7/21/18

What Should you Know About Dog Bites and Your Child


While many of us love dogs of all shapes and sizes; children seem particularly drawn to dogs and puppies!  Families encounter dogs in a variety of settings--from walking trails and soccer parks to pet stores and even outdoor restaurants.  I love to see dogs interacting socially in our community--but, as a parent of three children, I often found myself avoiding places where dogs frequented when the girls were little.  My children were well behaved and knew how to treat dogs properly--I just always worried about running into an aggressive animal or that even my well-behaved girls could stress a dog.  Fortunately, none of my girls ever suffered more than a few scratches from a jumping neighborhood dog.  While we were lucky, dog bites are common occurrences for children.  What should you know about dog bites and your child?

Happy Dog Lying on a Hiking Trail
Photo Credit
Parents Should Educate Children About Dogs--and Dog Bites--Early and Often. While pet owners are expected to control their dogs in public accessed spaces; parents should burden some responsibility to teach their children about dogs, dog bites, and proper behavior when near a dog.  Even family dogs or familiar, neighborhood dogs may bite when they feel threatened or are startled or handled roughly.  Parents and children should learn about dog bite prevention--and practice what they learn at all times! 

Parents Should Be Educated on What to Do If a Child is Bitten by a Dog.  Have an action plan in place just in case your child is ever bitten by a dog so that you may respond quickly.   What should you do if your child is bitten by a dog? Learn about the risks of a dog bite to children (both physical and emotional). Does the injury need medical attention?  Be prepared to offer first aid or seek medical care.  Do you need to take some quick photos or jot down names and contact information from witnesses or the dog's owner?  Being educated on dog bite-related issues and concerns--and having a plan in mind--will help you respond to an incident much more calmly and effectively.

Parents Should Understand the Aftermath of a Dog Bite.  Tending the dog bite wound and your child's immediate medical needs are, of course, the most important.  However; there are times when additional issues arise after the dog bite incident. Have a plan for dealing with any emotional stress encountered after a dog bites your child.  If the event was severe or unprovoked, you might need to be also prepared to report the bite to your local police department or animal control officers.   Some cases may even require that you seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney Tampa or near you as you deal with insurance companies and liability issues.

Most of us will never deal with a severe dog bite and our children.  However; it is still a good idea to educate yourself and be prepared with a plan if a dog bites your child.  If your family owns dogs, it is also vital to understand your rights and responsibilities as a dog owner and be sure to practice proper dog bite prevention etiquette even with your family dogs.


7/20/18

The Blue Unicorn's Journey to Osm Black and White Illustrated Book Spotlight & Giveaway


Last year, we featured middle grade fantasy The Blue Unicorn's Journey to Osm by Sybrina Durant.  Today, we have the black and white illustrated book version in our book spotlight!  Check out The Blue Unicorn's Journey to Osm black and white illustrated book, learn about the fantasy book and the author & be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!


The Blue Unicorn's Journey to Osm
Black and White Illustrated Book
by Sybrina Durant
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

The wood-cut look illustrations in The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm Black and White Illustrated book are reminiscent of old world fairytales by authors like Lewis Carroll and The Brother’s Grimm.  It is a story which transcends age and presents valuable life lessons on overcoming adversity through perseverance and valuing friendship.

Everybody loves unicorns! OK maybe they don't but for those who do, they will love this story about a little unicorn who was born into a tribe of magical, metal horned unicorns. The little guy has no magic and he has no metal but somehow he must save the tribe from an evil sorcerer. Read the book to find out if he can do it.



The metal horned unicorns are doomed!” That’s what Lauda Lead Horn wailed when she first saw the tribe’s new savior. OK, so his horn was not metal. . .and he did not have a magic power. . .and he was really a puny little runt. But doomed? Were things really that bad?


Well, things were pretty bad in the land of MarBryn. Magh, an evil sorcerer utilized unicorn horns and hooves to create his magical potions and spells. Those he used, to increase his power and to conquer everyone in his path. All of the unicorns from the Tribe of the Metal Horn were now gone . . . except for twelve survivors.

