Sneaky the Library Cat Interviews Bear, the Labrador Retriever from Death By Proxy, a DIY DIVA Mystery by Paula Darnell

Meow, there. It’s Sneaky with an interview with a dog character from a cozy mystery. What is your name and your author’s name, Mr. Dog?

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

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

I’ve appeared in three DIY Diva cozy mysteries: Death by Association, Death by  Design, and Death by Proxy, the latest in the series.

Condogalations!

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

I like to think I’m unique, but I have to confess that I’m a combo of my author’s dogs, a yellow Lab, and a Pryador (black Lab/Great Pyrenees)

There’s no shame in that. You should be proud. I was based on my author’s Siamese cat, Oliver, who has now gone to Rainbow Bridge. I am glad I can still honor him by being in her Cobble Cove books and in her recent holiday story, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery.

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

This is from Death by Proxy. The scene takes place at Tracey’s house, where she’s holding a bridal shower for my mommy, Laurel McMillan, the DIY Diva.

Just as I was about to get up, Bear began barking frantically. I could tell his little nuances, and this sounded like more than just wanting to come back inside the house. I excused myself and went to the kitchen door. He had his front paws braced on the door, but he backed down as soon as he saw me coming and raced inside when I opened the door. Oddly, he didn’t even pause in the kitchen, where extra food was laid out on the counter tops.

“Bear, come here,” I called, and he turned and ran back to me, but then took off again.

Tracey was about to open the front door when she saw Bear coming. “Just a delivery,” she said. “Probably the sandals I ordered online.” Tracey bought almost everything, except her groceries, online, so she was constantly getting packages delivered.

I went over to the door and held Bear by his collar, tipping his blue bow tie to a sporty angle, while Tracey opened the door.

At the sight of the skinny, long-haired young man, dressed in a gray short-sleeved shirt and matching pants, Bear snarled and growled, and the man hastily handed Tracey a package and beat a quick retreat while Bear barked furiously.

“That’s odd,” I said as Tracey closed the door. “Bear usually barks when I get a delivery, but he’s never acted like that before when someone came to the door.”

“Maybe he didn’t like the guy,” Tracey said. “He looked sort of sketchy to me. I’m just going to put this in the bedroom, and I’ll be right back.”

The guests had all watched Bear’s performance in surprise, but, now that he’d settled down, they complimented him on being a good watch dog. It was a wonder he hadn’t knocked someone over in his frenzied dash to the front door. I straightened his bow tie, and told him to sit as I joined Amy and Cynthia, who were talking to Jennifer now.

“What a cute bow tie!” Amy said. “Is he going to wear it to the wedding?”

“How did you guess?” I chuckled. “Tracey suggested that he could be the ring bearer, but I thought that would be taking things too far.”

Pawsome. Thanks for sharing.

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

I get to go with my mommy on walks every day, and we have a lot of adventures.

Adventures are the best for us character pets.

Do you talk in your books or are just silent like I am, although I meow and make other cat sounds to communicate with Alicia and the other characters?

Woof! I don’t talk, but ‘m really good at barking, though.

So I hear.  What advice would you give other dog characters?

Have your pet parent make some yummy tuna rice treats for you. They’re one of my favorites. The recipe is in the back of Death by Proxy.

Yummy. I love tuna, but the only recipe in one of our books was for peanut butter sandwiches because the owner of Fido, my dog co-character, eats them for lunch every day and has a special recipe for them.

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

My author has a historical mystery, The Six-Week Solution, coming out in January, but I’m not in that one. It’s set in Reno, Nevada, in 1955, where a deputy sheriff’s investigation into a deadly accident leads to his discovery that some of the women staying at local divorce ranches for six weeks so that they can get a quick divorce are in grave danger.

That sounds interesting. My author has written a few non-cozy books, too. Her latest was Sea Scope, a psychological mystery about a murder at a lighthouse. There are two cats in it who play small roles.

It was nice chatting with you, Bear, and best of luck to you and your author on your new release. I’m sharing your author’s blog tour for the book below along with another great excerpt.

Death by Proxy: A DIY Diva Mystery
by Paula Darnell

About Death by Proxy


Death by Proxy: A DIY Diva Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Cozy Cat Press (November 2019)
Print Length ~220 Pages

With preparations for her upcoming wedding to handsome Wes Wesson, a Center City police lieutenant, on track and her DIY Bridal Crafts class at Hawkeye Haven’s community center wrapped up, DIY Diva Laurel McMillan looks forward to a calm pre-nuptial week to finalize her wedding plans. There’s only one problem: the week turns out to be anything but calm. Laurel and Wes narrowly escape being run down in the parking lot of their favorite restaurant. Laurel’s bridal shower is interrupted by a mysterious stranger who sends Laurel’s lovable chocolate Labrador retriever Bear into a frenzy, and when Laurel and Wes go to meet Lisa, their real estate agent, at a house she promised to show them, they discover Lisa’s sister’s body floating in the pool. Strangely, Lisa seems more concerned with selling houses than she does with her sister’s death. After Lisa’s mother inadvertently reveals family secrets, Laurel wonders whether Lisa could have killed her own sister. Will the mayhem and murder stop before Laurel discovers the key to the killer’s game plan?

EXCERPT DEATH BY PROXY

“Duane Harris Wesson! Is that your idea of a proposal?”

If I’d been standing, I’d have put my hands on my hips, but I was sitting beside Wes on the sofa in my den. He’d just suggested that a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi would make a great honeymoon, but he hadn’t asked me to marry him!

“Uh, definitely not.” My boyfriend grabbed a pillow, placed it on the tile floor in front of me, and knelt on the plush cushion. He took my hand. “Laurel, sweetheart, I love you, and I’d love for us to spend the rest of our lives together.”

He fumbled in his jacket pocket for a moment before pulling out a small velvet-covered box. He opened it and took out a spectacular diamond ring. “Will you marry me?”

“Yes!” I said breathlessly, and Wes slipped the stunning ring onto my finger.

Bear, my chocolate Labrador retriever, had been snoozing on his bed in front of the fireplace, but sensing that something was up and not wanting to be left out, he came over and sat in front of me, next to Wes, and put his head on my lap.

Wes put one arm around me and the other around Bear, as I leaned forward to kiss him.

“Think I can get up now?” Wes asked.

“Yes.”

“Good,” He rose and sat beside me. “That’s a relief. When you called me by all three of my names, I knew I had to up my game. When I was a kid, my mom used to say that to me when I was in trouble.”

“Well, you’re redeemed. Not many men would tolerate a dog nudging his way into a proposal. You’re a very special man, and I love you madly.”

Wes took me in his arms, and we managed a proper kiss before Bear began gently prodding us with his nose.

“Don’t worry, Bear,” Wes reassured him, as he scratched behind the inquisitive dog’s ears. “You’ll always be part of our family.”

About Paula Darnell

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: www.etsy.com/shop/PaulaDJewelry.

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 websitehttps://www.pauladarnellauthor.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/PaulaJDarnell

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18782445.Paula_Darnell

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/paulad0057/

Etsy shop – https://www.etsy.com/shop/PaulaDJewelry

Purchase Links – Amazon

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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.

Pawsome!

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

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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: www.etsy.com/shop/PaulaDJewelry.

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 websitehttps://www.pauladarnellauthor.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/PaulaJDarnell

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18782445.Paula_Darnell

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/paulad0057/

Etsy shop – https://www.etsy.com/shop/PaulaDJewelry

Purchase Links – Amazon Amazon Paperback

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