Guest blogger Stephanie Grace Whitson
Dogs are better than any critter I know at modeling unconditional love, and we humans can never have enough of that. The animal star of my most recent book, A Captain for Laura Rose, is Logjam, a “fearsome-looking” mutt rescued off a logjam floating in the Missouri River.
Logjam decides that he is part-owner and therefore self-appointed security for a steamboat named the Laura Rose. He worms his way into my imaginary friend’s hearts with just as much finesse as did Samson, my Doberman Pinscher, who thought he was a lap dog (never mind that he weighed nearly 100 pounds).
This moment in A Captain for Laura Rose was inspired by the one time I let Samson up onto the bed and woke face-to-face with a sleeping Doberman who had decided to steal my pillow. The brat. Logjam came to the edge of the bed and rested his chin there, looking up at her mournfully. When she leaned down to pat his head, he swiped at the back of her hand. Just once, but it was enough to startle her and to make her laugh.
“You did good, you know.” She scratched behind one of the dog’s ears. He strained against her hand, then put one white paw on the edge of her bed. “Are you trying to beg your way up here, now?” With a soft whine, he removed the paw and rested his chin back on the comforter. He moved only his eyes. Back and forth, from comforter to her face and back again. “I’m going to regret this,” Laura said, as she patted the space beside her. Who would have thought a big dog could move that fast?
Elijah arrived, cup and saucer in hand. He spoke to the dog first. “Well, look at you.”
“A reward for saving me,” Laura said.
“You do realize you’ve a permanent fixture unless you lock him out?”
“I imagine so,” Laura tucked her feet beneath Logjam’s warm body. “But I don’t mind.”
“You’ll mind when you wake up in the morning and his head is on your pillow,” Elijah chuckled as he reached down to pat the dog …
After Samson came a German Shepherd named Tanner. Born and raised in the country, Tanner took the new fence around our yard as a personal insult. On more than one occasion when we left him in the back yard while we ran errands, we came home to a joyful dog who had spent the entire time we were away loosening one of the fence boards, loosening one just enough to get free so he could wait on the front porch to welcome us home.
I haven’t owned a dog for a while, and every time one of my fictional furry friends does something adorable, I find myself dog-dreaming. I have owned and loved Sundance and Micah (both shelties), Samson, and Tanner. And now dogless, late at night, I find myself dog-dreaming via the internet.
Have you shared your life and heart with a dog? What did the pup do that made you laugh?
Here’s an Amazon link for Stephanie’s book! A Captain for Laura Rose
And here’s the scoop on A Captain for Laura Rose
Laura Rose White’s late father taught her everything he knew about piloting a Missouri River steamboat. He even named their boat after her. Despite that, it seems that Laura will forever be a “cub pilot” to her brother Joe, because in 1867, a female riverboat captain is unheard of. The only way for her to overcome the nearly insurmountable odds is with the help of her brother’s disreputable friend Finn MacKnight, a skilled pilot with a terrible reputation. Laura loathes having to accept MacKnight as her co-pilot, especially when she learns she must also provide passage for his two sisters. Straight-laced Fiona has a fear of water, and unpredictable Adele seems much too comfortable with the idea of life in the rough and tumble environment of the untamed river and the men who ply it. Though they are thrown together by necessity, this historic journey may lead Laura and the MacKnights to far more than they ever expected.
Publisher’s Weekly says: “Whitson weaves a fine thread of faith into each relationship and plot development,
giving readers a view of maturity through trials … a vivid portrait of life on the Missouri River … lively dialogue keeps the story’s pace clipping along … strong secondary characters … contribute to subplots that add depth.
Romantic Times says: “ … all the makings of a great romance: love, intrigue, mystery, and unforgettable characters.” 4 Stars
If you’d like to check it out: http://tinyurl.com/pjuphny
And to learn more about my books, www.stephaniewhitson.com