Meet Nigel—the Most Unique Character of the Thorny Rose Mysteries

A Guest Post By Lauren Carr

Did you know that a significant percentage of millennials give their phone a name? I learned that on John Tesh’s Intelligence for Your Life years ago and now can;t find the actual percentage, but hey! If you hear it in the media it must be true! Right?

Upon hearing that information, I tucked it into my cranial pocket only to take it out again last year when I was writing Candidate for Murder. At the end of Kill and Run, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday, the Thorny Rose detectives, were forced to move out of their home. If you want to know why, you’ll need to read Kill and Run. For now, to keep from giving out spoilers, let’s just say for security reasons.

So, I had to go house hunting for my thorny rose protagonists. Finding their new home was easy. I used a lot of fantasy and, since I knew that it had to be secure, I knew it had to have a fence and security system.

Now, I could have stopped there with giving Murphy and Jessica a wall with no name and I would have if my husband had not insisted that I sit down to watch a documentary he had found about the high-priced, high-tech security utilized by the one-percenters (aka billionaires).

I watched the whole ninety-minute documentary with my jaw hanging open. These folks don’t stop with any old wall! They have concrete safe rooms with food and supplies to last for days. They have rooms in which, with the press of a button, will instantly seal up to capture the bad guys. Then, with a second press of a button, let loose with a hail of automatic gun fire to take them out. (Try explaining that to your home owner’s insurance!) They even have security measures installed on the one percenters’ private jets to ward off hijacking attempts.

Upon seeing this documentary, my writer’s mind started spinning like a top. I had already established in Three Days to Forever and Kill and Run that Murphy worked for the Phantoms, a cutting-edge, ultra-secret organization that only answered to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They would have access to all of this technology and then some—enough to warrant a prototype, a beta (test) system, to protect the Faraday-Thornton home under the guise of a virtual butler.

Of course, butlers have to have names. This was when I extracted my mental note that I had jotted down from John Tesh. I named him Nigel. To any outsiders, Nigel is on par with Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, but as readers see in Candidate for Murder, Nigel does so much more than relay the latest news brief, control their lights and sound system, and keep their calendar.

Some readers, including my mother, believe that Nigel was a complete figment of my imagination, and yes, many parts of him are—however, be warned—everything Nigel does is doable with today’s technology. I just put everything together into one computer system—and gave him a name and personality.

Nigel doesn’t just monitor the estate’s security. In Candidate for Murder, when intruders break in, Nigel goes on the offensive, with Mac Faraday’s Gnarly the German Shepherd, to defend their turf!

Jessica’s brother Tristan, a science whiz, maintains and monitors Nigel, who acquires a personality of his own, which Nigel claims is simply a mirror of Tristan’s personality. Tristan claims otherwise. Judge for yourself in this excerpt from A Fine Year for Murder.

In the following excerpt, Jessica calls Tristan for comfort after having a fight with Murphy, who walks out and Nigel steps in to help:

All of her close girlfriends were working, since it was midmorning on a weekday. That left only Tristan, her dear brother, to talk to. Grabbing her cell phone, she dialed Tristan’s number.

“Hey, Sis, how’re you doing?”

Her heart overflowing with regret and fear, Jessica immediately broke into uncontrollable sobs. Her attempt to communicate the source of her emotions came out as little more than unintelligible blubbering.

Tristan, who was sitting at the bank of monitors in the control center in the Faraday-Thornton estate, where Nigel’s system was housed, peered at his cell phone. “I don’t understand.”

“Based on the lack of full sentences in Jessica’s speech and on the high levels of negative emotion in her voice, I believe that Jessica and Murphy are having a fight,” Nigel said.

“So why is she calling me?” Tristan asked.

“Because you’re her brother. She feels the need to reach out to a family member for some emotional reassurance.”

“Like I’m going to take her side in a fight with Murphy,” Tristan said. “He could kill me with his pinky. I’m not stupid.”

“She just said that it was all her fault,” Nigel said.

Uttering a sigh of relief, Tristan brought the phone to his ear. “Jessica, calm down. What are you two kids fighting about?”

“Costantino,” she said. “He dumped a whole teapot of boiling water in Murphy’s lap.”

