Sarah McNeal is a multi-published author of time travel, paranormal, western, contemporary and historical fiction. Her stories may be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery, Western Trail Blazers, Prairie Rose Publications and Painted Pony Books
Heroes Should Go To The Dogs.
I love and respect animals. They know stuff I don’t know, see things I can’t see, hear things I can’t hear and they’re in tune with nature. They know what’s what way before I do. Have you ever had a dog that had an instant liking to a person, or even more telling, an instant dislike of someone? When my easy going, friendly Golden Retriever, Lily, acts stand-offish with someone, I immediately get the impression I need to be wary of that human. I may never know what it is about that person that turns Lily off, but I trust her instincts. My dog has given me silent warning to stay alert.
A simple, but effective way , to show the reader a character has the heart of a hero is to have that man show kindness to a dog—or rescue a kitten, or stop someone, maybe a villain, from brutalizing a horse. It’s especially efficient when you have to make the hero known quickly. In Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride, I had the villain shoot Joe’s beloved dog, Argos. I figured, if the reader hadn’t gotten the message that Turner meant serious business, they would surely get it with his attack on an innocent dog. For all that Joe Wilding kids around a lot, drinks, plays poker and doesn’t take his life very seriously, the love a dog made it clear what kind of man he truly was.
In my new release, Fly Away Heart, I show how disgusting and mean Edgar and Sid Effird really are when their starved and beaten dog sits chained outside their shack of a house bony and wet. Robin Pierpont, the hero of this tale, releases the poor dog from its misery and takes it home with him. Robin is worried sick about Lilith Wilding, yet he had it in his heart to save that dog. By this compassionate action, I hope to portray Robin as a good man and a real hero. I loved him right then and there. I hope readers do, too.
Do animals in a story win your heart? Is there an instant connection to a hero when he shows concern and love for an animal? How do you feel about a character who mistreats an animal?
Prayer for Animals
Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals, especially for animals who are suffering; for animals that are overworked, underfed and cruelly treated; for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put death. We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals, and so to share the blessings of the merciful.
~ Albert Schweitzer
The Great Depression…Rum Runners and Old Fears…Love Against the Odds
Lilith Wilding can’t remember a time when she didn’t love the English born Robin Pierpont, but she knows he loves another so she hides her feelings beneath a hard veneer of self-protection.
Robin Pierpont dreams of flying airplanes and winning the heart of the one he loves, but when he gets involved in illegal rum running to help a friend, those dreams seem to turn into just a fantasy. When he is called upon to face his worst fear to save Lilith’s life, his fate may be sealed in death.
The dog drew his attention when it whined pitifully. Its brown eyes seemed to plead with him. Somehow, he just couldn’t bring himself to walk away from the suffering creature. If he couldn’t get to Lilith, at least he could get this dog to safety. He knew, if he left the poor thing here, it would die a slow death for certain.
He made his way to the shaking pile of bones that resembled a dog and removed the clamp on the heavy chain. The dog could barely walk, and it made Rob sick to see the bones protruding from the animal’s ribs and hips. What kind of human beings were these two men? Did they eat babies for breakfast? He hoisted the dog into his arms, walked back to the car, opened the back door and placed the dog on his jacket on the back seat. Something in its brown eyes looked like gratitude, mixed with fear. Rob felt his heart crack.
“Don’t you worry, little girl, I’m going to see to you now. You don’t need to be scared or hungry anymore.” Thoughts of Lilith drummed through his mind. Please, please God, look after my Lilith and don’t let them hurt her.
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If you’d like to get in at the beginning of the wonderful Wilding tales, then read the first book, Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride. You can find out how Lola knows the future and what Joe’s terrible secret is.
A haunted house, a trunk and a date with destiny.
Barton discovers a warp in time in an old trunk when
she falls into 1910. She finds herself married to ,
a stranger shadowed by secrets. Mistaken for Joseph Wilding ,
a thief and a woman of ill repute, Callie McGraw Lola
finds her life is threatened by a scoundrel. Joe
stands between her and certain death. With danger threatening all around and
secrets keeping them apart, can Joe
and Lola find their destiny together?
Or will time and circumstance forever divide them?
Kneeling beside her,
Joe whispered. “Not to worry, darlin’, Argos is going to
have a hard time, but he’s going to come out on the other end just fine. We’re going to make damn sure of that.” He reached out a hand and ran it in a light
stroke along Lola’s cheek to wipe away
the tears that had fallen without her realizing how much she needed to
She wept for the dog, for the loss of her parents and her own pathetic life. Lola wept for all the things she had ever wanted and never got, all the dreams that never came true and the never-ending loneliness that seem to surround her like a thick fog that separated her from the rest of humanity and happiness.
You can find me at the following places:
My Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/sarahmcneal
Sweethearts of the West: http://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.com/
My Blog: http://sarahmcneal.blogspot.com/
Once Upon A Word: http://onceuponaword1.blogspot.com/
My Website: http://www.sarahmcneal.com
And, of course, my blog here at Prairie Rose Publishing the first Wednesday of every month.