Featured Author: Linda O. Johnston
ABOUT THE BOOK
Veterinary technician Carrie Kennersly, owner of the Barkery & Biscuits bakery for dogs, is reluctant to sell her recipes to pet food manufacturer VimPets. Jack Loroco, a VimPets representative, assures Carrie that it would be a great opportunity to grow her business. His promising new relationship with Carrie’s friend, Billi Matlock, doesn’t hurt his cause. But the budding romance takes a bad turn when Wanda Addler, another VimPets employee, sets her sights on Jack.
After threatening to ruin Jack’s career if he doesn’t give her what she wants, Wanda is found dead. Jack and Billi are put at the top of the suspect list, and Carrie is doggone determined to rescue them from a life behind bars.
GUEST POST BY LINDA O. JOHNSTON
More Barkery, Please
Hard to believe it, but my Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Series is now in its third year. The third book in the series, Bad to the Bone, is a May 2017 release.
In the series, protagonist Carrie Kennersly is a veterinary technician who dreamed of becoming her own boss. At the beginning of Bite the Biscuit, the first book in the series, her friend Brenda Anesco had to sell her bakery, Icing on the Cake, and move away from Knobcone Heights, California, to care for her ailing mother. Carrie bought it and converted half of Icing into Barkery and Biscuits, a store that sells handmade dog treats made from healthy recipes Carrie developed for patients as a vet tech. She also maintained the other half, Icing on the Cake, to sell fresh baked goods for people.
I realized when I began the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries that I was combining two popular cozy mystery themes: pets and cooking. I even include recipes in the stories--one for a dog treat and one for a people treat.
I first came up with the hint of an idea for this series quite a few years ago, when I recognized the emerging industry of small shops that catered to home-cooked meals and treats for pets but it wasn't very popular--then.
By the time Bite the Biscuit was published, that was already a different story. In my area of Los Angeles, for example, there are quite a few shops like that. Some are even small chain stores.
Of course I have to visit them, and I buy samples most places I visit. I have to be a little careful about what I buy, since my older Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Mystie has tummy issues and is on a prescription food diet, although I'm able to give her some new treats if I'm careful. Our other Cavalier, Cari, is a six-month-old puppy so I need to be a bit cautious about what she gets, too--mainly because she likes to eat everything around her. But I'm sure they both consider it fun that I'm doing this kind of research for my Barkery series.
The books in the Barkery series are cozy mysteries, which means there are murders in them. In Bite the Biscuit, Carrie herself was a murder suspect. In the second book in the series, To Catch a Treat, a visitor to Knobcone Heights who becomes Carrie's assistant in her shops--and her brother's main squeeze--is the primary suspect. And in Bad to the Bone, another friend is the top suspect when a visitor to the town gets murdered. Somehow, the murder rate in that small town appears to be increasing. Poor town--and poor Carrie!
In the meantime, Carrie's dog, Biscuit, gets to hang out in the Barkery and sample all the wonderful dog treats. They both also go to the Knobcone Veterinary Clinic, where Carrie has maintained her part-time job as a veterinary technician. And, yes, Carrie does keep solving murders.
And it's certainly fun to write these stories. I hope you enjoy reading them!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year. Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink. Her latest cozy mystery series, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries are also from Midnight Ink.
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