Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

7/31/17, Two weeks “off”?

Posted on July 31, 2017

Hi Everyone,

I apologize for not writing to you for the last two weeks. I don’t know if they qualify as “off”. The time has flown. It has actually been an insanely busy couple of months, and especially for the last two weeks. I barely got a minute to sit down, and answer a letter or write a blog, or keep up with returning phone calls. Five of my children visited me for 10 days, and we went away for 6 days of it, as we do every year. I had a lot of things to do in my house, I had a re-write to do on a book, I decided to weed some things out in my house and sold some furniture, and with one thing and another, I haven’t stopped for two weeks. The vacation with my children was really lovely, and I’m always grateful for the time we spend together. The time just whizzed by, and 6 days for a vacation just isn’t very long. By the time you get settled, wherever you go, it’s time to pack up and leave. They left a week ago, and I haven’t stopped since!!! I’m going to be seeing them again in August.

I also went to New York and saw 3 of my daughters there, and met up with friends from Paris, who had three of their children with them. We’ve had some good times and good meals out together. Now tomorrow it’s back to real life, and I have another re-write to do. I do many, many re writes before a book finally gets published. It takes a couple of years from when I write a book until it gets into your hands.

One nice thing happened this summer, aside from seeing my children which I always love—my three little dogs have finally gotten used to each other, and seem happy together now. It was a hard adjustment, the third dog really upset the apple cart, and REALLY upset one of my other dogs—but she’s grown up and is less of a puppy now, and the three are finally friends. It took nine months—-and when I added the second dog four years ago, it took six months for them to adapt and bond. But we are finally getting there now.

So it’s back to the grind for me now, time to get back to work. The vacation is over. Thank you for your patience!!! I’ll be hunkering down with the typewriter tonight and for the next several weeks!!!

lots of love, Danielle

8/1/16, Puppy Love

Posted on August 1, 2016

Hi Everyone,

At midpoint in the summer, I hope it is turning out the way you want it to. Mine has been a little up and down, with some sad moments (when my ex husband died in June), and some happy ones (a week’s vacation with my kids), real life is what it is, always a mix of good and bad, with hopefully more good in the mix. But on the whole, it’s been a good summer so far, although I’ve done a huge amount of work and have only taken a week off so far. But my kids are busy now, so I limit my vacations to time with them.

We made it through the shock and sadness of another terrorist attack, in Nice. France is badly shaken by the attacks, the high toll it has taken, and the sorrow it causes, and touches so many. And the unpredictability and brutality of the attacks. The most recent one being only last week, the murder of an 86 year old priest outside Paris. This is a sad time for France, with no easy solutions at hand. I left Paris the day after the last attack, and on the first day of a major airline strike in France. I didnt think our flight would get out, but it did after a three and a half hour delay, more than half the crew didnt show up, so they had to cancel passengers, and they only provided limited food for the remaining passengers on an eight hour flight. The joys of modern travel. The whole trip took 15 hours, and was exhausting. But I’m back on American turf, and looking forward to seeing my kids again for a long weekend in two weeks. And in the meantime, I’ll be working.

BUT….I am up to mischief, or thinking about it. Uh oh. Never trust a woman with 9 children (who also loves dogs!!) I’ve been flirting with the idea of getting another puppy for the last six months. It’s working wonderfully with the two tiny teacup Chihuahuas I have, Minnie and Blue. Minnie is the love of my life, a total princess who loves to ride around cradled in one arm, she even sleeps there, her long fluffy white hair draped around her. Her sidekick is ‘Baby Blue”, a total juvenile delinquent, charcoal blue gray with a mischievous little face, she gets into everything. On good days and bad, they bring me unlimited joy. I travel a lot, to my home in Paris, to three cities in the US to see my kids, I live in a suitcase, and the two dogs come along in their travel bags, which was why I got such small dogs. I have four older, bigger dogs in California, who are good companions, but too large and too old to travel. And I have travelling with Minnie and Blue down to a science, I put on their (shocking pink) sweaters, they hop into their travel bags, and off we go. Simple, right? So why mess with success? They sleep the whole way on a flight and never make a peep, and have toys, blankets and food in their bags. But lately, I’ve been longing to add a third one to the group. I wasn’t sure I could, but with such small dogs, the airline would allow it, and I am sooooo tempted. Puppy fever. Like with babies, you forget what a pain in the neck it will be when they’re puppies, and only think of the joys of a puppy. I just found out that the airline would allow it, and now I am wrestling with the idea. On the plus side, with grown kids, living alone, they are such good company. But Minnie would be mad at me for a while, I think Blue would enjoy a mischievous partner in crime. A puppy would be a lot of work, but I am so tempted…..I just helped a friend get an adorable rescue Chihuahua who is sooooo cute……If sanity prevails, I’ll keep it to the two I have, but I don’t know…..I have a feeling I may not be able to resist if the right puppy crosses my path. It has to be love at first sight, and was with these two….Stay tuned. Am I crazy or just love dogs, and need a shot of joy in my life? Don’t answer that question!! Probably crazy to want another dog. My kids all say no, don’t be ridiculous. But ridiculous has a certain appeal to it, and they say no when I want to buy a new fun purse too, so what the hell. And a new puppy is nothing compared to some of the things they do….so we’ll see…..I’m thinking about it.

