Interview and Giveaway with Donna Winters

Hi Donna, 
Welcome to Cindy's Book Reviews.  I am pleased to meet you and read one of your books.  Adventures with Vinnie.  This book is about a rescued dog, as I read, I kept thinking that you and your husband are very patient people.  

Can you explain to my readers, just a bit about the book, and about why you wrote this book?

Adventures with Vinnie is a story I started writing soon after we adopted Vinnie, a black lab mix. He was such a rascal, throwing us curve balls all the time with his freaky behavior. I thought the incidents would make an entertaining book.

At the end of the book, in the section that tells about you, it mentions that your first shelter adoption was in 1973.  And that you have since then adopted 8 dogs from shelters.  Why shelter dogs?  Why not go to a pet store and buy a dog?

My husband grew up with a dog adopted from a shelter, and from the beginning of our marriage in 1971, Fred spoke lovingly of his old pal, Tippy. That experience gave Fred a soft heart for homeless shelter animals, so when we were ready to add a dog to our home in 1973, he insisted on adopting from either the Humane Society or the county dog pound.

He visited both facilities and decided a puppy at the Humane Society would be our best choice. Then he took me there to meet the dog he had picked out. We had actually looked through the window at a couple of puppies at the pet store in a mall, but they were priced far beyond our reach. Good thing, too.

Over the years we learned that pet store puppies come from puppy mills where they do not receive a good start in life. They could be harboring worms or be afflicted with other serious health issues that would require a big investment at the vet’s office.

In addition, purebred dogs, even when raised by a loving and professional breeder, often suffer breed-specific maladies that cost alot to treat. Over the decades, we’ve learned that our mixed breed dogs are extremely healthy compared with purebreds. We have two examples in our own experience to compare. Two of our rescued dogs were former racing greyhounds. Each of them cost us far more at the vet’s than any of our mixed breeds did.

You mention your motorhome, a couple of times, and I was wondering, do you travel extensively in it?

Our motor home trips are anywhere from a weekend long to a month long. Our month-long trips have taken us from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to my hometown of Brockport on the Erie Canal in western New York State. We travel over 900 miles to get there. We usually go there in April or May, do short trips to weekend activities during the summer months, and take a two-week trip in the fall across the Upper Peninsula.

This was your 19th book, and it was a different kind of book than your normal genre, what genre do you usually write in, and share some of your titles with my readers please. 

I usually write historical romances set in Michigan. Some of those titles are Mackinac, The Captain and the Widow, Sweethearts of Sleeping Bear Bay, Jenny of L’Anse Bay, and Elizabeth of Saginaw Bay. Several more are listed at my website (link shown below).

One last question and then we will do some advertising for you.  You tell about how Vinnie died, were you worried or have you experienced any backlash from opening up about that?  

I haven’t experienced any backlash, but the book is new and not too many people have read and reacted to it at this point. The reason I made the statement I did about his euthanasia is because I have read reviews about dog books where the reviewer takes the writer to task for some aspect of their dog ownership, rather than sticking to whether or not the book was well-written or an entertaining story. I wanted to disarm reviewers like that, but of course, what I say in the epilogue will be disregarded by any reviewer who has his/her own agenda. Nevertheless, I thought it appropriate to explain that I respect those who refuse euthanasia in favor of extreme caregiving and a natural end-of-life process. I hope they can grant me the same respect.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I loved the book, super sweet story.  I cried with you in frustration and was heartbroken when Vinnie passed.  Tell my readers where they can buy your book.  Also feel free to share your website or your order site for any other books you have written.  

You can find Adventures with Vinnie, on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HK1ZU5C
Currently, the Kindle version is available for 99 cents and the paperback costs $9.

You can find more about me and all of my books, including descriptions, excerpts, Amazon “buy” links, and a downloadable snail-mail order form, at www.GreatLakesRomances.com.

At my website you can also connect with me at social media sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Scroll to the bottom of the home page to find those links.

For this post, I am giving away one copy of Adventures with Vinnie. Paperback only available to those living in the contiguous 48 states; however, anyone can choose a Kindle copy. Please leave a comment with your email address and complete this sentence: My ideal pet…

Brief Bio:

Donna Winters lives in the north woods of the Upper Peninsula with her husband of forty-two years and their elderly shelter dogs, Babe (age 10) and Buster (age 14). Weather permitting, the four of them walk twice daily on the woodland paths or in the nearby state park, enjoying the splendor and beauty of their remote Great Lakes location.

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