Category Archives: Furbaby Friday

Furbaby Friday with JM Stewart!


Welcome JM Stewart ! I’m very glad to have you here to share your furbaby and contemporary romance, Luc.

JM: Hey everybody! So glad to be here with you all. Thanks to Beth for having me. I currently have two dogs, Misty and Tiger. We adopted both from shelters when they were puppies when we were living in Seattle. Have had them for seven years now, and they’re spoiled rotten. Thought I’d share how we ended up with Misty.

Misty
After our German Shepherd, Ruby, died, we weren’t sure we wanted another dog. We’d had her for ten years, so her death left a big hole in our hearts. Six months later, though, hubs and I got the yearning to fill that space again, so I started looking on Petfinder.com. One particular pup grabbed me. A local shelter had a litter of nine puppies, Lab and Shepherd mix. The pup they chose for the pic ended up being Misty. I fell in love with her little face. She had a lot of German Shepherd in her; a black muzzle and ears, and big stripe down her back.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, we finally got the call the pups had reached ten weeks and were ready to be picked up. They sponsored them at the local Petsmart that weekend, so the youngest and I went down. The woman who ran the shelter had a first come, first serve rule. Meaning, applicants who applied first got first choice. So by the time our turn came, four were left, two girls and two boys.

Misty was in a cage with her sister, sleeping. There was chaos all around. Hopeful parents waiting with their kids to pick up their pups. People coming into the store who stopped to peek at the puppies. Misty had no interest in any of it. She just wanted to sleep (a trait she’s never grown out of; she doesn’t want to be bothered when she’s sleeping). lol But when I held her, she curled up in my lap, a little confused at the fuss going on around her but just happy to have a lap. The woman who’d been fostering the pups told me she was content to simply sit beside you on the couch (another trait she’s never grown out of). I fell in love.

Puppy Misty

Labs have a lot of energy, did you know that? I do now. lol Boy howdy was she a handful. Big chewer and more energy than any of us knew what to do with. You could walk her an hour twice a day, and she’d still be raring to go. Just a bundle of energy.
She’s so smart, though. Easily trainable and highly motivated by praise. Got the gist of potty training in a week, learned to sit in one day. If you’re a stranger coming up to my house, she has a deep, scary bark. Good for scaring away unwanted solicitors. 😉 But she wouldn’t hurt a fly. The biggest love bug you’ve ever seen. Once she knows you, she’ll be your friend for life.

She had surgery on her knee about six months ago. She gets the “zoomies” and unfortunately tore one of the ligaments in her left knee. So she’s slowed down a bit, but still happiest when surrounded by her family.

And, to keep with Beth’s furbaby theme, I’m sharing an excerpt from my contemporary romance, Luc. The heroine, Liz, has a golden retriever she rescued from a shelter.

Excerpt:

Cover for LucInstead of stepping back and inviting her inside, Sam drew her bottom lip into her mouth and gnashed it between her teeth. Suspicion skittered up Liz’s spine. She knew that look. Knew it well. Combined with her overenthusiastic greeting, that look suggested Sam had something up her sleeve.

She pinned Sam with a narrow-eyed stare. “There’s something you aren’t telling me, isn’t there?”

“No! I’m just so glad you came. You shouldn’t be alone today.” Sam straightened her shoulders, her expression suddenly bright and jovial. She waved a hand at Liz. When Bruce whined again, Sam looked down at him and nodded in the direction of the hallway behind her. “Well, go on. Go get him. He’s in the kitchen.”

Bruce leapt into the house, tail wagging. His nails clipped the hardwood floors as he trotted down the long hallway left of the living room.

Sam stepped aside, pulled the door open wider, and ushered Liz in with a wave of her hand. As Liz crossed the threshold, masculine laughter drifted down the hallway, halting her on the welcome mat. Joe’s hearty belly laugh she recognized, but along with it came a second, unfamiliar voice. A low, masculine rumble kind of laugh. The quiet hush of conversation followed. That second voice meant Sam had company.

It was only supposed to be the four of them. Her, Sam, Joe, and Bruce. Like always.

