Sneaky Interviews Bear from Death by Association, a DIY Diva Mystery, by Paula Darnell

Sneaky here with another pawsome interview of a pet character. Today, it’s my pleasure to chat with a cozy mystery dog whose current book, Death by Association, is on tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

Hello, Mr. Dog. What is your name and your author’s name?

My name is Bear, and I’m a chocolate Labrador retriever. My author’s name is Paula  Darnell.

It’s doggone good to meet you, Bear. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

I’ve appeared in Death by Association, A DIY Diva Mystery. It’s a cozy mystery novel.

My favorite genre. I’m the Cobble Cove Library’s cat in the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. Are you also in a series? If so, please give information about it.

Yes. I’m going to be serialized! Two more books in the DIY Diva Mystery series are planned for release later this year.


Are you based on a real dog such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.


I’m based on two real dogs, my author’s dogs: Teddy Bear, a yellow Labrador retriever, and Rocky Boy, a black Labrador/Great Pyrenees mix. My author adopted Teddy Bear from a local animal shelter when he was seven years old. He had been left out in the summer heat (often it’s 110 degrees during summer in Las Vegas) and then abandoned by his former people. He adapted very rapidly to his new home where he could lounge in air-conditioned comfort. Teddy Bear lived to be thirteen, and my author still misses him. She and her husband adopted Rocky Boy from a rescue organization when he was four years old. He’s now ten. He looks like a black Lab, but he acts more like a Great Pyrenees. He’s a good boy and a super watch dog who loves cold weather, early morning walks, his routine and, last, but not least, yummysnacks.

I like a good treat myself. Woof! Woof!

A very nice story. Thanks for sharing. My author adopted kittens a few months ago, and I was adopted by the characters of the Cobble Cove books when I was thrown out of my home as a kitten and made my lucky tracks to the town’s library.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene?

Here’s a scary incident that happened one morning when mommy (my mommy in Death by Association is Laurel McMillan) took me for a walk:

I slipped out of bed, and Bear led the way to the bathroom and then the closet beyond, where I quickly dressed in jeans, an aqua blue t-shirt, and sneakers. Grabbing my smartphone and some plastic bags, I dutifully tied one of the bags around Bear’s leash. (HOA Regulation 92a states that “all pet owners will carry in plain sight a bag or other device to pick up after their pets and must do so immediately.”) I quickly snapped the leash onto his collar, and we were off.

The sky showed only the faintest hint of the approaching dawn, so it was still quite dark outside, but the streetlights were on, and it wasn’t too difficult to see. Knowing that Bear would have to forego his customary treat because Bessie wouldn’t be at her post, we turned left at the corner, where we usually would have gone right, to avoid the back gate. After we trotted briskly for a couple of blocks, we slowed to a more sedate pace. We hadn’t seen or heard any signs of activity since we’d left the house—no cars, walkers, or barking dogs.

“Not so early tomorrow, Bear,” I cautioned, resolving to resist the urge to jump up as soon as Bear did.

Suddenly, Bear came to a dead stop and started barking furiously.

“Come on, Bear,” I urged him, afraid that he’d wake the neighbors, but his barking became frenzied, and he refused to budge.

Then I saw a shadow in the bushes ahead. A dark shape with a long tail emerged from the bushes and strolled into the street ahead of us. Startled, I realized that the shape was a mountain lion, and my heart began pounding. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing—a mountain lion in Iowa? The tall corn state was hardly the usual habitat of such large felines.

The big cat turned towards us and snarled, and Bear continued his frantic barking while I started to shake. Should we run? I knew that a mountain lion could run faster than we could. Play dead? Bear hadn’t ever learned that trick. Fight? Bear was a big dog, and I didn’t doubt that he would try to defend me, but I didn’t believe he’d be any match for the cougar.

Although it had probably been only a few seconds since the mountain lion appeared, it seemed as though the terrifying moment had gone on for a very long time. Any second now, the powerful animal could pounce, and I doubted that we’d survive the encounter. Abruptly, the cougar gathered its legs in a crouch to spring. I screamed.

