Writer’s Log

Favorite Pet Stories

A warm welcome to today’s guest, Laurie A. Green.  To learn more about Laurie be sure to read to the end of her post for links to her website and social media pages. She also gives us a little peek at her PETS IN SPACE story, Stardog.

Favorite Pet Stories

I adore pets! Animals have always been a big part of my life. My first dog was a Collie-Beagle cross named Ginger. We had such adventures! I so wish I still had a photo of him. 

Now we live on a small ranch and pets are almost a necessity. Our two original Labrador Retrievers were Shadow and Chaco. Shadow, a chocolate lab, moved with us from Michigan. Chaco, her black daughter, lived all of her too-short sixteen years on the ranch. She was my guardian in the years David was deployed, sleeping on the floor beside my bed, an early warning system who gave me great peace of mind. Shadow and Chaco are gone now, but Misty and Kiva, a black and a yellow lab, occupy their pen.

We got our Rottweiler, Phantom, as a young pup. [If you read StarDog, that name might ring a bell. <wink>] Sweetest dog ever! Not long after she came home, a tornado passed overhead with winds so powerful it destroyed her pen, scattering the panels and leaving her alone and unprotected in the storm. David threw on his Outback duster and went after her, having to chase the terrified and very soggy pup down. For the rest of her life, she’d start to shiver whenever she saw someone wearing a long coat.

We’ve also had three miniature longhaired dachshunds. The first was Scarlet, a red. She lived to be old and gray. Eventually going blind, she had to find her way around the house by sticking out her nose like a makeshift white cane. I called her my “little bumper car.”

After Scarlet passed, it was many, many years before I had the heart to get another little doxie, but I’m so glad I did! Katrina, a black and tan, has become my writing-buddy extraordinaire. (StarDog also borrowed her name.) She knows what “Want to go write?” means. When she hears it she’ll run to my office door and eagerly wait for the door to open so she can curl up under my desk. Her protégé is Luna, a black and tan piebald we acquired in June. Luna is still learning the ropes about being a good writing buddy, but she’s catching on fast.

We’ve also enjoyed the company of many, many felines over the years. Calico, Himalayan, gray, black, white, orange, yellow, tabby, seal point…we’ve had them all. Currently, our house is reigned by Serenity and Sugar, two calico sisters. They were David’s companions while deployed and came home with him after he retired. We also have a shop cat named Saybin, who patrols for mice in David’s work area, and Cat With No Name who lives in the barns on our property and dispatches vermin. (Might be a bit of her DNA in StarDog. )

These are some of my personal pet stories, but when deciding on a favorite story from a book or movie, I really had to give it some thought. I’m a huge fan of many of the more famous horse movies—Secretariat, Phar Lap, Man from Snowy River, Sea Biscuit, 50-to-1, Ruffian and Casey’s Shadow among them. But I don’t really consider horses to be “pets” so those went into the discard pile. (Just don’t tell our four Thoroughbreds <wink>.)

After much thought and consideration (not to mention a round of Googling), I decided that my all-time favorite pet story had to be 101 Dalmatians. I’ve loved the tale since I was very young and it has it all—intrigue, adventure, suspense, romance, and best of all, a very happy ending. (Let’s face it, a lot of pet stories don’t end on an upbeat note. That’s why Old Yeller or Marley & Me didn’t make my “favorite pet story” cut even though they’re great movies.) So hats off to Lucky, Patch, Pongo, Perdita and the whole spotted gang, because just like the adventures in Pets in Space, this tale leaves you with a big smile.


Navigator Taro Shall has a mission no one wants – find a way to eradicate snakes on a starship. He never expects to find the answer to his problem in a charming street vendor named Adini. His already unusual mission becomes more complicated when he suddenly acquires an adorable StarDog that soon sweeps him and Adini into the maw of a brewing insurrection.

Author Bio

Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, an award-winning author, and a science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which is now nearly 900 members strong.

She confesses to being an Andromeda Galaxy groupie and would someday love to own a vacation home on Mars or Titan. She’s enthused to be a part of this wonderful anthology mash-up of two of her favorite things–pets and space.

Her family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. A former military budget director and reserve state trooper, she now spends her time writing, networking, researching, enjoying the Southwestern lifestyle and, naturally, stargazing and daydreaming about other worlds.

Website:          http://www.laurieagreen.com/

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/Laurie-A-Green-139849829386292/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/SFRLaurie

Twitter Handle:           @SFRLaurie

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Susan!

