A ranch like no other … Erin Christiansen is still adjusting to life as a widow. She seeks additional healing by volunteering at Compassion Ranch, a sanctuary for former research animals. Upon arrival at the majestic and unique northwestern Wyoming ranch, she meets Mike, a man she knew in high school, whose compassion for animals and people might be the balm Erin needs.Retired veterinarian Mike Jacobs is no stranger to loss. Five years after the accidental death of his wife, he now serves as ranch manager of Compassion Ranch. He not only fixes fence and provides tours, but he applies his veterinary skills and his heart for animals to his work. Upon recognizing Erin from high school, he can barely believe his first love will spend a few weeks at the sanctuary. Can Erin and Mike span the years since they have seen each other or do they, like many of the rescued animals, have wounds that run too deep to trust and love again?
He walked to Erin and extended his hand. “Happy to have you aboard. Maggie has you set up in one of the volunteer cabins. Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.” Erin smiled. “That’s because I didn’t give it yet. I’m Erin Christiansen.” The man stared at her. “There was an Erin in my high school. Erin Kelly.” Her eyes grew wide. “That’s my maiden name.” The man broke into another grin. “Well, I’ll be! It is you! I’m Michael Jacobs, Mike Jacobs.” Erin gazed at him in surprise. “Mike! Well, this is amazing! I remember you planned to attend veterinary school and set up a clinic near Seattle.” He nodded. “I did all that. I sold my practice four years ago and came out here, first just to volunteer for a time. Now I’m the ranch manager.”
Eighteen months. It’s been eighteen months since Daniel died. Those thoughts ricocheted through Erin Christiansen’s brain as she stared upon the majestic Yellowstone Lake. Cabin #15 had been her refuge at the lodging facility within the national park for two nights. One more to go before she again embarked on her journey—returning to the large house in Florida, devoid of her husband’s presence for the second summer. Morning light kissed the still snow-capped mountains to the south. Fuchsia, bluebonnet, and apricot hues danced in the dawn sky. Mornings were Daniel’s favorite time of day. They had shared many dawns during their twenty-six-year marriage, including numerous ones along Florida’s beaches. Daniel would have enjoyed watching this sunrise. Erin’s heart contracted as a longing to share the Yellowstone National Park sky with him enveloped her. A small paw grazed her leg and interrupted her thoughts. Erin leaned down and scooped up her recently-adopted Cavalier King Charles spaniel. She cradled the small dog in her arms. “I’m so glad you’ll be with me, Winston,” she whispered into her furry friend’s ear. “Last year was hard; now, I now have you for company. I hope you’ll like your new home.” For the hundredth time since Erin claimed Winston for her own, she swore the little canine smiled at her before licking her cheek.
Freelance writer Rhiann Kelly shelved romance for years. Her dream of starting an animal sanctuary takes deep roots after finding the perfect location in southwestern Montana and purchasing the property for back taxes. Emergency medical technician Levi Butler knows his elderly friend left the ranch to him in his will. Levi anxiously awaits the probate to be complete so he can plan his retirement and begin his dream of raising and selling horses. When Rhiann and Levi find each other at the ranch simultaneously, sparks fly - and not the romantic kind. Yet their mutual attraction deepens, especially after Levi finds Rhiann injured in an accident. Meantime, land developer Dallas Patterson sets his sights on charming Rhiann to obtain the land. Can Rhiann and Levi work together to detour Patterson and find a solution in which neither needs to give up their dream, or will the fence line of their hearts – and the property - separate them forever? Can their broken paths weave their hearts together as they travel the rescue road?
Why do you care?” Levi sighed again. “If I say the words aloud, any number of things could happen.” His piercing gray eyes searched her emerald ones. “One of which could hurt me. I’ve been down that road before and promised myself never again.” “Me, too,” she whispered. A few seconds passed as they looked at one another. Levi couldn’t resist. His head dipped toward her, and he allowed his lips to brush hers in a soft kiss. After he pulled away, he murmured, “I do care, Rhiann. I do care for you.” “And I care for you, Levi.” “I’m glad to hear that,” he whispered. He stared at her momentarily, and then brushed his lips against her cheek. He heard a soft sigh escape from her mouth. He could no longer deny his attraction nor his hope. Levi wrapped his arms around her waist. Passion overwhelmed him, a feeling he had not experienced in years. The ardor seared his lips to hers and melded their bodies together.
