04-09-2012 11:16 PM
Today's guest blog is by LINDA O. JOHNSTON, who writes both mysteries and paranormals.
Her website is here: http://lindaojohnston.com/
Her Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/LindaOJohnston?ref=search
04-09-2012 11:26 PM
04-09-2012 11:27 PM
From Linda's website:
I’m Linda O. Johnston. Welcome to my website!
Mystery, paranormal romance and more… I’ve a lot of interests, and the diversity spills over into my writing.
Much of my fiction today involves animals--shapeshifters in my paranormal romances, real animals in my mysteries. The third in the Pet Rescue Mystery series, which is a spinoff from my Kendra Ballantyne Pet-Sitter mystery series, will continue in April 2012 with HOUNDS ABOUND. And, of course, BEAGLEMANIA and THE MORE THE TERRIER are still available. Upcoming is the next in my Alpha Force miniseries from Harlequin Nocturne, UNDERCOVER WOLF.
Researching and writing about pet rescues has become a passion. There is an amazing community of people devoted to saving pets. I salute them all and intend to acknowledge and encourage some of the best. Please join me!
I also have a book coming out soon with no animal ties, UNDERCOVER SOLDIER, a Harlequin Romantic Suspense, which will be a July 2012 release.
So what’s your reading pleasure? A good story with a satisfying ending? Mine, too--and that’s what I like to write, no matter what the genre or subgenre.
Come visit me at the Killer Hobbies blog. I blog weekly, mostly about pets. My fellow bloggers, also mystery writers whose characters have hobbies to die for, will discuss interests ranging from crocheting to scrapbooking, miniatures, needlework and rubber stamping. My pet posts are there every Thursday.
My online class, Kiss Me Or Kill Me: Writing Cozy Mysteries 101 for Romance Writers was a success, and I'm in discussions about teaching further online classes with an online school and chat site. More to come!
I've finally joined Facebook. Please come friend me there!
Linda O! Johnston
04-09-2012 11:28 PM
Once upon a time....
...there was a writer
I was born a writer. I can't remember a time I didn't write, though my earliest scribbles, while I was in diapers, were not decipherable even by me. Later, I saved ideas for school assignments and awaited opportunities to write them. My first attempt at an epic, when I was eight, was a science fiction story so incredibly precocious that, if I could find it, I'm sure I'd find a new calling as a writer. Well, maybe not. Still, it was a start: the story of a young boy and girl who together explored the universe.
That's something else: I was also a born romantic. Nearly all my fiction involves a romantic relationship. No wonder I wound up writing romance novels!
I have also always enjoyed solving puzzles, which led me to write suspense into all of my stories, too, no matter what their genre or subgenre.
I stopped writing fiction in law school -- confusing cases and boring briefs left little time for pleasure. But, I couldn't stay away. Soon as I could carve out time early in the morning before work at my first law job, I wrote for fun once more. Cathartic! In my first finished -- and as yet unpublished -- mystery, I killed off a law firm's senior partner.
My first published fiction consisted of several short stories in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The first, "Different Drummers," won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for best first mystery short story of 1988.
My first novel was the 1995 Love Spell time travel romance A Glimpse of Forever. Since then, I have had 24 additional novels published--mysteries and romances, including paranormal romance and romantic suspense.
In addition to creating fiction, I am a transactional lawyer and love writing contracts. I am a member of the Orange County (California), Los Angeles chapters of the Romance Writers of America. I also belong to Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter, and my mystery short story "Love on Sunset Boulevard" is in the SinC/LA anthology Murder on Sunset Boulevard. It was fun getting back to my "roots" and writing a mystery short story again. I am additionally a member of theMystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. I live in the Los Angeles area with my husband and my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Lexie and Mystie.
Please e-mail me at email@example.com.
04-09-2012 11:29 PM
Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22, 2012
University of Southern California
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Monday, April 23, 2012
World Book Night
Friday, April 27 - Sunday, April 29, 2012
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Monday, April 30, 2012
Festival of Mystery
Greek Orthodox Church
Wednesday, July 25 - Saturday, July 28, 2012
Romance Writers of America National Conference
Saturday, September 30, 2012
West Hollywood Book Fair
West Hollywood Library
04-09-2012 11:30 PM
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue Organizations
I've loved Cavaliers forever. Here are some of the organizations that rescue Cavaliers in need.
|Cavalier Rescue USA||Part of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club USA||http://www.cavalierrescueusa.org|
|Cavalier Rescue Trust||Part of the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club||http://cavalierrescuetrust.org|
|Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue||Saves Cavaliers that are to be auctioned for sale in pet stores||http://www.luckystarcavalierrescue.org|
04-09-2012 11:31 PM
I love writing about pet rescue because I feel strongly about it.
In addition to volunteering at Pet Orphans of Southern California, I have become a dog adoption counselor there.
Here are some of the pet rescue organizations I’ve contacted or otherwise found during my research for my new Pet Rescue mystery series. Check them out--and consider adopting from them or donating to them!
Also, if you would like to suggest other organizations for me to add, please let me know. I sometimes donate autographed books for them to raffle off for cash donations and would consider other fundraising events.
