Dog Blog

Wednesday, May 04, 2011













Mariah





Today I'm pleased to host a virtual book tour for my friend and fellow mystery author, Jean Henry Mead. Her latest book is Murder on the Interstate. She also features a dog in her Logan and Cafferty Mystery Series.

Here is her essay about her life spent in the company of dogs and how they influenced her career.


Mysterious Dogs

by Jean Henry Mead

Cats are usually associated with mystery novels, but dogs find their way into mine, from Bert, a retired police dog in Diary of Murder, to Miranda, an Australian Shepherd, who chews furniture in my first children’s novel, Mystery of Spider Mountain.

I’ve always had at least one canine in residence since Brenda, a small bulldog that I shared with four younger brothers. The list grew to include a large variety of mixed breeds, one of who was named Brillo, because the lovable terrier resembled a scrubbing pad with legs. He once jumped with muddy feet into a car full of white-habited nuns, but that’s another (embarrassing) story.

Then there was Prince, a small mixed breed, who learned to dig under a wooden fence to roam the neighborhood. In a matter of months there were a number of puppies in our area that closely resembled him. When I had him neutered, Prince literally disowned me for quite some time.

For a while, we raised Shetland Sheep dogs. The Sheltie is a beautiful, hyper breed that resembles miniature black and white collies, which I’ve always longed to own. We then adopted C.J., whose kennel name was Countess Juanita de Sangria because she came from New Mexico’s Sangria Mountain area. A lovely cocker spaniel, she contracted cancer at the age of 12, and we drove her to the Colorado Veterinary Teaching Hospital every five weeks for chemotherapy. She did quite well for 18 months until we lost her. And as all pet owners know, it was heartbreaking.

We then adopted Mariah, an Australian Shepherd, who served as the model for Miranda, the Hamilton Kids’ furniture chewing dog in Spider Mountain. Mariah only chewed the legs of our new dining room suite and has an almost human quality about her. She’s the only dog that ever owned me who can out-stare me. Most canines will look away after five or six seconds, but Mariah can hold her stare for a full minute without blinking. It makes me wonder whether she’s an incarnated ancestor.

Dogs all have distinct personalities and quirks of their own, which can be successfully incorporated into novels. Although Bert, my retired German Shepherd police dog, appears in the second novel of my Logan & Cafferty mystery suspense series, he’s only mentioned in my new release, Murder on the Interstate, because my two 60-year-old feisty women sleuths were visiting a friend with six cats. That could have generated plenty of conflict but would have detracted from the book’s main theme of homegrown terrorism. But you can be sure that Bert will be bailed out of his kennel in my fourth mystery novel, Magnets for Murder.

Jean Henry Mead has written and published 14 books of fiction and nonfiction. She’s also an award-winning photojournalist. Her novels are generously sprinkled with humor and light romance.

Leave a comment and be eligible to win one of three copies of Murder on the Interstate in a drawing May 28.

The book is now available at Amazon.com.

19 Comments:

  • At 2:35 PM, Blogger Jean Henry Mead said…

    Thanks for hosting me on your great doggie blog, Sue. I'm a fan of your Beanie and Cruiser series and look forward to your next novel.

     
  • At 2:36 PM, Blogger Jean Henry Mead said…

    Thank you for hosting me on your great dog blog, Sue. I'm a fan of your Beanie and Cruiser mystery series and look forward to your next novel.

     
  • At 3:17 PM, Blogger jrlindermuth said…

    I've only ever had one cat. And she, like my ex-wife, did not last. Dogs, on the other hand, always have been a part of my life. I don't have one at the moment, but I do have four grand-dogs.
    It's obvious from this blog you love your dogs. I like how you give them roles in your books.

     
  • At 3:36 PM, Blogger Judy Alter said…

    Jean, is Mariah an Aussie? Looks like she has a lot of Aussie in her. I have an aging Aussie who doesn't realize he's getting older. But he's beautiful, sweetest disposition ever, in some ways incorrigible--but then I didn't rescue him until he was three and a half.

