Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Gayle M. Irwin and her Latest Novel

Gayle M. Irwin is a contributor to seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books and the author of many inspirational pet books and stories for children and adults. Her clean, contemporary romance series, Pet Rescue Romance, consists of Rescue Road, released November 2019; Finding Love at Compassion Ranch, released in May 2020; a 2020 novella, Rhiann’s Rescue (the series’ prequel); and My Montana Love, sequel to Rescue Road that released March 2021. She subtly weaves the importance of pet rescue and adoption into her novels and novellas. Learn more about Gayle and her writing here:

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Gayle: I’ve written in three genres, including children’s fiction, Christian devotions, and sweet contemporary romance. The latter is what I now focus on, although I have ideas stored away for the other two in the next year or two. I enjoy writing all three genres, as my goal as an author is to entertain, educate, and inspire. My romance novels and novellas incorporate pet rescue and adoption, a passion I’ve held for years. When you pair a sweet romance with the rescue and adoption of animals, can a reader really resist? I know I can’t! Additionally, I donate a percentage of my book sales to pet rescue and adoption groups, and I enjoy giving back to those wonderful organizations that tirelessly work on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Gayle: I studied journalism and creative writing in college, and as a teen, I used to write short stories. I don’t think any one person ‘influenced’ me to write, for some reason, it came naturally. However, two college professors certainly encouraged me in the craft: Arlene Larson, who taught journalism at my community college, and Lois Melina, who taught writing at the University of Idaho when I attended. I even worked part-time for Lois, a specialist in adoptive families, during my final year at the University. Although I worked as a reporter and editor for many years, I found freelance writing for magazines and newspapers more freeing, and when I decided to write my first book, I wanted to encourage readers through my stories. I’m happy that I’ve continued the path of author and freelance writer, and I look forward to creating more books and stories in the coming years.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Gayle: Spending time in nature and reading other authors’ books. I enjoy walks in the woods, wildlife watching, and nature photography, and I relish being in the tranquility of nature. I feel refreshed and inspired taking such adventures, and when I’m relaxed, my creativity flows like a river. Once when my husband and I visited Grand Teton National Park and I’d been mulling a holiday novella to become part of my Pet Rescue Romance series, the idea for a title hit me as I observed the majesty of the Teton Mountains. That novella, In the Shadow of Mount Moran, will release late autumn 2021. Additionally, reading other authors’ works helps me hone my craft, learning from their styles and ideas, as well as inspires me to continue my path as an author. Their influence and inspiration are welcomed – I think writers can learn great things from each other.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

Gayle: I think it would be Underdog, which I watched as a child. Not only is he a hero and a dog, but many times I’ve felt like an ‘underdog,’ and yet this spotted pup can do amazing things – we all can if we believe in ourselves.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?

Gayle: Betty White – I love her passion to help animals and I’d so love to sit down with her and talk about how people can best to that kind of work, whether as a profession, a volunteer, or just your average community member, and I’d like to learn how she became such a passionate person for animal welfare. Plus, she’s so funny – listening to her would likely have me laughing a lot, and who doesn’t need more laughter in their lives?

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Gayle: I’d load up my husband and our dogs in the car and travel to a national park or monument or a forest land close by. Take a picnic lunch, go for a long walk in the woods, and sit by a river, stream, or lake. And I’d do some writing while my husband fished. I hope to do that this summer when the weather warms up!

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Gayle: I’m finishing up In the Shadow of Mount Moran and I’m updating my other novels and novellas for re-release. I plan to create a boxed set of my first three books in the series: Rescue Road, Finding Love at Compassion Ranch, and My Montana Love, and create a giveaway of what was my holiday novella last year, Rhiann’s Rescue. I’m working with my book cover designer to not have the cover look so ‘Christmassy’ (it’s set more in January and February anyway) and re-release that book, too. I hope to have all that ready by mid-June. Stay tuned to my website,, for when those projects are complete and available!

Blurb for My Montana Love:

Crisis and Chaos in Paradise –

Rhiann Kelly married Levi Butler five years ago. Their blissful life on a Paradise Valley, Montana property, operating an animal sanctuary and a horse ranch, is challenged after Levi experiences a health crisis. When the nephew of a criminal the Butlers knew in their past shows up for a job during Levi’s recovery, Rhiann faces critical decisions. Can she keep the ranch and sanctuary operating or will past incidents and Levi’s suppressed fears cause chaos she cannot control?

Excerpt from My Montana Love:

Levi rose from the kitchen table, balancing his unsteady body by placing a hand on the table as a brace. His reddened face contorted.

“Like hell he’ll work here!”

Rhiann flinched. He took a deep breath and tried to steady his voice.

“He’s the nephew of the man who tried to take this land. There’s no way I’ll allow him to work our ranch.”

Levi again sat down. He put a hand to his head. “Of all the men from here to Bozeman and west to Harrison, this guy had to answer the help wanted ad.”

“Maybe it’s a sign,” Rhiann responded in a low voice.

He looked at her. “A sign? What are you talking about?”

She sat in a chair next to him.

“I think we both have been carrying unforgiveness toward Dallas Patterson ….”

“For justified reasons. He meant to kill you, Rhiann.”

“We don’t know for sure,” she protested. “To scare me, yes, but we don’t know his real intentions. He certainly didn’t say he wanted to kill me. Even Dave said at the trial he didn’t know for sure….”

Levi stood again. “Ever since we brought Dave on, things haven’t gone as well for us, even between us.”

He looked at Rhiann and saw her ashen face.

“What do you mean by that?” she asked, her voice cracking.

“Our disagreements, our not being on the same page about things.”

Rhiann stood in front of him. “Levi, people don’t always agree on things. And Dave has turned out to be a great ranch hand.”

“Yeah, but why? Maybe he and Patterson’s nephew have been conniving all this time, spying on us for some loathsome purpose.”

Rhiann placed her hands on her hips. “Like what?”

“I don’t know! Something!”

Levi hobbled toward the kitchen sink and leaned against it.

“How come you’ve become so suspicious, Levi?” Rhiann asked.

He faced her, and she continued, “As far as our disagreements, we’ve had them before, but we always found a compromise.”

“Yeah, involving me giving in. I’m getting tired of it.”

He watched as her eyes first bulged and then narrowed.

“Levi Marcus Butler, what’s gotten into you?”

“Rhiann Elizabeth Kelly, maybe I’m just weary of being the dog in the fight.”

“You used my maiden name.”

His wife’s soft voice startled him. Their eyes locked.

“You don’t want to be married to me anymore, do you?”

Levi’s gut tightened, and he nearly doubled over. He reached out to her.

“No, no, that’s not it at all.”

“Of course it is. You just couldn’t come out and say it.”

Rhiann turned her back on him, and he watched her shoulders shake. He attempted to walk to her, but one leg wouldn’t budge. He stumbled and fell to the floor. He heard Rhiann’s deep intake of breath just as a deep, male voice rumbled, “I guess that’ll teach you to be such a jerk.”

Levi turned his head to see his friend Phil standing in the kitchen’s entryway, arms crossed over his chest, and a deep frown furrowed on his face.

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