It’s the middle of the Corgi-Versary celebration, and what better way than to add some “Verse”? Here are four limericks introducing the four main characters of the series:
He was afraid of things right and left.
But he put away fear
And perked up his ear
And discovered the cause of the theft.
Whose demeanor left her quite happy.
Her favorite thing was her food,
Her bed, toys, and scarf, too—
Loving everything, she squealed, loud and yappy.
Lived in her secure, text-messaging world.
But a burglar broke in
And stifled her grin,
Leaving her teenage world all awhirl.
Like a detective, he knows where to look.
He’ll solve any crime
With just enough time
To read to Zeph from his new comic book.
Dancing With Bear, the publisher of Corgi Capers, is hosting a Valentine’s Day Giveaway! To enter, visit http://www.dancingwithbearpublishing.com. You can win dinner for two and sweets for your Sweet. (Sorry, but family of authors are not allowed to win.)
Don’t forget about the Corgi Capers giveaway and other opportunities, which are running all month:
From now until the end of the Corgi-Versary Celebration, I’m offering free electronic copies of Corgi Capers: Deceit on Dorset Drive in exchange for an honest book review (I want the good, the bad, and the ugly!).
Please email me to request your copy, and include the name of your blog, Goodreads account, Amazon username, and/or any other location you would post the review.
Thanks for your interest, and happy reading!
Happy Corgi-Versary! As part of the celebration, I’m offering the chance for two readers to name a character in the next book in the series. To enter, take the quiz below, which is based on events in the Corgi Capers series. The two readers earning the highest score will win! In the case of a tie, I will conduct a random drawing of those with the highest score.
Winners will get to name and describe a character from the upcoming Corgi Capers 3. Each winner will also receive an autographed copy of the book when it is released.
The first character is a feline. Many of the ideas from my book come from real-life events I experience with my corgis. But I decided even before I finished Book 2 that Book 3 would feature a cat even though my corgis had never really encountered a cat before. As if fate could read my mind, a cat has recently entered their lives. It began with a blue collar found stuck in the fence of our backyard. Then a cat started showing up in the drainage area behind our house. Now, taking the corgis for a walk means Cat Control. The corgis’ new purpose in life seems to be patrolling the area for signs of two cats—a grey and a calico. The winner of this contest gets to describe and name the feline character in Corgi Capers 3. While we’re talking cats, check out this free short story about the corgis and their discovery of a neighborhood kitty!
The second character is Adam’s friend at the firehouse, where he volunteers. This can be a male or a female but should be close to Adam’s age (anywhere from 8 – 14 years old would be appropriate).
Two winners will get to choose the name and description of a feline or human character that will be featured in the upcoming Corgi Capers 3. Winners will receive an acknowledgement in the book as well as an autographed copy (for US addresses only; International winners will receive an electronic copy). The book is meant for children ages 7 – 12, so final approval of names and descriptions will rest with the author and publisher. Names or descriptions that are incendiary, suggestive, or allude to people or characters of ill repute, or under copyright or other restrictions, or that are likely to create other problems, will be rejected, and winner may choose an alternate name and/or description. Contest is open to entrants 18 years of age and older. Children under 18 wanting to enter the contest must have a parent/guardian enter for them.
Use the link below to answer the 9-question quiz. If you’re stuck, you can find the answers in Corgi Capers (or likely by poking around http://www.CorgiCapers.com!)
Ready to Name the Characters? Take the quiz here, and be sure to enter your email and character names in the last question! Good luck!
To kick off the Corgi-Versary Celebration, I’m offering the first chapters of the novel for free–right here on my blog. I hope you enjoy! If you’d like to read more, check out the links at the end of this post.
A Princess’ Premonition
In the little Pennsylvania town of Stoney Brook, at the end of a rocky road, was a place where the crickets chirped just a little louder. A place where the summer grass smelled just a little sweeter. A place called Pickwick Farm. Pickwick Farm was home to two people, twelve chickens, two goats, three sheep, a horse, and six dogs.
Six corgis, to be exact.
On this cool August morning, one of the dogs, Owl, was already awake. He patrolled the farm faithfully by the side of his favorite Person, Farmer Pickwick.
“We’ve got to make sure the farm is in order,” Farmer Pickwick told Owl. “We’ll have some special visitors today.”
Owl barked twice and twirled around in the dewy grass.
Inside the small farmhouse, four sleeping puppies and their mother heard Owl’s excited barks. They yelped and jumped up all at once. Their warm comforter became a tangle of paws and ears.
Sparkles, their mother, stretched and turned over. “Go back to sleep, puppies,” she yawned.
The largest puppy plopped down next to her, cuddling on the comforter. “Good boy, One,” Sparkles said. One, the first to be born, was the largest and most obedient puppy.