My Favorite Fictional Animal

A hearty welcome to Carysa Locke. 

For more information on Carysa and her books, please visit her web page and sign-up for her newsletter http://www.carysalocke.com/

My favorite fictional animal

I thought this would be a hard question to answer, but it turns out, not so much. I fell in love with Anne McCaffrey’s dragons at an impressionable age. I think I read Dragonsong, the first book in the Harper Hall trilogy, when I was ten years old. I instantly wanted my own firelizard.

I mean, these were awesome, cat-sized dragons who could teleport, who were bonded to their human and loved them deeply, the most loyal companion you could ever have! And they were gorgeous, jewel-toned creatures with the ability to fly. I wanted ten of my own. But as cool as the firelizards were, they were quickly outclassed in my mind by the dragons – large versions would could actually carry humans on their backs, and not only were bonded with their human riders, but could talk to them telepathically!

And they could teleport and travel through time. Even now, decades later I still want my own dragon. (I mean, who wouldn’t want the ability to teleport and time travel? With your best friend?)

This early obsession with telepathic animals might explain why I have psychically gifted animals in my own series. No dragons (yet – you never know!) but animals who love their humans and speak with them telepathically all the same. I’ve read several series with this same trope since McCaffrey’s Pern books, including the Heralds of Valdemar and the Cheysuli books. I’ve enjoyed them all, though none have quite captured me the way those first books did. I mean, how do you compete with dragons, am I right?

Really, I think it all comes down to love. As humans, we are always seeking to connect with others. With other people, and for some of us, with our animal companions. Our pets are often considered family members, and I think science fiction just takes the idea that one inevitable step further.

At its heart, I think that’s what our stories are about. That connection. I’m proud to be involved with Pets in Space, and so excited to share my story, Escape Run

Here is a small teaser:

All of his frustration drained away. He snuck another look at her, and noticed Ember curled up on the bench behind them. Back in the same place she’d occupied on their last space voyage together, nearly a decade ago. He nodded toward the kith-vos in greeting, and she closed one blue eye slowly and opened it again in what he could only describe as a deliberate wink.

Well, maybe he had at least one ally.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Susan!

Blessing of the Animals

Over the next few weeks, I will be hosting my fellow Pets In Space authors.  Today I welcome Alexis Glynn Latner. For more information on Alexis, please visit her website http://www.alexisglynnlatner.com/.

Blessing of the Animals

The way pets comfort, pleasantly distract, reassure and help us can be, for those who use religious language, a blessing. This has not escaped notice of the mainstream Christianity. Episcopal, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, some relatively daring Methodist, and congregations of other denominations conduct a blessing of the animals every year in October, on the feast day of St. Francis: he who of all the saints had a great love for nature and all creatures.  Francis is the patron saint of animals; Pope John Paul II in 1979 made him the patron saint of ecology.  And his likeness turns up in all kinds of gardens, often with a birdbath or bird feeder as part of it.  

In the blessing of the animals, there may be the invitation for (well behaved) animals to attend worship. Last year in my church, a number of dogs, two cats in carriers, and one snake were noted. Or there might be a special service outdoors, say in the cloisters, with all pets welcome. The pets that show up range from horses to spiders.  I heard of an Episcopal church in New York City that made a liturgical procession of it, and the creatures involved included a roach in a glass jar reposing on a purple liturgical pillow. (That one may have represented not so much pet kind as unavoidable fellow inhabitants of the city. Then again, I’m sure that some blessing of the animals somewhere has had a Madagascar hissing cockroach brought to be duly blessed; some people do keep these as pets.)

Animals, especially pets, bless us so much we can certainly bless them back!  From an Episcopal Church online resource comes this blessing complete with a few notes on how it should be conducted.


(The blessing is usually done with the sprinkling of water over the animal and the owner. )

“N., (name of animal, i.e. “Smokey”, not cat/dog)

may you be blessed in the Name of the Father,

and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. May you and

(the name of the “owner”) enjoy life together

and find joy with the God who created you.”


Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Susan!

Pets in Space Anthology Available for Pre-Order

I am excited to announce that PETS IN SPACE ANTHOLOGY is available for pre-order.  Pets in Space doesn’t release until October 11th, but you are now able to reserve a copy at Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play and All Romance Ebooks.  

I hope you will join me and 8 of my New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and bestselling author friends as we present to you eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story.  We will take you on nine adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. 10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for my newsletter to hear about our release day festivities.