Welcome Guest Jennifer J. Chow with a Giveaway!

Carol Knudtson is the winner of Mimi Lee Gets A Clue! Watch for an email from Jennifer!

I am so delighted to welcome Jennifer J. Chow to the Wickeds blog! Look for a giveaway at the end of the post! Mimi Lee Gets A Clue is the first book in the new Sassy Cat mystery series. I’m reading this right now and it’s a balm for all that’s going on in the world! Mimi and her cat Marshmallow are so funny. I love the premise for this series: Mimi Lee is in over her head. There’s her new Los Angeles pet grooming shop to run, her matchmaking mother to thwart, her talking cat Marshmallow to tend to—oh, and the murder of a local breeder to solve…now if only Mimi hadn’t landed herself on top of the suspect list. 

Mimi Lee hoped to give Los Angeles animal lovers something to talk about with her pet grooming shop, Hollywoof. She never imagined that the first cat she said hello to would talk back or be quite so, well, catty—especially about those disastrous dates Mimi’s mother keeps setting up. 

When Marshmallow exposes local breeder Russ Nolan for mistreating Chihuahuas, Mimi steals some of her cat’s attitude to tell Russ off. The next day the police show up at Hollywoof. Russ has been found dead, and Mimi’s shouting match with him has secured her top billing as the main suspect. 

Hoping to clear her name and save the pups Russ left behind, Mimi enlists help from her dreamy lawyer neighbor Josh. But even with Josh on board, it’ll take Mimi and Marshmallow a lot of sleuthing and more than a little sass to get back to the pet-grooming life—and off the murder scene.

My Love for Talking Animals:

Hands down, the best Christmas present I ever got as a kid was a stuffed pig. The fact that he was bigger than my entire body only added to his appeal. I promptly named him Wilbur because I was fanatical about Charlotte’s Web at the time.

I liked dragging him all over the house. We would even have dinner together. For a while, I boycotted eating pork. My mom, though, figured out a way to get around my picky eating. She’d cover Wilbur’s eyes with a cloth whenever she served anything that might be offensive to him.

The thing I liked the most about Wilbur was (just like in the book) his ability to talk. I’d tell him about my rough days at school, and he’d totally understand and give me comfort.

Sometimes I’d play superheroes with my brother, and we’d get to choose our own powers. I’m sure he picked something exciting like super strength. I wanted to be able to speak with animals (well, that or the power to fly).

When I grew a little older, well-meaning adults would ask me that most important of questions: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“A vet,” I said because I loved all things feathered and furry. And although I’d grown out of believing that animals could speak, I still thought they might have a language of their own—if I could only crack it.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t grow up to be a vet. Instead, I’m a writer. However, I’ve come full circle and am writing stories featuring animals that can talk to each other—and one sassy telepathic cat who can speak with his owner, Mimi. He’s also the cat’s pajamas in the sleuthing department. He pairs up with Mimi when she gets implicated in a murder and needs to clear her name.

So, who says you can’t keep your childish wishes? I’m living mine out right now.

Readers, how have you kept your childhood hopes going in your life? Giveaway: A physical copy of MIMI LEE GETS A CLUE (US only) through random selection from a comment on the blog. Ends one week after the post (April 2nd).

photo credit: Julie Daniels

Jennifer J. Chow writes the #ownvoices Sassy Cat mystery series (Berkley/Penguin Random House) and the Winston Wong Cozy Mysteries under J.J. Chow. She’s active in Sisters in Crime and Crime Writers of Color.

Connect with her online at www.jenniferjchow.com.

58 Thoughts

  1. Welcome, Jennifer, and congratulations on the new series! I wrote lots of fiction as a child, and am so happy I got back to it in my older years.

  2. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a nurturer. As a child it was pushing a doll buggy and babying my dolls or my wonderfully patience little dog. That desire never left as I grew up. I had a family and was ecstatic to be the one to protect, teach and “mother”. I’ve also worked with animals to protest them from those doing them harm, finding them forever homes and in the mean time “mothering” all of them. When roles between mother and child got reversed when Alzheimer paid us a visit, I was more than willing and very happy to give my Mom the “mothering” that she so tenderly gave me. So in answer to your question, yes I have kept the childhood hopes going in your life. Hoping that I can continue to “mother” those that need it (whether they know it or not) for the rest of my years. As long as there is someone that needs it or can benefit from a little mothering, there will be no retirement from my “job”. 🙂

