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Linda O. Johnston | Animals and Mystery Update

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I last blogged at Fresh Fiction last September--about Animals, Novels and Me. I’m back. And I’m still at it--obsessing and writing about animals, that is.

March 1 is the debut date for BEAGLEMANIA, the first in my new Pet Rescue Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. It’s a spinoff series from my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series.

Yes, both series contain animals. So do my Harlequin Nocturnes about Alpha Force, a covert military unit of shapeshifters.

The protagonist of my new Pet Rescue series is Lauren Vancouver. She was introduced in the eighth Kendra book, HOWL DEADLY, and she also appears in the ninth, FELINE FATALE. She is the head administrator of HotRescues, a no-kill private animal shelter in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. She doesn’t have to worry about funding, since HotRescues is under the auspices of Kendra’s new guy friend Dante DeFrancisco, who’s really rich. But she has plenty of other things to worry about. Worrying, and doing something about it, is at the heart of pet rescue. It’s also at the heart of being a protagonist in a cozy mystery series. When I tell you that, in the Pet Rescue Mysteries, “no-kill” means pets, not people... well, I’m sure you get it.

The first Pet Rescue Mystery, BEAGLEMANIA, begins with a rescue from a puppy mill. Some of Lauren’s later adventures will involve an animal hoarder and a shelter that takes in unadoptable pets.

I have to say that researching and writing BEAGLEMANIA fed my own obsession with animals and modified it somewhat. I now volunteer at a local animal shelter, where I’m a dog adoption counselor. I’m also the new L.A. Pet Rescue Examiner for Examiner.com.

Plus, as part of my research for my Pet Rescue Mystery series, I visited a lot of shelters, talked with a lot of people who also love animals, and even observed training sessions with the wonderful Small Animal Rescue Team of Los Angeles Animal Services.

I’ve researched a lot of books since I started writing, but I admit that the research I’m doing now, and the pet rescue volunteering that I’m doing partly in the name of research, is the most fun and productive research I’ve ever conducted.

I spend a lot of time at home writing, and being at the bark and call of my own dogs, two adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. I keep telling them that they don’t know how good they have it--after I’ve seen so many dogs in shelters just waiting for the right person to take them home. And, yes, those dogs do seem to understand that the people I bring through the shelter in my capacity as dog adoption counselor may be looking for the right pup to adopt, judging by their bright yet sad eyes and eagerness to please.

Okay, that’s a bit of anthropomorphism, but I still think it’s true. Pets understand a lot. And I’m pleased to rescue them from peril even fictionally in my new Pet Rescue Mystery series... along with putting Lauren into situations where she has to solve a good murder or two.

Come visit me at my website: www.LindaOJohnston.com You can also friend me on Facebook. I additionally blog weekly on KillerHobbies.blogspot.com on Thursdays, where my Killer Hobby is supposed to be pets--but we all know that pets aren’t hobbies. They’re family!

Linda O. Johnston

 

 

Comments

11 comments posted.

Re: Linda O. Johnston | Animals and Mystery Update

BEAGLEMANIA sounds like fun. Best of luck selling your book.
(Ann Garland 3:16pm February 28, 2011)

My two beagles want me to get your book as soon as it is released.
(Sue Farrell 3:38pm February 28, 2011)

I lost my dog, Bandit, suddenly a little over a year ago, and miss her terribly. She was a wonderful dog, and lived a full life during her 12 years. I now have a cat, Bailey, who showed up as a kitten and now "adopted" us. One day soon I hope to get another dog, since Bailey did everything with Bandit. Anyway, anytime you combine animals with mystery, that book soars to the top of my TBR list!! That type of book always has a little extra something that tugs on my heartstrings. Good luck with your book, as well as the follow-ups, and give your babies a hug from me!!
(Peggy Roberson 4:06pm February 28, 2011)

I love any book that includes pets. Your series sound great.
(Robin McKay 6:18pm February 28, 2011)

You are so right; our pets are a member of the family for what could you d without them?
(Diane Sadler 7:49pm February 28, 2011)

Pets are fun to see in books. They can get in as much trouble as humans and be as comforting.
(Linda Pillow 8:23pm February 28, 2011)

Pets are good although I can't have any because of allergies. I miss that.
(Brenda Rupp 9:25pm February 28, 2011)

Pets are wonderful family members.
(Ann Garland 12:26pm March 1, 2011)

Well, anyone who knows me knows I love my animals. I have three ferrets that are my laughter. I can't play with them without laughing the whole time. I never they were such lovable little creatures until my kid came home with one. By the time she moved back out she had three. I missed them so much that I now have three. I have a chihuahua that's breaking my heart with her health problems that have no cure. Then there's Missy, my almost a service dog. She has her own facebook page and I'm making her a quilt that is signed by over 150 authors (still collecting more) signing the pieces. The quilt goes up for auction soon so I can finish her training across country. I already depend on her for so many things and knowing she's going to be fully trained...can't wait. It's actually hard to let her go off by herself.

Can't wait for another doggy book.
(Christina Harrison 1:37am March 1, 2011)

Our little dog Chloe is a rescue animal and our baby. She has separation anxiety and is always so happy to see me when I
return. I get much tag wagging and hand kissing whether I'm
gone an hour or just minutes.
(Lisa Richards 5:07pm March 1, 2011)

I grew up with a part beagle dog who loved to chase the animals in the backyard and protect the entire perimeter of the yard. Doggie tales interest me, so thanks for writing an adventure with paws.
(Alyson Widen 12:28pm March 8, 2011)

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