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Furbaby Friday with Marie Tuhart


I’m happy to have fellow Wild Rose Press author, Marie Tuhart, here to share her darling little dog and contemporary western romance.

Marie: Hi Everyone. I’m here to share my furbaby. As you’ll see its hard to get a good picture of her not lying in her bed. Penny is a four pound toy poodle. She is a rescue. Penny came into my life by accident. I’d taken my mom to a pet expo at the fairground so she could look at the dogs available and we could adopt one at a later date. We stopped at the first rescue and my mom sees this cream/apricot poodle lying there and asks if she can hold her.

Mom sits down and one of the helpers put Penny into my mom’s arms. Yes, that was it–we were done. Penny cuddled right up to mom. So the next 45 minutes I spend filling out paperwork and being interviewed, and I have a dog. Now mind you, Penny was already 4 years old – she’d been in a puppy mill and was found in a corner of a barn on the property. Poor thing only had 5 teeth. But she was so cuddly but frightened. Got her home, after stopping at the pet store. Three days after we got her home, she suddenly started howling at night.

I couldn’t figure out what was going on, she was in her bed on the floor in my mom’s room where she’d been sleeping at night since we brought her home. I went in to check on her. She looked fine, stopped howling. I go back to bed. Five minutes later howling commences once again. Go back into mom’s room, pick Penny up cuddle with her, talk to her. She promptly falls asleep.

Okay, maybe she heard a noise of something. Put her back in her bed where she goes right back to sleep. I go back to bed (mind you it’s after midnight by this time.) Ten minutes later, howling starts again. I go back to mom’s room again, we’re both perplexed why she’s like this. So, since both my mom and I want to sleep, I take Penny and her bed into my room for the night.

Well, for some reason from that night on, Penny bonded to me. She would let my mom hold her but that was about it. In a way, looking back, it was a good thing because my mom passed away a little over a year after Penny came into our lives. On her first vet visit, Penny lost 3 of her 5 teeth. But let me tell you, only having two teeth doesn’t stop this little one from eating.

Now, Penny is 9 years old (she’ll be 10 this November as I use the date I got her as her birthday). She’s still 4 pounds, and a puppy. She enjoys lying outside in the sun, and being my companion as I write.

Hope you enjoy all the pictures.

Beth: I love the pictures! Penny is darling.

Author Bio: Marie Tuhart lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her muse, Penny, a four pound toy poodle. Marie loves to read and write, when she’s not writing, she spends time with family, traveling and enjoying life.
Marie is a multi-published author with The Wild Rose Press, Trifecta Publishing and does some self-publishing. To be alerted on new releases on Amazon or Book Bub. Also you can join Marie’s newsletter where she gives her group advance information on her books, runs contests and does giveaways just for newsletter readers. Marie can also be found on Goodreads, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. And her website: http://www.marietuart.com

Her latest release is Billionaire Cowboy’s Conquest.

Buy link: books2read.com/billionairecowboysconquest

Blurb:

Sidelined from his rodeo career by an injury, billionaire Texas rancher Hunter Knight returns to home to find the staff overworked and the office a mess. He hates paperwork, so he’s pleased to hear his sister has hired an office manager. But when he finds out it’s Jessica Sinclair, his sister’s party-girl best friend from college, he’s not happy and wants her fired. Even worse than her partying past, he’s attracted to her. Burned once by his gold-digging, city woman of an ex-wife, he has no interest in playing with fire.

Dogged by a past that won’t let her go, Jessica arrives at the ranch with a plan: excel as an office manager, stay away from the bulls, and no cowboys. Her father died when thrown from a bull when she was a kid, so avoiding them is key. Cowboys, well, they’re just as dangerous as the bulls. Then there’s Hunter Knight, part owner of the Double K ranch. This stubborn cowboy can ruin everything by sending her away before she can earn a single penny. Buying time with a proposal solves one problem but leads her straight into riskier territory, fighting an attraction to the bull-riding billionaire boss.

Can this city girl and cowboy survive the wildest ride of their lives?

Excerpt:

He’d caught a glimpse of those slim ankles and silky skin. He went over to the rack of boots they kept for clients and selected a pair.
“The boots here are for clients to use. There are hazards on the ranch and we don’t want anyone getting hurt.” He gestured at the bench and Jess sat. Hunter snagged the small stool, put it in front of her, and sank onto it. He reached for her leg.
“There’s no need, I can put them on.” She turned away from him.
“I’m sure you can, but I want to make sure they fit.” He cupped her heel in his palm, then lifted her leg until her calf rested on his thigh. He unlaced her sneaker, slipped it off and set it on the bench next to her.
Hunter slid her jeans up to her calf. Her shiver almost had him smiling. Picking up the boot, he worked it over her toes and ankle until it was seated before he smoothed the denim back into place.
His fingers lingered on her calf, massaging the tense muscles there. Jess shifted and their gazes collided. Amber eyes blazed as his fingers caressed her through the fabric of her pants. He was playing with fire and didn’t mind getting burned.~

Purchase Billionaire Cowboy’s Conquest in Kindle: 

https://www.amazon.com/Billionaire-Cowboys-Conquest-Marie-Tuhart-ebook/dp/B07BR5GPBV/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Marie a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Elsie Davis!


I am happy to welcome Author Elsie Davis to share her beautiful kitties and sweet contemporary romance, Back in the Rancher’s Arms. I’m especially taken with Kitty Hermione. What a gorgeous cat.

Elsie: Meet Hermione and Draco!

Hermione(multi-color with black eye patch)adopted us last year on a cold, dark wintry night and has warmed our hearts ever since. It’s funny because I wrote Back in the Rancher’s Arms before we met Hermione, and in my story there’s a white dog with a black eye patch. (Patches.) Coincidence? I don’t think so. I consider it providence. She was meant to be our baby. 🙂

(Hermione)

Draco (Mom’s tabby) is her best friend and we have to arrange play dates for the two furbabies to get in their play time or they get whiny just like any other child. They are always together when my mother or I go on vacation, but when we’re home we have to set up play dates because they miss each other. And they make it quite well known.