    Can’t wait for the opportunity to read all about Mimi and Marshmallow in “MIMI LEE GETS A CLUE”. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy. <3

    I know I talk to Snickerdoodle, our 15 year old chihuahua, and at times I swear he answers me back. Well, maybe not in spoken words but we do communicate. 🙂

  3. That sounds right up my alley. I really enjoy books with animals worked on. I’ll have to get it on my wish list. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  4. I wanted to be a vet when I was a kid too. I didn’t but we try to make our yard friendly for birds and pollinators. We also raise and release Monarch butterflies

  5. Welcome, Jennifer! Mimi Gets a Clue sounds wonderful. I love the way you describe the winding yet purposeful path that got you to writing about talking animals. I loved to read as a child and always thought, “I want to write like that,” and now I do. Or not quite “like that” but I keep trying.

  6. Congrats on your debut! (I don’t need to be entered in the giveaway)

    I’ve given up on writing novels. And unfortunately, my favorite characters aren’t going to come to life, either.

  7. When I first got braces I wanted to be dental hygienist (back in the boys are doctors girls are nurses days). By the end, though that was the last think I wanted to do. 😉 Thank you for the chance to win!

    1. Haha! I had braces growing up and remember having the opposite reaction. I definitely didn’t want to look into people’s mouths. (I think dentists are actually supposed to have one of the highest stress jobs around.)

  8. Sounds like a great book.
    I had a little black stuffed lamb that went everywhere with me.

  9. Welcome Jennifer, and congratulations on the book! When I was a child I loved mysteries, and I’ve continued that for sure. I’m not sure I ever dreamed of writing them, but I’m grateful for all that reading I did.

    1. You never know, Julie…I thought the same thing. I loved reading mysteries, but I wasn’t sure I could write them. Then I gave it a chance, and the rest is history.

  10. Just finished reading it, loved it. I want lots more Marshmallow, that one sassy cat!

  11. Welcome to the Wickeds blog, Jennifer! I just love, love, love your cover! I also love your question! I have absolutely kept my childhood wish! I have always wanted to be a writer and mysteries, especially those set in the Golden Age have been amongst my favorites. Now having a chance to write a series set during that time period is a dream come true!

    1. Thanks for the nice welcome, Jessie. Love that you particularly enjoyed mysteries set in the Golden Age. Congrats on having your dream come true!

  12. My only long-term wish from childhood was to go to Peru. Not only did I finally get some 30 years later, but ended up going every year for 25 years. I love talking cats. Look forward to meeting Mimi.

  13. From the time I was very young, I knew I wanted to be a mom—I had my boys at she’s 27 and 31. From 8th grade on, I knew I wanted to be an RN—I achieved that at 21. But best of all has been being a grandma—my first grandson was born when I was 50 and now I have 3. They’re the joy of my life. legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  14. I always loved to write and I’ve continued to do so. Maybe someday I’ll have the nerve to try to get something published. There’s lots of places I’d like to see. I haven’t gotten to many but I hope to eventually.

  15. As a fan of the Doctor Dolittle books I would have killed to be able to talk to animals. I also wanted to be Animal Man, a comic book superhero who could duplicate animal powers (fly like a bird, ram like a rhino, swim like a dolphin, etc.)
    I must confess, neither of these dreams continued into adulthood.

  16. Congratulations on your first series! Animals talking sounds really fun!
    I wanted to be a Roller Derby Queen when I was young! It didn’t happen! Thank goodness my childhood dreams changed. Lol!!!

    1. Thank you, Sherry! Roller Derby Queen? Ooh! For a brief period of time, I wanted to be an ice skater after watching Michelle Kwan at the Olympics.

  17. I wanted to live near water ever since I used to go to florida for vacation and now I am near several lakes and the gulf. I lived in California for 10 years, but I keep hoping I will make it there to live.

    1. I love being close to the water, whether that means beaches or lakes. One of my college friends had a house by a lake, and I remember really enjoying being out in the calm water.

  18. I wanted to be a vet, too, until I learned I’d have to operate. So instead I had a pet sitting service for many years and volunteer at the local shelter. I love this book already and I haven’t even read it. A pet groomer who goes after a breeder for hurting the dogs is my kind of person. Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. Hollywoof…there should be a store by that name. it’s so fun. I love it! I’d love to read your book.

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