Tag Archives: dog rescue

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 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 Karen Docter!


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

I Never By Karen Docter

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

(Baby Tucker)

But I digress.

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

Famous last words.

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

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

(Teeny baby Tucker. Such cuteness!)

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

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

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

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

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

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


(Tucker at bath time)

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

Now for Karen’s exciting romantic suspense!

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

Some secrets are better left dead.

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

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

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

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

Denver, Colorado.

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

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

Buy Links:

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

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

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

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Karen a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Meg Mims / Meg Macy!


I’m very happy to welcome Author Meg Mims / Meg Macy to the blog to share her darling furry loves and holiday romances and mysteries. What fun covers! Be sure to leave a comment for a chance at her giveaway.

Meg: Thank you, Beth, for inviting me to chat about my furbabies today! Dogs and cats play a big part in my holiday romance, western historical, and cozy mystery writing. Characters in my books always have a pet – it gives them a sense of “reality” if they love an animal as much as if not more than a romantic hero. And my heroes, in turn, also must love dogs or cats.

Holiday Books by Meg Mims and Cozy series by Meg Macy

I started writing long ago with a loyal dog lying at my feet. Corky, my poodle, was not like the cat (Toby was my daughter’s cat). Toby walked over the keyboard or begged for attention in other ways – even brought me a present of a live mouse from outside. Eeek! Whenever Corky needed to go outside, that gave me a welcome break.

He also loved to sleep tucked beside me on the sofa at night, so I switched from writing at a desk to sitting in my “Sheldon spot” (a la The Big Bang Theory TV show). Having him there really helped give me comfort, for some reason – I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s akin to a feeling of belonging, of being “with” someone who gives you that unconditional love and support. And yes, someone – not “it”, because my dogs/cats were family members.

After losing Corky to old age, my husband and I rescued a Malti-poo named Dusty who was just as loyal. A bit too loyal and territorial – he wouldn’t let visitors in the house! Hoo boy. But he also loved sleeping beside me on the sofa, or at my feet.

Our second rescue, Benji, was more of a dog’s dog – he loved the floor or lying on the sofa by himself. In hilarious positions. But alas, he succumbed at a young age to a nasty spider bite that turned into necrosis (I still blame myself and the vet for not recognizing it in time. Sob!) Benji inspired my first novella, Santa Paws, which helped me overcome the loss four years ago. Even Dusty missed his pal Benji.

Although I’m allergic to cats, we rescued Toby as a stray. My daughter wanted a cat, and voila, Toby appeared one day in our yard. Apparently she’d been hanging around for a while, since Dusty knew her – and we started feeding her. Gradually she adjusted to being an indoor cat. My second novella, Santa Claws, helped me deal with losing Toby to thyroid disease. Poor sweetie, she loved my husband (not a cat lover) so much, she would drool on him, purr, rub hair all over him. Cats keep trying to convince those who don’t love them back, don’t they? Ha!

And I followed up Santa Claws with Home for the Holidays, although I only had Dusty on the sofa beside me at that time. I also included Corky in that book to memorialize him, along with a dachshund my family had when I was a child. The idea of a rescue organization seemed to follow naturally, and all three novellas inspired me to create my current cozy mysteries, the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear series. I included a ‘teddy bear dog’ as the pet of my heroine Sasha Silverman, of course, and added a black cat (remembering Toby) for some ‘cat/dog’ wars over sleeping spots. That’s always fun to imagine how they get along – or not!

Bearly Departed debuted in May of 2017, and Bear Witness to Murder came out in late May of 2018. Unfortunately, Dusty succumbed to old age in between books, so that was a heartbreaker for me. I’ve found it very difficult to write without a dog beside me, but I am currently working on Have Yourself A Beary Little Murder, book 3 in my cozy series. I also plan to get another dog, possibly another poodle or poodle mix, by next year. My husband needs a break, we’d like to take a few trips over summer, so that means waiting. Augh! But soon. I love dogs so much, and miss mine terribly! For now, I have to be satisfied with my fictional creations.

Thanks again, Beth, for hosting me today on your wonderful blog!

Beth: I am delighted to have you.

BIO: Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the setting of her “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mysteries for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries; two books, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly and Get Me to the Grave On Time were Agatha Award finalists for Best Historical. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Meg loves reading historical and cozy mysteries, gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

It’s CHRISTMAS IN JULY! — Meg will giveaway ONE e-book of Santa Paws, her first holiday romance novella, to one lucky commenter. What pet do you have?

VISIT MEG via the following links:

Meg Mims Amazon Author page

Meg Macy Amazon Author page

Visit me on my website!

Or my Facebook page Meg Macy

Also my Facebook page Santa Paws and Claws

Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/megmims

And Instagram

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Meg a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Kathryn Scarborough!


I’m happy to have fellow Wild Rose Press Author Kathryn Scarborough here to share her dear dog rescues and her paranormal romantic suspense, The Wild Mountain Thyme.

Kathryn: Some folks in our neighborhood post a sign on their door that says, “dogs welcome, people tolerated.” Although, I’m not that drastic, I do love dogs, cats, and most critters, except those with six and eight legs. I am thrilled to share my “Fur Babies” story on Beth’s blog and also to tell her readers about my latest book released from The Wild Rose Press.

