Werewolf Olympics?

February 21, 2010 at 9:12 am (Teresa D'Amario) (, )

By Teresa D’Amario

Hey everyone.  Yes, as you can see, my brain is totally on the Olympics.  During this time every 2 years (In the summer of course for the summer olympics) my eyes are glued to the television. I so love to watch the competitions, and root for my favorite competitors.  I love to watch the medal counts and pray for the Americans to stomp the competition.  Hey, it’s just me, what can I say?  But tonight while I was watching the olympics, I wondered what the shapeshifters would compete in.  Would they have special sports, or would they compete in what’s already there?

In the summer, I can so see the cheetah shifters beating the pants off all the sprinters, and the dolphin shifters leaving everyone in their wake in the pool.  (Hmm, Maybe that’s why Michael Phelps is so good?)

But what about the winter olympics?  We know some of our wolves are awesome on the snow, able to skate right over the frozen lakes in the north, so would they be good at speed skating?  Short track? Long Track? Or would we have to create a new sport? 

Will the cougar take the broad jump?  Or do we need to create a new sport for our cogar, showing them leaping from mountain to mountain?

What do you think?  Take your favorite shapeshifter and tell me what sport he would be the absolute best at.   I have a special prize for one person who responds.  (yes, the prize is a secret). 

Yes, I really wanna know!

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Review: Kiss of Fate by Deborah Cooke

February 9, 2009 at 5:00 am (General, Larissa Ione, New Releases, Reviews, Teresa D'Amario) (, , , , , , , , )

Haunted by dreams of a lover who takes the form of a mythical dragon, Eileen Grosvenor searches for the truth. She never expects to find a real dragon shape shifter, let alone one who who awakens her passion and ignites memories of her own forgotten past.

Erik Sorensson is focused on leading the Pyr to triumph against the Slayers at all costs, even the sacrifice of his own life. When an ancient relic that can turn the tide of the battle reveals itself again, Erik knows he has to retrieve it from Eileen’s possession. But he’s shocked by an incredible firestorm when he tries to claim the relic — a firestorm that forces him to confront the truth about Eileen’s identity. Her presence touches him in unexpected ways, reminding him of mistakes he’s determined to not make again, and Erik is forced to make a choice…duty or love.

Only by unlocking the secrets of the past can Erik and Eileen fulfill the final prophecy of the Pyr – but can they face their deepest fears and claim their destined love in time to defeat the Slayers?

I read Deborah’s first book with a little skepticism. Dragons? How on earth can dragons be sexy? Prior to this I’d not read any real dragon shifters before. Books with dragons, yes, but not where they shifted to human form. Yet within the pages of Deborah’s books, the impossible becomes real. You can smell the sulphur, feel the beat of their wings, and burn with the sensuality of their love.

So Friday I got my copy of Kiss of Fate, the newest installment of the Dragonfire Series. What an awesome book this was. Original and exciting, this book drags you across the ocean and back again, from one continent to another. The richness of the prose in London is so clear you can almost smell the city streets, visualize the buildings and feel the wood beneath your feet on the historic bridges above the rushing water. The same can be said once you reach back across the waters into America, the contrasts in the two cultures noticeable to one who has seen both.


But more than scenery, is the intensity and danger within these pages. For me, I love a good romance that makes your heart beat in fear, terrified something horrible will go wrong. And when it does, feeling the pain, the fear, and even crying a tear. But also cheering when something goes right, when history doesn’t repeat itself, when our Hero and Heroine manage to do the impossible.

Deborah has done that and more. I found myself turning page after page, determined to make it to the end in time to bring you this review today, rather than waiting till I come back from today’s scheduled trip (I’m off to never never land, errrr, New Mexico). Erik and Eileen prove that love has no bounds, through time, space and distance. Wrongs can be righted and pain can be soothed.

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If you love a good romance, filled with good hot sexual tension that literally sparks of the page, mixed in with danger and intrigue, this is the book for you. Two thumbs up!!! Great job as usual, Deborah!

Now, I have a contest for you. One which is just a little different than most of ours. And, the contest has a story of sorts.