More pet rescue stuff to come.
|Arfriend||Wonderful resource guide for people and pets||http://www.arfriend.org|
|Best Friends||Excellent organization known nationally||http://www.bestfriends.org|
|Four Legged Friends Foundation||Promotes pet-human bond and helps with vet care where financial assistance needed||http://www.flff.org|
|Glendale Humane Society||I volunteer there sometimes. Great group!||http://www.glendalehumane.org|
|Noah's Wish||Help to animals in disaster siutations. Amazing national organization||http://www.noahswish.org|
|PetFinders||Wonderful list of pets needing homes.||http://www.petfinders.com|
|Pet Orphans of Southern California||I have taken their class for volunteers and will be volunteering there often. A really wonderful organization!||http://www.petorphansfund.org|
|Small Animal Rescue Team
Los Angeles Animal Services (SmART)
|Not a shelter or rehoming organization; one of the best rescue organizations ever!||http://www.facebook.com/SmART.LA|
04-09-2012 11:32 PM - edited 04-09-2012 11:37 PM
Writing Ideas: They’re Everywhere!
by Linda O. Johnston
My third Pet Rescue Mystery HOUNDS ABOUND is an April release from Berkley Prime Crime. It features a very special pet sanctuary that takes in hard-to-adopt animals such as seniors and the disabled.
How did I get that idea? I eavesdropped! I happened to be at a boutique grocery store one day when one of the staff, who happened to be giving away tastes of some of their featured foods, was talking to someone else about a very special sanctuary near Los Angeles that did exactly that: saved hard-to-place pets.
Of course story ideas come in all sorts of flavors and situations. The first of my Pet Rescue Mysteries, BEAGLEMANIA, featured a rescue from a puppy mill. That was the result of my hearing of lots of controversy about pet shops that sell puppies--often acquired from puppy mills.
The second in the series, THE MORE THE TERRIER, had an animal hoarder in it. You can see lots of hoarders on various television shows.
The fourth, which I’m working on now, was the result of my frequently driving past the Los Angeles area headquarters of the American Humane Association, which is the only organization that can give the “No Animals Were Harmed” ® certification to films and TV shows featuring animals. I had to find out what they did--and now I’m using it in a story.
So where do my ideas come from? If you haven’t guessed, the answer is everywhere! I’m always eavesdropping and reading and paying attention to things that perhaps non-writers ignore.
If you ask any writer, at least one who’s honest about it, the response will probably be similar. Ideas are ubiquitous and exciting and inspiring!
It helps to do get involved doing something related to what I’m writing about. Since I started writing the Pet Rescue Mysteries, I’ve also been volunteering at a wonderful private pet shelter not far from where I live, in LA’s San Fernando Valley. I’m a dog adoption counselor there. The staff and other volunteers are amazing. I learn a lot from them, and I really enjoy introducing potential adopters to dogs who may become new members of their family. I don’t use anyone I meet as characters, but my experiences there really help me relate even more to my protagonist, Lauren Vancouver, and what she’s going through as the chief administrator of a wonderful, but fictional, no-kill shelter. Oh, and by the way, since the Pet Rescue Mysteries are cozy mysteries at least one person gets killed in each story so their murders can get solved. I therefore use the slogan, “In the Pet Rescue Mysteries, ‘no-kill’ means pets, not people!”
In addition to my Pet Rescue Mysteries, I write romances for two Harlequin series. My Harlequin Nocturnes are mostly a paranormal romance miniseries called Alpha Force, about a highly covert military unit of shapeshifters. Sadly, I don’t know any shapeshifters whose discussions I can eavesdrop on, so most of those ideas are my imagination--although some of the stories do occur in areas with which I’m familiar and which help to inspire me.
My first Harlequin Romantic Suspense, UNDERCOVER SOLDIER, will be a July 2012 release. Its plot is very loosely based on a mystery in my own life, and that is where the idea originated.
Oh, and don’t be surprised if something you say to me winds up appearing in one of my future books!
04-10-2012 11:03 AM
Hi, Linda, saving animals is a passion with me. I hate to hear of an animal that has been abused or is not being cared for by it's owner. Recently, here in North Carolina, we have had some animal cruelty cases come up where the owner just hoards dogs but cannot take care of them for economic reasons. One such case had nearly 100 dogs living in filth and starving. The police stepped in and took those dogs away but some were already dead and some had to be euthanized because they were in bad shape. The owner faces multiple cruelty charges for this. Last week, a woman called the Humane Society here in town and gave up her 30 dogs because she couldn't care for them. They were lucky as they all were in good shape and very friendly. Other than matted hair and fleas, these dogs will be adopted out quickly. So, your blog hit a heartstring with me and though I'm not involved in animal rescue, I would always take in one. My last one was a 5 week old kitten that someone plopped on our door step on a cold October night. She would have froze outside. We took her in and today, she is part of our family and very healthy at 7 months.
04-10-2012 02:32 PM
My son has a King Charles Cavalier spaniel. Friends of theirs fell in love with him and got a puppy in the same breed. Now the two dogs are best friends - they have regular play dates every week. Here are a couple pictures of them:
04-11-2012 08:13 AM
05-04-2012 05:50 PM