A new mystery series is unleashed!

The Pampered Pets Mystery Series

In posh Laguna Beach things have gone to the dogs with misbehaving pooches, misleading stories, and…murder. It's up to Texas cousins and former beauty queens, Caro and Mel, to find out whodunit in the wacky world of precious pedigrees, pampered pets, and secrets.

They’d join forces and work together if they were speaking, but they're not.

Desperate Housedogs (Book 1)

When Caro Lamont, former psychologist turned pet therapist makes a house call to help a client with his dogs, she expects frantic dogs, she expects a frantic dog owner, she even expects frantic neighbors.  What Caro doesn’t expect is that two hours later her client is dead and she is knee deep in murder doo doo. Now with a killer on the loose, her best friend, Diana, in jail, and the police suspicious of her motives, Caro is chasing her tail, sniffing out a killer, and hoping the killer doesn’t find her first.

Coming soon Get Fluffy… (Book 2)

oday we have with us a mystery writing team of Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter.  Mary Lee and Anita write the Pampered Pet series, their most recent success stories, Desperate Housedogs under a pseudonym, SPARKLE ABBEY.  (I’ll switch this up, depending on what your blog says)

DONNELL:  As a writing team, what’s your favorite part of the process?
SPARKLE:  I love, love, love brainstorming and it’s so great to have someone who knows the storyline and the characters to brainstorm new ideas. We get to put our heads together and come up with all kinds of mischief for Caro and Mel!

ABBEY: The great thing about working as a team is you always have someone to brainstorm with or run your ideas past. I love that part.

DONNELL:  Favorite time of the day?
SPARKLE: I’m a total night owl.  (As you could probably tell from the time stamp on my emails. LOL)

ABBEY: My first thought was when I’m sleeping, but I don’t seem to get much sleep any more. So I’d have to say afternoon.
DONNELL:  Coffee, tea or other?

SPARKLE: Skinny Hazelnut Latte. And I can answer this one for Abbey…Chai Tea Latte. In fact, at our local Starbucks they just call us the Skinny Hazelnut and the Chai Tea. If I stop by without, Abbey, they say “Hey, where’s Chai Tea, today?”

ABBEY:  Oh, definitely Chai tea latte!

DONNELL:  What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned while researching a book?
SPARKLE: Gosh, it’s hard to say. One fun thing I learned (and used in Desperate Housedogs) was that Gypsy Rose Lee was an avid dog-breeder of Chinese Crested dogs. In fact most active kennels can trace their ancestry of their Chinese Cresteds to her line. That was something I didn’t know. Oh and also the fact there’s a pet airline totally devoted to pet travel. The pet always travels in the cabin, never in cargo. Don’t believe me? www.petairways.com

ABBEY:  There have been so many, but the first one that came to mind was that you can get braces for your dog. Who knew?

DONNELL:  You’re in a burning building.  Which of your characters would you call to save you?

SPARKLE:  Wow, I really had to think about this one. I think I might call Diana Knight. She’d rally the troops and she doesn’t take “no” for an answer.

ABBY: I’d like to say Mel’s fiancé, Grey Donovan, but with my luck, he’d be out of town on an undercover mission. I’d call Mel. She wouldn’t hesitate to call the fire department while on her way to rescue me. Of course, once I was safe, and after a hug, she’d chastise me for calling her first and not the fire department.
DONNELL:  What do you do to unwind and relax?

SPARKLE: Read. I think all writers are readers first. I can’t say I have as much reading time as I once did but when I really want to unwind, I want to be transported someplace else via a book.  If it also involves a bubble bath, all the better!

ABBEY: It’s been so long…I think I used drink a glass of wine while reading a book uninterrupted.  Ok, I just checked the cupboard and I don’t even have wine in the house. (I‘ve added “wine” to my grocery list.)

DONNELL:  Who’s your favorite cartoon character?

SPARKLE:  Foghorn Leghorn. “That’s a joke, I say, that’s a joke.”

ABBEY: Sniffles the Mouse. For so many reasons.

SPARKLE: Ah, I’d forgotten about Sniffles…hilarious and so cute!

DONNELL:  How often do you get lost in a story?

SPARKLE: Oh, that’s the best, isn’t it? Just the very best. When you’re so lost in a story that you lose track of time and then you surface and you have this feeling that the story world is more real than your world…  I can’t say how often, but went it happens. Wow.

ABBEY: Not as often as, I’d like.

DONNELL: My “fictitious” dog has just started jumping the fence and chasing cars. How would you as the creator of a pet therapist advise me to handle the situation?

SPARKLE: Caro would advise that your dog probably is in need of some exercise. She’d recommend getting in some long walks to burn some of that energy. She might also suggest a new toy from Mel’s store the Bow Wow boutique.

ABBEY: Mel stocks these awesome Frisbees that are perfect for playtime at the dog park.

DONNELL: I have an associate who owns a pet snake. He’s not eating his mice anymore. Should I have him consult Dr. Lamont?

SPARKLE: Absolutely! In many cases when a snake won’t eat, there’s something in their environment causing the problem. Something has changed, perhaps a new cage, new family members. Believe it or not, the most likely cause is insecurity.

ABBEY: Definitely. Caro has a lot of experience with “snakes.”

SPARKLE ABBEY IS GIVING AWAY a copy of DESPERATE HOUSEDOGS to a blog commenter.Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.


SPARKLE ABBEY: As debut authors we often talk about this question so this is the perfect group to ask.
The last time you discovered a new author how did you find him or her?



  1. These days, I discover new authors when I win a book from them or they are part of part of a series I am reading. In the past, I would find new authors at the library.

    Your book sounds great - I love books with dogs in them. I used to work in Laguna Hills, so I know Laguna Beach well. And, I really enjoyed your interview too.

    1. Yay, Tammy, aren't Sparkle Abbey a great writing team? However, I can just see with their success a whole lot of babies, named Sparkle & Abbey :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Welcome Mary Lee & Anita aka Sparkle Abbey. I have a wonderful trailer this techno non-wizard had trouble getting on the blog. I'll try and get it up soon. But if not folks, you can see it on the web page. Terrific book and authors!

  3. I think finding new authors is tough. As a new author, finding readers is tough. It's sites like this that can help unite the two! :)

    The new series sounds cute and wonderful! Best of luck

    1. You got it, Cynthia. It seems it's harder than ever to make those connections. Thanks to GLIAS for helping to connect readers and authors!

  4. Hi, Sparkle Abbey!

    The last time I found a new-to-me author that I adored was when I judged my RWA chapter's published contest. I went and signed up for that author's newsletters and got to meet her at 2010 nationals.

    Though right now I'm reading this book called The Past Came Hunting and I LOVE it... I'm thinking good things are going to happen to that author. ;)

    1. Abigail (Do you go by Abigail?) That's a great idea! Had not thought about contests.

      Think you're right about The Past Came Hunting - great things in store for that very talented author!

    2. To get into the whole story, my real name is Gayle and no one can spell it correctly, so I decided to go with a pen name. So mostly I get called Gail. :) If I'm feeling lazy I'll sign my emails as Abs. And sometimes folks who don't know me as Gail shorten it to Abby, which is fine, too.

      I'm having identity issues. Can you tell? *grin*

      Hey, GLIAS ladies - love the new Reply feature!

    3. Abigail, thank you for your kind remarks on my book, and I love the reply feature too! Wahooo :)

    4. Thanks for the welcome, Angi! What a great blog you all have put together.

    5. Gayle, we definitely know about identity issues! LOL We're MaryLee (ML) and Anita... and Sparkle and Abbey and...Mimi and well, sometimes it can get confusing. I like Abigail Sharpe, that's a great pen name. And if you sign emails Abs, I think somehow I'll feel like emailing counts as a workout!

  5. What a great series idea. I'm a sucker for anything with dogs. Add in humor and romance, and you've got me!

    I'm an indie author, which means I'm on loops with other indie authors, and I've been buying a lot of their books. Also books from GIAM group members, who are productive and talented.

    1. Edie, I buy all over the place. Indy, bestselling, GIAM group. so many books, so little time! :) I know, darn Sparkle Abbey for coming up with such an ingenious plotline! I think I need a shrink to help me get over my disappointment

  6. WELCOME TO GLIAS, Sparkle & Abbey !!
    What a great cover, great title, and I betcha a great book !

    To answer your question, before GLIAS I'd maybe discover a new author on the bookshelf, but it was mainly by accident. NOW, I have so many on my TBR pile !!

    Best of luck with the debut.

    1. Angi, well said. The great thing about Get Lost in a Story, besides it has seven debut authors and friends, is that the blog introduces us to stories and authors we might otherwise overlook. I mean, have you been to Goodreads and Amazon et al lately. There authors become buried under books!

