We are delighted to welcome back mystery author Linda O. Johnston as our guest blogger today. Linda is the author of the Kendra Ballantyne "Pet Sitter" mystery series and more recently the Lauren Vancouver "Pet Rescue" mysteries.
Her new book in this latter series is Hounds Abound (Berkley Prime Crime, April 2012 print and ebook editions).
Today Linda tells us more about her books and the real-life places that inspire them.
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I didn't know where my Pet Rescue Mysteries, published by Berkley Prime Crime, might lead me when I started them with Beaglemania. That one featured a rescue from a puppy mill. The second, The More the Terrier, dealt with an animal hoarder.
Photo provided courtesy of
Linda O. Johnston; Photo credit Dan Irvin Photography
My new Pet Rescue Mystery Hounds Abound, the third in the series, revolves around a very special pet sanctuary, one where hard-to-adopt pets go to seek wonderful forever homes, but if none is forthcoming those senior or disabled animals can live out their natural lives in wonderful and loving surroundings.
Do such places exist? Yes! I first heard of a local one near Los Angeles when I was in a local boutique grocery store and one of the people handing out food samples happened to mention it. Of course my Pet Rescue Mystery mind started focusing on it, I did some research, and the result was Hounds Abound.
The protagonist of my Pet Rescue Mysteries is Lauren Vancouver. She was introduced in the last two books of my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series as an absolute advocate of pet rescue, someone who would do nearly anything to save homeless or abused animals. Lauren is the chief administrator at HotPets, a fictional no-kill pet shelter in LA's San Fernando Valley — which is where I live, and I just happen to volunteer at a wonderful pet shelter called Pet Orphans of Southern California as a dog adoption counselor.
Are the two shelters alike? Well, there are some similarities since I use my volunteering also as a research asset, but there are plenty of differences, too, because I love to insert my own imaginings into my writing. For one thing, Pet Orphans is a wonderful shelter, but it's real, which means that sometimes animals become ill because of age or otherwise, and, even after being treated by the best vets, don't always recuperate. In the Pet Rescue Mysteries, I can save every animal. In fact, I always use the slogan: "In the Pet Rescue Mysteries, 'no-kill' means pets, not people!" They're mysteries, which means that at least one person gets murdered … but all animals come out just fine.
I mentioned Beaglemania before. A new version has recently been printed — with the Read Humane™ seal on it! I'm delighted and proud to report that I'm a member of Read Humane, a special program created by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Berkley Prime Crime is an imprint of Penguin. Penguin has made a substantial donation to the Humane Society of The United States® in support of its Animal Rescue Team, and is also shipping 50,000 books starring furry friends, both dogs and cats, which encourage readers to learn more and donate to the Humane Society and its Animal Rescue Team. Participating authors besides me include Rebecca M. Hale, Alison Pace, Miranda James and Sofie Kelly — and I'm especially excited to report that the Read Humane spokesperson is Nora Roberts.
Will there be more Pet Rescue Mysteries? Yes — at least two. I'm excited that I can save a lot more animals fictionally, at least, and will continue to try to save them for real, too.
Come visit me at my website: LindaOJohnston.com or friend me on Facebook. I blog weekly at Killer Hobbies.
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About Hounds Abound:
Saving animals and solving murders seem to go paw-in-paw for shelter manager and amateur sleuth Lauren Vancouver. But this time, mixed up in a murder that may close a much-needed new shelter. Lauren will have to keep herself and her critters safe from an unleashed killer.