Monday, April 28, 2008

Norwich Terrier

Hello, all you dog lovers out there. Let me introduce myself. I’m Macris Labelle Beaumont III. I know you’re saying that’s a mighty fancy name for a little dog that’s less than ten inches high and weighs about twelve pounds. You have to realize that I’m a show dog, and I have a fancy name on my registration papers. Of course I have a call name that friends use, and mine’s Astro, short for Asteroid. The reason my owner gave me that name is because she said there was about as much chance of an asteroid hitting the earth as a dog being born as close to its standard as I was.

I always blushed when I heard her say that because I think she exaggerated a little. Scientists tell us at the current rate of asteroids hitting the earth, we can expect one large impact about ever 100 million years. I doubt if I’m that rare, but at the risk of sounding conceited I am expected to set the dog show world on its ear. That’s me in the picture. How about that stack? Real cool, don’t you think? For those not familiar with dog show lingo, that’s how my handler poses me for the judges to get a good look at me.

I’ve been worried lately that I may not get the chance to strut my stuff in the show ring, because some bad things have been happening at Jordan’s Kennels where I live. Leigh Dennison is the new owner, and that girl knows nothing about dogs. To make matters worse, she has ADD. I heard her tell Blake Cameron that means Attention Deficit Disorder. I have no idea what that means, but I think it has something to do with all the disasters we’ve been having. I hope somebody can get things straightened out before the whole kennel goes to the dogs. (Sorry about that.)

Maybe Sandra Robbins, the author of my story Pedigreed Bloodlines which releases in May from
Heartsong Presents Mysteries, will come to the rescue before it’s too late. She seems like a nice lady—loves dogs. So she can’t be all bad. Sandra, who has four grown children, lives in Tennessee with her husband and dotes on her Yorkshire terrier Belle. . I have a sneaking suspicion that Belle’s living the good life in Tennessee. In fact Sandra used her pet’s name for my mother’s name in the book. That makes me want to roll over and howl with happiness

I know there has to be a lot of you dog lovers out there. I’d really like to hear from you and see if you cater to your pet’s every whim like you should. After all, we are your best friend. Who else gives you unconditional love and never holds a grudge? All we want is plenty to eat and drink, a warm place to sleep, and an occasional pat on the head. Ah, a dog’s life. How sweet it is!


Monday, April 21, 2008

It's the Network...

Hello? Hello?

This ridiculous contraption always makes me sound like I’m talking through a can. Maybe if I whack it…there. Can you hear me now? If so, I need you to pass a message along to my niece, Casey Alexander. It’s of utmost importance. She’s in quite a lot of danger, you see, though she doesn’t even realize it.

I never dreamed, back when strange messages started appearing on my porch, that my disappearance would transfer all of my troubles onto Casey. She’s always been such a good girl—all right, maybe she is a trifle strange, what with her addiction to dime store detective novels. But she’s sharp as a butcher’s cleaver when you run it through a. . .oops. Hehe. I digress.

Anyway, if you would please let Casey know that her Aunt Liddy loves her and that I’m watching over her, I sure would appreciate it. Tell her I’m always close by even though she can’t see me, and that I wish with all my heart I could wrap her up in a great big hug and take her to our secret “spot.”

I know this is a lot to ask, you being a stranger and all. I would tell her myself, but that’s the trouble with being dead, you see. It makes communicating with your loved ones so much more difficult. So, if you could? Help an old girl out?

Thank—oh—well, my line is cutting out again. They sure—make these things like—used to. Anyway, tell Casey that her aunt, Lydia Alexander, said to watch out for—


Elizabeth Ludwig graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hart High School in 1985. She received a scholarship to Michigan State University in 1986 and went on to study English and Journalism. She spent several years learning both music and theater arts, and has performed in numerous community projects. She teaches a College and Career Sunday school class and sings on the praise team at her local church. She is an accomplished speaker and dramatist, having performed before audiences of 1500 and more, at local community groups, and before judges for Forensics Meets across the state of Michigan.

Mrs. Ludwig has written a number of historical books, and two romantic suspense novels including A Walk of Faith, a finalist in ACFW’s 2004 Noble Theme Contest. Other notable accomplishments include two top ten finishes in ACFW’s 2005 Noble Theme Contest, General Historical and Historical Romance categories, respectively. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies, which she co-authored with Janelle Mowery, is scheduled for release in spring of 2008 from Heartsong Presents: Mysteries, an imprint of Barbour Publishing. The sequel, Died in the Wool, is due spring, 2009.

To find out more, visit Elizabeth on the web at

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Letter From Winter Break

Dear Son,

Things sure are strange in Winter Break right now. Bitty Flanagan – do you remember her? She owned Miss Bitty’s Bygone Bookstore? Well, she fell off her old library ladder and died. Now her niece, Ivy Towers, is in town. Looks like Bitty left all her earthly possessions to Ivy, including her bookstore. What was she thinking? I mean, why in the world would a pretty little gal like that want to live in this one horse town? Goodness gracious, we don’t even have a gas station. Just my restaurant, one little grocery store, two churches, a funeral home, and Bitty's bookstore. Not much else to speak of. When Ivy first got here, she said she was planning to bury Bitty, close the store, and leave town. But the funny thing is; she’s still here. And she hasn’t even tried to get rid of that old bookstore. Oh, and Amos Parker sure is hanging around a lot. Him and Ivy used to be close when they were kids. Wonder if Amos wants to rekindle that old flame? You never knew him, Bert. He’s younger than you. He was a rambunctious little kid. He’s a deputy sheriff now. Funny, huh? You know I hear lots of talk at the café…

I sure will be glad when you finally get to see Ruby’s Redbird Café, Bert. You’d love it. Course, it was your idea and all. “Mama,” you used to say, “you’re the best cook in the whole world. You should open your own restaurant.” I make lots of your favorite foods, but people sure seem to like my Redbird Burgers the best. In fact, they keep trying to get my recipe, but I ain’t going to give it to them. No way. I tell folks I may go to my grave clutching the very last Redbird Burger in my cold, dead hand. I don’t really mean it, but it sure gets these people riled up.

