Those Furry Side-Kicks #3


Free prequel to the series at:

Sally Bayless is an author of cozy mysteries and clean romance. She writes the Dogwood Springs Cozy Mystery series and The Abundance Series.

She lives in the Missouri Ozarks, and when not working on her next book, she enjoys shopping for cute shoes, swimming, watching BBC television with her husband, and—of course—reading! She has two grown children.

If you like a mystery with a pet who will win your heart, friends who feel like family, and a sweet small town, you’ll love the Dogwood Springs Cozy Mystery Series! These are clean books with a hint of romance.

Who is your protagonist’s sidekick?
Libby Ballard’s furry sidekick is Bella, a lovable and very intelligent golden retriever. Libby adopts Bella in the first novel of the series.

What role does the animal play in the story?
Bella always manages to help Libby solve crimes. Because Bella is so friendly and has lived in Dogwood Springs longer than Libby, she sometimes “introduces” Libby to people who can provide clues. She puts potential suspects at ease when Libby talks with them. And—as Libby investigates more mysteries—she begins to suspect that Bella may be nudging her toward clues!

Does your animal help or hinder your sleuth?
Bella definitely helps!

Give us 1 example of the interaction between your main character and the Fury Sidekick.
When Libby moves to town, she rents an apartment that belonged to an older man who passed away. Bella had been his dog and is supposed to be living with his daughter, Melinda, a nurse. But Bella keeps turning up at Libby’s apartment.

From Chapter One of “Antiques, Artifacts, and Alibis”:
“I’m sorry,” Melinda said when I called. “This time, Bella found a way out under the fence. I don’t know what I’m going to do. She’s terribly lonely at my house, but I’m working a lot of double shifts. What with that and the time I spend commuting and the way Bella misses Dad, I don’t know if she’s ever going to like living with me.” She let out an audible sigh. “I have to admit, I promised Dad I’d make sure Bella had a good home, but I never really wanted a dog.”

“That is difficult.” I pictured Bella, all alone for those long days. She clearly loved people, and she was such a nice dog. She’d even seemed appreciative when I wiped the mud off her paws with some of my new paper towels.

“There’s a woman at the hospital who says she’ll take her, but”—Melinda hesitated—“between you and me, I’ve met her kids, and I’m not sure they’d be nice to Bella.”

I sank onto the couch.

Bella trotted over, tags jingling, and laid her head on my knee. She looked up, a plea filling her soft brown eyes.

My heart twisted. “Um, can I call you back in a few minutes?” The words slipped out before I’d thought them through.

“Oh…” Melinda sounded confused. “Sure.”

I hung up and ran a hand down Bella’s back. I was bound to be busy starting a new job. But I had been hoping to adopt a pet, and I knew how to care for one, since we’d had dogs, cats, and even a hamster when I was growing up. 18 Antiques, Artifacts & Alibis Plus, I only lived a few blocks away from my job. I could pop home every day at lunch and let Bella out. And if I had extra work, I could bring it home in the evenings. It wasn’t like an extra shift at a hospital an hour out of town. By five-thirty every day, I’d be home, free to take Bella for a walk and spend time with her.

I made a quick call to my landlord and called Melinda back. “Would you be willing to let Bella stay with me for a week, on a trial basis, to see if we get along?”

She eagerly agreed and said she’d be right over with Bella’s bed, her brush, a giant bag of dog food, and a few toys.

I hung up, looked down at Bella, and drew in a deep breath. “Okay, girl, let’s give this a try.”

She gave me a happy doggie smile and wagged her tail.

A tingle of hope welled up inside me. Maybe, just maybe, this move might not be a mistake.

Maybe it was the fresh start I needed.

Is your book part of a series, if so, tell us about the series.
If you like a mystery with a pet who will win your heart, friends who feel like family, and a sweet small town, you’ll love the Dogwood Springs Cozy Mystery Series! These are clean books with a hint of romance.

Give the readers a hint of what’s to come for your character in future books.
Libby, Bella, and their friends continue to investigate murders in the little town of Dogwood Springs, Missouri. Throughout the series, Libby’s romance deepens with Sam Collins and she learns more about how smart Bella is.

Book Three is on preorder!

Victoria LK Williams


Those Furry Side-kicks #2


Bonnie’s books are sure to include a good mystery, element of the paranormal and many even have cats. She also writes fantasy, urban fantasy and some science fiction. Her series include The Familiar Cafe, The Haunted Hotel series, Holiday Hijinks, Frost Witch Saga, Whisper series and many short stories.

“Unfamiliar Magic” follows Jade and Mason as they use their magical skills to solve a murder mystery and save her best friend from being falsely accused. With a cozy café filled with adorable feline familiars and a thrilling plot filled with twists and turns, this is a must-read for fans of the genre.

Who is your protagonist’s sidekick?
Mason is my protagonist’s “sidekick” though Mason wouldn’t agree that he’s only a side kick. He’d say he is the brains behind the team. He’s a large ginger bi-color neutered male feline and he’s all attitude.

