Though I’ve posted about the cute Yorkie Poo and all our July author’s dogs, if you missed it, go back to Saturday. If your fingers hurt too much to hit the “back button” I’ll still have some fun things about the doggies in this blog as well.

      However, one of the sterling attributes I have noticed about our Heartwarming authors’ depictions of their heroines---and yes---I read ALL your books---is that our heroines are truly strong women and they are that way because they are true to their inner being. Even in situations where it takes them a bit to find that inner chord, they do. I like that.

     As an author, I will bet that no matter where we meet new people, social or professional, we are always asked, “Where do you get your inspiration?”  I have a tendency to believe that for some of us, our heroines are bits and pieces of ourselves. The good and the bad. Through our heroines, we re-discover or unearth new aspects, wishes, desires, shadows of ourselves, we either forgot or didn’t know existed. I had a counselor tell me one time that writing is one of the most cathartic exercises a human can perform. I would agree with that one.

     My heroine, Sophie, has been plagued all her life with false gossip about her. I wonder how many of us have gone through something similar? I know I have. Numerous times. Sure, it’s malicious and usually that’s the intent. Being the object of that jealousy or meanness has become today, a real problem for our young children and teens. Bullying knows no bounds it seems. If face to face or behind-the-back gossip isn’t enough, the cyber-bullying is even more intense and dangerous.

     When I was in high school, for a time I ran with a group of girls who were more than just flirts, like Sophie, if you know what I mean. Because I would not “party” with them or “hang” with the guys like they did, they circulated a story that I was pregnant. I was 16. NO one in the school would talk to me. I was ostracized by the “good kids” and the “bad kids”.  I found out what life all alone as a teen meant. My mother told me to “hold my head high and be patient. The truth will come out eventually.”  The weeks and months were painful and lonely, especially when you’re 16.  Obviously, I wasn’t pregnant. Six months later, the boy I supposed to have gotten pregnant by, found out who started the rumor and confronted the group of girls.  I was vindicated.

     For some, a story like that can ruin them. Heroines don’t become victims. They hold their heads high and ignore the turmoil around them. The storm will always pass.  Some will try again and again to resurrect painful events, but heroines are wise enough to call the bully’s bluff.

     For those young people reading this blog or who read our Heartwarming stories, I highly recommend our heroines as role models. Bullying has always been around. It’s not new, it just has new software and perhaps sharper teeth. Maybe not.

     I want to commend our Heartwarming editors, and Victoria in particular, and our talented and conscientious authors for continually raising the bar in their depiction of  strong, independent, loving and generous women.

     For our July releases, Amy Vastine created these wonderful meme’s for each of us. This one is Sophie’s. I just love it.

Yesterday on July 4th started our TLC BOOK TOUR.  Here’s the link:

My PRISM BOOK TOUR starts on July 18th.  Please stop by and visit. To entice you, here’s a teaser.

And as promised, here’s comes Frenchie!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Launch for
Sophie's Path
By Catherine Lanigan

Come along with us and one little dog, Frenchie, as a couple is
brought together with the chance of finding love in each other...

Tour Schedule
July 21st: Brooke Blogs
July 22nd: Hardcover Feedback
July 25th: EskieMama Reads
July 26th: deal sharing aunt
July 27th: Colorimetry
July 31st: Grand Finale

From Frenchie's Point of View

Bark! Sorry. Hi! My name is Frenchie. I’m a six and a half pound Yorkie Poo and I’m here to welcome you to “The Shores of Indian Lake” series by Catherine Lanigan. If you are returning to our small town, I’m glad to meet you, too. This is a new role for me, being a star, I mean. I’ve been a rescue dog, which wasn’t fun. I like to have a family. In fact, I have to have humans to love. Humans can be fun but they can also be pretty clueless about the essentials in life. Take Sophie Mattuchi and Jack Carter, for instance. I thought I’d never get these two together. 

