By Amy Lane
I am taking the dogs for a walk. Johnnie, the Chi-who-what (we suspect “who-what” in this case means mini-Pinscher but we are not certain) walks along at a dignified pace, stopping at specific houses to relieve himself. He never getting tangled, not even when His Glorious Presence Who Stopped and Peed Here is in evidence to be smelled.
Geoffie, the Chihuahua-Shih Tzu cross is all over the map. She gnaws on Johnnie’s ear, runs under his leash to smell the other side, runs back to smell that thing over here, stops and runs circles so they can bark at the men-with-hats-and-beards all over the neighborhood.
“Hey! Johnnie! Did you see that? Smell that? Is it him? It’s him, right? Hey! There’s turkey poop! I love turkey poop! Did you want some turkey poop! Hey! You! Across the street! I don’t like you! Did you hear me? I’m yapping! I don’t like you I don’t like you I don’t like you and now you know! Hey! Guy standing in his doorway, scratching his balls and wondering what all that racket is! I don’t like you either! But this dog pee on your lawn… mmmm… yeah… I might like that.”
I am in the house, writing at my desk, the sliding glass door open behind me so they can run in and out as whim dictates.
Johnnie has enjoyed his walk, enjoyed his snack, and is now ready to settle down to his God-given job of keeping my feet warm and peering at me worriedly should I forget that I ever had a Johnnie and never pet, feed, or take him for walkies again.
Geoffie has not had enough snack.
“Hey! I’m here! I’m here! Pet me! Don’t pet me. Nevermind, running away now—Hey! More snack! More snack! Forget pets! Forget pets—more snack! Hey! More snack! Hey! See? I knew you had snack.”
She has finally had enough snack, Johnnie has had his snack, and we are all settled down again and—
“Hey! It’s a cat! It’s a cat! I don’t like you, cat! Move, cat, move! I am barking at you! Hey, cat, I’m barking at you!” The cat hisses and she recoils and trots away, as though she meant to do that. “Hey, Johnnie, did you see me barking at the cat? Wasn’t I brave? I was the bravest dog. Watch me tomorrow, when I’ve completely forgotten the cat scares me spitless, and I shall bark at the cat again!”
We are walking past a house—only one house on the walk—where four Chihuahuas and a Pomeranian all live. Once a week, as we walk by, the owners are out and the puppies come talk to my dogs through the chain link fence.
“Hey! Are you walking! We don’t walk! We’re too cool to walk! Hey, why aren’t you talking to us! Come here and talk to us! Don’t walk away you cowards! We want to talk to you! Are you Chihuahuas? We’re Chihuahuas too—Chihuahuas are THE BEST and you don’t look like the best! Come back and defend your honor you weenies! Come baaaaaaack….”
And Johnnie consoles Geoffie, who walks dispiritedly for a few steps in the wake of their terrible defeat.
“Hey. Just keep walking, they can’t hurt you. They don’t understand—you’re special. You’re the most special dog here. That’s why you bark so much, because you know what’s going on. You’re the best dog, really. Just keep walking and don’t respond. They’re beneath us, Geoffie. They don’t need to know how awesome you are.”
And once we’ve passed the house Geoffie is jumping up and down again, licking Johnnie’s ears, chewing on his face, playing.
“Hey—did you see that? We walked by those dogs, Johnnie, we walked by those dogs! You were really brave.”
Johnnie licks her back. “Someday,” he promises. “Someday, we’ll stop and have a conversation with them. You know, just saying ‘hey’.”
So, in case you haven’t guessed it, Freckles, the Christmas story with the adorable dog on the cover was based on my own adventures with—you guessed it!—my own adorable dogs. I hope you enjoy it!
Title: Freckles by Amy Lane
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: 170 pages/Word Count: 45,000
Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.
Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.
But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!
He can be the owner of a small dog.
This title is part of the 2016 Holiday Charity Bundle collection.
Add to Goodreads.
Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing
Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.
She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.
She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.
To celebrate the release of Freckles, one lucky winner will receive Freckles in ebook and another ebook of their choice from Amy’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 19, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!