Tag Archives: Author writing companion

Furbaby Friday with Kelley Heckart!


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

Kelley Heckart: Loki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He’s got some funny quirks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things he loves:

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

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

He loves to terrorize the chipmunks.

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

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

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

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

Series blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“P.A.?”

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

“No.”

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

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

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

“Kaitlyn Storm.”

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

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

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

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

“Old photo,” I mumbled.

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

My cheeks grew even hotter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kelley Heckart

Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

https://www.facebook.com/kelleyheckartauthor

http://www.goodreads.com/kheckart

www.amazon.com/author/kelleyheckart

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

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

Furbaby Friday with Veronica Scott!


I’m very glad to welcome Veronica Scott here to share her furbaby and Sci-fi  romance STAR CRUISE: MYSTERY DANCER–her story in the third annual Pets in Space™ anthology, Embrace the Passion.  I love orange tabbies! My cat, Peaches, is one.

(Jake)

Veronica: Thanks for having me as your guest today to talk about my furbaby, Jake the Cat! I’ve always been a cat person and have had many feline companions over the course of my life (one at a time, not a house full LOL) but they were always gray  or brown striped tabbies. I used to say I’d never have an orange tabby, apparently as the result of a book my mother read me as a child, wherein an orange kitten wreaked havoc on the household. My mother was always very disapproving of the kitten in the story and I guess I internalized that message!
When I became an empty nester because my daughters took their cats when they moved out after college I needed a cat of my own to keep me company.

The day I went to the local shelter in 2013 to look for a cat, the one who captured my attention was Jake, who was about eight months old, soft, purred very loudly, had a fabulous ringed tail like a red panda (my favorite wild animal) and…was an orange tabby. (I tried to say he was “cameo colored” for a while but even my very young grandson at the time knew Jake was orange so I gave up the fiction.) My family was in disbelief that I’d gotten a cat who wasn’t gray striped – I couldn’t believe it myself but I adopted him and he’s been the cat of my heart from that day onward. He has the sweetest personality, although at times he believes he’s a ‘house cougar’ and goes tearing around through the place, chasing his toys or his own tail or just burning off energy in general. I keep a very large cat treehouse climbing structure in the corner of the living room so he can sit above it all and survey his territory.

He loves to sit in my lap when I’m reading and will supervise me from a chair next to the desk when I’m writing. Jake’s very much a creature of habit and I used to feed him breakfast at 4:30 AM daily, which is when I’d get up to get ready for the day job. Unfortunately when I was able to become a full time author, Jake didn’t get the memo that we could now sleep in and he still wants to eat at that time!

He’s very companionable and moves to wherever I am in the apartment and checks in on me to get a bit of petting and make sure things are going ok.

The third annual Pets in Space scifi romance anthology has just been released (as of October 9th) with the theme of pets in space (like Lassie, only on spaceships LOL) and for my story, Star Cruise: Mystery Dancer, I wrote F’rrh, an alien cat with three eyes who is similar to a genie. Each year my co-founder and I, and the authors included in the collection donate a portion of the first month’s royalties to Hero-Dogs, Inc., which provides service dogs to veterans.

Here’s an excerpt from my 41K novel in this year’s anthology. My heroine-on-the-run, Tassia, has made it through a day of auditions and been hired as a dancer on board the interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr:
Dressing in an oversize T shirt and shorts, she wandered into the kitchenette area of her cabin and found the promised welcome basket. These people try very hard to be kind. Munching on a ration bar, holding a cup of synthcaff, she went into the living area and sat on the couch built into the wall, running through meditation exercises in an attempt to regain her inner calm. The danger wasn’t over, but she had a temporary respite.

Finally, she returned to the bedroom and opened the backpack, carefully removing the few items Xandrina had swept into the bag at the last minute. Tassia arranged the small boxes and miniature statues on the top of the empty bureau with care, trying to appreciate what she still had, not to remember the vast collection in her bedroom at home on Ruatsar Ten, or the beloved relatives who’d given her each of the beautiful items. Soon enough she’d probably have to sell the remaining trinkets, if not on this ship, then later.