(Draco)

Back in the Rancher’s Arms is a sweet second-chance romance full of twists and turns that keep a reader rooting for Kayla and Dylan to sort out their differences. If you love cowboys and ranches, little brothers, and dogs, you’ll love this story. Just released in April, this is a standalone novel and the first in the Trinity River series.

Blurb:

Dylan Hunter has always loved the girl next door. Part of loving her meant making sure she left their small town to study to become a veterinarian. He just never expected it to take this long for her to come home. His hands are full raising his younger brother and bringing his ranch through the drought, but one look at Kayla and his feelings are back full force.

Kayla Anderson’s not prepared to see the guy who broke her heart in high school again, but she can’t get out of returning home to be maid of honor at her cousin’s wedding. She’s determined to have fun and celebrate the special day, despite the fact Dylan is her family’s closest neighbor and the best man, and get the heck out of Dodge.

But Dylan already lost the woman he loved once. This time, he’s determined to win her back…

Short Excerpt:

“Is everything okay?” Her mother sounded nervous, and it was unsettling.
“The thing is I didn’t know he, I mean he—” Her mother’s gaze shifted to the right, past Kayla.
“She’s trying to tell you I’m here.”
A wave of heat coursed through her veins. Her stomach pitched like it was falling from the top of the Grand Canyon into the deepest part of the ravine.
Dylan. Damn it. Dylan.
She swung around to face her first love. The man she’d given her virginity to. The man she’d been all too willing to give up her dreams to be with forever. The man who’d ripped her heart to pieces when he walked away and then betrayed her in the worst way possible.
He was the man who’d managed to get both her and her ex-best friend, Becky, pregnant.
“What are you doing here?” Contempt dripped from
her voice, but the words fell flat. Five years to prepare a scathing remark and none of them surfaced to rip his heart out, to give him a small taste of the pain she’d felt when he walked away.
The urge to hurt overrode years of determined effort to forget him and move on. One small setback. She took a deep breath and tried to refocus her energy, to return to the hard-won inner peace she’d carved out for herself.
“Hello to you, too, Kayla.” His familiar grin mocked her. “But to answer your question, I’m fixing the roof.”
Tall, dark, and better than an Elephant Ear. Nothing puffy about him. Bulging pecs filled his T-shirt and made it look like it came from the boys’ department. Rock-hard triceps stretched the cotton short sleeves to the limit. Jeans that dipped low in the front, weighed down by a large silver buckle with the letter H emblazoned across it.
Hunter. A few other H words came to mind. Handsome. Hunk. Hot. The list went on. History. Hurt. Hell.
And heartache. Don’t forget the heartache.

Author Bio:

Elsie Davis discovered the world of Happily-Ever-After romance at the age of twelve when she began avidly reading Barbara Cartland, the Queen of Romance, and has been hooked ever since. After building her dream log home on top of a small mountain, she turned her attention to do what she loves most, writing.

(Hermione)

An award-winning author and active member of RWA, she writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She writes from her heart, hoping to share a little love in a big world. She will never forget the moment of exhilaration when she first got the email offering her a contract for publication. A moment that has repeated itself, and one that keeps her energized and moving forward.

Three daughters, four grandchildren, and her own hero husband, keep her extremely busy when she’s not glued to the keyboard. She loves: birding, kayaking, camping, fishing, wildlife, disc golf and nature walks. Basically, all things outdoors, EXCEPT cold weather. Her and her husband are avid Caribbean cruisers, but Elsie’s favorite vacation was their cruise to Alaska. (In spite of the cold!)

Indoors, she enjoys a toasty fire, a glass of red wine, and of course, a great romance with a guaranteed Happily-Ever-After.

Purchase Back in the Rancher’s Arms at:

Amazon (Kindle): http://bit.ly/2GTXIQFBitRAAmazon
Universal Buy link: mybook.to/BitRA

FB Reader Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/elsiedavishea/

Twitter https://twitter.com/@elsiedavishea

Entangled Author Page https://entangledpublishing.com/author/elsie-davis

BookBub Author Page https://www.bookbub.com/profile/elsie-davis

GoodReads Page http://bit.ly/2HbgbpmBitRAGoodreads

Newsletter link http://bit.ly/2qb56fMElsieDavisHEANewsletter

Website https://elsiedavishea.wordpress.com/
Free Chapter One Read-Back in the Rancher’s Arm https://elsiedavishea.wordpress.com/free-read-2/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Elsie a comment.

Furbaby Friday With Patti Sherry-Crews


I’m happy to have Patti Sherry-Crews here to share her wonderful furbabies and her Western historical romance, Margarita and the Hired Gun.

Lucille “Lucy” Bell

Patti: Growing up we always had dogs. Back-to-back dogs without gaps in between. Because my firefighter father sometimes hunted for sport, the dogs we had were bird dogs. My childhood was peppered with springer spaniels and English setters, and once, the odd Dalmatian. When we got a new dog it went like this: Contact a breeder, anxiously await birth of the litter, and then a long car ride to pick up our new puppy.

As an adult I switched over to Team Cat. I discovered cats are not only good company but they fit in easily with a busy lifestyle.
When I got married and started my own family, it made sense to stick with the lower maintenance pet cat, and so one Thanksgiving week we put our two kids in the car and drove to Orphans of the Storm Animal Shelter. There were rooms of cats and kittens waiting for a home. We walked in with a wish list, and on that list was one calico kitten. We walked out with a tabby cat. How did that happen?
As we went from room to room looking at calico kitties, a volunteer followed us around thrusting a cat at us saying, “Trust me. This is the one you want.” I looked at the common grey tabby, who was not a kitten, and politely said no, and moved on.

