Sneaky Interviews Belle the Dog from Snowed Under, A Maggie McDonald Cozy Mystery by Mary Feliz

Meow there. It’s Sneaky with another great pet character interview. Today, I’ll be speaking with a dog whose new release is on blog tour.

Welcome, Ms. Dog. What is your name and your author’s name?

I’m Belle, a golden retriever, my author (so nice, so smart) is Mary Feliz.

A pleasure to meet you, Belle. I get along quite well with golden retrievers as my co-star, Fido, in the Cobble Cove cozy mysteries is one.

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

I’ve been in all of Mary’s books. They’re all about me. And my dog friends. And my people friends. I love my friends. And food. I love food. And walks. And rides in the car.

All the books are cozy mysteries. Those are my favorite because none of the animals get hurt. Or at least, if they get hurt, they get better. Fast.

Address to Die For (Book #1, 2016)

Scheduled to Death (Book #2, 2017)

Dead Storage (Book #3, 2017)

Disorderly Conduct (Book #4, 2018)

Cliff Hanger (Book #5, 2019)

Snowed Under (Book #6, 2020)

Very good point. I’m fond of cozies, too, for the obvious reason. You have a nice list of books. I’ve only had four adventures, but I’m hoping my author Debbie gets moving on the fifth soon. She’s too busy right now working on other projects that also feature cats but not me. At least I have a blog.

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

Yes, our books are a series. One book is just too short to tell you all you need to know about me and my friends and family.

The series begins with Address to Die For when my family moves to Silicon Valley in a big old house with lots of wonderful smells. Including one very scary one that my people take care of quickly. After that, we have lots of adventures in and around the community, meeting other dogs and their people, sniffing butts, taking names, and asking questions. Most of the people give me pats and treats, but I like almost anywhere I can go with my people.

Scheduled to Death takes place near Stanford University and a community garden, and looks at what happens to human pups who have no pack–foster kids who are too old to be in the system. It looks at academic competition, too.

In Dead Storage, we have to rescue my friend Munchkin, a mastiff, and his person, Stephen. We also go to lots of parks and visit homeless people, who sniff out lots of clues when they are walking around, but people seldom notice them.

In Disorderly Conduct, a scary wild fire threatens my family, but I take good care of them, snuggling up and licking their faces when they get scared. Something bad happens, but it turns out okay in the end.

Cliff Hanger is about when we all went on vacation to Monterey Bay. My kids witness a bad accident, but then they figure out that maybe it was the on-purpose kind of accident. We go for lots of runs on the beach and I chase waves and birds. There are some new friends we meet who pick strawberries. And I get skunked trying to make friends with a creature that looks like a fuzzy cat but isn’t.

Snowed Under is a super fun adventure. My best friend Mozart (the pointy eared dog people call German shepherds) and I go up to the High Sierra near Lake Tahoe where it snows. And boy does it snow. We spend time playing in all that white stuff, visiting the neighbors, and snuggling by the fire. There’s a Chihuahua that scares me a little, but he’s okay. Some bad people were doing some bad things, but Mozart and I sorted it out.

Wow, Meow! These sound pawsome. I must tell Debbie about them. She’s a librarian like my main character, Alicia. She just went back to work. Maybe she can order them for her library once they get the go ahead to start ordering books again.

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

Oh boy. Oh boy. Mary Feliz tells me I’m just like a dog she used to have named Anna. Anna used to help Mary write books. Lots of books. (Tail thumps. Nose nudges)

Awww. Debbie had a Siamese named Oliver for whom she loosely based my character.

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

This is a selection from Snowed Under in which the people are nervous and cold. They try a lot of things to get comfortable, but in the end, I’m the one with the best solution. It’s written from the perspective of my favorite person, Maggie.

All it took was a midnight power outage to make me feel like a fragile forest creature, trembling and yearning for a cozy protected burrow. I pulled my sweatshirt sleeves down over my hands, wrapped a blanket around me for warmth, and touched Belle’s collar for comfort. She trotted with me toward the bathroom where I adjusted the tap to keep the pipes from freezing. “We’ll be okay,” I told Belle in an attempt to reassure myself. She thumped her tail on the floor.

