Sneaky Interviews Stella from BonBon with the Wind: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery by Dorothy St. James

Hi, there, Miss Doggy. My name is Sneaky, and I’m glad to have you on my blog today. May I ask your name and your authors’?

I’m Stella, a small fluffy papillon dog with giant ears. Dorothy St. James writes about me. Don’t believe everything she says. I’m delightful.

You are quite cute.

What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

Asking for Truffle, Cozy Mystery

Playing with Bonbon Fire, Cozy Mystery

In Cold Chocolate, Cozy Mystery

Bonbon with the Wind, Cozy Mystery

I notice a trend with your titles. They all seem to deal with chocolate which is a dessert that my author loves but which is not so good for real cats and dogs.

Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.

I’m the star of the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series. In it, my person Penn, runs a bean-to-bar chocolate shop located in Camellia Beach, South Carolina. She also gets herself into all sorts of trouble because she cannot let a murder go unsolved.

Ah, ha. I was right. You are in a chocolate mystery series. Your main character sounds like a fun sleuth.

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


While I am an original, Dorothy loved and was owned by a papillon very much like me. Her name was Iona. Like me, she was delightful. Don’t believe what others ever said about her. She may have nipped a few fingers and barked at everyone, but Dorothy loved her like she’d never loved any other dog. Like me, she was a special pup. I’m honored to be able to represent her memory in these stories.

Awww. I was based loosely on Debbie’s Siamese, Oliver, who has also gone to Rainbow Bridge. It’s great that we can honor these special pets of our authors.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

We followed Bubba as he led the way back to Main Street and the shops there. Harley wanted to take a look at his office, which was on the second floor above Althea’s crystal shop and Althea wanted to see how her place had fared as well.

We were halfway down Main Street, which was currently being cleared of sand with a large bulldozer, when Stella slipped out of her collar and took off running.

Thankfully, she steered away from the heavy equipment being used on the road. She zigged and zagged while running as quick as a world-class sprinter toward the beachfront.

“Stella! Come back here!” I chased after her, stumbling several times in the rolling sand dunes where there should have been roads. If anything happened to my little dog, I didn’t know what I’d do.

“Go on without me!” I called to my friends and ran even faster after Stella.

The ocean waves were visible as they crashed against the battered shoreline. I half-slid, half-fell down one of the damaged dunes where the storm had sharply eroded the beach just as Stella disappeared over another sand dune far to my right.

“Come back!” I yelled like a crazy person. “Please.”

That’s when I heard it. A yelp and then a whine.

Oh, gracious no. Stella sounded hurt. I crested the dune she’d disappeared over and found my little dog.

She pawed the sand and continued that odd, deep throated whine. I’d never heard her make a sound like that before.

“Stella?” I whispered as I approached her cautiously. Had she cut her foot? Was that why she was pawing the sand?

I stepped even closer.

What I saw stopped me cold.

Her paw scraped at what looked like a white cotton buttoned-up shirt. But the shirt wasn’t wadded into a pile as if it’d been washed out of a house. The material was buried less than an inch under the sand and lying flat and slightly rounded. And the smell…

I scooped Stella up in my arms and hugged her to my chest.

She hadn’t found a crab to chase or a piece of detritus from someone’s life that had been washed away. She’d found someone. Although I wasn’t an expert in these things, I guessed by the horrific odor that the body had to have been there for several days.

Pawsome excerpt. Thanks for sharing it.

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

What do I like best? Well, since I’m the only character featured on the cover of all the books in the series, I know I’m the star. I do like that. Papillons are stars wherever they go. While the reader may not realize it, I play a huge role in helping my Penn solve the mysteries. It’s subtle, but with my barks and nips I guide her toward solving the mystery. And I do love helping her.

My leading Alicia and the other Cobble Cove residents to clues is also subtle. However, my image has only been on one cover so far — the third book of the series, Written in Stone. Debbie has made up for that by giving me this blog.

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

I talk, only the people around me don’t speak dog.

I can relate to that. I also talk but with meows, purrs, hisses, and other cat language.

What advice would you give other dog characters?

Never forget that you are the star of the book. Make sure the others in your story realize that, even if it means being loud and rude. For example, Harley Dalton who pictures himself in love with Penn keeps acting as if he’s a major character in these books. I have to constantly remind him that he’s not more important than me. A nip here and there generally keeps him in his place.

Also, it’s a full-time job keeping my person safe. I have to growl and bark at anyone that tries to get close to Penn. I wouldn’t have to do this if she didn’t keep chasing after murderers. But she can’t seem to help herself, which means I have to stay on top of things all the time.

Good advice.

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

I’m again the star in the latest book in the series, Bonbon with the Wind, which came out in December 2019. It’s available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle ebook.

There’s a legend in the Sea Islands that before a hurricane hits the Gray Lady can be seen walking down the beach warning of doom. A powerful hurricane is heading their way. Joe Davies, a local treasure hunter with an unquenchable sweet tooth, claims to have seen the Gray Lady walking toward him just that morning and is terrified for his life.

After the storm passes everyone returns to survey the damage. As Penn walks her little dog Stella on the beach, she finds Joe Davies’ body washed up onshore. Did the Gray Lady claim another victim? Many on the island believe that is exactly what happened.

Penn is sure there’s another explanation. She follows the clues and hints of lost gold to discover that the truth behind the treasure hunter’s death is as much of a maze as the boating channels winding their way through the local marshes.

That sounds like a tail-wagging good story.

Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Stella. I’m including your blog tour information and giveaway below. I wish you and your author the best doggone good luck with your new book and series.

Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
by Dorothy St. James

About Bonbon With the Wind

Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Barking Dog Press (December 9, 2019)
Print Length: 251 pages
ASIN: B082L528GS

Join Penn and Stella on their latest adventure!

There’s a legend in the Sea Islands that before a hurricane hits the Gray Lady can be seen walking down the beach warning of doom. Penn doesn’t believe in such silly stories, but she does believe weather forecasters. A powerful hurricane is heading their way. Everyone on the island of Camellia Beach is busy boarding up windows and securing valuables to upper levels of buildings. Joe Davies, a local treasure hunter with an unquenchable sweet tooth, claims to have seen the Gray Lady walking toward him just that morning and is terrified for his life.

After the storm passes everyone returns to survey the damage. As Penn walks her little dog Stella on the beach, she finds Joe Davies’ body washed up onshore. Not only that, it looks as if an exploding transformer caused Joe’s seaside shack to burn to the ground. Did the Gray Lady claim another victim? Many on the island believe that is exactly what happened.

Penn is sure there’s another explanation. She follows the clues and hints of lost gold to discover that the truth behind the treasure hunter’s death is as much of a maze as the boating channels winding their way through the local marshes.

About Dorothy St. James

Dorothy St. James is the author of the White House Gardener mysteries. For the past twenty years she made her home on Folly Beach, an artsy island community in South Carolina with her sculptor husband. Dorothy is a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Sisters in Crime (SiNC), and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). This is her fourth Southern Chocolate Shop mystery.

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Spotlight and Contest for Cozy Corgi Mysteries by Mildred Abbott

Cozy Corgi Mysteries
by Mildred Abbott

About the Cozy Corgi Mysteries

Cruel Candy (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently published (December 5, 2017)
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-10: 1973449293
ISBN-13: 978-1973449294
Digital ASIN: B077XMYWNQ

Estes Park, Colorado: picturesque mountains, charming shops, delightful bakeries, a cozy bookstore… and murder.

Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, move to Estes Park to hit the Reset button on life. Fred is about to open her dream bookshop, and the only challenges she anticipates are adjusting to small-town life, tourists, and living close to her loveable mother, Phyllis, and hippy stepfather, Barry.

When Fred steps into her soon-to-be-bookshop for the first time, she expects dust bunnies and spiders… not the dead body in the upstairs kitchen. The local police have an easy suspect—Barry.
Determined to prove quirky Barry innocent of murder, Fred puts on her detective hat, and with Watson by her side, she explores her new town and gets acquainted with her fellow shopkeepers. Could one of her friendly neighbors be the real culprit? And what would be the motive for killing the owner of the Sinful Bites candy store? The secrets Fred discover put her at odds with the local police sergeant and threaten her cozy future in Estes.

With snow falling outside, all Fred wants to do is curl up by the fire with a good book and Watson snuggled at her feet. But before she can begin her new life and put her plans for her bookshop into action, Fred and Watson have a mystery to solve…

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable lemon bars.)

Traitorous Toys (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Independently published (December 17, 2017)
Paperback: 276 pages
ISBN-10: 1973571080
ISBN-13: 978-1973571087
Digital ASIN: B078GCQC46

It’s Christmas in Estes Park, Colorado: cozy fires, twinkling lights, soft snowfall, and… murder.

The winter holidays in charming Estes Park lulls Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, into thoughts of spiced chai and gingerbread as they settle into their new home. Fred’s dream bookshop is becoming a reality, and with Christmas only days away, her only concerns are spending time with family, enforcing Watson’s diet, and finding the perfect gifts.

The toy store beckons Fred and her friend Katie, who dash in out of the cold, during a shopping spree to discover handmade toys, cuddly stuffed animals… and a dying man on the floor.

When Katie’s desperate attempts to save the man ends in her being taken in for his murder, Fred once again dons her detective hat. She puts aside her Christmas list and—with Watson sniffing around—begins a list of suspects. But as quickly as clues point to one person, new discoveries shift the spotlight to another.

With Katie’s freedom in the balance, Fred has little time to think about gifts or to enjoy the holiday lights and music. A killer is on the loose, one who became violent in a picture-perfect Christmas toy shop, and Fred and Watson can’t begin to predict what might happen next. . .

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable gingerbread.)

Bickering Birds (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Independently published (January 25, 2018)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-10: 1976950767
ISBN-13: 978-1976950766
Digital ASIN: B0798LMPHP

Rocky Mountain National Park has it all: rugged peaks, pine-scented forests, enchanting bird-watching locations, and… murder.

The Cozy Corgi bookshop finally opens, and Winifred Page and her headstrong corgi, Watson, are ready to welcome their first patrons. With her new best friend, Katie, creating heavenly pastries in the bakery on the top floor of the store, Fred’s dreams are all coming together in delicious and unexpected ways.

When Katie caters a meeting of the Feathered Friends Brigade and drags Fred along, they expect nothing more than loquacious chatter about birds as they endeavor to build a professional relationship with the owner of the wild bird shop. Fred and Katie are quickly roped into a moonlight snowshoeing hike in hopes of spotting a rare owl. While the endangered bird proves elusive… the murdered man in the snow is hard to miss.

Fred’s growing relationship with Sergeant Wexler hits a snag when he forbids her from donning her sleuth hat yet again. But Fred is a lot like her corgi—she doesn’t like being told what to do, even if it puts an end to a possible romance.

As Fred and Watson delve into the lives of the ornithological club members, the tangled birds’ nest of an investigation makes Fred wonder if she should have left this one to the police. But when feathers begin to fly, Fred has no choice but to flush out a killer…

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable ham and cheese croissants.)

Savage Sourdough (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mysteries
4th in Series
Independently published (February 21, 2018)
Paperback: 294 pages
ISBN-10: 1980355282
ISBN-13: 978-1980355281
Digital ASIN: B079Y9H8MG

Opening the Cozy Corgi in Estes Park is a dream come true: small-town charm, fresh-baked bread, hours by the fire reading mysteries, and… murder.

For Winifred Page and her devoted corgi, Watson, the puzzle pieces of life are falling into place as they settle into their home in the Colorado mountains. Surrounded by family and friends, Fred begins to relax into the charm and beauty of being the owner of a bookshop and bakery.

The buzz of possible romance—though Fred wasn’t looking for a relationship—has quieted as one of her suitors is no longer a viable option while the other has moved into the friend zone. But all thoughts of romance, wanted or not, fly out the window when Fred finds a dead body in the Cozy Corgi bakery… again.

