Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Elle Druskin: Going to the Dogs

Please welcome contemporary romance author Elle Druskin, a nursing professor who has had the good fortune to travel the world and live in several countries. Some of the travels included her children and her dog, a Westie who knows who rules the roost! Elle's To Catch series (To Catch A Cop and To Catch A Crook) have both been nominees for Best Romantic Comedy of 2010 and 2011 from The Romance Review

"I never plan to write a humorous story," says Elle, "but things kind of evolve along the way and I end up with a bit of lunacy. What strikes me as funny might not be to other people, so I always send the final manuscript to a couple of readers before I submit. If they don't wet their pants laughing, I revise. That doesn't happen often.  I am personally responsible for those bladder accidents <g> so thanks to those devoted readers who provide that important feedback. Who doesn't need a good laugh along with a romance or mystery?"
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Did you ever have a bad day? Bad week? Bad everything? Feel that your life is going to the dogs? You can commiserate with Detective Sam Kendall. A good cop, never done anything wrong. Hard working. Dedicated. Not much of a social life. A few dates, some laughs but no serious involvements with women. Sam knows better. The only woman he truly cares about is his partner Chris. When Chris is killed during her investigation of diamond thefts, Sam is honor bound to her family to find the killer whatever the cost.

This all sounds pretty straight forward, nothing humorous or romantic but there’s a slight catch; Sam gets to investigate the theft and the murder but he’s assigned a new partner—Vanilla. Dog-hating Sam is stuck with a poodle who has less than impeccable police skills.

Vanilla lives for junk food-snatches and grabs French fries faster than Carl Lewis sprinting over the finish line. In between the snatch and grab, Vanilla croons country music tunes. About the only thing Sam and Vanilla have in common is their devotion to the New York Yankees. Pretty soon, Sam’s life is going to the dogs, in more ways than one, especially when he sets out to investigate chief suspect, Jodie McBride, New York’s top dog trainer and handler.

Pretty soon, Sam is feeding Jodie a pack of lies bigger than Vanilla’s appetite, corralling hysterical dog owners and their eccentric pooches, like Addison The Geek and his chronically depressed basset hound, Timmy, and Harrison, the wrestler and his equally aggressive Staffie. Most of all, Sam wants to corral Jodie, the cutest woman he’s ever seen and he’s desperate to prove she’s innocent. Is it any wonder Sam is Going To The Dogs?

I wrote Going To The Dogs mostly to please myself. I’ve always been a dog owner, still have a little Westie who travels the world with me and currently resides in Honolulu where you meet your dog’s flight at the Quarantine Station at the airport. No quarantine for him, thankfully, but the folks who work there know they are dealing with frantic pet owners and have a lot of patience. Most of the owners waiting with me had leis for their arriving pets—I kid you not. One woman had a dog biscuit lei and another had a canine life vest because she told me they were going kayaking at Hawaii Kai as soon as they left the airport. Talk about going to the dogs!

After years of owning and occasionally showing dogs it seemed a natural step to use those experiences in a book. And believe me, I have met wonderful people at dog shows. Some of them are lifelong friends but I’ve also met some pretty strange owners, handlers, judges and dogs over the years. It’s also a given that the dogs in this book might be a bit smarter than the humans when it comes to romance; they know a good thing when they see it. It’s Vanilla to the rescue along with a few other doggie friends. They’re going to catch a crook and make sure Sam and Jodie catch each other and get their happily ever after.

Having a dog as a chief character, and Vanilla certainly knows he’s the important character in this story, worked for me. I don’t suggest any writer should toss in animals, although I seem to do that. (Another contemporary romance, Animal Crackers, is due out later this year from MuseItUpPublishing with a lot of exotic animal characters). Sometimes the animals can teach the humans a few important lessons, especially the importance and joy of unconditional love, and accepting faults since nobody is perfect. Isn’t that part of a great romance?

In these books, the animals are integral; they serve as examples or catalysts that drive the hero and heroine together. Plus, they can do things that humans can’t. Mostly, they give me a chance as a writer to have some fun with their antics. In Animal Crackers, one of the characters is a parrot who has some rather choice language. Okay, he was formerly owned by a Madame in Nice and swears in French. That tickled me and I have to hope it gives readers a laugh too, the same as Vanilla.

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If anyone would like to read more about Globetrotting with my Westie or want some tips on international travel with dogs, they can e-mail me and I will send them a free PDF file.  The address is:

They can also check out my website for free downloadable bookmarks, recipes, and my Around The World Beach Blog. All beaches are personally checked out by me and I’m off to Waikiki in a few minutes since it’s a gorgeous day here in Honolulu. Yes, I will try to check out the dog friendly beaches here but not during Spring Break with college students running around all over the place. I hope you will enjoy Going To The Dogs and the upcoming Animal Crackers!

Elle
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Going to the Dogs / E-book Available from

11 comments:

  1. Sounds like a lot of fun, even thought I'm one of those cat persons. I write comedy too, but I'm going to have to work harder on bladder incidents for my readers.

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    1. Hi from someone with three Tonkinese cats, Charlotte. The cover of your new 'Fairy Godmother' book is a dead giveaway that you write comedy :-) It looks like a fun read. Thanks for visiting Elle today!

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    2. Sorry it has taken so long to respond, having some trouble with the replies (no idea why, naturally ) and the time difference.
      I'm not a cat person, if I were, they would appear in the books and there are occasional cats too when they fit. (There is a cat named Rover in Animal Crackers). Humor is hard, what makes me laugh may not do the same for others although I hope so, but then again, I laugh at myself harder than anyone else! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. What a fun story! I love humor and write a lot in my stories as well. Congratulations on a job well done.

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    1. Great to see you here, Vicki. Thanks for stopping by to support Elle. All the best with your writing!

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    2. Thanks for stopping by Vicki and also thanks again to Pat for hosting. Having a hard time responding, I keep getting redirected but we all know, persistence pays!
      If you can make 'em laugh, it's fantastic. We all need laughter in our lives!

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  3. That sounds like a fun read, Elle - my daughter and I like Westies, though I haven't had a dog since a child!

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    1. Maybe it's time to look into acquiring a Westie or two, Rosemary. I'd have a dog, if I could. One of my cats thinks he's a dog, and that will have to do for now. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Love having paw prints all over the blog. Will keep an eye out for Animal Crackers. Good luck to you and your writing, Elle!

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  5. Well, to be honest, I've had Westies for more years than I can count and consistently, they ALL know who's important. The breed standard says they have no small amount of self-esteem. Notice, no small amount! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Yep Pat, paw prints all over the place! My editor told me after reading the book she thought about getting a dog--and this after reading about some very poorly behaved ones! I do hope readers have fun with the book, it's meant for fun, a laugh, and that's it. I know I had fun with it and some of my former friends from the showdog world told me they howled like the dogs but with laughter over some of the antics so I guess that is good!

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