Category Archives: dogs

Announcing A KILLER RETREAT!

Hi all!  I’m absolutely delighted  to announce the cover and publication date of my second Downward Dog Mystery, A KILLER RETREAT.  The book is in the final stages of editing now, and my publisher has finalized the cover.

What do you think? 

Available January 8, 2015 from Midnight Ink!

Available January 8, 2015 from Midnight Ink!

Leave a comment about the cover in the next week for a chance to win a Downward Dog Mysteries coffee mug!

The book will be out January 8, 2015, but I’ll likely have copies again in late December.  Why wait?  Pre-order your personalized, autographed copy from Whole Life Yoga now, and I’ll mail you a signed bookmark as soon as they are available!

ABOUT A KILLER RETREAT

Six months after solving her friend’s murder, commitment-challenged Kate Davidson has recovered from her injuries and settled into a relatively calm life with rambunctious German shepherd Bella. Now, if only her relationship with boyfriend, Michael, would slow down to match her laid-back yogic lifestyle…

When Kate gets an offer to trade teaching yoga for a weeklong stay at a newly reopened vegan retreat center, she jumps at the opportunity, even though it means being forced to endure the wedding ceremony of the center’s two caretakers. Avoiding the M-word turns out to be the least of Kate’s problems when a wedding guest is found floating face-down in the resort’s hot tub, shortly after a loud, public (and somewhat embarrassing) fight with Kate.

The police pick Kate as their number-one suspect, so she’s forced to join forces with Michael, best friend Rene, and sidekick Bella to find the real killer. But they’ll have to solve the murder before the police arrest Kate, or her next gig may last a lifetime—behind bars.

REVIEWS

“An engaging mystery full of fun and fascinating characters and unexpected twists.  An intriguing read that includes yoga lessons and feisty dogs.”

Linda O. Johnston Author of the Pet Rescue Mysteries

“Fans   of Tracy Weber’s charming Murder Strikes a Pose have eagerly awaited   the return of yoga instructor Kate Davidson and her challenging yet   lovable German shepherd, Bella.  Happily, Weber’s second yoga mystery, A Killer Retreat, is as delightful as her first. Readers will love the   setting, the complex mystery, and the romance of Kate’s second   adventure. Especially noteworthy in this popular series is the appealing   combination of strength and vulnerability that Kate and Bella share.   Enjoy!”

Susan Conant     Author of the Dog Lover’s Mysteries

“Whether yoga instructor, Kate Davidson, is wrestling her hundred-pound dog, her new love life or trying to solve a murder, A Killer Retreat is simply a killer read! Witty, fun and unpredictable, this is one cozy mystery worth barking about!”

Shannon Esposito   Author of the Pet Psychic Mysteries

Thanks!

Tracy

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  A KILLER RETREAT is available for preorder now from Whole Life Yoga. The first book in the series,  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  and book sellers everywhere!

“Dog Breath” or Kukkura Pranayama

Amber with dog small_edited-1

Today’s guest author  is yoga teacher Amber Polo who writes dog-shifter fantasy to relax readers. “Recovered” (The Shapeshifters’ Library Book 3) is her latest in the series. She’s also known for Relaxing the Writer, a book filled with suggestions to keep your writing and your life in a healthy balance and Relaxing the Writer Relaxation a CD (or MP3 download) a how-to-do in 20-minute relaxation.  She can be contacted at amber@amberpolo.com and http://amberpolo.com/.

As a yoga teacher who specializes in relaxation techniques I’ve taught Kapalabhati, Viloma, Ujjayi, and my favorite Alternate Nostril Breathing (which will help you survive many crises).

As a dog lover I know dogs are great relaxation aids and enrich body, mind, and spirit.

Walk a dog to get your body moving.

Sit and pet a dog to calm you.

