Tag Archives: author companion

Furbaby Friday with Christie Craig!


I am delighted to have animal lover and NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING author Christie Craig here to share her wonderfully touching dog friends with us, and her new Young Adult romantic thriller, This Heart of Mine. Christie writes YA under the pen name C. C. Hunter, and she is giving away the eBook of This Heart of Mine, so leave her a comment!

(Christie and Jake gazing at her with the ‘You’re my person look.’)

Christie: One cold November day, a big black, mixed lab dog followed my son home from school. I’d only recently lost Bosco, a misbehaving and totally lovable Boston Terrier whom I’d had the terrible misfortune of seeing get run over. I was in the “Don’t-Want-Another-Dog” stage because it hurt too much. I was actually out of town on business. Hubby called and told me about a big black dog with a gray snout. I didn’t want a dog, but I especially didn’t want a big dog. Nope, I did little dogs. And I’d heard how much black labs shed. Nope, Hubby needed to find who owned the dog and get him back home. Not a problem, my hubby said, the dog had a collar with two dog tags. 

Unfortunately, one tag was for Chihuahua, and one was for a Great Dane. Hubby put out signs, but no one came to claim my son’s newest find. “He’s sweet, Mom,” my son told me over the phone. “He’s smart, too.” He tells me how the dog would follow all the basic commands of sit, shake, and roll over. But my heart was so broken, and I still had flashbacks of seeing Bosco run over, seeing the crazy dog that brought us so much pleasure, take his last breath.

“Don’t get attached,” I told my son. “When I get home I’ll find his owner.” Well, I was wrong. I didn’t find his owner, but that dog found his. He took one look at me, and I saw it in his big brown eyes. “You are my person!” Even hubby and son were shocked at how the dog ignored them and was all about me.

“Nooo,” I told him and left the room, but he followed. He followed me to the bathroom, to the bed, to my office where I spent hours writing my novels. Hubby would try to coach him away from me with food. Even bacon wouldn’t get this dog to leave my side. I relented to keeping him. How could I take him to a shelter when he was old and probably wouldn’t find a new home. But I still didn’t want to be his person. “Choose the boy,” I told him. “He’ll play ball with you. Or choose the hubby, he’s going to be the one to feed you. All I do is sit in my study and write, you don’t want me as your person.” But that big black dog, then named Jake, wouldn’t hear of it. I didn’t get a choice. I’d been chosen. I had a shedding, big, black labish dog as my sidekick.

Jake liked the boy, he liked my hubby, but Jake was one of those one-person dogs. And from the moment he looked at me, I was it.

I tried not to love him, but when someone, even a dog, loves you that much, when he looks at you with such devotion… When you can’t help but think how anyone could have abandoned a dog so sweet. Well, it was inevitable. I fell madly in love with Jake. The vet said he was probably around eight years old. He lived another six. For six glorious years, I had a big best friend who left a trail of black hair whenever he walked, a best friend who thought I walked on water. A best friend who broke my heart when he died with his head in my lap.

To this day, I miss my best friend. Yes, it took a while, but eventually hubby went to the junkyard and came home with Falcon Ranchero and a dog. A very sick dog. The vet said she wouldn’t have lasted another few days. She gained nine pounds in one week. Lady is not your normal junkyard dog, she’s sweet, sassy, and I love that girl. But Jake will forever have a special place in my heart.

(Lady)

(Lady and best friend Maggie)

I’ve always heard and believed that animals make us better humans. For that reason, almost every book I write has either a dog or a cat. This Heart of Mine, my latest Young Adult release, under my pen name, C.C. Hunter, stars a golden lab puppy, named Lady. (Wonder where I got that from?) Matt, Lady’s owner, had lost his father and now his identical twin brother. Lady offers Matt love, loyalty, and a lot of laughter.

‘A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?”
C. C. Hunter’s This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.
Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

Excerpt from This Heart of Mine:

