Tag Archives: writing companion

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

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

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 Author Claire Marti!


Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Claire Marti, here to share the beloved furbabies in her life and her newly released contemporary romance,  At Last in Laguna (Finding Forever in Laguna Book 2)

(Oreo)

Claire: So many amazing creatures, who to select? Growing up, we always had cats and I can’t imagine life without at least a few cats and a dog. I’ve volunteered with cat rescues for decades and I was Managing Director for a non-profit animal rescue in Los Angeles.

Currently, we have two hilarious, eccentric cats, Lola and Beau and a giant mutt named Josie. All three are rescues and fill me with love and joy on a daily basis.

I’d like to write a tribute to a cat named Oreo, who I rescued back in 2001. Oreo was a handsome tuxedo with a unique habit of head butting you right in the forehead when he was happy. He loved to sit on your lap for petting sessions and he’d lean his forehead against yours, and then gently or not so gently, bonk your head. He immediately became best friends with my shy big black kitty Jake.

(Oreo and Jake)

In January 2010, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer and embarked on an unpleasant journey of two surgeries, six rounds of chemotherapy, and radiation. Suddenly, I was home most of the day and taking naps each afternoon. Jake and Oreo were thrilled to have convinced their mom of the wisdom of daily naps. Their sweet warmth and cuddling comforted me immensely.

In a devastating twist of fate, Oreo was diagnosed with lymphoma in April. The vet gave him three months and we treated him with a series of steroids. Having more time to spend with him, regardless of the circumstances, was a blessing.

I completed treatment in October 2010, and Oreo still valiantly battled his disease. He made it until March 2011, when he let me know one afternoon that he was ready to leave me. I know he waited those extra months to ensure I didn’t need his support any longer.

All of my furry children were and are special and unique, but Oreo and I shared solidarity in battling cancer together. I know he’s in cat heaven, basking in the sunshine and head-butting everyone he meets.~

Beth: What a moving story and a wonderful cat, Claire. I’m sure you will touch all who read this.

Blurb from Claire’s new release At Last in Laguna:

Alyssa Morgan has secretly been in love with her older brother Nick’s best friend, Brandt Dempsey, since she was an awkward, lonely teenager. When she catches the bouquet at Nick’s wedding, she throws caution to the wind and propositions Brandt to a two-week fling. He’s tried to ignore how Alyssa has blossomed into a strong, talented, gorgeous woman because as his best friend’s baby sister, she’s off limits.

After they share a mind-blowing kiss, Brandt struggles to fight their undeniable chemistry. His tragic childhood scarred him, but he pushes it deep inside, only allowing the world to see a wealthy, carefree entrepreneur. Forced to work together on Brandt’s latest charitable venture, Brandt and Alyssa’s passion cannot be denied. Alyssa knows he’s the one. Can she convince him they belong together?

Excerpt:

What was his deal this morning?

She’d give him the cold shoulder if it killed her.

And it just might.

He’d rejected her, so why was he opening doors, hovering, and acting like a pest? Practically breathing down her neck. She could swear he’d sniffed her. Sniffed her. He couldn’t conceal his awareness. If he were so attracted to her, he would’ve agreed to her proposition, right? Since he’d shot her down in flames, he could at least have the decency to ignore her today. Rude, infuriating man.

Inhaling a deep cleansing breath, she forced herself to concentrate on the center. Sunlight streamed through the abundance of windows and along with the high ceilings imparted a feeling of freedom and space, perfect for the planned occupants. Because they’d decided to wait to obtain her input for the more specific room layout, the building’s interior remained a shell. She’d add to her brother’s amazing design and ensure Tearmann House’s beauty and serenity.

Serenity. What a concept. Ha.

