Saturday, March 27, 2010

WOW! Almost Perfect has touched a chord!

Almost Perfect's Facebook Fan Page garnered 400 fans in its first two weeks!

I'm so thrilled to report that Almost Perfect's new Facebook Fan Page has garnered more than 400 fans in its first two weeks of life.


That's all I can say. I've mentioned it here and there, but not really pounded the promo, and four HUNDRED people found us and decided our discussion of the way almost perfect pets are treated in this world is worth joining. I don't know about you, but I find that pretty humbling, and definitely worth celebrating! Here's our little, 128-page anthology, published because 11 authors felt they had something worthwhile to say, and now more than 400 people have agreed with us. They're joining in our conversation and -- obviously -- inviting their friends to join in, too!

As an author, this is such a thrill. But as a publisher, it is nothing short of intensely gratifying to know that a project I took a chance on is really beginning to get some traction with folks outside our ring of immediate friends and family. I'm so proud of all my fellow contributors to Almost Perfect for having helped me produce a book that's truly worth reading on every level.

Based on the fact that the new fan page has generated all these new followers but only a few new orders for the book, I can only guess that our current economic malaise continues to affect people's willingness to take a chance on a new book. Sure, they love the topic, but for thirteen hard-earned bucks, will they enjoy the read? With so few discretionary dollars these days, I understand this attitude: You need to really invest your entertainment dollars wisely. So I was thinking about how we could make that decision easier for our new friends, and I came up with an idea:

I KNOW folks want to read our book. But they need to be sure they're getting value for their investment. So, I figure it's time to celebrate our 400+ new friends with a special offer that will leave no doubt about value for our critter-loving readers:

The first 400 people who order a copy of Almost Perfect from our website will automatically receive a FREE copy (completely free, not even extra shipping charges) of Mission: Murder, the first in our new Hattie Farwell Mystery Series. All they have to do is type "Free Mission" in the Comments box on the order screen. How's that for value?

Mission: Murder won a coveted IPPY Silver Medal for Best Regional Fiction, 2009.

Mission: Murder introduces Hattie Farwell, a feisty old broad in picturesque Bucks County, Pennsylvania, who becomes a sleuth by accident when her best friend is killed under suspect circumstances. She solves the case with the aid of her loyal sidekick Wolf, a huge Irish Wolfhound mix, whom she rescued from running wild in the forest that surrounds her home. Think of the setting as our area's answer to Jessica Fletcher's Cabot Cove, and you get the idea. And from there, Hattie and Wolf are off on an adventure that so far spans seven titles with another on the way.
Hattie Farwell and her dog, Wolf

These difficult economic times have been hard on Hattie and Wolf, since tight purse strings have kept many folks from taking a chance on a new series. But we're so certain that they'll fall in love with these endearing characters that we're willing to give these copies away for free, just to get the books into readers' hands. (And don't just take our word for it: Mission: Murder was awarded the coveted IPPY Silver Medal for Best Regional Fiction in 2009! Congratulations to our author Betty Kerr Orlemann for that coup on her first book right out of the block!)

Mission: Murder author Betty Kerr Orlemann wearing her
Silver IPPY Medal for Best Regional Fiction 2009

So if you've been thinking about buying Almost Perfect but have been waiting for the right time, that time has arrived. Get the book you know you want, plus another one we're sure you'll love for yourself or a friend (or both!). Order today, because the offer's good only for the first 400 copies or until April 15, whichever comes first!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

HAPPY UPDATE: Edwina Lives!

Those of you who've been with us a while here at Almost Perfect Pets will remember that back in September, 2009, I posted an angry rant about the cruel person who took a hunting knife to a sweet white-and-gray cat who came to be named Edwina, after the generous benefactor who not only covered her extensive medical treatment but also put up $5,000 as a reward for identifying and catching the perpetrator of this most vile deed.