Deborah Cooke and Larissa Ione both have books with one thing in common. They both use MY name in their books. I would like to say I was the reason they used the name, but after reading about my namesakes, that idea gives me shivers. The Scary king. But, just for grins, we’ll say it’s my namesake in each of these books, and I inspired each to such greatness (just kidding!)

So the contest is this:

Send an email with your name to desertpetiri@aol.com,. When you send me your entry, tell me what happens to Teresa (my namesake) in both Kiss of Fate by Deborah Cooke, and Larrissa Ione’s Pleasure Unbound.

We have to do this in email because I certainly don’t want to ruin anyone’s enjoyment of the books in question.

One lucky winner will receive a print copy of Tigress by the Tail. (No sense in me giving you their books, because to win, you have to have already read them!)

And due to the nature of the contest (Having to read two books) I’m going to give you TWO FULL WEEKS to send me your answer! So on Monday, February 23rd I will chose one lucky winner to receive Tigress by the Tail.

Happy reading, if you haven’t read them already!

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Hang out with our fav SSR Authors!

February 4, 2009 at 1:41 pm (Author Interviews, Teresa D'Amario)

That’s right, we are keeping busy in this short month of February! Come hang out with the SSR authors over at Coffee Time Romance.    Not a member of this wonderful forum?  That’s okay, cause registering takes just a moment and you are offered all kinds of topics to discuss, not the least of which is chatting with the SSR Authors!  So come on by, ask us about your favorite of our heros, heroines, or of our books.  Ask us our favorite color if you like (Mine is emerald green, btw).  We can’t wait to see you there!

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Young adult authors writing Young adult literature

January 26, 2009 at 9:29 am (General, Teresa D'Amario) (, , , , )

Recently I’ve had the pleasure to work with a young woman who has decided she wishes to become an author.  And not just any author, but a shifter author.  Her choice? Mermaids. 

It’s been a long time since I read a book about mermaids.  I think Shana Abe was the last.  In Shana’s story, the mermaids were born, not made.  In my young friend’s book, her mermaid was made – a curse laid upon her character as a child.  A quite different and original start to her story.

She has a long way to go, my dear online friend, but the fact she has stepped out on the journey of becoming an author is exciting to me.  A young woman just finding herself, and finding what she likes to do.

The interesting and probably most telling thing about this, is my friend hasn’t read Twilight.  She hasn’t seen the movie.  She hasn’t even read my books (I told her she had to wait another year or two to read mine), so what is it about the paranormal which draws her? Her mother tells me she watches the ghost hunter shows on television, but that’s about all.  Why shapeshifters?  Why a character that isn’t human?

Perhaps it’s the same thing which draws all of us to the paranormal – the edge of the unknown, the animalistic qualities which make us wonder what life would be like if…. the typical author concept:  What If?

When first we spoke, this young woman was just starting to create her characters.  She had a young girl in her head, and knew she wasn’t human, but not yet clear on what she was.  We discussed the different options open to her, and how once she really “Knew” her character, her secrets would then be revealed.

And how they were!  I was very surprised when she messaged me the next day and told me she was a mermaid.  What an exciting new way to go!

For me, it’s thrilling to see someone of her age stepping into the world of writing mermaidand creativity. It shows our genre appeals not just to the adult in us, but to our inner child as well.  I remember myself, when I was younger, playing a game similar to dungeons and dragons, and my character was a shifter.  I even considered writing her story.  Imagine where I would be today if I had stepped down that path at that early age.

Imagine where my young friend can be if she continues along this path for the next ten or twenty years.  In this world were reality can truly be painful, she is stepping into a world of her own creation, a world where she can be anything she desires.

Are there any young and budding authors in your life? If so, tell us a little about them.

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The art of brainstorming – Research? Or Magic?

January 7, 2009 at 9:41 am (Teresa D'Amario)

Hi all.  Sorry to be a little late today with the post, but I was up verrrry late last night, and I thought I’d share with you a little of what made me late.  Every author gets the question “Where do you get your ideas?”  We get the question in almost every interview.  Invairabley I tell people I get ideas from movies, tv, books, things my dogs do, or anything along those lines.  These things are true, but rarely is life so simple.

We write the complicated, each shifter author.  We write about worlds that exist only in our minds.  But those authors who tell you a world comes to them fully formed is… well, I won’t say they’re misleading you, but maybe misleading themselves.  Each detail an author ads to their paranormal world comes from somewhere.  Sometimes we don’t know where it comes from, but it does have an origin.

