Guest Chick: Susan Kimmel Wright

The Chicks are excited to welcome Susan Kimmel Wright for a return visit to the blog today. (But we’re glad it’s not Friday the 13th!) Susan has generously offered one lucky US commenter—chosen at random— to receive a candle from the iconic Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, PA, in their signature “Bookshop” scent, which sounds heavenly to us Chicks!

Not (Very) Superstitious

My daughter Maria has a thing about Friday the 13th. She owns a pet grooming business and swears dogs come in that day looking to take a chunk out of her, equipment breaks, and every other client is spoiling for a fight. She always crosses it off her schedule in the interests of self-preservation.

Must say, Friday the 13th never bothered me…maybe since I’m perfectly capable of making my own bad luck 24/7/365. If only misfortune restricted itself to an occasional day that I could predict just by looking at the calendar! 

I’ve been oblivious, head down, trying to meet a writing deadline on Book Three of my series. But it recently occurred to me that maybe I should be a bit more concerned about what my family’s been up to while my back’s been turned. I don’t want to think my nearest and dearest would put a hex on me, but let’s consider the evidence.

For one thing, Maria recently unloaded…er, gifted…her black cat Dante on us. Dante, a lovable, supersize Maine coon, wants nothing more than frequent feedings and constant petting. He seems to pop up everywhere in quest of his life goals, endlessly crossing and recrossing my path. Unsatisfied with that traditional curse formula, he’s also started lying down across the steps. Because he looks like a shadow and takes up an entire stair tread, plus sloppage, every time I make my way upstairs with an armload of stuff, he’s a cat-astrophe waiting to happen. (See what I did there?)

Eh, I’m still alive, so what’s the big deal? Glad you asked. After forty years in our 1880 farmhouse, husband Dave has suddenly decided to reglaze, caulk, and paint windows. It started out okay, and he was quite the busy bee for the first week. Then, he reached the second-floor window directly above the front door. He propped up the ladder, then promptly walked off the job—at least two weeks ago. He never uses the front door. I, on the other hand, cross under that ladder maybe ten times a day. Not to mention our house now looks as if either someone’s trying to elope or we’re advertising for burglars.

Are black cats and ladders cause for concern? Asking for a friend…who’s glad she’s working on Book Three and not Book Thirteen.

Readers … are you (very) superstitious?

Mabel plans to bring the thrills of volunteering to the masses—if she doesn’t go to the dogs first.

When Mabel finds herself sharing a thicket with a dead body while volunteering with canine search-&-rescue, her life has clearly—once again—gone to the dogs!

After her losing her job at age forty-nine, Mabel thought she’d turned things around. Now she’s doing good by volunteering, and surely, she’ll soon be a successful author, writing about her experiences. After solving two notorious decades-old cold cases while serving as a historical society volunteer, she’s already getting invitations to appear on TV.

Her new assignment couldn’t be simpler. All she has to do is hide in the woods and let Millie the search dog practice finding her. But to her horror, Millie finds more than Mabel—there’s a dead body hiding in the same patch of brush. To make things worse, Mabel’s maybe-boyfriend, suspended PI John Bigelow, has a dark history with the victim.

While struggling with maid-of-honor duties for best friend Lisa, a string of disasters created by handyman Acey, and a disagreeable new neighbor, can Mabel solve another murder in time to save John’s detective license—if not his neck?

Susan Kimmel Wright is a child of the Appalachian Mountains. A former lawyer, Susan has published three children’s mystery novels and is a prolific contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Mabel Goes to the Dogs, Book Two in Mysteries of Medicine Spring, her first cozy mystery series for adult readers, is now available from Mountain Brook Ink. Susan shares an 1880 farmhouse in southwestern PA with her husband, several dogs and cats, and an allegedly excessive stockpile of coffee and tea mugs. In her free time, she rescues Australian cattle dogs and avoids stepping on cracks.

46 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Susan Kimmel Wright

  1. My biggest superstition is Friday the 13th. I’ve had lots of bad luck on that date. I’ve had a water heater die. I had a tree split in 2 and thank goodness it didn’t land on the house, just the shed but that was old and it didn’t do too much damage but what a mess we had to clean up. I had a blowout on the highway in the pouring rain, I was lucky this woman stopped and drove me to a garage. I guess you could say there is some good to go with the bad. But I am always afraid of what will happen next.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In general, I am not superstitious. Friday the 13th has never given me cause to dread it. One of my favorite people was born on that day. BUT, the full moon is another story. I used to work in finance at our local teaching hospital and things just seemed to be extra difficult working around those days. My 2 cats, who have crossed the rainbow bridge after 20 years and were a close bonded pair, would fight terribly on those days.
    Maybe I am just lucky, if so, I hope it continues. Fingers crossed! LOL!
    By the way, I also collect coffee mugs. I have 486 of them. They are all displayed nicely on rotating poles my husband designed and made for me.
    I am looking forward to reading Book 2!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, girl–don’t get me started on the full moon! It is *for real*.

      And wow! I’m impressed by that mug collection–you’re expanding my goals here. What a sweet husband. Mine doesn’t get the importance of just the right mug for my mood, the season, the book I’m reading/writing, etc., lol. Maybe I need a mug rack too…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Greetings, Susan! While not very superstitious myself, a black cat AND a ladder? Definitely suspicious.

