Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Princess Plume by Dean Lombardo

I'm pleased to welcome Dean Lombardo, author of Princess Plume, to the blog today. I was lucky enough to work on the edits for the novel, and I fell in love with Sara and her kitty, Princess Plume. This is an uplifting read for all ages!

The Protective and Therapeutic Power of Animals on Our Children and on Us
by Dean Lombardo

I’m a firm believer that domestic animals provide a social and emotional support system for people in need, particularly children. A pet seems nonjudgmental to a child, and is perceived as comforting, raising the child's self-esteem and making it easier for the child to express his or herself.
Whether it’s a cat or dog, horse or pony, or even a pig or goat, pets literally provide that warm and fuzzy affection that a troubled child might need when he or she gets home from a bad day at school or team practice.
You’ve heard that dogs are man’s best friend, and this is true with children as well. Our canine friends follow us around, play with us, beg from us, lay with us, and protect us by barking, growling, and acting as a deterrent against home entry or attack.
Cats play with us, entertain us, cuddle with us, soothe us with their purring, and keep our homes safe from rodents and other pests.
Horses, ponies, and donkeys, in addition to serving as steeds and work animals, are beloved by the majority of owners, adult and child alike. Riding these animals not only gets us from one place to another but also gets us outside and in tune with nature, away from an addictive digital world that would otherwise hold us prisoners.
Horses can have a magical effect on people, especially kids, which is a major reason they are used in child enhancement programs such as PEGASUS. Horses don’t care who were are, what our background is, or how popular we are in school. Children with disabilities benefit from the emotional, motor, and sensory sensations that come with horseback riding, and the child can learn to care for the animal through patting, petting and brushing.
And then there’s the donkey. Donkeys make us smile, and they make us laugh. Many of us grew up on Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, and my own kids were entertained by the hilarious character from Shrek known simply as Donkey, voiced by Eddie Murphy. Donkeys also are said to be able to predict the weather, and provide protection for farm animals from predators such as coyotes. Like horses, they can kick pretty darn hard and even mountain lions have been dispatched by their hooved blows.
Adults, too, can benefit from animal therapy. Dogs can provide a sense of security, serenity and healthy exercise for PTSD sufferers, including soldiers and victims of violence, abuse, and other traumatic experiences. Dog can be trained to respond to the needs of the PTSD sufferer, preventing further physical and emotional harm, bravely leading the way around the unknown corner, quelling our fears. The elderly enjoy the companionship of pets, such as dogs and cats, and the physically handicapped can be guided and otherwise assisted by their canine friends.
My own outlook toward life has changed for the better since I provided a home for a feral, barn cat, now named Padme. With definite Turkish Van genes in her bloodline, Padme displays all of the characteristics of the breed: she likes water and is loyal to one person in the household: Me. When I’m brooding late at night, she leaps on the bed and falls asleep on my chest and she soothes my troubled mind and soul.
In my novel, “Donkey Sense,” eleven-year-old Timmy Unterkanz has lost his father to illness, is in a strange new town, and suffers from extreme teasing and bullying. There’s no Fairy Godmother to come to this boy’s rescue, but there is a rather special donkey named Pedro. Pedro offers Timmy companionship and confidence, and helps him to relate better to other children, such as Kelly, who finds similar comfort in the ponies she rides.
So whether it’s under the fluff of a purring cat, against the greedy but reassuring bed-hog pressure of a dog, or atop the sheen or mangy coat of a member of the equine family, each one of us can ease our troubled minds and hearts with the companionship of a pet.

Princess Plume

Dean Lombardo

Middle Grade Contemporary
Clean Reads
June 22, 2016

Eleven-year-old Sara Massey feels neglected and depressed. After a haunting near-crippling crash from the uneven bars years earlier, Sara can’t return to her favorite sport of gymnastics without risking death or complete paralysis. Or can she? In a flicker of her desperate heart and soul, she adopts the kitten of a wild barn cat, and the feisty kitty gives Sara all she can handle, plus a jolt of confidence.

But as Sara begins her risky comeback in gymnastics and life, an imposturous Turkish sultan calling himself Orkhan Hamid arrives to claim the kitten for his own. Desperate for the kitten’s rejuvenating power, Hamid will even steal to turn his fortune around. Can broken-hearted Sara stop him and keep the cat of her dreams?

A fun and meaningful read for all novel readers.

Connect with the Author

Amazon author bio and bibliography:

Facebook author page


Dean Lombardo blog site, aka Dean's Den:

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