Tag Archives: author animal companions

Furbaby Friday with James DiBenedetto!


I am glad to have James DiBenedetto here to share his much-loved writing kitties and exciting Dream Doctor Mysteries.

James: Like most people who have cats, I’ve gotten very used to my four-legged friends “helping” me when I write. Daisy (the beautiful tortoise-shell who we had for ten years) loved to sit herself on the desk, right in front of (or on top of!) the keyboard. I can only assume that she had ideas for my books that she just couldn’t wait to share with me.

Danny (the handsome white cat we’ve had since 2014) has a different approach. He’s obviously read all the stories that talk about how bad it is to sit for an extended period, so he makes sure I get up from the keyboard frequently to get some exercise. He does this by jumping on the bookshelf and trying to knock items off. Catching them before they hit the floor helps to hone my reflexes, so clearly this is a coordinated fitness program for me!

It’s probably no coincidence that animals feature in almost all my books, too. In the Dream Doctor Mysteries, Sara, our heroine, has a dog throughout the series. When we first meet her, she’s the owner of a Golden Retriever named Lumpy, whom she got as a puppy when she was ten. Later, after she’s graduated medical school, she adopts a Labrador-Retriever mix named Chrissy, and at the end of the series, when she’s about to see her daughter graduate from college, she’s got a Beagle named Bucky.

Speaking of the Dream Doctor Mysteries, I’ve just relaunched them, with new covers (which I think look really cool). I already mentioned that Sara is the heroine, and the reason they’re called that is, Sara has the gift (or curse) of being able to step into other people’s dreams, which causes her no end of trouble!
The first book of the series is Dream Doctor, and it opens with Sara preparing for her wedding, until another supernatural dream threatens to upset everything.

A short excerpt, from Dream Doctor showing Sara’s relationship with her beloved dog:

So why do I want to tear off my beautiful dress, jump in the car and drive away as fast and far as I can?
I know exactly why.
“I need a minute,” I mumble, and I go upstairs to my room and lock the door. Lumpy’s sitting on the bed and I’m grateful. I’m going to need someone beside me who loves me unconditionally to get through this.
I pick up the phone and dial. Brian’s mother answers on the first ring, sounding very harassed. “Is Brian there? I need to talk to him,” I say without preamble. She can hear the panic in my voice, and I can hear the tiny note of hopefulness in hers as she calls out to Brian to pick up. It’s a year and a half and she still hasn’t really warmed up to me. She never, ever will, either. That’s fine – she’s about to get her wish.
As I wait for Brian to pick up, Lumpy nuzzles against me, licks my right hand. After this is done, he’ll be the only one who won’t think I’m horrible or stupid or crazy – or maybe all three. I hear a click as Brian picks up the phone. He’s panting. “Sara? What’s wrong?” He must have run to the phone. I can’t even guess what he thinks might be going on with me. I hate that I’m doing this to him, but what choice do I have?
I don’t know how to begin, so I just blurt it right out: “I love you – you know that. But I think I – we – you shouldn’t marry me. It’s not fair to you.”

Book Description from Dream Doctor:

Between adjusting to life as a newlywed and trying to survive the first month of medical school, Sara Alderson has a lot on her plate. She definitely doesn’t need to start visiting other people’s dreams again. Unfortunately for her, it’s happening anyway.
Every night, she sees a different person and a different dream. But every dreamer has one thing in common: they all hate Dr. Morris, the least popular professor in the medical school, and they’re all dreaming about seeing him – or making him – dead.
Once again, Sara finds herself in the role of unwilling witness to a murder before it happens. But this time, there are too many suspects to count, and it doesn’t help matters that she hates Dr. Morris every bit as much as any of his would-be murderers do.

Dream Doctor is the first book of the Dream Doctor Mysteries.

Follow James at:

His website – www.jjdibenedetto.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/jjdibenedettoauthor
Twitter – http//twitter.com/jjdibenedetto
Youtube book videos – www.tinyurl.com/jjdvideo
Audiobook samples – www.tinyurl.com/jjdaudio
Amazon Author page – http://viewAuthor.at/JJDiBenedetto

Furbaby Friday with Michelle Kidd!


I am happy to have my friend and fellow author Michelle Kidd here to share her darling little dog and début novel, Inspirational Time Travel Suspense, Timeless Moments. She hit it out of the park with her first book which is soaring at Amazon.

Michelle: Introducing Lacy

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to share my fur baby with you. Thank you, Beth, for having us. My Lacy girl was a surprise gift from my husband on Easter 2011. Normally, I know when he’s hatching some plot, but her arrival came as a complete surprise. I had said after I lost my beautiful Cocker Spaniel, Samantha, I wasn’t sure I could go through that pain again. But my husband, who couldn’t stand me grieving, took matters into his own hands. I’m so glad he did. The holes those little pawprints leave can never be filled, but the heart is a wonderful thing. In time it can expand and grow to love again.

