Tag Archives: dog adoption

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 Brenda Whiteside!


I’m glad to have fellow Wild Rose Press Author Brenda Whiteside with us to share her wonderful dog memories and western romance, The Deep Well of Love and Murder (The Love and Murder Series Book 5).

Brenda: I’ve been lucky to share the life of a host of cats and dogs over my lifetime. The luckiest period of time was a ten year stretch when Rusty lived with us. He was by far the best animal friend FDW and I ever had. The day we walked into PetSmart for cat food and walked out with a rescue puppy, was a surprise and a great day. That puppy looked at me with big eyes rimmed in deep brown, and I fell in love.

Rusty came from the Navajo Indian Reservation in Northern Arizona. His mama was a Red Heeler cattle dog and his daddy was a stranger passing through the res. Judging from Rusty’s long fur, streaks of gold, and personality traits, we’re pretty certain that stranger was a Golden Retriever.

Not only was Rusty an affectionate doggie, but he was also the “smartest dog in the world.” He helped me unload groceries from the car carrying in packages of paper goods and other sundries. Then, I would stand on a stool, and he would hand me rolls of paper towels and toilet paper to store on the shelves. When he saw me carrying dirty clothes from the hampers to the laundry room, he’d chomp some pieces and follow me. Every morning, he’d wait at the door to go out for the newspaper. He was FDW’s favorite fishing buddy. He’d jump with excitement whenever my husband had a fish on the line. But he’d also scold him when he went too long in between catches.

He’s been gone for three years and we still miss him.

Rusty has a role in my latest release, The Deep Well of Love and Murder, series book five. He was the inspiration for Perro, a Red Heeler mix and the best friend of Randy Silva. Perro was born unable to utter any sound and his hearing is limited to Randy’s high-pitched whistle, but his other senses are heightened. He warns Randy of danger more than once. I had fun including Rusty/Perro in this story.

Blurb:
After an abusive childhood and bad marriage, Laura Katz has finally found a home, stability…and possibly love. But her blissful refuge as nanny on the Meadowlark Ranch, miles from Flagstaff, shatters when her ex is released from prison, determined to reclaim her.

Randy Silva, the Argentine foreman, has plans for his own ranch, but a nasty land grab is underway. While the battle escalates, Laura steals his heart, but there are outsiders who stand in their way. He’s in a fight for his land, and the woman he wants by his side.

Stakes are high, as the attacks on Randy and his ranch draw blood. While the vengeful ex-husband stalks Laura, a mob-backed land developer teams with a desperate gambler. Randy can’t be sure where the next attack will come from—or who will be caught in the crossfire.

Excerpt:
“You let me be the judge of what messes I choose in my life.” His hands twitched at his sides, longing to hold her and stifle her anger. He narrowed his eyes and stared deeper into hers instead. “Taking care of your ex is a mess I look forward to.”
“This is my mess, not yours.” Her tone grew more combative. “I’ve handled what I’ve been dealt, and I’ll continue handling whatever gets thrown at me.”
“I don’t see it that way.” He kept his voice level, but hard edged. His own emotions, convincing her while fear of losing her, hammered his self-control. “You’re locking me out. Why? Because you think you aren’t allowed to be happy?”
Her mouth pinched in a tight line, and she glared at him. “Randy—”
“I think it’s about damned time you stopped blaming your mother, your ex, or whoever for your unhappiness.”
She whirled away, ready to flee, but he couldn’t stop now. He needed her and had to make her see how much she needed him. “Don’t be afraid of me, Laura Jane.” He shuffled a half-step closer.
“I’m not afraid.” She faced him again. “But I don’t need you to tell me how to run my life, if that’s what you think you can do.”
Perro jumped and planted his paws on Randy’s hip, panting heavily. “For Pete’s sake, Perro—”
Laura’s brow furrowed. “Do you smell that?”
“What?” As soon as he’d asked, the hot, smoky scent assaulted his senses.
Fire.

