Pets in Stories
by J. M. Griffin
by J. M. Griffin
As a kid, I lived in rural Maine with my parents, three much older siblings, and a Beagle. The dog, Waggles, was my never-ending, faithful pal who tramped through the woods alongside me, chased anything that moved, and would bay at four-legged creatures, no matter what they were. She was my pal, my partner in crime, and never once did I have to worry that she’d “tell on me” if I did something I wasn’t supposed to.
So, what does this mean in the grand scheme of writing? It means that I love to toss a pet into my stories, whether it be a cat or dog. No horses, yet, but who knows? One may make it into a story line somewhere in my travels. When the haying season was in full swing, our neighbors didn’t have the fabulous machinery that’s available now. Instead, huge wagons were pulled by Canadian Chunks, a horse similar to a Clydesdale. I used to ride those huge beasts bareback, and hold on for dear life. Something I’d never dare take on now, but back then, I was game for it.
Back to pets in books, though. Every time I write, I get the urge to stick a cat or dog into the story as a protector, a friend to be counted on, or as someone for the character to talk to when her life becomes fraught with too much danger, romance, or foolishness. I enjoy reading novels that include pets, too, as long as they are a major player in the theme of things.
I’ve often wondered how much readers enjoy a novel with a pet in it. Some of my readers let me know, sometimes they add their two cents on the subject to a review, which is kind of nice. Let me know what you think of pets in books, I’m interested in your opinion.
Meet Melina Cameron. Baker extraordinaire and killer crouton maker.
When Franklin Seever, the father of Melina’s best friend BettyJo, is poisoned from eating Melina’s fresh baked croutons at a dinner party, a police investigation once again targets Melina.
But Melina has learned her lesson after finding her landlady lying in a pool of blood, and with a crusty piece of bread protruding from her mouth, just a few months ago. If there is one thing Melina is aware of, it’s that you never really know people until you break bread with them.
BettyJo’s dad, a wealthy banker, already disliked Melina before the crouton calamity. What’s he going to think of her now that his life is hanging in the balance? Out of the bread pan and into the fire for Melina as she tries to keep BettyJo from freaking out about her dad, and engages in keeping her safe from a weirdo stalker.
And wouldn’t you know it? Just when Melina’s life couldn’t get more twisted than a loaf of braided bread, the sexy Scotsman, Aidan Sinclair once again arrives on her doorstep with a smile on his face and an offer that could change Melina’s life forever.
J.M. Griffin/Dana Stone grew up in rural Maine. She relocated to Rhode Island and lives in the north western part of the state with her husband and two cats. J.M.'s first published novel For Love of Livvy, began a series of humorous mysteries featuring Lavinia "Vinnie" Esposito. J.M. has also written a romance under the pseudonym Dana Stone.
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