My first novel!
A Soldier’s Embrace is a sweet, yet exciting story. The characters are captivating and the settings are perfect. The dialogue between the characters is well written and realistic. Ms. Romero has written a great historical romance.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dog gone embarrassing

You can't tell me that animals don't know what they're doing-not after the embarrassing so called "graduation" Molly just put my husband and I through. Hundreds of dollars spent just to get my lab to respond to commands such as Sit and Stay, Heel and Off. I'd be happy to just have her listen to Off, but no...the petstore training center was like all the other California educational schools tonight; passing students that deserve to fail.

Yes, I said it-my seven month lab deserved to fail. She couldn't have been any worse if she had squatted and peed in the store. Oh wait, she did.

For the last class of Molly's continuous education, the trainer tested all the dogs on little races, like fetch and puppy push ups (sit, lay down, as many times as they can in a minute) The day before she did 17. Now we couldn't get her to do more than two.

Like other good parents, my husband and I worked with Molly for weeks, and she did great. We felt ready and were proud to display our dogs pending diploma. The trainer explained that our puppies would be tested that evening as though we were going through a canine good citizen award test. She would have to show she could greet people without jumping, walk on a leash without pulling, stay while we disappear (by the end of the class, my husband and I were tempted to run from the store) and finally, they must be able to wear the little graduation cap and poise for picture.

I knew we were in trouble five minutes into class when a fellow pet owner handed us a home made zip lock baggy filled with dog treats and Molly jumped up, ripped the bottom out of the bag, spilling all the treats and then gobbled them up like free donuts at a weight watchers meeting.

"Focus!" I commanded, holding the one remaining treat before me, hoping against hope to hold her nonexistent attention. The embarrassing part of this was I was the one who kept getting reprimanded. "Julie, don't shout at the dog, Julie, don't keep repeating the same command, Julie, don't hold the leash so tight, etc.

Throughout the night, Molly greeted everyone by jumping on them, and when the trainer watched her heel down the cat food isle, she proceeded to pull treats off the shelves. At one point she felt as though she was finally staying by my side but when people began laughing and pointing, I looked down to find she had pulled a pot of growing Kat nip off the shelves and was holding the muddy clump in her mouth.

We felt doomed, she would never graduate. When the class came to an end, our trainer gave away "the most improved dog" award. Up until this last class, my husband and I felt sure this would be Molly. She had grown into a loving calm dog, an important part of our family. Now as we sat there, too embarrassed to look up, we couldn't believe it when Molly's name was called. She won? We smiled apologetically, all the while, my husband still trying to get her to sit and stay long enough for a photo. While other's clapped unenthusiastically for our wild sweet pooch, Molly merely wagged her hard rutter-like tag, pulled the gradation cap off the dog next to her and trotted proudly away.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'm baaack...

Okay, I'll admit it, I've been slacking on my posts. Actually, slacking is an understatement. I'm not going to lie and say I just haven't had the time. Honestly, if I have the time to paint the toenails on my lab, I have the time to pretty much do anything.

I have been busy though, mainly being keeping a very active puppy fed, exercised and trained. I've started a new job and now Kyle and I are house hunting. I would love to have a house for a change as opposed to a condo with a meddling HOA to tell you what to paint and what not to hang on the walls-not to mention paying their outrageous fees every month. I will miss my wonderful neighbors though. But Molly will finally have a nice big yard to run in!

But I'm getting a little ahead of myself here. Though we have found a house, and our offer has been accepted,... the bank still has to okay the deal.

The real news is my new novel is coming along very well. I traveled to Los Angeles recently for my first Civil War re-enactment and had a blast. I was pleased to realize I had done a bang up job on my research for A Soldier's Embrace. I knew I had exhausted every source I could for saddles, medicine, clothing, towns, Victorian mannerisms, etc, so I felt safe adding the information to the novel, but I was thoroughly excited to know I was correct in even the small details like the coins thrown at the soldier's that read "good for one free screw."

I met wonderful ladies who take so much care to be as authentic as possible, right down to black skillets with filled with potatoes, tomatoes, unions, and bell peppers. If it weren't for the flies hovering, it looked great.

Next week I'll be attending the Historical Novel Society conference in San Diego along with having my first book signing! I'm so excited and to be honest, more than a little nervous. I also will be meeting with agents, so I have my pitch and I'm tightening up my synopsis.

Wish me luck!