I doubt anyone will be able to forget the pitiful image of Edwina looking over her shoulder at the camera with wide, scared eyes and that dreadful patch of exposed viscera on her skinny back. I'm not going to re-post it here because it still makes me sick and angry. Instead, I'm posting this wonderful photo of a happier, much healthier Edwina, now named Zeki, by her new adoptive mom, Arden Moore:

As the newly adopted daughter of animal lover/journalist/supporter Arden Moore,
Zeki (formerly Edwina) will never again have to worry about cruel treatment.

Originally rescued by a neighbor, Edwina was fostered by celebrated animal writer Dusty Rainbolt, and slowly nursed back to health through the late months of 2009 and into this year. In November, I had the great good fortune to share a table with Dusty and Arden during a members recognition dinner and keynote address at the Cat Writers Association annual conference in White Plains, New York.

I had just met them and caught snippets of a conversation they were having about the possibility of Arden adopting Edwina through Animal Allies of Texas. I introduced myself as having blogged here about the tortured cat, and was very interested in what they were discussing. Of course, there were many considerations to work out, so it was purely conversation at that point.

But for as recently as I had met these two women, I knew in my heart that if they could work it out, Edwina would have a wonderful new home with someone clearly willing and able to love and care for the injured cat. I was so happy and excited, and asked if I could spread the news here. They asked that I kindly refrain until everything had been worked out to ensure Edwina's health and safety, and I happily obliged.

And so it is with great joy that today I am able to finally tell you about Arden having adopted Edwina and renamed her Zeki, which means "clever and courageous" in Turkish, perfect for this Turkish Van mix survivor. Arden shared the news in the January issue of her wonderful eNewsletter, "Arden Moore Knows Pets." I feel I've given it plenty of time out in cyberland to prevent me stealing any of Arden's thunder (not that she would care, because she's not like that, but I did this out of respect), so I'm sharing the news with you today.

So if you're looking for something to celebrate today, celebrate the triumph of love over hatred, good over evil, caring over destruction. Zeki lives...and happily! Thanks, Dusty. Thanks, Arden. You ladies rock.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Here Comes the Sun...

No, the hydrangeas aren't out yet, but they will be soon...

Hey, everybody -- Happy Spring! I can't remember the last time I was this glad to scoot Winter out the door and fling the door wide open for Spring to come through. Here in eastern Pennsylvania, we enjoyed a solid weekend of sunny skies and temps near 75° -- and Boy Howdy, did I need that! Idgie, Weaver, Winkie and Boo Kitty also enjoyed the reprieve, lying in the open windows for the first time this year. LOVE that sight!

Idgie's never far from my office window when the weather's nice.

It was a long, cold, snowy winter (cue the strains of "Here Comes The Sun") -- still is for plenty of folks -- and I'm so thankful for this gift of golden days so early in the season. We cleaned up the broken branches from the yard, fixed all the places our gutters went askew from the heavy ice load after the blizzards, brought out the patio furniture, grilled our first burgers for dinner, and ended the evening enjoying a fire in our chiminea while birds chirped in the soft, orange glow of dusk. What a renewal for our flagging spirits!

Speaking of spiritual renewal, I'd like to invite you all over to our new Almost Perfect Facebook Fan Page. Less than two weeks ago, I thought it might be fun to put one up and see what would happen. What happened was 370 fans already! How incredibly wonderful to realize how many folks there are out there who believe, as we do, in the importance of calling attention to the misinformation surrounding disabled animals, and the positive power they can have on all our lives if we only let them.

I hope you'll join in the many interesting conversations taking place there. One that I found particularly renewing was the video posted of Zoey, the award-winning whippet.

I leave you with the reminder that it's less than a month-and-a-half until National Disabled Pets Day is celebrated on May 3rd. We're planning a little event, about which we'll share more details as the day draws closer. What are you planning to do to observe/celebrate this great day? Let us know, and we'll share your news here at Almost Perfect Pets.