Tag Archives: dog writing companion

Furbaby Friday with Laura Boon!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Millionaire Mountain Climber
A contemporary romance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Bio:

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

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

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

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Laura a comment.

Furbaby Friday with CJ Zahner!


A warm welcome to CJ, who joins us to share her beloved dog and her paranormal suspense, Dream Wide Awake.

CJ: First, let me clarify. Furgy is my dog. My son, Zak, thinks she’s his, but she’s mine until the end of time. I’ve never lived without a dog for more than a few weeks. Rayberg, Lucky, Daisy, Tasha, Cody, Maggie, and Molly all hold places in my heart. Furgy owns my heart.

She came to us thirteen and a half years ago when my children still lived at home. Since then, she’s kept me company as I watched my son and two daughters pack their belongings and hustle off to college and then lives of their own.  I live in a small town where jobs are scarce. So, each child ventured off to chase their dreams in bigger cities—Raleigh, Philadelphia, Los Angeles—while my hubby, Furgy, and I stayed behind. Three years ago, when I retired from my full-time job to chase my own dream of novel writing, Furgy sat at my feet and encouraged me. In fact, she’s here now. Positioned two feet away, sprawled out on cool tiles, hoping for a breeze from beneath the front door.

Last month we nearly lost her, but miraculously, she rebounded. When she was sick, I told my husband he might have to bury me in the back yard beside her, because Furgy isn’t just my dog. She’s a part of me. A faithful companion who loves me unconditionally. Her entire world revolves around waiting for a pat on the head. A scratch under the chin. The toss of a potato chip. (Don’t tell Zak.)
We used to run together on dark mornings before work, but her arthritis is too bad now. When she has a good day, we venture out for a half-mile walk around the block. Sometimes her eyes twinkle and she runs a few steps, looks over her shoulder as if to say, “Remember?”

I remember.
I remember a crowded back yard, and Furgy jumping off a deck into a four-foot pool packed with kids. I remember her climbing into Zak’s or the girls’ beds with toys in her mouth to play, chasing sticks they threw into the lake on hot summer days, sneaking treats off the table at birthday parties, trudging through rocks and streams to get to swimming holes. I remember her sitting in the shade and watching soccer games and t-ball, and towing kids through snowy backyards on sleds. Catching snowballs with her teeth, playing tug of war with Zak, stealing the girls’ stuffed animals, running on the beach with relentless energy.

We’re a little slower, calmer, smarter, now. We’re definitely more patient with each other, and we sort of grew into a language of our own. I know when she sits straight up beside me, she needs a scratch on the head, and she knows when I am teary eyed that I am missing my kids and need her snuggled by my feet. And as long as I can look down and see those loyal eyes gazing up at me, all’s right in the world.

Furgy will be our last dog. We travel to see our children too much these days for another. But God in his infinite wisdom, saved the best for last.
Yep, Furgy is my dog until the end of time.

My novel, Dream Wide Awake, was inspired many years ago on a night I met fright. I was sleeping in the attic of my grandparent’s home—just like the little girl in chapter three.

Blurb:
Mikala Daly has visions.
Three boys are missing. Six-year-old Mikala Daly can see the spirit of one of those boys. She knows she can find and save the other two. Will her father let her?

One of the best detectives in town, Mikala’s father, Jack Daly, searches frantically for the abducted boys. Years before, Jack married into a family rumored to see people on the other side. Jack didn’t believe in their psychic abilities until that gift¬¬—curse—befell his daughter.

Now Mikala relays her dreams to him, and he struggles to keep her visions secret. Is he risking her life? He works to find the boys before the kidnapper locates Mikala or American government officials force her into their secret remote-viewing program—Project Dream of Area 51.