“I have a surprise for you.” Sam let out that nervous laugh again as she closed the door and stopped beside Liz on the welcome mat.

Liz jerked her gaze to her best friend. “What did you do?”

Sam clasped her hands together and flashed a thousand-watt smile. “Do you remember that barbeque Mom and Dad threw right before Danny left for his last tour? He pulled me aside while you helped Mom clean the kitchen. He told me, ‘If I die out there, don’t let her grieve forever. Make her get up, Sammy.’ Every time he left for a tour, he made me promise the same thing.”

Daniel was Sam’s older brother. If anybody knew what today meant, it was her. Of all days for Sam to bring this up.

“I remember. He always made me promise him something similar.” Liz gave a bare nod as grief kicked her hard in the chest. She’d known the risks, what being an Air Force wife to an active duty airman meant. She’d known every time he left for deployment he might not come back. Yet somehow, she’d never expected the worst to actually happen to her. It always happened to someone else.

She’d spent the last two years trying to pick up the pieces, to somehow learn to live without him. She hadn’t gotten far. Oh, she’d left the base in California to return home to Angel Bay, but she flat out didn’t know how to move on with her life. The need was there. To get out from beneath the grief. To feel the sun again. Joy. It was the “leaving Daniel behind” part she was having trouble with.

“So, I’m making you get up.” Sam gave a firm nod, mouth pursed in stubborn determination, and grabbed Liz’s hand, tugging her up the hallway.

Blurb:

After her husband’s death two years ago, erotic romance author Liz Anderson moved home to small-town Angel Bay to heal her broken heart. So when her best friend fixes her up with a single father ten years her junior, she doesn’t expect much. But this hot young chef is igniting her long-dormant passion.

With a three-year-old daughter to raise and a restaurant to run, the last thing Luc Rossi’s life has room for is love. After his fiancée’s betrayal, he isn’t sure he believes in it anyway. His colleague’s matchmaking attempt is awkward at best, but what can he do except play the gentleman? Liz ends up being smart, charming, and sexy, and he can’t resist her.

An offer to teach her to cook leads to a steamy fling, but this gorgeous older woman makes Luc wonder if it’s time to open his heart again. Can he convince Liz that giving their relationship a chance beyond the bedroom wouldn’t be a betrayal of the past she holds dear?

Buy links:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Google

Author Bio:

Joanne StewartJ.M. Stewart is a coffee and chocolate addict who, along with her husband, two sons and two very spoiled dogs, has been recently transplanted to Texas. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily ever after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.
For more about JM or her books visit: Website | Facebook

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave JM a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Josie Riviera!


I am very happy to welcome Josie Riviera to the blog to share her darling little furbaby and historical, inspirational, and sweet romance with us.

Josie: My husband and I have one dog, Henry. He’s a shih tzu, and we “inherited” him from our daughter. After years of saying “no” to her begging for a dog, we waited until her 18th birthday. However, she decided to attend university in Northern Ireland, and, 5 years later, she’s still living in Ireland.

Henry is fun, energetic, and lots of company. He enjoys nightly walks, and is always with me or my husband. Henry has a stomach problem, so he needs to eat special food (sigh), but that doesn’t stop him from loving to eat. Now that our daughter has finished her university studies and completed her Master’s Degree, she’s requested that Henry travel to Ireland to live with her.
However, at this point, we’re keeping Henry with us, content in the Carolinas.
My husband and I disagree about how often Henry should be groomed.

(Henry with a haircut)

How often do you think a dog should be groomed? Please leave your comments below.

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Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable shih tzu, who constantly needs grooming, and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

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Furbaby Friday with Beth Trissel


Kittens Happen…

Last Friday, I was given a tiny kitten to care for–for the weekend–but his stay is now indefinite. Sometimes, you just need a kitten, and you didn’t even know it. Hubby would appreciate my finding a home for the baby when he’s older. Meanwhile…I’m getting attached, as are the grandkids and Puppy Cooper. Cooper loves this kitten and frequently checks on it. If the baby mews, he rushes to its box to see if it’s OK, and when I let the tiny toddler explore, Cooper is on its tail. The grandkids are building the kitten a playhouse run out of Amazon boxes with connecting tunnels. Very creative and he has rewarded them by darting through their maze like a hamster. Just between us, I think hubby is destined to have another cat in his life.

When I first began Furbaby Friday, it was as a tribute to my dear little dog and best friend, Sadie. Her passing tore me up more than words can express. I still miss her terribly, and tear up thinking about her, but Cooper, Jilly, our farm dog, Luca, and my kitties are a big comfort. Peaches and Cream have been my babies since they were two week old kittens granddaughter Emma found abandoned. Cream was left in a mud puddle, so dirty we couldn’t tell he was a white kitten. He and Peaches are buddy brothers. Funny bird Kitty Pavel is attached to me in his own way. All my furbabies are rescues, and give back so much to me and the family.

(Sadie and Percy)

About a week after Sadie crossed the rainbow bridge, Kitty Percy followed her. A very sad time for us all, especially me. This little kitten that has come into our lives looks a lot like Percy did. Percy and Sadie were pals and snoozed on the couch together. They kept me company through many a writing project and the ups and downs of life. I have missed Percy a lot too, and wonder if this new kitty might be like him. You can’t replace a dearly loved furbaby, but newcomers have a way of finding a place in your heart you didn’t even know you had. They create their own warm home in the deepest recesses of our sentiments, maybe even our soul. Those people who do not love furbabies will never understand. Those who do, need no explanation. We know what our furbabies mean to us. Yes, they are a handful to care for at times, but I cannot imagine my life without them. Nor do I wish to. They are my dear friends and an essential part of my life.

(Peaches and Cream)

(Cooper and Jilly)

As of yesterday, the kitten has been named Sparky McGee.

Furbaby Friday With Laurie Ryan


I’m happy to have Laurie Ryan here to share her awesome furbaby and contemporary romance. Northern Lights, with us.

Laurie:

Hi, everyone! And many thanks to Beth for having me here to chat about our furbaby. My husband and I have been privileged to have some pretty awesome animals during our time together. Three of them, a husky named Taschia, a poodle mix called Puddles (picked that up during potty training and it stuck), and a cat named Screamer (again, appropriately named). They were raised together and mostly got along. And the year we lost all three of these members of our family was pretty rough. In fact, we went about five years with no pets because of that.

By then, though, we couldn’t stand it any longer. We put the word out that we were looking for a cat. Interestingly enough, one came our way within a week. A friend of our son’s called to say she’d rescued a stray. She caught some guys (who will be featured as the villains in one of my books eventually) who were throwing this teeny-tiny kitten up, trying to land it on the roof of a building! She grabbed the frightened kitten and sent the villains packing.

And that’s how Dude came to live with us. Remember that “appropriate naming” thing above? This was our first male pet since hubby and I were kids, and we kept saying “she” and “her.” So we named him Dude. And the name is soooo right for this cat. He’s the most laid back pet we’ve ever owned. Loves everyone, loves naps, loves to eat, and rarely gets riled. Well, unless a dog or another cat come on the property

 

His lazy—I mean, laid back lifestyle is probably why he’s been stable for several years at seventeen pounds. He’s a hefty boy, loves to cuddle under my chin, and watches bird videos on you tube. And he’s brought us so much joy in these last ten years. I can’t imagine life without our Dude.

Beth: I love this cat!

Northern Lights:

Finding love in the heart of Alaska.

When New York CEO Renzo Gallini shows up with papers saying he owns the waystation Jess lives and breathes for, she laughs in his face. But things get tense when he’s got the paperwork to prove it…and her father, who apparently signed her home away, is nowhere to be found.

Alaskan native Jess Jenkins has lived most of her life at Last Chance Camp, a man’s world where femininity is relegated to wisps of time behind closed doors. Yet she’s proud of what they’ve built here. Last Chance is all she needs to be happy and no amber-eyed city-boy will convince her otherwise.

Ren left New York on his mother’s foolish errand, to turn an Alaskan truck stop into a vacation destination. He finds little of merit in the wide spot in the road until the small community, led by a fiercely loyal tomboy, shows him there’s more to Alaska than just ruts in the road. That survival depends not just on good planning, but on each other. And love can be found in places where you least expect it.
All buy links can be found here: https://books2read.com/NorthernLights

About the author:

Laurie Ryan writes fantasy and contemporary romance. Growing up a devoted reader, Laurie Ryan immersed herself in the diverse works of authors like Tolkien and Woodiwiss. She is passionate about every aspect of a book: beginning, middle, and end. She can’t arrive to a movie five minutes late, has never been able to read the end of a book before the beginning, and is a strong believer in reading the book before seeing the movie.
Laurie lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, in the shadow of Mt. Rainier and a short drive to beach-walking next to the Pacific Ocean, with her handsome, he-can-fix-anything husband and their gray, seventeen-pound cat, Dude.

You can find Laurie here:
Website: https://www.laurieryanauthor.com/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/beVXAr
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/laurieryanauth/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lryanauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurie.ryan.79

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Laurie a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Brenda Whiteside!


I’m glad to have fellow Wild Rose Press Author Brenda Whiteside with us to share her wonderful dog memories and western romance, The Deep Well of Love and Murder (The Love and Murder Series Book 5).

Brenda: I’ve been lucky to share the life of a host of cats and dogs over my lifetime. The luckiest period of time was a ten year stretch when Rusty lived with us. He was by far the best animal friend FDW and I ever had. The day we walked into PetSmart for cat food and walked out with a rescue puppy, was a surprise and a great day. That puppy looked at me with big eyes rimmed in deep brown, and I fell in love.

Rusty came from the Navajo Indian Reservation in Northern Arizona. His mama was a Red Heeler cattle dog and his daddy was a stranger passing through the res. Judging from Rusty’s long fur, streaks of gold, and personality traits, we’re pretty certain that stranger was a Golden Retriever.

Not only was Rusty an affectionate doggie, but he was also the “smartest dog in the world.” He helped me unload groceries from the car carrying in packages of paper goods and other sundries. Then, I would stand on a stool, and he would hand me rolls of paper towels and toilet paper to store on the shelves. When he saw me carrying dirty clothes from the hampers to the laundry room, he’d chomp some pieces and follow me. Every morning, he’d wait at the door to go out for the newspaper. He was FDW’s favorite fishing buddy. He’d jump with excitement whenever my husband had a fish on the line. But he’d also scold him when he went too long in between catches.

He’s been gone for three years and we still miss him.

Rusty has a role in my latest release, The Deep Well of Love and Murder, series book five. He was the inspiration for Perro, a Red Heeler mix and the best friend of Randy Silva. Perro was born unable to utter any sound and his hearing is limited to Randy’s high-pitched whistle, but his other senses are heightened. He warns Randy of danger more than once. I had fun including Rusty/Perro in this story.

Blurb:
After an abusive childhood and bad marriage, Laura Katz has finally found a home, stability…and possibly love. But her blissful refuge as nanny on the Meadowlark Ranch, miles from Flagstaff, shatters when her ex is released from prison, determined to reclaim her.

Randy Silva, the Argentine foreman, has plans for his own ranch, but a nasty land grab is underway. While the battle escalates, Laura steals his heart, but there are outsiders who stand in their way. He’s in a fight for his land, and the woman he wants by his side.

Stakes are high, as the attacks on Randy and his ranch draw blood. While the vengeful ex-husband stalks Laura, a mob-backed land developer teams with a desperate gambler. Randy can’t be sure where the next attack will come from—or who will be caught in the crossfire.

Excerpt:
“You let me be the judge of what messes I choose in my life.” His hands twitched at his sides, longing to hold her and stifle her anger. He narrowed his eyes and stared deeper into hers instead. “Taking care of your ex is a mess I look forward to.”
“This is my mess, not yours.” Her tone grew more combative. “I’ve handled what I’ve been dealt, and I’ll continue handling whatever gets thrown at me.”
“I don’t see it that way.” He kept his voice level, but hard edged. His own emotions, convincing her while fear of losing her, hammered his self-control. “You’re locking me out. Why? Because you think you aren’t allowed to be happy?”
Her mouth pinched in a tight line, and she glared at him. “Randy—”
“I think it’s about damned time you stopped blaming your mother, your ex, or whoever for your unhappiness.”
She whirled away, ready to flee, but he couldn’t stop now. He needed her and had to make her see how much she needed him. “Don’t be afraid of me, Laura Jane.” He shuffled a half-step closer.
“I’m not afraid.” She faced him again. “But I don’t need you to tell me how to run my life, if that’s what you think you can do.”
Perro jumped and planted his paws on Randy’s hip, panting heavily. “For Pete’s sake, Perro—”
Laura’s brow furrowed. “Do you smell that?”
“What?” As soon as he’d asked, the hot, smoky scent assaulted his senses.
Fire.

