New Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery: Pawprints and Predicaments by Bethany Blake

 

The Tail Waggin’ Winterfest is the highlight of the season in the famously pet-friendly Pocono Mountains town of Sylvan Creek. But despite attractions like an ice sculpture display, a dogsled race, and gourmet hot chocolate, Daphne Templeton finds herself annoyed by TV producer Lauren Savidge, who’s filming the festivities. She’s critical, controlling, and as chilly as the January air. Daphne would like to tell her to go jump in a lake—and as a matter of fact, that’s exactly what they’re both going to do . . .

It’s the first-ever polar bear plunge in Lake Wallapawakee, and Daphne and Lauren are among the eighty or so people who charge into the frigid water to raise funds for animals in need. Daphne makes it back to shore—with the help of a mysterious St. Bernard—but Lauren is dragged out stone cold dead. Now, with her trusty basset hound Socrates at her side, Daphne intends to assist Detective Jonathan Black in his investigation—whether he wants her to or not . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!


About The Author

Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

Webpage | BookBub  | Twitter Facebook  |Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google Play 


Sign up for Frankie’s newsletter and get a free Professor Molly story

Blog  | Facebook  | GoodReads | LinkedIn | Twitter | Mailing List
Advertisements

A New Amish Mystery: Kappy King and the Puppy Kaper by Amy Lillard

Enter to win an e-copy 

Content to be unmarried and plain-spoken, Kathryn “Kappy” King is an odd-woman-out in the Amish community of Blue Sky, Pennsylvania. But she’s skilled at making the special kapps local women need to cover their hair. And she might be the only one who can unearth the danger hiding in this peaceful valley . . .

When Kappy’s neighbor, Ruth Peachey, turns up dead in her yard, everyone in Blue Sky believes it’s a tragic accident. Until the Englisch police find the gentle dog breeder was deliberately struck down—and arrest her mentally-challenged son, Jimmy, for the crime . . .

Jimmy’s sister, Edie, returns to Blue Sky clear his name, yet no one will speak to a shunned former Amish woman, much less give her information. Determined to help, Kappy starts digging for the truth among her seemingly-innocent neighbors. But suddenly a series of suspicious “accidents” threatens Edie and the Peachey farm—property Edie is determined to protect for her brother’s future.

Now, as danger looms large in the small community, Kappy must bait a trap for a killer snapping hard at her heels. And Edie must decide whether to make a home once more in the town she thought she’d left behind . . .


Author Interview

Amy, welcome to Island Confidential! You have a really unique protagonist in Kappy King. Can you tell us about her?

Kappy is a little different from the normal protagonist in an Amish mystery. First she’s still Amish with no plans to leave her church. She’s a little on the quirky side. Her family was killed when she was younger, and she went to live with her spinster aunt who made the prayer kapps for their district. Kappy inherited that business from her along with some of that odd, on-the-fringes style of living.

How much do you have in common with Kappy?

I adore Kappy. There’s some of me in Kappy of course. She’s a little bit of a rebel, by Amish standards of course. She doesn’t want to do business through the front of her house so she makes everyone go around to the basement. She may fudge it a bit and help Edie clean out the barn on a Sunday when she’s not supposed to work. She loves Jimmy, her special needs neighbor. All in all, I think she’s a good person, even if she doesn’t think she fits in, and she has a heart of gold. If I met her on the street, I would want to buy her a cup of coffee and chat all afternoon.

Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

They do. Kappy may be in line for a new love interest. Or she might end up with her ex-fiancé, Hiram. Since Hiram was married to Kappy’s best friend, Kappy has a few issues with those past relationships. Only time will tell if they can work it out. Edie is faced with the tough consequences of her return to Blue Sky. She has to figure out if she really belongs with the English or back with the Amish and if she can ever truly call Blue Sky home again. Then there’s her little crush on Detective Jack Jones. Jimmy, Edie’s brother with Downs Syndrome, will make a play for a little more responsibility and freedom. It’s going to be tough for Edie, but I’m sure their sibling bond will carry them through.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?

No. Of course not! That would be horrible. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

Right, no, me neither. Next question, how realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

Blue Sky, Pennsylvania, itself is a fictional town. But the area where Blue Sky is set is real, Kishacoquillas Valley. Also called, Kish Valley and Big Valley. Once I visited there I knew immediately that I wanted to set a series in the valley. It’s one of the most beautiful Amish communities I’ve ever seen. A great many of the details of the story hold true for Kish Valley—three different types of Amish there and three different color buggies. There is an Amish-Mennonite shared cemetery, a dry goods store, and other places that will show up in later books.

