My name is Zoe Donovan. I’m a third-generation Ashtonite (our unofficial name for the citizens of Ashton Falls). The by-product of my wealthy mother’s single act of teenage rebellion, and my locally beloved but financially lacking, blue-collar father’s tender act of love, I’ve overcome my scandalous entry into the world and carved out a satisfying and peaceful existence. While some of the crustier old geezers in town would say I have a tendency toward the absurd, I like to think that I’m actually a normal and well-rounded twenty-five-year-old with a few adorable quirks that make me, me.
According to my Facebook page, which I share with Charlie, my half terrier/ half mystery dog, we’re in a relationship with our two cats, a huge orange tabby named Marlow (after detective Phillip Marlow) and a petite black beauty named Spade (named for Sam Spade and not the playing card suit.) We are avid joggers and mystery buffs who used to work for the Ashton Falls branch of the Timberland County Animal Shelter until we were fired for embarrassing some very powerful people when we solved a crime that had the local sheriff’s office completely stumped. Since then my super awesome boyfriend has purchased the old shelter and reopened it as Zoe’s Zoe, a wild and domestic animal rescue and rehabilitation shelter.
When we aren’t solving murders or rescuing animals and placing them in homes around the community, I volunteer at the senior center, where I horn in on their book club, and Charlie volunteers at the hospital, where he’s a therapy dog. I like to wakeboard in the summer and snowboard in the winter, while Charlie prefers chasing a Frisbee on the beach or hiking the miles of unmarred forest around the lake. We both like to relax by curling up in front of the fire with a good book in the converted boathouse we call home.
I suppose I should mention that, although I tend to be verbally creative and a bit long-winded, I’m not a physically impressive individual. In fact, at five foot two (okay, five foot nothing) and just under a hundred pounds, I’m considered by most to be both vertically challenged and physically derisory. I inherited my dad’s stick-thin frame, speckling of freckles, and thick curly hair, a deep chestnut brown that most days is a wild mess that I braid or just pull back with a large clip. I’ve been told I have nice eyes, sort of an intense yet unusual piercing blue, and I did manage to inherit my mother’s long, thick lashes and wide, full-lipped smile.
My best friend in the world is my dog Charlie. I know there are people in the community who don’t really get my relationship with Charlie. Most don’t understand why I treat him more like a person than a dog. And while I have a soft spot in my heart for all of God’s creatures, I have a special love for Charlie, with whom I share a special bond. Charlie came into the world as the embarrassing product of Lorie Wilson’s champion Tibetan terrier, Tiara Jane, and a mystery date who shall forever remain unnamed. After Charlie was born, the only pup in that unfortunate litter, Lorie wanted nothing to do with him, so Charlie came to live with me when he was only a few hours old. During those first few weeks when I struggled to keep him alive and healthy, we bonded in a way that even I can’t entirely explain.
Other than Charlie my two best friends are Levi Denton and Ellie Davis. Levi, Ellie and I have been best friends since kindergarten, when our teacher sat everyone at round tables of three, alphabetically by last name. Levi is the football and baseball coach at the local high school and Ellie owns Ellie’s Beach Hut, a lakeside bar and grill
I guess the only other thing you should know about me is that, while I’m somewhat high-strung in general, I tend to go more than a little nuts if the equilibrium in my most important relationships is disturbed in any way. I’m not sure where my neurotic need to maintain homogeneity originated, but I suspect it had something to do with my mom’s desertion when I was just a baby. I believe that it is this deep seeded fear of change that has caused me to take the long road toward happily ever after with my former arch nemesis and current boyfriend Zak Zimmerman. Luckily Zak is the patient type who is willing to stand by me as I grow into the emotionally secure woman that I hope I can be.
You can read more about Zoe in Haunted Hamlet, the 9th book in the “Zoe Donovan” mystery series, published by Kathi Daley. The first book in the series is Halloween Hijinks.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on October 6 for the chance to win HAUNTED HAMLET e-book plus this lovely mug. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
Meet the author
Kathi Daley lives with her husband, kids, grandkids, and Bernese mountain dogs in beautiful Lake Tahoe. When she isn’t writing, she likes to read (preferably at the beach or by the fire), cook (preferably something with chocolate or cheese), and garden (planting and planning, not weeding). She also enjoys spending time on the water when she’s not hiking, biking, or snowshoeing the miles of desolate trails surrounding her home.
Kathi uses the mountain setting in which she lives, along with the animals (wild and domestic) that share her home, as inspiration for her cozy mysteries.
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