Matt gulps fear down his throat and stares at Leah’s front door. Lady, on her leash, is trying to chew herself free. Matt can relate. With what happened last night, and not knowing what her parents know, it was hard to show up this morning. Even harder to come back the second time.
A phone rings behind the door.
Nerves gnaw on Matt’s sanity.
If her father opens the door and says Leah’s still asleep,
Matt’s gonna know the truth. Leah is refusing to see him. And then what?
Damn it. She said she’d help. And with his mom riding his
ass, he could really use some help.
Why would Leah turn her back on him? Seeing him with
Paula?
Matt had explained that Paula wasn’t . . . his girlfriend, hadn’t he? Then again, how could she be upset about Paula when she was attached at the hip to Trent Becker, and all snug and warm wearing his coat?
Matt pushes that whole bitter thought aside. Leah and he are just friends.
Yeah, they kissed and it was awesome, but that was then.
An uncomfortable thought hits. What if Leah told her parents she has Eric’s heart? Maybe it’s her parents who don’t want him here?
Footsteps sound behind the door. He stands straighter. The door swooshes open. Mr. McKenzie, holding a phone in his hand, in a at-footed stance just stares.
“Sorry, I had a call.”
Matt waits to be sent packing.
“She’s getting ready,” her dad says. “You want to come in?”
Not really. But does he have a choice?
Matt remembers Lady. Maybe he does have a choice.
“I’ll wait. I have my dog.”
Mr. McKenzie stares at Lady. A jolt of nerves skateboard down Matt’s spine. The meeting-the-dad-of-the-girl-you-like kind of nerves. Not that this is a date. Does Leah’s father know that?
“Is he housetrained?” Mr. McKenzie asks.
“She.” Matt hesitates. “Sort of, but—”
“Then come in. The shower’s going. She might be a while.”
He pushes open the door.
Matt barely crosses the threshold when Mr. McKenzie looks back at Lady and says, “But if she’s the sort that poops and pees, you clean it up.”
“Of course.” He scoops up the squirming puppy. Her big yellow paws tread the air and her pink tongue is busy trying kiss his face.
Leah’s dad leads Matt into the kitchen. “Have a seat.”
Matt’s unsure if the man is being nice or is about to interrogate him. Matt pulls the chair out from the table, leaving room for Lady in his lap, then drops in the seat. Mr. McKenzie remains standing and staring. The dog starts twisting and turning, right along with Matt’s insides.
Her father finally speaks. “Want a Coke?”
“No, sir.” He remembers his manners. “But thank you.”
“How do you know Leah?” Mr. McKenzie settles in a chair.
Here comes the interrogation. “At school.”
“You tutored her once, right?”
“Yes, sir.” Lady barks, wanting down. She starts the whimpering. Matt sits her on the ground, but holds her leash and hears her sniffing around for table crumbs.
“You’re a senior, too?” Mr. McKenzie asks in a non- interrogation tone.
“Yes, sir.” Matt wishes he could drop the “sir,” but when you had a father in the army, “sir” is ingrained in you.
Her dad runs his hand over the edge of the table. “My wife mentioned you’re a twin?”
Was a twin. Matt’s nod is small.
“You two close?”
Matt nods again, this one slower. He’d done a lot of nodding with people who didn’t know. It hurts less than explaining.
“It’s Matt, right?” Mr. McKenzie asked.
“Yes, sir.”
“What’s the last name?”
“Kenner.”
“Kenner?” Her dad tilts his head slightly to the right as if . . . His eyes round. Instant pity turns his blue eyes a shade darker.
“Your brother, he . . . passed away?”
Matt nods. This one hurts. Thank God, he didn’t say killed himself.
“I’m sorry. My wife hasn’t kept up with the news. And I didn’t put the twin thing together.”
“It’s okay,” Matt offers the hated pat answer and thinks shit. Then he smells it. Shit. Dog shit.
He ducks his head down and moans. Lady’s in full hunched
mode doing her business.
Mr. McKenzie leans sideways and peers under the table. Their frowns meet.
Effing great! “I’ll get it, sir.” Matt loops the leash around the chair, bolts up. “Paper towels . . . ?”
“On the counter.” Mr. McKenzie’s voice is muffed from covering his nose.
Matt, paper towels in hand, crawls under the table. “Not ladylike,” he scolds Lady, using his mother’s words and tone. The puppy plops down in a poor-me pose. Matt scoops up the crap and is attempting to crawl on three limbs when he hears footsteps.
Still under the table, he glances out and up. Leah’s standing in the kitchen doorway. She’s wearing soft-to-touch-looking faded jeans that aren’t tight but hug her every curve. The red sweater she’s wearing does to her top what the jeans do to her bottom.
“Where is he? You told him to wait, didn’t you?” Disappointment slides off her words. Matt almost smiles realizing she wants to see him.
Lady, past the pathetic mode, dashes from under the table, taking down a chair as she goes.
Leah squeals, jumps, then stares at Lady. “What . . .” She slaps a hand over her nose.
“He’s . . . uh, under . . . there,” Mr. McKenzie’s tight voice echoes from above.
Leah squats down. Their gazes meet, hold, then her focus shifts to his hand holding . . .
Damn! Of all the ways a guy didn’t want a hot girl to see him, down on his knees holding a towel of dog shit has to top that list.
Matt frowns. “Lady shi . . .”—he corrects himself—“had an accident.”
Leah’s surprise fades into something softer, sweeter. A sparkle lights up her blue eyes. They crinkle at the corners with humor, and her face transforms into one big, so-damn-beautiful smile. He’s captivated.
She giggles—falls back on her butt. Lady rushes her with puppy excitement.
Leah’s laughter is like a song you want to sing along with. One he hasn’t sung in a long time. He wants that back. He wants to be able to let go of the pain he’s felt since his father died, since his brother died, and laugh like that. Laugh so free—free of grief.
Then Mr. McKenzie’s laughter roars above. Even Lady makes happy puppy sounds. Then it happens. A light feeling swells in his chest and his own laughter spills out. He can’t remember the last time he’s laughed so spontaneously. But for these few seconds, he doesn’t want to think about it.
He just wants to enjoy it. He knows it won’t last long, because in just a minute his heart is going to remember everything he’s lost.~

