Tag Archives: military

Furbaby Friday with Karen Whiddon


I’m delighted to have Karen Whiddon here to share her love of boxers and the fine work she does for these wonderful dogs, and a book dear to her heart, The Texas Soldier’s Son (Romantic Suspense).

Karen: I was thrilled when asked to post about a beloved furbaby. Rescuing dogs is my passion and I’ve volunteered for years with Legacy Boxer Rescue here in north Texas. Over the years, I’ve fostered and adopted and currently have a full house – four personal Boxers (two foster-failures) and one foster who is currently considered a Keeper due to a medical condition.

So which one to talk about? I love them all in different ways. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to discuss my first foster dog, Katniss.

Katniss was brought into the shelter on the edge of death. Severely emaciated, she was anemic and covered in ticks. Her age was estimated at 4-6 years. When I stepped up to foster her, she was immediately taken from the shelter to the rescue’s vet. In addition to this, she had erlichia. My husband and I picked off over one hundred ticks off this girl. The vet said she was so anemic that if we let her run, her heart could stop, so she had to be crated. After a warm bath, we put her on a regimen of four meals a day and medicine.

Despite all she’d gone through, she still wagged her tail and was friendly. As she gained weight and her anemia cleared up, I rejoiced when she did her first Boxer zoom around the back yard. She got along with all my dogs except my grump old male Macadoo. The two of them got into several dog fights, so I ended up keeping them separated.

Katniss was adopted 7 months after I got her in April of 2013, but the adopter returned her in ten days because his vet learned she had kidney failure. Which explained the constant drinking of water and the fact that I had to take her out in the middle of the night every single night. I took her back, and she was put on prescription food and fish oil. This was in November of 2013.

In May of 2014, I took Katniss on a Home Visit for a potential adopter. The man (a single father) fell in love with her. Even the fact that she had kidney failure didn’t deter him. He took her to his own vet and had her checked out and then adopted her. She thrived there. I kept in touch and received many photos over the years.

However in October of 2017, her adoptive father called me. He was at the vet with Katniss and her kidney failure had won. She’d stopped eating and drinking and the vet had run tests and the time had come to help her to the Rainbow Bridge. He asked if I would like to be there – and said he didn’t think he could do this alone.

She remembered me. Despite her clear weakness, she wiggled her tail and kissed me. I was honored to stand with her dad as the vet helped her peacefully pass.

For me, Katniss will always signify all that is good about rescue. I still miss her, her dad does too, but she had 4 more years of a good life, being loved, than she would have. And in March of 2018, I found another dog for Katniss’s dad to love. A boy this time. The adoption is finalized and another dog will know a loving home.

Katniss’s pic and story can be read here: http://www.savetheboxers.com/beforeandafter2.php?dogID=3076

I have a book coming out in May called The Texas Soldier’s Son (Harlequin Romantic Suspense) To quote from my Dear Reader letter in the beginning of the book:

As a writer, every now and then it feels like a story is given as a gift from the cosmos. The Texas Soldier’s Son is one of these books. Writing it felt like telling the story of good friends, maybe even family. I was there with them, just recounting what happened. Moved to tears with them, frightened for them, rejoicing with them, and falling in love just as they did.

From the back cover blurb: “Jacob is your son.” A thrilling new Top Secret Deliveries story. Army Ranger Kyle Benning never expected to live again… or have a family. When he was believed dead in an explosion, Nicole Shelton gave birth to Kyle’s baby. Now she’s someone else’s widow and a prime suspect in a murder case! Everything Kyle once knew is a dangerous as a war zone, but he battles trauma and a killer to rescue the woman he loves.

Excerpt from The Texas Soldier’s Son:

