A very special contest…

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
–Will Rogers

Decoy foot

I will not forget you. I have carved you on the palm of my hand.

Isaiah 49:15

 

Three years ago this month I lost my beloved girl, pictured here. I’d like to tell you everything that was so special about her, but that would fill, as they say, a book. Let’s just say that some angels have fur, not wings. She was a rescue, which supposedly means we rescued her. It didn’t take long for me to realize we had that backwards. She was my husband’s baby, and then my most solid support through very dark days. If not for that dog, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am. I might not even be.

 

You think those dogs will not be in heaven! I tell you they will be there long before any of us.

–Robert Louis Stevenson

While to me, she was the best dog in the world–and I mean that literally, except for a couple of times when she first came to us and was unsure, that dog Never Did Anything Wrong–I know every dog is special in their own way. And judging from the response to my series of books featuring that furry rascal Cutter, people everywhere love being owned by those furry critters who have the gift of utter forgiveness and give the gift of unconditional love.

Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.

–Mark Twain

Nothing can fill the hole left by the loss of a beloved dog. And their lives are far, far too short, leaving our lives without them far, far too empty. No one knows that better than I. The only thing we can do is to never forget them, or the joy and love they brought us. With that in mind, it occurred to me that there might be a way for me to help. Which is why I decided to dedicate all of the Cutter books, however many there may be (and no, I have no idea yet) to those dogs who are missed so much.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

–Roger Caras

This month, (until January 31) you can enter to win the chance to memorialize your most beloved canine. Enter through the contest tab at my website: http://justinedavis.com/contest.html You’ll have to be patient, publishing is not a fast business and you’ll have to wait a while to see your tribute. And don’t worry if you’re not a writer, I’ll work with you personally via email to get it just right, because I understand.

Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog.

~On the grave of the Newfoundland of George Gordon, Lord Byron

Why am I doing this? Yes, in memory of my sweet girl. But also to move a step closer to that old saying, that the best goal you can have in life is to be the person your dog already thinks you are.

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Meet the Character: Brett Dunbar

My first ever game of blog tag! I’m “it” courtesy of my friend and great author Eve Gaddy. (her book Cry Love is incredible!) This one is a meet the character game, to introduce a character in a current or upcoming book. So, here we go…oh, wait, first, a visual.

caviezel

Yeah, I thought that might get your attention!!

Okay, now that you have a picture in your head, read on. Or feel free to drool a bit more, your choice.

MEET THE CHARACTER

Answer these questions about your main character from a finished work or work in progress:

1.) What is the name of your character?

Sheriff’s Detective Brett Dunbar. This will be a familiar name to readers following the Cutter’s Code series. In this adventure, Cutter has decided that, contrary to his human’s plans Brett, who needs a little Cutter-style intervention, will be the one dog-sitting him while they are on their honeymoon.

2.) Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

To me he’s real! But I suppose I must admit he’s fictional. Sadly, because he looks like Jim Caviezel.  (See above. Drool. Repeat.)

3.) When and where is the story set?

When is what the fiction world calls “the ever present now.” Meaning present day, whenever that might be in your world. Where is my beloved Pacific Northwest, and one of our famous ferry boats even made the cover of the book!

4.) What should we know about him/her?

Brett is an ex-LAPD cop who has relocated to a smaller, much more rural location in the woods of western Washington state. He left to escape that harsh world and painful memories, and was quite happy living a quiet life alone. And then he ran into the people of the Foxworth Foundation, and their uncanny canine partner, Cutter, and his life was changed forever.

5.) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

When what starts out as a simple favor mushrooms into a dangerous mystery of huge proportions, Brett finds himself getting drawn ever more deeply into the world of Sloan Burke, a woman he finds both attractive—a shock to him, since he’d sworn off—and unavailable, since he believes she is still in love with her heroic and honorable late husband. That she is just as heroic and honorable herself makes it all even harder for him.

6.) What is the personal goal of the character?

His original goal is to help Sloan solve her simple problem and then extricate himself. But both the problem and his feelings soon become much more than that.

7.) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The title is OPERATION POWER PLAY, and it’s available for pre-order now, at the links below.

Amazon: http://bit.ly/11ix37G

B&N: http://bit.ly/1zkqE7b

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1xycq34

8.) When can we expect the book to be published or when was it published?

It is scheduled for February 3, 2015. (February 1 for Kindle)

Here’s the cover, do you think they got close? (and no, that’s not really what Cutter looks like, but they tried!)

Cutter 6 cover