From the minute that fluffy white ball of fur crawled into my lap, shy and clingy, I knew she needed me as much as I needed her. She got over her shyness pretty quickly and totally took over our lives before we realized it. My boys adore her, and I love having another female in the house. She is definitely Mama’s girl. I’d never heard of a Bichon Frise. I read up on them and learned they are in the poodle family, but there’s nothing prissy or fru-fru about this gal. She’s my little tom boy.

A typical day for her includes barking at the groundhog who lives under my neighbor’s shed, running the fence with her pal, the beagle, keeping my boys company while they splash in the pool, and helping her mama write the current WIP. When she’s not otherwise occupied, she loves the occasional bath—yes, you read that right. She often falls asleep while I’m rinsing her, no doubt worn out from all her other activities. It doesn’t matter where she is or what she’s doing, she comes running at the sound of the blow dryer. Wet or dry, she has to have her curls blown out.

When I sit down at the keyboard, she recognizes it’s time to get to work. It’s a tough job supporting and encouraging a writer. Lacy knows a writer’s life isn’t always easy, but her unflagging optimism gives me courage to keep typing away, even on the hardest of days!

Author Bio:

Born and raised in the heart of Virginia, Michelle Kidd is an author, quilter, and avid reader. Michelle lives with her husband of 25 years, two sons, the world’s craziest cat, and dorky dog. When not writing, she enjoys homeschooling and time with family. A lifelong writer, she enjoys weaving her faith through her stories.

Michelle enjoys hearing from her readers and learning how the stories and characters have impacted them. For more information or to get in touch with her visit: MichelleKidd.com

*Note: My cat has since passed away, but you can find her in the pages of TIMELESS MOMENTS. (A time traveling cat . . . well, maybe)

Blurb from Timeless Moments:
(Christian Time Travel Suspense)

What’s hidden in the dark will be brought to light . . .

When Jewel Wiltshire marries, she vows to love, honor, and obey. Little does she know that her husband’s secrets will push her faith far beyond anything she can imagine. For two years she remains a prisoner until a mysterious stranger appears offering friendship and hope.

Jack Vines has the Victorian home of his dreams—or so it seems until he discovers an intriguing beauty lurking in the shadows. Stunned, he finds they share the house but live a century apart. She is a prisoner of the past, shrouded in a world of dark mysteries. He holds the keys that will protect their future. When her letters suddenly stop, can he unravel the mystery that threatens to alter both their lives forever?

Excerpt:

Jack pressed his nose against the car window. The chilled sensation made shivers race down his spine, or maybe it was anticipation. He enjoyed the way the pale yellow sunlight streamed through the morning fog. The light shimmered across the damp street of Rivermont. How he loved the smell of wet pavement. He didn’t understand his excitement. He only knew it stirred him, this small feeling like the flutter of butterfly wings in his stomach.

To his eight-year-old mind, the Victorian homes emerged from the mist and stood like ageless soldiers along the avenue. His house was coming into view—it wasn’t his house, he corrected himself, not yet, but someday.

Here, time stood still. He closed his eyes and pictured the horse-drawn carriages, imagined the clip-clop of their hooves against the street. But if he shut his eyes, he might miss something, and he loved to look at the grand houses.

He knew every stone, every window. His heart beat faster at the grandeur. His eyes locked on each feature, the steps, the porch, down to the black numbers nailed with precision to the side of the door. He loved each detail, including the massive oak whose branches stretched out a welcome.

In autumn, the yellow-orange leaves lit the street with a peaceful glow. They fell by the hundreds, surrounding the base of the tree like a fancy dress worn long ago. Sometimes when he squinted just so, it appeared to be a grand lady calling to him. Someday he’d answer, some day…

Get Timeless Moments in kindlehttps://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Moments-Michelle-Kidd-ebook/dp/B01LWLCARU

Connect with Michelle on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorMichelleKidd/
MichelleKidd Twitter: @MichelleKidd67
Email: MichelleKiddWrites@hotmail.com
Website: MichelleKidd.com

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Michelle a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Kathryn Scarborough!


I’m happy to have fellow Wild Rose Press Author Kathryn Scarborough here to share her dear dog rescues and her paranormal romantic suspense, The Wild Mountain Thyme.

Kathryn: Some folks in our neighborhood post a sign on their door that says, “dogs welcome, people tolerated.” Although, I’m not that drastic, I do love dogs, cats, and most critters, except those with six and eight legs. I am thrilled to share my “Fur Babies” story on Beth’s blog and also to tell her readers about my latest book released from The Wild Rose Press.