Right from the start, when my interim owner, Jeremy Hawkins, who was a sad soul, really—a drug addict, but a kind person, gave me to Sophie, I loved her. She was pretty and cuddly and she let me sleep next to her the first night I went home with her. The first hour I was with her, she went out and bought me a car seat so I could sit in the passenger’s seat and look out the window to see the cars on Main Street and Maple Boulevard. Who does that for a stranger? 

As much as I love Sophie, she couldn’t take care of me. I like lots of attention. So, I barked and whined all day when she had to go save lives being a cardiac surgery nurse. Sophie lives in Mrs. Beabots’s apartment upstairs and I knew Mrs. Beabots would take action. So, Sophie pleaded with Jack Carter to take me. The minute I saw him, I knew he was the guy for Sophie, even if he was angry with her. See? This is the problem with humans. They get tangled up inside like I do when I’m leashed to a stake. I’m not going to run away. But humans, they’re constantly running from love. For some reason, love is scary to them. Not to dogs. Not to me. I only know to love. 

Anyway, neither one of them seemed to be able to get past the night of Jack’s accident when he thought Sophie made the wrong decision and his young intern, Aleah, died. That’s why I made a pest of myself and Jack had to take me to Katia and Austin’s wedding. He kept me up in the master bedroom, but when the storm broke out, I knew it was my chance to force Sophie and Jack together—alone.

I barked. I whined. I cried. I know, it was embarrassing, but I was running out of patience. When they dashed through the storm to get to me, well, you’ll have to read the book to see what happens. 


1. If you’ve read any of the previous books in THE SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE, you probably have met my friend, BEAU. He’s a really handsome Golden Retriever. He doesn’t bark as much as I do, but then he didn’t have to play cupid as much as me, either. Beau also can’t stand on his hind legs and dance around the room like I can either. 

2. I have other animal friends in Indian Lake. Rafe Barzonni has a great horse, Rowan, that Catherine introduced in FEAR OF FALLING. I like going out to the Barzonni farm with Jack and Sophie. Actually, I make them take me just about everywhere. Because I’m so little, I get to go running with them, too.

3. Jack was always a runner, but Sophie only took up the sport last year. She likes it now. She bought me a fluorescent green collar to match her lime green running shorts. I don’t run with her because she’s too fast and my legs are too short. She carries me in a sling around her chest. She’s a pretty good human that way.

4. Jack says he’s getting a small Bass fishing boat. I think I’d like fishing. Well, not fishing exactly, but being out on the lake on a pretty day. I’d like that. Sophie used to listen to her IPOD, but now that she has me and Jack, she talks to us. I sit in her lap so she can pet me. Told you I was a smart dog. 


I’m happy you all have had a chance to meet Frenchie. I love sharing dog and kitty stories. What’s your favorite pet? And, seriously, do you think they’d talk to you if they could?  Or is it just crazy me?



  1. Last evening I got to the part in SOPHIE'S PATH where Frenchie make her first appearance. I couldn't help but love her from that very first scene. All I can say, Catherine, is that I'll probably be spending more time reading than writing today!

    On a more serious note, I am very sorry to hear about the unconscionable experience you had as a teen. You exemplify the type of heroine we strive to write about.

    1. Kate! I'm so glad you like little Frenchie. I actually named her Frenchie from the cop in Casablanca the part that Claude Raines played. I love that movie. I'm such a die-hard romantic. Seriously, we ALL had something like that in our past. Nearly every author I've ever met has some heartbreaking but back strengthening experience like I did.

  2. I love that we write about strong women. A great post, Catherine. I'm sorry you went through what you did.

    1. Thanks, Liz. Like I said to Kate, I bet there are many deep, shadowy experiences that most of us want to shove back there. But, lately, especially, I am learning I must, must get them out!

  3. Thank you for the great post. Bullying is awful. I was mildly bullied here and there while growing up, but nothing really fierce. The bullies in this day and age are ruthless. Your mother gave you good advice, and I'm happy you were vindicated. I can't wait to get to Sophie's Path. I know I'll love Fremchie.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Laurie. As for Frenchie, what's not to love, huh???? What a cutie. And I adhere to my mother's advice nearly every day of my life. PERFECT counseling.