Get This Heart of Mine in Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/This-Heart-Mine-C-Hunter/dp/1250131650/

Christie: Thank you for having me today. I love reminiscing about my furbabies.

Beth: I loved hearing about them!

***Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Christie a comment and remember, she’s giving away an e-copy of her new Young Adult release, This Heart of Mine.

Furbaby Friday with Author Lynda Cox


I have long admired Lynda’s beautiful collies on Facebook, and am happy to have her here to share her champion collie and best friend, Vander,  and her western historical romance, Smolder on a Slow Burn.

Lynda: Third puppy on the left. That was where he was when his breeder posted a picture of his whole litter at three days of age. Third puppy on the left. Even in a picture, I saw that face, saw the rounding of the muzzle, saw the stop placement and I wanted that puppy. I knew both sides of his pedigree, inside and out. Knew the “uglies” he would go through, when he would go through them, and for how long I would joke I needed to keep a brown paper bag over him.
I contacted his breeder and told her that I wanted the third puppy on the left. I was told, “He’s a tri smooth male. You don’t need a tri smooth male.”

She was right. At the time, I had three other tri smooth males.
What I want and what I need have always been very distinct things.
I actually had hands on him when the litter was three weeks old. Again, I picked him out. He was the first puppy I saw and the rest of his litter didn’t seem to exist. It was as if for me, there were a spotlight that shone on him and him alone. I again told his breeder I wanted him. I told her that again when I once more had hands on him at five weeks and at eight weeks. I took him home when he was eight weeks old.

He finished his championship before he was seven months of age, had his Bronze Grand Championship before he was a year old, and even though he was still a baby, that first year I showed him, he finished the year ranked in the top twenty. It was the last and only time of his show career he wasn’t in the top ten.
I’ve said of that day, when I took him home, we never looked back. But that isn’t true. I am forever looking over my shoulder and thanking his breeders, Bertha and Sarah Garrison, for allowing him to come home with me and for entrusting me to do right by him. I promised them I would take him as far as we could go. I haven’t taken him anywhere. He’s taken me. He’s taken me on the ride of a lifetime.

We’ve been invited to participate as one of the top five dogs in his breed at The Westminster Kennel Club show. (Yes, we went. No, we didn’t win.) We’ve been to shows all over the United States. He was selected as the Best of Opposite sex winner at the Collie Club of America show last March in California. We’ve “danced” every year at the Collie Club of America Top Ten Invitational.
And when it’s all said and done, at the end of each day, he sleeps next to my bed on his favorite blanket and doggie bed. He’s known to the American Kennel Club as Platinum Grand Champion Bandor’s The Wyching Hour. His friends and admirers know him by his call name of “Vander.” I simply call him my friend and my heart dog.

Speaking of things of the heart—as an author, I am NOT supposed to have a favorite book. It’s almost like saying as a parent I have a favorite kid. That being said, my heart book is my second book published through The Wild Rose Press, Smolder on a Slow Burn. It originally started life as a contemporary romantic suspense. I completely rewrote it for NaNoWriMo because when I pulled it out to try to update it, that “contemporary” was so dated it could have passed as an historical. I started tinkering and realized there was no way to salvage it as a contemporary. For NaNo, I picked the hero and heroine up, dressed them in period clothing, and threw them on a train heading in the right direction—ANYWHERE BUT THERE. When I got to A.J.’s first line of dialogue and he tells Allison to go sit on a hay bale in the stock railroad car they’re in before she inadvertently knocks him out the door of that rapidly moving train, I knew it was going to work.
I love these two characters so much that I’ve submitted a sequel to The Wild Rose Press.

Blurb: Smolder on a Slow Burn
Allison Webster dreams of having an adventure like the characters in the books she loves. But there is no romance in being pursued by a man who wants her dead for educating the children of former slaves. Unlike the heroines she reads about she doesn’t have a trusty companion to rescue her…until she literally runs into A.J. Adams, a former Confederate cavalry officer. Now, she just has to convince A.J. he really is the honorable man and hero depicted in the dime novel she is reading.

