Tag Archives: Author writing companion

Furbaby Friday with Christina Lambert!


A warm welcome to Christina, here to share her wonderful  Great Pyrenees and her shifter romance, Wolf’s Challenge.

Christina: Over the years, I’ve been blessed to have some amazing furbabies come into my life. Pets are such a blessing because they love us at our best, our worst, and every stage in between. I love walking through the front door and having my dog, Yuki, greet me with tail wags and licks to my hands. Making room in my home for my sweet, gentle, giant dog was one of the best decisions I could have made.

Yuki came to my family as a stray almost two years ago. He’s a great Pyrenees, who barks at every possible noise, sheds giant tumbleweeds of hair, steals pizza crust from unsuspecting humans, and enjoys playing outside, especially when it snows. He loves kids and waits faithfully by the window every weekday at 3:30 for my daughters to get off the school bus. He keeps me company in my home office while I work and insists on sleeping on the bed at night.

My cat, Leo, passed away not long ago but she had a long, healthy life. She loved to wake me up in the middle of the night by jumping up on my stomach. During the day, she alternated between sleeping peacefully and finding things to destroy. She was an excellent spider stalker and occasionally, she was nice to the dog.

Wolf’s Challenge is the first story in the Stranger Creatures series and features Derrick and Sydney’s story. When temptingly handsome, powerful shape shifter Derrick dares shy, single mom Sydney to take a chance with him, will she rise to the challenge or will she run for safety, leaving him in the dust?

Book Description:
Nothing is as it seems in the town of Great Oaks, Virginia. Derrick has a few secrets but he’s not shy about letting elusive, single mom Sydney know he wants to leave the friend zone she’s boxed him into. Sydney has trust issues, and with good reason. Will Sydney and Derrick find their happily ever after or will the unhinged woman stalking them destroy their chance?

Excerpt:
Sydney sat in the conference room at Brass Cat Advertising, sipping her coffee and wishing the caramel latte could take her to an alternate reality. One where Derrick Porter wasn’t sitting in front of her. His presence had caught her off guard. She took another sip of her coffee and tried not to stare stupidly, but holy chocolate-covered cherries, the man was hot.

Dark hair and eyebrows made a striking contrast against his strong bone structure and fair skin. His lips, good grief. They looked so soft. His long, lean body fit nicely in a suit. The material stretched over his broad shoulders and came in at the waist. He probably had amazing six-pack abs.

When they’d met Saturday in running group, it hadn’t merely been the fog coupled with Sydney’s exhaustion and two-year streak of celibacy that made Derrick appear so handsome. Even under the bright lights of the conference room, he was gorgeous. What rotten luck that she couldn’t seem to get away from him.

Buy Links for Wolf’s Challenge:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Challenge-Christina-Lynn-Lambert-ebook/dp/B07JCSLVBJ
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolfs-challenge-christina-lambert/1124676509
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wolf-s-challenge-1

Author Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christinalynnlambert
Wordpress: https://christinalynnlambertwordpress.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/chris4lamb
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15900423.Christina_Lynn_Lambert
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Lynn-Lambert/e/B01MCYK0K7
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christinalynnlambert

Author Bio:
A few years ago, I read my first romance novel and I was hooked, so much so that I decided to give the idea of writing a story a chance. My style is more gritty than sweet and I look forward to writing many more stories with strong heroines and imperfect but determined characters. Love, courage, hope, and second chances are a few of my favorite themes. When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time outside and finding ways to avoid cooking. I live in beautiful Virginia with my husband, two daughters, and a sweet, hairy monster of a dog.

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Christina a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Valerie Ullmer!


A warm welcome to Valerie and her dear furbaby, Maddie. Valerie joins us to share Maddie’s story and her Christmas romance, You for Christmas.

Valerie: Our dog, Maddie is now ten years old, but years ago when she was 10 weeks old, we adopted her and have loved every moment with her in our lives.

My husband and I had been searching for a dog to adopt for over two years at the time we adopted Maddie.  We fostered a Yorkie (too small), a Husky (way, way too much energy), and tried to adopt a Scottie (the foster mother decided to keep him) before my husband found Maddie on Craigslist.