We have two dogs and two grand puppies. A grand puppy of course is a dog that is one of your children’s. My youngest son’s dog, Fei, (that’s supposedly Chinese for ‘dancing air spirit’?) is one of my favorites. She is a yellow lab Greyhound mix and has quite a personality. My two fur babies are all American dogs; just like the rest of us in this country, a mixture of anything and everything.

My youngest son found our dog, Bitsy, almost 8 years ago wandering around the parking lot of a Kohl’s department store. She was half starved, dehydrated, and had every parasite known to man. We took Bitsy in a few weeks after he found her and started the long road back to health. She was only about 10 weeks old when we got her. She’s a very well behaved with lots of herding dog mix. Perhaps English Shepherd and Shetland sheepdog. She’s very protective of us and when given the opportunity, will herd the dogs that live next door. She’s had agility and herding training. Her trainer says, “she’s a character with an attitude.”

This is from a painting called, “Found”, by Walter Hunt a British painter who lived early in the 20th century. Seeing the painting for the first time was dumbfounding because I had never seen another dog, alive or in a painting, that resembled Bitsy so closely.

Our other dog is a ‘big brown American dog.’ We got him from the Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue, and he may indeed have some Golden in him. The little girl whose family was his first foster family named him “Barley’, but since that’s something I put in my Scotch Broth, I renamed him ‘Barkley’, and then I added the ‘Sir Charles’. He is a loveable old fellow, who had a very hard life before we got him.

The Wild Mountain Thyme:

There’s a serial killer murdering Irish-American tourists all over Ireland. Jim O’Flannery of the Boston Globe and Megan Kennedy of the Irish Times, are teamed up to report on the killings. They want to work together, but stay clear of each other emotionally; there was A LOT of trouble with the opposite sex in the past. But, Jim’s guardian angel appears, as a leprechaun, to pester and cajole Jim into getting involved with Megan. Jim can see Seamus, Megan can’t.
Jim and Megan trail the murderer to the west coast of Ireland, piecing together his motivation and where he may strike next.

An attempt is made on their lives, and only Jim’s quick wits saves the two. Megan disappears. Has the killer kidnapped her? Can Jim, with Seamus’s help, save her from mortal danger?

Excerpts:
The elevator started again, but jarred to a stop suddenly between floors. There was not a sound.
Jim felt as though he’d fallen into a vacuum. He stood very still and tried not to breathe. The only sound was the rapid beat of his heart.
A puff of green smoke rose from the floorboards. It wavered through the air and wrapped itself around Jim as it hovered and shimmered. Out of the swirling vapor popped a little man about three feet tall. He wore a Kelly green waistcoat, green breeches, green knee-high stockings, and green shoes with shiny silver buckles. Jim backed against the wall of the elevator as he felt the blood rush from his face and into his feet. His jaw slid south, and his heart hammered painfully
“I’m not trying to give you palpitations, boy-o, but you must listen. Aye?” said the apparition. The little man had a long, crooked nose, slightly slanted, pale blue eyes, pointy ears, and a long stemmed pipe clutched between his teeth. His bright, fiery red hair fell down around his shoulders in soft He had a beard of the same fiery red shade that curled in front of his chin, like he’d used a curling iron to force it into shape. He held his hat, an elf’s pointed cap, in front of him, as he stared intently at Jim. Jim felt the air whoosh out of him as he slid soundlessly to the floor of the elevator. And then he forgot to breathe. The little man walked up to him, nose to nose and in an undertone, he said very quietly, “Boo.”
Jim gasped.
“Grand. I had to get you breathing again.”

All Jim had to do was take one look at Megan’s stricken face to know that the guy had done plenty of damage. Richard was a type; the sort of man who was too slick for his own good. He had charm oozing from every pore. Jim hoped he could soothe Megan out of her hurt, maybe he could give her a hug and—
Those thoughts came to a screeching halt when, over Megan’s shoulder, he glimpsed Seamus scowling at him. This time the elf/angel stood, with hands on hips and his toe tapping, in front of a teeny, tiny gothic church. The leprechaun looked steamed, and for good measure shook his head. Jim raised his hand and with as unobtrusive a movement as possible, backhanded Seamus off his little tuft of magical grass, mimicking a fly-shooing movement. Jim turned his attention to Megan. She stared down at the top of the desk, idly picking up a file and then letting it drop. Finally, she sat and took a deep cleansing breath.
“He’s scum,” she hissed under her breath.

