My Inkspot blogs appear on the
first Monday of each month.How fun that
the first Monday of this month is also the first day of the month!
I was motivated by Tracy Weber's
recent InkSpot blog about her lifetime love of animals and how they inspired
her writing to consider my own love of animals, especially dogs.Yes, I know they inspire my writing.Of the four mystery series I write or have
written, every one of them features dogs.
In my first mystery series, the
Kendra Ballantyne Pet-Sitter Mysteries that I wrote for Berkley Prime Crime,
Kendra was a lawyer who lived in the Hollywood Hills with her Cavalier King
Charles Spaniel Lexie.At the time, I
was a practicing lawyer, and I still live in the Hollywood Hills with my two
Cavaliers, including Lexie.I haven't
tripped over murder victims, though--except in my mind.
My second series, the Pet Rescue
Mysteries, were a spin-off from the Kendra books.And now I'm writing two series simultaneously
for Midnight Ink which both feature dogs: the Superstition Mysteries, where the
protagonist runs a pet boutique, and the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries,
where the protagonist is a veterinary technician who bought a human bakery and
turned half into a barkery where she sells healthy dog treats.
In addition, one of the other two
series I write, romances for Harlequin, consists of paranormal romances for
Nocturne, featuring Alpha Force, a covert military unit of shapeshifters.Yes, many are werewolves and they happen to
have cover dogs while they're in human form.
So why dogs?I'm not sure why I started loving them, but I
do know I convinced my grandfather to buy me my first puppy from a pet store
when I was eight years old.I learned a horrible
lesson then about pet stores.My mother
took Cuddles to a vet when I was in school the next day, and she had
distemper.We returned her to the store
and learned that all the dogs there had distemper.In those days we couldn't even bring a dog
into the house for a three-month quarantine period after that, and I used the
time to research breeds.My next puppy
was a Boston Terrier from a qualified breeder, and I had Frisky for quite a
And then, years later, on my
first trip to London
I saw my first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on the Underground.The rest was my history.I hunted for a Cavalier puppy when I returned
to the States and have been owned by them ever since.
Dogs have inspired other aspects
of my life, too, and I absolutely love writing about them.In fact, I'm always dreaming up new story
ideas but don't have time to follow up on all of them.Someday, maybe...But meantime, I love writing my current
mysteries and hope to for a long time.
I actually could tell you more
about my love of animals and how they inspired me--and that can be a topic for