“Watch this,” he persisted. He flopped the cat on her back so she rested in his arms paws up, quite comfortable with the arrangement. “See how she lets me do this. It’s very unusual for a cat to let you handle them this way. She’s really relaxed and trusting.”
He went on to demonstrate with other cats, who sure enough, squirmed their way out of being held in this position. He convinced us the grey tabby cat was for us. I mean, if a person who volunteers in a place with hundreds of cat has a favorite, I’m going to listen.


Lucille “Lucy” Bell has been and remains the best pet we’ve ever owned for the last thirteen years. Hands down. The best. Other than regularly destroying house plants and annually plundering the miniature Christmas village, she doesn’t have a bad habit. On top of that, she has magical healing powers and a routine you can set a clock by. And despite not speaking English, she has a way of communicating her needs and feelings in ingenious ways.
Flash forward a few years and the kids are petitioning hard for a dog. It seems the cat was merely a gateway pet. My husband and I resisted because we felt it would be too much work. But eventually we broke down, despite knowing that the contract the kids wrote up detailing how they were going to take care of the dog between them was empty chatter (we were right about that, by the way). We decided to get a puppy rather than a dog because we wanted to bring it up ourselves.
Then came a frustrating period where we couldn’t find a puppy. Every time I’d see an available puppy on a site covering shelters in the Chicago area, we’d pile in the car and head straight to the shelters, and each time the puppy had been given a home before we got there.
One day I looked at the site to see a litter of puppies from southern Illinois had just been brought in to a shelter not far from us. The puppies were said to be a mix of pug, beagle, and golden retriever (The mind boggles at the thought of a pug and/or beagle being “romanced” by a golden retriever—particularly in rural downstate Illinois).

Gracie May

Off we went! By the time we got there all the puppies had already been taken except for one. She was so cute, we almost died of sweetness overload. Plus, the fact that her sisters and brothers were gone and she was alone, did tug at the heartstrings. The volunteer at the shelter vouched for her, saying “she doesn’t have a bad bone in her body”. After a brief get to know you session, we took her home (I can still remember the smell of her puppy breath!).
She was so little! We watched her grow, taking bets on what sort of dog we’d end up with. We all hoped the retriever in her would lead to large dog. My husband hoped she’d be a dog with a downward hanging tail, which sounds strange, but if you’ve ever walked behind a dog, you can see his point.
So, what dog did we end up with? If there is a trace of golden in our dog she hides it well. I’ve even come to suspect the shelter threw in the golden retriever for broader appeal (but, really shelter, you had us at pug and beagle). Our Frankendog, Gracie May, grew into a small, russet dog who walks with her tail held high.

What do you get when you cross a pug with a beagle? A Puggle! Puggles, combining the best of both breeds, have come on to their own. The Scrabble Dictionary even added the word “puggle” to their list of new words this year. Puggles can run a gamut of tan to black, curly or straight tailed, short snout to longer, beagle-like face. But whatever mixture of pug and beagle they possess, once you know a puggle, they are instantly recognizable to you. When puggle owners run into each other on the street, we have to stop and talk about our dogs.
Another expectation that got left at the wayside was that we weren’t going to let the dog on the furniture. That idea lasted about a day. Good thing too, because pugs are bred to be lap dogs, and there is no place she’d rather be. Even when I take her to the dog park, she’d rather try and climb into the laps of the dog owners than socialize with the other dogs. I like to plop down on the couch after a long day and call out “where is my couch buddy!” and she comes running and settles across my lap. When she’s not in a lap, she’s usually stretched out on her back on the couch with her sock monkey doll.
Our cat-who-is-not-a-calico-kitten and our What’s-it-going-to-be-dog are the best additions to our family. I may be projecting, but I sense rescue animals know they were saved and are eternally grateful.

Bio: Patti Sherry-Crews lives where she grew up in Evanston, IL, where she can frequently be seen walking behind a little dog. She writes contemporary romance, women’s fiction, historical western and medieval romances.

Her first historical western romance, Margarita and the Hired Gun has been recently re-release in the collection Under a Western Sky, which features six full-length Prairie Rose Publications novels.

Blurb for Margarita and the Hired Gun:

Pampered Margarita McIntosh is not used to being forced to do things she doesn’t want to do—but when her father, Jock, sends her away for her own safety, she has no choice. The long journey from Flagstaff to Durango tests her personal strength of will as never before, and the secret she carries in her saddlebag could be the death of her.
A rough Irish gunman, known to her only as “Rafferty”, is entrusted with getting her to her destination “safe and intact”—something he fully intends to do to claim the reward he’s been promised by Jock McIntosh. With a price on his head, the promised money is Rafferty’s ticket to a new life, and he’s not going to jeopardize that for anything—not even love.
But there are steamy nights and dangers all along the arduous trail for MARGARITA AND THE HIRED GUN, with deadly secrets between them that passion cannot erase. With her father’s enemies after her and the secret she conceals, will Rafferty’s protection be enough to save their lives? And will the heat of their passionate love be enough to seal their future together—if they do survive?

Speaking of leaving your expectations at the door and falling in love, here is an excerpt: This is the scene when Margarita first meets “Rafferty”, the man who is to accompany her to safety. He has a massive hangover and unbeknownst to her, they are in a brothel.

