Category Archives: What?

Abilene Book Signing Goes to the Dogs

Left: Mardi and me, Wayna Polk, Tommy Wideman; Below: Janlyn Thaxton, me, Margaret Hoogstra When I moved from Abilene seven years ago, I never dreamed I’d be coming back for a book signing–my own.

But when Glenn and Carol Dromgoole, owners of Texas Star Trading Company, graciously invited me to sign at their store during Abilene’s Dog Days of Summer ArtWalk, I jumped at the chance. (Below: Me with Glenn)

The best part was seeing several of my former Abilene High and Jim Ned High colleagues, former students, parents of former students, and old friends. I regret we didn’t have more time to visit. And I’m also sorry I didn’t get pictures of everyone, but my manservant was equally busy greeting old friends and taking care of Mardi, our little diabetic poodle.

Now that I’ve weathered three book signings, I should feel like a veteran. But I’ve discovered that signing books is more difficult than writing them–you actually have to think about what to say. On the spot!

Some people can’t walk and chew gum. I discovered long ago I can’t talk and think at the same time. No telling what I’ve written in people’s books, but a few stand out in my mind.

One woman wanted me to sign only my name so she could read the book first, then give it to a friend as a gift.

At the Abilene signing, Alex, a small, brown dog, brought his human companion along. Alex checked me out by sniffing my hand, and I assume he approved because he bought a copy of Dog Nanny and wanted it personalized to him. I hope he enjoys reading about the antics of two standard poodles with Texas big hair. Not so sure what he’ll think about the romance part.

So far my favorite signing was dictated to me by another former Abilenian who was purchasing a book for her elderly mother. The signature line went something like this: “Ann Whitaker, wife of Bill Whitaker, former front-page columnist of the Abilene Reporter-News.” Guess that shows me how I rank.

Hope some of you will come back on September 26 when we return for the West Texas Book and Music Festival at the Abilene Civic Center.
And here’s a link to the AR-N Web site if you like to look at pictures of dogs.



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Wild Ride With Romance Writers

Got back this week from my latest adventure in the nation’s capitol, where I attended the Romance Writers of America 29th Annual National Conference.

Suffice it to say, after listening to her speech, I now want to be Janet Evanovich and write mysteries, even if she is (slightly) older than I am and from New Jersey.

As with most trips, it had its ups and downs.


—Got the same fever blister that’s appeared every three years since I was 45. I thought those things were for kids.

—Our flight home from D.C. to DFW was almost diverted to a site unbeknownst to us because of bad weather also unbeknownst to us. However, our pilot was kind enough to inform us we’d been circling for some time and that we were RUNNING OUT OF FUEL!!

—Upon arrival at DFW, we discovered our flight to Waco had been cancelled (because of the same non-existent bad weather), so we had to pay $160 to hitch a ride on the “Waco Streak.” How could I have known the real excitement lay ahead?

Imagine riding inside an off-balance washing machine for two hours. Actually, a van with no shocks, hurtling through Dallas traffic at 90 mph with a Mario Andretti wannabe behind the wheel. Okay, maybe only 70 mph, but my mouth popped open several times when I wasn’t talking.

—When we finally got home (see the UPS list), no one at the toll-free number for lost baggage knew where or when our bags would show up. When asked to describe the contents, all I could think of was “lots of dirty clothes.”

Minor DOWN—my husband accidentally stepped on the goody bag of chocolate kisses I was bringing to my mother-in-law. So what if I’d already eaten all the peanut butter cups and my share of the kisses. She wouldn’t have to know that.


—No more fever blisters for another three years

—Got home safely. Met the last flight of the evening in hopes we’d get our luggage off the conveyer belt before the dirty-underwear thieves materialized. Lucked out—bags were there. Hope they enjoyed the flight.

—Our dogs were healthy and happy, thanks to my mil’s good care and to Penny, who stopped by to give Mardi his insulin injections twice a day. A big Texas “thank you” to you both!!!

—But the biggest UP of the conference itself, by far, was meeting so many of the women I’d known for the past few years only through my online writing group. Every one of them was even nicer than I’d anticipated. Helpful, friendly, fun, intelligent, creative…. Yes, I could go on, but all good things must end.

Now that I’ve caught up on the laundry and grocery shopping, I’m also reveling in being home.

As I like to say: “Home is where my stuff is.”


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Heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in yesterday’s “Stop and Smell the Roses Blog Bouquet” sponsored by The Wild Rose Press.

You all had such wonderful comments, I wish each one of you could have won.

The winner was determined by a scientific process we use in the Whitaker household for making decisions.

I placed all your names on slips of paper, folded them in half, and scattered them onto the floor. Then I called my oldest poodle, Jolie, to pick one. Her mouth was wet from drinking water and one of the pieces of paper stuck to her lips. Or what passes for lips in a dog.

The winner chosen by Jolie Blon is…….Gwen.

Gwen, if you’ll send your e-mail address to me at, I’ll send your $10 gift certificate via e-mail from

Congratulations! And thanks again to all of you who participated and to those of you who just read the blog.


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Tomorrow (Tuesday, June 16) I’m being interviewed (yes, again) at The Long and Short of It. Their reviewer just gave Dog Nanny 4 1/2 books.

However, this one won’t be a Q&A, so it should be interesting to see what they’ve done with answers I gave them to some rather unusual questions–like can I open a Starburst with my tongue. You may even learn about the time I was “really hot.” Yes, moi.

Best of all, I’m also giving away ANOTHER $10 gift certificate from to someone LASR will choose at the end of the week. But you can’t win unless you drop by and leave a comment on their contest page below.

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