“And now Murphy’s in jail for killing him. Sounds like self-defense. Call our lawyer. He’ll get Murphy out by noon. Talk to you later, Sis.”

“Will you listen to me, you antisocial moron?” Jessica’s heartbreak became more like fury—fury directed toward her brother. “No, Murphy is not in jail! I swear! You make him sound like a serial killer.”

“Think about it, Sis. No guy in his right mind would dump boiling water in the lap of a guy he didn’t know. For all he knows, the other guy is a serial killer who’d think nothing of disemboweling you in a room full of witnesses.”

“Are you saying—”

“I’m not saying that Murphy would do that. He could, but he wouldn’t. What possessed Costantino to dump boiling water in Murphy’s lap—besides the fact that he’s an idiot?”

“To make a long story short,” Jessica said, “Costantino has become obsessed with me and wants Murphy out of the way.”

“That’s totally creepy. You’re cousins.”

“What am I going to do about Murphy?”

“What else can you do? You have to apologize.”

“I wasn’t the one who—”

“You should have told Costantino that you’re married to Murphy and that his efforts to court you were a waste of his time,” Nigel said, “not to mention dangerous to Costantino’s health and well-being.”

“Yeah,” Tristan said, “you tell her, Nigel.”

“By failing to put a stop to Costantino’s attempt to court you,” Nigel said, “you disrespected Murphy’s role as your mate, which was an implicit insult to his masculinity. As a result, he feels emotionally impotent.”

“TMI,” Tristan whispered to the computer.

“Based on the psych profile I have stored in my system for Lieutenant Thornton, I hypothesize that Murphy has withdrawn from the scene to reboot his limbic system and to reassess the situation.”

“Reassess what? Our marriage?” Jessica asked with a note of hysteria in her voice. “What’s he rebooting?”

“His limbic system,” Tristan said. “That’s the part of the brain where emotions are stored.”

“I should have called Archie,” Jessica said to herself.

“Once the reboot is complete, Murphy will come back,” Nigel said. “I would recommend that you then reaffirm your commitment to each other.”

“Have makeup sex,” Tristan said. “Then stay away from Costantino.”

Review for this book will be up in the next couple of weeks!

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A Wedding For Christmas by Lori Wilde


About The Book

The whole town is ready for the holidays: The Cookie Club is baking, Main Street glitters with lights, the carolers sing . . .There’s even a Christmas wedding.

When bodyguard Ryder Southerland sees his best friend’s sister Katie at an L.A. Christmas party, he mistakes the slinky blonde for a celebrity stalker and tackles her. Then they tackle each other . . . at his place. The next morning, Katie’s gone, and Ryder tells himself it’s for the best. It isn’t. Now, one Christmas later, Ryder’s falling for the woman he’s been missing in the town he hasn’t missed at all . . .

Katie Cheek’s outgrown the romantic fantasies she had about Ryder when she was fifteen. Katie’s packed their hot night away in a box labeled “fling”—or tried to. But Twilight’s bad boy is the best man in her brother’s wedding. And up-close and personal, Ryder’s impossible to ignore. So Katie can either go into hiding—or surrender to Christmas magic.

Lori Wilde

About The Author

Lori Wilde can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to write. She even went to nursing school so she could have a schedule flexible enough to allow her to write on the side. She nursed for 20 years, working in a variety of settings from the newborn nursery to the recovery room, to dialysis. But she never lost her desire to write.

She sold her first book in 1994 to Silhouette Romance but later discovered she had a flair for comedy and branched out to Harlequin Duets and now, to Blaze.

Lori is an adventuresome soul who loves to travel. She’s taken flying lessons, completed two marathons, rode in a hot-air balloon, performed with a professional jazz band, traveled Europe as a teenager, hiked volcanoes in Hawaii, trod on glaciers in Alaska, shot white-water rapids, water-skied, snow-skied, raced all-terrain vehicles, bodysurfed in the Gulf of Mexico, and photographed grizzly bears in Yellowstone.

She lives in her native Texas, with her own real-life hero, Bill.

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Killer In The Band by Lauren Carr


About The Book

Summer of Love & Murder

Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.

The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.

Praise for Lauren Carr’s Mysteries

“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!”

– Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R

“As always, Lauren Carr brings an action-packed story that is almost impossible to put down. Her mystery plots have so many twists and turns that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And the action just didn’t stop from the very beginning till the very end.”

– Melina Mason, Melina’s Book Reviews


About The  Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

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The Ride Of A Lifetime by Kitty McGregor

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Book Look in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

The Ride of a Lifetime by Kitty McGregor was am an okay book. I did enjoy this book but at times I found myself getting bored with the story. When I do get bored with a book, I just put it down and come back to it later which I was able to do with this one. I usually really enjoy books like this one but for some reason I think that this one tried too hard to be something that it wasn’t. There are parts where it seems like there are devil worshipers and that just rub me the wrong way with this book. I think that is because I wasn’t expecting that to happen with this book. Other than feeling like this book was trying to be scary it was an okay book. I would also be willing to check out other books by this author in the future. If you love Christian fiction, then I recommend you pick this one up and check it out.


About The Book

When Lucas McCade retired from the PRCA rodeo circuit, he was an internationally famous rodeo star. In a life of conquering hard bulls and harder men, he had rarely known defeat and never given into fear. Little could he have known that as he left the arena of wild-eyed bulls and slashing hooves, he was stepping into a life filled with real danger. Once he rode for gold-buckle dreams, now ride with Lucas McCade as he scouts the back trails over the rolling hills of Oklahoma and encounters the paths of the powers of darkness. In a culture where a man’s word is still his bond and a handshake seals a deal, McCade leads his family in a walk with Christ that causes outrage in the spiritual realm. Once again, ancient battle lines are drawn between the powers of the Prince of Darkness and the Heavenly forces of Jesus Christ. It promises to be the ride of a lifetime!

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Murder Mezzo Forte by Donn Taylor

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Murder Mezzo Forte by Donn Taylor wasn’t my favorite. I had a hard time getting into the story and staying interested in this book. I don’t usually have problems reading mystery books because they are my favorite type of book to read, but I struggled with this book. There are just times when you don’t like the characters, and this was one of those times for me. It is well written, and the author does a great job of making me feel like I am there with the characters but I didn’t enjoy them and at times I was just bored with this book. I know that this book will be right for some people, but it just wasn’t the right fit for me.

Murder Mezzo Forte by Donn Taylor

About The Book

He is a reclusive history professor with musical hallucinations, she a headstrong professor of religion, a converted Wiccan. Earlier, they solved a campus murder, but now police say they formed two-thirds of an illicit love triangle with a newly-murdered female colleague and they’re probably guilty of her murder. A leak of the alleged scandal to the college administration threatens their jobs. Their desperate attempt to prove themselves innocent of the triangle and the murder plunges them into a tangle of unsavory corporate relationships among college trustees. And it puts their lives in danger from a mysterious criminal organization that seems to have tentacles everywhere.

Can this ill-matched pair’s stumbling efforts succeed against the entrenched forces of the police, the college’s incompetent administration, and that powerful but unseen criminal organization? If not, they may end up unemployed, in prison, or suffering a fate much worse . . .

Donn Taylor portraits 12/7/07

About The Author

I’m working now as a novelist and poet, also teaching at writers’ groups and conferences. In a prior incarnation I served in two wars with the U.S. Army. Afterwards, I taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges. The World’s Perfect Woman consented to honor me in marriage, and we enjoyed six decades together until the Lord needed another alto for His heavenly choir. I live in the woods near Houston, TX, writing fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

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The Average Girl by Angelina Goode

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Pump Up Your Book in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

The Average Girl by Angelina Goode was a fun chick lit book. This was a great book, and I loved that the premise of the story was different from any other book that I have read lately.  I usually am not a huge fan of this type of book but this author hooked me right from the start, and I didn’t want to put it down until the book was done. I enjoyed Olivia because she seems like someone that I would get along with in real life. I can say that this book was predicable but I still really enjoyed this author’s style of writing. She was able to make me feel like I was there with the characters. She also made me feel like I was a part of the story and I enjoyed that about this book. If you love chick lit or and looking for a fun book to read this summer, I would for sure recommend this book to you.