Before the blue unicorn was born, Numen told Alumna, the aluminum-horned oracle, that he had a plan to bring the tribe back home to Unimaise. His prophecy was, “Only the blue unicorn can join with the Moon-Star. Until then, no new unicorns will be born.” Blue was the last unicorn born. Twenty years later, his horn was still covered with a plain blue colored hide. There was not a glint of metal to be seen on it or his hooves. And he still didn’t have any magic. But he was no longer scrawny and he had his wits. Though no one else in the tribe thought he had a chance, Blue felt ready to make Magh pay for his evil deeds. And he went off to do it alone. That was Blue’s first mistake. If the entire tribe was not standing horn-tip to horn-tip at the proper time and the exact place to help usher the Moon-Star Spirit into Blue’s horn, he would die. Then, the rest of the tribe would really be doomed.

Readers will follow along two journey paths in this book. Blue is joined in his travels by his mentor Gaiso, the Stag and his friend, Girasol the Firebird as they try to find their way across a danger-filled MarBryn to Muzika Woods. The rest of Blue’s tribe is forced to follow another route due to Nix Nickle Horn’s unfortunate incident with a Manticore. Nix, the great unicorn defender must safely lead the way for Ghel, the Golden-Horned unicorn; Silubhra Silver Horn; Cornum the Brass-Horned unicorn; Steel Horned Style; Cuprum the Copper-Horned unicorn; Tin-Horned Tinam; Dr. Zinko; Iown the Iron-Horned unicorn and the others in an action packed adventure to their destination in Muzika Woods. Both journey paths converge there in the Nebulium Circle.

This ebook, for teens and older readers, will introduce you to the Read and Color black and white version of The Blue Unicorn's Journey To Osm Illustrated book. If you love to read and you love to color, this is the book for you. Read a chapter, then color the fanciful pictures yourself in this fully-illustrated black and white version of "The Blue Unicorn's Journey To Osm". 

This book, written by Sybrina Durant and illustrated by Dasguptarts, offers readers a 
visual feast of over forty beautiful water-color pictures that each span two pages. Forty-two - easy to digest two-page chapters are chock full of adventurous and entertaining morsels. If you love to read and you love to color, this is the book for you. Read a chapter, then color the fanciful pictures yourself in this fully-illustrated black and white version of "The Blue Unicorn's Journey To Osm". This illustrated book will become a favorite of teen and older fantasy readers.  A companion coloring/ character description book is also available at any online bookstore.



Hi!



I'm Sybrina. . .. . .Just one of millions of wannabe author/singer/songwriters out there but I hope, after reading or hearing my books and songs, you'll think my contributions to the world have as much value as any other famous artist out there today. 


Fame is all in being in the right place at the right time but at least with the internet and venues like this, all of us have opportunities to share our creativity with the world. I'm so happy that I am able to share my works with you. That is awesome!

The books I’ve written span a wide range between illustrated picture books, coloring books and YA novels to technical and how-to books. 

Enjoy!




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!





Highland Brides of Skye Historical Romance Series Book Spotlight & $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway


This morning, we are featuring an historical romance series in our book spotlight.  Check out the books of Highland Brides of Skye, learn about the authors and enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

Book Cover for historical romance, Passion, from the Highland Brides of Skye by Tarah Scott and April Holthaus.
Passion
Highland Brides of Skye Book 1
by Tarah Scott and April Holthaus
Genre: Historical Romance
Over the years, many lasses have found refuge in the Scottish Highland’s Glenwood Abbey. But for three young ladies, sanctuary becomes servitude, with master puppeteer Malcom Donald using them in his plan to rule the Isle of Skye. 


