D. F. Krieger

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thankful Animals and Authors: Ari Harper

Today is the last post for our Thankful Animals and Authors series. Tomorrow ushers in the holiday season and many thoughts towards Christmas. I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to introduce you to Ari Harper and Hugo. 


My story isn't about rescued animals, it is about animals that don't turn out to be good enough for their original purpose.
Ever wondered what happens to dogs that don't make the grade at Guide Dog school? Me too until I made the call. They are sold as pets and believe it or not there was a waiting list because these dogs have had around $30,000 worth of training by the time D Day comes around.
I wanted to visit hospital patients and one of these well trained dogs seemed like a good idea at the time. I called and put my name on the long list. When I told them what I had planned, I was offered Hugo, a beautiful black pure bred lab that makes your normal lab look tiny. He is a huge boy and they nicknamed him Huge because of it. When trim and terrific he weighs in at 40 kilos.

Unfortunately my venture didn't happen but that is neither here nor there.
Now Hugo is the most gentle dog you could come across. I look after kids from home and they run all over him, cuddles, dress ups, you name it. Hugo takes it all in his stride. The thing that gets him going and the ultimate point that failed him is his determination to make friends with every dog he sees.
For six years I have walked him on an almost daily basis around town without a problem until that fateful day when I decided to change the route that we went.
Behind a fence were two dogs that Hugo had never seen before and before I knew what was happening I was flying through the air like Superman, hand held out holding onto the lead according to my walking friend.
This is why he failed. I landed in the middle of the road on my elbow and ended up in hospital. Sadly our walks are now over and we have to take him out bush to get his exercise. No matter what I do, I can't get him to stop pulling when he gets excited.
Even a collar from The Dog Whisperer didn't deter him from dragging me along.
I love my big boy and will never regret taking him. He became a character in my Young Adult Book due out November 30th 'Witchling' which I write under the name Ari Harper.
As Nera's shadow he shines and I couldn't be more proud of the big guy.

Follow me at www.annbharrison.com  <--More adult stuff
                       www.ariharper.com <---YA stuff
  Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/annb.harrison.7
Twitter   https://twitter.com/AnnBHarrison  

Nera is a normal teenage girl living in Ireland, until she discovers the secret her family is hiding. Now her world is forever changed.

Nera is a normal teenage girl living in Ireland—or so she thought. Her world is forever changed when she discovers that she is descended from a long line of witches. To her horror she finds she is the one that is supposed to stop the curse that has taken the life of every girl before her.

As if that isn't enough, she must learn to use magic and her trainer is a man named Bones. He is the son of Mari, Queen of the Witches, and a god. It is Bones that has been entrusted to teach her the skills she needs to stay alive, which wouldn't be so bad if he didn't have an uncanny knack for pushing her buttons.

Can Nera learn what she needs while staying immune to the charms of the man that gets under her skin at every opportunity? 

Thanks for stopping by and sharing Hugo's story with us. He's really, really big. Eeek! Okay readers, here's my last contest for this month. Leave a comment and you could win a copy of Witchling!~ D. F. Krieger

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankful Animals and Authors: Aurelia B. Rowl

Welcome to our last week of Thankful Animals and Authors. Today I have the pleasure of hosting Aurelia B. Rowl and her rescue dog, Buddy. Hello, Aurelia. Please tell us Buddy's story.

My husband and I had wanted a dog ever since we’d moved in together, but it was only once we bought our first home at the end of October 2004 that we could turn the dream into reality.
He’d fallen in love with the idea of getting a Boxer puppy – which I admit are super cute and very good dogs – and he’d even located a breeder in Anglesey, North Wales, who was expecting to have a litter ready early in the New Year. So that only gave me a few months to persuade him that he really wanted a rescue dog. 

After many subtle and not-so-subtle hints about a rescuing dog being a much better option than lining some breeders pocket, whilst saving a dog that may otherwise be destroyed if a home couldn’t be found, I succeeded in getting him to agree to have a look. The following Monday, now mid-November (yes, I’m a quick worker LOL), we went to have a look around our local RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) centre.

