Audiobook Giveaway!

Okay, so I recently published the audiobook version of A Shot in the Bark, and Audible sent me a few free codes for my personal use. And I thought, I don’t want to give these to my friends, they are the only people I can count on to buy my stuff. And I don’t know any audiobook reviewers (if you do, please let me know!) to send them to.

So that leaves raffling them off.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, click on the cover below to go to, where you can listen to the first five minutes of Jane Boyer’s fantastic narration.


Are you hooked?

I was, the first time I heard Jane’s voice on her audio samples. And you can have more than 7 glorious hours (okay, it’s actually 7 hours and 42 minutes) of Jane bringing Lia, Peter, Bailey, Anna and the rest to life.

If you’d like the chance to win a copy for your very own self, click on the link below to go to Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You’ll get entries for liking my Facebook page and following me on Twitter. You can get extra entries for tweeting once a day.

The contest runs through June 29th.

If all this seems like too much fuss, you can always just surf back over to Audible and shell out 17.95. But what fun would that be?

Aztec Diet: Ooey, Gooey Chocolate

Pounds lost since May 5: 4.6

Last time I wrote about my diet, I talked about how I’d departed from the path of righteous food consumption and was determined to climb back up the slippery slope. I girded my loins and set forth to fight the good fight.

Then my swain dumped me.

It’s for the best, really. Still, it left a hole. I resisted filling that hole for 2 days. I tried to rationalize it away, then I cracked. I got in the car and went out to pick up a 1.5 quart tub of triple chocolate ice cream. On the way to the freezer, I detoured for a package of fudge strip cookies. Then I grabbed a jar of microwave hot fudge for a triple chocolate binge: crunchy, cold and gooey.

I ate nothing but chocolate for the next 24 hours. It made me ill. I knew it was going to make me ill, and I didn’t care. I wanted to be nauseated and bloated, and for the world to leave me alone while I ate my ooey, gooey chocolate.

I could have bought a half-pound of cacao with what I spent on junk chocolate. But I wanted the cheap stuff. Junk chocolate is my friend in low places.

Chocolate works. They’ve proven it with science. Cacao is brain food and mood food. If I’d had some on hand, I might have been able to derail that little escapade. Cocoa would have worked. I was out of that, too.

People under stress revert to old behaviors. Science has proven that, too. It’s in my nature to turn to food for comfort. I enjoy food too much. I enjoy sharing food with the people I love. I can’t be one of those people who consider food only as fuel.

The trick, I think, is to focus more on quality than quantity, and to develop go-to treats that aren’t carb and chemical mother-lodes. Treats that satisfy in low doses. Like the recipe below for raw fudge.

In case you’re wondering, I’m fine now. I went back to the grocery store and this time I have restocked my fridge with better choices. This morning I had a Chocolate Cherry Banacado> Right now I am eating Curried Black Beans, not chocolate.

Raw Chocolate Fudge

    Mix equal portions of cacao powder and coconut oil (you can substitute cocoa powder for the cacao)
    Sweeten to taste with raw honey
    Add walnut or pecan pieces, if desired (walnuts are another brain food)
    Smooth in a flat dish with sides, making a layer that is no more than an inch thick
    Harden in the fridge.
    Store in the fridge and cut off a small piece as needed. It’s very rich!

Note: heating the oil and cocoa or cacao will make for a smoother texture, but will destroy nutrients in the cacao. Cocoa powder has already been heated, so add this step if you like. I prefer not to have another pan to wash.

Free E-book

Dog Park Poster

Well, almost free. I do have a small favor to ask. I’m trying to get the word out about A Shot in the Bark and Drool Baby to the sort of people who would enjoy my books. Which means dog park people. And the best place to find dog park people is at a dog park.

Does your dog park have a community board? Do you have access to a color printer? Would you be willing to print out the fetching flyer above and hang it on your dog park community board?

If you send me a photo of my flyer hanging at your dog park, I will gift you with a copy of A Shot in the Bark. If you’ve already read Shot, I’ll send Drool Baby. And if you’re one of my favoritest people in the world and have read both, I’ll put you on a list to get Maximum Security when it launches in November.

If you don’t have a dog park community board, but know of another public board where dog people congregate, talk to me first.

To get your book:

1. Click on this Dropbox Link and download either of the files. The PDF is the best quality, but it’s 12 MB. The JPG is only 1.2 MB.

2. Print out the flyer. Please print it full sized. It’s designed to fit on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

3. Hang the flyer securely on the community board at your dog park, or other agreed upon location.

4. Take a snapshot of the flyer in place. Be sure to include the background so I can see that it is hanging at a dog park and not a biker bar.

5. Send the photo to me at carolannnewsome AT Tell me where you hung the poster, and which book you want.

6. Bask in the warm glow of my eternal gratitude while reading your new book.

Your Fur Baby Could Be My Cover-Dog

I’ve gotten some nifty submissions for my cover-dog contest. Check out Skyla, an agility dog who has mastered the art of jumping fences

Skyla's Outta Here!

And Sweet Baby, who is a real climber:

Baby Climbing the Fence

Then there’s Tug, exilting through a car window. Which is exactly what my Max used to do. Notice the fetching pink restraint:


I love seeing everyone’s furry children. I also love the different ways in which people are approaching the concept. I had a pretty clear idea what I wanted when I made the original post, April 21. Now I’m looking at this project in an entirely new way. The theme is still Canine Jailbreak, and I still need a good picture of the face, but the type of jailbreak is up to you.

The contest does not end until July 30th, so there’s still time to catch your personal escape artist in the act.

In case you’ve forgotten the rules, here they are:

Caught in the Act Cover-Dog Contest

Is your dog the reincarnation of Houdini? Can he find his way out of tight places? Is no fence safe?

I need a cover dog. And I’m willing to give the finished oil painting portrait of this dog (16″ x 20″ or larger) to whomever supplies me with the photo after I’m done photographing it for the cover. The winner gets the painting, I keep the reproduction rights. The winner and canine will also get an attribution in my book, along with a brief profile.*

The name of the book is Maximum Security. It features my dog Max as an escape artist. Only problem is, I featured Max on the cover of A Shot in the Bark and I can’t use her again. So I need another dog face.

I need a decent photo of a dog squeezing under a fence or other tight place. It must include the dog’s face, from the front or a slight angle. Extra credit for a manic look in the eyes. The more expressive, the better! More points for rescues. You can submit as many photos as you like. You don’t need to be a professional photographer, just be able to capture the face and have it in focus. I’ll post my favorites on this blog. Send your photo to Put “Caught in the Act!” in the subject line.

You must have taken the photo yourself and either own the dog or have the owner’s permission.

I expect to be working on the painting in August or September, so there’s plenty of time to take pictures. As an enticement, I am posting photos of prior covers and other pet portraits so you can see what I do. We’ll say the deadline is July 30, 2013.

*By submitting your photo to this contest, you are giving me permission to post it on this blog. If your photo is selected, you are giving me permission to use it as source material for a painting to be used as a cover on my up-coming book, Maximum Security, and for other commercial purposes.The winner will receive the finished painting and no other compensation. The winner receives bragging rights only, and does not receive any reproduction rights associated with the finished painting.