She had been rescued from a kill shelter in Western Colorado and brought to Denver.  She was the smallest of the litter and the last one to be adopted, but when we met her we thought she was precious.

My husband met the woman who rescued her near her car, excited to meet Maddie, who was called Baby then.  As I watched on, he held her cradled to his shoulder and even without meeting her, I knew she was ours.  When Maddie was brought inside, she sniffed around for a while not really interested in me or our cat, took a large drink of water, and proceeded to pee on the carpet before falling asleep next to the arm of the couch.  It was then, with assurance, that we both fell in love with her.

Her first year was difficult.  She refused to walk on a leash and spent most of her first six months stubbornly trying to get her way.  But that was child’s play compared to the variety of health issues she went through, from bronchitis to giardia and because she is a black Labrador and Rottweiler mix, she’s prone to shoulder issues because of so much of her weight is up front.  During that time, we learned that she couldn’t run because she would tear her shoulder muscles to the point she was bedridden for weeks.  It took us a few months to find a routine fit for her.  Mainly taking short walks, several times a day, but even Maddie became bored with the same routine.

Because of the shoulder injuries, we discovered water therapy and acupuncture when she was two and a half, and now she goes swimming at a dog clinic specializing in rehab three times a week and has many dog friends.

Swimming is low-impact exercise and only thirty minutes in the pool will tire her out and keep her happy.

On the days she doesn’t swim, she enjoys walking around the neighborhood and meeting dogs.  She’s also on a specialized diet to keep the weight off her shoulder and hips and because of the amount of exercise she gets, we are hoping she’ll live a long and healthy life.

It may seem as if we spoil Maddie, which we do, we totally do, there is so many things we get in return.  When my husband goes to work, Maddie keeps me company as I write.  I sometimes run ideas by her, but she looks at me with one eyebrow raised (I’m pretty sure she’s expressing her absolute disagreement with my idea) before she sighs and goes back to sleep.

Also, if it wasn’t for Maddie, I wouldn’t be as active as I am, taking longer walks because she has to smell everywhere and meet every dog along the way.  And I use that time to plot books or relax if I’m worried about anything going on in my life, but mainly, I enjoy being outside with my girl.

I never truly understood the responsibility of having a dog until Maddie came into our lives.  But I have to admit, our lives are richer, more relaxed, and genuinely happier because of Maddie.

Beth: Wonderful story about Maddie!

You for Christmas (FREE)

Genre:  Contemporary M/M Romance

BLURB

Hiding his feelings for his best friend has become second nature to Parker Hunt.  Throughout his years of friendship with Jonah Lee, he’d hoped for more, but he’d never been able to tell Jonah how he felt or what he wanted.  When Jonah’s plans fall through for holiday break, Parker is determined to spend their last Christmas together and this time, be brave enough to tell Jonah exactly how he feels.

Jonah Lee has always been in awe of his friend, Parker.  His energy, enthusiasm, and honesty had drawn Jonah to him from the first time they met.  And while he’s always been an open book with Jonah, lately, Parker had been holding something back.  On top of that, Jonah has realized that his feelings for Parker has grown and for the first time in his life, he’s curious about what Parker’s lips would feel like under his and what his definite male body would feel against his.

Will the holidays bring everything both men want, or will they let this opportunity pass them by?

You For Christmas is FREE at these sites:

Amazon

Apple

B&N

Kobo

Google Play

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valerie writes paranormal and contemporary romances with strong alpha males and brilliant, beautiful heroines. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She’s addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character driven romances.

SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ PINTEREST ~ INSTAGRAM ~ GOODREADS ~ AMAZON

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Valerie a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Christine Grabowski!


A warm welcome to fellow Wild Rose Press Author  Christine Grabowski. She’s joining us to share memories of her beloved dog, Rylie, and her Young Adult contemporary fantasy, Dickensen Academy.

Christine: Although I’d lived with a couple dogs growing up, Rylie was the first dog I could call my own. (Okay, maybe my husband Rich called her his.) Rylie was a Welsh terrier. We always joked she had dual citizenship because she was born in Canada before she moved to Virginia where we were living.