Wandering along the aisle, every kennel housing some poor unlucky soul, we spotted a little black & white dog. Noggin, as named by the centre, watched us all the way past his kennel, wagging his tail furiously, and then he watched us all the way back again. We went off to meet another dog, who was lovely, but then went back to take another look at Noggin. We’d been gone long enough for him to have returned to his bed but as soon as he saw us, he stood up and came to the front of his kennel, wagging his tail the entire time like a helicopter trying to take off.

That was it, we had to meet him. 

The staff told us he'd been found the Friday before and brought to the centre. He had no collar and no-one had tried to claim him or report him lost over the weekend and my heart broke a little for the poor thing. He had such a lovely temperament and was really calm, despite all the barking and howling going on around him. We were told that he was male, aged between five and six months old, and had just been vaccinated. Even the RSCPA staff had written "lovely dog!" on his kennel card! 

We loved him!

We went straight out to the reception area and asked what we'd need to do to get him. We put down our deposit and were told that provided nobody claimed him within the required seven-days since being found, he was ours and we could collect him on the Friday. The rest of the week was strange, buying things for him so that we were prepared, all the while hoping he really had been abandoned. Not exactly a nice thing to think really. 

Thankfully, no-one claimed him and off we went to fetch him, by which time we’d already decided on a name for him. Whilst we were at the centre the RSPCA wormed, flea-treated and microchipped him and that was that. In under a week, we suddenly had a dog. My husband went off back to work and I brought our new dog ‘Buddy’ home. He was really clingy around me first and wouldn't let me out of his sight but settled in really well. 

He is both the most intelligent, yet also the one of the dumbest animals I have ever come across. A black Labrador/Border Collie cross, and maybe a bit of whippet thrown in for good measure, he was like a sponge, soaking up all of the commands we taught him. When we had our first child a couple of years later, he adjusted brilliantly. Next came our daughter so now he had a toddler and a newborn to cope with, and again, he was brilliant. The kids love having a dog and I think it’s a great thing for any child to have a pet. Especially one that cleans up all the mess that they make when they leave trails of food everywhere. We definitely struck lucky seeing as we got a dog with no known history, I really don’t think we could have asked for a better family pet.

Buddy has now been with us for eight years and although he doesn’t get as much attention as he did when we first got him, he seems to enjoy being part of a larger pack. Plus he gets to have ‘mum’ around all day, every day, instead of just being visited quickly during a lunch break. Yes, having him has restricted our movements, and it does cost more when we want to go away on holiday because I refuse to put him into kennels. He gets to go on his own holiday instead by going to stay in home-boarding.

He will be the best friend you could ever have, hence his name, just as long as you’re not another dog. See, I didn’t say he was perfect… but he is ours, and he is one of the family.

Wow, what a story. If where you come from has Black Dog syndrome like we do here, you probably saved your dog's life more than you know.

Aurelia is a new author, and her debut release Christmas is Cancelled will be coming out through Breathless Press on December 21st. We don't have more than the cover right now, but I highly encourage you to read this story as soon as it does. As is, here is the cover to stare at.
Please come back on December 24th, when I do a highlight on this story and tell you why it's a must read! Until then, thank you for stopping by and thank you, Aurelia, for telling us Buddy's rescue tale.~ D. F. Krieger

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Animals and Authors: Tea Cooper

Please help me welcome Tea Cooper. She's stopped by to share her rescue story with us about her dog, Poppy.

It was a very hot November 11th and I was pretty close to hitting rock bottom. One of those stages when nothing was going right and everything and everyone I touched burned me.

I was driving home whining and complaining to myself in the car and passed the sign to the RSPCA shelter. For some reason I turned around and went down the rather dodgy dirt road. 

It was almost twelve months to the day that Sophie, my daughter’s Rotweiller cross that I had inherited, had been put down. I was supposed to be enjoying the freedom and lack of responsibility of not having a dog.
I parked the car and wandered in past a cage full of cats. I quite like cats, especially their supercilious independence but a cat was out of the question. The bush property I owned had a ‘cat convenant’ on it – to the uninitiated that’s Australian for No cats allowed, not now not ever. I used to think it was silly but once I got to know the bird life I decided the bush belonged to the birds. A cat was out of the question.

Further along there was one large cage away from all the others, more a jail than a cage. Trying very hard to escape and eat its way through metal fencing was a very frustrated, loudly complaining dead ringer for Sophie. I couldn’t believe it.

