The Whiskey Mattimoe Mysteries

humorous whodunnits by Nina Wright . . . starring a Michigan realtor and her felonious Afghan hound

Saturday, March 02, 2013

What You Don’t Expect When You’re Expecting


When you're expecting your first child any day now, you don’t expect to deal with . . .
  •  A femme fatale French bulldog who likes designer clothes cut down to size
  •  A diva Afghan hound with a penchant for escape and sexual escapades
  • A musician husband who fails to tell you he’s recording with the hottest girl group around
  •  A mother who tracks your every move with her smart phone’s spy app
  • A grandmotherly chauffeur who wants to hand-feed you
  • A hometown that’s rebranding itself as a pet-friendly resort
  • A trusted worker who might be a corporate spy  
  • An arson investigator who may not exist
  • A social media account designed to destroy you
And I haven’t even mentioned the double murder. Or the rumors about your unfortunate incarceration. Or the fact that you’re due to deliver, and you’ve never changed a diaper; the good news is your husband’s French bulldog will let you practice on her.

Thirty-eight weeks pregnant, Whiskey Mattimoe must deal with all that and much more in Whiskey Large, the 7th book in the series, due out this summer.

More updates are coming. Stay tuned. 

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Whiskey Mattimoe meets the Wall Street Journal


One afternoon about two weeks ago, just before I left my office, I opened my email and spotted this subject line in the long list of unread messages:

Wall Street Journal article

The sender was someone named Tanaka, Sanette.

Between the unknown sender and the unlikely subject line, I decided the message was spam. My cursor hovering over the “delete” tab, I was poised to click when a tiny voice in my head said, “What the hell. Open it.”

So I did.
The email contained a credible-sounding invitation for a Wall Street Journal interview from Ms. Tanaka, a real estate reporter. She said she was writing an article about novelists with backgrounds in real estate who now write fictional characters working in real estate. Her research had led her to Whiskey Mattimoe and me.

Two days later Ms. Tanaka and I had a delightful half-hour conversation followed by a shorter chat the following week. Although I had been interviewed many times about my books and plays—not to mention the fact that I interview people in my work as a journalist—I was thrilled to be part of a story in the world’s most widely read newspaper.

I never dreamed that my diverse (to put it nicely) professional background would attract the attention of the Wall Street Journal. Rather than tell you today what Ms. Tanaka and I discussed, I urge you to pick up a copy of the February 22, 2013 edition of the paper and read her well-written piece.

If you're an online Wall Street Journal subscriber, you can read it here.

If you're not a subscriber, Google
"in real estate truth in fiction" wall street journal

A little advice gleaned from this experience: Think twice before dumping the improbable contents of your in-box.

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Friday, June 08, 2012

Frenchies Can Be Femme Fatales


That's French bulldogs we're talking about, as in the new canine nemesis of Abra the Afghan hound in Whiskey and Soda. You heard me! A certain Frenchie named after a popular American film star has the boy dogs in Magnet Springs standing at attention.

To order Whiskey and Soda as a trade paperback, click here if you like to shop Amazon, or here if you prefer B&N. Of course, if you have a Kindle or Nook, you can start reading in under a minute.


In the meantime, here's photographic proof that Frenchies can be femme fatales--or make somebody think they are. Yes, costumes help. Now you know what's making Abra mad!

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Changing Up the Canine Roster

It’s an established fact that I am smitten by sight hounds, particularly that regal yet comical creature called the Afghan hound. But I’ve been known to share my life with—and deeply love—a few other kinds of dogs. So, before I started writing the latest Whiskey Mattimoe novel, Whiskey and Soda (due out in time for Summer Beach Reading!), I reviewed my canine cast of characters.

Abra the Afghan hound: the original Bad Girl of dog fiction, she’s a blonde diva (who looks remarkably like Sarah Jessica Parker in profile) prone to steal shiny objects and seduce studly canines.

Officer Roscoe: a dignified, expertly trained German shepherd; one of only two full-time cops in Magnet Springs, Michigan.

Mooney the “Rott hound”: a Rottweiler/bloodhound mix who can track and defend. And drool.

Norman the Golden: a trained therapy dog; also the accidental though “permanent” spouse (i.e., soul mate) of Abra the Afghan hound despite her filandering ways; father of Prince Harry the Pee Master. 

Prince Harry the Pee Master: illegitimate though much-loved spawn of Abra the Afghan hound and Norman the Golden; Chester has almost mastered Prince Harry’s incontinence.

Velcro: Whiskey prefers to avoid this needy teacup shih tzu/poodle mix, or as she calls him, a “shitz-a-poo.” Velcro lives with Chester although his mother Cassina doesn’t know it. Thankfully, there are servants to bribe and many rooms to hide a dog in over at The Castle.