In the meantime, I hope the world stays peaceful for a few weeks, and no new earth shattering events occur. I hope you continue to have a great summer, and get some time off to relax and have fun. 

And as always, I send you much love, Danielle

P.S. My great niece whom I told you about, who was so severely injured in the airport attack in Brussels 4 months ago, was an avid rider before the attack (and will be again!!). She’s still in the hospital, and they brought her horse to visit her a few weeks ago, they got her up on the horse for a few minutes, holding her, and she was beaming. She still has a way to go, but she is going to enter the Paralympics when she’s better. She is an amazing, AMAZING young woman!!! An inspiration to us all!!!! I cried when I saw the pictures of her, beaming on her horse. That’s really good news and I wanted to share it with you!!!

love, D.

4/25/16, “Pretty Minnie in Hollywood” & “The Apartment”

Posted on April 25, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone is fine and doing well. I have Book News for you today—–two new books!!!! Both are coming out next Tuesday, on May 3rd.

I have a new hardcover coming out, “The Apartment”, about four young women who meet each other when they become room mates, sharing an apartment in Hell’s Kitchen in New York. Many, many years ago, Hell’s Kitchen was one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in New York, home to several conflicting gangs who clashed regularly. It was an area no one respectable wanted to live in, or even walk through, on the West Side of New York, and deserving of its name. Today, all those once bad neighbourhoods, Hell’s Kitchen, the Bowery, parts of the lower East Side, have become gentrified, even fashionable, rents and sale prices have skyrocketed and they are highly desirable. Today, Hell’s Kitchen is an interesting mix of renovated old buildings, some of which were warehouses, and some beautiful newer buildings. It’s near the theater district, ballet schools, and some of the more creative areas in New York. So the apartment in the book is there, there is even a terrific produce market and flea market there on the weekends to add local color. The four young women in the book meet when they get together to share the apartment, and most of them didn’t know each other before. One is a young writer/playwright, involved with a much older Off Off Broadway theatrical producer, who is clearly taking advantage of her naiveté and her talent, and she is foolishly and madly in love with him. She grew up in LA, and is the daughter of successful TV producers. The other room-mate is a young shoe designer from San Francisco, with lots of talent and ambition and a horrible boss in a shoe company going nowhere. Her mother scrimped and saved to put her through design school, the young designer has very little money, and needs to share the apartment, a loft in an old building. The third room mate has a very successful job in the financial world, and a very dashing, handsome boss. And the fourth room mate is a Resident/medical student, who has no time for anything except her shifts at the hospital, and she has an identical twin who is a very successful and daring top model, with a slew of bad, dangerous boyfriends. The mischievous twin loves to show up with her own key, and fool the other room mates, as to which twin she is, often masquerading as her medical student sister. One twin naughty and one nice, which adds some spice to the group in the apartment. The room mate who works on Wall Street has a really great boyfriend who owns a restaurant in the neighbourhood, and keeps them well fed, and they host a family style dinner at the apartment every Sunday night for their friends. The book is really about the relationships that form among friends once they leave home and set out on their adult lives and careers. The four women are in their twenties and early thirties. All are from other cities. The young woman in finance grew up in Boston in a fairly broken family (her brother also moved to New York and works in PR). And the medical student/Resident moved to New York from Atlanta (Her parents hate each other after a bad divorce, and her father is remarried to a very young woman). The book is about the room mates’ hopes, dreams, and lives in New York, and who they become as they grow up, in the same apartment, and become good friends. It talks also about their families at home, and how their families affected them growing up, as is the case for all of us. Our original families leave their mark on us, both good and bad. The book is exciting and fun, warm and real as they face victories and disappointments, and some shocks as they learn more about the men they date, the people they meet, and those in their immediate circle, and at their jobs. It is a time in life which is important and forms us all as we become independent and grow up, often far from our original homes. I really hope you love the book, and reading about the four women in it and all that happens to them.