Things get stickier when Fred’s main suspect turns out to be a family member of one of the local police officers—the one who already despises Fred and her little dog. Determined not to let past grievances cloud her judgment, Fred tips her detective hat and pokes deeper into the murder investigation. But in a mystery that becomes smoke and mirrors, nothing is as it seems.

The revelations Fred unveils threaten not only her picture-perfect world but her very life….

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable sourdough bread.)

Scornful Scones (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Independently published (April 27, 2018)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1980944709
ISBN-13: 978-1980944706
Digital ASIN: B07CPL9MH7

With summer approaching, Estes Park is abuzz with flowers, baking, tourists, and… murder.

Tourist season is about to begin, and the lovely weather has Winifred Page and her corgi sidekick, Watson, leaving the comfort of the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery to reluctantly attend a celebration at the Black Bear Roaster coffee shop. But a chill of uncertainty settles over Fred when a choking death doesn’t seem so accidental—despite the dry, hazardous scones.

As Fred and Police Sergeant Branson Wexler rekindle a possible romance, Fred shares her suspicions. But is she seeing murder at every turn? Learning to trust her gut feelings, Fred risks the ire of the coffee shop owner to investigate not one, but two, deaths.

As suspects and motives abound, old resentments are uncovered, and Fred and Watson build new friendships even as they follow the crumbs to find clues to a killer.

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable scones.)

Chaotic Corgis (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Independently published (June 24, 2018)
Paperback: 310 pages
ISBN-10: 1983240605
ISBN-13: 978-1983240607
Digital ASIN: B07DXSB1MM

At the height of the summer season, Estes Park explodes with people, wildlife, fireworks, and… murder.

The Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery is buzzing with tourists, and Winifred Page and her quirky corgi, Watson, celebrate the Fourth of July picnicking with family and friends—of the human and four-legged variety. As summer blooms with romance for Fred and Sergeant Branson Wexler, murder lurks around the corner.

With a friend’s life in danger, Fred and Watson doggedly pursue the investigation, even as Fred finds herself once again at odds with the police department. But caring for two chaotic corgis while navigating emotions from the past in the midst of solving a mystery might be too much, and Fred hits a roadblock.

As relationships are tested and secrets exposed, Fred might lose more than one person she loves…

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable dog treat bars, but are also human friendly.)

Quarrelsome Quartz (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Independently published (July 31, 2018)
Paperback: 338 pages
ISBN-10: 1718003374
ISBN-13: 978-1718003378
Digital ASIN: B07FZVN8N4

A New Age conference comes to Estes Park, Colorado, bringing a cacophony of tie-dye, crystals, and murder. . .

As summer draws to a close, the Spirit, Health, and Heart Conference arrives, just in time for Winifred’s sisters to open their store next to the Cozy Corgi Bookshop. To Fred’s surprise, Chakras turns out to be a beautiful addition to the delightful mountain town. The shop even has a room so pleasing in its crystal tranquility that Fred’s corgi, Watson, approves—and hardly anything impresses him.

But not everyone is charmed by the crystals, tarot readings, and messages of personal enlightenment. When a famous spiritualist is found dead, Chakras and the entire town is plunged into a conflict that touches the lives of those closest to Fred.

Although she is hesitant to become involved, it is simply not in the cards for Fred to sit out the investigation. As she and Watson embark on a journey that forces them to take a look into the darker shadows of Estes Park, Fred soon finds herself digging into the secrets of those she loves…

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable quiches.)

Wicked Wildlife (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Independently published (October 11, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1728671647
ISBN-13: 978-1728671642
Digital ASIN: B07GV4LX6L

Fall gives way to winter in the Colorado mountains, ushering in snow, pumpkin spice, the bugling of elk, and murder…

Estes Park bustles with tourists and locals for its Halloween celebration, and Winifred Page and her corgi sidekick, Watson, are enjoying their favorite pastries as they greet trick-or-treaters outside the Cozy Corgi Bookstore and Bakery. But a chilling afterhours break-in at the charming bookshop leaves Fred and Watson shaken, especially with its connection to a recent poaching incident in the national park. By daybreak, on a cool morning walk through town, Fred discovers the body of one of the poachers…

When Fred’s close friend, park ranger Leo Lopez, asks for her help in proving the innocence of a fellow ranger, Fred and Watson join the investigation. But with every uncovered clue hinting the police have the right person, Fred must uncover a mystery whose webs reach into the past and her experiences over the past year.

Even amid the beauty of the snow covering the mountains and the twinkling lights of the beginning holiday season, Fred and Watson won’t make it to Thanksgiving without facing dangers and revelations that will change their lives.

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable artisan garlic-infused bread.)

Malevolent Magic (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Independently published (November 15, 2018)
Paperback: 338 pages
ISBN-10: 1731191324
ISBN-13: 978-1731191328
Digital ASIN: B07HR2VX3X

Christmas week sparkles with holiday decorations, sweet potato pie, lively tourists, and murder…

Estes Park is a wonderland of twinkling lights and softly falling snow, and Winifred Page wants nothing more than to snuggle up in the mystery room with Watson at her feet—after all, Katie’s pastries are tempting pieces of heaven, especially beside a warm fire. But Christmas is fast approaching, and Fred is out on a cold morning visiting neighboring stores and planning a celebration at the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery.

Fred is welcoming the holiday spirit and appreciating the friendships, love, and support she’s found during her first year in her new hometown. But the night’s festivities become a scene for local drama, and by morning a trip to the magic shop to collect a present has Fred and Watson stumbling upon a murder scene. In an unexpected twist, Fred is asked to investigate, but the suspect list keeps growing, and every one of them would give Ebenezer Scrooge a run for his money.

With Fred still coming to grips with a recent betrayal, shifting through all the curmudgeons to crack the case may take more holiday magic than she and Watson possess.

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable sweet potato pie.)

