Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Alexis Morgan - It's a Dog's World

This week's release of my new e-novella, A Soldier's Heart, marks the official kickoff of my new series from Signet Eclipse.  The stories will be centered around the fictional town of Snowberry Creek, which is located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains south of Seattle. It's been quite an adventure for me since I haven't written a contemporary romance in a long time. I've love writing these stories, even though it's been a bit odd not having any fangs, swords, or magic in the books.

What this story and the three full length books that will follow over the next few months do have is a character who stole my heart the minute I "met" him.  Mooch, a mixed breed dog born on the streets of a town in Afghanistan, was adopted by a unit of soldiers and goes from living in a war zone to a new home in Snowberry Creek. 

 He's a lucky dog, and I suspect he knows it!  So are the real dogs and cats that were adopted by our service men and women and brought back to the States after their deployments ended. There are some amazing stories out there about the programs that made those permanent adoptions possible. 

I'm thinking that as the series progresses that there will be other pets who make their presence in Snowberry Creek known. One reason is that I love dogs and cats. Yes, and parakeets as my own two just reminded me.  Jubal and Nimbus consider themselves to be my writing partners since they live right next to my desk and rock out to the music I listen to as I write. A world without fur or feathers in it can be a lonely one.
However, the main reason I like to see animals in a book is that the reader learns so much more about a character through their interaction with their pets. Even their choice of pets reveals a lot about a person.  Picture a man who lives with a pair of elderly cats. Without knowing anything else about him, would you see him as being different on a fundamental level that  one who adopts a golden retriever? Would that image change if you learned the cats had belonged to his late mother?  I think it does.

 Another way pets help reveal character happens when the hero or heroine are alone with their cat or dog. Most people talk to their pets, and fictional characters are no different.  Need the hero to admit that his feelings for the heroine scare him? Let him tell his best buddy.  Need the heroine to confess how much she resents her beautiful younger sister?  She can safely tell the cat things she'd never, ever say in public.  Need to soften the edges on a tough guy hero? Have him pet a puppy. 

For a real life example, I recently went to an auction to raise money for an animal rescue organization.  One of the best moments of the night was watching a professional football player walk down the catwalk carefully cradling a small kitten in his massive arms.  I think that said a lot about the man he is inside.  I'm sure out on the football field, he's as tough as they come, but he was so gentle with that little kitty. It still makes me  smile.

So do you like four legged characters as much as I do?  Okay, and those with wings. The only problem is that they tend to be scene stealers.  I don't want to risk any spoilers for you, but you can rest assured that Mooch will have his paws full taking care of the three soldiers whom he adopted as his own.  I hope you love him as much as I do!

A novella of loyalty and survival—in which three soldiers must survive active duty before they can find their true loves in the town of Snowberry Creek, Washington…

Best friends Nick, Spence, and Leif are counting down the last days of their third deployment as members of the U.S. Army, and their first in Afghanistan. But when one of them receives heartbreaking news from home, their camaraderie will be tested both under fire and under the strain of nearly unbearable emotional pain.

Then, while on patrol in a dangerous sector, the strangest thing happens—a stray dog appears from nowhere, alerting them to a coming ambush, and saves their lives. And as the three soldiers struggle to rescue the pooch from the firefight, each of the friends finds a little lost piece of himself—and a part of themselves they need to carry home…


Judith said...

The new series sounds delightful, Alexis! I look forward to reading them.

Alexis Morgan said...

Thanks, Judith! I really have had fun writing the series, and the reviews so far have been very encouraging!


julie beasley said...

i really like Alexis writing, this looks different but exciting another set for my TBR list. cant wait to see the HEA

Alexis Morgan said...

Julie, This is a different venture for me, but they are definitely my kind of heroes!


Pat Cochran said...

I love any stories with a military theme and
when you add a canine hero, you certainly
have my attention! I look forward to reading
this story!

Pat C.

Alexis Morgan said...

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the novella. I love military heroes, too.