  4. Great post. At some point in my school, a notebook was passed around with each page containing a person's name. Students were asked to write their opinions. I looked at my page and couldn't believe it. A person I considered my friend had written "I don't like her." All these years later I can still picture her. Today's cyberspace is so dangerous with everyone voicing opinions that can never be changed.

    1. You know, Marion, it is amazing to me how these things stay with us, gnawing, festering and creating deep wounds. I'm doing a lot of purging of emotions and this was down there so deep. NOT ANYMORE!

  5. Catherine, what a great post. I actually think bullying today is much harder and harsher on teens because of social media the reach of the insidious tentacles are far wider. I spend a lot of time wondering what makes some people mean. And also what makes some targets? I'll probably never answer either. But it's wonderful that the writers here and our readers are warm and nice. I appreciate you all.

    1. Roz, it is so true what you say. Bullying is just meanness. I think some of these kids feel it gives them power. For some it is acting out because they don't feel loved. At least that's what I see.

  6. Catherine - congratulations on beating the bullies in your life - those 'mean girls' and that ridiculous writing teacher who told you you couldn't write. And thanks for that introduction to Frenchie - very philosophical and savvy fur-person. All our pets have talked to us; you just have to understand the language.

    1. I love it, Muriel! I'm not crazy. I've always thought my cats and dogs were so much smarter than everyone else's because I understood them. Then I realized that I wanted to have conversations with our chipmunks, squirrels, birds.. but not the mice.

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your experience in school, Catherine. Working in the juvenile court system, I've seen the worst of the's quite sad and often disturbing. Social media makes it easier for these kids to push bullying to the limit. I look forward to reading Sophie's story.

    1. Jill! Thank you for your comments here. It's just so disconcerting all the meanness I see. Rude behavior. Honestly? I blame a lot of today's bullying on Jerry Springer and Jenny Jones television shows when they allowed relatives to throw chairs at each other.

  8. Catherine, thank you for a great post this morning. I despise bullying. I agree with some of the above comments that it seems to have gotten so much worse with the advent of social media. It's a perfect medium for bullies, who are really cowards at heart, giving them both a platform and an extra layer of distance from their targets. I also like the strength of our Heartwarming heroines. I believe in that old adage that what doesn't destroy you makes you even stronger!

  9. Carol, very well put. I most heartily agree that bullies are cowards under the skin and when they can text and gossip via emails, they have a mask and cloak that keeps them invisible...for awhile. Like all things, it does catch up with a person.
    And yes, my favorite heroines are the ones that I throw the kitchen sink in the midst of a tornado at them and they come through it all with a smile on their face, saving the town, loved ones and saving the hero.

  10. As a teacher, I was rarely surprised when I met the parent of a bully. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, usually.

    Love Frenchie.

    And, I want to know more about the boy who confronted the girl who started the rumor.

    Looking forward to reading your book. I'm reading one of Carol's right now. I gotta find more time!

  11. Hi, Pam! Isn't it the truth? I'm staying awake far too much at night reading all my Heartwarming books, but I'm waaaaay addicted. Just am.
    You are right. The kids learn this stuff at home. Period.

  12. Oh man, Catherine. I hate bullies and the horrible rumors that they spread. You are such a sweet and kind-hearted person and should be treated with nothing but kindness! I love that you put some of your wonderfulness in your heroines. No wonder they're so great! xoxox

    1. Awesome, Amy! I'm blushing! What lovely compliments. Thank you.

  13. I think Heartwarming has some of the strongest heroines in all of Harlequin! It's such a great line to write for. And I'm sorry about your bullying experience, too. Bullies are basically cowards and that's why it happens so often on social media--they don't have to face the person they're bullying.

  14. Aw love the pic with Frenchie on his hind legs! Excellent post on all fronts. And Sophie, I think, is a heroine so many can identify with. I agree with you and, in fact, just recently was telling someone that Heartwarming heroines truly do make wonderful role models.


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