Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Contemporary #Holiday #Romance: CUPID TO THE RESCUE, A Tail-Wagging Valentine’s Day #Anthology by Debra Salonen ETAL

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A Tail-Wagging Valentine’s Day Anthology


Humans may think they have their acts together? So not! Sometimes they need to be rescued by big-hearted four-legged friends. Join eight modern masters of romance as they celebrate Valentine’s Day with brand-new tales of tail-wagging joy.

Chasing Cupid by Lisa Mondello, New York Times bestselling author

Montana (Tana) Reeves is about to lose her apartment because her ex-boyfriend left her with the rescue dog, Cupid, he’d used to sweet-talk her into their relationship. Losing her apartment over a dog is bad enough, but veterinarian Jett Billings’ gentle way and sexy smile melts her heart just as much as the Great Dane does, and Tana quickly realizes that as she was chasing Cupid, she fell in love with both of them.

Teacher’s Pet by Kathryn Shay, New York Times Bestselling Author

When Maggie Marino comes to work at Stepping Stones Special Needs School, Noah Carson has no idea she and her glossy-coated Golden Retriever, Rosie, will change his life. But will the emotional-support dog be enough to bring Noah and Maggie together again after the tragedies of their pasts collide?

Taking Care of Business by Judith Arnold, USA Today Bestselling Author

When Hank Patterson hires dog walker Abbie Harding to take care of his mother’s rambunctious mutt while his mother is out of town, he doesn’t expect romance to be a part of their arrangement. After all, Abbie loves dogs and Hank doesn’t–and as they soon learn, mixing business with pleasure can cause a whole lot of trouble.

Her Roadside Rescues by Linda Barrett, National Bestselling Author

On his way to Sea View House, Brandon Bigelow hadn’t counted on hitting a tree to avoid hitting a dog during a winter storm. He hadn’t counted on meeting a petite dynamo who insists he adopt the dog. Farewell to a peaceful life at the beach!

Heart of a Russian Bear Dog by M. L. Buchman, USA Today Bestselling Author

Attacked by Russia while on US soil, a lovely Ukrainian minister must turn to a US Secret Service dog team for protection. While the massive Russian Bear dog charms his way into her heart, trusting his handsome handler is not going to happen.

The Matchmaker’s Secret by Kay Lyons

Professional matchmaker Marsali Jones didn’t mean to share her secret crush on national television, especially when it’s her brother’s best friend and Hollywood A-lister Oliver Beck. But the damage is done and her career is on the line. Deny it and she loses all credibility, but to move forward means paying Oliver’s price….

Valentine’s Rescue by Barbara McMahon, USA Today Bestselling Author

Snowbound on Valentine’s Day. Two strangers. A twice-burned cowboy and a nurse with nightmares too horrific to share. A storm brought them together, but a fearless dog seems intent on teaching them that sometimes friendship can evolve into love.

Her Cowboy Valentine by Debra Salonen, National Bestselling Author

Paige Jackson’s volunteer sabbatical in Prospect Creek goes from bad to redonkulous when retired bull rider TJ Huey delivers a pregnant and abused donkey to Paige’s care. But neither cowboy nor city gal is immune to the matchmaking skills of a rescue donkey named Miss Valentine.

A Tail-Wagging Valentine’s Day Anthology

3 Things, 7 Dogs, & A Donkey

CHASING CUPID by Lisa Mondello

  1. I love animals and every pet I’ve ever owned was one that adopted me because they needed a home. It’s the same for Cupid.
  2. A tri-color beagle named Nike owned me and my family for 14 years. Nike is the inspiration for the beagle in my story.
  3. I saw a movie years ago with a heroine with the name Montana. I have been waiting for the right story to write using Montana (Tana) as a heroine’s name.

TEACHER’S PET by Kathryn Shay

  1. Rosie, the therapy dog in “Teacher’s Pet” is named for after a good friend’s puppy. Huxley, Noah’s pup, and is exactly like him, is one of mine.
  2. I love writing school stories, and the classroom scenes are accurate.
  3. I wrote this in the midst of a six book series (not related) and I’m very glad I did.


  1. Priscilla, the dog in Taking Care of Business, was originally a Yorkshire Terrier. But when I fell in love with the image that appears on the book’s individual cover, I realized that the dog in the picture looked like a Spitz. So Priscilla wound up being a Yorkie-Spitz mix.
  2. My “grand-dog,” Leeloo, was a rescue dog adopted by my son and daughter-in-law while they were living in Nairobi, Kenya. When they moved back to the United States, Leeloo experienced snow and squirrels for the first time. Snow didn’t impress her much, but she believes squirrels are the greatest doggie toy in the world. Chasing them is her idea of heaven.
  3. Taking Care of Businessis the tenth title in my Magic Jukebox romance series. Love, passion, and rock-and-roll!


