Unlucky Charms Debuts

We don’t usually post on Mondays, but we have a guest post by author Linda O. Johnston that is fitting for this time of the year. Now, don’t get nervous, but it’s October and getting close to Halloween and the post is about superstition mysteries!

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Thank you, Writers in Residence.  I’m delighted to be blogging here.  In case you can’t tell, I enjoy blogging, including guest blogging.

It’s October, the month of Halloween.  Halloween is full of superstitions.   It’s a great time for the debut of my third Superstition Mystery, Unlucky Charms.


My Superstition Mysteries feature Rory Chasen, a pet lover who managed a pet store in Los Angeles… till she came to Destiny, California.  Destiny is all about superstitions, and Rory headed there when her fiancé died after walking under a ladder.  No, the ladder didn’t fall on him, but he was hit by a car soon afterward.  Did the two interconnect?  Did he die thanks to the effect of the superstition?  Rory wants to know.

And when she first gets to Destiny with her dog Pluckie, she learns that black and white dogs are good luck, especially if you’re going to a business meeting.  Pluckie saves the life of Martha Jallopia, who owns the Lucky Dog Boutique.  Martha then asks Rory to stay in Destiny and manage the shop.

That story is in the first Superstition Mystery, Lost Under a Ladder–in which Martha becomes a murder suspect and Rory has to help her in that, too, by trying to clear her.  In book two, Knock on Wood, Rory’s bff Gemma Grayfield comes to  Destiny to be with Rory–and she’s the next one to become a murder suspect.


Here, in book three, Unlucky Charms, Rory’s the murder suspect!

All through this, Rory remains a superstition agnostic.  Sure, it probably doesn’t hurt to comply with superstitions… but does it really help?  She continues trying to figure it out.

And there are a lot of suspicions all over Destiny that Rory gets involved with, including seeding the sidewalks in front of the Lucky Dog Boutique with lucky heads-up pennies.  Since I write a lot about dogs and other pets, more superstitions about them are contained in the stories, too–including how unlucky, or lucky, black cats are.


Like Rory, I’m a superstition agnostic.  How about you?  Do you really believe… or not?

Just in case… well, one thing I will do here at the Writers in Residence blog is to cross my fingers, and knock on wood, that all the writers in residence, as well as all their readers, have lots and lots of good luck!


Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, writes two mystery series for Midnight Ink involving dogs: the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries, and the Superstition Mysteries. She additionally currently writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne.

She also wrote the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spin-off from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkeley Prime Crime.

Please visit Linda at her website: http://www.LindaOJohnston.com and friend her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaOJohnston

Latest book: Unlucky Charms

Author: gbpool

A former private detective and once a reporter for a small weekly newspaper, Gayle Bartos-Pool (writing as G.B. Pool) writes three detective series: the Gin Caulfield P.I. series (Media Justice, Hedge Bet & Damning Evidence), The Johnny Casino Casebook Series, and the Chance McCoy detective series. She also penned a series of spy novels, The SPYGAME Trilogy: The Odd Man, Dry Bones, and Star Power. She has a collection of short stories in From Light To DARK, as well as novels: Eddie Buick’s Last Case, Enchanted: The Ring, The Rose, and The Rapier, The Santa Claus Singer, and three delightful holiday storied, Bearnard’s Christmas, The Santa Claus Machine, and Every Castle Needs a Dragon. Also published: CAVERNS, Only in Hollywood, and Closer. She is the former Speakers Bureau Director for Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles and also a member of Mystery Writers of America and The Woman’s Club of Hollywood. She teaches writing classes: “Anatomy of a Short Story,” (The Anatomy of a Short Story Workbook and So You Want to be a Writer are available.) “How To Write Convincing Dialogue” and “Writing a Killer Opening Line” in sunny Southern California. Website: www.gbpool.com.

15 thoughts on “Unlucky Charms Debuts”

  1. Thank you so much, Linda, for doing the blog today. This is definitely the right time of year to launch your new book, Unlucky Charms. All the best with this fun series.


  2. This series sounds like fun! You give us so many choices with the Barkery & Biscuits mysteries, the Pet Rescue mysteries, and the Pet Sitter mysteries. (And that’s not including the paranormal romances!) You are my inspiration!


  3. I agree with Jacqueline Vick, you are an inspiration! And thanks so much for crossing your fingers and knocking on wood for Writers in Residence. Personally, I’ll take all the good luck and good wishes I can get. I’m not superstitious, but I do believe in Karma, and I have seen a ghost–long story there. Your books sound great, on my TBR list!


    1. Wow–you’ve seen a ghost? Would enjoy hearing that long story. Meantime, thanks for your kind comments. And yes, I’ll follow all the superstitions I can to wish for the best for all The Writers in Residence!


  4. I have enjoyed the first two books in this series and am looking forward to diving into UNLUCKY CHARMS–perfect reading for this spooky season. Thanks for visiting and sharing an inside look at the new book.


  5. So glad you are sticking up for BLACK CATS! We have had dogs over many years – dalmatians (which according to Destiny lore would have been lucky for business), Weimeraners, and dachshunds, but kitties are my fave. We have 4 rescues right now! I’ve never owned a black one. Maybe I will some day, if/ when we lose any we have now…. though Hubby is VERY reluctant.
    But enough about me! I so admire your writing career – so many series – how DO you do it? Do you ever cross over characters with one or the other. Seems like you did with the first couple of pet series.
    Welcome to our blog!
    PS: Lucky Charms keep coming to mind… oat cereal with colored marshmallows….. I may just have to buy some. I hope this series is not UN-lucky for you, however.


      1. And regarding your P.S., I did in fact write a cozy legal mystery series of sorts: my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries. Kendra was a lawyer who lived in the Hollywood Hills with her tricolor Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lexie. At the time, I happened to be a practicing lawyer, I live in the Hollywood Hills, and my dear Cavalier whom I just lost was Lexie. But I never was accused of an ethics violation, as Kendra was, which caused her to pet-sit till she could get back to her legal career. She did so not far into the series but she continued pet-sitting, too. And I fortunately only write about murders but don’t get involved solving any except in my stories.


    1. In my opinion, superstitions or not, black cats can’t really be that unlucky since so many people have them and don’t seem to suffer any ill results. Besides, the ones I’ve known seem quite nice.
      I did cross over characters with my first two cozy series, the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries and the Pet Rescue Mysteries. In fact, Kendra’s wealthy boyfriend Dante funded the no-kill shelter in the Pet Rescue Mysteries, and Kendra showed up there too now and then.
      And thanks for your kind comments. Not sure how I do so many series but I’ve got a lot of characters talking to me–fortunately seldom at once! And as far as I know, the Superstition Mysteries haven’t sent any bad luck my way.


      1. We had a beautiful black cat, Sylvester, named after Sylvester Stallone, and he was a wonderful cat. No bad luck followed us at all. In fact after he was given to me by friends at work, we found another little darling, Angel, and the two were great together. And they both got along with our two dogs at the time. All four would eat together. And to tell the truth, I never once thought about any superstition stuff while we had him.


      2. Sylvester and Angel sound sweet! That kind of story is why I’m a superstition agnostic, as is my protagonist Rory. Even so, I suppose it doesn’t hurt to knock on wood or cross fingers.


  6. Linda – I, too, am looking forward to reading ‘Unlucky Charms’. We had the pleasure of listening to Linda recently at The Woman’s Club of Hollywood during the ‘Ladies Who Murder…’ writers’ panel. Her books are such delightful mysteries and I can identify with a few superstitions – although I have always found Friday the 13th to be a lucky day…. fingers crossed…


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