Welcome to my blog. Looking at your lovely books, I see that you recommend ‘Adopt, don’t Shop’. What inspired that?
I’ve always loved animals, and I enjoy supporting the efforts of rescue groups and shelters. This includes spay/neuter clinics, TNR (Trap, Neuter, & Release) to control the population of community (feral) cats, and community outreach to keep pets in homes that are struggling financially.
As a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a zoologist. But I gravitated towards creative writing instead. So I write contemporary romances that include rescue pets and information—done in a non-preachy way—about the importance of saving homeless pets vs. buying from breeders. There are quite a few purebred dogs in shelters, if that is what an adopter wants. And there are pets available to foster, in case someone want to see if a pet is a good fit with his/her family. I try to provide information to readers who might not know all of the things rescue groups do and what type of pets are available at shelters. There’s a misconception that shelters are filled with pets who are either elderly, sick, or have behavior problems.
Tell us a bit about how you support rescue groups and shelters?
One of the things I really enjoy doing is making raffle baskets for shelter fundraisers—including dog-, cat-, and wine-themed baskets. It combines two of my favorite things: supporting homeless pets and shopping for the basket goodies. 😉 I also promote shelter events on social media, along with feel-good stories about rescue pets. One of the more unusual things I’ve done was present an online author promotion workshop that raised over $1,000 for Best Friends Society—an incredible organization working to make the country’s animal shelters no-kill by 2025.
That is just fabulous, Marcia. How about sharing an excerpt from one of your stories with the scene centered around a service dog or a rescue?
I have a contemporary romance series titled, Klein’s K-9s Service Dogs. The books feature service dogs — from an epileptic seizure alert dog and an emotional support cat to a therapy dog who provides comfort to patients in hospitals and nursing homes.
The first book in the series is the award-winning Racing Hearts: Stock car legend, Tom “Torque” Tyler, faces a bleak future after a career-ending head injury. Service dog trainer, Meg Klein, and a tiny seizure response dog bring Tom hope and love.
Here’s an Excerpt
Meg pushed a brochure across the table. “We train and place therapy dogs, including seizure response dogs.”
Tom leaned back in the chair. His doctor had mentioned something about therapy dogs, but he’d stopped listening to the man after being told he might never drive again. He shoved the brochure back. “I can barely take care of myself, and you want me to take on a dog, too?”
Eyes narrowing, Meg picked up the brochure, reached across the table, and slapped it down in front of him. “Yes. Not only will a dog help you, but it would give you something to think about beside yourself.”
What the…? “Are you suggesting I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself? Lady, I had a serious brain injury and two surgeries so far to repair the damage.” Turning his head, he pointed to the shaved area of his scalp where the surgeon had cut through his skull, then stitched it up.
She took in a deep breath, then let it out slowly as if counting to ten. “I know what you’ve been through, your prognosis, your physical therapy, everything. Your parents gave me the details so I could pair you with the best therapy dog for your requirements.”
“I never should have come home to heal.” Disgusted, he glared at Meg. “Instead of being in backwater Jenkins, I could have been recuperating at a four-star medical spa in the Cayman Islands.”
“Well, you’re here, so give our therapy dog a try. What do you have to lose?”
There was a tiny, shameful part of him that was scared of the seizures, something he’d never told his doctors or his parents. Maybe having an alert dog would be okay. Suddenly too tired to argue, he caved. “One week. That’s all I’ll agree to.”
Meg’s expression brightened like he’d offered her an all-expenses-paid Hawaiian vacation. “I have your dog in my truck. I’ll bring him right in.” Before he could reply, Meg was up and headed out the front door.
Maybe having a dog around the place wouldn’t be a bad thing. His family had always had dogs—mostly Labrador and Golden Retrievers. The only reason he currently didn’t own a pet was his heavy travel schedule. Well, there was no reason to travel from racetrack to racetrack anymore.
The cottage door opened and Meg walked in carrying a small pink leather bag with mesh panels, which she set on the floor near his chair.
Confused, he asked, “You keep the dog’s food in a purse?”