The other book coming out on May Third is my second ‘Pretty Minnie’ book, an illustrated children’s book, inspired by my white long haired teacup Chihuahua Minnie. The illustrations are just adorable, by a talented illustrator, Kristi Valiant. This second Minnie book is “Pretty Minnie in Hollywood”. Minnie lives in Paris, goes to Hollywood, and stars in a movie. She gets to wear lots of pretty clothes, stay at a fancy hotel, and wear a sparkly gold dress in the movie. Little girls will love this book and Minnie’s adventures. I LOVE writing children’s books. This is a huge splash of happiness, and fun, watching Minnie on all her adventures, in her adorable clothes. Lots of glitter, and the cutest illustrations ever. If you have a little girl in your life, she will love it—-I even give the Minnie books to my grown up friends who love clothes or dogs or know my Minnie. I really hope you love it!!!

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

So I hope you enjoy my new books as much as I did writing them. I am thrilled to share them with you.

Lots and lots of love, Danielle

theApartment

Preorder: http://bit.ly/1XqGf0x

Pretty Minnie in Hollywood

Preorder: http://bit.ly/1Sc1fdm

Filed Under Dogs, Fashion, Friends | 6 Comments

10/20/14, TWO Exciting New Books!!!

Posted on October 20, 2014

Hi Everyone!!!

I just wanted to share with you that I have TWO new books coming out on October 28. A hardcover novel called “Pegasus”, which begins in World War II, covers three generations of 2 families who are close friends, the book takes place both in America and Europe, and it has lots of exciting things in it. Among them, there are some very interesting things about Ringling Brothers Circus, and life in the circus during the war years. It’s a big meaty book with lots of great stuff and characters in it. I love the book and hope you do too. And one of the elements of the book is about Lippizaner horses, the incredibly beautiful white horses that are used as show horses, who do elegant and amazing acrobatics. I REALLY REALLY hope you love the book!!!

And the second book is a children’s book called “Pretty Minnie in Paris”, for children about 4 to 8 years old. It was inspired by my tiny little white long haired tea cup Chihuahua Minnie (she weighs just over 2 pounds!!), and in the book Minnie lives in Paris, belongs to a little girl named Francoise, and both Francoise and Minnie love to wear pretty clothes. It’s about Minnie’s adventures in Paris….and there will be a sequel to the book a year from now. I am sooo excited about this book too, it is unbelievably cute, the illustrations by Kristi Valiant are gorgeous, and there is lots of pink and purple glitter in the book!!!! If there are any little girls in your life, they will LOVE it!!!

I hope you have a chance to enjoy both of these books.

Lots and LOTS of love, danielle

Filed Under Books, Dogs | 8 Comments

8/4/14, Pretty Minnie: Heads Up

Posted on August 4, 2014

Hi Everyone,

So have you read my new hardcover yet, that came out last week, “A Perfect Life”? Sorry, I don’t mean to push. I just love the book and hope you do too. I hope you get to read it on vacation, or on the way to work, or tucked into bed at night.

