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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blog Tour, Day 2: Q & A with Author Helen Brown + Contest!

Welcome back, everyone!
If you were here yesterday, you had the privilege of exploring the newly released title Cleo:  The Cat Who Mended a Family, here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  If not, no worries!  Feel free to click over to the post for a quick read through....we'll be right here. (Finished?  Alrighty...moving on...)

This is day two of the 'Cleo' blog tour and we have a special combo post for you.  Today, we catch a glimpse of the person behind the writer as revealed through a short series of questions and answers courtesy of InkWell Management and the author herself and then have a little contest fun!  Warning readers....there is a thread of sadness in the post below dealing with the families loss and how they made it through, but certainly worth the read.

First, please join me in welcoming, author Helen Brown......


Q & A:
Author Helen Brown

Q:  Did your close friends respond to your tragedy in the way you hoped or were they too intimidated to know how to approach you?

A:  We were in such a state of shock I had no expectations of anyone at the time. The only previous experience of death I’d had was of elderly relatives. Losing Sam was out of my realms of understanding.

Friends responded in different ways. Some stayed away, not knowing what to say. Others came and wept at our house, almost asking comfort from us, which was draining. A few used the opportunity to relate their own experiences of losing an old aunt or uncle. Some quoted passages from the Bible. None of these responses was particularly helpful.

I understand all these reactions now and forgive them completely. I would have been equally useless back then. Everyone meant well and it was almost impossible for them to know how to help – particularly back in 1983 when grief counseling barely existed.

The wisest people knew instinctively that our needs were simple. We needed them to be there, to visit the house, but not for too long. To hold us and let us weep; quietly put the kettle on; or offer to take our surviving son Rob on an outing. I know plates of food seem a cliché, but the casseroles and cakes were genuinely helpful. The house was always full of people during the days after Sam’s death. They all wanted to eat.

Q:  Was it difficult for you to ask for help?

A:  Yes, it was because I had no idea what sort of help I needed. I thought the pain would last forever and my life was over.

Over and over again people said “Let me know if there’s anything I can do”. I know they were sincere but I was too bewildered to have any idea what needed “doing”.

Q:  Were you at any time angry with the world or envious of the lives of friends that appeared so much easier than yours?

A:  Absolutely. The anger was irrational for several months. It rose like molten lava in me if I saw one of Sam’s friends at the supermarket. Every other family I saw seemed smug and untouched by pain. It took a while to come to terms with my own rage and understand nobody escapes loss and pain in their lives. If I was looking for proof all I had to do was open a newspaper.

Sad as it is to say, the facts revealed there are very true.  Loss is something experienced by all at one point or another and the key to making it through is good friends, family, and memories.
Now...on to the FUN part of today's's contest time!
Here's the scoop....
The prize:
(1) copy of Cleo:  The Cat Who Mended a Family by Helen Brown


How to enter:
Required....fill out this FORM.
For bonus points and to spread a little smile across the miles....
Share YOUR favorite pet story in the comments below!  Silly, funny, happy, crazy...whatever the situation was, give us a glimpse at your fuzzy friend!


The rules:
*Open to US mailing addresses only!  No P. O. Boxes please.
* Entries will be accepted from Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 through Saturday, September 18th, 2010 at midnight CST.  The entries will be tallied and entered into the randomizer, after which a random number will be picked by their number generator.  (This way all the entries are mixed up nicely.)
* All entries must be submitted using the form accessible through this post.  You MUST include your email address in order to be counted as well as contacted should you be chosen as the winner!
*The winner will be announced and contacted via email by Monday, September 20th, 2010 and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address.  Should they fail to respond in the given time frame; a new winner will be chosen.  If you choose to include your address in your entry, no worries...the time frame issue is removed.
*Winners name and address will be forwarded to Rose Marie Morse at InkWell Management for prize send out only and then discarded.


So what are you waiting for?
Let the fur fly....spread the word and get your entry in today!
Until next time....happy reading!


Beverly said...

I used to have a dog named Joe - he was huge (110 lbs. He wasn't allowed on the couch and my boyfriend would tell me that Joe would sleep on the couch, I never believed him. He would go downstairs, see the dog on the couch and tell me. I would go downstairs and Joe would be on the floor. One night this went on three times, finally he told me to feel the couch and so I did. So I went down again, Joe was on the floor, so I felt the couch and it was warm. Joe would stay on the couch when David went downstairs and then get off the couch when I would go down. It was super funny!

Tales of Whimsy said...

How cool! Great post :)

debbie said...

I had a pair of kittens I rescued at 2 weeks old from a litter. I bottle fed them, and they both ended up being very special. My son was very severely speech and langauge impaired. When he was younger, he would get very frustrated because he could vocalize what he wanted. Angelica would get up on his chest, until he calmed down enough to be able to say I am okay angelica. Now this was extremely difficult for him, but she was really patient.Only then would she get down.
One day my son decided he wanted attention, and faked getting upset. I kid you not, Angelica got up and firmly, but gently bit him on the bridge of his nose. The look on his face was priceless. I laughed at him, and said, she knew you were faking. He actually tried it again the second day, with the same results. He never did it again. I have never seen a cat act like that ever before. She was amazing.

StephTheBookworm said...

My pets are all nuts! I have three cats and a dog. Here is one of my favorite stories about my cat, Baby. This is the wild cat who jumps on the christmas tree and climbs all the way up the screen door... so one day, she escaped outside, which she likes to do when she can... well, she decided she wanted to come back in a little while later... but she was on the roof! She was whining at the upstairs window and we had to let her in through there!