Buy Links:
https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Well-Love-Murder-Book-ebook/dp/B07CLRX7Y8

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-deep-well-of-love-and-murder-brenda-whiteside/1129082442?ean=2940162047827

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-deep-well-of-love-and-murder/id1376415644?mt=11

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5877-the-deep-well-of-love-and-murder.html

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-deep-well-of-love-and-murder

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Brenda_Whiteside_The_Deep_Well_of_Love_and_Murder?id=vKFfDwAAQBAJ

Bio:
Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Currently, they split their time between the Lake Roosevelt basin in Central Arizona and the pines in the north. Wherever Brenda opens her laptop, she spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com
Or on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month: http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about life’s latest adventure and has fun guests on her personal blog: https://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003V15WF8
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3972045.Brenda_Whiteside
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-whiteside
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brendawhitesideauthor/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Brenda a comment!

Furbaby Friday With Patti Sherry-Crews


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

Lucille “Lucy” Bell

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

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

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


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

Gracie May

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

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

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

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

Blurb for Margarita and the Hired Gun:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/PattiSherryCrew

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Patti a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Christie Craig!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Lady)

(Lady and best friend Maggie)

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

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

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

Excerpt from This Heart of Mine:

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

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

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

Beth: I loved hearing about them!

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

Furbaby Friday with Shenandoah Valley Artist and Author Mike Reisenberg!


I am happy to have animal lover and expert, Mike Reisenberg, on the blog to share a beloved dog memory, and wonderful stories drawn from his life. I have known and admired Mike for years, and was a faithful listener of his radio show.

Abby & Mikey:

Sometimes we dog and animal lovers go looking for a dog. It’s time. We’ve been without a pup since our beloved Champ, Rex, Tinki, or Bear left us. The pain of that loss may have inspired promises we would never have another dog. The pain fades and being without a dog, for a dog lover, is a void more painful. We know the breed that fits us best because that’s the breed our family or we have always had. Pug people are pug people. Lab owners swear they will always have labs and that sentiment is extended to almost every breed by some group or another. Those of us lucky enough  to have shared a house with a Mutt, are not as limited in our search. A trip to the SPCA or shelter almost always guarantees a psychic connection and the next family K-9.

Sometimes happenstance inserts itself and delivers a dog when you positively are not thinking or looking for that K-9 companion.  Normally this happens to first-time dog owners, even those who say they do not like dogs. It often happens to dog lovers not quite ready to replace or add a puppy to their home. It especially happens to those of us thinking we may get a dog, but knowing our family or economic situation, we make the decision to wait. That is when the best dogs find us.

Pam and I and daughter Charity had owned cats. Charity liked cats. We didn’t want a cat and a dog, and I had a basement full of tropical fish and some cockatoos and a red rat snake. If Pam had let me, I would have filled our house with animals, and I’m sure a dog would have been included.

Instead of an in-house zoo that would have threatened my marriage, I purchased The Animal House Pet Shop. About that same time, we were thinking about adopting a baby. Any thought or talk of a dog was quickly hushed as being too much work with a new business et all. The Animal House took in mixed breed dogs for sale. We had them checked by a veterinarian, paid for the required first shots and worming to ensure good health. We then made a modest profit selling them to dog lovers. The idea was the new dog owner would purchase many dollars worth of toys, bowls, leashes, collars, beds and grooming services. Puppies were vet checked before they were accepted and any major health problems were avoided.

The litter of black puppies arrived before Christmas. Their mother was a Heinz 57; their father was unknown. The scruffy litter looked like Scotties and would sell fast. All had that ‘you have to love me’ look and the friendly playful way that endears dogs to anyone with a heart. They checked out, had their shots, and the adoptions started. After a few days, one of the smaller ones became sick. A follow up revealed an infection and hernia that would require surgery and shunts. The little pup needed compresses changed, and I brought her home for my daughter to nurse. I had full intentions of taking her back to the Animal House and selling or giving away a healthy pup.