Play with a dog to create joy

Here are instructions for a Dog Petting Breathing Technique – Kukkura Pranayama

  • Find a quiet comfortable spot
  • Place hand on dog’s head
  • Inhale
  • Begin to Exhale.
  • Slowly move your hand down the dog’s neck and back while silently counting to three
  • When you reach the end of the dog begin the inhale
  • Repeat

It may take a few breaths to settle the dog and to find your pace. Breathe in with the inhale and out with the exhale. Begin to lengthen both the exhale and the inhale to at least a count of three for each. Let your belly move with your breath. Close your eyes if you wish. Continue as long as necessary.

Your dog will enjoy these breathing practice timeouts as much as treats.

Notes:

Adapting for the size of the dog – Breathing with a Chihuahua will differ from breathing with a Great Dane. For tiny dogs the movement has to be very, very slow. Or alternatively experiment with more than one petting movement on the exhale. Exceptionally large dogs may take more than one breath to complete the journey.

No dog? Borrow one or use this practice with cats, horses, and other warm blooded pets (or a human friend.).

Enjoy and Keep Petting!

Amber Polo

Find RECOVERED on Amazon! 

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Blog Tour Report: Final Week and a Great Big Thank You

blogTourWeek3Today marks the final stop on the Murder Strikes a Pose book launch blog tour, and the last three stops were special.  Check them out, and please visit and support the people who have supported me!

Saturday, January 11: Rantin’ Ravin’ and Reading

This blog article answers the question many of you have been thinking: What kind of demented yoga teacher writes about murder?  Learn the main reasons I write the series and what I hope to accomplish through its pages.  Besides having fun, of course!

Wednesday, January 15: Killer Characters

Michael—the love interest in Murder Strikes a Pose—finally gets to tell his side of the story! Visit with Michael and learn why he thinks his new girlfriend might be crazy.

Monday, January 20: Inkspot

Inkspot is the blog created by the writers under my publisher, Midnight Ink.  Although Inkspot wasn’t an “official” stop on my tour, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge eleven of the many mystery writers that have supported me on this journey.  Take a look, check out their work, and support them by buying their books.

That’s it for this week.  Next week I’ll be back to blogging about yoga with a book stop every month or so.  Coming up in the next three months are articles on Jungle Red Writers, Coffee with a Canine, The Page 69 Test, Dog Reads and Kings River Life Magazine.

And you’ll find me every Monday here at the Whole Life Yoga Blog.  Thursdays, I blog at Killer Hobbies.

Guess I’d better get typing!

Namaste

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and wherever books are sold.

Blog Tour Report: Week 2!

Hi all!  Today is week two of what feels like my whirlwind blog tour.  Please check out the reviews, articles, and deep dark secrets of yours truly!  I promise you’ll learn things about me that my husband doesn’t even know!

Tuesday, January 7:  Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows

This blog stop was a biggie in so many ways.  An awesome review, lots of great comments, and the chance to share information that I haven’t blogged about anywhere else.  Three teasers:

  • First, a line from her review: “You know a book is fantastic when it’s your first read of the new year and you immediately know it’s going to be on your ‘Best Books of the Year’ list.”
  • Second, learn about my cranky cat Maggie (yes, I have a cat, too!) and a specific cat treat that will guarantee you win your cat’s love and affection forever.
  • Finally, learn about the human who inspired the plot of MURDER STRIKES A POSE. This one will surprise you!

Wednesday, January 8:  Beth Groundwater  and Dru’s Book Musing

On book launch day I visited two blogs.  The first, Beth Groundwater, hosted an interview with me.  My favorite question was about how I get to know my characters.  Check it out and you, too, can realize how truly schizophrenic I am.  (Hmm…maybe I shouldn’t advertise that…)

The second stop wasn’t really by me—it was by yoga sleuth Kate.  Dru asked her to pop by her blog and talk about a typical day.  Problem is, none of Kate’s days have been typical lately.  Will she relive the embarrassing Santa incident? Will she solve George’s murder? And even more importantly, what in the world is she going to do with crazy-dog Bella? Stop by and help her figure it out!

