I may be more surprised than anyone a reader so loved two of my stories she begged for a third… and persisted. I said I would… if a story presented itself, and though I took far more time than I wanted to keep my promise (life getting too often in the way), at last I put two of my novellas together with a third instalment and released all three as a novel under the title Ruff Trouble.

The title of the book and its three parts are all a play on words. Ruff Trouble contains the works: Hounding the Beat, Mistletoe and Whine, and Paws for Thought. Sometimes I struggle with titles but not these. The characters are a lot of fun and are perfect for some hysterical puns. There is humour in this story, but there’s some darker conflict providing enough tension. The genre is best described as shape-shifting paranormal erotic menage romance, I guess, if that’s one genre all by itself. I blend subjects.

The three stories came about because the characters remained vibrant. I’d left a loose thread dangling from the first story — partly intentional, partly because that’s how the story worked out, and following on from the second instalment even I felt I needed a third title. I often aim for about 2000 words a day, five days a week when writing. Then there are edits, of course — my own before I sub and after acceptance — but I was fortunate these stories came as a clean copy needing little changes.

I rarely have anyone in mind when I write but I admit I think of Amanda Righetti (Grace from The Mentalist) would be a decent match for Chantelle. Although her features aren’t quite right (as beautiful as she is) she has the right body shape, the red hair, the essential feisty spark the character needs.

The first two stories were part of a multi-author created by Lena Austin, which meant *gulp* whatever I came up with had to please Lena and the usual suspects. When I completed the third title the new novel format found a home at JMS Books. I first chose police as my topic — being able to put a spin on that in the form of the British ‘Bobbie’. Then I had to choose what kind of shape-shifter to use. I’ve wanted to write shape-shifting huskies for a while, and so Bobby Pooch and Chantelle Shepherd were born (what did I say about the puns *grin*). And then there’s Sam Sanders, who’s human. The surprise was my realising these are really Sam’s story, a tale of loss and finding a family.

This one may require a box of tissues, and I mean for the odd sniffle if not outright cry. Funny how a good old sob can be cleansing, especially when left with a reason to smile. The best books affect readers’ emotions. All writers doubt whether they succeed in that as much as they’d like, but with this one those who went through the process with me had a lip tremble, including me, my editors, and a reader or two.

Shapeshifting police officer Bobby Pooch wants to build a stable life with the woman he loves, but working in the same department with Chantelle and his underlying feelings for Sam makes for a complicated situation, further marred by the inherent threats of their occupation.

The job has already left its mark on the human officer, Sam Sanders, his injuries affecting not only his ability to walk but putting him behind a desk and damaging his self-esteem. Little does he know his love for Bobby isn’t as requited as he believes and may turn Sam more than husky.

Chantelle Shepherd, also a shifter, wants both men to be happy, but that means convincing them of their love for each other and her willingness for the three to form the happy, secure family unit, for which they all yearn.

From HOUNDING THE BEAT, they move on to celebrating Christmas with plastic MISTLETOE AND WHINE, their lives dogged by outside influences which threaten not only the relationships they’ve fought so hard to form but their very lives, providing them with plenty of PAWS FOR THOUGHT: three titles combined leaving no doubt, Bobby, Chantelle, and Sam are in for some RUFF TROUBLE.


ABOUT AUTHOR Sharon Maria Bidwell

A writer from the UK, Sharon’s busy creating vibrant worlds and characters to share with others. She writes fiction both light and dark, and has been approached on occasion to write articles such as reports and publicity material, though her focus will always be story-telling. A multi-genre author who lives in a world of her imagination with published works out in dark fiction, steampunk, sci-fi (Doctor Who related), and romance. Wherever she happens to hang her hat, she lives primarily in a world of her own. During her writing career she’s lived in a house with a Harry Potter cupboard under the stairs, shared a publisher with the creator of Roger Rabbit, and has taken a trip to Jupiter. Only one of these has been in her imagination.


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