Charity named her Abby. We took turns with the compresses, and Abby was there to stay! You’re thinking I should have known that? We then had a new business, a cat, and a puppy. Abby ended up looking like a long body Scotty fooling even some Scotty owners into asking who the breeder was. We also adopted a son, Mikey. Abby welcomed him by craping under his bed. He would become her favorite.

Like most of her kind, Abby was not a finicky eater. After a day in Charlottesville, we arrived home to find Abby bloated and her face covered in fish guts and scales. She had also perfumed her body by rolling in the remains of her feast. Our neighbor Jim had cleaned his fish and buried the guts and scales behind his shed. Abby was not a welcomed sight. As luck would have it, Pam’s mother was visiting, and Pam, in a firm, fussing rant, wanted to know why Opal and Charity hadn’t bathed the dog. They had twice! Three times Abby had figured a way out of the house to the waiting well aged fish. Pam’s mom said, she’s your dog and two baths were all she was doing.

Abby was mostly Mikey’s dog; she followed him everywhere. Mikey walked at ten months. The reason for his early two-legged jaunt was Abby. Mikey would grab hold of her back hair, pull himself up and then walk along beside her. Abby seemed to know not to go too fast. Mikey’s little legs grew strong as he gave up crawling for walking alongside his dog. His ten-month solo was at a Christmas Party. Abby barked with delight. They spent the next twelve years running and playing. As dogs often do Abby grew older faster and passed away.

A Pet Supply Christmas Catalog arrived and in it was a page of dog ornaments. One was the splitting image of Abby dressed as a winged angel. She has been on our Christmas Tree ever since. She hangs each year next to Mikey’s paper hand.
MR

Beth: What a touching story, Mike. I loved it.

Mike: I am new to e-books and Kindle. My first five entries are short stories. The titles are  Boots, the Best Dog in the World. The Cave. Rooster Eggs? Fish-tales, Snappers and Fishhooks. The Haunted House at Hopkins Farm.

They were all taken from a larger book that I am still working on. Each event is from my preteen years to age fourteen. Here are some brief passages from each one.

Boots:

The grownups in the neighborhood called us the Hartwell Boys. We called ourselves the Snakes. As soon as school let out for the summer, we would spend Saturdays hiking and exploring the woods behind Drake hospital. We would rise early, raid the fridge, make sandwiches, and pack our own lunch.

We ate anything and everything from apples to liverwurst to sardines. Our creative combinations between two slices of bread would make Dagwood Bumstead proud. Peanut butter could be spread with anything. Our hope was that Mom didn’t have any chores for us. We were a band of five to seven adventurers. Boots, our dog, came too.

Cave:

After a drink from our communal canteen, we circled the sinkhole and felt the cool, inviting wisp of escaping air. The leaves had been washed away by recent rains, and the opening looked more friendly than usual.

I stood looking down at the dark hole and welcomed that most pleasant mix of fear, excitement, and anticipation. Like standing in line for your first rollercoaster ride. “We should have brought more ropes.” I heard myself say.

Rooster Eggs:

After Lenore’s first day, she sat at the end of the walk, her feet in the road, sobbing into her apron. She wanted to go home. Her hands hurt, her legs ached, her body cried for sleep, and her eyes tried to wash away the thought of dishes needing cleaning. She would have fled if she had had a place to go.

She may have left on tired legs down that dusty road if she had quit crying before Luther found her.

