Yearly Archives: 2011

Voula Trip Photography

My good friend from elementary school recently helped me with a photo shoot for my upcoming book. Voula is an awesome photographer and has shot weddings and other special events for years now. She operates out of the Washington DC/Baltimore area, and I recommend her for her professionalism and creativity.

She recently posted some pictures from our photo shoot on her blog at:

I encourage you to take a look at her portfolio at Voula Trip Photography

You’ll also be able to see her picture when my book comes out next month 🙂

DWB Christmas Contest!

Win a library of DWB books–find the picture of the manger on as many DWB authors’ websites as possible, and send the EXACT URLs (of the pages that contain the picture), as well as the holiday greeting found near the picture, to dancingwithbear (at) The contest ends Dec. 22, and the winner will be the person who sends the most correct URLs. If there is a tie, there will be a drawing for the winner.

Here are the URLs for the home pages that contain the pictures. Once you get to each site, you’ll have to search through the pages to find the exact URL:

Corgis Visit K-9 Town!

The Corgi Capers corgis recently paid a visit to K-9 Town to meet with Omar Blue and his canine buddies. You can read all about the corgis’ adventure at O. Warfield’s blog.

O. Warfield is the author of Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA.

Happy Holidays from the Corgis and Dancing With Bear Publishing

Dancing With Bear Publishing is gearing up to launch its online Christmas Party on December 9. Readers are invited to join the DWB Yahoo Group at to stay notified of upcoming promotions and events.

There are also lots of great new books on the DWB site,, or the site for children’s books,

As a teacher, I am always heartened to see that even in our digital age, people still enjoy reading. Consider supporting independent presses this year by giving the gift of books to your loved ones.

Happy Holidays 🙂

The Corgis Star on Cover!

I’ve just received the final draft for the cover of Corgi Capers: Deceit on Dorset Drive! It was designed by Justin James using a picture of Leia and Yoda (my two corgis) posing as Zeph and Sapphie.

Corgi Construction!

Like Sapphie and Zeph (the canine stars of Corgi Capers), my two corgis have opposite personalities. Today’s adventure is a great example of that. It was Yoda’s worst nightmare (cue scary music): PEOPLE were coming to the house!

We had contractors coming to do some upgrades in our kitchen. The kitchen is the corgi’s domain. It’s filled with their toys, beds, and crates, and it’s their favorite spot to spend time. But because of the dust and the noise (and the dangerous tools!), I moved the corgis into their crates, which I kept in the living room until the contractors left. To put the corgis at ease, I gave them each one of their favorite chewy bones to eat while they waited for the contractors to leave.

Leia, like Sapphie, was fearless. She jumped into her crate and went right to work on the bone, ignoring the contractors that bounded up and down the steps all morning.

Yoda, on the other hand, behaved more like Zeph. First he wasn’t sure why his crate was in the living room.
When he finally found it, he ran into his crate not because of the promise of food, but because of the promise of safety. He ignored his rawhide chew, too worried to eat it. He turned himself around in his crate so that his nose was as close as it could be to the side of the room where I was sitting, and if I would simply shift in my seat, Yoda would jump up in alarm.

Before long, the contractors started using crowbars and hammers to deconstruct the counter. Very noisy. Whenever the hammer pounded, Yoda jumped up in his crate, sniffing the air and looking at me for signs of concern. Whenever the hammer pounded, Leia… continued chewing on her bone without worry.

Finally, after about two hours of this, Yoda realized that the contractors were not going to harm anything (except our wallets!), he started eating his chewy treat. By this time, Leia had gobbled down hers, and she spent the rest of the time with her nose faced towards Yoda’s crate, whining every now and again because Yoda had a treat and she didn’t. Like Sapphie, Leia is a feisty one–if she hadn’t been in her crate, she would have followed her usual protocol: charging Yoda until he cowers away in terror, stealing his treat, and eating it while growling menacingly to keep him cowering in the corner. I guess today just worked out well for Yoda after all.

Leia: The Inspiration Behind Princess Sapphie

In Corgi Capers, Princess Sapphie is Courtney’s little puppy. Like Courtney, Princess Sapphie’s personality is a difficult one. Sapphie is capricious and sometimes self-centered, and she doesn’t always think about the consequences of her actions. The inspiration is my little corgi, Leia.

