Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Today's Special - - Laura Moore

Bestselling contemporary romance author Laura Moore's first story filled a coffee-stained notebook before she realized she might actually have written a love story that others would enjoy. Ride A Dark Horse was published a year later.

An accomplished equestrian and lifelong animal lover, Laura Moore lives in Rhode Island with her husband, two children and their black Lab. Their cat, Zevon, keeps them all in line.

You can find Laura at her web site:
www.lauramoorebooks.com -- she encourages you to sign up for her newsletter!

Please join me in welcoming Laura Moore! 

Hi, everyone! It’s so good to be back here at The Romance Dish.

Anyone who’s read my books knows that I’m an animal lover. Pretty much every story of mine has featured either a four-legged or a winged or a finned creature. To me, the animals in our lives represent an important connection to the natural world, and how we treat them reveals a great deal about our characters. In this day and age of always being plugged in or staring at some electronic device, the simple, basic forms of communication through speech, body language, and touch are infinitely appealing. Interacting with animals forces us to slow down. It requires us to be present.

My heroine, Quinn Knowles, in Once Touched, Book three in my Silver Creek series (note that all the books can be read as stand-alones) understands this implicitly. She was born and raised on a sprawling cattle and sheep ranch, has been riding since she was barely more than a toddler, and rescued her first animal--an injured bunny when she was a little girl. As an adult, her connection with animals has only deepened.

When Ethan Saunders, a photojournalist who’s been embedded with an army unit in Afghanistan arrives at Silver Creek Ranch, he’s wounded, both in body and soul. Burdened by the horror and guilt of his wartime experience his aim is to hide away from the world. He’s counting on the Knowleses--old family friends of his parents--to leave him alone.

But he hasn’t counted on Quinn Knowles, who’s no longer the pig-tailed girl he used to lead around
on her pinto pony. She’s grown into a strong and determined woman who doesn’t back down even when he shows her his surliest, bear-like side.

For Quinn, the visible and invisible wounds Ethan carries can’t be ignored and she can’t resist trying to heal them. She knows that to allow Ethan to retreat from the world will only cause those wounds to fester. From her experience working with animals, she recognizes that the best medicine and therapy for Ethan right now is to be with them.

In writing about Quinn and Ethan, I drew a lot on research about therapy animals, in particular how much they can help disabled veterans returning home. I hope that when you read Once Touched, not only will you fall in love with Quinn and Ethan’s story but you’ll be equally moved by the healing powers animals hold.   

Excerpt from Once Touched:
              When Quinn opened her front door four hours later, she was greeted by a series of barks and leaps from Sooner, a figure-eight pass between her legs by Pirate, and eardrum-splitting squawks from Alfie, who was doubtless doing somersaults from one perch to the next in his oversized cage in the study.
              Her friend Lorelei was the only sentient being under the roof who chose not to greet her acrobatically. She remained curled up in an armchair, reading. One of Sooner’s more ambitious leaps and spins must have entered her field of vision, for she looked up from her book. With a smile of greeting, she removed two bright orange earplugs. “You’re back.”
              “Yeah. Brilliant idea,” she said with a nod at the foam plugs. Brushing past Sooner’s wriggling black and white body, she sank onto the drop-cloth-covered sofa with a groan of relief and patted the cushion next to her, so Sooner would know he had permission to join her.
              Her cat didn’t need permission. Pirate jumped up and then took a stroll along the back of the sofa, brushing his body against Quinn’s head. From the study, Alfie began barking.
              She grinned. “Boy, it’s good to be home. Got any more earplugs?”
Lorelei laughed. “No, but I can’t recommend them enough. They make all the difference. Francesco got them for me after our first takeout dinner here. He brought over these great burritos from this new Mexican place on Route 101, just south of Ukiah. The guac was to die for. He’s such a sweetie,” she said happily.
              Francesco and Lorelei had been dating for almost a year now, and from what Quinn could tell, Francesco wasn’t just a sweetie; he also had intelligence and good taste. He was crazy about Lorelei.
              “Yeah, you could do worse,” she said. “Like fall for the guy I just had to spend three-plus hours with. Luckily, he slept most of the drive.” The second Ethan had fallen asleep, his closely cropped head resting against the window and the tightness in his jaw relaxing somewhat, Quinn had eased up on the gas to smooth out the ride. Judging from the dark circles beneath his eyes, she had a feeling he hadn’t slept in a while.
              “This is the guy you were picking up at the airport? The family friend?”
              “His parents are friends. The jury’s out on Ethan.” She blew out a breath. “It’s possible he’s a prince.”
              “From your tone I’d guess he was more toad than prince.”
              “Mm-hmm. A prehistoric toad. Still . . .” She sighed and stroked Sooner’s head, which was resting on her thigh. He was gazing at her with fixed devotion—a balm after the hostility Ethan had displayed. “To be fair, it’s hard to tell what he’s like. He’s pretty beat up. I imagine he’s none too happy about his limitations. What I can’t figure out is why he’s chosen to come here. I parked as close to the cabin he’s staying in as I could, and even then he looked ready to pass out by the time he reached the cabin door. And he’s big—whip thin but tall. Hard to lug.” Impossible to lug, she added silently, since she’d have been terrified of hurting his arm.

