Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stop and Smell the Roses Blog Bouquet

Dog Nanny Meets Cat Scratch Fever

When my mother-in-law found out I was writing a book called Dog Nanny, she suggested I write a story about the cat quarantined in my garage. (see actual cat at left)

It all started when my two ferocious miniature poodles began a barking tirade, causing the cat to climb me like a scratching post.

But that’s a whole other blog. Suffice it to say that after ten days--and several photos of the cat’s hindquarters (an attempt to have friends help me determine its sex)--the stray cat I’d been referring to as Ted Nugent was returned to his owner. (In case you’re wondering, the real Ted Nugent lives nearby. “The Nuge,” as he’s called around here, is best known for his song, “Cat Scratch Fever,” from the late ’70s.)

But as is my wont, I digress.

Hmm. "Cat Nanny." Not sure. You see, I’m really a dog person at heart.

When I mentioned writing the cat sequel, my Maryland friend Lynn Reynolds (Thirty-Nine Again and blog #11 below), responded in her characteristically witty way.

“It could be a theme for you,” she said. “Your tagline could be ‘Animal Passion!’ I mean, if Janet Evanovich can milk Stephanie Plum for 14 books, what's to stop you???”

She even expanded on the idea for me:

Dog Nanny - young Texan chick must train feisty poodles and even feistier pilot

(OK, done that)

Cat Nanny - young Arizona chick must housesit for handsome and mysterious cat owner

Iguana Nanny - young New Mexico chick must care for her sick sister's Iguana, but what happens when she's trapped in a cabin with the Iguana's cold-blooded vet?

Coming soon - Ferret Nanny.

Also look for Elephant Nanny - when handsome vet Clint Hardiman travels to India as part of the new Vets Without Borders charity, his life is turned upside-down by a sacred cow and its beautiful owner.

"And I haven't even touched the Cruzan yet," she said, as I considered her offerings and pondered whether Bovine Nanny might be more appropriate for an Indian setting.

I’m not sure what Cruzan is, but it must be something alcoholic. As you can see, Lynn loves brainstorming and is into this fowl thing, though for some reason she didn't suggest I write a Chick Nanny.

Another Texas writer and member of my critique group, Sue L, had this suggestion: Rat Nanny—Bracing herself to play hostess to a feral predator, a young midwestern chick finds herself looking forward to spending time with her generous and compassionate charge.

This starts me thinking about Cowboy Nanny, since western and cowboy romances are hot right now. City chick tries to tame wild cowboy by offering him her custom-made saddle.

From California, my more practical friend, Sarah, weighed in with a different suggestion. “Couldn't Dog Nanny have a sequel—perhaps a younger sister who ends up with a near rabid cat that belongs to a handsome reporter who'd love to have a dog, but his weird hours prevent it?"

It’s great having such creative friends. But for now, I'm going to content myself with finishing my work-in-progress, in which Carl, a 190-pound mastiff, plays a minor character. If anything about a 190-pound dog can be considered minor.

Don't stop now. One lucky person whose name will be drawn from those who leave a comment on my blog will receive a $10 gift certificate from Be sure to check back tomorrow (June 23) to see if you've won.

And by all means, move to the next blog on the list below and comment to be eligible for more prizes.


KyAnn said...

ROFL - you have a hilarious bunch of friends. I am so going to want the cowboy nanny and happily submit my application for the job. lol

Unknown said...

LOL - your post was so funny! I can't wait to read your books, they all look great!


Skhye said...

Oh, noooo! I have two 3-month old kittens. We're all sliced up from head to toe! But we're keeping them. LOL

I say go for Rat Nanny! LOLOLLLL Then there's octopus nanny... Have a great day.

Mona Risk said...

Dog Nanny is a cute name. My cousin used a nanny to walk her dog while she was at work. At first we thought she was weird, the cousin, not the dog, but her dog was so cute. I can see a fun book here.

Donna Michaels said...

Morning, Ann!

Thanks for a great chuckle over coffee! I say go for everyone of your 'Nanny' book ideas! I'd love to read them all.

I'm partial to cats and cowboys, myself so I love the idea of nannying the cowboy's cat...and anything else of his that needs attention. lol

Have a great day!


NanA said...

Great cover art and terrific blog. Anybody consider Python Nanny - for a real love squeeze?