Branded a “traitor” for more than ten years, scarred by harsh treatment in an inhumane prisoner of war camp, A.J. Adams wants revenge. Allison Webster’s arrival into his life provides the bait to destroy the men who murdered his wife and daughters and kidnapped his little brother. The men pursuing Allison are the very same men he has sworn to kill. Falling in love and admitting he might actually be a hero means surrendering his need for vengeance. Surrender is not part of A.J.’s battle strategy.

Excerpt:
She had been just holding the window, staring out in the night while she tried to sort through the enigma of the man. Allison shoved the window up a little more and then tried to drag it down. It wouldn’t budge past its original point.
“Allow me,” Adams’s deep baritone murmured in her ear.

Startled, Allison reared away from the window. At the same moment, the train jolted forward, sending her tumbling backwards. Her head slammed into his shoulder. His arms snaked around her, steadying her. The broad chest her back pressed up against was as solid as a stone wall and the strength in the arms circling her waist felt as strong as iron bands. Her heart leapt into her throat.

“I might begin to think that more than conversation is in your plans if you don’t stop throwing yourself at me. Of course, you can always blame it on your lack of coordination when the train is in motion.” He spoke barely above a whisper and his breath teased along her cheek, ruffling the stray wisps of her hair. Something deep in her stomach clenched, making it difficult to draw a deep breath.
“I have no motives other than trying to close this window.” Allison didn’t make any attempt to free herself of his hold.

“Then, as I stated a moment or so ago, allow me to assist you.” His chuckle sank deep into her, filling her with warmth, brushing over her like the richest of velvets.
This was going to get her into serious trouble. Allison twisted out of his arms and away from the window, and dropped onto the bench.

Author Bio:
I write steamy western historical romance, what one reviewer called an authentic blend of Old West action and happily ever after romance. My first published romance won the 2015 Laramie Award for best debut novel. Several times that first romance has sat atop the Amazon best sellers list for western romance. The subsequent three romances have all been RONE nominated.

I was born and raised on Chicago’s south side, into a family of staunch White Sox fans and Democratic Party bosses…and much to their consternation, I’m not a White Sox fan and I refuse to discuss politics. (Some things are much better left unsaid.) I also grew up with a steady diet of syndicated Western television shows, John Wayne movies, and the Sunday night staple of Lassie. I blame those television shows and movies for my lifelong love of the American West and Collies. I said when I grew up I was going to have Collies, own horses, and live on a ranch just like the Ponderosa. Two out of three isn’t bad.

By the time I was legally an adult (I refuse to grow up), I couldn’t wait to get out of Dodge, so to speak. I moved first to the wilds of central Wisconsin and then to south central Indiana to the middle of a corn field, where I currently reside with my best friend, biggest supporter, and husband, Ken. We have a beautiful piece of property in the woods of central Tennessee I escape to every chance I get. Now, to just convince hubby it’s time to put away the veterinary practice and become a backwoodsman in Tennessee. Does he really think I was learning all those survival skills because I’m expecting an apocalypse of biblical proportions?

Social Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lyndajcox
Web page: http://www.lyndajcox.com
e-mail: Lynda.cox@aol.com
Twitter: @lyndacox

Buy Links:
https://www.amazon.com/Smolder-Slow-Burn-Lynda-Cox-ebook/dp/B013RJVDQU
(e-book is available only through Amazon)
https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/844-smolder-on-a-slow-burn-paperback.htm
(if you prefer the paperback)

Furbaby Friday With Mary Morgan


I’m glad to welcome the talented Mary Morgan here to share her dearly loved little dog and new Medieval Holiday Romance, A HIGHLAND MOON ENCHANTMENT.

Mary: Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “The New World,” is a haunting, beautiful piece of music and one that brings me to tears whenever I listen to the melody. I love that it speaks to me of hope—a new world, especially when it was the last music I heard as I carried my beloved wee dachshund out the door of our apartment to the vets that day eleven years ago. Even as I sit here and type this post, my eyes are misted with unshed tears. She was diagnosed six months earlier with massive bone spurs in her spine and other issues that plagued her. The evenings were difficult, and she would whimper in constant pain. Pain meds did not help and surgery was not an option. When her legs began to give out, we knew it was time to send her to the Rainbow Bridge. It will always remain the most difficult decision that my husband and I made. But let me start at the beginning of her incredible life…

Liezzel (named after the girl, Liesl in the Sound of Music) entered our family at six weeks old. A name was chosen, and the children demanded to spell it their own way. In truth, she had many nicknames over the almost fifteen years of her life—from weasel, brat, nanny, nurse, escape artist, and my favorite, Brunhilda. She was a joy and light to everyone she met. A huge flirt with men, and sassy with women.

