Name: C. Ramirez
Title: Rancho Tails
Genre: Middle Grade Animal Adventure
A chubby Dachshund makes waves on a new rancho with his machismo attitude and his desire to prove to everyone he is the best watchdog ever. Betrayed by his appetite for tamales and the girl who fed them to him, Vato lies his way into a big heap of trouble, blinding the lead watchdog and ultimately losing his best friend.
In his struggle to find truth behind the real meaning of friendship, courage, and family, Vato must undo the lies he told and save the rancho from a coyote attack before it is too late.
Vato had the girl cornered, but he was the one trapped worse than an opossum under a pitchfork. Inside a stall streaked with fresh paint, stood a girl holding a tamale. A whole tamale! His head buzzed. His stomach growled. Vato had never faced such a difficult choice. He could go find the vandal who had painted that mess like a good watchdog should, or watch the greasy tamale and hope the girl would share without kicking him first.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” she crooned in a voice higher than a chacalaca. She flicked her braids off her shoulders and unwrapped the cornhusk with a shaky hand.
Is she lying? Vato wondered. Her friendly eyes and her hopeful smile told him she wasn’t. When he had found her in the barn moments before, she had one hand behind her back and a tamale in the other. He noticed her torn sneakers and felt a little better. It wouldn’t hurt as much if she kicked him with those shoes. Vato’s wary thoughts continued to fight with the delicious aroma teasing his nose and bullying his appetite.
He didn’t know who this girl was or what she was doing in the horse barn so late at night, but she was the nicest person he didn’t trust on the rancho so far. Not like everyone else. Since he and Patton had arrived earlier that day, they had treated him like roadkill.