“The saloon must serve as a hotel,” she said.
Homer gave her an odd look as he stood up. “Something like that. I’m going to go find Rafferty.”
Now, she waited uncomfortably, alone at a table, while Homer went
up the stairs at the far end of the room. With relief, she saw him
returning, just one of the cowboys at the nearby table
half rose out of his seat as if about to approach her. Homer nodded to
them as he walked by, a warning in his face directed at the cowboy, who
sat back down.
Homer pulled out a chair next to her. “He’ll be down directly.”
The girl who had been sweeping minutes earlier, put down a pot of
strong smelling coffee and two chipped enamelware mugs at their table.
“Make that three mugs. A guest will be joining us. Can we get
something to eat?” Homer asked.
“Biscuits, eggs, and bacon.” The young woman headed off
without waiting for a reply.
Margarita’s attention was drawn to the stairs again. A man in a fancy
brocade waistcoat under a black jacket was making his way down the
stairs. He had long, silver hair, and a mustache curled up at each end,
defying gravity with the aid of mustache wax. Catching her eye, he
tipped his hat to her.
“He’s older than I expected,” she whispered to Homer, who turned to
look over his shoulder.
“That ain’t him,” he said, as the gentleman joined the card game in
progress.
After a beat, another man appeared at the railing overlooking the
saloon.
The tall man with black hair leaned on the railing. With his
arms stretched out at full span he took in the room below with a
predatory gaze. He was powerfully built with broad shoulders and long
limbs. Like a bird of prey, he held his head still while his eyes shifted
around the room. Margarita felt like he was deciding which one of them
he would swoop down to pick off first.
Although nobody moved, the room changed. It felt like
the very air grew hot and dry in his presence, charged with a heaviness
that wasn’t there a minute ago.
When he saw Homer, the man’s gaze came to rest for a second. Then
his stare shifted, and met with hers. He lifted his eyebrows in surprise,
fixing her with such an intense stare that Margarita leaned back in her
seat.
“Rafferty,” said Homer, nodding his head in the direction of the man,
who now moved toward the stairs, eyes still on Margarita.
He walked slowly, swinging one long leg after another, a slight
swagger in his shoulders. Unable to bear up under his direct gaze any
longer, Margarita looked down at her coffee. Her throat constricted in anticipation, but still,
he moved down the stairs and across the room at an unnervingly slow pace.
When he arrived on the scene, the women at the table stopped talking and looked
expectantly at him. He didn’t register their presence as he walked past
them—to their apparent disappointment.
The men playing poker watched him with wary eyes. One of them
touched the gun in his holster, nervously.
The cowboys stopped talking and drew closer together.
Without a word or invitation, the tall man pulled out the chair across
from Margarita. The gun sticking out of his waistband put a lump of fear
in her stomach.
He jerked his head in her direction, looking at Homer. “Why is she
here?” he asked in a deep voice, speaking in the same slow pace as he
walked. He had an Irish accent, she noted.
Homer poured out a cup of the thick, dark liquid for him. “Rafferty.
This is Margarita McIntosh, Jock’s daughter.”
“And she’s here for what reason?” he asked in a brusque tone.
Margarita looked up, her face burning with indignation. She was met
with quite a sight. The man across from her had a few days’ growth of
black whiskers covering the lower part of his face. Jet-black hair stood in
loose curls around his head in an uncombed mass in need of a wash.
He was without a jacket, and his long john’s undershirt was
pushed up at the elbows, showing long, muscular forearms. Worse, the
top buttons of his shirt were unbuttoned, exposing the patch of black hair
on his chest. The tight, sweat-stained garment showed every bulge and
indent in his lean torso, including his nipples. He was as good as naked.
Margarita tried to hide her shock at this unseemly display. She’d never
seen so much of a man’s body before, up close.
His eyes bored into her. They were steely eyes the color of indigo set
in bloodshot orbs. Her discomfort seemed to amuse him. He narrowed
his eyes, and a smirk twisted his lips as he observed her watching
him. Other than his lips and eyes, he was as still as if he’d been carved in
stone. Very economical in his movements.
“Well, here’s the thing. She’s the job. Jock wants his daughter
delivered to his sister in Durango. He wants you to make sure she gets
there. Safe—and intact,” Homer said, in a way which made her redden.
The man called Rafferty grinned rakishly, displaying surprisingly
even, white teeth. “If it’s safety he’s after, there’s better ways to
transport his precious cargo, I would think.”
“He wants her movements to go undetected.”
Rafferty leaned over the table. She could smell him now. He smelled
like sour sweat, whiskey—and cheap perfume. There was some other
odor Margarita couldn’t identify, but it repelled her.
She raised her handkerchief to her nose to breathe through its
lavender-scented folds. Catching her gesture, the dark man glowered at
her briefly before the smirk returned to his lips.
“I’m a hired gun. Why does he need me to accompany her? She can’t
take a stagecoach or train? I have to wonder what’s going on that my
particular skills are required.”
Homer raked his hand through his hair, clearly wrestling with how to
answer the question. “Jock is on the run. He got involved in a dispute.
He’s afraid the men that are after him will grab his daughter to lure him
back. That’s all you need to know.”
He jerked a thumb in her direction. “I’m not interested in this job,” he said, starting to stand up.

Get Margarita and the Hired Gun in Kindle at:  https://www.amazon.com/Margarita-Hired-Gun-Patti-Sherry-Crews-ebook/dp/B01EAS7F50

Follow Patti at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Patti-Sherry-Crews/e/B01C7L8QUU/

http://pattisherrycrews16.wix.com/author-blog

Facebook:
http://pattisherrycrews16.wix.com/author-blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PattiSherryCrew

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Patti a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Julie Lence


I’m happy to welcome Julie Lence to the blog to share her wonderful rescue dog, Nova, and her western historical romance No Luck At All.

Hi Beth. Thank you for having me as your guest today. To give your readers a little background about me, I’m a stay-at-home mom enjoying a career writing western historical romance. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 34 years and we have one son who is now in college. Ever since I was young, I have always loved animals. Dogs and horses are my favorites. While I don’t own horses, writing western romance enables me to incorporate them into my work. As for dogs, my family had several throughout my childhood years, and the hubby and I have had 3 of our own. Our current dog, who rules the home, is a German shepherd.