Okay, so what do five out of the six canines above have in common, aside from the fact that Whiskey Mattimoe isn’t skilled at handling them? Except for Abra, every one of those hounds is male. That’s why I decided to bring a female into the new book. Well, that was one reason. I wanted to see what would happen if hot-to-trot Abra suddenly found herself with a rival for the boys’ affections. Would she step up her game? Would she start a girl fight? Would she find a strong ally in her oft-conflicted human, Whiskey? All of the above turn out to be true, but you’ll need to read the new book to find out how and why –and also how funny!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where We Began: A Look Back at Whiskey #1

In my most recent post, I promised readers a brief look back at the first five Whiskey Mattimoe mysteries and then a sneak-peek at the brand new book, Whiskey and Soda, due out next month.

So, for those of you who haven't read the series in a while, or who haven't read it yet, here's a quick recap of the very first Whiskey Mattimoe mystery, Whiskey on the Rocks:



Still reeling from her husband's sudden death, 33-year-old Whiskey Mattimoe has her hands full managing her real estate business and keeping track of Chester, the 8-year-old son of a touring pop music star. And then there's Abra, an Afghan hound with a diva attitude and a penchant for stealing designer purses. 


When someone turns up dead at one of Whiskey's rental properties, the Magnet Springs part-time police force needs all the help it can get. This quiet Lake Michigan resort town is known for its mysterious magnetic fields, not murder, and the locals would like to keep it that way. At her own peril, Whiskey uncovers art theft, forgery, and some nasty dark secrets.


Bold and street smart, Whiskey can take care of herself--with the aid of an exceptionally well-trained "rott hound" who happens to have a crush on Abra. But to survive, she's got to untangle a web of deceit before it kills her business, and just possibly Whiskey, as well.

My publisher and I were delighted by critical responses to Whiskey on the Rocks:


A cozy series as satisfying as a fine single malt. --Publishers Weekly

Sprightly humor, delightful characters (including the animals), and a nicely mixed-up plot make this an entertaining debut. --Library Journal starred review


Getting the critics on your side is important, but it's what readers say or post online that matters most. I'm thrilled to answer questions about the series. Most often readers want to know what inspires me to write about (a) a woman who can't control her dog, and (b) a dog like Abra, specifically, a felonious Afghan hound with an unbridled libido.

Is Whiskey like me? Is Abra like any dog I've ever shared my life with? The answers, as you might expect, are a combination of yes and no--which is why they call what I make fiction.

I once shared a house with a woman who thought she "owned" an Afghan hound, the most glorious, graceful, gravity-defying breed of dog I've ever met. Many years later, while living in rural Michigan, I rescued a pregnant scent hound; she reserved her slavish affection for my ex, who never cared for her. That hound also had a predilection for running away and getting into mounds of trouble, which I single-handedly sorted out time and again. Combining those canine experiences with a healthy dash of narrative imagination yielded Whiskey Mattimoe and Abra the Afghan hound. 

My abiding love for the west coast of Michigan is also a feature of this series. Many of my happiest days so far have been spent on the beaches and in the quaint towns that line the greatest of Great Lakes. So imagine my delight in realizing that the newest Whiskey Mattimoe book will be available in print and digital formats just in time for beach season! I highly recommend Michigan's dunes and resort towns. If you can't get there in reality, I hope you'll visit via my fiction.

Coming up: Where Whiskey has been, and where she's going. . . . .

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Finally: WHISKEY AND SODA (May 2012)

You’ve waited almost three years for it, and here it comes at last. Whiskey and Soda, Book #6 in the humorous Whiskey Mattimoe mystery series, will be out in both print and ebook formats at the end of May. I want to personally thank my loyal readers for letting me know that they wanted more Whiskey. Cheers!
UpdateWhiskey and Soda is now being served. To order it as a trade paperback (available only at Amazon), please click here. Or you can start reading it today on your Kindle. Ebook versions are coming soon to Nook and Kobo.

For a recap of the previous five books, you can either check my website or tune in here again soon for blog entries that highlight Whiskey’s many misadventures. I’ll guide you in a jaunty stroll down Memory Lane—or should I say, Broken Arrow Highway—with Abra the Afghan hound, plus assorted friends and felons from Magnet Springs, Michigan. Of course, Whiskey would not approve. She is the self-proclaimed Queen of Denial, preferring to forget she even has a dog, let alone one with a criminal record and an unleashed libido.

You might prefer to check your personal bookshelf or your local library for the previous five titles. If so,here they are in order: (#1) Whiskey on the Rocks, (#2) Whiskey Straight Up, (#3) Whiskey and Tonic, (#4) Whiskey and Water, (#5) Whiskey with a Twist.

The next time I post, I promise to whet your appetite for Whiskey and Soda with a preview of the new book. Until then, here’s my toast to my readers: May you always have a dog to hug and lots of reasons to laugh. Thanks again for requesting another Whiskey.

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Friday, November 04, 2011

FREE Links for Apps to Download Ebooks!