“I need to save every credit in salary I can.” She spoke out loud just to hear a voice. Trinkets weren’t important for anything other than the memories attached to them, most of which were now too poignant to revisit.
Picking up the final item, the black lacquer box, she set it in the exact center of the bureau, put her hands together and made a formal bow, then rubbed one hand over the drawing and opened the lid.

Golden motes drifted upward from the interior of the container, twirling in the air as if happy to be set free. As Tassia watched, the sparks came together in the outline of a catlike being. There was a flash of purple and F’rrh sat regally next to the box. Her third eye was closed but, tail curled over her paws, she watched Tassia intently from the other two.

“It is well?” F’rrh asked in the old tongue of Ruatsar, voice raspy as if she was meowing and speaking simultaneously.
“Yes, Knowing One. Your vision was clear, and I pursued it to fruition. Thank you for the gift.”

“We will miss Madame Xandrina,” the cat said. “Yet it was her time to join the goddess and enjoy eternal peace. Our time to continue onward.”
“Do you have any further guidance for me?” Tassia enjoyed using the language of her birth, the syllables falling from her tongue so lyrically. She held her breath as the cat’s third eyelid opened the slightest bit and then shut.

“Not at this time.” F’rrh stretched and reverted into golden flickers of light which flowed into the box as if sucked into the heart of a black hole. For all she knew the box might contain such a thing. Tassia smiled at the whimsical concept.
Unsure if she was relieved or disappointed, Tassia returned to the living room to interact with the ship’s governing Artificial Intelligence, set her alarm as the dance captain suggested and went to bed, able to sleep soundly and without fear for the first time in months. At this rate, she might actually be able to accomplish the mission she’d sworn to complete when she was eight.

Anthology Blurb:

Pets in Space™ is back! Join us as we unveil eleven original, never-before-published action-filled romances that will heat your blood and warm your heart! New York Times, USA Today and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Ruby Lionsdrake, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Carol Van Natta, Tiffany Roberts, Alexis Glynn Latner, E D Walker, JC Hay, and Kyndra Hatch combine their love for Science Fiction Romance and pets to bring readers sexy, action-packed romances while helping our favorite charity. Proud supporters of Hero-Dogs.org, Pets in Space™ authors have donated over $4,400 in the past two years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space™ 3 today!

This is the blurb for my story in the anthology, which has something of an ‘Anastasia’ vibe:’

STAR CRUISE: MYSTERY DANCER blurb: Tassia Megg is a woman on the run after the death of her elderly guardian. Her search to get off the planet in a hurry comes when chance directs her to an open dance audition for the luxury cruise liner Nebula Zephyr’s resident troupe. If there is one thing Tassia can do, it is dance!
Security Officer Liam Austin is suspicious of the newest performer to join the Comettes. She shows all the signs of being a woman on the run and seems to fit the Sectors-wide broadcast description of a missing thief, accused of stealing priceless artifacts. As he gets to know Tassia during the cruise, he starts to wonder if she’s something more – a long vanished princess in hiding from deadly political enemies of her family perhaps? And what’s the story with the three-eyed feline companion other crew members swear Tassia brought aboard the ship? Does the animal even exist?
As the ship approaches its next port of call, all the issues come to a boil and Liam must decide if he’ll step in to help Tassia or betray her. Life is about to get very interesting aboard the Nebula Zephyr as Liam tries to uncover the truth. Could F’rrh, the peculiar alien cat he has been hearing about, be the key to the mystery and Tassia’s fate?

Buy Links: Amazon iBooks B&N Kobo Google

Author Bio and Links:

USA Today Best Selling Author
“SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog
Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!
She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”
Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veronica-Scott/177217415659637?ref=hl

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Veronica a comment!

Furbaby Friday with JM Stewart!


Welcome JM Stewart ! I’m very glad to have you here to share your furbaby and contemporary romance, Luc.

JM: Hey everybody! So glad to be here with you all. Thanks to Beth for having me. I currently have two dogs, Misty and Tiger. We adopted both from shelters when they were puppies when we were living in Seattle. Have had them for seven years now, and they’re spoiled rotten. Thought I’d share how we ended up with Misty.

Misty
After our German Shepherd, Ruby, died, we weren’t sure we wanted another dog. We’d had her for ten years, so her death left a big hole in our hearts. Six months later, though, hubs and I got the yearning to fill that space again, so I started looking on Petfinder.com. One particular pup grabbed me. A local shelter had a litter of nine puppies, Lab and Shepherd mix. The pup they chose for the pic ended up being Misty. I fell in love with her little face. She had a lot of German Shepherd in her; a black muzzle and ears, and big stripe down her back.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, we finally got the call the pups had reached ten weeks and were ready to be picked up. They sponsored them at the local Petsmart that weekend, so the youngest and I went down. The woman who ran the shelter had a first come, first serve rule. Meaning, applicants who applied first got first choice. So by the time our turn came, four were left, two girls and two boys.

Misty was in a cage with her sister, sleeping. There was chaos all around. Hopeful parents waiting with their kids to pick up their pups. People coming into the store who stopped to peek at the puppies. Misty had no interest in any of it. She just wanted to sleep (a trait she’s never grown out of; she doesn’t want to be bothered when she’s sleeping). lol But when I held her, she curled up in my lap, a little confused at the fuss going on around her but just happy to have a lap. The woman who’d been fostering the pups told me she was content to simply sit beside you on the couch (another trait she’s never grown out of). I fell in love.

Puppy Misty

Labs have a lot of energy, did you know that? I do now. lol Boy howdy was she a handful. Big chewer and more energy than any of us knew what to do with. You could walk her an hour twice a day, and she’d still be raring to go. Just a bundle of energy.
She’s so smart, though. Easily trainable and highly motivated by praise. Got the gist of potty training in a week, learned to sit in one day. If you’re a stranger coming up to my house, she has a deep, scary bark. Good for scaring away unwanted solicitors. 😉 But she wouldn’t hurt a fly. The biggest love bug you’ve ever seen. Once she knows you, she’ll be your friend for life.

She had surgery on her knee about six months ago. She gets the “zoomies” and unfortunately tore one of the ligaments in her left knee. So she’s slowed down a bit, but still happiest when surrounded by her family.

And, to keep with Beth’s furbaby theme, I’m sharing an excerpt from my contemporary romance, Luc. The heroine, Liz, has a golden retriever she rescued from a shelter.

Excerpt:

Cover for LucInstead of stepping back and inviting her inside, Sam drew her bottom lip into her mouth and gnashed it between her teeth. Suspicion skittered up Liz’s spine. She knew that look. Knew it well. Combined with her overenthusiastic greeting, that look suggested Sam had something up her sleeve.

She pinned Sam with a narrow-eyed stare. “There’s something you aren’t telling me, isn’t there?”

“No! I’m just so glad you came. You shouldn’t be alone today.” Sam straightened her shoulders, her expression suddenly bright and jovial. She waved a hand at Liz. When Bruce whined again, Sam looked down at him and nodded in the direction of the hallway behind her. “Well, go on. Go get him. He’s in the kitchen.”

Bruce leapt into the house, tail wagging. His nails clipped the hardwood floors as he trotted down the long hallway left of the living room.

Sam stepped aside, pulled the door open wider, and ushered Liz in with a wave of her hand. As Liz crossed the threshold, masculine laughter drifted down the hallway, halting her on the welcome mat. Joe’s hearty belly laugh she recognized, but along with it came a second, unfamiliar voice. A low, masculine rumble kind of laugh. The quiet hush of conversation followed. That second voice meant Sam had company.

It was only supposed to be the four of them. Her, Sam, Joe, and Bruce. Like always.

“I have a surprise for you.” Sam let out that nervous laugh again as she closed the door and stopped beside Liz on the welcome mat.

Liz jerked her gaze to her best friend. “What did you do?”

Sam clasped her hands together and flashed a thousand-watt smile. “Do you remember that barbeque Mom and Dad threw right before Danny left for his last tour? He pulled me aside while you helped Mom clean the kitchen. He told me, ‘If I die out there, don’t let her grieve forever. Make her get up, Sammy.’ Every time he left for a tour, he made me promise the same thing.”

Daniel was Sam’s older brother. If anybody knew what today meant, it was her. Of all days for Sam to bring this up.

