Skip to main content

Lady Wynwood #7 early release Kickstarter

I worked on my first Kickstarter and it got approved! It’s for the Special Edition Hardcover of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer and the release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. I contacted my graphic designer about the Special Edition Hardcover of vol. 1: Archer—it’s going to be SO beautiful! The Kickstarter focuses on the Special Edition Hardcover, but it’ll also include vol. 7: Spinster so that it’ll sort of be like a launch day for vol. 7, too. A third special thing that’ll be in the Kickstarter is Special Edition Paperbacks of all the books in the series. They won’t be available in stores, just in the Kickstarter (and later, from my website, and also in my Patreon book box tiers if I decide to do them). The Kickstarter is not live yet, but you can follow it to be alerted when it has launched. (You may need to create a free Kickstarter account.) Follow Camy’s Kickstarter

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 15

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series.

Year of the Dog serial novel

by Camy Tang

Mari Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year.

While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier.

Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Auntie Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Christian home. What’s more, his brother Dusty also needs a place to stay after being kicked out of his apartment—with a dog in tow. And guess who the dog’s owner is?

But then Ashwin gets a request from an old friend, Edytha Guerrero, a private investigator who also runs a day spa on O’ahu’s north shore. A strange bit of “vandalism” at Mari's facility had led her to find a purse belonging to Edytha’s sister—who had disappeared three years ago. Worried that Mari might be in danger, and finding out that security expert Ashwin already knows her, Edytha asks him to covertly keep an eye on the busy young woman.

Ashwin is reluctantly attracted to the lively, easy-going dog trainer. She reminds him too much of his happy-go-lucky mother, whose betrayal had caused him to keep people at a distance. Mari sees past Ashwin’s cold exterior to a man who is loyal to his family, unlike her own mother and sister, who only criticize her career choice.

In the midst of Mari’s disjointed family and Ashwin’s disruptive home, danger begins to circle around them from people who want the past to remain there. Can they shed light on the secrets moving in the shadows?

All the posted parts are listed here.

***

Chapter Fifteen - Teal-Green SUV

Ashwin had a bad feeling about things as soon as he saw the teal-green SUV.

No. It couldn’t be. What were the odds?

And how many teal-green SUVs were there on O'ahu? There had to be more than one.

Ashwin pulled into a parking spot several yards away from the nameless storefront in the seedy strip mall where Dusty had sent him. Lights blazed from the dirty glass window in front, and an occasional yap sounded in the cool evening.

The teal-green SUV was parked right in front.

He approached the open door slowly. What was he doing? Expecting that slender woman to come barreling out of the door at him? Besides, she seemed to only have it in for his car, not his person.

A woman’s voice floated toward him through the open doorway to the store. “Okay, everybody, here it is once again.”

It couldn’t be. Ashwin wavered between giving in to a headache and running away screaming.

No, he needed to be braver than that. He strode forward and peeked inside the doorway.

The first thing that hit him was the odor. But more than a dog smell, it reminded him of … a men’s locker room?

Dogs and owners lined the dingy walls of the bare single room, and amazingly, most of the dogs were sitting or lying at their owners’ feet. Some owners stood, some sat in cheap plastic chairs.

In the center of the ring was her.

Mari Mutou, her driver’s license had said. He’d like to think he had never forgotten her name simply because she’d been so strange and jumpy, not because he’d found her cute, despite his anger at her. Gentlemen didn’t get angry at ladies, despite the fact they’d left a massive gouge in his rear bumper. But a secret part of him admitted he’d been more angry at him for being drawn to her and ashamed about it. Successful security consultants didn’t find crazy Japanese women attractive.

And this crazy Japanese wahine owned Pepper.

God help him.

Mari went to a student and took his golden retriever to the center of the circle. With some kind of treat in her fingers, she held it in front of the dog, obviously letting it smell. The retriever licked at her fingers, but she didn’t relinquish the treat.

Then she inverted her hand so her palm faced upward—her fingers still gripping the treat—and lifted her hand from in front of the dog’s nose to a little above its head. The dog’s nose obediently followed, and as its nose pointed straight up, its bottom hit the ground.

“Sit,” she commanded as the dog did so. “Good dog.” She gave it the treat.

She repeated the action a couple more times. Then the next time, she simply lifted her hand holding the treat and gave the command, “Sit.”

The dog sat, staring at the treat in her uplifted hand.

“Good dog.” She glanced around the room. “As you see, once they figure out that this gesture”—she motioned upward with her hand—“means ‘sit,’ you won’t need to put the food in front of their noses. Okay, everybody try it.”

She happened to glance toward the door then, and saw Ashwin.

And gulped.

It struck him that this woman, rail thin with straight black hair pulled up in a long ponytail, was surrounded by dogs—some easily one hundred pounds—yet she looked at Ashwin as if he were going to eat her.