With Ampichellis Ebooks, I'm working to make my books available digitally to as many readers as possible. Don't have a Kindle or Nook? Not a problem! Here are links for free application software so that you can read all the Whiskey Mattimoe (as well as my paranormal Homefree series) books on your computer or smart phone:

Kindle app for PC

http://tinyurl.com/6l9fpg4

Kindle app for mac

http://tinyurl.com/yk4vcw7

Barnes and Noble Nook for PC

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook-for-pc/379002322

Barnes and Novel Nook for mac

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/free-nook-apps/379002321/

Free Kobo ap for PC or mac

http://kobobooks.com/desktop

Want to read novels on your smart phone?

Android Phone

http://tinyurl.com/2bwt7j8

Iphone

http://tinyurl.com/2d342hv

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Where to Find Whiskey Mattimoe Mysteries!

Hello, Readers! Yes, finally--I'm writing the sixth Whiskey Mattimoe Mystery, due out next year. Thanks for your interest in what's happening to Whiskey and her Afghan hound Abra in Magnet Springs, Michigan.

Meanwhile, you can buy the first five Whiskey Mattimoe mysteries as economical ebooks--on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and OmniLit. Scroll down for links to each title:

on Amazon

Whiskey and Water http://tinyurl.com/3g6pyzo

Whiskey on the Rocks http://tinyurl.com/3m54b4c

Whiskey and Tonic http://tinyurl.com/4yakvqy

Whiskey Straight Up http://tinyurl.com/3vmnpsd

Whiskey With a Twist http://tinyurl.com/3bgmfga

on Barnes & Noble

Whiskey and Water http://tinyurl.com/3jufag6

Whiskey on the Rocks http://tinyurl.com/3qy5jdw

Whiskey and Tonic http://tinyurl.com/3gtathr

Whiskey Straight Up http://tinyurl.com/3lz9hvw

Whiskey With a Twist http://tinyurl.com/3ojjekw

at Kobo Bookstore

Whiskey and Water http://tinyurl.com/44xzhss

Whiskey on the Rocks http://tinyurl.com/3bs3kmc

Whiskey and Tonic http://tinyurl.com/3zq7dt3

Whiskey Straight Up http://tinyurl.com/3rnr7cx

Whiskey With a Twist http://tinyurl.com/3gpgqls

at OmniLit Bookstore

Whiskey and Water http://www.omnilit.com/product-whiskeyandwater-543195-237.html

Whiskey on the Rocks http://www.omnilit.com/product-whiskeyontherocks-521424-237.html

Whiskey and Tonic http://www.omnilit.com/product-whiskeyandtonic-521426-237.html

Whiskey Straight Up http://www.omnilit.com/product-whiskeystraightup-521425-237.html

Whiskey With A Twist http://www.omnilit.com/product-whiskeywithatwist-571794-237.html


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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's a Birthday Interview!

Hey, check out my birthday interview on the Writers Who Kill blog!

Monday, December 20, 2010

What Would Whiskey Want for Christmas?



Whiskey Mattimoe is a Michigan real estate broker who runs her own agency and runs after her errant Afghan hound. In terms of her business, we can guess what she wants for Christmas. It’s what we all want: a solid economic recovery.

What Whiskey wants for Christmas on a personal level is a little more complicated. No matter which book in the five-book series we drop in on, Whiskey needs someone to babysit her felonious Afghan hound, Abra. Whiskey has relied on her young neighbor Chester, her stepdaughter’s nanny (and Coast Guard Damage Control Specialist) Deely Smarr, and anyone else foolish enough to volunteer—once. So that item is always on Whiskey’s wish list.

In any book, if Whiskey could have her way, she’d wish for her late husband Leo to be alive and well at her side. Since that’s not going to happen, Whiskey wishes for someone else to come along and light up her world. In Whiskey and Water and Whiskey with a Twist, someone does come along—or should I say, come again. Whiskey’s ex-husband Jeb Halloran finds his way back into her heart, or at least her bedroom. But Whiskey is left ruminating on that old saw, “Be careful what you wish for.”

As her author, I know Whiskey almost as well as she knows herself although she does occasionally surprise me. Here’s what I wish for Whiskey Mattimoe this Christmas:

5) A new hairstylist. If I can learn to manage unruly curls with the right cut, so can Whiskey.

4) A wardrobe with less beige and more bling.

3) An ample stock of Pinot Noir so that she won’t end up drinking scotch, which always gets her in trouble.

2) A way to lure Deely Smarr into working for her again. Whiskey’s going to need a nanny, and not just for Abra.

And the Number One gift I would wish for Whiskey is . . .

1) One more phone call to Jeb. Read Whiskey with a Twist all the way to the end, and you'll know what I mean.

Wait! Sorry. I have another gift to add to her list. I wish Whiskey Mattimoe many more adventures and much more laughter. Exactly what I wish my readers.

As for what Abra wants for Christmas . . . that's another story entirely.

