Dogs Just Know

When I visit my folks’, I sometimes let their dog up on my bed. I usually grumble about the fact that their dog is one of those types that yips all the time, but in reality he is the sweetest dog–not a mean bone in his body–and a glutton for affection. Although I suspect he enjoys having the option to come up on the bed, he doesn’t seem to like staying there, preferring instead to climb down after a few minutes and rarely climbing back up unless I call for him (again, he’s a sweetie!).

The other day I had dozed off and fallen into a nightmare, one of those vivid ones that feels like an all-too-real movie. This one was a horror film, the kind with monsters, and in it my neighbors and I were about to be swarmed. The tension had been building, and this was not one of those dreams where you know you’re dreaming. I was completely immersed.

Just as the worst was about to happen, I heard a dog whimpering, right beside me. All of a sudden the nightmare fell away and I was floating up through layers of consciousness, breaking through the surface to find that my parents’ dog had climbed onto the bed and was trying to get my attention. The second he saw I had come out of the nightmare, he stopped whimpering, climbed down the bed and settled into his favorite spot on the floor. At first I wondered what had upset him; I checked around the house, listened for thunder (he doesn’t like thunder), but there was nothing out of place.

Maybe it’s far-fetched, but I suspect he knew I was in distress, even in a dream, and was trying to make it right for me. I don’t know if I cried out in my sleep or anything like that. I didn’t think I had, but I also think a number of dog lovers out there can attest to the fact that somehow dogs just know. They can be so attuned to the humans in their lives they can read more than we realize and surprise you with it. Whatever might have been going on with me in my sleep, I believe he sensed it and tried to shake me out.

I have to admit, I was a little grouchy at having been shaken out of my dream as I was actually curious as to whether my neighbors and I would have made it out of our tough spot. In the end, though, I’m touched by the idea that my parents’ dog might have tried to help me out of a troubling sleep.

They really are man’s best friend, aren’t they?


Got the seal…on the bo-ok…now the bo-ok…has a seal!

I put the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval on some paperback copies of The Magician’s Doll. Sorry the pic is a little fuzzy. Getting a shot of a glossy cover without glare is a challenge!



Here’s a closer view of the seal:

I definitely get a warm and fuzzy feeling of pride knowing The Magician’s Doll earned this accolade. Town House Books has a couple of copies with the seal on them, and some copies I had on hand have one now. Hopefully they’ll all find homes with some loving readers!

Boy, I’ll miss him.

“There are times my son looks at me and gives me that look in the eyes like, ‘Well, what’s it gonna be?’

‘Hey Zack, uh, hey it’s um…I don’t know. But, maybe along the way, you take my hand, tell a few jokes and have some fun.'”

~ Robin Williams

Another Teaser from the Sequel to The Magician’s Doll!

Time for a final teaser! You get to see some familiar characters and meet a new one :)  Again, this is subject to change and editing, but I hope you enjoy! As a reminder, the last teaser can be found here.

“Phillip, don’t go! Please!”

For once his mother was not ordering him, and of all the things that could have stopped him, her pleading cry was one. He hesitated.

His mother and Beausoleil drew near, but as Phillip backed away, they stopped.

“We’ll figure something out, Phillip,” his mother said. “I promise.”

“You always say that,” Phillip cried.

”We have new information,” Beausoleil said. “Trust me, Phillip. We can use it to search for your father.”

“When?” Phillip asked. “I have a plan now.”

His mother glanced at Delroy who looked away. “Please, don’t leave with Mr. Mendes.”

“You’re wrong about him,” Phillip said. “Dad trusted him. And Natalie said he could help us. She thinks we should leave with him too!”

“No,” his mother breathed. “Oh, Natalie.”

Natalie bowed her head. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Stone. I promise I’ll do everything I can to keep Phillip safe.”

Beausoleil turned to Delroy. “Are you going along with this? Are you going to take them?”

Delroy shook his head. “Absolutely not. Now, if you all don’t mind, I’ll be on my way.”

Anger surged through Phillip as Delroy, with scarcely a glance at him, turned heel and continued down the walk.

”My dad asked you!” he shouted at Delroy’s retreating back. “He trusted you!” When Delroy failed to turn around, Phillip pulled out his map and charged across the street. Delroy halted.

Phillip stared at him in challenge. He straightened his map in his hands.

