Friday, September 21, 2012

50th blog party guest - Kandy Shepherd

Kandy Shepherd is a relatively new friend. I was talking about books to one of my Aussie mates (I think it was Sharon Archer – you’ll meet her in a bit) and she told me I just had to read Kandy’s books because I would LOVE them, plus Kandy and I had a lot in common (romance, cookery, dogs). So I bought the first one, loved it, and messaged Kandy on Facebook to tell her how much I loved it. And so began a friendship across the globe. (And I can thoroughly recommend the book she’s giving away, btw!)

Anyway, over to Kandy:

I was delighted when Kate invited me to her 50 party blog. I live in Australia and I met Kate online, united by shared interests in warm-hearted contemporary fiction, dogs and cooking (especially of the irresistible dessert kind). Kate, I’m in awe of your output—50 wonderful romances and counting! BTW, I’m hoping to visit London next year and would love to meet face-to-face.

One of the things Kate and I have in common in our writing, is we like to include animals in our stories.

Kandy's cat, Cindy

Dogs are central characters in my Berkley Sensation contemporary romances, Love Is A Four-Legged Word and Home Is Where The Bark Is. In fact, animals are such an important part of my life that they sneak into everything I write. There’s even a doggy character in my Amazon best-seller e-book The Castaway Bride—though he never actually appears on the pages. He belongs to the hero but a lot of the action takes place on a boat and the poor dog gets seasick. However, the hero Skypes his dog, which makes him all the more appealing to the heroine. I couldn’t love a man who didn’t love animals and I don’t expect my heroines to settle for anything else either!

Kandy's dog, Miss Molly
Kandy and Miss Molly

My doggy characters don’t talk. We don’t see inside their minds. They’re animals. Not people. And they’re on the page to help get the hero and heroine together. But like the real animals I love, my fictional animals are distinct personalities with their own quirks and loveable qualities. And the reactions of the human characters to the animals can give great insight into the human’s personality—I have a lot of fun with that.

I share my life with a dog, three cats, four horses, two miniature bulls and eight chickens. I love them all and would have more if my husband didn’t make his objections known.

Do you have a special animal in your life? I’m giving away a trade paperback copy of Home Is Where The Bark Is, so please make a comment to be in the draw.

Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction.
Visit her on her website

And at her blog

You can also find her on facebook and on Twitter @KandyShepherd


Robyn Grady said...

Two miniature bulls? How did I not know about them!
Kandy, I'm a big fan of animals/pets. At the moment we have Tinkie, a spoiled tuxedo cat who I fear will never accept the reality of having to share her humans' affections with another feline. Lucy, our new Birman kitten, only wants to play (cat soccer is her favorite) or cuddle up close, preferably with long suffering Tinkie.
Our 16 and 17 yo poodles had to be put down within months of each other this year. Ripped my heart out, but what would life be without them?

marybelle said...

I don't have a special animal in my life right now. It's a bit tricky with my daughter's allergies, but I can enjoy them in my reading.

Teresa said...

I have a very special animal in my nearly 12 year old Golden Retriever called Rosie. She's been with us for just over 9 years and I cannot image her not being here. She's helped me through some tough times and I would be lost without her. Rosie has arthritis in her legs and our walks are now short and slow. But I love her so much, she'll always be my special girl xx

Eli Yanti said...

I don't have pet :(

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Robyn, how lovely to see you here! Kate, I'm so delighted to be your guest.
My two miniature bulls are Dexters, an Irish breed, and they are such characters. They are said to be as intelligent as dogs and I believe that.
I know the problem of introducing a kitten to an older cat, there must be such hurt feelings on Tinkie's part! Lucy sounds adorable. So sad to hear about your poodles, I've gone through that heartbreak and know what it's like. Loving animals whose lifespans are shorter than ours leads inevitably to loss--but as you say, what would life be without them!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Marybelle, allergies can be such a problem, can't they?
I was allergic to cats when I was younger, thankfully I grew out of it.
But what a lovely thought that you can enjoy allergy-free animals in books!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Theresa, Rosie sounds beautiful. There is something so special about the love and friendship of an older animal, isn't there? I hope you and Rosie have many more years together.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Eli, I can see why you have a sad face after your comment. I've had times when I haven't had a pet in my life either for one reason or another. But fortunately I got one at a later time, I hope that happens for you too!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Eli, I can see why you have a sad face after your comment. I've had times when I haven't had a pet in my life either for one reason or another. But fortunately I got one at a later time, I hope that happens for you too!

Imelda Evans said...

I have a wonderful rescued mutt who is 14 years young and still bringing us great joy. I would have a cat as well, except that I'm mildly allergic and unfortunately, there is a lot of terrier in my mutt and to her, cats come under the heading of things that have to be shaken by the neck until dead. At least, I'm prety sure they would. I haven't been game to let her get close enough to a cat to find out. I don't like the look in her eye! For the same reason, I have refrained from buying chickens, but I would love to have some one day!

Caroline said...

Ohhhhh don't get me started on dogs! I love them! Up until recently I had two. Molly and Bob. Unfortunately we lost Molly in March. I cried for 4 days! One moment she was there and then gone. She had gone in for a checkup - but it turned out that she was very ill indeed and never came back. To be honest I think of her everyday. We all went into mourning - my other dog Bob took it bad. He stayed in his bed and slept all the time. But time is a healer and we've all bounced back. But there isn't a day that goes by when either myself or the DH doesn't mention her. Caroline x

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Kate! Hi Kandy! Kate, congratulations on your 50th party! I hoep you're having a blast. Kandy, what a lovely post. I love the photos. Especially the one of your cat! I love your books, they're so warm, it's kind of like diving into a warm chocolate bath (which actually happens in one of your books!). I love animals in romances - I think it's an easy way to show what people are like at the heart because barriers fall when people deal with animals. You know, the tough hero who's marshmallow with his dog? You know he's got the capacity to love! And congratulations on the huge success of Castaway Bride. Very well deserved!