Nova is a rescue dog. She came to live with us about 11 years ago. Our male shepherd had passed away, and though I swore after him I didn’t want any more pets, being alone in the house all day, I couldn’t stand the quiet. I made a call to our vet and asked him to find us another shepherd. He telephoned back about a week later stating he had found 2 shepherds. One was a male who was very high strung and most likely a pet I wouldn’t be able to handle. Nova, on the other hand, was a sweetheart and desperately in need of a home before she was sent back to the shelter. Excited, the kiddo and I went to see her at the vet’s office. She was quite a shock, as I was expecting her coloring to be all black, as our male was. Tan, with a bit of black fur, it took a moment to wrap my brain around the change, but as soon as Nova was released from her kennel, she came running to me and the kiddo, excited and happy to see us, as though she knew she belonged to us. Fifteen minutes later, she was in the car and going home with us.


That first afternoon everything was right in my world. We had a dog in the house again! Nova loved her new home and backyard. She played with the kiddo, who was about 6 at the time, and she welcomed the hubby when he came home from work. She also claimed the spot on the landing where our other shepherd liked to nap. At around 2 years old, she was gentle, house broken, friendly, and had manners. The story went she had had several owners, one of which was an army man who had been training her. He was shipped overseas and Nova stayed behind with his wife. Sadly, he was injured and sent home. His wife couldn’t take care of him and Nova, too, hence the reason Nova eventually came to live with us.

About a year after having her, Nova began to have health issues. Our vet recommended she see an internal specialist, who was fairly certain she had cancer and didn’t have long to live. I never prayed so hard in one weekend, with my stomach in knots and hiding tears from the kiddo while we waited for her test results. Those prayers were answered in that she didn’t have cancer, but a mass that could be reduced and controlled with medication. She has since been on meds, and continues to develop problems as she ages. But no matter how many curve balls life throws at her, she is a real trooper and maintains her zest for life… and treats, and potato chips, and veges and fruits, and her tennis ball.

Rescue dog Nova

Nova loves Christmas and knows her Christmas stocking. As soon as she sees me fill it Christmas Eve, she guards it until Christmas morning. She also knows Thanksgiving and gets excited when I bring the turkey into the house, usually spending Thanksgiving Day in the kitchen waiting for the bird to cook. She is smart in that she knows everyone’s routine, the sound of not only our vehicles but our neighbor’s, and that the answering machine will pick up on 4th the ring. (Actually, if I don’t answer the phone by the 2nd ring, she starts whining.) Some of the things she doesn’t like is going to the vet, even though both of them spoil her, and the Fed Ex and UPS trucks. She barks as soon as she hears them coming up the street and doesn’t stop until they’re gone. Getting a bath or playing in the sprinklers are also not favorites, but she does like to be brushed and roll in the grass. And she likes riding in the car. Her 1st summer with us, we took her to Durango, up and over several 14,000ft mountains. She was green going over the last one and I thought she was going to be sick, but she held on. She also likes going on walks, but that has come to an end as she suffers from arthritis and cannot walk too far.


Having Nova has been a blessing. She is good company for me, as I tend to talk to her as if she’s a human. Funny thing is she understands most of what I’m saying. We’ve taken her camping, on more drives in the mountains and to the park. She’s loyal and protective, barking at anyone who comes to the door, even those she knows. One of the best memories I have stems from a few years ago.

Around 4a.m., the C.O. detector went off. Hubbs tried everything to get it to shut up, but it wouldn’t. Fearing the alarm was real, we called the fire department. Kiddo and I put Nova into the car and backed out onto the street. As the fire truck pulled up, I expected her to start barking at the firemen, but she sat and calmly watched. Now when one of the smoke alarms goes off, she looks at us to see if we are leaving the house again. A second funny memory—my laundry room is upstairs. One day while the wash machine was running, it made this God-awful racket. Nova came running and met me at the door to the laundry room. We looked at the machine, she looked at me and I looked at her and we both had the same expression—what the heck? And then we walked away, deciding there was nothing we could do until the machine was done washing.

There are so many more memories, like when she snatched a hamburger off the counter, how she used to cuddle with me on the couch (she’s 85lbs.), how she chases the squirrels and birds out of the yard, that I could continue talking about her all day. She is my girl, and will continue to rule the house until she no longer can. As I mentioned above, the novels I write always include horses. I only have one story where I feature a pet, and Wiley isn’t a dog. He’s a wolf. Below is his initial meeting with Creel and Racine Weston in No Luck At All.

