If you’re familiar with Maryland’s Eastern Shore, you’ve admired the natural beauty of the region and sampled the unique homespun charm of the residents. If you’ve never experienced this part of the world, you should.
Situated on the “Eastern Shore” side of the Chesapeake Bay is the world-famous Aspen Institute/Wye River Conference Center, where I worked for two years in the late 1990s. The Wye River Conference Center was the setting for the 1998 Mideast Peace Talks, which were attended by President Bill Clinton, Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon, Secretary of State Madelaine Albright, CIA Director George Tenet, Security Advisor Sandy Berger and many others.
During the nine days of the Peace Talks, President Clinton shook my hand and spoke with me on several occasions. On the final day of the talks, First Dog Buddy accompanied Bill on the short helicopter ride from Washington. The beloved chocolate Lab was there at the request of Chairman Arafat, who wanted to meet the famous dog. At the time, Bill was facing impeachment proceedings and his approval ratings were barely measurable, but it’s hard not to like a man who loves his dog.
After the Clintons left the White House and moved to New York, Buddy was hit by a car and killed. The Maryland breeder who had given Buddy to the Clintons is a friend of mine, and she and I developed a plan to get the Clintons a new puppy. Buddy’s nephew had just sired a litter of chocolate Labs, and when Linda, the dog breeder, contacted Bill about the idea of getting a new puppy, he was very agreeable. He asked Linda to select his new pup, train him, and care for him, which she happily did until the Clintons were ble to take him to his new home in New York.
Throughout the entire puppy process – the communications with the President, selecting the pup, training him, naming him, and delivering him to the Clintons – I wrote numerous stories about Bill, Buddy, and the new pup, Seamus. Several articles were published by the Baltimore Sun, and then were picked up by national newspapers. President Clinton wrote me a personal note thanking me for the stories about his dogs. He said he especially enjoyed them because they weren’t political in any way.
Inspired by the setting of the Wye River Conference Center and based on my exciting experiences there, I’ve created the Chesapeake Conference Center mystery series. There are three titles so far in the series: In over My Head (2007), Too Close for Words (2008) and Suitable for Framing (2009).
Two of my other novels, works of women's fiction, have also been published: Almost Mine (2007) and Good Fridays (2011).