featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

#FASHION--A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERGARMENTS BY AUTHOR ROSEMARY MORRIS

British historical romance author Rosemary Morris stops by today to give us a fashion lesson on undergarments. Learn more about Rosemary and her books at her website and blog.

A Brief History of Underclothes
It would be unrealistic to deny that, throughout history, as well as having a practical purpose, feminine undergarments have had an erotic effect. Once, even the glimpse of a stockinged ankle titillated. Modern fashion, which is more practical and comfortable, has removed feminine mystique.

In the past, female underclothing was the focus of sensual curiosity. In the prudish Victorian era, mention of trousers or drawers was considered unseemly. It reminded people that men and women have legs.

In the medieval period women wore smocks or, as the Normans called them, chemises. They were pulled over the head and were either plain or embroidered.

In “The Miller’s Wife” from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, there are the following lines:

“…brooded all before
And eke behind on her colere about
Of cole-blak silke, within and eke without.”

Women also appropriated the term petticoat, little coat, from the word coat used by men in the Middle Ages.

The evolution of underclothes is interesting. After the early Saxon period, tunics concealed men’s breeches, which were subsequently called drawers. Centuries later, men wore knee-length breeches then close-fitting ankle length pantaloons. Next, they wore trousers and, more recently, shorts and jeans beneath which minimal undergarments are worn.

By the Victorian era, women wore a linen chemise and petticoat, sometimes attached to a bodice. In early 19th century England, drawers were considered scandalous until Princess Charlotte, heiress to the throne, wore them. By the 1830’s they were commonplace. Also, the French custom of wearing pantaloons when riding side saddle had become popular. After the Regency era, small waists were admired. Tight lacing was necessary to be fashionable. To achieve it, corset makers used steel, whalebone and buckram, which compressed women’s figures so much that they couldn’t move naturally and suffered from stomach aches and other pain.

Crinolines were superseded by bustles, until, in the late 20th century underwear evolved into the scanty garments worn today, although bras are used to emphasis the bust to enhance the figure.
 
Famous names have been used to describe female underwear. From American Mrs. Bloomer came the term bloomers. Some of many other terms are undies, cami-bocks, cami-knicks, knick-knacks, frillies, bras, slips and thongs, all of which have erotic connotations.

The main purpose of underclothes has been warmth. Men’s shapes have remained similar throughout the centuries, but women’s have been altered by artificial means. These included bustles, corsets, crinolines, farthingales, hoops and stays, all of which gave rise to speculation about what females wore beneath their outer garments. One can imagine a curious bridegroom eagerly anticipating a revelation.

Today, people bathe frequently. Their clothes are dry-cleaned or washed. This means few underclothes are necessary to keep outerwear clean. It was not so, for example, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, when splendid clothes made in costly fabrics needed protection from unwashed bodies.
 
Towards the end of the 18th century, the Macaronis stressed the importance of personal cleanliness. In the first part of 19th century John Wesley preached ‘cleanliness is next to Godliness’. Beau Brummel, the famous Regency dandy, agreed, also advocated cleanliness. In Queen Victoria’s reign, men and women changed their underwear frequently. To move on in time, between the 1st and 2nd World Wars fewer underclothes were worn. Which brings me to the present day. Mini-skirts, shorts, sleeveless tops with shoestring straps, bikinis and extremes of fashion leave little to the imagination.

In the past, deliberate revelations of underwear, such as the edge of a chemise or the hem of a petticoat, suggested female disrobing was erotic. At other times, the bodice looked like a corset. This implied a woman had dressed immodestly. For at least six centuries, women wore corsets to emphasise the bust and slim the waist. Laced too tightly they compromised health.

Men’s shirts may also be regarded as underwear. They divided the working classes from upper classes. In Henry VIII’s reign, shirts were revealed by slashing the jerkin; in the 18th century the top of the waistcoat was unbuttoned to reveal part of the shirt. Spotless white shirts, frilled or plain, divided the social classes.

Linen, the oldest material used for underwear; cotton, regarded as inferior to linen; wool and flannelette have been used for undergarments. Only well to-do people could afford silk until the last part of the Victorian era. More recently artificial fabrics, such as nylon are popular and can be washed and dried as often as we bathe. We no longer stink as our ancestors did.

Far Beyond Rubies
Set in 1706 during Queen Anne Stuart’s reign, Far Beyond Rubies begins when William, Baron Kemp, Juliana’s half-brother claims she and her young sister, Henrietta, are bastards. Spirited Juliana is determined to prove the allegation is false, and that she is the rightful heiress to Riverside, a great estate.

On his way to deliver a letter to William, Gervaise Seymour sees Juliana for the first time on the grounds of her family estate. The sight of her draws him back to India. When “her form changed to one he knew intimately – but not in this lifetime,” Gervaise knows he would do everything in his power to protect her.

Although Juliana and Gervaise are attracted to each other, they have not been formally introduced and assume they will never meet again. However, when Juliana flees from home, and is on her way to London, she encounters quixotic Gervaise at an inn. Circumstances force Juliana to accept his kind help. After Juliana’s life becomes irrevocably tangled with his, she discovers all is not as it seems. Yet, she cannot believe ill of him for, despite his exotic background, he behaves with scrupulous propriety while trying to help her find evidence to prove she and her sister are legitimate.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

FAVORITES, FAILURES & FRUSTRATIONS--GUEST AUTHOR MARILYN MEREDITH

Frustration!
Nearing forty published books, frequent guest mystery author Marilyn Meredith is the epitome of perseverance. Learn why today as she tells us about her frustrating publishing journey. Learn more about Marilyn and her books at her website and blog.

FRUSTRATIONS

My whole publishing career has been fraught with frustrations.

After nearly thirty rejections, my first book was published by a major publisher way back in 1982. I thought I had it made. Surely my second book would be accepted by the same publisher. Nope, the editor who loved that first book moved on; her replacement wasn’t interested.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not exactly sure of the order of the next events unfolded, but I’ll just list them.

That second book was picked up by a publisher who turned out a beautiful book—the problem was that the publisher decided he could make more money by gambling away what should have been his authors’ royalties, and he landed in jail.

Way back in the early part of my career and before the Internet, I had a book accepted by a publisher, but he wanted it camera-ready. My computer wasn’t up to that, so a friend who owned a computer shop let me use one of his computers between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. when he opened. I slaved over that book and finally sent it in. I didn’t hear for ages, so called, and this is what his wife said, “Oh, my dear, my husband passed away, and I’ve no plans to continue his publishing business.”

I found the publisher for my Rocky Bluff P.D. series in the Writer’s Digest Market Place—signed the contract and found out that he was only going to publish e-books. This was long before anyone had a clue what an e-book was and if someone could figure out how to buy it, it had to be read on a computer. That didn’t work.

Then I found another publisher for the first two books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Unfortunately, he didn’t keep track of nor pay royalties. I took back my rights and went with a highly recommended publisher, who did the next two books, and then decided she didn’t want to be a publisher anymore.

Yes, I did find another publisher for that series and everything went well for many more books before disaster struck. The publisher had a series of strokes, and all operations ceased. (She was a good friend, and it’s been hard on many levels.) I am still dealing with the aftermath, though have found another publisher for the series.

With my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, the first four books were published as mass-market paperbacks—and this publisher, another good friend, passed away. The series was picked up by another great publisher, but several family tragedies made her close the publishing house. Now the series is being published by Mundania Press, and I’m happy.

Looking back, despite all that happened, I’m glad I never gave up.

A Cold Death

Deputy Tempe Crabtree is the resident deputy of the mountain community of Bear Creek and its nearby surroundings in the Southern Sierra.

A horrific snow storm traps Tempe and her husband in the lodge of a summer camp along with the caretakers and seven most unpleasant people--one becomes a murder victim.

And to complicate matters, the ghost of a former camper makes contact with Tempe.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#COOKING WITH CLORIS--APRICOT PISTACHIO MUFFINS

In the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, Anastasia rarely has time for breakfast before she leaves the house for work each morning. Luckily, her BFF, food editor Cloris McWerther, has her back, providing sugar and carb-laden confections on a regular basis.

