Meow, there. It’s Sneaky here with another pet character interview. Today, I’m doggone excited because I will be interviewing not one, not two, not three, not four, but five pawsome pups from To Fetch A Scoundrel: Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder, a collection of four tail-wagging Mutt Mystery novellas.
Okay, doggies. What are your names and your author’s names?
Heather’s canine character, Oliver: My name is Oliver, and I live with Cassidy Green at the Amelia Race Track.
Jayne’s canine character, Natti: My name is Natti, short for Natural Light beer (I was named by a fraternity boy.) My author is Jayne Ormerod. Very nice lady. She gives lots of belly rubs.
Teresa’s canine characters, Cagney and Lacey: We are Cagney and Lacey, Yorkshire terriers, and our author’s name is Teresa Inge.
Rosemary’s canine character, Cloud: I’m Curtis Powell’s miniature poodle, Cloud. I’m a shy grey and black little thundercloud with bright eyes and quick reactions.
It’s a pleasure to meet you all, but please keep the yapping and barking down and tell me what book(s) you’ve appeared in. Please list them and their genre.
Oliver: So far, I’ve only appeared in the “Fast and the Furriest” in To Fetch A Scoundrel. It’s a dog-themed, cozy mystery.
Natti: My first appearance is in “Pawsitively Scandalous,” one of four novellas in To Fetch a Scoundrel, Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder. I think I’m going to be in another story soon, but I’m not sure I’m supposed to tell anyone that yet.
Cagney and Lacey: To Fetch a Thief and To Fetch a Scoundrel. They are cozy mysteries.
Cloud: I’m in Rosemary Shomaker’s “Ruff Goodbye” in the second Mutt Mysteries book, To Fetch A Scoundrel. This cozy mystery novella went through a lot of changes as it was written, so I think parts of what the story had been will appear as another short story, and I hope I am still a critical canine character.
All of those sound very interesting. Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.
Oliver: The dog-themed mysteries are part of the Mutt Mysteries series. There are four authors in the collection. (Teresa Inge, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, and Heather Weidner)
Natti: This is my debut. And I gotta say, I’m lovin’ every minute of it!
Cagney and Lacey: The Mutt Mysteries Series. The series features “Four Fun Tails” of mysteries. Teresa Inge, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, and Heather Weidner are the featured authors and collaborators in the series. Our owner, Catt Ramsey is a dog walker and owns the Woof-Pack Dog Walkers.
Cloud: “Ruff Goodbye” is the second Mutt Mysteries book, and the series will continue. The authors bonded over their mystery writing and their pets, and they thought dog mysteries would be a good direction to take. Mystery readers love their dogs! Each book has a theme. In To Fetch a Thief, the stories were murder mysteries featuring theft. In To Fetch A Scoundrel, each story focused on scandals. The next book, in development, is tentatively called To Fetch a Villain. I think readers can expect the evil nature of the bad guys to be ramped up—from scoundrels to villains! We dogs sniffed out the scoundrels for our humans. In the next book, this may be more of a challenge. Those wily villains can sometimes even fool us canines!
Wonderful. Are any of you based on a real dog such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.
Oliver: I’m based on author Heather Weidner’s uncle’s Rottweiler. He was a service dog, who was always on his best behavior.
Natti: My author says I am a conglomerate of the six dogs she has owned in her lifetime. Her dog Jamaica could hear the crinkle of a Fritos bag at 2,000 yards. (Me too!) Her dog Commodore was a big mutt. (Me too!) Her dog Scout is the best snuggler. (Me too!) Kimo was the great protector. (Me too!) Jubilee welcomed all creatures into her home, including tree frogs and butterflies. (Me too!) And Tiller would spend all day at the dog park and never want to go home. (Me too!)
Cagney and Lacey: We are based on real life dogs named Cagney and Lacey that belong to a friend of the author’s and of course the 1980s police procedural television drama Cagney and Lacey about two strong, female police detectives.