Leia has been a challenge ever since we brought her home. Of our two corgis, Leia was the first to learn words. She quickly learned the word for “pee,” and whenever we would say it, she would pee on command—right on the rug!

Leia is fearless: when she first arrived at our house, she ran all over investigating her new home. She ran up the steps of our townhome—until she realized that though she could run up the stairs, she was still too tiny to get back down! When visitors arrive in our house, she is quick to approach them, and she would probably jump in the car with just about anyone. Leia’s mischievous blend of intelligence and curiosity has gotten her into some sticky situations. She quickly learned to knock over and open plastic bakery containers. She has, in the course of her three years here, eaten a pound of donuts (in one sitting); a half-pound of the donuts we bought to replace the ones she ate (I guess we didn’t learn); and over a dozen chocolate chip cookie (in one sitting while we were sleeping!). Even though her stomach regretted these indulgences the day after, she continually sneaks around checking out what there is to eat while we’re not watching.

Her personality is such that she gets easily excited. When my sister visited, we were sitting on the couch watching TV, and Leia was so excited to have a visitor overnight that she jumped on my sister’s lap and wagged her tail so hard that her whole body wiggled from side to side. She vocalizes her excitement in a mixture of a growl and a howl, which she continued to do while on my sister’s lap. It took her nearly twenty minutes to finally settle down. And it doesn’t stop there. On walks, she gets excited when she sees other dogs. She gets excited when she sees other people. She gets excited at shadows or butterflies or leaves blowing in the breeze. And every time she gets excited, she bites her leash so vigorously that it is now in shreds. And it is not the first leash I have bought her.

Her excitement is not limited to walks. Among her many loves: water. She loves baths. She will sometimes run up to the bathtub and sit on the bathmat, waiting for me to wash her. She loves splashing around: once when a pipe burst in the basement, Leia had a great time splashing around on the saturated carpet. She also loves drinking water, but she does so by plopping her front paw (or paws, depending on how hot it is) into the water… so that when she is done drinking, she leaves little wet pawprints all over the house. She loves chewing on cardboard: an empty shoebox will keep her entertained for hours (as long as we keep an eye on her–otherwise, she’ll eat the cardboard!) She also loves to play with empty bags of dog food. One day when I couldn’t find her, I ran all over the house and even checked the back yard. It turned out that she was hiding–she was sleeping inside the empty bag of dog food!

In the novel Corgi Capers, there is only one person with the power to control the rambunctious Princess Sapphie: Courtney. Courtney’s unique personality gives her the ability to understand Sapphie, and Sapphie behaves for Courtney like she behaves for no one else. It’s the same story with Leia. When we first picked out our corgis, Leia was running around in the pen with her fellow puppies. When I reached down to pet her, she gave me no mind. Instead, she wrestled with her brothers. But when my husband Eric bent down to pet her, she practically leapt into his arms. She’s only ever still when Eric picks her up. At night when she can’t settle down on the couch, she has only to jump onto Eric’s lap, and she’ll curl into a peaceful sleep.

Leia is a sweet and cute dog with a peculiar personality. She’s so endearing that it’s difficult to stay mad at her, especially when she rounds off her ears. I’ve tried to capture all the qualities of her personality in the corgi Princess Sapphie, making her appearance soon in Corgi Capers.




What is this blog?

Recently, my first novel has been accepted for publication. Corgi Capers is a middle-grade mystery novel coming soon from Dancing With Bear publishing.

In the novel, fifth-grader Adam Hollinger works with his two Pembroke Welsh Corgis to discover who is behind a series of local burglaries. Chapters alternate between the perspective of Adam and his friends and family, and the perspective of the corgi puppies. The puppies’ personalities mirror those of Adam and his sister Courtney, a seventh-grader and a constant challenge for Adam.

I’ve gotten some questions about the inspiration for the novel, which is partly based on my own two corgis. Blog posts that follow will feature information about the novel and the inspiration(s) behind the novel. You can look for the novel to be available for purchase starting in January 2012. I hope you enjoy!

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