In Scrapbook of Murder, the latest book in the series, Cloris and her husband are confronted with a mystery that could result in their financial ruin. We all deal with stress in different ways. Anastasia has been known to roll up the windows in her car and scream. Cloris resorts to marathon all-night stress baking. Here’s one of her confections.

Apricot Pistachio Muffins

Yield: 1 dozen muffins

Ingredients:
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup pistachio pieces (unsalted)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dice apricots and place in warm water to rehydrate for half an hour.

Grease muffin tins or use cupcake papers.

Place liquid ingredients and egg in blender and mix together at low speed. Fold in apricots and pistachios. 

In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. 

Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until evenly blended. 

Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.

Bake approximately 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5-10 minutes before removing muffins from pan.

Scrapbook of Murder
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 6

Crafts and murder don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but normal deserted craft editor Anastasia Pollack’s world nearly a year ago. Now, tripping over dead bodies seems to be the “new normal” for this reluctant amateur sleuth.

When the daughter of a murdered neighbor asks Anastasia to create a family scrapbook from old photographs and memorabilia discovered in a battered suitcase, she agrees—not only out of friendship but also from a sense of guilt over the older woman’s death. However, as Anastasia begins sorting through the contents of the suitcase, she discovers a letter revealing a fifty-year-old secret, one that unearths a long-buried scandal and unleashes a killer. Suddenly Anastasia is back in sleuthing mode as she races to prevent a suitcase full of trouble from leading to more deaths.

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Nook 

Monday, October 16, 2017

SLEUTHING WOMEN ON TOUR

The authors of Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas are embarking on a Great Escapes blog tour over the next two weeks. Join us at these sites for a chance to win one of several copies of Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas we’ll be giving away through a Rafflecopter drawing. Enter the drawing at each site to increase your chances of winning!

October 16 – Celticlady'sReviews – Spotlight 

October 17 – Teresa Trent AuthorBlog – Character Interview from author Vinnie Hansen 

October 18 – Laura'sInterests – review and character guest post from author Rita Lakin 


October 20 – Escape WithDollycas Into A Good Book – Author interview with Jonnie Jacobs 

October 21 - Lisa Ks BookReviews – review and author interview with Allison Brennan 

October 22 – Queen of All She Reads – Spotlight

October 23 – Nadaness InMotion – Character guest post from author Mary Kennedy 

October 24 – Island Confidential – Character interview from author Heather Haven 

October 25 – Readeropolis – Interview with author Camille Minichino

October 26 – Readsalot – Spotlight

October 26 – Valerie's Musings – Interview with author Judy Alter  

October 27 – BackPorchervations – Review 

October 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review 

October 29A HollandReads – Character guest post from author Lois Winston 

October 29 –The Book's theThing – Guest post from author Lois Winston 

October 30 – Socrates'Book Reviews – Spotlight 

October 31 – Jane Reads – Review and guest post from author Maggie Toussaint  


Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas is a collection of ten mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by eleven critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novella is a tie-in to an established multi-book series—a total of nearly 700 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, cozy, and female P.I. mysteries.

Frosted, A Moreno & Hart Novella by Allison Brennan & Laura Griffin—Three years ago LAPD Detective Scarlet Moreno and rookie cop Krista Hart were nearly killed during a botched sting operation. Now, they’re best friends and partners in the Orange County private investigation firm of Moreno & Hart. But their routine assignments are anything but safe.

Crewel Intentions, An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Novella by Lois Winston—Craft editor Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate call for help from former fashion editor Erica Milano, now in Witness Protection. Erica is being stalked and is afraid to notify the authorities. She once saved Anastasia’s life. Will Anastasia be able to return the favor before the stalker strikes? 

No Quarter, A Cleopatra Jones Novella by Maggie Toussaint—Amnesia, the doctor says when accountant Cleopatra Jones wakes in a distant hospital. Hours later most of her memory returns. Detective Jack Martinez visits Cleo’s nearby wealthy client, only she’s dead and broke. To Cleo’s horror, she’s a murder suspect. Will she totally recover her memory before the killer returns?