Last nite I was busy brainstorming for a non-shifter paranormal.  I Don’t want to give too many details, but I thought I’d share the actual process with you.  First, there are two characters in this play.  Real characters.  Me.  And my Friend.  My friend has a knack.  She asks the questions that send my mind spinning into the world of the beyond, into places never before trudged by man, woman or beast.  How she knows what to ask, I have no clue, but she does.

Me:  I’m stuck.  I have a scene I wrote before and it is just anti climatic.

Friend:  Tell me the scene.

Me:  Hero takes initiative to go stop the villain, but when he gets there, the villain isn’t there.  Instead, he finds himself battling villain’s little cult of followers, all human, so it’s an easy battle. I need something better.

Friend:  Maybe you could have another of villain’s people there?  A 2nd in command.

Me:  I tried that, only he turned out to be a wimp.  Guess I could make him stronger.

Friend:  Maybe you could make the 2nd a woman.  Maybe have the woman try to seduce the hero?

Me:  Hmm, Maybe.  Hero is unseduceable though.  It would fall flat…. Oh wait.  Hero is unseduceable but his friend isn’t.  His friend is a ladies man.  He’ll fall for anything in a skirt.  I could have him be the one, and the hero ends up having to save his butt too.  It would lead right into his book. Hey, that would be absolutely awesome!

Friend:  That could work, she could be a sorcerer (Magick is involved in this story).

Me:  No, not a sorcerer, she’s the priestess of the cult.  She’s taking this friend BECAUSE of is virility (sorry you have to be there to understand that), to cast a spell to steal that part of him for the villain, who well, for all intents and purposes is a bit distressed in that area.  This is perfect.  I can see it now, the priestess having him tied up, preparing her destructive spell.  Hero will have to come in at just the right time.

Friend:  That could work.

Me:  Great!  You’ve done it again!  I owe you a bouquet of flowers if this works!  (By now my mind is spinning in full living color, shapes and images no longer blurred.  An entire scene is growing in my mind, begging to escape. )

So the next thing of course is to write, and I was up until three am and am still not finished with the series of scenes required to set this up and carry it through.  It’s alot of work, for just a few moments in time.  I spent the rest of the night going through the ins and outs of the scene, how the hero finds the cult headquarters, how he discovers the new character with his friend, how he has to save him, the friend’s reaction to all this mess, and what this had to do with the overall plot.  I had to download google earth (New computer) to determine the distance from point A to point B in the story.  I had to research the powers of said priestess.  And I had to sleep?? sleep?  Yeah, the sleep of the damned…. dreams invaded by images of magick and danger. LOL.

The thing is, none of this would have worked if I hadn’t made my husband have dinner to another boring National Geographic special on ancient Egypt earlier in the night.  LOL.  He just shakes his head and takes it in stride, then the instant it was over, changed the TV to NCIS.  LOL.   I’ve seen them all.  Not a single one has offered me any new and surprising tidbits for more than a year, yet still I find myself drawn to them, seeing life as it was once, skewing it to my own personal brand of fiction.

As you see, Brainstorming for an author is not the simple act of a word or phrase, and image or an action creating a scene.  Yet at the same time it is.  My friend offered two pieces of advice that guided me to the creation of this scene:  Make the 2nd in command female, and a sorceress. Combined with my previous research and my previous knowledge on the subject, an entire event was created off those two pieces of advice.  Oh, and don’t forget the magic.  The real magic of the author’s mind.

So the real bit of brainstorming isn’t the simple phrases suggested by my friend. It was the back research. The knowledge already sitting in my brain of how the world really worked, how it works for this story, and what affect the actions of the priestess and the hero’s friends will have on the overall concept of the book.  These things work in tangent, creating a beautiful picture to be read and enjoyed by the masses.

So pick up that next shifter book – and when you read the turning point, the one scene that the entire crux of the plot sits upon, think about it.  How did that author do that???

Yes, well, some things still have to remain secret, or everyone would do it, right? It’s magic!

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Shifters on the tube!