Rich and I didn’t have children at the time, so she was our only baby, and we spent lots of quality time with her in those early years. We completed training class after training class culminating in agility training. We had doggy birthday parties and visited dog parks. And we were fortunate Old Town Alexandria was extremely dog friendly, so we were able to take her to doggy happy hour at a local bar and trick-or-treating where a town full of costume-clad pooches walked from merchant to merchant gathering dog treats.

Rylie even brought an important family into our lives when she began barking like crazy at our picture window—a glance out showed a man racing in circles trying to catch his pup, so we ran out to help. Well, his fox terrier, Darcy, became Rylie’s best friend, and her family became one of our closest. Eventually Darcy’s human mom became our daughter’s godmother, and Darcy’s human-sister became our goddaughter. When we moved from Virginia, I still clearly remember Darcy staring sadly out the window as if sensing she’d never see Rylie again.

Fast forward many years and Rylie adjusted to life in Washington State. Although she had to drop out of agility, she happily made way for her own human sister and brother and couldn’t be a better best friend to us all. She kept her puppy antics well into her second decade of life—everyone always telling me that our daily three-mile runs kept her young and healthy.

When I began writing four years ago, Rylie was my constant companion, and I realized how special a mature dog could be. When the house grew quiet after my husband left for work and the kids left for school, Rylie would curl up in our favorite chair while I’d write. She literally fell asleep on my keyboard many times.

Last year, Rylie left us just shy of her 16th birthday. Coincidentally (or maybe not, depending on your beliefs), I received my first writing contract four days after her death. To say that was the most emotional week of my life was an understatement. Getting some of the best news of my life on top of some of the worst is something I don’t necessarily wish for anybody. But looking back, maybe it was for the best because shifting gears to become a published author kept me too busy to dwell on my sadness.

I’m happy to say Rylie lives on in Dickensen Academy as Zoey, Autumn’s Welsh terrier, and as the name of her dormitory (O’Reilly). Although many characters are based on real life people, Zoey is the only one based 100% on one individual.

My furbabies are so important to me, and I expect all my future books will feature my dogs. Stay tuned for a future fairy tale retelling featuring a Max and Ruby.

Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy

Dickensen Academy is a young YA contemporary fantasy that bridges the gap between MG and YA. It is about a teen girl named Autumn, who is invited to a fine arts boarding school in the secluded mountains of the Pacific Northwest. However, she soon realizes the faculty is secretly teaching dream telepathy.

Although the premise is considered a paranormal or a fantasy, the focus of the book is as much about Autumn’s relationships with her friends and family and her struggles in school and for independence—something many teens can relate to.

Excerpt:

“I feel like there’s something big we don’t know about. Something those students were protecting. I mean, really, why are we here?”

I thought it was just me who was confused. “Well…the recruiters said we’re creative and focused.”

“Yeah, that’s what Principal Locke said too.”

“And we have the right personality.”

Ben looked up at the sky, sighed then turned toward the forest. “What did he say…something about how it will soon become clear why we’re here, and there’s some ultimate purpose for our creativity?”

“I know. That whole creativity part was a bit bizarre.”

He shrugged. “It seems everyone is going with the flow. But I have so many questions.” Then he touched my arm to stop me, so I turned toward him. “I’m thinking they’re isolating us for some special reason,” he admitted in an embarrassed tone.

I tried not to laugh—he was acting paranoid. But I didn’t know Ben well. Maybe he was joking, trying to freak me out. Or was he hitting on me? The flutter in my chest moved to my stomach. I was already anxious about being away from home and whether or not I could hack the academics. I didn’t need to obsess about anything else. But I still had to know about Ben’s dream.

“So…I also had a dream about Dickensen before I accepted the offer.”

Ben’s head snapped toward me. “You did?”

Look for Christine and Dickensen Academy at:

 Website: 

https://christinegrabowski.com

Book Trailer:  

https://youtu.be/sgjRes7zPLQ

Amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/dickensen-academy-map-success/dp/B07G71747S

Barnes & Noble (Paperback)  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dickensen-academy-christine-grabowski/1129315140?ean=9781509221233

Facebook: http://facebook.com/christinegrabowskiauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christinegrabo/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/christinegrabo

Goodreads Profile:   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18276822.Christine_Grabowski

 Bookbub Profile: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/christine-grabowski

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Christine a comment.

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

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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

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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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