Friday, February 14, 2020

Books over blooms & puppy love. Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! Consider giving books instead of blooms this year! A romance novel makes a sneeze-free, super romantic gift! You can inscribe it with a love note or, if you don't have a romantic someone in your life, then give it as a sign of friendship :). This day should be for all forms of love and a reminder to let people know you appreciate them. And don't forget to treat yourself with some love, too! Maybe a little snuggle 'me' time with a book ;).

Turtleback Beach book 2
Harlequin, Amazon, BN

For missed my 'Puppy Love' post with Catherine Lanigan over at the Heartwarming Author's blog earlier this month, I've included it below. I'd love to hear about dogs who have filled your lives with love! My Turtleback Beach series includes dog 'stars' in every book. In fact, book 2, Caught by the Sheriff, is out now on and releases in March everywhere else! The Harlequin site has a preview up as well and they have a Valentine's Day sale going on that ends at 11:59pm ET tonight, February 14, 2020. 

And here's the post as it appeared on the Heartwarming Authors Blog Feb 4th...

Catherine's Golden Retriever pups

RULA:​ I bet that with Valentine’s Day around the corner, you all assuming that by ‘puppy love’ we’re talking about first romantic crushes. Nope! We’re literally talking about dogs or puppies who’ve stolen our hearts (in person or in books/TV/film), become family members or best friends and even heroes. Any fellow dog lovers out there?

The thing about Valentine’s Day is that not everyone has a romantic partner to celebrate it with and, because of that, a lot of people feel left out or downright depressed when the official day of romance rolls around. The pressure and stigma of not having a date can be stressful! As romance writers, we’re all about falling in love, but I say we should turn Heart Day on its head and push for it being associated more and more about LOVE in general. All kinds of love, including that of our furry friends. 

One of Rula's two labradoodles

Dogs of different breeds play a big role in my Turtleback Beach series for Harlequin Heartwarming. In my upcoming March release, ​Caught by the Sheriff ​ (book 2), the residents of the small town have a traditional beach bonfire celebration on Valentine’s Day, where there’s no pressure to have a date and everyone can celebrate the day regardless of relationship status. Many of the folks do bring their dogs along, though. I mean think about it…no matter where you are in life a beloved dog will always stand by your side and give you unconditional love. There’s a bit of dog romance going on in the story too ;). 

I’ve always had dogs growing up, from mixed breeds/rescues to cocker spaniels and labradoodles. I love dogs (cats too, but this is about puppy love). I used to be terrified of them when I was little, but watching the show “Lassie” growing up changed all that. One of these days I hope to have a rough collie (Lassie’s breed) of my own. In fact, the first book of my Turtleback Beach series, Almost a Bride, stars a rough collie like Lassie who plays a role in bringing my hero and heroine back together again, years after she left him at the altar. Oh, and the book has kittens too, for cat lovers ;). 

Rough Collie...just like 'Lassie'!
(image credit Clarita on

Caught by the Sheriff ​ includes the hero’s part Great Dane/mixed breed rescue (he takes in elderly dogs who are less likely to be adopted), a bulldog, the same rough collie, a Newfoundland puppy and many other breeds, since my heroine is a dog trainer/groomer who is on the run and hiding out in Turtleback Beach with a toddler who isn’t her own (yep…suspense!). Anyone love Great Danes or other ‘gentle giant’ breeds? What about bulldogs or toy breeds? 

Great Dane
(image credit Palomino at

What about water loving, giant Newfoundland dogs? I have a small flock of ducks and when they say a duck can turn a drop of water into a mud puddle, they’re not kidding. Well, the same is true of Newfies. They love water! I mean LOVE it. I’ve never owned a Newfie but I’ve met a few. They are great water rescue dogs, which is why the hero in the third book of the series (I’m currently writing)…who runs the beach water patrol/rescue…has a Newfoundland who’ll play a big role in the story.

(image credit Terranovesca at
So do you have any favorite breeds or pets who’ve brought unconditional love into your lives? Any funny dog stories or situations you’ve run into? Or favorite dog characters in movies? What about you, Catherine? 

CATHERINE​: I, too, bless our furry family members who add so much to our lives and remind us every day that life is about so much more than just working, paying the bills, and struggling with family issues and illnesses. Life is about loving. All kinds of loving. One of the endearing qualities about Heartwarming novels is this all-encompassing perspective on love that pervades our stories. We write about family, friends, community in addition to the romance. 

Not only am I a puppy and dog lover, (cats, too as I’ve had several in my life), but I have the most adorable photos to share of my 8 Golden Retriever puppies who manage to make their way into more than half my novels. All my Goldens now live on the Rainbow Bridge waiting to be reunited with me, but the thing I love about being an author is that their loving spirits and antics have always added so much to my stories. 

Catherine's Golden Retriever pups eating dinner at Christmas
My “babies” were born on December 1st making them Christmas babies and believe me, the videos of my then, 14 month old granddaughter playing in the pen with 8 Golden puppies on Christmas Eve is right out of a Hallmark movie. 

Catherine's Golden pups

In my latest release for Heartwarming, HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, Titus and Adam Masterson are masters to a very pregnant Angel who gives birth to her puppies on Christmas Eve. Though I helped “midwife” my puppies into the world, I didn’t go into that much detail in the book. Some of you may remember that Sarah Jensen Bosworth’s Golden, Beau, was featured in LOVE SHADOWS and returned for encores in several subsequent stories. He’s always been a hit with the kiddos of Indian Lake. 

 And of course, in SOPHIE’S PATH, was adorable tiny “Frenchie” the Yorkie Poo who stole everyone’s heart, especially when I tweeted about the real life, Piper, and her antics when she came to visit me here at home. 

Frenchie the yorkipoo star of Sophie's Path

Frenchie the yorkipoo 

Scout...a German shepherd who belongs to Catherine's friend

So, everyone, what ARE your favorite breeds? Do you like writing about dogs and puppies? What are your favorites? Share your puppy love!

Caught by the Sheriff
(Turtleback Beach Book 2)
March 2020

If she follows her heart…

Will he follow the law?

Turtleback Beach, North Carolina, would be paradise—if Faye Donovan wasn’t on the run. With her sister’s life in danger and her small niece to protect, Faye tries to avoid handsome town sheriff Carlos Ryker. But Carlos offers her a refuge, and Faye feels she’s finally found home. And yet he’s still the sheriff. Can she trust him with the truth…even if it means risking everything?

Home for Christmas
(Shores of Indian Lake Book 12)
Nov 2019

Can a magical Christmas under glass…

…bring them back together for good?

Widowed dad Adam Masterson still doesn’t understand why Joy Boston left Indian Lake and broke his heart all those years ago. Now she’s returned to sell her grandfather’s beloved poinsettia greenhouse—and Joy and Adam’s connection is as strong as ever. But Joy has a life in New York. And Adam has only until Christmas to convince Joy that she belongs in Indian Lake—with him.

Sending everyone our love this Valentine's Day!

Rula & Catherine

No comments:

Post a Comment