The dog had been dumped the night before. It had food aggression and had to be kept in isolation because it tried to eat all the other dogs. Obviously it was feeling pretty much the way I was.
I wasn’t allowed into the cage but I stuck my hand through the wire much to the dismay of the attendant and was rewarded with a rather dubious sniff, after a few minutes they left me alone and I sneaked in and just stood there. The dog came and sat on my foot - like recognizing like I suspect.

To cut a very long story short I managed to talk them out of putting her down. They released her to me on a three month trial – only because I had owned a Rotweiller cross before I was told. 

That was nine years ago and since then we’ve both managed to get our acts together and if you check out the dedication in my first book Tree Change when it comes out you’ll know who it was that “walked every step of the way with me.”

Meet Poppy…

Wow, that's so not the kind of dog I would associate with a flowery named like Poppy. LOL.  I'm really glad you two found each other though. Sounds like it was meant to be. On another note, could you tell us about the upcoming release you mentioned?

Forced to choose between the world she wants and the man she loves, Cassia opts for fame and fortune. But it's not enough—one taste and she's hooked again...

Despite her success in the Sydney art world, Cassia yearns for the idyllic life she once lead with Jake in their shack over looking the Pacific Ocean. Seeking closure she falls, like an addict, straight back into his arms, and out again equally quickly. Not only has he taken up with his brother's wife, but it seems they have a child.

Truth is, Jake's living a lie, sworn to secrecy, and hamstrung by the debt he owes his estranged family. But one glimpse of Cassia and he knows he cannot live without her. Her fey, artistic character and magical body possess his imagination and his heart. Can he convince her to trust him long enough to save the crumbling remains of their relationship? 

Pre-Order Link: http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=15&products_id=395#.UK6EaoaRDPQ

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story with us. To all our friends who celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving! ~ D. F. Krieger

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful Animals and Authors: Layla Hunter

Hello everyone. We're getting very close to Thanksgiving! Today I'd like you to welcome Layla Hunter!

I am excited to be here today to participate in D.F. Krieger's Rescued and Thankful blog and I cannot wait for you to meet Maggie Moo! This endearing 7 year old greyhound/lab mix literally trotted into our lives on Easter Sunday of 2012.

Our journey began Good Friday, the plan being to get our feet wet looking for a dog, and St. Hubert's in North Branch, New Jersey had many dogs available for adoption, especially seniors. Given our schedules, an older dog would be a perfect fit for us.

We toured the shelter and although there were quite a few older dogs looking for a forever home, they didn't meet our needs, one in particular being getting along with cats.

Before leaving, we took one last walk out back to look at the dogs in the outdoor runs and it was then this gorgeous lady, lying so nonchalantly in a brilliant sun spot, glanced over her shoulder, taking us in. After sizing us up, she stood gingerly, so very thin and cautious, and came over, those liquid brown eyes sparkling in the sunlight.

Those eyes reminded me so much of our first dog, also a greyhound/lab mix we'd adopted many years ago from St. Hubert's in Madison … our first beloved Maggie.

Yes, their names were the same. When the volunteer told me her name was Margaret but they called her Maggie, I looked over at my husband, the coincidence not lost on him either.

We asked to take her out and as we walked to the outdoor meet and greet area, she followed close at my side, nudging my hip as we strolled along as if to hurry me up. Once inside and off the leash, she took one look at us and then the cool, green grass and … the grass won out. *laughs*

Turns out grass is her catnip. She loves to lie in the grass; to roll in the grass; to breathe deeply of the grass; to sleep in the grass.

Of course, it was love at first sight but since we had cats, also seniors, we needed to think about how she would fit in with that dynamic. Besides, adopting a dog is a huge commitment and we wanted to take the time to sleep on it. Morning came and we were back at the shelter, giving Maggie the 'cat' test. She passed with flying colors and the decision was unanimous … she was coming home with us! Mellow and sweet, she would be a wonderful addition to our family.

Our loving and friendly cats had no idea this small pony of a dog would be invading their realm but after a carefully supervised meet and greet, a couple of our cats began to groom her, an act she accepted gracefully. She chose a bed of her own and made herself at home and it was as if she'd always been there.

