1. I hear you include pets in your novels. Why do you add them to your books?
I grew up with pets, and I’m a huge fan of all animals, be they furry, feathery, scaly, or leathery. The favorite places I ever visited on my travels were Tanzania and the Galapagos, and that was because of the animals. Okay, so maybe I draw the line at mosquitoes, but I find dogs, ferrets, moose, aardvarks, turkeys, elephants, leopards, even the so-called ickier creatures like snakes and toads fascinating. When my youngest son was 10, I allowed him to have a pet rat. That’s right. A white-and-tan, ultra-friendly hooded rat called Ben. Ben was an extrovert who loved people. The little guy won my heart in spite of the gaping holes in my sofa cushions he gnawed. Hey, it was an old sofa. Ben spent many an hour snuggled up on my lap or shoulder, keeping me company.
Apparently, I’m incapable of writing a book without animals. I’ve tried, but it doesn’t work. They insist on sneaking in. I try not to let the furry creatures steal the scene, but it’s an uphill struggle. Other than the fact that I love animals, I use them in my books to reveal character and move the plot forward. They’re also great to inject humor. In my opinion, a tough alpha-male protagonist is ultra-sympathetic if he has a soft spot for animals.
2. Tell us about your most recent book.
Horsing Around With Murder is a funny, furry cozy mystery set on a dude ranch in the Alberta Foothills. Due to a family emergency, Abby, one of the ranch owners and Chief Financial Officer, is forced to act as event manager and interact with guests and horses. Unfortunately, she’s terrified of horses. Here’s an example of her first confrontation with Alamo, a gentle gelding:
The stable area was bright, airy, and spotless. The stall doors and upper grills were all painted white. Sunbeams poured in from strategically placed skylights and upper windows. Based on the neighing and restless shuffle of hooves, most stalls contained occupants.
“You look kinda green,” Dodie said to me. “You okay?”
“Dandy,” I lied.
She gripped my arm. “Your teeth are chattering.”
“Are not,” I muttered through a clenched jaw.
“You’re terrified. What’s up?”
To my utter humiliation, tears filled my eyes. If Dodie hugged me now, I would start to howl, so I turned and sped down the corridor. The sooner this nightmare ended, the better. Zipping past the first six stalls, I avoided eye contact with the occupants, who shoved massive heads out grill openings.
Every one of those suckers was munching on whatever horses chew when they’re not, say, taking a chunk out of someone’s butt. I’d reached the halfway point when the largest horse in the world whinnied, revealing long, yellow teeth. I skidded to a halt, certain the beast’s eyes shot red sparks. The sign over the stall door proclaimed “Alamo.”
I was about to dart past when Dodie gripped my elbow, preventing escape. “This one seems friendly. Here’s an opportunity for you to master your fear.
As the event manager, Abby has no choice but to accompany guests on a trail ride:
The presence of horse droppings made me bob and weave, detracting from my can-do attitude.
With the help of a mounting block, much undignified straining, and an embarrassing quantity of muscle on Zeke’s part, I found myself on board Alamo, my legs spread to the max. It was a miracle my straining ligaments and tendons didn’t squeal out loud.
“Yowza,” I muttered to Zeke. “I’m relying on you to scrape my remains off the trail.”
His face split in a broad grin. “You’ll be fine.”
Reins clutched in both hands, I said through gritted teeth, “Yeah, peachy.”
Throwing up was out of the question. So was flinging my arms in a death grip around Alamo’s neck. I assured myself I’d get the hang of this horseback-riding thing before long. How hard could it be?
As if reading my mind, Alamo shook his head and started moving. Where were the brakes on this sucker? Stifling a shriek, I used both hands to grip his mane as we ambled along the fence where grass grew long and green. He lowered his head to rip out a clump of grass and came up chomping.
Toward the end of the book, Abby’s attitude toward horses has softened:
A firm nudge against my shoulder made me yelp. Grabbing a fence post for support, I found myself nose-to-nose with Alamo. He whickered a greeting.
“Aw, gimme a break,” I whispered, scooting away.
The horse ambled alongside me.
I stopped walking to give him a long look. “So we’re friends, are we?”
Alamo gazed at me, his eyes liquid with adoration.
My heart softened. I stuck out a hand and rubbed his nose. “I’ve gotta go, fella, but I appreciate the support.”
He blew out a snort, as if saying, “No problem,” before giving a final nudge and clip-clopping away.
Here is the back cover blurb of Horsing Around With Murder:
Abby, Dodie, and Clara Foster, three 60-something sisters, are astonished to find they’ve inherited a dude ranch in the Alberta Foothills. Facing financial ruin due to extensive property upgrades, the sisters decide to host a week-long horse breeding symposium to attract more guests during the off-season.
Hours into the symposium, a sudden death appears accidental. When the Mounties dismiss Abby’s suspicion of murder, she convinces Dodie and a hot cowboy to help conduct a covert investigation without alerting their quirky guests.
Problem is, the guests are their main suspects.
Chaos ensues when the senior sleuths tangle with a runaway stud, a hands-on artificial insemination demo, one seriously amorous gelding (yes, it does happen), a llama on the lam, dwarf goats in the swimming pool, a cranky stallion, drug abuse, sabotage, animal rights activism, and more attempted murders. A late-life romance adds to the complications.
