Authors’ Guest Post
We have a brand new book for readers who enjoy pet cozies. To Fetch a Killer, Four Fun “Tails” of Chaos and Murder is a collection of four novellas that rely on our canine companions to help collar killers and bring criminals to justice. We asked each of the authors to share with us how their dogs have helped them maintain a positive attitude in this crazy world, especially during the past year, what with the pandemic and all. We call this segment “Stay Paws-itive!”
Maria Hudgins, author of “Sandy Paws”
The way my dogs look at me is enough to keep my in a paws-itive mind frame. That look tells me they think I’m wonderful.
Teresa Inge, author of “A New Leash on Death”
I have two mixed German Shepherd dogs named Luke and Lena, who were named after my husband’s grandparents.
Since my husband and I are empty nesters, the dogs have become like our children in many ways. I find myself buying them ice cream (approved for dogs), toys, and most recently I bought them a doggy splash pool pad, complete with a sprinkler to keep them cool in the hot summer heat! Seeing them happy makes me happy. But with animals, their love is unconditional. They don’t need a lot to be happy except of course getting their daily treats and just being with us.
Even after long workdays when I’m exhausted, my dogs keep me positive with a friendly greeting and wagging tail. It’s like they haven’t seen me in a long time. This takes all the stress away from the day. There’s no love like that of a dog!
Heather Weidner, author of “Wags to Riches”
My dogs are my fuzzy co-workers. They had always been my writing partners, critiquers, and snack-sharers in my writing cave. But our home office quickly turned into my work office when the pandemic struck. I have a crazy pair of Jack Russell terriers. Disney and her brother, Riley, are curious, active, and always ready for a snack. They love long walks and chasing the squirrels around the woods.
They have been great companions during the pandemic. They crash video meetings and want to jump in my lap at the most inopportune time. But they are a great stress reliever. I love that I can have hugs and cuddles anytime during the work day. I work in IT, so there are some long days. They remind me to get up and move when I’m sedentary too long. And Riley always knows when it’s time for lunch. Here are the seven things I’ve learned from my dogs…
- Live in the now. Today is what’s important. The past and future don’t matter as much.
- Play hard. Life can’t be all work. Everything is a game to a Jack.
- Nap when you need to. You need to recharge every once in a while.
- Don’t waste a beautiful day inside. Go outside and have fun.
- Know when it’s time to cuddle on the couch with a good book.
- Bark if you need to, but not too much.
- Wag and make friends. Relationships are important.
Jayne Ormerod, author of “Bone Appétit”
After the year we’ve just had, with the pandemic lockdowns and isolation, it was hard for many to maintain a paws-itive attitude. One of the upsides of this is that many people spending more time at home also means spending more time with pets. Cats might not be so happy about that, but dogs are! They love nothing more than spending time with their “pack”, which their humans are huge part of.
But truth be told, it’s people spending time with their pets that helped spread Paws-itive vibes all around. How, you ask?
Studies have shown that the companionship a pet provides can help reduce anxiety and depression. As Kristen Higgens said, “When an 85-pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it’s hard to feel sad.”
Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure. Anyone who has laid on the ground while a wriggling golden retriever puppy jumps all around you will attest to the relaxing effect of the jubilant puffball.
And pets can help children develop better reading habits. Research has shown that kids who are struggling with reading are hesitant to read out loud to an adult, but cuddle them up to a furry beast—who will not judge—improves their confidence and tangentially their reading.
And need I even mention the benefit of walking a dog every day? Sometimes multiple times a day? In all kinds of weather? Okay, life with pets may not always be a bowl of cherries. But seriously, the health benefits of walking are well-documented. Even more fun when out and about with a canine companion.
In closing, just a few bits of advice and Paws-itive thoughts to make you smile:
- “Never stand between a dog and a fire hydrant.” ~John Peer
- “You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!’” ~Dave Barry
- “My fashion philosophy is, if you’re not covered in dog hair, your life is empty.” ~Elayne Boosler
- “Dogs teach us a very important lesson in life: the mailman is not to be trusted.” ~Sian Ford
- “Everything I know I learned from dogs.” ~Nora Roberts
About To Fetch A Killer
To Fetch a Killer, Four Fun “Tails” of Chaos and Murder
Cozy Mystery Anthology
4th in Series
Publisher: Bay Breeze Publishing (July 30, 2021)
Paperback : 262 pages
ISBN-13 : 979-8511607276
It’s a dog-meet-dog world as a pack of canines team up with their humans to solve mysteries and track down killers. Four mutt-loving authors join their talents in creating this collection of canine-themed novellas which will transport you into the chaotic world of hero dogs who have a nose for murder. Grab a leash and hang on tight…the mutts are on the loose again!
This anthology includes four novellas.
“Sandy Paws” by Maria Hudgins
The Sand Fiddler’s Writers Group has rented a beach house for its annual retreat, but the writers and their canine friends can’t get much done after murder rears its ugly head.
“A New Leash on Death” by Teresa Inge
Catt Ramsey, owner of the Woof-Pack Dog Walkers, has a knack for finding dead bodies, but when she and her pups are on the case, there’s no way the killer will get away with murder.
“Wags to Riches” by Heather Weidner
When a prickly guest ends up dead in his booth at the rummage sale, track owner, Cassidy Green and her Rottweiler Oliver have to sniff out clues and find the killer before another murder is forever linked to her business.
“Bone Appetit” by Jayne Ormerod
A dead guest at private chef Molly Perkins’s dinner party draws her and house dog Tater in a chaotic search for the secret ingredient to murder.
About the Authors
MARIA HUDGINS is a mystery writer from coastal Virginia and a lover of animals. She writes the Dotsy Lamb Travel Mysteries and the Lacy Glass Archaeology Mysteries. Her short stories appear in such publications as Virginia is for Mysteries, Fifty Shades of Cabernet, Murder by the Glass, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. The two dogs, Trey and Kim, featured in this story are based on Hudgins’s beloved Bichons, Holly and Hamilton, now gone but never forgotten.
TERESA INGE grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Combining her love of reading mysteries and writing professional articles led to writing short fiction and novellas.
Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol but she hot rods. She juggles assisting two busy executives at a financial firm and is president of the Sisters in Crime, Mystery by the Sea chapter. Teresa is a contributing author to the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Mutt Mysteries series, Coastal Crimes, and Murder by the Glass, Cocktail Mysteries.
She resides in Southeastern Virginia with her husband and two dogs. She can be reached on all social media or by posting a comment on her website.
Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series set in Virginia (Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband). Her new cozy series with vintage trailers and tiny houses, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, launches in October 2021.
Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass, and her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series (To Fetch a Thief, To Fetch a Scoundrel, To Fetch a Villain, and To Fetch a Killer).
She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
- Website and Blog
- Amazon Authors
JAYNE ORMEROD grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor.) She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the Chesapeake Bay. Jayne’s publishing credits include two novels, five novellas, and eight short mysteries, with more coming soon. A complete list can be found on her website.
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