Monday, May 13, 2013

Today's Special - - Jill Shalvis and Read Humane®

The Romance Dish is pleased to support PenguinGroup (USA)’s Read Humane® 2013campaign to fight animal cruelty.  Andrea and I both know the joy and love that comes from adopting a rescue dog.  Miles (Andrea's dog) and Cassy and Rachel (my dogs) are all rescues.  While, technically, we adopted them (Just look at those faces. How could we not bring them home?), in reality, they adopted us; opened our hearts, walked right in and found a safe, secure and loving place for themselves. And every day, they show us just how much they appreciate that place.

This photo was taken the day Rachel joined our family.  No hesitation here. She knew she was finally home and happy to be there.  She's my couch potato - and bed buddy - a mama's girl through and through.

Cassy was a tiny little thing when I brought her home; the runt of the litter.  What she lacked in size though she more than made up in heart.  Happy, energetic and loving, this little girl has never met a stranger. 

This photo was taken a week after we adopted our sweet Miles.  As you can tell, he loves to run and play!  I don't know if we picked him or if he picked us, but either way, he is the perfect fit for our family.


Today, we are welcoming spokesperson and bestselling author Jill Shalvis to our blog.  Jill is sharing with us her family’s animal rescue story and discussing her Animal Magnetism series with a piece entitled “Why Dogs Make Great Sidekicks!”    

Read Humane® is an initiative created by Penguin Group (USA) in 2012 to support our furry friends in honor of National Pet Month (May).  As part of the Read Humane® 2013 campaign, six special edition, animal-themed mass market paperbacks have been reissued featuring the official Read Humane® seal.  Penguin supports the fight against animal cruelty with a $25,000 donation, regardless of sales, to The Humane Society of the United States' Animal Rescue Team.

For more information, and complete lists of the six participating authors and book retailers, please visit Penguin Group (USA) or view the official Read Humane® Prezi here.

And remember to join the conversation on Twitter with @BerkleyRomance and @HSUS throughout May by using the hashtag #readHumane.  Followers are encouraged to Tweet about Penguin’s animal friendly books, share their own rescue stories, and join in other pet themed conversations.

Jill Shalvis is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over four dozen romance novels, including her fun contemporary Animal Magnetism series, which promotes animal rescue dogs. Jill is a 3-time National Readers Choice winner, and lover of animals! More information about Jill and her collection of fabulous romance titles can be found at

My Rescue Story
by Jill Shalvis

At any point, on any day in the Shalvis abode, there are animals.  All of them rescued, always.  It’s become somewhat of a family tradition, rescuing animals in need, and we’ve found that not only is it a nice thing to do, we get a really great pet out of the deal.

A couple of years ago, our house was fairly full.  Okay, so it was straining at the wall joints.  We had Ashes -- our rescue Border Collie/Australian Blue Heeler.  Sadie – our cat who thinks she’s a dog.  Micky – a field mouse rescued from the high school science lab.  And four teenage girls.

Actually, it wasn’t a house.  It was a zoo.

But a year before we’d lost Izzie, our beloved brown lab.  And we missed having two dogs.  Yes, we’re crazy.  Anyway, on that fated day I’m about to tell you about, Alpha Man (my husband) had heard about a yellow lab puppy who needed rescue.

No.  No way.  I was adamant.  I had enough on my plate.  But Alpha Man just wanted to go make sure the lab was okay. 

So we left the mountain…

 And drove…

And drove…

We were following the sketch directions from a guy who knew a guy who had told us about a woman who lived out in the middle of nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE, and she rescues animals.

The landscape was like something out of a Criminal Minds episode, so we were wary at first.  We had no idea what we were going to find.  A box of puppies, or a meth lab … nothing would have surprised me.  I was a little worried because the kids were with us, but it turned out the place was fifty acres of love.

Any animal in need is welcome. 

Even the funny looking ones…

The woman had goats, horses, turtles, geese, snakes, angry chickens ... you name it and she had it.  She was rehabbing it, doctoring it, loving it … whatever the animal needed.

We’d gone because of the rumor of the puppies, the yellow labs.  And she did have two puppies.  She’d rescued them out of a horrible situation.

But the yellow lab wasn’t the one who stole our hearts.  Nope, it was her little baby brother.  The runt.

He was filthy and living in a hovel. And the minute he saw us, he came alive. Wriggling, happy, loving. All you had to do was touch him and he writhed in joy and dropped to the floor for a belly rub.