A visit with the vet a couple of days later led to a clean bill of health except for her being considerably underweight at only 44 pounds. The stress of being in a shelter had taken its toll and the plan was to add some weight over the course of a few months.

Fortunate to be able to take her to the office with me those first few weeks, we were able to bond quickly and settle into a routine. Co-workers nicknamed her 'Maggie Bag of Bones' and 'My Little Pony'.

Over the next few months we did what we needed to do in order for her to gain weight and took her on frequent, short walks so as not to tax her obviously achy joints. We loved seeing the spring in her step and the sparkle in her eyes as we went on our daily walks. We quickly learned that Maggie loves walking almost as much as she loves grass.

Four months later, with even brighter eyes, a shiny coat, and 56 pounds to call her own, Maggie is thriving and much to our surprise has the energy of a puppy! So much for a laid back senior dog! *laughs* She is quick to remind us when its walk time with what we'll call her 'inside voice' … she doesn't bark but she'll try to 'talk' and never fails to make us laugh.

I think she knows she's making us laugh too because I swear this dog smiles. She prances and hops like a kangaroo to where her leash is and waits patiently for the walking shoes to go on. Wonderful in the house and always eager to snuggle on the couch with us, she seems to find her greatest joy when all of us are home and together.

We've always adopted our animal companions and we've been blessed over the years to have some truly remarkable souls come into our lives. Everyone comments on how wonderful it was for us to save Maggie from the shelter but the truth is we saved each other. Life is all the better with a dog named Maggie Moo.

Needless to say we are all rescued and thankful and in honor of the special gift we've given each other, I'd like to host a contest that will benefit the other beautiful souls … dogs and cats alike … waiting for their forever home at St. Huberts!

All you need to do is to leave a comment about what, or who, you are thankful for, and for every comment made, I will donate $1 to the shelter.

If you want to learn more about St. Huberts, be sure to visit their website at http://www.sthuberts.org/

I can't wait to read everyone's comments and even more so, I can't wait to deliver our donation!

Wow, that's really awesome! Go you for the fund raising! Can you share a little bit about your writing with us now?

Emily Monroe, a statuesque high school English teacher, is convinced that getting a tattoo to cover the remnants of her brush with Morphea is the only option left to open the door to self-acceptance, allowing her to finally move on with her life after the devastating diagnosis left more than physical scars in its wake. 
Rick Sutton, owner of Skin Deep, a successful tattoo shop, has his own cross to bear. Crippling guilt and the specter of unrequited justice overshadow every aspect of his life, trapping him within the haunted corridors of his heart and soul; until the day Emily walks into his shop. 
 Instantly, he recognizes a kindred spirit in Emily, and a tenuous bond is formed. When the intimidating yet teddy-bear of a man offers her a glimpse into his passionate side, she is moved by what she sees and takes a leap of faith. Together they traverse the physical and emotional journey of freeing themselves of their perceived flaws, an erotic undertaking that proves to them beauty is only Skin Deep.
 If you have a moment to watch the trailer:
Want to read an excerpt or two … I have one Sweet and one Sexy! http://www.secretcravingspublishing.com/files/Skin_Deep_Excerpts.pdf

Special Agent Analiese Valentine – aka "Val" – lived and died for her career. Possessing a sixth sense for as long as she could remember, Val always knew she was different – and so did everyone else. So different, in fact, her own mother – apparently unable to tolerate her daughter's unusual gifts – abandoned her, forging internal scars so deep most relationships, if any, were cultivated at a safe distance. A near-tragic accident opens unexpected doors – some otherworldly – changing her life in ways she'd never imagined possible.
 Dr. Maxwell "Max" Thornton, a psychiatrist, ironically lives an almost reclusive life except for his practice. Although his empathic abilities allow him to help his patients in ways most practitioners never could, the effort is taxing, at times debilitating. Keeping a limited and selective clientele, he manages to pursue a career and maintain his sanity, convinced normal relationships are out of the realm of his reach.
When a guarded agent and a reluctant empath cross paths, unexpected revelations occur and a delicate thread binds them to one another as a predetermined Fate begins to unfold, sending them plummeting into a war between good and evil.

Download link:

Thanks once again for stopping by and sharing Maggie's story with us! Get to commenting, readers! This is a great cause! ~ D. F. Krieger