(Excerpt from Death by Association published by Cozy Cat Press)

You’ll have to read Death by Association to find out what happens next!

I must do that. It sounds like a tail wagging good story.

What do you like most about your role in your author’s books?

My mommy loves me just like my author loves her dogs. When she takes me for walks  in Hawkeye Haven, exciting things happen. Plus—dog treats!

You can’t beat treats. I also enjoy the exciting adventures, petting, and companionship of the librarians at the Cobble Cove Library especially Alicia and Laura.

Are you a talking dog in your books or a silent one who just barks occasionally?

Even though I don’t talk, I’m really good at communicating. I bark when I want to come in; I dance when I want my dinner; I nuzzle mommy when I want to be petted; I flop     over when I want a belly rub. I have all kinds of other tricks to get attention, and I  always remember to give mommy a guilt trip whenever she leaves me home alone by looking sadly at her with my big brown eyes.

You sound quite adept at body language, as most pets and character pets are.

What advice would you give other dog characters?

Make sure your pet parent checks out the yummy dog treat recipes in the back of Death by Association.

What a great idea.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

Yes. Two more books this year. Release dates aren’t set yet, but probably one this  summer and another in late fall. Death by Design will be Book 2, and Death by Denial  will be Book 3.

Great titles. Condogalations. Best wishes on those. I’m sharing your author’s blog tour with information further details about her and Death by Association.

Death by Association:
A DIY Diva Mystery
by Paula Darnell

About the Book

Death by Association: A DIY Diva Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Cat Press (January 1, 2019)
Paperback: 271 pages
ISBN-10: 1946063681
ISBN-13: 978-1946063687
Digital ASIN: B07MQ73LJQ (215 Pages)

DIY Diva Laurel McMillan learns that the high walls and guarded gates of Hawkeye Haven can’t protect her community. When Laurel takes her pampered, chocolate Labrador retriever, Bear, for an early morning walk, she finds her friend, security guard Bessie, bleeding and unconscious at her guardhouse post. If the attack on Bessie isn’t enough to set the residents’ nerves on edge, the murder of Victor Eberhart, the unpopular president of the powerful homeowners’ association, certainly does the trick. Despite teaching DIY classes and writing project instructions for her latest book, DIY for Dog Lovers, Laurel manages to squeeze in time for some DIY detective work. But as she gets closer to the truth, Victor’s killer would like nothing better than for the DIY Diva to take a dive.

About the Author

An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Like Laurel, the main character in Death by Association, Paula enjoys all kinds of arts and crafts. Some of her memorable projects include making a hat and a cape to wear to Royal Ascot, sewing wedding gowns for both her daughters, exhibiting her textile and mixed-media artwork in juried art shows, and having one of her jewelry projects accepted for inclusion in Leather Jewelry, published by Lark Books. She sells some of her jewelry and hair accessories in her Etsy shop:

Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications.

Living in a guard-gated community governed by a homeowners’ association gave Paula the idea for the setting of Death by Association. She finds that residing in an HOA community can be both a blessing and a curse. A Happy-New-Year greeting from her community association called on residents to “start the new year by reviewing your Rules and Regulations booklet,” something unlikely to top anyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions.

Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout

Author Links

Author’s website

Twitter –

Goodreads –

Pinterest –

Etsy shop –

Purchase Links – Amazon Amazon Paperback

a Rafflecopter giveaway


March 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – CelticLady’s Reviews – RECIPE POST

March 13 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

March 15 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 18 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

March 19 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 21 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

March 22 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW


March 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 24 – Laura’s Interests – GUEST POST

March 24 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


2 thoughts on “Sneaky Interviews Bear from Death by Association, a DIY Diva Mystery, by Paula Darnell

  1. Thank you for featuring Death by Association and interviewing Bear, Laurel’s adorable Labrador retriever. Much appreciated! I hope everone enjoys the book and Bear’s part in it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.