What role does the animal play in the story?
My main character, Jade, is a witch who runs a café for feline familiars looking for new homes. Mason keeps the cats in line and lives upstairs with Jade. He has his own magic and has even saved Jade’s life at least once.

Does your animal help or hinder your sleuth?
Even Jade has to admit Mason helps, although she wouldn’t say he’s as helpful as he thinks he is.

Give us 1 example of the interaction between your main character and the Fury Sidekick.
“I turned back to Mason to make sure he was comfortable. He was already getting out of the box. I put my hand on his back, intending to tell him to settle down.

Get me out of this stupid cast. My leg is fine. Dr. Gray knows it.

“What do you mean?” I demanded.

You’ve been moping around about Tyson for weeks, ever since you didn’t have a clue how to talk to him at dinner. I wanted to give you another chance. Clear the air. Mason flipped his tail at me so hard I heard the thump when it hit the floor.

“You jumped in front of a car on purpose?” I practically screamed. I hoped I didn’t scare the familiars downstairs. “You could have been killed.”

If you hadn’t been so upset and so preoccupied with trying to talk to Tyson, you’d have felt the spell I did to be sure I was fine.

I remembered the slight tingle on my arms just before I’d heard the squeal of brakes. I glared.

Mason gave me a long hard stare. Thankfully, it appears my plan worked and you two are back to acting normally with each other again.

“I don’t care how much I mope,” I said. “Don’t you ever do that to me again!” Suddenly, I was angry with him, thinking about how terrified I’d been of losing him. “

Is your book part of a series, if so, tell us about the series.
Jade lives in South Central Kentucky in a small town that is home to many witches and is considered the place to go if one has questions about a familiar. They have a university there with information. Jade runs a café for humans but she also has feline familiars who are looking for homes, all adults. She runs into mysteries and has to solve them. She’s getting quite a reputation in her town for knowing how to solve mysteries.

Give the readers a hint of what’s to come for your character in future books.
I expect that Mason will have to use more of his magic and teach Jade more about what he can do. Jade’s relationship with her love interest will grow into something more. I have a feeling there are other mysteries that will crop up requiring Jade’s unique ability to sleuth out answers with Mason’s help.

group of animals on white background

Victoria LK Williams

Those Furry Sidekicks #1

Tammy L Grace

Tammy, a USA Today bestselling author, loves to be with her husband and grown son, and has a spoiled golden retriever. She also sports an addiction to books and chocolate.Tammy writes the Hometown Harbor Series, Glass Beach Cottage Series and the Cooper Harrington Detective Series. Being a dog fan, you’ll find plenty of furry companions in her books.

Find out more and subscribe to Tammy’s newsletter by visiting her website at New subscribers received a fun interview with the dogs from Tammy’s books as a thank you gift for subscribing.
You can also follow Tammy on Amazon, BookBub, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Readers love the award-winning Cooper Harrington Detective Novels, featuring Coop, a Nashville lawyer turned private detective known for his love of coffee, snarky t-shirts, and talent for solving cases. He, along with his faithful dog, Gus, and his right-hand assistant, Annabelle, work together to solve murder cases full of twists and turns. You’ll find a bit of humor, a dash of southern charm, a dog who is more like a furry best friend, plenty of comfort food, and murder, of course. If you enjoy complex characters with a few quirks and plots that keep you guessing until the end, you’ll love Tammy L. Grace’s mystery series.

Who is your protagonist’s sidekick?  
Gus, a beautiful golden retriever, is the one and only furry sidekick in my Cooper Harrington Detective Series. He’s the loyal friend to my main character, Coop. Coop is a 40-something bachelor, who is a lawyer turned private detective. Gus has his own leather chair in Coop’s office where he spends his days with Coop and loves to ride in Coop’s vintage Jeep when their cases require travel around the Nashville area.  

What role does the animal play in the story?
Gus is an excellent listener and is privy to all the evidence and clues Coop collects. When Coop is up at all hours, thinking and trying to put the pieces together, Gus is there helping and supporting him. With a nudge and pleading look, he guides Coop and makes sure he gets in some exercise and playtime at their favorite park. He knows things often click into place when Coop gets away from the office and lets his mind relax.

Gus also greets new clients and offers a bit of comfort to those who need it. He’s especially fond of Annabelle, one of Coop’s best friends and righthand at the agency. Gus loves Fridays since that’s when Coop goes to breakfast and always brings Annabelle takeout and she makes sure Gus gets a few nibbles.

Does your animal help or hinder your sleuth?
Gus is a help to Coop. He doesn’t speak, but his expressive eyes and gentle nudges move Coop in the right direction. He’s also a faithful friend, who is usually by Coop’s side and provides tons of emotional support and comfort to the private detective, who is a bit of a workaholic. He’s always up for fun and games and gives Coop a reason to set aside his work and enjoy life.

Give us 1 example of the interaction between your main character and the Fury Sidekick.
Gus does most of his communicating through his eyes, sighs, and tail wags. I remember one scene where Coop has to make a phone call he’s been avoiding and Gus gives him a look. Coop often thinks Gus is judging him or prodding him into action and this was one of those times. He’s also very protective of Coop and Annabelle and has alerted Coop to danger more than once.

