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Inspirations for MALTIPOOS ARE MURDER
Our new release, MALTIPOOS ARE MURDER, is a cozy mystery romance featuring a doggie day spa set in Middleburg, Virginia. In this post, we talk about some inspirations for our book.
The setting: We chose Middleburg, Virginia, as the setting for MALTIPOOS ARE MURDER for some different reasons. First, a cozy mystery, by some of the conventions of the genre, has to be placed into a small setting, like a small town or village. Second, Lane and I both live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., so we wanted a setting close by that we were somewhat familiar with and that we could visit. Finally, Middleburg is not just another small town. It’s well-known for being a hunt and horse area, and is attractive and upscale (see http://www.middleburgonline.com/).
Coincidentally, when we were developing the book, my husband’s aunt and uncle decided to look for houses in Middleburg and came from their ranch in Texas to see what Middleburg is like. Accompanying them has been my only visit so far to Middleburg (they didn’t end up buying, the houses are very pricey!), but I was taken with the rolling green of the properties where horses grazed and the stone fences along the roads. The shops were posh, and my husband’s uncle couldn’t resist buying our daughter a pair of riding boots.
Lane and I could never bring off a joint visit to Middleburg but she went on her own, taking notes of locations and descriptions. Lane rides horses when she is at her house in Atlanta. She is also doing an author event at a winery there in June: http://molonlavevineyards.com/calendar.html.
Dogs: Another aspect of our setting is the doggie day spa. When a literary agent suggested to me that he would like to see a cozy mystery set in a doggie day spa, I heard out his ideas but then said to my critique partner at the time, “I don’t know anything about doggie day spas.” Lane said, “Oh, I go to a doggie day spa for Abby (her standard schnauzer). I can write it with you!” That’s the way Lane and me went from being critique partners to co-authors.
Despite my lack of familiarity with doggie day spas, I am a dog-lover like Lane. The Maltipoo title and character was inspired by my Maltese of 18 years, Angelito, and Pierre, the toy poodle, of my elementary school years. My family and I also tried to foster a Maltipoo who was gorgeous with curly, white fur but he suddenly turned on my daughter, so it didn’t work out as an adoption unfortunately. We now own Tina the Chihuahua, who came from a hoarding situation where an older woman lived with 70 dogs.
The genre: Our genre is the cozy mystery romance. We’ve mentioned the contained nature of the setting of cozies, but there are some other conventions we observed, such as the cute title, minimal (for a mystery) and off-stage violence and gore, and an interesting hobby or profession that many women can relate to, such as cooking, crafts, bookstores or antique stores. More recently, the female protagonists of the cozy are young, single women. Therefore, most cozies have a romance angle to them, perhaps 30% of the book. However, the Entangled Ignite Line has created its own genre with the cozy mystery romance, where the romance is at least half of the book. In the cozy mystery, a romance may grow over several books in the series, but in ours we had to reach the happily ever after by book one. Books two, three, and four will center around other characters’ romances from an ensemble cast.
These are some of our inspirations around MALTIPOOS ARE MURDER. We hope you enjoy it!
Cara Rogers wants a fresh start after a slew of bad luck in Washington DC. Moving to Virginia to help her aunt run La Maison de Chien, a doggie spa, is just the peace of mind she needs. No stress. Just her aunt, the dogs, and wide-open country. But when she finds Aunt Marian floating in the doggie swimming pool, the rest she so desperately needs flies out the window. The only witness to the death is Rex, an apricot maltipoo, and while he may not be able to talk, he’s communicating the only way he knows how—one paw at a time. And Rex’s clues lead to murder.
Can Cara keep the doggie spa afloat, convince Middleburg homicide detective Cole Sampson that Aunt Marian’s death was no accident, and keep Rex from the killer’s clutches before they all end up as dead as dogs?
Twitter: @EntangledSus Steals and Deals
Jacqueline Corcoran and Lane Stone have teamed up to write about some of their favorite topics – dogs, mysteries, and Middleburg, Virginia, which is known as the nation’s horse and hunt capital. MALTIPOOS ARE MURDER is the first in their doggie day spa romantic suspense series.
Jacqueline Corcoran lives in Arlington, Virginia with her rescue animals, husband, and two children. She holds a Ph.D. in social work and is on faculty at the Virginia Commonwealth University. She has published numerous professional academic articles and fourteen books in her field. Her mysteries include Maiming of the Shrew (Cozy Cat Press), A Month of Sundays (Whimsical Publications), Backlit (Etopia Press), and Memoir of Death (Etopia Press). See her website athttp://www.jacquelinecorcoran.com/
Lane Stone and her husband, Larry Korb, divide their time between Sugar Hill, Georgia and Alexandria, Virginia. She’s the author of the Tiara Investigations Mystery series. When not writing, she’s usually playing golf. Her volunteer work includes raising money for women political candidates and conducting home visits for A Forever Home, a dog foster organization. She is on the Political Science Advisory Board for Georgia State University, and she serves on Sugar Hill’s 75th Anniversary Planning Committee. www.LaneStoneBooks.com
Giveaway Info: Doggie Gift Basket & $20 Amazon GC (2 winners)