Get The Wild Mountain Thyme in Kindle:

https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Mountain-Thyme-Kathryn-Scarborough-ebook/dp/B078KB3ZHW

Check out Kathy’s blogs at
https://www.scarboroughbooks.com

I’d certainly love to hear what you think of the book.
Let me know, you can reach me at:
Kathryn@www.scarboroughbooks.com

Twitter: Kathy@kathy60snc
Facebook: Kathryn Scarborough, author 

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Kathryn a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Author Dee Gatrell


I am happy to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Dee Gatrell, to Furbaby Friday to share her wonderful dogs and humorous romantic fiction novel, Sweet Sunset.
 (Icarus)
Dee: Icarus was a 12-year-old, schnauzer. We had him since he was 6 months old from a breeder going out of business. He was an alpha male, and had the eyes that drew  you in. He got along with dogs outside, but wasn’t crazy about them being in the house. After they were here a while he adjusted and just belly growled.
My one daughter had a deaf white boxer. It ticked him off because the dog couldn’t hear him, but sometimes she could feel his growl and get nasty back. Then when that dog died, daughter got a pitbull she named Fireball. Icarus would sit on my husband’s lap doing his Elvis imitation of the lip curl. Fireball laid on the floor in front of them. When Icarus would growl, she’d pick up her head, and toss it back and forth with a big grin. Ticked him off that the pitbull didn’t get angry at him.
A month or so ago we noticed Icarus  had days when he didn’t feel good, but by afternoon he was better. The day came when we noticed him shivering and he pooped black. And two days later he couldn’t get up. Alarmed, I called the vet, and we took him in. She said she expected it to be Zeus, not Icarus. She did x-rays and blood work. His spine had deteriorated and his blood work was off. She said  he was in pain. We made the heartbreaking decision to put him down. We held him and kissed him goodbye. Our vet cried with me. My husband saved his tears until he was home and we didn’t see him.
My husband has cancer, and Icarus was a comfort dog, sitting and sleeping on his lap or stomach. We had him cremated and have his ashes on the bookshelf in a pretty box. My husband admits to talking to him at times, or saying a prayer over him.
 (Zeus and Icarus)
We know Zeus won’t be with us for long. He falls a lot and isn’t eating as well. But he’s still our sweet boy.
I recently decided to get another dog, a rescue. I applied for a dog named JoJo from a rescue shelter. I didn’t really think I’d get him as he had a lot of applications wanting him. He was at a shelter about 40 miles from us. He’s a Maltese and only 10 lbs.
I said I wanted a dog between 1 and 3 years old. They say he’s four. He was found on the street. He has no voice, just makes little noises, and thinks he’s barking at our rescue lab mix. And he has issues with food. They said he was starving when they got him, so now he has anger issue when he sees other dogs with food. We’re working on that, too. But he is sweet. Zeus is nice to him, and that’s good. Poor guy falls down in the house on tile floor, but  he can run in the yard.

(JoJo)

Zeus takes long naps these days. He likes to be with me in the office sleeping on the pillow beside me, where Icarus used to lay, or Ellie. They have lots of pillows, but always want the same ones.
The first two days Icarus was gone, Zeus wouldn’t sleep in the bedroom. I’d find him in the kitchen sleeping on the rug in front of the refrigerator. Now he’s back to the bedroom at night, but not on Icarus’s pillow.

Zeus usually has a happy face. Well, except for this time when he got groomed. I don’t think he was happy with the results. Generally, when I go to pick him up from the vets he’s happy to see me. I swear he snubbed me. At home, it took him a while to warm up to me. OK so he reminds me of my dear Aunt Mildred with the round body and skinny legs. Shhh, if she’s listening from above, she won’t like that description.

(Zeus after his haircut)

When I wrote Sweet Sunset the editor kept saying I had too many folks whose name started with whatever letter. So I changed the main man in the story over and over. Finally I named him Zack. Hey, no one else’s name started with a Z. Then I realized I had Zeus in the story. I decided no one would mix up the man and the dog.

Beth: I love hearing about your dogs, Dee. They are such characters. I’m very sorry about your loss of Icarus. Sweet Sunset sounds great.

Blurb for Sweet Sunset: Myrtle Sue Henderson, widowed, didn’t count on her mother-in-law moving in with her when her husband passed over. But Myrtle Sue’s loopy in-law troubles aren’t her only family baggage-she’s ailed with three adult children who use her like a pair of Depends. With a daughter and two grandchildren attempting to escape an abusive husband, a second daughter who is pregnant with twins, and a son who refuses to grow up, she’s at her wits end.

Myrtle Sue didn’t figure she’d ever meet another man she’d care for, until she went to church to get away from her troubles, only to find more when her mother-in-law causes chaos and hits an elderly man with her cane and helps herself to money out of the collection plate. That’s how she meets Zack. She figures once he meets her dysfunctional family, he’ll run as fast as he can-away from them.