What the Widow Knew, A Kali-O’Brien Novella by Jonnie Jacobs—Attorney Kali O’Brien takes on the case of a young woman accused of murdering her much older, very rich husband. As evidence mounts and other possible suspects are eliminated, Kali’s doubts about her client’s innocence grow. Meanwhile, Kali is also grappling with her feelings for longtime boyfriend Detective Bryce Keating.
The Magnesium Murder, A Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—While freelance embalmer Anastasia Brent prepares the body of a young bride-to-be, she learns the girl’s mother suspects foul play. Once again Anastasia is pressed into service as a sleuth, following a trail of clues in search of a murderer and justice.

Honeymoons Can Be Murder, A Lee Alvarez Novella by Heather Haven— When PI Lee Alvarez goes on her honeymoon with bridegroom, Gurn Hanson, they find a dead woman practically on their doorstep. Kauai breezes may be soft, but there are gale force winds of accusation against Gurn. Will Lee find the real killer before her new hubby gets sent to a Hawaiian hoosegow?

Smoked Meat, A Carol Sabala Novella by Vinnie Hansen—Baker and wannabe sleuth Carol Sabala visits her mother for a family Christmas get-together. It’s murder, in more ways than one.

A Deadly Fundraiser, A Talk Radio Novella by Mary Kennedy—When radio talk show host Dr. Maggie Walsh and her pals start digging up clues in a scavenger hunt at a glitzy fundraiser, the game suddenly turns deadly. Will Maggie and her team be able to crack the case and solve the crime?
The Color of Fear, A Kelly O’Connell Novella by Judy Alter—Kelly receives a written kidnap threat targeting her infant daughter, Gracie. Kelly’s assistant Keisha narrates as Kelly and her family plot their precautions, but as time passes and the threat still looms, fear takes a toll on the family…and on Keisha.

Papa’s Ghost, A Gladdy Gold Mystery Novella by Rita Lakin—Gladdy and her girls accept an assignment iat a famous resort in Key West, thinking it will combine business with pleasure. Once they arrive, Gladdy suspects something is strange. Not only is their client an unexpected shock, but so is the case of murder they are expected to solve. Can they succeed when a whole city is against them? 

Friday, October 13, 2017

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY--GUEST AUTHOR JULIE MULHERN

Mystery author Julie Mulhern stops by for an interview today. Learn more about her and her books at her website

When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was eleven, which was a long time ago.

How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
I was very lucky. I got serious about writing in the summer of 2012. By serious, I mean I took the time to learn the craft of writing and story structure. In 2013, I signed with an agent. In 2014, I sold my first book.

Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I am traditionally published.

Where do you write?
I write at my kitchen table in the morning before my family wakes up.

Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Silence is golden. The only sounds I hear when I write are the dog snoring, the birds outside, and the hum of the coffee maker.

How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Occasionally, a scene in the Country Club Murders will be inspired from something that happened in real life (the mouse in the apple fritters in Clouds in my Coffee is an example) but I make up the murders and the plots. As for characters, someone wiser than I once said that writers create heroes or heroines they’d like to be. I think that’s true about Ellison and me.

Describe your process for naming your character?
My heroine Ellison Russell got her name because she needed to sound like she belonged at a country club and because I’ve always loved the name Ellison.

Real settings or fictional towns?
My books are set in Kansas City. Many of the places Ellison visits are real. Her country club is an amalgamation of three or four clubs in the area.

What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Ellison finds bodies like other people find pennies in parking lots. Often. It’s a problem for her.

What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Me? Quirky?

Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
Trying a new colorist without a solid recommendation. My hair had spots. I looked like a leopard (a blonde leopard). Lesson learned – never cheat on your stylist.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Drivers who turn on their left-turn signal AFTER the light has turned green.

You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
Coffee, books, and wine.

What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
Bank teller.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Is this where I go all literary and say something impressive like War and Peace or Madame Bovary? They’re undoubtedly ART and I’ve read them both.  But, to me, the purpose of books is to entertain. I want to laugh and smile, maybe wipe a tear. When I read the last page, I want to feel uplifted. The books I re-read? Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and The Prince of Tides.