“Three and Four,” Sparkles called. “Back to sleep!”
Four, the smallest of the puppies and the only female, was tugging on one of Three’s tall ears. She wagged her tail and bit down hard. Three yelped and skittered back to the comforter to cuddle next to his brothers. Four’s ears darted back, and she ran in frustrated circles near the stove.
“I want to play, play, play!” she yelped.
But Sparkles and the other puppies ignored Four. Before long she sulked back to the comforter to talk to her favorite brother.
“Three, Three, Three!” she cried.
“Go back to sleep,” Three said.
Three fought drooping eyelids. “Why?”
“I have a feeling about today.”
“What kind of feeling?”
“Like something special’s going to happen. And I dreamed a strange word.”
Three’s eyes popped open. “What word?” he asked, his tail wagging.
“Princess,” Four said. “What does it mean?”
Three wanted very much to discuss Four’s new word, but he had to be quiet: footsteps echoed on the stairs.
“Shhhh,” Sparkles whispered. “Here come our People.”
“I said the word was princess,” Four pouted. “What does it mean? Tell me, tell me, tell me!”
But before Three could answer, Grandma Pickwick appeared at the kitchen door. The puppies ran over to greet her, their tails wagging and their ears pressed happily back against their heads. And in the excitement, even Four forgot all about her strange new word.
~ ONE ~
A Lucky Break
Adam Hollinger was the last boy left at practice. Again. Patrick, Coach Harris’ son, sat next to him in the shade under the bleachers. The two were covered in dust from the field. A clay-red skid mark stained Patrick’s pants from his slide into third. The boys’ Lancaster Reds baseball hats were lined with sweat from the morning’s practice. While Coach Harris spoke on his cell phone, the boys read the newest edition of The Adventures of Logan Zephyr and the Stellar Squadron. This volume was titled Logan and the Sapphire Kingdom.
“Why?” Adam asked.
“It’s where Logan Zephyr finds a space dog.”
“A space dog? Cool!” Adam smiled, looking at the green puppy with three tails and two antennas.
“Wouldn’t it be cool to have a space dog as a pet?” Patrick asked.
“It’d be cool to have any dog,” Adam sighed. “My parents have been promising me a dog for over a year now.”
“Why don’t you get one, then?”
“Dad doesn’t really want one. He’s always busy with his architecture business. Mom says it’s hard for him to be working for himself. He’s always either in his office or meeting with clients. Every time I mention a dog, Dad changes the subject. Besides, my parents don’t think Courtney’s responsible enough.”
Patrick laughed. “I don’t think your sister’s responsible enough, either!”
Patrick had known Adam long enough to see Courtney’s bad attitude worsen since she started middle school.
“I think my mom would like a dog, though,” Adam said. “She had one when she was a kid. If we could only convince Dad…”
“Speaking of your mom,” Patrick said. “Where do you think she is?”
Adam shrugged. “I don’t think she’s ever been on time.”
A tall shadow blocked the sunlight, and the boys looked up to see Coach Harris standing over them. He had finished his phone conversation.
“Well, boys.” He sounded disappointed. “That was Bryce’s mother. I found out why Bryce wasn’t at practice today.”
“What happened, Dad?” Patrick asked.
“Last night Bryce was skateboarding. He fell and broke his wrist. His doctor told him he won’t be able to pitch for the rest of the season.”
“He’s going to miss Autumn League?” Adam asked.
Autumn League was the post-season travel league made up of the best players in each region. The biggest honor for players Adam’s age was to be selected for the all-star team.
Coach Harris sighed.
“He was our secret weapon,” Patrick sighed. “He could strike out anyone!”
“Our games start in just a week,” Adam added. “What’ll we do?”
“The only thing we can do. We’ll find someone else on the team who can pitch.” Coach got a little sparkle in his eye. “While we’re here waiting, let’s give your arm a try, Adam.”
Adam’s ears turned bright red, something they did when he was embarrassed or nervous. “Me? Pitch?” He was an outfielder. He’d always been an outfielder.
“Sure, why not?” Coach insisted. He was halfway to the field, catcher’s mitt already on his hand.
Adam shuffled out from under the bleachers. He pulled on his red cap and gave Patrick his comic book. “I guess I’ll have to finish reading this later.”
“You can borrow it,” said Patrick. “I’d give just about anything — even my limited edition Logan Zephyr comic — to see you try to pitch!”
Want to read more?
I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at Corgi Capers. If you’d like to read more, you can purchase the book at the following locations:
So, there’s this really scary thing… the Big Scary. It glows, and it’s big, and it has these scary shiny things all over it, and it seems like it never goes away!