Thursday, January 9:  Chloe Gets a Clue

Chloe hosted me for author interview.  My favorite question in this interview was “What’s your writing superpower?”  That’s me, all right.  Super Tracy!  I also share the best yoga practices for writers and amateur sleuths.

Friday, January 10: Read Your Writes Reviews

I absolutely LOVED visiting with this reviewer.  She owns a rescue dog so she really “gets” Kate’s relationship with Bella.  Here’s a quote: “Without any question, I’m a dog lover.  I will admit that towards the end of the book I actually cried.  I mean SERIOUSLY, who in the world cries reading a cozy mystery?”  She did clarify later that she cried tears of happiness.  😉

That’s all for this week.  Two more official stops on this tour, then I’ll wrap it up and go back to yoga tips, articles, and techniques.  But please do stop by these blogs and support all of the bloggers who have supported me!

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and wherever books are sold.

Blog Tour Report Week 1!

Available Now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Booksellers Everywhere!

 Hi all!  I’m deeply immersed in my first ever blog tour for MURDER STRIKES A POSE.  Check out the progress so far, and please visit the blogs to support the people who are supporting me!

Thursday, January 2:  Thoughts in Progress

It was AWESOME to have the first stop on my first blog tour ever be such a kind and supportive one.  In my first stop, Thoughts in Progress wrote a review of Murder Strikes a Pose.    Here’s a snippet to get you interested, but please check out the full review at the website.

MURDER STRIKES A POSE is an intriguing debut for a fascinating new series that will delight mystery readers. Combining calming techniques, dog-related frolics, mystery and laughs; Weber has crafted a story that is hard to put down.”

Friday, January 3:  Books-N-Kisses

My second stop was at this wonderful blog that highlights books in the mystery, romance, and sci-fi genres.  I wrote a guest article about my book cover and “that pose on the cover.”  Check it out and learn how to Down Dog it the Murder Strikes a Pose way!

Friday, January 3:  Shelley’s Bookcase

This isn’t an official stop on my book tour, but I’m so delighted with the review that I wanted to share it anyway.  Shelley Giusti, a fellow Sister’s in Crime member, reviewed Murder Strikes a Pose.  Here’s a teaser of what she had to say.  Please check out the full review at her website.

“Tracy Weber has a number one hit on her hands with her First in a New Series book! Her characters are strong and you will love them from the start. And Bella, the German shepherd will win your heart.”

Saturday, January 4: Readalot

The final stop this week was at Readalot, which hosted both a review of Murder Strikes a Pose and a giveaway.  There’s still time to enter the giveaway for a free autographed copy!  Here’s a teaser, but please stop by the blog to check out the full review

“Murder Strikes a Pose is entertaining. I laughed, I even shed a tear. Thought of doing yoga for a sec or two.”

I may not have completely won over a new yogi, but at least I got her to consider it!  😉

Sunday, January 5: AuntieEmWrites

I wrote a guest article for this spot, telling the story of how I first became a writer.  Here’s a teaser: it involves my favorite animal, a brutal workout, and a writer named Susan Conant.  I also reveal my husband’s favorite nickname for me—and no, it’s not sweetie-pie. Check it out and leave a comment in the next week. You may win an autographed copy of the book!

That’s all for this week, but lots more fun to come. See you next week as the virtual travel continues…

And, for those of you interested, here’s a little more about the book.  I hope you read and love it!

When George and Bella—a homeless alcoholic and his intimidating German shepherd—disturb the peace outside her studio, yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s Zen-like calm is stretched to the breaking point. Kate tries to get rid of them before Bella scares the yoga pants off her students. Instead, the three form an unlikely friendship.

One night Kate finds George’s body behind her studio. The police dismiss his murder as a drug-related street crime, but she knows George wasn’t a dealer. So Kate starts digging into George’s past while also looking for someone to adopt Bella before she’s sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer nipping at her heels, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.

