Tag Archives: dog adoption

Furbaby Friday With Barbara Bettis!


A warm welcome to fellow Wild Rose Press Author Barbara Bettis. Barbara is sharing her grand-furbaby and her medieval romance, For This Knight Only.

Barbara: For as long as I can remember growing up, I had furbabies. Living in the country, I had kittens and dogs. We just never NOT had a furry pet. Unfortunately, over the years, I’ve had to give them up for one reason or another. My last was a beautiful Australian shepherd who loved to ‘herd’ my husband and me on our daily walks.

These days, I have adorable furgrand-babies. The one I’d like to share with you is a mix, with the look of a miniature pinscher. Black with brown touches, he’s called Cocoa. (I had photos of him but I couldn’t get them downloaded from my phone for some reason, so I borrowed a shot from online to give you an idea of what he’s like. Just picture this sweetie with black and brown coloring.)
That’s Cocoa. Faster than a speeding bullet.

He and I had a getting-to-know-you period when he was young. He’d greet me at the front door, and it became a game (to him!) to see if he could slip past me before I could get in. I’ll long remember the first time he was successful. My grandson and granddaughter weren’t home from school yet, and there I was, all alone, searching the neighborhood for Cocoa after he darted between my legs. I was sick with apprehension that I’d lost their dearly beloved pet. It was a fun game—he’d race from one yard to another, me right behind. He’d stop and watch and as soon as I got close, he’d yip and dash off again, out of sight.

Finally, some neighbors helped corral him, and I got him back inside. I was exhausted. He was ready to play with his favorite toy, a tennis ball. In those days, he’d jump on my lap and bounce around, yipping, trying to lure me into some mischief—like giving him too many treats. (Hey, grandmas can spoil grandpets, too!)

Now he (and I) have slowed down a bit. He still greets me at the front door before I even open it, this time with his tennis ball in his mouth. He leads me up the stairs where he drops the ball and jumps up and down in welcome, then stands, watching expectantly for me to play fetch. He wears out a lot sooner, though. These days, he even climbs (no jumping now) on my lap to actually lie down and rest. I’d like to think I’ve trained him to do that. But both of us know who trained whom.

I miss having my own furbaby. Now that I’ve retired, I’ve been thinking of getting another dog (unfortunately I’m allergic to cats.) I haven’t settled on the breed yet, although I have a fondness for greyhounds. A friend has a pair of retired racing greyhounds. I asked her if they were a problem to manage. She said no. The only running they do now is racing her to the couch. I could love a dog like that 

My latest release is a medieval romance, For This Knight Only.

Blurb:

He’ll do anything for land, even marry her; she’ll do anything for her people, except marry him. If only either had a choice. It’s a marriage only love can save.
Sir Roark will do anything to gain land, even beguile an unwilling lady into marriage. He knows she’s much better off with a man to take control of her besieged castle, to say nothing of her desirable person. But it isn’t long before he discovers that, although her eyes sparkle like sunlight on sea waves, her stubbornness alone could have defeated Saladin.

Lady Alyss is determined to hold her family’s castle, protect her people, and preserve her freedom— until her brother’s dying wish binds her to a stranger. Still, she’ll allow no rugged, over-confident, appealing knight to usurp her authority, even if she must wed him. Especially since he thinks a lady’s duties begin and end with directing servants. Alyss has a few surprises for her new all-too-tempting lord.

But when a common enemy threatens everything, Roark and Alyss face a startling revelation. Without love, neither land nor freedom matters.

Check it out here
https://amzn.to/2Xlzynj

Author Bio:

Award-winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math. Through careers as a newspaper reporter and editor, then a college journalism and English professor, she’s retained her fascination with history. Give her a research book and a pot of tea, and she’s happy for hours. But what really makes her smile is working on a new story. Now retired, she lives in Missouri where she spins tales of heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.

Find Barb Here:

Bookbub Facebook Twitter Blog/Website

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Barbara a comment.