“Aerthreis,” he ordered.

As the lines emerged on his map, he heard Delroy yell, “No! Are you crazy? You’ll get yourself killed!”

“What?” his mother screamed to Delroy. “What is he doing? Where is he going?”

Natalie had run to Phillip. The hazy, wiggling shape of Aerthreis had formed when she reached him and flung her arms around him. Phillip grasped her tight. He saw Beausoleil bolt towards them, saw his mother drop to her knees. He watched as Delroy raised his hands and closed his eyes, summoning his gift, Phillip thought. Then it all blurred.

“I’m sorry, mom,” Phillip whispered, as he and Natalie faded into the map and disappeared.




Seal of Approval From Children’s Literary Classics!


Yay!! A big thank you to Children’s Literary Classics. I’m thrilled and honored that The Magician’s Doll has earned its Seal of Approval! I’ve posted part of the press release and review from CLC below. Thank you again to Children’s Literary Classics!


Children’s Literary Classics is pleased to announce that the book, The Magician’s Doll, written by M.L. Roble, has been selected to receive the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval. The CLC Seal of Approval is a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Children’s Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design.

Having a psychic for a mother is not really something twelve year old Natalie wishes to advertise.  The neighbor ruffians tease her, and close friends are few and far between.  As uncomfortable as Natalie is with her mother’s unconventional behavior, it’s only natural that she would find it vexing when she begins “seeing” things herself.

Natalie’s life takes an interesting turn when Phillip, the shy neighbor boy, starts hanging around.  When they find themselves at a magician’s performance at the circus, Natalie and Phillip get the opportunity to go on stage to assist the magician in his show.  Natalie meets the magician’s doll and is drawn into a powerful world of magic and mystery.  She quickly learns that she has abilities she never imagined were possible.  Natalie resists her special powers, but Phillip wants to put them to use for their benefit and he pushes her to experiment and try new ways to exploit her gifts.

Author, M.L. Roble has created a well written and suspenseful mystery in The Magician’s Doll.  This unique story-line captures the reader, as well-developed characters become embroiled in a battle between good and evil.  Lots of unique plot twists, interspersed with a bit of  humor, help make this book an exciting and engaging read.  Subtle references to life messages that teach positive values to young readers are an added bonus to this book which comes highly recommended.

Children’s Literary Classics, an organization dedicated to furthering excellence in children’s literature, takes great pride in its role to help promote classic children’s literature which appeals to youth, while educating and encouraging positive values in the impressionable young minds of future generations.   To learn more about Children’s Literary Classics, you may visit their website at or

Just a Reminder About Availability for The Magician’s Doll

If you’re interested in purchasing The Magician’s Doll, it is available as a paperback and ebook. You can find it as an ebook through most retail outlets including SmashwordsAmazon, Barnes and NobleKobo and Itunes. You can order the paperback through most book stores including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Bin and Town House Books (Town House Books may even have a couple of copies in stock at the store!). You should be able to check with your favorite bookseller. A great reference for independent booksellers is The Magician’s Doll is listed on its site here. Locate your local book store and have them order it for you! I wanted The Magician’s Doll to be as widely available as possible, so hopefully you won’t have to look too far to find it. :)

Thank you to Mother Daughter Book Reviews

I owe a big thank you to Renee at Mother Daughter Book Reviews for hosting the Book Blast for The Magician’s Doll. I had never tried a Book Blast before and was nervous to give it a try, but Renee’s friendly professionalism really paved the way for me and made it a very non-intimidating experience!

My hope in doing the Blast was to get more exposure for The Magician’s Doll, and from that standpoint I feel it was a success. I had hardly used Twitter before, but seeing how effectively Mother Daughter Book Reviews utilized it and other social media to increase audience awareness really opened my eyes. I’m by no means an expert, but it was an invaluable lesson and, again, Renee’s experience paved the way.

So thank you to Renee, to Mother Daughter Book Reviews, and to the bloggers who posted! Special thanks as well to those who took time out of their busy schedules to read The Magician’s Doll and review it in their posts. I really feel that, as a middle grade book, The Magician’s Doll had a place and an audience with Mother Daughter Book Reviews, and given how challenging it can be to reach the middle grade market, finding Renee and Mother Daughter Book Reviews was like stumbling into a goldmine. Thank you, Renee!