Monday, November 5, 2018

Thankful Author 2018- Ryan Jo Summers

April 20, 2018. It was a Friday. The Human Resources manager and my department manager both subtly suggested I think about leaving work. I’d taken some medical time off months before, and had only returned late February. It was soon clear I could no longer fulfill the duties of my job. Talk about a scary time. What could I do?
One option was to stay there, at a job I did not like, and was unable to do, and suffer each day, hating so much about everything. If they fired me, which was doubtful, I would have other avenues to pursue. I could quit. I’d been pet sitting and dog walking for a couple of years and business was picking up. I was also writing more, with new opportunities coming along that just needed my time. Perhaps this would end up being a blessing. Hoping, and praying so, I gave my two weeks’ notice, and waited until May 4th.
In the meantime I worried for my health conditions. What was I going to do about them? I needed prescriptions and treatments. Would I even be able to get insurance and would it be affordable without a weekly paycheck? I feared for the mortgage and all the bills. I have animals who depend on me. I am dependent on what I earn. Much as I hated the company, and the job, I needed that paycheck.
That Friday I walked out of the building for the last time. The weekend loomed, as did the rest of my life. I was scared. Had I made the right choice? Should I have stayed?  Too late now. All that was left was to return long enough to turn in my keys, codes, and uniform.
Now, five months later, I have to say that difficult choice has been the best one. My pet care business has grown steadily, with new clients each week, and many positive reviews and great feedback. I feel valued and appreciated in my new career. That was something sorely missing in the ten years I spent with the company.
In September I was part of the release of an anthology with Limitless Publishing, my second release with them. Before that I signed three contracts with another publisher for a series of books. The goal is to release around 6-12 books over the next several years. And most recently I released my second self-published book, a women’s fiction/ metaphysical novel. There is another publisher I’ve signed with before who is holding a spot for me for next year, I just need to get the book finished and sent in.
Beyond that, I review books for two magazines, and I create online videos for one. And I continue to contribute each month to a local pet-focused magazine. Not all of these extra-curricular tasks are paid, but some do. Some are just for the exposure and by-lines in my growing writing portfolio.
Do I have any regrets? Sort of. I regret staying for ten years in a job and career that I did not like and was not good for me. I stayed because I thought I needed the benefits the company offered. It turns out what I needed I could replace elsewhere and what I didn’t need I do not miss now. My health is slowly improving since I am out of that toxic environment, though I will never be completely like I once was.
 I took a giant step out in faith that God would catch me and hold me through this transition, and He has been faithful to do so. I am thankful indeed.


Ivey London was told her military husband died on a mission overseas. She buried him as a war hero and tried to move on with her life by raising their young son, dealing with her vengeful brother, and coping with her mother’s Alzheimer’s. Five years go by and one day she learns of a secret underground chamber were special soldiers are imprisoned to recover. Further, one amnesiac soldier managed to escape. When her son begins to display unusual behaviors, she goes to investigate. All evidence points to finding her late husband. If it is him, back from the dead, Ivey refuses to give him up again.
Keegan London awoke in a hospital cell with no memories. Fleeing, he finds himself in a strange, unknown world, with no one to turn to. Until he finds a friendly Priest who runs a homeless shelter and he stumbles across the woman who claims to be his wife. While she can fill some gaps in his lost memories, she cannot explain his curious abilities. Pursued by someone determined to get him back, Keegan has few options but to trust the woman who makes his heart fire like a cannon. Ivey has dibs on him, but first they have to uncover who—and what--Keegan really is before they can recover what they had.


