Growing up, I lived in college apartment housing. We had little space, so my first pets were guppies. They swam in an aquarium in the corner of the living room. Not very interesting. I think I had more fun imagining adventures with my stuffed animals.
But my godparents had a Springer Spaniel named Gretchen. I loved playing with her when we’d visit on holidays. So after we finally moved into a house, I asked for my own dog. We went to a dog show in Pittsburg, PA to get an idea of the type of dog we wanted. We each wrote our top three candidates on a piece of paper.
Eventually my parents and I decided on a Keeshond we named Cupcake. She treated me like a sister because my mom ended up taking her out and feeding her. But one time we took her to a lake and when I went swimming, she came out to get me and drag me back to shore. Apparently I wasn’t supposed to be swimming.
Her normally puffy gray, black and white fur was wet and plastered to her body. She looked like a drowned rat. It’s one of my favorite memories of her. Cupcake died a few months before I graduated college. I think because I’d been away the few years before she died, that her death didn’t affect me as much as parents.
I know the thing to do is go to the SPCA and adopt a stray, but I have two special needs kids. While I appreciate the work the SPCA does, I didn’t think a stray was right for my kids. My ADHD son is very energetic in how he plays and the autistic son is very reluctant to be near animals. With a stray, you have no idea how their temperament will expose itself. I thought a calm pure breed was best for our family.
After lots of research, my husband and I decided on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are very loving animals and best of all calm. I especially liked the cuddle aspect of their personality and hoped it would help with some self-worth issues our ADHD son had. I’m still a stay-at-home-mom and in fact am now homeschooling both kids, so the breed’s need for companionship isn’t an issue for our family.
Megan is the best dog. Nothing the kids do fazes her and she is constantly showering them with happy licks and doggie tail waving. During the day if I’m writing on the coach, she’ll curl up next to me and lay against my leg. Otherwise when I’m at my desk, she will either stay with one of the kids or curl up at my feet.
Inspiration wise, I love to write shifter stories and include pets. While werewolves are a favorite, I think I have more unfinished shifter stories than completed. In Assassin’s Soul, I included a large snow cat as a pet. And in an unfinished Faery story, I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a pet in the human world but she becomes a hellhound in the fae world. That is my favorite pet character because it shows both sides of Megan. The soft cuddly side and the ferocious barker who goes after any dog walking near our property, even if the animal is twice her size.
Title – Healer’s Fate
Publisher – Moonlight Mountain Books
Date Published – Second Edition; July 2013
Genre – Paranormal Romance
Word Count – 21,140 words
Corliss Rumdone hides behind her status as Healer to avoid the normal wolf pack hierarchical challenges. A forced mating changes the course of her life. Instead of Raymond, the beta wolf selected for her, she mates with Liam—her best friend and heir to the Alpha pair.
Liam whisks them away to a shifter retreat so they can allow the mating bond to settle in private. But interference from those seeking power and two terminal children arouse past hurts and challenge their new relationship. Even their home is not the haven it should be as Liam must watch Corliss fight for the right to stay his mate. For one healer, death becomes a weapon to balance life.
The companion novella, Enchantress’ Destiny, will be available within two months. When Enchantress’ Destiny is published, the price of Healer’s Fate will drop to $0.99.
Liam couldn’t watch the ceremony that would mate Corliss to someone else. He could’ve challenged for her, but that meant fighting his father—the ruling wolf, who was neither a tyrant nor senile. Both of them in their prime, a fight would have ended in one of their deaths, and he couldn’t justify the loss of life.
Not even for her. Unable to keep control of his wolf, Liam shifted to animal form and sought solace in the forest. Except every tree, every fragrance roused memories of her, and the wolf sprinted towards the ceremonial clearing. His paws swiftly traversed the distance until he scented the woman who should be his.
Stark quiet alerted him to trouble as the wolf crept along the edge of the grass. People were missing and those who remained stood as if waiting for the ceremony to start. He circled around to the front to get a better view, hiding in the shadows so as not to alert anyone. Raymond was unaccounted for. Corliss stood stiff-backed, facing away from the audience.
Her caramel-colored hair was piled atop her head, darkened to walnut in the moonlight. Shadows hid her sea-green eyes and emphasized her high cheekbones. She appeared cold, harsh, and removed from events going on around her. Yet he knew her to be warm and caring, often too caring.
Through her healing powers, she gave more of her personal energy than she should. As her friend, he could offer support, but he couldn’t push too hard for her to rest, or she’d rip out his throat.
He chuffed. The dark green specks in her eyes glowed when she was angry. That spark had been missing from her eyes for days. He repressed a growl as Corliss bit the inside of her cheek. Before the wind shifted, he backed away. She wouldn’t appreciate anyone seeing her close to tears.
The wolf wanted to rip a hole in Raymond’s belly, but even their animals had rules for a challenge. He trotted to a cache of clothes. Only the human half of his soul could help her now.
Although Beth grew up in West Virginia, she currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two sons and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who makes an excellent lap warmer. Blending the analytical and creative sides of her brain, she delights in creating fantasy worlds for others. Catch her online most days except when NCIS and Once Upon a Time air.
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