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Kiss Me or Kill Me

February 6, 2012 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Writing tagged as , , , ,

My OCC Online Class

What else would I be blogging about today but my upcoming online class for OCC? I’m really excited about it!

It’s called Kiss Me or Kill Me: Writing Cozy Mysteries 101 for Romance Writers, and it starts on Monday, February 13.

As I’ve been saying all along, it’s not only for romance writers, although I will be discussing some similarities and differences between the two genres. But the course will focus on the basics of writing cozy mysteries, from choosing a protagonist and theme, to starting your story, working in clues, and finishing in a satisfactory manner.

I’ve been writing cozy mysteries for a while now, along with also writing romances. Plus, I’ve taught classes in person and online. I hope to make this an especially fun one. I’ll include assignments and hope everyone will participate.

It’s not too late to join… so here’s the link, in case you’re interested! 

Hope to see you there.

By the way, I also blogged about this class, and my resulting self-analysis of my own writing, in my Killer Hobbies blog post this week. Here’s its link: Killer Hobbies 
Linda O! Johnston
Berkley Prime Crime
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Greetings, New Year’s Grinches

January 6, 2012 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , ,

Admit it–are you a New Year’s Grinch?

Okay, I realize there really isn’t such a thing. That’s certainly not the background of the character created by Dr. Seuss who despises Christmas in the book How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
But the term Grinch has been extended somewhat in common use to mean more than that nasty, greedy and cute character. It can also mean someone whose holiday spirit is lacking.
So why not a New Year’s Grinch?

Most of us have looked forward to the New Year as a new beginning. We like to think that whatever went wrong for us in 2011, or wasn’t ideal, or even could just use some changes or tweaks, will get resolved in 2012. Sometimes it’ll just happen, and sometimes we have to work on it, but this year can definitely be better than the last.

Can’t it?

What about if you just let one year run into the next? I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, so although I may aspire to changes, mostly those that I cause, they don’t rise to the level of promises to myself the way resolutions might.

What about people who just figure January 1 is just the day after December 31? Those who may enjoy taking time off over the holidays because everyone does (well, everyone but writers) but don’t really consider the upcoming year to be different from the one that just expired?

Tell you what. All you New Year’s Grinches: since you don’t believe in the magic of the New Year, make your resolution now. This year, you’ll vow to stop Grinching and start working on changing all those things in your life that need improvement. And admit it. There are some.

Silhouette Nocturne BITES
November 2011
Like–if you haven’t read any of my Pet Rescue Mysteries or my Harlequin Nocturne Alpha Force miniseries books, that’s something thing you can start in 2012. Or if you’ve read some, pick up some more! Then there’ll also be my first Harlequin Romantic Suspense book in July…

Okay. Enough BSP. How about your own writing aspirations or career? What can you change in the upcoming year to improve wherever you are? Or what about your family life? Your home? How can you improve our environment? Help save some homeless animals? Whatever!

Tell us all, right here. Are you a New Year’s Grinch? And are you resolving to change that?

In any event, to all of you OCC members and friends, whether you’re Grinches or not: Have a very happy and productive 2012!

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The Writing Life…

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

… is busy!

And it’s not just book deadlines that are driving me nuts these days. I’ve taken on blog guest appearances in addition to my weekly post on Killer Hobbies and my monthly post here at A Slice of Orange.

Plus, I’ve thrown myself into pet rescue after all the research I’ve done and continue to do for my new Pet Rescue Mystery series, which started in March with BEAGLEMANIA. I volunteer weekly as a dog adoption counselor at a local private shelter, plus I’ve become the L.A. Pet Rescue Examiner. I have to admit that I haven’t been posting articles for the Examiner as often as I’d like, but I hope to remedy that–and in the meantime I’m collecting some good stuff to talk about there.

Berkley Prime Crime

Linda O! Johnston

Visit Linda at LindaOJohnston.com
or http://killerhobbies.blogspot.com/

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Missing OCC

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

by Linda O Johnston

I miss OCC.

I haven’t been able to attend a meeting for a while, and still won’t get there till May at the earliest. Sigh.


Well, in January I had another commitment, and in February I couldn’t get there because I was in the middle of frantically trying to meet a deadline. Plus, I was–and am still–dealing with a lot of time-consuming promotion for my new Pet Rescue Mystery series that debuted on March 1 with BEAGLEMANIA.

I won’t be there this month, either, because of a signing I’ve got lined up. In fact, I have a lot of signings scheduled. I had two last week, one at the grand reopening of the Flintridge Bookstore, and a launch party for BEAGLEMANIA at Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach. My signing on March 12, the date of the next OCC meeting, is at Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks. Coming up are signings on March 19 at Vroman’s in Pasadena, and at Bookstar in Studio City on March 26. (My name is already in lights there! Bookstar is a former theater and keeps its marquee going to publicize events.)

Berkley Prime Crime

Visit Linda at LindaOJohnston.com or http://killerhobbies.blogspot.com/

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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 Examiner.com 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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