June 16, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Brenda Whiteside

What a pleasure being on Sarah’s stylish, entertaining blog. Thank you, Sarah for having me.

The other day a friend told me about a book she thoroughly enjoyed reading that was written from a dog’s point of view. My dog, Rusty, could write a good “Day in the Life Of” book. He helps put up paper products when I get home from Costco, and on laundry day he helps me carry the dirty clothes down to the basement. He’s very busy keeping the mailman, FedEx and the man in brown from breaking into the house and stealing all his dog toys. He could write about his inner clock that is quite punctual and his super powers such as his hearing – when my husband turns the corner a block over, Rusty is at the window. He could write about his daydream of having a couple of three year old humans around that would always have something good to lick off their faces. No doubt he could write a best seller if he could get the paw thing right on the keyboard or, better yet, dictate to me. I could get a byline.

All my books have an animal in the storyline. (Hmm…wonder if all animal books have a human in the storyline.) A useless, but loved, old hound makes a walk-on appearance in my YA historical romance. In my contemporary western romance, which I am in the throes of editing for publication, a sixteen pound Siamese cat named Kirby causes a little havoc. Chip the chipmunk has an important supporting role in Sleeping with the Lights On. Sandra has suspicions Chip may be a Chipette the way the little critter takes to Carson, the handsome cowboy crooner.

A dog, a cat and a chipmunk – maybe next I’ll have a talking cockatoo with secrets.

I’d love to hear your animal stories, pets or otherwise (I had a mouse recently cause me an AC repair when the little devil chewed the wiring running into the unit). Leave me a comment and I’ll draw one of you to receive a print copy of my book, Sleeping with the Lights On. Don’t forget to include your email so I can reach you.

After two failed marriages and countless relationships, Sandra Holiday thinks she’s met the man to end her years of less than perfect choices; choices that not only derailed her travel-related career plans but also left her single and broke.

Carson Holiday, a Las Vegas country crooner with swoon-inducing good looks, spent his adult life pursuing a recording contract and love, never holding on to either. After eighteen years, he drops back into Sandra’s life, reigniting an attraction he can’t deny.

When Carson reappears, Sandra must choose again. Only this time, nothing’s as it seems. A secret admirer, a redheaded stalker, and an eccentric millionaire throw her on a dangerous path, with Carson her only truth.

As life confronts her with yet another turning point, will her decisions find her eternally sleeping with the lights on – or will she finally discover a way to turn them off?


“When do you go back to Vegas?”

Carson hesitated. “In a day or two.”

“You sound rather vague.” And still allusive. What could be the big secret about this charity gig he couldn’t divulge?

“I have a few more things to find out. I’ll be out of here as soon as I get all my questions answered. It’s complicated.”

We’d reached the edge of my apartment complex.

“Carson, honestly, how complicated can a gig—”

Pulling me around, we stopped, facing each other. My head said run like hell, but my legs wouldn’t respond. Mushy from wine or Carson and moonlight. I couldn’t be sure which.

“Have lunch with me tomorrow, darlin’.” His fingers slipped from mine to gingerly brush along my forearm. The moonlight caught in his eyes. “Another hour of your time with a long lost friend?”

“Yes.” My voice went all husky and come-hither. I wanted to kick myself for being so easy.

“Good.” Grasping my hand again, he led me toward the door. “What’s the address of your office?”

I struggled to shake off the moon shadows and to remember where I worked. Once inside the building, I took a scrap of paper from my purse and wrote the address.

“I’ll walk you to your door and say goodnight,” he said, tucking the scrap of paper in his pocket. “Unless you want to have me in for a goodnight drink.”

I didn’t answer. If he’d only known the extent of my uncertainty at that moment, a little persistence might have made me cave.

“Okay, then—” His mouth gaped.

I followed his bewildered look to my apartment door.


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Sarah Grimm said...


Thanks for being my guest today! I'll be back later in the day to spend some time with you and our guests.

AJ Nuest said...

Good Morning, Brenda! Great post. I'm like you, my friend. An animal in every story. Dogs, horses and cats are among my first, but after reading your post, I think I'm going to start including animals of a more exotic nature. Sorry to hear about the AC/mouse incident. We get a lot of that around here too.

Emma Lai said...

Hi Sarah and Brenda. Fun post. I don't use animals in my story. I think it's because that's one more personality I have to keep track of--because we all know animals are characters.

I had a klepto dog. She could easily be written into a story. She steals something from the heroine and delivers it to the hero. When the hero and heroine have fights, she steals something from each of them and delivers it to the other. She was also an expert at sniffing out crazy, so bad guys beware!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Good morning.

AJ, horses I haven't used but am itching to write a western so will have to at least have them providing transportation.

Emma, if you haven't used your klepto dog, I want to! Or I could combine the cockatoo keeping secrets who is also a klepto.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Hi Brenda, great post! Your dog sounds hilarious. While I don't (or haven't yet) put animals in my story, I have a 3-year-old dog we rescued from the shelter who has made it her job to protect her best doggie friend from any and all things scary (and since the doggie friend is pretty much afraid of everything, that's a big job). The funny part of this is that my dog is 25 pounds; the doggie friend is 90 pounds. You can't imagine how funny is to see him trying to hide behind her as we walk them around our lake!

Love the sound of your book and I wish you great success!

Amy said...

Great post! I love animals too. Except for the mouse who chewed through the water hose to my dishwasher. Got a brand new kitchen floor (disaster from the word go) and a new dishwasher (still doesn't work as good as the last one)! But I have a large Siamese (mix) of my own--who even at 17y not only catches the mice but eats them whole! Ewww...At his prime Cheng weighed 22 pounds!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Jennifer, love your story. Rusty looks fierce and I have seen him turn on the watchdog mode, but he's also ducked behind me when a big mean dog comes at him.

Amy, oh my! That is a big cat. And a Siamese like in my story. Aren't those mice pesky? Your damage exceeded mine. Thanks for coming by.

Debra St. John said...

Hi Sarah and Brenda,

Although I don't usually use animals in my books, I did in one. At the end of the story the hero presented the heroine with a black lab puppy...his way of showing he'd been listening to her wishes and dreams all along.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Oh, Debra. Nice touch. Love a hero that listens. :-)

Jannine Gallant said...

I include a dog in every story I write. All are different breeds, and all have lots of personality. I probably spend WAY too much time thinking about what sort of dog will be the right fit for my stories. LOL Great post!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Jannine, I bet your fans love to see what dog will appear in the next book! Thanks for commenting.

JeanMP said...

Great post, I enjoy reading stories that include animals in them somehow. My old dog who is gone now, was a big doofus, one day he discovered a mouse in the barbecue, so when I opened the lid, the mouse popped out ran over his head, jumped off his back, he never noticed, he kept looking for it for quite awhile.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Brenda Whiteside said...

Jean, that is hilarious. I bet he was a very loveable doggie.

Emma Lai said...

@Brenda Whiteside Feel free to borrow the klepto dog. She deserves a happy story.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I'm tucking the idea away, Emma!

Cara Marsi said...

We love our four-legged family members. Your Rusty sounds like a terrific dog. I usually have a cat in all my stories. I love my kitties.

Please don't get me started on mice. We have a pesky one now that is causing havoc. Where is our cat, you may ask, while this mousie is running around at night. Killer, our fat black cat, is upstairs sleeping with us, oblivious to the morsel who is downstairs.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Killer? I got a good chuckle out of that. I like cats, too. But didn't get another when the last one died.