Dog Blog

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This afternoon when I returned from the coffee shop, I found a box of complimentary author's copies of "Embarking on Murder" waiting for me on my doorstep.  What a great feeling!  It's hard to explain how it feels to hold in my hands a hot-off-the-press copy of my third book in the Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series.  

On the back flap is a color photo of me with the wonderful, handsome fellow who inspired it all, my beloved Bubba Gump.  The only thing better would be if he could be here to help me celebrate this momentous occasion, but I know he's howling for joy with Daisy at Rainbow Bridge.  


Friday, May 22, 2009

Life imitates art.  These articles on a mini-sub and Tahoe earthquake appeared in the Sacramento Bee recently.  Things I write about in Embarking on Murder, which I dreamed up several years ago, are apparently now a reality. 


Monday, May 18, 2009

A review of Embarking on Murder from Mysterious Reviews Cruiser would drool over :  

Embarking on Murder
A Beanie and Cruiser Mystery

Five Star (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-59414-780-9 (1594147809)
ISBN-13: 978-1-59414-780-7 (9781594147807)
Publication Date: May 2009
List Price: $25.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Some people really go overboard for their anniversary, especially spoiled young Ivy Diggs, who mysteriously vanishes during the Dixie Queen paddle wheeler's crowded Fourth of July dinner cruise on Lake Tahoe. It's also Elsie MacBean's 50th birthday celebration, which almost turns out to be her last when Beanie finds herself embarking not only on a calamitous cruise but a murder investigation.

After overhearing Ivy's angry outburst at her husband moments before her disappearance, Beanie suspects Ivy's drowning may not have been accidental, as is assumed. In Beanie's estimation, anyone who was present at the Diggs' anniversary party could be a possible crime suspect ... and even some who weren't. While casting for clues amid purported sightings of a legendary creature believed to inhabit the lake, Beanie and her sleuthhound Cruiser discover something more sinister is lurking beneath the surface of this mystery surrounding the Lake of the Sky. Ivy Diggs isn't the only one to end up in deep water as Beanie also becomes the target of a killer.

Adagio Teas

Review: Elsie "Beanie" MacBean is celebrating her 50th birthday with her daughter Nona and her good friend Sheriff Skip Cassidy aboard a dinner cruise on Lake Tahoe on the 4th of July, expecting a brilliant display of fireworks at the end of the evening but getting fireworks of a different, and more deadly, kind instead in Embarking on Murder, the third mystery in this series by Sue Owens Wright.

While Beanie is enjoying her meal, another couple, elderly Frank Diggs, his adult children, and his wife of one year Ivy, who just happens to be younger than any of his children, have a loud argument. Ivy is screaming at Frank, demanding a divorce, and otherwise making a scene for all to see. Suddenly the boat seems to run over something, lifting one side up enough to tip over tables and unseating patrons who immediately leave the dining area. Soon after Frank yells that Ivy is missing and he fears she may have fallen overboard. Skip dives into the lake but something yanks on his leg, pulling him down. He manages to free himself, but his pants are in shreds and his leg in need of stitches. Beanie is faced with two puzzling questions: What happened to Ivy? And what was in the water that attacked Skip?

Embarking on Murder takes a creative look at a colossal creature that reportedly lives in the great depths of Lake Tahoe and dubbed "Tessie" by the locals, incorporating it into the plot of the story. If Ivy wasn't on board the cruise ship, she must have fallen overboard. But could she have drowned so quickly, or might she have been pulled under just as Skip was. If so, by what? And what caused the boat to suddenly shift to one side, as if it hit something large underwater or was shoved upward from below? The multiple twists in Embarking on Murder, colorful characters and tense situations, broad humor and the hint of romance between Beanie and Skip, and of course the delightful Cruiser make this a most enjoyable read.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Embarking on Murder and to Breakthrough Promotions for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved


Friday, May 15, 2009

                                                                Bed buddy, Bubba >

Daisy's best trick            

Embarking on Murder, the latest book in the Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series, was released today from Five Star.  I only wish that Bubba (aka Cruiser) was here to  help me celebrate the occasion.  I know he'd be howling for joy, just like when I found out the first book was going to be published.  He and Daisy were both here in my office with me when I opened the e-mail from the publisher.  We were all howling our excitement in unison.  I know they are both with me in spirit today.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

I came close to adopting a basset hound at City Animal Control on Tuesday.  I saw it on their Web site and went down late last week to look at him.  He was coughing and looked so poorly that I worried about his health, so I passed on adopting him.  I haven't forgotten my tragic experience adopting a pup, Bramble, at that facility years ago after losing Dolly.  We barely had time to name him before he died from distemper (after four vets misdiagnosed the disease--a titer test early on might have saved him).  So, once burned, twice shy at the city pound, which always looks nasty to me, compared to the county facility.  