When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

Allison Miller should play Kappy King with Sara Paxton as Edie Peachey. Tommy Jessop, a talented actor with Downs, should play Jimmy Peachey. And for Jack Jones…Brad Pitt. Sorry, sometimes I can’t help myself. Here’s where I ignore my Brad Pitt crush and admit that I can’t keep up with all the actors these days. (The truth is I never really did.) So I googled to find someone to play Jack and every one I came up with was either on Indian or Turkish television. I guess that says something about Jack’s looks. LOL The closest I can come up with is Kit Harrington, aka John Snow. He’s not quite as dark or as tall as Jack, but he’ll do just fine. 😉

What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

My former agent, the late Mary Sue Seymour, gave me the best writing advice of my career. When I told her about it years later she didn’t remember the conversation that changed my life. One afternoon years ago, she suggested I try my hand at writing books about the Amish. When I sputtered she told me, “you’re a writer. Write it.” Those words gave me the confidence to not only write about the Amish but write mysteries as well. It’s mindboggling that the words which were so important to me, she didn’t remember saying. Always keep in mind that what you say can affect people in ways you’ve never dreamed. Because of this, I always try to be positive. I want to spread a little of that Mary Sue Seymour confidence around.

 The worst…I can’t really think of anything. I either let it go a long time ago, or made the best of whatever it was. All advice is essentially good if you learn from it.

 Amy, thanks for stopping by.

Thanks for having me today and letting me introduce everyone to Kappy King!


About The Author  

Amy Lillard is the award-winning author of more than twenty novels, including the Wells Landing series, The Quilting Circle novels, the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries and the Kappy King Mysteries. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives with her husband and son in Oklahoma. Please visit her online at www.AmyWritesRomance.com.

amywritesromance.com

Facebook: @AmyLillard918

Twitter: @AmyWritesRomance

Goodreads

Barnes & Noble / http://bit.ly/2z4jdep

Hudson Booksellers / http://bit.ly/2zKFaMJ

Amazon / http://amzn.to/2msMglR

Books-A-Million / http://bit.ly/2ihSO23

IndieBound / http://bit.ly/2A1lW8y

Walmart / http://bit.ly/2iXr1n8


Sign up for Frankie’s newsletter and get a free Professor Molly story

Blog  | Facebook  | GoodReads | LinkedIn | Twitter | Mailing List

King Harald’s Snow Job: A new canine cozy and interview with author Richard Audrey

Enter to win a set of 3 King Harald print books (US only)

It’s early December and Andy Skyberg is itching to blow town for a weekend of holiday cheer with old friends—including a date with an attractive divorcée who thinks he’s hot.

But first, Aunt Bev needs a teensy bit of help. She’s managing the Girls’ Weekend Out event at the Beaver Tail Resort and could use some extra muscle. Andy figures he can spare a few hours before hitting the road.

Mother Nature, though, has other plans.

 

A giant blizzard makes an unexpected turn. Andy and his pooch King Harald find themselves snowbound—in a hotel full of hard-partying women, stranded travelers, a hockey team, a man-eating novelist, a belligerent blogger, and one violent, devious jewel thief.

Before you know it, man and mutt are up to their noses in another case. It’s a winter wonderland of fast-paced fun and merry madness, as the sleuthing duo dig out from King Harald’s Snow Job.


Aloha Richard, and welcome back again to Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little bit about Andy, the (human) protagonist? 

Andy Skyberg is about forty—a good-natured, easygoing sort of fellow. Unfortunately, his wife runs off with her Pilates instructor…his business tanks…and he goes into a deep funk. Lucky for him, his sister has a job for him back in their hometown of New Bergen, working in her restaurant. As soon as he moves back, he goes looking for a dog. He finds a big ginger-colored mutt called King Harald at the animal shelter and it’s love at first sight. What Andy doesn’t bargain for is Harald’s unexpected talent for sniffing out crime and landing his “boss” in the doo-doo.

How much do you and Andy have in common?

Other than being a middle-aged white guy from the upper Midwest, not a lot. He has more energy and more courage and a better work ethic. I’m actually a little envious of Andy.

Have your characters evolved throughout the series?