Excerpt from Dream Wide Awake, Chapter 1, Jack:

She was quiet, still, her expression soft. Lip relaxed against lip. Then her eyes opened.
“He can see me.”
At first, because of her casualness, he thought he’d surely heard her wrong. “Who can see you?”
“The bad man.”
His calmness faded to confusion. He tightened his eyebrows. Premonitions, they called these episodes. His wife experienced them, now his daughter. But they were never interactive.
“What do you mean he can see you?”
“He said my name. He has a guide.”
“A guide?”
“You know, Daddy, someone who shows him movies. He knows who I am.”
“No, Mikala, the bad man does not know who you are.”
“Yes, he does, Daddy.” For the first time, he heard panic in her voice. “That’s the reason he is at Danny’s house.”
A creak in the floor behind him grabbed his attention, and he turned his head. Lisa darted from the bedroom, ripped Mikala from his arms, and handed him something in her place.
“I told you not to allow this. I said you were playing with fire.”
“Lisa, she’s wrong. He can’t see her.”
“Yes, he can, Daddy.”
“No, he can’t, Mikala.” He lowered his voice to sound stern.
“Yes—yes he can. He’s with Danny right now. Run Daddy. Get Danny!”
“Go.” Lisa screamed so loud one of the boys in the next room woke crying.

Jack looked down at his lap—at the ratty sneakers Lisa had placed there. For the moment it took him to put them on, he wondered if he should run or drive the block and a half to his sister’s house. He decided, descended the stairs, and bounded out the front door bare-chested, leaving Lisa behind switching on lights and talking into the scanner. She would call for a cruiser to go to Janice’s house, to her own house. But Mikala was wrong about Danny. She had to be. He was going to be in a heap of trouble with the chief later.

He ran down the driveway and disappeared into the black night within seconds. His legs turned over like an Olympic sprinter’s, his breath labored, and sweat beaded on his upper lip. He rounded Third Street and nearly slipped in the wet grass on Nevada Drive but caught himself. He saw her house in the distance. Janice, four months separated from her husband, was alone there with her son. Alone like the others. Three single mothers of three abducted little boys.
His mind raced. The police would be at his house in two minutes. At Janice’s in three. They protected each other’s families.

When he was four houses away, he began screaming his sister’s name. Trying to scare anyone off. Make the bad man drop the child? Leave without the child? He didn’t know why he screamed. By the time his feet hit her driveway her light had turned on. The front bedroom window opened.

“Jack?” Janice’s voice slithered through the screen.
He passed her window and ran toward the back of the house, toward Danny’s room. He could see broken glass on the ground shimmering with the reflection of a street light. Dear God, no, he thought. It couldn’t be. These abductions could not have hit his family.
“Danny,” he yelled.
When he reached his nephew’s window, the whites of Danny’s two little eyes glowed in the dark room. He was there. Standing. Looking out the bare, open window back at him. Waiting.
“Hi, Uncle Jack,” Danny said, his little face peeking over the window ledge, his stuffed bear, Tony, nudged under his chin.
Jack leaned hands on house and huffed, trying to catch his breath. Trying to decipher Danny was okay. Alive. Mikala was wrong.
“Thank God, thank God,” he uttered out loud. When he caught his breath, he gazed up at his nephew.
That’s when horror seized him. Above Danny’s little face, secured on the broken glass, a scribbling on Christian stationary paralyzed him. It was the abductor’s fourth message, but the first to make Jack’s blood circulate like an electrical current. The words he read flowed over his lips in a whisper, expelled with terrifying breath.
“One mulligan for Mikala.”

Author Links:
Author website www.cjzahner.com
Dream Wide Awake by CJ Zahner, Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Wide-Awake-born-curse-ebook/dp/B07HDTJXY7
Dream Wide Awake by CJ Zahner, Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/BNDWA
Dream Wide Awake by CJ Zahner /, Kobo http://bit.ly/CZDWAk
Follow CJ on goodreads at http://bit.ly/gCJZahner
Follow CJ on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/cjzahner/?hl=en
Follow CJ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorcjzahner/
Follow CJ on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TweetyZ

Author Bio:

CJ Zahner is a digital-book hoarder, lover of can’t-put-down books, and the author of Dream Wide Awake and The Suicide Gene. She has three more novels pending, Project Dream, Within the Setting Sun, and The Dream Snatchers. Writing novels since 2015, that year her only sibling was diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and Zahner walked away from her full-time grant writing and part-time freelance writing job to follow her dream of becoming a novelist. She hopes to read, write, and run happily ever after…

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave CJ a comment.