People and pets find their forever homes in this charming small-town romance
Coming Home to Magnolia Bay
Welcome to Magnolia Bay Book 3
by Babette De Jongh
Genre: Small Town Contemporary Romance
People and pets find their forever homes in this charming small-town romance from Babette de Jongh featuring:
*A single mom doing her best
*Her young son who needs a helping hand
*An animal trainer who might be the answer to their troubles
*A bustling animal rescue where everyone gets a second chance
*The magic of humans who know how to communicate with animals
Sara Prescott’s eight-year-old son Max wants a dog. But their apartment doesn’t allow pets, and the divorced single mom can’t afford the certified seizure-alert dog Max needs. Instead, she and Max volunteer at the Furever Love Animal Shelter. Max forms a special bond with Jett, a big black bully breed and three-time loser who keeps getting dumped.
Animal Trainer Justin Reed comes back home to Magnolia Bay and visits the shelter to find a dog actor for a TV series set in nearby New Orleans. Justin chooses Jett, but the shelter’s director rejects his application because Jett needs a finally-forever home, not a job with an end date. The shelter’s resident animal communicator proposes a win-win. Justin can use Jett as an animal actor if he also trains Jett as a service dog for Max.
Sara and Justin have no business indulging their mutual attraction. Sara is focused on her son, and Justin will be leaving soon. But Max and Jett have other ideas…
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Jett’s leash was looped around a lamppost, preventing him from doing anything other than sitting, standing, lying down, and waiting.
Waiting, he knew, was the skill Justin wanted him to learn now. Jett already knew that he would have to be silent, patient, and watchful to go everywhere with Max and take care of him.
Reva had shown Jett mind pictures of what it would be like to sit beside Max all day at school, and Jett knew he could do that. He had already mastered the skill and was more than ready to learn the next thing, whatever that might be.
The only way he could communicate that to Justin was to demonstrate the ability.
Unfortunately, Jett really, really had to pee.
He’d been taught to only pee on grass or dirt, and neither of those surfaces existed as far as he could see. Concrete and cobblestone were the only two surfaces his feet had touched since Justin had clipped the leash to Jett’s collar and given a command Jett had never heard before: Voraus.
Jett didn’t know the sound, but he knew what Justin wanted, so he hopped out of the truck. Afterward, Justin took Jett on a short walk and gave a command Jett understood: Go Potty.
Justin gave the command several times, but he never took Jett to a patch of grass or dirt. The conflicting messages confused Jett. He didn’t want to make a mistake, so he decided it would be best to wait for Justin to take him to an appropriate surface for relieving himself.
But instead, Justin had taken him to meet many people—and some other creatures he had never seen before. Then Justin tied him to this lamppost to learn something he already knew how to do: Wait.
Was it part of Jett’s training to wait quietly while desperately needing to pee? Reva had shown Jett that he would have to sit quietly beside Max in school, but she hadn’t mentioned whether Max would take him to an appropriate potty surface beforehand.
Jett would have to ask Reva about that the next time she popped into his head.
After an eternity, Justin came back and unhooked Jett’s leash from the lamppost. “Good wait.” Justin gave Jett a quick head scratch. “You wanna go potty now?”
He most certainly did want to go potty. In fact, he needed to potty in the worst way. Not only to pee now but also to poop. Jett whined and gave a low tail wag.
“Okay, let’s go.” Justin followed that up with a different sound, “Foos.”
Whatever that meant.
But the slight tug on the leash meant that they were about to start walking, and Jett knew from his previous training that Justin expected Jett to walk beside him, leaving some slack in the leash and looking up often for cues of when to stop or change direction.
Justin walked a long way before he stopped at an anemic patch of short-clipped grass.
Jett squatted to release his full bladder. Normally, he would hike, but this situation had nothing to do with marking territory and everything to do with relieving himself. While he peed, he looked up at a cluster of tall, tree-like plants that bordered the grassy patch. The strange-looking plants had thick segmented trunks that clacked together in the warm breeze.
“Dude,” Justin said. “I’m sorry. I did ask if you needed to go before.”
Jett heard Justin making word-sounds, and he knew he should be paying attention in case any of them were commands, but as soon as he’d emptied his bladder, his next most pressing concern took over his mind, and he sniffed along the ground for a good place to poop.
It seemed clear from the many different scents that a multitude of different dogs had relieved themselves here in recent days. Some came back daily; others had only been here once or twice. Jett chose a spot that hadn’t been used multiple times by the same dog. He didn’t want to start any trouble.
Justin gathered Jett’s poops into a plastic bag and disposed of the bag in a nearby trash bin. The receptacle’s metal exterior smelled of many different urine markings made by canines, felines, and humans.
This, Jett decided, was a very strange place indeed.
They walked another long way past many interesting smells and sounds, and eventually wound up at a loud place where Justin met up with the people Jett had met earlier in the day. He recalled some of the names: Maria, the nice lady with the soft touch and hard voice, and Hank, the man whose big personality was encased in a thick protective energy field.
A big black dog was lying on the ground next to Hank.
“Otis,” Justin said, “meet Jett.” The dog stood and greeted Jett politely, his eyes soft, his tail wagging low and friendly. “Jett, this is Otis. You’ll be working together.”
“God, Mutt.” The small woman pounded Justin’s arm. “You’re such a hoot.”
The two dogs exchanged polite sniffs at both ends of their bodies, and then Otis allowed Jett to lick his muzzle in a show of subservience.