“I remember. He always made me promise him something similar.” Liz gave a bare nod as grief kicked her hard in the chest. She’d known the risks, what being an Air Force wife to an active duty airman meant. She’d known every time he left for deployment he might not come back. Yet somehow, she’d never expected the worst to actually happen to her. It always happened to someone else.

She’d spent the last two years trying to pick up the pieces, to somehow learn to live without him. She hadn’t gotten far. Oh, she’d left the base in California to return home to Angel Bay, but she flat out didn’t know how to move on with her life. The need was there. To get out from beneath the grief. To feel the sun again. Joy. It was the “leaving Daniel behind” part she was having trouble with.

“So, I’m making you get up.” Sam gave a firm nod, mouth pursed in stubborn determination, and grabbed Liz’s hand, tugging her up the hallway.

Blurb:

After her husband’s death two years ago, erotic romance author Liz Anderson moved home to small-town Angel Bay to heal her broken heart. So when her best friend fixes her up with a single father ten years her junior, she doesn’t expect much. But this hot young chef is igniting her long-dormant passion.

With a three-year-old daughter to raise and a restaurant to run, the last thing Luc Rossi’s life has room for is love. After his fiancée’s betrayal, he isn’t sure he believes in it anyway. His colleague’s matchmaking attempt is awkward at best, but what can he do except play the gentleman? Liz ends up being smart, charming, and sexy, and he can’t resist her.

An offer to teach her to cook leads to a steamy fling, but this gorgeous older woman makes Luc wonder if it’s time to open his heart again. Can he convince Liz that giving their relationship a chance beyond the bedroom wouldn’t be a betrayal of the past she holds dear?

Buy links:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Google

Author Bio:

Joanne StewartJ.M. Stewart is a coffee and chocolate addict who, along with her husband, two sons and two very spoiled dogs, has been recently transplanted to Texas. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily ever after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.
For more about JM or her books visit: Website | Facebook

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave JM a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Josie Riviera!


I am very happy to welcome Josie Riviera to the blog to share her darling little furbaby and historical, inspirational, and sweet romance with us.

Josie: My husband and I have one dog, Henry. He’s a shih tzu, and we “inherited” him from our daughter. After years of saying “no” to her begging for a dog, we waited until her 18th birthday. However, she decided to attend university in Northern Ireland, and, 5 years later, she’s still living in Ireland.

Henry is fun, energetic, and lots of company. He enjoys nightly walks, and is always with me or my husband. Henry has a stomach problem, so he needs to eat special food (sigh), but that doesn’t stop him from loving to eat. Now that our daughter has finished her university studies and completed her Master’s Degree, she’s requested that Henry travel to Ireland to live with her.
However, at this point, we’re keeping Henry with us, content in the Carolinas.
My husband and I disagree about how often Henry should be groomed.

(Henry with a haircut)

How often do you think a dog should be groomed? Please leave your comments below.

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Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable shih tzu, who constantly needs grooming, and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

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Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Josie a message.

Furbaby Friday with Beth Trissel


Kittens Happen…

Last Friday, I was given a tiny kitten to care for–for the weekend–but his stay is now indefinite. Sometimes, you just need a kitten, and you didn’t even know it. Hubby would appreciate my finding a home for the baby when he’s older. Meanwhile…I’m getting attached, as are the grandkids and Puppy Cooper. Cooper loves this kitten and frequently checks on it. If the baby mews, he rushes to its box to see if it’s OK, and when I let the tiny toddler explore, Cooper is on its tail. The grandkids are building the kitten a playhouse run out of Amazon boxes with connecting tunnels. Very creative and he has rewarded them by darting through their maze like a hamster. Just between us, I think hubby is destined to have another cat in his life.

When I first began Furbaby Friday, it was as a tribute to my dear little dog and best friend, Sadie. Her passing tore me up more than words can express. I still miss her terribly, and tear up thinking about her, but Cooper, Jilly, our farm dog, Luca, and my kitties are a big comfort. Peaches and Cream have been my babies since they were two week old kittens granddaughter Emma found abandoned. Cream was left in a mud puddle, so dirty we couldn’t tell he was a white kitten. He and Peaches are buddy brothers. Funny bird Kitty Pavel is attached to me in his own way. All my furbabies are rescues, and give back so much to me and the family.