When a return trip home from a clan meeting ends in a bloodbath, Laird Caeleb MacLeod begins his search for the clansman who betrayed them. Little does he know he need look no further than his bed. 
As the housekeeper for Laird Caeleb MacLeod, Gwendolyn is in a position to learn many things important to her master, Malcom Donald, captain to the Donald laird. Now she must choose between destroying the man she loves and saving the sister being held hostage by Malcolm. 
PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AS TREASURES OF SKYE



Book Cover for historical romance, Redemption, from the Highland Brides of Skye by Tarah Scott and April Holthaus.
Redemption
Highland Brides of Skye Book 2
For years, master thief Helena Donald has lived at Glenwood Abbey and submitted to Malcolm Donald’s bidding. Desperate to break free of his control, Helena agrees to steal the MacLeod Faire Flag for Malcolm for she intends to sell the flag and start a new life far from Malcom. When Helena is caught in a blizzard, she prefers to die in the cold wasteland rather than return to the abbey. 

Kaden MacLeod has chosen a solitary life in a cabin on the shore of Loch Haven. But a woman’s scream during a raging snowstorm sends him racing to rescue Helena from the frigid waters of the frozen loch. When he learns that this beautiful young woman is about to commit the same crime for which his father, Laird MacLeod, hung Kaden’s younger brother, he’ll stop at nothing to prevent her from facing a similar fate. 




Book Cover for historical romance, Deception, from the Highland Brides of Skye by Tarah Scott and April Holthaus series by Mark Nolan.
Deception
Highland Brides of Skye Book 3
Betrothed to Lady Allison, the granddaughter of the dying MacKenzie laird, Jacob MacKinnon stands ready to do his duty and unite their two clans. But enemies watch, and plan to prevent the uniting of those two powers. 

After an attack on his betrothed’s carriage leaves only Lady Allison alive, Jacob is determined to find her would-be killers. 
Linnae Donald is a lowly serving girl. How is she supposed to tell Laird MacKenzie that the granddaughter he’s mistaken her for died when their carriage was attacked? 
She can’t break a dying man’s heart. Neither can she do what Jacob MacKinnon asks and help him prevent a war by pretending to be Lady Alison…and marrying him. 


Headshot for author Tarah Scott.

Best-selling author Tarah Scott cut her teeth on authors such as Georgette Heyer, Zane Grey, and Amanda Quick. Her favorite book is a Tale of Two Cities, with Gone With the Wind as a close second. She writes modern classical romance, and paranormal and romantic suspense. Tarah grew up in Texas and currently resides in Westchester County, New York with her daughter.



Headshot for author April Holthaus.
April Holthaus is an Award-Winning Author for her Scottish Historical Romances. For more than ten years, she has worked full time in the direct marketing business, but developed a passion of historical romances through her love of reading, history and genealogy. When she is not working or writing, April loves to spend time with her family and traveling. 


Book Tour Banner for the historical romance series, Highland Brides of Skye, by Tarah Scott and April Holthaus with a Book Tour Giveaway
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!





7/19/18

Why Home-Based Small Businesses Should Care about Customer Service


Running a home-based small business is often the perfect solution for stay at home parents or for those seeking to leave the traditional workplace behind or for those needing to start a business on a smaller budget.  A small, home-based business puts the business owner in control of their workday--and makes the business owner responsible for virtually every aspect of the business' potential from the start.  Whether you are seeking to build a service-oriented business or one selling physical products--you will be serving customers or clients.  As you grow your home-based, small business those customers and clients may be few and far between--so it is absolutely critical that you offer the best customer care and customer service possible during each and every customer contact!  Why should home-based small businesses care so much about providing excellent customer service? 

Photo Credit


Satisfied customers remain loyal to you and your company.  If a customer has a very positive experience with your company, he is more likely to return to you when he needs your product or service in the future.  That return business is vital to a small business' success.  It is a lot cheaper for a small business to retain a satisfied, return customer than it is to market to, compete for, and gain a new customer.   Some businesses find that retaining return customers  http://www.businessinsider.com/e-commerce-report-shows-returning-customers-are-more-valuable-than-new-ones-2016-3 may be more valuable than new customers!

Satisfied customers recommend your business to others.  This reason alone is worth its weight in gold when you are evaluating the value of your company's customer service efforts.  Marketing a small business is expensive business--and becomes a large chunk of your monthly expenses!  When a satisfied customer recommends your company to others; that free word-of-mouth marketing is a wonderful reward for your customer service skills!


Excellent customer service builds your brand or business reputation with other businesses and employees too.   How you treat your customers affects not only your current customer relationship--but, reflects your morals and ethical values as an employer and a business partner as well.  The reputation you build through your customer care will become public knowledge--especially if it is not always the greatest!  If you have a reputation for treating customers poorly, you may find yourself having more difficult time attracting quality employees and, businesses which you would like to partner may prefer to distance themselves from your negative reputation. 

Satisfied customers save small business owners time--and money. If you offer excellent customer service from the beginning to end of every transaction--you will find yourself facing fewer problems, fixing errors and dealing with time-consuming complaints.  No, you will not please every customer during every moment of every transaction--but, the better customer care you provide at each stage,  the better customer success  https://useriq.com/blogs/an-introduction-to-customer-success you will see.  Additionally, better customer service leads to fewer refunds, fewer needs for price negotiations and less hourly wage money spent on you or employees to handle issues.

Customer Feedback Provides (Free) Direction for Business Growth.  Building a great customer care relationship with customers and clients allows you a more significant opportunity to obtain product or service feedback. https://www.forbes.com/sites/shephyken/2016/07/16/nine-ways-to-get-customer-feedback/#7e75756732e2  What products would your customer like for you to offer?  What additions could you make to existing products?  What is your client in need of that is just not being provided by anyone yetA customer that feels appreciated and feels a connection to you or your company may be more likely to open up and offer you valuable feedback to use as you develop your brand and grow your business. 



Five Knives Crime Thriller Book Spotlight & Giveaway


Today, I have a crime thriller in our book spotlight!  Check out Five Knives, the prequel to the author's Will Finch Mystery series, learn about the author & enter the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

Book Cover for crime thriller, Five Knives, from the Will Finch mystery series by D.F. Bailey.
Five Knives
A Will Finch Mystery Thriller Prequel
by D.F. Bailey
Genre: Crime Thriller

One Reporter.

Three Dead.

Five Knives.

FIVE KNIVES welds the intensity of Jack Bauer’s “24” to the scorching heat of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST.

The author is a great talent.” — Aaron C. Brown, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer

When a man plummets to his death from an apartment tower, Will Finch’s shock soon becomes a nightmare. As he studies the open windows above the corpse, Finch notices a lamp blinking erratically behind a drawn curtain on the eleventh floor. 

When he investigates the distress signal, Finch discovers a woman handcuffed to a bedpost. Over the following week, he uncovers a conspiracy that ties the murder to a series of bombshells. The victim’s bankruptcy. A global stock fraud. A murder spree that began in Baghdad and is now haunting the citizens of San Francisco. Is this the work of a serial killer, a copycat — or both?

But before he can file his report for The San Francisco Post, Finch’s leads evaporate. Within days, three victims are dead. Does a pattern of five knife wounds provide a clue? Can he unravel the mystery before he — and his fiancée — are caught up in the web of murder?

Five Knives is the prequel thriller in the Will Finch crime series — a novel that opens on the first day of Will Finch’s journalism career. Everything that Finch learns about crime reporting begins with Five Knives.




Headshot for author D.F. Bailey.
An Amazon bestselling author, D.F. Bailey is a W.H. Smith First Novel Award and a Whistler Independent Book Award finalist.



In 2015 D.F. Bailey published The Finch Trilogy — Bone Maker, Stone Eater, and Lone Hunter — three novels narrated from the point-of-view of a crime reporter in San Francisco. Second Life (2017) is the first in a series of stand-alone books that follows the characters established in the trilogy. The series prequel, Five Knives, came out in 2018.

His first novel, Fire Eyes, was optioned for film. His second novel, Healing the Dead, was translated into German as Todliche Ahnungen. The Good Lie, another psychological thriller, was recorded as an audiobook. A fourth novel, Exit from America, made its debut as an e-book in 2013.

Following his birth in Montreal, D.F. Bailey's family moved around North America from rural Ontario to New York City to McComb, Mississippi to Cape May, New Jersey. He finally "landed on his feet" on Vancouver Island — where he lives next to the Salish Sea in the city of Victoria.