Whenever a new garden was planted in the spring, Liezzel had to supervise the planting. She never dug up the vegetables, flowers, or herbs, and not once did she use it as her toilet. She was inquisitive, often times watching me plant and then giving her final approval with an inspection.

Playtime was always an hour before meals. She’d bounce her ball all over the house for a solid hour. It would drive us crazy. Once, I took away her ball, but she would find something else and dash all around the kitchen. I realized it was a futile attempt to silence her. Even toward the end of her life, her love of playing never stopped.

We’ve had many animals in our family, but this doxie will always remain a treasured family member. Though I have never included a dachshund in my stories (perhaps one day), I honor my love of all animals in every book I write. They add an extra element to the story—one I treasure, and I hope you do, too.

Beth: This was deeply touching, Mary. 

A HIGHLAND MOON ENCHANTMENT by Mary Morgan
Release date: November 17, 2017
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical, Medieval, Scottish, Paranormal, Romance, Holiday
Length: Novella
**A tale from the Order of the Dragon Knights

Blurb:
You first meet this warrior in Dragon Knight’s Axe, Order of the Dragon Knights, Book 3

Irish warrior, Desmond O’Quinlan has never surrendered his heart to any woman. He has no wish to have his soul tortured by love. Yet, the moment he locks gazes with Ailsa, his fate is destined for an adventure he never fathomed. He may have battled alongside a Dragon Knight, but his greatest challenge will come from within his own heart.

Ailsa MacDuff, a warrior among her clan, has no desire to have a man chain her to a life of obedience. However, that is before she meets Desmond. The temptation to allow this warrior inside her heart is a risk she dares to take, but one that could lead to a future of emptiness and sorrow.

When betrayal looms from within, the battleground of love is no match for these two warriors. Can the power of a Highland full moon be strong enough to unite or destroy them?

Buy Links:
AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0767QVJBX/
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-highland-moon-enchantment-mary-morgan/1127176325
Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-highland-moon-enchantment/id1294140045?mt=11
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-highland-moon-enchantment

Author Bio:
Award-winning Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling–writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

Social Media Links:
WEBSITE: http://www.marymorganauthor.com
BLOG: http://www.marymorganauthor.com/blog
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/m_morganauthor
FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/MaryMorganAuthor/

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/mary.morgan.564
GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8271002.Mary_Morgan
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/
PINTEREST: www.pinterest.com/marymorgan50/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/marymorgan2/
BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-morgan

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Mary a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Barbara Edwards!


I’m very glad to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Barbara Edwards to the blog to share her beloved dog, Dixie, and the holiday romance she was inspired to write entitled Dixie’s Gift.

(Dixie, a Belgian Malinois)

Barbara:  “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ― Will Rogers

Dixie’s Gift, my Christmas novella, is based on memories of my Dixie who spent her days keeping me from becoming a hermit. She’d demand a walk. Taking me out of my house to enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise. She’d sleep on my feet, keeping them warm while I wrote.

We got Dixie from a retired teacher who fostered dogs waiting for a forever home. It was a serendipitous happening. My husband wanted a German Shepherd, but every time I got bitten it was by a shepherd so I said no. I was watching the Westminster Dog show and a beautiful dog called a Belgian Malinois was competing for best of show. They described the breed as being family oriented, energetic, and needing an owner who spent time with them. Since the breed looked similar to what my husband wanted, I checked with several breeders who said their females weren’t bred every season.

My husband and I were having coffee and I was flipping through the Penny Saver when I spotted the ad for adopting her. I called despite the fact we weren’t going to be home the following weekend. It was love at first sight. This beautiful dog had been discarded after a bitter divorce. She’d been kept in a dog cage all day every day. When we got home we didn’t know if she was housebroken and put her in a dog cage. I never heard such a horrible scream from a dog. She vomited and pooped and I let her out promising not to do it again.

We decided to take a chance and took her inside. She was housebroken, but wouldn’t answer to the name they provided. My son came over and started calling her by dog names until he laughingly called Dixie, a reference to our Civil War reenacting. She perked up and went to him so Dixie it was. Dixie loved re-enacting and went with us to events, she loved riding in the car, sleeping in the tent and watching the horses. Dixie went with us to Yellowstone.

I didn’t really think about my companion passing away and when she was diagnosed with cancer, it broke my heart. She was in terrible pain, but I didn’t want to let her go. It took me a week but I finally made the wrenching decision to send her over the rainbow bridge.

This story features the ghost of a dog who doesn’t want to leave her mistress alone and writing it helped me through those first lonely months. I still miss her. Dixie is buried in my flower garden next to our house.~

Beth: This is deeply touching, Barbara.

