Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Phil aka Russell

My son with Phil.  Buddies!
Phil literally swept into our lives one Friday afternoon in 2011.  My kids were playing outside and began yelling and screaming.  I investigated and found them dodging a blackbird.  The bird was swooping down on them and flew after them where ever they went.  I'd never seen a wild bird act like this before.  Intrigued, I watched and soon the bird flew onto the roof of my porch.  My son grabbed several slices of bread from our house and began throwing pieces of bread at him, which the bird heartily ate.

This went on for hours!  That night my friends came over with their kids and were amazed and freaked out by the birds behavior.   We all thought the bird was being aggressive.

The following day he greeted us when we left the house.  My father-in-law was the brave one and sat on the porch and within minutes the bird flew down and rested on his shoulder and arm.  We realized then that he wasn't aggressive - he was friendly!

The weekend resulted in the kids enjoying all the attention from the bird.  He rested on their heads and arms.  He was the newly adopted neighborhood pet.

But I had concerns.  He was too friendly for a wild animal.  I feared someone would hurt him, and what would happen when winter blew in?

Monday morning my kids boarded their buses and I watched both buses leave with Phil perched atop my head.  I felt ridiculous.  Phil had been at our house non-stop for four days.  By 9 am Monday morning I'd contacted a zoo who referred me to a local wildlife rescue center.  Surely he could be used for educational purposes, I reasoned.  He was intelligent & friendly.  We had no way to care for him properly.

The animal rescue center was very interested!  They had a crow in rehab and felt he'd be a good cage-mate to help the other bird recover and hopefully they could both be released back into the wild.

I lured Phil into a pet carrier with a little food.  That night, the kids and I drove an hour away and dropped Phil off at the wildlife rescue center.  I was given a case number and could call for updates.  Over the months I've called a few times and was told he was thriving in an outdoor enclosure with the other black bird.  They had plenty of space to fly around.

Yesterday I came across his case number and called for another update.  The nicest man informed me that he and the black bird had been released.  BUT - a week later they received calls of a black bird perching on people's heads.  That's our Phil!  They knew it was Phil and picked him up. 

Phil aka "Russell" as he's known at the wildlife center, will spend the rest of his life there surrounded by their caring and friendly staff.  They will use Russell for educational purposes. 

He's such a friendly bird - I'm happy knowing that no harm came to him and he's around people who appreciate his charming behavior.  That little black bird made a big impact on my family and I'll always remember him fondly.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

My favorite time of the year!  Spring!  The magnolia tree is in full bloom in my front yard and the daffodils are opening up.  The weather is mild and welcoming at a comfortable 70 degrees and the sun is shining!  I certainly can't complain about Mother Nature this time of year.

I have to be productive in the mornings & evenings because the afternoons beckon me outside.  Swings, slides & baseball keep me occupied after dinner. 

With such a marvelous view outside my office window, I'm tempted to take a coffee-break and sit outside but the pages need to be written before I can enjoy the afternoon sunshine.  Enjoy spring!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Hangover" Birthday: Ladies-Night-Out

Friday night had all the elements for the perfect "Hangover" evening - stretch limo, friends, casino, and alcohol.

As my friends filed into my house Friday night - dressed to go out & wearing heels that made my flats look pitiful - my first thought was "What's going on?" followed by, "I need to change!"

After my friends arrived, wine began flowing so I ducked into my room, changed, then was told by my husband & brother that the big surprise would arrive shortly.  No sooner had they mentioned it when a white stretch limo parked in my driveway.  The kids hollered and excitedly piled into the limo while my friends and I grabbed the alcohol and followed them outside.

The evening was getting better & better!

I had a "milestone" birthday last week so my husband & older brother organized the surprise ladies-night-out for me.  Up until six o'clock I thought I was going to the casino with my mom that night - little did I know that seven of my best friends would be accompanying us and we'd be taking a limo.

As we waved farewell to family, we settled into the limo and toasted to an exciting night ahead. The hour long drive to the casino would go quickly, I presumed, with all the laughter, jokes, stories and alcohol flowing in the limo.  But halfway to the casino I started feeling nauseous and thankfully grabbed a plastic bag I stored my "thongs" in (aka flip-flops but my Mom apparently calls them "thongs").

Until that moment, I didn't know limos made me car-sick!!!!  I felt much better afterwards and we had a GREAT time at the casino, but needless to say I sat with the limo driver up front on the way home while my girlfriends laughed & carried on in the back.

We didn't wake up in a hotel room with a tiger in the bathroom, BUT we had a great time.  I owe my girlfriends another night out (minus the limo & car sickness) but it will be a birthday I'll never forget!  And believe me - they won't let me forget it either :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Free Book Promo on my Birthday for Readers

I welcomed another year older this week and had a successful FREE BOOK promo the last 48 hours on Amazon.  I thought it would be fun to give my readers a gift on my birthday.

I'm on the brink of going to the casino to celebrate with family and friends from out-of-town.  But before I leave I wanted to THANK everyone who downloaded Run Like Hell.  I hope you enjoy the book.

With age comes incredible experiences and debuting a novel has been such a journey & rush.  I'm looking forward to what the upcoming year will bring.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kindle KDP Select Program

After much deliberation I've added my digital debut novel, RUN LIKE HELL, to the Amazon KDP Select program.

My sales have more than quadrupled on Amazon vs. B&N so I want to test the waters with the KDP Select program, exclusive to the Kindle store.

If anyone has any information they'd like to share based upon their own experience with KDP Select, I'd love to hear it.

I will be releasing another book this month targeted for March 15th.  I'm currently finishing the final edits and book cover.  Overall, I'm looking forward to having more titles under my belt to share with readers.

All in all, I'm happy with the progress my debut novel has achieved in its first month.  Many people on Twitter have been fantastic in supporting it and marketing it - which I'm very thankful for!!!

Stay tuned mid-month for the first book in my YA Paranormal Romance Series.  I will have an excerpt up shortly as well.  Thanks!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Today's Featured Special

RUN LIKE HELL is the "Today's Featured Special" at World Literary Cafe.  Check out this site and the HOT PINK cover on the left.  Thank you!

"Elena Andrews' Run Like Hell is a spectacular debut.
Suspenseful, with beautifully drawn characters--
this is a wonderful new voice in fiction!"
Heather Graham, New York Times Best-Selling Author