Friday, October 12, 2012

Rescue Dogs & Paulette Mahurin

Paulette's painting of Tazzie

Animals are very dear to me. I own several and understand the responsibility that goes with having an animal. My animals become my other children. My children and I pamper them and talk to them as if they completely understand us. And to some degree, I believe the animals understand us far better than most people give them credit.

To close my interview with Paulette Mahurin, the author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, we saved the best for last, a discussion about one of her greatest passions, dogs. All of the proceeds from her book go to her local animal shelter, Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center or SPARC, to help defray the cost of caring for the animals at this no kill shelter. This shelter takes in unwanted dogs and cats, gives them all their shots, and has them spayed or neutered before letting them out for adoption. Click on that link and check them out. They are a small shelter and I'm sure they would love help of any kind.

For 15 years, Tazzie, Paulette's beloved, rescued Rottweiler, stood by her side. She was there for her when Paulette acquired Lyme's disease that raked through her body with meningitis, arthritis, and even partial paralysis. It took time for Paulette to recuperate, and Tazzie was there for her. In honor of her, Paulette turned to the only no kill shelter in her small county and asked if she could help.

"It's the only no-kill animal shelter in the county where I live. Seeing the faces of the sad, horribly depressed animals, in cages awaiting death, because they were born, that's their only crime, no one wants them, and their life will be destroyed. This shelter takes in animals and each one has a chance at life. I can't think of anything more precious. Dogs are one of my greatest passions. I can't imagine a world without them and as long as I live I will do what I can to adopt and help them when I can. It fills my heart that I can give profits to this worthy cause."

Dogs and cats have a way of finding their way into our hearts. Animals don't really ask for much more than some love and attention in order for them to be completely devoted to you. They will snuggle with you when you're happy or sad. My own cat has come and gotten me when my youngest son was having a seizure in another room. I've had dogs put themselves between me and harm's way. I have a dog right now putting his head in my lap with his wet muzzle thanking me for feeding him. Animals help my heart beat. They make me the Tela I am. I'm sure there are many more of you out there who feel the same way.

Thank you, Paulette, for giving so much or your time to do this interview. You are an inspiration to people everywhere.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paulette Mahurin on The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

I'm continuing my interview today with Paulette Mahurin about her novel The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. Enjoy!
** I found this novel to be very relevant to today. What do you think?
Definitely. The human condition has evolved in many ways but in many ways not. Persecution is alive and well throughout the world, as is the case with teen bullying and suicides, the ethnic wars being fought, women mutilation in some developing countries, battles against the morbidly obese, socially unacceptable, those off the bell curve are deemed freaks and made fun of. The gossip and hate mongers surrounding Josie, in the book, can be replicated in small towns everywhere (and large cities, of course), where hearts are closed and egos strive on putting others down, persecution will thrive. Aside from my passion to help animals, advocating for tolerance is an equal passion, a world where people can come out of their closets and live their lives without fear of being damaged, emotionally or physically, and I'm not just talking about the GLBT communities, but anyone who differs and fears rejection because of that.
** How many books have you written?
This is my first. I've written and won awards in college for a couple of short stories but this is my first full length.
** What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting out of the way and letting the story take the lead. I put in a lot of time researching and wanted to show off what I learned. Like the kid jumping out of their chair in school, screeching pick me, pick me! I spend months on some topics and included a lot in the book but when my editor saw it she said cut, cut, cut...! It sounds way too didactic, too history lesson classroomish...Oh crap, what do I cut? I was deflated because I had to reduce pages, almost two chapters down to a couple of paragraphs but when I read through the rewritten manuscript, it was better, flowed without distraction. I had to cut a lot, which is probably why the book is not that long, only 202 pp, lol!

** How did your experience with battered women help you in writing this book?

I think it gave me a little realistic depth on the hurt that is caused. It's one thing to read about it, but when you see a woman lying on an examining table, crying and bruised, it does something to you, to your cells, your heart. It must have poured out of me in some of the scenes with the torment Mildred and Edra lived through.
Thank you so much, Paulette, for your wonderful interview! Friday, I look forward to discussing your love for dogs and the rescue work you support.
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Paulette Mahurin Interview Continued

Today I'm continuing to check in with Paulette Mahurin. This is a picture of Paulette with her good friend, Charlotte. Paulette is the author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, a book that opens the eyes of readers to the harsh reality of being bullied.

** What character can you most relate to from your novel and why?

Charley, because he had his life ripped away by the death of his wife, and when he wanted to die, hit rock bottom, he was open to change. A few years back, while working in the ER, I got a tick bite. Six months later, I became seriously ill and it was the Orthopedic Surgeon who ran some blood work and diagnosed Lyme Disease. I fell of the face of the proverbial earth and was home bound, unable to do much of anything but write. The story that came out of me and facing myself with this illness
changed me in the most amazing way, I became grateful. The littlest things started to matter, that I still had my vision (that's not such a little thing but I had taken it for granted before), that I could hear, that I had a roof over my head, food on the table, and so I was ill so what. I could still make my attitude what I wanted. Charley was like that. He had a major life metamorphosis and took the hand that was dealt to him and decided to come back to live. He's a decent man, a good friend, loyal, and I like to think I possess some of those qualities. I love him because he's so real, so authentic, what you see is what you get.
** In my own life I’ve had churches persecute me for being a single parent and most recently for participating. What role do you think the church plays in present day to validating the persecution of certain people?