Olga Sergejeva said...

I'm a big lover of animals/pets...At the moment I don't have a pet, but with time I will have a cat and a dog! My special animals were pets which I had: guinea pig Kuzja; cat Tizik and a dog Max!

Annie West said...

Hi Kandy,

Thanks for sharing with us. I love the fact that your hero skypes with his dog. Now, that's devotion! I think animals can hold a special place in our lives and help make a house a home. Sadly we lost our special companion, Daisy, a few months ago and we're not ready yet to think about another. One day... In the meantime I love seeing other people's animals. Yours look like real characters.

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Great party here, Kate!

Kandy, I love the animal characters in your books as much as the human characters! As you know, I share my life with two gorgeous cats who've been with us for about 15 years, Pinklepurr and Possum. (They're chasing after a screwed-up ball of paper right now - simple things in life!). We see them as family members. My hubby often says his heart flip-flops when the cats cuddle up to us. :)

Gorgeous photo of Cindy!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Rescued animals are so special, aren't they Imelda? I swear they know we saved them and love us even more in return. How lovely that you have had 14 years with your rescue dog.

My Cindy cat is a rescue who appeared on our farmhouse veranda one dark and stormy night eight or so years ago.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Caroline, my heart goes out to you for your loss of your Molly. I know what it's like to lose a beloved pet. When my cat Kira died at 18 three years ago, like you, the house went into mourning. It was particularly sad to see the other animals, like your Bob, looking for her and mourning her in their own ways.

My own Miss Molly is getting very shaky with various ailments of old age and I'm dreading the day when it all gets too much for her.

They do live on in our hearts though. And what joy they bring us in the years we are privileged to spend with them.

Sharon Archer said...

Hi Kate and Kandy! Lovely blog and I love your pics, Kandy - especially the one of Cindy on the post. She looks so regal!

Kate, was it me who suggested Kandy's books - it could have been! The really great thing is that you've discovered them! They're gorgeous feel-good stories, aren't they!

We had our secondhand border collie, Sally, for 13 fabulous years. She was rescued by the friend of a friend from an unpleasant home situation and she ended up with us. She was just a delight and I have such fabulous memories!

We'd dearly love to get another dog but at the moment we're also trying to travel quite a bit and it seems unfair. Once we're a bit more settled, we'll be off to the local shelter, I think. In the meantime we get our fur-cuddles from the neighbours cats and dogs!

Laney4 said...

Hi, Kate and Kandy!
Please don't enter me in your draw; I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book!
The dog in my avatar passed away in May/11. We used to dogsit him for weeks or months on end. Loved him to bits.
In Aug/12, we had the honour of dogsitting another golden. At only 11 months of age, Ruby was a real treat (although she wore us out, similar to having a toddler in the house). Her owner is moving next summer (military posting), so I hope we get to dogsit Ruby again before then.

bn100 said...

No pets. Cute pictures.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Anna, thanks for calling by to Kate's party--there are some wonderful guests here!
Cindy's photo is beautiful, isn't it? It was taken by a friend who is a professional photographer. He came down to the farm to photograph our chickens for a book he was working on. While he was here, he took some beautiful portraits of Cindy. This one is my favourite.
Thank you for your kind words about my books!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Olga, I hope you get your cat and dog soon! BTW, I love the names you gave your other pets.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Annie, I was so sad when you lost your dog Daisy. I know she was your special friend who kept you company while you wrote. No wonder you still miss her.
I am a strong believer that animals find us rather than the other way around--I'm sure one day you will be ready for another special dog to find you.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Oh Vanessa, your husband is such a wonderful man to have his heart flip flop when he is near your "furkids" (and calendar stars!) Pinklepurr and Possum. A man who loves animals is such a hero to me!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Sharon, thank you for introducing me to Kate via my books. It was the start of a lovely cyber friendship.
Border Collies are my very favourite dog. I hope to have one for my next dog. However, I know I can't count on it because rescue dogs that tug on the heartstrings can be of any breed or mix of breeds or totally mixed up mutt! I hope your next dog is as special as Sally.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Laney, how lovely to see you here.
Thank you for your kind words about HOME IS WHERE THE BARK IS, I love that you enjoyed it so much!
So sad to read your avatar dog passed away--I love seeing him with that stick.
Pet sitting is a nice way to have an animal in your life--but it must be hard to say goodbye to them, like Ruby, when you give them back.
I cat-sat one of my friend's cats for 8 months once and grew to love her. The night before she went home I cried and cried into her fur and she licked me consolingly like a mother cat, trying to make me feel better. My friend ended up getting me a kitten to make up for the gap her cat left in my life!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Glad you like the pictures, bn100. I hope you have the pleasure of pets in you life sometime in the future if it suits!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Glad you like the pictures, bn100. I hope you have the pleasure of pets in you life sometime in the future if it suits!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Kate, thank you so much for having me as a guest at your party. It's been such fun hearing about everyone's special pets!

Kandy xx

Kandy Shepherd said...

Kate, thank you so much for having me as a guest at your party. It's been such fun hearing about everyone's special pets!

Kandy xx

Kate Hardy said...

First name drawn from the hat for ‘Home is Where the Bark Is’ – Teresa. Please contact me kate(dot)hardy(at)btinternet(dot)com with your details, and I'll get everything sorted :o) Thanks for taking part!