Actually, I was writing to give you a heads up about a children’s book I have coming out in October. It’s called “Pretty Minnie in Paris”, and it’s ADORRRABLE!!! I am in love with it!!! It’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen for little girls, about a little girl named Francoise in Paris and her tiny white long haired Chihuahua—-Minnie of course!!! They love clothes and cute shoes, and Minnie has lots of outfits, and loves to match Francoise (in matching tutus, snowsuits and party dresses). It’s illustrated and the illustrator, Kristy Valliant, did a fantastic job, capturing my real Minnie, and turning her into a storybook character everyone will fall in love with (Kristy came to visit in Paris to do drawings and take photographs and videos of the real Minnie, and captured her perfectly!!).  If you have any little girls in your life, it will make a fantastic gift (for all the little girls I know too) with lots of drawings of Paris, and Minnie in her adorable outfits. She gets lost at a fashion show in the book, and I’ll let you read the rest. It won’t be out til October, but I couldn’t resist telling you about it now. I am thrilled to have been part of the creation of the book, and my own little Minnie is of course thrilled to be the star of a children’s book. It’s full of pink and purple glitter and everything little girls love (and me too!).    I have a regular grown up novel coming out in October too, “Pegasus”, it’s a historical novel which begins in World War II. I think it’s one of my best books, a family saga of two families…..but “Pretty Minnie in Paris” will steal your heart. I hope you’re finding down time to relax and read this summer. At the moment, between writing books, I’m plunged into a novel by one of my favorite authors, it’s a cozy read and takes place in Ireland. It’s nice to relax for a change.

Take care,

love, danielle

Filed Under Books, Dogs | 7 Comments

3/17/14, Cinderella After the Ball.

Posted on March 17, 2014

Hi Everyone

First of all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you who are of Irish descent. In the international mix of my ancestry (Portuguese, Spanish, German, French), I can’t make any claim to Irish, so it’s not my holiday. I think there was an English great grandfather somewhere on my mother’s side, but that’s about it. It’s always such a festive day, so if you’re Irish, or want to celebrate with them, have a Great Day!!!

Other than that, life is getting back to normal after the glamour of fashion week in Paris, and the real excitement of being decorated with the Legion of Honor. Now I get to wear the little red ribbon on my clothes that identifies me as a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honor (and a miniature of the medal for special events). It’s a big distinction in France, and I’m wearing the red ribbon with much pride. But then after the honor, and the ceremony, and the fashion shows, you go back to real life. Someone has to take out the garbage, sometimes me, feed the dogs, go to the dry cleaner, and do all the mundane stuff we all do. I had a lot of work to do this week, taxes are due, money is tight, kids have problems, dogs get sick. Two of our family’s dogs had surgery this week, which worried me. And I had to grind through all the stuff that wears you out, worries you, and is a LOT less fun than being decorated, and watching a fashion show by Chanel or Dior. Welcome to real life!!! It can’t be a party every day, and I’m lucky that it’s fun some of the time. Getting the Legion of Honor really thrilled me, and it’s a once in a lifetime event!!! I will cherish the memory of it forever, and loved sharing it with my children who were here.

I had a classic French experience this week. I pay my phone and internet bills by automatic transfer from my bank, which is easier than writing one more check every month. And lo and behold, I discovered that six months ago, the phone company and my bank got in an ‘argument’, a disagreement over procedures, so my bank stopped making the transfers, but never told me. The phone company wasn’t getting paid, and didn’t tell me. And yesterday I had one of those nightmare days where modern communication was vital: I had to do some things with my bank in California, had some important business to do with my agent, one of my children needed advice, another was travelling, I was emailing and calling people in several countries, doing business, and needed phone and Internet vitally. And guess what? All my phone and internet services went dead. Just like that, one minute a string of emails, and the next, a total black out. What happened??? I couldn’t figure it out, except a notice on my screen said I hadn’t paid my bill. Impossible!! Well not so impossible. I called the bank, who blamed the phone company for not complying with their ‘norms’ so they stopped paying them. I called the phone company who told me to get another bank. And guess who got squeezed in the middle with no phone or Internet service on a day I REALLY needed it??? Me, of course. What a crazy, ridiculous situation. So I paid my bill by credit card on the phone, and they promised that sometime 2 days later, I would get service back. Oh Great. And 2 days with no communication at all, and my whole life was conducted by cell phone. How crazy is that? While the phone company and my bank were throwing rocks at each other, I got bonked on the head and stunned into silence. It made for a VERY annoying day!!!! And I was really mad. Other than that misadventure, I love France, and Paris. The weather has been gorgeous and spring like and makes one dream.

