Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fido and Friend in Five: Linda Johnston, Lexie and Mystie!

Linda O. Johnston
Hounds Abound
Linda O. Johnston is on a mission: to raise awareness about pet rescue. Like many of us, her love for her dogs (and their love for her, of course) has influenced her writing. Much of her fiction involves animals--shapeshifters in her paranormal romances and real animals in her mysteries. But Linda also walks the walk. She volunteers at Pet Orphans of Southern California as a "dog adoption counselor." As she says on her website, "Researching and writing about pet rescues has become my passion." And here's a really cool thing: her mystery series publisher, Penguin Group, has chosen Linda to participate in their "Read Humane Program." Berkley Prime Crime (Penguine Group) has donated a substantial amount of money to the Humane Society of the United States Animal Rescue Team. Books chosen by this "Read Humane" program get a special Read Humane seal  and special store displays. Very, very cool.

When she's not writing (and Linda is one prolific writer!) and playing with her gorgeous pups, Linda also works as a transactional lawyer writing contracts. Talk about using both sides of your brain! Let's meet this amazing woman and her lovely Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in today's Fido and Friend in Five:

1. How did you and your dogs find each other?
Guardian Wolf
Lexie & Mystie
We found our current dogs, Lexie and Mystie, at breeders. They’re Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and I fell in love with the breed decades ago on my first trip to London when I saw a woman with a couple of Cavaliers on the London Underground. When I returned to the United States I really had to hunt to find Cavaliers, since they were a rare breed back then. But I’m not the only one to love them, and now they’re a whole lot more popular--and available--now. Panda was my first Cavalier, and Lexie and Mystie are my seventh and eighth. And yes, I write Pet Rescue Mysteries now for Berkley Prime Crime and am now much more attuned to rescuing needy animals. I want Lexie and Mystie to live forever, but if I ever decide I need a new pet there are Cavalier rescue organizations that I’ll try first.

2. What makes Lexie and Mystie's tails wag?
Lexie says, "Obey me!"
Having my husband Fred and me obey their commands. Lexie likes to have our front door open so she can watch the world through our wrought iron gate, and Mystie loves for us to kick her squeaky balls. Both give us orders when they want to go outside or want treats. I love watching their tails wag so I’m likely to follow their orders. I also like it when their tails thump a rhythm on the wall or floor when they wag decisively.

3. What's your all time favorite dog story?
Can’t name just one. First of all, my favorites are my own Pet Rescue Mysteries, and the predecessor Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series. I also enjoy some, but not all, books in the dogs’ point of view, such as The Art Of Racing In The Rain, by Garth Stein, and Spencer Quinn’s Dog On It. In fact, I like most books where dogs play a major role.

4. If Lexie and Mystie could change just one thing about you, what would that be?
They’d want me to be at their bark and call even more frequently--all the time!

5. In five words, tell us what Lexie and Mystie mean to you:
I’m a cynophilist; they’re family!
We're family!

Confession: I had to look up cynophilist. It means a dog fancier. Guess I'm one too! Thanks so much to Linda and her pups for visiting with Fido and Friend in Five. You can find out all kinds of cool things about Linda and her books on her website and her blog!


  1. Bobbie:
    I am so glad I've added your blog to my list. I was excited to read this post today. Thank you for introducing me to Linda and her beautiful dogs. Now I have some new titles to add to my pile, too.

    1. Thanks so much for following! Linda's books--particularly her mysteries--are really popular at the library where I work. And who can resist those covers :)

    2. Thanks to both of you. My dogs and I are blushing. :)

  2. I've loved all of your books, Linda. I'm a huge dog lover (and whatever that $10 word was that you used.) : ) Your Cavaliers look gorgeous. And Bobbie the cover of your book The Dogs of Winter reminds me of my lovely Nikki (an Akita) who passed last August.

  3. Linda, your dogs are precious. As you know, we lost our lovable Mastiff a few weeks ago. We have been looking at rescue Matiffs, but I think a Mastiff puppy may be in my future (just not too soon).

  4. What a great blog, ladies. Isn't it amazing how our pets train us? Bobbie, your covers remind me of my mother's former dog Cleo, and Linda I've read your books and I' not surprised at all they're popular in the library.

    How cool to have your publisher (especially in these hard times) take up the cause of helping animals.

  5. Loved reading about your dog family members. Here's to the pets that enrich our lives and make us better people for knowing and loving them.

  6. Thanks, Robena. Cynophilists rule! And ongoing hugs for your loss of Nikki.

    More hugs to you, too, Carol. Be sure to let us know when you're letting a new pup into your life.

    I was absolutely thrilled to be chosen as part of Read Humane, Kathy. I'm enjoying reading here about how dogs on covers remind us of real ones in our lives!

    I definitely agree with you, Maria. Pets are certainly important to me, in case you didn't notice. :)

  7. Thanks for all the great comments!