Make a difference, one dog at a time

Here’s a happy update on a story I first shared back in June about Hiker, the dog found on the Ozarks Highlands Trail. Although little more than skin and bones when her path first crossed with Jim Warnock, she had an amazing heart and followed Jim and his hiking partner for 40 miles through some seriously rugged terrain. The photo below was taken in January, 2104:

Hiker January 20th 2014

By March, she was putting on weight and ready to hit the trail again. Here she is in the woods just a few months after she and Jim met on the trail:

Hiker in snowy March 2014

And here’s Hiker now. At her latest vist to the vet, she weighed in at a healthy 66 lbs!

Hiker on trail August 2014

Hiker August 2014

Jim says she’s enjoying her new life. Together they hike the Lake Alma Trail six days a week, and as we can see from the photo above, she loves playtime. She even likes to visit the vet clinic!

To keep up with the adventures of Hiker and her trail partner Jim, be sure to visit Jim’s blog at http://ozarkmountainhiker.com/.  Here’s hoping our paths cross soon on the Ozarks trails!

Thank you!

What a grand way to celebrate National Dog Day! As of this morning, Deadly Ties is #3 in three different categories of Best Sellers on Amazon!

On behalf of all the dogs in Deadly Ties–including the champion Labrador Retriever Sam, Sweet Pea the elderly Cocker Spaniel, and the Beagle Mr. B, retired from federal service and adjusting to life in the Ozarks–thank you to all the wonderful readers who made this happen!

Best Sellers!

Sizzling Hot Reads!

We’re celebrating the dog days of summer by offering the Kindle edition of Deadly Ties at a special sale price of just $2.99 for a limited time. This is the first in the Waterside Kennels series; if you want to see how the story began, here’s your chance!Lab Silhouette

Book #2 in the series is due for release this fall, with book #3 on track for publication next year. While you’re waiting, here’s more dog-related mystery fiction to enjoy. Read on for a sample of some of my favorite authors who have been so generous to writers and readers alike. We all share the common bond of dogs in our books, but you’ll find considerable diversity in the way we write our traditional mysteries. I hope you enjoy browsing this list. Perhaps you’ll discover a “new to you” series!

Laurien Berenson

Gone with the Woof Laurien BerensonPoodle lovers, rejoice! Laurien Berenson‘s Melanie Travis mystery series continues, and it just keeps getting better. I’ve been a fan for years, and have been delighted to see new additions to this long-running series. (Want to read from the beginning? Start with A Pedigree to Die For.) Here’s the description for Gone with the Woof, #16 in the series:

Despite a toddler and a house full of Standard Poodles, Melanie Travis can’t pass up an opportunity to help legendary dog breeder Edward March pen his life story. But her enthusiasm flags when the breeder’s angry son Andrew demands she stop working on the book. Why becomes imperative once Andrew is killed by a seemingly intentional hit-and-run and Melanie becomes Suspect #1. To get herself out of the dog house, Melanie sniffs out every possible clue, only to run into dead ends as fast as she’s running out of time. And the longer the killer stays unleashed, the sooner she may end up in the dog house for good.

Susan Conant

Brute Strength Susan Conant

Brute Strength continues Susan Conant’s wonderful Dog Lover’s Mystery Series. (You can see the entire list of titles here, as well as other books written by this very talented author.)  Publishers Weekly said that “…series fans should enjoy spending time with familiar characters, the warm humor, and the dog lore.” Here’s the description from the Amazon book page:

When Dog’s Life columnist Holly Winter rejects applicants who want to adopt homeless dogs, she makes a lot of enemies. In dogs Holly trusts, and the dogs she trusts most are her beloved malamutes, Rowdy, Kimi and Sammy. But right now she could use a human friend. Lately, it seems wherever she turns, things go wrong: an anonymous call turns vicious, her husband is keeping secrets, and acquaintances die under mysterious circumstances. Then Holly’s own life is threatened. Can the brute strength of Rowdy, Kimi, and Sammy protect her?