Blurb for Dixie’s Gift: Ellen Carter deeply grieves for her husband Dan, but at least she still has Dixie, her beloved Malinois. However, soon Dixie leaves her too. But the faithful dog cannot rest easy in heaven while her mistress is unhappy. Dixie pleads with the Archangel Michael to let her send help, and intercedes for Ellen in the only way she can. But will Ellen get the message, and more importantly, will she accept Dixie’s gift?

Sexy newcomer Michael Burke can barely take enough time from his successful restaurant for a decent night’s sleep, let alone romance. Still, he is intrigued by the beautiful widow and can’t resist entering her shop. Sparks fly, and when Ellen has an accident in a snowstorm, he comes to her rescue. Trapped by a blizzard and aided by Dixie’s Gift, Ellen and Michael find more than shelter–they find love.

Cover artist: Debbie Taylor

Story Excerpt:

He brushed a wisp of her hair from her cheek. It clung like spider silk to his fingers.

He rubbed the strand and his heart raced. When her lips parted, he bent forward to taste their soft curve.

Sweet, so sweet, he thought as her mouth melded with his. His hands slowly slid from her slender shoulders to her waist. Soft as a feather, she sighed. Her curves fit against his hard chest like matching puzzle pieces.

The lights blinked, dimmed, and then flared back on.~

 Reader Comments:

Dixie’s Gift tugs at your heart, and though the snow threatens, you can’t help but be warmed by this sweet story. A must read! — Kara O’Neal, Author

“Dog lovers, do not read this book . . . without a box of tissues nearby. A touching story of love and compassion.” – Diane Burton, author of the Outer Rim series.

“Delightful…Barbara Edwards weaves a heartwarming holiday tale of rediscovering love after the death of a spouse and the loss of a beloved pet. It’s a refreshing story with a theme of joy and peace and filled with engaging characters. And who can resist a romantic winter setting with lots and lots of snow?” ~ Judy Ann Davis, Author and Educator

Dixie’s Gift by Barbara Edwards is a gift of a read. Sweet, romantic, poignant, and touching, it will bring a lump to your throat and satisfaction to your heart. If you don’t shed a tear, you’re a robot.” ~ Award winning author Alicia Dean

***Purchase Dixie’s Gift from The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/3671-dixie-s-gift.html?search_query=Dixie%27s+Gift&results=1

In Kindle at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dixies-Gift-Barbara-Edwards-ebook/dp/B017OJGVIY/

From Barbara: Please follow, friend, or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

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Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Barbara a comment!

A Moving Furbaby Friday with Author Daphne Dubois


I am welcoming fellow Wild Rose Press Author Daphne Dubois to Furbaby Friday to share and remember her wonderful rescue dog, Cody. She is also sharing her debut contemporary romance, The Right Fit.

Daphne: Cody, our lovable and loyal cocker spaniel, died yesterday. He was twelve. We adopted Cody two and half years ago through Litters N’ Critters, a non-profit animal rescue organization.

He slipped into our family like he’d always been here. And although we were the ones who chose him, it was clear from the beginning that he owned us. And wherever we went, whether it was to the cottage or a walk in the park or the annual Father’s Day Run, he came too and it made those events more endearing.

As a senior dog, Cody wasn’t jumping over fences, but he could suddenly be full of energy whenever a neighborhood cat dared to come into the yard. He enjoyed good health until a few months ago. His last visit to the vet determined his liver was failing and he was anemic. With the help of Dr. Croft, we decided to treat him with palliative care to keep him comfortable as long as we could. 

Cody loved to nap, loved to eat, and was known for his lack of speed, so the ability to see whether or not he was unwell was a little hazy most days. Yesterday though, it became clear that the time to say goodbye had come.

Other than adopting him, it was the most important decision we could make on his behalf. Dr. Croft and the rest of the staff at Halifax Veterinary Hospital were gentle and kind. The entire process was very peaceful. We said goodbye to Cody as a family, staying with him to the end.

I’m crying as I write this and feeling a little strange as well because there are so many human tragedies in the world that deserve tears and grief. However, anyone who’s ever loved a dog can tell you it’s a special kind of loss. And Cody was a very special kind of dog. 

I want to tell you a little bit about him…  His favourite pastime was napping.

Anywhere,

Anytime,

And on anyone.

He loved to eat. His favourites were apples, carrots, peppers, and as a treat, bacon! He would stand in front of the fridge, just staring, hoping it would open on its own.

He was exceptionally good at helping me proofread.

He had a great sense of humour.

He loved eating all the fruits and vegetables in the garden.

He loved playing in newly fallen snow.

Easter was his favourite time of year.

He loved the beach.

He loved visiting my parents at their home in Chester. 

Adam loved him.

Ruth loved him.

And Ken and I loved him. A whole bunch.

