Monday, August 15, 2022

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - The Puppy Barter by Becke Turner


The Puppy Barter

Get a behind-the-scenes all-access pass to Becke Turner's The Puppy Barter, book four of the A Clocktower Romance Series!


My volunteer work at a service dog training center inspired this romance between a veterinarian, who is an unexpected new dad to his secret nephew, and the director of a service dog training facility.

When Dr. Luke Grant learns he’s the guardian to his unknown half-sister’s son, he’s forced to tighten his business purse strings. After Director Jessie Ackerman’s brother died before he received a service dog, she’s committed to ensure every Sunberry citizen receives a trained service dog. However, sustaining a 501© charity has her struggling for sponsors and donors.

When the neighboring business and veterinarian sponsor drops out of the program the day she brings in sick puppies, sparks fly.

Can a grieving boy and a sick puppy show Jessie and Luke that creating a loving home is more important than financial security?


How are the books in the series related?

The Puppy Barter, like all Clocktower Romances, is set in Sunberry, North Carolina.


What is the sub-genre and trope? 

Southern Small Town, Single Dad, PG-13 romance

Did your characters lead you to this genre or was that decided before the story began?

I wanted to tell a story about service dogs. 

As a volunteer, I understood the directory’s dependency on community veterinarians, so I created a character who couldn’t meet that obligation. 

This created my conflict for Luke as well as the story. He loves dogs and has devoted his life to them. However, his nephew’s care takes precedent. 

I raised the stakes for Luke by having him overcome childhood poverty. In addition to the conflict between helping the dogs or his nephew, he’s determined to shield Buddy from the scars of poverty.


Are you more character or plot driven?



With many main and secondary characters, how do you keep them separated in your mind? Do you have a story/vision board above your workspace?

XLS series spreadsheet for all books and characters.


I know from previous interviews that characters take on a life of their own.  Were any of the characters in this series determined to take their own direction instead of where you initially wanted them to go?

Buddy, the boy in the story emerged with very little planning from me. 

I had in-depth character profiles of Luke and Jessie but not of Buddy.


Are any of the male/female POVs based on anyone you know?



Was there any one character/scene that was harder to write about than the other?

I was determined to keep this story upbeat because a lot of the back story was depressing. That intent proved to be the most difficult task.


What scene in this book/series sticks out the most for you?  Why?

The award scene stands out the most I’ve attended the graduation of service dogs and their recipients. Their stories and their courage is gut-wrenching.


How long did it take you to write this book/series?

3 years

How did you come up with the title for your book and series?

I wanted to use puppy in the title because who doesn’t love a puppy? 

However, barter is an important word to the story and to the relationship between Luke and Jessie.


If you met these characters in real life would you get along?

Yes. I liked Luke and Jessie.


Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect next?  Whether a new book and series or a sequel to an existing series?  Can you share a small tease?

Go West, readers!


Check out all my interviews/reviews for Becke Turner!


Becke Turner retired her healthcare data analyst hat to write contemporary romance full time. Her stories reflect her varied interests of anything medicine, animals, adventure, and family. To lend authenticity to her military characters/settings, Becke quizzes her son, a U.S. Navy pilot, and her son-in-law, a retired Marine Major. 

Although she spent a lifetime training, showing, and breeding horses, her four-year sabbatical to operate the family cattle ranch in Southern Missouri evolved into her cowboy stories. And yes, every state has its share of guys in boots and hats.

She writes contemporary romance revolving around her love of medicine, animals, adventure, and family. Her stories have finaled and won multiple contests including the national Golden Heart, and regional Maggie. She is a member of Forever Golden and Georgia Romance Writers.

She loves to hear from readers. Click HERE to be included in Turner Town News, learn more about Becke and her books, sign up for her Book Mates, or contact her by email.



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If veterinarian Luke Grant doesn’t find suitable housing in two weeks, he’ll lose custody of his orphaned nephew. If trainer-director Jessie Ackerman doesn’t find more donors, she’ll lose her service dog facility. One small boy and a sick puppy will unite the pair for the barter that will shake up sleepy Sunberry, North Carolina.

Growing up in low-income housing, Luke thought he understood need—until his secret nephew’s sudden appearance. Although desperate, he’s unsure if he should join Jessie’s crazy plan or shun her. Too bad, she’s never taken no for an answer. She lost her brother and she’s not losing her charitable organization, even if her barter with Luke lands both in the doghouse.

For fans of a PG-13, heartwarming, single dad romance with lots of canine support, get your copy of the Clocktower Romance, THE PUPPY BARTER, today.

As with all Clocktower Romances, The Puppy Barter is a complete story with a happily-ever-after.

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