Well, guess I wandered away from my main point - what was it? Oh, yeah. What I heard around the café. I guess some folks got it in their heads that Bitty was murdered! Can you believe that? Things like that shouldn’t happen in a town this small. We barely have over six-hundred folks, Bert. Not much more than when you left. Anyway, as I said, things here are strange but a sight more interesting than they’ve been in a long time. I think Amos and Ivy are trying to find out just what happened to Bitty. I hope they get to the truth of the matter. Bitty was a wonderful lady and a good friend. Besides, wondering if there’s a killer running around Winter Break makes me nervous.

Guess that’s about it for now. Not much else to share today, Bert. Lots of snow this year, just like every year. Sure wish someone would figure out why it snows more in this town than any other place in Kansas. Seems odd, but we’re used to it. Remember how much you used to love the snow? Kids still skate on Lake Winter Break. I know you ain’t no kid anymore, Bert. Been over thirty years now since you disappeared. But I keep writing these letters to you. Got hundreds of them, I guess. I hope someday you’ll come home and read them.

That’s all for now. Love you, Son.

Your mother, Ruby Bird.

Nancy Mehl is a long time mystery buff who loves to set her novels in her home state of Kansas. “Some people think of Kansas as rolling plains, wheat fields, and cattle,” she says. “But we’re really much more interesting than that!”

Her new “Ivy Towers Mystery Series” for Barbour includes four novels: “In the Dead of Winter,” “Bye, Bye Bertie,” “For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls,” and “There Goes Santa Claus.” In December, an omnibus book, “Cozy in Kansas,” will be released to the public. It will include the first three Ivy Towers mysteries.

In 2009, her new series, the “Curl Up and Dye Mysteries” will make their appearance. “This promises to be a rather unusual series,” Nancy says. “My protagonist is a hairdresser – to the dearly departed. I’m excited about the stories but a little concerned about the research!”

Besides the Ivy Towers series, Nancy has another novel in print. “Sinner’s Song” is about a serial killer who is stalking homeless people in the heart of Wichita, Kansas. It is a little darker than her cozy books but will be enjoyed by readers who like suspense with a little romance thrown in.

Nancy loves to hear from readers. You can visit her Web site at:, or leave her a message on her blog at

Monday, April 7, 2008

If Post It Notes Could Talk...

Believe it or not, we Post It notes have feelings. We live to have our itch scratched with pen or pencil. Everyone wants to feel needed, right? We’re no different, and I believe we’ve become extremely needed in society. I’ve got to say, though, that one of the scariest parts of fulfilling our role in life is…where in the world will our owners stick us?

Some Post Its have it easy. They get to sit around on a desk waiting to be used as reminders or messages. ‘Don’t forget to phone so and so’. ‘Mr.Whosit called’. Or even something cute like…‘Mom, I’m out of toothpaste and deodorant’ or ‘I love you, darling’. Sometimes they get to leave the house with a simple little list written on them. I must tell you, however, that a sweet friend of mine was taken to the grocery store and saw a dead body in the milk case. Poor dear hasn’t been able to stick to anything since.

Now that I’ve mentioned a dead body, I’ve got to tell you that some of us Post Its get used in much different ways. Take my owner, for instance. Miss Casey Alexander considers herself a savvy sleuth, but she wouldn’t be able to solve a thing if it weren’t for me. She crams me into her purse, painfully bending up my corners, and I live there until she yanks me out to write herself a note. And the notes she writes! Goodness. If my corners weren’t already bent, her messages would certainly make them curl. Murder suspects. Descriptions of dubious characters. Possible methods of foul play. At times it’s almost enough to melt the glue clean off my backside. I hang in there, though. And people have the nerve to call me yellow. I’ll have you know I’m Canary, thank you very much.

But I digress.

The locations Casey places me after writing her messages would make those fancy fluorescent Post Its turn pastel. I’ve been slapped onto windshields, dashboards, even stuck on someone’s face. Then she gathers all of me up and shoves me back into her purse until she needs reminders of the evidence she’s acquired. But I’d do it all again for the sweet Miss Lydia Alexander. Her death was a tragedy, and I would bend over backwards to help Casey solve the mystery of WHERE THE TRUTH LIES.

I do get to carry fun messages…like this one for instance:

Janelle Mowery began writing inspirational stories in 2001 and has since written several historical novels. One of those novels won first place in the San Gabriel Writers’ League ‘Writing Smarter’ Contest in 2005. Two other novels were finalists in ACFW’s Noble Theme Contest.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Janelle now makes her home in southern Texas. She and her husband of nineteen years have two teen sons. She hopes to encourage others and plant seeds of faith through her entertaining stories. Janelle and her family are active members of Sandy Point Bible Church.

Now, back to the business at hand. What about you? What stories could you tell about odd messages you’ve conveyed or weird places you’ve been stuck? Come on. Don’t leave me hanging here by myself. Open up and share your story, because as you know, we Post Its need to stick together.