Tess cried out from the top of the stairs, and I ran to her aid. We watched as her entire load of logs thumped and tumbled down the steps. “You okay?” I asked.

Tess nodded. “I felt the stack going and jumped away. One of those could have easily broken a toe.”

Tess was cranky from lack of sleep. She glared at me. “Just drop those logs next to the fire. We’ll use them all before morning.”

“Hot chocolate?” I asked.

“The pilot light will be out. Matches are on the shelf over the stove top.”

A few moments later, armed with two steaming mugs and a plate of cookies, I returned to the living room. Tess had finished building up the fire, which roared and crackled in the hearth.

 “Good.” She took one of the cobalt blue mugs, wrapped her palms around it and inhaled the steam. “I want to stay up for a bit and let the fire settle down. This is perfect.”

“Do we have a plan for tomorrow?” I asked. “More storm-related survival chores I know nothing about?”

“After keeping the fire going all night, we’ll sleep in as late as we can, look at the weather forecast, and take stock,” she said

“Will we be able to get your car out?”

“No chance. But if the road is clear, we can ski cross-country to the village and catch the shuttle back.”

I hadn’t cross-country skied in years, but I hoped it would be like riding a bike, something my body should remember how to do. “That’d be fun,” I said. “Especially if the wind dies.”

Tess set down her mug and slid back under her covers. I took a last sip and followed suit. Belle curled up at my feet with her tail over her nose.

Comment from Belle: See, I did all the important stuff. I always do all the important stuff.

Tail wags to you. You are quite the pet actress.

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

I love that I get to be in almost every scene. It’s obvious that Maggie couldn’t solve a murder without me. She’d be too scared and unprotected.

It’s great that you can lend a paw to help her.

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

Maggie doesn’t need me to speak English. We’ve been friends for a long time and she gets me.

Alicia understands my body language and feline signals, too.

What advice would you give other dog characters?

Keep a close eye on your people. You have no idea what kinds of trouble they can get into. <shakes head, hard, ears flapping>

Very good advice.

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

Snowed Under came out yesterday on June 9. It’s a chilling story because it takes place in the snow. Lots of snow. Perfect to read on a really hot day.

Love the pun, Belle. It’s getting hot now, so I’m sure it would be a purrfect read for the summer.

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

Of course. Mary has a page called Mary Feliz Books (https://p.facebook.com/MaryFelizBooks/) She shares pictures of me all the time. And some cat she has in what she calls the “real world.”

Oh, goodie. I will check those out. I love seeing pet photos. Debbie posts tons  of her kitties, Harry,  Hermione, and Stripey.

Thanks so much for the interview, Ms. Belle, and best whiskers to you and Mary on your new release. I’m sharing the blog tour and giveaway below.

Snowed Under (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
by Mary Feliz

About Snowed Under


Snowed Under (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 9, 2020)
250 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07WBY669T

When professional organizer Maggie McDonald finds a body in a snowdrift outside her friend’s ski cabin, she must plow through the clues to find a cold-blooded killer . . .

Lake Tahoe in February is beautiful, but Maggie can’t see a thing as she drives through a blinding blizzard with her friend Tess Olmos and their dogs, golden retriever Belle and German shepherd Mozart.Maggie has offered her professional decluttering skills to help Tess tidy up her late husband’s cabin in preparation to sell. She also plans to get in some skiing when her husband Max and their boys join them later in the week.

What she doesn’t plan on is finding a boot in a snowdrift attached to a corpse. The frozen stiff turns out to be Tess’s neighbor, Dev Bailey, who disappeared two months ago. His widow Leslie expresses grief, but Maggie can’t help but wonder if it’s a snow job. As more suspects start to pile up, things go downhill fast, and Maggie must keep her cool to solve the murder before the killer takes a powder . . .

About Mary Feliz

Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises, competed in whale boat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.

Author Links: WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitter

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