Warning: This book may contain inappropriate boomer humor.
3. Tell us about your kudos or reviews.
Reviews like these for Horsing Around With Murder stimulate my creativity and fuel my willingness to write another book:
“5.0 out of 5 stars – This Book is a Delight – This is the first book I’ve read by this author and it was a delight. The suspense and laugh out loud moments keep the reader riveted to the page. The author masterfully blends humor and mystery to create an extremely fun read. The two things I took away from the book are: Don’t mess with senior citizens and take a pass if you’re ever offered a Super-Deluxe Fat Buster Thigh ‘n’ Butt Toner.”
“Horsing Around with Murder is a really good read – I laughed so hard in a few places that I couldn’t read for the tears rolling down my face. The author’s sense of humour is addictive and her twists and turns keep you guessing what is going to happen next. Look forward to reading more of her books. Truly enjoyable!”
“A Must Read If You Love Cozies!!! – Horsing Around with Murder by Maureen Fisher is a perfect example of a cozy! It’s got it all. Characters that are so life-like you’d like them for your own friends, the hilarious, wry, and naughty humor of people comfortable in their own skin that make you laugh out loud, and a story so well-crafted it will keep you guessing as to who dun it!
Thanks to the heroine Abby Foster, her sister Dodie, and a cast of eccentric characters including Chef Armand whose food sounds to die for, and of course, one hot guy called Zeke, the story just zings along at a wicked pace.”
“A Wonderful Romp! – It is a joy to read a book where the stars are 60+ women! I found sisters Abby, Dodie and Clara to be refreshing main characters that were well fleshed out and very believable women who were comfortable in their own skin … Maureen Fisher has created a warm and funny novel that fairly zips along and only resolves when you reach the point where you believe everyone done it! I look forward to the next in this series!”
4. What other books have you written?
I call my other books romantic suspense with heat, heart, and humor. All are on Kindle Unlimited.
Fur Ball Fever (The Fever Series, Book 1)
A pet spa owner loses her client’s prize pooch. Too bad the only man qualified to help is a former flame with his own agenda. Add an aging hippie aunt, renegade schnauzer, and a dominatrix or two to spice things up. Non-stop action bounces from beached corpses to fancy yachts and a raunchy Jersey Shore nightclub. Hazards soon multiply like bunnies, culminating in a second chance at love and a Fur Ball gala the locals will never forget.
“It entertains, it heals, it delivers a message.”
“… hilarious, moving, and sexy.”
“Romance, mystery & dogs with personality, all wrapped up with humor.”
For an excerpt, a buy link, and reviews: http://booksbymaureen.com/my-books/fur-ball-fever-2/
Cold Feet Fever (The Fever Series, Book 2)
One for the Money with steamy romance meets The Sopranos. A bad boy gambler and a mortician-turned-event-planner find romance while overcoming obstacles such as a goofy dog, ruthless thugs, exploding trucks, an eccentric granddaddy, disappearing corpses, an unfortunate synchronized swimming episode, and the threat of live cremation.
“An exciting novel that left me doubled over in laughter”
“a wonderful hilarious comedy … a warm and enjoyable read”
“I only stopped reading last night because my husband turned the lights out on me!”
For the buy link: http://booksbymaureen.com/my-books/cold-feet-fever/
The Jaguar Legacy
Romance, suspense, and adventure explode in the steamy Mexican jungle when a journalist’s past lifetime invades the present in unimaginable ways. Award-winning The Jaguar Legacy deals with themes of karma and reincarnation, love and loyalty, betrayal and redemption.
“…magnificent characters and scenarios.”
“An intricately woven tale of mystery, romance and occult. Definitely a keeper.”
“The ending really does give you goosebumps.”
For an excerpt, a buy link, and reviews: http://booksbymaureen.com/my-books/the-jaguar-legacy-2/
5. Where can readers learn more about your books and connect with you online?
Please feel free to keep in touch with me using the following links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Maureen-Fisher/e/B005EOLB1Y
6. Before you go, would you please tell us a little about yourself.
After spending eons in the I.T. consulting world, I live with my husband in Ottawa, Canada’s beautiful capital city, where I write fresh and funny novels featuring romance, mystery, suspense, and always an animal or two. I’m also a besotted grandma, a voracious reader, the Gardening & Landscaping Coordinator for our community, an avid bridge player, yoga enthusiast, seeker of personal and spiritual growth, pickleball player, and infrequent but avid gourmet cook. My husband and I love to hike, bicycle, and travel. I’ve swum with sharks in the Galapagos, walked with Bushmen in the Serengeti, sampled lamb criadillas (don’t ask!!!) in Iguazu Falls, snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef, ridden an elephant in Thailand, watched the sun rise over Machu Picchu, and bounced from Johannesburg to Cape Town on a bus named Marula.
Marcia James: Thank you, Maureen, for stopping by my Go Pets! blog! I look forward to reading your books!
READER INVITATION: Want to win a FREE ebook? Visitors to this pro-pet blog can join in the fun and share photos of their pets for a chance to win one of my ebooks! Each month, I’ll randomly pick one of the pet photos to win and to feature on my social media pages and in my reader newsletter. To leave a comment and a photo, click on the word “Reply,” which is just below the social media icons for THIS interview. (Don’t scroll past this interview to the next interview.) Go Pets!