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Waiting, Planning, and Obsessing

February 6, 2011 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , , ,

by Linda O. Johnston

It’s February. I’m obsessed.

With what? Planning for the March release of BEAGLEMANIA, the first in my new Pet Rescue Mystery series, a spinoff from my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries. It’s all about Lauren Vancouver, who was introduced in HOWL DEADLY and also appeared in FELINE FATALE, both Kendra mysteries. She runs a no-kill animal shelter in the San Fernando Valley. Saving animals is her obsession. Poor thing will soon start tripping over dead bodies, too.

I believe that all of us write, in some ways, about our obsessions. Romance is certainly something we all obsess over at times. Mysteries and suspense? Less so, maybe, but those of us who write cozy mysteries often feature protagonists who engage in hobbies or other ventures that we love–while they’re solving murders, too.

I love it each time one of my books is released. This one, though, is in some ways more exciting. Why? Maybe it’s because, like Lauren, I’ve become a bit obsessed with pet rescue issues. I volunteer as a dog adoption counselor at Pet Orphans of Southern California. And I just became the LA Pet Rescue Examiner. Be sure to come and check out my articles!

Some of my excitement is because this will be the launch of a brand new series that addresses difficult issues in a way that, I hope, is both amusing and educational. For example, BEAGLEMANIA starts at a puppy mill rescue. The stories are cozy mysteries, so of course there are murders that get wrapped up at the end. In the Pet Rescue Mysteries, “no-kill” refers to pets, not people!

So far, no shapeshifters have appeared in my Pet Rescue Mystery manuscripts. I’m saving them for my upcoming Harlequin Nocturnes, which I’m also looking forward to. But you can see that all my obsessions seem to involve animals.

What are your obsessions, and do you write about them?

Be sure to watch for the new Lauren Vancouver, Pet Rescuer series! The first book BEAGLE MANIA will be out in March 2011. It’s a spin-off from the Kendra series, and Lauren was introduced in HOWL DEADLY.

Linda O. Johnston

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But as I do every year, I’ve started 2011 optimistically. It’ll be a good one. Things won’t always go perfectly, but they’ll generally be fine.

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It’s Shapeshifter Time!

December 6, 2010 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

By Linda O. Johnston

As people who know me are aware, I love to write about animals–both the real and fictional sort. This month, my focus is on shapeshifters. Werewolves. They’re characters in my new Harlequin Nocturne, ALASKAN WOLF, which is a December release!

Would you like to be one? If so… what would you change into?  

ALASKAN WOLF, another in the Alpha Force series from Harlequin Nocturne, is a December 2010 release.

Be sure to watch for the new Lauren Vancouver, Pet Rescuer series! The first book BEAGLE MANIA will be out in March 2011. It’s a spin-off from the Kendra series, and Lauren is introduced in HOWL DEADLY.

Linda O. Johnston

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Zoo Frolic and Detour

November 6, 2010 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

I visited the Los Angeles Zoo yesterday. Why write about it here? Because I enjoyed it! And because I liked the break I took, short though it was, from my writing.

I met a deadline earlier this week, on November 1, for the manuscript for my third Alpha Force novel for Harlequin Nocturne, a miniseries about undercover shapeshifters in the military. I have another deadline on December 1 for a proposal, and I’ve started working on it. But some good friends just recently moved to Los Angeles, and they bought a membership to the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association.

My husband and I have been members of GLAZA since our kids were young. I used to go there walking a couple of times a week for exercise. I’ve taken a class on observing animals and participated in a couple of studies.

But that was a while ago. I hadn’t been to the zoo for a few years, even while maintaining my membership. I’ve missed it! I therefore jumped at the opportunity.

Things are different there now. The entrance and parking lot have changed. There are more places to buy food. A lot of new exhibits are in the works, including the new elephant habitat. But I could still pretty much find my way around. One of the animals that had been my friend years ago seemed to recognize me–although that could just have been wishful thinking. I saw some animal species that hadn’t been there before. Some of my favorite exhibits were closed due to some of the reconstruction going on. Even so, I had a great time, especially because I went with family and friends.

And then, when I got home, I sat back at my computer and jumped right into my writing, inspired by having allowed myself a frolic and detour before digging back in.

Anyone who knows me or reads my stories knows I love animals, so this was a natural course of action for me to take to get away. How about you–where do you go, or what do you do, when you have time for a break from your everyday life?

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Orlando! by Linda O. Johnston

August 6, 2010 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Writing Conferences tagged as , , , ,

A couple of months ago, my blog on A Slice of Orange discussed my angst about whether I really wanted to go to the Romance Writers of America Conference in Orlando. I wound up going. Am I glad? Yes!

I didn’t stay for the entire conference, which I regret now. But I accomplished most of what I wanted to–saw nearly all the people I hoped to see, attended most of the sessions I’d planned to, and learned about new resources and other information about publishing and promoting.

I met a number of people I’d never anticipated seeing, too. Networked and schmoozed and partied and had a great time.

I admit that the Orlando weather didn’t wow me. I have lived in L.A. long enough to be really spoiled about the minimal humidity on most hot days. Just walking between the two hotels at the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort wilted me.
But the steaming up of my sunglasses didn’t deter me. The brief walk was worth it, plus the view was really nice, including the waterway between the two facilities.

By the way, as I mentioned in my blog last month, if you’re interested in hearing some of the things I learned at National, I’ll be sharing them at the OCC meeting on August 14. Come and ask questions–and I’ll answer whatever I can.

Linda O. Johnston

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