Tag Archives: author animal companions

Furbaby Friday with T. Strange!


A warm welcome to T. Strange who joins us to share her touching dog adoption and her light New Adult romance,  My Zombie Boyfriend.

T. Strange: Let me start by saying—I’m not a dog person. I am a happily catted cat person. That being said, here’s the story of how a dog got me.

My wife and I both struggle with depression, and three years ago she had a major mental health crisis and she’s still fighting to find her way back to having more good days than bad. For a while she was extremely agoraphobic on top of the depression and anxiety, but she really wanted to move past that and be able to go out on her own. She suggested that we try fostering dogs, because the dog would need to go out for walks every day and give her something to do. I’ll admit, I was reluctant (see above re: cat person) but I could definitely see this helping her so of course I wanted to be supportive.

We received our first dog. And then three dogs at once (we almost kept one of those, but he wasn’t quite right. But we still dog-sit for him sometimes!). And more and more dogs until they all blended together. And they did help! Just as my wife had suspected, the dogs helped her get outside, without me, and able to start being more independent again.

I was already in bed when our eventual foster fail arrived. It was after midnight, and my wife brought him home and put him in bed next to me. He immediately curled up against my side, and I’ll admit, I was touched. Most of them weren’t that cuddly right away. Sometimes ever.  Ok, we thought. Friendly dog.

The next day we took Friendly Dog for a walk, and it quickly became apparent that no, he was actually Scaredy Dog. He was terrified of everything and everyone, and we were so confused—where was the cuddly, trusting dog we’d met at home? As soon as we got home, there was Friendly Dog again. Houston, we have a problem. This dog has bonded with us.

Even then, I think all three of us knew it was inevitable, but the two humans tried to be in denial. We weren’t looking for a permanent dog. We were only keeping him until he got adopted. Which became, if he’s not adopted in a month…it’s fate and we’re keeping him.

It didn’t help that he was the perfect dog for our home. Low-energy, cat-avoiding, affectionate. Pleasantly dumb. Food motivated and eager to please. He fit right in.

We were still waffling when I got a text at work from my wife.

I’m at a street festival. An old man saw the dog and said he looked just like his old dog. I told him the dog is adoptable, but he just looked me in the eye and said, No. You’re going to keep this dog.

I had goosebumps. I wasn’t foolish enough to ignore a message that clear. I guess we have a dog, I texted back.

(PS: After a long, long hunt for the right name, my wife came up with Ouija. His collar tag is a planchette)

About My Zombie Boyfriend (The Undead Canadian Series): Reverting to my true nature—and because I began the series before there were any dogs in my life—My Zombie Boyfriend is dog-free, but has two cats, Boo and Winston. Boo is, as the blurb mentioned, Edward’s cat and the first zombie he ever reanimated. He’s…pretty gross, but Edward loves him with all his heart. (Kit secretly feels the same). Edward buys Winston for Kit for Christmas. Everyone loves Winston—but not as much as Kit. Winston is a blue British Shorthair and just the sweetest little dumpling of a kitten.

Blurb for My Zombie Boyfriend

Edward Grey is a medical student by day, necromancer by night. He lives alone with the first zombie he ever raised, his childhood cat, Boo. Edward’s life is simple: studying medicine, training his necromantic powers with his mentor, Mariel, and having weekly dinners with his parents. When he finds a very attractive corpse in a park and brings it home to reanimate, he creates a sassy, free-willed zombie who believes Edward is the one who murdered him.

With no memory of his former life, Edward names the zombie Kit and tries to win his trust. Kit slowly adjusts to his new un-life with Edward’s help, though he’s still suspicious of Edward’s role in his death and is convinced that Edward is hiding his former identity. Edward is very attracted to Kit, but understands why Kit doesn’t trust him. As they become closer to one another, Kit turns to Edward for comfort and love. The fragile trust they’ve built together will be tested when Kit unexpectedly regains his memory and seeks revenge on his murderers.

Excerpt:

I started wearing more Kit-like clothes, and recombining the clothes I usually wore in new, Kit-like ways. Our clothing wasn’t all that different, though Kit’s tended to be tighter, more colourful, and patterned. And with designer labels, of course.

I wanted him to notice me.

