Author Gayle Irwin makes a return visit to talk about her Pet Rescue Romance series. Gayle knows all about pet rescue because she lives it. She's tells us how her two passions - writing and rescue - intersect in this series. Please welcome Gayle Irwin!
|For the rest of this month each book is on sale for .99 cents!|
Setting and Theme – Writing What I Know
I’ve been a traveler since childhood. My dad always ensured we enjoyed a summer family vacation, whether near to our home or hundreds of miles away. I’m not a jetsetter: I don’t fly around the world, but I enjoy driving to and visiting places, especially America’s national parks.
One of my favorite parks is Yellowstone, which is found in the states of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Therefore, when I decided to write romance novels, the setting for my books became what is known as The Greater Yellowstone Area, incorporating those three states (I still have Idaho to write about, but that’s a future book!).
Two of the three books released thus far as part of my Pet Rescue Romance series are set in this area: Rescue Road, the first novel which released in November 2019, is set in southwestern Montana; the second book, a novella called Finding Love at Compassion Ranch, is set near Cody, Wyoming, just west of Yellowstone National Park. The third book, which released last month, is a holiday novella prequel called Rhiann’s Rescue; the story mentions Yellowstone and Montana. The premise of the prequel and the novel revolves around the relationship between a mid-aged granddaughter and her 80-year-old grandmother; “Grams” was raised in Montana and desires to return, and the granddaughter, Rhiann, wants to start a rescue animal sanctuary. Finding Love at Compassion Ranch brings in the other granddaughter, Rhiann’s older sister, Erin, who also helps rescue animals by volunteering at Compassion Ranch and meeting someone she knew in high school.
Not only do I frequently spend time in Yellowstone (I live in Wyoming and had also lived in Montana), but I visit animal sanctuaries such as the one described in Finding Love at Compassion Ranch. The fictional rescue ranch is based on a real place called Kindness Ranch, found in eastern Wyoming. In Rhiann’s Rescue, an organization called Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is mentioned; this is a nationally-known group and sanctuary in southern Utah. I have traveled – and stayed – at both Kindness and Best Friends, and one day hope to return.
Traveling, writing, and pet rescue and adoption are my top passions. My own animals have been, are, and will be, rescue pets. My husband and I drove to other states for our last two rescue dogs; not always can we find what we’re looking for locally. So, travel is not always for fun; it can be to save lives. One way I help rescue groups in my area is by transporting dogs and cats either into rescue or to adoptive families. I once drove more than 250 miles one way to bring a dog to his family, and another time, I traveled 500 miles, to Yellowstone in fact, to bring a rescue dog into his forever home. I turned that transport into a short vacation for myself and my own rescue dog. Additionally, I help such organizations by donating a percentage of book sales to them for the care and work they do.
Rescued animals provide love and loyalty, and therefore, I can easily weave such dogs, cats, horses, and other creatures into my romance stories. Because of my travel, I also weave places I enjoy into my stories. Discover, or re-discover, amazing places like Yellowstone and Saguaro National Parks in my books! For the rest of this month, all three of my e-books in the series are discounted to just .99 cents. Additionally, a free short story, also a prequel to the series titled Gram’s Legacy, is available on Amazon.
Book Description for Rescue Road (the first full novel in the series):
Freelance writer Rhiann Kelly shelved romance for years. Her dream of starting an animal sanctuary takes deep roots after finding the perfect location in southwestern Montana and purchasing the property for back taxes. Emergency medical technician Levi Butler knows his elderly friend left the ranch to him in his will. Levi anxiously awaits the probate to be complete so he can plan his retirement and begin his dream of raising and selling horses. When Rhiann and Levi find each other at the ranch simultaneously, sparks fly - and not the romantic kind. Yet their mutual attraction deepens, especially after Levi finds Rhiann injured in an accident. Meantime, land developer Dallas Patterson sets his sights on charming Rhiann to obtain the land. Can Rhiann and Levi work together to detour Patterson and find a solution in which neither needs to give up their dream, or will the fence line of their hearts – and the property - separate them forever? Can their broken paths weave their hearts together as they travel the rescue road?
Excerpt from Rescue Road:
Rhiann stood on the porch of the mid-century ranch house. Cup of coffee in hand, she watched the blazing orange sunrise. Streamers of light cascaded on the mountains west of the property, casting a rosy glow on the rocks and patches of snow upon the higher elevation. October’s morning danced with the browning grasses of the nearby pastures as touches of frost shimmered upon tan sprigs surrounding the house. Overhead, a flock of Canada geese in traditional V formation honked as they winged their way south.
Rhiann observed them and whispered, “We have something in common. We’re starting over.”