Is your book part of a series, if so, tell us about the series.
This series consists of four books with plans to continue for years. Each book is a stand-alone murder mystery, but I always recommend reading them in order, since you’ll learn more about Coop and his backstory in subsequent books. The books take place in the Nashville, Tennessee area, where Coop lives with his wealthy aunt on her estate. Coop’s uncle, who was a police detective, retired, and opened a private detective agency, where Coop worked while he was in college. When his uncle passes away, Coop takes over the agency. Coop has two best friends, one is his sidekick, Annabelle, who manages his office and also helps on cases and the other is Ben, who is the Chief of Detectives in Nashville.

Give the readers a hint of what’s to come for your character in future books.

Gus will continue in his role as Coop’s sidekick in future books. He huge part of Coop’s life and family and is beloved by Aunt Camille, who often watches over him if Coop has to go out of town. Gus will be more involved in some undercover operations in future books, since he’s a natural.

Victoria LK Williams

Furry Friends and Side Kicks

Growing up, I was just country enough to know that spring time meant baby animals. There was always a litter of kittens safely hidden away by their mother, of puppy running around getting into trouble and chewing up anything within reach. But this was also the time for farm animals to be born, and the birds nesting in the trees were now busy finding food for the chicks that had hatched under their care.

So spring is the most natural time to begin this new series of author interviews. Side-kicks are as natural to a mystery as Watson is to Sherlock, or Beth and George are to Nancy. But there is a special side-kick that can steal our hearts, get into trouble, make us laugh and somehow be on hand to help solve the mystery. Yes, those are our furry Side-Kicks!

The authors in my interviews have not only shared about their books, series and answered my questions, but they have also included a passage from their books that introduces you to the special bond between pet and owner.

I hope you will enjoy the interviews and meeting the furry Side-Kicks that make our books that much more special.

Victoria LK Williams

New Beginnings #8


Katherine Brown is a Texas girl, a weaver of words, and lover of books. Katherine has an amazing husband and stepdaughter, loves to read all things magical or historical fiction, and enjoys passing on that love of books to children.



Steampunk mystery with Mary Poppins vibes in the most delightful way. This series will have you putting the kettle on and settling in for adventure and intrigue.

Let’s Go Fly a Kite –is an exclusive free bonus prequel going back to the beginnings of Anna-Marie’s new life. The first book in the series, A Spoonful of Gunpowder, takes place five years later and is a steampunk mystery with Mary Poppins vibes.

A Spoonful of Gunpowder (book 1) Just a spoonful of gunpowder makes the buildings go down…
A reimagining of Mary Poppins meets steampunk Victorian London…in a most delightful way!

A Spoonful of Madness (book 2) What do you do when you steal a book from the queen and have it stolen from you? Grovel. At least, that is Ambrose’s solution.

Who is your protagonist?
Anna-Marie Pauper, orphan, tinkerer, and Mary-Poppins inspired no-nonsense woman of determination and heart.

Tell us what time frame your stories are in and what setting or world?
This particular steampunk cozy mystery series takes place in Victorian London (steampunk simply meaning fictional / advanced technologies and inventions are included and fashion is a bit more risqué)

Is your book part of a series? If so, tell us about the series.
I loved the idea of Mary Poppins mixed with steampunk, so I took that idea and ran with it to inspire my characters. While the series isn’t a storyline retelling, more a complete reimagining, you will find playful nods to Mary Poppins throughout that I thoroughly enjoyed writing.
Anna-Marie found herself out of a home and out of options when she was kicked out of the orphan house at the age of 17 (too old to be adopted and a burden on the owner). This bonus prequel tells us how she adapts and about a few characters she meets. The actual first book in the series, A Spoonful of Gunpowder, takes place five years later after she is established and desires to find out why so many orphans are missing off of the streets of London, as well as help the other orphan girls she left behind to make their way in the world.

What has happened to propel your character into a “new beginning”?
Being removed from the shelter of the orphan house was the first major shift as you see in the prequel.
For A Spoonful of Gunpowder, Anna-Marie is fed up with existing at the beck and call of others and sets out to take charge of her future.

Is your protagonist happy about this new beginning or resistant to it? 
Eager! There are bumps and snags, and possibly explosions, along the path but she is more than ready to face them head on.

Give the readers a hint of what’s to come for your character in future books.
Betrayal. Love. Housekeeping. You know – the usual suspects 😉

Honestly, I had no intention of writing a book 3 but readers seem to want more so I’m pondering a future secret society and to continue the story of how Anna-Marie helps and equips several of the orphan girls she rescued, bringing them into her new family.

I have to admit, I love the idea of a “steampunk Mary Poppins”! I have already downloaded the free bonus prequel.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our guest authors and their books with new beginnings. Have you found a new series to explore?

My next blog series is one I’ve been just dying to do-it’s all about those furry sidekicks you find in books. And there is a great line up coming your way!

Victoria LK Williams