You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him take a bath. –Kiki Lowenstein

If I’ve told Anya once, I’ve told her a thousand times: “Do not leave the top off the dog food container!”

See, I own a harlequin Great Dane named Gracie. At 135 pounds, my dog weighs more than my twelve-year-old daughter does. And only slightly less than I do. At her withers, Gracie is 36 inches high. She was a rescue pup, and I adore her. Did I explain she’s got this really mellow temperament? She does. I love everything about Great Danes, except their touchy digestive system.

When it comes to the seven sins, Gracie has gluttony covered. Leave the top off the canister where I store her dog food, and she’ll eat herself sick. Which is exactly what she did last night. So this morning, when I responded to the incessant BLEEP-BLEEP-BLEEP of my alarm clock, I stumbled into the kitchen for my coffee and … ugh…the smell nearly knocked me over. Gracie had covered the entire linoleum floor in an unappetizing shade of brown.

A day in my life. Hmmm. Oh, I suppose you expected something faintly domestic. Something about hopping out of bed, drinking my favorite hazelnut flavored instant coffee and eating Special K. Maybe a word or two about my wardrobe selection, how I found a really cute knit dress at the Goodwill store, and after I sewed up the rip under the armpit, it looked terrific. You probably thought I’d write about dropping Anya off at the Jewish version of Vacation Bible School, where she could practice her Torah portion for her upcoming bat mitzvah. Then off to work at Time in a Bottle, the scrapbook store I own with my friend Dodie.

You imagined I’d share all sorts of fun tips about papercrafting.

That I might even dish a little about my hunky boyfriend, Detective Chad Detweiler.

I’d like to tell you about that. Really I would. But right now, I have a mess to clean up.
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You can learn more about Kiki in Make, Take, Murder, the fourth book in the “Kiki Lowenstein” mystery series. The first book in the series is PAPER, SCISSORS, DEATH.

The life and times of Kiki Lowenstein is written by Joanna Campbell Slan who started storytelling – and winning awards for her writing – at an early age. Today she’s the author of eleven non-fiction books and a mystery series featuring Kiki Lowenstein, a spunky single mom who loves to scrapbook. Joanna’s first novel–Paper, Scissors, Death–was a 2009 Agatha Award finalist. The third book in Kiki Lowenstein series–Photo, Snap, Shot–has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly as “a cut above the usual craft-themed cozy.”

In its review of Make, Take, Murder (May 1, 2011/Midnight Ink) Romantic Times said one of the best things about Kiki Lowenstein is that she is “our best friend, our next-door neighbor and ourselves with just a touch of the outrageous.” You can guess where the outrageous comes from.

The next book in the Kiki Lowenstein series—Ready, Scrap, Shoot—has been scheduled for April, 2012 (Midnight Ink). Death of a Schoolgirl (July 2012/ Berkley) marks the first entry in Joanna’s historical mystery series, The Jane Eyre Chronicles, featuring Jane Eyre and husband Edward Rochester as amateur sleuths.

In her ongoing quest to never see snow again, Joanna divides her time between homes in Washington, DC, and Jupiter Island, Florida.

You can visit Joanna’s website at www.joannaslan.com

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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