Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Masada and her Marine, who were born two decades and two thousand miles apart, both aspired to do be the best that they could be. But first, they had to meet.
Masada began her journey in Illinois as a bumbling golden retriever puppy and emerged twenty months later as a proud, confident American Service Dog, ready and able to protect and preserve the life of Iraq veteran, Alex March, USMC.
Alex’s journey began in California as an ambitious boy who only dreamed of protecting and preserving life for the Corps, his country and his family. Twenty years later, he emerged as one of “a few good men,” and served with honor, courage and commitment …until he came home….
“An unseen attacker, camouflaged in the crowd, cooled its heels like a terrorist. It waited to follow Alex and his family home. How could he have known what lurked on the sidelines? Another war, an invisible war, he knew nothing about and had not been trained to fight.”
Follow Iraq veteran, Alex March, USMC and his American Service dog, Masada, who rescues him as they become the best they can be.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


The month of March will come to a close in a blink of my computer’s cursor, so I thought I will recap and reminisce now.  After enjoying great shopping, January’s   beautiful weather and sunsets in Quartzite, Arizona,

all in one package, Sportster and I returned home and made an appointment to have a spa day for   my motorhome. (He, she, it needs a name, don’t you think? Hmmm, another thing to ponder at three in the morning when I can’t sleep. The name should reflect that the   Winnebago Spirit Itasca is, in Sportster’s self-absorbed world, his castle.)  He/she was ready for my next adventure.


I spent a few days at my second home, Jojoba Hills RV Resort, an Escapee park outside of Temecula, Ca. Who knows? Someday I may make it my home base when I tire of taking care of a stick house. I spent the days, writing, writing and writing while the weather raged outside with one of California’s too few rainstorms.

My next  mark on March’s calendar was the Menifee Arts Council Open House and had the opportunity to experience Menifee’s local talent while I signed books and got to visit with many of my author friends and  my readers who stopped by to ask when my next book, MASADA’S MARINE, will be coming out. “This summer,” I told them.

They said, “I can’t wait.”

And I said, “Me too.” 

The last stretch - the most critical phase of a book’s development - when the last word is written. Yet,  still so much remains to be done--the final editing and avid experts must read for accuracy of the content as well as avid readers, all who have to give their feedback before the book goes to print.

Why the most critical? For me this last stretch finds me near exhaustion from the long hours at the computer and the sleepless nights spent plotting. But the exhilaration of being so close to the finish line – It is scary, exciting, and addicting. It is a time when the story that has consumed me with its passion and its own yearning to be told, like a wonderful racehorse, takes the bit in its teeth, and runs, neck stretched and tail to the wind!

Throughout the many, many months of creating a book, I become entangled and captured by own story. The words arise from the page, alive and want release. Everything within me is tested, not to let my story hit the finish line before it is ready.

A week ago Sportster and I hit the road, heading for Tucson, Arizona. I was signed up as a volunteer and to do a book signing at  Tucson Festival of Books.

 I stayed at the Pima Fairgrounds and met up with my idol, my mentor, and my friend Nick Russell and his wife Terry who were staying at the campground.

 Nick publishes The Gypsy Journal RV Travel Newspaper and is a New York Times Best Selling Author. Check out all of his books on Amazon and follow him on Nick's Blog . The link will lead you to anything and everything you could possibly want to know about RVing and great places to visit. But now his wife, Terry, has entered the playing field with her cookbook, Miss Terry's Kitchen

For years Nick’s fans, who follow his blog, have been drooling over the mouth-watering meals his wife has fattened him up on. We can finally discover all her culinary secrets.

I was honored to be admitted to the Russell’s cave of creation, the motorhome in which they live fulltime. Our visit was an author’s jam session about writing, publishing and marketing.

Attending the Tucson Festival of Books was a wonderful diversion. Some say the event is the largest of all book festivals. I am not one to doubt the claim. Top authors, inspiring speakers, food and entertainment were the venue for two packed days. The only problem was which speaker or book signing to choose. The Science City was a big hit for the children, while meeting Scott Turow drew long lines. For the authors, aspiring and published, the festival offered a myriad of booths about publishing and marketing. It is a must for anyone with an interest in books – reading or writing them.

I participated as a volunteer the first day as a monitor to two speaking events.

The first speaker,Kristen Lamb , who calls herself the Social Media Jedi, could truly be a member of the mystical organization whose cannon is to serve and utilize a mystical power called the Force, in order to help and protect those in need.

In this case the “Force,” is the mass of struggling authors who traverse through the world on a rickety platform   marketing their books. Kristen breaks down the science of social media into human terms. Check out her book,The Rise Of The Machines on Amazon.

The second day was free except for a two hour span at the Author Pavilion where I was assigned a table to market and sign my two books ,COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST and GOING HOME WITH A CAT AND A GHOST.  I was also encouraged by the overwhelming interest in my newest book, MASADA’S MARINE, to be released this summer. The first chapter is available on my website, Judy Howard Publishing.

March will come to close soon enough. This author is enjoying her last two days ,basking in the desert like a fat lizard in Quartzite, Az. before she scurries back home to the responsibilities of family, business and home.

Next month Sportster and I share our birthday. And time moves on.
Don’t waste it. Sportster is not.