I wanted him to know that I cared about him, about what he thought, even if I couldn’t actually say it out loud.

“Kit? I need to shower. Like, now.” One of the ‘patients’ I had done a practice diagnosis on had been doing some very realistic coughing and I felt…germy. I had called out for Kit as I got in, but only Winston and Boo greeted me. Boo had taken up residence at the very top of the absurdly tall cat tree. His eyes would catch the light at the creepiest possible moments, and he startled everyone in the house, including me. Kit had taken to telling Winston scary bedtime stories about the fiend-cat who dwelled in the mountain cave. These stories invariably left innocent Winston purring and me frowning. I’m very protective of Boo’s feelings.

Boo was in his cave now, and he stuck his head out of the little shelter, giving one of his idiosyncratic yowls.

Winston was perched, as usual, on the lowest platform, curled into a snug little dumpling.

I felt a little guilty for only scratching the kitten and not Boo, but I told Boo I couldn’t reach him. And I didn’t trust him not to bite or scratch me. He seemed to be in one of those moods.

Winston purred at me briefly, then yawned and stretched. It’s ridiculous how cute he is.

There was still no sign of Kit, and I thought that he must be out or working or something. I could never keep track of his schedule, even on the rare occasions he remembered to give it to me.

I was heartily enjoying my decontaminating shower when I heard the bathroom door open.

“Boo, one of these days I’m going to figure out how you do that and I’m going to stop you.” I didn’t bother turning around. I hadn’t heard the massive, wall-rattling thud that signalled Boo crashing down from his lair—he eschewed using the intervening platforms, apparently deciding they were for mere mortal cats. Instead, he performed a death-defying leap straight to the floor, a nearly nine-foot drop—but then, I hadn’t been paying particular attention and might easily have missed the sound with the shower running.

It wasn’t until the shower stall door opened that I revised my theory. I’ve needed to give Boo enough rinses over the years for him to know exactly what goes on in the shower, and how little he wants to do with it. Now that he didn’t need to drink, he had achieved that perfect state of catdom: he could completely avoid water in all its forms, at all times, unless I intervened. I could think of no reason for him to want in the shower, even if he could open the door, especially with the water running.

I was still turning to see what was going on, almost afraid to look after countless horror movie shower scenes, when I felt chilly hands on my waist.

I shrieked and grabbed the nearest available weapon, which happened to be a bottle of shampoo, and, half-blinded by the steam and water, I brandished it at the intruder. Unfortunately, I had upset my shower caddy when I removed the shampoo, and a bottle of liquid soap landed on my toe, making me slightly less threatening than your ordinary wet, naked man clutching a bottle of anti-dandruff shampoo.

It was Kit, of course.

“I’m cold,” he said, and I felt a shiver run down my spine. I had already been thinking of scary movies, and that line had certainly been in enough of them.

“You are cold!” He was naked, and I forgot to ask why he’d joined my shower instead of having his own. “Do you feel it?”

He shook his head, looking a little forlorn. “No, I was out walking and I forgot my coat. The cold didn’t bother me—it’s snowing, by the way—but people started giving me strange looks. The snow wasn’t melting on me.”

Oh. That would be unsettling. Kit could feel sensation, he assured me, but he said that everything felt strangely distant, as though he’d been sitting still too long and his whole body had fallen asleep. He also tended to be around ambient temperature, though he seemed to hold heat and cold a little longer than an inanimate object of his relative size, shape and density. He had, by the way, flatly refused to experiment, but those were my observations.

About the Author: Strange didn’t want to learn how to read, but literacy prevailed and she hasn’t stopped reading—or writing—since. She’s been published since 2013, and she writes M/M romance in multiple genres, including paranormal and BDSM. T.’s other interests include cross stitching, gardening, watching terrible horror movies, playing video games, and finding injured pigeons to rescue. Originally from White Rock, BC, she lives on the Canadian prairies, where she shares her home with her wife, cats, guinea pigs and other creatures of all shapes and sizes. She’s very easy to bribe with free food and drinks—especially wine.

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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.

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.

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
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/neil.plakcy
GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/126217.Neil_Plakcy
PINTEREST: http://pinterest.com/neilplakcy/boards/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/NeilPlakcy

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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!