Excerpt from No Luck At All

Racine hurried across the yard to the springhouse. Collecting her pie, she made haste toward the back of the barn where hammers and saws could be heard. The ranch hands were steadfastly working on the bunkhouse, hoping to finish and move in by the end of the following week.
“Morning, Blade,” she called, approaching the building.
He paused from nailing trim around a window and touched his fingers to the brim of his hat. “Morning, Miz Racy. What brings you out here?”
“I’m going to town with Creel. There’s a kettle of soup on the stove for you and the others.”
“Appreciate it.” He nodded.
“There’s fresh bread, too.” She cast an uneasy glance toward the back of the house. “Blade, will you do me a favor?” She brought her gaze back to him.
“If I can.”
“Can you find Lucas or Royce and let one of them know I’ll be in town all day? Please? They’ll understand the message,” she added at his strained look.
“They ain’t gonna be happy to hear they’re not getting pan toast today.”
“You know?”
“‘Course, I know. We all do. Ain’t nothing those boys do we ranch hands don’t know about.”
“Then why the look just now?”
“‘Cause the others and me ain’t gonna get a good laugh today watching those two sneaking around the trees.”
“Oh?” She smiled. Then a thought struck. “Do Paige and Missy know?”
“I doubt it. They’d have taken those two to task for coming over here and botherin’ you, and nobody’s heard any yelling, that I know of.”
Racine sighed in relief. “Thank goodness. Creel found out yesterday and wasn’t happy. He bade them to eat at their own homes.”
Blade shook his head, tiredly. “You’d think by now he’d have learned his brothers will do anything they can to rile him. They don’t do it outta meanness. They do it–”
A sharp wail split the air.
“What in all creation…?” Racine’s heart hammered beneath her breast.
“Wolf! Only he don’t sound too good.” Blade grabbed her arm and set her back against the bunkhouse. “You stay here.” He took off for the edge of the woods, as fast as his injured leg would carry him.
The horses in the corral began to whinny. Racine drew a sharp breath. From the corner of her eye, she saw Davey and Joe drop their tools and run.
“The heck I will,” she murmured, lifting her skirts the same time a door slammed. She guessed Creel had heard and come to investigate, but she didn’t take the time to find out. She ran after the men, and nearly skidded in her tracks when she came to a halt beside Blade.
“Mother of Mercy,” she panted in awe. Standing between two thick trees, blood dripping from his heaving side, drool dangling at the corner of his mouth, a big, gray wolf stared at them, pain in his eyes.
Racine made to step forward only Blade grabbed her arm.
“He’s got company.” He pointed to something blocking the wolf’s path—a rattlesnake, tail sticking up and hissing.
“Sonofabitch!” Creel grasped her other arm. “Go back to the house and–”
“He’s bleeding, Creel.” Racine grabbed his upper arms, imploring, “You’ve got to help him. Please?”
No sooner were her words out then a knife sailed through the air and pinned the snake’s head to the ground. Racine whirled in the direction from which the knife had come and saw Davey jab Joe in the shoulder. “Got it!”
Jerking her attention back to the wolf, she locked her gaze with his and spoke in a soft voice. “It’s all right, boy. No one’s going to hurt you.” To Creel, she said, “How in heavens did Davey do that?” and saw the wolf’s ears prick to the sound of her voice.
“He’s good with knives is all you need to know,” Creel whispered back.
Racine nodded. She’d question him later and wouldn’t allow him to be so evasive, but right now the wolf needed help. “Easy, boy.” She took a cautious step forward, and then another, her basket banging against her hip. The wolf growled a warning.
Ahh, an idea came to her.
“Racine!” Creel hissed.
“Shush,” she whispered. “We have to help him.” She knelt down, slipped the basket off her arm and opened it. Withdrawing the pie, she held it out so the wolf could see and sniff it.
Holding her breath, she waited patiently, hearing the sounds of guns being cocked behind her. Please Lord, don’t let them shoot the wolf, she prayed.
The hair on animal’s neck rose. He growled low and pawed the remains of the snake.
“C’mon boy, come get the pie,” she coaxed. “You don’t want that snake. He tried to bite you.”
The wolf’s ears pricked again. He looked at her and growled louder.
“C’mon boy, you can do it.” She shoved the pie closer toward him. “Come here and get a piece.”
Creel hissed another warning to her. She shushed him a second time and extended the pie even farther. “I know you’re hungry,” she pressed
Then the unbelievable happened.
The wolf dropped down on the dry, brittle leaves and whined, pitifully and painfully.
Keeping her gaze on him, Racine sucked in a breath and slowly crawled forward on her knees.
The wolf panted heavily. Spittle dripped from his mouth and he whined again.
Finally, after a long, heart-stopping minute, she was inches from him, and cautiously set the pie beneath his nose. He eyed it, then her, and then began to gobble it as if he hadn’t eaten in weeks.
“Get me more food,” she whispered to Creel. She heard him curse under his breath before he ran toward the house.
“It’s good, huh?” She smiled and reached a tentative hand forward. While he licked the plate, she touched his head with her fingers.
He lifted his eyes and growled again, but it wasn’t one of conviction.
“Don’t bite the hand feeding you,” she instructed. “You want more, you be nice.” And again, he surprised her. He actually let her pet his head. “Good boy.”
“I ain’t never seen nothin’ like it.” Davey expelled a long, astounded breath. “He’s lettin’ her pet ’em.”
“How’d you do that, Miz Racy?” Joe wanted to know.
She shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“Wolves aren’t known to take to humans,” Blade said. “He senses something good in you.”
“He likes my cooking, same as all the men on this ranch,” she said softly before taking in the extent of the wolf’s wounds. “He’s got a long gash on his side. And plenty of scratches to go with it.”
“Must have gotten into a fight with another animal.” Blade sheathed his gun.
“We’ll patch him up,” Creel said, halting a few feet behind her. “Soon as he eats this and falls asleep. I put some laudanum on the toast.” He passed the plate to her.
“Thank you.” She took the plate and gave it to the wolf, her hand still patting his head.
He gobbled it up and looked to her as though to ask for more.
“Later,” she said softly. “Right now you need to sleep so I can help you.”
“Soon as he’s out, we’ll move him to the barn,” Creel said. “Be easier to treat him in there.”
She nodded and continued to stroke his mangy fur. “He needs a bath, and a good brushing.”
“Don’t think you’re gonna keep him, darlin’. He’s wild and could take a notion to lunge for your pretty little neck at any time.”
“He won’t,” she said matter-of-factly, and was rewarded a short time later when the wolf fell asleep to her hand caressing his ears.
She stood up and moved out of the way while Creel lifted him and carried him toward the barn.
“Put him in one of the stalls,” she instructed, “while I heat some water. And be careful.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Creel grinned.
“Blade,” she called, mounting the porch steps, “please find me a brush. I want to get the snarls out of his fur.”
“Yes, Miz Racy.”
“Thank you,” she said and hurried inside.

Julie Lence

No Luck At All is available at Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B0064R6NVI
Thank you for taking the time to read about Nova. If you would like to connect with me, I can be reached here:
Website: www.julielence.com
Facebook page: https://facebook.com/#!/JulieLence
Twitter: https://twitter.com/julielence

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Julie a message!

