Koda Jacobs urgently needs a nanny--right now. Fresh from prison, Dalton Clayton needs a job--and just about anything will do.
“Guys, let’s concentrate on a name. No more bickering.”
Koda grinned. Bonus points for Dalton’s calm and timely interference. It was impossible to tell if that was the first time he’d reprimanded them for quarreling, or the hundredth today. There were days she just could not take it when they had the battle lines drawn between them. Pulling in a breath, curious what she’d find this time, she stepped into the room, and stopped short at the sight.
Ruthie and Terry sat on the floor, a puppy spinning between their wriggling fingers. Dalton sprawled near them, shoulder propped on his upturned palm. With his other hand, he encouraged the puppy to chase his fingers too.
Puppy. Remembering Amy’s story of the kidnapped children, lured by a cute puppy, she shook her head. No, they’re safe. They’re right here. There must be another explanation for why they have a puppy. She cleared her throat, working up a smile. “Hi, everyone. What is going on?”
The kids both jumped up, talking at once. She took a step back as they swarmed her.
“Look what we found at the park!”
“Caleb and Taylor can’t have it because of allergies.”
“We’ll take care of it, really we will!”
“You said we could have one until we had Ruthie instead!”
Koda drew back, stunned at Terry’s last comment. What was he thinking? What were they all thinking? She turned to Dalton, watching as he climbed to his feet, the puppy nestled in his arms and uncertainty on his face.
A hammer slammed into her chest. Okay, there was something incredibly appealing about Dalton holding a puppy and giving her that cautious look he wore so well. She could take a picture of that image, put it in a calendar, and make a lot of money.
“Uh, er . . .” Stammering, she licked her lips, gathering her thoughts back to the matter at hand. “What’s going on?”
He held a hand out to silence the kids. “My turn,” he said simply, turning back to Koda.
Welcome, Ryan. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina in a century-old cottage, with a houseful of rescued animals. There are six cats, two bunnies, one collie, one macaw, and some fish. Photos of most of them can be found on my blog and website. I began writing at age ten. But it wasn’t until around 2008 that my writing finally found its way into magazines. I had several non-fiction articles and opinion pieces published, before I sold my first manuscript in 2012. Since then, it’s been a roller coaster of a ride, and a balancing act to keep both fiction and non-fiction wheels turning steadily.
Do you write full time?
I do write and do writing related tasks (blogging, update website, social media attention, research, and loads of promoting tasks) all full time. I also dog walk & pet sit full time. And I have a full time “day job”. So a typical day might look like this: rise early, tend to pets, shower & breakfast (and lots of coffee). I work on emails and writing tasks until lunchtime. Walk my dog, go and cover the county by attending to my clients. Many of them are mid-day walks and drop in visits. About two or three hours later, return home, feed my ‘zoo’ their lunch, and work on more writing until time for work. Pack my lunch, change into my uniform and be at work by 3:00 pm. I’m there until about 12:30, 1:00 am. Then it’s time to check on one more late dog walk, take care of any writing items that have come up during the afternoon, feed the ‘zoo’ again and drop listlessly into bed for a few hours. Repeat. Weekends I don’t normally have the second shift job (though sometimes I do), and I usually pet sit more. So it’s all a balancing act. My afternoon “day job” is working security/ asset protection in a distribution center for a fashion retailer.
Wow, I'm tired just reading what you do! Where do you get your writing inspirations?
Inspiration can be found anywhere. Random sightings, overheard conversations, photographs, songs. My list is endless. My latest release is called ‘Crazy Woman Creek’ and is part of Limitless Publishing’s ‘Craving Country’ anthology. It came to be because I was having issues with a peeping tom last summer. One day I’d spoke to the police and was quite disgruntled. On my way to work, I needed to unleash some of my anger before I hit the front doors, so I grabbed pen and paper and let my ‘crazy woman’ out to vent. By the time I reached work, I was in a better frame of mind---sort of. A couple of weeks later I noticed a call for submissions for short stories with a country theme. Those crazy venting scribbles became the backbone of the contribution for the anthology. That is how my inspiration rolls. Just stuff happens and it makes it into a book. Ya just never know…
Tell us how you came to write this story.
Rainbows in the Moonlight was inspired by two of Montgomery Gentry’s songs. There is a song called ‘Our Town’ and another called ‘Something to be Proud of’ and both speak of small towns, boys growing up and leaving town, just to return later and fall in love and raise a family. Essentially, that is Dalton’s life.
What are you working on now?
A 2018 heroine is transported to 1718, the Golden Age of Piracy, and is abducted by the most ruthless, daring, and cavalier pirate of the time. He mistakenly thinks she is an Earl’s daughter. He had wanted a serving wench. The heroine, Bellamy Wingate, only wants to return home. However, that proves to be impossible. To complicate an already complex situation, Bellamy can see the future. One vision she saw was the hanging death of the hero, Captain Ronan Standish.
Now, because I love time travels, I am also fleshing out an older script, “Beyond the Stars”, which will be a Christian time travel romance. I did this blend in 2014 with “Shimmers of Stardust” and it seems repetitively successful. This time I will have the heroine go back to an 1880’s rancher. In 2014 I had the outlaw come forward to the modern heroine. Faith, or lack of it, will play into the story, as well as liberal romance.
And because I dislike boredom, I am also outlining two more stories I hope to write, most likely in late 2018-2019. Both are more along the lines of Women’s fiction. One deals with triplet siblings, essentially estranged, and how an out-of-control forest fire brings them back together. The story idea was sparked as out-of-control wildfires were burning in my area last fall and I was awaiting the evac order.
The other is a woman and her autistic child on the run from her mafia brother. She keeps a journal of her life on the run. She lands in what she thinks will be just another town to call home temporarily. Then the sheriff, who has developed a romantic interest in her, finds the journal. She is found out by the mobsters and is ready to run again, except the sheriff begs her to stay and trust him to protect them.
In addition to that, I hope to self-publish a fiction manuscript this summer. I did a non-fiction chronical of the first two years with my adopted dog last year, and it was a great experience. I think it would be fun to take a fiction script and try it again. I have a couple that don’t fit any neat niches.
This should all keep me busy for a while.
For sure! How about an interesting fact about you?
I have no sense of smell. It’s called anosmia. I’ve never had any sense of smell. Good or bad, there is just nothing there for me to notice. For my friends who don’t tend to remember, I have a load of fun teasing them—until they suddenly remember. Since I’ve never smelled anything, I don’t know what I am missing.
Ryan Jo Summers writes mashed romances. Sweet love stories that include any combination of contemporary theme: Christian, humor, mystery, paranormal, shape shifting, suspense, or time travel. She writes non-fiction pieces for various magazines. In addition to a full time job, and a full time writing career, she also has a pet sitting business. She comes from a family of wordsmiths, with members who have been song writers and poets.
In her limited free time, she likes to read, escape to the wilderness and rivers, visit with friends and family, or just hang with her pets. She enjoys chess, crafts, painting, poetry, and word find puzzles. She lives in a century-old mountain cottage in North Carolina with a menagerie of rescued animals and way too many house plants.