There’s a lot to say about this book. Mostly because it’s about something very near and very dear to my heart: the relationship between dogs and people (and cats and people, too). Also because much of this book was written during the first COVID-19 lockdown in the Spring of 2020 and I’ve been fascinated with how this insane year has influenced the art created.
But before I get into that, feel free to jump ahead to the sales info and the book blurb.
Okay, so let me set the scene. It was January, 2019 and my wife Aleia and I were at the Grand Canyon celebrating her birthday. We got there just before eight inches of snow fell, making the canyon even more spectacular than usual. Here, see for yourself (click on the pics for a closer look):
We hiked, we blazed new trails in the snow, and saw very few people. It was utterly magical.
We were also grieving the loss of our beloved spaniel Madison about six months earlier. We were without a dog in our lives which has been very rare for us.
During that trip, I was writing for anthologies as part of a workshop. The trick was, I only had one week to write a new story so I was writing while we were there.
Take all these factors (beautiful surroundings, missing Madison terribly, and needing to write) and add in the adorable corgi named Aspen we met on the rim and out popped a story called “Dog People” featuring an alien telepathic corgi that calls herself Angelica Huston.
(“Dog People” was published in Snot-Nosed Aliens: Stories from Pulphouse Fiction Magazine and I have blogged a bit about it previously).
If you know me, you know I am a dog person, I really am, and there was no way I could not write more about an alien telepathic corgi. Just no way.
Late in 2019, I wrote a novelette that introduced time travel into the mix and was an adventure with Angelica Huston and a grieving middle aged geek named Ashton. The story, which stands alone just fine, was a blast to write and early this year I wanted to continue it. Because, you know, 2020 needed all the fun that I could bring to bear. The story, as all the best ones do, had a mind of it’s own and it expanded into the novel that I am releasing today.
As a brief postscript: I guess it’s not surprise that Aleia and I decided to adopt a puppy on that trip. Our neighbor was fostering an adorable mixed breed puppy that had lost her mama dog early and had had been recently rescued with her siblings. She was only 3 weeks old when rescued, so we knew there would be challenges ahead, but we just couldn’t let her go back to the shelter and take the chance she wouldn’t find a good home. This was crazy, in the best way, because neither of us had had a puppy in the last 30 years and they need a lot. I mean A LOT! It wasn’t easy, but Oliva is over two years old now and we adore her and can’t imagine our lives without her. (Scroll to the bottom of this post for the ultimate adorableness of Olivia right after she came to live with us).
Now on to the detail of the book:
The full blurb is below, but here’s the quick take:
- The Where the Past Belongs ebook is on sale for the next few weeks for $2.99 in the US
- It is also available in paperback.
- I’ve got a dedicated page for the book where you can start reading right now.
- I’m giving away giveaway of 100 ebooks over on Goodreads to celebrate the release.
The book comes with a warning which I feel obliged to share with you here:
WARNING: The following story contains a twisting time travel plot and is unapologetically sentimental when it comes to the animals we humans share our lives with. The author and the publisher can not be held responsible that if, after reading this novel, you feel a very strong desire to find an animal in need and take very, very good care of it.
And here’s the full blurb:
When the alien telepathic corgi known as Angelica Huston saves middle-aged geek Ashton Bach’s life, they embark on the time travel adventure of a lifetime and everything changes.
With Angelica, Ashton defends the most powerful technology in the universe from desperate alien cats in hopes of undoing his greatest regret. But when Ashton discovers the truth about his past, he will do anything to turn back time, forget about time travel and alien dogs and cats, and return to his old life.
From Robert J. McCarter, author of Woody and June versus the Apocalypse, comes a fun, touching, and unforgettable time travel adventure for dog and cat lovers everywhere.