    You look familiar. Have I seen you at Mystery Lovers? I’m ashamed to admit I’m terrible with names.

    Congrats on the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t mind walking under ladders, but I’m not fond of climbing them, so I guess I’m more risk-averse than superstitious.

    Thanks so much for visiting the Chicks today, Susan, and congrats on the new book–I love the title and cover!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I go out of my way to avoid walking under ladders. I also “knock on wood” after statements such as, “Wow! Glad I didn’t break my leg today.” When I’m stressed, I continuously find “pennies from heaven” in the strangest places. So, guess I have superstitious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you, Mary! I’ve never been able to shake my unwillingness to step on cracks. And I often stop my happy warbling in the morning when I hear my mother’s voice in my ear: “Sing before breakfast, cry before dinner!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My mom always said it was bad luck to sing at the table. She didn’t limit it to singing before breakfast. Maybe we were just really off-key!


  6. I’m definitely not superstitious, but I do have what I like to call “high entropy” days, which seem to just occur at random. I don’t know as I’d walk under a ladder with someone on it, because I’m not fond of things being dropped on my head.

    The full moon is another story. Ask any cop, ER person or EMT. I think the phenomenon may be physical — if the moon can move the ocean, why can’t it affect people’s behavior?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. *Totally* with you on the full moon, Tom. Our brains are mostly water–gotta be some pull there. My mother and I noticed years ago that our sleep’s disrupted at the full moon, even if it’s cloudy or we’re in a darkened room. Also, everything kind of goes nuts!


  8. Ah, another “chick” from PA! I’m on the other side though. Southeastern. I’m not a superstitious person, but let’s just say I’ll label the Chicks bringing your books into my life under ‘fate.’ I adore anything with animals! Glad to meet you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, PA sister & fellow animal lover! My son-in-law’s from eastern PA–we totally believe in solidarity.

      Hope you enjoy the series–it has pawprints all over it!

      (My earlier reply vanished into the ether–hopefully this one will appear. Or more likely, both will show up. It’s not Friday the 13th, is it?)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t think of myself as superstitious, but I always pick up that penny and I’m not going to walk under a ladder or open an umbrella inside. I mean, what if I’m wrong?? Why tempt things?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad you’re here, Susan, and congrats on your book!

    I’m not usually superstitious. A family member was born on the 13th, and I’m good with those Friday birthdays. 🙂 One of my kiddos also adores black cats, so they’re great. I’m not as happy with broken mirrors–but more because of the mess!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi, Susan, and welcome to Chicks! So happy to have you visit again, and huge congrats on the new book. What a nice, fall-ish cover, too. I’m okay with Friday the 13th. Maybe I have reverse luck, lol. As a kid I won a skating competition on that date, so I was set for life. I do own a black cat–I feel sorry for them, because they’re less likely to be adopted. (Also, I loved Salem in Sabrina the Teenage Witch).


  12. Thanks so much, Lisa–it’s wonderful to be back. The Chicks are both kind and hilarious–possibly my two favorite qualities in a human being!

    So glad to hear you adopted a black cat–my daughter Maria has *four*! love black cats, especially Dante…when he’s not plotting my demise, anyway…


  13. I say I’m not superstition, but I can’t help but think about some of these things. Honestly, I think most of it is that we are looking for bad things to happen after we cross paths with a bad luck instigator in some form, so we see finding no parking spot as caused by bad luck rather than just the store being busy, which is what we would have said the day before.

    Make sense?

    Now, if you need me, I’ll be over here tossing a pinch of salt over my shoulder just to be safe.


    1. I think you’re on to something there, Mark. But, you know…things happen. Funny you should mention salt. While I was writing this blog I went for a snack. Picked up a big wooden saltshaker, and the rubber plug at the bottom just fell out. Salt just gushed out.

      Did I pick up a pinch and toss it over my left shoulder? Of course, I did–I’m no fool.


  14. I think you’re on to something there, Mark. But, you know…things happen. Funny you should mention salt. While I was writing this blog I went for a snack. Picked up a big wooden saltshaker, and the rubber plug at the bottom just fell out. Salt just gushed out.

    Did I pick up a pinch and toss it over my left shoulder? Of course, I did–I’m no fool.


  15. Susan, hilarious! So funny your husband walked off the job, leaving many questions to those passing by the ladder. And congrats on book 3!

    I’m kind of superstitious and kind of not? I don’t worry about stepping on cracks but I do avoid walking under ladders. So visiting you would be a challenge!


  16. My gram was overly superstitious and I try to ignore her many sayings that float into my head.
    Full moons make me want to howl!
    I’m on Chapter 19 of Mabel Goes to the Dogs. Great fun with a mystery to solve. I’ve read Susan’s other books, too. She and her books are delightful! I highly recommend them.


  17. Susan! So happy you hung out with the Chicks. Congrats on the book!!

    In the immortal words of The Office’s Michael Scott, I’m not superstitious, but I am a little-stitious.

    I will say that Friday the 13th gives me pause–but bring on the paws of a black cat anytime!


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