Saturday, October 5, 2013

There's a Dog Between the Covers

If you’ve read my book The Returns, it’s obvious I love dogs. When a storyline involves a dog, it is pretty much a given I will click on “download now.” The four books I’m reviewing today are not primarily dog stories but they all have a wonderful dog interwoven in the plot. That’s good enough for me. Of course, if it’s a romance with a dog in the mix…reading utopia! There are countless books where the main characters are dogs. If you’re interested, I’d suggest you check out Goodreads for a comprehensive list with ratings. As usual, I’ve put these four in author alphabetical order so I don’t show any bias.

Long Time Coming by: Edie Claire ~ This award-winning book involves Joy, a veterinarian returning home after spending eighteen years away trying to avoid the painful memories she left behind. Although she had never intended to come back to Wharton, Kentucky, her father’s heart attack left her with no other options. The loss of her best friend in a tragic auto accident only days after their senior prom and the boy, Jeff Bradford, who she blames for the wreck are the two main reasons she has stayed away. Deciding to confront the ghosts of her past, she buys her friend’s old family home, starts a mobile vet clinic, and tries to unlock some of the vague recollections that have plagued her with nightmares through the years. Her main goal is to avoid Jeff. As luck would have it, he is now her father’s cardiac doctor. She finds this news out by accident when she hits his big lovable dog, Bear. Don’t worry, Bear’s survives, but that is when the story really captured my heart. I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy mystery, romance, excitement, and of course, dogs!

Watchers by: Dean Koontz ~ Let me start by saying how much I love Dean Koontz! I describe his writing as a bit of Stephen King without having to accept the brutal death of the people you love! I’m not ashamed to admit I have read this book no less than four times. It’s just that good in my opinion. I also credit it as one of the main reasons I became the proud owner of Tucker, my Golden Retriever. The story centers on a top-secret government experiment involving a highly intelligent Golden Retriever and an unknown monster. An accident leads to the animals escaping and the dog befriends a loner, Travis Cornell. The lovable canine, Einstein, has some amazing abilities. This exciting book will have you wide-eyed and on the edge of your seat as you cheer for the heroes and curse the villains. I refuse to give away too much of the plot but this is one of my favorite books. **The movie in your mind is a million times better than the one made from this awesome book.

The Other Side of Us by: Sarah Mayberry ~ All that Mackenzie Williams wants is to be left alone. She needs to recuperate from an accident and get back to work. Oliver Barrett just wants to get his aunt’s house cleared out and ready to put on the market. Neither of them want a relationship. She comes off as crabby and he seems pushy. The only ones that appear to get along are their dogs. The dogs get along a little too well and take extreme measures to spent time with each other. This is a funny, sweet, feel-good story that will leave you with a smile on your face. It made me an immediate fan of Sarah Mayberry. This was a five star book for me.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by: Garth Stein ~ Enzo is a lab-terrier mix who becomes the sidekick to racecar driver Denny Swift. Although he doesn’t speak, we are able to hear his thoughts. This book will take your emotions on a wild ride comparable to any high-speed car race. I laughed until I had tears in my eyes. I cried so hard both of my dogs crawled up on the couch to comfort me. Of course, that loving dog move made me cry harder. (I'm talking shoulder-shaking sobs here) Mr. Stein does a wonderful job portraying the love and devotion of our four-legged best friends. I highly recommend this book enough to anyone who has ever had a connection with a dog. It will move you and stay in your heart long after you close the back cover. Definitely 5+ stars
Now, in an act of shameless self-promotion, if you haven’t read The Returns, please download it today. Everyone imagines their pets have human characteristics…mine just have a bit more than usual!

**Recipes You’ll Wish You Didn’t Know**

Dog~Gone Goodies

1 Pkg. Break Apart Refrigerated Cookie Dough
1 bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
1 Box Brownie Mix ~ (Prepare according to directions on box)


Preheat oven to 350˚
Using a muffin pan, press 1 ½ cookie square into each muffin well.
Place a Reese upside down on top of cookie dough.
Cover each with brownie mix. Fill each well approximately ¾ full.
Bake for 18 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before devouring!

American Humane Society Hero Dog Awards 2013
The Beverly Hills Hilton will have a different kind of red carpet event tonight. It’s the annual Humane Society’s Hero Dog Awards honoring great dogs that have each accomplished incredible feats during the year. The finalists for the top award are the winners in the following categories:
Emerging Hero Dogs: Cassidy from Midvale, UT.
Guide Dog: Jingles from Amsterdam, NY
Hearing Dog: Lola from Bellingham, WA.
Law Enforcement/Arson: K9 Lakota from Locust Grove, GA.
Military Dog: CWD Carlos EDD from Colorado Springs, CO.
Search & Rescue: John D. from Little Rock, AR.
Service Dog: S. D. Bronx from Brunswick, GA.
Therapy Dog: Elle from Roanoke Rapids, N.C.
Congratulations to all of these wonderful brave dogs. You can see pictures and read their stories at

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