themselves. After all, isn’t that what we all do with our babies at one time or another?

While the Shepherds are away, I will work on their cover. Oh yes, the curmudgeon has something to say about that too.

I sincerely want to thank the four Beta readers for agreeing to put their seal of approval on my precious story. I hope they will come back with lots of little tips on making it a better product. I am truly excited to be this close to publication.

By the way, anyone that made it down to this point, let me tell you I have another super secret project in the works.shh…  It is totally different and I have an illustrator working with me. Guesses are accepted and appreciated. Thanks for reading all of my posts and let me know you saw this final announcement. This project will take me through Christmas and is very dear to my heart. I can’t wait to tell more about it.  I started the newest project Wednesday. Super excited to be writing.