P.S. The first two Whiskey Mattimoe mysteries (and their cool new covers) are now available on Kindle and Nook. Whiskey Straight Up is a wicked wintry romp, complete with blizzards and deadly plunges through the ice. A perfect fireside read.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Your Pet's Top Ten Requests


1. Take a little time every day to give me your total attention. My life is likely to last 10-15 years, and my happiest moments are spent with you.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me. I really do like to please you.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don't be angry with me for long, and don’t isolate me as punishment. You have your work, your friends, and your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet I choose not to.

8. Before you scold me for being “bad,” ask yourself if something might be troubling me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I’ve been in the sun too long, or I didn't hear you.

9. Take care of me when I grow old and frail. The same fate awaits you.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, please be at my side. Everything is easier if you are with me.


Take a moment today to thank God for the animals in your life.
Enjoy them, and take good care of them.
We don't have to reach Heaven to find endless love.
Heaven is here on earth, and it has four legs!


A slightly different version landed in my inbox. Feel free to pass along this link! Blessings to you and your four-leggers from me and mine.
--Nina

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Midwest Humble



If you, like Whiskey Mattimoe and me, come from the nation's heartland, you may be Midwest humble.

If you’re from the North, South, East or West, or from another country altogether, you may still know what I’m talking about.

Obvious But Essential Disclaimer: Everyone from the heartland is not humble; nor is humility peculiar to Midwesterners. But the vast majority of my peers and I grew up believing we’re just regular folk who need to work hard, get along, and try not to attract too much attention to ourselves.

What makes “Midwest humble” distinct from qualities instilled elsewhere in the U.S.? I gave this a lot of thought during my two years in Dallas, Texas, one of America’s Great Cities and about as cosmically removed from Midwest humble as it’s possible to be. Although I met and worked with hundreds of people in Dallas, the ones who instantly put me at ease were fellow transplants from the part of the world where I grew up. Yup. I got nothin’ against native Texans, Oklahomans, Arkansans or Louisianans; in fact I love to listen to them. But I was irresistibly drawn to folks from Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. We embraced each other, not only because we talked alike and were outnumbered. We were also outshone. A few reasons why:

1) Some Midwest humble folks of the female persuasion, including me, occasionally go out in public sans make-up and carefully coiffed hair. We may even wear a hat on a cold night, which is guaranteed to give you hat-head when you remove it. Horror of horrors.

2) Our vocabulary lacks a vital word: “y’all.” I am totally serious on this point. “Y’all” means so much more than Midwesterners can immediately grasp. It is an economical yet precise and emphatic way of expressing inclusion, as in “All y’all need to move y’all’s cars.” This word is so useful that I tried to adopt it; unfortunately, I never became fluent.

3) We humble Midwesterners may demonstrate insufficient devotion to a Texas team and find ourselves unable to defend our position. An airport shuttle driver demanded to know what kind of emergency could possibly take me out of Dallas on the eve of the Texas-Oklahoma football game. He was serious; I was speechless. He scorned me.

Whiskey Mattimoe kicks herself now and then for being too Midwest humble. This usually happens in the presence of a character more confident and eloquent. It always happens in the presence of a well-tended woman oozing sex appeal. Although Whiskey knows her way around the boudoir, her author is aware that this protagonist could use a few lessons in seduction. Maybe she needs to spend a couple years in Texas. I could hook her up. . . .

See Whiskey fall in lust for the first time since her husband died: Whiskey on the Rocks, now available on
Nook and Kindle.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Zen and the Art of Catching a Cat

Myth: If a cat escapes, you can catch it.
Fact: You can try.

The following true story is about a Devon rex cat named Redford. Most of what happens in this story could happen to any indoor cat who decided to go for a test run in the Great Outdoors; the difference is that Devons may be a little faster and more devious. They’re definitely stranger looking.


In case you’re unfamiliar with the breed, Devons come in every possible feline color, including Siamese points; however, they lack a topcoat. That doesn’t mean they’re bald—ugh—like sphinxes. (Apologies to sphinx aficionados, but I don’t want a cat that can get sunburned.) Devons have only a short wavy undercoat that doesn’t shed and feels like warm flannel. A wet Devon looks just like a dry Devon, only darker—a truth I discovered when my first Devon elected to join me in the bathtub. As for the rest of their appearance: large oval eyes, oversized wide-set ears, a heart-shaped face, an expressive tail, dainty paws, and a compact muscular body covered by rippling fur. They look like elves . . . or cats from outer space.

Disclosure: Over the years I’ve rescued “mutt” cats and acquired a few purebreds, too, yet Devon rexes remain my favorites. Which means I probably deserve whatever they do to me. In an attempt to balance the scales, I invented a truly naughty Devon rex named Yoda for my Whiskey Mattimoe mystery series. He combines the most annoying qualities of every Devon I’ve ever known, which list includes scaling people as if they were mountains, adhering to human necks, and setting wall art askew as an attention-getting tactic. Whiskey can’t stand Yoda, but her animal-loving sidekick-neighbor-kid
Chester adores him.

Time for that true story I promised you.

First, one more disclosure: This story is also about a dear man named Coach who used to be indifferent to cats until he met a Devon rex. Now he’s completely befuddled by cats.

A few Sundays ago, I was on the return loop of a long leisurely walk, which took me through the state recreation area near my home. I was also talking on my cell phone to a friend in a faraway state. As my friend was concluding a complicated story, my phone signaled that I had an incoming call from Coach. Understanding the nature of the narrative arc, this storyteller was loathe to interrupt her friend’s dramatic denouement. So I let the call go. Coach immediately phoned again. My friend was waxing eloquent; ergo, I let the second call go. But when Coach phoned a third time, I knew I had to pick up.

“You need to get home!” Coach panted.

His breathlessness alarmed me because Coach is much older than I am; I imagined heart attack, stroke, or a fall down a flight of stairs.

“Are you all right?”

“I’m fine. But Redford is gone.”

“Gone?”

“Out the back door. I think he pried it open.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Redford had exited the house onto the deck or into the connecting garage. But getting all the way outside was a major advance . . . in the wrong direction. Coach had been known to make Redford’s escape easy by failing to securely latch said door.

This was no time for recriminations. I let Coach fill in the operative facts.

“The door was standing wide open when I came into the kitchen, so I checked outside. Redford saw me and ducked into the bushes. I chased him along the side of the condo, and then I . . . lost him.”

“Lost him? You mean he’s not in the bushes now?”

“Well, I tried to pull him out of the bushes, and he ran under the deck. I tried to coax him out of there, but he wouldn’t come, and I couldn’t reach him. So I went back inside to get that feather toy-thing he likes—and when I came out with it . . . I couldn’t see him under the deck anymore.”

I had already accelerated my walk into a jog; how I longed to break into a full trot, but lower-back issues wouldn’t permit it. Middle-age impairments notwithstanding, I could cover the distance between me and the condo in five minutes, tops. Until then, Coach was in charge.

When I arrived, he was pacing up and down the back of the building, feather toy dangling from his hand.

“I can’t see him under the deck anymore, but I don’t think he went into the woods. I don’t think he went into the woods.”

I didn’t want to think about going there, either. Our yard slopes sharply into a wooded area that quickly becomes a wetland.

Dropping to the ground I peered under the deck and realized for the first time that it connected to the neighbor’s deck, which was separated from ours only on the surface, via a latticework wall. Underneath it stretched without barrier. Way at the other end, where sunlight met shadows, I thought I saw a Devon silhouette. Then it was gone.
“He’s under there!” I exclaimed.

Calling to a cat when he’s determined to be difficult is a total waste of breath; of course, I did it anyway. Scooting around to the neighbor’s end of the connecting decks, I hit the ground again and peered underneath. There was now no sign of Redford although I discovered our teen neighbor’s stash of beer, cigarettes, and dope. A door creaked open behind me.

“Uh, did you, like, lose something?”

Since moving in a few months earlier, I had never seen the teen neighbor up close. He sported enormous pupils and a shambling gait. Not a zombie, he was a stoner.

I explained that my indoor cat was now outdoors, way in the back under this side of the deck. The teen, whose name turned out to be Nathan, gave the matter slow thought.

“Well . . . I could, like, jump up and down. On the deck,” he suggested. “That might scare him out.”

Gratefully I embraced the notion. Coach and I took positions on the exit side of the deck, knees bent, arms out, ready for cat retrieval.

Here’s what happened: Nathan jumped. Redford zipped straight past us into the woods.

Eventually, I lured him back up the tree-covered slope so that I could tackle him and drag him home. But that didn’t happen any time soon. And it wasn’t accomplished by doing anything other than waiting where he could see me. I sat on the ground, thankful that most of the leaves had left the trees so that I could visually track my cat. I watched while Redford zig-zagged in maddeningly slow motion, occasionally glancing up to make sure Mom was paying attention. Even when he finally wandered close enough for me to launch myself at him, the little jerk veered back toward the swamp. By then, I didn’t care who got hurt, just as long as I got Redford home. I pitched myself full-force on top of him. He yowled, I cursed; I still have the scratches to show for it.

Coach, who had never seen a cat in an agitated state, wondered what was wrong with Redford’s tail. You feline-fans know what I’m talking about: the tail puffed up like a plume, and the rest of his coat also inflated impressively. Redford looked, for a moment, like a normal cat rather than the wavy-coated alien devil I know, love, and am willing to outwait, even on my tush, even on the cold damp ground.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Whiskey Updates: Cheers from the Land of the Great Lakes!