(Sadie and Percy)

About a week after Sadie crossed the rainbow bridge, Kitty Percy followed her. A very sad time for us all, especially me. This little kitten that has come into our lives looks a lot like Percy did. Percy and Sadie were pals and snoozed on the couch together. They kept me company through many a writing project and the ups and downs of life. I have missed Percy a lot too, and wonder if this new kitty might be like him. You can’t replace a dearly loved furbaby, but newcomers have a way of finding a place in your heart you didn’t even know you had. They create their own warm home in the deepest recesses of our sentiments, maybe even our soul. Those people who do not love furbabies will never understand. Those who do, need no explanation. We know what our furbabies mean to us. Yes, they are a handful to care for at times, but I cannot imagine my life without them. Nor do I wish to. They are my dear friends and an essential part of my life.

(Peaches and Cream)

(Cooper and Jilly)

As of yesterday, the kitten has been named Sparky McGee.

Furbaby Friday With Laurie Ryan


I’m happy to have Laurie Ryan here to share her awesome furbaby and contemporary romance. Northern Lights, with us.

Laurie:

Hi, everyone! And many thanks to Beth for having me here to chat about our furbaby. My husband and I have been privileged to have some pretty awesome animals during our time together. Three of them, a husky named Taschia, a poodle mix called Puddles (picked that up during potty training and it stuck), and a cat named Screamer (again, appropriately named). They were raised together and mostly got along. And the year we lost all three of these members of our family was pretty rough. In fact, we went about five years with no pets because of that.

By then, though, we couldn’t stand it any longer. We put the word out that we were looking for a cat. Interestingly enough, one came our way within a week. A friend of our son’s called to say she’d rescued a stray. She caught some guys (who will be featured as the villains in one of my books eventually) who were throwing this teeny-tiny kitten up, trying to land it on the roof of a building! She grabbed the frightened kitten and sent the villains packing.

And that’s how Dude came to live with us. Remember that “appropriate naming” thing above? This was our first male pet since hubby and I were kids, and we kept saying “she” and “her.” So we named him Dude. And the name is soooo right for this cat. He’s the most laid back pet we’ve ever owned. Loves everyone, loves naps, loves to eat, and rarely gets riled. Well, unless a dog or another cat come on the property

 

His lazy—I mean, laid back lifestyle is probably why he’s been stable for several years at seventeen pounds. He’s a hefty boy, loves to cuddle under my chin, and watches bird videos on you tube. And he’s brought us so much joy in these last ten years. I can’t imagine life without our Dude.

Beth: I love this cat!

Northern Lights:

Finding love in the heart of Alaska.

When New York CEO Renzo Gallini shows up with papers saying he owns the waystation Jess lives and breathes for, she laughs in his face. But things get tense when he’s got the paperwork to prove it…and her father, who apparently signed her home away, is nowhere to be found.

Alaskan native Jess Jenkins has lived most of her life at Last Chance Camp, a man’s world where femininity is relegated to wisps of time behind closed doors. Yet she’s proud of what they’ve built here. Last Chance is all she needs to be happy and no amber-eyed city-boy will convince her otherwise.

Ren left New York on his mother’s foolish errand, to turn an Alaskan truck stop into a vacation destination. He finds little of merit in the wide spot in the road until the small community, led by a fiercely loyal tomboy, shows him there’s more to Alaska than just ruts in the road. That survival depends not just on good planning, but on each other. And love can be found in places where you least expect it.
All buy links can be found here: https://books2read.com/NorthernLights

About the author:

Laurie Ryan writes fantasy and contemporary romance. Growing up a devoted reader, Laurie Ryan immersed herself in the diverse works of authors like Tolkien and Woodiwiss. She is passionate about every aspect of a book: beginning, middle, and end. She can’t arrive to a movie five minutes late, has never been able to read the end of a book before the beginning, and is a strong believer in reading the book before seeing the movie.
Laurie lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, in the shadow of Mt. Rainier and a short drive to beach-walking next to the Pacific Ocean, with her handsome, he-can-fix-anything husband and their gray, seventeen-pound cat, Dude.

