by Linda O. Johnston, guest blogger
Everyone who leaves a comment today will be entered in a drawing for a free signed copy of Beaglemania.
I love animals.
I love to write.
I love to write about animals!
For several years, I’ve been writing the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. This month, my Pet Rescue Mystery series debuts with Beaglemania. The new series is a spinoff from the Kendra series, although both can be read independently.
My new protagonist is Lauren Vancouver, the director of HotRescues, a no-kill animal shelter. She was introduced in How Deadly, the eighth Kendra mystery, and she also appeared in Feline Fatale, the ninth.
Now she has some stories of her own, starting with Beaglemania. Saving animals is her passion, and she’ll be involved with some rather difficult situations such as being there when puppies and their parents are saved from a puppy mill. The second Pet Rescue Mystery, The More the Terrier, starts off with Lauren learning that her mentor in pet rescue has turned into an animal hoarder, and Lauren has to help deal with that, too.
Because these are mysteries, they contain murders that must be solved – and Lauren gets involved with that as well. In the Pet Rescue Mysteries, “no-kill” means pets, not people! And who gets killed in Beaglemania? Someone involved with that terrible puppy mill, of course.
By the way, I even write about animals in my paranormal romance mini-series for Harlequin Nocturne, which features Alpha Force, a covert military unit of shapeshifters. They include canines, too--werewolves. Not to mention a shifting lynx and lady hawk!
That’s another thing that is fun about the stories I write. They’re fiction, so I can do what I want in them--to a point. They have to remain logical as well as enjoyable to readers.
One fairly fictional thing I can do is to make sure that HotRescues is adequately funded without a lot of stress on Lauren’s part.
Plus, no matter what else happens in these stories, the animals will come out of it all just fine. Too bad that isn’t always true in real life, but since I’ve started researching Lauren’s stories I’ve met with pet rescuers of many kinds who would love to make it so.
Pet rescue has drawn me in personally, too. I’ve begun volunteering at a private shelter, Pet Orphans of Southern California. I’m a dog adoption counselor there, which means I screen potential adopters and introduce them to dogs they might fall in love with. It’s such a thrill for me when I see that the people and pets I’ve introduced are now a family!
I’m also the Los Angeles Pet Rescue Examiner, for the Examiner.com website.
I’m even trying to combine as many of my booksignings as possible with pet adoption events.
I like my character Lauren. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing about her. I’m not sure what Lauren would think of me, though. She’s very dedicated and logical and in some ways single-minded about how animals should be treated. In my writing, I put animals into situations where they could be harmed, and she might not like that. On the other hand, I allow her to resolve those situations in ways that work well for those endangered animals, and Lauren would undoubtedly applaud that.
In any event, I definitely appreciate Lauren and all she does--both saving animals and solving murders. I hope you enjoy her, too.
Please come visit me at www.LindaOJohnston.com and at www.KillerHobbies.blogspot.com on Wednesdays. Friend me on Facebook. I’d love to hear what you think of pet rescue--and Beaglemania!