No matter. He’d be setting things straight soon.
The 2013 Chevy Silverado he drove had been one of his lone expenditures. He’d paid cash for the used pickup, knowing he’d need something reliable for the drive west to Anniversary. Excitement jumped inside him, drowning out some of the ever-present anxiety. Excitement and, dare he say, joy. Because soon, he’d be with Nicole. He couldn’t wait to see her face when he knocked on her door, to pull her into his arms and breathe the fresh strawberry scent of her shampoo, to kiss her lips until they both felt as if they were drowning.
In his pocket, he had the only other thing he’d spent part of his savings on. An engagement ring. As soon as he and Nicole got caught up, he planned to get down on bended knee and ask her formally to be his wife.
They’d talked about marrying before he’d signed up for the army. He’d even given her his high school class ring as a token, proof that he was hers and vice versa. She’d taken to wearing it with a long chain around her neck, safely tucked under her shirt so her strict parents wouldn’t see.
God, he loved her. As his truck ate up the miles, he amused himself with imagining several different scenarios when they saw each other for the first time in over a year. His favorite was the one where she hopped into his truck, they drove out to the lake and made love right there in the cab.
Finally, he crossed from Louisiana into Texas. Not too much farther now. The hum of his tires on the asphalt soothed him and he felt more relaxed than he had since the explosion.
When the Anniversary city limits sign came into view, dusk had settled over the sky. The sunset colored the sky pink and orange, promising another hot East Texas day tomorrow. He remembered how everyone liked to complain about the summer heat. It would be a cakewalk compared to the temperatures in Kabul.
Instead of heading toward the small frame home he’d rented via the internet for the next six months, he drove directly to Nicole’s parents’ house, praying she’d be home. Parking out front, he jogged up the sidewalk, his heart pounding in his chest, and rang the bell.
A moment later, the door opened. Nicole’s mother stared at him, frowning. “What are you doing here?” she asked, the rancor in her voice startling.
“I’ve been discharged from the hospital, ma’am,” he said, figuring he’d kill her with kindness. “If you don’t mind, I’d really like to see Nicole.”
“Nicole?” She recoiled as violently as if he’d struck her. “Nicole doesn’t live here. She’s over on Broad Street in the house she shared with her husband and son.” A slow, malicious smile spread across her face. “Bill Mabry? I’m thinking you might remember him?”
He hadn’t gotten much past the words husband and son. When he finally caught up, the name Bill Mabry made his stomach churn. That had been the same guy her parents had tried to force her to marry when he and Nicole had been together.
“Well?” The older woman stared, her gaze hard. “Is there anything else that I can help you with?”
For a moment he couldn’t speak, couldn’t force the words out past the huge lump in his throat. Only when she’d started to close the huge oak door in his face did he think of the one other thing he needed to know. “Did Nicole even mourn me at all?”
“Of course not,” she said smoothly, without missing a beat. “Once the army notified your foster family of your death, she’d moved on. She was already married with a newborn by then. I didn’t want to disrupt her life.”
And then she waited, eying him with a certain mocking relish, waiting for him to reveal how devastating he found her answer. He refused to give her the pleasure.
Though his head spun, he turned on his heel, the military precision of the movement kicking in by instinctive habit. Somehow, he made it to his truck, unlocked the doors and slid inside. Turning the key, he started the engine, put the shifter into Drive and pulled away.
He started to head to the park by the lake, the same secluded place he’d intended to take Nicole, but instead he found himself heading toward Broad Street. He still couldn’t believe her mother’s words, couldn’t accept that she hadn’t waited barely any time at all before getting married and pregnant. For her to have a newborn, that meant she’d jumped into bed with this Bill Mabry guy right after getting the erroneous news of Kyle’s demise.
Had he truly meant that little to her?

Get The Texas Soldier’s Son in Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Texas-Soldiers-Son-Secret-Deliveries-ebook/dp/B075XYJDHW/

Award winning author Karen Whiddon spun fanciful tales for her younger brothers as early as the age of eleven.  Growing up in the Catskill Mountains of New York, then the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, she found enough magic in the rugged peaks to keep her imagination fueled for years.

Now making her home in North Texas, she shares her life with her hero-like husband and five doting dogs.  In her spare time she volunteers for Legacy Boxer Rescue, Inc.  She has published around 45 books.  Currently she writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Harlequin Nocturne.

You can email Karen at KWhiddon1@aol.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Karen a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Kathryn Knight!


I’m glad to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, the talented Kathryn Knight, to share her beloved furbabies and paranormal romance, Haunted Souls.

Kathryn: I come from a long line of animal lovers, and growing up, we never had less than three pets at a time.  Generally, in my adult home, that’s how many we still have, although we’ve occasionally had four.  I’m passionate about rescuing shelter animals, so I try to balance my desire to “save them all” versus the reality of the size of our house, but right now we have two cats and one dog, and everyone gets along well.

Beth: Wonderful pic. They do look happy together.
(Otis and Jinx)

Otis came to us via PetFinder, a wonderful website that connects people looking to adopt a pet with animals available either in their area or even farther away, if transportation is available.  When we found Otis, I was looking for a younger dog, since we already had an older dog at home.  With two teenage boys and a husband who loves to jog long distances, we thought we would be a good fit for a more active dog that needed plenty of exercise.  Otis at the time was a 6-week-old puppy, likely a Border collie mix, who was found by the side of a highway in Alabama, along with his brother and mother.  A kind person brought them to a vet before they could get hit by a car, and from there, they made their way to foster care and were put up for adoption.  Once our application was approved, Otis (and his brother, Milo) were transported to New England via an amazing tag team of volunteers who take turns driving animals from states with overpopulated shelters to states with room to spare or new families already waiting.