Cloud: I’m based on Rosemary’s dogs only as far as temperament. I’m wary and understated like her past two dogs who did not warm up to many people. Kinda like Rosemary herself.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your novellas that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
From Heather Weidner’s “The Fast and the Furriest” – excerpt featuring Oliver:
A sharp rat-a-tat-tat echoed through the back office. Cassidy’s Rottweiler Oliver raised his head and stared at the door. Before she could answer it, the staccato knocking repeated. Louder and faster. Oliver let out a low growl.
Cassidy opened the door, and a spark plug of a man stopped in mid-knock. “May I help you?” she asked.
“That snippy girl at the concession stand told me to go to the office and ask for Mr. Oliver,” the man said. “And that pompous driver Donnie, Donnie Ellis, was there, and he had the gall to shove me out of line before I finished my discussion with your staff person,” he said as he hiccupped.
“I’m Cassidy Green, the owner, and that’s Mr. Oliver,” she said, pointing to the dog who sat on high alert on his bed. All one hundred and ten pounds of muscle twitched as he waited for Cassidy’s signal.
The red-faced man took a step back. “I, uh came here with some friends. I ordered a round of beer for the gang, and your girl wouldn’t sell me more than two at a time. And that stupid driver . . .”
“Yes. That’s policy. The Amelia Speedway is a family establishment, and we follow all ABC laws. I’m sorry that it caused you an issue, but we need to ensure that we’re following the rules for adult beverages,” said Cassidy, as she pushed a strand of her long red hair behind her ear.
From Jayne Ormerod’s “Pawsitively Scandalous” – excerpt featuring Natti – Natti says, “This excerpt, told by my story mom, takes place when she brings home an orphaned dog, Hooch”:
With Hooch’s collar held tightly in my hand, I walked bent over and escorted him to my house. Natti greeted us at the door in his enthusiastic way but sensed something was wrong. He calmed down to a state I hadn’t seen him in since he’d had a horrible tummy ache after eating an entire family-sized bag of Cheetos. He looked at me and then turned to Hooch and nudged him toward the sofa, one slow, morose step at a time. Hooch hopped up on the La-Z-Boy. Natti joined him. The two cuddled up next to each other in yin-yang fashion. Natti gave me a look that said, “I’ve got this, Mom. You go on and do what you need to do.”
Cagney and Lacey: From To Fetch a Scoundrel, “A Doggone Scandal”:
The door swung open, Catt entered with Cagney and Lacey trailing behind her. Dogs to the rescue!
Rosemary Shomaker’s excerpt with Cloud the miniature poodle from “Ruff Goodbye”:
He stumbled down the hall a few steps and caught himself against a doorframe. Soft crying made him look into the room. Julie Echols sat weeping in a chair, Cloud clutched to her chest. The little poodle’s black eyes gazed at Julie, and his pink tongue licked the tears from her cheeks. A police officer was also in the room, a solid and silent presence.
Julie’s eyes met Len’s, and he felt her fear. She sensed the same evil that gripped him. He petted Cloud and felt drawn to hug Julie. The officer watched and listened but didn’t intervene. Cloud’s leash was anchored to one table leg. Len noted the room’s sink, stove, and refrigerator. The client kitchen.
Len sat next to Julie and put an arm around her shoulders.
“I found him,” Julie wept.
Those were all pawsome. What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
Oliver: I am the Director of Security at the Amelia Race Track. I enjoy going to work every day with my pal, Cassidy Green. I love going for rides in the golf cart, taking long walks, and greeting all the visitors and drivers.
Natti: It’s my role to take my story mom to the dog park, where I play while she talks to people and uncovers clues. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.
Cagney and Lacey: We get to help solve crimes and murder and are on the case with our owner Catt Ramsey at all times!
Cloud: I’m proud to protect those I love. The human characters go about their lives, and I watch to protect them. I add comfort and an attentive presence.
Are you talking dogs in your stories or a silent pet who just barks occasionally?
Oliver: I don’t talk, and I only bark or growl when I have to.
