by Barb who’s celebrating the holiday in Virginia with family
Hi everyone. I hope you are having great holidays. Today is release day for Maine Clambake Mystery #6, Stowed Away.
To celebrate, I’m giving a signed copy to one lucky commenter below.
In order to keep track of what people may be writing about my books on the Web I have set up Google Alerts for my name, my series name, and my titles. Some of the alerts are nearly useless. Clammed Up and Boiled Over, for example. People are always clamming up, particularly politicians, and boiling over, particularly at sporting events. Musseled Out and Fogged Inn are much better, because of their unique spellings. When I get alerted to one of those phrases, it almost always links to my book. (Usually to a pirated edition, or much more common, some site pretending to have a free electronic edition, but actually phishing.)
So when I started writing Stowed Away, I set up a Google Alert on the title. As I result I regularly receive articles about things that have stowed away.
Some of them are adorable, like this one.
The kitten was fine, by the way, and was eventually adopted by the auto technician who opened the car hood and got quite a surprise. The little fellow was named Tacoma after the car brand in which he took his ride.
But most of the articles are absolutely horrifying, like this one.
The article goes on to say:
“Like a guinea pig, it was seven inches long and furry. Unlike a guinea pig, it had eight legs.”
The Huntsman Spider survived by eating locusts that had also stowed away, one of many things it eats in the wild, including beetles and small lizards. These spiders don’t spin webs, but get around by cartwheeling or handspringing a yard at a time. Imagine that coming at you. I don’t know if this particular story has a happy ending (or even what would constitute a happy ending). Last seen, the spider had been removed to the Heathrow Animal Reception Center.
Arachnids aren’t the only creepy stowaways. Over the last year and a half I have received dozens of links like these:
And this one from my own back yard.
The article continues:
“The women, who drove Wednesday from Logan International Airport in Boston to an inn in Kennebunk, found a ball python when they arrived and were taking their bags from the car’s trunk.
Kennebunk Deputy Police Chief Dan Jones said officers responded to the Port Inn on Route 1 after getting the call.
‘As calls go, this one was pretty strange,’ he said.”
BTW, if you want to hear a good stowed away story of this ilk, ask the Wicked’s own Liz Mugavero next time you see her.
I’ll keep the alert active, even though stowed away promises to be as ineffective in spotting mentions of my book as clammed up and boiled over are. I have to admit, I kind of like these stories. They’re compelling and repelling at the same time.
Readers: Do you have a story about something that stowed away? Share it here, or just say hi to be entered to win a signed copy of Stowed Away.