Susan J. Kroupa

Dog-Nabbed cover

Dog-nabbed is the third book in the Doodlebug Mystery Series. This author is one of my favorites!  Susan J. Kroupa writes a terrific, laugh-out-loud series featuring a dog as narrator. You can read them in any order, too. Here’s the description from the Amazon sales page:

What’s not to love about a trip the Blue Ridge Mountains? Doodle has a blast—biggest yard ever, plus wild turkeys to chase–while Molly visits her grandparents. But then Molly’s good friend, Lizzie, begs for help. Lizzie’s father, under the influence of a self-proclaimed prophet named Zeke, forbids Lizzie to see anyone not approved by Zeke–not even Lizzie’s desperately ill grandmother. Defying Zeke, Molly and Lizzie meet secretly in the woods where a discovery makes Molly think Zeke’s hiding something. But how can she prove it?

As for Doodle, he loves all these hikes through the woods. Until he and Molly, hot on Zeke’s trail, end up lost—seriously, not his fault—and Doodle discovers that while it’s no fun being lost, it can be even worse to be found—by the wrong person.

Marja McGraw

Final Awkward Moments

If you’ve visited my site before, you’ll know I’m a big fan of cozy mysteries that aren’t your typical “formula” novel. I enjoy light humor, minimal violence, and an intriguing story line. You get all three in the Bogey Man Mystery Series authored by Marja McGraw. Here’s the description of Awkward Moments, Book #4 in the series:

What might happen if you tried to bury the body of a small bird, only to find a body already buried in the hole you’ve dug. And what might happen if another body ended up in the same hole?

Join Chris, Pamela and Mikey Cross while they try to figure out why someone would be murdered during their vacation, on private property, during the middle of the night. Watch for Chris’s cranky brother to show up unexpectedly, searching for lost gold and running people off of his property.

The Cross family is at it again, just like the amateur sleuths they swear they never meant to be.

C.A. Newsome

A shot in the BarkIf you’re a fan of rescue dogs and enjoy mysteries that have a bit more suspense and a little more romance than your typical cozy, then you definitely want to check out the Lia Anderson Mystery Series. Author C. A. Newsome has rescue dogs of her own, and brings that experience to the table when writing the series. The first in the series is A Shot in the Bark and a great addition to the world of dog-related fiction. Here’s the description you’ll find on her website:

Would you recognize a serial killer if you met one? Talked to one every day?

Artist Lia Anderson doesn’t, and neither does anyone else who frequents the Mount Airy Dog Park. But a violent death brings Detective Peter Dourson into the close-knit group, and he is convinced someone is not who they seem. As the investigation uncovers secrets, Lia struggles to cope with warring emotions and a killer watches.

Sue Owens Wright

Braced for Murder

“Welcome to the Bark Side of Mystery!” That’s the greeting you’ll find on the website of Sue Owen Wright, a gifted author who’s earned the prestigious Maxwell Medallion by the Dog Writers Association of America. I absolutely love this series. (After all, who couldn’t love a Basset Hound?)

Here’s the description of Braced for Murder, courtesy of Sue’s website:

When Beanie volunteers to foster a homeless basset hound from Lakeside Animal Shelter, she’s headed for calamity one way or another. Beanie and Cruiser are on the crime trail once again after a reviled shelter manager is discovered euthanized. Tahoe Animal Impoundment Liberation Society (TAILS), is a prime suspect in her murder, but there are plenty of other suspects among South Lake Tahoe’s irate dog lovers, including the grieving owner of Gilda, an ill-fated basset rumored to haunt the shelter.

If Beanie doesn’t have enough trouble unleashed on her with another murder to solve and daughter Nona’s health scare, foster dog Calamity is living up to her name, creating havoc at the MacBean house. With all her behavioral issues, this crazy hound could make a dog whisperer scream. Beanie is eager to find an adopter for Calamity at the upcoming Basset Waddle fundraiser for a new no-kill animal shelter, but Calamity has other ideas.

 

There are many more great writers out there, just waiting for you to discover them! You can find these authors and other great books at the touch of your keyboard. Find us on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. Try searching for “dog mysteries” at your favorite retailer. You can find us in digital and print editions online and in stores, to include independent bookstores (look for us on IndieBound as well as the major retailers). And more than one of us have audio editions of our books (or will have this fall), so be sure to browse Audible too. Now’s the perfect time to start your shopping list for upcoming holidays and special events–because books make the best gifts, of course!