Big Move from The Big D

This has been an exciting year, and it keeps getting better. Recently I moved from The Big D—Dallas, that is—back to my beloved homeland along the Great Lakes. You may have spotted me on a bike path, gaping at blue skies, fiery trees, and shining water. Yup, I'm the one with the flying auburn hair and the red baseball cap. And the nonstop smile. ;^}

I’m enthralled by my first Midwest autumn in far too long! In fact, I may be at risk of overdosing—if not on the intoxicating colors and aromas, then on the seasonal festivals with their edible treats. Mmmm. How much cider and donuts can one girl consume?

Didn't Hear Back from Me?

The only downside of my cross-country relocation was a small glitch in my email system. If you emailed me through my website and haven’t heard back, please send again. I never fail to reply unless the ether eats my email, which it recently did. I hate missing a communication from a reader. So sorry for the inconvenience.

Oh--you know I'm on Facebook, right?

Whiskey in E-Form: Coming soon through Ampichellis Ebooks!

Heads up: Those of you looking for Whiskey in an ebook (and I know you’re out there!) will soon be able to buy the first three mysteries (Whiskey on the Rocks, Whiskey Straight Up, and Whiskey and Tonic) online through Ampichellis Ebooks. Watch this blog for more info.

I recommend a cider-and-donuts break now. You know you deserve it.
P.S. Ever been "friended" by a dead man? It happened to me. Read about it on my other blog.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not Whiskey's Bicycle

After publishing the fifth Whiskey Mattimoe mystery last year, I decided to tune up my writing instrument by crafting a play. Writing for the stage taught me most of what I know about characterization, plotting, and dialogue; thus, I was curious to see how my experience as a novelist might enhance my work as a playwright.

It's no secret that I love to ride a bike. That's one of the passions I share with the fictional Ms. Mattimoe. I embrace bicycling as a sport, a pastime, and a mode of transportation, as well as a viable form of physical and emotional therapy. A wise friend once said
, "It's impossible to be depressed on a bike."

My latest play takes place on bicycles. Literally.
On My Boyfriends' Bicycles--subtitled "a play on love, loss, and wheels"--was conceived for performance as either a stage play, in which actors creatively suggest that their characters are riding bicycles, or a site-specific play produced outdoors with actors using actual bicycles.

The script will have not one but two staged readings in Chicagoland this summer. I am blessed to be reunited on this project with director Richard Pahl, whose keen eye for casting and staging makes him one of the most popular auteurs along the Fox River.
While in Elgin for the staged readings this summer, I'll also teach a writing workshop. So if you're in or near that part of the world, come on over! In the meantime, do what Whiskey would do on a fresh spring day: get out there and ride your bike.

On My Boyfriends' Bicycles by Nina Wright

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Review of WHISKEY WITH A TWIST

Whiskey with a Twist: A new review in the University of Toledo Magazine:

The film Best in Show made dog show parodies popular, and Wright offers her take in the fifth installment of the Whiskey Mattimoe series. This book finds Whiskey and dog Abra in Indiana’s Amish country for an Afghan hound show, where owner and pooch serve as the special guests and examples of “worst in show.” It’s not long before the bullets fly, the bodies pile up and the supporting cast of characters from Michigan arrives to help Whiskey solve the mystery.

The title lives up to its name; be prepared for twists and shake-ups with series regulars, building to a surprise revelation that will affect Whiskey's life forever.

— Deanna Woolf

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What Booklist Says About "Whiskey with a Twist"

“Fifth in a consistently appealing series, this installment continues to provide the perfect mix of cozy and dog.”

Thank you, Booklist!

Now available: Whiskey with a Twist
the wackiest and most surprising Whiskey Mattimoe mystery yet

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Back Where Whiskey Began

I’ve long believed that summers are sweeter in Michigan than just about anywhere else. Happily this writer landed back in the Wolverine State in time to take a break from triple-digit temps in Texas.

My Michigan visit involves the fifth Whiskey book (as opposed to a fifth of whiskey). Like the rest of this comical cozy series,
Whiskey with a Twist is set in fictional Magnet Springs, a quirkier version of the real-life coastal resort town of Saugatuck.

Whiskey with a Twist has what I call “high-surprise content.” It’s also the name of a pretty good drink—unlike the beverage that inspired
Whiskey and Tonic (Book Three), a lively mystery in its own right.
The latest fictional romp features more than the usual number of plot twists, and they keep on coming all the way to the end. You can read a sample chapter and plot summary. I don’t want to give away much more than that . . . except to say that Realtor Whiskey Mattimoe bonds with her diva dog Abra the Afghan hound over an issue that even my most faithful readers couldn't foresee.

