Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Kissed A Dog by Carol Van Atta Book Tour ~ Excerpts ~ Review

I Kissed a Dog
The Werewolves of the West Series Book One
Carol Van Atta

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Cambridge Press US under the umbrella of Charles River Press (CRP)

ISBN:  1936185725 
ISBN13: 9781936185726
ASIN: B009SV179U

Number of pages: 446

Cover Artist: Ann Falcone

Book Description:

Chloe Carpenter isn't like other women. She can communicate with animals. A gift she unwrapped following one of her frequent dances with death.  In her otherwise wacky life, she's finally found a semblance of sanity working at the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, where her unique talents can make life or death differences for the animals in her care. That semblance is shattered when a new veterinarian roars into the park in his spiffed up sports car and sets his golden gaze on her. If she had her way, he'd roar right back out.
 Problem: He's her new coworker and he's saved her life twice - in the past twenty-four hours.
 Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of purebred werewolves, has a job to do - figure out who or what is mutilating the young men of Plum Beach.
 With orders to find the woman who talks to animals, he accepts a position working alongside the fiery Chloe Carpenter, a female who ignites his interest far more than he ever expected. Remarkably, she's the one elusive female with potential to bring meaning and passion to his empty existence.
 Problem: She despises him.
 Together, they're forced to unravel a mystery of supernatural proportions, a murderous mystery with eternal implications for everyone. In the process, they discover opposites really do attract.
 Major Problem: Zane is pledged to another woman, and she'll do anything to keep him from Chloe.

I Kissed A Dog

Buy the book   

About the Author:
Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12 (somewhat frightening illustrations included, and lots of bunnies were involved), and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper (about David Bowie's Diamond Dogs LP). Yes, she's an ex-80's chick.
 Devouring books from numerous genres, Carol developed a deep thirst/hunger for more reading material, and could almost always be found with her nose in a book.
 She has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and devotional books, and lives in the rainy wetland of Oregon with a terrifying teen (another in college) and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker side. (Though you can check out her latest spiritual suspense novel, Soul Defenders). It is rumored that this genre-jumping occurred after Carol discovered too suspicious red marks on her neck, and experienced an unquenchable urge to howl at the moon.

 Excerpt from I Kissed a Dog/Carol Van Atta

We pulled into Will’s gravel driveway about thirty minutes later. I could see his treasured quads parked off to the side of the garage. He’d been a great driver, somewhat of a daredevil, but good enough to convince me into taking a long thrill ride on the dunes last summer. It was almost impossible for me to accept that he was dead — killed — and would never ride again.
The police team, swarming over his property like flies on a corpse, was what convinced me.
“This way,” Officer Tate directed.
 Several colleagues acknowledged him but gave me cautious looks. I wondered if they knew the reason for my presence. If so, they weren’t sold on my special skills. I recognized the FBI agent from the news. He glanced our way without any official acknowledgment.
My arm hairs stood at full attention when his eyes met mine. He gave me what my mom referred to as the major heebie jeebies. I decided right then I didn’t like or trust Agent Green. Zane wasn’t the only one with good instincts.
“You ready?” Before I realized what he was doing, Zane rested his hand on my arm. The electricity remained, but this time it felt less intense, yet no less pleasurable. His touch provided a calm and confident feeling I was grateful for.
You are a good woman echoed through my tumultuous thoughts. As much as I’d like to believe otherwise, Zane was the reassuring presence I was desperate for right now.
Remembering why I was here, I nodded at Officer Tate. “Take me to talk with the animals.” I hoped I sounded halfway pleasant — anything to slice through the gloom that hung over the crime scene. My earlier morning cheer had been replaced by a grim sense of duty.
Exiting Will’s house, a woman approached. “You must be Chloe Carpenter. I’m Detective Davis. You are?” She looked at Zane with open approval.
“Dr. Marshall. I’m the new wildlife vet down at the park.” He extended his hand.
She disregarded it and jotted something in her flip pad; the evidence of her approval gone like it’d never existed, replaced with suspicion. “I may want to talk with you later, Dr. Marshall.”
I attempted to swallow my surprise. So, not all women were automatically under his spell. Even more unexpected, though, was my intense desire to protect him from her probing eyes. As if aware of my intentions, she gave a curt nod and strode away.
Inside the house, everything appeared undisturbed. A man was dusting for prints and other law enforcement personnel were removing plastic bags of evidence.
I couldn’t begin to imagine how I’d feel right now had we been lovers. Once again, my commitment to maintaining my virginity had saved me from additional heartache.
“Here’s Junior. The cat took off.” Another officer led a young pit bull into the room.
I confirmed the puppy’s leash was secure. I’d never forgotten or forgiven the pit bull that had escaped with my favorite shoe.
“Hey, little guy.” I had to admit he was adorable. His stubbed-tail wiggled and he yipped, excited by the attention. “You sure are cute.” He squirmed and pranced around us more like a pony than a pit. I realized I’d have to hold him and get him settled down if I was going to retrieve any information other than: Pet me! Pet me! I like you! Pet me!
After some reassuring whispers and gentle strokes, Junior calmed; his round puppy-eyes melting into mine. For a brief scary second, I couldn’t see or hear anything. Then the memories roared into my mind like a tornado. Woman. Sex. She smelled like a dog. The pictures were beyond my wildest and most horrifying nightmares.
A redheaded woman was clinging to Will like a rider on a bucking bronco, her head thrown back in ecstasy. Following their vigorous coupling, everything blurred. She changed into something I couldn’t explain. Either that or she’d let a wolf the size of a grizzly into the bedroom.
All I knew for certain was that Will hadn’t been stabbed.
He’d been ripped to shreds.

