We have a treat for you…an exclusive set of EXCERPTS—one each from the three novellas that make up Dog Tags For Christmas! Our special gift to all of you!
Just think! If you pre-order it today? It will be in your email box tomorrow morning!
DOG TAGS FOR CHRISTMAS by Lindsay McKenna, JM Madden and KaLyn Cooper coming 10.6.16.
Read these EXCERPTS and see if you don’t run over and pre-order it 😉
Ex-Army Ranger Nick Conway and his WMD dog, Snowflake, come home. When Holly and Lady show up unexpectedly in his life, he finds out love provides healing and so much more…
Two veterans—one human, one canine—have returned to Montana to recover from the traumas of war. Former Army Ranger Nick Conway depended on his WMD dog Snowflake to help him navigate IEDs on the battlefield. Now he needs his best friend to help him cope with his PTSD and acclimate to civilian life. When he meets Holly McGuire and agrees to help her deliver meals to the elderly, her inner light calls to him, but his demons hold him back from giving in to his attraction. But Snowflake takes an immediate shine to the kindhearted Holly—and he has never led Nick down the wrong path.
SOMETIMES A CHRISTMAS GIFT DOESN’T COME IN A PACKAGE….IT COMES ON FOUR LEGS….
Snow was coming down hard in town as Nick drove the van toward the shut-in area at four p.m. The smell of spaghetti and buttered, garlic toast filled the vehicle. Myra had made sweet potato cupcakes for dessert, and he stole one before they left the charity facility. It was nearly Thanksgiving and he was looking forward to taking Holly to his folks place for the afternoon and evening. The wipers were rhythmically swinging back and forth, throwing off the heavy, wet flakes. The roads were salted, but still Nick was wary of invisible black ice. In the late afternoon the heat of the day was gone and things got slick real fast.
“Oh dear,” Holly called, sitting up, pointing out her passenger-side window. “Look, Nick!”
Snowflake, who stood between them, heard the pitch of her voice change, and whined.
Nick slowed and pulled over to the curb, then looked to where she was pointing. There was a yellow Labrador moving awkwardly through the belly deep snow between two brick buildings. Her ribs were prominent even though she had a short, thick winter coat on. “She’s starving,” he muttered, scowling. “It looks like a female Lab. She’s too dainty looking to be a male.”
“She’s terribly thin,” Holly said, worried. “I wonder if someone dumped her—they do that all the time around here. I hate it.”
“No collar on her, either,” Nick agreed. The Lab was about a hundred-feet down the alley between the two buildings, slugging it out with the snow. Nick heard Holly make a little sound of urgency. She had such a big heart, and she hated to see animals or humans suffer.
Nick knew she wanted to get out and try to call the dog over to her. From the looks of the animal, her light-brown eyes wild looking, tongue lolling out of her mouth, her fur matted, he intuitively knew this was a dog that had been left behind a long time ago to fend for herself.
“She’s feral,” he warned Holly. She turned, her huge, blue eyes filled with tears. “She won’t let us near her. I’m sorry.” And he was. It wouldn’t be the first dog dumped here that Nick had found, or that Holly had come upon around the building of one of her shut-ins. They had a no-kill shelter here, and this Lab would have had a warm place to stay, food, and care if they could befriend her.
“Can’t we do something for her, Nick?”
Flynn and Willow find themselves fighting for more than just the abused Pit-Bulls they find. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get everyone home safely… or maybe a helpful nudge from an old partner.
Willow sighed when she heard Sue’s voice call out that Flynn had just pulled in. They had just gotten caught up on their schedule and now whatever animal he’d brought in would probably throw them off again. Well, shoot.
Running her hand over her belly she smoothed her shirt. It didn’t matter what she looked like right now—considering he was probably bringing in an emergency—but she always wanted to be pretty for him, and six months after having the baby it was a little harder. Between running around like a chicken with her head cut off keeping her business running, taking care of little Raven and trying to be a present wife, she was run ragged.
Automatically, she smiled when Flynn walked in the door. Her big, handsome husband still had his shades on, but when he looked at her his hard, bearded face softened into a smile. That small connection had only gotten stronger in the time they’d been together, and she truly cherished it. Maya, the mixed breed German Shepherd mutt paced around him, prancing anxiously.
Willow’s gaze fell to the towel wrapped bundle in his arms. A black nose peeked out of the folds.
“You brought me a raccoon?” she asked incredulously.
Flynn flashed her an even broader grin and leaned over for a quick kiss. Willow wanted to linger but forced herself to pull away. She looked down at the animal.
Flynn turned the bundle until he could show her the back end. “Looks like he’s been hit by a car, maybe. I chased him across three lanes of traffic before I could catch him.”
She scowled at the knowledge. “You be careful doing that. Denver drivers can be crazy.”
Reaching out she probed at the hanging back leg. “Yes. I would say you’re right. I’ll dose him up with pain medication and splint this leg, then we can call the wildlife rehab center to come pick him up. They have their own vet that specializes in exotic animals. He doesn’t look very old so he should recover fairly well as long as he gets this fixed soon.”
Flynn nodded, manipulating the animal as she needed him moved. When she glanced up she realized he’d been staring at her for several long moments.
“What?” she asked defensively.
He’d shoved his shades to the top of his head. His dark gray eyes were lit with wonderful softness. “Nothing. I’m just peeking down your shirt. I can’t believe how beautiful you are.”
Willow grinned up at the love of her life. A year ago she never would have imagined she could be in this position, but things had seriously changed. Flynn had gone from a frequent client in her veterinarian’s office bringing her strays to her hero then her soul mate. He was everything she could imagine having. And he’d already become the amazing father she had imagined him to be.
The raccoon fought a little, trying to get free, but Flynn restrained him like a professional, biceps pumped. Willow worked quickly, giving the animal a light sedation before lightly splinting the back leg. Then she let Flynn carry the animal to one of the portable carriers in back.
Tanner Hill is better at communicating with animals than women. That might be why he hasn’t had a second date in over two years. He’s also been extremely busy with his kennel that has become the premier training facility, specializing in supplying dogs to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Then again, there is this psychologist he can’t get out of his head, or his heart.
Dr. Bailey Conrad would never allow the loss of half her right leg to an IED in Iraq to stop her. Every day at the VA hospital, she sees patients who have lost so much more to the war effort. It’s her goal in life to help as many vets as possible to find a ‘new normal’, because she knows firsthand, it’s the internal scars that can be the most difficult to heal.
Case stepped forward. “I’m almost finished, and I’ll be leaving in a minute.” He gave Bailey that lady-killer smile of his. “I’m sure she can wait another minute for me to escort her to her car.”
Tanner insisted, “No, I can walk my friend to her car.”
Friend. So she was definitely in the friend zone.
Bailey smiled inwardly as she watched the interaction of the two alphas, snarling at each other.
Friends, huh. Tanner was acting very possessive for only being friends. She slid her arms down her winter coat sleeves and zipped it up. She could make it to her car on her own. The snow wasn’t that bad.
Before she made the first step onto the sidewalk, Tanner was at her side. He grabbed her hand and slid it into the crook of his elbow. “You’re going the New Year’s party with me.”
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