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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hump day with Dreamspinner Press': JD Ruskin.

Blurb: When six-year-old Matt Wilson and his Shih Tzu, Pixie, step out of the Stanton Community Hospital and disappear, his desperate parents convince Jaron Greenberg, a local pet psychic, to aid the police in the search. Jaron specializes in finding lost kitties and fixing problem pooches. He isn't prepared for a case with so much at stake. And as soon as he starts, the abilities he's had since childhood begin changing and growing in unexpected ways.

Paulo Silva is a veteran detective new to the small town of Stanton. As the low man on the totem pole at Stanton PD, he isn't happy when the chief assigns him to babysit the pet psychic instead of actively working the missing child case. As Jaron uncovers clues, Paulo starts to wonder if he might be the real thing. Or maybe it's just his testosterone reacting to what he’s sure is mutual attraction.

My debut novel, When One Door Opens, was a contemporary novel that focused on the unlikely romance of a severe agoraphobic and an ex-con. While I was waiting for my beta to complete edits, I decided to start a new project. This was long before I'd submitted to Dreamspinner Press. I went for a paranormal romance mostly because it was so different from the novel I'd just finished. And because I've always enjoyed reading this type of book. This how my new release, Finding Matt, was born.

I write character profiles before I write an outline for a story. Actually, the first character profile I wrote was the furry kind, for a Newfoundland dog named Bear. Having grown up with a large breed dog, I had plenty of references for Bear. I also have a co-worker that has a Newfie. I moved along to Jaron Greenberg. I knew I wanted to write a psychic, but I wanted one that I hadn't read about, a pet psychic. Jaron operates his pet psychic business out of a walk-in closet of his best friend's pet salon. He's not very ambitious, barely charging more than minimum wage for his services. His job allows him to help people and to pay for the mounds of kibble Bear consumes. He's had the ability to communicate with animals since childhood, but he's never really thought of what he can do as special. Everything changes for him when he's drawn into a missing child case. He finds himself having to push his abilities to the limits.

After a horrific case, Detective Paulo Silva transferred from a high profile position with the Illinois State Police to the small town of Stanton. I liked the idea of Paulo and Jaron both being at the crossroads in terms of the direction of their lives. Paulo doesn't believe in psychics but the missing child's parents have insisted Jaron work on the case. Paulo will need to overcome his suspicions and doubts about Jaron in order to find the missing child, Matt Wilson.

In this short excerpt, Paulo learns more about Jaron's abilities.

Paulo walked around to the driver’s side and got behind the wheel. “According to your website, you get readings off objects that are special to pets. Is that right?”

“Yes,” Jaron said, his white brows puckered.

Paulo worked to keep his expression neutral. He pulled out a toy from the pocket of his leather jacket and handed it to Jaron. “What can you tell me about the dog it belongs to?”

Jaron sighed deeply. “Nothing, Detective Silva.”

Paulo cleared his throat. “I need you to call me Paulo.”

“Okay,” Jaron said, drawing out the word.

Paulo swore under his breath. “Uh, this is supposed to look like a dat—er—unofficial visit.”

“Oh, Chief Tucker did mention it was important not to talk to the press about the case because it could be bad if the kidnapper heard the police were bringing in a psychic. I’d never do anything to put Matt’s life at risk.”

Changing the subject, Paulo asked, “Why can’t you tell me about the dog?”

Jaron made a small, jittery movement with the toy. “It’s a cat toy.”

Paulo squinted at the toy. “It’s shaped like a dog. How can it be a cat toy?”

Jaron brought the toy to Paulo’s nose. “Cat. Nip.”

Paulo snorted, getting a whiff of the sharp herbal scent. “Fine, you got me. What can you tell me about it?”

Jaron tossed the toy back and forth between his hands. “It belongs to a very confused cat who thinks her name is Honeybunch, Sweetheart, or possibly Button.”

Paulo’s lips twitched. “Button?”

Jaron nodded. Taking on a southern drawl that matched Paulo’s neighbor perfectly, he said, “Aren’t you just cute as a button?”

Paulo gaped at him, wondering how the hell Jaron knew that. He hadn’t made the decision to stop off at Mrs. Smithe’s apartment until he was leaving this morning. There was no way Jaron could have seen him going into her apartment, and then gotten to the pet salon without Paulo spotting him. The best scam artists had the ability to read people as well as the top police profilers could. Combined with extensive research, it made everything they said sound plausible. That seemed like a lot of effort for a guy who charges ten dollars an hour.

Interested in reading more? You can find chapter 1 and half of chapter 2 on my website.

Bio: JD Ruskin writes character-driven romance stories about complex men from a variety of backgrounds. JD is greatly influenced by her time in the Midwest, from the bustling streets of Chicago to the cornfields of rural Illinois. She enjoys writing stories with juicy plots, memorable characters, and smoking hot encounters.

JD's first novel, When One Door Opens, was a finalist in the Rainbow Award and the winner of 2014 Epic E-book award. When not writing, she has a passion for traveling, photography, and graphic design.

Contact Information
Twitter: @JDRuskin1184

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