Friday, March 25, 2016

Bees, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and inspiration

Today I'm delighted to welcome some wonderfully pampered pets and their authors to my blog. The latest Pampered Pets book, Raiders of the Lost Bark, is being released as you read... so go buy it, or, if you'd prefer, peruse this post to learn where the inspiration comes from first - bees, rattlesnakes and mountain lions anyone? Then buy the book.

So, without more ado, welcome, dear authors, to my blog -- but do I call you Sparkle, Mary or Anita? Grab a coffee and a gluten-free cookie, then please tell us about your inspiration - and rattlesnakes!



“All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.”―Chuck Palahniuk

Inspiration is everywhere. As writers, we are always looking for ways to be stirred to greatness. Inspiration drives action…or in some cases, words on the blank page.
When we’re on deadline, we don’t get to wait for inspiration to hit, we have to sit down and do the work. But that doesn’t mean we stop looking for ways to add joy or meaning to our lives and our stories.

We’re moved by great books and entertaining movies. An oceanside photo and a road trip with our closest girl friends. A great conversation and other people’s success stories. The way we live our lives often provides our greatest inspiration: a positive attitude and a large dose of laughter.

The setting for our latest release, Raiders of the Lost Bark, was inspired by an Orange County camping trip that Anita and her family took a number of years ago. For three hot summer days, at the beginning of what was to become a five year drought for California, Anita’s family pitched their well-used six-person tent at the desolate Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park campground. Bees, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions. What were they thinking? After two restless nights of sleeping on the hard, dusty ground, and watching over their shoulders for mountain lions, they broke camp and headed east—to the even hotter Las Vegas desert, a cold hotel room and running water.

Years later, we tossed around the idea of a story set outside of Laguna Beach. What if our pampered characters were stuck between the sandstone canyons and parched wilderness campsites? How would they cope? What luxuries would they take with them? Would they still be able to catch a killer under the stars?


As you can see, sometimes inspiration is so close we just have to take a moment and stop; be mindful in that instant by listening to the silence, and taking a few deep cleansing breaths. We’re not all inspired by the same things or in the same ways. So what inspires you?

Thank you for inviting us to visit with your readers. We hope ya’ll enjoy our latest Pampered Pets Mystery adventure, Raiders of the Lost Bark, out March 25th!

I'm sure I shall enjoy it, and thank you for visiting my blog. I wish you a wonderful release day! But before you leave, please tell us something about the book and the mystery.


Melinda Langston, amateur sleuth and Bow Wow Boutique owner, finds herself "Glamping Under the Stars" with a blackmailer, Orange County's hottest new gourmet pet chef, Addison Rae. But before Mel can put an end to Addison's strong-arming, the chef is found dead. Mel is just one of many suspects who had motive to snuff out the demanding chef. 

Was it Redmond, the angry sous chef who detested working for Addison? What about rival chef, Pepper Maddox? The glamping chef gig was hers until Addison blackmailed her way into the job. And then there's Asher, a charming fellow camper whose past relationship with Addison isn't the only secret he's guarding. Mel's not one to tuck tail and run, even when it looks like she may be the next victim.




Sounds cool and intriguing, thank you - a perfect cozy mystery to enjoy with your own pampered pet.



Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). They are friends and neighbors as well as co-writers of the Pampered Pets Mystery Series. The pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue pets--Sparkle (Mary Lee's cat) and Abbey (Anita's dog). They reside in central Iowa, but if they could write anywhere, you would find them on the beach with their laptops and, depending on the time of day, with either an iced tea or a margarita. If you're missing any of their  backlist this is a great time to grab them. Details here. And if you want to make sure you're up on all the Sparkle Abbey news, stop by their website and sign up for updates at sparkleabbey.com.

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