November 19, 2008 at 1:16 am (General, Teresa D'Amario) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

By Teresa D’Amario

We all read the books, but who watches them on TV/Movies?  What makes a shifter?  Who was your first hugh_jackman_x_men_001shifter or animalistic hero/heroine you ever saw?  Try to limit your work to the GOOD guys for the purposes of this blog.   After all, I worked hard to build my list!

For most people it’s Wolverine from X-men and I can’t say I blame you. He’s probably one of the hottest and most memorable shifters ever in the history of television and movies.  Who can look into his face, or into his eyes and not see the animalistic power?  Do you feel that little tremore down your spine?  I sure do. While he’s not a true shifter, there’s just something about a man with a body like that, with his hair like that, and those dang BLADES that makes you wonder if perhaps he really IS a shifter in real life.  (BTW, Hugh Jackman is on the tonight show tonite – don’t miss it if you’re a Jackman fan!)

trueblood02Lately a new type of shifter has moved into the spot light.  He’s not quite as dangerous, but I don’t think he’s any less sexy.  He has this vulnerable look about him, despite what we know. He can change into any shape he’s familiar with, but he likes dogs.  Not big dogs either.  But border collies and beagles.  The kinda cute and cuddly type.

His name?  Sam Merlotte, played by Sam Trammel in the HBO Series, True Blood.  Not bad eh?  Charlaine Harris did us paranormal fans proud!

It was here when my mind went into overdrive. I tried to think of any shifter out there in tvland.  Of course there’s Dark Shadows, where both Quentin Collins (who’s hairstyle somewhat resembles that of wolverine!  wow, how did that happen?) and Chris Jennings both transform into werewolves.

The problem with the Dark shadows werewolves were they became evil during their transformation.  In today’s romance and urban fantasy, that’s not usually the case.  Most of our shifters remember their human selves, and while their instincts may threaten to overtake them, they rarely allow such urges to steal their inner selves completely.

Of course we can’t forget Teen Wolf, right?  He was a good guy.  I think this was the first time I could remember a “wolf” shifter being a good guy.  I love that movie – Michael J. Fox was the perfect choice too.  I mean, who didn’t love a cute, funny dude as a werewolf?

But while I was thinking of all these guys who were shifters, I remembered my first WOMAN shifter on television.  I’m thinking this may be the first time I thought of a shifter as a sexy, hot person (She was considered very sexy on the show in question).  This particular shifter, however, didn’t shift using the rules most present day authors assign to their worlds.

She didn’t live the animal instincts after shifting because she didn’t always become an animal.  Sometimes she became aliens, sometimes she became bugs, and sometimes she became birds.  I remember once she became another human.  She didn’t shift only into hot, animalistic and sensual creatures.  She did it all!  But she did have her limitations.  Because she was humanoid by nature, she could only hold her other shapes for an hour (I think it was an hour?)  and then she would be forced back into human shape.  Now that doesn’t sound that scary, unless she’s a small bird captured and put in a bird cage and has to become human!  What if that cage is strong?  She is squished in the process of transformation and can die!

So who is this illustrious shifter?  Her real name is Katherine Schell, but she played Maya on the science fiction tv series – Space, 1999.  This wasn’t a paranormal story – it was science fiction.  Yet Maya did everything our shifters did and more. 🙂  I remember very little about this series, but I shall always remember Maya.  She was the epitome of a strong woman in my mind – able to become who and what she wanted just by picturing it in her head. The series is old, and has less special effects than even Dark Shadows sometimes, but it’s nice to see paranormal and science fiction coming together, even back then.

There are shadows of Maya hidden beneath the surface of one of my supporting characters in Tigress by the Tail too.  One of Lance’s brothers has a wizarding ability of metamorphism, or shapeshifting.  He’s not the same.  I remember when I created him, I didn’t want anyone to think I was stealing Maya and making her a man. LOL

And imagine my surprise when I found a composite video on youtube, that I’ll leave you with (thanks to Companionn for the wonderful video)- The many Transformations of Maya, from Space 1999, my most memorable experience with a shifter from the Boob Tube!

One lucky poster will get a copy of MY first shapeshifter book, SheWolf, finalist in 2008 PRISM awards.  SheWolf is an ebook, so make sure you post your email address to enter.

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Friday the 13th, truth or legend?