Praise:

“Weber’s debut, which launches the Downward Dog series, should appeal to anyone who likes canines, yoga, and a determined sleuth. … Cozy fans will eagerly await the next installment.”–Publisher’s Weekly

“The delightful start of a promising new series. I couldn’t put it down!”—Waverly Fitzgerald, author of Dial C for Chihuahua

“Murder Strikes a Pose is a delightful debut novel . . . Namaste to Weber and her fresh, new heroine!”—Penny Warner, author of How to Dine on Killer Wine

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and wherever books are sold!

 

Book Launches, Parties, and Blog Tours, Oh My!

great escape tour banner small murder strikes a pose

January is the launch of my first yoga mystery, Murder Strikes a Pose, and I will be going blog crazy!   Through January 20, my Whole Life Yoga and Killer Hobbies blog posts will be devoted to the blog articles and events below.  After that, it will be back to articles on yoga tips, research, practices, and techniques, with an occasional writing blog thrown in for good measure.

Murder Strikes a pose will be available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other e-readers as early as January 1.  It will be available online at Amazon as well as retailers and bookstores everywhere on January 8. You can pre-order any time!

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for sponsoring the blog tour below.  Each stop will provide unique content, so don’t miss any.  You might just learn some of my deep, dark secrets!

A free autographed copy of Murder Strikes a Pose will be given away at each stop!

And, for those of you in Seattle, a couple of in-person events. 

Hugs and prizes will be available at both events–and at Whole Life Yoga, vegan chocolate mousse cake! I hope to see you there!

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available for preorder now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and other retailers!

Letting Go of the Past

I wrote this post several months ago, but as with many posts of a personal nature, I waited to share it. Tasha’s MRI ruled out most scary diseases and identified some that were treatable.  The photo in this article was taken 90 minutes after she had surgery to replace her hip, which was hopefully her biggest problem. But the primary learning for me is that, as the sutras say so beautifully, I can hold on to my past and let it dictate my future,  or I can let it go and live in this amazing present moment.  It’ s my choice.  It’s yours as well.

I was nineteen the first time a serious-looking doctor told me I might have a brain tumor. The tiny, rare growth she thought had taken up residence inside my skull terrified me.  Tests showed that I probably didn’t have it—yet.  But I’d need to be reevaluated if any more symptoms appeared.

In my mid-twenties, a second doctor with an equally serious expression said I needed more definitive tests.  If I refused, I potentially faced a number of bad outcomes, including blindness.

And so on, and so on.

For the next several years I rotated through blood tests, contrast CT scans and multiple MRIs.  Every time I went to a doctor, the diagnostic circus (and the associated panic) would start again.

In my early thirties, I stopped going to doctors.

By the time I started having checkups again in my forties, my physicians were too focused on menopause to worry about my little non-existent growth.

About two months ago, my beloved dog started ailing, and we don’t yet know why.  As a physician friend of mine says, “Ask two doctors and you’ll get three diagnoses.”  Tasha has been to six.  An MRI can definitively diagnose several issues, but it’s expensive, so most vets don’t recommend it.  A few weeks ago, I finally brought it up myself. “Would an MRI be a good idea?” I asked.

The unanimous answer was yes.

As the time for the neurologist appointment approached, I started feeling anxious.  Tasha’s health has been improving the last several weeks. We’re finally developing plans for her future. I was the one who suggested an MRI.  Why, then did I suddenly start panicking?

I spent some time Saturday reflecting on The Yoga Sutras.  The sutras say that dvesa—holding onto prior pain—is one of the primary causes of suffering. In one swooping rush of insight, I realized that my panic was more about my past than Tasha’s future. I had equated Tasha’s upcoming neurologist visit to all of my terrifying evaluations in the past.

Duh.

