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Monday, November 14, 2016

Goofy Dogs and Christmas Fun by Paty Jager

Please welcome Paty Jager to Muse Monday. Always a treat!
When I decided I wanted to write a Shandra Higheagle Mystery that was set during Christmas, I immediately knew I wanted her dog, Sheba, involved.
One of my favorite secondary characters in this series is Sheba. She’s a Newfoundland/Border Collie cross. She has the Newfoundland’s size and the Border Collie coloring.  While a Newfoundland is noted for their heroics of saving people from drowning, Sheba inherited the Border Collie’s timid tendencies. Granted, they aren’t timid when it comes to herding, but they can be timid in other ways. With these interesting traits, I’ve made Sheba a big, furry, goofball of a dog. She is submissive to everyone and hides when she’s scared. But you have to love her enthusiasm for life and being by Shandra’s side.
While hashing out what I wanted to happen in the Christmas mystery, I came up with the idea of Sheba pulling a sleigh full of toys in a Christmas parade.  I also wanted her to bring a dead body in the sleigh to Shandra.  Playing off the big dog’s fearfulness, I had an antique car in front of her in the parade back-fire. She takes off, and when Shandra finds her several streets away from the parade, there is a body in the sleigh.
But that isn’t all, Sheba has been stabbed. Not life-threatening but it means she saw the killer.
That’s how the book starts and I am pleased with Sheba’s part in the book and how in the end she helps solve the mystery. So in a way you could say Yuletide Slaying is Sheba’s book.
Yuletide Slaying: A Shandra Higheagle Mystery
Book 7 of the Shandra Higheagle mystery series
Family, Revenge, Murder
When Shandra Higheagle’s dog brings her a dead body in a sleigh full of presents, her world is turned upside down. The man is a John Doe and within twenty-four hours another body is found.
Detective Ryan Greer receives a call that has them both looking over their shoulders. A vengeful brother of a gang member who died in a gang war is out for Ryan’s blood. Shandra’s dreams and Ryan’s fellow officers may not be enough to keep them alive to share Christmas.
Shandra jogged down the street calling for her dog. “Sheba! Sheba!”
She expected people to step out and wonder who she was calling but from the closed signs in the businesses, it seemed everyone was at the parade. Everyone but her.
“Sheba!” She glanced right and left at each cross street. She didn’t see the dog, the red sleigh, or any presents. Where could her furry mutt have disappeared?
She passed the police station and called. “Sheba!”
“Woof! Woof!”
“Sheba, girl, where are you?” she called back and headed down the side street where she’d heard the bark.
Sheba walked out of an alley behind the clinic. She still wore the harness and the sleigh appeared.
Air whooshed out of Shandra’s lungs.
A pair of boots connected to legs hung over the edge of the sleigh.

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Paty Jager writes murder mysteries and steamy romance starring cowboys and Indians.
blog / websiteFacebook / Paty's Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest


  1. That is the BEST OPENING LINE EVER! Best of luck on this...

  2. Thank you for having me on your blog, Brenda. Thank you Word Actress.