And once he was picked up by the teenagers and loved up by them, he didn’t want to get down.  I tried.  I tried hard.  But the thing had wriggled his way right into my heart.  I remember looking at Alpha Man, laughing and crying at the same time.

“You didn’t want another dog,” he reminded me.

I told him to zip it.  We were taking this dog and that was that.  Besides, there was the little matter of him being in my arms and refusing to be put down.

So we never put him down again.  Meet Frat Boy…


Why Dogs Make Great Sidekicks
by Jill Shalvis

Now that you know a little bit about my rescue story, I want to share with you some of the inspiration for my Animal Magnetism series.  One of the fun things about writing this series is developing complex and lovable characters… that just happen to be adorable dogs!  Here’s why dogs make great sidekicks…

1. Because when you’re on the mountain trail and you come across an angry mama bear and her baby cubs, your dog will run like hell.  This will warn you to run like hell as well.  Just be careful because if your dog is like my dog, he will throw you under the bus (or in this case bear) to get home before you do.

2. Because when all the cookies are gone you can totally blame your cookie loving dog.  No one has to know that you ate all the cookies yourself.  And your dog can give you dirty looks for blaming him but he can’t actually talk and dispute your story.  Solid alibi.

3. Because if you’ve eaten in a way that disagrees with your stomach, there are never any worries.  Your dog will always, ALWAYS, out stink you.  And if he doesn’t, you can still point the finger at him.  Again, he can’t talk and dispute your story.

4. Dogs are not just great sidekicks but they also make great a really great wingman.  If you’re single, you can totally put your dog to work at charming the person you’re interested in.  Just make sure that person likes dog drool and dog hair all over everything first.

5. There is never a need for a pillow or extra blanket because your dog will always be willing to get into bed with you and share body heat.  Always.  Just be forewarned.  Being a great sidekick is not the same thing as a good bed partner.  They have a habit of being a total bed hog.


Thank you so much, Jill for sharing your stories with us!  If you have enjoyed Jill’s stories please feel free to show your support in our comments section below and by visiting the other participating websites/blogs…  


Share your animal rescue stories!  Do you, or have you, welcomed a rescue pet into your family?  Tell us about the animals in your life or, if you don't have pets, share a friend's story or tell us what kind of pet you'd choose if you did adopt one.  

To show our support for the Read Humane® campaign, Andrea and I will give one copy of Jill's Read Humane® Rescue My Heart to a randomly chosen person who leaves a comment on today's blog. This giveaway is open to all countries serviced by 

Read Humane® Blog Tour 2013!

For more information on Read Humane® please visit Penguin Group (USA).  To view more special features from spokesperson Jill Shalvis, please visit the following websites/blogs; each website/blog will feature a unique perspective on Read Humane, so be sure to stop by each for a new and exciting experience!  

4/29/2013            USA Today’s Happy Ever After                   Special Feature!
4/29/2013            Fresh Fiction                                                      Spotlight
4/30/2013            RT Book Reviews Online                              Special Feature!
5/1/2013              Happily Ever After Reads                              Spotlight
5/2/2013              Teresa's Reading Corner                                               Spotlight
5/3/2013              The Book Reading Gals                                  Spotlight
5/4/2013              Book Crack                                                          Spotlight
5/5/2013              Love Romances & More                                                Spotlight
5/6/2013              Books-N-Kisses                                                 Spotlight
5/7/2013              RT Book Reviews Online                                               Spotlight
5/8/2013              Cocktails & Books                                             Spotlight
5/9/2013              The Book Pushers                                            Spotlight
5/10/2013            Kindles & Wine                                                 Spotlight
5/11/2013            My Book Addiction & More                         Spotlight
5/12/2013            Eye on Romance                                              Spotlight
5/13/2013            eBook Obsessed                                              Spotlight
5/14/2013            My Friend Amy                                                 Spotlight
5/14/2013            Pretty Fluffy                                                       Spotlight
5/16/2013            The Romance Dish                                           Spotlight
5/16/2013            Pretty Fluffy                                                       Spotlight
5/17/2013            Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind                 Spotlight
5/18/2013            Romantic Book Affairs                                   Spotlight
5/19/2013            Ramblings from This Chick                            Spotlight
5/20/2013            Under the Covers Book Blog                       Spotlight
5/20/2013            The Romance Studio                                      Spotlight
5/21/2013            Chick Lit Reviews                                              Spotlight
5/26/2013            The Reading Café                                             Spotlight
5/28/2013            Stuff and Nonsense                                        Spotlight
5/29/2013            Thoughts in Progress                                      Spotlight


  1. We don't have any pets, but one of my best friends adopted their cat from the North Shore Animal League.

    1. I've heard wonderful things about the North Shore Animal League, Jane.

  2. We always seem to have stray cats turn up. Of course, once you feed them they tend to stick around. I do like having them around & giving them a home. So, in fact, I think they adopted us.