The problem is not with The Church but with the group think, the you have to go along or you won't belong mentality, or worse, you're bad and should be punished because you don't agree with us. Human beings have fundamental needs to belong, to be accepted, to be loved, to have friends, be supported, I don't know anyone who doesn't unless that person is insane, in a catatonic state. When the group robs us of our individuality and doesn't accept that because of their collective think, in my book that's a shade of cult gray.

Thank you, Paulette, for joining me again today! I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow as well!

You can find Paulette's worthwhile book at these places:

Happy Reading!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Interview with Paulette Mahurin

I caught up to Paulette Mahurin, the author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. We had a lovely time chatting and I look forward to hosting more of that interview all week. Check out the review of her book on a previous post here. Happy Reading!
1. First of all tell me a little about yourself. Whatever you want to tell me and your readers.

First let me say, thank you so much for having me here, Tela, at your most wonderfully inspirational blog site. You really are an inspiration.

Now, for the answer to the question, which you may find weird but I am going to answer spontaneously, and not try to sound educated or intelligent, those kind of answers from other usually drive me off the read, lol. What I want to say is, I'm interested in you, Tela. And, you, the reader. I know about me but I don't know about you. Of course, I'd love to answer any specific questions anyone has but really I just love to listen to
people, to hear their stories, and watch their eyes light up when they see
someone really is listening. The little bit about myself that I will say is I am a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in Women's Health in a rural clinic where I live and work, in Ojai, CA. Before this job I spent years working
and teaching in the second busiest emergency room (ER) in Los County, with the highest census of child abuse. Not a lot I have't seen or dealt with. I live with my husband, Terry (a retired NASA attorney) and our two dogs from a kill shelter, Max & Bella. My passions are writing and dogs, which is why the profits from my book are going to the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, (Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center) CA, the county I live in.

2. What made you interested in writing a book about a woman’s persecution?

I specialize in Women's Health professionally, and while working in the
emergency room did the SARS exams (sexual assault exams). I do a lot of pro-bono work with women struggling with cancer and other health
related issues, as well as social issues. I also have helped people in the closet who have been molested. Because I'm so involved with women and their physical, social, emotional, and spiritual issues when I started to
write these things were on my mind so it is no wonder that when I was
inspired by a photo of two women, dressed in circa turn of the twentieth century garb, the theme of women's persecution surfaced.
Look for more of Paulette's interview tomorrow!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin

I recently read Paulette Mahurin's novel The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. It is brilliantly written making the reader feel what each character is experiencing. It carries the reader along and literally made me want to scream at a couple of people.

Having experienced unwarranted persecution myself, I could easily relate to Mildred and Edra in the novel. They are two ladies who have never lifted one finger to harm anyone in the town; yet, become the brunt of the town's gossip as the world spins over the discovery that Oscar Wilde is gay. These people have nothing better to do with their time than point their finger at other people. How easily the gossips forget that when one points a finger at someone they still have 3 fingers stubbornly continuing to point at themselves.

Just like anyone else who is a bully, these gossips are unrelenting, cold hearted dumbos. They know they are hurting Mildred and Edra and relish the very thought of their discomfort. While the town people know this behaviour of the gossips is wrong, they refuse to step up to stop it. They don't want to become the object of that kind of attention.

This is just one of the elements that makes this novel very relevant today. There are still gossips running rampant, not caring who they hurt and very few people will stand up to them. This is very sad that innocent people continue to be put down and have their lives ruined just because someone else needs a boost to their own self-esteem and they are too dang lazy to create their own life. These gossips are so afraid someone will see all of their own flaws that they run around pointing out the supposed flaws of everyone else.

As I watch the news, sometimes I think there is even more persecution today. If I've learned one thing from my own persecution it's exactly what Mildred and Edra learn in Mahurin's excellent novel. While it's great to make new friends, ultimately, you are your own hero. You are your own knight and have to find your own white horse to ride upon.

Excellent novel. Look for an interview with this wonderful author starting tomorrow!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Author Promo!!! Coming Soon!

Starting this weekend I will be promoting a different author each week on this blog as well as on my facebook author page of

I will read the author's book and write a review. Then I will spotlight that author and their work throughout the week with answers to different interview questions I have asked them, promoting links to their pages and works each day.

I know how hard it is to get our work spotlighted and I am proud to help fellow authors in this way. I would also like to extend the offer to other authors. Just shoot me an email at ; or if you are a facebook friend, message me; or you can leave a comment here. I will get back with you as soon as possible!

Until next time, Happy Reading!!!!