Welcome guest Terry Shames & Lucky Lucy the Adventure Dog

Our guest Terry Shames wrote her first novel, A Killing at Cotton Hill, on board the family catamaran

Lucky Lucy the Adventure Dog

by Terry Shames

I’m not sure what prompted my husband to decide we should get a dog to take with us when we went cruising on our catamaran, a Lagoon 440. We had been sailing for years without the assistance of a dog. But he was sure having a dog aboard would be just the thing. He convinced me it would be fun. Since he usually traveled in advance to the boat to get her ready for sailing, that meant that I was the one who would have to haul the dog through airports and onto planes. It meant making sure that we could take the dog on small planes when we were anchored off islands with a small airport. And checking the regulations on islands we were planning to visit to make sure they were dog friendly.

 After much investigation, we decided on an Australian terrier, a dog that wouldn’t get heavier than the airlines’ regulation 20 pounds and that was known for being adventuresome. We found our puppy in Tennessee. Instead of flying to get her, I drove there from Austin with my mother (who loved road trips). After we picked her up, Mother and I quickly discovered that Lucy was a self-reliant little dog who took our road trip in stride.

The real test, though, was taking her on an airplane and then onto the boat. I could never have hoped for a dog more suited for adventure than Lucy was. As soon as I tucked her under the seat in front of me on the plane, she dropped off to sleep without a sound and slept the entire trip. When we got to the boat, she explored everything right away and it became “her” boat.

On our first trip, we were in Maine and the water was cold. As you can see from the picture, she eyed the water with great curiosity. Every day she watched it, mesmerized—and then one day, she simply leaped off the side. Luckily we watched her carefully all the time because we weren’t sure what she would do if she found herself in the water. But we needn’t have worried. She had seen us stepping off the swim ladder and somehow had processed in her doggy mind that this was the proper place to get on and off the boat. She swam right to the ladder and hauled herself aboard—a lot of scrambling was involved.

Like most dogs, although she learned right away where we wanted her to “do her business” on the boat, she always looked forward to getting land to a proper place.

She loved going onto sand beaches. The first time she ever felt sand under her feet, she did a happy dance like I’ve never seen. She leaped into the air, dashed around, barked at the waves, and generally let us know that she was one happy dog.



She learned how to help my husband repair things:





and loved going in the kayak.




And at the end of the day, she sprawled out, content to be with her people. But the best for me was that every morning when I wrote for three hours, she snuggled happily on the bed with me.

We sold the boat last year and got a second dog, thinking our boat days were over. But two months ago, my husband admitted that he needed another boat, a smaller one. So we bought our new boat, a 40-foot Catalina, a few weeks ago. The first thing my husband said was, “Now, how are both our dogs going to do on the boat?”

We’ll find out.


Terry Shames grew up in Texas. She has abiding affection for the small town where here grandparents lived, the model for the fictional town of Jarrett Creek. A resident of Berkeley, California, Terry lives with her husband, two rowdy terriers and a semi-tolerant cat. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Her second Samuel Craddock novel, THE LAST DEATH OF JACK HARBIN will be out in January 2014. Find out more about Terry and her books at www.Terryshames.com.


A KILLING AT COTTON HILL: A Samuel Craddock Mystery

The chief of police of Jarrett Creek, Texas, doubles as the town drunk. So when Dora Lee Parjeter is murdered, her old friend and former police chief Samuel Craddock steps in to investigate. He discovers that a lot of people may have wanted Dora Lee dead—the conniving rascals on a neighboring farm, her estranged daughter and her surly live-in grandson. And then there’s the stranger Dora Lee claimed was spying on her. During the course of the investigation the human foibles of the small-town residents—their pettiness and generosity, their secret vices and true virtues—are revealed.


“…if you’re as fond of good writing as I am, it will be the characters in Cotton Hill that will keep the pages turning until late in the evening…” –Mysteryfile

“Shames’ novel is an amazing read. The poetic, literary quality of the writing draws you in…” –RT Book Reviews

“Readers will want to see more of the likable main character, who compassionately but relentlessly sifts the evidence. Convincing small town atmosphere and a vivid supporting cast are a plus.” -Publishers Weekly

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About Christine Kling

I have spent more than thirty years living on and around boats and cruising the waters of the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. I’ve written articles and stories for many boating publications including Sailing, Cruising World, Motor Boating & Sailing, and The Tiller and the Pen. When I was married, I helped my husband build a 55-foot custom sailing yacht. After launching her, we sailed through the Panama Canal to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where we chartered for over two years. While in the islands, I received my 100-ton Auxiliary Sail Captains license. It was that sailing experience that led me to set my first nautical suspense novel, SURFACE TENSION (2002), on the waterfront in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring Florida female tug and salvage captain, Seychelle Sullivan, the first book was followed by CROSS CURRENT (2004) and BITTER END (2005). The fourth book in the series, WRECKERS’ KEY was released in February 2007. At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, I took the motto of this blog to heart. I quit my day job as an English professor at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale (just when they offered me tenure, I said no thanks and took early retirement). I was living the dream of full-time cruising on board my 33-foot Caliber Talespinner on my very tiny pension and whatever I made from my books having parted ways with the big publishing establishment. I self-published two books on my own: a small collection of four short stories entitled SEA BITCH: Four Tales of Nautical Noir and my first stand-alone sailing thriller set in the Caribbean, CIRCLE OF BONES. In 2012 I was offered a publishing deal with Amazon's mystery/thriller imprint Thomas&Mercer and they reissued CIRCLE OF BONES. The sequel to that book, DRAGON'S TRIANGLE came out in June 2014. And as for me, I'm no longer a singlehander on my little boat. I met Wayne Hodgins in 2013 and after a whirlwind Skype courtship, I flew to meet him in Fiji and we sailed a nearly 2000 mile passage to the Marshall Islands for our "first date." We now sail together aboard LEARNATIVITY, a 52-foot motor sailor with our family including Barney, the Yorkshire Terror and Ruby, the Wonder Dog.
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One Response to Welcome guest Terry Shames & Lucky Lucy the Adventure Dog

  1. LK says:

    As a schipperke fancier, I have found that many of my schip-owning friends have boats, and their schips just love the boating life. Your little Lucy sounds like a real treasure. I hope the 4 of you have many wonderful adventures together!

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