For any of you who know me, you learned very quickly that I’m a huge animal lover, especially dogs. I have two gorgeous Golden Retrievers and they rock my world. I also believes they are much smarter than most humans and deserve all the love, treats and care you can give them. Hence the concept of this brand new series. Sometimes we as humans have to rescue our fur babies, but what happens when its the other way around. Coming June 27th from Blushing Books – a story I’m very proud of.
If I can’t have you, no one will…
The words have haunted McKenzie Reynolds for months. Running away wasn’t the best answer, but she had zero choices. If she stayed, he’d have continued down his path of abuse disguised as domestic discipline. Once a man she thought she could trust, his evil deeds slip past the mask. A new home. A new life. Only her Golden Retriever, Maverick by her side. She is free, ready for every new challenge, including the chance at love.
Until he finds her…
Dr. Diego Mitchell, a struggling veterinarian, leaves his past and every bad memory behind, or at least he tries to. He has begun forging new relationships in a new community, while developing clientele. On a stormy night, he learns a valuable lesson as tragedy strikes. He’s forced to use his valuable skills to save a life, but what he doesn’t expect is a rush of emotions, including the need to protect. The mysterious woman might be his savior.
Two strangers bond together as a mystery develops, leaving the local ranchers terrified of the recent arsons. With several dead, including an unidentified man, McKenzie is not only the key but perhaps the intended victim. A game of cat and mouse ensues and McKenzie and Diego race to find answers before the monster strikes again.
Can McKenzie take a chance and truly trust Diego? Can Diego push his demons away, so he can protect McKenzie? Will the rugged cowboy be able to rescue the woman he loves? Will the scared, haunted woman take back her power and rescue the man she loves, right back? Together, can they survive and heal?
The first in a collection of stories involving humans who rescue beloved animals. Or is it the other way around?
McKenzie Reynolds cringed as she inched toward the bay window. Another bolt of intense lightning sent tingles skating down her spine. She rubbed her arm and brought the wine glass to her lips. Stop. Just stop. Fear of the weather she didn’t need.
Maverick. Shivering, she swallowed hard hearing whimpers coming from the other room. Her beloved golden retriever hated thunderstorms as much as she did. A sip of wine turned into a gulp. Sadly, even the expensive merlot couldn’t calm her nerves. Nor had the sleeping pills the night before. The storm added to her growing list of fears and concerns, the majority intangible. At least her only real girlfriend kept telling her. Little did Jessie know about the life she led behind her usually pristine mask. The mask was now brittle, pieces falling away into oblivion. She laughed bitterly before tipping her head towards the terrified pup. “There you are. Were you hiding under the bed again?” Of course, he sensed her worry. He always knew when she was sad or angry. How many tears had she shed while burying her head into his fur?
Maverick padded into the living room, his tail hanging between his legs. “Woof.”
“It’s okay, baby. Nothing’s going to hurt you.” Not unless she was six feet under. After patting her thigh three times, Maverick finally inched forward, his eyes never leaving hers. “My baby boy. Mommy loves you.” Crouching down, she snuggled against his neck, drinking in the same sweet scent he’d had since a puppy. He licked her face as his tail whapped back and forth. Her baby was her constant comfort, sleeping next to her every night, abating nearly all her nightmares. She kissed his muzzle and eased to her feet. Every nerve was on edge.
“Sometimes I feel like there’s not going to be a tomorrow.” The words were hollow, the sound little more than a ragged whisper, but Maverick understood. Nuzzling against her legs, he huffed as if acknowledging her concerns.
“I know, baby. A new life. A better world. Maybe I’m just a fool.” All she wanted was peace yet the hackles on the back of her neck remained armed and ready. The storm was a nasty reminder of her past – cold and stormy.
“Shit!” The exclamation rushed from her mouth. She opened her eyes wide and watched as a tree limb thudded on the rain soaked ground. Maverick turned in circle after circle, his nails scraping against the old wooden floor. She allowed a thin smile as he nuzzled in between her legs. As she placed her hand on top of his head, a pair of headlights in the distance caught her attention. She expected no one, not on a night where the weather station had mentioned the possibility of tornadoes. A thin line of sickening anticipation slithered down the back of her legs as her intuition kicked in.
The monster was here.
McKenzie rubbed Maverick’s ear and licked a bead of wine from her glass. The warm day had turned into a tumultuous night. The humid and wet weather pattern was completely unusual for Virginia at the end of December. Christmas Day had brought torrential downpours, further exacerbating her horrific mood swings. Now she was praying for the start of the new year. A bitter laugh slipped past her lips. As if there’s be something to look forward to. Her thoughts turned ugly, memories of so many wretched months lingering deep in her psyche.
Maverick’s yelp dragged her back to reality. She prayed the visitor would veer off toward one of her two neighbors, even if they were acres apart. When the stream of light drew closer, she cursed under her breath.
“Go away. Please, go away.” Don’t let him get the best of you. He’s a lying sack of shit. He’s a piece of dirt. He’s a worthless son of a bitch. All true. Then why did tears threaten to fall down her cheeks? She gripped Maverick’s neck for support. This was merely a poor soul lost in the storm. The unwanted visitor had to be a stranger.
The lights dimmed and blipped, going off completely then popping back on a second later. Whoever had found her wasn’t going anywhere.
“Shhh… We have late night visitors. Be on your best behavior.” Please God make them go away. Please, oh please.
Biting her lip, she eased away from the window. Shadows had become her friend. She concentrated on the bright LED lights on her Christmas tree. The colorful decoration was supposed to have brought her happiness. Right. There’d been no Christmas for her, except for a single party with a few acquaintances. Even the festive event hadn’t brightened her mood. This was no longer her favorite time of year.
A vivid series of images flashed in the back of her mind. She’d been happy once upon a time. Laughter and love, nights spent in front of the fireplace or outside on the deck had been the norm. Then everything had changed, leaving her empty.
A series of lightning bolts made her shudder. Within a few seconds, she heard the sound of heavy feet on her front porch. Her stomach churned as the front door knob was turned, the person behind the door anticipating entrance without interference.
“Asshole,” McKenzie whispered. She took another gulp of wine and moved in front of the door. She glanced over her shoulder as Maverick whined. The poor baby didn’t know there was a jerk off standing less than a foot away, only three inches of solid oak standing in the way. Or maybe he did know given his teeth were barred. This couldn’t be happening. She’d planned carefully, or so she thought. Maybe her attorney had accidentally slipped, giving out her address. If so, she’d fire his ass.
Bam! Bam! Bam!
Instantly she placed her index finger over her mouth and shook her head, willing Maverick to be quiet. She held her breath hearing nothing for a full minute.
I hope you enjoyed and do something for me today – donate to a shelter. Fur babies will bring you more joy than you’ve ever known.