Giveaway Alert!

I’m going to be giving away a copy of Once Touched (paper or e-book, winner’s choice--U.S. residents only, please). To enter, just leave an answer to the following question in the comment section. The winner will be chosen at random by The Romance Dish.

Do you have an animal? What kind and how has it improved your life?

The youngest of the three Knowles siblings, Quinn has in her blood the love of the land and its beautiful creatures. Raising enough money to build an animal sanctuary is a dream Quinn lives every day—while fending off her family’s well-intentioned matchmaking schemes. Though harboring secret fears about intimacy, Quinn soon realizes she cannot fight her growing attraction to a man who has suddenly entered her life.

Scarred by his months in Afghanistan and the violence he witnessed there through his camera lens, photojournalist Ethan Saunders throws himself into hard ranching work as a prescription for healing. But falling for Quinn has given him the one thing he thought he’d lost forever: hope. Ethan discovers that Quinn, like the innocent animals she rescues, is shy, and afraid of entrusting her heart to a man. Passion soon awakens Ethan’s strength, and his tender seduction may be just what Quinn needs to believe in herself—and in his love.

Buy Links for Once Touched:



  1. Beautiful cover. I enjoyed the excerpy and look forwrd to reading it.
    I don't have any animals right now but as a young teen I had a puppy from the pound. I remember the happiness this little beauty brought to me and he taught me what loyalty was. It's just amazing the love animals bring into our lives. Thank you for the chance to win Once Touched.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. They had rescue pups on GMA this morning. So adorable! My "pup" came home yesterday after spending four days at camp. Other than kissing me hello when I picked her up, all she's done for the past 24 hours is snore on the couch. I'm thinking she had a really good time! :)

      I just finished reading Once Touched and loved it!

  2. Sounds like something I would enjoy. I have several of her books on my tbr. I love the book in print if i won.

    I don't have any pets. When I was young, we took care of a friend's dog and I really enjoyed that. But don't think I would like the upkeep of a pet at this age. LOL.

    1. Pets do require a lot of time and attention, especially dogs, but I can't imagine my life without one.

      I really enjoyed Once Touched!

  3. My husband does not want any pets so I do not own a pet. I grew up with a Shetland Sheepdog, Sandy. He was my best friend from second grade until college. He died at the foot of my bed the day I left for school. I have fond memories of all the fun things we did together.
    I'd love to read Quinn and Ethan's story and see how animals impact their lives.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    johns lake at usa dot com

  4. We have a cockapoo that I rescued from the school where I was teaching. She had been dumped there and my students brought her to me. She's white, weighs about 10 pounds and is the light of our lives (after the grandkids).

  5. Right now I have 2 grand dogs, and we are the designated "baby" sitter. I do believe in the healing power of pets. Dogs in particular are often used as therapy. They just love so freely and unconditionally.

    1. I had a Chocolate Lab that was very empathetic. She brought great love and comfort to my husband during his final illness.