I don’t understand. It looks like a tree, but it isn’t real, and I certainly can’t pee on it (I’m much too scared to even try). Almost as scary are all the big plastic tubs that emerge when the Big Scary comes. One of them smells like pine cones, and another smells like cinnamon. And they have these frightening jingly things in them. I hate when my Person takes out the boxes. The only thing they’re good for is hiding behind. But they don’t stay out as long as the Big Scary. And when the boxes go away, I have nowhere to hide.
Which is what I do pretty much the whole time my person is decorating the Big Scary.
Even worse is the fact that my sister likes to explore the Big Scary. She’s always nosing around the packages underneath. Often she gets yelled at for knocking round shiny things off the Big Scary. And when she gets yelled at, I’m the one who gets upset. She tells me that one of the packages under the Big Scary smells like bacon treats, but I don’t buy that at all. But since I’m her big brother, I have to watch her and make sure she’s okay… as much as it terrifies me. So I watch her from on top of the stairs. I just keep real quiet, though. That way the Big Scary can’t hear me. My Person tells me I need to relax, but I don’t understand how anyone can be relaxed with a Big Scary decorating their living room!
Last year, the Big Scary eventually went away. But it took a long, long time. Maybe if I keep watching it, I can make it leave. Until then, we’ll all just have to be careful. Seasons Greetings, and I hope you never wake to find a Big Scary in your house.
Editor’s Note: Yoda is the kind-hearted, but hesitant, corgi inspiration behind the character Zeph in the Corgi Capers mystery series.
Note: this post was written in response to Yoda’s post.
My favorite time of year is Christmastime. It’s the end of the year, and my Person gets to stay home for like a week and a half, and I get to follow her around the house, and I get to play almost all the time. It makes me so happy, I feel like a kid at Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!
The best thing about Christmas is the tree. It’s this giant, glowing plaything my Person puts up just for me. She hangs these things at the bottom for me to play with. She calls them “Unbreakable, just for you.” I don’t know why. But when I get excited, I knock them off and push them around with my nose. Then I get to watch as my person digs them out from under the tree and hangs them back up again for me. It’s a fun game!
The other best thing about Christmastime is that my stupid brother is afraid of everything—for a change! He won’t even come near the tree. He watches me from atop the stairs, and it’s great being able to play by myself. Here’s why: one or two of the packages under the tree smell like they have bacon treats in them, and I know I can get them and open them if I just try. The problem is, if I start to nose through the packages too much, or if I start to tear off some of the shiny wrapping paper, my stupid brother howls his “tattletale howl,” and our Person comes running over to take the package away from me. But one day, I tell you, one day I’ll sneak over there and open the package when no one is looking. And then those bacon treats will all be mine!
The other best thing about Christmas is all the people and activity. While my brother prefers to hide out in his crate, I take advantage of all the fun. Here’s a picture of me and my best friend. He put me inside of a bag, and it was the most fun I had that hour!
Here’s a picture of me opening all the presents. I love when people start to rip open packages. I just nose my way right in and tear up some of the paper. There’s nothing so fun!
Here’s a picture of me sitting on my best friend’s legs. That way, if he tries to open up any other packages, I’ll be ready and waiting.
And here’s a picture of my fraidy-dog brother. The People tried to give him a package of cookies wrapped in tissue paper, but he was too scared to rip it open. You can just see the fear in his eyes. A few seconds after the picture was taken, he high-tailed it back up into the kitchen to hide out in his crate. He doesn’t know what he’s missing!
Here’s my favorite picture. My People put two fluffy beds under the tree. They said it was “to encourage Yoda not to be afraid.” But what do they know? Yoda was just as scared as ever. Know what that means? Both beds are mine!
Happy Christmas to you, and I hope your Christmas as exciting as mine, mine, mine! And now, I hear something jingling out there—I’m off!
Editor’s Note: Leia is the capricious, perpetual puppy that inspires the character Sapphie in the Corgi Capers mystery series. Her antics always make for an interesting plot!
The corgis had lots of fun visiting friends and family (canine and human) for Thanksgiving. Here are some of their adventures:
First stop: Pennsylvania!
Leia was okay during the car ride there. She tends to be hyper, so every now and again she would stand up and cry, and wiggle her whole body with excitement. Yoda, as always, just at there being good. When they arrived in Pennsylvania, Buster was very happy to see them.
They were tired from all the playtime with Buster, so the corgis slept most of the way to Maryland late that night:
Her batteries charged just fine that night, however, and she was ready for more corgi capers the next morning. While I went to get something from my car–literally 20 seconds of not watching her–she found a pile of, well–it was brown, sticky, gooey, and stinky! And she rolled in it…
After bath time, the corgis and their canine and human pals went for a very long walk at the park (Yoda is still too afraid to cross over the wooden bridge–he goes all the way around). Then, dinner (the dogs were all very successful at begging). The corgis and their human pals are very thankful for all they have–family, friends, food, freedom… and of course, a warm, safe place to sleep: