Furbaby Friday with Kelley Heckart!


A warm welcome to Kelley Heckart. I’m glad to have Kelley here to share her special furbaby and contemporary paranormal romance, Awakening.

Kelley Heckart: Loki

I’ve loved a few dogs in my life, and each one was special. Loki came to me a little late in his life, age seven, unlike my other dogs that I raised from puppies. He also came to me a bit damaged. I knew about him because he belonged to my niece. He was the “problem” and “high maintenance” dog in the family. I didn’t believe it. He was so small and cute. How could he have such a bad reputation?

The first time he stayed with me and my husband he marked almost the entire house. I’m not kidding. I won’t lie, I was ready to send him back to his home. Something happened, though. Despite his “marking” issue, he was a great dog—mellow for a Chihuahua, and he got along with my old chi-weenie, Hercules, now deceased, a dog that hated all other dogs.

So, when my niece asked me to watch Loki again, I agreed. This time, his “marking” issue was better, and the little guy was growing on me. I can’t explain it, but I saw something in him. He fit into our household routine, he seemed happy at our home, and, most importantly, he respected my older dog’s place in the family.

My niece didn’t come and pick Loki up after she returned from her trip. A week passed, and then another. She knew he was in good hands, and I think she was waiting for me to bring him home, but I decided that if she didn’t come get him, it was a sign he was supposed to stay with us. Being a single mother with a full-time job, she really didn’t have time to care for Loki. If you ask her, my niece will probably say I stole him. Ha ha. Seriously though, he needs to be in a house without children and with someone who is home most of the time, which I am.

The longer he stayed with us, the better behaved he became. I’m able to give him the extra attention he requires. All it took was some love, perseverance, and patience to break his “marking” habit.

He had a different name when I officially adopted him, but I wanted to change it to give him a new start. It took me a while to think of a good name. One day, I set the kitchen trash bag by the back door. A couple of hours later, I picked it up to take outside, and there was a tiny chew hole in the bottom. One of my dogs had done it, and I knew it wasn’t my old chi-weenie. That’s how Loki was named after a Norse trickster god. My husband says he also “tricked” me into adopting him.

He’s been with us for four years now, and he’s turned into a great dog. Sure, he’s a little stubborn and very vocal and adamant when it’s time to go for a walk or eat, but he keeps me on a schedule and forces me to exercise.

He’s got some funny quirks.

He’s afraid of Facebook and cell phone notification sounds, and he’s also afraid of Alexa, but a leaf blower or a super loud phone ring doesn’t frighten him.

He doesn’t like to snuggle, but he always must be able to see me. When my husband and I took him on a trip once, Loki freaked out when I got out of the car to use the restroom. He made a sound like a stuck pig. There was a black lab sitting nearby, and he gave Loki the strangest look. My husband quickly shut the car door so as not to attract too much attention.

Loki gets annoyed when I force him to take selfies, which I do all the time.

True to his Chihuahua nature, he is a little neurotic. He especially gets upset when I go off schedule and leave the house at a time that isn’t part of my regular routine.

He hates children, but children love him, and he’s surprisingly tolerant.

Regardless of his weird quirks, I wouldn’t part from him for anything.

Things he loves:

Cheese. He can hear a cheese wrapper being opened behind a closed door.

He loves to lay outside and warm himself in the sun and watch the birds.

He loves to terrorize the chipmunks.

He loves going for walks every morning. Very early, of course. LOL

Dogs enrich our lives in so many ways. They keep us company, give us unconditional love, force us to get up and go for walks, and they entertain us, too. I’m much healthier in mind and body by having a dog by my side. Despite a rough start with Loki, I’m glad I didn’t give up on him.

My latest release, a contemporary paranormal romance, is inspired by my time as a rock-and-roll bassist. The first book is Kate’s story.

Supernatural meets Rock Star in this exciting new series. More than passion ignites when Kate, rock star/scriptwriter, is trapped in a haunted cabin with the hot Scottish actor playing her hero.

Series blurb:

The five young women of Hecate’s Fury are more than rock stars.

They are Shadow-walkers, chosen to help the supernatural world.

There’s just one problem—no one trained them.

Buy links: Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H1P9242

https://www.kelleyheckart.com/shadowwalkers.html

Excerpt:

Normally, I didn’t eat much in the morning, but the blueberry muffins tempted me. I even found some hot cocoa. Once I’d prepared my breakfast, I sat at the oak table near the kitchen window, chose the seat facing the view, and became entranced by the beautiful forest scene outside. The rising sun cast golden hues across dew-kissed pines that sparkled among the amber oak leaves. The serene atmosphere embraced me, and I closed my eyes, savoring my hot cocoa.

“Bloody hell. Why is the coffee maker empty?”

I flung my eyes open and jumped at the deep male voice, dribbling hot cocoa down my chin. After twisting in my seat, I widened my gaze.

Kane Devlin stood in the kitchen. His tousled brown hair framed his handsome face and curled in perfect, delectable collar-grazing waves. His designer clothes were unwrinkled and also perfect. He looked like he’d showered and dressed for a photo shoot and not just woke up or crawled in after a night of little sleep.

And he was glaring at me. “Did you hear me?”

His slight Scottish burr had taken me aback. Usually he affected an American accent in his movies.

I slowly nodded, very aware I must look like a mess and swiped a napkin over my hot cocoa-streaked chin. “I, uh, what about the coffee maker?”

“I expect coffee in the morning. Britany knows this. My P.A. should know this. That’s you, right?”

“P.A.?”

He leaned on the granite island, his thick muscles straining beneath his long-sleeved shirt. “Are you daft, lass? You are the P.A. Britany sent to fill in for David, right?”

“No.”

“No, you’re not daft or not the P.A.?” One side of his gorgeous mouth twisted into an amused grin.

I hardened my gaze. Okay, hot or not, he was being an ass. “No to both.”

He tilted his head. “Who are you then?”

“Kaitlyn Storm.”

“The author?” He lifted his brows, curiosity lighting his blue-green eyes.

“Yes.” I suddenly wished I had showered and dressed before coming down to the kitchen. Or at least combed my hair.

His keen, assessing gaze roamed my face and body. “Hmm. You look different from your picture.”

Heat crept up my cheeks, and I wanted to crawl under the table. Yeah, I just rolled out of bed.

“Old photo,” I mumbled.

He slanted his head, brow furrowed. “You are much too pretty to be a writer, and that picture doesn’t do you justice.”

My cheeks grew even hotter.

He pointed to the coffee maker. “So, why is it empty?”

I frowned. “Because I don’t drink coffee.”

Studying the coffee maker, he scratched his stubbly chin. “Well, maybe you know how this thing works.”

“It can’t be that difficult.” I pushed my chair back, stood, brushed past him, retrieved a measuring cup and then filled the coffee maker reservoir with water. Ignoring his presence as best I could, I found the coffee and filters in one of the pantries.

From behind me, he said, “You should be a P.A.” His words were tinged with mirth.

“And you should try not to be such an ass.” I turned and pursed my lips.

Amused laughter rumbled from him. “I like you, Katie.”

I bristled. No one ever called me that. In fact I hated that nickname, but it did sound pleasing the way Kane said it with his slight Scottish accent.

 

Kelley Heckart

Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

https://www.facebook.com/kelleyheckartauthor

http://www.goodreads.com/kheckart

www.amazon.com/author/kelleyheckart

Multi-published author Kelley Heckart lives in Arizona with her musician husband, dog, and a number of backyard “pets.” Her stories reflect her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic, and romance. When not writing, she works as a freelance editor, practices target archery, and writes and records music with her husband. She can be found online at http://www.kelleyheckart.com/

***Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Kelley a message.

New Audiobook–Enemy of the King!


Award-winning historical romance novel, Enemy of the King (Book 1 The Traitor’s Legacy Series), is now a fabulous audiobook available at Audible and Amazon.  Narrator Roy Davis did a great job.

“AN AMAZING AND VIBRANT LOOK INTO THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION…THIS SEXY HISTORICAL IS A MUST READ!” ~Five Cups From Coffee Time Romance & More

1780 South Carolina, spies and intrigue, a vindictive ghost,  the battle of King’s Mountain, Patriots and Tories, pounding adventure, pulsing romance…ENEMY OF THE KING.

Story Blurb:

(Book 1 of the Traitor’s Legacy Series.) The American Revolution.

1780, South Carolina: While Loyalist Meriwether Steele recovers from fever in the stately home of her beloved guardian, Jeremiah Jordan, she senses the haunting presence of his late wife. When she learns that Jeremiah is a Patriot spy and shoots Captain Vaughan, the British officer sent to arrest him, she is caught up on a wild ride into Carolina back country, pursued both by the impassioned captain and the vindictive ghost. Will she remain loyal to her king and Tory twin brother or risk a traitor’s death fighting for Jeremiah? If Captain Vaughan snatches her away, he won’t give her a choice.

Available in kindle/eBook, paperback, and now audio.

At Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Enemy-of-the-King/dp/B07K3QKJNJ

Furbaby Friday with Rachel Brimble!


I’m happy to welcome Rachel Brimble here to share her wonderful labs and historical romance, The Mistress of Pennington’s.

Rachel: Tyler The Dog

Being a writer/novelist can, at times, be a lonely existence and I think that’s why so many of us have pets. For me, a canine companion is vital to my physical and mental wellbeing, not to mention the emotional.

When I lost my beloved black Lab, Max in February 2015, I fell head first into a dark abyss that I had no wish to revisit by getting another dog. For months, I wandered around feeling as though my life would never be the same again. Max was my constant companion, friend and champion. Never a day went by when he wouldn’t make me laugh or comfort me in some way.

It wasn’t until the end of the following May that someone on Facebook asked me if I’d had a look at the Borrow My Doggy website. What on earth? I’d never heard of it. Anyway, long story short, this is a site where dog owners ‘loan’ out their pets for walks, weekends or holidays.

The first picture I saw was of a six-month old chocolate Labrador whose owner had just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and needed a helping hand. The rest, as they say, is history. By the following January, I had adopted Tyler and he came to live with us. His original owner still regularly sees him, and the arrangement is perfect for us both.

Nowadays, Tyler is no less of a companion or beloved to me than Max. He is constantly at my feet, making me laugh and getting up to mischief as only a Labrador can! Of course, I know there will come a day when my heart will be broken again, but the years of love, devotion and laughter make the pain worth it. Dogs are amazing and will undoubtedly remain a part of my life for as long as I am capable of caring for them.
Here’s to dogs and all they give their hoomans!

Rachel is an author of over 20 contemporary romances, romantic suspense and historical romance novels. Here latest release is THE MISTRESS OF PENNINGTON’S, which is the first book in her new Edwardian series. Book 2, A REBEL AT PENNINGTON’S will release in February 2019.

Blurb and buy links for The Mistress of Pennington’s:

1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath’s leading department store. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.

Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.

Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.

Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

Buy Links:
Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/2SvRcqp
Amazon US: http://a.co/3OFh9JK
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mistress-of-penningtons-rachel-brimble/1128920728?ean=9781788546508
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-mistress-of-pennington-s
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachel_Brimble_The_Mistress_of_Pennington_s?id=dIFSDwAAQBAJ
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-mistress-of-penningtons/id1362129705?mt=11

Bio & Links:
Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Links:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/?hl=en
Amazon Author Page:
https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490948101&sr=8-1
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble
Bookbub:
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rachel-brimble

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Rachel a comment.

Come One and All to Our Virtual Halloween Party


Join the fun at our multi-Author Facebook Halloween party Tuesday evening from 3:30 to 8:00. Frolic and enjoy virtual goodies. There will be prizes. Pop in at:  https://www.facebook.com/events/2150869525151029

Sparky McGee is going with me.  He’s getting his Halloween on. (Image by daughter Elise Trissel)

Party Schedule:
5:30 – 5:50 ~ Lane McFarland
5:50 – 6:10 ~ Ana Morgan
6:10 – 6:30 ~ Dawn Marie Hamilton
6:30 – 6:50 ~ Patty Taylor
6:50 – 7:10 ~ Cathy MacRae
7:10 – 7:30 ~ Beth Trissel
7:30 – 7:50 ~ Cate Parke
7:50 – 8:00 ~ Everyone Wrap Up evening October

See you there! If you get lost find me on Facebook. I will give updates. https://www.facebook.com/beth.trissel

Furbaby Friday With Viviana MacKade!


I’m glad to have Viviana here to share her dearly loved furbaby and romantic suspense, His Midnight Sun.

Viviana: The first time I met Macdudly I was disappointed in him, and he growled at me. You see, I’d driven those 4 hours to get a puppy and yes, the family I’d bought him from told me he was six months old already and still with them because he was slightly too big for his breed (he was a West Highland White Terrier). In my head, though, I was going to get a puppy, not this already big dog with a crappy disposition.

(Macdudly)

He threw up in the car on our way back home. My jacket didn’t survive it, and I knew I was going to have to re-buy everything I got for him because he was not puppy-small. He kept the crappy disposition.

And by the end of the day, we were deeply, crazily, foolishly in love.
Mac was, hands down, the smartest, more emphatic, sweet, and funny dog that had ever lived on this earth.

I had just been diagnosed with MS. The therapy I was doing back then hit me pretty hard on a weekly basis, and I was trying to wrap my head around the idea that, even if the reaction to the therapy would get better, that crap was going to be the rest of my life. Mac felt my moods, and he would do something silly to make me laugh before cuddling close and nuzzling at me.

I took him with me everywhere I went: camping, in the snow, pheasants hunting in the woods close to my home. Mac loved running in the snow but with his fur so long, he always ended up blinded by clusters of icy snow on his face, and I had to keep talking so he had my voice to follow.

When I moved to the UK, my mom drove from Italy to Norwich so Mac could be with me. We visited Merlin’s cave and celebrated New Years in Edinburgh, sleeping in the car because hotels were way too expensive on Hogmanay.

He loved frozen peas, couldn’t stand grooming, and was the happiest when he dug holes and chased small game. Once we were in the Grand Paradiso National Park and I swear, I pulled him out from a marmot’s burrow by his tail… He was so going to get the marmot, and get me in so much trouble with the Park Rangers!

He was, simply, the best.
We always said he looked like Sean Connery (picture). He really did.
I’m still not over him, not sure I ever will, so until my son will ask for a dog, I don’t feel like having one. Even when that moment comes, it will be my son’s dog, the family’s dog.
But me? I’m Mac’s.

Blurb for His Midnight Sun

Tormented, fierce, and broken, sculptor Aidan Murphy has judged himself guilty. He yearns for love but pushes everyone away. He longs for acceptance but has lost the key to open his heart. Until he meets Summer Williams. Beautiful and smart, Dr. Williams promises haven for a man who believes he deserves none. All he has to do is let her in and risk his heart and soul.

Summer’s managed to keep her inner light alive, even through tragedy. She’s created a new life for herself and her daughter in Crescent Creek with loving, caring and fun friends–well, except brooding, breathtaking Aidan. She’s used to keeping away from his type, though. All she has to do is ignore the pull of a man who’s turning up to be much more than snarls and storms. Will her compassion and medical instincts let her?
Love can heal a broken soul and shake up a timid heart. Or it can unleash devastation and revenge.
Will Aidan and Summer survive the hurricane?
5 Star Read

Buy Link
Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GDP26VB?

https://goo.gl/L8okF6

About the Author:
Beach bum and country music addicted, Viviana lives in a small Floridian town with her husband and her son, her die-hard fans and personal cheer squad. She spends her days between typing on her beloved keyboard, playing in the pool with her boy, and eating whatever her husband puts on her plate (the guy is that good, and she really loves eating). Besides beaching, she enjoys long walks, horse-riding, hiking, and pretty much whatever she can do outside with her family.

Find Viviana:
On her website http://www.viviana-mackade.blog/
On FB
On Twitter
Amazon Author page

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Viviana a comment.

New Release! An Enchanted Holiday Digital Boxed Set!


I’m excited to have my time travel fantasy romance, The White Lady, in the new holiday boxed set release from The Wild Rose Press. Available in preorder now–out November 8th.

Blurbs for An Enchanted Holiday:

Mr. Jack Frost by Amy Hahn
Once upon a wintry evening she made a wish on Christmas snow…
Reagan Thorton never expected her wish to come true, even when Jack Frost appears on her doorstep. She doesn’t believe such nonsense or in happy endings.
Jack has until Christmas Eve to make her rediscover happiness in life and joy in the holiday season. But Reagan is falling in love and Jack knows that once Christmas Eve arrives he’ll vanish forever in a swirl of snow. Or will he? After all, he has become the reason for her happiness.

The White Lady by Beth Trissel
It’s just two weeks before Christmas, and Avery Dunham cannot change Ignus Burke’s mind. They must travel back in time to rescue the White Lady in the portrait above his fireplace. The magic-wielding wizard is obsessed with her. Avery was right: this adventure is not going to be like any other.

A Witch’s Holiday Wedding by Tena Stetler
Elemental witch Pepper McKay happily agrees to marry former SEAL Lathen Quartz. Planning a wedding and operating their wildlife rescue on enchanted McKay land takes a toll. Will the nosy McKay ghosts, Lathen’s werewolf pack, Pepper’s parents, and her best friend help or hinder the wedding and holiday plans?

A Magical Highland Solstice by Mary Morgan
Laird Cormac Murray has vowed to never take a wife. When a lost path in Scotland leads Eve Brannigan to a handsome but gruff Highlander, she fights the temptation to allow love to enter her heart for the first time. Can the Fae and the magic of the Yule season bring together two souls who have forsaken love?

The Christmas Star by Roni Adams
A holiday fling with Nick Christopoulus on a Greece Isle is just the vacation Chrissy Star needs from her world of elves. When she disappears after a night of magical sex, Nick is determined to track her down. But how can Nick, a non-believer, find a magical place called Christmas Town?

Available in kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Enchanted-Holiday-Digital-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B07J4BB8JW/

Furbaby Friday with Neil Plakcy!


I’m glad to welcome Neil Plakcy to the blog to share his  beloved dogs and golden retriever mystery, In Dog We Trust.

Neil: The dog who inspired my golden retriever mysteries was our first golden, Sam, aka Jacoplax’s Samwise Gamgee. He had a huge personality, and just as with the fictional Samwise and Frodo, he became my constant companion.
When I met my partner, he had two dogs: Gus, a collie, and Charlie, a Yorkie. Soon after we moved in together, Gus crossed the rainbow bridge and we chose Sam to replace him. But Charlie had a huge personality, and he had already established that my partner was his human, so Sam bonded with me.

Trainers told us that a tired dog was a well-behaved dog, so I took Sam for forty-five minutes walks night and day around our gated community. We explored side streets and empty lots, and he often tugged me forward, in search of new and exciting smells. People would regularly stop us, either to comment on what a handsome dog he was, or to ask who was walking who.

He had a dozen personality quirks – he’d sit on the stairs, hiding his head, as if because he couldn’t see us, we couldn’t see him. He loved to hide under my bed, requiring one of us to get down on the floor and tug him out if we were ready to go out and wanted to confine him to the downstairs. He hated thunder and fireworks, he chewed pens and cell phones, and when I sat at my computer to write he curled himself around the back of my chair to keep me in place.

I loved him so much that I knew I had to write about him, and because I’d already written a number of mystery novels, I made him into a crime-sniffing dog with a knack for discovering dead bodies, and the ability to provide his human with a regular stream of clues.

The first book in the series, IN DOG WE TRUST, came out in 2010, while Sam was still with me. Within two years he was gone, to be replaced by Brody, and then a second golden, Griffin. Neither of them have Sam’s personality—they’re sweet, well-behaved dogs with few quirks. But watching them every day continues to inspire me for Rochester’s behavior and the clues he can come up with.

Blurb:
42-year-old Steve Levitan has lost everything that matters to him – his marriage, his home and his career. After finishing a brief prison term for computer hacking, he returns to his home town of Stewart’s Crossing, PA with his tail between his legs.

With his parole officer peering over his shoulder, Steve begins a technical writing business and takes a part-time job as an adjunct professor of English at his alma mater, Eastern College. He reconnects with an old friend, the local police detective, hangs out at a coffee shop, and enjoys the natural beauty of Bucks County and the stimulating college environment. Starting over helps him numb the pain of all he’s lost, including the two unborn children his ex-wife miscarried before their divorce.

The last thing he needs in his life is a shaggy, bossy golden retriever. But when his next-door neighbor, Caroline Kelly, is murdered, Steve becomes her dog’s temporary guardian. Rochester seems determined to solve the mystery of Caroline’s death, digging up clues and pushing Steve to investigate. As they nose through Caroline’s past, her friends and her career searching for motives, the bond between man and dog grows.

But it’s only when Steve uncovers a connection between Caroline’s death and some uncomfortable situations between his students and his colleagues that Steve realizes that in order to save his own life, and the life of the dog he’s come to love, he’s going to have to come face to face with a killer with nothing left to lose.