As he drove closer to the ranch house, Levi noticed a small, red dual-cab pickup parked near the building. His eyes squinted. He remembered seeing a similar vehicle at the Twin Bridges Campground yesterday. He parked next to the truck.
“Who in the world could that be?” he murmured as he exited his pickup.
He looked at the license plate. He didn’t remember George knowing anyone from Washington state. He saw a heart-shaped sticker on the side. Levi scowled. He meandered to the driver’s side and saw the “Rescue Road” emblem.
“Can’t be,” he muttered.
He looked up when he heard the front door of the house slam. He stared.
“What are you doing here?” he and Rhiann asked simultaneously.
Rhiann couldn’t believe her eyes. Left hand on her hip and straw broom in her right, she glared at the man she had met yesterday.
“Well?” she questioned, looking Levi in the eye. “Answer my question. What are you doing on my ranch?”
“Your what? YOUR ranch? This is my land,” he snapped.
“Uh, unless your last name is Kelly or McCallister, I don’t think so.”
Levi stalked toward the front porch. Rhiann took a step back. She looked into his smoldering gray eyes as he said, “George Nelson left this place to me. Just who are you to come claim it as yours?”
Before she could respond, he rushed on, “Are you related to George? I didn’t think he had any kids or grandkids. Are you a niece or something?”
Rhiann shook her head. “I didn’t know Mr. Nelson. I’m the granddaughter of Mary Martha McAllister. She was born here, in that log cabin over there.”
She pointed to the two-room dwelling to her right.
“That’s my house,” Levi said.
She detected the curt tone, and she responded in kind.
“I don’t know why you keep saying you own this property. That cabin, this place, has been mine for nearly four months and was in my family for two generations. I’m just now getting here after settling the back taxes.”
Levi’s face blanched. “Back taxes? What are you talking about?”
At that moment, his cell phone rang. She watched him pull the device from a back pocket of his jeans. He turned away from her.
“Mr. Williamson, Yes, this is Levi Butler. You have news for me?” He paused in his conversation. “I see.”
Rhiann continued observing him. He gradually turned toward her. His eyes darkened, and his teeth clenched. Rhiann took a step back, holding the broom in both hands. I’ll swing this thing at his head if he takes one more step.
“Yes, yes, I’ve met her. In fact, I’m looking at her right now.”
His icy statement sent chills up Rhiann’s spine.
Levi gripped the cell phone tighter. His mind tried to process the words spoken by George’s attorney. A few moments later, he said, “I see. Not the news I expected to hear but thanks for letting me know.”
He clicked off and stared at Rhiann. He noticed she held the broom as if to fend off an attacker. He wanted to punch something but knew he couldn’t. He took a deep breath and clenched a fist. He exhaled a ragged breath. A moment of silence ticked by. Levi inhaled again, trying to steady himself. As he released the air and unclenched his fist, he spoke in a terse, but controlled tone.
“Someone who knows nothing about this place, it’s history, or the man who lived here … I guess it’s yours after all.”
Levi stalked to his pickup and jumped into the driver’s seat. He backed the Chevy toward the Y junction and stomped the accelerator. He heard a large spray of gravel as the truck tires dug in, and he drove from the house.
Rescue Road is available in e-book format for .99 cents on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The novel is also available in print format from Amazon.
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2BAvqWZ
Finding Love at Compassion Ranch, which is a novella which released in May 2020, is available in e-book format for .99 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The book is also available in print format from Amazon.
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3gPw3zs
I provided the purchase information for the recently released holiday novella that’s part of the series, Rhiann’s Rescue, on Jana’s blog last month. This book is also available as an e-book for only .99 cents and is available in print format from Amazon as well.
Other Platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3yzgYJ
Gram’s Legacy, the free short story series prequel, is available as an e-book only on many platforms:
Other Platforms, including Barnes & Noble and Kobo: https://books2read.com/u/m2Z9Yd
Gayle M. Irwin is an award-winning author and freelance writer, being recognized by Wyoming Writers, Inc., and the Wyoming Press Association for several of her works. She is a contributor to seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books and the author of many inspirational pet books and stories for both children and adults. She subtly weaves important life lessons within the lines and pages of her stories, including friendship, courage, and the importance of pet rescue and adoption. An animal advocate, Gayle volunteers for various dog rescue and humane society organizations and donates a percentage of all book sales to such groups. Learn more about the author, her writing endeavors, and her pets, and receive free stories and resources by visiting her website: www.gaylemirwinauthor.com.
Follow Gayle on Social:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/GayleMIrwin
Pinterest (under Waggin' Tales): www.pinterest.com/gaylemirwin
Author Website: https://gaylemirwinauthor.com/
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/gayleirwin