Killer Keys (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Independently published (January 24, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1794678808
ISBN-13: 978-1794678804

A celebratory weekend at a historic inn brings a blizzard, delicious cornbread, a cozy fire, and a murder… or two…

Winifred Page and her sidekick corgi, Watson, join an assortment of family and friends to celebrate her uncles’ anniversary at Baldpate Inn, nestled above Estes Park, Colorado. A blizzard is approaching, but the prospect of being snowed in means more time in the lovely mountain retreat—complete with river rock fireplaces, log cabin rooms, and a collection of thousands of keys from around the world.

With the blizzard raging outside the rustic inn, the early arrival of a knitting group adds a touch of drama, but nothing can unravel the cozy party spirit. Even when the power goes out, the merrymaking continues by lantern light. But in the flickering shadows and twisting hallways, relationships transform, secrets are uncovered, and death comes calling.

A weekend of glittering celebration unlocks a storm of change for Fred and Watson…

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for scrumptious cornbread.)

Perilous Pottery (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
11th in the Series
Independently published (March 5, 2019)
Paperback: 308 pages
ISBN-10: 1798779625
ISBN-13: 978-1798779620
Digital ASIN: B07N31J2LY

Estes Park is fired up by a new coffee shop and pottery studio bringing chocolate espresso pastries, fierce competitive spirits, and murder…

Winifred Page might feel apprehension as she steps into the Koffee Kiln—Carla Beaker’s new charming coffee shop and pottery studio—but her corgi sidekick, Watson, welcomes the idea of a new place for snacks. With Carla’s disdain for the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery, Fred fears the caffeine will come with a side of drama. What she finds is delicious chocolate espresso scones, decaf coffee… and a dead body.

As Fred and Watson fire up their investigative savvy, they face down one of Estes Park’s cold-hearted matriarchs. To solve a murder, Fred must confront her own insecurities as she navigates the tangled coils of obsessions, business deals, and betrayals.

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for a sinfully delicious chocolate espresso torte.)

Ghastly Gadgets (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Independently published (May 10, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1097658295
ISBN-13: 978-1097658299
Digital ASIN: B07P9GPQ7M

As the summer tourist season begins, downtown Estes Park bustles with celebrations, inventions, pastries, and murder…

Winifred Page’s twin brothers-in-law are finally ready to open their invention shop right next to the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery. But the noise level is keeping customers away from the bookshop and driving Fred and her corgi sidekick, Watson, out of their minds.

Adding to her stress, family and friends are gearing up to celebrate Fred’s fortieth birthday—not that she’s overly concerned about her age…. Mere hours after entering her new decade of life, resentments reach an explosive level as downtown Estes Park is rocked by a fearsome calamity.

As the shop owners of Elkhorn Avenue come to grips with the crisis, Fred and Watson are pulled into the investigation. While she’s unsure there’s a murder to solve, Fred soon discovers a host of secrets and lies….

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for tasty cream puffs.)

Meddlesome Money (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
13th in Series
Independently published (August 5, 2019)
Paperback: 386 pages
ISBN-10: 1088449247
ISBN-13: 978-1088449240

Summer in Estes Park is filled with tourists, wildlife, pastries, and scandal…

The Chipmunk Chronicles, the local newspaper, has a new gossip column—and gossip is great for the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery. Though infuriated by the way people are treated by the column’s author, Winifred Page can’t help wondering about the outrageous revelations. Fred’s grumpy corgi, Watson, however, is more concerned with an endless search for treats than the rumors flying around town.

When Gerald Jackson, a less than brilliant local lawyer, is featured in the column, people begin to suspect he’s working the town over in a quest for wealth rather than fighting for justice. As his status sinks, others are pulled under with him—people Fred loves.

For once, Fred and Watson are cajoled into investigation mode not for murder, but to help clear her friends’ names and their tarnished reputations. But while the greed and secret dealings in the dark she uncovers bring more questions than answers, murder finds a way to make an appearance after all…

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for crispy, golden empanadas.)

Precarious Pasta (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Independently published (October 22, 2019)
Paperback: 414 pages
ISBN-10: 1701847396
ISBN-13: 978-1701847392
Digital ASIN: B07ZG45BKR

Halloween creeps in, bringing costumes, carbs, and a corpse or two…

Estes Park is bustling with fall tourists as Winifred and Katie deck out the Cozy Corgi Bookstore and Bakery, while corgi mascot, Watson, helps in his own special way—snacking, napping, and being his adorable grumpy self.

When Fred and Leo’s date at the romantic restaurant, Pasta Thyme, leads to an invitation of a murder scene, instead of ghouls and goblins, Fred is haunted by ghosts from the past. Death might lurk around every corner as Fred investigates motives of infidelity, jealousy, and the dark shadow cast by a crime syndicate.

By the time Halloween night arrives, not everyone will get out alive…

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for luscious tiramisu.)

Evil Elves (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Independently published (December 17, 2019)
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN-10: 1676477276
ISBN-13: 978-1676477273
Digital ASIN: B07ZM2182S

Christmas ushers in snowstorms, fruitcake, and a horde of Santa’s naughty elves…

No place is more perfect for the winter holidays than the charming mountain town of Estes Park. As the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery glistens with lights and garlands, Winifred Page allows the seasonal merriment to brush away all worry and fear. Watson, her grumpy corgi, is about as far from stressed as possible—after all, with the holiday baking, delectable crumbs are everywhere.

Estes Park’s new Christmas store is chosen to receive exclusive rights to sell a much-coveted collection of tiny elf figurines, but not everyone is thrilled, especially not the owner of the original Christmas shop. Bickering between local merchants is nothing new and doesn’t dampen the Christmas cheer or holiday glee. However, when nightly break-ins begin to occur, Santa himself is caught in the act, Fred and Watson are pulled away from the bookshop to investigate the holiday mayhem.

Unfortunately, while Santa keeps a list of nice and naughty children, he’s allowed his elves to have free rein, and there’s nothing nice about them…

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for honestly delicious fruitcake.)