A client asked her a question, and she attended to the woman with her dog, which looked like a light brown puff ball because it was spinning so fast. She immediately took the leash and with minimal words but strongly felt body language, she tugged the leash a couple times and got the dog to stop spinning in circles. The dog sat and stared up at her.

Two seconds. It had taken her two seconds to get the wild dog under control. Granted, it probably weighed less than hockey puck, but despite its high energy quivering in its paws and wagging tail, the dog kept its attention on her.

She helped several other clients with their dogs, including a mean-looking Husky that turned into a playful puppy as soon as Mari took the leash.

Miss Mutou, not Mari. No ring on her left hand, but maybe she took it off to work with the dogs.

Ashwin, focus, for crying out loud. You’re flightier than she is.

Finally she dismissed the class after reminding them to practice the commands they’d done. She headed toward Ashwin, but was stopped with questions from a couple clients.

He stepped aside from the doorway for exiting students. Several of them glanced at him and then at his feet before moving away.

He looked down. Doc Martins. Not new, but not scuffed. No stains on his khaki pant legs.

Then it hit him. They were wondering where his own dog was.

Mari followed the last student out the door, waving at them all and calling, “Good night.” As soon as they were a few feet away, she turned to Ashwin. “What now? My insurance paid—”

“Whoa, whoa. Calm down, I’m not here about the car.”

“Well, you’re not here to recruit my services.” She also gave a pointed glance at his feet—rather, his lack of canine companion.

“How do you know I just didn’t leave my dog at home?”

“You have no dog hair on you.” Her eyes narrowed. “No, wait. You do.” She plucked a black hair off his Tori Herbie aloha shirt, her touch at his shoulder like a butterfly. He couldn’t move for a second.

She scanned the rest of him—rather rudely—and shook her head. “That must have been from one of my student's dogs. You don’t own one. At least, you don’t play with one.”

A rash-like warmth started to spread up his neck for no good reason. Dangit, he had to get control of this conversation again. “Actually, I am here about a dog. Yours.”

Her forehead wrinkled like folded rice paper. “My dog? Pepper?”

“You left him with Dusty, my brother.”

“Dusty’s your brother?” Pink lips formed a small O, then pulled wide in a grimace. “Did Pepper get loose or something? Did he bite you?”

“Not yet.”

“Well, it’s only for a few months. If you can avoid Dusty’s apartment in the meantime …”

“Dusty’s apartment?” Did she not know?

Her eyes immediately narrowed and her facial muscles tensed, an expression he often donned when his brother was involved. Warily, she said, “Is there something wrong with Dusty’s apartment?”

That boogerhead hadn’t told her. Fantasies of throttling Dusty flashed across his vision for maybe the millionth time. “Dusty got thrown out. I said he could move in with me, but he didn’t tell me he needed to bring the dog with him.”

This time, the pink O was the size of a peach. “He didn’t tell you? He just moved in?”

“Essentially.”

She screwed her eyes shut as though struck with a massive headache and sighed through gritted teeth. “Why am I not surprised?”

“So could you just take Pepper back?” She would, right? After all, she sounded reasonable.

Her eyes flew open. “Take him back? Ugh, you don’t know …”

Her groaning tone made his stomach clench. “Don’t know what?”

“I gave him to Dusty temporarily while I work on renovations for my new dog facility. It’ll hopefully be up and running by September.”

“And? You can’t have Pepper at your home?”

“I sold my house to buy my facility, and I took out a small business loan for the renovations. I had no where to live, so I moved in with my mother.”

“You can’t keep him here?” He gestured to the bare room, noting the dusting of dog hair over the cracked tile floor.

She shook her head. “I’m only renting this space during weekday evenings. On weekends, there are tae kwon do classes here.”

Hence the smell of a men’s locker room.

“Maybe your workplace? Do you work at a kennel or a vet’s office?” Yes, he was grasping at straws, but he couldn’t stomach the thought of going home to Pepper’s welcoming howling.

“I do this full time.” She bit her lip. “I quit my programming job months ago to make a go of my new facility.”

He couldn’t stop his mouth from scowling. This woman was just like his mother, just as financially irresponsible. Selling her house and quitting her job to buy a facility? She’d better get used to living at her mother’s house because she was going to be there a while.

“I’m sorry.” Dark eyes pleaded with him. “When I talked to Dusty, I didn’t know he was about to be evicted. He never told me. I never dreamed he’d move in with you and not tell you about the dog first.”

She started waving her hands wildly. “And I didn’t even know he’d moved because since I gave Pepper to Dusty, I’ve only had time to do training with him a couple times. Each time, Dusty brought Pepper to work with him and I picked him up there. I’d train him for the few hours Dusty was working, then return him so he could take Pepper home. I’m sorry, I really didn’t know.”

