Character Inspirations: Ilsa, the Brand Family Dog

Character Inspirations: Ilsa, the Brand Family Dog

If you’ve read any of the contemporary romances in my series The Brands of Montana, you’ve met Ilsa, the loyal and lovable German shepherd sharing a life with the Brands. As I’ve said before, it’s a lot easier to write memorable characters if you base them on real people. Well, I guess the same holds true for furry friends!

Ilsa is based on a real dog my father found in our orange grove in Merritt Island, Florida. Every Sunday, we’d go down to the grove with Dad. On one such occasion when I was 7 years old, Dad spotted a German shepherd dashing through the orange trees.

I don’t know how many parents would struggle for 15 minutes to round up a fairly dirty, large stray dog (complete with fleas and ticks) and load her into the front seat of their Mercedes. But my Dad did just that. But then, he’s the guy who only missed one single day of law school, and it was to take his German shepherd Silver to the vet when she was sick.

Little did I know at the time that our new beloved family pet would work her way out of my treasured memories into the pages of my books so many years later!

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Joanna Sims is proud to pen contemporary romance for Harlequin Special Edition. Joanna's series, The Brands of Montana, feature hard-working characters with hometown values. You are cordially invited to join The Brands of Montana as they wrangle their own happily-ever-afters!

Joanna's contemporary romance novels captivate readers with their gripping plots, vivid prose, and devotion to love, realism, relatable characters, and detailed depictions of all the ups and downs that lead to a happily-ever-after.

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