Fish Tales:

“That’s a BIG turtle” he boasted as if he had caught it himself. “What you fixin’ to do with it?”
“Take it back to camp and eat it.” declared Richard.
“They are good eaten that’s for sure. But hard to clean. You boys ever clean a turtle?”
I nodded yes.
“ Now I know no white boy young as you done cleaned a turtle. Not as big as this un.” He hedged.
“Yes, I have! I helped my Grand Dad in Virginia.”
“Helpings one thing, but cutting through that hard shell…

Haunted House:

The heavy door creaked open, and all but Fritz strode in. The dim was stripped with shafts of thinly sliced sun dancing dust in ribbons of gold, opaque against deeper, darker, bluer shadows. We walked and turned, mouths agape, as if part of a slow-motion square dance, choreographed to silent music, playing the same song, in all our heads. It felt as if the barn was turning around us. Our partner in a song of wonder.

The loft with hand hued ladder; hay bales still waiting to be used; horse collar and plow, buckets, hoes, rakes, egg baskets all placed ready for the days work. A workday that never came ‘till now. Now they would be our tools assisting our work. The best kind of work, the play of young boys.

Thanks for reading.

Beth: Fabulous stories, Mike. Some remind me of my childhood, and my brothers’. I remember your pet shop. The kids and I loved going there.

***Be sure to visit Mike’s Amazon Author page. He is a highly talented artist and also has some wonderful paintings  on that page. He designed his book covers.

To visit his page and browse his kindle books visit:

https://www.amazon.com/MIKE-REISENBERG/e/B079WP7QTM/

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Mike a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Rachel Brimble!


I’m very glad to welcome Rachel Brimble here to share a  moving story of grief and healing, and her new contemporary romance, Ethan’s Daughter.

Rachel: One of the hardest of my books to write was Saved By The Firefighter, but it was also one of the most cathartic. Just before I started writing this book, I had lost my beloved, ten-year-old black Labrador, Max. He was our first family dog and my constant companion. He was with me pretty much twenty-four-seven and would lay for hours at my feet while I worked. During our walks, I would plot and plan, solve problems and gain new inspiration. He was everything to me.

MAX

When he died, I was literally struck down with grief. I was lost. Didn’t want to do or think about anything…and I had a deadline looming. I had to start work. But how.

That was when I knew the book I needed to write had to involve bereavement, a fight through the hero or heroine’s grief until they come out the other side, happier and stronger than they were before their loss. As soon as I believed the writing of this book could be my way of healing, of purging everything I was feeling and how much I was hurting, the writing began to flow.

I poured everything I had into every word, every scene and every character action and decision.

The feedback from readers has been fantastic! People have told me how Trent and Izzy’s story brought them hope, evoked tears and memories, but they finished the book smiling. Happiness! This is my aim when I write – to heal a little of something in me and in the lovely people who read my books.

A few months after I lost Max, I still wasn’t coping very well and a friend of mine suggested I visit the ‘Borrow My Doggy’ website. This is an amazing site where you can literally ‘borrow’ people’s dogs for the weekend, holidays or walk them whenever you want some company. I immediately fell in love with a pic of six month old, chocolate Lab called Tyler.

(Tyler)

I visited his owners and learned that Dad had just been diagnosed with Parkinsons and, as they were in their sixties, weren’t sure how they would keep this bouncy pup amused. I took over as foster mum. Eight months later, I was adoptive mum and Tyler has lived with us since January 2016.

He is adored by me, my husband and our two teenage daughters and he also gets to visit his original mum and dad for a day every week. The situation worked out perfectly for everyone and Tyler is very much loved!

Thanks for having me here to share my love of my two fur babies! My latest release is Ethan’s Daughter which is book seven in my ongoing Templeton Cove series with Harlequin Superromance. This is a romantic suspense story revolving around the Cove’s exclusive, best-selling novelist, Ethan James and the trouble his ex-wife brings to his and his daughter’s (Daisy) door. What neither of them expects is the arrival and involvement of feisty ER nurse, Leah Dixon…and believe me, sparks fly!

Beth: What a wonderful story of healing and redemption! I’m so glad you shared it with us.

Blurb  for Ethan’s Daughter:

There’s safety in solitude…isn’t there? 