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I have two small dogs--Cassie and Maddy. Before Maddy came along, Cassie and my family lived with my grandparents. My grandfather was OK with dogs, but he was not a dog lover. Well, somehow Cassie wormed her way into his heart and the two became the best of friends. He would sneak her food from the table, share his ice cream with her (not good for the dog I understand), and take naps with her on his bed. Every night before dinner they would play a rousing game of fetch with her "stinky dog" toy. Even though Poppy is now gone, we have such fond memories of his antics with Cassie--how a little dog warmed an old man's heart.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thank you for the contest!! This book looks great!

Lilk13 said...

I've had the pleasure of having many different funny/strange/maddening things happen with pets. My quest to have a dalmatian was granted but little did I know that this little guy could destroy a complete couch. I know most dogs do this. He finally out grew that stage, so we thought, as he got older. Eight years later we went to the pound and adopted a four month mixed bread and introduced her to the dal, they hit it off and were best buddies. While puppy training the little girl was kept in a crate when we were out of the house, the dal was free to roam the house because we thought he was over the chewing. One day we came back to my husband's Star Wars tapes destroyed sitting in front of the crate that the puppy was in. The dal had chewed them up and deposited them in front of the crate thinking the puppy would be the one in trouble (don't know if dogs actually think that way, but it seemed like it was a plant). That's not all. Soon after we took in a feral kitten, just a tiny thing. The hubby decided that it was time that all dogs did not need to be in the crate. When he came home from the store "his" recliner was shredded by the dogs. Well, a few weeks later he did the same thing and he came home to "my" recliner shredded. He decided that the dogs were trying to get at the kitten because the kitten was hiding inside the recliners. We now have two brand new recliners and the cat does not come in the house because of the three dogs we have now. Smart cat.

Dogs: Remington (dalmatian) passed away in August of 2003 at 10 years.
Lucy is now 8 years (lab/retriever mix), Jersey is now 5 years (Husky/unknown) and Elsa is our youngest at just over 2 (Dobe).


Pamela Keener said...

I went to this pet store one time & they had cats from the humane society for adoption. My girlfriend wanted to go check them out & as a non cat person I hemmed & hawed but finally relented. As I was washing my hands with the sanitizer I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was a kitten in a cage next to me. Well I guess you can say he had me at hello becuase how could I leave the store w/o him. I had 2 golden retrievers at home and the whole way home I am thinking what did I just do. It turned out ok the crazy cat ruled the roost and being the same color as the goldens he grew up to be a fat cat even though he always got low cal cat food. I think he thought he had to be as big as them.
Love & Hugs,

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

Loved this post. I have learned from experience that just to give condolences and best wishes and keep your mouth shut. That was my preference.

Loss is hard and an even harder subject to write about. Loved the interview

Lisa Potts said...

Sadly, I'm allergic to cats, but we've gotten all of our dogs at the shelter and they have enriched our lives in ways I couldn't have ever imagined. Thanks for the contest!

Gina said...

Oh, such wonderful stories! Thanks for sharing guys.... ^_^

Beverly: Too funny, but I know a dog like Mom's German Shepard! ^_^

Juju: ^_^

debbie: cute! Yep, animals totally understand more they humans (well, most) give them credit for.

StephTheBookworm: LOL! Seriously....poor kitty, but then again she shoulda known better. *shakes head*

Carrie: DEFINITELY was!

Lilk13: You know, I can totally feel for the destruction aspect. Let's just say that a certain puppy *cough* Brittney *cough* did that to a couch when she was very little and...a license plate. Seriously, found teeth marks on it! Gotta love them... So sorry to hear of your fuzzy ones passing{hugs}, but very glad that you have the memories (however good bad or ugly) to cherish him by.

Pamela: Oh! The kitty chose you...literally! That's so cute...and I'm glad it worked out with your goldys.

Cleverly Inked: Absolutely. I've gotten better with the dealing part but can't say it's behind me in the least.

Lisa: That's great! Shelter pups need love too! Two of my fuzzy babies were rescues from the shelter as of them twice! (long story) ^_^

k_sunshine1977 said...

my female cat rugrat has claim on this one corner of the bed...and no other spot will do. if your feet are there (usually my fiance's feet because this corner is on his side of the bed), she will bat at them and rub all over them until you move. if you're sitting there, she will walk in circles around you until she has her spot back. if anything is on her spot, like paper or a remote, she'll just sit on it and not care. i've never seen a cat so possessive of one little spot - it's a riot!

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

Theresa N. said...

We had a cat name Sylvester about 10 years ago, when he was ready for everyone to go to bed he'd flip off the light switch in the living room. We'd all get up and go to our bedrooms. He was either the smartest cat that ever lived or we where the dumbest humans. Poor fellow died of cancer and we still miss him, even though we have 4 other cats running loose in the house. They worry about what time we get up in the morning not go to bed at night, so the face patting and meowing starts before daylight.
Theresa N

pumbaacat said...

I have two long-haired dachshunds, and one is named Worm. The other night I brought him to the park and let him off the leash. Where does he go? The sewer pipes under the road! He squeezed through the bars and you could hear him barking and then a cat meowing. It was hysterical!

sharon54220 said...

I remember one time, my cat loved to run down the hall and jump in the tub. One night, my dad had just filled the tub to take a bath, and needless to say, the cat went running and landed right in the tub of water. Needless to say, my dad and I had a good laugh and then we had to grab a towel and dry her off.

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