Rhiann and Levi sat next to one another on the porch of her house. Hands clasped, each gazed into the fire pit in front of them as the flames faded. Jax napped on a blanket at Rhiann's feet. "The dinner you made was delicious, thank you," Rhiann said, looking at Levi. He smiled at her. "You're welcome. The pumpkins bars you created for dessert added to the seasonality of the meal. Good call." "You can thank Grams for the recipe. She loved everything pumpkin." Levi gazed at the starry night and said, "Thanks, Grams." He looked at Rhiann and smiled. "I'm sure glad she encouraged you to move to Colter." Rhiann returned his smile and said, "I'm glad, too." A group of coyotes howled from a surrounding hillside. Levi and Rhiann listened and didn't speak for several moments, absorbing the natural night chorus. Jax raised his head, seeming attentive to the calls.
“Dogs choose their owners. I think she might be choosing you.” “You really think so?” Trisha asked, continuing to look at the beagle lying atop her feet. “I enjoyed having her at the house, both of them really.” “You cannot have Jax,” Rhiann stated. “I’ll battle to the death over this one.” She patted the small dog’s head. The Shih Tzu looked up, sighed, stood, and stretched. He then curled back into a ball to nap. “Well, let’s think about it for a bit. I just may make a space in my home for this senior girl,” Trisha said. Rhiann observed her friend lean down and stroke the beagle’s head. “You’re a good girl, aren’t you, Rae?”
Out of earshot of others, Levi continued, “As I said, I owe you an apology. I heard you and Brandon, saw you and Brandon, at the clinic ...” His voice trailed off. “That wasn’t what you think.” Levi held up a hand. “I know that now. I should have stayed to watch you kick him to the curb.” She looked at Levi and gave him a small smile touched with sadness. “What else would you think I’d do? How many times have we told one another that I’m not Allison and you’re not Brandon?” “Several. But that is what I thought.” He took a deep breath. “With all my talk of being scared together, the closer we became, the more scared I got."
RHIANN SAT ACROSS FROM Levi at a bistro-style table. She marveled at how he arranged this so quickly—candlelight, a bottle of Pinot Grigio, Italian food, table and chairs, white tablecloth, and yellow roses with petals tinged with orange. The nearby stream hummed a melody while the stars and full harvest moon cascaded a natural chandelier. She looked at Levi dressed in black jeans that hugged his frame, a red long-sleeved shirt with a black and silver bolo at the collar, and a woolen black and gray jacket. Stylish, rugged, and handsome, Rhiann thought, admiring Levi for the hundredth time tonight. Thoughtful, kind, romantic, genuine—how did this happen?
Levi sat behind his desk and nodded toward the guest chair in front of him. Rhiann sat down. “Miss Kelly…” She tried to smile. “Rhiann.” He nodded. “Rhiann. If I had known George was behind on the taxes, I would have easily stepped up and paid them. A man shouldn’t lose his thousand-acre ranch over a measly two thousand dollars. I don’t know why George didn’t tell me.” “Neither do I. And I am sorry. I stayed up for several hours last night because this bothers me. I may have found have a solution.” “Oh?” You’ll sell the ranch back to me for the taxes you paid?” “No, not at all.” A frown came to Levi’s face. “Then, I’m not sure we have anything to talk about."
RHIANN SAT IN FRONT of a sprawling cherry desk and watched the judge as he reviewed the documents in front of him. The silver-haired and mustached magistrate raked his gaze between two piles of paper: those from her hand and those obtained from the county assessor’s office. His hazel eyes darted from page to page. His face crinkled, and he drummed his index finger on the desk. “Most of us in Colter and Jefferson County knew George. I don’t think anyone except the county clerk knew he was behind on his taxes,” the judge stated. “This surprises me.” “Seemed to surprise a few other people, too,” she responded. She noticed the man studying her. “I had a visitor at the ranch earlier today.” “Levi Butler?” Surprised, she asked, “How did you know?” “Good guess.” The judge once again reviewed the papers. “Everything looks legal.” “Why wouldn’t it be? And why does Levi Butler think he has claim to the property?” The judge sighed and readjusted his glasses. “George died suddenly, but I know he had a will, and I know he had a person in mind he’d leave his ranch to.” “Obviously, that person wasn’t me,” said Rhiann. “No. No, it certainly wasn’t.” “Let me guess—Levi Butler.” The judge sighed and nodded. “Levi expected to inherit the ranch."
