Posts Tagged 'Erin Dutton'

The Adventures of Peanut and Bunny Breath…

By Erin Dutton

My dog’s name is not Peanut. His name is Kenai (pronounced Keen-Eye). But my neighbor thinks his name is Peanut. I don’t know why, unless somehow those two words sound the same when I’m yelling them out the backdoor of my house because my stubborn boy is more interested in said neighbor’s dog through the fence than coming in the house. Whatever the reason, I’ve corrected my neighbor on the name discrepancy more than once, but he still refers to my dog as Peanut. And I’m so anti-confrontation, that I’m considering changing his name. After twelve years. I don’t think he’ll mind. Doesn’t he look like a Peanut?

 

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Like any other author, pieces of my life find their way into my books. But curiously, as my wife points out, I’ve never included a dog in any of my books. Which, I will admit, is a bit strange since we’re both dog people. So much so, that when we first got together, we ended up with five dogs. Now five dogs is a lot. I don’t recommend being out-numbered by your pets. I had Peanut and a cocker spaniel named Woodstock, who has since passed away. He was a wealth of stories on his own. That dog would eat anything. More than once, I had to make emergency calls to my vet, the emergency clinic, even poison control.

 

My wife had a Chihuahua and a shepherd mix, who have both passed as well. Her other dog, Leroy, is the son of the shepherd mix. Both were acquired when she, a stray, decided that underneath the shed was a good place to start her new family. Leroy has recently undergone a name change as well. I now call him Bunny Breath. You have to know this dog. He’s the most skittish…he actually smells everything for a full minute before eating it, even dog treats. It’s as if he’s afraid we’re trying to sneak something by him that looks like a treat, but somehow isn’t.

 

So, why, you ask, is he called Bunny Breath? Okay, I imagine you’ve already guessed. Recently, a mama bunny decided to make her nest in our backyard while we were having a fence rebuilt and the dogs weren’t currently using that part of the yard. Pity we no longer have a shed for her to have gone under instead. Then the fence went up and the dogs were once again given free reign. My wife was out cutting the grass, and looked over to see Leroy—er, Bunny Breath—with something in his mouth. She yelled at him and he dropped a poor baby bunny and it scampered away. We searched the yard and found a nest and three scattered babies hiding in the grass. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of him with it in his mouth, and my wife wasn’t too keen on my idea to scoop up a baby and re-enact it with him. Just kidding, I wouldn’t do that. But here’s a picture of the nest with the bunnies safely returned. We cordoned off the area until the babies left the nest for good.

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Now, don’t get me wrong, Bunny Breath isn’t a monster. He’s actually a sweet, gentle boy who was probably more traumatized by the whole thing than the poor (wet) little bunny we rescued him from. See for yourself, does this dog look like he could hurt a bunny?

 

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Someday I’ll write a character who is as entertained, loved, and charmed by her dog(s) as we are by ours. And maybe one of her dogs has a penchant for pulling the stuffing out of dog beds. Or one of them insists on getting in between her and her romantic interest if they so much as share an embrace. Maybe there will even be a bunny cameo. And when you read that book, no matter what that dog’s name is, I hope you think about Peanut and Bunny Breath.

 

Until that day, you can pick up my latest release, Capturing Forever. There aren’t any dogs in it. But there are plenty of other pieces of my life hidden away in those pages.

 

capturing-foreverCheck it out and read an excerpt, at https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/capturing-forever-by-erin-dutton-1803-b

 

 

 

 

Officer in Distress, Code 5000, Ten-thirty-three, Ten-thirteen…

 BY ERIN DUTTON

The language or codes used varies among jurisdictions, but no matter the jargon, it’s the call every emergency dispatcher hates to hear.

BSB-OfficerDownWhile researching my newest release, Officer Down, I reflected on my own career as a dispatcher. Sixteen years ago, I interviewed for a job as a 9-1-1 operator in a moderately-sized metropolitan dispatch center. I was just in my early twenties, and had never had a job with such weight or importance. We were trained for all types of emergencies, from those faced while answering 9-1-1 lines, to those we might hear while dispatching responders.

During our classroom training, our instructor played audio tapes (yes, they were on cassette, it was that long ago) of real-life incidents. In one case, an officer was shot and killed while assisting detectives who were serving a warrant. I also heard tapes of a bank robbery that resulted in a pursuit of the suspect. When the suspect opened fire, striking an officer, his K-9 partner attacked as he was trained to do, putting himself in front of the officer. The dog was shot and did not survive. As a brand new dispatcher these were not easy things to hear, but they helped prepare me for the job ahead.

But even that audio couldn’t completely prepare me for the first time I heard that urgency in an officer’s voice while behind the console myself. Imagine your favorite action movie scene, perhaps a chase or stand-off with a dangerous suspect. Then imagine you can’t see the scene, but can only hear it. And that you don’t get all the dialog, but just bursts, blurted updates and urgent requests given over a radio and into your headset. It’s your job to know where they are, send them back up, notify additional resources, such as a police helicopter, an ambulance, crime scene techs, or SWAT. You’ll also be running license plates, entering data into the incident log in the computer, and updating both your supervisors and those of the involved officers.

In Officer Down, Hillary O’Neal is an experienced dispatcher. She’s smart and takes pride her job. She has answered countless 9-1-1 calls, and spent thousands of hours at a dispatch console. She’s good—so good that when things go bad while she’s manning a radio channel, she handles everything exactly as she should. But even her quick action doesn’t prevent a bad outcome, nothing could have and she has a hard time dealing with the result.