Ocean or mountains?
Mountains

City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
City girl. There are large bugs in the country. And snakes. I hate snakes. Lord, do I hate snakes.

What’s on the horizon for you?
Right now I’m writing a short story and working on the next Country Club Murder. Book seven (still noodling on the title) will be out next summer.

Cold as Ice
Ellison Russell’s life resembles a rollercoaster ride. And rollercoasters make her ill. Her daughter Grace has a crush on a boy Ellison doesn’t trust, and she’s taken to hosting wild parties when Ellison goes out for the evening. Worse, the bank which represents Grace’s inheritance from her father may be in trouble.

When a meeting with the chef at the country club leads to the discovery of a body, Ellison can’t afford cold feet. She must save the bank, find the killer, and convince Grace (and herself) that powerful women don’t need men to rescue them.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

FAVORITES, FAILURES & FRUSTRATIONS WITH AUTHOR CATHERINE MEDE

Author Catherine Mede, right before her fall
Speculative fiction romance author Catherine Mede, is a mother, writer, gardener, proofreader, crafter, whip maker, yoga practiser, walker, cycler, lover of life and self. Today she joins us to speak about Failure. Learn more about her and her books at her website.

Failure
I love getting out and exploring, and in 2014, my girlfriend Deborah and I decided to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. The track wove through cool native forests, beside quiet gurgling streams and along golden beaches. Three days of listening to birds calling and encouraging us on as we trekked from Totaranui down to Marahau with overnights at Awaroa Hut, Bark Bay and Anchorage. Deborah, knowing I’m a writer, commented as we looked down over Awaroa how beautiful it was, and would inspire a story. As we tramped, I worked it out in my head and by the time we got to the Bark Bay hut, I had a fully formed story in my head – Running Away.

On our last day, because of a shortcut (and a fast incoming tide), we made it to Anchorage fairly quickly, so we explored along the peninsula. It was a beautiful spot, and signs told us about Maori (indigenous New Zealanders) occupation of the area. We decided to do what most people had done, and explore a little further, beyond the fence out to Pitt Head. We clambered down a goat track, along a small narrow strip of land and scrambled up a clay bank, through some dense undergrowth, and came out on top of this hill to a beautiful view of the bay. 

The sun sparkled off the sea. The weather was uncharacteristically warm for the time of year we were tramping (May, Fall in New Zealand). We sat and admired the view, enjoying the peace and tranquility the spot provided. We took some photographs and then headed back. 

As we got to the clay bank, I lost my footing and slid. It’s a rather steep bank and there were no toeholds to stop. I flung my arms out sideways and managed to grab hold of a branch with my right hand and halt my fall. My girlfriend clambered down behind me and we inspected me for damage. A nasty cut on my left arm looked a little suspicious, so we covered it with a piece of tissue and clambered back out to the initial track. We sat on the bench and looked again at my cut. It was about an inch long, and the skin had been pushed up underneath the cut. It was horrific to look at, so when we got back to our cabin, my girlfriend dressed it and I took painkillers. 

Both my girlfriend and the DOC ranger wanted me to take the boat out, but I had a point to prove. I took painkillers for the remaining 12 hours we were there, and as we were tramping out, we got my Mum to ring the Doctor and make an appointment. 

It required four stitches, and I was told off for not coming out immediately, but I knew I wasn’t going to die from a small cut.

As it turned out, there was a piece of tree still in the wound, which worked it way up to the surface 3 months later. But that is another gory story.

If I had stuck to the track, I wouldn’t have this scar on my arm, but I didn’t. And now I have a permanent reminder of an adventure of a lifetime.

Running Away
Sometimes the world has a way of making you stop.

Larissa Green has had a rough run. She ditched her boyfriend, quit her job, and lost her flat all in 24-hour period. She does what she does best. Larissa turns on her heels to escape her life by doing something totally out of character – going for a tramp.

Harley Orion is an English action movie star, in a toxic relationship. When his girlfriend accuses him of a serious offence, Harley freaks out and runs away to New Zealand until the storm blows over. Anonymity is assured when you stay at an isolated Lodge in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.