Buy Links:
https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Well-Love-Murder-Book-ebook/dp/B07CLRX7Y8

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-deep-well-of-love-and-murder-brenda-whiteside/1129082442?ean=2940162047827

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-deep-well-of-love-and-murder/id1376415644?mt=11

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5877-the-deep-well-of-love-and-murder.html

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-deep-well-of-love-and-murder

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Brenda_Whiteside_The_Deep_Well_of_Love_and_Murder?id=vKFfDwAAQBAJ

Bio:
Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Currently, they split their time between the Lake Roosevelt basin in Central Arizona and the pines in the north. Wherever Brenda opens her laptop, she spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com
Or on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month: http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about life’s latest adventure and has fun guests on her personal blog: https://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003V15WF8
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3972045.Brenda_Whiteside
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-whiteside
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brendawhitesideauthor/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Brenda a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Sandy James!


I am very glad to welcome Sandy James to the blog to share her dear little furbaby with us. I have followed Sandy on Facebook ever since she got this little dog and am touched to share the deeply moving story behind him.


Sandy:  April 2015
I needed a puppy as much as I needed a proverbial hole in my head. My husband Jeff had just finished a twelve-dose round of chemotherapy to fight his colon cancer. He’d taken disability retirement from his job because of the toll cancer had taken on his body, but he was hopeful that he would regain some of his strength and be able to start living his life again. My concern was that he said he was lonely when I was at work and it was sometimes a battle to get him to do simple things like go on walks. My solution?

Max.

Jeff and I had lost our schnauzer, Carter, the year before. He’d been “my” dog, tagging around after me from the moment I brought that little black ball of fur into my home. When his kidneys failed at age fourteen, it broke my heart. I held him in my arms as he died, and I swore I’d never get another dog. Ever. Since Jeff got sick not too long after Carter passed, we really had no desire to have a new pet.

But then Jeff was lonely. He’d often told me how much he’d wished Carter loved him as much as he loved me, and I started thinking… (Something that gets me in tons of trouble.) Maybe Jeff needed a dog to keep him company…one that would be “his” since the pup would be spending more time with Jeff than with me. And since we both loved small, smart dogs, I started searching around for a good schnauzer breeder.

I found the best—Riggs Miniature Schnauzers in northern Indiana. Daphne, the wonderful lady who is Riggs Miniature Schnauzers, is absolutely amazing, so much so that her puppies are reserved a year or more in advance. Jeff was reluctant, but he loved the pictures of her dams and sires, so he acquiesced and we put a deposit down on a pup that would be born in the spring and we waited.

In August, I got a call from Daphne. One of her litters had been larger than expected, and she wanted to know if we wanted to be bumped up to get our puppy sooner. Of course we did! So over fall break, we drove up to her home and picked up our Max.

Sweet Lord, I’d forgotten what puppies were like! Carter had been a very “chill” dog, and Max was about as far from that as a pup could get. Max had two speeds: all out or sound asleep. There simply wasn’t anything in between. But we tried to adapt and joked about how we were both probably too old to have gotten a puppy. At least we could tag team, which allowed us to (barely) keep up with Max’s energy level.

Then our entire world was turned upside down when Jeff’s cancer returned.
Through more rounds of chemotherapy and then radiation, Max was always there to snuggle with Jeff or with me when we were sad or just needed a bit of emotional support. He licked more tears from my cheeks than I can even remember. I think animals are amazingly empathetic, and Max seemed in tune with us. He’d be quiet and cuddle when we needed that or would do something silly if we needed a laugh. Even as Jeff’s health worsened and we realized that he was going to lose his battle with that bastard disease, Max was there to sit in Jeff’s lap or lie beside him on the couch.