Grinning, she crouched by the bag and unzipped the top. A head popped out, wispy white hair framing a long-nosed face and big ears.
Tom pointed at the animal. “What is that?”
Meg slipped her hand into the bag and lifted out something that resembled a tiny dog, but it was wearing gray sweatpants and a pink-and-gray striped shirt. “This is a Chinese crested hairless dog and a very talented service animal.”
He held up both hands. “No. No way am I keeping a mutt that looks like a rabbit had sex with a rat.”
Meg straightened to her full height and, with her fists on her hips, stared him down. “I knew you’d react like this. Stop being such a guy and listen. You’re incredibly lucky this dog was available. Not only is he a seizure response dog, he’s a seizure predicting dog, which is very rare and a skill that can’t be trained.”
He stood, towering over Meg in the hopes of intimidating her. “I won’t be seen in public with that ridiculous excuse for a canine.”
“Tell me, Tom, when was the last time you left this cottage, much less your parents’ estate?”
Okay, that shut him up. He hadn’t exactly been cruising around Jenkins since arriving back home.
Meg continued. “We don’t just train German shepherds. Some of our clients prefer medium-to-toy-sized dogs, or they live in small apartments and can’t have a large dog.”
“Well, I have plenty of room, and the estate grounds are walled in. Give me one of your bigger ones.”
Ignoring the bickering, the dog, if you could call something that was smaller than his high-top sneakers a dog, began exploring the cottage.
Meanwhile, Meg practically had steam pouring from her ears. “Right now, we only have one dog trained to aid with seizures, so you’re stuck with Baby.”
“B-baby?” Tom sputtered. “No self-respecting male mutt deserves to be called ‘Baby.'”
At the sound of his name, the canine in question trotted over and stared up—way up—at Tom. Baby sat and lifted a paw, waiting expectedly. A sucker for any type of dog, Tom bent down and shook the offered paw.
Meg smiled. “You promised to give it one week, and I’m holding you to it. I’ll get his things.”
As she left the cottage, Tom called after her. “Okay, but I’m calling him ‘Bob’ instead.” Sighing, he sat on the floor and stared into the soft, brown eyes of his tiny, temporary roommate.
Ebook Buy Links
Do you have anything for my readers, Marcia, for the holiday season? Something to cheer them up?
I’m a fan of Christmas romances, and I have two in the Klein’s K-9s Service Dogs series:
8 Hounds a Howling
Celebrity photographer “Jax” Jackson volunteers to shoot the Klein’s K-9s service dog facility’s fundraising calendar. His agenda: Convince past love and calendar coordinator Amy Walters to give him a second chance.
Producing the dog-themed “12 Days of Christmas” calendar includes dodging dive-bombing birds, tackling runaway pigs, and handling 78 dogs who’d rather play than pose. In the midst of the chaos, will the reunited lovers find their happily ever after?
Nothing But a Hound Dog
This is the third in the Klein’s K-9s series and has one of my favorite covers. The book is set in the animal shelter that provides many of the dogs trained to be service dogs:
After a night of raucous partying, country music star Ryan “Rowdy” Gates is sentenced to community service at the Jenkins Animal Shelter. To his surprise, he bonds with the caring shelter workers and with a tiny, abandoned Basset Hound puppy. Cindi Landon, shelter director and his high school crush, offers Ryan something he’s never had—a home, a family, and unconditional love.
Excerpts and buy links for these books can be found on my website.
Tell us a little something about you, Marcia.
I finaled in eleven Romance Writers of America contests before selling my first contemporary romance. A national and international ebook bestseller, I write hot, humorous romances featuring heroines you can root for, heroes to die for, and funny dogs.
Have a look at my logo: I have Chinese crested hairless dogs in all of my books, and also in my profile pic. Cute, what?
In my rather eclectic career, I have shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled nonprofit events, and had my wedding covered by People Magazine.
After years of dealing with such sexy topics as how to safely install traffic lights, I’m enjoying “researching” and plotting my novels’ steamy love scenes with my husband and hero of many years.
Here’s where you can find Marcia
Amazon Author Central page