When I was writing Highland Sanctuary, Phelan, the village wolf dog appeared out of nowhere. Of course, the name is Celtic/Scottish for male and actually means, wolf. In my mind, I imagined a white wolf with yellow eyes. He looks fierce, but is gentle as a lamb. With Phelan around, few people worry about their safety. Most think of him as the village protector.
Whenever there is danger, Phelan always senses it and alerts the villagers. He’s loyal, a companion, and a friend. The reader gets a glimpse of Phelan’s playfulness, his seriousness, and his vulnerable side. Throughout the book, he becomes as much of a character as any of the other people in the story.
For those of us who are animal lovers, don’t our pets become part of our family? We worry when they don’t feel well or act bizarre. We grieve when they’re in pain and die. Our stories must contain this same realism. The animals in our stories need to have their own personality and a relationship with the human characters around them.
I’ve attached a photo I’ve used on my new bookmarks, representing Phelan. Isn’t this white wolf beautiful? What are some of your favorite animal characters? One that stood out to me as a child and still lingers in my heart today is Disney’s Bambi. I cried when Bambi lost his mother.
While I’m writing this, our golden retriever is right beside me, as faithful as ever. Below is a video my daughter created for our dog, Kada. I hope you enjoy it, as well as Phelan’s appearance in my new novel, Highland Sanctuary.
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Highland Sanctuary is the story of a chieftain heir who is hired to restore the ancient Castle of Braigh.
Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an author of historical Christian fiction and a speaker on topics of faith, writing and publishing. Her fiction has won awards in the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Genesis Contest, and her work has appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Everton’s Genealogical Publishers, and The Military Trader. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Journalism. When she isn’t writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, genealogy, and reading.
Highland Blessings is the story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise he made to his dying father. Bryce MacPhearson, a highland warrior, kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. While Akira’s strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment when he forces her to wed him, hoping to end a half-century-old feud between their clans. While Akira begins to forgive, and Bryce learns to trust, a series of murders leaves a trail of unanswered questions, confusion, and a legacy of hate that once again rises between their families. Clearly, a traitor is in their midst. Now the one man Akira loves no longer trusts her, and her own life is in danger. Can Bryce look beyond his pain and seek the truth? Will Akira discover the threat against her before it’s too late? How will God turn a simple promise into bountiful Highland blessings?