Favorite passage from book:

June finished her food, and pushed her plate away. She gave Hazel a look of pity. “Ya know somethin’, Hazel? You’re full of shit.”

“Huh! You’re just jealous.”

Norma had been pretty quiet, when suddenly it was like she became possessed. Her hands began shaking and her drink sloshed onto the table. She leaned on the table and hissed at Hazel. “Evil, evil! You are soooo evil!”

“Who you calling evil?” Hazel said.

“You are eeeeeevvilllllll!”

“Mother, hush!”

I glanced at Lynn. She glared at her mother. I thought for a minute she was going to stuff her napkin into her mother’s mouth.

Something about my book:

There was a day when I thought only my relatives were dysfunctional, until later when I realized most of us have dysfunctional families. After many years of listening to people talk about their families, Sweet Sunset was born.

I was asked to move my mother from a senior apartment complex. They feared she would burn the place down. She caught her food on fire, exploded cans in the microwave and her doctor suggested I put her into an assisted living facility.

As I grew older, I took a closer look at my own children and friends. Presley was married to a man who broke her eye socket, Sonja is kind and an enabler, Terry looks for love in all the wrong faces. Hmm. Yep, I realized we all have dysfunctional families.

My mom wasn’t Hazel, but she did and said a lot of what Hazel says, like talking about her dead father and how he visited her. How she broke handles off glass cups. To this day none of us can figure out how she did it. June did tell us about her neighbor’s cheap jewelry party and the pole. She was funny.

All writers know we only need to look around us and we’ll find stories everywhere.

I do hope you enjoy Myrtle Sue and her family and friends. Come sit a spell and eat some of the good food they imbibe in.

***Get Sweet Sunset in Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Sunset-Dee-Gatrell-ebook/dp/B01M3QJT75

Twitter: Twitter@deegat41

Blog link: http://deesnews.blogspot.com/

Website link: http://dgatrell.wix.com/author

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Dee a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Patty Koontz!


You are in for a treat! My good friend, Patty Koontz, is here to share her wonderful menagerie, especially her beloved Samoyeds, and her charming new children’s book Wee Darby Visits The North Pole.

(Samoyed Puppies)

Patty: I wish to thank my dear friend, Beth, for inviting me here today!  I’m thrilled for this opportunity to share a wee bit about a few of my loveable “fur-babies”, which I consider my “children”.

One brisk morning, when I was a wee lass, and to my Mum’s horror, she caught me outside sharing a tasty snack with my new best friend, “kitty”, the SKUNK!  My parents immediately bought me a stuffed pink bunny, “bun-bun”, to help distract me from searching for my pet kitty.  My dream in life was to become a zoologist and work with wolves. My parents, of course, didn’t encourage that pursuit. I truly think that’s why they kept me away from the zoo.  So, since then, I’ve raised rabbits, quail, fish, goats, sheep, and alpacas; helped my Daddy raise and train hunting dogs, and rescued several cats and dogs. Most importantly, I made sure I married a man who loves animals as much as I do!

After several miscarriages and finding out we were unable to have any children of our own, our pets became my priority and our babies. I’ll always remember the day we spotted our very first “Samoyed” – and it was love at first sight!  I’m honored and feel very blessed to have been owned and loved by this magical breed, and my own beloved “pack”, for over 25 years. I also had the opportunity to educate people about how magnificent the Samoyed breed really is, besides discovering just how close their instinctive habits are related to the wolf.

(Show dog, Wolf, enjoying posing for the camera)

Their good-natured personalities, love, and companionship made a huge impact in my life. Not only did they help me through the tragic loss of my father – but one in particular (her name was Magick), actually saved my husband’s life and alerted me when he went into a coma.  They continued to stand by me and work their loving magic by getting me through the heartbreaking loss of my best friend in the world – my beloved Irish Mum. These wonderful babies were my saving grace and nurtured me through the most difficult trials. Sadly, and most heart wrenching, my last Samoyed, Panda, closed her eyes and went to join the rest of the pack five years ago.

Even though my beloved babies are not with me anymore, fond memories of my Sammies will always fill my heart and soul – and one day, I pray, we’ll meet again when they cross back over Rainbow Bridge . . . and they come running to meet my open arms.

(Wolf–not happy about sharing the limelight)

It breaks my heart that I’m unable to have another Samoyed right now, (but I’m not giving up). To try and help fill that painful void, we soon adopted a rescue puppy named Patches, that was getting ready to be put down at a shelter. He was “supposed” to be a smaller dog, but has ended up being an 80 lb. lap (hunting dog) that doesn’t leave my husband’s side. I’m thankful for the companionship he gives him while I’m gone at work. I also have a lovable, furry Ragdoll cat named Samson, who believes he’s a dog.