So it’s back to real life for me. I may be a Knight now, but the phone company wasn’t impressed. My dogs aren’t impressed, I have to feed them now, and take out the garbage….and do some work….then I’ll do the dishes…..some laundry….I feel just like Cinderella after the ball!!!

love, Danielle

 

12/16/13, True Confessions, or Blue Confessions

Posted on December 16, 2013

Hi Everyone,

Okay. I have a confession to make. And if you’re expecting something juicy and sexy, you’ll be disappointed. I indulged myself shockingly about 2 months ago, and it has taken me 2 months to confess it. But now, here I go.

Two years ago now, before Thanksgiving, I was looking to find a dog to travel with me. I had been looking for months, and needed a very small dog that I could take on and off planes, in a travel bag in the cabin.Minnie And eventually, after months of searching, true love happened. I fell in love with a TINY (less than one pound) white long haired Chihuahua that was the cutest thing I have ever seen. As an aside, I find that once adult, or perhaps as young adults, children take a hard line with their parents. My children’s mantra is “You don’t need that!” Oh. Whatever it may be. Another purse in a weird color, another pair of high heeled black shoes (a woman can never have too many pairs of black shoes, particularly high heels), some piece of furniture I decide I want….or even a person I want in my life, as friend, employee, or other. In their opinion, a parent is a loving service bureau, with a crisis hot line 24/7. We don’t really need a social life, even less a man if we’re single, besides that would only interfere with our availability. We need to be poised at the ready at all times, and anything you do that could distract from that poses a threat to them. So forget boyfriends, high heels, a silly dress you want desperately, friends in some cases, and other distractions. You are to be standing ready to leap, fully focused at all times. In the case of the adorable white chihuahua I fell in love with, only one daughter (of all my kids, and I have many) was supportive of my getting her. The others were all outraged. What do you need a dog for? The idea that a parent might be lonely, sad, need company, or need even a doggie pal to talk to after the kids grow up and leave is totally foreign to them. It’s not mean-spirited, I suspect, it just never occurs to them that you might be lonely or have needs too, other than just being a parent. MinnieIn any case, I bravely ignored their stern critical comments and disapproval, was grateful for the support of the one daughter, and fell totally in love with Minnie Mouse, my adorable white Chihuahua, who is now 2 years old, one of the great dog loves of my life, terrific company and super affectionate, and weighs 2 pounds full grown. She is totally pampered and loved, (has a ridiculous wardrobe of tiny pink sweaters) and makes me happy. She has kept me company on many a long, lonely night, and travels everywhere with me. (you can read all about her and my other dogs over the years in my current little gift book “Pure Joy”, which came out last month, and is a fun gift for any dog lover. I love that little book and am very proud of it. And it has 40 photos in it, of my dogs and my kids’ dogs, and some dogs I have given to friends).

Fast forward the film 2 years to this past October, almost exactly 2 years after I found Minnie in a pet shop in NY. I was doing an errand for one of my daughters, and on a whim, “for old times’ sake”, I stopped in at the same pet store, “just to look”. “Just to look” at anything usually turns out to be a lie. Somewhere in my heart of hearts, there must have been a tiny window open, just big enough for a new puppy. Oh oh. Big Uh oh!!! I’d been back to that pet store before, for supplies, and saw the usual cute puppies, none of whom snagged my heart. But they know me at that store, and just as they did with Minnie, two years before, they came out of the back room carrying a 14 oz., eight week old short haired “Blue” Chihuahua (a kind of steely blue gray, a very rare color). She was ridiculously small, and once again looked like a mouse. I held her for a few minutes, and whereas Minnie had been timid and shy, this puppy was adventuresome and brave and funny, and fearless once we set her down. And I started falling in love, while telling myself I didn’t need another dog, and that managing two dogs on my travels might be too much. I tried hard to cling to reason (with little success). I mentioned her to my children that night, who were unanimous this time. The consensus was that I was nuts, don’t even think about it. I got NO family support about the new puppy. None. I was told to forget it. And honestly, I tried. For three days the little blue gray chihuahua puppy haunted me, and not only did I have my children’s disapproval to deal with, but my guilt toward Minnie, who had become the princess in my life. How would she feel about it? I did the only possible thing, I lied to everyone, including Minnie. I went back and saw the puppy again before I left New York, with one of my daughters who was adamant. You don’t need her. DON’T do it. So I paid for the puppy in secret and told no one. She had to stay at the pet shop for a month because she was too young and too small to go home. I literally told no one what I had done. And surely not my kids. I didn’t even mention it to you on this blog. For a whole month, I said nothing, and then it was time to bring her home.Blue_3ABaby Blue Angel She didn’t have all of her vaccinations yet, so I couldn’t take her to France yet, and had to send her home to California, which required admitting my dark secret to a kind employee, who promised to take care of her until I came home. And because she is officially ‘blue”, I named her Baby Blue Angel. I should have called her Blue Secret. » read more »