When the series starts, Andy is a little beaten down and easily manipulated by his sister/boss and his aunt. My intention, however, is for him to become more independent of these ladies. Of course, a lot of the books’ humor depends on Andy getting tossed into trouble, especially by his Aunt Bev. It will be a tricky balance, but I’m game to try. And, of course, I’ll keep throwing him curves in his love life, but eventually he’ll find the girl of his dreams.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?

I haven’t killed anybody, but I have depicted a few real people (under fictional names, of course) who I thought were jerks or idiots.

How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

A: Andy lives and works in the tourist town of New Bergen, a couple of hours up the Interstate from “The Cities.” It’s located in Beaver Tail County. Both places are fictional, but not unreasonable facsimiles of real locales in the Upper Midwest. However, a real rural county is not likely to have all the perquisites and amenities that I give Beaver Tail. In a way, I hope to make it like Midsomer, with a whole potential universe of eccentric characters and criminal possibilities.

When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

Jared Padalecki

A: If he were younger, Jeff Bridges would be the ideal Andy. Though maybe a little too handsome, Jared Padalecki (of Supernatural and Gilmore Girls fame) would make a fine Andy.

For Aunt Bev, I nominate Sally Field.

Sally Field

For Thor Hofdahl, I’d go with Gerald McRaney or Terry O’Quinn.

Gerald McRaney

Finally, for Becky Reingold, Kristin Wiig or Amy Adams.

Kristen Wiig

 

What’s the best and worst advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

A: The best advice was to write novels because you love doing it, not to make money. How true. The worst advice was to keep trying different genres to find the one that sells for you. Well, the problem with that is that genre readers often won’t read a freestanding book. They tend to not be interested unless there’s a series. So series (one canine cozy, one historical, one middle grade fantasy) are what I’m working on.


Richard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. As Richard Audry, he is the author of the King Harald Canine Cozy mystery series and the Mary MacDougall historical mystery series. Under his own name he has written the Johnny Graphic middle-grade ghost adventure series, the Marta Hjelm mystery, Smoking Ruin, and two books of literary commentary: Travis McGee & Me; and Four Science Fiction Masters.

Visit D. R. MARTIN & RICHARD AUDRY BOOKS|Richard Audry on Facebook

 


Sign up for Frankie’s newsletter and get a free Professor Molly story

Blog  | Facebook  | GoodReads | LinkedIn | Twitter | Mailing List

Beyond Lutefisk: Richard Audry, author of the King Harald Canine Cozies, on what you don’t know about Norway.

When springtime arrives in picturesque New Bergen, so do the tourists and antiquers. This year, though, there are some unwelcome visitors. Extortion. Arson. And murder.

After his business tanks and his wife leaves him for a Pilates coach, Andy Skyberg flees the big city for the peace and quiet of his hometown. All he wants is a decent job, a steady girlfriend, a plasma screen TV with a hundred-plus channels, and one loyal dog. But fate has something else in store for Andy, when his big mutt King Harald starts sniffing out crime.

HaraldCover2

 


King Harald’s Heist chronicles King Harald and Andy Skyberg on their second adventure.

As the leaves begin to change color in New Bergen, Andy Skyberg wants to turn his full attention to his sister’s new café and art gallery—and to the beautiful Finnish architect who’s managing the project.

But the good-natured, go-to guy can’t seem to catch a moment’s peace.


HaraldCover1

His next-door neighbors—two elderly sisters—want him to fend off a pushy historian who thinks they had a scandalous past. His parents enlist him to entertain a narcissistic, boring couple they would like to ditch. And his ever-scheming Aunt Bev tricks Andy into seeking an improbable new gig that could land him in the hot seat.


Rosemal

A Norwegian Rhapsody

Guest Post by Richard Audry

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year,” wrote Emily Dickinson to a friend in 1864. Given that she rarely left home, Dickinson no doubt based her impressions on a stereotypical Norway—a snowy, dreary country of fjords and piney forests. I’d like to think that, if she were alive today (and willing to hop on an airplane), she might hold quite a different opinion of this Scandinavian country.

I don’t claim to be an expert on all things Norske, but I do have Norwegian blood in my veins. And I grew up in Minnesota, the state with the highest number of Norwegian-Americans. It was only natural, then, that the town where my cozy mystery series is located would be called New Bergen, and the characters would have last names like Skyberg and Engebretson and Hofdahl. And then there is my sleuth Andy’s sidekick, a jumbo mutt with a nose for crime, who coincidentally has the same moniker as Norway’s monarch—King Harald.

