Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson here, for the first of a series of blogs plugging the next Liss MacCrimmon mystery, The Scottie Barked at Midnight, and offering, at the end of this post, a chance to win an advance reading copy of that book.
I have to confess, I’m not really a dog person. It’s not that I don’t like dogs. It’s just that I get on better with cats. That said, there have been two memorable dogs in my life.
Skippy, a fox terrier, came into the family about a year before I did. It was touch and go at first whether he’d accept me, but I apparently won him over. Thanks to my mother’s nursing, he survived two strokes and lived to the ripe old age of eighteen. He and Spot, the cat who joined the family when I was ten and Skippy was eleven must have reached some kind of agreement about living arrangements. I don’t ever remember seeing them fight.
Fast forward to age thirty or so. My husband and I had bought a house. For the first time, we had room enough for a dog. We already had two cats, soon to be three, later to be four. Looking back, we probably gave the poor dog an inferiority complex by naming him Not-a-cat, but we pronounced it Na-TAK-it, so perhaps he never realized. He was a mutt, maybe with a little retriever, maybe a hint of huskie. Who knows? He was a good dog, and he lived with us from puppyhood to the pretty good age of fifteen. He loved being outside, no matter how cold it got. He had a doghouse and blankets, but he preferred to pretend he was a sled-dog and sleep on top of the snow, letting more snow fall on top of him until he was completely covered. According to our vet, it was healthier for him to stay outside all the time than to go in and out in cold weather. Certainly, he thrived on Maine’s winters.
As for the cats, Not-a-cat really really wanted them to like him. They never did. In fact, the old lady of the group, Jeremiah (yes, I know it’s a male name—we’ve never gone along gender lines when naming pets) got a real kick out of chasing him whenever they met. No matter that he was three or four times her size! As for Smokey, the cat we inherited from my parents when they moved to Florida, just let’s say that the relationship remained cool.
What does this have to do with The Scottie Barked at Midnight, the Liss MacCrimmon mystery in stores on the 27th of this month? Two things. One was that I had some understanding of dog/cat dynamics. The other was that I knew I needed to consult an expert on Scottish terriers, since I was going to use two of them, Dandy and Dondi, in the story. Fortunately, the reader who emailed me in 2012 to suggest that Scotties might make a good addition to the Liss MacCrimmon series was willing to help out. What made her an expert, you ask? That’s easy—she shares her home with no fewer than four Scotties, shown below, and is active in the Rocky Mountain Scottish Terrier Club’s Scottie Rescue program, an organization that helps find loving homes for Scotties.
And now, as promised, an opportunity to win an ARC of The Scottie Barked at Midnight. I have three of them left to give away. To enter, just make a comment on this post any time between now and October 12. I’ll draw three names and contact the winners for their snail mail addresses. That means they will have the chance to read this book nearly two weeks before launch date. Good luck!
Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett is the author of over fifty books written under several names. She won the Agatha Award in 2008 for best mystery nonfiction for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2014 in the best mystery short story category for “The Blessing Witch.” Currently she writes the contemporary Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries (The Scottie Barked at Midnight) as Kaitlyn and the historical Mistress Jaffrey Mysteries as Kathy (Murder in the Merchant’s Hall). The latter series is a spin-off from her earlier “Face Down” series and is set in Elizabethan England. Her websites are www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com