Furbaby Friday with Kristy McCaffrey


I’m happy to have Kristy McCaffrey here to share a very touching dog story, and her new adventure romance, Deep Blue.

Marley The Rescue

By Kristy McCaffrey

(Kristy and her dog Lily)

I’ve always been a dog person. My heart is forged with memories of my canine companions throughout my life: Rommell, Raquel, Buckwheat, Chaco, Shiva, Sparky. Gone but never forgotten. One thing I had never done, however, was rescue a dog in jeopardy. I’d thought about it, of course. I’m an empathic person, which is probably why I like to write stories, but it was that very trait that always filled me with anxiety just thinking about visiting the pound or a rescue shelter. The suffering of so many is a crushing reality that is difficult to bear some days.

(Ranger)

Last October, my family and I lost our beloved chocolate Labrador, Ranger. Although he’d had health issues for a number of years, his loss was still sudden and devastating. One week after his 13th birthday, we were forced to put him down from a broken leg due to bone cancer. I wasn’t prepared for the grief that hit me. I had lost dogs before; I knew how it went. But Ranger had been different. I had promised him I would take care of him. In the end, though, I couldn’t. Something happens in your soul when you must break a promise—a terrible schism of guilt.

My husband and I had long talked of rescuing older dogs, knowing how difficult it was for these animals to find a loving home, but it’s a bittersweet goal—just when you bond with them you’re likely to lose them. But if I’ve learned anything while raising four children, it’s this: you must do what is best for them, not what’s best for you. I knew this was also true when it came to helping a dog in need.

At the beginning of January, my husband traveled to Finland to help our oldest daughter move to Helsinki for a semester abroad. While I was home on my own, I watched the news one evening, and a very brief story about several dogs needing a home caught my eye. The owner was about to be evicted and the animals would be sent to the pound. The prospects for an older male Labrador mutt weren’t good. The next morning, I called the man trying to help re-home the dogs. He ran a local animal rescue in the Phoenix area, but this wasn’t a normal rescue situation. If I could come immediately to pick up the dog, he would give him to me. I jumped into the car and went, feeling trepidation at driving alone into an unknown neighborhood in downtown Phoenix, but something compelled me.

When I met Marley, I knew he had a strong will to live. The woman who had previously owned him had died ten months prior, and it was her daughter who was desperately trying to find a home for him. Her mother had had such a soft spot for animals that she’d regularly picked up strays off the streets. Marley had been such a stray, born somewhere on the streets of Phoenix, so his age was unknown (the estimate was between 9-12 years old). The daughter had had 24 canines to find homes for, and Marley was one of the last. She’d been doing the best she could to care for him, but Marley was undernourished with overgrown toenails and hadn’t been to the veterinarian in years. I put him in my car and drove him home.

That first week was tough. Marley was sweet and quite affectionate, but it was a new home with a new routine and I had to work diligently with him. I got him to the vet immediately and we addressed the most pressing issues (the toenails, bloodwork, vaccinations, etc.). But he was too weak for a tooth cleaning. He also wasn’t neutered, although at his advanced age I wasn’t certain I would proceed with it anyway. I also sobbed frequently because bringing Marley home had triggered a new wave of despair over losing Ranger. It took me a bit to work through that. I also sent my husband—still in Finland—a long and heartfelt email explaining what I’d done and begging him not to be upset with me. His response was so supportive that I wept over that, too. I married the right guy.

It’s been almost three months now that we’ve had Marley. He’s gained weight and has embraced a life of freedom (he’d been crated for much of last year, and possibly longer). We have a dog door, so he can go into the backyard whenever he wants. He has arthritis, but he’s gained stamina with frequent short walks. He enjoys treats and toys, although he doesn’t have much interest in playing with our other dog, Lily. Still, my husband works with him and tries to get the two of them interacting. Speaking of my husband, Marley has become quite attached to him.

I don’t know how much time we’ll have with Marley, but I’m content knowing that we’re giving him a peaceful and secure life in his twilight years, filled with fresh air, sunshine, plenty of food, snuggles and kisses.

(Marley)

Kristy McCaffrey writes historical western romances brimming with grit and emotion, and in 2018 she will branch out into contemporary adventure stories packed with smoldering romance and spine-tingling suspense. Her work is filled with compelling heroes, determined heroines, and her trademark mysticism. Life is a wondrous endeavor, and she strives to bring that sense of awe and joy into the tales she weaves, along with in-depth research into settings and time periods. Kristy holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering, but writing has been her passion since she was very young. Her four children are nearly grown and gone, so she and her husband frequently pursue their love of travel to the far corners of the world. Kristy believes life should be lived with curiosity, compassion, and gratitude, and one should never be far from the enthusiasm of a dog. She also likes sleeping-in, eating Mexican food, and doing yoga at home in her pajamas. An Arizona native, she resides in the desert north of Phoenix. Sign up for Kristy’s newsletter to receive her latest book news as well as subscriber-only content.

Connect with Kristy
Website: http://www.kristymccaffrey.com
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Kristy’s New Release
In the deep blue ocean lives an ancient predator…

When a photo of Dr. Grace Mann freediving with a great white shark goes viral, the institute where she works seeks to capitalize on her new-found fame by producing a documentary about her work. Underwater filmmaker Alec Galloway admires Dr. Mann and jumps at the opportunity to create a film showcasing the pretty biologist. But can he keep her safe when her passionate focus on the sharks repeatedly leads her into danger?

“…a compelling dance between two very likeable characters…” ~ Midwest Book Review

Excerpt from Deep Blue

“We’ve got three sharks in the water,” Tony yelled from above Grace.

Sweet. She did an imaginary fist-pump in her head, and then indulged in a little side-step shuffle, lifting her arms up and giving a boogie-shake of her hips.

“She dances,” Alec said from behind her.

Startled, she gasped and spun around. Alec’s wetsuit molded his body and showed every sleek, muscular contour.

