Avid traveller, theatre goer, photographer and canine-kid walker Ruth Zavitsanos, began writing at the age of 12. Growing up outside of New York City, her imagination was stimulated by the endless Broadway plays and musicals on her doorstep.
While attaining her journalism degree at Marshall University, she won numerous writing awards and her first adult novel, Flight of Little Dove, a historical romance set on America’s frontier in the 1870s, was published in 2010, receiving five star reviews. The follow up to the story, Sister’s Inn was published in 2012.
Alongside her adult books, Ruth’s children’s novels have gained critical acclaim. The Villa Dog (set in Tuscany) was nominated for an Epic Award and her follow up books, The Kona Dog and The Old Fortress Dog (set in Greece) have won the hearts of children everywhere.
You can follow Ruth on various social networking sites including:
THE OLD FORTRESS DOG
High atop a hillside on the Greek island of Corfu overlooking the Ionian sea sits the Old Fortress, an ancient ruin built to keep out invaders. Leonidas, a highly protective and dedicated dog, guides tourists through the graveled pathways with a keen alertness for their safety. Like the Greek soldier he is named for, Leonidas thinks of others as he guards them from danger.
Leonidas’ bravery and loyalty have earned him the reputation of being The Old Fortress Dog. Much like a sentry, he takes his job as protector of the Old Fortress and all who enter with wholehearted devotion. He is kind and giving in his efforts to please. When his master’s grandson, Nikos, comes from America to visit, Leo senses the boy’s sadness. Determined to bring a smile to the boy’s face and laughter to his voice, Leo doesn’t leave his side, even though once, it meant disobeying his master.
Being the Old Fortress Dog can be perilous at times, but Leonidas is alert and strong for the task. With Leo by his side, Nikos soon discovers his connection to the Old Fortress. Like a good soldier, Leonidas perseveres in his quest…to hear the boy’s laughter.
Will Leonidas discover why Nikos is sad. Can he use his instincts and kind heart to gain Nikos’ trust and understanding?
THE KONA DOG
To please her master, Akela makes her rounds on the plantation, assuring safety and offering encouragement with her gentle ways. When the plantation is threatened with closure by the banker man, Akela and her master’s older son, Keoki, join forces to enlist the banker’s daughter, Penny. Akela knows something makes the girl sad. If they get her to laugh and smile, perhaps they can save the plantation. But Penny isn’t talking, and the plight of Akela’s home doesn’t look good either.
Faced with defeat and the loss of her home, Akela must use all of her bravery and instinctive abilities to bring everyone together. Can she soften their hearts in time to stop the banker man?
THE VILLA DOG
Nestled away amongst the olive groves of the Tuscan hillside stands a welcoming villa where a dedicated dog finds his way into the hearts of vacationing families. Sole has one purpose, to make visitors happy. He is kind and sensitive. Sole takes his job as THE VILLA DOG seriously. His bravery and loyalty are often rewarded. He keeps the children out of harm’s way, and eventually the others become aware of his special ability to bring happiness. But it’s not always easy being The Villa Dog. A young girl, Issy, makes it tough. She’s so sad. Can Sole find out why? Or, will he fail his purpose for staying at the villa and disappoint his master? Being the Villa Dog can be hard work, but he’s on a mission, and he’ll stop at nothing to see Issy smile.