About Mildred Abbot

Reading the Cozy Corgi series is pretty much all you need to know about Mildred. In real life, she’s obsessed with everything she writes about: Corgis, Books, Cozy Mountain Towns, and Baked Goods. She’s not obsessed with murder, however. At least not at her own hands (nor paid for… no contract killing here). But since childhood, starting with Nancy Drew, trying to figure out who-dun-it has played a formative role in her personality. Having Fred and Watson stroll into her mind was a touch of kismet.

Author Links –

Website –

Mailing List –

Facebook –

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Purchase Links

Cruel Candy (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Traitorous Toys (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Bickering Birds (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Savage Sourdough (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Scornful Scones (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Chaotic Corgis (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Quarrelsome Quartz (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Wicked Wildlife (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Malevolent Magic (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Killer Keys (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Perilous Pottery (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Ghastly Gadgets (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Meddlesome Money (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Precarious Pasta (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

Evil Elves (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

CONTEST – Comment on this blog by FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, which of the titles above you would like to win a Kindle copy of. The winner will be chosen randomly from all replies. This contest is not sponsored by Mailchimp. Good luck!


January 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

January 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 7 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT

January 7 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

January 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

January 8 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 9 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

January 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

January 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 10 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

January 11 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

January 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

January 12 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 13 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 14 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW


January 15 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 16 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT


January 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 17 – ebook addicts – REVIEW


January 18 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

January 19 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEWS

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Sneaky Interviews Felix, the cat from Christmas Trifle, A Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Mystery, by Heather Haven

Sneaky here with one another pet character interview. Today, I’m speaking with a cat whose current book, Christmas Trifle is on tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

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

I am Felix, a tuxedo cat. I am told I’m quite handsome. I must be, because they named a restaurant after me and even have a drawing of me for something called a logo. Sitting beside me is my dog pal, Oscar, a Golden Lab. He’s a great guy, even though he’s a dog. When our people parents split up, our dad took Oscar and named a restaurant after him, too. It’s gone to his head, you know. Dogs can be like that. Not quite as grounded as a cat. The author of our tail…tale…is Heather Haven. She’s okay for a human. But you know about them.

I sure do, Felix. It’s mice to meet you. My author once had a gray and white Tuxedo cat named Floppy. She wrote a book about him after he went to Rainbow Bridge. I also have a dog co-star in my Cobble Cove mysteries. His name is Fido, and he’s a Golden Retriever, not sure if that’s the same as a Golden Lab, but I know what you mean about dogs. They’re okay, but we cats are far superior.

What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

Christmas Trifle, Book One of the Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Novels, is my first book. Wait, hold it. Oscar just barked. He said it’s his first book, too.

Concatulations and Condogulations to Oscar. My first book was A Stone’s Throw, and I’m waiting for Debbie to start our fifth. She’s working on other projects now, so me and Fido have to be patient.

Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.

Christmas Trifle is the first book on this series. It takes place in a small village in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Aside from continually messing up their lives, these people strap two skinny pieces of wood to their feet and then proceed to careen down the side of a mountain. Us cats know it’s much better to sit in a window and watch all this silliness from the warmth of a fire. Oscar thinks it’s very exciting to be featured in a book. Naturally, as the cat in this epic, I don’t find it exciting, but merely my due. Although I have a FaceBook page for all my fans to reach out to me. Wait, hold it. Oscar just barked again. He says it’s his FaceBook page, too.

Your series sounds interesting, and I’m jealous you have a Facebook page. My author has one. At least, she gives me a blog. That’s more than I can say for what she does for Fido.

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

I am a figment of her imagination. And as she is a figment of mine, we’re all good. Oscar, the dog, just watching. He’s not sure what a figment is.

MOL (Meow Out Loud). I was based on Debbie’s Siamese cat, Oliver, who also now lives on Rainbow Bridge.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

Charly looked down at Felix moving closer to the threshold. She saw the cat’s attention was drawn to something across the street, something in the bushes. She bent down to pick the cat up but before she could, he shot out the door, down the steps, and onto the sidewalk.

“Felix,” she yelled, looking past François. The sous-chef in turn, looked at the disappearing cat, wondering what all the fuss what about. After all, don’t animals, especially cats, belong outside?

Charly snatched at her coat, threw it on, and dashed out the door, closing it behind her. She tore off after the cat and ran down the icy sidewalk, wearing nothing but her thin slippers. “Ow, ow, cold, cold,” she added, as each foot hit the frosty cement.

“Sacré bleu,” uttered the Frenchman, still standing on the stoop and watching Charly in amazement.

Felix dashed across the street and disappeared behind a clump of bushes. Charly followed. She could hear a dog whining with happiness.

“Felix!” She caught Felix winding himself around a dog’s legs, and in surprise, noticed the dog was Oscar.

“Oscar!” She dropped to her knees in the snow, hugging the dog and burying her face in his fur. “Merry Christmas, you sweet thing. What are you doing here?”

She took hold of the dog’s lead, followed it, and saw Cliff on the other side of the bushes. In his crouched position, it was obvious he was trying not to be seen. Indignant, she stood and gave the leash as strong a yank as she could.

Cliff, thrown off balance, fell down in the snow. He rose, brushed snow from his coat, and strolled out as casually as possible. It was a stare-off moment and then Cliff became self-righteous again.

“You know, you really shouldn’t let Felix run across the street like that. He could get hit by a car.”

“I didn’t let him,” Charly retorted. “He saw Oscar. You know they’re like magnets –“ Realizing she’d been distracted into defending herself, her tone became as self–righteous as his. “Never mind that. Just what are you doing here?”

“I might ask you the same question.”

“Me? What are you talking about? I live here…ah…there.” Feet cold, she hopped from one foot to the other while pointing to her house. Charly noticed François standing on the front stoop, watching them intently. She gave him a tentative wave. He waved back with a heartiness that surprised her.

“A–ha!” The accusation in Cliff’s voice was loud and clear.

“What do you mean, ‘a–ha’?” She wrapped her coat around her indignantly, forgetting her half–frozen feet. “How dare you ‘a–ha’ me. You take that ‘a–ha’ back.” She had a flash of an understanding. “Wait a minute. Are you spying on me?”