We have two dogs and two grand puppies. A grand puppy of course is a dog that is one of your children’s. My youngest son’s dog, Fei, (that’s supposedly Chinese for ‘dancing air spirit’?) is one of my favorites. She is a yellow lab Greyhound mix and has quite a personality. My two fur babies are all American dogs; just like the rest of us in this country, a mixture of anything and everything.

My youngest son found our dog, Bitsy, almost 8 years ago wandering around the parking lot of a Kohl’s department store. She was half starved, dehydrated, and had every parasite known to man. We took Bitsy in a few weeks after he found her and started the long road back to health. She was only about 10 weeks old when we got her. She’s a very well behaved with lots of herding dog mix. Perhaps English Shepherd and Shetland sheepdog. She’s very protective of us and when given the opportunity, will herd the dogs that live next door. She’s had agility and herding training. Her trainer says, “she’s a character with an attitude.”

This is from a painting called, “Found”, by Walter Hunt a British painter who lived early in the 20th century. Seeing the painting for the first time was dumbfounding because I had never seen another dog, alive or in a painting, that resembled Bitsy so closely.

Our other dog is a ‘big brown American dog.’ We got him from the Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue, and he may indeed have some Golden in him. The little girl whose family was his first foster family named him “Barley’, but since that’s something I put in my Scotch Broth, I renamed him ‘Barkley’, and then I added the ‘Sir Charles’. He is a loveable old fellow, who had a very hard life before we got him.

The Wild Mountain Thyme:

There’s a serial killer murdering Irish-American tourists all over Ireland. Jim O’Flannery of the Boston Globe and Megan Kennedy of the Irish Times, are teamed up to report on the killings. They want to work together, but stay clear of each other emotionally; there was A LOT of trouble with the opposite sex in the past. But, Jim’s guardian angel appears, as a leprechaun, to pester and cajole Jim into getting involved with Megan. Jim can see Seamus, Megan can’t.
Jim and Megan trail the murderer to the west coast of Ireland, piecing together his motivation and where he may strike next.

An attempt is made on their lives, and only Jim’s quick wits saves the two. Megan disappears. Has the killer kidnapped her? Can Jim, with Seamus’s help, save her from mortal danger?

Excerpts:
The elevator started again, but jarred to a stop suddenly between floors. There was not a sound.
Jim felt as though he’d fallen into a vacuum. He stood very still and tried not to breathe. The only sound was the rapid beat of his heart.
A puff of green smoke rose from the floorboards. It wavered through the air and wrapped itself around Jim as it hovered and shimmered. Out of the swirling vapor popped a little man about three feet tall. He wore a Kelly green waistcoat, green breeches, green knee-high stockings, and green shoes with shiny silver buckles. Jim backed against the wall of the elevator as he felt the blood rush from his face and into his feet. His jaw slid south, and his heart hammered painfully
“I’m not trying to give you palpitations, boy-o, but you must listen. Aye?” said the apparition. The little man had a long, crooked nose, slightly slanted, pale blue eyes, pointy ears, and a long stemmed pipe clutched between his teeth. His bright, fiery red hair fell down around his shoulders in soft He had a beard of the same fiery red shade that curled in front of his chin, like he’d used a curling iron to force it into shape. He held his hat, an elf’s pointed cap, in front of him, as he stared intently at Jim. Jim felt the air whoosh out of him as he slid soundlessly to the floor of the elevator. And then he forgot to breathe. The little man walked up to him, nose to nose and in an undertone, he said very quietly, “Boo.”
Jim gasped.
“Grand. I had to get you breathing again.”

All Jim had to do was take one look at Megan’s stricken face to know that the guy had done plenty of damage. Richard was a type; the sort of man who was too slick for his own good. He had charm oozing from every pore. Jim hoped he could soothe Megan out of her hurt, maybe he could give her a hug and—
Those thoughts came to a screeching halt when, over Megan’s shoulder, he glimpsed Seamus scowling at him. This time the elf/angel stood, with hands on hips and his toe tapping, in front of a teeny, tiny gothic church. The leprechaun looked steamed, and for good measure shook his head. Jim raised his hand and with as unobtrusive a movement as possible, backhanded Seamus off his little tuft of magical grass, mimicking a fly-shooing movement. Jim turned his attention to Megan. She stared down at the top of the desk, idly picking up a file and then letting it drop. Finally, she sat and took a deep cleansing breath.
“He’s scum,” she hissed under her breath.

Get The Wild Mountain Thyme in Kindle:

https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Mountain-Thyme-Kathryn-Scarborough-ebook/dp/B078KB3ZHW

Check out Kathy’s blogs at
https://www.scarboroughbooks.com

I’d certainly love to hear what you think of the book.
Let me know, you can reach me at:
Kathryn@www.scarboroughbooks.com

Twitter: Kathy@kathy60snc
Facebook: Kathryn Scarborough, author 

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Kathryn a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Marie Tuhart


I’m happy to have fellow Wild Rose Press author, Marie Tuhart, here to share her darling little dog and contemporary western romance.