Somehow, that simple realization calmed me down. My anxiety, while not completely eradicated, was significantly reduced.  Tasha and I met the smiling, friendly neurologist this morning.  He evaluated Tasha and said that he did, indeed, think an MRI was warranted.  But none of the issues he suspects are deadly, most of them can be fixed, and none of them are brain tumors. He suggested we do the test today, so I didn’t have to wait any more.  He’s even allowing me to be with my dog as she comes out of anesthesia.

Tasha’s in the MRI now, and I don’t know what the images will show. But I do know that Tasha’s issues have nothing to do with my past. I can release that irrational fear now, thanks to yoga and the insights it continues to give me.

Namaste

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out my author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available for preorder now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and other retailers!

 

Compassion in Actions, Words, and Thoughts

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”  Unknown.

I received an interesting comment from a cyber friend recently.  Those of you who know me, know that I love my dog.  I adore her.  Insufferably.  I’m sure people get tired of hearing my Tasha stories, probably with good reason. Only the true dog (or cat, or rabbit or horse, or snake or…) lovers among you can understand.

I know Tasha’s not human. I know she’s “just” a dog. But she’s still part of my family. Her recent health issues have been very challenging for me on emotional, financial, and spiritual levels.  And I’m a writer.  It’s what I do.  It’s how I process emotions and use them to (hopefully positively) influence my world.

In any case, things are finally looking up for Tasha and me. We ruled out lots of deadly diseases. We made it through hip replacement surgery. And although there’s still a long recovery ahead of her, it looks like she will be with me for hopefully several more years.  To say I’m happy, if exhausted, would be an understatement.

I posted about that on Facebook.

First, let me say that I LOVE Facebook.  I enjoy seeing photos of people’s kids, updates on their daily activities, inspirational sayings, and cute puppy pictures.  I use it to ask for energy and to encourage others and give them support.  So it was natural for me to share good news from a veterinary surgeon about my dog’s likely return to health.

The vast majority of people didn’t say anything about the post. The rest replied with encouragement.

One person, however, chose a different route. She chose to berate me, saying that I wrote more about my dog in that post (a few sentences) than most people write about their dying parents.  She continued to write that I must be pretty darned lucky if I could write so much about a dog when others were suffering true hardships.

I considered replying, but I didn’t.  I just let it go.

I regret that.  So now, here is my reply.  First, yes, I’m lucky.  So very, very lucky. I know that.  I have a wonderful life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I don’t write about my father on Facebook because sadly, he died almost 13 years ago. My mother is healthy, as is my husband, thank God.

My dog is not.

I love this four-legged creature that has blessed me so much, to a fault. I know some people don’t understand that love, and I can live with that.

Why am I writing about this? The yoga sutras say we should always act with compassion—in actions, words, and thoughts. Today, I challenge all of you—myself too—to remember that in all of our communications—be they in person or on social media.  We each have the power to make someone’s day brighter.  Let’s use it.

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out my author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available for preorder now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and other retailers!

Ending the Dog Days of Summer German Shepherd Style

This week I’m Guest Blogging on Write Here, Write Now, the blog for author Sheila Boneham.  Check out the stories of the two German Shepherds I’ve been blessed enough to share my life with!  (And you might even see a paragraph or two about MURDER STRIKES A POSE, due out January 8!)

Namaste

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and join my author mailing list for updates on MURDER STRIKES A POSE, available early 2014 from Midnight Ink!

Yoga Can Be Murder

I’m guest blogging this week on Inkspot, the blog for authors at Midnight Ink.  Check it out and learn the answer to a question you might be thinking: Why does a yoga teacher write stories about murder?

http://midnightwriters.blogspot.com/2013/06/yoga-can-be-murder.html

Writing about yoga, dogs, and murder….What could be more fun?

Namaste

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and join my author mailing list for updates on MURDER STRIKES A POSE, available January 8, 2014 from Midnight Ink!