1. I hear you have a wolfhound in your novel. Tell us about the book.
Loyal and True, the first book in my Hearts of Caledonia Trilogy, is a historical romance set in ancient Scotland. The heroine, Barta, is the daughter of a Pictish chief. A blunder in judgment costs the life of her dearest companion, her wolfhound, Loyal. But the bond between them is so strong and unbreakable, Loyal finds a magical means to return to her, though not in any way she could have imagined.
Here’s the blurb: In defiance of her father, Caledonian tribeswoman Barta leads a daring raid against invading enemy warriors. But the fight goes badly, and her beloved war hound, Loyal, is killed. Unable to imagine existing without her dearest companion, she nevertheless must return home and accept blame for her terrible blunder.
For the first time in his life, Loyal is unable to rise and follow his mistress. When he appeals to the Goddess for mercy, she grants him leave to return on one condition: it must be in the form of a man. And only if Barta recognizes him for who he truly is will he be permitted to stay.
Loyal never suspects that, as a man, his connection with Barta will deepen, becoming passionate enough to transcend nearly any change. Will Barta recognize him before he’s lost to her forever?
Find Loyal and True here: https://www.amazon.com/Loyal-True-Hearts-Caledonia-Book-ebook/dp/B078JY3WWV/ref=sr_1_1
2. Why did you add a dog to this book?
I have always bonded deeply with my dogs, establishing attachments that keep us connected even when we’re far from one another physically. This, as I’ve found, can be good or bad, since it sets up a wonderfully close relationship but serves to spur things like separation anxiety in the pet. This story was something of an experiment. I asked myself (as authors tend to do) what if those bonds could reach beyond death? And since I’m convinced that a couple of my dogs have returned to me in subsequent doggie bodies, what if a deceased wolfhound could return, magically transformed into a man? Would the bonds still hold? Would they recognize each other? Would the love endure?
Since first leaving home, I’ve lived with and cared for seven dogs. The last five have been rescues. This photo is me and my latest, Tinker, on his morning ride. He is considered special needs due to past abuse and has many emotional problems. He loves his rides, so we take him on one every day.
3. I’m amazed at all of the different genres/sub-genres you’ve written in.
As you can probably tell, I like to reach beyond the ordinary limits of the genres in which I write. I also like to go genre hopping, everything from Scottish Historical, which was my first love, to Western Historical, to Contemporary, to Steampunk. I include animals, and the pursuit for animal rights, whenever I can.
4. Tell us about your kudos or reviews.
Two of my Buffalo Steampunk Adventures novels have won the N. N. Light Book Award, and my Scottish Historical, The Reiver’s Cub, won me a RONE award. My greatest honor, though, remains bringing enjoyment to my readers!
5. How do you promote your books?
You can find me on Twitter, on Facebook, and on guest posts such as this one. I also love to do Facebook takeovers with other authors. It’s so much fun!
6. Where can readers learn more about your books and connect with you online?
If you’re curious about my work and all the genres in which I write, you can check out my books here: http://www.laurastricklandbooks.com
I’m also on Amazon Central at: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Strickland/e/B001KHSACW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
And on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/760146.Laura_Strickland
From Marcia: Laura, thank you for being my February interviewee! I think it’s wonderful that you rescue pets and support pet causes. And I love discovering novels that feature interesting animals/pets. So I look forward to reading your books!
MONTHLY BLOG EBOOK CONTEST! Would you like to win a Marcia James’ ebook? Visitors to this pro-pet blog can join in the fun, comment, and/or share photos of their pets for a chance to win one of my ebooks! Each month, I’ll randomly pick one commenter to win. To leave a comment and/or a photo, click on the word “Reply,” which is just below the social media icons for THIS interview. (Don’t scroll past this interview to the next interview.) Go Pets!