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About The Book

Sometimes being average can lead to wonderful things…

Olivia Fowler, helper of the star-struck, runs a successful business helping average people meet celebrities in everyday ways. She is so good at what she does, the celebrities don’t have a clue they’re part of a pre-planned meeting. Business is booming and Olivia knows everything there is to know about Hollywood’s famous and their behavior. Her clients trust her because she is just like them, not famous.

But when Olivia accidentally meets the uber-famous Alexander Young at the grocery store, her world is flipped upside-down. She can’t possibly resist those charming eyes and sexy arms. As their romance blossoms, Olivia learns she may not know as much as she thought she did about celebrities and their ways.

Then Olivia’s most important and loyal client requests to meet Alexander. Suddenly, Olivia is forced to choose between her love and her business.

Will Olivia be able to keep her booming business a secret from her soon-to-be boyfriend? Will her clients still trust her if she is no longer the average girl?

Angelina Goode

About The  Author

Angelina Goode began writing as a teenager. Though her first works were poems about love-struck teenagers, she grew her craft while earning her degree in Journalism and Creative Writing. A former grade school teacher that loved teaching children to write, she enjoys finding creative ways to present everyday events. Now she primarily writes light-hearted contemporary women’s fiction. She lives in Los Angeles where she enjoys the occasional celebrity sighting and year-round sun.

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Sister Eve And The Blue Nun by Lynne Hinton

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Sister Eve And The Blue Nun by Lynne Hinton was interesting, to say the least. This is the third book in the series, and this is the first one I have read. You don’t have to read the other two first, but it might help, and I know I wondered from time to time what had happened before, but you don’t need to read them to understand this book.   This book has one of the unique stories I have read in a while because of the main character is a Nun and also investigates murders. The only reason I got this book is that of the fact that Eve is a Nun and rides a motorcycle, and I had to know more. I enjoyed this book because even though it is a typical mystery book I like that the Eve was different from any other main character that I have ever read about. I enjoyed this book so much so that I am going to pick up the other books in the series and read them. If you are looking for something a little different to read this summer then I would tell you to pick up this book and give it a try. If you have read it what did you think of it?

Sister Eve And The Blue Nun by Lynne Hinton

About The Book

When Sister Eve returns to the monastery, the last thing she expects there is murder.

After solving several mysteries with her father at the Divine Private Detective Agency, Sister Eve finds herself torn between her calling as a nun and the thrill that comes with detecting. She knows she’s been using her father’s health as an excuse to extend her leave of absence from the monastery, but that excuse is running thin. She prays that a return visit to the monastery for a conference on the Blue Nun will help bring clarity to her calling, but when the conference speaker is murdered, Sister Eve’s two worlds collide.

Sister Eve knows the number one suspect, the victim’s brother and monk in residence, couldn’t possibly have committed the crime, and she’s determined to find the real killer. To do so means she must track down some mysterious newly discovered writings from the Blue Nun, said to date from the 17th Century, when the sister bi-located to the New Mexico region from her home in Spain. Could these texts from long ago be the key to today’s mystery? And will they offer any guidance to Sister Eve as she chooses which calling to follow?

Lynne Hinton

About The Author

Lynne Hinton is the pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The author of numerous novels including Friendship Cake, Hope Springs, Forever Friends, Christmas Cake, and Wedding Cake, she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

The Inheritance by Michael Phillips was a super long book. I liked the book for the most part, but it is super long, and the font isn’t the biggest so at times it was hard to me to read. Had I know all of that before I would have requested the ebook version because that way I could have made the font bigger and easier for me to read without straining my eyes. With all that said I loved the story and how it was written. I did feel at times that there were almost too many details, and I found that I got bogged down in all the details. I did enjoy this book for the most part, but I don’t think that I will check out any other books by him. I enjoyed how the author wrote like people from Scotland talk. I did have to read it out loud so that I could figure out what was being said but I enjoyed those parts of the book. It is a book that I would recommend to people, but I would recommend getting a digital version of the book if your eyes get strained easily.

The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

About The Book

The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whale’s Reef into turmoil. Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch’s heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David’s grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island’s land. And while Hardy doesn’t enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate’s assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island–and its traditional way of life–hangs in the balance.

Loni Ford is enjoying her rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, DC. Yet in spite of her outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .

Past and present collide in master storyteller Phillips’s dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace, and of the dreams of men and women everywhere.

Michael Phillips

About The Author

Michael Phillips has been writing in the Christian marketplace for 30 years. All told, he has written, co-written, and edited some 110 books. Phillips and his wife live in the U.S., and make their second home in Scotland.

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Tears Of The Silence by Misty Griffin

We’re thrilled to be hosting Misty Griffin’s TEARS OF THE SILENCED Book Blast today!  Pick up your copy!


Tears of the Silenced
Author: Misty Griffin
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 444
Genre: Biography/Memoir
One freezing morning in early March I made a dash
for a tiny police station in rural Minnesota. I was a frightened Amish
girl with no where to go, a second grade education and no ID or social security
card…… Based on the authors tragic true life story.
When I was six years old my
family started to live and dress like the Amish. My sister and I were kept as
slaves on a mountain ranch where we were subjected to almost complete
isolation, sexual abuse and extreme physical violence. My step-father kept a
loaded rifle by the door at all times and we were to terrified to try to
escape. We knew that no rescue would ever come because only a couple of people
even knew we existed and they did not know us well enough to care.
In my late teens my parents
feared we would escape and took us to an Amish community where we were adopted
and became baptized members. I was devastated to once again find myself in a
world of fear, animal cruelty and sexual abuse. Going to the police was
forbidden. A few years later I was sexually assaulted by the bishop, I knew I
had to get help and one freezing morning in early March I made a dash for a
tiny police station in rural Minnesota. When I refused to recant my police
report I was excommunicated from the Amish and found myself plummeted into the
strange modern world with only a second grade education and no ID or social
security card.
all abuse survivors out there, please be encouraged, the cycle of abuse can be
broken. Today, ten years later, I am a nursing student working towards my
Masters degree and a child abuse awareness activist. This is my story…….

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  • Tears
    of the Silenced is available at Amazon.

Book Excerpt:

I walked through the front door of
the tiny police station and went over to a heavy wood counter, where a
middle-aged policewoman sat at a computer. She looked up as I stood there, watching
her. I saw a surprised look on her face as she stared back at me. I imagined I
was very different from the people who normally walked up to her desk.
I was a young Amish woman, just a
little over five feet tall, wearing an almost ankle-length, plain, teal-colored
dress and apron, followed by knee-length black socks and black shoes. My coat
was a homemade denim coat with a high collar and hooks and eyes going down the
front. On my head was a stiff
white Amish kapp that covered nearly all my reddish-brown hair and was tied in
a small bow under my chin.
I was shaking as I stood there,
looking at the woman. I tried to get up enough courage to say something, I knew
I was going to be shunned by the Amish church for what I was doing. I could not
speak. The thought of being shunned was terrifying but I did not know what else
to do. My whole body was trembling….

About the Author
When Misty left the Amish she had a bare second grade
education and suffered severe PTSD caused by the horrifying abuse she suffered
as a child and later at the hands of the Amish bishop. Today, ten years later
she is a nursing student, wife and a Child abuse/Sexual assault awareness
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Sit, Stay, Love by Dana Mentink

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.   I received no other compensation for this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are all mine.

Sit Stay Love by Dana Mentink was an excellent book.  I am a sucker for books that have animals as one of the characters because I love animals so much.  I enjoyed this book right from the start, and I was sad when it was over because I loved Gina and Tippy.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Cal but by the end of the book, I started to like him.  There are parts of this book that made me laugh out loud.  I also love that the author of this book is donating a part of the proceeds from this book to a rescue group that takes care of older dogs.  This is the first book I have read by this author, and I can’t wait to read more because her book made me smile and I love that about it.  I can’t say enough good things about this book, and I can’t wait to read other books by her.  If you love super cute Christian romance novels then I know you will love this book as much as I do.

Sit Stay Love by Dana Mentink

About The Book

Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love…Tippy style.

Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.

Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.

As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…

Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

Dana Mentink

About The Author

Dana Mentink enjoys writing in many different capacities. She currently writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House Publishers.

Dana is the recipient of a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and an ACFW Carol Award as well as a Holt Medallion Merit Award winner.

Dana loves feedback from her readers. Contact her via her website

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