You can find Laurie here:
Website: https://www.laurieryanauthor.com/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/beVXAr
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/laurieryanauth/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lryanauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurie.ryan.79

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Laurie a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Karen Docter!


I’m thrilled to have the fabulous Karen Docter here to share her wonderful furbaby rescue and gripping romantic suspense, Killing Secrets (Thorne’s Thorns Book 1).

I Never By Karen Docter

You know that word you should never say…never?
I said I’d never give in to another dog in the house. Two is enough…right? I believe I even said, at one point, that one dog is enough. That memory is a bit vague. After all, we tend to like big dogs and there’s just so much tripping over the Great Pyrenees or the Labrador or the American Boxer you can do without losing your mind and balance. The word move is not generally in their vocabulary. I think, in dog, it translates to walk between my legs. I’m too short for their translation.

(Baby Tucker)

But I digress.

When we lost our Great Pyrenees, our lab went into a decline. Piper seriously grieved over the loss of her best friend and we were worried about her health, so we decided she needed a new playmate. We adopted my daughter’s 2-year-old boxer, Mikka. They were already playdate friends. Our pet lives were full again. We’ve never (there’s that word again) had more than two dogs at one time so I figured we were safe from temptation for the foreseeable future. We’d never add another dog to the mix.

Famous last words.

I’m usually the soft touch. My husband can say no fairly easily, but I’m blaming him for the third dog to enter the house. Okay, I’m the one who carried Tucker through the door. Still. Husband’s fault!
I was minding my own business, happily working on my latest book. My husband had gone across the street to visit with our neighbor and his guests from Oklahoma. (We knew them, had even gone on vacation with them for the last neighborhood ride. We all have motorcycles. Ours is bright yellow and called Bumblebee, a whole ‘nother story!) He’s gone five minutes, I swear, and comes rushing in the front door and tells me I have to come see this puppy they brought with them from Oklahoma.

Following, with him talking a mile a minute about how cute he is, yada-yada, I was halfway across the street when it hit me, “We’re getting a new puppy!” So, when I met little Tucker I was still trying to wrap my head around where my husband was leading me. My resistance was down. It’s the only explanation. The next thing I know, our friend thrust this week old, maybe 10-day old (I can’t remember, it’s all a blur) bundle of fluff and cuteness, his eyes barely opened, into my hands.

(Teeny baby Tucker. Such cuteness!)

I was done. I was in love. I didn’t put him down again even after I carried him through our front door. “Never” became a leaf on the wind the moment I heard his story.

Tucker’s mom, a border collie, was run over when the litter was barely a day old. Her owners didn’t even realize she’d delivered her puppies until they heard them crying later that night. My friends took one of the pups to foster him. I didn’t know at the time they brought Tucker to Colorado with us in mind as his new parents. We’ve since forgiven them.

He was still being bottle fed and they offered to take him back to Oklahoma with them until he was weaned but I couldn’t let him out of my sight. I have to say, despite the fact I said I knew what I was getting myself into, I wasn’t quite ready for the reality of bottle feeding a puppy every two hours or bathing him as often as his mother would have or weaning him or….well, you get the picture.

I don’t think I’ll ever (variation of never that might come back and bite me in the fanny someday) take another puppy that young again, but I wouldn’t have missed Tucker for the world. We have a special relationship with him that we didn’t have with any of the others who were weaned first. My husband and I, and the two older dogs, are his littermates.

He’s over two years old now and really attached to all of us, including my new daughter-in-law who moved in downstairs. I think he’s in love with her, to be truthful. He runs downstairs to be with her whenever she’s home and has even been known to push his way between her and my son. We may lose Tucker when they move out because I’m not sure he won’t whine for his new girlfriend—he whines incessantly when he knows she’s home but he can’t get to her—but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Until then, I can honestly say that we’ll never add another dog to the household. It’s against the law in our town to have more than three dogs. Now, I just need to keep my husband from visiting the neighbors without me. ~


(Tucker at bath time)

Beth: Karen, I love Tucker’s story! I have two cats who were abandoned as kittens that I raised from infancy and am also especially close to.