So I'm here to launch the book as well as my Nawthun vacation. To Michigan and Whiskey.
Cheers!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Whiskey with a Twist: CHECK OUT Chapter One

Afghan hounds and Amish farmers? Yes. Whiskey with a Twist (Midnight Ink/Summer 2009) finds Abra and her human, Whiskey Mattimoe, at a dog show in Indiana Amish country where things go deadly wrong fast. In the fifth book of this madcap series, Whiskey's new real estate client is an Afghan hound breeder who invites Abra to the regional finals . . . as an example of how not to groom and train an Affie. True to form, Abra falls in lust with a champion and wreaks havoc in the ring. But someone is bent on pure evil: a breeder and handler are murdered, and a top dog disappears. Abra vanishes, too. Is she chasing her libido or in genuine trouble? Or, as Whiskey's loyal neighbor Chester insists, is she hot on the trail of a ruthless killer? Whiskey and crew follow paw prints and other clues to a bloody destination that's too close to home.
Wanna read the first chapter? Click here.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Whiskey with a Twist: First Review!


The first review of Whiskey with a Twist is in, and it's a tail-wagger:

“[In] Wright's frothy fifth cozy, realtor Whiskey Mattimoe enters her thieving 'diva dog' Abra in the Midwest Afghan Hound Show as the Bad Example. . . . Dog show fans will find much to grin about.”

--Publishers Weekly

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Abra and I are in Wikipedia!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_hound#In_popular_culture

But I still need my own (Nina Wight) Wiki link. . . .

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Plot Summary: *Whiskey with a Twist*

Here's how my editor describes Whiskey with a Twist . . .

Whiskey Mattimoe never thought the skill set of her Afghan Hound Abra—stealing purses and farting—might interest a professional dog breeder. But that's exactly what's attracted Susan Davies, who wants Abra to participate in a canine competition... as a Worst-In-Show example of how not to train an Affie.

Soon, Whiskey finds herself bored and embarrassed in Northern Indiana Amish country, watching Abra wreak havoc at the Midwest Afghan Hound Show. But when two champion pooches vanish and a handler turns up dead, the sleepy community's rustic charm disappears... along with Abra.

Praise for the Whiskey Mattimoe Mystery series:

"Sprightly humor, delightful characters (including the animals), and a nicely mixed-up plot make this an entertaining debut." —Library Journal (starred review)

Nina Wright (Dallas, Texas) is an award-winning playwright and novelist. In addition to the Whiskey Mattimoe mystery series, she's the author of Homefree and Sensitive (both Flux) and other fiction for adults and younger readers. Wright also leads workshops in writing and the creative process.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Whiskey with a Twist: Available for pre-order!

Invited to a regional dog show as an example of how not to groom and train an Aghan hound, Abra leads her human--amateur sleuth and wayward Realtor Whiskey Mattimoe--straight into murder and mayhem. . . .

The most hilarious book to date in this rollicking series is the perfect gift for readers who love mysteries, laughter, dogs, and/or real estate. Now available for pre-order at Amazon!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Whiskey on the Rocks: Now Available in German!


Random House Germany is publishing Whiskey on the Rocks as Ein Ganove auf vier Pfoten (translation: A Thief on Four Feet). You can pre-order it on Amazon now.

Danke.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Whiskey and Water: Here Come the Reviews!


From Publishers Weekly:
In Wright's sprightly fourth mystery to feature Magnet Springs, Mich., realtor and sleuth Whiskey Mattimoe (after 2007's Whiskey and Tonic), one of Whiskey's duplex tenants, Twyla Rendel, whom she believed to be a struggling single mother of two, is seen by a neighbor with seven children. After Whiskey informs Twyla she faces eviction, Twyla and the children vanish. Whiskey and Magnet Springs police chief Jenx Jenkins are determined to investigate these disappearances as well as the reported sightings of Whiskey's old realtor rival, Gil Gruen, whom Whiskey saw die the previous winter. Twyla later turns up dead, but where are the children? Wright's mix of humor, crime and romance infuses this cozy with down-home zest. At the same time she makes some solid points about greed, bad parenting and real estate. (May)

From Kirkus Reviews:
A murdered woman, missing children and a possible return from the dead confound denizens of a Lake Michigan tourist town. Whiskey Mattimoe operates a successful real-estate business, but the rest of her life is in disarray. Still grieving the death of her second husband, she's providing a home for his daughter Avery, who hates her, and her twins. Her current entourage also includes Abra, an Afghan Hound, and a needy Shitzapoo puppy that her wealthy, flaky songstress neighbor Cassina has just given her, along with the chance to sell her multimillion-dollar lake cottage. Whiskey has just listed another huge estate, and her love life is heating up. Her ex-husband Jeb Halloran is back in town. She has a date with self-help author Fenton Flagg. She's attracted to MacArthur, a Scot who works for Cassina but wants to sell real estate. But things rapidly go sour. Abra runs off with Fenton's dog. One of Whiskey's tenants acquires a large number of children and then turns up dead on the beach. Even worse, there are repeated sightings of a former mayor Whiskey knows is dead. With help from friends, lovers past and present and Cassina's neglected son Chester, who can talk to dogs, Whiskey emerges from the tangled mess triumphant. Though Whiskey's fourth features a host of oddball characters, Chester and the dogs steal the show.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Next Up: Whiskey and Water

Just in time for warmer weather!