“Spying on you?” Cliff sputtered. “Spying on you? Certainly not. I was taking the dog out for a walk. How would I know where you lived? You’re the one that took up a separate, new residence while I was off trying to build us a future.”

“’Trying to build us a future’? I can’t believe you just said that.”

“That’s right. Trying to build us a future.”

“You know what I have to say to you? Liar, liar, pants on fire. Read the divorce papers. You deserted me, you big ham, going off and doing that stupid show for a year. That’s all you care about, Mr. Restaurant Guru.”

“Did you just call me a ham?”

“I did. Hormel’s finest.” She drew herself up to her full height, stood on tippy-toes, and put her nose to his before adding, “And on top of that you’re a philanderer.”

Felix and Oscar sat side–by–side staring up at the fighting couple, looking from one to the other. Cliff, clearly shocked by her accusation, lost his grandiose attitude for the moment.

“What do you mean I’m ‘a philanderer’? I never philandered in my life.”


“So you can ‘hah’ me but I can’t ‘a–ha’ you? And who told you I cheated on you? How could you believe I would do such a thing?” he added, in a wounded tone.

“Oh, puleese.” Charly bent down and picked up the cat, hugging him to her. “I am done talking to you,” she said in her best dismissive tone. “Anything more you have to say to me you can say through my lawyer. And tomorrow I am calling him to have you served with a restraining order, so you can never pull a stunt like you did last night at my restaurant again.”

“Oh, really? Maybe I’ll call my lawyers to make sure you don’t call the reporters like you did last night so they can take a photo of me.”

Completely confused, Charly paused for a moment. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Oh, yeah?”


“Says you!”

It was Charly’s turn for a snappy rejoinder, but thinking better of it, she merely tucked the cat under one arm, stomped across the street, and back to her house. Cliff stared after her. Charly marched up the steps and beamed at François.

“François,” she said in a crooning voice, but loud enough for Cliff to hear, “would you like to come inside?”

François returned the smile, eager to be invited in. “Oui, oui. It is cold out here. How you stand the weather in this town, I will never know. Snow, snow, always the snow.”

“Well, it’s much warmer inside,” she said suggestively, looking at Cliff across the street. Charly opened the door and strolled inside, followed by François.

Cliff watched this display with disgust. “Come, Oscar,” he said in a loud voice. “I see who the cheat is. Let’s go home.”

He gave the leash a little jerk. Oscar refused to move and turned to stare at the door Charly and Felix had disappeared into.

“Come on, boy,” Cliff said, before sneezing. Reaching inside his pocket for a handkerchief, he turned around, ready to stalk off.

“Oscar, now I mean it. Come on.”

Oscar paused, looking at the home across the street. Then he turned to his master and finally loped behind.

Wow, Meow. I’m clapping my paws. You’re a natural, Felix, and Oscar is pretty good himself..

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

I am their touch of sanity. Oscar, too. Even though they split us up, we don’t have to take it, so we didn’t.

Good for you.

Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

I may only meow but I feel I can cover an entire range of emotions. Oscar, too. He barks with the best of ‘em.

Same here for me and Fido. We put our pet language to good use in our books.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

As Oscar says, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” That’s Oscar Wilde, by the way.

I like a cat who quotes authors.

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

Actually, my cousin, Rum Tum Tugger, has a new book coming out next year, Casting Call for a Corpse, Book 7 of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries. That’s another series but Tugger has an important role in all of them. I have a little catching up to do but I believe quality trumps quantity every time. Don’t tell Tugger I said that, though. He’s got a mean left paw. As for my series – and I do like to call it my series – Heather says the next one, Spring Thaw, will be in the works soon, whatever that means.

Pawsome. I’d love to interview Rum Tum Tugger if he keeps his left paw to himself. Keep on Heather. Sometimes we have to push our authors to get them going.

Thanks for the purrfect interview, Felix, and best whiskers to you, Oscar, and Heather on your new release. I’m sharing your book’s blog tour below.

Christmas Trifle
(A Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Mystery)
by Heather Haven

About the Book

Christmas Trifle (A Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Mystery)
Romantic Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Wives of Bath Press (September 1, 2019)
• Number of Pages – 322


When chefs Charly and Cliff Harding divorce, she gets custody of their upscale restaurant and its namesake, Felix, the cat. He gets custody of their dog, Oscar. What they both still have custody of is each other’s heart. But they seem to be the only two people in the small ski resort town of Snow Lake, Nevada, that don’t know it.

When Cliff opens his own restaurant in direct competition with Charly, bad things start to happen. Death threats, accidents, and murder are now on the menu. Their ‘if-you-can’t-take-the-heat-then-get-out-of-the-kitchen’ battles are backfiring, and regrets consume the two of them. But can they find their way back to each other? Or is it too late? Because they just might spend the rest of their lives in prison unjustly accused of killing someone. Or can love triumph over even murder?

About Heather Haven

Heather Haven, in the midst of writing her fourteenth novel, has also written short stories, comedy acts, television treatments, ad copy, commercials, and plays. She has won numerous awards for her Silicon Valley-based Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries; Manhattan-based WWII Persephone Cole Vintage Mysteries; Ringling Brothers’ Circus mystery noir, Death of a Clown; and Corliss and Other Award-Winning Stories. She has two romantic suspense series: Love Can be Murder Mystery Novellas with Lee Alvarez and Gurn Hanson, the Nick and Nora Charles of Silicon Valley, and the new Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Novels, of which Christmas Trifle is Book One.

She and her husband of thirty-four years are allowed to live with their two cats, Ellie and Yulie, in the foothills of San Jose, California.

Author Links

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter – @HeatherHaven

Purchase Link – Amazon

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August 26 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

August 26 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

August 27 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 28 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW, GUEST POST

August 28 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW

August 29 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

August 30 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 31 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 31 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 1 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 2 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

September 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 5 – eBook addicts – REVIEW

September 5 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 7 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 8 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

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Sneaky Interviews Vanilla the Dog from Blind Sight, A Lucille Pfiffer Mystery by Tanya R. Taylor

Sneaky here with one another pet character interview. Today, I’m speaking with a dog whose current book, Blind Sight is on tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

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

My name is Vanilla; they call me “Nilla” for short. My author’s name is Tanya R. Taylor.