    1. You're right, Mary. They do adopt us, don't they? ;-)

  3. I,love all pets, this a great cause, thanks

  4. Right now I have 3 dogs, 1 stray cat we took in and for some crazy reason 3 wild ducks showed up a few weeks ago and demand to be fed lol

    But my rescue dog passed away Jan 12, 2012. His name was Rocky and I loved him so much I remembered the day I went to the shelter, I knew from the moment I saw him he was mine! I remember him looking like the saddest thing I ever seen. The look of sadness in his eyes broke my heart! I made a silent promise to make the rest of his life happy. To give him love, a home and a family. I really miss him :(

    1. (((((Savannah)))) They never leave our hearts, do they?

  5. I love pets, but can't have any because of severe allergies. I do so love living vicariously through lovely stories like your blog, Jill and the lovely comments here. Happy Mother's Day!

    1. Happy to send you some vicarious pet love! :)

  6. My husband and I have had many pets over the years that were members of the family. It has been seven years since we lost our last two dogs and last summer I decided it was time to add to the family. While vacationing in the NC mountains, a tiny, feral kitten crawled out from under the porch of the home we were renting. He was obviously ill and we took him to the vet who treated him. When we went to get him, we were told that his chance of survival was slim and, sadly, he died in the night. It broke my heart and that was when I vowed I would adopt a kitten when we returned to Florida. In September, we adopted a little tortoiseshell kitten and named her Sophie. I couldn’t put her down because I was so in love. Then we decided to adopt a little friend for her. We rescued a gorgeous part Maine Coon cat that had been taken to a shelter. The woman told them to take the damn cat of she was going to throw it in the ditch! What a horrible person! This little guy is now named Baron and the sweetest, most gentle baby ever! Our house is full of kitty toys, a huge cat condo and my husband plays with the kitties several times a day having them chase a bird on a stick. They love it and seek him out to come and play. Oh yes, I get the paw tapping on my face at 4:30 AM every morning to feed them and, naturally, I comply. These two babies have given us so much love. I hate to even leave them to run some errands. We have to have someone come in and care for them next month as we have to leave for a week and I’m so dreading it. These babies are so much fun and we love them so much. And, yes, we are wrapped very tightly around their little paws.

    A huge thank you to Jill Shalvis and Penguin for their compassion for helpless animals. Just looking at the face of that precious dog on the cover of Jill’s novel, “Rescue My Heart” says everything. That look shows adoration and complete trust. How can anyone turn away from that?

  7. We ALWAYS have multiple dogs in our house as far back as I can remember, one time we had TEN dogs.. drove my mom nuts cuz 2 pups were of same age and they played hide n seek in her flower beds.. flatten them guud. I'm a certified 'doggie' person, but ended up w/ 2 cats once bec they were crazy enough to follow me n Baron home even after I threatened them and told them they could stay no more than 2 wks.. well, as we all know, cats NEVER listen. :P

  8. I love pets. I had 2 dogs when I was a kid... Love them to pieces.

  9. I have never rescued an animal, and I don't have any pets, but I am an aunt to three furry dogs, Abby, Banner and Charlie and two cats, Oliver and Lucy.. They get the love all the two legged nieces and nephews get.. We always had pets growing up, but with me working and traveling I felt that a pet would not get the kind of love and attention it needed. But I give to my local Humane Society. I try to help out the four legged as well as the two legged..

  10. I have a rescue dog, Bogie, who is a small version of Rachel, Cassie's size. Love this dog so much. He is smart, energetic, happy and a sweetheart. What a loveable and delightful family dog.

  11. I love my dog Guido, a Maltese. When I was young we had a small dog, Ginger, from a farm. She lived 18 years and was adorable and sweet. 3 kids and that dog, my poor mother but we loved that dog and allowed her everything and spoiled her rotten.

