Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Write Pet: Mona Karel || TEACH ME TO FORGET

The Write Pet by Mona Karel

  Dogs have been a part of my life, well, forever. When I moved out on my own, I wanted my own dog, and ended up with a Saluki, an ancient breed originating along the Silk Trading Routes. That was in 1972 and we have shared lives ever since. When my family complained about my odd canine obsession I pointed out I stayed with the same breed of dogs longer than my brothers stayed with their first wives. Or in one case, their second.

     I met my husband at a dog show, we married just before a major dog show weekend so he could introduce me as his wife. Unlike so many husbands of dog owners, he was an active participant. After nearly 25 wonderful years of marriage he came home for hospice care so he could see the dogs one more time, and we had three more months together. Since then the dogs have helped keep me as sane as possible, which some people might point out isn't really too sane.

     My day starts before dawn because Moochie wants out. NOW. And the rest get their morning cuddles and little lessons. It's a while before they're all settled and I can get to the computer, which is set up in the middle of the main room of the house. Just about the time I sit down to write, one of them wants attention again. Something along the lines of "Moooom, Fire Dragon LOOKED at me again!" With Fire Dragon looking perplexed, as if he hadn't just threatened them with a glance. Like mothers with small children I've learned to write in bursts, taking advantage of any quiet times.

     I am deeply involved in the world of dogs, which takes away from writing but also gets me out of the house, a good thing since I tend to take root too easily. I make a point of taking the dogs out individually, either to class or just on rambles around town. In particular Tom's favorite little girl Faerie Queene, who has taken a long time to adjust to his loss. She is now coming into her own, and earlier this month had a lovely win at a small show in Hobbs NM. This picture is of her playing around during a photo shoot with friends.

     I have included dogs in my books though not as much as one might expect. Unfortunately I see no romance in dog shows themselves but one of the scenes in Teach Me To Forget came directly from the first time we rented a motor home to go to a show, and slept in the overhead bunk. It's a small space, and encourages snuggling. The heroine in that book needed a dog to accompany her, but a Saluki would not have fit into her lifestyle. Instead she has a happy clown of an Irish Setter. Borzoi showed up in some of my paranormal stories, including a Christmas short on my website (A Christmas Whimsy).

     I wrote a bit of a silly story (The Floogle) also on the website, poking fun at my disparate 'worlds' of romance writing and dog showing. Take a look if you get a moment, hope you enjoy.

Title: Teach Me To Forget
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Date Published: May 9, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 66,250
Bethany Acton has come a long way from the day she was an abused child-bride of a dissolute jet setter. Now divorced and single, she writes for a lifestyles magazine, lives out of her motor home, and answers only to her boss—when he can find her. She has overcome her horrendous past and taken control of her own life. But when Jonathan Merritt, a rising star in wildlife photography, enters her world, she learns control is a tenuous thing.

Jonathan knows he has met the woman with whom he wants to spend his future, but first he must admit his role in her past. Afraid the truth will turn her against him, he tries to gain her trust and affection before confessing. But the longer he hesitates, the harder it becomes to tell her. Can Jonathan gain enough of her love and trust for her to forgive what he did—or will his past indiscretions destroy his only chance for happiness?

            "I didn't know what Stefan did or did not do, and I've been afraid of upsetting you by accidentally doing something he did." He searched her face for reaction as he spoke. It might have been a risky time to try to probe at her but she seemed more open with him now than she had ever been.
            "Is that why you keep acting the way you do?"
            "How do I act?"
            "You keep getting me all excited, then you back off," she said grumpily, looking astonished at her daring.
            His bark of laughter was as welcome as it was unexpected by both of them. Cradling her cheeks between his palms, he allowed the warmth of his smile to spread across his whole face.
            "Yes, you little nuisance, that was why."
            "Oh." She turned away, adroitly removing her face from his grasp. The coffee cup was empty again, and she set it down.
            He felt his agitation increasing, but waited for some kind of a sign from her. Something to tell him she didn't equate his presence with the depravity of being Stefan's wife.
            "Kissing," she said softly.
            "I beg your pardon?"He could not have been more surprised if she had thrown herself on him naked, nor more pleased. She was speaking in an undertone and fiddling with the cuff of her appallingly ugly flannel shirt, but she had said...
            "Kissing." It was no louder this time.
            "I understand that much. Kissing is a good thing."
            "Stefan was never very fond of kissing." If possible, her voice was even softer. A deep rose color began to rise up her neck.
            The blush was delightful. He couldn't remember ever seeing such a charming blush. He wanted to track that blush to its source.
            "Are you trying to tell me something, Bethany?" He could afford to tease her now that some kind of an end was in sight. He wondered what she would say next, and prompted her ruthlessly. "If you want to tell me something, just be direct. I won't take it the wrong way."
            "Would-you-please-kiss-me-Jonathan!" she ground out between suddenly clenched teeth.
            "I thought you'd never ask."

Available for purchase:

Author Bio: 
Mona Karel is the writing alter ego of Monica Stoner, who read her first book at three but didn't discover romance until she found Mary Stewart in the high school library, having read all the books related to horses. She has lived many places, and feels home is wherever her books and dogs are.

Author Links:
Twitter @MonaKarel

Mona is offering a digital copy of Teach Me To Forget to one lucky responder so leave a comment!


  1. Hi Melissa, thanks so much for including me in this fun hop!

  2. I enjoyed that little glimpse into Monica's life. But I already have the book :)

  3. What a wonderful pet tale. They become so much a part of our lives.

  4. Mona, what a lovely post. People who have pets usually live longer. Certainly we enjoy life more with our fur-children to keep us company. I'm so sorry for your loss of your husband, but glad you are carrying on with your dogs and your writing. I enjoyed the excerpt. Best wishes for continued success in writing and showing your dogs.

    1. Caroline, Random has chosen you as the winner. Please sent your e-mail

  5. Hi Mona,
    Thank you so much for participating in The Write Pet. I'm so sorry for your loss of your husband. It sounds like your pets fulfill an important role in your life.

  6. I have four dogs so of course I LOVED this post. I sometimes forget how much time my
    dogs consume in my day because they're always around me as I write. I write.
    I work-out with them. I write and blog some more. Work out with them.
    This post reminded me of how much they influence my life.
    I called my first book The Shadow of A Dog I Can't Forget so there you see the
    dog influence. In my second book, Squinting Over Water, the dogs must have
    been at bay. The stories didn't have as much of a dog presence.

    Forgive me for not addressing the loss of your husband. It sounds like
    you two had a true & wonderful emotional connection. So sorry for your loss...

    Mary Kennedy Eastham

  7. If people who have pets live longer, I'm going to be immortal! tells me CAROLINE is my lucky winner. If she'll send me her e-mail and preferred format I'll get a copy of Teach Me To Forget into her e-reader with my thanks!