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Celebrate with me!

June first is going to be a first for me. That’s when my first women’s fiction comes out, a romance with Harlequin Heartwarming. Waiting for Sparks.

She was doing it. Actually keeping the promise she’d made to her grandfather to get a new life while he’d been ending his.

How an animal rescue series for kids began

One camping trip my husband and I and the Wonder Dog toured Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. While we were there, I spotted girls helping out in various ways. Hmmm. That’s how I came up with The S.A.V.E. Squad series. Don’t you love the covers? I do.

In the first book, Dog Daze, we meet the girls. Aneta Jasper is adopted, yet she doesn’t quite feel like she’s home forever. A basset hound puppy needs a forever home, but someone wants to make sure he doesn’t get it.

Here’s the opener for Dog Daze:

Dog Daze

“Five empty seats left. Five chances remaining for total humiliation.

Don’t pick me, don’t pick me, don’t pick me. Aneta Jasper’s plea zipped through her mind. Kind of like when Grandma zipped the two of them through traffic on the electric pink scooter. On this June Friday, the Oakton City Community Center auditorium was hot and crowded with sweaty kids her own almost-sixth-grade age.”

 In the next book, The Great Cat Caper, the girls tackle dumpster cats that everyone wants OUT of the Community Center parking lot. Vee knows how the cats feel. She feels like she doesn’t have her own place in the family anymore since her dad remarried and she now has TWIN step brothers. Here’s the opener:

The Great Cat Caper cover

“. . . Vee, pleased to be noticed, blushed and looked down. Yes, she and these kids were smarter than the rest of them. She couldn’t wait to tell her new S.A.V.E. Squad friends, Sunny, Aneta, and Esther, that Moby Perkins Elementary School Accelerated Learning Center—or the ALC—was like another planet. The girls had agreed to meet at the library today to tell each other everything about the first day of school.”

 

 

 

Then there’s Sunny in book three, Secondhand Horses. What to do with spinning, laughing Sunny who isn’t like the other S.A.V.E. Squad girls? The girls rescue a petting zoo with pocket-money and then the adventures begin with a miniature horses nobody knows what to do with. Here’s the opener:

“Sunneeeee!” her mother called from the house.

“Bounce, bounce, drop, slap, clap! Bounce, bounce, drop, slap, clap!” In rhythm with her chant, eleven-year-old Sunny slapped her bare feet on the trampoline, seat dropped, hit the trampoline deck with her fists, and while airborne, clapped resized Secondhand Horses copyher hands over her head. “Yayness! Next time, faster!” She pushed off, her breath coming in gasps. “Then—faster—then faster—”

Fridays were the best because they meant no school for the weekend. And this weekend would not be normal. It would be rocko-socko wonderful.

That leaves Esther in the final book of the series, No Ordinary Owl. Prickly, easily offended Esther who learns something terrible that will ruin everything. The girls find themselves helping two baby owls and that’s totally different!

Here’s the opener:

“Where are they? Eleven-year-old Esther Martin began to wonder if the rest of the S.A.V.E. Squad was going to show up at the community center on this rainy Saturday. But they had promised.

NoOrdinaryOwlLarge, draped dog crates sat along the stage. “We’ll be beginning our bird show in just a few minutes. I’ll be introducing you to Beverly Beake, a licensed bird educator and rehabber for wild birds.” The short, round mayor of Oakton City paused and stuck the mic closer to her mouth to whisper, “But not the little birds you’re thinking of!” She stepped off the stage.

A bird lady named Beake. Snorting with amusement, Esther snuck another quick look back toward the doors.”

 Thinking you might want to keep in touch?

If you want to move into the Middle Grade Novel Reader Connection, click here. I’ll send you–again, sporadic–writing jumps for your kids (or you), tell you how The S.A.V.E. Squad came to be, and information about when my next middle grade story will be out.

If you want to join the Women’s Fiction Reader Connection click here. While I don’t know what will show up in my life that I will want to tell you, it will related to women and reading. And probably small towns.