“Just burning off some nerves.” The words tumbled out in a breathless rush.

“It’s good to know you have nerves.”

“I never claimed to be superwoman.”

He grinned. “That’s a relief.”

Copyright © 2018 K. McCaffrey LLC

Learn more and read Chapter One at http://kmccaffrey.com/deep-blue/

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Kristy a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Sorchia DuBois!


I am happy to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Sorchia DuBois to Furbaby Friday to share her wonderful kitties and spellbinding Gothic Romance, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones.

Cat Muses by Sorchia DuBois

I didn’t set out to have seven cats. In fact, I intended to limit the number of pets so I could do a bit of travelling without having to make arrangements for them. But Fate did not agree. Four of my seven are the direct result of my son who rescued two cats and brought them to me. One was pregnant and the other was in heat. Before I could take the appropriate measures, voila—kittens. I gave most of them away, but the others remain. Everyone is now ‘fixed’ so no more little accidents, but those I have are young cats which means I will be their enabler for a good long time to come.

These are three of my brood.
Petunia was a gift from my daughter after the death of a much-loved black cat. At the time, we only had two others so I was delighted to have another black cat. Petunia is the queen. She does exactly as she pleases and must know everything that’s going on and she must investigate everyone new who comes to visit. She particularly loves to lie on my desk, swishing her tail across the keyboard as I’m trying to type. Some Siamese ancestor gave her a piercing, grating meow, which she uses to show displeasure or annoyance or happiness or just for fun.


Zinnia is my soul mate in tabby cat form. She sits on my shoulder and pokes her head into everything I’m doing. She loves nothing more than to nap on my desk as I write. Sometimes she worms onto my lap so slyly I don’t realize she’s there until she’s wedged between me and the keyboard and I am wound like a pretzel trying to type around her. She likes to know where I am at every moment and has trained me to respond to her call. She’ll call until I answer.

Tadpole—At ten, Tadpole is the oldest cat in the menagerie. He was rescued from a short life as a barn cat at a place where their chosen method of birth control is shooting the older cats. I live in a barbarous part of the country. He is my protector from the evil canine who lives with us (a black lab of advanced years who knows her place around the feline members of the family.) When Tadpole puffs up and puts on his fighting face, he is truly terrifying. Otherwise, he purrs the loudest of any of my cats and rolls on his back for a tummy rub if cast your eyes in his direction.

They are indoor-outdoor cats—I live at the end of a long lane with no neighbors nearby and no busy roads to worry about. There are trees to climb, woodland creatures to chase, and warm spots to lie in the sun. It’s really Cat Heaven here. They come and go as they please through the cat door and are happy to share the house with us. While I would never give any one of them up, I am not looking for any more cats.

Tadpole made a guest appearance in my first book, Just Like Gravity, but Petunia and Zinnia oversee the writing of my Zoraida Grey series. They insisted that cats be featured in the books and I have complied with my feline masters.

Blurb
Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.
Not by a long shot.

Excerpt from Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones.
“That crystal belongs to us.” No trace of tears lingers in her voice, that’s for sure. Her tone would make a black bear tuck in his tail. “It’s a Healing Stone, and it’s the only thing that will keep me alive. You have to go steal it back for me, Zoraida.”
“I can’t just pick up and go to Scotland anytime I want to, you know. My life is complicated. I have a house and a business. Who’ll take care of Johnny Lee Hooker?”
“Cats don’t need no tending. Johnny Lee will be glad to have you out of his way, I reckon. That man of yours can manage it.”

“His name is Al,” I say. “We broke up anyway.”
She snorts. “I’ll believe it when I see it. You ain’t never known what was good for you.”
“Al is good. He’s sweet, and he takes care of things for me. Even you can’t say he hasn’t been good to me.”
She’s never approved of Al and me as a couple. I don’t want her to feel like she’s won this battle just because he and I aren’t together anymore. At least, we aren’t as together as we usually are. It’s complicated.
“I never said he wasn’t good. I said you didn’t know what was good for you. You ain’t got no sense when it comes to men, neither.” She flashes me an I-told- you-so look. “But that ain’t what we’re talking about right now. Pay attention. This is important business. You’ll have to go to Scotland. There ain’t no
other way.”
I am not concerned about my house or my shop and certainly not Johnny Lee, the black cat who lives with me. I’m not even worried about Al who has survived worse things. I’ve lived in Bear Hollow, Arkansas, all my life. The thought of leaving my neatly-ordered, comfortable life sends little jolts of lightning up and down my spine. What worries me is I can’t tell if those little jolts are excitement or fear.~

The second book in the series, Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen, will be released Winter 2018.

Sorchia Dubois Bio and Contact links
Award-winning author Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats, two fish, one dog, and one husband. She enjoys a wee splash of single-malt Scotch from time to time and she spends a number of hours each day tapping out paranormal romance, Gothic murder, and Scottish thrillers.

A proud member of the Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found at Scottish festivals watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.
Her stories blend legends, magic, mystery, romance, and adventure into enchanted Celtic knots. Halloween is her favorite time of year (she starts decorating in August and doesn’t take it down until February) and her characters tend to be mouthy, stubborn, and a bit foolhardy. Nothing makes her happier than long conversations in the evening, trips to interesting places, and writing until the wee hours of the morning. Well, chocolate cake makes her pretty happy, too.

Blog/Website: www.SorchiaDubois.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SorchiaDubois

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/SorchiaDubois/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SorchiaD

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/SorchiaDuBois/e/B00B60NOUQ/

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6879978.Sorchia_DuBois

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SorchiaDuBois

Sorchia’s latest book, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, is the first in a Gothic romance trilogy.

• Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/ZGandFSBN
• Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Zoraida-Grey-Family-Stones-ebook/dp/B01LDLSCA4/
• KOBO: http://bit.ly/ZGandFSKOBO
• Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/ZGandFSWR