Today's guest blogger is another fellow Astraea Press author Meg Mims. Meg's latest release is a Christmas novella, Santa Paws.
I'll let Meg describe how a rescue dog inspired her to write Santa Paws ;0) ...
I was working on a non-fiction article when a friend called. He said he was taking a dog to the pound, and since I'd mentioned possibly getting a second dog to keep my first one company, did I want to see him?
He brought over Benji, whose sweet scared face was too hard to resist! Would my dog get along with him, though? They hit it off like "best buds" and despite my husband's misgivings, I "rescued" Benji from being a "reject" who'd bitten a child and would have lingered in the pound, who couldn't be trusted - I doubted any family would have taken him.
So far, he's held down the couch pretty well, helped my other dog learn to walk better and is fairly quiet. He does have his "quirks" (loves tearing up cardboard) but it's so much fun to see him chasing the squirrels in the back yard!! I am willing to keep him. And when it came time for me to write a Christmas novella, I thought "write what you know" - only exaggerated quite a bit. That's why it's fiction!! ;-D
The last thing Lacey Gordon — divorced with a teen daughter and two cats — needs is a rescue dog coming into her life. To top it off, she’s rooked into a “Get Under the Mistletoe by Christmas Eve” dating contest. Since Buddy the dog prefers to be the only “new guy” in Lacey’s life, will Santa Claws ruin her holiday for good?
Lacey could go grocery shopping Saturday—uh oh. She’d promised to think about attending the ‘dating contest’ at Fresh Grounds. She did love their mocha lattes. Hm. She hurried through the rest of the paperwork piled on her desk, turned off her lamp and computer, then ran into April on the way out to the parking garage. The elevator’s chill set them both shivering.
“I’ve got you down for noon at Fresh Grounds.”
“Why so early? I thought you had the whole afternoon reserved.”
“You’re quality, remember.” April dashed to her truck.
Lacey clutched the top of her coat together to shield against the bitter wind. She hurried to her car in the growing dusk, grateful to see the sunset courtesy of Daylight Savings. Lacey drove toward home, half-listening to the news, hoping Todd wouldn’t ruin her evening or get stuck in traffic. Pure luck she zipped home in half an hour.
And nearly ran down a burly man in a Sherpa jacket and baseball cap, walking a dog across the street. Not just any dog, but a beige and white pit bull. Lacey shivered. She pulled into the condo complex in relief. Home, sweet home. Even if it was a bit cramped compared to a house in the ‘burbs where she’d spent her marriage. The frame and brick condominiums, surrounded by tall oaks and maples, had four two-story units joined together with a one-story ranch on the side. Most neighbors here were retired, walking their dogs through the narrow streets and parking lots to the woodier paths beyond the complex.
But she cursed aloud seeing Todd’s car in her sheltered parking spot. Lacey warned him the last time not to do that. He never listened. Not now, not back when they’d been married—until she dangled a satin thong in his face. Lacey had found them stuffed in his jacket pocket, and refused to listen to his half-hearted, lame excuses. He hadn’t fought the divorce. Perhaps he preferred running around, since he’d been doing just that since high school. Why hadn’t she realized that long ago? Trust was important to her.
Not to him.
She slung her briefcase over one shoulder and walked around her condo to the front door. Lacey fumbled for her keys in her purse. Her briefcase slipped off her shoulder, its hefty weight dragging her down, and her feet burned inside her new pumps. She heard an odd scratching sound. That couldn’t be the cats. They weren’t at the window as usual, watching for birds.
“Deena? Is that you?”
Lacey unlocked the door. Once she opened it, a hairy beige dog barreled into her, knocking her onto her bottom, spilling her briefcase and purse into the snow. She shrieked, her backside aching, one shoe on and one shoe off. Lacey stared in horror when the dog lifted his leg and piddled in an arc over her leg. A few warm wet drops dribbled on her pantyhose.
Deena appeared in the doorway and clapped a hand over her mouth. “Buddy! Bad dog—oh, Mom, he’s really very sweet. Just wait till you—no, Buddy!”
Lacey watched the dog snatch her purse and duck between her daughter’s legs, then race inside the house and up the carpeted steps. Leaving a trail of muddy footprints.
End of excerpt
Award-winning author and artist Meg Mims lives in Southeastern Michigan with her husband, a drooling black cat and a 'Make My Day' Malti-poo dog. She's loved reading mystery, western, historical, romance and other genre fiction since first grade's adventures of Spot, Dick and Jane. She's a staff writer at Lake Effect Living, an on-line magazine and has published hundreds of freelance articles. Meg enjoys gardening, crafts, watercolor painting - anything but housework.