But no matter how much love we gave Cody, it always felt like he loved us back more. Even though we only had him in our lives for a few years we have so many wonderful memories of Cody that we’ll remember forever. We miss him and are sad that he’s gone, but we are also happy that he is at peace now.~

Beth: I’m so so sorry for your loss. Cody was the perfect dog. What wonderful memories and images. I hope you will rescue another dog someday who will help comfort you and your family.

About Daphne’s exciting new romance, The Right Fit.

Blurb: When Maxine Nicholls discovers her fiancé is cheating, she turns to fast food and nighttime soap operas, but her sister has a plan—unbridled rebound sex with a stranger. 

As one of Toronto’s hottest players, Antony Laurent tallies scores on and off the ice, but when the chiseled defense man hits a slump, rumors of a trade to the minor league send him to ambush a managers meeting at a posh club.

That night a chance encounter ends up as an unforgettable evening of passion. But Maxine and Antony are about to discover a game of casual hook ups can lead to something neither one of them thought they deserved—the right fit.

Get The Right Fit in Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Right-Fit-Daphne-Dubois-ebook/dp/B06WRQWLJ4

Author Bio

Daphne Dubois writes contemporary romance and believes the right book at the right time can make all the difference. When she’s not putting her characters in compromising positions (ahem), she works as a registered nurse. A member of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia, she lives in Eastern Canada, the most romantic place in the world. You can also find her writing for teens as B.R. Myers.

Contacts: Website // Amazon // Goodreads // FB Author Page // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Daphne a comment.

 

Furbaby Friday With Author Claire Marti!


Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Claire Marti, here to share the beloved furbabies in her life and her newly released contemporary romance,  At Last in Laguna (Finding Forever in Laguna Book 2)

(Oreo)

Claire: So many amazing creatures, who to select? Growing up, we always had cats and I can’t imagine life without at least a few cats and a dog. I’ve volunteered with cat rescues for decades and I was Managing Director for a non-profit animal rescue in Los Angeles.

Currently, we have two hilarious, eccentric cats, Lola and Beau and a giant mutt named Josie. All three are rescues and fill me with love and joy on a daily basis.

I’d like to write a tribute to a cat named Oreo, who I rescued back in 2001. Oreo was a handsome tuxedo with a unique habit of head butting you right in the forehead when he was happy. He loved to sit on your lap for petting sessions and he’d lean his forehead against yours, and then gently or not so gently, bonk your head. He immediately became best friends with my shy big black kitty Jake.

(Oreo and Jake)

In January 2010, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer and embarked on an unpleasant journey of two surgeries, six rounds of chemotherapy, and radiation. Suddenly, I was home most of the day and taking naps each afternoon. Jake and Oreo were thrilled to have convinced their mom of the wisdom of daily naps. Their sweet warmth and cuddling comforted me immensely.

In a devastating twist of fate, Oreo was diagnosed with lymphoma in April. The vet gave him three months and we treated him with a series of steroids. Having more time to spend with him, regardless of the circumstances, was a blessing.

I completed treatment in October 2010, and Oreo still valiantly battled his disease. He made it until March 2011, when he let me know one afternoon that he was ready to leave me. I know he waited those extra months to ensure I didn’t need his support any longer.

All of my furry children were and are special and unique, but Oreo and I shared solidarity in battling cancer together. I know he’s in cat heaven, basking in the sunshine and head-butting everyone he meets.~

Beth: What a moving story and a wonderful cat, Claire. I’m sure you will touch all who read this.

Blurb from Claire’s new release At Last in Laguna:

Alyssa Morgan has secretly been in love with her older brother Nick’s best friend, Brandt Dempsey, since she was an awkward, lonely teenager. When she catches the bouquet at Nick’s wedding, she throws caution to the wind and propositions Brandt to a two-week fling. He’s tried to ignore how Alyssa has blossomed into a strong, talented, gorgeous woman because as his best friend’s baby sister, she’s off limits.

After they share a mind-blowing kiss, Brandt struggles to fight their undeniable chemistry. His tragic childhood scarred him, but he pushes it deep inside, only allowing the world to see a wealthy, carefree entrepreneur. Forced to work together on Brandt’s latest charitable venture, Brandt and Alyssa’s passion cannot be denied. Alyssa knows he’s the one. Can she convince him they belong together?

Excerpt:

What was his deal this morning?

She’d give him the cold shoulder if it killed her.

And it just might.

He’d rejected her, so why was he opening doors, hovering, and acting like a pest? Practically breathing down her neck. She could swear he’d sniffed her. Sniffed her. He couldn’t conceal his awareness. If he were so attracted to her, he would’ve agreed to her proposition, right? Since he’d shot her down in flames, he could at least have the decency to ignore her today. Rude, infuriating man.

