Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Cynthia Baxter | Confessions of a Mystery Writer . . . Er, Travel Writer
Uncategorized / March 25, 2009

We’re all entitled to an obsession or two, aren’t we? One of mine is travel. I suppose it’s because I spent my childhood in the backseat of a car with my sister and grandmother – often a Volkswagen bug – with my parents in the front seat, acting as pilot and co-pilot. School vacation was synonymous with road trip. Since my father was an English teacher in a neighboring school district, he usually had the same days off that we kids did – and so off we’d go. Our home was on Long Island, in the suburbs of New York, which was a great starting point for traveling all over the eastern half of the United States. The five of us explored New England, Florida, and just about every state in between. (Eastern Canada, too.) We saw the big cities like Boston, Philadelphia, and Montreal; historic towns like Williamsburg, Virginia, and Salem, Massachusetts; and places that were just plain fun like Hershey, Pennsylvania, and St. Petersburg, Florida. In fact, Florida was a favorite destination for spring vacations. The drive took about three days, including stops at every Stuckey’s and Horne’s we passed along the way (a blast from the past…

Blaize Clement | Why Pets Are In the Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series
Uncategorized / January 31, 2008

The first time somebody asked why my Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series includes pets, I was a little taken aback. I mean, Dixie Hemingway is a pet sitter, for gosh sake, so there had to be pets. But when I thought about it, I realized it had been my choice to make the pets equal in importance to the human characters. Not with human characteristics or psychic abilities or super strength, but just regular pets like regular people have. So I gave it some thought, and finally came up with an answer. Every culture has mythic tales of a golden age when humans and animals lived as friends. In The Illiad, when a warrior was killed, his horse hung his head and wept. In The Ramayana, an army of brave monkeys rescued Princess Sita from an evil kidnapper. When the Buddha left his father’s palace to seek enlightenment, his horse wept too, when he had to return to the palace alone. And then there’s that serpent in the Garden of Eden who told Eve the truth about eating of the tree of knowledge. In all those old stories, animals represented wisdom and courage and loyalty, and the friendship between humans and…

Clea Simon | Kitty Cornered
Uncategorized / January 4, 2008

What is scarier than losing your pet? Okay, I guess I should have put that question in context. There are many things scarier than losing your pet. Losing your child or your spouse. Losing your own life. Colonoscopies. Spiders. But for me, for a period of about two months last year, I had to face one of my own particular fears. What’s worse, I had to make that fear come to life for my heroine, Theda Krakow, her pampered and beloved housecat, Musetta, and for any reader out there.You see, I was working on what became my third Theda Krakow mystery, “Cries and Whiskers,” and I wanted to ratchet up the tension and suspense. But it had to be on my terms – for my readers. And my readers love their pets. So although I have long promised my readers that I would never hurt or kill any animals in my books (humans don’t count), I needed to put Musetta at risk. I needed to have her disappear into a blinding winter storm. And I needed on suspicious phone call to hint that maybe that disappearance wasn’t entirely voluntary. So what’s the problem? Well, Musetta is based on my own…