Here are the covers from both new Canine Cupids collections. Tip of the hat to artist Valerie Tibbs. I love the design she has created and the dogs are just amazing! Loose Id does a fab product in every respect. That’s Justin’s new dog Murphy in the middle in the cover and Commando is on the right in the second cover
Here is a snippet from New Leash on Life:
(Barry is the banker and Justin just bought the grooming business. They have a past and it makes Justin uncomfortable. )
“Hey, buddy, where’s the fire?” So far Barry didn’t seem to be breathing hard, but he had clearly noticed Justin’s speedy pace.
“Need to get back so Melly can go to lunch. She’s got a class this afternoon. I’m not going to interfere with her education. She’s a good kid. Ambitious, starting at the college already. If she goes off to the city in the fall, I’ll be up the creek, probably on my own.”
“Oh shit, that’s a bummer. Is there enough business to keep more than one groomer busy?”
Justin had to bite his tongue on the urge to confess, “No!” He couldn’t admit that, although he was learning as fast as possible, his knowledge of the business he now owned was damn skimpy. Melly was a good teacher, though, and was showing him everything she’d learned from Cassandra and an online school. He was also plowing through his online course as fast as he could. “It’s uneven,” he said, after a few seconds. “Busy in fits and starts you could say.”
Even distracted with his doubts and worries, he could not turn off his awareness of the man who walked at his side. They were almost close enough to touch, to hold hands. He wanted to, really wanted to, and that made him cussing mad. This fucking awareness was going to kill him!
When they reached the shop, he turned to open the door. Melly looked up from the reception desk.
“Oh good, I was hoping you’d get back. A lady just called and insisted she had to speak to you. I told her you were due any minute. Here’s her number.” She handed him a sticky note.
“Thanks, Melly. You’re free to go now. Enjoy your lunch and if you need to study or anything, you don’t have to come back later.”
She gathered her things and hurried out. That left Justin alone with Barry, who was standing way too close. With the reception desk at his back, Justin could hardly ease away unobtrusively.
“I—er—I’d better return this call. It may be business.”
Barry didn’t move. Instead, he glanced at the slip of paper in Justin’s hand. “Hey, that’s my home phone. Must be Mom calling for an appointment. Want me to talk to her?”
“Why in the world would I want that? Do you want her to know you’re here with me?”
Barry laughed. “Yes and no. It might be easier just to get it out of the way if we are going to be seeing each other.”
Justin gulped. “S-s-seeing each other? What do you mean—exactly?”
“Well, like I was saying at lunch—neither of us have a lot of close buddies or even the potential for them around here. It seems natural for us to do a few things, hang out together. You know, that kind of thing. What did you think I meant?”
Justin knew he went beet-red. His face felt hotter than a blast from the powerful dryer they used on the longer-haired dogs. He’d really put his foot into it now. What did he think Barry had meant? Like they’d go somewhere and fuck each other’s brains out?
“Oh, forget it,” he mumbled. “I just—er—didn’t think we were really in the same social class. I mean in Phoenix, you tended to stick with the people you worked with. I’m just one of those who borrow money, not lend it.”
And one from Dogjacked:
(Trek had his car stolen at a gas station the previous evening , along with his Pit Bull, Commando. The dog grabbed the would-be-thief by the ear and caused him to crash before he got to the freeway. Local police officer Dan is trying to help the stranger stuck in the small New Mexico town. He’s driving them to breakfast–with Trek’s dog.)
A swift wash of relief made Dan relax. He hadn’t been sure how Commando would react to him, but it appeared Trek knew his dog, and the animal was indeed well behaved—at least normally. Dan preferred to keep his ears intact, but there seemed to be little danger.
He returned Trek’s smile. “Hope you slept well. I guess you had a bit more excitement yesterday than you ordinarily do, right?”
Trek nodded. “That’s true. You mentioned good news and some not so good…”
Having reached the café most of the local law enforcement people frequented, Dan pulled in and found a place to park on the shady side before he responded. Then he realized they could hardly leave the dog. “We can eat on the patio if you think your dog will behave.”
Trek sniffed. “Of course.” He clipped a short leash onto Commando’s collar and got out to follow Dan.
Dan found a table off to one side and greeted his regular waitress. “Good morning, Sherry. Anything special today?”
“As if you’d have anything but the regular breakfast burrito. I know your habits, Dan! But I see you have company.” She turned a rather flirtatious glance at Trek. “And what would you like, sir?” She glanced down at the dog but chose not to say anything. Commando lay under Trek’s chair, so still he almost looked artificial.
“Goodness, but you have lovely nails, my dear.” Trek waited until she stopped simpering while Dan watched with a smile, wondering if the girl would catch on.
He could see Trek debating and guessed he had some favorites he doubted he’d find in a struggling little New Mexico town. “I’ll have the same,” he said after a beat, “and lots of black coffee. Oh, and a glass of grapefruit juice on the side if I may.”
While they waited for their meal, Dan explained what he had learned. “So you can take your car any time or arrange to have it shipped off for repair. I think you said you’d send it back to Tennessee?”
Trek nodded, his thoughts already elsewhere. “Um, yeah, I’ll take care of that later. But you’re saying I can’t take Commando out of town for as long as two weeks?”
“That’s the animal control rules. If you’ll guarantee to keep him here and with you at all times, and be sure he doesn’t bite anyone else, they prob’ly won’t impound him. Or you can leave him and come back once the quarantine is lifted. There’d be a small boarding fee, but it shouldn’t break your budget. I’m sure you have papers, and of course he’s chipped, right?”
“There’s no way I’d leave my dog, not here or anywhere. But two weeks? My God, this is crazy! He didn’t do anything wrong, didn’t attack anyone or… Hell, the idiot was stealing my car with my dog in it. Of course Commando wasn’t going to let him get away!”