I lost Jeff in September of 2016. Max kept me from feeling so damned alone. As I tried to find a new life for myself as a single instead of as a wife, my wonderful salt-and-pepper dog always let me know that he was there for me.

I don’t know what I’d do without him.

(Sandy and Max)

About Sandy James
Sandy lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis, where she teaches psychology. Published through Forever Yours, Carina Press, and indie-published, she has been an Amazon #1 Bestseller multiple times and has won numerous awards including two HOLT Medallions.

For more on Sandy visit her website: https://sandyjames.com/

Follow Sandy’s Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Sandy-James/e/B002BLZOFW/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Sandy a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Karen Docter!


I’m thrilled to have the fabulous Karen Docter here to share her wonderful furbaby rescue and gripping romantic suspense, Killing Secrets (Thorne’s Thorns Book 1).

I Never By Karen Docter

You know that word you should never say…never?
I said I’d never give in to another dog in the house. Two is enough…right? I believe I even said, at one point, that one dog is enough. That memory is a bit vague. After all, we tend to like big dogs and there’s just so much tripping over the Great Pyrenees or the Labrador or the American Boxer you can do without losing your mind and balance. The word move is not generally in their vocabulary. I think, in dog, it translates to walk between my legs. I’m too short for their translation.

(Baby Tucker)

But I digress.

When we lost our Great Pyrenees, our lab went into a decline. Piper seriously grieved over the loss of her best friend and we were worried about her health, so we decided she needed a new playmate. We adopted my daughter’s 2-year-old boxer, Mikka. They were already playdate friends. Our pet lives were full again. We’ve never (there’s that word again) had more than two dogs at one time so I figured we were safe from temptation for the foreseeable future. We’d never add another dog to the mix.

Famous last words.

I’m usually the soft touch. My husband can say no fairly easily, but I’m blaming him for the third dog to enter the house. Okay, I’m the one who carried Tucker through the door. Still. Husband’s fault!
I was minding my own business, happily working on my latest book. My husband had gone across the street to visit with our neighbor and his guests from Oklahoma. (We knew them, had even gone on vacation with them for the last neighborhood ride. We all have motorcycles. Ours is bright yellow and called Bumblebee, a whole ‘nother story!) He’s gone five minutes, I swear, and comes rushing in the front door and tells me I have to come see this puppy they brought with them from Oklahoma.

Following, with him talking a mile a minute about how cute he is, yada-yada, I was halfway across the street when it hit me, “We’re getting a new puppy!” So, when I met little Tucker I was still trying to wrap my head around where my husband was leading me. My resistance was down. It’s the only explanation. The next thing I know, our friend thrust this week old, maybe 10-day old (I can’t remember, it’s all a blur) bundle of fluff and cuteness, his eyes barely opened, into my hands.

(Teeny baby Tucker. Such cuteness!)

I was done. I was in love. I didn’t put him down again even after I carried him through our front door. “Never” became a leaf on the wind the moment I heard his story.

Tucker’s mom, a border collie, was run over when the litter was barely a day old. Her owners didn’t even realize she’d delivered her puppies until they heard them crying later that night. My friends took one of the pups to foster him. I didn’t know at the time they brought Tucker to Colorado with us in mind as his new parents. We’ve since forgiven them.

He was still being bottle fed and they offered to take him back to Oklahoma with them until he was weaned but I couldn’t let him out of my sight. I have to say, despite the fact I said I knew what I was getting myself into, I wasn’t quite ready for the reality of bottle feeding a puppy every two hours or bathing him as often as his mother would have or weaning him or….well, you get the picture.

I don’t think I’ll ever (variation of never that might come back and bite me in the fanny someday) take another puppy that young again, but I wouldn’t have missed Tucker for the world. We have a special relationship with him that we didn’t have with any of the others who were weaned first. My husband and I, and the two older dogs, are his littermates.