Though Jett was the slightly bigger dog, he paid homage to the older dog whose turf he had invaded. Jett knew that Otis had been here longer because Otis and the place carried many of the same scents while Jett still carried the scent of the animal shelter, even though he’d been given a bath.
Delicious scents were carried on the wind, swirling around the large, umbrella-covered tables where the people had gathered. Otis and Jett were told to lie down under the table and wait.
Otis was also good at waiting.
Without words, Otis showed Jett some of the things they would be doing over the coming days. He showed how the animals in this strange community performed commands while some of the people stood around and watched and other humans ran around in a state of quiet chaos.
None of it made much sense.
Otis agreed with Jett’s sentiment because there were no visible changes to the environment as a result of their actions. But the people were all very happy when the animals followed the commands given by Justin and Paula, who worked together to tell the animals what to do and when to do it.
Otis showed Jett that the work would be fun and interesting and that they would be rewarded in many ways. One of the rewards, according to Otis, was shrimp.
Jett didn’t know shrimp. He put his head on his paws and sent a sideways glance to Otis.
“Shrimp.” Otis sent the word-sound into Jett’s mind again. “It will be our turn soon.”
The people above them consumed food that smelled so good, Jett’s mouth filled with saliva and spilled over. He had never tasted anything but dry kibble in his life—unless he counted the one time he’d raided the trash can and been punished severely by his human, and then later by his intestines.
If the food being passed around on the table above them tasted as good as it smelled, he would do just about anything, even gladly suffer the pain afterward, to earn a morsel or two.
Jett and Otis continued to lie quietly until Justin pushed his chair back from the table and commanded both dogs to sit. He used a slightly different-sounding pronunciation: “Sitz.”
Justin held a pinkish curl of meat between his fingers. “Otis, this one’s for you.” He held the thing in front of Otis’s mouth. “Take it.” Then he gave a new command that sounded like “nimbi.”
When Otis took the morsel and bit down on it, the scent of the treat burst all around them.
Jett sat as still as he could, even though anticipation quivered through him. Justin reached for something on the table. Jett watched, hoping…hoping…hoping… Then Justin held the curled pink treat in front of Jett’s nose. “Jett, this one’s yours.”
It was his turn.
Jett wanted to leap and snap up the shiny shrimp. His front feet wanted to lift off the ground, but he kept them pinned in place. He couldn’t stop from shifting his weight first to one foot, then the other. One, then the other. One, then the other.
Then Justin said the magic words: “Take it.” And “Nimbi.”
Carefully, gently, Jett received the curled pink offering into his mouth, making sure that only his lips—not his teeth—touched Justin’s fingers.
And oooh, that taste, that succulent taste. That taste made sure that Jett would remember the two new commands take it and nimbi.
Justin held out another shrimp to Otis. This time, he only said “Nimbi.”
Jett watched and waited, his whole body quivering with the knowledge that he would soon be given another of those glistening pink morsels.
Jett knew that his current mission in life was to learn the things he had to know so he could take care of Max. He had expected it to be difficult. He had expected it to take a long time. He had expected it to take all of his focus, all of his discipline, all of his motivation to succeed.
He hadn’t expected to enjoy himself. He hadn’t expected to be immersed in such a rich world of sights, sounds, and smells. He hadn’t expected his first lesson to be about shrimp and take it and nimbi.
Justin dipped his fingers in a bowl that smelled like lemons, then wiped his hands on a big square of cloth. He stroked Jett’s head with lemon-scented hands and praised him for being such a good dog. “You think you might like being here with me after all, Jett?”
Jett put his head on Justin’s knee and gazed up at his new best friend, the Nimbi of Shrimp.
He didn’t just like being with Justin. He loved it.
Magnolia Bay Memories
Welcome to Magnolia Bay Book 2
Warm Nights in Magnolia Bay
Welcome to Magnolia Bay Book 1
**Celebrate National Black Dog Day on Oct 1 with Hear Them Speak!**
Hear Them Speak
A Twelve-Week Course in Telepathic Animal Communication
by Babette de Jongh
Genre: Nonfiction, Pets, Animal Communication
Would you like to know what your animal companion is really thinking? If you’re holding this book, the ability is literally within your grasp. Hear Them Speak is an engaging and easy-to-follow twelve week course that guides you through the process of discovering your own superpowers of telepathic animal communication. With real-life examples to increase understanding and tasks to help you practice your emerging skills, animal communicator Babette de Jongh walks you through every step of the journey to claim your innate ability to hear them speak.
Babette de Jongh is a telepathic animal communicator, energy healer, Reiki Master, and award-winning romance writer who has taught ballet, yoga, elementary school, and animal communication. Whether it involves a happy-ending romance, a way of self-nurturing, or help in understanding our companions, the cohesive thread that ties all these things together is a desire to save the world, one happy ending at a time.
Babette’s first romance novel, Angel Falls, won two Readers’ Choice awards. In Hear Them Speak, Babette helps humans better understand their animal companions. In Welcome to Magnolia Bay, a romance series from Sourcebooks Casablanca, a telepathic animal communicator conspires with the human characters’ animal companions to help everyone—humans and animals—find forever love.
All this is only the beginning for a late bloomer who is just getting started. To find out more about Babette, everything she does, and everything she’s up to these days, please visit her website at www.BabettedeJongh.com.
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