For twenty-two years D.F. Bailey worked at the University of Victoria where he taught creative writing and journalism and coordinated the Professional Writing Cooperative Education Program — which he co-founded. From time to time he also freelanced as a business writer and journalist. In the fall of 2010 he left the university so that he could turn "his pre-occupation with writing into a full-blown obsession."




Book Tour Banner for the crime thriller, Five Knives, from the Will Finch mystery series by D.F. Bailey with a Book Tour Giveaway

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!







Vigilante Assassin Action Thriller Book Spotlight & $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway


This morning, we have the 2nd book in Mark Nolan's Jack Wolfe series in our book spotlight.  Check out thriller Vigilante Assassin, learn about the series & enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

Book Cover for action thriller, Vigilante Assassin, from the Jack Wolfe series by Mark Nolan.
Vigilante Assassin
Jake Wolfe Book 2
by Mark Nolan
Genre: Thriller

Every marriage has a secret, but this one is deadly. Lauren Stephens wakes up to find her husband, Gene, has vanished during the night. His phone is dead. Desperate, she hires Jake Wolfe and his war dog, Cody. They search the house and discover something so disturbing that Jake won’t allow Lauren near it. “No, if you see this, there is no unseeing it.”


Lauren thought she had it all: a loving partner, two great kids, a successful business, and a beautiful home in the San Francisco hills. But all of that is about to come crashing down, due to a missing husband, a hidden past, and a frightening secret that will shock a trusting wife to the core. Gene has enemies, and now they want something from Lauren.

Jake Wolfe is a flawed man who has a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wants to leave his secret, violent past behind him, but when Lauren and her children are threatened, his protective instinct takes command. Jake soon finds himself involved in a dangerous conspiracy, targeted for death, and engaged in battle with a powerful, unseen group who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Jake’s going to have to think fast and fight hard to protect Cody, Lauren and her kids.

Vigilante Assassin is “Jake Wolfe book two” in the ongoing series. It can be read as a stand-alone, or you can start with book one, titled: Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie. 

Both of these Kindle Unlimited books in the Jake Wolfe mystery thriller novel series are available to read for free with your subscription to Kindle Unlimited.



Book Cover for action thriller, Dead Lawyers Don't Lie, from the Jack Wolfe series by Mark Nolan.
Dead Lawyers Don't Lie
Jake Wolfe Book 1

A mysterious killer who calls himself The Artist is assassinating wealthy lawyers in San Francisco. When war veteran Jake Wolfe accidentally takes his picture during a murder, The Artist adds Jake to his kill list and he becomes a target in a deadly game of cat and mouse that only one of them can survive. How far would you go to protect your loved ones from a killer? Jake wants to leave his top secret, violent past life behind him. But the reluctant, flawed hero can't ignore his duty and his personal moral compass.


This gripping thriller is full of suspense, plot twists and surprises. It features a cast of interesting characters, including several strong-willed women, two wise-cracking San Francisco Police Homicide Inspectors, one highly intelligent dog, and a philosophical killer who shares Jake's admiration for Van Gogh paintings but still plans to kill him anyway. As Jake gets closer to unraveling a merciless conspiracy, his life gets turned upside down and the danger level increases, adding to the growing suspense. This entertaining page-turner starts out as a murder mystery and then shifts gears into a high-speed action thriller that takes you on a roller-coaster ride to the riveting ending. A good read for those who enjoy mysteries, suspense, action and adventure, vigilante justice, unique characters, witty dialogue and a little romance too. Now on sale in over a dozen countries around the world. Be the first among your friends to read it.

Fans of new Kindle Unlimited novels will be happy to know this book is one of the best financial thrillers in kindle unlimited books.



Headshot for author Mark Nolan.

Mark Nolan is the author of Dead Lawyers Don't Lie, and the sequel, Vigilante Assassin. Right now he's busy writing Jake Wolfe Book 3. He also tries to make time every day to answer emails from readers. You can reach him and subscribe to his newsletter at marknolan.com.


Book Tour Banner for the action thriller, Vigilante Assassin, from the Jack Wolfe with a Book Tour Giveaway
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!





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