Single dad and best-selling thriller writer Ethan James has no problem being Templeton Cove’s most famous recluse…until a surprise visit from the past plunges him into a real-life crime drama just as feisty nurse Leah Dixon barges her way into his world.

Ethan’s first priority is to protect his daughter. His second priority is to keep Leah out of this dark web—and that means out of his bed. Except Leah isn’t going anywhere; she’s afraid little Daisy is in danger. Ethan couldn’t live with himself if anything happened to Leah…but pushing her away may be even harder!

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NAMY53H/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/eYGTixj

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ethans-daughter-rachel-brimble/1125531674?ean=9781488017186

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/ethan-s-daughter-mills-boon-superromance-templeton-cove-stories-book-7

Author Bio:

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eighth coming in Feb 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Rachel’s Links:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Facebook Street Team – Rachel’s Readers

Follow Rachel’s Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490948101&sr=8-1

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Rachel a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Author Linda Nightingale


I’m very happy to have my good friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author, Linda Nightingale, here to share her new best friend, Courage, and dark fantasy romance, Gylded Wings.

Courage– a Coton de Tulear

Linda: My Trip to Alabama to Get Courage

Is Alabama the only state in the union that has courage, you ask? Well, Courage started out in Tennessee and moved to Alabama.

Courage (Registered name: My Darling Dog’s Courage) is my 4-year-old Coton de Tulear and when people ask what a Coton is, I say, ‘a little white dog’.  He is the best possible canine friend I could have found.  He is very conscientious when it comes to potty breaks and in the two-and-a-half months I’ve had him hasn’t gone in the house once.  This was a very important requirement for me. He’s also loving, sweet, playful and fairly obedient though he is a consummate beggar.

Our story starts in about February. I was looking for a Coton to adopt (they are quite expensive to buy), but every one I found got away before I found and responded to the ad. Casting my net wider and wider, I finally found Courage in Mobile (about a 7-8 hour drive from Houston).  I made plans to meet the woman halfway, but then a cautious friend convinced me that I was at risk, that it was probably a scam.  Long story short, I cancelled and continued my search. To no avail.

Over the course of the next few months, I kept in sporadic contact with the woman who owned Courage, always surprised that he hadn’t been snapped up.  In May, I had plans to visit my son in Yorkshire for a month, so I asked Amber to keep him until I returned. She agreed to keep him for me and didn’t ask for any compensation though I volunteered.

While I was in England, I received a frantic message that she needed to get rid of him and that someone had offered her about half again what I’d agreed for a rehoming fee.  There was very little I could do from 3,000 miles away, and I told her to take the other person’s offer.  I knew that I’d resume my search when I got home but all along I’d just had a ‘feeling’ that Courage was the dog for me.

A few days before I was due to return, she again emailed me and said she still had him.  I agreed to pick him up on the first weekend in June, which meant that I scarcely had time to unpack before I threw a few things in a case and zoomed off to Mobile.  I was very lucky that a friend had agreed to go with me because it rained incessantly and I don’t see terribly well under those conditions.

We stopped by a casino in Louisiana on our way, stayed overnight and the next morning Amber brought Courage. He was just the cutest thing I’d ever seen with his tail flung over his back and his soft eyes ‘smiling’.  I loved him at once.

At about 11 AM, we loaded up with Courage in my lap and Kelly driving and aimed the Miata’s nose toward Houston. Except for having to sit for almost an hour to wait while traffic was cleared in an accident on I-10, we made semi-good time and arrived home around 7.

Courage settled in quickly and now owns the house. My neighbors love him, but he does have one serious fault.  He can be very aggressive when meeting new people.  He did bite one of my neighbors (she doesn’t love him I dare say).  We need to enroll in some quality dog training for this personality faux pas.

A Coton de Tulear is the Royal Dog of Madagascar and once upon a time could only be owned by the nobility.  The breed’s name derives from the fact that their coat is soft as cotton and silky.  For show dogs, the coat is worn long.  I’m letting Courage’s coat grow but I doubt I’ll ever show him.  I spent enough time in show rings with my Andalusian horses years ago.

