• Current Work In Progress

    Animals as characters in fiction…

    A Black Cat Detective

    I believe the first animal I ever used as a character in one of my books was the horse Boots in TO PROTECT HIS OWN. The hero, Jake, had left the farm, his father, his horse, and the love of his life behind after he uncovered a betrayal so deep it hardened his heart. But when his father's life is threatened, he returns home. His horse, Boots, has missed him terribly and has become sort of a rouge horse. He pouts and often acts out by stomping at his stall door, or not doing as requested, or even kicking for no reason. He's pretty darn happy when Jake returns, but Boots is concerned his owner might not stay...

    Boots was so much fun to write and I'd been wanting to write more animals into my stories. So, when my good friend Laura Benedict called and introduced me to Carolyn Haines and her ficational pet detective, Trouble, I jumped on the chance to join this fantastic world!

    I was worried it would be difficult for me to copy the voice of a black cat from Wetumpka, Alabama, who has spent his time watching Sherlock Holmes and pretty much thinks he's from Britain. I read his Point-of-view from all the other books in the series, studying his various movements. Surprisingly, I was able to get Trouble's voice down pretty quickly. And, oh what fun did I have with him as he helped Ethan and Annabel with a Wedding Caper.

    I hope you will check out Trouble and his adventures!


  • Current Work In Progress

    Chance to win lots of books! And a taste of Trouble….

    Check out all these books! Sign up to win: https://authorsxp.com/win-ebooks

    Lot’s of great summer reading on this list!

    I’m knee deep in finishing TROUBLE’S WEDDING CAPER. This has been a difficult book for me to write. It’s a new genre…Mystery. Though this is more Romantic Mystery, but still, it’s different enough. It also has a cat point of view, which has been very interesting to write. I mean this cat thinks he’s British AND he is a world class detective. Like the best! Seriously.

    Anywho, here is a little taste of what is to come…

    I follow the crowd to the next unit. This one too has a lot of boxes, but the tops are open and one in particular, a white wedding veil cascades over the cardboard. Careful not to draw too much attention to myself, I enter the storage unit. I’m an expert at blending in and it’s one of the reason’s I’m the best detective.

    And I know Sherlock Holmes would agree.

    I weave my way through a maze of boxes filled with more veils, dried flowers, and now I’m standing in front of a mannequin, dressed in a beautiful, lacy white gown.

    This is the unit for Annabel and I need to find a way to tell her, without cueing the rest of the group to bid. I hear a male voice start the bidding at one-thousand dollars. Lucky for Annabel, I’m quick on my feet and a great cat to human communicator.

    I rub my side against her leg, then take a few steps toward the storage unit. I repeat this a few times, making sure I look directly at Annabel before turning my head.

    “What is it, Trouble?” she whispered, kneeling.

    Someone in the back of the crowd raised their hand and yelled, “Fifteen hundred.”

    I raise my paw, glancing over at the woman asking for another bid.

    “You think this is a good one?”

    Bingo. Not that I would ever say bingo, but Annabel is turning out to be smarter than the average human.

    “Two-thousand.”Annabel lifts me once again. I could get used to being carried around wherever I go. The view up here isn’t too bad either.

    “Twenty-two hundred,” the same voice shouts.

    I raise my paw, giving Annabel a look that said, keep going until you can’t go anymore. Not all humans would understand this look, but I had faith in this one.

    “Twenty-five hundred,” she said.

    “Twenty-seven hundred,” another voice said.

    I hold my paw high and tap her shoulder. My amusement in storage wars fades as the temperature rises and the humidity sticks to my elegant coat. I really want to get back to the windowsill in the master bedroom. I love the way the sun beats down this time of the morning while the fan above pushes a cool air-conditioned breeze in my direction, making ita perfect place to relax and take a nap.

    “Sold to the lady with the cat.”

    Finally. We can go back to the condo.

    “Let’s go see what we’ve got,”Annabel’s tone is electric.

    I yawn and climb up on one of the boxes where a tad of sunlight brightened the dingy storage area and curl up, licking my paw.

    My work here is done.

    Sign up for Jen’s Newsletterwhere she often gives away free books before publication.

    Join Jen’s private Facebook groupwhere she posts exclusive excerpts and discuss all things murder and love!