  12. We adopted a dog from the Humane Society. She was a true family member for 12 years!

  13. I adopted a teeny tiny scared to death Yorkie. I had lost my little mini schnauzer a year before and my daughter surprised me with little Scout. She was so disheveled and tiny...she was one of 8 in a single cage from a breeder , puppy mill that they rescued. It was apparent that she didnt fight hard for what food they were given. She was barely 2 pounds...and oh so timid!
    Afraid of everyone and every thing...
    But alas two and 1/2 years later...she is better not great with others but better and almost 6 pounds of sweet dear love!
    She is absolutely my dog and cannot stand me being out of her sight for too long.
    Makes for long days and puppy prosac for now but...

    The best present ever!

  14. We got our lovely lady Skye from an Aussie rescue organization. She was a frisbee champion when she was young and never lost her love of the sport. We still miss her. We inherited Indy, a St. Bernard rescue, when one of my nephews, who adopted her from the shelter, changed jobs and was traveling a lot. She was a darling, and one of the funniest sights I've ever seen was the daily visits between Indy and her best friend, our neighbor's pet rooster. We've been petless since Indy broke loose on a walk and was struck by a car. Our hearts had to heal, but I have a feeling that we will be adopting again soon.

  15. Great story. I've had dogs, but I never rescued one. I always assumed that a rescue dog might have severe behavioral issues. This blog post shows that this is simply not the case

  16. It's hard to pick one story. For the last 20 plus years I've been rescuing and caring for ferals/strays. One I nursed after the mother and 5 wk. old kitten were doused in motor oil and one had pneumonia. Our second dog was a rescue. We had just lost our beloved beagle of 12 years and she was our baby since we didn't have kids yet. I said no more dogs because it hurt so much. But unknown to me my husband went to the pound and came home with a bundle of black fur. She came running to me while I was sitting on the floor crying and she stole our hearts. She really was the sweetest dog ever. The next year I had my first child and she loved her (and my second). They would hold on to her fur to learn how to stand and she would never say a word. And when I started caring for kittens, she was so wonderful with them. We had Shadow for 16 wonderful years.

  17. Hi, all! Jill, thanks so much for being an ambassador for this campaign. While considering getting a pet, we knew we wanted to rescue, but I had no idea just how many animals out there are desperate for a forever home. I have a new found respect for rescue operations and the selfless people who run them. Thanks to Life Is Labs Rescue, our family is complete with our sweet Miles! We love him so much! :)

  18. I wanted to add that I highly recommend RESCUE MY HEART by Jill. So, even if you don't win a copy of it here, run out and buy it!

  19. I have adopted several animals during my life and at one point I had so many YOU could have called me an organization. Now that I am no longer able to give proper care I enjoy my sister's Beloved pets.

  20. We have a fantastic branch of the humane society. Luckily, our city is very generous and they get a lot of donations. They were able to take over a large property that was a defunct grocery store chain and made it into a big, beautiful space. They also have tons of open yard space for the dogs to be walked and run.

    Growing up, we always had at least 3 dogs and each and every one of them were rescues. We used to make fun of mom that she always goes for the most pitiful, neurotic dog and she still does to this day! But they always turned out so sweet and loving and fantastic :) My furbabies now were purchased by my BF at a petstore before I met him and he has agreed that our next dogs would be rescues. There are too many good dogs who need homes and I hate supporting the puppy mills.

  21. Awww! A baby lamb! *Melts*
    I adore hearing about animals finding good homes!

  22. Such a wonderful column...such a wonderful, dear heart. We have rescued animals in our family, and I'm ready to rescue another dog now. Just need to get Hubby's agreement to that. Thanks so much for the post, Jill.

  23. Books supporting animals in need? What a Wonderful cause, thank you for sharing this.
    We have had a few rescue animals too. The mostly"memorable" was a gift from a sister. the creature in need of a home was a rescue snake. A rather large snake ..l at last to Me it was large. It used to slip,out of its habitat so it could cuddle with something warm and cuddly ... Like people.
    Sisters .

  24. We went to our local SPCA several years ago to get a kitten and ended up with two since we brought our daughter and her friend. They were in college at the time and when they saw all the kittens they got so upset that they asked us if we could pick out two.

  25. I don't have a rescue pet but it's so wonderful to hear all the stories of people who are able to provide a good home for animals in need!:)

  26. Sadly I'm allergic to pets so I don't have a rescue pet but if I did adopt, I'd adopt a dog. I'd love to be able to cuddle with a good buddy.