In Towpath’s Tail, a Pitbull Shows Kindness to His Bully


In Towpath’s Tail, a Pitbull Shows Kindness to His Bully

by Will Stolzenburg
Illustrated by Rhonda Van

This week, as our nation grapples with the horror of yet another senseless death by those with power and control, we’re heartened by people of all races and creeds coming together to say as one: “No More.” We want to thank all those who’ve protested, who’ve taken undeniable risks in order to do so, and who’ve understood the underlying principle that all discrimination is cruelty. We are grateful to you.

In this week’s release from our animal friends, a pit bull named Towpath also grapples with discrimination. The book is based on a true story which has been featured in NovaDog and other venues.

Towpath’s Tail is the story of a special pit bull puppy with a magical tail that spreads happiness wherever he goes. But when Towpath’s tail is suddenly stolen by an angry young boy, his friends all abandon him. The puppy wanders, sad and alone.

Towpath’s only hope comes from the kindness of a young stranger who helps him regain the magic, despite his stubby new tail. Soon we realize that Towpath’s magic was not in his tail after all, but in his heart.

Towpath’s Tail is based on a true story, and makes a wonderful addition to family reading hour for children five and above, as well as humane education programs with lessons in bullying and kindness to others. Includes the true tale of Towpath, and comes complete with full-color, whimsical illustrations by artist Rhonda Van.

Towpath is an official poster pup for the anti-cruelty campaign, Show Your Soft Side (

You can follow Towpath on his Facebook page, at

Available in Paperback and Kindle, coming soon in Audiobook. Just $14.97 Paperback and $3.97 Kindle; plus, it’s available as part of your subscription to KindleUnlimited, too.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

P.S. All our books are readily available on every Amazon site worldwide. Simply search for the title in your Amazon browser or the paperback’s ISBN of 978-1-946044-76-1

About the Author

towpath softside-loWill Stolzenburg is a former wildlife biologist who writes and speaks on behalf of all creatures, wild and tame. He and his wife Kathy live in Florida with their wigglebutt Towpath, and a houseful of former street cats now living the good life indoors. Will’s other books include Heart of a Lion, Rat Island, and Where the Wild Things Were. Find him online at

About the Illustrator:

rhondavan2loRhonda Van is an artist, author, wildlife rehabber, and lifelong animal lover.

She particularly adores jackrabbits, squirrels, her animal companions, Shark Week, vegan dinners in Santa Cruz, and her husband Tony. Rhonda has been drawing forever, but only got deeper into illustration after she started drawing the wildlife friends she cares for.

Rhonda is the author and illustrator of Squeak the Squirrel, and the illustrator of Towpath’s Tail, The Sleepy Honey Bee, Lop-Eared Lily, Spittin’ Kitten’s Speed-Away, and Tiffany Rolls On. Find her online at

In Other News:

We’re please to announce that three of our books will be used in Lollypop Farm’s Humane Education Summer Camps at Home Program: Oliver’s Big Problem, Tiffany Rolls On, and Rescue Smiles are part of their summer fun curriculum. Check out their page for more info and find out how you can sign up today!

Want to see all our Books for Animal Lovers? Click here.

Great New Summer Read for Horse Lovers, from author Eileen Watkins


Introducing A New Book for Horse Lovers

Reboot Ranch

A Novel Based on a True Story, by Eileen Watkins

Two years ago, Anna Loehmeyer’s marriage, job and life fell apart when her husband was arrested for fraud. The experience devastated her, but Anna found a new purpose when she rescued a mare bound for slaughter. After acquiring two more hard-luck equines and a small farm in western New Jersey, Anna decides to take the plunge into her own horse-rescue operation.

The only person eager to help is her teenaged niece MJ, who is recovering from her own heartbreak—the untimely death of her beloved father. Formerly a good student, MJ has become depressed and rebellious, even jeopardizing her chances to get into college. She persuades her mother to let her spend the summer living and working at the rescue farm, because in her Aunt Anna she sees “the only adult who’s doing anything meaningful.”

Soon the two women recognize a bond that goes beyond family ties—their mutual love of horses and a desire to save them from abusive situations. Less experienced than Anna, MJ learns on the job, and her mistakes awaken Anna’s motherly instincts and amuse Walt, a young man from a neighboring farm who helps out when needed.

Signs that an intruder has been lurking around her property give Anna even more to worry about. Her greatest challenge, though, could also be her best hope for an adoption success story—the farm’s newest resident, an ex-racehorse named Murphy. Almost put down for seriously injuring a jockey, the big gray loves to jump, even without a rider.

But is he too dangerous for Anna and MJ to handle, much less to retrain? Can they afford the natural horsemanship expert the vet recommended? For the sake of their horses, both Anna and MJ may just have to learn when and how to ask for help…

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About the Author, and “The Story Behind the Story”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEileen F. Watkins has taken riding lessons on and off for most of her life. She owned only one horse, briefly—a chestnut Thoroughbred named Brenda, who inspired the equine character of “Valentine” in this book. Eileen initially shared Brenda with her trainer, and showed her in dressage. As Brenda’s health worsened, though, Eileen made the difficult decision around 2001 to surrender her to a rescue farm. At that time, Bright Futures Farm in western Pennsylvania was still young, and owner Beverlee Dee operated it mainly by herself. Under her excellent care, Brenda lived almost two more years before passing away from natural causes.

Meanwhile, Beverlee shared with Eileen written anecdotes about her experiences starting the farm, and some of her more dramatic rescues. At first they considered publishing these as a non-fiction book, but ultimately Eileen felt they would work better—with some reshuffling of events, and totally fictional human characters—as this novel. Bright Futures has grown over the decades into larger, fully accredited and highly respected Thoroughbred rescue farm.

In 2003, Eileen began publishing mystery and suspense fiction with Amber Quill Press. She eventually put out eight novels through that publisher, mostly paranormal suspense written as “E. F. Watkins.” The one exception was her 2004 romantic mystery, Ride a Dancing Horse, set on an Andalusian horse farm. Eileen also paid tribute to Brenda in her essay “Class and Courage,” which appeared in the 2006 anthology Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover’s Soul II.

After Amber Quill closed its doors in 2015, Eileen began writing the Cat Groomer Mysteries for Kensington Publishing. The series started in 2017 with The Persian Always Meows Twice; The Bengal Identity came out in spring of 2018, and Feral Attraction in the fall of that year. Newest, as of 2019, is Gone, Kitty, Gone. The Persian Always Meows Twice won the David G. Sasher Award for Best Mystery of 2017 at the Deadly Ink Mystery Conference, and the first three books all have won Certificates of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association, Inc.

Eileen is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Cat Writers Association. She serves as publicist for Sisters in Crime Central Jersey and for the annual Deadly Ink Mystery Conference. Learn more at her website,

In Other Book News from WCY


Fiona Finds Love has received a certificate of excellence in the Cat Writers’ Association Communications Contest for 2019! The book is now a finalist for the coveted Muse Medallion, awarded to the best entry in the category—in this case children’s picture books. Get your copy of this winner today!


We’re please to announce that three of our books will be used in Lollypop Farm’s Humane Education Summer Camps at Home Program: Oliver’s Big Problem, Tiffany Rolls On, and Rescue Smiles are part of their summer fun curriculum. (See below for books links.) Check out their page for more info and find out how you can sign up today!