posted on August 24, 2017 by Gail Chianese

A Furry Introduction

Hi, my name is Belladonna, but you can call me Bella like my human. I’m a seven-year old German Shepard and a military working dog, or MWD for short.

For practically my whole career I’ve worked with the same partner, Jax and to be honest with you, he’d be lost without me. We’ve been through a lot together. Some good times and some pretty scary moments too. It’s okay though, because Jax always knew I had his back and I wouldn’t want be with anyone else.

Not just any dog can be a MWD. You have to start when you’re young and only the best of the best make the cut. The humans say it’s a lot of hard work, but really its just play to me. I also learned how to find things that go boom, which is really important because I save lives.

And not all humans are smart enough to work with us MWDs either. The first guy they assigned to me when I got to the “Sand Box” was clueless. He actually thought he was in charge. Puhlease. He didn’t get that I outranked him and had the better sniffer, which is how I met Jax.

Jax got it. He knew I called the shots and in turn I did everything he asked of me. When we weren’t out on patrol—that’s looking for bad guys and things that go boom for you non-military types—we trained. At night, I slept with Jax instead of in the kennel like when I was in Texas. I liked that, except, Jax is a bit of a bed hog. We did everything together. Went everywhere together.

One night things got a little dicey. The bad guys were everywhere. My nose was going crazy from the smells. We were surrounded.

I’ll let you in on a secret, but don’t tell Jax.

I didn’t think we were going to make it out of there.

But we did what we always do and had each other’s six (more military speak for having someone’s back). Morning came and brought backup and well, obviously, we made it. Not long after that Jax and I got orders to the states where we continued to work together. But now, I’m not sure what’s going to happen next. See he’s leaving and I’m not.

But I’ve got a plan and it involves Dr. Risa Reynolds. I’ll let my new pal, Morpheus, tell you about her.


I don’t know what the dog is talking about. We are definitely not pals. I got enough dogs in my life. Don’t even get me started on the bunnies or the doc’s plan to open a rescue. Recently she’s been talking about getting a horse.

A horse!

Do you know what kind of damage those things can do to a cat?  Sheesh! But that’s the doc for you. A heart of gold and as big as that one state. What’s it called? Eh, beats me. I just know it’s hot there. Anyway, back to the doc. Yeah, she’s pretty awesome to all of us. Treats us like family. Gives us soft, warm places to sleep and plenty of food. But man, lookout when she gets mad. She sounds like a British version of a Samuel L. Jackson character. Actually, it’s kind of funny because the dogs get scared and hide. Not me. I know she wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Lately she’s been bringing around this other human…a male. He’s okay. I guess, as long as he remembers I’m the alpha here. This is my domain. So far, he’s falling into line, leaving me alone, scratching my ears and chin when I demand and he does make the doc laugh. A lot. And since she’d do anything for us, I guess we’ll have to give him a chance.

If only he didn’t come with a dog.



Hi, Gail here—finally. I didn’t think I was going to get the keyboard away from those two. They definitely think they’re in charge and well, they’re probably right. I know my furbabies pretty much rule my household and Risa is a bit like me when it comes to those four-legged family members.

Anyway, I had a blast writing about Jax, Risa and the whole gang, which included three dogs, a cat, a couple of bunnies and a pair of baby goats.

When I first introduced Chief Jax Faraday in LOVE RUNS DEEP (book 1 of the Changing Tides series) he was supposed to just be one of those characters who graces the page once and then is gone. But…I don’t know, maybe it was those striking hazel eyes or his slow southern drawl or his commanding presence that made me sit up and take a second look. He got a second chance and after that next scene I knew I needed to tell this man’s story.

See Jax is at a crossroads in his career and life, thinking he knows exactly what he wants, but afraid to go after it. Haven’t most of us been there? Pretty much every military person I know, who has served as long as Jax, sure has been, including my darling husband.

Of course, just like in real life, the decision couldn’t be cut and dry. No, there were obstacles to overcome…like a fetching blonde with the mouth of a sailor when she got mad and the heart of saint when it came to anything with four legs. And Risa has her own issues going on—career stuff, family, her animals and a serious no-dating-military-men rule.

I’ve learned a few things in life: sometimes what we think we want isn’t what we need; sometimes we’re so focused on one goal that we tend to miss what’s right in front of us like that one person who really gets us, makes us smile, and lights up our hearts; and sometimes you have to take a chance to get the biggest reward.

Now as to whether Risa and Jax learned these lessons or not, you’ll have to read A HERO TO LOVE to find out.


Gail Chianese

Gail Chianese

I currently live in beautiful Connecticut, but originally hail from sunny California. I am the mom of three amazing kids, a Navy wife (he did 27 years!) and the rescuer of three fur babies. In my spare time, I like to ghost hunt with my hubby, geocache with my family and lock myself away with a great book. I am a proud member of Connecticut Romance Writers of America. I love to connect with my readers on my social media accounts and website!

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