June 13, 2008 at 8:03 am (General, Teresa D'Amario) (, , )

By Teresa D’Amario

It’s Friday and you can’t wait for the weekend. You stop your car at a nearby coffee shop and go inside. A ladder is there, you walk around instead of under. You return to your car , careful to not step on any cracks in the sidewalk. You drive to work, extra observant of traffic. There’s a higher ratio of accidents on Friday the 13th, and you don’t want to be another statistic. You park your car and let out a huge sigh of relief. Safe. For now.

Later, In the break area, you collapse into the chair and set your drink on the table. Someone hands you a cookie. It’s their birthday and they want to share. However, in the process, you knock over the salt. Without thinking you immediately toss salt over your shoulder. Why chance ruining your weekend?

Work is over, Thank heaven. Before you know it, you’re standing in your living room, satisfied you’ve survived the Friday the 13th misery. You collapse into your couch knocking your purse to the floor. Damn. You sort through and find it, your heart dropping. The mirror inside is shattered, the shards sparkle sharply in the late afternoon sun. 7 years bad luck! Using extreme care, you remove all the shards from your purse and toss them into the trash.

You head to the bedroom and stop in the doorway, your heart’s thumping with fear. For inside stands a black cat. You can’t escape. He’s in your path now, and you know it’s all over. Friday the 13th will not be denied. A bright light flashes, energy flows through the room tingling over your flesh. The tiny hairs stand on end and your body trembles. When the light dims, you see him. He’s not a tiny black cat anymore, but a black leopard, his green eyes taking you in. Your heart is pounding so hard now you are afraid you’ll black out. Your breath is coming in gasps, yet your lungs don’t seem to be processing the oxygen inside. The chill comes over you, and the room spins.

The last sight you see before darkness settles is the pink of a tongue as the great cat licks his lips.

Friday the 13th. It’s here folks, and I’m just wondering how you’re day is going? Are you nervous? Do you go out of your way to avoid the treacherous day? Is it all in our imaginations? You be the judge.

Our next story is true and starts with a young boy. The boy was excited. Today was the day he’d find out if he made the elite little league team. The one to play for the national championship. He was a good player and was sure he would make it. Riding his bike through the city streets, he hurries toward his next game, a grin of excitement on his face. Beside him, traffic hurries past. It’s rush hour. He nears the railroad tracks at the corner, and as he has the right a way, prepares to cross. A enters the intersection. Thump, Thump. The car’s tires thump over the railroad tracks. Thump. The trailer it tows passes over, bouncing into the air. A strap breaks. The pleasure boat slams into the pavement, crashing into the boy. The bike pins him beneath the boat, and theY slide. Closer and closer they come to the gas pumps of the corner gas station. At long last momentum stops him, inches from the pump. He crawls out from under the boat, grabs his bike, and without a word (in shock) he heads home. Later, in the hospital, it’s discovered this 13 yr old boy has broken 13 bones. And the date? You guessed it. Friday the 13th.

So tell us, how is YOUR Friday the 13th going?

(For more details on Black Leopards, visit http://www.cathouse-fcc.org/blackleopard.html)

Next is a little self advertising. 🙂 I thought I’d use today to introduce my new Book Trailer for Tigress by the Tail, Moon Tarot from Tease Publishing. 🙂 Let me know what you think!

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Let’s talk video.

May 26, 2008 at 4:36 pm (Teresa D'Amario) (, , , )

In today’s world the internet has opened up so much. We can chat with our readers, we can email back and forth and we can do our own advertising, giving the author a chance to reach the people who would find their work interesting and fascinating. 🙂

One of the new mediums that have opened to authors and readers alike are “book trailers”. I think the first one I ever saw was by Christine Feehan, and that opened the door for me to watch. Our own Rebecca York uses them with the expertise of a true artist, even including herself and her husband in one. 🙂 As a new author, I have been excited by this new medium, but find for shifters it offers an unusual challenge.

How does one show the magick of the book in a trailer when part of that magick is the shift?

A true graphic artist can perhaps merge the shifter with the human, but then, I’m not so great at that. 🙂 How important are these videos to you, the reader? Once they have led me to purchase a book I was later disappointed in. Often I find they tell less about the book and more about the person creating them. There are exceptions to the rule. Rebecca’s always seem to tell exactly what you need to enjoy her books. You get what you expect when you crack open the fresh pages and start that read.

