Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Home for the Holidays by Melinda Langston

Melinda Langston from Sparkle Abbey’s Pampered Pets Mystery series











Hey there. It’s me, Melinda Langston. We haven’t met yet. I’m filling in for my cousin, Caro Lamont. You know, the pet therapist. I talk to my bulldog, Missy, but I’m no animal shrink. I’m more about pampering our furry friends. I own Bow Wow Boutique an upscale pet shop in Laguna Beach.

I love the holidays. Especially, Christmas. Not just for the obvious reasons: the uptick in business, spending time with friends, scrumptious food, Christmas music twenty-four hours a day, the crazy light displays—including inflatable lawn ornaments. Shouldn’t everyone have a six foot snowman in their front yard? I also get a kick out of helping my quirky customers find that special item for their four-legged fur baby.



Sometimes it’s as simple as a new leather collar, pup perfume, or a fabulous couture outfit. Other times it’s about finding the perfect Swarovski-studded cat flap, a gold-threaded mattress, or a luxurious dog carrier. If you think I’m making it up, check this out: Ridiculously Expensive Pet Products.




You’ll notice I didn’t mention family. Not because I’m alone. I’m engaged to a wonderful guy, Grey Donovan, and even though cousin Caro and I aren’t on speaking terms, we will always have each other’s back.

I love my family, but... Well, it’s my mama. She’s a complicated woman and our relationship isn’t exactly Dr. Phil approved. She makes me crazy with her drama demands, but I do love her. So in a moment of weakness I sort of promised her I’d come home to Dallas for Christmas. When I made that promise, I intended to keep it.

That was before Dr. O’Doggle was found dead in front of my boutique. After that going home to Dallas was the last thing on my mind. You can read all about it in Yip/Tuck.

What about you? What’s your favorite part of Christmas?


As part of Killer Characters’ “Season’s Readings,” we’ll be picking a winner to receive a Pampered Pets Mystery of your choice! Please leave your email address with a comment.

46 comments:

  1. Trying to pick out the perfect gift for my friends and family. I take time all year and look for things. I love the giving part, although I don't mind tearing off paper to see what people got me for Christmas either. I also love making the special cookies that have been made in our family for as long as I can remember - my grandmother and great-aunts made them and my mom (86) still makes them and my younger brother and I always help her. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liz - What a wonderful family legacy of passing down a special cookies recipe!

      Delete
  2. Being with family, friends and doing what I can for the less fortunate!
    Lynn/MI

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love the title of this book. I love Christmas movies! sweetcandi32010@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Candace! We have a lot of fun with titles - books in the Pampered Pets Mysteries series are (in order of release) Desperate Housedogs, Get Fluffy, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, and Yip/Tuck. Coming up next is Fifty Shades of Greyhound.

      Delete
  4. I would agree, being with family and friends is important. Setting up and decorating the tree is another favorite. I love seeing all the ornaments we've collected over the years. Many have special meaning. I also enjoy driving around the city and seeing all the Christmas lights and decorations. dbahn@iw.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dianne, that is fun! We have neighborhoods in the city that really go all out with the lights and decorations and a few companies that do big displays. Always fun to see how creative folks get with their decorations!

      Delete
  5. Being with family and seeing the magic of the season in the children's eyes is always my favorite part. The book sounds great and I'd love to read it. jlong AT parker DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Children really do make the season magic, don't they?

      Delete
  6. I love the Christmas season and sending and receiving Christmas cards. I even love newsy Christmas newsletters! lkleback@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We agree! Sometimes those newsy newsletters are a great chance to catch up on what's happening with friends and family.

      Delete
  7. Traveling home to be with the rest of my family is the best part. I live in the South and we travel North so my son loves to see the snow. Lots of sledding and snowboarding if we're lucky. sa7mrt@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. How fun! So far this year it looks like it will be a white Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  9. watching the kids open their presents

    ReplyDelete
  10. Being with family and watching my grandson open gifts.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Absolutely! Being with family and the excitement of the kids and their gifts is the best. We both now have grandchildren which we've discovered adds a whole new level of fun!

    ReplyDelete
  12. kim j
    spending time with the whole family
    kjohnson952@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. It gets harder to get the family together as everyone grows older, leaves for college or starts their own little families, that when we are able to finally be together, it makes it that much sweeter.

      Delete
  13. Christmas movies/shows - my favourite is the whole family gathering to watch Christmas Vacation, we do it every year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great tradition. Christmas Vacation is hilarious.

      Delete
  14. The animated Christmas programs that I remember when I was a kid but they are still enchanting. Santa Claus is Coming to Town is my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, do you remember The Year Without a Santa Claus? I loved Heat Miser and Snow Miser as a kid.

      Delete
  15. The food.
    sgiden at verizon(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  16. The Christmas decorations and lights that make this colder, darker time of year brighter and cozier.

    ElaineE246(at)msn(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elaine - Our part of downtown has so many twinkle lights up and it's great when you walk out of work (in the dark this time of year) and see all them!

      Delete
  17. My favorite part of Christmas is the quiet times, sitting in the darkened room with all the Christmas lights on, perhaps watching a classic Christmas special. It's magical!

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katreader - Do you have a favorite Christmas special?

      Delete
  18. My favorite part of Christmas is being together with my family for the traditional Holiday dinner and all the wonderful food and memories we make and share together! Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sharon! It's very much about making memories, isn't it?

      Delete
  19. I love being able to watch Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in White Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We love the classics too! Can you hear Bing singing right now? "I'm dreaming, of a white Christmas..."

      Delete
  20. Christmas cookies

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaye - Christmas cookies! Yes. Do you have a favorite recipe?

      Delete
  21. Being with family while the house has the aroma of just baked goodies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaye - We can just picture it. Or maybe that's we can just smell it.

      Delete
  22. I do love catching up with family. I also love the decorations and Christmas Carols and the food and the gift giving and receiving and .....

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Getting in touch with old friends is my favorite part of the holiday season. Some folks I only hear from once a year and it's such a treat to see what they have been up to.
    pennyt at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Penny - Thanks for stopping by. You're right it is a treat to get in touch with old friends at the holidays and see what's been going on in their lives.

      Delete
  24. Would it be so wrong to say my favorite part is eating all of the goodies?? Oh, and getting together with family, too.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My beagles are definitely pampered pets, too. They would say that my favorite thing about the holidays is watching them play with their new toys.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi, Sue. Isn't it the truth. And sometimes watching isn't enough, we must play with them.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow some of those things are truly ridiculously expensive. I do like the special dinner dishes you don't get at any other time of the year the most.
    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete