Nov 20 – Dec 15, 2023 Virtual Book Tour: The Legacy by C.L. Tolbert
Guest Post: Dogs In My Life & Fiction
I’ve had the honor of knowing several remarkable dogs throughout my life. They’ve been my best friends, my companions, my guides, and my guardians. Two in particular stand out. Their names were Maddie and Lulu. On the day I met them, Maddie crawled up the puppy play pen, a tiny little determined thing, doing all she could to get to me. Lulu was the largest of the litter, a little aloof. She knew she was beautiful. Maddie chose me, and stayed by my side for fourteen years. She would frown at me if she was disappointed, especially if I forgot to pick up her favorite dog food, but she was a constant, loving presence. I took Maddie and Lulu home with me together that fateful day. They were an amazing duo.
If I were a sculptor, I’d have honored Maddie and Lulu with garden statuary. But I’m a writer. So of course I’ve featured a fictional Maddie and Lulu in my Thornton Mystery Series. The protagonist in the series, Emma Thornton, is a law professor who lives with middle school-aged twin boys in New Orleans in the early 1990’s. In book two, The Redemption, Emma’s investigation of a murder exposes her family to danger, and she decides to find a dog at a local shelter for protection. At the shelter she’s excited to find twin German Shorthaired Pointers, Maddie and Lulu, for her twin boys.
In real life, and in the series, Maddie and Lulu were athletic, regal, and incredibly intelligent. Maddie, always the tattletale, would often approach me in alarm, pointing with her chin toward her sister, especially if Lulu was snuggled up on a couch! And Lulu loved fingernail polish, dangling a raised paw for extended periods of time, for the application of a layer of shiny purple nail lacquer. She loved attention and girly things, while Maddie, a big girl, was often confused for a boy. Maddie never sat down in a lady-like manner as her sister would. She’d flop down, crashing her joints against the floor, and making a loud “humph!” sound. But they were both beautiful.
Even though they had very different personalities, they were, by nature, hunters, and were often in perfect sync. They could sense in an instant whether an upstairs window was open, and would dash up the stairs, bolt out of the window to the roof, and flop their long ears over the eave to bark at the neighbor’s pig. (Yes, even though we were in the city, there was a pot-bellied pig next door!) They acted together in the field, too. Lulu would range out to find the birds, and Maddie would stay close, pointing to the poor scared creature she’d cornered, her tail extended, body quivering in excitement. (No little birds were injured during the training.) Surprisingly, Lulu could ignore gun shot, but Maddie wanted no part of it. Lulu enjoyed hunting all throughout her life, but Maddie stayed close to me, always.
I put Maddie and Lulu’s real-life training to good use when, in The Redemption, book two in the series, Emma’s apartment was broken into by a potential murderer. Maddie and Lulu confronted the intruder, acting in concert to push him down a metal winding staircase. Protection of their home was always paramount. Maddie and Lulu figure prominently in Sanctuary and The Legacy, the remaining books in the Thornton Mystery Series. They accompany Emma on walks and runs, and even some late night investigations in the French Quarter! Filled with infinite love and patience for their human family, they are as essential to Emma and her family as their original counterparts were to mine.
I miss my Maddie and her sister Lulu every day. It was fun to reminisce and to remember why they will always be so special to me. And it was fun to include them in my Thornton Mystery Series. As I write this, Yoda, our sixteen-year-old rescue Schnauzer, is giving me the side-eye as if to tell me it’s time for a cuddle. Yoda is the current commander of the house. He may be nearly blind, and completely deaf, but he still has a warrior’s heart! And he still likes to cuddle like a puppy. I might have to find a place for him in my next book.
Thank you for the opportunity to write about the canine loves of my life.
A quiet tree-lined street in New Orleans erupts in panic when the body of Sally Wilcox is discovered by her landlord. Sally had been stabbed, and she was clutching a kitchen knife in her hand at the time of her death. Later, police discover evidence at the scene which implicates Sally’s son, Jeremy, in her murder. He was arrested the next day. Law school professor Emma Thornton is convinced by a friend to take Jeremy’s case. She begins her investigation into Jeremy and his family, and the facts surrounding the night of the murder. Layer after layer of family secrets slowly reveal themselves, as the numbers of murders and kidnappings multiply.
Holding the key to the killer’s trail and the case’s final resolution, Emma’s success depends on whether she can maintain control over her own reckless impulses.
Praise for The Legacy:
“Fearless, relentless, compassionate, and driven by an unyielding sense of justice, law professor Emma Thornton battles mounting evidence in a race to save a mentally ill young man from a presumption of guilt in the gruesome murders of his parents.” ~ Roger Johns, a Georgia Author of the Year and author of the Wallace Hartman Mysteries
“Fearless Law Professor Emma Thompson returns to defend a young man with schizophrenia accused of murdering his mother. Faced with a second murder, an unscrupulous prosecutor, a family with mental health issues, a pusher of pain meds, and a Gitanes-smoking stalker, Emma finds her marriage in jeopardy and her life on the line. Author C. L. Tolbert proves the Big Easy has never been easy, especially for a fighter like Emma whom I would follow anywhere.” ~ Valerie J. Brooks, award-winning author of the Angeline Porter Trilogy
“Unwavering in her conviction, law professor Emma Thornton must navigate a labyrinth of lies and deception to arrive at the truth and vindicate a disturbed young man wrongly accused of murder. Not only a suspenseful story, The Legacy represents the triumph of the human spirit to persevere in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.” ~ Lawrence Kelter, International bestselling author of the Stephanie Chalice Mystery Series
Book Details:Genre: Mystery, Thriller Published by: Level Best Books Publication Date: November 2023 Number of Pages: 260 ISBN: 9781685124267 Series: A Thornton Mystery, #4 Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Licensed in Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi, Cynthia Tolbert retired after thirty-five years of practicing law and began writing full time. After winning the Georgia State Bar Fiction Writing Contest, she developed the winning short story into the first novel in the Thornton Mystery Series, Out From Silence, published in 2019. Two additional mysteries in the series have also been published, The Redemption in 2021 and Sanctuary in 2022. The fourth book in the series, The Legacy was published in November 2023. Cynthia taught at Loyola Law School for several years where she directed a homeless clinic, and worked with third-year law students in actual cases. All of these experiences have informed her fiction. She is an avid reader, a mother of two, and a grandmother to three beautiful girls. She lives in Austin, TX with her husband and Schnauzer, Yoda.
Catch Up With C.L. Tolbert:
Giveaway & Tour Participants:
This giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for C.L. Tolbert. See entry terms and conditions here. Void where prohibited.
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