RHIANN STOOD ON THE porch of the mid-century ranch house. Cup of coffee in hand, she watched the blazing orange sunrise. Streamers of light cascaded on the mountains west of the property, casting a rosy glow on the rocks and patches of snow upon the higher elevation. October’s morning danced with the browning grasses of the nearby pastures as touches of frost shimmered upon tan sprigs surrounding the house. Overhead, a flock of Canada geese in traditional V formation honked as they winged their way south. Rhiann observed them and whispered, “We have something in common. We’re starting over.”
Cody the cocker spaniel and his human family visit their log cabin in the woods. The dog loves adventure so he explores the sights and smells around him. What kind of animals and plants might he encounter in the pine-filled forest? What types of animals and plants might you experience in your neighborhood or local woods? Delightful story and activity book for children ages 7 to 11. Activity pages in the back of the book encourages children to explore nature.
Delightful story and activity book for children. Cody the cocker spaniel and his human family visit their log cabin in the woods. The dog loves adventure so he explores the sights and smells around him. What kind of animals and plants might he encounter in the pine-filled forest? What types of animals and plants might you experience in your neighborhood or local woods?
Working Title: A Dog Named Mary Visits Yellowstone National Park
This Book Is In Development
Dogs love to explore. Mary is a springer spaniel, and she loves taking trips in the car and exploring places when she arrives. Come along on Mary's adventure to the world's first national park, Yellowstone, and experience the many wonders with her! Learn about the area's many wildlife species, the geysers, and the history of this special place. You can also write your own Outdoor Explorer Story! Includes activity pages to educate and encourage children to spend time in the outdoors near or away from home and vocabulary words to improve their reading and understanding of science.
Yellowstone is the world's first national park and was created for all to enjoy. Many wild creatures live in Yellowstone. Numerous geysers, hot springs, and mud pots gurgle from the earth, sometimes spouting into the sky. Mountains, rivers, lakes, and forests beckon to be explored. Dogs are welcome with their people in certain places in the park. Mary the springer spaniel takes a trip with her friends to Yellowstone and explores the park using her senses of sight, hearing, smell, and touch. Come along for the adventure! After reading the story, activities will help you be an outdoor explorer, even in your own neighborhood, just like Mary!
Strengthen your faith walk with God by walking with the author and her blind dog as they learn to "walk in trust" together.
How often have we experienced sadness, guilt and shame? Just like my dog who ripped up the couch, there is a reason for such feelings. Yet, Jesus made atonement for us, sacrificing himself for our sins. When we receive his free gift of grace, we are set free -- if we choose that pathway of freedom.
How does love help combat feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and fear? Can a blind dog help alleviate these feelings? Can God?
A small dog is rescued from terrible conditions. He learns about love, trust, and friendship, especially after the young Shih Tzu is adopted. For the first time, the little dog lives in a home. This book teaches young readers life lessons on kindness, compassion, trust, and friendship and about puppy mills in a non-graphic way. It also teaches about the importance of pet rescue and adoption. Based on a true story, the book features full-color photos and contains activities for children to do.
Living in a cage is no life for a dog. A little Shih Tzu is rescued, comes to live in a sanctuary, and meets friends -- both dog and human. Will he find his forever home with a loving family through adoption? Come along for Jeremiah's rescue and adoption journey!
A springer spaniel trained as a therapy dog helps children understand the meaning of kindness, kindness to both people and pets. Features full-color photographs and engaging activities. Appropriate for ages 4 to 8.
Mary is a springer spaniel trained as a therapy dog. She shows kindness to people in many ways; she also shows kindness to other pets. People can also show kindness to others, both humans and animals. Learn more about kindness to others from A Kind Dog Named Mary!
Working Title: Jeremiah's Joy
This Book Is In Development
A Shih Tzu named Jeremiah is rescued and later adopted, living in a home for the first time in his life. He is befriended by the other dog living in the house and learns all kinds of new things from her. An engaging short story about dog adoption, friendship, and trust with photos of the real dogs. Activities also included.
Jeremiah, a four-year-old Shih Tzu, spent the first three years of his life in a tiny cage. His rescue from that place brought him to a loving family, gave him a new dog friend, and allowed him the freedom to run in a large, fenced-in back yard. Jeremiah discovers and learns many new things, including joy.
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