On the menu at Ansel’s Café, the restaurant where Andy works, you probably won’t find lutefisk. This Nordic delight (or disaster, according to some) is created by soaking cod or other whitefish in lye until it comes to resemble Jello in consistency. It is, to say the least, an acquired taste. Even with my Norwegian lineage, I took one taste and I was done.

But you might be able to find salmon sushi on Ansel’s menu in New Bergen. In fact, this fish was introduced to the sushi-loving Japanese in the 1980s by the Norwegians—who were desperate to sell more salmon in the Far East.

Another fun food fact about Norway is that Roald Dahl, a British writer with Norwegian parents, used a famous Norwegian hot chocolate factory, Freia, as his inspiration for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen credited Freia chocolate for providing energy necessary to help him reach the South Pole in 1911, the first man to do so.

You could argue that Norway’s most important contribution to worldwide cuisine might just be a storage facility in the farthest northern reaches, on a remote archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. That’s where the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located. Known as the Doomsday Vault, it has the capacity to store 4.5 million seed samples and serves as a backup for other seed banks around the world. Should a worldwide catastrophe occur—such as a nuclear winter—precious seed stock from Svalbard will be available to replenish human agriculture.

Ironically, the most beloved food in Norway these days is a commercial frozen pizza called Grandiosa. A cultural phenomenon, it is also roundly despised. Many Norwegians call it their “national dish,” while others say it is “refrigerated evil.”

Given that modern skiing began in Telemark in the 19th century, it’s not surprising that Norway has won more medals in the Winter Olympics than any other country. But what may be surprising is that archeologists who have studied ancient rock carvings estimate that Norwegians may have been skiing 4,000 years ago.

When they aren’t outdoors enjoying winter sports, you might find many Norwegians reading books. Norwegians read more than any other population in the world. And the government encourages this by buying a thousand copies of any book published in Norway for distribution to the country’s libraries. As an author, I’m jealous of those Norwegian writers.

Aquivit is probably the best-known alcoholic beverage in Norway. But, beware. If you’ve had a bit too much of it in Oslo, don’t even think of getting behind the wheel. A DUI in Norway results in an automatic 30-day jail sentence and a loss of license for a year, plus fines of up to ten percent of your yearly income.

If you do get thrown in a Norwegian slammer, though, you might not mind the accommodations. Prisoners in Halden, a high-security facility, are put in cells furnished with a flat screen TV, a private shower, and fluffy towels. I’m not sure if they get regular massages and spa treatments.

And what is there to watch on those flat screens? Well, if you just want to zone out, perhaps one of the popular shows on Norway’s NRK channel might appeal. There’s the eight-hour train ride, the twelve-hour footage of a log burning in a fireplace, and eight hours of salmon spawning.

I’ll bet everyone reading this post would instantly recognize Edvard Munch’s iconic masterpiece—one of the most famous paintings ever. And sometimes you might even feel like the person it depicts.

Skrik_1893

“One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below,” the Norwegian painter recalled. “I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became ‘The Scream.’”

 

A pastel version of “The Scream” (one of four versions made by the artist) was sold in 2012 for $120 million—at the time the highest price ever paid at auction for an artwork.

But don’t worry. If you happen to visit my little fictional town with the Norwegian lineage, the only screaming comes from the occasional murder victim. I guarantee that you will be perfectly safe in New Bergen. Hope you stop by soon.

—Richard Audry

Rosemal2


Richard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. As Richard Audry, he is the author of the King Harald Canine Cozy mystery series and the Mary MacDougall historical mystery series. Under his own name he has written the Johnny Graphic middle-grade ghost adventure series, the Marta Hjelm mystery, Smoking Ruin, and two books of literary commentary: Travis McGee & Me; and Four Science Fiction Masters. You can follow D. R.’s musings at drmartinbooks.com

Buy The Karma of King Harald at Barnes & Noble| Kobo | Amazon 


Now available: THE CASE OF THE DEFUNCT ADJUNCT

CaseOfDefunctAdjunctFront

AmazonButtonBNKobo_logo.svgibooks

BE THE FIRST TO LEARN ABOUT PROMOTIONS, EVENTS, AND NEW RELEASES:

Blog  | Facebook  | GoodReads | LinkedIn | Twitter | Mailing List