A few interesting facts about Samoyeds:


(Thunder, Rusty Autumn, Snowbear)

These double coated dogs love the cold – they love to herd reindeer, (chase squirrels), pull sleds, (dig holes), do weight pulls, (howl like wolves at the sound of ambulances and fire engines). Their thick coats repel dirt and they have no “doggy smell”.  In fact, I collected bags of rich, “blown undercoat” and spun it into yarn. I knitted gloves, scarves, hats and sweaters –people thought it was angora!  Another point most people don’t realize is that the true color of Samoyed’s eyes are brown – not blue.  I could go on, and on, and on . . . but I know there’s only so much blog space room. 🙂

To honor and keep the memories of my beloved “pet children” alive, I’m thrilled to carry on their legacy and “antics” by including them in a Christmas story written for “all ages”, set in the North Pole.

Get ready to enjoy an Arctic Adventure with Wee Darby and his dragon companion Kalista.  Where they meet up with the flying sheep named Merlin, loveable Samoyeds, elves, reindeer, fairy penguins, a troll, and of course Santa! (There’s plenty more, but you’ll have to read it to find out . . . . )

Thanks again, Beth, for having me!  I love reading your weekly posts!

Beth: Thanks Patty. I love hearing about your wonderful Samoyeds. I didn’t know anything about these outstanding dogs before you.

(Cover by Elise Trissel)

Blurb for Wee Darby Visits the North Pole:

When Wee Darby learns his pet sheep, Merlin, has been spotted flying with a herd of Santa’s Reindeer, he sets off to the North Pole for an adventure filled with arctic antics and magick. Get ready to discover the enchantment of Kringle Village, magical creatures, and fairy tale ice sculptures while you celebrate the holidays with an endearing troupe of fairies, elves, and trolls. Written for children of all ages, who wish to keep the magic of Christmas alive all year.

***Wee Darby Visits the North Pole is available in print and kindle at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wee-Darby-Visits-North-Pole/dp/1978202164/r

Follow Wee Darby on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Wee-Darby-and-his-magical-friends-141592326340574/

Follow Patty Koontz at: https://www.facebook.com/patty.koontz.98

Follow Darby’s blog: “Wee Darby” https://pattykoontz.wordpress.com/wee-darby/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Patty comment.

(Panda)

Furbaby Friday with Author K. J. Pierce


I am happy to welcome my good friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author, K. J. Pierce. She brings a wonderful blend of wit, wisdom, and a deep love of her animals friends and mentors. And her contemporary romantic comedy, Yours Truly, is hilarious and cleverly written.

(Mr. Dorian Gray)

K. J. Pierce. Growing up in an Army family, you’d think having pets would be a virtual impossibility, given the frequent moves. We averaged a move every two-three years, but aside from a five-year stretch in Germany when I was a pre-teen and teenager, I don’t remember a time when we didn’t have some sort of animal roaming the household (or for the four years we lived in the Louisiana country just outside of Ft. Polk, rabbits and chickens taking up yard space).

I’m a firm believer about many things animal-related, but looking back, I’m amazed at how much they teach us, even when we’re not paying close attention.

My first cat KC (stood for Kitty Cat…I was a brilliant child…Ha!) taught me that if you stay active and keep yourself in shape, you are, at least for a little while, invincible to things that hurt.

Case in point—we lived in the county, and KC was an indoor/outdoor cat. Whenever we’d take him to the vet, they had to try multiple times to administer his shots. KC was so solid from his roaming-tom ways, the needles would bend whenever they got anywhere near his meaty parts.

(KC)

He also taught me to not make assumptions. See, KC was a fluffy, pure white cat with the most brilliant blue eyes. Every single vet we took him to was shocked he wasn’t deaf – apparently pure white cats with blue eyes are 3-5 more times likely to be deaf than a pure white cat with non-blue eyes.

Sadly, the last thing he taught me was that mistaken identity could kill—he abruptly disappeared one day, and my family and I are fairly certain he was taken for a rabbit and shot for someone’s dinner.

Daisy the beagle, with her multiple litters taught me about birth, but it was Laddie, our Border Collie, who taught me the concept of karma.

Laddie liked to lounge by our roadside mailbox, when he wasn’t herding my brother and me. This, unfortunately, led to his being hit by a horse trailer towed behind a car. The drivers lied about where Laddie had been and how he came to be hit. After Laddie succumbed to his injuries a month or so later, the jerks’ house burnt down. I have vague memories of watching the smoke rise in the distance and thinking they got exactly what they deserved.

