Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Debbie Burns | Exclusive Excerpt: HEAD OVER PAWS
Author Guest / April 28, 2020

“Why are you out of practice?” Gabe pursed his lips. “Is the rigor of vet school enough of an answer?” “If you need it to be.” He looked her way, his bright hazel-green eyes standing out starkly from the gray skies behind him. “If you’d said anything but that, that’s the only answer you’d have gotten.” “My sister tells me I’m good at cutting through the bull.” “I’ve got no reason to disagree.” He drummed his thumb on the steering wheel. “Aside from a close friend who went to vet school with me, you’re the only girl who’s been in that seat for a while. By design.” Olivia waited to see if he’d offer more. She had so many questions. They’d reached the end of the road, but the parking lot to the river access was a hundred feet away and underwater. The floodwater was flowing over the road, swallowing it up and reaching halfway up a signpost. If the dog had come this way, most certainly he’d angled off in another direction away from the river. “I had a fiancée,” Gabe added after a bit of silence. “A serious one. Before I entered vet school. I was a firefighter-EMT…

Debbie Burns | My 5 Favorite Activities with My Dogs + Giveaway!
Author Guest / July 30, 2019

There are so many things I love to do with my dogs, it’s hard to pick, but snuggling definitely tops the list. I have two rescues, Hazel (9) and Nala (3), and their personalities couldn’t be more different. Hazel, the border collie mix, is independent and task-oriented. Nala, who was DNA tested and found to be a mix of pit bull, Basset hound, Rottweiler, and Newfoundland mastiff, is a 55-pound, squat-legged companion dog…and the family snuggler. As soon as one of us sits on the couch, she’s up there with us and as close as can be. She doesn’t understand boundaries…at all! She sleeps on my bed most nights, and once in a while, I will wake up to find she’s using me as a pillow. Experiencing that quiet, unspoken trust makes my morning. My second favorite activity is the twice-daily walks around the neighborhood or to the park with Nala and Hazel. Sometimes we all three have different motivations—Hazel is on the lookout for squirrels and rabbits, Nala is all about other dogs and people, and I’m always hoping to work in some real cardio. We each make concessions, and I find these walks to be disjointedly peaceful. Any…

Debbie Burns | My Writing Space
Author Guest / November 27, 2018

I most often write in the sunroom at the back of my house. It’s a cozy space in my South City St. Louis home that faces out into my backyard. My desk sits in the middle of a wall of windows overlooking a remarkable magnolia tree that flowers a little bit at a time from spring to fall. In the room with me when I write, undoubtedly, are my dogs, Nala and Hazel, and my cat, Owen. Hazel is usually content to doze on the couch while Nala and Owen compete to see who can end up closer to me. Owen is often on my lap or trying to take over my keyboard, while Nala worms her way underneath and often naps on my feet, putting them to sleep and making it difficult to get up for a break. On my desk near my monitor is a collection of meaningful trinkets related to whatever story I’m working on. Over the years, I’ve found this helps me quickly connect to my work in progress. For this series, I started with a Schlilich German shepherd who reminded me of Sledge in A New Leash on Love. When I was writing Sit, Stay,…

5 Ways To Support Rescue Animals In Your Home Town
Author Guest , Top 5 / April 4, 2018

In SIT, STAY, LOVE, a large-scale dog fighting ring covering several Midwestern states is exposed, creating national media attention. The High Grove Animal Shelter steps forward to take in some of the abused dogs, dedicating countless hours to care for and retrain them in an off-site location until they are ready and able to be adopted into loving homes. If this sounds like a real-life event that you heard about on TV, well, you probably have. All too often, illegal dog fighting rings are exposed, and some are larger in scale than others. When this happens, area shelters and caring individuals are instrumental in saving animals’ lives with the help and services they provide. Often, whether it’s due to natural disasters, large scale animal abuse cases, hoarding, or similar scenarios, shelters become saturated with newly homeless animals. When this happens, not only is adequate space a concern but available funds are rapidly depleted. Whether it comes about because of a media story or simply because you want to connect with homeless animals and the people who care for them, there are still many ways to support your local shelters. Here are five inexpensive and fun ways to make a big…

Introducing Debbie Burns
Author Guest / July 12, 2017

Describe A NEW LEASH ON LOVE in 6 words: Second chance love and cuddly canines. Favorite thing to munch on while you write: Dark chocolate is a favorite pick-me up if words are flowing and I’m late for a meal. Mostly at my desk, I savor mugs of good tea and a scented candle or my essential oil diffuser, and save the munchies for my writing breaks. Something you won’t find out about characters from reading the book: Craig had a petless childhood. Early in the story, he isn’t sure he wants to or would be good at connecting with animals. However, when he was nine, he bottle-fed an orphaned young squirrel. After nursing it back to health and releasing it into the woods behind his parents’ house, he spent that summer drawing sketches of the squirrels that visited his mother’s birdfeeder. The first dog Megan ever rescued was long before she worked for the High Grove Animal Shelter. When she was just seven, she and her mom came across a shy little beagle that had lost its way. Megan’s hand-drawn “found” signs helped him find his way home. If you had to pick ONE line from A New Leash…