  1. Her Roadside Rescues became the fourth book in my Sea View House series. I’m delighted it worked out this way. It was time to set another story in Pilgrim Cove!
  2. Living at the beach in winter can be challenging but also very intimate and romantic.
  3. Three rescued dogs are highlighted here, but you’ll find cats, horses, calves, and a variety of canines sprinkled throughout my stories. Naming them is a lot of fun.


  1. The “hero” of Heart of a Russian Bear Dog is, no surprise, a Russian Bear Dog (also a Caucasian Shepherd or Ovcharka), one of the very largest breeds anywhere.
  2. This is the second short story (+3 novels) in the on-going White House Protection Force series, which all star dogs (many in the Secret Service).
  3. I first fell in love with writing military war dogs in my Henderson’s Ranch series…all at the prompting of a fan who assists Lackland Air Force Base’s training center for MWDs.


  1. The idea for THE MATCHMAKER’S SECRET came about when Kay attended a singles gathering discussing Dating in the 21stCentury while researching a setting for her Seaside Sisters Series.
  2. The talk was given by a professional matchmaker Kay later interviewed for her Make Me A Match Series.
  3. Kay’s fictional town of Carolina Cove is loosely based on one of Kay’s favorite beaches—Kure Beach, NC—and set in the Wilmington, NC area. Carolina Cove is the setting for the SEASIDE SISTERS series as well as the MAKE ME A MATCH series.


  1. The dog in Valentine’s Rescue is a German Shepherd, my favorite breed, though Border Collies are a very close second.2.  Cowboys are my favorite heroes.3.  Valentine’s Rescue is the first book in the Wild Cat Creek series coming in Spring, 2021.


  1. The imaginary town of Prospect Creek bears some resemblance to several California Gold Rush towns, including Mariposa—which is just up the road from me.
  2. When I started writing this story, I imagined “Miss Valentine” as a miniature donkey, but then I met Molly and Missy—my friend’s rescue donkey and her baby. The pair has it made in the shade, which can’t be said for “Miss Valentine” before she finds T.J. and Paige.
  3. My friend adopted Missy’s mother, Molly, through the Bureau of Land Management’s program. Molly was so wild she had to go to “Donkey School” so she could be around people without wanting to kill them. (She reminds me of my hero, T.J., a bit.)

About the Authors…

Lisa Mondello – New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lisa Mondello, is the author of over 50 novels and novellas including her popular DAKOTA HEARTS and TEXAS HEARTS series. Her romantic suspense MATERIAL WITNESS, a USA Today bestseller, was also named Best Indie Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews. For more information, visit Lisa at HTTP://www.lisamondello.com.

Kathryn Shay – A NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Kathryn Shay has been a lifelong writer and teacher. Her novels have been serialized in COSMOPOLITAN magazine and featured in USA TODAY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and PEOPLE magazine. There are over ten million copies of her books in print and downloaded online. Reviewers have called her work “emotional and heart-wrenching.” She lives in upstate New York with children, grandchild and two adorable Yorkies. Check out all of Kathryn’s books and deals at: https://www.kathrynshay.com/

Judith Arnold – USA Today bestselling author Judith Arnold has more than 100 published romances, mysteries, and women’s fiction novels to her name. She’s won four Reviewers Choice awards from RT Book Reviews, which named her novel Barefoot in the Grass one of the best romances of all time, and she’s been a multiple finalist for Romance Writers of America’s RITA™ Award. Her novel Love In Bloom’s was named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly. You can learn more about Judith and her books at http://www.juditharnold.com.

Linda Barrett – National bestselling author, Linda Barrett, has published over twenty romance novels, several titles of women’s fiction and one memoir about surviving breast cancer twice. She has won industry awards for her books through Romance Writers of America. Reviewers have called her books “unforgettable” while readers say her work is “unbelievably marvelous” and “beautiful.” Linda and her husband reside in the greater Tampa, Florida area. She has three grown sons, fantastic daughters-in-law and the most fabulous grandchildren ever! You can find out more about Linda and her books at: www.linda-Barrett.com.

M.L. Buchman – USA Today and Amazon #1 Bestseller M. L. Buchman has 60+ novels, 100 short stories, and lotsa audiobooks. Booklist says: 3X “Top 10 Romance of the Year.” PW says: “Tom Clancy fans open to a strong female lead will clamor for more.”A project manager with a geophysics degree, he’s flown and jumped out of planes, solo-sailed a 50′ ketch, and also bicycled solo around the world…and he quilts. More info at: www.mlbuchman.com

Kay Lyons – Kay Lyons published in 2005 with Harlequin Enterprises and her first romance hit #7 on the bestseller list. Kay has also been a HOLT Medallion, Book Buyers Best and RITA Award nominee while writing for Harlequin, Berkley Publishing, and Kindred Spirits Publishing. Kay lives in Wilmington, NC, with her very needy labradoodle named Harley. Find out more at kaylyonsauthor.com.