“Courage is a love affair with the unknown.” Osho, and so it was for me and my little white dog, but I always felt that this one was just right.

Beth: Wonderful dog, Linda.

My latest book will be released by The Wild Rose Press on 9/13, but is available now for preorder. http://a.co/aELockF

The blurb for my dark fantasy about the many faces of love Glyded Wings:

Angels in slavery? Brit Montgomery cannot believe it, until she is sent on a rescue mission to another dimension and witnesses the cruel practice first hand. The angel, Gyldan, is the most beautiful being she’s ever seen. She is drawn to him but sometimes beauty disguises wicked secrets. This man who rocks her world seems more demon than angel.

Gyldan, born into slavery, has one desire—fly free. When he escapes to Earth, he faces an alternate self-realization full of dark glory…and disbelief. Gyldan is bent on experiencing his newfound powers unmindful of the harm to Brit or others.

Confused and hurt by Gyldan’s erratic evil actions, Brit turns away. While Gyldan’s journey of self-discovery pulls him further distant, Brit finds acceptance in a solitary, comfortable life of her own until she realizes the day of reckoning has come. Will Gyldan be her final ruin or has he come back to her with a gift more precious than life itself?

Excerpt:

The lady flipped her hood back, and I stopped breathing.  In her olive wool cape, she looked like a wood nymph, at once young and innocent but wise.  Dark hair curled around an oval face.  Without a trace of fear, big, beautiful eyes held my gaze.  She didn’t belong to this dim, cruel world, and I ached merely to touch her.

Her lips parted on a soft exhalation. “You’re an ang—Malak.”

If only I could return her smile, but Ragnor would slice me in half.   I was forbidden to glance at her, but couldn’t take my eyes off a vision so perfect I might have conjured her, even to the scent of the forest and rain.  A memory of Miriam assaulted me, but I was helpless to control my feelings.  Never had a woman affected me as this one did.  I felt awkward, terribly aware of my worn clothes and the wings arched behind me, yet giddy and aroused.

My eyes offered the smile my lips were forbidden.  “Yes, My Lady.”

She tilted her head to look up at me.  Her gaze drifted over my wings, my face, flicked lower.  “In the North, we have heard of the Malak singers.  What’s your name?”

I was too shocked to answer.  Like an addle-pated fool, I gaped at her, and she laughed.

“Stand aside, Gyldan.”  The giant slammed his paw against my shoulder, throwing the weight of my wings to the left, and I lost my balance.

The lady’s hand shot out to steady me.  Ragnor wedged his body between us.  I stumbled into the wall.  As I righted myself, I glimpsed an angry expression on Lady Hamlin’s face.

She stepped past Ragnor and touched my arm.  “Are you all right?”

Excitement trembled over my entire body.  “Yes, My Lady.”

“You’ll see the freaks perform tonight.”  Ragnor shot me a dark frown, gesturing for her to follow.  “Come, Lady Hamlin, I’ll guide you to your chambers.”

“Gyldan.”  The sprite grinned as she smoothed a dark curl back from her face.  “Do you know the way?”

“No, My Lady.”  I was forced to lie to save my hide.  “I have never been in this part of the castle before.”

“Off with you then.”  A graceful hand shooed me along.  “Be about your business, and I shall go about mine.”

She had brushed me off like an insect on her sleeve.   What had I expected?  That she would feel the same overwhelming attraction I felt?~

Beth: Wonderful excerpt!

Purchase Gylded Wings in Kindle athttps://www.amazon.com/Gylded-Wings-Golden-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B074DPYCBY

Linda’s Links:

Out of the Ordinary..Into Extraordinary Realms

http://www.lindanightingale.com

http://www.lindanightingale.wordpress.com

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A Coton de Tulear after grooming