     
  • At 7:20 PM, Blogger Jean Henry Mead said…

    JR,

    Dogs are the msot wonderful creatures on earth and I love them dearly. They are so loving and forgiving that they deserve the title "Man's best friend<' (and woman's). I hope you adopt your own dog soon.

     
  • At 7:23 PM, Blogger Jean Henry Mead said…

    Yes, Judy, Mariah is an Aussie with a very sweet disposition too. She can also be incorrigible when she wants something. We rescued her at three months and she owns us heart and soul. :)

     
  • At 7:43 PM, Blogger Marilynne said…

    My neighbor Annie has Australian Shepherds. They are beautiful, loyal and loving. Hers likes to ride with her when she races in her dinghy.

    I can tell you love yours.

     
  • At 8:05 PM, Blogger Sue said…

    Thanks, Jean. I'm happy to be hosting your virtual book tour and look forward to reading Murder on the Interstate. What a great idea for authors to go blogging on the information highway to promote their books. Sure saves a lot of gas in a time when it's nearly $5.00 a gallon.

     
  • At 9:01 PM, Blogger Jean Henry Mead said…

    I suer do, Marilynne. I'd be lost without her. Thanks for stopping by.

     
  • At 9:09 PM, Blogger Jean Henry Mead said…

    Thank you, Sue, for hosting my tour. You're right about saving money on gas (diesel in our case, which is even higher). The Internet not only brings the worldwide community together, it promotes out books in nearly every nook and cranny of the planet. I love getting fan mail from other countries. :)

     
  • At 1:15 AM, Blogger Susan Alison said…

    Mariah is such a fab looking dog! I haven't had the pleasure of meeting an Aussie (is she an Aussie?) but a lot of my online friends have them, so I've heard about them a lot and drooled over photos. I have Border Collies which, from all I've heard, seem to be Aussies in a black and white coat, or maybe Aussies are Border Collies in a merle/lovely pearl/grey coat. Anyway, I'd better take mine out and throw things for them before they sulk...

     
  • At 7:27 AM, Blogger Cheryl said…

    Great article, Jean. I added it to your tour page this morning.

    I've had one dog, but at least 8 cats. I'm allergic to all of them. :) Pets definitely make a difference in our lives. I can't imagine our home without them.

     
  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger Arletta Dawdy said…

    Jean,
    Your gifts are many and dogs are clearly so large a part of your life that they easily wiggle their way into your writing. Fun!
    Arletta

     
  • At 9:54 AM, Blogger Carola said…

    I took my Trillian (mostly border collie) on a road-trip signing. If anyone's interested, I blogged about it here:
    http://damesofdialogue.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/interstate-5-here-i-come-again-carola-dunn/
    and here:
    http://murderousmusings.blogspot.com/2011/05/its-dogs-life.html

     
  • At 7:32 PM, Blogger Jean Henry Mead said…

    Susan, yes Mariah is an Australian Shepherd with a mind of her own. I'm plannning to get a Collie puppy this summer as a companion for her.

    Cheryl,

    I can't imagine being allergic to my pet(s). How awful!

     
  • At 7:32 PM, Blogger Jean Henry Mead said…

    Susan, yes Mariah is an Australian Shepherd with a mind of her own. I'm plannning to get a Collie puppy this summer as a companion for her.

    Cheryl,

    I can't imagine being allergic to my pet(s). How awful!

     
  • At 7:34 PM, Blogger Jean Henry Mead said…

    Arleta,

    I have a plaque on my wall that says: "Heaven is the place where all the dogs youve ever loved come to greet you." That pretty much says it all. :)

     
  • At 7:36 PM, Blogger Jean Henry Mead said…

    Carola,

    You also have a lovely dog who travels so well with you. I'm in awe of all the driving to signing parties that you do and such long distances.

     
  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger Carola said…

    Jean, I just wish I had time/energy/money to cover more than the west coast. I hate turning down mystery bookstores back east that would like me to come. Can't do everything!

     

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