Monday, October 3, 2011

Guest Linda O. Johnston asks: YES or NO?

Hosted by Kate
Please join me in welcoming back Linda O. Johnston to the Lair! She's here to tell you all about her latest Pet Rescue mystery! Take it away, Linda!

Hi, Romance Bandits and fans. Thanks for inviting me here. Now, ready for a challenge?

Here it is: What do you do if you’re given two choices--yes or no? You must go one way or the other--and you have reasons you don’t like each of them. How do you make your decision?

The lesser of two evils? The one you’re most likely to succeed at?

I’ll tell you in a moment what I’ve done to Lauren Vancouver, the protagonist of my Pet Rescue Mystery series, by giving her that kind of decision in her latest adventure, THE MORE THE TERRIER.

First, though, I’m going to provide you with that decision. You can choose to read THE MORE THE TERRIER, or not. Guess which one I’m aiming for! Better yet, you can also choose to read its predecessor in the series, BEAGLEMANIA, if you haven’t already. If you choose yes, I’m betting you’ll have fun with them. And, by the way, THE MORE THE TERRIER is a Mystery Guild selection!

Now, let me tell you about Lauren. She’s a skilled and dedicated administrator of a private, no-kill pet shelter. She’ll do anything to save animals, and she despises those who harm them. Most of the time.

But in THE MORE THE TERRIER, Lauren is faced with a decision she doesn’t like at all: ignore her one-time cherished mentor, who is the major suspect in a murder case, or help her. Sounds easy, right? But that mentor has apparently become the kind of person Lauren hates most: one who abuses animals.

So what does she do?

Here’s the background:

At the beginning of THE MORE THE TERRIER, Lauren is horrified to learn that her former mentor, Mamie Spelling, has become an animal hoarder. Of course Lauren does all she can to save the animals. Every one of them comes out of it just fine. It’s fiction, after all. And in the Pet Rescue Mysteries, “no-kill” means pets, not people!

It doesn’t hurt that Lauren’s love interest, Matt Kingston, is a captain with Los Angeles Animal Services who can let her know when the abused animals that are taken into official custody are ready for private shelters to come and rescue them. Oh, yes, my mystery protagonists always have a love interest, just like my romances always come with suspense.

Anyway, a woman who has been hounding Mamie is soon murdered, and Mamie becomes the major suspect. But Mamie is aging and confused. Lauren lost touch with her after she, and not Mamie, was chosen to run HotRescues, a generously funded private pet shelter.

What do you think Lauren does? You undoubtedly guessed it. She helps Mamie. That means that Lauren once more must solve a murder. She’s already had to do that, in BEAGLEMANIA, when she was the main murder suspect.

The Pet Rescue Mysteries are a spinoff series from my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries, in which Kendra comes to think of herself as a murder magnet. Kendra makes cameo appearances in the Pet Rescue Mysteries, and the person who supports Lauren’s shelter HotRescues financially is Kendra’s wealthy guy friend Dante de Francisco.

That adds to Lauren’s dilemma, by the way. She likes Kendra well enough but she doesn’t want to be like her--especially in solving murders. Not that I’m giving her much choice. And the murder in THE MORE THE TERRIER isn’t the last one Lauren will need to solve!

The next Pet Rescue Mystery will be HOUNDS ABOUND, which will be published in 2012.

So--how do you make those yes or no decisions? And if your decision about THE MORE THE TERRIER is to read it, please let me know!

Kate here. I want to thank Linda for stopping by the Lair today! You can visit Linda at and at on Wednesdays. You can also friend her on Facebook.

P.S. Tricks and Treats begin on October 14 so be sure to stick around for the fun! And later this month, a BIG Bandita Surprise!! More Prizes will be involved! :-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back,Linda!

OMGosh! Those are such ADORABLE pups in your post. Of course I must say YES! I can't wait to read your Pet Rescue series. Both my girls were rescues, so I have a real soft spot for animals adopted that way.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

What?!?! The GR AGAIN?
I am NOT adopting that arrogant and annoying rooster! He has plenty of fans here in the Lair who are willing to keep him in TimTams and other goodies. NOT AUNTY! :-P


Helen said...

AC he must really be enjoying himself at your place are you teaching him new tricks?


