Monday, March 5, 2018

Review/Interview/Giveaway: Pawprints & Predicaments by Bethany Blake

The Tail Waggin’ Winterfest is the highlight of the season in the famously pet-friendly Pocono Mountains town of Sylvan Creek. But despite attractions like an ice sculpture display, a dogsled race, and gourmet hot chocolate, Daphne Templeton finds herself annoyed by TV producer Lauren Savidge, who’s filming the festivities. She’s critical, controlling, and as chilly as the January air. Daphne would like to tell her to go jump in a lake—and as a matter of fact, that’s exactly what they’re both going to do . . .

It’s the first-ever polar bear plunge in Lake Wallapawakee, and Daphne and Lauren are among the eighty or so people who charge into the frigid water to raise funds for animals in need. Daphne makes it back to shore—with the help of a mysterious St. Bernard—but Lauren is dragged out stone cold dead. Now, with her trusty basset hound Socrates at her side, Daphne intends to assist Detective Jonathan Black in his investigation—whether he wants her to or not . . .

Daphne has her hands full in this 3rd book in the series, between running her pet-sitting service, slowly but surely planning the opening of her pet bakery, and using the town's annual Winterfest to pass out samples of her baked goods. She reluctantly agrees to participate in the polar bear plunge into the freezing lake - only because money raised is going to animals in need - and is horrified to once again stumble upon a dead body. This time it's the TV producer in town to film a special on their pet-loving town, but she hasn't exactly endeared herself to it's residents. The true identity of the killer (and murder weapon) caught me completely by surprise here, even though it made perfect sense. I love when that happens!

Once again I enjoyed spending time with the humans and animals of Sylvan Creek, and especially the introduction of a mysterious and legendary Saint Bernard rumored to haunt the town, and Daphne's best friend Moxie's new pet rat. One of my favorite parts was preparations for the Cardboard Iditarod event which has the characters building a stagecoach for the animals to reenact an episode of Bonanza! I also enjoyed a brief look into a sanctuary for big cats owned by one of the characters. This series is the cat's meow for animal lovers of all species!

Mudpie purred with excitement when I told her she could ask Tinkleston, Daphne's black Persian, a pawful of questions. She hopes you enjoy the interview!

Welcome, Tinkleston! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with Daphne?

Thank you for inviting me to visit your blog. I am a black Persian cat with orange eyes, and I have been told that I have an attitude. My hobbies are jumping off refrigerators onto people’s heads, and jumping off fireplace mantels onto people’s heads. I don’t do that as much as I used to, because I’ve been told it’s bad manners. I also enjoy hiding in my person Daphne Templeton’s windowsill herb garden.

I came to live with Daphne when my original person, Lillian Flynt, was murdered in the big, lonely mansion where I used to live. Daphne was nice enough to take me in, which is why I don’t bite her anymore. I’m adjusting to living with a dog named Socrates in a tiny cottage. I wasn’t a fan at first, but now I kind of like all the activity. Don’t tell anyone that.

What's a typical day like for you now, and how does it differ from your former life? 

I used to spend a lot of time alone in a huge mansion. I'm hardly ever alone, anymore. I like to sleep at the foot of Daphne’s bed, sunk deep into the down comforter, until about 2 a.m. Then I get up and sneak around the cottage. When Daphne gets up, she feeds me, usually homemade food. It’s pretty good. I like to spend most of the day sleeping on the windowsill, but we get a lot of visitors. Sometimes I have to socialize with Artie, a one-eared Chihuahua, and his dog brother, Axis, or a rat named Sebastian. He’s surprisingly okay, although I did try to eat him once. A lot of people stop by, too, like Daphne’s sister, Piper, and her best friend, Moxie Bloom. I like them, but I am still tempted to jump on Daphne’s mother’s head. There’s just something about Maeve that bugs me.

Is there a story behind your unusual name?

My full name is actually Budgely’s Sir Peridot Tinkleston. I used to be a fancy show cat, and apparently fancy cats need fancy names. I’m not fancy at all, anymore, so nobody uses the whole name. And Detective Jonathan Black won’t say my name at all. He says it makes him feel silly.

Tell us about the Lucky Paws Pet Sitting mystery series that you star in, and the latest installment Pawprints & Predicaments in particular? 

The Lucky Paws mysteries are about my person, Daphne Templeton, who is a pet sitter with a Ph.D. in philosophy. We all live in the cute, pet-friendly town of Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania, where Daphne finds a lot of bodies. She tries to solve the murders, and Socrates and Jonathan Black try to stop her. In Pawprints & Predicaments, Daphne makes the mistake of joining a polar bear plunge for charity at Sylvan Creek’s Tail Waggin’ Winterfest. That goes wrong, no surprise, and she gets tangled up with a body—and saved by Detective Black. It turns out the person who died—a very unpopular television producer—had a lot of enemies. There’s a mysterious Saint Bernard involved, too, and Daphne goes cross-country skiing. Another mistake. It’s pretty funny.

You're being forced to live with and have constant contact with *gasp* dogs! Do you have any cohabitation tips?

I’m still figuring that out. My biggest advice is, when in doubt, jump onto something high. Dogs, even the big ones, are surprisingly earthbound. They’re very easy to get away from. Although, I’m starting to learn that most dogs are okay.

Can you give us any clues as what's next for you and Daphne?

This December, we’ll be celebrating Christmas in Sylvan Creek. You can read about it in a book called A Midwinter’s Tail. While the holidays are usually perfect in our town, this year, one of Daphne’s high school classmates returns home with a very bad “gift” for the community. Someone ends up dead, and I get stuck living with a snooty poodle named Snowdrop. There’s also a big party for people and pets called the Bark the Halls Ball, and a naughty little dog in a “bah, hum pug” sweater. Daphne gets a special gift from Jonathan Black, too. I can’t tell you what it is. You’ll have to read the book.

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Unknown said...

That sounds like a fun series! I've heard of it but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Tinkleston sounds like a great cat :)

Patricia T said...

Thanks, Melissa and Mudpie!

The Florida Furkids said...

Sounds like a pawsome series!!

The Florida Furkids

Kay Garrett said...

Thank you for your review and information on "Pawprints & Predicaments" by Bethany Blake as well as being part of the book tour! Enjoyed the interview with Tinkleston. :)

I'd love the opportunity to read this book.
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Autumn Trapani said...

Great interview, Mudpie! It's very nice to meet Tinkleston. Would love to read these books - thanks for the chance.

The Menagerie Mom said...

I can't describe how much I always look forward to reading your book reviews, Mudpie and Melissa! This is yet another one I'm adding to my to-read list. Oh, and we think Tinkleston is a purrfectly cute name!

Peaches and Paprika said...

Thank u for the info. What a catchy title! if you combined it with "Peaches & Paprika" you would have a total tongue-twister, we couldn't help thinking... said...

basset hounds and saint bernards are my fav dogs! I will check this series out!

pilch92 said...

Great interview. Tinkleston is adorable.

Eastside Cats said...

Hokey smokes, look at all those links to click! Always enjoy starting a new series, from the first book.

diannekc said...

Really looking forward to reading the book. Sounds like a great read.

Three Chatty Cats said...

What a fun sounding series! We had a basset hound when I was growing up.

Rene said...

Ooh cool, I didn't know about this series!