 “No, that’s okay. I can do this by myself.” She spun around, blinking. Picking up the paring knife again, she began peeling. She gasped as his arms gently encircled her waist and his breath fanned her bare neck. His lips nuzzled her ear and she closed her eyes. His hand took the knife from her fingers and she leaned into his touch.
                “Keegan,” his name came out in a throaty rumble as her eyes slid closed.
                “I don’t know what we used to do, Ivey, but I can tell you miss it bad. I’m willing to try and be your husband again, if you’ll help me.”
                Hot tears stung her eyes. She swallowed hard. “So many times you said I was unforgettable. I…I guess--.”
                 The comment died unfinished, and his fingers reached down and caressed her back. Electric jolts shivered along her spine. 
                “Don’t push me away, Ivey. Let me be in each part of your life.”
                Her breath hitched. This should be easy. Just tell him how they used to cook, what his favorite foods were, what they shared, how they made wonderful love. And miraculously all his memories will reappear. Except it hadn’t worked yet.
                From the distant reaches of her mind, Ivey heard the phone ringing. Before she could pull herself away from the counter, it stopped. Assuming Jory answered it, the whole episode passed from her mind. Right now, Keegan took all her focus.
                His fingertips trailed lazily up and down her back, igniting tiny fires in their wake.
                “Keegan….I….” Words failed her. Heart beating frantically like a wild bird locked in a cage, her mind surrendered.
                He gently turned her around, cupping her chin and tilting her up. Drawing a husky breath, he lowered his lips to hers, winding his fingers in the tangle of her hair. Her arms moved to encircle his waist, slipping under his shirt to feel the raised scars and corded muscles. A guttural moan escaped her.
                Finally, having lost all concept of time, she pulled apart. Noble, he would not go further with a woman he did not remember making love to. She might respect his intention and restraint, but the unmet need was also killing her. Pulling in a shaky breath, she ended the kiss, stepping away and picking up the paring knife again.
                She ran her tongue over her lips, more to steady herself, and rested one hand on the counter for balance. “I can work on this if you want to go see what Jory and Mom are doing.”
                Keegan stiffened, hesitated and studied her. For a chilling moment, she hoped he ignored her request and lifted her bodily to carry her away to the bedroom. Then a darkness entered his eyes, a sadness that cut into her chest.
                “Yes. Of course.” Spinning, he exited, leaving her alone with the ghosts of what had been.
                Damn, damn, damn.

 “Crossing Jordan"
part of the “Craving Forbidden” anthology by Limitless Publishing

Forbidden—Banned. Prohibited. Not allowed. Off limits.

There’s one word which means something completely different, yet it always seems to go hand in hand with the forbidden…


It follows the untouchable, clings to the taboo, slowly luring you in, only to corrupt the last bit of self-control you might have. Nothing is more enticing or more alluring than the one thing that has forbidden stamped all over it.

Like the beautiful daughter of your mortal enemy. Or the gorgeous best friend of your older brother. There’s also the much older man who makes you want to throw all your inhibitions to the wind. Whatever your vice, this collection is everything you need to indulge.

So, forget about the rules. Ignore the warning signs. 

Embrace the illicit, and allow yourself a taste of the…


Crossing Jordan” tagline by Ryan Jo Summers

Jordan Kelly couldn’t get her ex-boyfriend, and the town bully, to leave her alone or allow anyone near her. Will Larkin has just come home temporarily between Army tours, to help his Grams and mom with their cafĂ©. Neither one dreamed they could offer the other something permanent. Or safe. 

Buy Links for “Craving Forbidden”


Author Bio:

Ryan Jo Summers writes romances that blur the lines of subgenres. She mixes contemporary with time travel, Christian, suspense, sweet, and paranormal like blending a fruit and yogurt smoothie. Her non-fiction works have appeared in numerous trade journals and magazines including ‘WNC Woman Magazine’, ‘Critter Magazine’, ‘Journey Devotions’, and ‘Vet Tech Journal’. She is a regular contributing author for the ‘Asheville Pet Gazette’.

Her hobbies include baking, crafts, gardening, enjoying nature, and chess/mah-jongg/word-find puzzles. She pet sits/dog walks when she’s not busy writing and she fosters homeless pets for area animal rescues.

She lives in a century-old cottage in North Carolina with her own menagerie of rescued pets and way too many houseplants. “September’s Song” is her second self-published work, the first one being the chronicles of the first two years with her adopted PTSD rescue collie.

Media Links:



  1. I am in awe of your strength and faith. Wonderful testimony. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Angela. It's still scary at times, but I hang in there. Thank you for hosting me and offering this month for so many to share their stories.

  2. Wow, that's wonderful! So happy things are working out for you. Best of luck with your books and your new path in life!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. Glad you stopped in. It's coming together.

  3. Awesome that you took the leap of faith! I'm so happy for you that everything is coming together and that you are in a better place!

    1. Hello Sophia. Thank you. I'm glad you stopped in today. Leaps of faith are what make life worth living, right?

  4. Congratulations on taking a chance to change. Best of luck with both your pet sitting and writing careers.

  5. You are a very strong woman to start life again. So happy that your new career is a blessing. I bet with your talent, skills, and determination, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Best of luck with your book.

  6. Such a courageous post! I think we all fantasize from time to time about walking out of a stressful job. Not many of us can say we've taken the plunge! So happy it's working for you!

  7. How wonderful to hear your story of your courage. Leaving a job is always frightening, but sounds like you made the right choice and are now happily enjoying this crazy business. Best of luck in your future endeavours.