Furbaby Friday with C. Becker!


Welcome C. Becker (Colleen) and her beloved furbaby. Colleen is also sharing her new release, a suspense published by The Wild Rose Press, Finding Euphoria.

Colleen: Thank you Beth for hosting me.
The biggest and best decision my husband and I ever made (other than having kids) was the addition of our Jack Russell dog, Brownie, to the family. We adopted him seven years ago, after enduring years of kids pleading to get a family dog. When I realized how deeply my youngest son was praying for a dog, I agreed. Once my husband and I made the decision to adopt, choosing a family pet suitable for our family couldn’t have been easier. We went to a house where the family was selling five-month old puppies. Brownie’s siblings ran around us, barking. Of all the dogs, Brownie was the only one who went up to my youngest daughter. He sort of just stayed next to her and didn’t bark. Like he was saying, “Take me.” His behavior sold me. We brought him home, and he took control of the house—in a good way.

Brownie is happiest when everyone is home. When the kids leave for school and college, his tail goes down, and he “knows” he’ll be alone for a while. If I’m home during the day, he’ll sleep on the couch while I work writing at the computer. When I stand up, he takes his cue that it’s time to play. He is great playing catch with his ball and he loves the dog park.

He sleeps with all the kids, rotating during the night, in different rooms. Whom Brownie sleeps with at night is always a focus around the breakfast table.
Jack Russells are known for being highly energetic animals. Brownie loves to run and at any time, can go wild, running in circles around the house. My youngest daughter takes him for 4-5 mile walks every day so he stays healthy and fit. He could walk all day, sniffing the air and everything around him. He’s also extremely protective, barking to let us know of any visitor at the door. He recognizes the sound of our cars driving down the neighborhood.

An intelligent animal, Brownie knows a few tricks, but he has trained us to let us know when he wants to eat and drink, go to the bathroom, play ball, and have a snack. His latest trick is holding off relieving his bladder in the morning until someone takes him for a long walk outside. He loves to have his belly rubbed and to snuggle up with anyone who is sitting or lying down. He enjoys attention, but has brought more love and happiness to our household than we could have ever imagined. The kids recently nicknamed him Bub, because “He’s such a Bub.” Through a unanimous vote, my novel is dedicated to him.

Finding Euphoria is a suspense novel published by The Wild Rose Press. The rating is PG-13.

BLURB:

Hailey Langley refuses to be a victim and has moved on from her traumatic past. But her marriage problems worsen when a deadly illicit drug threatens to draw her into the life she left behind.

Mark Langley has allowed his job to interfere with his marriage, but he never suspected the secrets in Hailey’s past might hold the key to solving both of his current investigations.
Together, they must unravel the mystery of the drug called Euphoria and find a way to save not only their marriage, but countless lives, before it’s too late.

EXCERPT:
He turned the bottle around in his hand and set it on the end table. “Don’t put me in this position. You know what would happen. Grace is his mother. She’s the one who needs to stay with him.”
Regret tugged at her heart. “I wouldn’t take any time away from her.”
Parker groaned. “Just you being there would make her feel uncomfortable.”
“Why?”
“You know why.”
“But I’ve stayed away for seventeen years,” she whispered.
“That was the adoption arrangement.”
She bit her lip. “I can’t stay away any longer.”
“You agreed to those terms in the contract. You terminated all parental rights.” Parker stood and paced to the kitchen.
“But it’s not fair!” She put down her water and began wringing her hands.
Straightening his arms, he leaned against the bar. “Hailey, please don’t start. I know how you feel…”
“You couldn’t possibly know how I feel. I need to see him.” She fought to control the bitterness in her voice.
“No.”
She rose, knocking over the water bottle. “He’s my son!”
“Not anymore, he isn’t.”
The rebuke stung. “He’ll always be my son!”
“When you gave him up, you promised to keep your distance.”
“I have.”
“Forever.”
The reminder lanced her heart. “You’re being unfair. He’s dying.”
He slammed his fist on the bar. “Don’t say that. He can’t die.” Parker pushed himself up and stomped near the window, raising his hands to rest on top of his head as he faced the curtain.
A muscle twitched in her hand. Her knees buckled. She sat on the edge of the couch, wringing her hands. “I was young. I couldn’t give Justin the life he deserved. I’m not asking to take him back. I only want to see him.”
Rubbing his jaw, he walked back to the couch and sat. The hard lines on his face softened. “The adoption papers were clear. No contact.” He placed his hands on top of hers and stilled them. “If the decision was mine, I would allow it, but Grace would lose it if she found out you’re Justin’s biological mother.”
Her hands squeezed into tight fists. The urge was unbearable. “I wouldn’t tell her.”
Parker ran a hand through his hair. “Argh! Don’t you understand? She’d take one look at your face and know the truth. Don’t forget, you’re the one who wanted us to protect him.”
She stood. “Well, you did a hell of a fine job, didn’t you? You divorced Grace and deserted him. Parenting takes sacrifice, Parker. You were too busy changing careers, and now he’s messed up with drugs. How did that protect him?”
Standing, he reached for her.
“No. You stay away from me.” She extended her hands and backed up a step. “Justin’s dying! Dying, Parker! And I don’t know him…You won’t let me see my own son.”
He wrapped his arms around her.
She pushed him, pummeling her fists against his chest with all her strength.
He silently took his beating.

BUY LINKS:

Finding Euphoria at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Euphoria-C-Becker-ebook/dp/B07NPX6ZBL
At Apple itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finding-euphoria/id1453326981?_bbid=11795784&mt=11
At Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130573850?ean=2940161287873

SOCIAL LINKS:
C.Becker website
Facebook C.Becker Author
Twitter C. Becker author
Amazon Author Page C. Becker

Author Bio: A native of western Pennsylvania, C. Becker earned a B.S. degree in Medical Technology and MT (ASCP) certification. She has worked in clinical settings analyzing body fluids and testing drugs of abuse. As an author, C. Becker has published multiple stories in various genres.

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Colleen a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Sandra Dailey!


A warm welcome to Sandra and her dear little dog. Sandra is also sharing her new release with us,  a romantic suspense, The Co-Parent Project.

Sandra: I wish you could meet my furbaby, Archie. He’s a small, black and white terrier mix about seven-years-old. He was given to me by my sister four years ago. He’s quiet, well-behaved, and follows me everywhere.

Archie and I went through a scary time at the beginning of the year. He developed a bad cough and sneezing fits. I thought it was a cold. Still, I wanted to have him checked out. I made several attempts to contact his vet, to no avail. I decided it was time to find someone else.

After two hours of exams, tests, and x-rays with his new vet, I found out my little buddy was in big trouble. He had an abscessed tooth that had breached his sinus cavity, (the sneezing). Having a dental background I knew this could be fatal. He needed surgery.

His new vet was concerned about putting him under because of his loud heart murmur. Why hadn’t I been told he had a heart murmur by his old vet? A chest x-ray showed his heart wasn’t swollen, but he had a soft tissue collapse in his trachea, (the coughing). She could do the surgery, but I was ordered not to allow him to wear a collar ever again—more information I wish I’d had earlier.
The surgery was a success. But the month that followed was a challenge. We both love his new vet. It makes me wonder, though. Where would we be now if his old vet had answered her phone?

Interesting fact about Archie—he loves wearing clothes—sweaters, shirts, jackets, or just a bandana on hot days.

The Co-Parent Project

Parenting style won’t matter if they don’t all survive.

Blurb:
Luca Wolff and Joy Sullivan are competing for guardianship of their estranged, teenage nephew, Eric, after his parents are killed in a plane crash. Evidence shows the crash wasn’t an accident. Neither was a recent explosion that destroyed Luca’s house. When a fire is intentionally set in Joy’s home, suspicion points to Eric–and that’s not the end of their trouble.