Gwen said...

...loved the python idea among the comments!

Lynn Reynolds said...

Love the Python Nanny suggestion. Cowboy Nanny sounds like a Harlequin American Romance possibility. And Chick Nanny - well, that sounds like the ultimate chick lit book! ;-)

Tracy D said...

"Python Nanny" sounds like a real winner, LOL, but a little scary for me. How about "Koala Nanny" or "Panda Nanny" for those less-adventurous types? In any case, congrats, Ann, and may this be the first in a long line of best sellers! Plan to drop by ABC Clinic today to get my copy.

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Great blog--thanks for the chuckle. Your books sound adorable!


Ann Whitaker said...

Thanks, everybody. You all had ME laughing. Python Nanny cracked me up. Love puns. And Octopus Nanny? How about Octo-Nanny instead. Pandas and Koalas for the weak-hearted could work, except I understand they aren't as cuddly as they look.

I could become the Sue Grafton of animal books and not be limited by letters of the alphabet!

Ann Whitaker said...

Tracy, forgot to say thanks for dropping by the Animal Birth Control Clinic to pick up a copy. Reminds me I need to drop off some more. I appreciate your support.

And I appreciate all of you for stopping by and leaving such funny comments.

Tanya Hanson said...

I love animal stories...Rat Nanny maybe not so much LOL. You are so funny.

Best wishes and here's to a great blog bouquet!

~Tanya...a Cactus Rose
Marrying Minda out now

Anonymous said...

To Ann, a fellow Texan!
I loved exploring your blog and I know I'll love DOG NANNY! I'm always looking for humorous things.
What is life without them?
From the heart of Dallas,
Mary Ann

Deborah Schneider said...

Cat scratch fever is actually a real disease, and it's nasty! But Ted makes it sound like fun. Maybe you should add some kids into the mix, like someone thinks they're going to be a pet nanny and ends up with a set of twins.

Your book sounds hilarious!

robynl said...

love Dog Nanny and Cowboy Nanny as I am a dog lover and a cowboy lover.

Anne Marie Novark said...

Love your post, Ann. The Nanny Chronicles sound hilarious.

Linda Banche said...

I love it! but I like the Rat Nanny best.

Masha Holl said...


I'm so glad I remembered the bouquet day! Now I'm all smiles after your post. Can I borrow your friends for some brainstorming sometimes?

Erotic Horizon said...

I agree with Lynne..

Whats to stop you for taking this animal love to 14book event as well..

chop, chop, off you go and get a writing... LOL

have fun with kitty and dogs


Lauri said...

What a hoot! Thanks for the laugh! Great blog.

Susan Macatee said...

Great post, Ann! I'm a dog person myself, although we lost our precious boxer last February when her hips gave out. Right now the only animal inhabiting my home is my youngest son's moniter lizard. Don't know if I'd want to be a nanny to that. LOL.

Cate Masters said...

I never realized cat scratch fever was an actual condition until my friend's daughter became sick with it. Wonder what you'd contract from an iguana scratch? Or an elephant? Guess we'll have to wait for those titles to find out! Thanks for the fun post.

Debra St. John said...

Definitely love the Elephant Nanny and Cowboy Nanny ideas! Great post.

Babyblue22 said...

LMAO....With friends like yours you'll never go wrong!!
Soon you'll have a whole zoo worth of books, Sounds Like Fun especially when each animal comes with a man.

Ann Whitaker said...

KyAnn--I do have a great bunch of friends. So you wanna be a cowboy nanny? How are you in the saddle?

Val--I hadn't seriously entertained the idea of an entire series of nanny books until today. Maybe I should re-think it!

Skhye--You must have a fun household with those kittens.

Mona--Glad you like the title. Your cousin may, indeed, be weird. But, if so, she's in good company.

Donna--LOL, maybe you can help shed some light on cowboys for me. I live in Texas but am more of a city gal. Give me a Target instead of a ranch any day.

Nan--I agree. Kimberlee Mendoza did a GREAT job on the cover. People keep asking if those are my dogs, and I have to explain that TWRP has a stable of wonderful cover artists!

Still laughing about the "love squeeze."

Gwen--I'm so glad you stopped by. I also appreciated your comments on one of the other blogs re e-books.