Filed Under Dogs, Family, Kids | 10 Comments

Book Signing

Posted on November 11, 2013

Hi Everyone,

Until today, I’ve done three book signings in my writing life. The first one was right after my first book was published, and I got booked into what looked like a big drug store (I was about 21 years old, and had just had published the book I wrote at 19). It was in Gilroy, California, at the time of the Garlic Festival (the smell of garlic was overwhelming as I signed), and the mayor at the time tried to kiss me. It was an interesting introduction into the world of book signings. And I was never very inclined to do book signings, and did no publicity at all for my books in those days. I spent my time writing, and taking care of my children. I never went on tour or on the road for my books. I didn’t really have time, and preferred to be at home writing, and with the kids. And I didn’t do interviews either then.(And still rarely do them now.)

My second book signing was in Chicago a while later. I can’t even remember how I got roped into it. There were two other authors scheduled to be signing books, at a book store, and somehow the people who arranged it, failed to mention that both of the other authors were very unusual and admirable people. One was a Viet Nam vet who had lost all four limbs, and had written a book about his experiences. The other was a fairly well known author whose courage I had admired, who had been severely abused and sequestered as a child, had survived it, and gone on to be a writer, and she too had suffered damage to her limbs. Not to sound disrespectful, but it was somewhat startling at the time, because both of these remarkable people signed their books with a pen they held in their teeth. And I sat between them, feeling odd and guilty because I could sign my books with a pen held in my hand. They were both interesting to talk to, but it was a very unusual experience. » read more »

Filed Under Books, Dogs | 36 Comments

New Addition

Posted on October 14, 2013

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to share with you that I’ve done it again!!! Not a husband, not a baby……but three weeks ago in New York, I stopped at the place where I found Minnie, and fell in love with an 8 week old, 14 oz teacup Chihuahua puppy…..a short haired in an unusual color called “Blue”, which is kind of a dark steel gray color (no pun intended). I’ve wrestled with the idea for 3 weeks, not wanting to make the teacup Chihuahua I have now, Minnie, unhappy. I love her and don’t want her to be jealous or feel pushed out. My kids (those I admitted it to) said I was crazy (but they always do about another dog), and they said that travelling with two dogs would be too hard, and they could be right, but I’ll manage. I used to travel with 9 kids, so 2 Chihuahuas shouldn’t be impossible……and you know how love is….I picked her up yesterday, and she and Minnie seemed to like each other, and they played yesterday and this morning. So here I go again, I have a puppy in my life. She is now 11 weeks old, weighs a pound and a half. I think she’ll be a little bigger than Minnie (who weighs 2 lbs now as an adult). It’s a complication I don’t need to my otherwise well organized life, but as I’ve said before, love is complicated, life is complicated….and why not? So here we go. I will include a photo for you here. Right now, she is mouse-sized. I named her Baby Blue Angel, and we’ll probably call her Blue. So here she is.

love, danielle

Filed Under Dogs, Family | 7 Comments

Slow Month

Posted on May 6, 2013

Hi Everyone,

May is off to a quiet start with weekly holidays (May Day, which is Labor Day here last week; Armistice Day this week; religious holidays), long weekends, and a two week long school vacation, which has pretty much shut everything, or a LOT of things, down. Many restaurants are closed, my favorite auction house is closed, and the city is pretty empty, and the weather bounces back and forth between slightly warmer and seriously chilly, sunny and cloudy. » read more »

Filed Under Dogs, Paris | 4 Comments