Barbara McMahon – USA Today Bestselling and award winning author Barbara McMahon has written more than 90 novels which have sold more than 16.5 million copies world wide. Known for her heartwarming, emotional stories, she excels in capturing those special feelings when first falling in love. She lives in a rural, gold rush county of Northern California with her husband and two velcro dogs. Learn more about Barbara and her books at www.barbaramcmahon.com.

Debra Salonen – Past winner of Romantic Times Reviewer’s Career Achievement “Series Storyteller of the Year” award, Debra Salonen has published more than sixty romance novels and novellas for Harlequin Enterprises, Tule Publishing, and Loner Llama Press. Her books have earned numerous awards, including “Best SuperRomance of the Year” in 2010. Deb lives near in the California foothills near Yosemite National Park with her high-school-sweetheart husband, and close to her children, grandchildren, and Nature. Sign up for Deb’s weekly travelogue/chatty/booksy newsletter here: http://www.debrasalonen.com


Links to Pre-order CUPID TO THE RESCUE for only 99¢ now!

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Release Date: January 5, 2021

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**Special Giveaway** Debra Salonen ETAL will give away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky reader who answers the following question in the comments on this Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog: Have you ever rescued or adopted a rescue animal? Happy Reading!


Thanks, everyone, for sharing your anthology with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read these stories!

31 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Contemporary #Holiday #Romance: CUPID TO THE RESCUE, A Tail-Wagging Valentine’s Day #Anthology by Debra Salonen ETAL”

  1. What a fabulous group of authors!
    Yes, all of my animals have been And are resumes, up to and including guinea pigs and geckos, oh!, and fish!

  2. yes,,all our animals are rescue animals,,we go to the local humane Society and adopt thru there cause we know the care that they give there is awesome

  3. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I love anthologies, and anthologies with animals? No brainer! I love our pets, many of which were rescues. We’ve never bought an animal, well, if you discount my birds. 🙂 Our latest dog, Tucker, was a true rescue. His mama was killed within hours after she’d given birth to her litter. My husband and I took him on when his eyes weren’t even open. We bottle fed him and played “mama” for weeks. Now, he thinks we’re his litter mates. He’s very attached to us and our other two dogs. He still whines incessantly when he wants something.

    1. What a sad story about Tucker’s mama, Karen. Good on you and your hubby for becoming surrogate moms.

      We all love our rescue animals, too. Although I don’t have it, my hubby and I rescued a redtail hawk with an injured eye and wing. We found a wonderful rehab/rescue for birds in a town about forty miles from here. He was still alive the last time I checked!!!

      Thanks for having us today!


  4. I love animals, we have a 7 year old half Schnauzer and my life is better having him. He is such a joy. Pets put our minds at ease and they love us unconditionally. This book of anthologies sounds Great, Have a Great week and stay safe.

  5. Ooh this anthology sounds great! As for rescue pets… most of ours through the years have been rescue pets! From dogs, cats, rodents, bunnies and birds.

  6. Our pup came from a breeder but was 15 weeks old when he got him. Because we had lost our previous dog 2 months prior it felt like he rescued me after we brought him home. Next dog, if there is one, will be a rescue.

  7. We tried to rescue a neighbor’s dog. The kids were horrible to him. He wasn’t good with my kids. I found him a happy home with an older couple. I was so glad he found a good home.

  8. Most of the pets I’ve had have been rescues including the horse we got my daughter . He’d been a rescue horse before he became a lesson horse.

    1. Hi, Glenda,
      That’s pretty cool about your rescue horse becoming a lesson horse. Shows a great deal of patience and skill on the part of the trainer. Well done!

  9. We have rescued two cats and one dog. Sadly they are gone and I am too busy taking care of my parents to take care of a pet.

  10. We have rescued two cats and one dog. Sadly they are gone and I am too busy taking care of my parents to have a pet at the moment.

  11. Both cats i adopted from a friends cat that kept having litters. Sally Ashes & Bailey Ditty Sisters born four months apart. Bailey Ditty unfortunately crossed the rainbow bridge a little over a year ago at age 15 and Sally Ashes just turned 16 in March and still has the energy of a kitten.

  12. Yes we have rescued Jess. Part pitbull. The sweetest, smartest dog there ever was. Her picture will be on a local rescue calendar this year with her rescue Daddy on the motorcycle with a sidecar that they ride around town and people watch. Her picture was taken this week with all the girls and other dogs at her spa. She loves all the attention.

  13. No, not as an adult, most apartments here are designated pet-free sadly. We had a number of pets when we were children, but other than Sam, a dachshund cross who was a Christmas present from our grandmother (much to our mother’s chagrin) I was too young to remember where they came from. Would love to have a little dog though and a rescue would be perfect as not a puppy and no need to train them, just love and care for them.

  14. I have a back yard kitty krew I have been taking care of for years! I also have two indoor cats. One I got for free through the newspaper and the other I rescued from outside. I currently have 8 outside cats that I care for! I’m going broke buying cat food, but I love them all. Thank you

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