Now for Karen’s exciting romantic suspense!

Killing Secrets (Thorne’s Thorns Book 1) by K.L. Docter Blurb:

Some secrets are better left dead.

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — the child is his key to controlling the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.

Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.

There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.~

Excerpt from Killing Secrets
© Copyright 2014 – K.L. Docter

Denver, Colorado.

At the first crack of gunfire, Rachel dove headfirst into the garden she was weeding. Listening for the second report she expected to follow, she prayed Amanda stayed at Patrick Thorne’s house where she’d gone an hour ago to play with her new friend, Suze.
Gasping for air, she inhaled the rich, spicy scent of freshly turned soil and crushed nasturtiums instead. Dirt and grit bit into her cheek and the bare flesh exposed by her cutoffs and T-shirt. The mid-afternoon sun beat hot against her shoulders and legs, and all she could do was lie there and watch a fat bumblebee dip into a russet blossom three inches from her nose.
Had she run almost nine hundred miles only to die like this, grubbing alone in the dirt like a spineless worm?
A surge of anger gave her impetus to lift her head. She peeked over the flimsy wall of twelve-inch annuals between her and the street. A second gunshot rang out, belched in a cloud of black smoke from an ancient Volkswagen bus that disappeared around the corner.
Backfire?
She groaned, more relieved than embarrassed by her overreaction. Her chin dropped. Taking several deep draughts of the thin Colorado air, she worked to calm the pound of her heart against her ribcage. Her efforts made her head swim. A minute later she was able to push herself out of the three-foot section of garden she’d mown down.
Her nerves had been on edge since she fled Dallas on Friday, five days ago. If she weren’t so overwrought it would have occurred to her Greg would never stand at a distance and take potshots at her. No. Greg liked to look into her eyes when he meted out his punishments.
An icy shiver skimmed her skin. Each day that passed without his appearance should have reassured her she’d made the right decision to accept Katy’s arrangements with the Thornes. As long as Greg didn’t track her and Amanda to Denver, they were safe.
Problem is she hadn’t felt safe since Amanda was born and she discovered what kind of man she’d married. Now she couldn’t pluck enough weeds from Evelyn Thorne’s gardens by day to tear the anxiety from her heart at night. Her growing sense of trepidation kept her awake long after the morning stars dimmed above the mile-high city’s cloudless skies.
How could the justice system simply hand Greg a “get out of jail free” card? She’d always known the man had connections in high places, but how had he arranged for the evidence in his case—evidence she’d risked everything to provide—to disappear before he even went to trial? If he’d accomplished that feat while behind bars, how in the world was she and Amanda going to stay out of his clutches?
She felt like there were giant bull’s-eyes painted on their backs, that it was only a matter of time before Greg tracked them down. During their marriage the man would spend weeks, even months, laying meticulous groundwork for one of his cons. He’d had six months to plan dozens of new punishments for his betrayer.
“‘Til death us do part, darlin’.”
His words echoed over the expanse of time and distance, ringing a fresh peal of dread in Rachel’s breast. With one hand, she brushed clumps of soil off her tangerine T-shirt and whispered a small prayer. Please don’t let him find us!

***Read Killing Secrets, Karen’s first standalone book in the Thorne’s Thorns series, at a special discounted price of $2.99 for three days only, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 27-29. Dead Ringer, Thorne’s Thorns Book 2, COMING SOON.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2iFFWmg
B&N: http://goo.gl/wsqVxB
Kobo: http://goo.gl/KM563U
Google Play: http://goo.gl/mogQqs
iTunes: http://goo.gl/pg58wN

Bio: Bestselling Author Karen Docter writes contemporary romance. When she feels the need to feed the dark side, she writes intense suspense thrillers as K.L. Docter. She’s an award-winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division.

Connect with Karen:
Website/Blog: http://www.karendocter.com
Twitter: @KarenDocter
Karen Docter FB: goo.gl/6TXc5X
K.L. Docter FB: goo.gl/uD1iGL
Goodreads: https://goo.gl/bsswDd

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Karen a comment!