So my question to the reader, do book trailers help you? Do you find the ones for shifters are more disappointing than helpful?

I was going to imbed this next video, but apparently for licensing reasons, it cannot be done so, but here’s my favorite “shift” video.

Thriller

And since today is memorial day, just a little reminder.
Some gave None, Some Gave Some, and some, the Bravest of the Brave, gave all. Thank you. While having your cookout, don’t forget to remember those brave in your thoughts and prayer, for without them, the US would not be the great country we are today.


Girly Comments & Graphics

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The Bite – by Teresa D’Amario

May 7, 2008 at 8:00 am (General, Teresa D'Amario) (, , )

In most shapeshifter romances, we read about the hero who must mark his mate, how he must bite her, leaving his mark upon her forever more. The drawing of blood is usually symbolic, offering the gift of life to merge the couple together. In most books it’s only the male who marks, while in others it’s both. The bite is sensuous and romantic, the ultimate dominance by the male, the ultimate submission by the female. Yet remarkably she feels no pain, or maybe only a little.

I gotta tell you folks, getting bit is not fun. No seriously! I got bit by a dog last week. It wasn’t the dog’s fault, and it wasn’t mine, yet still I bear the bruise and fang marks to prove it. I’ve worked with dogs one on one for more than 25 years. I’ve trained German Shepherds and Labs, Corgi’s and Collies. I even once came eye to eye with a very angry canary dog. (I still have nightmares over that one) Yet in all that time I’d never been bitten by anything over the size of 5 lbs. This little lady who’s teeth marks I bear is about 45 pounds. The bruise is bigger than the palm of my hand and the four fang marks mostly are different shades of bruise, with one breaking the skin. And it hurt. Ok, I wasn’t screaming in pain, but I’m sure you get the picture. Now when I was bitten, there was no gushing of blood. In fact, the one mark that went deep enough to matter left the oddest mark ever. It didn’t bleed at all, though it was definitely an open cut. (Hmm, maybe she was werewolf after all?) The bite happened in the blink of an eye, and thanks to my own freeze response (not pulling away when it happened) there was no ripping of flesh.

Now I tell you this, not so you’ll feel sorry for me, but so you’ll understand what is being described in a shifter world “bite”. In some books, the saliva from the male is also a pain reliever of sorts, and instead of feeling pain, she feels sheer pleasure. In some, the pain comes first, then the pleasure. In all bites, there is blood drawn.

This leads me to evaluate how the bite is given during the shifter’s mark of their mate. The fangs must be extra sharp, the power tremendous, and the courage of the female, remarkable. The actual feeling of teeth piercing flesh is a sharp stabbing feeling that quickly dulls to a throb.

After having been bitten (Hmm, I don’t think I’ll be changing into a werewolf/dog any time soon though) I have to say that I may be more clear in the future of how bites feel for the mate receiving said wound.

So my question to you is – do you like or dislike the “marking” that occurs so frequently in shifter books? And if you like it, how do you like to see it accomplished? Open pain, where the heroine gives of her heart for the hero? Pain then seduction, where his saliva is like an aphrodisiac, throwing her into massive levels of excitement? Or a mixture of both?

And just how BIG is this mark anyway? For real! If this little dog could bruise me for up to four inches, surely a shifter’s bite is much larger. Or, is it that the shifter is more careful, ensuring the bite does not bruise by placing it at the exact location? Rather than pinch flesh, he pierces. Rather than bite and release, he olds on, extracting the sensuous and delicious blood. The result would be a smaller injury, where there is little free bleeding, and less bruising. His saliva heals the wound quickly, leaving perhaps the scars? A bruise? What?

And for the record, the dear soul who bit me is doing just fine. We are now the best of buds, and thank heaven her rabies shots are up to date.

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And the Winner is … Monday’s Prize winner

April 28, 2008 at 8:23 am (Contests, Teresa D'Amario) (, , , , )

By Teresa D’Amario

The winner is – Cathy M!  Cathy, please email me and I will be happy to email you your copy of SheWolf!   Congrats on your win!  My email address is Desertpetiri@aol.com

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