Nice to meet you. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

I appear in the Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series. The first book is BLIND SIGHT and the second is BLIND ESCAPE. I will also be appearing in other books in this series. It’s a Cozy Mystery series.

Pawsome. I love cozy mysteries. I’m in a series myself, The Cobble Cove mysteries, although purrsonally I think they should be called Sneaky the Library Cat mysteries. Tell us about your series.

My owner, Lucille Pfiffer is blind, and I’m her companion and protector, although she thinks she’s big and bad enough to protect herself. She’s really good at solving mysteries and I think I’m kind of good at it myself. 

I’m good at discovering clues. I think animals and mysteries go together because they have such good sixth senses.

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

Yes, I am. My real name is Vanilla, just like in the books. I am the cute pet of my author’s daughter, Mercedes, and we have a very loving family.

That’s wonderful. My author has three cats, but she lost the Siamese, Oliver, on whom I was based.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

Sure. Here it is:

Nilla got to explore one of the mazes and Theodore laughed heartily as she seemed to be confused about midway as to which direction to take. He tried to coach her, but I don’t think she trusted Theodore to lead her in the right direction, especially after she knew she was responsible for biting those toes of his countless times. Theodore must’ve thought for a moment before volunteering his help that revenge is sweet!

Bow Wow! That was wonderful. Thank you.

What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
My author adds humor to this series and I like that. She also portrays me the way that I am in real life.

That’s nice. My author also tries to add humor to our mysteries. I think people enjoy that.

Are you a talking pet in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

I’m a dog – a Shih Tzu, actually. I talk all the time. They call it “barking’, but I call it “talking”.

I know what you mean. I also like to meow, purr, and do the wide range of cat noises.

What advice would you give other dog characters?

Be yourself and let that shine through in your role. That’s my best advice.


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

BLIND SIGHT is just Book one in the series, so far. There are many more books to come in this series, so make sure to be on the look-out.

I’ll do that, and I’m sure my readers will, as well.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

My author is. Here are her links:




My author will look you up. Thanks so much for the interview, and best tail wags on your new release. I’m sharing your blog tour below.

(Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series)
by Tanya R. Taylor

About the Book

BLIND SIGHT (Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published (July 28, 2019)
Number of Pages: 200
Digital ASIN: B07RVF7W99

Lucille Pfiffer sees, but not with her eyes. She lives with her beloved dog Vanilla (“Nilla” for short) in a cozy neighborhood that is quite “active” due to what occurred in the distant past. Though totally blind, she plays an integral role in helping to solve pressing and puzzling mysteries, one right after the other, which, without her, might remain unsolved.

The question is: How can she do any of that with such a handicap?

About Tanya R. Taylor

Tanya R. Taylor has wowed readers with her riveting plots and compelling themes.

She is the author of several #1 bestsellers on Amazon and published her first book titled: ‘A Killing Rage’ as a young adult.

She has worked in the Financial arena and is also a seasoned ghostwriter. Her book ‘Cornelius’ climbed to #1 in the Teen & Young-adult Multi-generational Family Fiction category. And her supernatural, suspense/thrillers – ‘CARA’ and ‘INFESTATION: A Small Town Nightmare’ are multiple times #1 international bestsellers.

Tanya writes in various genres including Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Thrillers, Science-fiction, Mystery and Suspense.

She has a passion for the welfare of children and animals. Her hobbies include Reading, writing, and researching.

Author Links






Purchase Link – Amazon

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August 7 –The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

August 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 8 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST

August 9 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

August 11 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

August 12 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

August 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 13 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 13 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

August 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 16 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

August 18 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

August 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 20 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Sneaky Interviews Octo-Cat from the Pet Whisperer Series by Molly Fitz

Sneaky here with another pet interview. Today, I’m speaking with a cat who has a new release and a 99-cent special.

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

My name is Octavius Maxwell Ricardo Edmund Frederick Fulton Russo, esquire. And my author is Molly Fitz.

Meow, that’s a mouthful. I hope you don’t mind my calling you Octo.

What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

All of them are cozy mysteries, because, let’s face it, it makes no sense to do something if you can’t be comfortable doing it. Thus far I have appeared in Kitty Confidential, Terrier Transgressions, Hairless Harassment, Dog-Eared Delinquent, and I believe I’m soon to be out in The Cat Caper.

Very mice. I assume that’s a series. If so, please give information about it.

Yes, all of those are part of the Pet Whisperer PI series. It’s a marvelous set of books that follow me and my human sidekick around as I solve crimes and try to keep my human out of trouble. Humans are so terribly accident prone. Delicate creatures. Phfffft.

Your books sound great. I must tell my author to check them out. She also writes a cozymystery series called the Cobble Cove Mysteries, and I’m her sort’ve sidekick, Sneaky the Library Cat.

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

I am loosely based on my author’s cat, Schrödinger. He’s a nice enough fellow, but he seems to enjoy the company of the house dogs and that’s simply irredeemable.

MOL (Meow Out Loud). I was loosely based on Debbie’s Siamese Oliver who is now on Rainbow Bridge.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

Sure, this is how I tricked my human into buying me a mansion—bwahahahaha!

A couple hours later, we’d prepared an exhaustive list of questions and prompts, and even role-played how a conversation with Yo-Yo might go. That only left one variable for which we hadn’t properly accounted—Octo-Cat.

His mood changed so regularly, it would take far too long to draw out the various scenarios we might be faced with while trying to secure his compliance. Also, I was too embarrassed to admit to Charles how much I let my cat walk all over me on a daily basis. Instead, we planned to just show up at my house and tell Octo-Cat what we expected of him, plain and simple.