Eric has been in his share of mischief, but now he has a chance to clean up his reputation. That’s hard to do when the only people who believe in you are the ones you’re accused of targeting. Just as Luca and Joy give in to romance, new information comes to light that could tear them apart along with Eric’s dream for a happy family. The three have to set aside their grief, personal issues, and disagreements to figure out who is out to kill them…and why.

Excerpt:
As soon as he walked through the door the smell of chemicals nearly drove him back outside. The odor was so strong it made his eyes water. He couldn’t take it anymore. “How can you live with the constant stench in this house?”

“I’m sorry. Mrs. Erving needed a perm today.” Joy walked in through the kitchen door carrying a squeeze bottle of mustard. “I was just making lunch. Would you like a ham and cheese sandwich?”

“No thanks,” he snarled. “All I’d be able to taste is that nasty smell.”

“How can you taste a smell?”

“You’d know if your olfactory receptors weren’t burned away. That stuff has got to cause brain damage.”

“Do you plan to claim it as a way to get Eric away from me? I wouldn’t put anything past a Wolff.”

Buy Links:
Wild Rose Press: https://bit.ly/2EmYPGj
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NocQ9P
Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2IrWA8V

Author Bio:
From childhood I’ve moved from place to place, from Indiana to Florida, stopping in several places in between. I also moved from job to job; as a waitress, soldier, retail manager, dental assistant, etc… The one thing I never had to leave behind was my imagination. Storytelling has always been my favorite way to pass time. I’ve often been told I should write a book. Finally, I did. It was so much fun: I felt I must write more, so I have. I’ve been a student of Long Ridge Writers Group and once won a short story contest with Harlequin. I currently live in North Florida with my husband, whom I torture with crazy story lines and half written manuscripts.

Contact Info:
Website/Blog: http://www.sandradailey.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sandradailey.author
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sdaileyauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/sandradailey
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551048.Sandra_Dailey

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Sandra a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Laura Boon!


I’m glad to have Laura here to share her darling little dog and her contemporary romance, The Millionaire Mountain Climber.

During a year of ups and downs, the very best thing about 2018 was the entry of little Beau into our lives. He’s a Pekingese we rehomed from a neighbor whose lifestyle changed. He didn’t want two-year-old Beau any more, but he didn’t want him to end up at the RSPCA either. Enter lucky us.

We haven’t had a dog for about ten years because we’d been living in an apartment. Then we moved into a townhouse with a small yard, and I started to work from home. The door opened, the universe conspired, and Beauzie came to live with us.

Initially, he was understandably nervous. Seven months later, he’s the prince of our small kingdom and has a spot in every room that he considers his own. He has completely won over my husband who had thought he was a big dog fan.

I didn’t know much about Pekes when he arrived, so naturally I had to buy a book or two to read up about them. I discovered they were royal dogs in China who made their way to England as a result of England’s defeat of China during the 19th century Opium Wars. Two were given to Queen Victoria. From there, they conquered the world.

They were selectively bred to enhance their flat faces with the wrinkle and little legs, supposedly to stop them running away. Ha. Beau can run like the wind – when he feels like it. He’s equally good at sitting tight. You’d be surprised how tough it can be to get a little dog of around fifteen pounds to move along when he’d rather stay and chat to a new doggie friend.

He is both stubborn and sweet, a picky eater who personifies the phrase ‘turn your nose up at…’ when he doesn’t wish to eat something. He plays the court jester with aplomb and loves to stretch his long back while lying down, his little forelegs scrabbling through the air and his tail and head almost touching. Naturally he requires his human minder to tickle his tummy during this process. I think he’s double jointed. I didn’t know this was a dog trait, but he loves to flop down mid-stride, one leg forward one leg folded underneath him. Oh, to be that flexible!