Have another author and/or mystery series you’d like to suggest?

Leave a comment and recommend your own favorites! 

Available in Fall 2014 …

news flash

I’ve just signed the contract for an audio edition of my book, Deadly Ties! The narrator will be Robin Rowan, one of the best in the business. She’s narrated more than thirty novels, including the mystery fiction of bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell.  I’m thrilled to have Robin on this project!

Robin is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she majored in oral interpretation of literature. She’s credentialed as a top Audible producer and is  a member of the Audio Publishers Association, the World Voices Organization, and the National Forensics League.  In an interview published last November on best-selling crime author Libby Fischer Hellman‘s website titled “A Narrator’s-Eye View of Audiobooks” Robin explains what she looks for in a book that she’s considering recording. Here’s what she had to say:

What I look for in a book is something meaty, something substantive that I can really get excited about. If you’re not excited about the book, you won’t do a good job. As a voice for commercials and also a former ad agency copywriter, I always followed the great ad man David Ogilvy’s advice: You have to believe that the product you’re selling (or the book you’re narrating) is the absolute greatest product (book) in the world. I think mystery/thrillers are my very favorite type of book, since that’s the type I would pick up and read myself.

The audio edition of Deadly Ties will be available this fall on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.  While you’re waiting, be sure to browse the wonderful selection and varied membership plans for each retailer. If you’re an AudibleListener™ member, for example, you can enjoy some great savings!

Get a Book, Help an Animal Shelter!

If you enjoy discovering new series and want to support an animal shelter, here’s a great opportunity to do both!

Abby Deuel, DVM has recently published her first cozy mystery, Farmcall Fatality. It’s about a veterinarian and amateur sleuth with a Border Collie sidekick who solve murders together.  To celebrate the launch of her book and to support her local animal shelter, Dr. Abby is donating a free spay/neuter for every 50 copies sold. The lucky beneficiary is the Clay County Animal Rescue and Shelter (CCARS) in Louisville/Flora, Illinois.  Here’s more about the author, straight from her Amazon author page:

Abby

Abby Deuel is a practicing veterinarian in a small town in the Midwest. She worked in the Dairy farming industry in New Zealand before attending vet school there. After graduating and practicing as a mixed animal vet in the North Island of New Zealand, she moved back to America. Deuel served as a relief vet for several years, until she set up her own practice.

While she pulls from real life experiences for some of the cases and characters for this series, everything is very much fictional. The only exception is that she too has a Border collie named Lyle that continues to serve as inspiration for upcoming books as well as a constant companion.

She is animal crazy, with her own little petting zoo. There are 6 chickens, 7 runner ducks, 4 goats, 2 sheep, 3 geese, 2 rabbits, 2 turtles, 1 tortoise, 4 cats, 3 ferrets, and 7 dogs. Her little mini farm is run as sustainable as possible, with rain barrels, solar panels, and composting gardens.

FarmCall Fatality: A Mandy Bell DVM Mystery Series

3D_FarmCall_Fatality_Final (1)In this first book of the series, Mandy is summoned to the small Midwestern town of Crestview. A colleague and classmate from vet school has passed away and left her veterinary clinic and house to Mandy. While Mandy has always been a traveling vet in her motor home, she finds herself drawn to the Midwestern hospitality that the town shows her and her sidekick Border collie, Lyle. Unfortunately, on one of her farm calls, she discovers a body that turns out to have been murdered.

She is determined to solve the murder to clear the name of the quaint little town. She uses her own intuition and careful questioning of townspeople and clients to piece together the culprit at fault. Lyle is by her side through the whole book, including at the town’s Halloween Hoedown, where she gets into trouble of her own. Read on to experience life as a small town veterinarian with a knack for solving murders.

Now available in the Kindle Unlimited program!

Follow this author!

Get the latest news about the series on Facebook. Have a question for Dr. Abby? Post a note to the Facebook page. And watch for her Goodreads author page, coming soon!