***At Last in Laguna is out in kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Laguna-Finding-Forever-Book-ebook/dp/B075CDMRDJ/

Claire’s Social Links:

Follow Claire’s Amazon Author Pagehttps://www.amazon.com/Claire-Marti/e/B01N9VOWLL/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Website:  www.clairemarti.com

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

 Twitter:  @clairepmarti

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8203678.Claire_Marti

 Author Bio for Claire Marti:

 Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Claire a message.

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 Jennifer Wilck


I’m glad to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Jennifer Wilck who shares about her special furbaby. her family, writing, and exciting new release.

Jennifer: Our dog rescued my family and me when she was approximately two years old. We count her birthday as her adoption day, April 10.

After my two daughters argued over approximately thirty names, they settled on the extremely non-creative name of Midnight. As an author, I’m a little embarrassed about that, and swear my character names are better—I hope!

I have no idea why her original family gave her up, because she is the smartest, most well behaved dog, I’ve ever known.

She learned her name within three days.

We don’t let her upstairs because of my allergies, and not only did she learn not to go upstairs within the first day at our house, but she transfers that training to my parents’ house as well.

She can tell, based on the clothes I wear when I come downstairs in the morning whether or not I’m taking her for a walk (even my kids don’t do that!).

She only eats food if you tell her to, which means when you drop food on the floor, she looks at you first before going after it. An awesome trait, except that I STILL have to vacuum up crumbs.

(Midnight at the vet hoping for a treat)

She likes people better than animals. When we walk, she goes up to the human while their dog goes up to her. However, her best dog friend is Chester, a 90-pound hound. She’s 30 pounds. And she thinks she’s the alpha. She makes him walk behind her and she barks at any dog that tries to come near him. She’s fickle in her affections, though, and if she’s not in the mood for him to sniff her, she runs through his legs. Or she turns her head away and refuses to look at him. Poor guy.

I spend a lot of time at my computer—I’m a writer, after all. When she wants attention, she sits at my feet and leans against my legs. If I don’t notice her, she bangs against me. So I stop, rub her back and give her the attention we both need. Sitting all day would otherwise be boring and unhealthy.

Walking her in the morning provides me with inspiration. We live on a lake and it’s 3.5 miles around. She loves it because she gets exercise and a chance to sniff everything. I love it because it gets me moving, gets my creative juices flowing and wakes me up.

We’re a good team, she and I. And I think I might be a better writer because of her.

Beth: What a touching story about Midnight rescuing you and your family, Jennifer. I agree, that’s often the way with our ‘rescues.’ They actually rescue us.

Jennifer: Addicted to Love is my first contemporary romance with The Wild Rose Press. It’s the first book in an anticipated three-book series. While the story is a mainstream romance, the characters are Jewish, which I think adds some spice and variety to the story, especially the meddlesome-yet-loveable grandma and the food! The setting is Hoboken, NJ and New York City. And, like many of my other books, there is a child. In this case, she’s a teenager. As the mom of two teen girls, I have a lot of experience in this area, and it was fun creating a relatable character that showcases the best side teenage girlhood (and, of course, a few eye rolls, because, you know, teenagers!). I hope you enjoy it!

Blurb: Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5133-addicted-to-love.html?search_query=jennifer+wilck&results=2

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Love-Serendipity-Book-1-ebook/dp/B071HZQS4S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499096714&sr=8-1&keywords=jennifer+wilck

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/addicted-to-love-jennifer-wilck/1126454796?ean=2940157486310

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/addicted-to-love-13

Biography: Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and doesn’t share her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. All are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Wilck-201342863240160/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWilck

Website: http://www.jenniferwilck.com

Blog: http://jenniferwilck.blogspot.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jenniferwilck/

Furbaby Friday with Author C.B. Clark


I am happy to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author C.B. Clark to share her faithful friend, Jazz, with us and a bit about her new romantic suspense.

C.B. Clark: I’ve always loved Tom T. Hall’s song lyrics: “Ain’t but three things in this world that’s worth a solitary dime, but old dogs and children and watermelon wine.” I’ve never tried watermelon wine, I like kids, but I love old dogs. There’s something about their calm, trusting gentleness that tugs at my heart.

