Of course there are always exceptions, but broadly speaking cats (and therefore their owners) are considered largely self-sufficient, they like life to be on their terms and they are not overtly social. Dogs, on the other hand, are considered both more needy and more giving than cats. They demand attention and yet reward the smallest of gestures with unconditional love. Requiring frequent exercise, dogs encourage their owners to go out and inspire all manner of social exchanges. They are known for being protective and loyal.
For these reasons dogs frequently crop up in romance novels. They create opportunities for interaction, by association they lead us to believe we know something of their owners, we trust their judgment and they play a good supporting role. The fact my contemporary romance novel, Crazy Over You, is in part dedicated to my dogs Benson and Milo (it’s OK no one ever gets labeled a crazy dog lady) shows I am very much a dog person.
Benson, my chocolate Labrador, was the inspiration for Bramble the dog in Crazy Over You. Writing him into the story felt completely natural, especially as his take on love and loyalty was an inspiration. He seemed the perfect character for a story in which, for the humans at least, love, loyalty and living happily ever after are put to the test. At a time when Abby, the protagonist, feels alone Bramble is the one who remains by her side, a constant support.
My thoroughly gorgeous boy, Benson, was the strong silent type, saying more with a look than he ever did with a bark. Never being one to go for long walks (seriously he would simply sit down and refuse to go on) he made his own fun when it came to exercise: Puppy running (that is the kind of full-pelt-arched-back running you see in cartoons) around our living room even once he was fully grown; playing throw and catch, with him launching the ball from his mouth and me catching it; and enjoying hide and seek, waiting patiently while I hid his favourite toy for him to find.
As I reflect on our time together I see that he was one of my constants, I could rely on him for a cuddle no matter what the ups and downs of life. He was generous with his affection, strong and yet gentle (even when he dragged my eldest daughter through a flowerbed in pursuit of a cat, covering her in pansies, he meant her and the cat no harm). Although I have also been lucky enough to own Milo, my adorable black Labrador, and I have Hubble, my loveable puppy, Benson was one of those dogs that will always hold a special place in my heart.
When he passed away earlier this year, a month before his sixteenth birthday, it was a terrible loss. This will be our first Christmas without him, he won’t be hear to knock the baubles off the tree with his tail, or to rip up the wrapping paper once the presents are open. It will be a strange time without him, but one full of happy memories. I am pleased he is a part of Crazy Over You. In reading about Bramble I hope others feel his warmth too.
Thank you so much Carol for sharing Benson with us. He sounds like an amazing dog, and I hope Christmas doesn't feel too weird without him.
Crazy Over You: Love can drive you crazy… in more ways than one!
When Abby met Simon it was the start of something special, a love Abby believed would last a lifetime.
A wedding, two daughters and fifteen years later Abby’s world is falling apart. Having discovered Simon has had an affair her normally ordered mind is spiralling out of control. Crushed by the betrayal and shocked by her own reaction, she knows she needs to get herself together. She’s just not sure where to start.
With Simon on a mission to win her back and a close friend hiding a secret that could push her further over the edge, Abby finds strength and support where she least expects it. But as she attempts to gain control of her life and make decisions about her future, it may be more than the limits of Abby’s mind that are put to the test!
Genre: Contemporary romance
Release date: 28th October 2015
To buy Crazy Over You:
Giveaway to win 2 x signed copies of Crazy Over You (Open Internationally)
Thank you to Carol Thomas for kindly donating 2 signed copies of Crazy Over You
Giveaway open to UK only, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 3/1/2017. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner. Good luck everyone.
Win 2 x signed copies of Crazy Over You (Open Internationally)
Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and excitable young Labrador. In 2017 Carol intends to launch two new books with a k9 connection. The first is an illustrated children’s book, aimed at under-fives, about a puppy in need of a friend. And the second is a contemporary romance novel.
This WIP, currently titled Regret Me Not – the best is yet to come, depicts the story of pet sitter Lisa Blake, who finds fleeing her life in London and returning to her home town sets her on a path of revisiting the past. But with a neglected friendship, a rejected love and a mystery man to contend with Lisa has to decide if going back is really the best way forward.
While Carol’s second novel is unrelated to Crazy Over You, she states, “Readers of this book will be able to catch up on the life of one of the characters from Crazy Over You.”
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