(Laddie with K J Pierce and her brother)

It was Shamrock the cat who gave me comfort when I needed it, having been uprooted from Frankfurt, Germany to Fort Knox, Kentucky, as a sixteen-year-old. Bam-Bam, Shammie’s second-in-command, taught me how to grieve when she died of chylothorax. H.O. Templeton, the first of my two pet rats, taught me it was okay to freak everyone out. That was the funniest bit of all. 🙂 Rats actually make great pets, though they don’t live very long. And you don’t ever want to startle them when they’re asleep. I have a scar on my thumb knuckle from where he bit me once. That happened the same weekend I found out about the death of a friend, but that’s an entirely different story.

(Bam-Bam left and Shamrock on the right)

Mr. Dorian Gray is my latest cat boss. He looks remarkably like Shamrock, but has a completely different temperament. Where nothing fazed Shams, Dorian Gray is a fraidy cat. He startles when the toaster pops up, slinks under a bed when it thunders, and is a horrible bed hog. He yells at me for even the most minor infraction: if I step out of the house for any length of time (a one minute trip to the mailbox or a 3 hour writing session at a café, it doesn’t matter); if I’m not in bed on time; if I move while he’s lying on my feet; if he has less than a half a bowl of food; if there’s a closed door.

He’s the cat equivalent of an old man—he’ll tattle when someone’s in his yard, and just the other day, he scared the bejeezus out of a termite inspector who had the audacity to interrupt his closet quiet time. Thankfully, he’s more of a hider than an attack cat.

Unless you’re a lizard. Then you’re pretty well screwed.

I’m not a reptile, though Dorie might tell you I have a lizard brain and I’m as jumpy as he is sometimes. Regardless, Dorian Gray keeps me accountable, and no matter how much I goof up, he still loves me. And knowing you’re deserving of unconditional love, no matter what human hang ups we hold on to, is without parallel.

~~~~~

I wanted the heroine in my first novel, Yours Truly, to have an animal who was on her side, no matter what, and that could do things Izzie would never get away with, which is how she ended up with her demanding Maine Coon, Edgar. Edgar has his own agenda, as most cats do, but despite this, he never steers Izzie wrong. Even she admits Edgar has a knack for knowing who’s good people, though her admission isn’t without self-incrimination. As it goes…

“Life was even worse when I realized my castrated, housebound cat was a better judge of character than I was.”

Ahh…love, sweet love.

Excerpt:

No sooner had I saved the draft and logged offline than Ritchie barreled through the front door, slamming it shut. Edgar bolted from his spot next to me where he served as Editor-in-Chief to my lowly Writer, off to parts unknown.

Ritchie, without so much as a “hello,” stalked off to the bedroom. The squeak from his wet shoes took the sting out. Unfortunately, the mild humor only made room for the K.O. Ritchie was a big, old drama queen.

Edgar was an exceptional judge of character, and I should have listened to him. He hated Ritchie. And when I say he hated Ritchie, I mean Edgar’s mission in life revolved around terrorizing him. The first time Ritchie spent time at the house, Edgar cornered him in the bathroom and threatened him for the twenty minutes I was gone on a store run. When Ritchie moved in six months later, he became prey, and Edgar tracked him and drew blood.

The feeling was mutual. If Edgar hated Ritchie, then Ritchie despised Edgar. Their acrimonious relationship launched a never-ending string of complaints I was expected to referee. Edgar left his mark on anything of Ritchie’s—either by way of bodily functions or shredding by claw. Ritchie, in turn, would conveniently forget to feed or give Edgar fresh water.

And so their feud went, back and forth, until I was dizzy.

Edgar eventually feigned boredom and lay low, and the spray bottles of water Ritchie had placed strategically throughout the house gathered dust. Ritchie, assuming Edgar had learned his place, emptied all the bottles and smugly declared himself alpha. Edgar’s retorts showed up in the form of hairballs and intentionally being underfoot. Ritchie swiped kicks, none ever landing thanks to Edgar’s quick escapes. Edgar added back spraying and shredding to his arsenal.

Ritchie was only slightly less passive aggressive.

Blurb:

Izzie Greene never wanted the limelight. As a caterer for Poe, the top-rated U.S. TV show, she had background player down pat. Her main focus was to spoil the cast and crew and fantasize about her celebrity crush, Scotsman Cardwell Bennett, while navigating the daily chaos.

Izzie’s professional life takes a sharp left turn when her ex-boyfriend unexpectedly arrives on set. Her personal life spirals into Hell when she runs afoul of an unethical paparazzo. Thrust into the public eye, her notoriety is fueled by equal measures of constant scrutiny, speculation, and half-truths. Her rumored romance with Cardwell further stokes the flames.

Held captive by the media, accident-prone Izzie struggles to keep her privacy, secrets, and sanity intact—not to mention her sense of humor. With help from her best friend Delly, her temperamental cat Edgar, and unexpected backup, Izzie might withstand the onslaught. And survive the season.

Website/Social Media Links

Website/Blog: www.misplacedmisfit.com

Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/themisplacedmisfit

Twitter: @MisfitKJPierce

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/kjpierce

 Purchase Links

Amazon Book: https://www.amazon.com/Yours-Truly-K-J-Pierce/dp/1509212825

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/yours-truly-k-j-pierce/1126326413

The Wild Rose Press Website (E-Book): http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4886-yours-truly.html

Author Bio: K.J. Pierce is a jack of all trades. Her interests are varied enough to make this a requirement for a happy existence. Her main goal in life is to understand the human condition, which she explores through various mediums, including fiction, creative nonfiction, and scriptwriting. She sometimes succumbs to itchy-feet syndrome, a holdover from her Army Brat days. As a result, she can sometimes be found bouncing from locale to locale. She earned a BA in English Literature/Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College and a MLitt in The Gothic Imagination from the University of Stirling, Scotland. She puts them to good use by crafting stories that run the gamut in terms of genres, but which always include an exploration of the societal misfit and the darkness which pervades all facets of life, even in the most comic of circumstances.

K.J. currently lives on the east coast of Central Florida with her cat Dorian Gray, who lives up to his name by striving to be the state’s most prolific lizard serial killer. Yours Truly is her first novel.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave K .J a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Tena Stetler


I am glad to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author, Tena Stetler, to share her special friends and paranormal romance, A Warlock’s Secret. I’ve enjoyed getting to know, Tena. She’s smart and fun, and we share a deep love of animals.

(Tena’s gorgeous Chow Chow, Mystic Reign)

Tena: Furred, feathered and scaled creatures enrich our world. Mystic Reign, named after one of the characters in my books, is our Chow Chow dog and was a spitfire as a pup.  Chows have a stubborn streak a mile wide, good thing my stubborn streak is wider than hers.  LOL  I’ll admit to a battle of wills on occasion, but we always come to a fair compromise. She turned five years old, August 6th. Over the years we’ve watched that out of control pup grow into a sweet, confident, and obedient canine companion we are proud to take anywhere.

We take walks together every morning and extra treks when I need inspiration and my muse is being difficult.  If it has rained or snowed, the world is entirely different under Mystic’s nose and she has to sniff everything along the way. During the day she is guardian of the front door, letting me know when someone ventures too close. Several times a day she comes into my office, after completing a circuit through the house to make sure everything is as it should be. Then she sits down at my feet waiting for an ear scratch, kind words and occasionally a treat for a job well done. Yep, I have a bowl full of treats on my desk.

Some days I am so involved in my writing that I lose track of time. Taco, our Eclectus parrot makes sure to let me know when it’s lunch time by her insistent calling out “Hey guys… Is it good?” Yes, Taco can tell time. She has a large vocabulary and uses it appropriately.  At four o’clock every day, her sweet voice can be heard all over the house as she  insists it’s time to shut down the computer, let her out to visit, and for us to enjoy a little time in the sunroom before starting supper.  Writing can be a lonely profession, but with my furred, feathered, and scaled companions (can’t leave out Sammie, our forty-five year old box turtle) my world is anything but lonely. Oh, and they all enjoy hearing my tales.

Beth: I loved hearing about Mystic Reign (wonderful name) and your parrot. What a hoot she is. Now, more about Tena’s latest release.

****

A Warlock’s Secrets –  Loyalties will be tested, walls will be breached, and enemies will be fought. Years ago, a sacred ceremony at the Dragon’s Moon Coven turned deadly. Son of the high priestess, Tristian Shandie’s life changed forever. With a price on his head and revenge in his heart, he has no choice but to follow in his father’s footsteps to a profession shrouded in secrets. Now his skills as an enforcer for the Demon Overlord are second to none. But dangerous secrets he harbors are a liability he can no longer afford.

A chance meeting with a woman he finds irresistible flips Tristian’s world upside down. Hannah is a cyber security specialist with secrets of her own. Bad boys never appealed to her until Tristian, who changes everything. In his darkest hours, she is dragged into his magical world.

If they survive, is she strong enough to heal his heart and tame the warlock? Or will their secrets destroy them?

Amazon, Kobo, Barnes& Noble, itunes. The Wild Rose Press

About the author:

Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination.  Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures telling her their stories. Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Well, okay there are a few companion animals to round out her books.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon

****Thanks for stopping by, folk. Please leave Tena a comment.