Pekes who are show dogs have extremely long coats. While it is cute, it is cruel during an Australian summer, like expecting a human to wear a fur coat in forty-degree heat. We keep Beauzie’s hair cropped nice and short, aside from his fluffy tail, and let it grow only in winter. A friend of mine says all homes should have a little dog, and I think she’s right. They live in the present and remind you of all that is good and joyful.

Beauzie would enjoy living in the Auberge de la Montagne in the French Alps, the setting for my contemporary romance, The Millionaire Mountain Climber, as he is very social. He would be delighted to have a stream of guests to watch come and go. One of his furry friends has not yet made his way between the pages, but this is only book 1 in the series, so watch this space!

The Millionaire Mountain Climber
A contemporary romance

When danger threatens a bona fide city girl, an adventurer is her only hope of rescue

Mountain climber Matt Hanley is a former investment manager whose lean body and rugged good looks epitomize an outdoor adrenaline junky. When his business partner in their country hotel is injured, he needs an efficient replacement in a hurry.

Hailey Gordon lives a chic city life free of adventures and daredevils. She craves stability and security but loses her job and boyfriend on the same day. A winter holiday job in France is the perfect escape from her troubles.

Sparks ignite when Matt and Hailey meet, but she resolves to ignore the flame flickering between them. Aside from the fact Matt is her boss, she is convinced he is not her type. Matt is determined to teach Hailey to look beyond appearances. He needs to show her how good they are together, even if he must risk life and limb to do so.

Extract
Hailey drank in the landscape, noticing the clarity of the late afternoon sky and the way the snow-capped peaks glistened despite the fading light.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” said Matt. “Trending down the valley, you have the villages of Argentiere and Les Praz and the town of Chamonix. Behind Chamonix you can see the Grand Mama of all the peaks, Mont Blanc.”

“Yes, the pens––and the chocolates.” She shook her head. What hubris to name a pen after the magnificent towering peak, but what marketing genius.

Matt grinned. “Ah, you know the chocolates, do you? We’ll have to buy you some.”

“From the lips to the hips,” she murmured, “and I am sure they don’t do the mountain justice.”

“Come on, let’s get you inside before your face turns blue, and I earn a reprimand from Genie for chatting up scantily-clad women in sub-zero temperatures.”

“Really? You were chatting me up? I’m flattered.”

The smile turned wicked. “You’re welcome.” As he bent to pick up her suitcase, he dropped his head next to hers and murmured into her ear in a low, deep voice, sending shivers down her spine. “For the record, Hailey, your curves are perfect. A little chocolate won’t do them any harm.”

She blushed, and the fire of his words flickered all the way through her belly. When was the last time her ex had paid her a compliment? An appalling thought crossed her mind; she, the High Priestess of Order and Long-Term Planning, was ripe for the picking and contemplating a holiday romance.

Author Bio:

Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and Beau. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbor.

Buy links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Mountain-Climber-Romancing-Alps-ebook/dp/B07H9PJ7GN
iBooks: https://tinyurl.com/ycpnhwb9
Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/y9c93n6t
Barnes and Noble (Nook): https://tinyurl.com/y6vrzzta
Google Play: https://tinyurl.com/yby5s9w5

Social Media Links
You can find Laura online at:
Web: https://lauraboon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraBoonAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LollyRussell
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lauraboonrussell66/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Laura 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 T. Strange!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blurb for My Zombie Boyfriend

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

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

Excerpt:

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

I wanted him to notice me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was Kit, of course.

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

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

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

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

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

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Furbaby Friday with Kelley Heckart!


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

Kelley Heckart: Loki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He’s got some funny quirks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things he loves:

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

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

He loves to terrorize the chipmunks.

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

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

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

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

Series blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“P.A.?”

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

“No.”

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

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

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

“Kaitlyn Storm.”

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

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

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

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

“Old photo,” I mumbled.

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

My cheeks grew even hotter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kelley Heckart

Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.

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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/

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