Oh, he’d definitely find a way to punish me for it, but I could handle a little cat puke or a fresh claw wound if it meant saving an innocent man from a life in prison and protecting a sweet terrier’s innocence.

We stopped off at Cliffside Apartments to grab Yo-Yo, then made a quick detour to the pet store where we purchased a leash and harness for Octo-Cat. Unfortunately, the only get-up they had in his size was bright neon green with a series of fluorescent bones patterned along the leash.

This would make it that much harder to convince him to wear it, but we didn’t have time to stop off at multiple stores just to assuage my cat’s vanity.

Sure enough, Octo-Cat baulked when presented with his shiny new walking gear. “So let me get this straight. You not only want me to spend more time talking to Dum-Dum while you make heart eyes at Upchuck, but you also expect me to wear this monstrosity? Ma’am, I am a cat, not some common, mouth-breathing dog.”

I crossed my legs and sat down on the floor in front of him, arranging my face in the best approximation of puppy-dog eyes any human could hope to muster. “Please. It’s just for a little while, and I wouldn’t ask unless it was really important.”

He flicked his tail a few times before responding with, “So you’re asking then? That means I have a choice. I choose no.”

I gave Charles the signal we had discussed, knowing in advance that it would most likely prove necessary. I watched as he slowly slipped his hands into a pair of oven mitts and tiptoed toward Octo-Cat from behind.

“I want you to know…” I told my soon-to-be furious furr-enemy. “I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this.”

Octo-Cat’s eyes widened with the knowledge of my betrayal at the same time I shouted, “Now!”

A furious cry ripped through the house as Charles scooped my cat into his arms, clutching him tightly and very much against his will.

“Unhand me, Upchuck!” he screamed as he swiped his claws in any and every direction. “I will not be disrespected like this!”

“Shh,” I said in a futile attempt to coax him into a belated agreement as I worked his arms through the harness. “You do this for me, help us find who killed Yo-Yo’s owners, and I will owe you a favor. It can be any favor you want. I swear. Please just help us. We need you. And, if you’ll recall, it wasn’t so long ago I risked my life to help you get justice for Ethel.”

At these words, all the fight drained from his furry little body, and Octo-Cat sighed heavily. “Fine,” he growled as I clipped the harness under his belly.

Charles set him back on the ground, and Octo-Cat took a few tipsy steps. His fur stuck out in various directions from the struggle, and he twitched spasmodically while keeping his posture low and defensive.

“You owe me a big favor,” he shouted in my direction. “The biggest favor you’ve ever given anyone in all your nine lives!”

I nodded, eager to put this confrontation to an end. I’d braced myself for a much bigger fight than he’d given me, and things could still go south if I wasn’t careful. “You’ve got it,” I promised. “Anything.”

Octo-Cat let out a maniacal chuckle that made the small hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, too.

“What?” I asked, my voice suddenly shaky and unsure.

“Oh, you’ll see. You’ll all see!” He swept a paw toward Charles, which only increased my worry—but my crazy cat’s demands could be dealt with later. Thinking of which, I should also probably put parent controls on the TV later to discourage this kind of crazed villainous behavior. Right now, though, we had to move on to the next phase of our plan, just in case he suddenly changed his mind and retracted his offer to help.

“Let’s get out of here while we still can,” I told Charles while bending down to clip the leash to Octo-Cat’s new harness.

“Fully unnecessary,” the tabby grumbled. “What makes you assume I’d run away? Remember, I chose you despite your many, many shortcomings.”

“It’s more for your safety than your compliance,” I explained.

Even if Octo-Cat fully intended to stick with us on this trip, he had a tendency to become a different cat from the moment he stepped paw outside. Inside the house, he was a cool intellectual who freely offered an unsolicited running commentary on my life. Once he got out into the wide open, though, he became flighty, unpredictable, and highly excitable. For all I knew, he could spot a butterfly and run three miles straight before realizing we weren’t right there chasing it with him.

Yes, as annoying as he could sometimes be, I loved my cat and wanted to keep him with me for many years to come.

Unfortunately for him, that meant he needed to wear the harness.

I only hoped the favor he requested of me would be something I could legally and physically obtain for him. You just never knew with this guy. That’s part of what made living with him so exciting most days.

Then there were days like today…

Pawsome. You are a fine actor.

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

It’s refreshing to see a cat in a leading role and I suppose it’s nice that she makes sure to include plenty of my favorite Evian water in each of the books. I also like that I got to keep my previous owner’s house. Really, if you aren’t in a manor, are you even a cat anymore?

Well, I live in a library, but I love sitting in the children’s room window, not to mention everything I learn from pawing through all the books.

Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

I’m afraid I don’t quite understand. I think the better question is if my human is one of the special ones that can understand cat, which, yes, she can. For the record, she’s done quite well as my assistant. Although with humans and their overinflated sense of self-worth, she probably thinks she solves all the cases.

Alicia and Laura both understand cat and also most of the Cobble Cove library employees. I’d like to get more credit for finding clues that lead to solving cases in my books, too, and I really love to go after red herrings. I’m sure you do, too. Get it? A herring is a fish. We’re cats.. Okay, back to the interview. Sorry I got sidetracked.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Advice? Oh, of course. Never trust a dog, always buy Apple, and if your water’s not Evian, you may as well be drinking from the toilet like a common, mouth-breathing dog.

I’ve never tried Evian. Now you’ve got me curious, but I know curiosity kills the cat. I agree with you about dogs, although I have a decent relationship with Fido, my co-star.

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

Several actually. As I mentioned earlier, there’s The Cat Caper, I think in early August, but there are a few others that have been announced. Like Chihuahua Conspiracy and Raccoon Racketeer. My author is basically obsessed with me, so I’m sure many more will be forthcoming.

There are four books in my series, and I hope my author writes more. I know she has ideas for a 5th, but I have to purrsuade her to start it.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

My author is on social media I suppose, but I tend to steer clear of it. What’s with all the tweeting if you can’t eat the bird after, right?

I don’t have any social media either except this blog if you count it.

Thanks for the fun interview, Octo, and best whiskers to you and your author on your books..