While the driving incident in this story is a serious one, I hope I was also able to portray the camaraderie, the challenges and the rewards of my career. In my sixteen years, I have made life-long friendships. I have given life-saving CPR instructions. I have talked to a suicidal person for over fifteen minutes while officers searched for his actual location instead of the one he was giving me. I have managed resources for a twenty minute vehicle pursuit and a five alarm fire (not at the same time). I have even testified in court when a 9-1-1 call was the key piece of evidence in proving guilt. And in between all of the incidents that stand out, there were thousands of routine calls and even some mundane hours monitoring radio channels. Yes, when you’re working the midnight shift and the bars have already closed, there are just a few hours that could be described as mundane.

And now that readers know some of the inspiration for Officer Down, I hope they can feel Hillary’s passion for her job as well as her passion for Olivia Dennis.

https://www.facebook.com/erin.Dutton

@ErinDuttonAuthr

erin@erindutton.com

www.erindutton.com

Let Them Eat Cake!

While at Atlanta Pride last weekend, I had a chance to catch up with veteran Bold Strokes Books author, Erin Dutton. Tune in to hear what she has to say about her upcoming lesbian romance:

It’s okay to fall in love with your best friend…

BY ERIN DUTTON

Or at least that’s what Evelyn Fisher tells herself in my new book, More Than Friends.More Than Friends 300 DPI Sure, things get complicated when said friend also happens to be fresh out of a relationship with her other closest friend.

 

I myself have fallen for, and subsequently ended up dating a good friend. But I’ll save that story for another time. Since the mid-February release date makes this practically a Valentine’s Day book, I’ll tell you an even more personal tale about how I met the love of my life…the love that makes all others pale in comparison…the woman who inspires the romance in me…she completes me. Did I go too far?

 

Our love story begins four years ago. At the time, my best guy friend had a habit of trying to fix me up with every available lesbian he met, with no regard for personality or actual compatibility with me. So, when he came to me and said he had someone in mind for me, I listened half-heartedly as he told me about the party he’d met her at, and how outgoing and boisterous she was. Which of course, matched up perfectly with my introverted, home-body personality. (insert sarcasm here) I was even more intrigued when he told me about how she’d ended a fifteen year relationship only a month before. Obviously, she was ready for the type of serious, long term relationship I hoped to eventually find.

 

But he badgered. I was about to go out of town for two weeks, so I agreed to meet her, in a group setting, when I returned. Who knows how things might have gone had that plan actually happened. He pestered further. He texted me one Sunday night and gave me her phone number. He suggested I call or text her so that we might begin talking while I was out of town and get to know each other a little. Now, cold calls are not remotely my thing. But for some reason, that night I sent an exploratory text—an eloquently worded introduction that she mocks to this day.

 

For the next two weeks, we communicated via text, then on the phone. This arrangement saved me some of the nervousness of early face-to-face meetings, and gave me the chance to woo her with my carefully selected words. I found her funny, easy to talk to, and a little flirty. And as she’ll readily tell you, by the time I got back in town I was half in love with her before we’d even met.

 

Our first dinner together—well, I’ll just say it—I was charming and effervescent and not at all my usual shy self. Okay, her version might be slightly different and involve what she would describe as an awkward hug at the end. But something made this amazing woman give me another chance. Which allowed me to discover that we were compatible after all. While she can often be the life of the party, she’s just as happy spending a quiet evening in. She challenges me and comforts me. She makes me laugh. Her smile still makes me warm all over and every kiss still makes me tingle. I guess that friend knew what he was doing after all…because as it turns out, I found not only a great love, but a new best friend.

Seven Book Wonder

Bold Strokes Books author Erin Dutton’s recent release, Reluctant Hope, is her seventh novel, and once again she’s provided us with an excellent, heart-warming story that celebrates the power of love.

Reluctant Hope

How strong is the human will to survive? Can surrendering gracefully to an
inevitable end, be just as admirable as fighting valiantly to one’s dying
breath?

 

These are themes I explored in my next novel, Reluctant
Hope
.
In this story, I examined the very different ways that people deal
with cancer, either their own or that of a loved one. One of my protagonists,
Addison Hunt, has survived breast cancer and, though still touched by her past,
she has moved on to life after her illness. On the other hand, Brooke Donahue’s
pain is fresh, having just lost her best friend. She’s angry on many levels and
running from her overwhelming grief.

Writing this story was an emotional journey for me. At first, because I strove to put
myself close to these two women—to their moments of grief and pain, as well as
their moments of triumph and acceptance. I wanted to honor the strength and
bravery with which women like Addison and Brooke face their incredible
challenges.

Two months ago, the themes of this book became even more personal for me as my
family struggled with many of the same questions. My aunt had been ill for some
time, but continued fighting to get better. But then, the doctors said they’d
done all they could, and hospice was brought in to help.

Her passing left a hole in our family where once was a strong, funny, compassionate woman. Watching my large family deal with the process of losing her, showed me the varied way that people deal with such difficult circumstances. It also raised a number of questions for me—about my own journey with my amazing partner and about how I want to prepare for the unexpected that may lie ahead.

On a larger scale, I was left examining my own views about the will to fight even
in the face of dire odds, and painful illness. What kind of reserve must
someone dig into to find that kind of strength? Can there be grace in letting
go? And will I have the courage to make that decision should I ever reach a
point in my life where it is necessary?

I did the final read-through of Reluctant Hope in the days following my aunt’s death. This time, Addison and Brooke’s story took on an even deeper, more profound meaning for me. I can’t wait to put this book into the hands of my readers. I hope that it can do as it has for me—provoke thought, heal wounds, and, at the very least, provide a heart-warming romance.

Email:
erin@erindutton.com

www.erindutton.com


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