Please welcome my guest, Jessie Clever with a very fun Wicked Wednesday!
My dogs come with warning labels. Even to the most die-hard of dog lovers, I hold my fur babies back as they strain against their harnesses, eager to meet this new human with the unbelievable power of petting them! Yes, I say, when a naïve person approaches. Yes, they are friendly. Very friendly. But—I say, solemnly, - they slobber.
I say this with the gravest of grave tones, and yet, almost always, my warning is met with a flippant hand and a carefree laugh of, “Oh, I’m a dog person.” You are not, in fact, a dog person until you can honestly swear to love my two fur babies. And that is why so many of those naïve “dog people” pet my babies for mere seconds before straightening, looking in disgust at their hands, and walking away with a shaky, nervous smile on their lips.
You see, my fur babies are Basset hounds. Loud, smelly, dirty, slimy, shedding Basset hounds. As the saying goes, everyone should have a Basset hound puppy once in her life. Once being the key word. I have two such puppies, still puppies at nearly five years old. They are stubborn hounds, driven by their noses to seek out that which they covet, paying no heed to you and anything you say. No, they must find the source of the scent, which calls them. This leads to the loud, the smelly, the dirty, and often, the slimy part of Bassets. The shedding? Well, Bassets shed. A lot. When I vacuum, I joke that we got a third dog based on the amount of fur that ends up in the trashcan. That is the way with a hound dog.
But there’s something else about Bassets. They will irrevocably, unconditionally, unquestioningly love you until the day they die. Never before have a met a more loyal and devoted breed. They are lap dogs at seventy pounds, and they do not care if they squish you. For inside of them is a well of love that must be nurtured or they will combust at the strain of trying to hold it back.
So when I was drafting the story of Lady Margaret Folton in To Save a Viscount, I inadvertently made her entirely the opposite of a Basset hound. She’s neat, clean, and straight as a pin. Never does she have a hair out of place or a wrinkle in her gown. She is perfect in everyway. She must be for a terrible thing from her past has shut her down inside. She cannot feel. She cannot let go. She keeps herself tightly wound so she will never be hurt again.
So when Maggie walked onto the page, I knew what she needed most. She needed a Basset hound. She needed a Basset hound to bay at her in excitement, to ruin her dress with muddy paws earned from an afternoon chasing scent, to inflict her with the odor only Bassets can achieve. But most importantly, she needed a Basset to slobber her. And so it is when Maggie meets Captain Edwards, a Basset carefully crafted in the likeness of my own Basset, affectionately called Captain Licky, that the slobbering commenced. When Captain Edwards meets Maggie, he launches his strong compact body straight at her, knocking her over so he can assault her face with kisses. This tightly wound woman is no match for the questing tongue of a Basset, and she falls victim to his measures, getting thoroughly slobbered in a wickedly funny scene. At precisely the same moment she meets the hero of her tale.
Of course, that’s how it would go. I probably should have mentioned Bassets have terrible timing as well.
To Save a Viscount buy link: Amazon
About the Author:
Jessie decided to be a writer because the job of Indiana Jones was already filled.
Taking her history degree dangerously, Jessie tells the stories of courageous heroines, the men who dared to love them, and the world that tried to defeat them.
Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and two very opinionated (and slimy!) Basset Hounds.
For more about Jessie and the story of Maggie versus the Captain, visit her website at jessieclever.com.