Inhaling a deep cleansing breath, she forced herself to concentrate on the center. Sunlight streamed through the abundance of windows and along with the high ceilings imparted a feeling of freedom and space, perfect for the planned occupants. Because they’d decided to wait to obtain her input for the more specific room layout, the building’s interior remained a shell. She’d add to her brother’s amazing design and ensure Tearmann House’s beauty and serenity.

Serenity. What a concept. Ha.

***At Last in Laguna is out in kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Laguna-Finding-Forever-Book-ebook/dp/B075CDMRDJ/

Claire’s Social Links:

Follow Claire’s Amazon Author Pagehttps://www.amazon.com/Claire-Marti/e/B01N9VOWLL/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Website:  www.clairemarti.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ClaireMartiAuthor/

 Twitter:  @clairepmarti

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8203678.Claire_Marti

 Author Bio for Claire Marti:

 Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Claire a message.

Furbaby Friday with Author Julie Shepard


A warm welcome to YA Author Julie Shepard, here to share her dearly remembered little dog, Monty, and her debut YA novel, Rosie Girl.

(Monty–a Maltese)

Julie:  You know how they say, “Bad things happen in three’s”? I found out the truth of that saying in the fall of 2009. In September I lost my father, in November my father-in-law, and then in December my beloved Maltese, Monty. He was only eight years old when he was diagnosed with lymphoma. All of us – my husband and I, and our two sons – were devastated by the news. Even though we gave him medication to slow down the disease, he was gone within eight weeks of the diagnosis. I’d had dogs before, but none like Monty.

I’m not saying he was the most loving. You’d have to maintain some sort of grip on him to keep him close. And I’m not saying he was the best behaved. If you left him alone too long, he’d chew up the baseboard or leave us a little present on our expensive Oriental rug. But he was excellent company while I cooked dinner or folded laundry, was a good sport when I would give him a haircut on top of the washing machine and accidentally nip him with the scissors, and he was hands down the best watch dog, alerting us with a shrill bark when even a lizard was approaching the front steps.

Some of my best writing happened with Monty nearby. I’d sit on the bedroom floor, computer in my lap, and he’d lay down a couple feet away (of course).  I’d be able to reach his outstretched legs and mindlessly stroke them, the repetitive pattern somehow aiding the creative process. Plenty of plot holes were filled while my fingers played with his furry paws and nails I may have clipped too close.

Look at that face! 8 weeks old. How could we not fall in love with him? Even though he was a boy, he’d let me put a bow in his hair 🙂 Didn’t even have to be great weather. Monty loved to lay outside on a lounge chair.

Beth: Monty was a darling little dog, Julie. I hope someday you will find another furbaby to fit into your family. After I lost my dear little dog, Sadie, this past March, I got a puppy, Cooper (a Morkie), in May. He’s a handful and not at all like Sadie but will calm down in time and we love him. No dog will ever take her place in my heart but I am making new places.

Rosie Girl – Story Blurb:

Little Peach meets We Were Liars in this haunting YA debut about a troubled teen searching for her birth mom and uncovers disturbing family secrets along the way. Rosie is desperate to find her, but too broke to hire a professional to help. With best friend Mary, they devise a plan to earn money the old-fashioned way, until private investigator Mac takes on her case for free. They successfully piece together clues left behind by Rosie’s deceased father, but what Rosie discovers about her mom will unwittingly devastate her own future. A visceral, poignant tale of friendship, sacrifice and identity, Rosie Girl will leave you guessing till the very last page.

Beth:  Rosie Girl sounds great. It has a lot of impressive reviews. I snagged a few from snippets from Amazon to share below.

Rich development in a nuanced, first-person consideration of family, friendship, and the breaking points for both . . . this may hit the mark for some Shyamalan-enthusiast readers.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Filled with unforgettable characters and expertly paced, the novel takes readers down many paths to an unexpected and shocking ending that packs a punch. . . . This is a book teens will want to reread.”—School Library Journal 

Rosie Girl is a haunting, thought-provoking story that explores the ways we compromise and compartmentalize in order to survive. Readers will be up late turning the pages until they reach the twisty-turny punch-in-the-gut reveal.”Robin Reul, author of My Kind of Crazy

***Purchase Rosie Girl in Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Rosie-Girl-Julie-Shepard-ebook/dp/B01M9CACBD

Author Bio:

Julie Shepard began her writing career on a Smith Corona typewriter, hammering out dark stories like the twisted tale about homicidal identical twins who conspire to get away with murder. She earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida and a teaching degree in Middle Grades English from Florida International University. While in the classroom, she developed a keen ear for adolescent drama and knew that young adult fiction was the path her writing journey would take. She lives by the beautiful beaches of South Florida, where sunny skies often beckon her outside to do her writing on a lounge chair. Rosie Girl is her debut. You can find her at www.julieshepard.net

You can also find Julie at:

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