Of course the answer is yes both of these books sound great I do so love animals and the people who help them.

Have Fun

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Aunt Cindy! How great that your girls are now members of your family.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I feel the same way, Helen. Thanks for commenting!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL Linda.
My girls RUN this place!

I tell people, you do NOT wanna be in a burning building with my dogs because I will SAVE THEM FIRST! ;-)

Helen, I think the GR is trying to get info out of me about the Trick or Treat extravaganza and the BIG SURPRISE coming up in a couple of weeks. FOOLISH CHOOK! Aunty ain't tellin'.


Mary Preston said...

The books look so wonderful. I think I'm in love.

June M. said...

Oh, I need to read these books! Both of my dogs are rescues from people who did not want them &/or abused them. Of course now they are so spoiled they think they are princesses. They will actually run to see what I bought them when I go to the store. And they have toys scattered through the house like kids.

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Linda & Kate! The More The TErrier sounds adorable, especially since I grew up with terriers & adore them. Stubborn little beasties, though.

Which leads me to my answer on the decision that's going to be painful either way. Honestly, I try not to make the decision. I avoid in the hopes that, given time, the situation will resolve itself & my failure to commit will look like wisdom & patience. :-)

Mozette said...

Oh! AC, the GR is at your place this time... at least he's not at mine messing it up with finch seed and pulling out all my books from the shelves and making a mess of the living room with my knitting yarn... Little Miss Stevie really wasn't at all impressed with all the mess he left around the house...

At least GR didn't try to get into her cage... :)

Nancy said...

AC, congrats on the chook!

Linda, welcome back! We're dog people, so I love stories featuring dogs.

Most of the time, the yes/no choice has been pretty clear for me. When it isn't, I make lists, not so much because I'm going to count which option has more benefits listed but because I inevitably find myself weighting one list or the other. Then I know what I want to do.

Nancy said...

June, you sound like us! We adopted two of our dogs from people who didn't have time for them, but the other three were from rescue groups, and we think one had been abused. All of them quickly realized that we were bossable and took over the house.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh yes, that was an easy decision for me, although I am basically a cat person, I love most animals in general. I love it when the critters take over.

Aunty, be sure and check all your cabinets etc for hidden cameras, you know how GR is, he may be bugging your castle as we speak.

catslady said...

I love books with animals in them. And the beagle pic reminds me of my first dog, Lucy, who was a rescue also. We didn't have kids as yet and she was our baby for 12 yrs. lol.

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL Aunty!! Looks like the GR has adopted you this time! Hide the Vodka!

And Mozette is breathing easier today, I see. The GR certainly makes his presence known, one way or the other. Snork!

Good morning, everyone! Happy Monday! Linda, I love the premise of the Pet Rescue mysteries. And your post is so intriguing, I can't wait to read this new one.

I love those puppies in the pics, too. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

As far as the Yes/No decisions go, I'm like Nancy. I make a list of pros and cons and as I'm making the list, I can already tell which side I'll fall on. But have you noticed that doesn't make the decision any easier? And can you tell I'm going through one of those list-making decisions right now? Sigh. :-)

Trish Milburn said...

Linda, this series sounds like such fun since I'm a big animal lover. And I adore the covers!

Jennifer Lyon said...

Linda, I love the way you put your heroine into a difficult choice. It's very intriguing.

While I love those hard choices in fiction, I hate them in real life. Most times, I make the decision I can live with, much like your heroine does.

And those pictures melted my heart. I could look at them all day.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Aunt Cindy, your dogs sound like my dogs!

Thanks, Marybelle!

Of course your pups act like kids, June M. They are kids!

I understand your way of thinking about decisions, Susan. Sometimes they make themselves. And I think terriers are adorable!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh yes, Mozette, you know our GR entirely TOO WELL! I'm going to force him into making a WalMart run with me later in the day. That should scare him into behaving properly! ;-)

Dianna, you are sooo right about those "bugs" and cameras. Will conduct a thorough sweep of the house after GR leaves. My girls will help me.

And vodka is all far from his reach, Kate. HIC! Only a tiny bit of tequila left in the liquor cabinet...


Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Nancy. I like the list idea, as long as the entries on both sides don't wind up being equal.

I think critters take over best in loving households, Dianna.

We're empty nesters, catslady, so our dogs are definitely our babies now.

