Happy “Birthday” to my girl Lacy

Eight years ago today, we brought home this beautiful girl. She’d been abused, neglected, then dumped at the shelter where she gave birth to a litter of puppies that didn’t make it. She was two years old. She’s ten now, and we love her more every day.

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There’s something extra special about a rescue dog. They appreciate life even more because they know how good they’ve got it now! :) Lacy’s getting pretty old and gray these days, but she’s still as sassy as ever. Little known fact: she almost got to be the cover model for Unleashed, but I didn’t have quite the right shot, and her face is too white now for a re-shoot. She’s still pretty gorgeous though, right? :) (the photo below is Lacy in her younger years)

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To honor Lacy, and all rescue dogs and the people who work so hard to save them, if you make a donation to an animal rescue group today, I will gift you a copy of Unleashed. Just email me at rachellaceycontest (at) gmail (dot) com with a screenshot of your donation (personal info removed of course), and I’ll send you your choice of a signed paperback (US only please) or e-book (Kindle or Nook format).

Not sure who to donate to? I can personally recommend Carolina Boxer Rescue. They saved Lacy and rescue hundreds of boxers every year. As a volunteer run organization, every penny you donate goes directly to medical bills and other care for the dogs. And of course you can never go wrong with the ASPCA. The ASPCA works tirelessly to save homeless animals in America and bring awareness to the laws and services needed to better protect them.

Happy “Birthday” Lacy, and here’s to many more! :)

The Dogs Behind Unleashed

Whether you’ve read it yet or not, you probably know that Unleashed features several lovable furry characters. Maybe you wondered if any of them were inspired by real dogs, and yes, some of them were. That’s what this post is all about! :)

If you’ve read any of my recent interviews, you’ve probably heard me talking about the photo that inspired Unleashed. As a volunteer with my local boxer rescue group, I see a lot of emails forwarded from local shelters about dogs needing urgent rescue before they’re euthanized. When I was beginning to plot Unleashed, I got an email about a female boxer named Sadie. This photo was attached:

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It really gripped me. Her fear and despair are palpable. I copied this photo into my plotting notes for Unleashed, and the rest of the book kind of fell into place around her. I don’t know if the real Sadie found rescue, but I made sure to take good care of her fictional counterpart. :)

Then there’s Mojo. Remember him? Cara fosters him at the beginning of the book. Mojo was a real foster dog of mine, and he was as relaxed and easygoing in real life as he is in Unleashed. In fact, we only had him a week before he found his forever home.

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And the final inspiration for Unleashed, although she doesn’t appear in its pages, is my own rescue boxer, Lacy. Adopting her, loving her, and volunteering for the rescue that saved her, are the true inspiration for Unleashed and the Love to the Rescue series. I love this girl more than words can express!

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Unleashed Sneak Peek & a Giveaway!

Hi everyone! How would you like to read a teaser from Unleashed? How about the entire first chapter? Well, here you go! And if the first chapter isn’t enough, I have one advanced copy of Unleashed to giveaway, so make sure you enter below…

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Chapter 1

Cara Medlen felt the growl before she heard it, rumbling against her leg from the dog tensed at her side. She jiggled the leash to break his concentration. “Easy, Casper. You may not realize it yet, but today’s your lucky day.”

He looked up at her with dull eyes, one brown, one blue. A jagged scar creased his face. Ribs and hip bones jutted through his mangy white coat. And, oh boy, did he stink. Cara had yet to meet an ugly boxer, but Casper . . . well, he had the sort of face that made people cross to the other side of the street.

That same face grabbed at a tender spot in her heart.

“It’s a blessing that Triangle Boxer Rescue can take him,” the woman behind the desk, a volunteer named Helen, said. “Shelter life hasn’t been good for him.”

Cara nodded as she handed the signed paperwork to Helen. “I’ve worked with a lot of dogs like Casper. I’m sure we’ll have him ready for adoption in no time.”

But the warning she’d received from her homeowners’ association over the summer weighed heavily on her mind: Keep her foster dogs in line or face disciplinary action by the board.

The door to the kennels opened, allowing raucous barking to spill into the lobby. Casper peered around her and fixed his gaze on the man who’d come through the door. His ears flattened, and the hair raised along his spine.

Yep, this dog was trouble all right.

Click here to read the rest of Chapter 1. I hope you enjoy it!

Now for the fun part. I have one advanced copy of Unleashed to giveaway. Want it? Enter below! Good luck!!! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway