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Finally Home brings you eight Christmas stories all about our four-legged friends and the special people who rescue them. From funny, to sad, to romantic, there’s something here to tug at everyone’s heart strings.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to various animal rescue groups.
“For the Love of…” by Lee St. John
Adoption can be a process of heartbreak but also healing. Lee St. John has experienced both. As a mother of an adopted son and also an adopted pet, Lee shares her two journeys as they come to a juncture in her story, “For the Love of…”
“Oh, Henry!” by J D Boudreaux
Make no BONES about it. Sometimes it takes a CAT-astrophe to make us PAWS and look at our lives. Enjoy this TAIL that will remind us that sometimes what we need to feel is the ANIMAL touch.
“Grace Shadowed” by Carrie Dalby
During a 1906 Christmas party, sparks fly between a doctor and a debutante, but igniting annoyance isn’t what Dr. John Woodslow had in mind when he asks Grace Anne to dance.Grace Anne Marley is left in charge of her younger sisters while their parents are out of town, and a stray dog is the last thing she wants to deal with when there are parties and masquerades on the horizon.
After the injured dog wags its way into her heart, can Grace swallow her pride and reach out to the young doctor for help?
“Smokey Finds a Home” by Sharon Marchisello
Cast aside for not meeting a Siamese cat breeder's standards, Smokey was doomed to a short and meaningless life. But a Christmas miracle could bring him a place in a family after all.
“The Kitten in the Manger” by Isabella Norse
Holly Johnson has officially lost her mind. She, the self-proclaimed Queen of Social Awkwardness, has agreed to attend a Christmas party with Jeremy Barnes as their second date. Nothing short of a miracle can salvage this train wreck in the making. Fortunately, Christmas angels come in all shapes and sizes—some even look like kittens.
“A Rescue Before Christmas” by Amy Craig
First-year associate Kate agrees to dog-sit her mentor’s fox terriers, but falters when she finds a winsome stray dog at the end of his driveway. Torn between the dog’s sweet nature and her responsibilities to her mentor, she decides to take the animal to the shelter, but nothing goes according to plan.
When a tow truck driver rescues Kate and the dog from the side of the interstate, his laid-back charm prompts her to think about what she wants from life and what should happen next.
“Puppy Love” by cj petterson
Francesca DuBose is passionate about giving abandoned kittens a second chance at happiness. Her carefully curated life is disrupted when she becomes a foster hu-mom to a puppy with an amputated leg, and Cody Phillips, the man who broke heart, asks for a second chance, too.
“Saving Grace” by A.L. Vincent
Rescued in a New Orleans alley, Furby has been Grace's comfort and constant companion. After he is injured, his fearless personality and determination encourages Grace to let go of the past and embrace the future.
Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.
At least that's what her grandmother thinks. Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he's done, and she has a tip he's headed for the Galapagos.
While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.
When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She's anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she's a person of interest.
Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she's the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn't stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.
In this third annual edition, you'll find 53 of the weirdest, most outrageous, wackiest, scariest, puzzlingest (is that really a word?) short stories submitted for this anthology in 2020. (There were 21 in the 2018 edition, 43 in 2019, all selected by a panel of independent judges.)
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be shocked, scared, and maybe even perflutzed by some of the stories you'll find, in many different genres and styles. But with nearly every story, we know you'll be surprised.
We expect the 2021 edition to be BOULDer (no relation to the city in Colorado), and that'll raise the bar even higher for the 2022 edition. We might wind up changing “Limitless” to “Loopy” if writers can really let their inhibitions go and let their haywire creativity loose.
But now it's time for you to quit reading these promo bits, brace yourself and dig in. Have fun!
Featuring stories by (in order of appearance):
Deborah Lacy & Pat Hernas, Michael Bracken, Warren Bull, Sharon Marchisello, Jacqueline Seewald, Anne-Marie Sutton, Aislinn Batstone, John Lutz & Josh Pachter, Jennie MacDonald, Gwenda R. Jensen, LD Masterson, Kate Fellowes, KM Rockwood, DG Crichley, Richard Lau, Janet Raye Stevens, Michael Brandon, Edward Ahern, Amy Ballard, Barbara Schlichting, M. M. Elmendorf, Nupur Tustin, Albert Tucher, Michael Guillebeau
Since the events of 9/11, one month earlier, Lola's memory loss has amplified, and the family suspects Alzheimer's. Now Lola can't tell anyone what happened to Brittany.
The agency that provides home care for Lola promptly withdraws its services. Michelle is stuck in her home town longer than planned as she cares for a mother with whom she has never been close and tries to prove her innocence. The police officers who investigate the crime are old antagonists from grade school. A secret thought to be long buried--that Michelle bore a son out of wedlock and gave him up for adoption--surfaces when a surprise daughter-in-law and granddaughter show up, distracting Michelle from her quest to solve the murder. And then she stumbles upon a motive which makes Lola look even more guilty.
Going Home was inspired by the author's mother's battle with Alzheimer's and explores the challenge of solving a murder mystery when a potential witness cannot rely on her memory. Written from the perspective of a baby boomer forced to reverse roles with her parents, it crosses into the mainstream genre of women's fiction and touches increasingly common issues such as elder abuse and end-of-life decisions.