Linda O. Johnston said...

You're so efficient, Kate, with your listmaking! Good luck with your current decision, and thanks again for inviting me here to Romance Bandits. And thanks also for your comments about the Pet Rescue Mysteries!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Trish. I've been lucky with the covers. I love them, too.

Thanks, Jennifer. It's definitely easier than having my characters make hard decisions than making them myself. And I do adore those pictures!

Janga said...

I'm a big cozy mystery fan and a dog person, and we've had three rescue dogs. Two of them died last year--our Aussie of old age and the St. Bernard as the victim of a speeding truck. Our hearts have just healed enough to be ready for a new pet, and we'll definiely go rescue again. Your books sound like definite winners to me.

I hate making hard decisions because I'm so prone to second guessing myself that whatever my decision, I'm plagued by thoughts of what if. What if questions are great for fiction but a real pain in RL.

Minna said...

Yes or no decisions? Depends on the situation. Sometimes it's obvious which one to choose and then, other times it's more difficult.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Linda!

Your series sounds fun. I have a kitten at the moment that was rescued from a hoarder. She's just starting to trust us and not jump at every quick movement or sound.

Love your covers and titles! Of course, the answer is yes. Who could resist these gems?

Linda O. Johnston said...

I'm really sorry about your losses, Janga. Hugs. And I also understand what you say about second guessing decisions. It is much easier to have my characters deal with that!

And you're right, too, Minna. I much prefer the obvious decisions--although not necessarily for my characters.

Thanks, Donna. Your kitten sounds adorable--and it's so great that you're helping her learn to trust you.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hey Jennifer, I agree it's much easier to give my protagonist all the hard decisions rather than make them myself!

{{{Janga}}} So sorry to hear about your recent doggy losses. Sending lots of hugs your way. :-(

Beth Andrews said...

Welcome back, Linda! The More the Terrier sounds great so that's an easy YES! :-)

As for other, more difficult decisions, I just do whatever I feel is best even if it's painful. But then I often feel things usually do work out for the best *g*

Anna Campbell said...

Linda, welcome back! You have such great titles - I love THE MORE THE TERRIER! And those photos? OMG, I just want to go out and get a puppy now. Or a kitten. Or a hamster. Or a rock. Hmm, maybe the rock might be the safest alternative!

Kate Carlisle said...

Anna, dahlink! Aren't the doggy photos adorable? Although ... I personally recommend rescuing a pet rock. Seriously. It's all about unconditional love, baby. Now *that* rocks! Snork!


Sonali said...

Hi Linda,

Your pet rescue series sounds like a fabulous read! When making a decision i go with the lesser of the two evils method.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Beth. I like your attitude!

Thanks, Anna. I suppose a pet rock couldn't insist it's dinner time, like my pups are doing now, ten minutes early--but I do prefer pets with personality.

Kate-- :-) !

Thanks, Sonali. Lesser of two evils sounds good to me.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, no, did naughty Anna-Wanna fwow da big old pet wock at our innocent bubbikins Katie? I think she might have! Naughty Anna!

Louisa Cornell said...

Aunty, you are his new main squeeze! LUCKY you! SNORK!

Those photos and covers are a 17 on the 1-10 cuteness scale!! I am so pimping these books to all of my friends in animal rescue. My dog sitter and her daughter will love them. (We call her the Fairy Dogmother, she is SO good with bossy, snippy, slightly psychotic dogs - not that I know any dogs like that.)

I HATE making decisions like that! The thing is, you have to look at what is in your heart, get as much information into your head about the situation and then make your decision. But, once the decision is made, commit to it and see it through. My Dad was all about seeing things through to the end whether it be a job, a decision or pet ownership.

Kaelee said...

I sure love the covers. They are just so tempting.

I hate having to make yes or no decisions. I'm a second guesser type person. I don't have any rescue dogs in my life but I have had a number of rescue cats. I do have a lot of dogs in my extended family though ~ 6 dogs at last count. However add my two cats to the 9 more cats in the extended family and cats out number the dogs.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thank you, thank you, Louisa--and I love that your pet sitter is the Fairy Dogmother! I also admire your attitude, and your dad's, about decisions.

Second guessing can be second nature to me, too, Kaelee. Your extended pet family sounds wonderful!