Excerpt:

I often like to walk alongside the nature preserve that backs up against River Bend in the evening. There’s a long stretch between River Road and the guardhouse, and when I’m there I can imagine I’m in the midst of a wilderness instead of the middle of suburbia.

I waved at the old guy manning the gate, and then side-stepped a big pile of poop, left behind by a dog belonging to one of my neighbors. Probably one of those who ostentatiously carried plastic bags but never stooped to using one.

Many of my dog-owning neighbors liked to walk along the preserve, including my next-door neighbor, Caroline Kelly, who owned a golden retriever named Rochester. I guess the smells out there are more interesting than the ones on our street, even though it’s lined with maples and oaks and nearly every house has a dogwood or lilac tree or a flowerbed filled with the first daffodils and tulips of spring.

I was brooding about the ever-present possibility that I’d be sent back to prison when I heard three short bangs that sounded like someone was shooting off firecrackers, but without the whistle and the whine. The sounds stood out because the rest of the night was so silent—not even a distant siren or the roar of a motorcycle.

A fast-moving black SUV roared past me a moment later, skidding gravel. Rochester came galloping up toward me as soon as it had gone, the handle of his extension leash bouncing behind him the way a convict in a cartoon might drag his ball and chain.

I knew it was Rochester because of the madras bandana that Caroline kept slung around his neck. “Hey, boy, hey,” I said, reaching out to grab him. “Where’s your mom? How’d you get away from her?”

As soon as I had hold of his leash, Rochester executed a sharp 180-degree turn and started running back the way he’d come, this time dragging me along with him. “Rochester! Stop!” I called. “Sit, boy, sit!”

I’d never cared for Rochester. I guess it was clear to him that I didn’t like dogs, and he made it his personal mission to reinforce that opinion. He did a good job of it, too. He was too big, too enthusiastic, too shaggy. Whenever I stopped to talk to Caroline, Rochester tried to jump on me, and Caroline couldn’t keep him in line. She took him for obedience lessons every Saturday, but his exuberance still overwhelmed his manners.

He had huge paws and a big head. His fur was fine and attached itself to me if I even passed within five feet of him, giving my lint brush lots of use. He had big jowls, too, and there was usually a line of drool hanging from them he was happy to wipe off on me. His paws were often muddy, and somehow the tip of his tail was always wet, and when he whipped it against my leg it stung like the touch of a wasp.

Galloping down the street, he ignored my commands to stop, but quickly I saw why he was in such a hurry.

A narrow, grassed-over path from the access road into River Bend led off to an old Revolutionary War cemetery at the edge of the preserve. Caroline had told me she often took Rochester up that path, and cars used it to turn around when they realized they were approaching the entry to a gated community.

As I neared where the grassy path met the roadway, I saw Caroline Kelly lying on the ground. All the activity of the past few minutes formed into a pattern in my head—the shots fired, the speeding car, the loose dog. I looked around as adrenaline raced through my veins. Was the shooter still there? No, he or she must have left in the car that passed me.

I walked up to Caroline, and leaned down next to her. Blood seeped out of her jacket, and there was a growing pool next to her leg. I remembered learning in college biology that if the femoral artery, running through the thigh, was severed, you could bleed out in a matter of minutes.

“Caroline?” I asked. “Caroline, can you hear me?” I had no idea how to do CPR and I was worried I’d do the wrong thing, somehow hurt her further.

I watched for a minute but could not see any rise and fall in her chest. I flipped open my cell phone, my hands shaking, and found my friend Rick Stemper’s cell number. Rick was a police detective in Stewart’s Crossing, and I knew he’d tell me what I should do.

Bio:
Neil Plakcy has written or edited over three dozen novels and short stories in mystery, romance and erotica. His golden retriever mystery series was inspired by his first golden, Samwise. Long walks with his current goldens give him plenty of time to think up new crimes and solutions—and Brody and Griffin provide love, entertainment, and endless piles of fur on the floor.
His website is http://www.goldenretrievermysteries.com.

Buy links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1L5eVgs
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/in-dog-we-trust/id1344604987
Other retailers: https://www.books2read.com/u/mVRVAm

Social Media Links:
BLOG: http://mahubooks.blogspot.com
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001JP4EL6
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