Marie: Hi Everyone. I’m here to share my furbaby. As you’ll see its hard to get a good picture of her not lying in her bed. Penny is a four pound toy poodle. She is a rescue. Penny came into my life by accident. I’d taken my mom to a pet expo at the fairground so she could look at the dogs available and we could adopt one at a later date. We stopped at the first rescue and my mom sees this cream/apricot poodle lying there and asks if she can hold her.

Mom sits down and one of the helpers put Penny into my mom’s arms. Yes, that was it–we were done. Penny cuddled right up to mom. So the next 45 minutes I spend filling out paperwork and being interviewed, and I have a dog. Now mind you, Penny was already 4 years old – she’d been in a puppy mill and was found in a corner of a barn on the property. Poor thing only had 5 teeth. But she was so cuddly but frightened. Got her home, after stopping at the pet store. Three days after we got her home, she suddenly started howling at night.

I couldn’t figure out what was going on, she was in her bed on the floor in my mom’s room where she’d been sleeping at night since we brought her home. I went in to check on her. She looked fine, stopped howling. I go back to bed. Five minutes later howling commences once again. Go back into mom’s room, pick Penny up cuddle with her, talk to her. She promptly falls asleep.

Okay, maybe she heard a noise of something. Put her back in her bed where she goes right back to sleep. I go back to bed (mind you it’s after midnight by this time.) Ten minutes later, howling starts again. I go back to mom’s room again, we’re both perplexed why she’s like this. So, since both my mom and I want to sleep, I take Penny and her bed into my room for the night.

Well, for some reason from that night on, Penny bonded to me. She would let my mom hold her but that was about it. In a way, looking back, it was a good thing because my mom passed away a little over a year after Penny came into our lives. On her first vet visit, Penny lost 3 of her 5 teeth. But let me tell you, only having two teeth doesn’t stop this little one from eating.

Now, Penny is 9 years old (she’ll be 10 this November as I use the date I got her as her birthday). She’s still 4 pounds, and a puppy. She enjoys lying outside in the sun, and being my companion as I write.

Hope you enjoy all the pictures.

Beth: I love the pictures! Penny is darling.

Author Bio: Marie Tuhart lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her muse, Penny, a four pound toy poodle. Marie loves to read and write, when she’s not writing, she spends time with family, traveling and enjoying life.
Marie is a multi-published author with The Wild Rose Press, Trifecta Publishing and does some self-publishing. To be alerted on new releases on Amazon or Book Bub. Also you can join Marie’s newsletter where she gives her group advance information on her books, runs contests and does giveaways just for newsletter readers. Marie can also be found on Goodreads, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. And her website: http://www.marietuart.com

Her latest release is Billionaire Cowboy’s Conquest.

Buy link: books2read.com/billionairecowboysconquest

Blurb:

Sidelined from his rodeo career by an injury, billionaire Texas rancher Hunter Knight returns to home to find the staff overworked and the office a mess. He hates paperwork, so he’s pleased to hear his sister has hired an office manager. But when he finds out it’s Jessica Sinclair, his sister’s party-girl best friend from college, he’s not happy and wants her fired. Even worse than her partying past, he’s attracted to her. Burned once by his gold-digging, city woman of an ex-wife, he has no interest in playing with fire.

Dogged by a past that won’t let her go, Jessica arrives at the ranch with a plan: excel as an office manager, stay away from the bulls, and no cowboys. Her father died when thrown from a bull when she was a kid, so avoiding them is key. Cowboys, well, they’re just as dangerous as the bulls. Then there’s Hunter Knight, part owner of the Double K ranch. This stubborn cowboy can ruin everything by sending her away before she can earn a single penny. Buying time with a proposal solves one problem but leads her straight into riskier territory, fighting an attraction to the bull-riding billionaire boss.

Can this city girl and cowboy survive the wildest ride of their lives?

Excerpt:

He’d caught a glimpse of those slim ankles and silky skin. He went over to the rack of boots they kept for clients and selected a pair.
“The boots here are for clients to use. There are hazards on the ranch and we don’t want anyone getting hurt.” He gestured at the bench and Jess sat. Hunter snagged the small stool, put it in front of her, and sank onto it. He reached for her leg.
“There’s no need, I can put them on.” She turned away from him.
“I’m sure you can, but I want to make sure they fit.” He cupped her heel in his palm, then lifted her leg until her calf rested on his thigh. He unlaced her sneaker, slipped it off and set it on the bench next to her.
Hunter slid her jeans up to her calf. Her shiver almost had him smiling. Picking up the boot, he worked it over her toes and ankle until it was seated before he smoothed the denim back into place.
His fingers lingered on her calf, massaging the tense muscles there. Jess shifted and their gazes collided. Amber eyes blazed as his fingers caressed her through the fabric of her pants. He was playing with fire and didn’t mind getting burned.~

Purchase Billionaire Cowboy’s Conquest in Kindle: 

https://www.amazon.com/Billionaire-Cowboys-Conquest-Marie-Tuhart-ebook/dp/B07BR5GPBV/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Marie a comment.