Monday, January 20, 2014

Truffles Interviews...Hero from Playing with Fire by JJ Cook (with Review & Giveaway)

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today I'm interviewing Hero, the Dalmatian superstar from the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery series by JJ Cook. Enjoy!

Welcome, Hero! How did you came to live with Stella?
Well, I was a gift to the Sweet Pepper Volunteer Fire Brigade. My Mom, Sylvia, and I were rescued by some people who also became members of the group. To begin with, I think Stella planned for me to live at the firehouse. Eric, the ghost of the former fire chief, liked having me around at the cabin he shares with Stella. I love being up there too. Eventually, Stella just came to see it our way!

What's life like as a firehouse dog?
It’s a lot of fun and excitement! I’m being trained to become a real rescue dog, but in the meantime, I go to every call. I get to ride in the engine on the seat with Stella and Ricky, the driver. I’m the best at climbing ladders, and kids aren’t afraid to get out of a burning house when they see me.

You are the subject of your very own novella, Hero's Journey...what's it like being famous?
It’s awesome! I’m a local celebrity. There’s even talk of me riding on a float in the Sweet Pepper Festival parade next year! Not to mention – I get a treat every time I walk into the Sweet Pepper Café with a firefighter. I’m the only dog allowed in there, you know.

Can you tell us anything about the history of your breed, the Dalmatian, and how they came to be known as mascots to fire brigades?
Well, as I understand it – Dalmatians have always been very strong and very good at running. Humans used us to guard their horses because we get along so well with horses. As horses began pulling firehouse wagons, I think it was natural for firefighters to have us around to protect their horses, and the firehouses. Of course, we’re very brave too – which is why we can be trained to run into burning builders with our firefighters. We’re also very good company on those long shifts while firefighters are waiting for a call. I hope that helps explain it a little. If you want to know more, you’ll have to ask my mother. She knows everything!

Do you ever get into any mischief?
Oh yeah! I like to tease old Tagger. He chases me when I snatch his hat and run. Once, I got into Ricky’s turn-out coat and ran through the firehouse. Some people thought I was a ghost! I’ve learned how to make this face where everyone says, “How cute!” and gives me food. My mother says that’s bad, but it sure is fun!

How do you feel about cats?
I LOVE cats! In fact, I’d like to have one as a pet. Eric says no. We’ll see.

What adventures do you and Stella have in Playing with Fire?
I help Stella look for the person who killed Eric. It’s not very nice to leave someone in a wall after you shoot them. I try to keep Eric from feeling so sad about it, too. And, of course, I help convince Stella to stay in Sweet Pepper instead of going home to Chicago. But that’s a secret. Please don’t tell anyone.

Any closing words for your adoring public?
Watch out for children playing with matches. They can cause fires. I’d like to come and visit everyone, but not because their house is on fire. Come and see me in Sweet Pepper sometime, and I’ll give you a tour of the firehouse!

Thanks for the interview, Truffles!


Mochas, Mysteries and Meows Review: This second book in JJ Cook's wonderful Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery series finds Stella facing quite the dilemma: her parents and cheating ex-fiancé show up unexpectedly at her door to convince her to return home to Chicago with them. This happens just as she feels like she's reached a turning point in solving the murder of her predecessor Chief Eric Gamlyn. (Believed to have heroically died in a fire, in the first book he was found shot to death and stuffed in the firehouse wall.)

Deputy Chum, who was on the scene that fateful day, has given Stella new information with regards to what he remembers just as he has retired and decided to leave town. He never reaches his final destination though...shortly after speaking with Stella a vehicle pulls up alongside his, he is shot and drives off a cliff. This convinces Stella more than ever that forces are still at work 40 years later to make sure Eric's killer is never brought to justice.

Even though some questions are answered by the end, I still don't think we have the full story of what happened that night. Just as with Betts and Jerome in Paige Shelton's Country Cooking School Mystery series, I am completely transfixed by the feelings that Stella and Eric have for each other. For some reason I just find the forbidden aspect of falling in love with a ghost completely breathtaking. I can't wait to find out what comes next for these two.

playing with fire

Playing with Fire
(A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade)

2nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (January 7, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252451
Welcome to Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s home to the hottest and sweetest peppers in the world—as well as at least one ghost and a hotbed of secrets…

Fire Chief Stella Griffin is working to solve the mysterious death of her predecessor, Eric Gamlyn—who also haunts her cabin. Yet the more she learns, the more burning questions she must answer. Just as Stella thinks she has a lead from Deputy Chum, someone snuffs her hopes—and the lawman.

Adding fuel to the fire, Stella’s parents soon arrive—with her ex-boyfriend—hoping to persuade her to return to Chicago. Now Stella is torn between the life she left behind and uncovering what happened to her ghostly friend. But she’d better think fast or more than her investigation could go up in flames…

j&j 2

About J.J. Cook
J.J. Cook’s first mystery, That Old Flame of Mine, became an instant bestseller in 2013. Playing with Fire is the second book in that series. They write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Purchase Links
Amazon                Book World             B&N

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Unknown said...

Thanks for the interview, Truffles! ~ Hero

Katreader said...

I love reading more about Hero. I too look forward to seeing what develops between Stella and Eric!

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a great book.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the information, Truffles and Hero. Sounds like a facinating story.

Unknown said...

Your Truffles looks just like my cat Tory..

I had a dalmation many years ago and she was a wonderful dog, I appreciate that You both as J.J. Cook wrote this book and I think that it will be a great read. Was nice to read about Hero and how he likes children and gets a treat when he goes to the café.

cyn209 said...

so excited for JJ!! thanx for the giveaway & continued success to JJ!!!

Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

Loved the interview with Hero, Truffles!