Just Because: Much of I Kissed a Dog takes place on the Oregon Coast, in the fictional town of Plum Beach. However, Florence, where Chloe lives, is an actual coastal town known for its sand dunes, making it an ideal place for Will to ride his quads. Check out the photos showcasing the dunes in Florence, Oregon.

 Excerpt Two from I Kissed a Dog/Carol Van Atta

“Calm down, Missy.” Zane hovered over the female Zebra. His current caring demeanor belied his feral nature as a werewolf.
Standing just inside the door, I could sense Missy’s terror. She saw Zane as a hunter not a healer. I wondered if he was even a real veterinarian.
“Are you planning to help or just watch me struggle?’ Zane asked, eyebrows raised.
“Oh, I don’t know. She thinks you’re going to eat her for breakfast.”
 “You think you’re so cute, don’t you? Do you have any idea what you’ve got us into?” He moved away from the squirming filly to face me.
“Me?” How in the world could he blame me for his brutal rampage? And why did I still find him so darn delectable? My so-called disgust had vanished, replaced by an unacceptable craving to feel his mouth on mine. I forced myself to think of the bloody men in the field. That did the trick. My loathing returned.
“Yes! You! When I said ‘stay in the bar,’ did that not mean stay in the bar?” He stepped closer, glaring down at me, his eyes wild with fury and something I couldn’t discern.
Backing up, I found myself pressed against the wall. Icy fear froze my mouth, keeping me from spouting off.
“What have you done to me, Chloe Carpenter?” Taking another step, he reduced the distance between us. I could smell his musky cologne and feel his body heat.
“You’re scaring me,” I peeped.
“It’s about time something scared you.”
Without warning, he reached around the back of my head with one vast hand, drawing my mouth to his.
His lips pressed against mine; I melted — my knees all rubbery. Sensing my dilemma, his other hand slid around my waist pulling me closer.
To my dismay, he was hard — everywhere.
A little moan escaped from the back of my throat as I parted my lips, allowing him to explore my mouth. Sighing with pleasure, my hands moved of their own accord, finding their way around his neck and into the thickness of his dark waves. His hair was as I’d imagined, soft yet dense.
 A delicious wildness hummed between us, I was reeling from its intensity.
Missy’s distinct braying-bark tore through my mind, reminding me I was locking lips with a vicious, inhuman beast, all while the zebra looked on, fearing not only for her own safety, but also, from the images she was firing my way, for mine.
“The zebra needs you,” I whispered.
“From what I can tell, you need me more.” Zane smirked.
“O-o-o-o-o … you.” The words wouldn’t form.
So much for self-control.
Deciding to hammer my raging hormones into submission, I approached Missy with caution. I could see the pain and terror in her eyes. Apprehensive, she snorted as Zane moved closer.
“You’re scaring her. How can you be a vet when the animals see you as a predator?”
“I’m great with lions, tigers, and bears, oh my.”
For a moment I just stared — a werewolf joking about the Wizard of Oz. Could things get any stranger?
I should have known better than even to think the question.

