Veronica sez: I met Lea literally and in the cyber world as fellow members of the SFR Brigade!
Lea, from “Space Ranger” : Two weeks of healthy eating and nonstop love had transformed the furry, half-dead rag into a bright-eyed, tongue-licking bundle of curiosity. And she brought Simone happiness, more happiness than he could give her.
When thinking about pet stories, which one pops into your mind first? Where the Red Fern Grows? “Old Yeller”? It was the movie version of the former which kept me from going anywhere near the latter. I don’t deal well with stories where the dog(s) die in the end. I’m even getting a little choked up as I type this blog. Where the Red Fern Grows is a childhood trauma that haunts me still.
(Veronica sez: Was dragged screaming with tears and grief out of the movie”Old Yeller” as a child, hated it. Never read Red Fern. I’m ALL about the HEA endings, even for the pets!)
For this blog, however, I’m focusing on happy, shiny pet stories. Ones where the dog, or other pet, gets a happy ending. (This is why I write romance, to give my characters their happily ever afters.) Here are some of the animal stories which have touched me most during my life:
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. Yes, yes, I know. Aslan is not a pet, he’s a “wild lion”. But, from the moment my aunt placed this book in my hands it has been my number one favorite book with animals in it. I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. reading it the first time.
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. Even though the spider dies, and I sobbed my little heart out as a kid, this remains one of my favorite pet stories.
The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White. I have no clue how many times I reread this one. A swan with a trumpet? How cool is that?
Stewart Little by E. B. White. This is not a pattern, I swear! Mr. White just wrote some awesome animal stories.
101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. The story that led to the addition of a Dalmatian to our family. I was a very persistent six-year-old.
(Veronica sez: Did you know Bill Peet wrote the story for the movie?)
Pickles the Fire Cat by Esther Averill. I have loved everything about Pickles since I was four-years-old. He has such a sassy attitude until he has life-altering experience. He even has Dalmatian-like spots, which makes him a perfect candidate to be a fire house cat.
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. A book that breaks down the dog vs. cat stereotype and has them working together to get home.
(Veronica sez: My grandson had the movie of this, as “Homeward Bound”, on permanent repeat for a while there. He especially loved any and all interactions between Sassy the cat and Chance the young dog.)
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. Horses, people! I loved horses as a kid (still do!), and these two stories were my favorites.
As you can see, animals in literature have been a big part of my life. Whether fictional or real, animals are fabulous companions. As an author in the Pets in Space anthology, I have the opportunity to help out Hero-Dogs.org, and organization that provides trained canine companions to our military veterans, free of charge. 10% of the anthology’s first month’s sales will be donated to them.
(Veronica sez: Beautiful Joe by Margaret Marshall Saunders is another of the old favorite animal books, similar to Black Beauty. My favorite horse book was Galopoff the Talking Pony, by Tudor Jenks, a really old tale. I was given the copy of it that my grandmother had as a child.)
The blurb for PETS IN SPACE:
Even an alien needs a pet…
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!
10% of profits from the first month 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.
The blurb for “Space Ranger”, an expanded story by Lea Kirk: Graig Roble is the Senior Commander of security for the Guardian Fleet. His expertise as a weapons specialist and combat master is his world, what he was born to do – or so he thought until he finds his resolve and focus inexplicably wavering. Even returning to his position aboard the Atlantis can’t save him; if anything, it has left him questioning his own motives. He never thought that could happen until he met Simone Campbell.