In WHISKEY AND WATER, Realtor Whiskey Mattimoe confronts a riptide, a reappearing dead mayor, and something truly frightening: a shitz-a-poo named Velcro.

Abra the Afghan hound is still lusting after Norman the Golden when, lo and behold, Whiskey finds a couple lovers of her own.

But who killed the young mother renting Whiskey's cottage? And where did all her children go?

Now available at Amazon. Read it and post your own Amazon online review.




Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Review



Whiskey and Tonic
Midnight Ink, 2007
by Nina Wright

This reader bellies up to the
bar for the third installment
in the Whiskey Mattimoe
series and leaves with a happy
buzz. It’s the annual Miss
Blossom pageant in Magnet
Springs, but instead of a local beauty stealing the crown, it’s
Whiskey’s dog, Abra. Soon after, the former Miss Blossom
is found dead and the current winner is hospitalized. It’s up
to Whiskey and her friends to track down the missing dog
and discover who has it in for the Miss Blossoms. Wright’s
humorous and quirky style is entertaining. This series and its
characters seem to grow better with age, just like whiskey.

— Deanna Woolf

The University of Toledo Alumni Magazine
Winter 2008

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Way In

by Nina Wright

For three years I was glued to my chair writing one book after another on deadline. Six books, six sales. Very satisfying.

In recent months, however, my goals and my pace have changed. I’ve researched, contemplated, and started a half-dozen fiction projects unrelated to anything I’ve done before. Since I write for younger readers as well as adults, I’m continuously monitoring trends in several markets at the same time that I audition new ideas. Although the “market mindset” is necessary, I find it also potentially distracting and, worse, discouraging. Thus I’ve concluded that it’s time to stop obsessing over what sells and simply write from my heart.

Finding "the way in" is different every time. I vividly recall walking through a cemetery in Tecumseh, Michigan five years ago when I imagined a girl who saved a key from every apartment she lived in with her troubled, itinerant mother. At the time I was facing a move that seemed both inevitable and ill-advised. Notes for Homefree traveled with me and found their way into a draft that endured many revisions and submissions before it was published in 2006. The notion of the saved key survived but ended up a sidebar rather than the center of the story.

When I wrote Whiskey on the Rocks, the book that launched the Whiskey Mattimoe series, I was sharing my rural home with Lucille, a dog rescued in late pregnancy by my then-husband and me. Not remotely an Afghan hound, Lucille was a mutt with fast legs, a scary snarl and bafflingly high self-esteem. Like Abra, she had no apparent maternal instincts and a libido that wouldn't quit. She also had a propensity for chasing anything that promised misadventure. Given the slightest opening, Lucille would take off running full-tilt toward the nearest tavern, which lay on the other side of a vast soybean field. She'd ignore our calls for at least 24 hours before—I swear—she came home stinking of whiskey and cigarettes. I could never figure out what the bitch was up to. So my creativity kicked in. An old friend from college had an energetic Afghan hound; mentally I morphed the two dogs into one and added a healthy dash of imagination. The result was Abra.

What inspires me these days? Mostly, things that go wrong. Or could go wrong, or at least madly off course. Example: While I was grooming my father's cat, the feline kicked a wadded up paper toward me. It contained a confusing partial message written in a cramped hand; my father claimed he'd never seen the note before. Who wrote it, and why did the cat have it? That incident went straight into my notebook of potential story ideas. Since I’m inclined to use the most recent notions, I periodically review older entries to see whether any of those ignite sparks. When they do, it’s the lonely writer’s equivalent of Christmas.

Other ways in: Because I favor visual stimulation, once I get an idea working, I look for photos to feed it. Dozens of pictures of St. Augustine, Florida (for my teen books) and Afghan hounds (for the Whiskey books) fill my walls and computer files. My screensaver is always a slideshow related to my current projects.

Music provides another access point. Whiskey and Water, the fourth Whiskey Mattimoe mystery, was fueled by a Barenaked Ladies soundtrack. Imagining Whiskey’s first marriage set to those tunes made the writing not only easier but a helluva lot of fun. My close friends benefited, too; they got copies of BNL’s Greatest Hits.

Now and then I track my dreams, and whenever I do, something intriguing shows up. A Southern woman named Picket Pie came to me in my sleep. She explained that her name was short for Elizabeth Bye and promised she’d be back. Months later she appeared on the page as a leading character in my play Cherchez Dave Robicheaux.

All writers know that the way in is both simpler and more complicated than I make it sound here. I eavesdrop shamelessly; free-associate wildly; take lots of photos; go for long walks, swims, and bike rides; brainstorm exhaustive lists and alternate scenarios; and draft interviews, monologues, dialogues, and character bios. Sometimes I bounce ideas off friends.

What’s your way in? The key, I think, is to get out there and in there and turn off your mental critic. Put another way: “Travel boldly, listen closely, and carry a bright light.”