Natti: I’m the strong, silent type, with an occasional angry snarl when needed (which is a job requirement when chasing bad guys).
Cagney and Lacey: We are both silent, but we growl, bark, bite, and do whatever is necessary to alert and help our owner in “ruff” situations.
Cloud: I don’t talk in human words, although that could be a fun story to star in! I communicate through movement and barking.
What advice would each of you give other dog characters?
Oliver: Live in the now. Play hard. Life can’t be all work. Nap when you need to. Don’t waste a beautiful day. Go outside and have fun. Know when it’s time to cuddle on the couch with a good book. Bark if you need to, but not too much. Wag and make friends.
Natti: Be the best dog you can be! Maybe they’ll make a movie about you someday!
Cagney and Lacey: Always pay attention to what your owners and family are doing. As dogs, we can help alert them to dangerous and life threatening situations.
Cloud: Be in as many scenes as you can. I would have liked to appear in more scenes. Have two of three signature sounds or actions that bond you with the main character or make characters take notice of you. Be the dog that sneaks up on the bad characters or who lays his head in the sad characters’ laps.
Do any of you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.
Oliver: So far, I’m not in any upcoming books, but I could be. Heather Weidner’s Delanie Fitzgerald mysteries have Margaret the bulldog who helps solve crimes. The latest is Glitter, Glam, and Contraband.
Natti: My next story is still a tiny seed in my author’s fertile mind. I don’t know the details yet, but I know it will be fun. But she has other non-dog stories (I know. I’m like, “What’s the point?”) if you check out her website.
Cagney and Lacey: We will continue our mystery and crime-solving journey in the spring of 2021 in To Fetch a Villain. Our author, Teresa Inge will also be in the Coastal Crimes: Mysteries by the Sea to be published April 2020 with her short story “Riverboat Revenge.”
Cloud: My creator has me on hold for a short story. She’s taking a break from the next Mutt Mysteries volume, so you can look forward to meeting another author and her canine sleuth!
Are you and/or your authors on social media? If so, please list your links.
Oliver: Yes, let’s connect.
Natti: My author person has a website JayneOrmerod.com, and she is on Facebook.
Cagney and Lacey: Teresa Inge can be found on www.teresainge.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Cloud: You can connect with Rosemary Shomaker at these places.
To Fetch a Scoundrel, Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder (Mutt Mysteries)
by Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Teresa Inge
About To Fetch a Scoundrel
To Fetch a Scoundrel,
Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder
2nd in SeriesPublisher: Bay Breeze Publishing, LLC (March 2, 2020)
Print Length: 232 pages
Digital ASIN: B085BY9GXS
The mystery-solving mutts are back! To Fetch a Scoundrel, the second in the Mutt Mysteries collection, features four tail-wagging novellas. Each story puts pups’ noses to the ground, as scandals are unleashed and killers are collared. Once you’ve finished reading these tall “tails,” you’ll no longer wonder, “Who let the dogs out?” You’ll just be glad somebody did!
About the Authors
Originally from Virginia Beach, HEATHER WEIDNER has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and Deadly Southern Charm. Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband are her novels in the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, and her novellas appear in the Mutt Mysteries. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, James River Writers, and International Thriller Writers. Through the years, she has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager.
JAYNE ORMEROD grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor). She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the sea. Jayne is the author of over a dozen published stories, from novel length to short-short.
ROSEMARY SHOMAKER writes about the unexpected in everyday life. She’s the woman you don’t notice in the grocery store or at church but whom you do notice at estate sales and wandering vacant lots. In all these places she’s collecting story ideas. Rosemary writes mystery, women’s fiction, and paranormal short stories. Stay tuned as she takes her first steps toward longer fiction.
TERESA INGE grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Combining her love of reading mysteries and writing professional articles led to writing short fiction and novellas. Today, she juggles assisting two busy executives and is the president of the Sisters in Crime, Mystery by the Sea chapter. Teresa is the author of the Virginia is Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and the Mutt Mysteries series.
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