Monday, June 16, 2014

It's Not Just a Dog by Pam Torres- The Book, The Author, The Giveaway!

The Book-
School's out for the summer and straight-talking Madison and her friend Cooper have big plans for the summer: working at the kennel, training service dogs and creating a dog-walking business—besides writing her dog-blog. Her stepdad has agreed to make Lilly, Madison's foster puppy, a permanent member of the Morgan family, and Madison wants to make the adoption special.

When an injured dog is abandoned, Madison's determined to discover the truth about the orphaned dog. To crack this crime she'll have to sneak around some shady characters. It'll be tricky since her dad isn't happy about her animal detective activities. Her promise not to get into trouble won't be easy. Madison convinces Cooper to strike out on their own, but Lilly is dognapped and Madison finds herself locked in a shed with no way out. She regrets her crime-fighting obsession and realizes her snooping has endangered everyone she cares about. Cooper rallies an unlikely group of rescuers to bust her out.

In the end Madison learns she can depend on her friends and her stepfather. And when it comes to people and dogs, relationships are never simple, and a dog is never—JUST a dog!

The Author-

Pam Torres was born in Logan, Utah and did most of her growing up in Prairie Village, Kansas. Besides playing Dorothy during tornado weather and digging Peter Pan-like underground forts she also played piano and ran cross-country. She started her family early, and had five energetic and creative children, and returned to school when the last one was four. She has fond memories of reading and playing with her children in between hefty amounts of volunteering at church and their schools. Several of her favorite memories are doing writers’ workshop, updating the art docent program, recruiting volunteers, working as the parent liaison for the curriculum team, publishing articles in the newsletter and directing a very popular after-school art club.

Writing was the one constant in her life through all the struggles of single parenthood, stepparent issues and bringing a large family together. She continued to write her brains out in hopes of writing full-time one day. After five years in sales, she quit her well-paying job to write. Her supportive husband is her biggest cheerleader and she frequently acknowledges that she couldn’t have done it without him.

The Project Madison Series is her debut middle-grade series. She organized Project Madison around its release and is donating 10% of her proceeds to the ASPCA®, animal shelters and other programs to benefit homeless or abused animals.

The Interview-
I notice this is book 2, Can you tell me about the overall series and also this particular book?  It started with my granddaughter, Kayla, who's loved dogs since she was a baby. Her first love was White Puppy, a fluffy stuffed dog who still holds an important place on her shelf. Then came Tasha, our Samoyed, a dear gentle lady who brought us love and loyalty, she's been gone for several years, but she'll never be forgotten. Kayla has grown into a compassionate animal lover and tween.

So I asked myself: Could I write a book that would appeal to middle grade children that involved dogs?  I didn't want to write the I-want-a-dog story. I wanted to write something that would entertain and bring awareness to the plight of dogs all over the world. The more research I did the more I realized how much I didn't know. I learned that I could have given Tasha and the other dogs in my life a more fulfilling life. I also became aware of all the dogs and animals in the world that need our help. So, Project Madison was born.

Both of these books are part of  the Project Madison Series starring Madison, a snarky almost twelve-year-old, who learns she has a special power to read dogs minds. She sees their memories and can even feel their pain or joy. The books share her adventures as she figures out this gift and rescues dogs in trouble. Along the way she learns important lessons about bullying, friendship, family and responsibility.

What made you want to write about animals? I think I answered that in the last question. I will say, that since I began my research, I'm even more convinced that our connections to the natural world is key as we consider our responsibility to the earth and its inhabitants. What better way than to inspire children to have an appreciation and desire to know and understand the world around them.

What message do you want to pass on to children? If my books inspire one child to put down their electronic games and head outside to explore or spend time with their pets, I will be very satisfied.

Tell me about your self-publishing experience? 
Overall, it has been a wonderful experience. Lots of learning and networking with other authors and publishers. I feel very privileged to be writing during this huge renaissance publishing. At 50+ I don't have years and years to wait for a publisher to grant me the opportunity to publish. I think the most important thing that authors need to understand is there are choices now, where before there weren't. This was the right choice for me and I'm very happy I decided to do it. I've been very happy with Createspace. I have my own illustrators and editors and have enjoyed working side by side with them to create a quality product.

Any advice to other authors? Own. Your. Journey. There is no right way to publish, especially now. What's important is that you stay true to yourself and do what is right for you. If you aren't enjoying the journey, it's time to switch the road. I'm not talking about easy street. When you are truly immersed in what you love, you'll push through anything, climb any obstacle and embrace the unknown, all because if you didn't, you wouldn't be whole. I live so I can write, it is as much a part of me as my brown eyes.

Favorite ice-cream? Vanilla
Favorite book genre? Middle grade adventure/fantasy
Favorite candy bar? Milky-Way
Favorite kid show? I don't know many of the current shows but I did love Scoopy Doo and Lost In Space, as a tween. I don't think that these are "kid" shows necessarily but I'm a big fan of  Dr. Who, Grimm and Once Upon A Time.

The Giveaway-
Fill out the rafflecopter form to enter :)
Prize Packages

Grand Prize- Set of illustrations signed by the illustrators, set of bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series, and a dream catcher.

First Prize- 3 illustrations signed by the illustrators, bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, hard copies of both books in the series.

Second Prize- 2 illustrations signed by the illustrators, bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series.

Third Prize- 2 illustrations signed by the illustrators, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, bookmarks, magnets, stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series.

Swag Packages- One 5x7 signed illustration, bookmarks, magnets, stickers, an ebook in the format of your choice.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Social Media Links
You can find It’s NOT Just A Dog! at the online stores below:


  1. You are on quite a tour, Pam :) And I just LOVE your header, Dorine :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, it's always nice to see a familiar avatar! ;)

  2. Good Morning Dorine,
    Thanks so much for having me today! The thoughtful interview questions were fun to answer.