Lynn--will need your help on Chick Nanny. Chicken in big city wearing expensive high heels, right.

Tracy--Enjoyed your comments on other blog about Castle Heights, which worked its way into Dog Nanny. I'm also partial to that area.

Nicole--Glad I could make you chuckle at 10:26 a.m.!

Tanya--Thanks for the nice words and best of luck with your books!

Mary Ann--Hope you find Dog Nanny humorous. You mean Dallas has a heart? LMAO. I agree we all need some laughs, especially in today's world.

Deborah--I really did quarantine a cat in my garage last fall. And I found out later cat scratch fever is really serious. I was mainly worried about rabies, which I understand is not so common in cats. If you read Ted's column in our local paper, you'll find Ted doesn't make anything sound like fun except for hunting.

Robynl--Thanks for stopping by. Glad you like the titles.

Anne Marie--I like the overall name "The Nanny Chronicles." Kind of like Narnia?

Linda--I have a special place in my heart for Rat Nanny myself. When I was 13, I had a pet white rat that would get out of its box and get into bed with me.

SFWriter Masha--I'm glad you remembered, too! You'll have to ask my friends but they're pretty quick on the draw.

Erotic Horizon--Thanks. Who knows? This may be just the beginning.

Lauri--Glad I could make you laugh.

Susan--Sorry to hear about your boxer. It's really hard to lose one, but when their hips give out, it's often time to make that God-like decision. Never easy but often the most humane thing to do. Lizards are pretty neat, too, though I don't think I'd sleep with one.

Cate--I'm sure iguanas and elephants must carry some sort of disease. Looks as if I'm in for a lot of research if I follow everyone's advice!

Debra--Cowboys seem to be really popular. Maybe a cowboy with a pet python. Think anyone would pick up on the phallic symbolism? Sorry, we former English teachers can't resist digging for deeper meanings.

Afshan--"When each animal comes wiht a man." I first read that as when each animal TURNS into a man. Now there's an idea for an animal-paranormal series. Does it ever stop?

SiNn said...

lolll this post is hillarious ty i needed a laugh ur books sound so fun and great cant wait to read more from you

Ann Whitaker said...

SiNn, so glad you came by and got a laugh. I hope Dog Nanny doesn't disappoint. Now I'm thinking maybe I really DO need to follow Lynn's suggestion and go with "animal passion" before some paranormal writer runs with it.

Historical Writer/Editor said...

Oh, this is funny! I liked your post. :) -laura

P.L. Parker said...

Funny funny post. I loved it.

P.L. Parker

Ann Whitaker said...

Thanks, Laura and Patsy. Love your dog, Patsy. But then, what's not to like about a dog?

Kytaira said...

Dog Nanny sounds like alot of fun. I enjoyed recently reading about it on LaSR as well

Ann Whitaker said...

Thanks, Kytaira,

I hope it's a fun read. Thanks for stopping by LASR, too! They did a great interview.


Tracy D said...

Ann-I hope to start your book within a few days. One of the women at ABC just raved about it, so I can't wait! I look forward to all the local references, including Castle Heights. (BTW, I rarely drive by "my" house, but I swung by there today--second from the corner at 38th & Chateau. I don't ever plan to go in it in case it ruins the mystique, but even in triple digit heat it looked so cool and comfy--gotta love all those mature shade trees!)

L M Gonzalez said...

Hi Ann,

Very funny! DOG NANNY sounds interesting - and so do the rest of your WIP's. LOL


Jennette Green said...

LOL Great post! :)

Ann Whitaker said...

I'll have to check out that house, Tracy. It's great that the ABC is helping with sales.

Lupe and Jeanette--glad you were amused!

I'm picking a winner as soon as I put all your names on slips of paper and get one of my dogs to draw.

Ann Whitaker said...

You all had such wonderful comments, I wish you all could have won!

The winner is the result of 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.

If you'll send me your e-mail address at, I'll send your $10 gift certificate via e-mail from

Congratulations! And thank you all for participating.

Mary Ricksen said...

Does anyone do a nanny for Chameleons? Too funny Ann.

Ann Whitaker said...

Great idea, Mary.

"Chameleon Nanny" could be about people who aren't what they appear to be. That could launch me into a new line of paranormal nannies.

I could be like Gloria Vanderbilt. Still writing books when I'm 85!