She sounded genuinely apologetic, and his stubbornness began to melt. But then he reminded himself that he couldn’t waver in the face of her sincerity.

“Well, I can’t keep your dog. He won’t stop barking, he’s tearing up my house, and I’m allergic …” Wait a minute. His nose was clear, and he was standing just inside the doorway. Why wasn’t he sneezing? Why hadn’t his nose plugged up like Uncle Kimo's kitchen sink?

“I’m sorry, but the reason I even gave him to Dusty is because I have no other options.”

Ashwin refused to be stuck with that dog. “Well, you better come up with other options, because if you don’t, I’m going to take him to a shelter.”

She gasped. “You wouldn’t.”

No, he wouldn’t. But he wasn’t about to let that dog ruin his life, and if he had to play Prince Lotor to her Voltron, then he would. “Just watch me.” It came out sounding rather menacing. He almost scared himself.

Her dark eyes spit black fire at him. “Because of his aversion to men, Pepper is unadoptable. If you take him to a shelter, that’s signing his death warrant.”

He hadn’t realized that. Suddenly his threat made him sound like a dirtbag. “Uh … look—”

She sat her fists on her hips. “I can’t believe you’d do that to a dog.”

“Hey, Ashwin!”

A spasm shot across his shoulder blades. That familiar voice belonged to his VP, his manager’s manager. Who loved his dog, Beanie. And who sounded close enough to have heard Mari’s accusation at him.

He turned. “Hey, Nathan. What are you doing here?” Hopefully his smile wasn’t too strained.

From behind him, Mari’s voice sounded at the same time. “Hi, Nathan. You’re early for your class.” Then a beat. “How do you know Ashwin?”

Dusty had told Ashwin, “Her class ends at eight.” He’d neglected to mention that it wasn’t her only class of the night.

Nathan Woo stood closer than Ashwin had expected, his German shepherd mix quiet at his side, although the dog's massive tail fanned leaves and dirt from side to side. “Ashwin, I didn’t know you had a dog.”

He felt as if he’d just been thrown out a window. The sensation of freefalling made his stomach jump to his throat. “My, uh … brother Dusty’s got a dog.”

“I remember you telling me Dusty’s living with you now. Dusty has a dog? That’s great.”

“Yeah. Uh, great.”

“Mari’s a terrific trainer.” Nathan winked at her. “She’ll help you get that mutt in line. Just look at Beanie.”

The shepherd glanced up at him at the sound of his name. The dog’s mouth opened and he started to pant, baring some rather long teeth.

Nathan smiled, baring teeth of his own. In a friendly way.

Ashwin managed to nod. “Yeah, that’s what Dusty said. Great trainer.”

Thanks to his VP, he’d just been stuck with a nightmare on four legs.

“So …” Mari’s rather pointed tone made Ashwin turn to look at her. “Why don’t you give me a call and we can talk about your private training sessions?”

Out of Nathan's sight, Ashwin raised an eyebrow at her. Was she saying—without saying it—that she’d give him sessions for free?

She smiled widely and her eyebrows gave an almost indiscernible twitch that silently screamed, You get me, right?

Well, he did need help …

No, not from her. She’d done enough to cause catastrophic explosions in his life, thank you very much.

“Thanks,” he said completely insincerely. “I’ll be going now—you have your next class.”

She dug into her pocket and handed him a business card. “Please call me.”

He barely nodded as he walked away. Sure, he’d call her. When Dusty became President of the United States.

***

Comments

Popular Posts

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by Feminitz.com . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And

Sneak peek: Camy’s Kickstarter Pledge Levels

I’m working hard to create exciting pledge levels for my upcoming Kickstarter! Don’t know what Kickstarter is? Check out this blog post about my Kickstarter. I posted a description of the Pledge Levels (and pictures) on Patreon. Click here to check out the Kickstarter Pledge Levels! You can Follow my Kickstarter to be notified when it’s launched, and I’ll also announce in my newsletter when it’s live. Follow Camy’s Kickstarter here

Sneak peek: Camy’s Kickstarter rewards

This Kickstarter is going to be awesome! I’ve been planning rewards that’ll knock your socks off! Don’t know what Kickstarter is? Check out this blog post about my Kickstarter. I posted a description of the rewards (and pictures) on Patreon. Click here to check out the Kickstarter rewards! You can Follow my Kickstarter to be notified when it’s launched, and I’ll also announce in my newsletter when it’s live. Follow Camy’s Kickstarter here