He’s over two years old now and really attached to all of us, including my new daughter-in-law who moved in downstairs. I think he’s in love with her, to be truthful. He runs downstairs to be with her whenever she’s home and has even been known to push his way between her and my son. We may lose Tucker when they move out because I’m not sure he won’t whine for his new girlfriend—he whines incessantly when he knows she’s home but he can’t get to her—but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Until then, I can honestly say that we’ll never add another dog to the household. It’s against the law in our town to have more than three dogs. Now, I just need to keep my husband from visiting the neighbors without me. ~


(Tucker at bath time)

Beth: Karen, I love Tucker’s story! I have two cats who were abandoned as kittens that I raised from infancy and am also especially close to.

Now for Karen’s exciting romantic suspense!

Killing Secrets (Thorne’s Thorns Book 1) by K.L. Docter Blurb:

Some secrets are better left dead.

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — the child is his key to controlling the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.

Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.

There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.~

Excerpt from Killing Secrets
© Copyright 2014 – K.L. Docter

Denver, Colorado.

At the first crack of gunfire, Rachel dove headfirst into the garden she was weeding. Listening for the second report she expected to follow, she prayed Amanda stayed at Patrick Thorne’s house where she’d gone an hour ago to play with her new friend, Suze.
Gasping for air, she inhaled the rich, spicy scent of freshly turned soil and crushed nasturtiums instead. Dirt and grit bit into her cheek and the bare flesh exposed by her cutoffs and T-shirt. The mid-afternoon sun beat hot against her shoulders and legs, and all she could do was lie there and watch a fat bumblebee dip into a russet blossom three inches from her nose.
Had she run almost nine hundred miles only to die like this, grubbing alone in the dirt like a spineless worm?
A surge of anger gave her impetus to lift her head. She peeked over the flimsy wall of twelve-inch annuals between her and the street. A second gunshot rang out, belched in a cloud of black smoke from an ancient Volkswagen bus that disappeared around the corner.
Backfire?
She groaned, more relieved than embarrassed by her overreaction. Her chin dropped. Taking several deep draughts of the thin Colorado air, she worked to calm the pound of her heart against her ribcage. Her efforts made her head swim. A minute later she was able to push herself out of the three-foot section of garden she’d mown down.
Her nerves had been on edge since she fled Dallas on Friday, five days ago. If she weren’t so overwrought it would have occurred to her Greg would never stand at a distance and take potshots at her. No. Greg liked to look into her eyes when he meted out his punishments.
An icy shiver skimmed her skin. Each day that passed without his appearance should have reassured her she’d made the right decision to accept Katy’s arrangements with the Thornes. As long as Greg didn’t track her and Amanda to Denver, they were safe.
Problem is she hadn’t felt safe since Amanda was born and she discovered what kind of man she’d married. Now she couldn’t pluck enough weeds from Evelyn Thorne’s gardens by day to tear the anxiety from her heart at night. Her growing sense of trepidation kept her awake long after the morning stars dimmed above the mile-high city’s cloudless skies.
How could the justice system simply hand Greg a “get out of jail free” card? She’d always known the man had connections in high places, but how had he arranged for the evidence in his case—evidence she’d risked everything to provide—to disappear before he even went to trial? If he’d accomplished that feat while behind bars, how in the world was she and Amanda going to stay out of his clutches?
She felt like there were giant bull’s-eyes painted on their backs, that it was only a matter of time before Greg tracked them down. During their marriage the man would spend weeks, even months, laying meticulous groundwork for one of his cons. He’d had six months to plan dozens of new punishments for his betrayer.
“‘Til death us do part, darlin’.”
His words echoed over the expanse of time and distance, ringing a fresh peal of dread in Rachel’s breast. With one hand, she brushed clumps of soil off her tangerine T-shirt and whispered a small prayer. Please don’t let him find us!

***Read Killing Secrets, Karen’s first standalone book in the Thorne’s Thorns series, at a special discounted price of $2.99 for three days only, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 27-29. Dead Ringer, Thorne’s Thorns Book 2, COMING SOON.

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Bio: Bestselling Author Karen Docter writes contemporary romance. When she feels the need to feed the dark side, she writes intense suspense thrillers as K.L. Docter. She’s an award-winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division.

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