A fateful morning pushes the two together, and they can’t deny the chemistry between them, but both are cautious. Harley has been stung by women, Larissa used by men. However they can’t stop what happens between them.

Until the true nature of Harley’s visit to New Zealand is revealed, destroying Larissa’s hope of ending up with her dream man.

But life has a way of making things happen, that you least expect.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

HEALTHY LIVING--AUTHOR CAROL VAN NATTA AND SCI-FI CHARITY ANTHOLOGY

Carol Van Natta is a science fiction and fantasy author who writes the Central Galactic Concordance space opera series, as well as paranormal romance. She shares her Fort Collins, Colorado home with a resident mad scientist and various cats. They all want to explore the galaxy. Learn more about Carol and her books at her website

Pets in Space + Dogs for Heroes = Win-Win

Earlier this year, twelve authors came together to write stories for Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, a science fiction romance anthology. A strong motivation for me to participate was the chance to support a fabulous charity with 10% of the first month’s sales. Hero-Dogs.org improves quality of life for U.S. veterans and helps them regain independence by raising, training, and placing service dogs and other highly skilled canines, free of charge, with lifetime support of the partnerships. And when we finally manage to explore the stars, of course we’ll take pets. I may have gotten carried away in the number of pets I included in “Pet Trade,” my contribution to the anthology, but I couldn’t pick just one.

Authors Veronica Scott and Pauline B. Jones organized the anthology. They thought it would be fun to mix sci-fi romance and heroic pets and to see what different authors would come up with using the same theme. They agreed they wanted to donate to a charity that helped animals and veterans. Hero Dogs was the perfect fit for the group, with their excellent track record of supplying disabled veterans with wonderfully trained service dogs. I begged shamelessly asked politely to be allowed to join the party.

I asked the other authors as to why this subject and why this charity. Author Cara Bristol said, “Everyone has or has had a pet at one point in their lives. If we were going to travel into space, of course, we'd want to take our furry companions with us. So, to me, sci-fi romance and pets was a fun blend. Besides relating to pets, we can relate to heroes. These are the men and women who gave their all for their country. Supporting Hero-Dogs is a great way to give back to the heroes who need our help now.”

Veteran and current jet pilot Susan Grant said, “As a veteran myself, I think what Hero Dogs is doing to help veterans is so important. As a pet lover, I know the special bond between humans and animals can heal the deepest wounds. As an author, I couldn't pass up the chance to write about that special bond.”

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author S.E. Smith said, “The act of giving back is very important to me. Hero-Dogs is an organization that reminds us there are many wonderful ways to help others. As the daughter of a disabled vet, I can appreciate how much having a furry companion enhances the quality of life for those struggling with day-to-day activities.”

Jessica E. Subject said, “I have seen firsthand how therapy dogs can help people. And I think this is a great opportunity to help this charity along with some of my fellow sci-fi romance authors.” Michelle Howard added, “Hero-Dogs.org combines two things I really respect and love: our service members and dogs. It was a no-brainer to say ‘yes’ when asked to participate.”

Alexis Glynn Latner said, “I have a dear friend who suffers from PTSD, not as a result of combat but because of a horrific car accident. Her dog Rinnie arrived on the doorstep as a sickly stray, but it soon turned out that Rinnie's presence really helped my friend function well and feel OK. Subsequently, Rinnie took to PTSD service-dog training like a duck to water. That has made all the difference in the world for my friend. So I really believe in the kind of good work Hero Dogs is doing.”

Laurie Green said, “When Pauline first mentioned the pets + space idea, I immediately loved it and have been honored to be a part of both story collections. It’s inspiring to know my fictional StarDogs are helping support Hero Dogs and all the wonderful things these service animals do for our veterans. The amazing healing power of animal companions is something I believe in.”

Sabine Priestley said, “Like so many, I have friends and family that suffer from PTSD. Animals have the ability to affect our energies in ways science doesn't fully understand. When I was asked if I wanted to join, and told about Hero Dogs, ‘no’ wasn't an option. The group of authors is outstanding and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.”

Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2
The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors, brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!

10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

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