(Pic of Otis and his handiwork)

As a puppy, Otis would nap under the stool I sit on at the kitchen island that serves as my writing desk.  Knowing my tendency to lose myself in my fictional world, I would make sure a leash connected him to the stool’s leg so I would know he wasn’t sneaking off and getting into trouble.  Apparently he’s smarter than I am, because he quietly chewed though three leashes to sneak off without me knowing.  For the most part, socks, gloves, and papers were the only losses, but those were the puppy days of mischief and teething.  Now, Otis is a well-mannered and beloved part of our household.

(The cats and Otis on the couch)

Our cats came to us via a local shelter.  About a year after Otis joined us, our beloved 17-year-old cat passed away, 4 years after his brother.  I was devastated.  But I knew it was an opportunity to provide a forever home to some cats in need.  I like to adopt cats who are already in bonded pairs, as they can sometimes be more difficult to place.  And I particularly love black cats, which might be related to my affinity for all things considered spooky and mysterious.  After all, I do write stories set in haunted houses.

Jinx and Max were another set of brothers, littermates who shelter volunteers hoped could be adopted together.  They keep each other entertained with their sneak attacks and their wrestling matches, and one thing they can agree on is that they’re always hungry.  They know how to bring that to my attention, too—they take over my writing space if they feel I’m not getting the message.

(Pic of Cats at computer)

Because I love pets so much, I tend to have characters that also have animals.  The heroine of Haunted Souls is actually a vet tech, and she and her son have a rescued tabby cat named Terrance.  And when a ghost follows them home from a haunted tour of an old jail, Terrance is immediately aware that an otherworldly presence is in the house…

Haunted Souls blurb:

Four years ago, Emily Shea and Staff Sergeant Brett Leeds agreed to part with no strings attached. Sparks flew during their brief affair, but fate intervened, sending Brett overseas. When an unexpected pregnancy derailed Emily’s own plans, her attempts to locate Brett were soon overwhelmed by the challenges of single motherhood. Now, Brett has returned home, and Emily is forced to share her secret.

Despite feeling betrayed, Brett is determined to forge a relationship with their son, Tyler. As the former lovers battle both their inner demons and their mutual desire, another presence enters their lives—Tyler’s imaginary friend. Soon, however, the chilling evidence points to a different conclusion: a ghost has formed a dangerous connection with their son. Emily’s attempts to help both a lost soul and a friend in need spiral toward a deadly confrontation, and Brett must race to save Emily before he loses her again—forever.

Haunted Souls Amazon Link: http://a.co/bXF9S4j

Other retail links: http://kathrynknightbooks.blogspot.com/p/haunted-souls.html

~ A Top 3 Read of 2016 at Read Free.ly ~

Author bio and links:

Kathryn Knight spends a great deal of time in her fictional world, where mundane chores don’t exist and daily life involves steamy romance, dangerous secrets, and spooky suspense. Kathryn writes contemporary romance spiked with mysterious hauntings as well as YA paranormal romance filled with forbidden love. Her novels are award-winning #1 Kindle bestsellers and RomCon Reader Rated picks. When she’s not reading or writing, Kathryn spends her time catching up on those mundane chores, driving kids around, and teaching fitness classes. She lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband, their two sons, and a number of rescued pets. Please visit her at http://www.kathrynknightbooks.blogspot.com.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KathrynKnightbooks/

Blog:  http://kathrynknightbooks.blogspot.com/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477115.Kathryn_Knight

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Knight/e/B00919ENJA/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/k_knightbooks

Thanks for stopping by!~Please leave Kathryn a comment.

#Ghostly #Christmas #Romance Somewhere the Bells Ring on Audible!


Woot! A favorite novella of mine is now available in Audio at Amazon. Narrator Tom Jordan did a terrific job.  He says Somewhere the Bells Ring is, ‘The most touching romantic ghost story since Demi Moore made pottery with Patrick Swayze.’   

Somewhere the Bells Ring was an engrossing story to write, and yes, very moving. The old house in the story is based on the family homeplace in the Shenandoah Valley where my father grew up and that I often visited as a child. The story opens in 1968, an era I have a lot of nostalgia about, with time slips back to 1918 and the end of WWI.

Story Blurb:

Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative’s ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn’t so bad.

To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope – until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.

As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe – in Bailey and the ghost – before the Christmas bells ring?

“An intriguing, gripping ghost story with a focus on romance rather than terror.” ~Reviewed by Stephanie E with Fallen Angels Reviews

Listen to Somewhere the Bells Ring at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Bells-Ring-Time-Book/dp/B075GWRZ1G