Grace Livingston Hill romances free on Google Books

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci

ACFW booksigning at the Mall of America

Captain's Log, Stardate 09.04.2008 What: ACFW booksigning Who: 127 Christian novelists Where: Best Buy and Sears Rotundas and connecting hallway, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN When: Saturday, September 20, 2008, 1-3 p.m. Why: To meet your favorite authors! I’ll be participating in a massive Christian author booksigning at the Mall of America in Minnesota! You can buy copies of my books there or you can bring your copies for me to sign. I’ll also have a special surprise for the people who come to get their books signed, while supplies last! Here are the other authors signing with me: Mall of America Booksigners Tamera Alexander Jennifer AlLee A.K. Arenz Diane Ashley Karen Ball Janet Lee Barton James Scott Bell Joseph Bentz Terri Blackstock Robin Caroll Patricia PacJac Carroll Jeanie Smith Cash Eleanor Clark Debra Clopton Gloria Clover Brandilyn Collins Mary Connealy Lyn Cote Kathryn Cushman Margaret Daley KM Daughters Susan Page Davis Mary Davis Janet Dean Megan DiMaria Brandt Do

Lady Wynwood #7 early release Kickstarter

I worked on my first Kickstarter and it got approved! It’s for the Special Edition Hardcover of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer and the release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. I contacted my graphic designer about the Special Edition Hardcover of vol. 1: Archer—it’s going to be SO beautiful! The Kickstarter focuses on the Special Edition Hardcover, but it’ll also include vol. 7: Spinster so that it’ll sort of be like a launch day for vol. 7, too. A third special thing that’ll be in the Kickstarter is Special Edition Paperbacks of all the books in the series. They won’t be available in stores, just in the Kickstarter (and later, from my website, and also in my Patreon book box tiers if I decide to do them). The Kickstarter is not live yet, but you can follow it to be alerted when it has launched. (You may need to create a free Kickstarter account.) Follow Camy’s Kickstarter

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

「戌年」連載小説 第11章

キャミー・タング著「戌年」連載小説 プロのドッグトレーナーであるマリ・ムトウは、厄年を迎えている。 犬小屋と訓練所の改築をしながら、いつも不服そうにしている家族と同居することになった。母と姉に言わせれば、犬の毛とよだれかけにまみれる仕事は、家族にとって恥ずべきものだという。彼女は元カレを説得し、数ヶ月間犬を預かってもらうことにした。しかし、彼の兄は、数週間前に彼女が誤って車に追突した、怒り狂ったセキュリティ専門家であることが判明する。 アシュウィン・ケイトウは十分な問題を抱えている。叔母が玄関先に現れ、同居を希望している。彼は彼女にすべてを借りているので、断ることができません。母親が家を出て行った後、ネルおばさんはアシュウィンと弟を引き取り、愛のあるキリスト教の家庭で育てた。しかも、弟のダスティもアパートを追い出され、居場所を求めている。しかし、彼は犬を飼っている。そして、その犬の飼い主は誰だと思いますか? しかし、旧友でオアフ島のノースショアでデイスパを経営する私立探偵のエディサ・ゲレロから依頼を受ける。マリの施設で奇妙な破壊行為があり、3年前に失踪したエディサの妹の財布を発見する。エディサはマリが危険な目に遭っているのではと心配する。警備の専門家であるアシュウィンがすでにマリを知っていることを知ったエディサは、忙しい若い女性を密かに監視することを彼に依頼する。 アシュウィンは、活発でのんびりとしたドッグトレーナーに不本意ながら惹かれていく。彼女は、幸せそうな母親を思い出させる。その母親の裏切りによって、彼は人と距離を置くようになったのだ。マリは、アシュウィンの冷たい外見を見抜き、彼が家族に忠実な男であることを認める。彼は、彼女のキャリア選択を批判するだけの母親や姉とは違う。 マリのバラバラな家庭とアシュウィンのバラバラな家庭の中で、過去を隠そうとする人たちから、彼らの周りに危険が迫ってくるようになる。彼らは、影で動く秘密に光を当てることができるのか? 過去に発表されたパートへのリンクはこちら。 *** 第11章 - タビー猫、黒猫、灰色と茶色の縞猫 彼女の母親は何かを摂取したに違いない。何を摂取したかはわからないが、代謝が急激に上がり、まるで神経質なリスのようになった。マリには、過去数日間に母親が家全体を掃除させた理由

Frogs

I know I blogged about this on my Writing Diary Blog , but I don’t think I blogged about this here. I read a few writing and productivity books, and I’ve been trying to form better daily habits. The problem is that my self-discipline is very bad. As in, embarrassingly bad. One of my goals has been to form a better writing habit. Since I’m a full-time writer, I already write every day, but I think there are things I can do to tweak my schedule so that I can be able to focus better when I write. I tend to get distracted by the thought of things I need to do that day which I haven’t done yet. I don’t know why my brain is like this, but I haven’t been able to break this tendency. So for example, while I’m writing, I’ll suddenly think about the fact that today’s the day when I need to change the bathroom towels, or mop the kitchen floor, or change the bedsheets. It’ll distract me for a few moments before I tell myself I’ll do it later and I need to focus on writing now. Then a few