A Day In The Life Of Lauren Vancouver by Linda O. Johnston

Hello. I’m Lauren Vancouver. Who am I? Well, I save pets.

That’s the most important thing to me–except for my two college-age kids, of course. But they understand how their mother is driven to take care of homeless or abused animals and find them new forever homes. Plus, I adore my own dog Zoey, a beautiful, smart Border collie-Australian shepherd mix.

I was chosen to run a wonderful no-kill private pet shelter in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. HotRescues is fortunate enough to have been founded by Dante DeFrancisco, the wealthy magnate who runs the large pet store chain HotPets, so unlike most shelters we don’t lack for funds.

How was I chosen? Well, some of that story is told in THE MORE THE TERRIER. That’s the newest in the Pet Rescue Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime–and in it I learn that my former mentor Mamie Spelling has become an animal hoarder. I’m horrified, of course, but help to save all the animals. Someone threatening Mamie is killed, and I have to help to clear her. She’s growing older and confused, and she’s cruel to animals without intending to harm them. I don’t believe she’s a murderer.

I suppose I’m the center of the Pet Rescue Mysteries, not that I’m looking for pats on the back or publicity–except to the extent any of that makes people aware of the plight of animals and helps to save some pets’ lives.

But you want to hear about a typical day in my life. It starts at my home in Porter Ranch, not far from the Granada Hills location of HotRescues. Zoey and I wake up and eat breakfast, and I take her for a walk in our neighborhood. Then we both go to HotRescues.

I’m often the first human there except for our overnight security person, but I soon run into our handyman Pete as he arrives and starts toting food bags for our wonderful inhabitants. Our shelter is undergoing an expansion, so we will soon have room to save a lot more animals, which will make me feel really good.

My office is in the main building at the front of HotRescues. I say hi to whatever greeter is in our welcome area, although usually no one arrives for a while after I get there. Then Zoey and I go for a walk through the entire HotRescues grounds, saying hi to the medium and large sized dogs whose kennels front on outdoor pathways, then going inside to visit with our smaller dogs and the cats.

As the day progresses, our volunteers and staff arrive. On good days, we also have a lot of visitors interested in meeting and, we hope, adopting a dog or cat. We screen them carefully, of course. Only people who will provide good homes are wanted.

Every day is different. Sometimes we hold staff meetings. Sometimes I go with Pete or others to a local public shelter to bring in new animals to care for until they’re adopted–saving as many lives as we can, since we are a no-kill shelter and the public ones are not.

There’s a guy who’s with L.A. Animal Services who’s pretty special to me–Captain Matthew Kingston. He’s in charge of the Small Animal Rescue Team and other organizations within the system, and he also keeps me informed about wonderful animals about to be “euthanized”–much too kind a word–for lack of space so I can come to save them or contact other shelter managers for help.

Sometimes I have dinner with Matt. Sometimes I get together with my good friend Dr. Carlie Stellan–a veterinarian you may have heard of, with a wonderful TV show.

Eventually, Zoey and I head home. The same schedule usually fits the next day. And the next. My job is my life and my passion, and if I’m there seven days a week, that’s the way it is.

I’d just as soon not get involved with solving murders, but I never shirk from anything needed to help myself, my animals and my friends.

If you love pets and can provide a good home, be sure to adopt some. Pets quickly become family members.
You can read more about Lauren and how she helps to save rescue pets in THE MORE THE TERRIER, the second book in the “Pet Rescue” mystery series. The first book in the series is BEAGLEMANIA.

Linda O. Johnston writes the “Pet Rescue” mysteries, a spinoff series from the Kendra Ballantyne, “Pet-Sitter” mystery series. She also writes the “Alpha Force” miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, about a covert unit of shapeshifters. Visit Linda at www.LindaOJohnston.com

** To celebrate the release of THE MORE THE TERRIER, I’m giving away one copy of the book, thanks to the publisher. To enter, you must leave a valid e-mail address in the comment box with your comment. This is open only to US addresses at the publisher’s request. Contest ends on October 11th at 6pm EST. Winner will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

26 responses to “A Day In The Life Of Lauren Vancouver by Linda O. Johnston

  1. sounds like fun..Karen would love this series!




  2. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series and would love to win a copy of this one. This spin of is one of the best on the shelves these days.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com


  3. I love it that you do this! The book sounds wonderful and I look forward to hearing more about the pet rescue life.

    snowdance1 at gmail dot com


  4. I hope Karen, and you, have fun with it, Risa!


  5. Saving animals is a wonderful way to spend your life. We see it everyday and it does make you feel so good when it’s a success. This is a series that everyone should read, not just people who love animals.

    TerryParrish 2010 (at) hotmail (dot) com


  6. Thank you so much, Nora!

    I love it, too, Sarita. Thanks!


  7. I love this series and would love the opportunity to win this book. If only multimillionaires outside of fiction would support shelters as Dante does. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, a great month to read this great series.
    Katreader (at) hotmail (dot) com.


  8. Thanks, Terry. I hope that people-lovers enjoy it, too!

    It’s definitely appropriate for THE MORE THE TERRIER to debut in Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, Katreader!


  9. I’d love to win a copy. The library doesn’t have the first in the series, so it would be great if I won one. I have some of your other books. I love cats and have a bunch.

    spookycat72(at)gmail(dot) com


  10. Sounds awesome … and I’m a sucker for pet books. 😀


  11. Only I forgot my email: authormariannearkins AT gmail DOT com


  12. Glad you’ve commented and entered, Michelle. Thanks for reading!


  13. Any series that begins with Beaglemania and now has a book set in a no kill shelter is perfect for me.


  14. Definitely a lot of pets in these books, Marianne!

    And 🙂 to you, suekey12!


  15. i read Beaglemania a couple of months ago & LOVED it!!! can’t wait to read The More The Terrier!!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!!



  16. I didn’t realize this was a spin-off series from the pet sitting series! Cool!



  17. So glad you enjoyed Beaglemania, Cynthia! I hope you enjoy The More The Terrier, too.

    Lauren is introduced in Howl Deadly and also appears in Feline Fatale, the 8th and 9th in the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries, Vicki.


  18. Ritaestelle Christiano

    I already have Beaglemania and The More The Terrier but a second TMTT copy would be fun to share with someone!! Linda, perhaps you can put some pugs in a future book – my favorite breed but I love all animals!!

    Ritaestelle—-> autmflwr(at)yahoo(dot)com


  19. Thanks Linda for letting us to see what a day is like for Lauren.


  20. I’ll definitely keep pugs in mind, Ritaestelle.

    Thank you, Dru, for inviting Lauren and me!


  21. I feel like I already know Lauren and can’t wait to read more of her adventures.


  22. What a great blog to introduce your character! I’ll be putting The More The Terrier in my TBR pile!

    I think it’s great that your love of writing coincides with your love of animals.


  23. thank you for another giveaway. One day I might win.
    jplunges at gmail dot com


  24. Thanks for the giveaway!


  25. Contest is closed.


  26. Congratulations to our winner: Janie Emaus!