  6. No, no animals, but I do love animals in stories (okay, I love HORSES in stories...and cats...and most dogs. The yippy, frothy ones are a bit hit or miss with me, but usually they grow on me.) Growing up, I had a couple really great dogs, Rex (a collie mix, who was as noble and good as his name), Skeeter (a corgi mix mutt who had high energy and loyalty), and Braveheart (a lab mix) who was scared of most things but barked as if he wasn't. I had a pony, a beautiful gray with blonde-white mane and tail with big dark eyes and white lashes. Her name was Dance, and she had the most beautiful trot. She loved carrots, soda, and oats. She was an excellent friend. We had lots of outdoor cats, big mama tabbies that were beautiful and kind.

    I read a non-fiction book recently about how horses can help with PTSD. Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal. (He gets a little repetitive, but I think what he says is true about horses and their ability to relate to people, why people would rather trust their horse than another person.)

    1. If you like horses then you should definitely read this book, Hellie. It has cute goats too! ;-)

  7. My husband and I have two elderly Appaloosa horses, two rescued Standard Poodles, and a pass-along Cocker Spaniel we saved from going to the pound. Animals, especially rescued animals, are a cause of mine. One of my Poodles was a puppy mill breeding dog who ended up in rescue. Jemmy came to us untrained, so he went to obedience school and we learned how much he loves human attention. He and I are now a registered pet-assisted therapy team and make visits in hospitals and assisted living centers. My new Poodle, who came to us mostly untrained, is on his way to be my next partner. In the past, I was a volunteer and assistant instructor in riding for the handicapped programs. Over the years, I've seen many miracles with humans and animals. The one that touches my heart the most is when one of my autistic riding students spoke to me instead of her horse. I was the first person outside her family and medical support team she spoke to directly. Tears all around at that lesson!

    1. Bless you for the work you do, Laura. The world needs more angels like you!

    2. We currently have 3dogs, one peacock, and a ball python. They are all rescues and a crazy bunch. We did foster care for the local animal shelter for about 6 years. We kept one from the first litter, a wonderful black lab. She was such a sweetheart. She was 17 when she died last year. We also kept one from the last litter, a terrier. She is getting up in years and having health problems. Our very first dog was a beagle who also died at 17. She and the lab were our favorites.
      I volunteer at the local VA hospital and see the difference animals make in the healing process. We have quite a few visiting dogs plus therapy dogs that belong to vets. There is also a horse therapy progrram that has been successful. Animals can touch us in so many ways. Thei

    3. Was trying to finish, but my I-pad mini wouldn't let me. The animals provide unconditional and judgemental affection goes a long way to calm, sooth, and heal.

  8. I have a dog rescued from Lap dog rescue. Bogie is a sensitive, smart, energetic and loyal and lovable companion who I call the sage. He is my special and precious sweetie.

  9. I don't. I keep checking out the local shelters online - I think I'll have to go in person after the holidays.

  10. I have 2 dogs Rocky and Lady Di, and an older cat names Oliver (we lost his brother about a month ago) He looked so lost I went to the shelter to get 1 kitten but was told I had to get 2 since he wouldnt' be bothered with a baby so we got Chloe and Reba both are calicos and I would be lost without them they always brighten my day and give unconditional love every day...
    I met Laura at a book signing at the Spring Fling she is a very nice lady glad to know she came out with a new book....

  11. Once Touched sounds great!

    The longest 6 months of my life were when I didn't have a pet. I have always had cats and usually a dog as well - I currently have 3 cats and one golden retriever. I take care of them and they take care of me in so many ways.

  12. My husband is allergic to dog hair, cats and birds. We both had pets when we were growing up and wanted our kids to have the same experience. So they had fish in an aquarium. Unfortunately the heater malfunctioned and it killed them all. So they received a box turtle. We kept Tootie in the aquarium and in the evening we would let her out to walk around the place. We had her for several years. To this day, our adult children love turtles.

  13. we have a 10 month old pup - a retriever/blue tick hound rescue - we lost our 12 yo lab last March after a brief struggle with a tumor. I knew the house could not be petless - that joy and energy they bring - the unconditional love.....our pup came from a kill shelter in Alabama along with the mom and 9 littermates - she has way more energy than the aging lab and is a hoot -

  14. Nope, never had any pets.
    Karen T.