Today Amy Hueston is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Paws for Concern, the first novel in the Canine Confections mystery series.
Welcome, Amy. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
PAWS FOR CONCERN, A CANINE CONFECTIONS MYSTERY, is the first in the Canine Confections mystery series. The second, PAWS FOR ALARM, will be out soon. There are plenty of pups, sunshine and sweets with a little murder thrown in for fun.
In Paws For Concern life is good for Samantha Armstrong. She left her cheating boyfriend, settled into her cozy cottage on her Aunt Mary’s Palm Beach estate and is finally opening Canine Confections, her dream dog bakery on the ritzy Worth Avenue.
But Samantha’s happy new life goes doggone crazy when Palm Beach resident and pastry shop owner Whitney Goodwin is found dead on Canine Confections’ floor, whisking Samantha into the middle of a murder investigation. The only bright spot is that she finds herself adopting Whitney’s loveable dog Sweet Pea.
As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the shopkeepers on Worth Avenue are the target. Samantha’s impatience won’t let sleeping dogs lie. She takes it upon herself to move things along by padding around town with Sweet Pea and sniffing out clues to clear her name and Canine Confections’ reputation—before it is too late …
Includes a recipe from Chef Sarah Deters at the test kitchen of Three Dog Bakery, the original bakery for dogs!
Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?
It came from my love of all things furry, sweet, cozy and mysterious. I like getting inside people’s heads so in this particular story we meet all these new people on the fancy Worth Avenue and watch how they interact with each other for the first time.
Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?
What prompted me to write about it was watching people firsthand because I live close to Palm Beach. In this book, a young woman moves to a town much fancier than the town she used to live and tries to find a way to fit in, which is hard to do when a dead body shows up in her new business. Add to that some problems with her Aunt Mary, whose estate she lives on. Overall, it deals with how people feel when feeling out of place. Being a cozy mystery, I keep things light and (hopefully) add humor to make things seem not so bad.
How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?
I create them by thinking about the story and who will help propel it forward. Once the characters are in place, they talk to me as if from behind a stage curtain. They whisper to each other behind the curtain, then come out center-stage to say their lines. I swear sometimes they take me by surprise. My favorite characters are the ones who aren’t so nice, who are sarcastic or sneaky or witchy. I’m partial to them because I try not to be those things in my daily life. (I’m only sarcastic, sneaky and witchy before my morning coffee.)
How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?
In a suspense I just finished writing, I think about the city, suburbs and countryside of New York. In the case of Paws for Concern, I think about how Worth Avenue looks, smells, sounds, even feels. There’s a little bit of magic in the air in Palm Beach.
What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?
I’ve been to Worth Avenue and Palm Beach more times than I can count. I’ve dined there, shopped there, looked at art galleries there, drank a Starbucks there.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?
I’m excited that Three Dog Bakery, the first dog bakery (back in 1989), had their Master Chef create recipes for dogs for my Canine Confections series.
Also, obviously, I hope you enjoy this book so much that you look forward to reading book 2 coming soon, PAWS FOR ALARM. For those of you who are partial to cats, a cat enters the series. Having the cat and the dog interact is a lot of fun. In the third book PAWS OF DEATH, we’ll continue to meet many more dogs, make more sweet treats and navigate through twisty tales. I love this stuff.
Thank you for answering my questions, Amy and good luck with Paws for Concern, the first book in the Canine Confections mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Amy Hueston: Amy writes mini-mysteries for Woman’s World when she isn’t writing mysteries and suspense books. Paws for Concern is the first book in A Canine Confections Mystery series.