    2. Thanks for the welcome to GLIAS, Angi! Ya'll have put together a wonderful blog. And, of course, in addition to the great content, we also love the beautiful beach background.

  7. What fun! I thoroughly enjoyed this interview.

    OK - as for the question - well, being a writer, I am constantly hearing about debut books on authors' loops etc. I do believe in word of mouth, though. I believe if a reader enjoys a book they have an obligation to tell other people about it. Which I will be doing shortly with Donnell's debut. :)
    Also - I have definitely bought books after reading a blog. I believe I bought Darynda Jones' first book after visiting a blog featuring her.

    Best wishes for huge success.

    1. Gosh, Lynne, thanks! It's hit and miss in this business, isn't it? I for one think word of mouth can make a book go viral. I'm very pleased to be part of three blogs that promote other people and not just me. How boring would that be? Thanks for dropping by today!

    2. Hi Lynne, Thanks much! We agree that word of mouth is SO important! Our Sisters in Crime group as always a great resource for intel about new authors/new books.

  8. Mary Lee and Anita, great to see you guys! And I adore the whole Desperate Housedog concept. It sounds like great fun. Looking forward to reading it!

    Most of the time I discover a new author through other writers or find out someone I've known for a long time has a book out. I'm so excited for you two.

    1. Katy, I'm not Mary Lee or Anita, but I am their best personal spokesman for today . I'm reading Desperate Housedog right now, and smiling all over the place. Plus, they're just nice people! Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Hi Katy,
      Great to see you here! Didn't realize it was you until I saw the picture. You look wonderful! As you might guess, we're pretty darn excited too!!

  9. The last time I found an author that I really loved I won one of her books. I have read all of her books since. Also pick up a lot of good new to me authors on the blogs.

    1. Virginia, thank you for letting us know. As I mentioned above, sometimes, we have no clue what is working. I hope you will check out Desperate Housedogs. I mean, I'm fairly desperate you try it

    2. Hello Virginia, thanks for posting. Isn't that the greatest when you find a new author and then get to either catch up via backlist, or look forward to new releases. That always feels like a real find!

  10. On a twitchy computer here at work so some of my replies either didn't post or are showing up in funky places. It's NOT a malfunction of the blog (and probably not the computer either). More likely it's the operator... Sheesh, and I work in IT.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has posted for your wonderful comments and great feedback!

    Very interesting how we're all finding new authors in this new world of publishing, isn't it?

  11. Fun interview, Donnell and Sparkle and Abbey! Fancy snakes suffering from anxiety and going off their dinner! And dogs with braces to fix their teeth! Love it! The things you've discovered along the way to writing these books is fascinating!

    As for places to discover new authors... blogs like this are a great source!

    Congratulations on the release of your first Sparkle Abbey book! It sounds like a thoroughly delicious read!


    1. Sharon, just found a new one! A friend just sent us an email about this new mobile app that's a kennel cam. It's called Online Doggy and it works with your iPhone or Android and connects with over 400 pet-care providers. You can keep an eye on your pooch while you're on the go! Who knew?

    2. LOL, Sparkle! How on earth are our canine friends going to get up to no good and surprise us with chewed preciouses if we have Kennel Cam!

    3. So true, Sharon! Those innocent looks aren't going to do the trick! LOL

  12. Back again - I found a few new authors I like, when I read their blogs and liked their book. I also got some books as gifts for new authors I like as well.

    I will add this book to my wish list. A mystery with a dog is a must read for me

    1. Hi Tammy - Saw your earlier post but it was when my computer was being difficult. Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

      We'll be really interested in your take on whether we got Laguna Beach right.

  13. Thanks so much Donnell and GLIAS for allowing us to hang out with you. (Nice place you have here!) What an interesting discussion on readers finding new authors, and authors finding new readers and all. We learned a lot! Hope to see you here again, as well as on Facebook and other places.

    If you get a moment stop by our website and take a look at the adorable trailer our publisher did! Oh, and there's also a video of Sparkle, the cat, assisting in the editing process.


    Take care,
    Sparkle Abbey

  14. Sparkle Abbey, it's been a pleasure. Come back and see us on book 2!!! I'll be contacting you re the book giveaway. Gnight!

  15. Thanks for having us. It was great fun!!

  16. I have found many new authors to read through the wonderful chapters I belong too. I love posting everyone's book on my FB page. Your book sounds like fun.