My dog, Jazz, is a thirteen-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer. That’s ninety-six in human years. Her eyebrows have turned white, her face grizzled and her eyes cloudy. Her once svelte, leanly muscled body has sagged, her back legs bowed from arthritis.  She used to be filled to the brim with frenetic energy and needed two long walks every day to tire her out. Even then she’d grab the old tattered soccer ball and beg me to kick it for her so she could run and catch it, barking in happiness the whole time. She’d leap like a deer over fallen trees, and race ahead on the trail, and sprint back, again and again as if telling me to hurry.

Now as I watch her struggle to rise from her soft bed and lumber painfully along a forest path, tears thicken my throat. Every once in a while, there are flashes of her puppy playfulness. When she digs in her toy box for a well-chewed stuffy and whines until I toss it for her to retrieve, or when she scents a grouse in the forest and her old body stiffens and she forms a perfect point, her tail wagging a mile a minute in excitement and pride.

A unique bond develops between an older dog and its owner. Maybe it’s their gazes filled with patience, wisdom, and acceptance. Maybe it’s the certain knowledge that time with your pet is limited. You relish every minute you have together.

I still take my old girl on daily walks, meandering from one smell to another enjoying each other’s company and living each minute to the fullest. Even as I write this blog, Jazz is lying beside me snoring contentedly. Every once in a while, she lifts her head and watches me as if to say, ‘We’re in this together, old friend.’ Yes, Tom T Hall had it right. Old dogs are one of life’s special treasures.

Beth: I totally agree. Older dogs are, indeed, special. Deeply so. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my dear Sadie. Jazz sounds like a wonderful friend and treasure.

Blurb for Bitter Legacy:

Sharla-Jean Bromley returns to her hometown after a seventeen-year absence with vengeance in her heart. From the very beginning, her plans go awry when she meets devastatingly handsome Josh Morgan, the man to whom her father left half of his multi-million dollar lumber mill.

Josh, suspicious of Sharla-Jean’s reasons for returning to town after such a long absence, vows to keep control of the company he feels is rightfully his. She is equally determined to prove she can run her father’s mill, even though it means working side-by-side with Josh, a man whose very presence evokes an attraction that is increasingly difficult for her to ignore. In the process, they must overcome a villain who’s determined to destroy both the lumber mill and their lives.

Will Sharla-Jean succeed and heal the anguish that has long filled her soul? Wills he and Josh find the passion of a lifetime?

Excerpt:

Fire!

Even as the dreaded word reared like a monster inside her head, a thin trickle of smoke crept out of the dark storage room. Terrifying images of flame, smoke and searing heat threatened to overwhelm her. For a nightmare second, she was back in the midst of scorching heat and roaring flames.

Using all her strength of will, she tore free of the chilling memories. Instead of fleeing, she placed one wobbly step in front of the other and shuffled toward the storage room. Her nostrils flared at the acrid tang of gasoline and smoke. With a shaking hand, she gripped the door handle and opened the door.

A figure burst out of the darkness, crashing into her, knocking her back.

She yelped at the pain of the blow and the shock of falling. A jolt of agony and blinding light as her head hit something hard.

Heavy boots pounded across the tile floor. Cold air washed over her. And then darkness.

Buy links for Bitter Legacy:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZZVR5LJ/

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bitter-legacy-c-b-clark/1126254341?ean=2940157509132

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bitter-legacy-4

The Wild Rose Press

Author bio for C.B. Clark

C.B. Clark has always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn’t until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology, she has worked as an archaeologist and an educator, teaching students from the primary grades through the first year of college. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.

Social Media Links:

Blog https://cbclarkauthor.wordpress.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/cbclarkauthor

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

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15029617.C_B_Clark

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/C.-B.-Clark/e/B01BK61TQG/

(Jazz–a German Shorthaired Pointer)