Behind the Scenes: The Story TOUCH


Last week I announced the cover reveal and upcoming release of my short story collection, Nature’s Fifth Season. I promised to tell you more on the day the book released and why one story was personal.

I’ve always loved short stories. I used to write them all the time. Then I began writing novels instead. This past year, I wrote two new stories: one my agent (Dear Maddy), and one for me.

Touch is a novella and the the fifth story and the heart of  Nature’s Fifth Season.

Description: Everyone needs a second chance. The heartfelt story of a young girl, an abandoned dog, and the unbreakable bond between them.

Touch wasn’t supposed to be in the collection at all. I had another story ready to go. Then, in September, my beloved Tasha died. She was old for an Akita — 15 3/4. But just because she was old didn’t erase the pain of losing her. She was the sweetest, gentlest dog I have ever had the pleasure of owning. She was a rescue dog and came to me sick and abused. She’d been abandoned on the streets during an ice storm, and then spent weeks in a high-kill shelter. I’d like to say that I rescued her the very day she was scheduled to be euthanized, but the truth is, Tasha rescued me. She lived the rest of her years and days as a princess and wanted for nothing.

While Touch is the story that I wrote for me, it’s also for everyone who has ever loved a dog. It’s for every dog waiting for that forever home. And it is for Tasha, who stood by my side for far too few years and will remain in my heart forever.

The dog in the photo above is not Tasha, however. The dog in Touch is a male German Shepherd/Malinois mix named Colt. I considered an Akita, but that was too close to home for me at the time. Colt and Tasha do share the same start in life, but their story is different. I always had a visual of Colt in my head. Then one day, I saw a photo on Facebook that summed up everything that Touch was about.

Enter Evey.

While Evey is female and pure malinois, the photo took my breath (and heart) away. Evey is owned by Kristen Bretscher. Kristen is no stranger to losing a heart dog either, and graciously granted me the privilege of using the photo above. Evey is a very special girl–she’s helping mend Kristen’s heart. Before she was Evey, she was known as Mohawk Malinois‘ Shee’ba. Mohawk Malinois is one of the US’s premier malinois breeders. Owners John and Paula helped connect Evey with Kristen and the rest is history. You can find videos of young Shee’ba in training on Mohawk Malinois YouTube channel.

If a single song could wrap up the sentiment in TOUCH it’s Wherever You Will Go by The Calling.


As you can see from the photo above, Kristen is also an amazing photographer. Not just good. AH-mazing! You can find her jaw-dropping, heart stopping photos (including more photos of the gorgeous Evey on Flickr.
And Tasha? She’s the angel in white, below.
I miss you, baby girl. Wait for me at the bridge.


Want more information on Nature’s Fifth Season?

NaturesFifth_CVR 2

Four short stories and one novella from author Michelle Muto.

Two teens meet their match during a home invasion when they encounter the elderly homeowner.

The Goblin
An eight-year-old boy ponders the rules of monsters and the creature that lives under his bed.

A midnight trip across a desolate highway takes a husband and wife farther than they expected.

Dear Maddy
During a winter-long stay at a remote mountain cabin, a man writes letters to a ghost and soon begins to question his sanity.

Everyone needs a second chance. The heartfelt story of a young girl, an abandoned dog, and the unbreakable bond between them.

Pick up a copy of Nature’s Fifth Season today. Then let’s sit for a while. I have some stories I’d like to share.


January 2015

Available at these retailers:





Books A Million

For those who want to know Tasha’s real-life story, read Thief of Hearts here on my blog.

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