Just for Fun and Just Because: Both Chloe and Zane work with animals at a wildlife park in the fictional town of Plum Beach, Oregon. Plum Beach is actually a substitution for the real coastal town on the Oregon Coast: Bandon. Bandon is home to the West Coast Game Park Safari, which was the model for the Plum Beach Wildlife Park. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, you’ll want to visit. You can actually pet baby animals … like lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! The photo below is from one of my trips to the wildlife park. That is my hand on the lion cub.  

My Review of I Kissed a Dog

Wow, this book really got me hooked. The characters are likable, right away. Chloe , the heroine is awesome, and a different type of heroine we usually see. I liked her right away. She has this amazing unique gift that enables her to talk to animals, and understand their thoughts. Which is great, because the alpha male Zane, who is all that is hotness, is a werewolf, so they can do this mind-messaging as they like to call it. Its pretty cool.

This book was one of the most entertaining, thrilling and mysterious reads. We don’t only have werewolves, we have sexy vampires, fae, evil werewolves and the mutants as well. Chloe’s abilities find her right smack in the middle of a supernatural chaos taking place between a number of paranormal beings. Chloe has her hands pretty full between the sexy, rugged and very protective werewolf Zane, and the seductive and allusive vampire Valamir.
I really enjoyed this supernatural world the author created. It felt right, and I love that is all takes place so close to home for me. The wildlife safari she works at is on the Oregon coast, and I live in the mountains in Washington, and have been to many places up and down the coast. I found that to be fun for me, mentions of common places made it more real for me.

Here is a cute little part right after Zane and Chloe started their mind-messaging, once they knew what each other was.

“Your lady friend called. She happened to mention you were her husband-to-be. For us single girls, it’s a major disappointment.”“Don’t include me in your disappointed group of single girls,” I quipped..Zane shot me an “if looks could kill” look. Love you, too, Babe.Eck! This mind-messaging was becoming as cumbersome as text-messaging. Why couldn’t we just talk like two normal adults? Because we’re not normal adults, I chided myself. One werewolf plus one animal-reading-freak equaled a major mismatch.

And here is another good example of some steaminess between Zane and Chloe.
“You never allowed me to answer your last question,” he whispered, his lips warm against my ear. “I don’t think you’re a whore, not even close. I find you beautiful, smart, sexy, and a little too headstrong, but that I can live with. And, yes, there are other supernatural beings.” Shocked by his answer, I lifted my chin, meeting his gaze. His eyes shimmered gold. Figuring the color change had to do with amorous emotions I tried to pull away, afraid of succumbing to certain seduction. Intent on my surrender, his head dipped down and his lips crushed against mine, leaving me breathless as I melted against him, my tongue finding a perfect rhythm with his. Forgetting we were in a public place, I ran my hands down his muscular arms, causing him to growl, a low feral vibration that sent shivers of pleasure everywhere at once. His skillful hands caressed my back, sliding lower. “E-hem!” A phony throat-clearing cough interrupted his roaming hands.
Yeah, this book has its steamy, swoon worthy parts. I do not want to give too much away, but want to say, it’s a great thrill of a ride, amazing suspense and tension, On the edge of your seat for sure.
If you like the paranormal books like me, then grab this one, its amazing, and not like any others out there. It has its own unique great story.
5 big stars out of 5 for me, wish I could give it 10, but rating everyone does not go that high, lol

I was provided a copy of this book from the author for my honest review, for the book tour.
If you liked my review, I would love the support at Amazon by marking my review as helpful. Here Or like it at Goodreads. Here. Its much appreciated, thanks

  This tour is brought to you by Bewitching Book Tours. Click Here to see the rest of the tour, and visit them.


  1. Thank you, Michelle, for hosting a stop on my book tour. I love how you set up today's post. It looks fantastic! I'm so pleased you enjoyed I Kissed a Dog. I sure enjoyed writing it! I'm working away on book two. Thanks again!

  2. Your welcome, I enjoyed reading it. I love the pics too. I love that it takes place not too far from me. Well, I live in the rain-forest of WA, but same wet climate, as you do it seems. I love it here. I look forward to book 2