I had forgotten that Bubba didn't look too thrifty, either, when he was in lockdown at the county pound.  He was skin and bone with a huge head atop his rail-thin body, but after a couple of months of TLC he filled out and was so beautiful.   This dog probably just had kennel cough.  All dogs leave shelters with the same affliction, which usually clears up on its own in three weeks.  I went back on Tuesday (the shelter is closed on Mondays, as I remembered after I drove all the way down there again).  I didn't see the little basset in any of the kennels and feared the worst, but then I spotted him out in the get-acquainted area with a young family.  He looked so forlorn and confused, but I thought he looked a lot cuter than the last time I saw him.  It was so strange; when he saw me, it was as though he recognized me, although I know that's impossible.  He'd only seen me once before.  

The child didn't seem to be showing him any attention, and the dog wasn't interested in the kid, either.  I didn't sense a good match there.  I didn't show any interest in him, hoping the family might pass.  I came back later that afternoon and he was back in the pen.  I was prepared to adopt him right then but was told he had already been adopted, by the family that had been there earlier.  I was relieved that at least he got a home and gets to leave the pound.  I said good-bye and wished him a happy life.  Of course, now I'm kicking myself for not taking him home with me when I had the chance.  He seemed like a sweet dog, and he was fairly young.  I guess the reason for my initial hesitation was Bubba's loss is still too fresh after barely two months.  I wish I could find another Bubba, but of course I know that is impossible.  There was only one Bubba, will only ever be one Bubba.    

I'll keep searching the shelters, and when the time is right, the right dog for us will appear. That's how it's always gone before.  You just can't rush these things, but I know Peaches is lonely for a buddy, and the pack seems incomplete without another dog.  

The Power Of The Dog

by Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way 
From men and women to fill our day; 
And when we are certain of sorrow in store, 
Why do we always arrange for more? 
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware 
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy 
Love unflinching that cannot lie-- 
Perfect passion and worship fed 
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head. 
Nevertheless it is hardly fair 
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits 
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits, 
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs 
To lethal chambers or loaded guns, 
Then you will find--it's your own affair--'ve given your heart for a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will, 
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!); 
When the spirit that answered your every mood 
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good, 
You will discover how much you care, 
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way, 
When it comes to burying Christian clay. 
Our loves are not given, but only lent, 
At compound interest of cent per cent. 
Though it is not always the case, I believe, 
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve: 
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong, 
A short-time loan is as bad as a long-- 
So why in Heaven (before we are there) 
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Read my latest interview now posted on the Mysterious People blog: 
My dear Canadian friend and author of award-winning books about dogs, Gail MacMillan, sent this to me.  It's for all you forgotten Dog Moms (like me) out there on Mother's Day who love their four-legged children just as much as other moms love their two-legged ones.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who have children that are bit hairier than others and walk on four paws!

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick dogs in their arms, wiping up barf laced with edible and inedible things and saying 'It's okay, baby, Mommy's here.'

Who have sat on the floor for hours on end soothing dogs who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with dog hair on their suits and poo bags in their purse, coat pocket, pants pocket, and all other pockets.

For all the mothers who make their own dog food and treats.

And all the mothers who DON'T.

This for the mothers who help the new mothers deal with the loss of their litter. And the mothers who help them cope when they are given new homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections consists of ribbons and photos.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns off, sweated gallons, and swatted away bees to watch their precious prance into a ring and achieve 2nd place and then jump around as though they had won best in show.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their dogs in the park and firmly tug the leash to get their attention.
And for all the mothers who count to ten because they realize how animal abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who go to the special pet stores to collect the proper treats, food and toys no matter that it take 3 stops and 50 stoplights.

This is for all the mothers who taught their dogs to sit, come, and stay.

And for all the mothers who opted for sit.

This is for all the mothers who teach their dogs agility and obedience and actually understand that it needs to be FUN!

This is for every mother who automatically sucks in her breath when she can't see a leash on a dog in the non-fenced front yard. 

Then relaxes when she realizes that the dog is sitting on it.

This is for all the mothers who took their dog to the vet assuring them that there would be no needles only to be told they need a blood sample.

For all the mothers whose dog has gone missing and was returned because she had the forethought to have a chip put between its shoulders.

What makes a good Mother anyway?

Is it patience? Compassion? Ever-available treats?

The ability to answer the door, hold back the dog, and deal with a phone call all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart?

Is it the ache you feel when you walk out the door to your job every Monday through Friday knowing that two eyes are boring into your back?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread when you hear the sounds of heaving at 2:00 a.m.?

Years later, the guilt that won't go away when you have no other choice but to put your friend down?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so this is for you all. For all of us...

Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them everyday that we love them. And pray and never stop being a Mom.